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A question about Ishamael


Shig
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I've been doing a re-read in preparation for AMoL and i've been trying to deduce how or why Ishamael was only partly sealed when Lews Therin and the companions made their strike at Shayol Ghul. Have we been told exactly how or why he was only partly sealed? It stands to reason that he was in a different situation than that of Balthamel and Aginor whom were said to have been sealed furthest away from the dark ones prison so were still effected by the ages passing to some extent.

 

So what are everyone's theories on how Ishamael was only partially sealed, and how was it that he's been able to escape for a time on multiple occasions?

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Thats a pretty good question; I've been taking it on faith this whole time. Having thought about it for a bit, though, there are a number of plausable theories for it. The first appearance of Ishamael in the EotW prologue doesnt mention the more odd physical aspects he has later in the story when Rand encounters him. He is described as a normal guy, no flaming eyes or mouth. I think that the Dark One gradualy assumed greater and greater controle of him during the 3000 years between the Breaking and the start of the story during the time of his cyclic bouts of freedom. Of course, the question was HOW he was able to be free, so I digress.

 

The 13 highest of the surviving Chosen were all in SG for a high-level con-fab, as they were on the verge of victory over the entire world. Well, remember that SG was, in the time before the Breaking, a rustic idylic island in a cool sea, they would have had to Travel there. The Chosen didnt trust each other, and had very good reasons not to trust each other, even the ones who had a close workign relationship with each other. It's a good bet they each had a way out planned (doubtfuly set up in case of an attack by the Light, but definatly against a betrayal from their peers). I think it's safe to say, as it's been implied over the course of the series, that even then Ishamael was the Dark One's fair-haired boy. It was also stated in one of the books that he was more willing to use the True Power even over the other Chosen who were allowed access. Given the diferences in the True Power and the Source, I'm willing to postulate that Ishamael's gateway was forged with the True Power and not Saidin and was thus just diferent enough to privide him even an imperfect link to the world.

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Perhaps he was part-way through a gateway when the seal was put in place, so he was partially outside the seal giving him a link to the outside world, or it may simply have been an extension of the weakness of the seal.

 

Lurk, it is likely that the "flaming" eyes/mouth are in fact a weave he put on himself to make himself seem more monstrous, to play into the beliefs of the time.

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Lurk, it is likely that the "flaming" eyes/mouth are in fact a weave he put on himself to make himself seem more monstrous, to play into the beliefs of the time.

 

It's from excessive TP usage...

 

 

Agreed. For evidence, just look at the corpse Big-Baalzy left behind in the Stone. Pretty normal as far as corpses go except there were burnt out cavities where the eyes and mouth had been. The flames could not have been an illusion, and I also remember thinking that they came and went pretty involuntarily in periods of intense emotion.

 

On that topic, I keep thinking back to that scene in PoD where Moridin's fury triggered a TP temper tantrum that made scrap metal out of some ornamental ironwork and turned that servant into Gollum fooder. I don't think Ishamael controlled how his flames worked any more than we see Moridin controlling his saa.

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Lurk, it is likely that the "flaming" eyes/mouth are in fact a weave he put on himself to make himself seem more monstrous, to play into the beliefs of the time.

 

It's from excessive TP usage...

 

 

Yep...

 

Q: What about the saa? You wrote in a chapter, that there is a black hole before Moridin's eyes.

RJ: No, no, in the eyes. It is not before. In the eyes, inside the eyes.

Q: And can see through? (-?- unsure about this sentence. -?-)

RJ: It depends. When you are using the True Power. At first, when you begin using the True Power, there's nothing there. Nothing in the eyes. After you've used it for a while, you begin to have a black speck floating across your eyes, when you're using it.

Q: And then you see, other observers can see it.

RJ: No, you don't see it. You don't actually see it.

Q: I think it was the chapter when Moridin was observing with a cloak of fancloth. His vision was blurred by a rain of black spots.

H: But it didn't affect his vision.

RJ: It didn't affect his vision. You're aware of it, but it's not like there is blackness between you, because it gets thicker and thicker and thicker and you get to a point where if you've used it long enough you get a steady stream even if you're not connected. And you are then on the road, at that point, inevitably, to becoming what Ishamael was. Because these are stigmata, if you will. These saa are stigmata caused by a linkage to the Dark One. And eventually the effect is to become all fire eyes. You no longer have eyes visible to other people. If they're looking into your eyes, they seem to be looking into caverns of flame that stretch to infinity. And when you open your mouth they see another cavern of flame that stretches to infinity. Because you've reached at that point the ultimate level of this usage and quite possibly, if you've at this point not been granted immortality, you're on your way to death. Not madness, but you're on your way to death. So it's sort of a race. The Dark One has given you this boon, but if you use it very much, then you'd better hope he is willing to give you another boon, because if he doesn't give you the second boon then you're dead. Some of the Forsaken have expressed discomfort with the fact that Ishamael and Moridin are so free with using the One Power.

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Lurk, it is likely that the "flaming" eyes/mouth are in fact a weave he put on himself to make himself seem more monstrous, to play into the beliefs of the time.

 

It's from excessive TP usage...

 

 

Yep...

 

Q: What about the saa? You wrote in a chapter, that there is a black hole before Moridin's eyes.

RJ: No, no, in the eyes. It is not before. In the eyes, inside the eyes.

Q: And can see through? (-?- unsure about this sentence. -?-)

RJ: It depends. When you are using the True Power. At first, when you begin using the True Power, there's nothing there. Nothing in the eyes. After you've used it for a while, you begin to have a black speck floating across your eyes, when you're using it.

Q: And then you see, other observers can see it.

RJ: No, you don't see it. You don't actually see it.

Q: I think it was the chapter when Moridin was observing with a cloak of fancloth. His vision was blurred by a rain of black spots.

H: But it didn't affect his vision.

RJ: It didn't affect his vision. You're aware of it, but it's not like there is blackness between you, because it gets thicker and thicker and thicker and you get to a point where if you've used it long enough you get a steady stream even if you're not connected. And you are then on the road, at that point, inevitably, to becoming what Ishamael was. Because these are stigmata, if you will. These saa are stigmata caused by a linkage to the Dark One. And eventually the effect is to become all fire eyes. You no longer have eyes visible to other people. If they're looking into your eyes, they seem to be looking into caverns of flame that stretch to infinity. And when you open your mouth they see another cavern of flame that stretches to infinity. Because you've reached at that point the ultimate level of this usage and quite possibly, if you've at this point not been granted immortality, you're on your way to death. Not madness, but you're on your way to death. So it's sort of a race. The Dark One has given you this boon, but if you use it very much, then you'd better hope he is willing to give you another boon, because if he doesn't give you the second boon then you're dead. Some of the Forsaken have expressed discomfort with the fact that Ishamael and Moridin are so free with using the One Power.

 

Thanks for the backup guys. Anyone have any thoughts on the original question? I'd like to hear any other theories that you guys might put out. Any quotes from RJ on the topic?

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From the EotW prolouge, it is clear - to me at least - that he wasn't really sealed at all. So my guess is that at that point, Ishy probably had spies pretty high-up maybe even in the Companions, who alerted him when they arrived and he booked it. Also, I know that we have no "details" of the battle, but I would suspect that it wasn't a one-sided affair:

 

Good guys show up, seal the bore/foresaken/go crazy.

 

It was more like:

 

Good guys show up - a fight ensues - during the fighting the Seals are placed and the surviours (68?) go insane on the spot...the battle would have given Ishy plenty of time to weave a TP gateway and get away.

 

He would have then spent the next 3,000 years addicted to the TP and preventing humanity from uniting, all the while waiting for the Dragon Soul to be reborn. In the first books, it seems that his motivation is not to kill the Dragon Soul, but rather to turn it to the Dark. Look at VoG...he got pretty close.

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From the EotW prolouge, it is clear - to me at least - that he wasn't really sealed at all. So my guess is that at that point, Ishy probably had spies pretty high-up maybe even in the Companions, who alerted him when they arrived and he booked it. Also, I know that we have no "details" of the battle, but I would suspect that it wasn't a one-sided affair:

 

Good guys show up, seal the bore/foresaken/go crazy.

 

It was more like:

 

Good guys show up - a fight ensues - during the fighting the Seals are placed and the surviours (68?) go insane on the spot...the battle would have given Ishy plenty of time to weave a TP gateway and get away.

 

He would have then spent the next 3,000 years addicted to the TP and preventing humanity from uniting, all the while waiting for the Dragon Soul to be reborn. In the first books, it seems that his motivation is not to kill the Dragon Soul, but rather to turn it to the Dark. Look at VoG...he got pretty close.

 

We know for fact Ishy had been partially sealed and spun out at intervals throughout history.

 

BWB

When the Dragon led the final strike against the Dark at Shayol Ghul, Ishamael may have been in some way only partially trapped by the seal on the Bore, leaving him aware and able to touch the world while the others slept within the seal—this according to a recently discovered tern manuscript attributed to Aran son of Malan son of Senar (born circa 50 AB). The manuscript, which was apparently incomplete at Aran's death, is based largely on letters and diaries which Aran attributes to Aes Sedai who lived during the Breaking itself. These writings (unfortunately represented today only by small quotations within the manuscript) claim that there were sightings of, even encounters with, Ishamael after the Bore was sealed, in fact perhaps as much as forty years after. In no case were the sightings by the women who wrote the diaries, but Aran apparently trusted them implicitly.

 

During these times spun out he was involved with the Trolloc Wars, with Hawkwing as Jalwin Moerad, etc.

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From the EotW prolouge, it is clear - to me at least - that he wasn't really sealed at all. So my guess is that at that point, Ishy probably had spies pretty high-up maybe even in the Companions, who alerted him when they arrived and he booked it. Also, I know that we have no "details" of the battle, but I would suspect that it wasn't a one-sided affair:

 

Good guys show up, seal the bore/foresaken/go crazy.

 

It was more like:

 

Good guys show up - a fight ensues - during the fighting the Seals are placed and the surviours (68?) go insane on the spot...the battle would have given Ishy plenty of time to weave a TP gateway and get away.

 

He would have then spent the next 3,000 years addicted to the TP and preventing humanity from uniting, all the while waiting for the Dragon Soul to be reborn. In the first books, it seems that his motivation is not to kill the Dragon Soul, but rather to turn it to the Dark. Look at VoG...he got pretty close.

 

We know for fact Ishy had been partially sealed and spun out at intervals throughout history.

 

BWB

When the Dragon led the final strike against the Dark at Shayol Ghul, Ishamael may have been in some way only partially trapped by the seal on the Bore, leaving him aware and able to touch the world while the others slept within the seal—this according to a recently discovered tern manuscript attributed to Aran son of Malan son of Senar (born circa 50 AB). The manuscript, which was apparently incomplete at Aran's death, is based largely on letters and diaries which Aran attributes to Aes Sedai who lived during the Breaking itself. These writings (unfortunately represented today only by small quotations within the manuscript) claim that there were sightings of, even encounters with, Ishamael after the Bore was sealed, in fact perhaps as much as forty years after. In no case were the sightings by the women who wrote the diaries, but Aran apparently trusted them implicitly.

 

During these times spun out he was involved with the Trolloc Wars, with Hawkwing as Jalwin Moerad, etc.

 

Perhaps I need to know more about how the Seal worked. From my understanding it "pushed" the DO (and I guess the foresaken) "out of" or "beyond" the Pattern, then "Sealed" over them.

 

Was Ishy not pushed all the way out? Or was he able to realize what was going on in time to "counter-weave" the Seal enough to allow himself some freedom of movement.

 

I know that's what the Guide says, but I was basing my "theory" off Ishy's own remarks to Rand in tDR/tGH when he seemed to imply that he wasn't spun out randomly, but had some control over his "apperances" in the Pattern.

 

I'll look up quotes this evening...

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