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Mezar and Tarna: Mindtrapped, Not 13 x 13

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Apologies if this has been stated elsewhere (a distinct possibility), but a quick search revealed nothing.


Count me as one who has been wanting more details from the Black Tower plotline for some times now (many books), and have speculated much on the goings on there. There has long been many references to the 13 x 13 trick throughout the books, particularly Dragon Reborn and Great Hunt, but we've never seen it done.


We all have speculated that it might be happening at the BT, but the descriptions of the two channelers who seems the most likelky candidates, don't seem to match RJ's description of what happens via the 13 x 13 trick. However, they DO match another description we have = what happens to a person whose had been mindtrapped and the owner has made them a automaton.


I believe that many at the BT haven't been 13 x 13 turned to the Shadow, but instead taken to Shayol Ghul and mindtrapped. Maybe some have been 13 by 13 turner, but Tarna and Mezazr, they have been mindtrapped and have become automatons after their mindtrap has been broken.


For the record, here are the quotes:


First, RJ on the 13 x 13 in a Tor Q&A:


Week 15 Question: When a channeler is forcibly turned to the Dark, is his/her former personality lost to eternity? Are they in a permanent state of mindless Compulsion? Furthermore, can a channeler forcibly turned to the Dark return to the Light unaided?


Robert Jordan Answers: They are not in a mindless state of Compulsion. Their former personality is twisted, the darker elements that everyone has to some degree elevated while what might be called the good elements are largely suppressed. I don't mean things like courage, which is useful even to villains, but they are unlikely to be very charitable, for example, and forget any altruistic impulses. Call it being turned into a mirror image of yourself in many ways. It is very unlikely that a channeler forcibly turned to the Shadow could find a way back to the Light unaided. For one reason, by virtue of the twisting he or she had undergone, it is very unlikely that he or she would have any desire to do so.



Second, here are our descriptions of Mezar and Tarna, from ToM:


Mezar, from Tom Chapter 56 "Something Wrong", Androl POV: First description is from another Asha'man, Norely, who says "Oh, it has Mezar's face, right enough. But it's not him. I can see it in his eyes. Trouble is, whatever the thing is, it has Mezar's memories. Talks right like him. But the smile is wrong. All wrong."


And then from Androl himself: "And then he saw what Norley had seen. Something was deeply wrong, someting not-quite-alive inside those eyes. This didn't seem to be a man, but a parody of one. A shadow stuffed inside human skin."


And our poor Tarna, from Chapter 53 of ToM, Gateways. "There was something different about Tarna's eyes, something cold. She'd always been a distant one, but this was worse. Tarna smiled, a grimace that looked completely unnatural on her face. Like the smile on the lips of a corpse. She turned back to her writing. Something is very, very wrong here, Pevara thought."


Now, the two discriptions aren't identical, though both do use the same wordiing (something being very wrong) and make it seem like neither Mezar nor Tarna is human/alive any more. And neither seems to match RJ's description. Howev


Third, the descrption of what happens when someone's mindtrap is broken, from Crown of Swords, Chapter 25, Mindtrap, Moghedien POV.


"Breaking a mindtrap did not require that much more pressure than he was using. She could be on the other side of the world or farther, and it would not matter a hair. The part of her that was her would be separated; she would still see with her eyes and hear with her ears, taste what crossed her tongue and feel what toucher her, but helpless within an automaton that was utterly obedient to whoever whoever held the cour'souvra. Whether or not there was any way to get free of it, and mindtrap was just what its name implied."


And how does one become mindtrapped? Again from aCoS, ch. 25: "Some things could only be done here (SG), some only to those who could channel, and she had brought a number of men and women for this very purpose.




To me, Mezar (certainly) and Tarna (probably) appear to not be themselves, not be human. I think that is because they are automatons in teh back of their own heads, completely under the control of whomever owns their mindtrap (almost certainly Moridin). We know that that sort of thing has been done before, via Moggy's POV, and we know it can be done only at SG. Plus, we know from earlier in ToM that Moridin knows the "key" to the dreamspike he gave Graendal, so it is reasonable to assume he knows the key to the one at the BT as well. Whether or not Taim = Moridin, or just a protege of his, or a new Chosen, it seems Moridin would still be able to gate in (regradless of if Taim could gate out or not), travel to SG, make the mindtraps, and gate back in.


What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Or has it already been discussed ad nauseum and I missed it?

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There was alot of discussion about it around the time ToM was released. I don't like the idea simply because it seems stupid to me to mindtrap someone with the express intention of breaking it immediatly after. Why not just do Grendal level compulsion? If it was RJ still writing then the inconsistancies could point to something. But as the personality effects of 13x13 was only explained outside the books, I think it is fair to say author discretion has applied.

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The possibility that it is not a 13x13 has been brought up in another topic, but not your specific idea.


I replied to it with my own thoughts on the subject.



The descriptions we get from the channelers that are probably turned seem to contradict this statement from Jordan. They don't seem to be just their 'mirrors'. Curious.


Not necessarily. While I know what you are saying, and to an extent, agree, it is not really that contradictory. The description is not from a scientific point of view, or from the author, it is from a character.


He is only thinking what he thinks it looks like. Evil is often described as "soulless". Devoid of any "good" emotion, would look pretty "soulless".


The characters say that he looks and talks like Mezar, and Tarna looks and talks the same, its just that there is something wrong. They are not who they used to be.


Point being, descriptions from a characters PoV can be taken many ways, depending on how you look at it, and are not all that reliable.


Androl and Pevera would hardly be thinking "It looks like all their good emotion has been suppressed, and all the negative, dark emotion have been magnified."


The human reaction would be "Crap! They look like soulless bastards!"


He thinks of it as "shadow stuffed inside a body", which is one way of looking at it, since all the goodness is suppressed.



And I don't think a Mindtrap would be the way to go, even if it is not a 13x13, it is something else. Mindtraps are, IIRC, very rare. Moridin would not be mintrapping people all over the place. Perhaps if it was Logain instead of Mezar, I think that there may be some qualification. But Tarna and Mezar are just not important enough to be using a mindtrap on. It seems like a waste of time, to be honest. Moridin would have to control each of the Mindtrapped people, since their souls were destroyed. It would take up too much time to be of any use. Two mindtraps are enough trouble I would think.


Besides, we know that the 13x13 will be used in aMoL.


INTERVIEW: Nov 16th, 2009

TGS Signing Report - kcf (Paraphrased)



Have any characters we've seen been converted to the Shadow via the 13 Myddraal/13 channelers method? Has this method been used at the Black Tower?



RAFO (wow the first question and I got RAFO'd). But he did go on to say that this is a 'gun on the mantle', which refers to an old saying that 'when you put a gun on the mantle in the first act, it needs to be used by the third


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The 13x13 trick might kill the fades (I'm not sure, but I think I read that somewhere). The Dark One needs all the fades he can get for the Last Battle. Making and crushing cour'souvra's seems te be a little less messy for the Dark One.


I like this theory, but I don't know which theory (13x13 or cour'souvra) will be the truth.

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The 13x13 trick might kill the fades (I'm not sure, but I think I read that somewhere). The Dark One needs all the fades he can get for the Last Battle. Making and crushing cour'souvra's seems te be a little less messy for the Dark One.


I like this theory, but I don't know which theory (13x13 or cour'souvra) will be the truth.


Channelers will be far more important to the DO in the coming war than Fades.

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Mindtrapped and turned into automatons via crushed mindtrap is a possibility. But from Moggy's PoV in ACoS a party who was victim to a crushed mindtrap would probably behave like an automaton with zero independent personality. The little we see of Mezar and Tarna suggests that they do have independent volition - their personalities have got darker and nastier but they have personalities.

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I think that it is 13*13 because concidentally, all the people are able to channel and they are full in a place with channelers. The only problem you may have had is getting Myrrdrall in because they may have caused some suspicion, but even with their black clothes, they may not have attracted to much attention if they were trying to hide.

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