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Unremarked first victim of Compulsion?


FanoLan
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First victim of Compulsion in the books?  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. Was Pevin under Compulsion during the raid on Caemlyn to execute Rahvin?

    • Yes
      4
    • No
      11


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In Fires of Heaven, a refugee named Pevin suddenly appears in the story and becomes bannerman for the Dragon Reborn. Allegedly, Pevin's entire family died as a result of the Cairhienin civil war and resulting famine, and he lost his final son (dead) and daughter (gai'shan) to the Shaido. Whether any of that's true or not, no one is around who knew Pevin before and therefore be able to distinguish any changes in his behavior. Rand trusts Pevin to carry his banner apparently because Pevin believes in only three things, "The Dragon had been Reborn, The Last Battle was coming. And if he stayed close to Rand al'Thor, he would see his family avenged before the world was destroyed." Ignoring al'Thor's dubious discretion here, Pevin has a neat and clean backstory with just enough detail to ring true but not enough to allow someone to verify the claims.

 

At the time, little had been revealed of the effects of Compulsion other than it is used to bend a person to the channelers will and can erase memories. Since then, Graendal's pets have provided examples of some of the side-effects of Compulsion. Combined with the comments by Rand Therin on the topic, the reader now has a much broader capacity to recognize a victim. In retrospect, Pevin behaves like someone under Compulsion and considering the timing of his placement at the side of the Dragon Reborn, it appears likely one of the Forsaken forged and then planted this tool.

 

The following descriptions of Pevin have been provided by Randin Chapters 46, 54 and 55 tFoH:

- "...an expressionless fellow..."

- "The man rarely spoke..."

- "His face was absolutely blank,..."

- "...no more expression surrounded by Aiel than at any other time."

- "...his narrow, scarred face absolutely blank."

 

When Rand opens the gateway to skim to Caemlyn, "...Pevin looked no more perturbed by what he saw than the Aiel chief, which was to say not at all. Pevin would carry that banner wherever Rand went, even the Pit of Doom, and never blink."

 

After Rahvin's lightning strike which killed several people close to Rand, "...Pevin stood spraddle-legged, holding himself upright with the red banner's staff, his scarred face still as blank as slate."

 

And finally, after Rand balefired Rahvin (what no balescream in T'a'R?) and then emerges from the Palace to find Avi and Mat alive and fighting, "Pevin, both hands clutching the wrist-thick shaft of the Trolloc spear through his chest and the first expression on his face Rand had ever seen. Surprise."

 

 

Consider the context at the time. Prior to the raid, Lanfear, Grandael, Sammael and Rahvin were plotting to provoke Rand to attack Sammael in Illian where the other three would wait, linked, to ambush the Dragon. Lanfear likely had a different agenda, but it seems probable the other three intended to capture the Dragon and what better way to track his movements and stay apprised of his plans than to place an unsuspected dupe at his side.

 

Rahvin had created wards throughout the city as a precaution and likely as soon as he secured his "position" in Caemlyn. He would not have been too worried about a sneak attack by al'Thor, but other Forsaken would want to track the Dragon. Also, if Rahvin could determine the timing of al'Thor's movements .... well, cannot rule him out as the culprit anyway.

 

All in all, it seems clear to me that someone used Compulsion on Pevin before he gained the position of bannerman to the Dragon Reborn. Anyone in the DM world agree?

Edited by FanoLan
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Its possible, heck most anything is possible in WoT, but I've always just seen him as a man that saw to much to quickly and something in him "broke".

 

But putting it together like that it is possible that he was under compulsion and maybe even a friend of the dark and was surprised when a trolloc gutted him with the spear because he was promised safety.

 

I still think he was a broken man that was grasping for something to believe in, so attached himself to Rand as the Dragon brings hope (to some at least), but very interesting idea :)

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Its possible, heck most anything is possible in WoT, but I've always just seen him as a man that saw to much to quickly and something in him "broke".

 

But putting it together like that it is possible that he was under compulsion and maybe even a friend of the dark and was surprised when a trolloc gutted him with the spear because he was promised safety.

 

I still think he was a broken man that was grasping for something to believe in, so attached himself to Rand as the Dragon brings hope (to some at least), but very interesting idea :)

 

Thanks for the feeback Kamin. Jordan definitely described Pevin in such a manner as to foster the reader's trust in the character, "ho hum, nothing to see here just a pitiful refugee." Viewing the descriptions about his unwavering expression and the difficulty he had when forced to speak stood out to me after the Graendal Compulsion victim was uncovered in Bandar Eban by Nyn. The descriptions al'Thor provides about the effects of Compulsion on the victim's personality mirror what was going on with Pevin.

 

It didn't really solidify in my mind until I went back looking for a clue about the Forsaken's knowlege about the raid to kill Rahvin, particularly Moghedien's specified time line. She knew too much to be guessing,

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Yeah, thinking about it, Pevin does make an almost perfect spy. Take a Friend of the Dark, mess with their minds just enough to not arouse suspicion and then have them merrily spy away with none the wiser. There honestly could be something to this, as you are right, the forsaken were way to informed with out a spy very close to Rand during that whole situation

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It's a nearly unassailable backstory whether or not he was a DF beforehand, or even had any family members (other than a genetic donor and mother). There are a couple of other methods for the Forsaken to have secured the knowledge, but in my opinion at least one of those self-absorbed losers used this guy. Just more respect for RJ, very crafty.

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MAFO would be the only way to get a definitive answer but it's a nice theory.

Only thing is, why did RJ never give a hint that he had placed under Compulsion ? Pretty much because it did not matter to the plot either way, I guess

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MAFO would be the only way to get a definitive answer but it's a nice theory.

Only thing is, why did RJ never give a hint that he had placed under Compulsion ? Pretty much because it did not matter to the plot either way, I guess

 

Hi Sharaman, thanks for the input. Depending on how one thinks the Forsaken knew about the raid on Caemlyn, it could have actually factored into the plot significantly. The clues listed above all occur in a total of about 8-12 paragraphs that reference Pevin. Almost every other sentence indicates something is not quite right with the guy. "Expressionless" is not something normally occurring except for well-schooled AS and Aiel. Rand already has quite a bit of experience with those two groups, but Pevin is wooden-faced enough to illicit an internal comment whenever Rand looks at him. Maybe it's merely because Pevin is neither AS nor Aiel so it's particulary noticeable.

 

Would be great to get the scoop either in AMoL or from an inside source. Hopefully we get some Forsaken gloating about how close to Rand he had placed one of his tools. Maybe in conjunction with a DF Aiel revelation, or who put the gholam on Herid Fel duty.

 

Or word from on high : )

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I really like this take on Pevin, I took for granted that his shock from losing family, etc was all it was.

 

Note: the surprise on his face was from the experience of walking away from the battle, only to switch time-lines to the parallel reality where the spear was already in his chest (note: he never saw it coming)

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I really like this take on Pevin, I took for granted that his shock from losing family, etc was all it was.

 

Note: the surprise on his face was from the experience of walking away from the battle, only to switch time-lines to the parallel reality where the spear was already in his chest (note: he never saw it coming)

 

Glad you appreciate the take, thanks jsbrads.

 

Nice interpretation on the surprise. I hadn't considered Pevin thinking he was in the clear and starting to walk away, then bam, trolloc spear to the gut. I had merely figured he got skewered during the general melee. Too bad for him either way.

 

The end of that scene is loaded with nuggets. While the readers were consumed with balefire results (Mat, Avi, Asmo) RJ, per usual, brilliantly included a lot of other tidbits. Rhuarc's comments on the soldiers who turned sides during the fight, for example. Just kind of thrown in there while our attention has been directed elsewhere. This is our first exposure to those we expected were DFs choosing to abandon their path in face of the reality of battling alongside Trollocs and Myrdraal and signigicant if that's all there is to it.

 

Makes me wonder about the timing of the turning-coat vis-a-vis Rahvin getting fried though. Heavyhanded, mass Compulsion doesn't seem to be a real option for soldiers, especially for any significant duration - doubt they would be effective much. However, in order get the non-DF soldiers to fight alongside Shadowspawn .... maybe a mass Compulsion as the protective wardings were triggered as a kick in the ass sort of thing would have served Rahvin well. Don't know if there's any significance here, just thoughts.

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I choose not to believe this, as it shrinks the world. It is like Captain Kirk beaming down to a planet and only seeing five meters of it with an angry alien right there. The whole story is much better if everything isn't only a plot device, if you feel that the world extends beyond the narrative.

 

But that is just my opinion, this is one of those things that will never come up again so you can choose to believe whatever you want.

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I choose not to believe this, as it shrinks the world. It is like Captain Kirk beaming down to a planet and only seeing five meters of it with an angry alien right there. The whole story is much better if everything isn't only a plot device, if you feel that the world extends beyond the narrative.

 

Seems like you're grinding a different stone. Why would you jump to the "everything is a plot device" conclusion from a discussion on whether Pevin was under Compulsion? I respect your right to choose not to believe, you're not a juror with someone's freedom on the line so you can choose your belief without any reasoning at all.

 

And it's nearly unbearably arrogant to surmise your opinion is so much more accurate that you need to patronize me by telling me how much better the story would be if only I could deign to see everything as you see it. Please.

 

But that is just my opinion, this is one of those things that will never come up again so you can choose to believe whatever you want.

 

Thank you for granting me the privilege to believe whatever I want. Maybe it will come up, maybe not

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Oh, I have probably just been hanging around these forums too much lately. It just seems that everyone wants to make every little thing vitally important to the story. What got me into WoT in the first place was that when reading it felt like a world rather than a stage. The world building that was done in the first book was amazing, but now I can only get my fix of WoT by coming here and other fan sites, and everything get so over analyzed that random event A that doesn't really have much to do with anything turns out to be pivotal in the fight against the DO.

 

Your reasoning seems fine, but occams razor says that he was just a PTSD sufferer. There is really no reason to build an elaborate backstory of him being planted by the forsaken.

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Your reasoning seems fine, but occams razor says that he was just a PTSD sufferer. There is really no reason to build an elaborate backstory of him being planted by the forsaken.

 

I agree, the books give a valid reason for his behaviour. There's not really much to support this theroy.

 

I'd tend to agree on this side as well. While I'm always interested in considering the possibilities in these stories, even for ones we may never have a definitive answer to, I believe this character was introduced as a way to detail the effects of the world on a man. We see Olver representing the child of this tragedy, and many women who have lost husbands/brothers/fathers to battles, but he's one of the few examples of the man whose lost everything, but fights for the Light regardless.

 

I tend to believe that the instances of Compulsion in the books are identified readily, because the victims do things completely unnatural of themselves, and as a way to identify the evil of the Forsaken weilding it. IMO, if Pelvin was compulsed, a narrative of a Forsaken mentioning his loss, the loss of someone close to Rand without another identity, or something would've been used, so we the reader would understand it's intended outcome.

Edited by randomh3r0
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Your reasoning seems fine, but occams razor says that he was just a PTSD sufferer. There is really no reason to build an elaborate backstory of him being planted by the forsaken.

 

I agree, the books give a valid reason for his behaviour. There's not really much to support this theroy.

 

I'd tend to agree on this side as well. While I'm always interested in considering the possibilities in these stories, even for ones we may never have a definitive answer to, I believe this character was introduced as a way to detail the effects of the world on a man. We see Olver representing the child of this tragedy, and many women who have lost husbands/brothers/fathers to battles, but he's one of the few examples of the man whose lost everything, but fights for the Light regardless.

 

I tend to believe that the instances of Compulsion in the books are identified readily, because the victims do things completely unnatural of themselves, and as a way to identify the evil of the Forsaken weilding it. IMO, if Pelvin was compulsed, a narrative of a Forsaken mentioning his loss, the loss of someone close to Rand without another identity, or something would've been used, so we the reader would understand it's intended outcome.

 

Good points and I agree that we're not likely to see any of the Forsaken reflecting on his passing. Rahvin is dead and gone after all, it looks like Graendal is out of commission, Sammael is toast and Lanfear is stewing away in a new body.

 

Pevin was only around for a few chapters so the Olver comparison doesn't work for me. Olver definitely highlights the personal tragedies suffered by the common folk as the Last Battle approaches; we hear his backstory, see how it has impacted him on an emotional level and have come to sympathise with his plight as an individual. The details provide the impact - keepsakes, routines he used to have with his parents, burying his mother in a patch of flowers. Over time, Olver's character tells the story from the perspective of a refugee child.

 

When it comes to Pevin, other than knowing his name, that his family is dead and who killed them, we don't get any detail. No telling of his personal story, not a thing. Just recurring descriptions of his expressionlessness and his seeming inability to form more than basic, halting sentences .... and only if he has been directly addressed with a question at that. Give me Beslan as a sympathetic male character who has lost his entire family but still does what he thinks is right while serving the Light. Or any of the nameless men at the Black Tower whose families abandoned them.

 

How do we know how un-naturally Pevin is behaving? It can be argued that he's suffering from PTSD but his personal losses (if true) are no more tragic than Olver's and the kid seems able to carry on a decent conversation right from the first time he's introduced to the story. Pevin's complete lack of personality, expression and conversation-ability stand in stark contrast to Olver.

 

Some things are for certain sure in this series - not everything is laid out for you, some dots need to be connected without step by step directions from the author, and if you think you know the answer, think twice : )

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Stress affects people differently. Soldiers in the same unit sent on the same missions can vary wildly in their reactions to the same stimuli. You can't say 'Well I got through it, suck it up and do the same', that is what caused thousands of WW2 veterans around the world to terrorize their families by wandering around thier houses at night looking for Krouts, Japs, Eyeties and whatever the Axis called the Allies.

 

Children are also alot better at adapting than adults, though those adaptions can be anti-social behavour which need to be corrected to live in the modern world.

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  • 1 month later...

Stress affects people differently. Soldiers in the same unit sent on the same missions can vary wildly in their reactions to the same stimuli. You can't say 'Well I got through it, suck it up and do the same', that is what caused thousands of WW2 veterans around the world to terrorize their families by wandering around thier houses at night looking for Krouts, Japs, Eyeties and whatever the Axis called the Allies.

 

Children are also alot better at adapting than adults, though those adaptions can be anti-social behavour which need to be corrected to live in the modern world.

 

Not sure about what name they had at the beginning, but at the end it was "Daddy." : )

 

I have to beg out of the discussion re: mental health impacts on vets and their families and the completely disgusting lack of attention/treatment/assisatance provided by the societies they have served. In short, I only know a little but certainly do not accept "a suck it ip and deal with it" approach as viable.

 

It just seems to me, after eventually seeing the way Graendal's victim behaved when Compulsed, that Pevin stood out as a potential vicitm who had been introduced before we readers knew the details about the visible side effects of Compulsion. Just try to keep an open mind about it on the next re-read while keeping in mind the details provided later in the story on how Compulsion victims behave.

 

 

Shamelessly hoping at least one other Dragonmounter ( :huh: ?) will agree with my amateur sleuthing here.

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Actually I just got done listening to this part of the book and I really like this theory. Granted, there is only little evidence to support it, but that's mostly due to how little time Peven is in the books. I still think it works.

 

I would think it would be Rahvin who compulsed him. He has the most opportunity that we know of, because Peven heads to Caemlyn. Also, as you said, the accuracy of his lightning strikes are suspicious. Rahvin likely threw a finder on a ring of Peven's (or even his banner staff), and compulsed him to find Rand al'Thor.

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Actually I just got done listening to this part of the book and I really like this theory. Granted, there is only little evidence to support it, but that's mostly due to how little time Peven is in the books. I still think it works.

 

I would think it would be Rahvin who compulsed him. He has the most opportunity that we know of, because Peven heads to Caemlyn. Also, as you said, the accuracy of his lightning strikes are suspicious. Rahvin likely threw a finder on a ring of Peven's (or even his banner staff), and compulsed him to find Rand al'Thor.

 

Hooray and thank you. Now I can dance a little jig on my way to the kitchen.

 

Like the idea of a finder on something belonging to Pevin - makes a great deal of sense and complements this idea well. Raaaaahhhvin! The climax of that confrontation was one of the greatest fight scenes of the series IMO.

 

Speaking of finders .... anyone else think those Aiel headbands provide an awfully convenient new addition to the Aiel wardrobe? Convenient enabler for the DR's enemies' capacity to track the Dragon's Spear? Hrrrmmm, ehhhhh? (in my best Newman voice for that last bit)

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