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Aviendha's vision was not the future


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The visions Aviendha received near the end of ToM were easily the most disturbing chapters read in the entire series, essentially invalidating and cancelling out much of what the main characters have been fighting to preserve for 13 books now. The entire world successfully conquered by the Seanchan who eradicate several notable capital cities (like Cairhien), presumably tear down the White Tower + leash all remaining Aes Sedai, and drive the Aiel to extinction? This is what Rand and the other protagonists are fighting for? This is the glorious rule of a powerful and level-headed young Amyrlin we were promised, ending in destruction and enslavement? To save the world from the Dark One, and instead hand it to the cruel Seanchan who obliterate your identity and push you to the lowest ranks of their rigid and ridiculous social order? For centuries if not millenia to come?

 

Somehow that left me rooting for the Dark One.

 

Desperately trying to find a way to justify what I read, I came to the following conclusion. Aviendha's visions were not of the future, they were of the extremely distant past, the version of events that occurred during the previous turning of the Wheel. This also explains why the visions started with her last descendant and progressed in reverse order to her immediate children. The real future is not set, and the Fourth Age that is yet to come may divert greatly from its previous incarnation seen in the pillars. Perhaps Aviendha was given these visions to learn from the mistakes of her past life, and make crucial decisions which will save her people - and the entire mainland.

 

That, or Robert Jordan just really hated his fans. Thoughts?

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The real future is not set, and the Fourth Age that is yet to come may divert greatly from its previous incarnation seen in the pillars. Perhaps Aviendha was given these visions to learn from the mistakes of her past life, and make crucial decisions which will save her people - and the entire mainland

 

You do realize that the "future" in general is not set in the Wheel of Time, right? Prophecies are not large stone tablets which read "THIS WILL HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT!"

 

The whole point of the scenes was to show Aviendha a version of the future which may occur. Now that she knows about them, it's up to her to save her people. What you described here, in the section I quoted, is exactly the point and it is exactly the assumption every operates under. You don't need to assume that it's the past in order to assume that she can change the future with that knowledge.

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The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.

 

It's a new Age. Things are going to change, they won't stay as they were. We didn't see much about how Seanchan society may have changed in the distant visions, they may well have absorbed a lot of the culture of the Westlands.

 

Just remember Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount if the thought of the Raven Empire gets you down.

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You do realize that the "future" in general is not set in the Wheel of Time, right? Prophecies are not large stone tablets which read "THIS WILL HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT!"
I am not talking about the prophecies, I'm talking about the visions Aviendha received through the pillars after modifying them in some manner, which is a thing unto itself and, as far as we know, a completely unprecedented source of information. And yes, some future events are indeed set in stone and cannot be changed no matter what. Min's viewings, those that she can interpret with a great degree of certainty, are unchangeable. Virtually all the real prophecies and foretellings we were told about have also come true, or will presumably come true in the final volume.

 

 

The whole point of the scenes was to show Aviendha a version of the future which may occur

 

This was not like the events she had seen when passing into the rings during her first visit to Rhuidean. Those had

been possibilities. This day's visions seemed more real. She felt almost certain that what she had experienced

was not simply one of many possibilities. What she had seen would occur. Step by step, honor drained from her

people. Step by step, the Aiel turned from proud to wretched.

Aviendha's thoughts are clear: this was not just a possible version of events, it was more real, something that occurs at a certain point in time. Unless we are supposed to read this as "it wasn't just a possibility, except that it was". If the visions were real events, I can only assume they happened in the previous turning of the wheel, and will happen again if Aviendha doesn't set something right.
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It must be " a " future since she sees' hers and Rands children. My belief is that she has to change the whole Aiel warrior society to prevent thier destruction. As seen, the seanchan don't take resistance to them lightly. Also Tuon now knows that she will be able to channel, as Mat now knows, and that should bring a change in thier society. The forsaken keep saying," these so called Aes Sedai" but they know alot more and can do more with the power than the Seanchan. The empress," might she live for ever" will have to return to Seandar to take back those lands that are in civil war and Mat will be the general at the head of her army. Aes Sedai will travel with them for thier healing ability and Dammane will remain behind to "teach" Aes Sedai.

 

Sorry to have babbled off course.

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Prophecies work in this world simply because time is circular and major events happen similarly every time; which explains their vagueness. There is even discussion in the book that if a prophecy "fails" for one person the pattern chooses another to forfill it - in much the same way throwing a pebble in a stream may interrupt its flow but the river will still flow downhil all the same.

 

There is only *one* time that someone sees the true future and not just a probable one: Min - but the visions she sees are always current or not too distant in the future. The times she has fortold spefic future events they have been a major part of the prophcies or choices people must make (Gwayn/Egwene & Suian/Brynne).

 

Aviendia's vision by everything we know of foretelling, prophecy and seeing the future cannot be anythign but a probable future. The most likely; yes... but one not set in stone. At least that's my interpritation... she was given this vision because out of everyone who could; she has the most potnetial to change the entire future of the Aiel.

 

Aviendha would have Rand's babies, too. Four of them at once! Something was odd about that, though. The babies would be healthy, but still something odd.

 

Something odd?... as in they may not exist at all perhaps?

Edited by boli
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The real future is not set, and the Fourth Age that is yet to come may divert greatly from its previous incarnation seen in the pillars. Perhaps Aviendha was given these visions to learn from the mistakes of her past life, and make crucial decisions which will save her people - and the entire mainland

 

You do realize that the "future" in general is not set in the Wheel of Time, right? Prophecies are not large stone tablets which read "THIS WILL HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT!"

 

The whole point of the scenes was to show Aviendha a version of the future which may occur. Now that she knows about them, it's up to her to save her people. What you described here, in the section I quoted, is exactly the point and it is exactly the assumption every operates under. You don't need to assume that it's the past in order to assume that she can change the future with that knowledge.

 

What prophesies have we seen that haven't come true in some way shape or form? It seems to me that they're bound ot happen, just not in the way people expect. Otherwise, foretelling kinda sucks.

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Aviendha's thoughts are clear: this was not just a possible version of events, it was more real, something that occurs at a certain point in time. Unless we are supposed to read this as "it wasn't just a possibility, except that it was". If the visions were real events, I can only assume they happened in the previous turning of the wheel, and will happen again if Aviendha doesn't set something right.

 

Sorry mate but you would be in the minority of the fandom(as in first person I have seen mention it) if you believe it is a set past. By far the prevailing sentiment is that it was a possible future that will be averted. Do a search in some of the other threads on the topic if you are interested in what people have said.

Edited by Suttree
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except for if the dark one wins the prophecies are correct,

 

Not sure what you mean here? If the DO wins a complete victory the pattern is destroyed so viewings, prophecies etc would be irrelevant.

 

Thats what I was saying, it all breaks down if the dark one wins so the prophecies or viewings cant see that, and so they pick the only possible future there could be which is if they win against the dark one. Thats how they put it in the books anyway,

 

Its just my way of writing it should more be like "the prophecies are always correct unless the dark one wins"

Edited by rand4747
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The real future is not set, and the Fourth Age that is yet to come may divert greatly from its previous incarnation seen in the pillars. Perhaps Aviendha was given these visions to learn from the mistakes of her past life, and make crucial decisions which will save her people - and the entire mainland

 

You do realize that the "future" in general is not set in the Wheel of Time, right? Prophecies are not large stone tablets which read "THIS WILL HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT!"

 

The whole point of the scenes was to show Aviendha a version of the future which may occur. Now that she knows about them, it's up to her to save her people. What you described here, in the section I quoted, is exactly the point and it is exactly the assumption every operates under. You don't need to assume that it's the past in order to assume that she can change the future with that knowledge.

 

What prophesies have we seen that haven't come true in some way shape or form? It seems to me that they're bound ot happen, just not in the way people expect. Otherwise, foretelling kinda sucks.

 

But they can be wrong.

 

Actually, in ToM, Min and some Aes Sedai have a brief back and forth which says precisely this. Prophecy isn't guaranteed. You cannot relax just because there are prophecies that tell of a future beyond the Last Battle. If the Great Lord wins, there is no future and the prophecies are moot. Foretelling is only useful for knowing what has to happen, for knowing what the Wheel's "plan" is (so to speak).

 

I am not talking about the prophecies, I'm talking about the visions Aviendha received through the pillars after modifying them in some manner,

 

I am 100% aware of what you're talking about.

 

Let's assume Aviendha saw the future (as everyone but you seems to assume). If you see the future and then write it down, what's that called? Oh, that's right. A prophecy.

 

When I use the word "prophecy" I'm not saying that an Aes Sedai with the Foretelling prophesied these things. I'm saying that what Aviendha saw is a vision of the future. It is, effectively, a prophecy that she now desires to change.

 

And then we get into the sticky situation of how do you change the future? Most fiction on the matter generally falls into two paths: you can change the future or you can't. If you can change the future, then it's simple. You know what is going to happen, and you work to prevent it. If you can't change the future, then usually you inadvertantly cause precisely what you wanted to stop from happening.

 

There is absolutely no reason to assume it's some previous turning of the Wheel. But you know what? Your belief that it's really the past she saw doesn't actually change anything. The outcome is the same for both your belief and everyone else's. Aviendha has to try to stop what she saw from happening. How she does that is the big question.

 

So go on. Continue believing what you want to believe. You're more than welcome to. And I'm sorry if this sounds mean or anything, but I really do mean that you're welcome to your belief. I'm not trying to mock or degrade your opinion in any way.

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Aviendha's visions were not of the future, they were of the extremely distant past, the version of events that occurred during the previous turning of the Wheel. This also explains why the visions started with her last descendant and progressed in reverse order to her immediate children. The real future is not set, and the Fourth Age that is yet to come may divert greatly from its previous incarnation seen in the pillars. Perhaps Aviendha was given these visions to learn from the mistakes of her past life, and make crucial decisions which will save her people - and the entire mainland.

I'm going to take your side on this one. You raise a very plausible "outside the box" idea that seems to be too quickly dismissed by the regulars who live, eat and breathe WoT, who have already hacked this to pieces and come to a consensus.

 

I don't see why it couldn't be a vision of the previous Fourth Age. It's a warning of what will probably happen in the coming days if certain events take place BECAUSE that's exactly what happened last time.

 

Sure, it could be a prophecy, too. But prophecy is usually vague, brief, and subject to differing interpretations. This set of visions was anything but vague or brief.

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Aviendha's visions were not of the future, they were of the extremely distant past, the version of events that occurred during the previous turning of the Wheel. This also explains why the visions started with her last descendant and progressed in reverse order to her immediate children. The real future is not set, and the Fourth Age that is yet to come may divert greatly from its previous incarnation seen in the pillars. Perhaps Aviendha was given these visions to learn from the mistakes of her past life, and make crucial decisions which will save her people - and the entire mainland.

I'm going to take your side on this one. You raise a very plausible "outside the box" idea that seems to be too quickly dismissed by the regulars who live, eat and breathe WoT, who have already hacked this to pieces and come to a consensus.

 

I don't see why it couldn't be a vision of the previous Fourth Age. It's a warning of what will probably happen in the coming days if certain events take place BECAUSE that's exactly what happened last time.

 

Sure, it could be a prophecy, too. But prophecy is usually vague, brief, and subject to differing interpretations. This set of visions was anything but vague or brief.

 

Again "prophecy" does not have to specifically refer to Foretelling. It can simply be used to mean prior knowledge of the future. Which is precisely what this gives Aviendha.

 

I could very well be a vision of the previous Fourth Age. I don't think anyone is disputing that as a possibility. We're merely saying it's a bit silly to operate under that assumption when it's much simpler to assume it merely took her into the future.

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And age long past, an age yet to come. It actually doesn't matter if it was a previous or future fourth age, because they are both the same fourth age.if she can't change it because it is the true future, she also can't change it because it was the true past. I think it is the future if it isn't changed, sort of the inverse of Min where she's sees the only future, and if you try to change it you end up being to one who makes it happen.

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Let's assume Aviendha saw the future (as everyone but you seems to assume). If you see the future and then write it down, what's that called? Oh, that's right. A prophecy.

 

When I use the word "prophecy" I'm not saying that an Aes Sedai with the Foretelling prophesied these things. I'm saying that what Aviendha saw is a vision of the future. It is, effectively, a prophecy that she now desires to change.

In the Wheel of Time universe the term "prophecy" refers to a specific set of ancient foretellings, written down in a rather vague and poetic language, referring to the Dragon Reborn and the end of the Third Age. These include the Karaethon cycle, the Sea Folk prophecies, Aiel prophecy of Rhuidean - even the Seanchan have their own cycle, which has likely been tempered with and is no longer accurate.

 

A foretelling is one of several possible ways to predict the future in the WoT universe, other methods include dreaming, Min's viewings, asking the Finns, and Aviendha has just discovered what seems to be a new method by somehow modifying the pillar ter'angreal in Rhuidean. Visions of the future received by different means are subject to different rules, we know that some of Min's viewings are unchangeable no matter what - causing a great deal of angst for Perrin when he failed to prevent the Tinker woman's death early in the series, and the same for Rand when he did his best to prevent Coulaviere's hanging, only to have her commit suicide in her own rooms.

 

Are the visions Aviendha received set in the stone? Again, the passage above indicates a difference from possible futures seen in the ring ter'angreal, and they possessed the same level of detail and reality inherent to visions of the past, which is clearly unprecedented. If the future is not set, then how could she receive a series of experiences detailing the entire future course of history for centuries to come - the Seanchan conquering much of the known world, Aiel driven to extinction, the White Tower destroyed, Cairhien burnt down, which felt just as real as the visions of Aiel ancestors? The future is not set, except that it is, except that if you really try hard enough then again it is not?

 

My theory is just a simple and elegant way to explain this inconsistency. We haven't seen the real future, nor is it possible to see such a greatly detailed account of a future that doesn't exist yet and could go either way. What we saw was the pillar ter'angreal over-reaching beyond the Age of Legends and finding the closest blood relative of Aviendha in the previous turning of the Wheel - her final descendant centuries into the previous Fourth Age.

 

The concept of circular time is central to the WoT universe, yet we have barely seen it in action so far. Plenty of parallel dimensions, alternate dimensions, dream world, heroes of the horn, but aside from Ishamael's ranting and Rand's angst over time repeating itself infinitely - nothing tangible about circular time. Maybe this is the first phenomenon.

 

 

 

I'm going to take your side on this one. You raise a very plausible "outside the box" idea that seems to be too quickly dismissed by the regulars who live, eat and breathe WoT, who have already hacked this to pieces and come to a consensus.

 

I don't see why it couldn't be a vision of the previous Fourth Age. It's a warning of what will probably happen in the coming days if certain events take place BECAUSE that's exactly what happened last time.

 

Sure, it could be a prophecy, too. But prophecy is usually vague, brief, and subject to differing interpretations. This set of visions was anything but vague or brief.

Exactly. If we read 12+ books of the series under the assumption that predicting the future is hard, spontaneous, and the results are esoteric and more often than not subject to interpretation and vagueness - and are suddenly treated to a complete inversion of this principle, something needs to explained differently.
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But a sustaining point is that the ages have the same theme but play out in variations. So if you are right it means that it will happen that way anyway, so it may as well be the future. The only time it is possible to change it is if it is a possible future. If it is the past as well, it means that the variations in ages are exceptionally small, small enough that people, non tar'veren even, have the same names each cycle. If that is the case, I would have to side with Ishmael and say the DO breaking free is the absolute best case.

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The fact that this was shown to perhaps the only person who had the potential to change the entire outcome of the future shows it was not a future set in stone - but a "this is what could happen".

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Let's assume Aviendha saw the future (as everyone but you seems to assume). If you see the future and then write it down, what's that called? Oh, that's right. A prophecy.

 

When I use the word "prophecy" I'm not saying that an Aes Sedai with the Foretelling prophesied these things. I'm saying that what Aviendha saw is a vision of the future. It is, effectively, a prophecy that she now desires to change.

In the Wheel of Time universe the term "prophecy" refers to a specific set of ancient foretellings, written down in a rather vague and poetic language, referring to the Dragon Reborn and the end of the Third Age.
No, it isn't. There are various prophecies relating to the Dragon, such as the Prophecies of the Dragon (AKA, the Karaethon Cycle), but there is nothing that changes the use of the word prophecy to mean something other than what it means in our world. A vision of the future, regardless of method, is a prophecy. Even if what Avi saw was the past, if it could come to pass in the future it is a prophecy. And if it cannot come to pass in the future, it doesn't really add a lot to the story.

 

The concept of circular time is central to the WoT universe, yet we have barely seen it in action so far. Plenty of parallel dimensions, alternate dimensions, dream world, heroes of the horn, but aside from Ishamael's ranting and Rand's angst over time repeating itself infinitely - nothing tangible about circular time. Maybe this is the first phenomenon.
Of course, time does not repeat exactly. While the general outline of history will be the same from one turning to the next, the precise details will be very different. It seems unlikely in the extreme that things such as their being an Avi or an Elayne or an Andor would remain consistent from one turning to the next. Not in such specifics.
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Im not sure about the prophecies of the dragon being that they are so old, but perhaps what they prophecise are the things that happening every turning perhaps differently even completely differently but do happen. As long as it fits that prophecy it could happen. The wheel is unlikely to have woven any specifics into the pattern by then so these will be vague. Mins viewings are just quick glimpses of stuff that is being woven (and is about a specific person/group so is not a big viewing) and will happen exactly as she sees them.

 

The ones that Aviendah sees, seem to be the future as it will be if it can not be changed. So this has already been woven in but with the use of someone who can force the pattern to change. The strange thing is the only ones that could pull off a change like that will be Taverin and even if she gets Rand to change it then she would need to be Taverin herself to do so.

 

Of course it could not be also because this also splits between those taken with foretelling and the ones done through a vision. the foretelling they just spout words, they don't even know the meaning of the words themselves. It could be just to do with foretelling that they are vague. Although the foretelling of The Dragon being born was not at all. but Elaidas have been.

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