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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Rebirth, the Horn, and what happens in T'a'R


Alric
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Ok, these questions have formed in my mind over the years and now that I'm rereading the series and am able to pay better attention to details since I know the basic background... I've found that there still haven't been given specifics (as of aCoS)... So I'll put them here and wait and see what happens:

 

  1. Is everyone reborn? It seems that people believe it or hope for it, considering the oath that goes "“By the Light and my hope of salvation and rebirth", but do we know?
  2. When you do something exceptionally heroic, the Wheel figures out that it can use you, and decides to start recycling you for its purposes by tying you to the Horn of Valere. Then your soul is temporarily stored in T'a'R and you are apparently conscious between your lives. Is the Horn needed for this or is there a distinction? I'm guessing since the Horn is a physical item it was made at one point, and that at least the Dragon soul would have been reborn (an infinite number of times) before that? Or was rebirth introduced with the Horn?
  3. Is the Dragon always the same soul? Or could it be someone else at other turnings? (In other words, if we can't escape the cycle, can at least LTT/Rand's soul escape and let someone else pick up the task?)
  4. If you are pulled out of T'a'R like Birgitte, is your cycle broken? It would appear to me that you are pulled out in your "essential" form, the form that you would be spun out again from, meaning that its over. Is that true? And if so, can you qualify to be a Hero again to continue, or is the fact that you've been ripped out in that form mean that you're D.E.A.D. regardless when you die in this world?
  5. The Dark One can grab souls for a short time after someone dies. Since he does that to the Forsaken (who are certainly not tied to the Horn), there seems to at least be some "activity" after death. Does this tell us anything about an afterlife? It doesn't seem that he grabs them from T'a'R or he could have grabbed people at any time. So if only the heroes go to T'a'R... where exactly does the Dark one grab people from, does he need a "connection" to the soul (oath or something like it), and why is there a time limit?
  6. (Bonus question - this one is pure speculation but something more specific) If Rand dies and is ripped out from T'a'R, and is no longer tied to the Horn and can't be reborn... is the world doomed (ties in with question 3 to some extent). Any thoughts? Wouldn't the Dark One need to be permanently defeated before anyone could take a chance on pulling Rand back out?

 

 

Any takers? I have a feeling either this thread will bomb or it will be an epic mess but I needed to ask. :D

Edited by Alric
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I'll just take a stab at number 4 and leave the rest to others. Min has viewings of Birgitte that she says could not be played out over a single lifetime and she's attached to the same man both younger and older than her. This seems to imply that Birgitte will eventually live out the rest of her most recent life with the recently reborn Gaidal Cain and when they die the Wheel will continue to weave the pair back into the Pattern. Only with Gaidal as the older, as it was before Birgitte was ripped out of TAR.

 

This I suppose covers your last question as well. If Birgitte will continue to be woven back into the Pattern as a Hero, there's no reason to believe Rand wouldn't either if the same happens to him.

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1) I think that everybody gets reborn. I can't recall any definitive quotes about that, but that's the general impression of the process that I've gotten. The best I can think of in support of that is when Hawking was talking to Hurin, he said that perhaps he'd be amongst their number one day and the context seemed to suggest if it wasn't at the end of this lifetime, then it would happen eventually, so he'd have a lot of chances at it.

 

2) The Heroes are bound to the Pattern and spun out to do it's work according to Hawking. Those people who do that also get called by the Horn, but I've always seen the Horn as a secondary function that just calls up the Heroes from time to time and it's their living their various lives doing heroic things which is their main purpose - maybe to put the Pattern back on track or something like that - and the physical existence of the Horn isn't all that important. Again, that's just my general impression.

 

3) It seems to always be Rand vs Ishamael fighting again and again and they're the two Champions.

 

4) She seems to think that she's no longer a Hero bound to the Horn and would likely have a better reference point to make judgements about that than anyone else, but Min's viewings suggest that she will be again. Whether that's because the Horn just naturally picks her up and she's wrong about not still being bound or because she's still the same person she was when she got bound in the first place, so she'll do a bunch of heroic things and get recruited again (with a dock in pay for violating corporate policies detailed in Section 7.3 of the employment manual regarding interacting with the world between lives, of course), I don't know, but I think the latter.

 

5) There are indications of an afterlife where the DO can torture souls bound to him (ie - Aginor remembering death and being willing to grovel before a worm to avoid it again) and Rand seeing his mother's soul in book one. This indicates that souls are conscious in another realm or whatever inbetween getting spun out into new lives. It seems to be a different kind of realm than the one that the Heroes are in and the DO can only grab souls on the way there and yank them into his place as opposed to grabbing those that are already there.

 

6) I don't think so. All of Ishamael's actions when Rand was untrained were focused on turning him to the Shadow, so it seems that that's the key to the DO winning. If killing him and doing something when he's in the dream world was the path to victory, then one would expect his actions to have focused along those sorts of lines. So, I don't think something like that would work, although I'm unsure why it wouldn't.

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Ok, these questions have formed in my mind over the years and now that I'm rereading the series and am able to pay better attention to details since I know the basic background... I've found that there still haven't been given specifics (as of aCoS)... So I'll put them here and wait and see what happens:

 

 

Is everyone reborn? It seems that people believe it or hope for it, considering the oath that goes "“By the Light and my hope of salvation and rebirth", but do we know?

RJ has mentioned that there is a "normal" afterlife, but did not elaborate on it. He could have meant that there is a possible end to the cycle of reincarnations for some lucky souls, or he could have mean that the afterlifee is a thing for souls inbetween incarnations.

And of course, if the DO gets his paws on a soul, there is probably no more reincarnations for that one.

 

When you do something exceptionally heroic, the Wheel figures out that it can use you, and decides to start recycling you for its purposes by tying you to the Horn of Valere. Then your soul is temporarily stored in T'a'R and you are apparently conscious between your lives. Is the Horn needed for this or is there a distinction? I'm guessing since the Horn is a physical item it was made at one point, and that at least the Dragon soul would have been reborn (an infinite number of times) before that? Or was rebirth introduced with the Horn?

 

Since the Horn is a thing made by humans, and the Heroes coming to it is a secondary function for them (their main function being getting reborn to fix things as real, living people), I would say that the Horn is definitly not needed. Rather, at some point people discovered that there were heros lurking around in T'a'r, and some smart people figured out how to get access to them. Or, some not quite so smart people tried to accomplish something completely different, screwed up, and got themselves a nice little surprise.

 

Is the Dragon always the same soul? Or could it be someone else at other turnings? (In other words, if we can't escape the cycle, can at least LTT/Rand's soul escape and let someone else pick up the task?)

RJ was deliberatly quite vague on this. The belief of the people in his world is that it is always the same soul. Whether or not that belief is correct is for us to gess about.

 

If you are pulled out of T'a'R like Birgitte, is your cycle broken? It would appear to me that you are pulled out in your "essential" form, the form that you would be spun out again from, meaning that its over. Is that true? And if so, can you qualify to be a Hero again to continue, or is the fact that you've been ripped out in that form mean that you're D.E.A.D. regardless when you die in this world?

It does seem like her current cycle is broken, since her relationship with Cain has changed. But Mins viewing of her guarantees she will be a Hero again.

 

The Dark One can grab souls for a short time after someone dies. Since he does that to the Forsaken (who are certainly not tied to the Horn), there seems to at least be some "activity" after death. Does this tell us anything about an afterlife? It doesn't seem that he grabs them from T'a'R or he could have grabbed people at any time. So if only the heroes go to T'a'R... where exactly does the Dark one grab people from, does he need a "connection" to the soul (oath or something like it), and why is there a time limit?

 

Well, obviously non-Hero souls go...somewhere between incarnations.

The DO does not need a connection as such, but since the window of opportunity is quite small, it kinda has to be someone he is paying somewhat closely attention to at the time of death. There are also some physical limits, but we don't know much about what they are. with one exception, the closer to SG, the easier it is for the DO to grab a soul.

 

(Bonus question - this one is pure speculation but something more specific) If Rand dies and is ripped out from T'a'R, and is no longer tied to the Horn and can't be reborn... is the world doomed (ties in with question 3 to some extent). Any thoughts? Wouldn't the Dark One need to be permanently defeated before anyone could take a chance on pulling Rand back out?

 

The world has managed to survive with the Dragon soul turned to the Shadow, so it can probably make it just fine with the Dragon ripped from T'a'r.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In regards to the Horn. I remember reading somewhere (don't ask me where I cant remember)that the horn was actually made to call musicians and during one age it was changed so that it called the Hero's in T'a'r. I agree with Majsju and Tom, that it is not need for the confrontation between the Dragon and the Dark One.

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I think the whole musician thing was a joke. I hope that nobody tried to use it for that because if you're at a fancy dinner and use it to try and summon musicians with it and all the Heroes show up, a bunch of them are kings and stuff, so you're going to have to give them some food if they're there and that will your whole seating arrangement. You can't sit Artur Hawkwing at a side table with the bride's third cousin or anything like that, so you'll probably have to kick your sister's new boyfriend off of the main table to let Artur have a nice place and then she'll just bitch to you about that for months.

Edited by Majsju
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Thanks a lot, that certainly cleared up a few things for me (at least to the extent that RJ intended for us to know that is :biggrin:).

 

The world has managed to survive with the Dragon soul turned to the Shadow' date=' so it can probably make it just fine with the Dragon ripped from T'a'r.[/quote']

 

Do we know this for sure? I think I remember Baalzamon (Ishy) saying that they had fought thousands of times before and that the Dragon had changed sides, but do we know that its true? I seem to remember another quote saying that all it would take for the the Light to lose (and the DO to destroy everything permanently) was that the Dragon turned and tipped the balance (then there would never be another cycle or another chance).

 

Regarding grabbing people from T'a'R, Birgitte was very weak when pulled out, is this a side effect or was there something else happening in her case? I'm only asking because with the information that this is safer than I previously believed, I would assume that it will be attempted with Rand. If Healing doesn't work... bonding with Elayne/Avi should probably be enough though.

Edited by Alric
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Do we know this for sure? I think I remember Baalzamon (Ishy) saying that they had fought thousands of times before and that the Dragon had changed sides, but do we know that its true? I seem to remember another quote saying that all it would take for the the Light to lose (and the DO to destroy everything permanently) was that the Dragon turned and tipped the balance (then there would never be another cycle or another chance).

 

I don't have the relevant quote handy, but I've seen it enough times to paraphrase. This question had been asked of RJ, basically the question of if the Dragon had been turned in the past, why didn't the DO win, or was this just a lie by Ishamael. He said the Dragon HAD turned in the past, but it takes more than just that to ensure victory and that in these instances ended in a stalemate.

 

That in itself raises a lot of questions about those specific turnings of the Wheel in my eyes, however.

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wait..the musicans thing with the Horn was a JOKE? Man, I fell for that one hook, line and singer... ...[ahem] .... It never really made sense to me, though. If it had been made in the Age preceding the AoL (theoreticly our Age, maybe?) then the horrors that Horn could unleash upon an unsuspecting world could make even the Creator just toss the Pattern to the Dark On and say "Man, I was SOOO wrong about this, here, see what you can do with it; I'm going to play Skyrim." I mean, immagine Justin Beiber connected to the Horn. Vanessa Black. Horror of all horrors, the Beatles. ...Imagine them coming back with just one toot on a horn...I...I dont think I want to live in that world. Then again, maybe you could feed them to trolocks every day of the year and just keep bringing them back by blowing on the horn? Hey, think of poor Narg's poor family now that he's gone! What do they do to put food on the table? You think the Shadow has much of a Life Insurance policy in place? Sure, ask Aran'gar why dont you, and thats for the minions that He LIKES!

 

But in all seriousness, does anyone have a link for when it was disgused and revealed to be a joke? I cant seem to find it.

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The only time I heard that story about the Horn was from one of the Fourth Age podcasts where they had Team Jordan on there. The guy (I forgot who it was) said he had seen a page at the bottom of RJ's notes about the Horn, saying that it was originally Dizzy Gillespie's horn, and that it initially called back great musicians. So I wouldn't be too worried about Beiber showing up. It kind of seemed like a joke, although I've never heard it said officially that it wasn't serious. The podcast hosts seemed to believe it. I was never sure if it was meant to be serious or not. Dizzy Gillespie played a trumpet, and the Horn of Valere is always depicted like a hunting horn. The Horn certainly could have been remade (it did have the Old Tongue silver inlay added later, after all). If it were true, it would certainly help us be able to place our own world in terms of WoT Ages. If the Horn was created in an Age before the Age of Legends (which I still believe to be the Second Age in reference to the main WoT story being the Third, although there are some people that argue that point), then that would make our Age the First. Assuming that it wasn't from the previous turning's Seventh Age (or earlier). I try not to get into that territory, though, because it brings up all the arguments about Ages and infinity and all those things that I'm pretty sure don't have any answers. At least, not answers we can deduce from the knowledge we have of how the WoT world works. It gives me a headache.

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Do we know this for sure? I think I remember Baalzamon (Ishy) saying that they had fought thousands of times before and that the Dragon had changed sides, but do we know that its true? I seem to remember another quote saying that all it would take for the the Light to lose (and the DO to destroy everything permanently) was that the Dragon turned and tipped the balance (then there would never be another cycle or another chance).

 

RJ said their are degrees of victory, the DO has won but never an ultimate victory. In the past when the DO has done so the result has been a draw.

 

As for the Dragon Soul being turned we know it has and we also know it was the same soul...

 

Q: In this same Age, in a different Turning of the Wheel of Time, could it be possible that it wouldn't be Rand's soul that was spun out as the Dragon, but for a different, female soul to take on this role?

Jordan said "Yes" then maybe a few more words and only then did I remember to actually put the recorder on again...

RJ: ...it would have to be. Err, in the differences between the same Age in different turnings of the Wheel, are that.. as for an analogy: imagine two tapestries hanging on a wall, and you look at them from the back of the room to the front of the store. And to look at them, they look identical to you. But as you get closer, you begin to see differences. And if you get close enough, they don't look anything at all alike. That is the difference between the Ages. Between the Age in one Turning and the Age in another. So it's quite possible that someone other than Rand could be the reborn soul of the Dragon Reborn.

Q: It would be the same soul, or it would be a different soul?

RJ: It would be the same soul. That is, that is the belief of the world that I've set up, that it's the same soul. It's a soul of someone bound to the Wheel, which is spun out for the purposes, for the Wheel's purposes really, to attempt to re-balance the Weaving of the Pattern. But the soul would always be male. Souls don't change gender, so ...

...so the soul of the Dragon Reborn is always going to be male, just as Birgitte's soul is always born as a woman, just as Ameresu's soul...is always born as a woman. There are divisions here, and they are not interchangeable.

 

tarvalon.net Q&A 26 February 2003

Q: Was Ishamael lying when he told Rand that the hero of the Light had turned to Shadow in other lifetimes?

RJ: No, he was not. Even those who lie sometimes tell the truth when it serves their purposes.

 

 

"That is better, Lews Therin." Ba'alzamon tossed the banner to the floor and put his hands on the chair back; wisps of smoke rose from between his fingers. The shadow no longer encompassed him. "There is your banner, Kinslayer. Much good will it do you. A thousand strings laid over a thousand years have drawn you here. Ten thousand woven throughout the Ages tie you like a sheep for slaughter. The Wheel itself holds you prisoner to your fate Age after Age. But I can set you free. You cowering cur, I alone in the entire world can teach you how to wield the Power. I alone can stop it killing you before you have a chance to go mad. I alone can stop the madness. You have served me before. Serve me again, Lews Therin, or be destroyed forever!"

And another:

 

"You worm, you know nothing at all. As ignorant as a beetle under a rock, and as easily crushed. This struggle has gone on since the moment of creation. Always men think it a new war, but it is just the same war discovered anew. Only now change blows on the winds of time. Change. This time there will be no drifting back. Those proud Aes Sedai who think to stand you up against me. I will dress them in chains and send them running naked to do my bidding, or stuff their souls into the Pit of Doom to scream for eternity. All but those who already serve me. They will stand but a step beneath me. You can choose to stand with them, with the world groveling at your feet. I offer it one more time, one last time. You can stand above them, above every power and dominion but mine. There have been times when you made that choice, times when you lived long enough to know your power."

He says YOU have served me before; YOU made that choice. Not some random hero of the Light. Rand. RJ said he wasn't lying. Case closed.

 

Lastly we have this from BS...

 

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Powell's Books, Portland, OR 19 November 2009 - Matrimony Cauthon reporting

 

I didn't hear the question but someone asked something about Rand's and Moridin's souls being intertwined. Sanderson said that many souls' threads are frequently woven together in the Pattern such as Birgitte and Gaidal. He said that Rand and Moridin are also frequently woven together in the Pattern.

 

More evidence towards Rand and Ishy being the champions.

Edited by Suttree
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Thanks!

 

I can't help to think that the Light's chances are quite good (relatively speaking) with this info. Of course, a Light victory with hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths in the AoL and in the 3rd age isn't exactly a great result. But what seems to be at stake is saving people and not breaking the world (too much) more than saving existence itself. I remember worrying a lot about the latter during my first readthrough.

 

 

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I mean, immagine Justin Beiber connected to the Horn. Vanessa Black. Horror of all horrors, the Beatles.
You think the Beatles are worse than Justin Bieber?

*Kneecaps Lurk31*

Release the hounds.

 

Why do people always jump on me for hating the Beatles?

 

I loath the Beatles. Their music is tinny, their drummer sucked and their lyrics are significant only if you happen to be on very strong acid. I am willing to concede that they may have contributed to music as a whole but, seriusly, I couldnt think of anyone I'd rather use balefire on except Lanfear.

 

But I am glad to have that idea musicians attatched to the Horn, it never made sense to me trying to work it into the overall history and mythos of the world of the WoT. I'd really like to see Jordan's notes published someday, though. I think Tolkeins' were for the LOTR, but I would really like to see what he had for the background info for the Heros attatched to the Horn going back for millenia. I would have loved to have seen that as an antholegy open to other authors.

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I mean, immagine Justin Beiber connected to the Horn. Vanessa Black. Horror of all horrors, the Beatles.
You think the Beatles are worse than Justin Bieber?

*Kneecaps Lurk31*

Release the hounds.

 

Why do people always jump on me for hating the Beatles?

 

I don't know about hate, that may be a bit strong. Aside from the pysch stuff they wrote some perfect pop songs with amazing harmonies. I really could take them or leave them though. I much prefer the Rolling Stones myself, especially the Beggars through Exile stretch.

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