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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Glass Pillars


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While this doesn't have much bearing on the outcome of the story, I found it interesting nonetheless.

 

It appears that Avi herself changed the purpose of those glass pillars. After completing her walk-through of the pillars in ToM, she sat and contemplated the future of the Aiel in detail. She then stood up and went to the pillars to try and interpret the way the were made. She then stated that she was confused as to whether she was touching the Pillars or they were touching her. She also commented on their awareness. I think she has forever changed the purpose of those Pillars. That is why they activated for her again. She changed their purpose from showing their past to showing their future.

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We don't know for sure that she changed the purpose of the pillars.

 

For thousands of years the Aiel have gone among the pillars only once. It is implied that anyone who goes more than once never comes out. The latter can mean that the few who actually dared venture a second time simply could not face the visions of the Aiel future. Or it could be something more technical, like the ter'angreal actually requiring something from the recipient of the visions, say that he has at least an X number of generations in the past/future to show. With the past that's hardly a problem, but as so many Aiel dead or about to die, it is not unreasonable to believe that many lines will end quite soon.

 

In any case we'll likely know the answer to that mystery in the beginning of AMoL, when Bair returns (or doesn't).

Edited by Solmyr
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I would be more willing to bet that the Aiel who went a second time couldn't continue forward. However, Avi only went forward to learn how the Aiel had come to that future. It drove her.

 

I still maintain it changed to her need. Especially considering it activated as she walked away from then, not through them. We shall RAFO.

Edited by skalors3
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We don't know for sure that she changed the purpose of the pillars.

 

For thousands of years the Aiel have gone among the pillars only once. It is implied that anyone who goes more than once never comes out. The latter can mean that the few who actually dared venture a second time simply could not face the visions of the Aiel future. Or it could be something more technical, like the ter'angreal actually requiring something from the recipient of the visions, say that he has at least an X number of generations in the past/future to show. With the past that's hardly a problem, but as so many Aiel dead or about to die, it is not unreasonable to believe that many lines will end quite soon.

 

In any case we'll likely know the answer to that mystery in the beginning of AMoL, when Bair returns (or doesn't).

 

Very keen thinking! And who knows, maybe there was one Wise One long ago who survived a second walk through the columns and instituted the policy of it being forbidden to go through more than once, and so the secret died with her.

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I think you are on the right track. She thought of the pillars as "almost living" or something similar. I believe that when she tried to "read" the ter'angreal like she had done with the others, it resonated with her and (for a lack of a better phrase) "read her mind" and showed her what she needed to see. Her greatest - the Aiel's greatest- flaws. As Bair said, the pillars have always shown the Aiel what they needed to know to understand themselves and help them grow.

 

I believe it is similar here, except that Aviendha managed to interact with the pillars that allowed "it" to show her what she needed in a different way, since nobody has "resonated" with them, they have been "stuck" showing basically the same history.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Just a note from Avi's 5th (out of 6th) vision:

Court of the Sun[/i]']

Hehyal, Dawn Runner, had killed more Seanchan than any of his society, gaining much ji. He had been granted permission to travel to Rhuidean last year to become clan chief.

Rhuidean. The city was besieged by Seanchan. Oncala sneered. Seanchan had no honor.

So we know that the tradition of testing chiefs still holds, and we know from the 6th vision that at least one chief has been chosen between Avi's trip and the siege of Rhuidean:

Court of the Sun[/i]']

She dismissed her spear-sisters, then made her way directly to Ronam's tent. The clan chief—son of Rhuarc—would need to hear her report.

 

So ya, it is possible that the test itself has changed - that Ronam saw the future - but I doubt it.

Edited by Danjaman
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I hope we get a POV from Bair arriving there and that Shaido guy (that was given permission to go a couple chapters before Perrin kicked their butts) is walking out of them & he & Bair discuss what he saw. Because that would help answer a few of our questions. What the Guys see now on their first pass & if it is significantly different, we will know that the whole thing has changed.

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I hope we get a POV from Bair arriving there and that Shaido guy (that was given permission to go a couple chapters before Perrin kicked their butts) is walking out of them & he & Bair discuss what he saw. Because that would help answer a few of our questions. What the Guys see now on their first pass & if it is significantly different, we will know that the whole thing has changed.

so he has been in the columns for many months now?
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The end of KoD (when we find out about the Shaido sending a new candidate to Rhuidean) and Aviendha walking through the pillars isn't that long (67 days according to this timeline put together by msbee). Considering that the Shaido can't travel, this guy would have to run all the way across Randland and across the Waste to get to Rhuidean. It would likely take about that long, if not longer.

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This ter'angreal is probably related to the Green Man's Place (which sounds like T'A work itself), somebody has to have been over that theory. It can only be visited once, much like the Pillars. It displays almost an intelligence or consciousness, much like the pillars. Something else- check me if im wrong but none of the visions showed the Jenn carrying a crap load of hundred foot tall crystal pillars around the world. So assumedly either the pillars were made or 'grown' in some way (likely by the last AS)... to me grown seems right as they seem organic in a way. Did the same AS that created the Eye of the World make the Pillars? 'Need is the key' the same with the Eye as with the Pillars it seems.

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  • 1 month later...

I wonder if Rand will go through them again.

 

I assume an Aes Sedai came to Rhuidean and created the pillars.

 

Going along with the "need is the key" theme, maybe the pillars are the reason the Aiel have so many dream walkers, compared to the Aes Sedai. 

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I wonder if Rand will go through them again.

 

I assume an Aes Sedai came to Rhuidean and created the pillars.

 

Going along with the "need is the key" theme, maybe the pillars are the reason the Aiel have so many dream walkers, compared to the Aes Sedai. 

 

Rand may very well go through the pillars again, if/when he learns of Avienda's recent trip.

However, I don't think "an" Aes Sedai created the pillars.  I think such an invention would require far more ingenuity than belongs to a single person.  Using Rand as an example: he's the strongest and most knowledgable non-Foresaken in this age (in terms of the one power), yet what has he been able to create?  From my very poor memory, I recall him saying that he developed and proceeded to lay some very nasty traps at waygates, which would go off upon someone breaking and entering, but I cannot remember him really inventing anything else--especially anything on par of the pillars, which are really quite marvelous in their capacity to convey information to the user.

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You're right. I used the wrong article. However, Rand knows nothing of Ter'angreal creation, but during the AoL, they were mass produced. Either they were created for the Aiel, or their purpose was changed for them. Aviendha  thinks they're alive and aware. 

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I'm not sure where to post this, but this seemed somewhat appropriate...  

 

When Avi discusses what happened in the pillars with the other wise ones, they give her the simple solution to change the name of one of her children to avoid that future.  That just seems far too simple to me.  I think that points to Avi dying during childbirth so she isn't there to name the children.

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When Min views Aviendha's children she says 'There is something very strange there'.  It probably has something to do with the choices made after going through the columns.  Also, it appears that the history she sees could be the one if she never took the second trip.  As far as changing one name, I'm pretty sure would be Padra, the one she had the vision through.  As far as her dying in childbirth, I doubt that Oncala would have remembered Aviendha's face so I think it more likely that she raises her children and knows her grandchildren... which may make it awkward for Onc if things work out as they did in the visions.

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I'm not sure where to post this, but this seemed somewhat appropriate...  

 

When Avi discusses what happened in the pillars with the other wise ones, they give her the simple solution to change the name of one of her children to avoid that future.  That just seems far too simple to me.  I think that points to Avi dying during childbirth so she isn't there to name the children.

 

Bair told her to change a name in order to know if that future was set in stone or not. If she could change the name, then anything else could about the vision could also be changed.

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I'm not sure where to post this, but this seemed somewhat appropriate...  

 

When Avi discusses what happened in the pillars with the other wise ones, they give her the simple solution to change the name of one of her children to avoid that future.  That just seems far too simple to me.  I think that points to Avi dying during childbirth so she isn't there to name the children.

 

 

Yeah, but there is no way the time scale of aMoL allows for the impregnation and subsequent birth of Avienda's children.

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This ter'angreal is probably related to the Green Man's Place (which sounds like T'A work itself), somebody has to have been over that theory. It can only be visited once, much like the Pillars. It displays almost an intelligence or consciousness, much like the pillars. Something else- check me if im wrong but none of the visions showed the Jenn carrying a crap load of hundred foot tall crystal pillars around the world. So assumedly either the pillars were made or 'grown' in some way (likely by the last AS)... to me grown seems right as they seem organic in a way. Did the same AS that created the Eye of the World make the Pillars? 'Need is the key' the same with the Eye as with the Pillars it seems.

 

No one knows how the pillars got there, though the Jenn Aiel were charged with transporting hundreds of wagons full of various forms of angreal at the time of the Breaking, to a place of safety. We know that Rhuidean has loads of angreal, ter'angreal and possibly even sa'angreal, as it is where Rand found the access keys for the Choedan Kal. Rhuidean was built after the Breaking by the Jenn Aiel, Aes Sedai did accompany them to the Three Fold Land. The glass pillars had to have been created by the Jenn Aiel and the Aes Sedai, because the purpose is to let apprentices of the Wise One's and men wishing to be Clan Chiefs, know of their history. I think this is why Aviendha's visions might be flawed, or they might be part of a preventable future. In some of her future visions from several generations ahead of her own, the Aiel have all but forgotten who they are, which might be why populating Rhuidean would be one negative way of changing the Aiel, as the city itself has for thousands of years, been used only for those wishing to become clan chiefs or Wise One's.

 

By all accounts, Rand will break the Aiel, however in order to maintain who they are, they need to remember who they are as well as what they were in future generations.

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If Aes Sedai joined them, they joined them late on the trip. Seems to me the Aes Sedai failed the Aeil a long, long time ago.

 

It is pretty obvious Rhuiden was built for the Aeil of today to live there.

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No one knows how the pillars got there, though the Jenn Aiel were charged with transporting hundreds of wagons full of various forms of angreal at the time of the Breaking, to a place of safety. We know that Rhuidean has loads of angreal, ter'angreal and possibly even sa'angreal, as it is where Rand found the access keys for the Choedan Kal. Rhuidean was built after the Breaking by the Jenn Aiel, Aes Sedai did accompany them to the Three Fold Land. The glass pillars had to have been created by the Jenn Aiel and the Aes Sedai, because the purpose is to let apprentices of the Wise One's and men wishing to be Clan Chiefs, know of their history.

 

Keep in mind that one of the ter'angreal was the doorway to Finnland where there are even more enormous stores of items of power.  It's very possible that rather than making the Pillars that they were a result of a request/wish.  Additionally, when it comes to the pillars, they have the parallel in the white tower of the three rings which we have been told are not used for their original purpose -- and the original purpose is unknown.

 

As far as we know it is no more likely that the pillars were made by the Jenn Aiel and the Aes Sedai than not.

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