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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Barid Bel Medar

Ask Simple questions, get simple answers (aMoL version covering the entire series)

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I wont even argue if Channeling is genetic, seems like it shouldnt be to me, but whatever...

 

I will argue that IF Channelling is genetic, and the Sharans have been breeding 50K channelers... then we have spent 13 books acting like city we have to eventually invade and overcome is Baerlon, when at the last second we realize "oh shucks, its actually the fortress of Tear over there". Weve been hammered with fighting the black ajah, and dreadlords for the whole series... but those forces are about 2% of the channelling force when you do the math. If thats the case the the Sharans should have played an even larger part than even the Seanchan throughout the series...

 

And I will argue over the 50K number. If thats the case, then there is nothing stopping the Sharans from using their 10:1 ration and instantly sheilding every single Aes Sedai, Ashaman, WO, Kinswoman in the first 10 seconds of battle. Period. 

 

I guess had I been writing this, I would have almost elminiated the Sharans from the plot (maybe they brought a few hundred channelers w them), and instead admitted that the Shadow had less channellers (not really a big deal), but use them as Kamikazees to gateway in and ambush the Aes Sedai, maybe taking out several before dying. More of a terror/assassination tactic. Maybe a new ter'angreal that reflects weaves or something to negate the superior numbers. Use more Grey men to kill them, etc. You dont have to conjure an army which really supercedes the DO's forces halfway through the last book...

 

 

Problem with using the Dreadlords et al as kamikaze, is that almost by definition they don't have the commitment. I guess there will be some that truly believe that the DO would resurrect them, but most are too selfish to consider self-sacrifice.

 

Would be a good tactic tho

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I've always thought that the channeling ability as a genetic trait was a corner that Jordan painted himself into.  Didn't he also say that channeling was tied to the soul (e.g., A'rangar)?  If that's so, then there are only so many souls that can channel and you shouldn't be able to breed more of them.  It's also a contradiction: Is the trait tied to the soul or to genetics.  I have a hard time seeing how it could be both.

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RJ had already begun closing down plot threads and increasing the pace while driving towards a conclusion. He was aware there was a lot still to cover - his statements about a 2,000 page AMoL make that clear. But he wanted one more book because he felt that more than that wouldn't work, structurally. Given the poor structuring of all the books post TGS, he might have had a point. Point is, what you cite as Brandon's greatest strength was just following on from what RJ was doing anyway, and RJ did it without sacrificing the characterisation or voice, and he got the details right while he was doing it. Those losses of voice and characterisation, they are not a product purely of an increased pace.

 

As for RJ backing himself into a corner, that would be true if it wasn't for the huge level of variation in terms of how many channelers could be brought to the fight - as already shown, depending on how big the initial population is, the percentage of it that is comprised of channelers, the number of channelers that are actually found and trained and the number Demandred could muster to his banner Shara could be bringing thousands or tens of thousands. Given that level of variation, that idea that he had written himself into a corner is laughable. There are enough variables involved that Demandred's army can literally be as big as the plot needs it to be at the outset and have it be plausible.

Mr Ares, thanks for the reply, I really enjoy your well reasoned thoughts.

 

I need to clarify what I meant.

 

I agree with you that there were ways of getting out of the Light forces being too strong and having too many channelers. One method, as you rightly argue, was to increase the Sharan numbers. Another would have been to introduce new shadowspawn with powers that could negate the Light's advantages. An example could be worms, jumjara or kafar, [ even Graendal was scared of them ] or for that matter, a small army of new gholam. Any of these methods could even up or even tilt the scales in the shadow's favor. 

 

The problem with any of these things and for that matter so is the introduction of a vast Sharan army, is that it seems forced and contrived, and RJ was supremely good at creating smooth flowing arcs and plots. These methods don't follow that style. That is what I meant.

It all comes down to execution. The Sharans were made front and centre, which was out of place given their lack of presence to date, but had they been put to one side - keeping large numbers of channelers busy elsewhere while the important parts of the fight went on elsewhere, it would not have seemed so jarring. Armies of Trollocs and Fades can be supplemented by other, more horrifying creatures without distorting the focus.

>>Yes RJ was starting to speed the story up somewhat, but it seems to me that BS accelerated the pace significantly more than RJ. When you start going as fast as BS was going, I think that some voice and characterisation will be lost.

 

Personally, after reading Lucker's and Dwynwen's posts on battles between characters, I wish they'd have had an input into the books as they in particular seem to have captured some of the style RJ had with characters.

Frankly, I'm not seeing the super fast pacing on the part of Brandon. It doesn't strike me as being significantly more fast paced than RJ's better paced entries into the series. Brandon might be better paced than CoT, but that is an anomaly even by RJ's standards, and many stretches were sluggish, and positively glacial at times. And RJ was able to do it without sacrificing voice and characterisation. The problem is not that what was lost was lost due to pacing, it was lost due to not taking the time for the rewrites that were needed. AMoL might well have been better served by getting BS to spend another year going over it and over it and over it in order to get it right. I don't think he has the patience for that, which is a shame, as it means he won't rise to the same heights as guys like GRRM or Scott Bakker until he learns it. And even in his own works, he isn't the strongest character writer. Given the greater unfamiliarity of another guy's characters, it was always going to be harder to get those voices right.

 

 

 

I'd say that BS at least to me, seemed to be hurrying the series to close as many minor threads as was practical. In places he was far more blunt, which may have allowed him to use less wording. 

 

Perhaps some stretches were indeed sluggish, I would venture though that they were less in number and in words than that of RJ. I'm well aware that you may call on me to provide examples and prove my point, which would turn this into a somewhat lengthy post and invite rebuttals too. I'd prefer to avoid that here as this thread was meant for shorter answers and I've already had Barid tell me about this. If it's ok with you, I'd say respectfully that my impression on this is different than yours.

 

As a side point, you mention that BS didn't do enough rewrites. It is my understanding that 8 drafts were done. Perhaps that isn't enough, I'm not a writer, so I can't offer an educated opinion. It does seem to me that BS writing style is dramatically different than that of RJ's, and that may have been an even bigger factor than the lack of rewrites, though admittedly, I'm no expert.

Edited by dir ehlef

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Do we have any info in the books or the guide as to the ratio of people who are born channellers to those who can be taught to channel?

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Do we have any info in the books or the guide as to the ratio of people who are born channellers to those who can be taught to channel?

 

Quote

 

Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

ComicCon Wrap-Up - Jason Denzel (Verbatim) 

Question 

A question was asked about whether or not a non-channeler could go and become Enlightened through meditation and be able to sense the True Source, or even channel it.

Robert Jordan 

RJ replied that there were indeed people in his world that sought Enlightenment in such ways, but no, that channeling was related to genetics. He went onto say that he estimates that the Age of Legends had about 2-3% of the population able to channel in one way or another, while in the modern world that number is down to about 1-2%.

Jason Denzel

Update: Robert Jordan sent me an email correcting this statement:

Robert Jordan

I went back to look at the article again and check something I thought I recalled. If I said the current population has about 1% to 2% who can learn to channel, then I misspoke, because I have set that figure at about 1%.

We do have the interview from RJ, but afaik, we don't know exact population numbers of countries in any of the books, so I don't see how we could extrapolate the percentages without RJ's interview.

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Do we have any info in the books or the guide as to the ratio of people who are born channellers to those who can be taught to channel?

 

Quote

Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

ComicCon Wrap-Up - Jason Denzel (Verbatim) 

Question 

A question was asked about whether or not a non-channeler could go and become Enlightened through meditation and be able to sense the True Source, or even channel it.

Robert Jordan 

RJ replied that there were indeed people in his world that sought Enlightenment in such ways, but no, that channeling was related to genetics. He went onto say that he estimates that the Age of Legends had about 2-3% of the population able to channel in one way or another, while in the modern world that number is down to about 1-2%.

Jason Denzel

Update: Robert Jordan sent me an email correcting this statement:

Robert Jordan

I went back to look at the article again and check something I thought I recalled. If I said the current population has about 1% to 2% who can learn to channel, then I misspoke, because I have set that figure at about 1%.

We do have the interview from RJ, but afaik, we don't know exact population numbers of countries in any of the books, so I don't see how we could extrapolate the percentages without RJ's interview.

 

What I actually mean is: how many people can be taught to channel for each person who is born with the ability and will channel regardless?

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Do we have any info in the books or the guide as to the ratio of people who are born channellers to those who can be taught to channel?

 

Quote

 

Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

ComicCon Wrap-Up - Jason Denzel (Verbatim) 

Question 

A question was asked about whether or not a non-channeler could go and become Enlightened through meditation and be able to sense the True Source, or even channel it.

Robert Jordan 

RJ replied that there were indeed people in his world that sought Enlightenment in such ways, but no, that channeling was related to genetics. He went onto say that he estimates that the Age of Legends had about 2-3% of the population able to channel in one way or another, while in the modern world that number is down to about 1-2%.

Jason Denzel

Update: Robert Jordan sent me an email correcting this statement:

Robert Jordan

I went back to look at the article again and check something I thought I recalled. If I said the current population has about 1% to 2% who can learn to channel, then I misspoke, because I have set that figure at abo

ut 1%.

We do have the interview from RJ, but afaik, we don't know exact population numbers of countries in any of the books, so I don't see how we could extrapolate the percentages without RJ's interview.

 

 

What I actually mean is: how many people can be taught to channel for each person who is born with the ability and will channel regardless?

 

 

In terms of population we have this:

 

Interview: Dec 5th, 2000                                                           

WH Signing Report - Br00se (Paraphrased)                                           

Br00se                                                                                

The next question dealt with the sizes of the countries and cities.

 

Robert Jordan                                                                                   

 

The larger cities had between 300K and 600K. Tar Valon has 700K people. Andor has a population of 10 million.

Can't recall if we have ever received a learner v. sparker ratio.

As a side point, you mention that BS didn't do enough rewrites. It is my understanding that 8 drafts were done. Perhaps that isn't enough, I'm not a writer, so I can't offer an educated opinion. It does seem to me that BS writing style is dramatically different than that of RJ's, and that may have been an even bigger factor than the lack of rewrites, though admittedly, I'm no expert.

We know this for fact. There were nowhere near 8 for TGS and ToM. In addtition per Brandon's own words his draft style is to just "slap words down" on a page leading to drafts that are extremely rough. Post ToM Team Jordan addressed the lack of polish/mistakes and changed his writing process to make it more like RJ's by adding more drafts. That is where you may have gotten 8(although I don't think it was even that many for AMoL.) The mess that was ToM caused too many headaches and they said they had to get AMoL "right". Exasperating the issue is Brandon's admission that his prose isn't close to RJ's in quality, the fact that these books were far too rushed and he was working on WoK at the same time. When combining the above issues you can see quite clearly where the problems came in. Edited by Suttree

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I've always thought that the channeling ability as a genetic trait was a corner that Jordan painted himself into.  Didn't he also say that channeling was tied to the soul (e.g., A'rangar)?  If that's so, then there are only so many souls that can channel and you shouldn't be able to breed more of them.  It's also a contradiction: Is the trait tied to the soul or to genetics.  I have a hard time seeing how it could be both.

This also, what i dont get is moghedian is a relativly weak forsaken with the abudnance of channelers in the age of legends wouldnt their have been more powerful forsaken then her. Blah blah blah i know the whole greed exscuse (which makes little sense if he was scared of them betraying him why not just 13x13). Why didnt the DO transmigrate tons of his old lost choson instead of only bringing back a couple of them once rand had killed them. The dark ones power is flawed earlier in the series.

Edited by NitroS

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>>>>>>As a side point, you mention that BS didn't do enough rewrites. It is my understanding that 8 drafts were done. Perhaps that isn't enough, I'm not a writer, so I can't offer an educated opinion. It does seem to me that BS writing style is dramatically different than that of RJ's, and that may have been an even bigger factor than the lack of rewrites, though admittedly, I'm no expert.

We know this for fact. There were nowhere near 8 for TGS and ToM. In addtition per Brandon's own words his draft style is to just "slap words down" on a page leading to drafts that are extremely rough. Post ToM Team Jordan addressed the lack of polish/mistakes and changed his writing process to make it more like RJ's by adding more drafts. That is where you may have gotten 8(although I don't think it was even that many for AMoL.) The mess that was ToM caused too many headaches and they said they had to get AMoL "right". Exasperating the issue is Brandon's admission that his prose isn't close to RJ's in quality, the fact that these books were far too rushed and he was working on WoK at the same time. When combining the above issues you can see quite clearly where the problems came in.

 

I got the info from tweets from BS. Although it only says the 8 rewrites were for AMoL

Edited by dir ehlef

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Transmigration has been shown clearly to have severe limitations and probably not of much use in the War of Power when you have a steady supply of channellers working for the DO. Those that died then would likely be seen as not useful enough to bring back, since they died once already. When you have a far more limited supply in the 3rd Age, suddenly it is worth the time and effort to preserve them.

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I got the info from tweets from BS. Although it only says the 8 rewrites were for AMoL

Ahh that makes sense based on the changes they announced to the process pre-AMoL.

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I got the info from tweets from BS. Although it only says the 8 rewrites were for AMoL

Ahh that makes sense based on the changes they announced to the process pre-AMoL.

 

Wait! Just found this on his twitter archive [ on his website. ]

 

BrandSanderson Wed Dec 21,2011

@vivalaye0 I've done a dozen drafts each of the previous two books. That kind of thing takes a little bit of time . . . 

 

and regarding AMoL

 

BrandSanderson Wed Jun 13, 2012

For those asking, about two manuscript pages become one final hardcover

page. (Though it varies.) I'm planning seven or eight drafts total.

Edited by dir ehlef

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@dir

 

Thanks for pulling those. To put things in perspective we know that Harriet wouldn't even see RJ's work until he had done 12 drafts and then the editing process would start.

 

Hmm the above Twitter quotes don't make much sense. He did 12 drafts each for TGS and ToM but only 8 for AMoL?

 

Here is what I was referring to with the change of the process.

 

TJ

That was the case with THE GATHERING STORM and TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, but it's not how they're doing A MEMORY OF LIGHT. Instead, Brandon is writing a complete draft and then doing a revision or two before sending a polished draft to Team Jordan on December 31st (and that will be the first draft they see). This is more like Robert Jordan's process; he never showed anything to Harriet until it was finished. This does mean editing and revision will take longer, but rushing TOWERS caused a ton of headaches and stress, and Team Jordan and Brandon all want to avoid that this time. They have to get things RIGHT in this final book.

Edited by Suttree

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@dir

 

Thanks for pulling those. To put things in perspective we know that Harriet wouldn't even see RJ's work until he had done 12 drafts and then the editing process would start.

 

Hmm the above Twitter quotes don't make much sense. He did 12 drafts each for TGS and ToM but only 8 for AMoL?

 

Here is what I was referring to with the change of the process.

 

TJ

That was the case with THE GATHERING STORM and TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, but it's not how they're doing A MEMORY OF LIGHT. Instead, Brandon is writing a complete draft and then doing a revision or two before sending a polished draft to Team Jordan on December 31st (and that will be the first draft they see). This is more like Robert Jordan's process; he never showed anything to Harriet until it was finished. This does mean editing and revision will take longer, but rushing TOWERS caused a ton of headaches and stress, and Team Jordan and Brandon all want to avoid that this time. They have to get things RIGHT in this final book.

I don't claim it makes sense, but the quotes are right from the source. Took me about 40 minutes to find them BTW. At least, I see that BS did do some revisions. I'd assume that BS's style/prose was an even bigger factor in the issues than the number of drafts. [ IE, some people are very careful and meticulous in putting anything in writing, others write and rely on correcting issues later.]

 

Where does it say that RJ did 12 drafts before showing Harriet?

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I've always thought that the channeling ability as a genetic trait was a corner that Jordan painted himself into.  Didn't he also say that channeling was tied to the soul (e.g., A'rangar)?  If that's so, then there are only so many souls that can channel and you shouldn't be able to breed more of them.  It's also a contradiction: Is the trait tied to the soul or to genetics.  I have a hard time seeing how it could be both.

This also, what i dont get is moghedian is a relativly weak forsaken with the abudnance of channelers in the age of legends wouldnt their have been more powerful forsaken then her. Blah blah blah i know the whole greed exscuse (which makes little sense if he was scared of them betraying him why not just 13x13). Why didnt the DO transmigrate tons of his old lost choson instead of only bringing back a couple of them once rand had killed them. The dark ones power is flawed earlier in the series.

@rane008 There are a huge number of souls that can channel, there were far more people living in the AOL than in Rand's time. All those souls can be reborn into new bodies that have been bred. 

As to your paradox, it could be that only a body with the correct genetics can accept/be attached to a soul that has channeling abilities. Think of it like a heart transplant, the recipient body needs to be able to accept the donated heart.

 

@NitroS I assumed that transmigration has to happen soon after the soul has died for the DO to insert it into a new body, if too long has passed, then the DO can't stick it in a new body.

 

As to Moghedien, she may have been among the weakest surviving forsaken, but all 13 [ including her ] were among the most powerful of the original forsaken. 

Edited by dir ehlef

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@dir

 

Thanks for pulling those. To put things in perspective we know that Harriet wouldn't even see RJ's work until he had done 12 drafts and then the editing process would start.

 

Hmm the above Twitter quotes don't make much sense. He did 12 drafts each for TGS and ToM but only 8 for AMoL?

 

Here is what I was referring to with the change of the process.

 

TJ

That was the case with THE GATHERING STORM and TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, but it's not how they're doing A MEMORY OF LIGHT. Instead, Brandon is writing a complete draft and then doing a revision or two before sending a polished draft to Team Jordan on December 31st (and that will be the first draft they see). This is more like Robert Jordan's process; he never showed anything to Harriet until it was finished. This does mean editing and revision will take longer, but rushing TOWERS caused a ton of headaches and stress, and Team Jordan and Brandon all want to avoid that this time. They have to get things RIGHT in this final book.

 

I don't claim it makes sense, but the quotes are right from the source. Took me about 40 minutes to find them BTW. At least, I see that BS did do some revisions. I'd assume that BS's style/prose was an even bigger factor in the issues than the number of drafts. [ IE, some people are very careful and meticulous in putting anything in writing, others write and rely on correcting issues later.]

 

Where does it say that RJ did 12 drafts before showing Harriet?

Here you go...

 

Interview: Nov 13th, 2009                                                           

TGS Signing Report - Tiffany Franklin (Paraphrased)

                                           

...RJ wasn't like that. He wouldn't show it to Harriet until he'd done twelve drafts.

 

Btw here is the best place to pull quotes.

 

http://www.theoryland.com/wheel-of-time-interview-search.php

 

Might shave a bit off that 40 time. :wink:

This also, what i dont get is moghedian is a relativly weak forsaken with the abudnance of channelers in the age of legends wouldnt their have been more powerful forsaken then her. Blah blah blah i know the whole greed exscuse (which makes little sense if he was scared of them betraying him why not just 13x13). Why didnt the DO transmigrate tons of his old lost choson instead of only bringing back a couple of them once rand had killed them. The dark ones power is flawed earlier in the series.

There is no flaw. It just doesn't seem as if you are clear on how transmigration works.

 

Interview: Apr 20th, 2004

TOR Questions of the Week Part I (Verbatim)

Week 3 Question (Matt Hatch)

There are many theories that attempt to create a connection of time duration to the transmigration of the dead Forsaken. Are there time and/or power constraints on the Dark One's ability to transmigrate souls?

Robert Jordan

 

There are definitely time constraints on the Dark One's power to transmigrate a soul. The soul doesn't have to be secured immediately—that is, the Dark One doesn't have to be ready to snatch the soul at the instant of death—but the longer that passes after the death, the less chance that the Dark One will be able to secure the soul. Someone who has been killed with balefire in actuality died before the apparent time of his or her death, and thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small. Remember that the more balefire is used, the further back the target's thread is burned out of the Pattern.

 

After the soul is secured, then a suitable body must be acquired and stripped of the (former) owner's memory and soul to make way for the favored one. By the way, what constitutes a suitable body from the Dark One's perspective is not that of the recipient. Certainly Aginor would never have chosen to be reincarnated in his, shall we say, less than imposing body, nor would the womanizing Balthamel have chosen to be reincarnated as a beautiful woman. It was only chance that Moridin ended up in a body that is young, fairly good looking and physically imposing. Those things simply don't matter to the Dark One. But the body has to be basically healthy and sound, and neither too young nor too old. After all, the Dark One wants his servants to be effective, and a body that meets those basic requirements is more desirable than one that doesn't. Since there is no stockpile of such bodies, the only way for someone to die and immediately be reincarnated would be a matter of pure chance. That is, the death occurred when a suitable body was on hand for some other reason.

 

There are a few other limits and constraints, but I won't go into them here, since I may want to use them in the books, and I would rather they come as a surprise if I do.

 

As for Mogi we know there were other forsaken but they weren't caught in the sealing as she was.

 

RJ

In large part the thirteen were remembered because they were trapped at Shayol Ghul, and so their names became part of that story, though it turned out that details of them, stories of them, survived wide-spread knowledge of the tale of the actual sealing itself. Just that they had been sealed away. Other Forsaken were left behind, so to speak, free but in a world that was rapidly sliding down the tube. The men eventually went mad and died from the same taint that killed off the other male Aes Sedai. They had no access to the Dark One's protective filters. The women died, too, though from age or in battle or from natural disasters created by insane male Aes Sedai or from diseases that could no longer be controlled because civilization itself had been destroyed and access to those who were skilled in Healing was all but gone. And soon after their deaths, their names were forgotten, except for what might possibly be discovered in some ancient manuscript fragment that survived the Breaking. A bleak story of people who deserved no better, and not worth telling in any detail.

Edited by Suttree

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I've always thought that the channeling ability as a genetic trait was a corner that Jordan painted himself into.  Didn't he also say that channeling was tied to the soul (e.g., A'rangar)?  If that's so, then there are only so many souls that can channel and you shouldn't be able to breed more of them.  It's also a contradiction: Is the trait tied to the soul or to genetics.  I have a hard time seeing how it could be both

 

As to Moghedien, she may have been among the weakest surviving forsaken, but all 13 [ including her ] were among the most powerful of the original forsaken. 

This is what seems so strange to me if they had so many channelers back then and the aes sedai act like they are way weaker and less capable then the previous ages aes sedai, then you would think that their would be alot more stronger channelers. In the space of 10 years alone we have Logain, Rand and Taim all close to equal to the strongest forsaken.

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@dir

 

Thanks for pulling those. To put things in perspective we know that Harriet wouldn't even see RJ's work until he had done 12 drafts and then the editing process would start.

 

Hmm the above Twitter quotes don't make much sense. He did 12 drafts each for TGS and ToM but only 8 for AMoL?

 

Here is what I was referring to with the change of the process.

 

TJ

That was the case with THE GATHERING STORM and TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, but it's not how they're doing A MEMORY OF LIGHT. Instead, Brandon is writing a complete draft and then doing a revision or two before sending a polished draft to Team Jordan on December 31st (and that will be the first draft they see). This is more like Robert Jordan's process; he never showed anything to Harriet until it was finished. This does mean editing and revision will take longer, but rushing TOWERS caused a ton of headaches and stress, and Team Jordan and Brandon all want to avoid that this time. They have to get things RIGHT in this final book.

 

I don't claim it makes sense, but the quotes are right from the source. Took me about 40 minutes to find them BTW. At least, I see that BS did do some revisions. I'd assume that BS's style/prose was an even bigger factor in the issues than the number of drafts. [ IE, some people are very careful and meticulous in putting anything in writing, others write and rely on correcting issues later.]

 

Where does it say that RJ did 12 drafts before showing Harriet?

Here you go...

 

>Interview: Nov 13th, 2009                                                           

TGS Signing Report - Tiffany Franklin (Paraphrased)

                                           

...RJ wasn't like that. He wouldn't show it to Harriet until he'd done twelve drafts.

 

Btw here is the best place to pull quotes.

 

http://www.theoryland.com/wheel-of-time-interview-search.php

 

Might shave a bit off that 40 time. :wink:

This also, what i dont get is moghedian is a relativly weak forsaken with the abudnance of channelers in the age of legends wouldnt their have been more powerful forsaken then her. Blah blah blah i know the whole greed exscuse (which makes little sense if he was scared of them betraying him why not just 13x13). Why didnt the DO transmigrate tons of his old lost choson instead of only bringing back a couple of them once rand had killed them. The dark ones power is flawed earlier in the series.

There is no flaw. It just doesn't seem as if you are clear on how transmigration works.

 

Interview: Apr 20th, 2004

TOR Questions of the Week Part I (Verbatim)

Week 3 Question (Matt Hatch)

There are many theories that attempt to create a connection of time duration to the transmigration of the dead Forsaken. Are there time and/or power constraints on the Dark One's ability to transmigrate souls?

Robert Jordan

 

There are definitely time constraints on the Dark One's power to transmigrate a soul. The soul doesn't have to be secured immediately—that is, the Dark One doesn't have to be ready to snatch the soul at the instant of death—but the longer that passes after the death, the less chance that the Dark One will be able to secure the soul. Someone who has been killed with balefire in actuality died before the apparent time of his or her death, and thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small. Remember that the more balefire is used, the further back the target's thread is burned out of the Pattern.

 

After the soul is secured, then a suitable body must be acquired and stripped of the (former) owner's memory and soul to make way for the favored one. By the way, what constitutes a suitable body from the Dark One's perspective is not that of the recipient. Certainly Aginor would never have chosen to be reincarnated in his, shall we say, less than imposing body, nor would the womanizing Balthamel have chosen to be reincarnated as a beautiful woman. It was only chance that Moridin ended up in a body that is young, fairly good looking and physically imposing. Those things simply don't matter to the Dark One. But the body has to be basically healthy and sound, and neither too young nor too old. After all, the Dark One wants his servants to be effective, and a body that meets those basic requirements is more desirable than one that doesn't. Since there is no stockpile of such bodies, the only way for someone to die and immediately be reincarnated would be a matter of pure chance. That is, the death occurred when a suitable body was on hand for some other reason.

 

There are a few other limits and constraints, but I won't go into them here, since I may want to use them in the books, and I would rather they come as a surprise if I do.

 

As for Mogi we know there were other forsaken but they weren't caught in the sealing as she was.

 

RJ

In large part the thirteen were remembered because they were trapped at Shayol Ghul, and so their names became part of that story, though it turned out that details of them, stories of them, survived wide-spread knowledge of the tale of the actual sealing itself. Just that they had been sealed away. Other Forsaken were left behind, so to speak, free but in a world that was rapidly sliding down the tube. The men eventually went mad and died from the same taint that killed off the other male Aes Sedai. They had no access to the Dark One's protective filters. The women died, too, though from age or in battle or from natural disasters created by insane male Aes Sedai or from diseases that could no longer be controlled because civilization itself had been destroyed and access to those who were skilled in Healing was all but gone. And soon after their deaths, their names were forgotten, except for what might possibly be discovered in some ancient manuscript fragment that survived the Breaking. A bleak story of people who deserved no better, and not worth telling in any detail.

 

Interesting, how did the dark one manage to give access to Ishy to be protected from the taint when he was free but not the others? when he was locked away imprisoned.

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I like to think that during Rand's time, the pattern was trying to correct itself and rebalance itself somewhere on the same playing field as near the the AoL. Thats why you see more powerful channelers emerge, more False Dragons, the rediscovery of lost talents... Things are rapidly becoming what they "were". Youre going to get powerful channelers on both sides of the battle. Perhaps Mogheiden isnt the most powerful of all the Dark Channelers, but Im sure she has other qualities the DO finds important enough to keep around, intelligence, loyalty, resourcefulness, etc.

 

Its a tough balance bc you want the Forsaken to be "legenday" in strength/reputation, but then again you need them to be actually mortal and defeatable at the same time...

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I've always thought that the channeling ability as a genetic trait was a corner that Jordan painted himself into.  Didn't he also say that channeling was tied to the soul (e.g., A'rangar)?  If that's so, then there are only so many souls that can channel and you shouldn't be able to breed more of them.  It's also a contradiction: Is the trait tied to the soul or to genetics.  I have a hard time seeing how it could be both.

This also, what i dont get is moghedian is a relativly weak forsaken with the abudnance of channelers in the age of legends wouldnt their have been more powerful forsaken then her. Blah blah blah i know the whole greed exscuse (which makes little sense if he was scared of them betraying him why not just 13x13). Why didnt the DO transmigrate tons of his old lost choson instead of only bringing back a couple of them once rand had killed them. The dark ones power is flawed earlier in the series.

@rane008 There are a huge number of souls that can channel, there were far more people living in the AOL than in Rand's time. All those souls can be reborn into new bodies that have been bred. 

As to your paradox, it could be that only a body with the correct genetics can accept/be attached to a soul that has channeling abilities. Think of it like a heart transplant, the recipient body needs to be able to accept the donated heart.

 

@NitroS I assumed that transmigration has to happen soon after the soul has died for the DO to insert it into a new body, if too long has passed, then the DO can't stick it in a new body.

 

As to Moghedien, she may have been among the weakest surviving forsaken, but all 13 [ including her ] were among the most powerful of the original forsaken. 

See I can't really buy this.  Does this mean there are thousands of souls out there just waiting to be reborn, but they can't because there is the correct genetic sequence?  Further, if the percentage of the population that could channel goes up, then do the souls that can't just wait for thousands of years to be reborn?  Presumedly there are souls that have been waiting for tens of thousands of years to be reborn because there are either too many or too few with the channeling gene?  I guess this is what happens when you try to incorporate science into religion. 

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I've always thought that the channeling ability as a genetic trait was a corner that Jordan painted himself into.  Didn't he also say that channeling was tied to the soul (e.g., A'rangar)?  If that's so, then there are only so many souls that can channel and you shouldn't be able to breed more of them.  It's also a contradiction: Is the trait tied to the soul or to genetics.  I have a hard time seeing how it could be both.

This also, what i dont get is moghedian is a relativly weak forsaken with the abudnance of channelers in the age of legends wouldnt their have been more powerful forsaken then her. Blah blah blah i know the whole greed exscuse (which makes little sense if he was scared of them betraying him why not just 13x13). Why didnt the DO transmigrate tons of his old lost choson instead of only bringing back a couple of them once rand had killed them. The dark ones power is flawed earlier in the series.

@rane008 There are a huge number of souls that can channel, there were far more people living in the AOL than in Rand's time. All those souls can be reborn into new bodies that have been bred. 

As to your paradox, it could be that only a body with the correct genetics can accept/be attached to a soul that has channeling abilities. Think of it like a heart transplant, the recipient body needs to be able to accept the donated heart.

 

@NitroS I assumed that transmigration has to happen soon after the soul has died for the DO to insert it into a new body, if too long has passed, then the DO can't stick it in a new body.

 

As to Moghedien, she may have been among the weakest surviving forsaken, but all 13 [ including her ] were among the most powerful of the original forsaken. 

See I can't really buy this.  Does this mean there are thousands of souls out there just waiting to be reborn, but they can't because there is the correct genetic sequence?  Further, if the percentage of the population that could channel goes up, then do the souls that can't just wait for thousands of years to be reborn?  Presumedly there are souls that have been waiting for tens of thousands of years to be reborn because there are either too many or too few with the channeling gene?  I guess this is what happens when you try to incorporate science into religion. 

@rane008 I don't see why every soul has to be in use. There indeed may be many on hold for when they are needed. Indeed those souls can wait for many lifetimes before they are reborn, it isn't like they're going hungry or spoiling while they are not in a body.

 

Besides, even if though there are many more souls than there are living people, it still would mean that over the course of an age, which would include many lifetimes, most, if not all souls would eventually be reborn. 

 

If anything, you might ask the question from the other side. If there are a limited number of souls, say 100 million,[ as an example ] what happens if all of them are in use in an age where the total population is above 100 million? Are new souls created?

 

@Sutree You quoted 

 

 

RJ

Quote

In large part the thirteen were remembered because they were trapped at Shayol Ghul, and so their names became part of that story, though it turned out that details of them, stories of them, survived wide-spread knowledge of the tale of the actual sealing itself. Just that they had been sealed away. Other Forsaken were left behind, so to speak, free but in a world that was rapidly sliding down the tube. The men eventually went mad and died from the same taint that killed off the other male Aes Sedai. They had no access to the Dark One's protective filters. The women died, too, though from age or in battle or from natural disasters created by insane male Aes Sedai or from diseases that could no longer be controlled because civilization itself had been destroyed and access to those who were skilled in Healing was all but gone. And soon after their deaths, their names were forgotten, except for what might possibly be discovered in some ancient manuscript fragment that survived the Breaking. A bleak story of people who deserved no better, and not worth telling in any detail.

If that is the case, how does it reconcile with what Asmodean told Rand after Rand cut his connection to the DO, that now that he was as susceptible to the taint as any other male. Was it not that connection which protected the forsaken? Thus the leftover forsaken who were not sealed in the bore would have still had the connection, and remained protected?

 

Here's the quote from FoH [Asmodean talking to Rand]

 

As for me, I intend to open my veins the hour I know he is free. If I get the chance. A quick death is better than what I’ll find elsewhere.” He tossed the blankets aside and sat staring glumly at nothing. “Better than going mad, certainly. I’m as subject to that as you, now. You broke the bonds that protected me.”

 

And from KOD 

 

Forsaken, the: The name given to thirteen powerful Aes Sedai, men and women both, who went over to the Shadow during the Age of Legends and were trapped in the sealing of the Bore into the Dark One's prison. While it has long been believed that they alone abandoned the Light during the War of the Shadow, in fact others did as well; these thirteen were only the highest-ranking among them.

 

It would follow that the others should also have been protected.

Edited by dir ehlef

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About Ishy... I'm not sure that he was given protection while before the bore weakened. However, he was partially trapped, appearing only a few times per century. Perhaps the fact that he was mad by the first few novels is a a reflection of his small brushes with channelling tainted saidin over the eons.

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About Ishy... I'm not sure that he was given protection while before the bore weakened. However, he was partially trapped, appearing only a few times per century. Perhaps the fact that he was mad by the first few novels is a a reflection of his small brushes with channelling tainted saidin over the eons.

See my quote from Asmodean that it did protect the Forsaken.

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@dir

 

There was no need for protection pre SASG and we have no idea when it was started up by the DO. Clearly it wasn't in place during the Breaking.

Edited by Suttree

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@dir

 

There was no need for protection pre SASG and we have no idea when it was started up by the DO. Clearly it wasn't in place during the Breaking.

Of course there was no need for protection, that is only a byproduct of binding the soul to the DO.

 

I was under the impression that "abandoning the Light" was done through binding the soul to the DO, otherwise all the forsaken are just top level dreadlords and darkfriends. 

Edited by dir ehlef

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