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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

If a theme in the sries is the baance of male/female; why no phoenix


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In China, the phoenix is called the businiao (不死鳥; literally "immortal bird"). The East Asian variant, the fenghuang (鳳凰) is a mythical bird similar to the phoenix.[5] It is the one of the most-respected legendary creatures in China and the feminine counterpart to the dragon.[6] Its rare appearance is said to foreshadow a great event or bear testimony to the greatness of a ruler.[6]

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)#History_of_the_myth

 

Its just something that confuses me. the series has a major them of men and women working together to achieve common goals [circles larger than thirteen,healing severing, etc.] so why is there no female counterpart to the dragon.

 

I used the term phoenix becuase of the info above and the sries use of eastern mythology, so the term makes sense to me.

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RJ said he did not intend to explore the "Female Dragon" concept. The Rand/LTT/Dragon Soul is the Creators Champion. He said "If the wheel needs a female Dragon, then it would weave in *insert female Dragon name here*."

 

Interview: Dec 12th, 2000

CNN Chat (Verbatim)

Jonan

Mr. Jordan, is it possible that in another age, another turning of the wheel, that saidar could be tainted instead of saidin? This relates to the Female Dragon Theory.

Robert Jordan

That is not something I intend to explore.

 

Interview: Apr 4th, 2001

Leiden Signing Report - Aan'allein (Verbatim)

Aan'allein

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?

Robert Jordan

 

Jordan said "Yes" then maybe a few more words and only then did I remember to actually put the recorder on again. If I remember correctly Avaeus taped those first few words on his digital camera however, so I'll see if I can add those exact words here.

 

(transcription) ...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. [And that's the phrase that ended my jubilation.]

Aan'allein

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

Robert Jordan

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.

Aan'allein

But the soul would always be male. Souls don't change gender, so ...

Robert Jordan

...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.

Aan'allein

[He actually pronounced this as Amatherisu. Anyone else find it curious that Jordan would place her on equal footing with Rand and Birgitte? The way he said this reminded me of Mother Therese, just like "Materese the Healer" (The Eye of the World, Chapter 4). Ameresu could most definitely be the same person as Materese. And the "The Healer" tag suddenly gets a lot more meaning, when thinking about how important she is to Jordan...]

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That's...sort of an odd question. Rather like asking why there's no unicorns and leprechauns in the series because they're both mythical creatures like dragons. And I'm not sure the series relies all that much on Eastern mythology. It certainly relies on Eastern symbolism much less than Celtic, Norse and Middle Eastern mythologies.

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Who claimed souls can't change gender? In Buddhism (assumedly Hinduism is the same), not only can you transmigrate into a different gender depending on your actions in one life you can also transmigrate into animals or demons. As far as those tied to the Wheel, Birgitte is relocated to TAR along with the other Heroes of the Horn once she dies and this is possibly because she and LTT (Rand) are tools set to reset the Pattern. I hate to make this comparison, as it coincides with an idea I had for a story I am trying to write, but it could be the Heroes are based off of the idea of bodhisattva (those who forego nirvana to assist other human beings [humans are the only ones who can reach Enlightenment] in reaching nirvana). Therefore, those souls that are not necessarily tied to the Pattern (to return to the novel) can most like transmigrate into whatever is required of them to reach the Light (religion is too ambiguous to be sure of the proper terminology)...where the Heroes are set to be transmigrate into humans infinitely (note that 'real-world' bodhisattva are often genderly neutral/all-encompassing at the same time...this depends on the branch of Buddhism though).

I suppose if the interviewer above meant within the framework of the story then I can accept that, but the way it is worded seems not.

And as far as the poster is concerned, the fenghuang is of ambiguous gender. The first component 'feng' is female, and 'huang' is male (if I remember correctly). If you want to picture Tuon and the hawk as the counterpart to Rand's Dragonhood under your theory I feel that you could possibly do so, but whether it was something RJ meant to include that is hard to say.

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Who claimed souls can't change gender? In Buddhism (assumedly Hinduism is the same), not only can you transmigrate into a different gender depending on your actions in one life you can also transmigrate into animals or demons. As far as those tied to the Wheel, Birgitte is relocated to TAR along with the other Heroes of the Horn once she dies and this is possibly because she and LTT (Rand) are tools set to reset the Pattern. I hate to make this comparison, as it coincides with an idea I had for a story I am trying to write, but it could be the Heroes are based off of the idea of bodhisattva (those who forego nirvana to assist other human beings [humans are the only ones who can reach Enlightenment] in reaching nirvana). Therefore, those souls that are not necessarily tied to the Pattern (to return to the novel) can most like transmigrate into whatever is required of them to reach the Light (religion is too ambiguous to be sure of the proper terminology)...where the Heroes are set to be transmigrate into humans infinitely (note that 'real-world' bodhisattva are often genderly neutral/all-encompassing at the same time...this depends on the branch of Buddhism though).

I suppose if the interviewer above meant within the framework of the story then I can accept that, but the way it is worded seems not.

And as far as the poster is concerned, the fenghuang is of ambiguous gender. The first component 'feng' is female, and 'huang' is male (if I remember correctly). If you want to picture Tuon and the hawk as the counterpart to Rand's Dragonhood under your theory I feel that you could possibly do so, but whether it was something RJ meant to include that is hard to say.

 

RJ said souls always have the same gender. That's why Arangar, despite having a women's body, still channels saidin, so while the DO can change the body, he can't change the soul.

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While I see where you're coming from the fact that Aran'gar is not female is simply untrue, no?

Physically speaking of course.

Aran'gar's soul is male merely because the memories of its past life were still present in addition to Aran'gar still being able to channel saidin. I do not think this would be the case if Aran'gar's soul were to be properly processed through the Wheel's rebirth process.

We are seeing (not spoiling through tense...) Aran'gar's soul embrace its current womanhood so I would assume (beyond the saidin factor, a machination of the Dark One nonetheless - interesting window into RJ's view on transgenderism), logically speaking, the gender of a soul itself is transient...while the channeling ability is not.

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While I see where you're coming from the fact that Aran'gar is not female is simply untrue, no?

Physically speaking of course.

Aran'gar's soul is male merely because the memories of its past life were still present in addition to Aran'gar still being able to channel saidin. I do not think this would be the case if Aran'gar's soul were to be properly processed through the Wheel's rebirth process.

We are seeing (not spoiling through tense...) Aran'gar's soul embrace its current womanhood so I would assume (beyond the saidin factor, a machination of the Dark One nonetheless - interesting window into RJ's view on transgenderism), logically speaking, the gender of a soul itself is transient...while the channeling ability is not.

 

RJ flat out said souls don't change gender in the WoT. Saidin/Saidar use follows m/f gender lines. It is why he still channels saidin even though his body is female. The personality will change over time because of the new body but the soul remains male and he will be reborn as such.

 

Robert Jordan

...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.

Edited by Suttree
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That's...sort of an odd question. Rather like asking why there's no unicorns and leprechauns in the series because they're both mythical creatures like dragons. And I'm not sure the series relies all that much on Eastern mythology. It certainly relies on Eastern symbolism much less than Celtic, Norse and Middle Eastern mythologies.

 

There is a unicorn in the series. Elayne and Nynaeve created one in TAR and it chased them up a hill until they could unmake it.

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That's...sort of an odd question. Rather like asking why there's no unicorns and leprechauns in the series because they're both mythical creatures like dragons. And I'm not sure the series relies all that much on Eastern mythology. It certainly relies on Eastern symbolism much less than Celtic, Norse and Middle Eastern mythologies.

 

There is a unicorn in the series. Elayne and Nynaeve created one in TAR and it chased them up a hill until they could unmake it.

Then the leprechauns must be Mat's and Tuon's children. Short as Tuon/Fortuona and mischief-makers like their father.

 

The Phoenix must be Lanfear, since LTT's the Dragon. The picture is complete. Haha.

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Remember thar Aran'gar wasn't reborn, she was remade. Completly different.

 

Also, even if she isn't named, you have a phoenix in the series; the Amyrlin Seat, Egwene. Her story mirrors Rand mostly the whole way (although it took her longer to rise high); she is the Tar Valon flame to his Dragon's fang. The flame, it is strongly connected to a phoenix, no?

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When a soul is reborn, they are just that; born, as infants into this world with no memories of their earlier lifes. Aran'gar was "remade" by the DO, just like Moridin, Osan'gar and Cyndane; he reached into the otherworld (remember, he is called Lord of the Grave for a reason), plucked out their souls and placed them into adult bodies that he found somewhere. So they have their earlier memories, but they have new bodies.

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When a soul is reborn, they are just that; born, as infants into this world with no memories of their earlier lifes. Aran'gar was "remade" by the DO, just like Moridin, Osan'gar and Cyndane; he reached into the otherworld (remember, he is called Lord of the Grave for a reason), plucked out their souls and placed them into adult bodies that he found somewhere. So they have their earlier memories, but they have new bodies.

 

Ah ok. I thought you were suggesting the process for Aran'gar was somehow different. Cheers.

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Also, even if she isn't named, you have a phoenix in the series; the Amyrlin Seat, Egwene. Her story mirrors Rand mostly the whole way (although it took her longer to rise high); she is the Tar Valon flame to his Dragon's fang. The flame, it is strongly connected to a phoenix, no?

 

That is what she considers herself as at least. However, to me, that's not what the wheel set her up for. Rand's role is made clear in the prophecies. He is the Dark One's enemy, the champion of the light. Egwene is never mentioned in the prophecies and leads only the Aes Sedai, which while important, is not a role that can be compared to the Dragon's in the grand scheme of the pattern.

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Hmmm...

What I mean to say coincides somewhat with what Misheru Sedai was saying.

Aran'gar and company have not gone through a 'proper' transmigration and assumedly lack enough Hero/ta'verenness so that presumably their gender is malleable from life to life. PERHAPS, in this Age Aran'gar must be sealed up with the rest of the Forsaken as a man with saidin, but in other Ages Aran'gar can be reborn as anything. I see where RJ means for the Heroes (like the Dragon) to be born to a single gender to serve functionally for the Pattern - without knowledge of the 'point' of rebirth and redeath the world Rand is in seems rather bleak pre-VoG. Maybe this confusion is why RJ avoided discussing this point further - although it gives hints to his daily beliefs which also fascinates us post his passing.

 

With Egwene being Rand's balance, I can agree only to a certain extent. It is obvious that Rand serves as the Dragon-identity, however along the lines of using Dragonhood as a metaphor for manhood not only does Rand conflict with Egwene in terms of One Power holders' leader he also stands as a counterbalance to Tuon's Empress (forced control versus accepted control). With Elayne and Aviendha we have him as acting as the yang force for Andorans and Aielmen alike, with Min serving as the 'normal' human woman against his 'normal' human man. And it is not only Rand; it is Mat as a military man against Egwene's military strategy, Mat compared with Nynaeve's stubborn behavior and being accustomed to being followed...the list goes on. It is more like we have dozens of dragons and phoenixes (sp?) all overlapping each other.

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Hmmm...

What I mean to say coincides somewhat with what Misheru Sedai was saying.

Aran'gar and company have not gone through a 'proper' transmigration and assumedly lack enough Hero/ta'verenness so that presumably their gender is malleable from life to life. PERHAPS, in this Age Aran'gar must be sealed up with the rest of the Forsaken as a man with saidin, but in other Ages Aran'gar can be reborn as anything. I see where RJ means for the Heroes (like the Dragon) to be born to a single gender to serve functionally for the Pattern - without knowledge of the 'point' of rebirth and redeath the world Rand is in seems rather bleak pre-VoG. Maybe this confusion is why RJ avoided discussing this point further - although it gives hints to his daily beliefs which also fascinates us post his passing.

 

RJ says in the WoT souls don't change gender. There is nothing anywhere to indicate that only applies to HotH.

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That's...sort of an odd question. Rather like asking why there's no unicorns and leprechauns in the series because they're both mythical creatures like dragons. And I'm not sure the series relies all that much on Eastern mythology. It certainly relies on Eastern symbolism much less than Celtic, Norse and Middle Eastern mythologies.

 

There is a unicorn in the series. Elayne and Nynaeve created one in TAR and it chased them up a hill until they could unmake it.

Then the leprechauns must be Mat's and Tuon's children. Short as Tuon/Fortuona and mischief-makers like their father.

 

 

Everyone knows Leprechauns don't exist.

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That's...sort of an odd question. Rather like asking why there's no unicorns and leprechauns in the series because they're both mythical creatures like dragons. And I'm not sure the series relies all that much on Eastern mythology. It certainly relies on Eastern symbolism much less than Celtic, Norse and Middle Eastern mythologies.

 

There is a unicorn in the series. Elayne and Nynaeve created one in TAR and it chased them up a hill until they could unmake it.

Then the leprechauns must be Mat's and Tuon's children. Short as Tuon/Fortuona and mischief-makers like their father.

 

 

Everyone knows Leprechauns don't exist.

They're just as real as Centaurs
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...he also stands as a counterbalance to Tuon's Empress (forced control versus accepted control).

 

And who would be which, exactly? :)

Rand is opposed every bit as determinedly as the Seanchan ever have been, and in many cases, they are accepted more completely than Rand.

 

As for whether what RJ did with Aran'gar reveals anything about transgender, it is openly A JOKE the DO makes in response to Balthamel's lechery. (creepy to think of the DO as a practical joker, but that's what it is.)

 

(I am correct that Aran'gar was Balthamel and Osan'gar was Aginor, am I not?)

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