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How many hands will Rand loose?


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I've been thinking about various viewings and prophecies related to Callandor and I have a hard time coming up with a plausible sequence that would include all of them.

 

First, it has been long noticed that the prophecy "He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one" means that Rand will get himself a second hand at some point.

On the AMOL cover we see Rand, Moiraine and Nynaeve going to the Pit of Doom. His left hand is behind his back but the artist confirmed that this is just to hide the stump.

If that info is correct it means that Rand won't have his left hand back by that point. It also means that he'll have to go to Shayol Ghul at least twice. I never much liked that idea but there seems no way around it.

So far everything does fit well with the theory that Rand will die after going to Shayol Ghul the first time, then he will be resurrected (say, by Nyn pushing him out of TAR) and will have two hands after that.

But there are more viewings making things more difficult to explain. Min had the following viewing of Rand in TOM, ch 51

 

She glanced at him, and a viewing sprang to life above him. A glowing sword, Callandor; being gripped in a black hand. She gasped."What did you see?" Rand asked softly.

"Callandor, held in a fist. The hand looks to be made of onyx."

 

Note that Callandor is glowing in the viewing. That means that whoever is holding it is channeling saidin. RJ said that angreal (and hence sa'angreal) can't be used to channel TP.

Who can be holding Callandor in the viewing then? I'm quite sure Shaidar Haran can't channel saidin. Moridin got two normal hands and he only channels TP anyway. Demandred? highly unlikely and he's got two normal hands too. Same for Taim.

The only one left is Rand. But why is the hand black then? At the moment I only see two possibilities, both pretty bad IMO.

 

One is that Rand will be resurrected into his old body and will get himself an artificial hand somehow after that (perhaps Elayne will make him an artificial ter'angreal hand). I really don't like the first part because a number of clues say that Rand will be dead for 3 days and his old body won't be fit to use by then.

Or two that Rand will be resurrected and will loose his left hand again and get a replacement after that. This sounds very far fetched too. It might fit with the viewings Min had of Rand in tEoTW, ch 15 of a bloody hand and a hot iron and apossibly related viewings of Elayne in tGH of a severed hand (tGH, ch 24), and axe and a hot iron (tGH, ch 43). But I can't imagine why it would be necessary to cut off Rand's hand the second time.

Any other ideas how this can all work out?

Edited by herid
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Doesn't the DO have a way of keeping available bodies fresh for soul transfer? Maybe he hopes to reinstate a dead DF in Rand's body but then Rand is resurrected instead and reclaims what's his. Putting aside the crummy state of Rand's body, it'll have its uses.

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Note that Callandor is glowing in the viewing. That means that whoever is holding it is channeling saidin.

I'm not sure about this.

 

Rand sneaking through utter darkness toward Callandor, while all around him six men and five women walked, some hunting him and some ignoring him, some trying to guide him toward the shining crystal sword and some trying to stop him from reaching it, appearing not to know where he was, or only to see him in flashes. One of the men had eyes of flame, and he wanted Rand dead with a desperation she could nearly taste. She thought she knew him. Ba'alzamon.
And something flashed ahead, a momentary light throwing back shadow, a beacon. He stepped out beneath a great dome, and saw what he sought. Callandor, hanging hilt down in midair, waiting for no hand but that of the Dragon Reborn. As it revolved, it broke what little light there was into splinters, and now and then it flared as if with a light of its own.

We see in these examples that Callandor reflects light so that can be the reason Min says "a glowing sword".

 

If we don't assume Callandor is in use, then Shaidar Haran -Hand of the Dark, or the black hand if you will- having posession of Callandor is a possibility. How or why, I have no idea. But in my opinion you are taking the viewing a bit too literally. They've been metaphors in the past.

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@ driedraspberry We don't actually know that DO can keep dead bodies on ice, so to speak. I think a more accepted theory on the matter is that he strips live bodies from souls and then puts new souls into them. That fits better with the examples from the series with Dragkhar and the Grey men. In any case, transmigration needs to be done at Shayol Ghul. Rand's body won't stay around Shayol Ghul even if he dies there (that's not a given btw). Min had a viewing of Elayne, Avi and Min around a funeral pyre with Rand's body. That wouldn't happen at Shayol Ghul.

 

@Cem Önal good point. I often forget that viewings can be metaphorical. I still have a feeling that in this case the meaning is literal but of course if it isn't this does simplify things greatly.

I don't think that reflecting light qualifies as glowing though.

Edited by herid
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Note that Callandor is glowing in the viewing. That means that whoever is holding it is channeling saidin.

I'm not sure about this.

 

Rand sneaking through utter darkness toward Callandor, while all around him six men and five women walked, some hunting him and some ignoring him, some trying to guide him toward the shining crystal sword and some trying to stop him from reaching it, appearing not to know where he was, or only to see him in flashes. One of the men had eyes of flame, and he wanted Rand dead with a desperation she could nearly taste. She thought she knew him. Ba'alzamon.
And something flashed ahead, a momentary light throwing back shadow, a beacon. He stepped out beneath a great dome, and saw what he sought. Callandor, hanging hilt down in midair, waiting for no hand but that of the Dragon Reborn. As it revolved, it broke what little light there was into splinters, and now and then it flared as if with a light of its own.

We see in these examples that Callandor reflects light so that can be the reason Min says "a glowing sword".

 

If we don't assume Callandor is in use, then Shaidar Haran -Hand of the Dark, or the black hand if you will- having posession of Callandor is a possibility. How or why, I have no idea. But in my opinion you are taking the viewing a bit too literally. They've been metaphors in the past.

 

Ya, it being a black, onyx hand, it could just mean he dies while wielding it at the BT or SG. Wouldn't be a need to lose another hand at that point

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Ya, it being a black, onyx hand, it could just mean he dies while wielding it at the BT or SG.

well, that would not be a good metaphor IMO. But if the meaning is metaphorical then there are lots of other possibilities. The simplest is that Callandor will be taken from Rand by one of the Dark Siders which is why the hand is black. Could be by Shaidar Haran as Cem Önal suggested or by any of the others. There are other in-book suggestions that this might happen as well as mythological parallels (Excalibur was stolen from Arthur at some point and used against him before he reclaimed it).

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"He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one"

 

Doesn't it seem to be weak ground to base all this speculation on a literal reading of that line? It is, after all, surrounded by two non-literal phrases(Callandor isn't really made of light, and the three probably aren't going to literally become one).

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I wouldn't be surprised if the "in his hands" quote is just an accident. Its a big series, and I think the "Three Become One" quote is from near the beginning.

 

On another note, the onyx hand could be Moridin. It appears that the connection between Rand and Moridin has physical implications; Moridin complains about his hand being stiff after Rand loses his hand to Semirhange. Graendal comments on it in ToM or TGS, I can't recall which. This may be a sign that Moridin's hand is "dying" and will turn black.

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About Min's Viewings:

 

EotW15, Rand: 'a bloody hand and white-hot iron'

 

TGH24, Elayne: 'a severed hand, not hers'

 

TGH43, Elayne: 'a red-hot iron and an axe'

 

I've often thought that the 'hand', being 'bloody' or 'severed' refers indirectly to Mat, via the Band of the Red Hand; and the 'iron' refers to Perrin.

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"He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one"

 

Doesn't it seem to be weak ground to base all this speculation on a literal reading of that line? It is, after all, surrounded by two non-literal phrases(Callandor isn't really made of light, and the three probably aren't going to literally become one).

Certainly, a prophecy doesn't have to be all literal. But I can't think of any reasonable interpretation of the first part of that particular prophecy which isn't literal. And I haven't seen anybody suggest one either. If you can think of a good metaphorical interpretation please do share. One thing I should note is that "a blade of light" might not mean Callandor (although it probably does). A sword of saidin Rand made during his fight with Ishy in tEoTW is twice referred to as blade of light in that scene so it could be that.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the "in his hands" quote is just an accident. Its a big series, and I think the "Three Become One" quote is from near the beginning.

this prophecy is from tGS which is hardly the beginning of the series. But even if it was from the prologue of tEoTW, a mistake in a prophecy is quite out of the question. RJ was exceeding careful with those things and planned them with great care. BS too. Note for example the line from the dark prophecy in TOM

"and the First Among Verminlifts his hand to bring freedom to Him who will Destroy". Many people think this refers to Rand. This need not be true but I'm sure that the fact that it says "lifts his hand " rather than "lifts his hands" was done on purpose.

 

About Min's Viewings:

 

EotW15, Rand: 'a bloody hand and white-hot iron'

 

TGH24, Elayne: 'a severed hand, not hers'

 

TGH43, Elayne: 'a red-hot iron and an axe'

 

I've often thought that the 'hand', being 'bloody' or 'severed' refers indirectly to Mat, via the Band of the Red Hand; and the 'iron' refers to Perrin.

 

sorry, don't buy that. both are too much of a stretch of meaning.

Edited by herid
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About Min's Viewings:

 

EotW15, Rand: 'a bloody hand and white-hot iron'

 

TGH24, Elayne: 'a severed hand, not hers'

 

TGH43, Elayne: 'a red-hot iron and an axe'

 

I've often thought that the 'hand', being 'bloody' or 'severed' refers indirectly to Mat, via the Band of the Red Hand; and the 'iron' refers to Perrin.

 

sorry, don't buy that. both are too much of a stretch of meaning.

 

What stretch? The emblem of the Band is a red (bloody) hand on its own (severed, and therefore bleeding); and Perrin is a blacksmith, and blacksmiths frequently heat iron to redness or whiteness.

Edited by FarShainMael
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We already know by that point that Perrin is a blacksmith and that both he and Mat are tied to Rand. What is the viewing telling us then? At least half of it would be something we know already. RJ never did anything quite so bland or wasteful with the viewings.

I also don't like the notion of a bloody hand as the Band of the Red Hand for two reasons. First, this would be a two-step metaphore. The viewing is of Rand and the Band is tied to Mat, not Rand. Also, the interpretation that the Red Hand means that it's because the hand is severed and bloody implies a pretty negative connotation IMO. There is never any hint of that in the books.

Edited by herid
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The first Viewing links Mat (and the Band) and Perrin to Rand, very early on - long before they meet Loial and hear about ta'veren (EotW36). The other two link them to Elayne. Mat is important to Elayne for the cannon, and Perrin because of the Two Rivers and Andor.

 

BTW, does anyone know why that Band was called that, back in the days of Manetheren?

Edited by FarShainMael
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BTW, does anyone know why that Band was called that, back in the days of Manetheren?

I tried to look it up and couldn't find anything useful. The glossary says that this is a translation from the OT for Shen an Calhar but it doesn't explain why that name was used back then. There is nothing helpful in the main text of the books or in the BWB either.

 

Anyway, getting back to the original subject of the thread. Even if the meaning of the viewing about a black hand holding Callandor is metaphorical, the part of my argument about Rand having to go to Shayol Ghul twice still stands. What I find interesting is why that would be necessary and what exactly Rand is going to do there on the first visit. We can assume with reasonable certainty that he is going to break the seals there. That's his firm intention and the line of the second dark prophecy "and the First Among Verminlifts his hand to bring freedom to Him who will Destroy" supports this too provided that the first among vermin means Rand of course. But what will happen next is far less clear.

My only guess is that Rand will try to kill the DO and fail. He has to fail in that one because we can be pretty sure that the DO will survive the LB. The attempt should exhaust Rand quite a bit. It should be a much harder affair than Maradon and he was quite tired after that. This should then make him vulnerable and then there will be counterstrike by one of the Dark siders which should eventually lead to Rand's death.

Edited by herid
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@ driedraspberry We don't actually know that DO can keep dead bodies on ice, so to speak. I think a more accepted theory on the matter is that he strips live bodies from souls and then puts new souls into them. That fits better with the examples from the series with Dragkhar and the Grey men. In any case, transmigration needs to be done at Shayol Ghul. Rand's body won't stay around Shayol Ghul even if he dies there (that's not a given btw). Min had a viewing of Elayne, Avi and Min around a funeral pyre with Rand's body. That wouldn't happen at Shayol Ghul.

 

@Cem Önal good point. I often forget that viewings can be metaphorical. I still have a feeling that in this case the meaning is literal but of course if it isn't this does simplify things greatly.

I don't think that reflecting light qualifies as glowing though.

 

The glowing light could be to signify it as an angreal/ter'angreal instead of just a literal sword.

 

I thought that Mins viewings always related to the person involved, so the black hand holding the sword must either be Rand or someone using it against him, but Min distinguishes with the Elayne viewing that the hand isn't hers and doesn't with Rand. Not sure what this means tho.

 

I agree with FSM that the severed hand, not hers is likely to refer to the Band. Not so sure about the rest.

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Slightly off topic but stumbled across this gem in TSR. Things might be looking up for Rand...

 

TSR

"Stilling is not a thing anyone would choose to study, you understand," Nynaeve continued. "It is generally accepted to be irreversible. What makes a woman able to channel cannot be replaced once it is removed, any more than a hand that has been cut off can be Healed back into existence."

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Slightly off topic but stumbled across this gem in TSR. Things might be looking up for Rand...

 

TSR

"Stilling is not a thing anyone would choose to study, you understand," Nynaeve continued. "It is generally accepted to be irreversible. What makes a woman able to channel cannot be replaced once it is removed, any more than a hand that has been cut off can be Healed back into existence."

 

Great find Suttree! I wonder if Rand will ask Nynauve to heal his hand because he thinks his battle with Moridin may come down to a sword fight--perhaps because channeling becomes obsolete at some point during the fight? A sword fight with Moridin is somewhat foreshadowed in the earlier books, as most of Rand's early encounters with Ishy result in hand-to-hand combat.

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I lost track of prophecies, viewings quite a while ago, but from i see here i think there are two possibilities:

 

1. Rand will somehow grow a black hand or

2. Maybe it is just a mistake in a book, it is a minor detail, one you could easily not notice(i refer to "in his hands").

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Slightly off topic but stumbled across this gem in TSR. Things might be looking up for Rand...

 

TSR

"Stilling is not a thing anyone would choose to study, you understand," Nynaeve continued. "It is generally accepted to be irreversible. What makes a woman able to channel cannot be replaced once it is removed, any more than a hand that has been cut off can be Healed back into existence."

Great find, Suttree! And it fits very nicely with similar references to Nynaeve healing death. Pushing Rand out of TAR would neatly do both.

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Having something in your "hands" could be nothing more than in your possession, metaphorically speaking. It doesn't need to be a completely literal meaning, as someone said earlier. His hands could also refer to those on his team - all hands on deck. It could also be that the prophecy is cloudy, from a distant time.

 

What surprises me more than anything is your open-mindedness with regard to multiple resurrections, body swapping, etc., but not willing to consider that the one letter of the prophecy would be unimportant. Come on bro.

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