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Counterargument to Rand's Ability to Sense DF's


AzureSpecter
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I see most people on these forums taking in this belief that Rand can now sense Darkfriends and call them out. This seems very illogical to me. I propose instead that Rand's merging with LTT has given him a clearer mind and more wisdom/insight... thus allowing him to realize that some of his followers have been Darkfriends. Since the book never states how Rand knew Weiramon was a darkfriend, I don't see why we need to jump to the conclusion that Rand now has a magical 6th sense.

 

I'm prepared to admit my theory is wrong if someone can quote an official source saying otherwise, I haven't been following Brandon Sanderson's posts.

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Two incidents.

1) Weiramon - where he lined them up and looked them in the eye. This could be just psychological as you say.

2) Maradon where the DF regent stabbed his eyes out and his wife defenestrated herself while Rand was somewhere else slaying multitudes of Shadowspawn. This seems to suggest a special power to hassle DFs though he didn't sense them. They sensed him

And then

 

3) Fain can see a sworn DF as possessing some sort of sooty mark. Fain can definitely sense DF. So this is clearly possible.

 

So, maybe it's possible Rand can really sense DF. Or at any rate, DFs find it very difficult to hang around in his presence.

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I've never seen anything definitive on it being a 6th sense. I'm more of the philosophy that he's just better at reading people. Remember when he met Kadere? he tells mat something about his eyes. He knows at that point Kadere and company are DFs. So he already had a pretty good instinct for such things. Now it's just more refined. I don't think he needed LTT's memories to suspect DFs among his followers. He's suspected that all along.

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Well, Rand said to Weiramon that his friends (dardfriends) could not hide among his people anymore. They're only words of course, but this new Rand doesn't like the type to make empty boasts to me. And so far he's backed up his words.

 

Also, LTT could sense souls, as we can see in tEotW's prologue, and again when Rand recognises Lanfear in ToM's epilogue so, so perhaps that has something to do with it.

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I don't think it's Rand detecting DFs, I think it's DFs detecting Rand, and him detecting their inability to look directly at him.

 

This idea hadn't occurred to me, but it seems logical. Great thinking! And it definitely coincides with what Sharamon mentioned in Maradon with the DF's there going insane when Rand arrived.

 

And Master Ablar, I don't think Rand is making an empty threat either, but that isn't conclusive that Rand can sense DF's, just that he's going to find them.

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Well Fain can sense them, so its definetly possible. Darkfriends have some sort of mark on them that generally only the Forsaken can see, but Fain somehow sees it, and I am pretty sure that Rand can now, whether its because of Lews Therin or his experiences with the True Power or a combination of both. He seems pretty clear and final when he says darkfriends wont be able to hide among them anymore, and he really doesnt have enough time to go rooting around for them. I think what he says is what he says: if any darkfriend even came close to him he would know it.

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I don't believe that he can actually sit there and point them out. More like he can generally sense that someone near him is connected to the shadow.

 

The clue to this IMO is way back in the Prologue in tEotW.

 

He could not bear the faces, the pain. Desperately he reached out to the True Source, to tainted saidin, and he traveled.

The land around him was flat and empty. A river flowed nearby, straight and broad, but he could sense there were no people within a hundred leagues. He was alone, as alone as a man could be while still alive, yet he could not escape memory.

Edited by Finnssss
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1) Weiramon - where he lined them up and looked them in the eye. This could be just psychological as you say.

Don't it say that their eyes watered from looking at him, and that they had to look away? The Darkfriends that is.

 

 

Or worse, don't forget about Torkumen in chapter 32.

His wife jumped to her own death, he cut his own eye balls out and neither of them could even see Rand.

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Remember when nyn tried to heal Rands around the same time as him finding DFs? She said his madness was widespread but covered in light. I thought that this light covering the madness gave him a sort of spiritual sense of good that allows him to root out evil.

Also another idea, at maradon rand uses so much power that he "shone' so brightly that the DFs couldnt stand it, or he was unknowingly using weaves that specifically targeted DFs and that killed them.

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It wouldn't be objectionable that Rand can sense the mark left on Darkfriends. Aes Sedai after all can feel souls just by touching a person, and that may just be a primitive form of what's possible.

 

In fact didn't Moiraine say at one point that if a Darfriend was "dark" enough, an Aes Sedai would be able to sense it, same as shadowspawn? Rand could simply have a greater ability to sense the shadow, and, as previously mentioned, LTT could sense souls.

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I don't think it's Rand detecting DFs, I think it's DFs detecting Rand, and him detecting their inability to look directly at him.

Yah, I think this.

 

I don't think we've seen Fain see a Forsaken or Alviarin since his Mordethening, he just said it seems like they're marked to him or something like that.

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I don't think it's Rand detecting DFs, I think it's DFs detecting Rand, and him detecting their inability to look directly at him.

Yah, I think this.

 

I don't think we've seen Fain see a Forsaken or Alviarin since his Mordethening, he just said it seems like they're marked to him or something like that.

Fain can see a sooty mark on ordinary DFs. He actually doesn't seem to mark Alviarin as BA - maybe he can't do this with channellers.

The special Chosen mark can only be seen by Shadowspawn.

What is even more unusual is that SS can see it even if the Forsaken is disguised - ala Sammael leading trollocs in KoD.

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Just gathering evidence in one place:

 

* Lews Therin can sense (that is the word that is used) that no one is near where he makes Dragonmount in TEOTW Prologue.

* Moiraine mentioned that channelers can detect Shadowspawn (she includes only Trollocs and Myrddraal) in TEOTW 16. I do think she mentions something similar about DFs at some point, but I can't find it.

* Padan Fain can "tell one at a glance, even someone who had only thought of swearing to the Shadow, as if they had a sooty mark on their foreheads" in LOC 28.

* Alviarin is marked by Shaidar Haran in COT 21.

* Rand picks Weiramon out as a DF by looking him in the eyes in TOM 13. (It's a Min POV, so we don't entirely know how.)

* Nynaeve detects a white lacing over Rand's madness in TOM 15.

* Torkumen's wife jumps out a window and Torkumen blinds himself in TOM 32. Torkumen is found rambling about the Light, even though he couldn't see the battle.

* Rand recognizes Lanfear's soul in TOM Epilogue.

 

I think it's pretty clear that there are several things going on here. I suspect that what was going on with Torkumen and with Weiramon's inability to meet Rand's eyes was that Rand now looks harshly bright to DFs, especially when he's wielding the Power but not exclusively then. Weiramon never had trouble meeting Rand's eyes before, as far as I've noticed, but Rand is now super-enhanced with Light. I assume that's what Nynaeve was seeing when she looking into his mind.

 

However, plenty of characters in plenty of different ways can do a kind of Detect Evil. The hierarchy of Detect Evil seems to be Shadowspawn (any channeler or Warder detects Trollocs and Myrddraal), specifically marked by the Dark One (the Shaidar Haran mark), and Padan Fain's "I can sense if you've even thought about it."

 

Now, Fain has been altered by the DO to be particularly sensitive. Rand has been spun out by the Wheel to be the Champion of the Light. Given that LTT could sense whether people were nearby (without channeling) and that Rand could recognize Lanfear's soul even in a different body (without channeling), we already know that he's pretty sensitive, and that's on top of his channeler-detecting-Shadowspawn power. Having a Fain-like power given by the Light/the Wheel is not much of a step beyond that.

 

That is, as a channeler, he can detect Shadowspawn. As the Dragon, he can detect people and sense their true souls. Put those together, and I think you get that he can just look at people and see that they're DFs.

 

Now, I don't think we know definitively whether it's just that DFs look at Rand, see blinding light, and start watering from the eyes. It would account for Weiramon and Torkumen. Rand seems to pick out (with some surprise) that Weiramon is a DF after Weiramon looks him in the eyes, not before, so it's not just that Weiramon is looking away. Still, if it's that Weiramon's eyes start watering from looking at Rand, I would expect that Rand would figure it out when Weiramon can't look at him (trying to look away from the blinding light is just as much evidence that you're seeing blinding light as your eyes watering when you do look at it). Maybe he wanted the double confirmation, so it's possible, but the evidence seems to point the other way, especially given what we know about other people marking and detecting people and the Shadow.

Edited by Kelandon
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Just gathering evidence in one place:

 

* Lews Therin can sense (that is the word that is used) that no one is near where he makes Dragonmount in TEOTW Prologue.

* Moiraine mentioned that channelers can detect Shadowspawn (she includes only Trollocs and Myrddraal) in TEOTW 16. I do think she mentions something similar about DFs at some point, but I can't find it.

 

However, plenty of characters in plenty of different ways can do a kind of Detect Evil. The hierarchy of Detect Evil seems to be Shadowspawn (any channeler or Warder detects Trollocs and Myrddraal), specifically marked by the Dark One (the Shaidar Haran mark), and Padan Fain's "I can sense if you've even thought about it."

 

Now, Fain has been altered by the DO to be particularly sensitive. Rand has been spun out by the Wheel to be the Champion of the Light. Given that LTT could sense whether people were nearby (without channeling) and that Rand could recognize Lanfear's soul even in a different body (without channeling), we already know that he's pretty sensitive, and that's on top of his channeler-detecting-Shadowspawn power. Having a Fain-like power given by the Light/the Wheel is not much of a step beyond that.

 

That is, as a channeler, he can detect Shadowspawn. As the Dragon, he can detect people and sense their true souls. Put those together, and I think you get that he can just look at people and see that they're DFs.

 

You make some very good points, but I have a few counter arguments to what you've said above.

 

First off, LTT in the prologue is said to sense that nobody is around him when he travels. I don't think this can be taken as an ability to sense if people are around. I think that Robert Jordan was making an analogy to LTT's desperate loneliness having just lost everything dear to him. He was panicked and maddened by his loss, and so he traveled somewhere he would be physically alone. He knew that the place he traveled to was completely devoid of human life for miles around, and not because he can physically detect life. Haven't you ever been somewhere where you simply know that you are alone? This is just an opinion, but I still don't think this proves that LTT has a detect life ability.

 

Second, Moiraine says that Aes Sedai can detect shadowspawn. Shadowspawn does not equal darkfriend. Shadowspawn include creatures that are specifically created in slavery to the Dark One, including Trollocs and Myrddraal. Darkfriends still have the ability to choose and make decisions, they are not slaves. Aes Sedai CAN NOT detect dark friends, if they could then it would be near impossible for the Black Ajah to exist. I have seen no indication EVER in the book series that anybody except Padan Fain can physically detect dark friends. Even the Chosen can't tell by sight that someone is a DF, they have other ways of finding out who is a friend of the dark.

 

So lastly, Rand can detect shadowspawn, but that doesn't mean anything since Darkfriends aren't Shadowspawn. There is no proof that LTT can detect people's souls. None at all. He might have intuitive senses that help him find darkfriends, but that isn't an ability to physically detect. Remember that there were quite a few traitors that worked closely with LTT in the War of the Shadow, even after they had turned to the Dark One. LTT didn't "detect" them.

 

Could Rand have been given this ability by the Creator? Yes, it is possible. But we have no solid evidence that he can. Padan Fain is still the only being ever to have a physical ability to detect darkfriends. (This is obviously excluding the Dark One)

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You make some very good points, but I have a few counter arguments to what you've said above.

 

First off, LTT in the prologue is said to sense that nobody is around him when he travels. I don't think this can be taken as an ability to sense if people are around. I think that Robert Jordan was making an analogy to LTT's desperate loneliness having just lost everything dear to him. He was panicked and maddened by his loss, and so he traveled somewhere he would be physically alone. He knew that the place he traveled to was completely devoid of human life for miles around, and not because he can physically detect life. Haven't you ever been somewhere where you simply know that you are alone? This is just an opinion, but I still don't think this proves that LTT has a detect life ability.

 

BS Twitter 1/4/11

Brandon:

WoT Easter Egg: there's an easily overlooked line in the EotW prologue which gives huge foreshadowing of things Rand can do in TofM.

Terez:

I always thought the fact that Lews Therin could sense that there were no people around for miles was interesting.

Brandon:

I should have guessed that you'd be the only one who would pick out the right line, Terez.

Brandon:

The Easter egg in the prologue has to do with Lews Therin sensing the lack of people around him for miles and miles.

 

Book Signing 1/12/11

Matt: (I riffed off a second related question from WotLuckers which was: Did he have the same extra abilities?) Instead I asked: Considering what you mentioned regarding LTT's ability to sense the lack of inhabitants within miles of the spot he was at in the Prologue [of TEotW], is this ability something that comes from being the Dragon, being ta'veren, or a Talent?

Brandon: (paraphrased) It's not a Talent, but I won't say whether it is a factor of being the Dragon or something about being ta'veren.

Edited by Finnssss
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First off, LTT in the prologue is said to sense that nobody is around him when he travels. I don't think this can be taken as an ability to sense if people are around. I think that Robert Jordan was making an analogy to LTT's desperate loneliness having just lost everything dear to him.

There's no indication that this sentence is meant metaphorically. And I'm not sure that I follow you why you want it to be metaphorical. Yes, he feels lonely, but that's not really what the sentence says, right?

 

Second, Moiraine says that Aes Sedai can detect shadowspawn. Shadowspawn does not equal darkfriend.

It's true that Darkfriends aren't Shadowspawn. That's why Aes Sedai can't detect them. But it's equally true that Rand is rather more than the average channeler. Fain shows that it's possible; that's all. And the Aes Sedai detecting Shadowspawn shows that a "detect" ability is not all that strange, since plenty of people can detect something or other related to the Shadow.

 

There is no proof that LTT can detect people's souls. None at all.

Well, there's evidence that LTT can detect people's souls, but you just dismissed it. :tongue:

 

Additionally, the line in TOM Epilogue is that he recognized Lanfear's soul in someone else's body. So yes, there is hard evidence that he can detect souls, at least in the sense that he can recognize someone he knew fairly well who's been reincarnated.

 

If you're just saying that the evidence is circumstantial, then yes, you're entirely right. But at least one person can detect Darkfriends, Rand in his prior life could detect whether other people were around, and Rand in this life recognizes souls. He also picked a Darkfriend out of a crowd. If he can't detect Darkfriends, he can do something pretty darn close.

Edited by Kelandon
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I forgot about that; surely Rand recognising Cyndane as Lanfear is prove enough that he at least some sort of "soul reading" ability. And he essentially knew it was her straight away, not after a ten minute study. And while he recognised Moridin as well, this isnt someone who is tied to on some sort of weird metaphysical level.

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Fain can see a sooty mark on ordinary DFs.

Provide the quote please, it doesn't say that straight out in my book :(

Padan Fain can "tell one at a glance, even someone who had only thought of swearing to the Shadow, as if they had a sooty mark on their foreheads" in LOC 28.

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