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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Nick Trano

Rereading the books can give you a whole new perspective.

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There's not much we know about the Gholam, we know Aginor made them as a perfected type of Shadowspawn. The Chosen are granted a Mark which allows them control over Shadowspawn. A Gholam only takes orders from one of the Chosen, so I'd say they were programmed to obey those with the mark. they would have been extremely careful to progam obedience into them, considering how dangerous they are. 

 

How they actually do this is beyond me. It may be a number of things. Something done with the One Power like compulsion. It could be because they are made with the TP, and thus have to obey the DO - through the Marked Chosen. 

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Then why put a Gholam in one?

 

I don't know but he wasn't preparing for a 3000 year sleep. I think the most logical explanation would be that he was experimenting with the Gholam, possibly finding out if it could survive a stay in the stasis box.  And I guess it really would not be too far fetched if he had but some lab tech in a stasis box as well.

 

 

I would put a Gholam in one too. Those bastards are dangerous and nasty. 

 

They likely only took them out of the stasis box for assassinations. I wouldn't let them roam around free. 

 

 

True, but the same can be said of all Shadowspawn and yet most of them are allowed to roam free.  I guess Trollocs and Fades are allowed to roam free because they want the to multiply and increase their numbers, while an army of Gholams is something even The Shadow would not want to unleash on the world.

Edited by Leopoled Boothe

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I'd argue yes.

 

We see trained soldiers capable of taking on a fade throughout the series.  They're hard to kill, but not impossible.  Gholams seem almost invincible.  The only reason that Mat (evidently an extremely skilled warrior - witness fight against Galad and Gawyn while very weak) survived was because of the medallion.

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Concerning the Gholam:

 

 
Interview: Jan 25th, 2005 Week 6 Question
How were the Gholams made? Were they created or bred like the Trollocs? How exactly are they controlled if they are immune to the One Power?
Robert Jordan
The gholam—singular and plural are the same—were created, not bred. Supposedly their creation involved making them so that they would be obedient to the Chosen, whoever they might be at any given time. This was an attempt at copying something that had turned up in Myrddraal, which seem incapable of disobeying one of the Chosen, possibly because of the use of the True Power in creation of the Trollocs, the parent stock of the Myrddraal. Even Aginor, who created the Trollocs, and thus indirectly the Myrddraal, was uncertain about the actual cause. (Becoming one of the Forsaken involves receiving a mark from the Dark One in return for your oaths; this mark is invisible and cannot be sensed by another human being, even another of the Forsaken, but it can be by certain non-human creatures, including Myrddraal and Draghkar among others. This may play a part in the Myrddraal's obedience but doesn't explain it completely.) This element in gholam has some flaws, however, as we have seen in a small measure. In any case, if I were you, I wouldn't try giving orders to a gholam unless I were one of the Forsaken.

 

 
 
Interview: Jun 27th, 1996
AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)
StuuuuBush
Was Mat right about the "snakelike" guy being a gholam, and if so, are we to assume that the bad guys are going to have as much trouble stopping one as the good guys?
Robert Jordan
I guess he was right. Because after all, his source for the information was Birgitte, who has some memories of the War of the Power. And yes, if a gholam decided to turn against one of the Forsaken, the Forsaken would certainly have as much difficulty in stopping the attack as any other person would. They were, after all, created for the sole purpose of assassinating Aes Sedai.
 

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So Fades were an unfortunate, or fortunate, depending on your allegiance, byproduct of the creation of Trollocs, I get that.  What about now?  Do some trollocs give birth to Fade babies (What a horrific mental image) now?  How are trollocs born, anyway?  I think I recall a brief blurb about frmale trollocs existing somewhere within the blight, but can't remember.

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So Fades were an unfortunate, or fortunate, depending on your allegiance, byproduct of the creation of Trollocs, I get that.  What about now?  Do some trollocs give birth to Fade babies (What a horrific mental image) now?  How are trollocs born, anyway?  I think I recall a brief blurb about frmale trollocs existing somewhere within the blight, but can't remember.

 

Yes, there are female trollocs in the blight and they actually enjoy being pregnant which is why there are so many trollocs.  Whether they give birth to litters or just a single offspring I do not know, but i suspect this may depend on the type of animal stock within a particular trolloc. Whatever the case they reproduce and a rather fast rate.  And yes, as I understand it Trollocs do occasionally give birth to baby Fades.  I sometimes wonder if there is such thing as a female Fade and if Fades themselves can sire offspring.  We know that they certainly are capable of raping human women.

Edited by Leopoled Boothe

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Baby Myrdraal...shiver

 

Follow up question..  Totally off the wallI know, but what if, let's say some intrepid adventurer kidnapped an infant trolloc or fade.  They then brought it back to Randland and attempted to raise it in a loving environment, what would happen.

They are shadowspawn yes, and created by evil.  But do we know for absolute fact that they are inherently evil?

 

There's an imaginary sequal novel growing in the back of my head...

A contingent of shadowspawn are raised in the light, and becopme a powerful nation of their own.  The story could focus on them a couple thousand years in the future, when the bore is opened again, as they must decide to fight the shadow or join it.

 

Sorry, just the ramblings of someone with an overactive imagination.

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Baby Myrdraal...shiver

 

Follow up question..  Totally off the wallI know, but what if, let's say some intrepid adventurer kidnapped an infant trolloc or fade.  They then brought it back to Randland and attempted to raise it in a loving environment, what would happen?

Don't try this at home, kids....  :wink:

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So Fades were an unfortunate, or fortunate, depending on your allegiance, byproduct of the creation of Trollocs, I get that.  What about now?  Do some trollocs give birth to Fade babies (What a horrific mental image) now?  How are trollocs born, anyway?  I think I recall a brief blurb about frmale trollocs existing somewhere within the blight, but can't remember.

 

Yes, there are female trollocs in the blight and they actually enjoy being pregnant which is why there are so many trollocs.  

 

Not that has ever been stated, here are afew quotes on the topic...

 

Interview: 1995 Pam Korda

And for the final one, the requisite "dirty question." Compare the length of this answer to the length of the previous two. I think he LIKES dirty questions. *sniff*

WARNING—NOT FAMILY NEWSFROUP MATERIAL. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.

Question

Where do Trollocs come from? Are there male and female Trollocs that mate? Are there only male Trollocs that mate with animals and/or humans to reproduce? Are Trollocs neuter, grown in a big vat at Shayol Ghul? Inquiring minds want to know!

Robert Jordan

You know the original source, of course...a blending of human and animal genetic material in an effort to produce the "perfect" soldier, though as envisioned by somebody who had never seen combat. Yes, there are female Trollocs, though you don't want to know more than that...there was a clear statement of this actually—that Trollocs breed—when where Myrddraal come from was explained. Sometimes a Trolloc off-spring is a throwback, but not all the way back to human, and twisted. Thus, eyeless but with keen vision, very strong indeed though not in Trolloc-class, able to vanish into shadows & reappear in other shadows.

There are no female Myrddraal; not even the laddie who made the Trollocs in the first place knew why...Myrddraal must have their "pleasures" with captured human women...there is no possibility of cross-breeding—it was tested, during the War of the Power, in the crudest sort of way; the Myrddraal isn't sterile, but its sperm kills both human and Trolloc ova—and the sex practices and other attributes of Myrddraal are such that a very strong woman might retain her sanity for six months, but very few do.

Pam Korda
(Did I ask about the sex practices of Myrddraal? No, I didn't think so.)
Robert Jordan
For the record, a Trolloc could also have sex with a human...they are now two completely incompatible species, so there isn't any possibility of offspring—the Forsaken tested that out too... Trollocs are just not interested in human women sexually; to them, humans are just another food animal... Trollocs are of fairly low intelligence (I told you the designer was never in combat), so they would think of it about as we would having sex with sheep, though they would do it if ordered to. They'd just like it better if they could eat her afterwards.
Pam Korda
I really, really, really did not want to know about the sexual practices of various Shadowspawn. So, be warned, anybody who thinks to ask a "dirty question."
 

 

  Interview: Jan 21st, 2003 Ajierene
I asked if there were any female Fades.
Robert Jordan
Again Mr. Jordan looked up (by that time he was about to sign the next book). He told me how one does not see women Trollocs since they are really just baby machines. Apparently they are barefoot and pregnant somewhere deep in the Blight. Fades are a throwback of Trollocs and no, no female Fades have ever been seen. OK, so the question was dodged a bit. His wife thought Fades were not gender specific, but Robert Jordan said they are. More food for thought.
 
As for the inherently evil question:
 
 
Interview: Jan 21st, 2003 Ajierene
I asked if Trollocs could ever do good.
Robert Jordan
He looked up from where he was about to sign my book and told me, "….Trollocs could do good as easily as you could cut up a baby. It just isn't in their nature." Food for thought, so to speak.
 
Edited by Suttree

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As for the inherently evil question:
 
 
Interview: Jan 21st, 2003 Ajierene
I asked if Trollocs could ever do good.
Robert Jordan
He looked up from where he was about to sign my book and told me, "….Trollocs could do good as easily as you could cut up a baby. It just isn't in their nature." Food for thought, so to speak.
 

 

 

Fair enough.  But I bet the normal humans raised in "The Town" could cut up a baby (as disturbing as that comparison is), because it now is in their nature.  Nature vs nurture, and all that.

I'm not trying to be obtuse, but I don't think RJ was answering that question in the same manner in which my question was meant.

 

A typical trolloc out of the blight...yes, they are evil to the bone.  But I still wonder what would happen if one was raised away from that environment.  Granted, I'm sure we'll never know, but still curious.

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As for the inherently evil question:
 
 
Interview: Jan 21st, 2003 Ajierene
I asked if Trollocs could ever do good.
Robert Jordan
He looked up from where he was about to sign my book and told me, "….Trollocs could do good as easily as you could cut up a baby. It just isn't in their nature." Food for thought, so to speak.
 

 

 

Fair enough.  But I bet the normal humans raised in "The Town" could cut up a baby (as disturbing as that comparison is), because it now is in their nature.  Nature vs nurture, and all that.

I'm not trying to be obtuse, but I don't think RJ was answering that question in the same manner in which my question was meant.

 

A typical trolloc out of the blight...yes, they are evil to the bone.  But I still wonder what would happen if one was raised away from that environment.  Granted, I'm sure we'll never know, but still curious.

 

 

 

 

Per RJ a trolloc is not as it isn't in their "nature". The BWB sheds a bit more light on that:

 

BWB

Trollocs simply did not have the crucial discipline, or the ability to take orders, that characterizes an efficient soldier. Instead, they had the instincts and drives of animals combined with the worst human characteristics and a very limited (by human standards) level of intelligence. They could perform only comparatively simple tasks, and they had extremely deceitful and unstable personalties...

Their lust for killing made it very difficult for their commanders to take live prisoners, or to use Trollocs in situations that required them to distinguish between friend and foe. It was easier to let the beast-men run free, killing—and often eating—whomever they found, than to use them where any restraint or discrimination was required. Trollocs were omnivorous, but preferred meat: animal, human, or even Trolloc—it did not matter.

Shadowsworn researchers struggled to find a way to make use of the Trollocs' few assets. There had to be a way to motivate and control these killing machines for the benefit of the Great Lord.

 

 

Lastly their souls and the fact that the TP was used in their creation logically should shut the door on the possibility of doing good:

 

 

Interview: Dec 9th, 2002Question

How does the idea of souls apply to constructs such as Nym and Trollocs? Could either of them be reborn?

Robert Jordan

To whoever put this one forward, this is one of the best questions I've ever gotten! Nym and Trollocs both have souls, and either could be reborn, but since Nym were a pure construct (i.e. each of them was individually made, like hand-crafting) a Nym would not be reborn as a Nym. You might say that a Nym's soul was borrowed temporarily from the supply of souls awaiting rebirth. A Trolloc, however, bears a twisted, or corrupted soul, and would be reborn as a Trolloc. Though frankly, a Trolloc's soul is such a pitiful thing, it hardly seems worth calling a soul.

 

 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
spoilers

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OK, bear with me here.

 

The trollocs were originally created through sue of the TP.  Got it.  But it isn't used to create new ones.  They are living creatures, and breed like living creatures do. 

 

As to the problems that the shadow had with them.  Undisciplined, eating people, etc.  Look at the conditions and environment they were raised in.  We see trollocs only in their end state, after who knows how many years of living like an animal.

 

Take the hypothetical of a human infant being raised by trollocs (however unlikely that is), that baby, as an adult, would not be recognizably human.  It would be vicious, and most likely cannabalistic.

 

I'm not saying I'm definitely right, and that I think trollocs for sure can be raised to be more or less "good,"  I just think it's a possiblility that would be interesting to explore.  And while they may not be able to govern themselves to any degree, what if they could be "domesticated," and put to work in construction, farming, etc?

 

There are certainly a few trollocs that survived the last battle.  In their weakened state, experiments might be possible...

 

All in all, I think you're probably right, they're hopeless, but it's fun to consider the possibilities

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Sorry Barid, Ill add spoiler tags if that's ok?

 

AMoL

 

Before he turned back to look at the floor, he caught sight of something more incongruous. A small, dirty face watching from the shadows of an alleyway across the street. Wide eyes but a furtive posture. Moridin's passing, and the coming of the thirteens, had driven the Samma N'Sei off the street. Where they were not, the urchins could go in some safety. Maybe.

Isam wanted to scream at the child to go. Tell it to run, to risk crossing the Blight. To die in the stomach of a Worm was better than to live in this Town, and suffer what it did to you. Go! Flee! Die!

 

 

The above relates to the nature v. nurture piece. Don't think a trolloc would be capable of that type of empathy. Especially given that their souls are essentially corrupted. A trolloc will only ever be reborn a trolloc.

Edited by Suttree

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Take the hypothetical of a human infant being raised by trollocs (however unlikely that is), that baby, as an adult, would not be recognizably human.  It would be vicious, and most likely cannabalistic.

 

 

 

 

 

I'd say the probability of that is somewhere in the area of 0%.  At best a Trolloc would allow a human infant to grow to full stature because a full grown human would provide more meat, but I doubt that even Narg would have the for-thought to come to that conclusion or the patience to allow it.  More in likely a human infant would become a light snack for the Trolloc and nothing more LOL

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Sorry Barid, Ill add spoiler tags if that's ok?

 

AMoL

 

Before he turned back to look at the floor, he caught sight of something more incongruous. A small, dirty face watching from the shadows of an alleyway across the street. Wide eyes but a furtive posture. Moridin's passing, and the coming of the thirteens, had driven the Samma N'Sei off the street. Where they were not, the urchins could go in some safety. Maybe.

 

Isam wanted to scream at the child to go. Tell it to run, to risk crossing the Blight. To die in the stomach of a Worm was better than to live in this Town, and suffer what it did to you. Go! Flee! Die!

 

 

 

The above relates to the nature v. nurture piece. Don't think a trolloc would be capable of that type of empathy. Especially given that their souls are essentially corrupted. A trolloc will only ever be reborn a trolloc.

 

Ah, but would he have been capable of that same empathy if he didn't spend so much time away from that particular place?  He knew what like was like on the other side.  Knwe what he was missing.

 

 

Take the hypothetical of a human infant being raised by trollocs (however unlikely that is), that baby, as an adult, would not be recognizably human.  It would be vicious, and most likely cannabalistic.

 

 

 

 

 

I'd say the probability of that is somewhere in the area of 0%.  At best a Trolloc would allow a human infant to grow to full stature because a full grown human would provide more meat, but I doubt that even Narg would have the for-thought to come to that conclusion or the patience to allow it.  More in likely a human infant would become a light snack for the Trolloc and nothing more LOL

 

 

I know that, the point wasn't to suggest the feasibility of a human infant surviving in the blight under the care of trollocs.  The point was just a juxtoposition to the concept of a trolloc being raised in the light.

IF a child were raised by trollocs, he would grow to be a monster.  Therefore, I think there's at least a possibility that a trolloc raised by humans may at least be not evil.  Still animalistic, maybe, but no more so than another tamed beast.

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That point concerning Slayer was really an aside.

 

The first RJ quote stating them doing good isn't in their nature combined with...

 

A Trolloc, however, bears a twisted, or corrupted soul, and would be reborn as a Trolloc. Though frankly, a Trolloc's soul is such a pitiful thing, it hardly seems worth calling a soul.

 

extremely deceitful and unstable personalties...

 

Makes it case closed in my opinion. There really is no counter to the above given the info we have.

Edited by Suttree

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Personnaly, I think there's wiggle room there, as I might attriubute their deceitful and unstable personalities to how they were raised - I doubt any dreadlord ever tried positive reinforcement on a trolloc, lol - but I don't want it to become an argument.

 

I'll settle with the notion that within known canon, it is highly unlikely or impossible.  The idea will live on in my imagination, though, lol.

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I don't know where I got the idea, but I was under the impression that Aridhol tried capturing, breeding and using Trollocs against the Shadow.  It should be possible for nominally Light-side forces to do that, using much the same tactics that Fain employed before he got his zombie-Trolloc powers, sheer force and brute intimidation.  But you'd have to constantly stay on top of them to keep them from wrecking stuff and eating each other.  So you could potentially use them for brute labor in mines or fields or as fodder in war, but you'd probably spend more on overseers and such to keep them in line than if you just paid people to do it in the first place.  And you'd have to kill any Myrddraal babies as soon as you found them, since they only obey the Forsaken, or spend an inordinate amount of time torturing them into submission and never really being able to trust them.

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I've never heard that concerning trollocs. We do know from the BWB:

 

Other nations fell from within. Such was the nation of Aridhol, once closely allied with Manetheren. Its capital city, also called Aridhol, fell to something dark that was not of the Shadow. King Balwen Mayel, known as Balwen Ironhand, in great despair over the course of the wars, gladly welcomed a man called Mordeth to his court; Mordeth won Balwen’s ear and mind; Aridhol would use the tactics of the Shadow against the Shadow. It is said that Aridhol festered under the poison Mordeth spread, turning in on itself to become hardened and cruel. Its people spoke of the Light while abandoning the Light. Eventually, their suspicion and hate created something unspeakably evil that began to feed on that which created it. Now nothing remains of the people and nation of Aridhol. The ruined city that was once known as Aridhol still stands, but it bears a new name: Shadar Logoth, the Place Where the Shadow Waits. The evil that was born there still lives, locked in the bedrock beneath the city, hungering for wayward souls. That evil has been named Mashadar. Late in the Trolloc Wars, an army of Trolloc, Myrddraal, Dreadlords and Darkfriends camped within the ruins. They never came out. Since that day, no Trolloc or Shadowspawn will willingly set foot in Shadar Logoth.

 

& interviews:

 

Interview: Nov 21st, 2009 Matt Hatch

Ok. You mentioned that Mordeth was a man that had "power". You are reported as saying that his power was that "which he got by seeking out all of the evil things that weren’t related to the Shadow"...

Brandon Sanderson

He was seeking things that were related to the Shadow. I think that that might be a misquote. He was looking into the power of the Shadow in order to defeat it, was his goal. He was looking into everything. He was looking into things that were not necessarily related to the Dark One as well. He was looking for everything that he could get...

Matt Hatch

..previous to him arriving to Aridhol?

Brandon Sanderson

...Yeah...

Matt Hatch

...before he went to the King and became the counselor, Mordeth was this guy that went around searching for Power?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he wanted to defeat the Dark One and he felt that he could find other ways to do it [...] He originally was good. He did not...he wasn’t this terrible person to begin with but he was looking to defeat the Dark One, to find a way to defeat the Shadow. And he looked into a lot of things he shouldn’t have looked into. There are evils that are not necessarily directly related to the Dark One, though everything evil kind of has...just as there are goods that are not related necessarily to the One Power...we are talking much as Perrin runs with wolves. This is a thing older than...there are other evils things that are old in a similar way...

Matt Hatch

...is the assumption then that he found one of these?

Brandon Sanderson

He did.

Matt Hatch

He found one or multiple?

Brandon Sanderson

He found many things of darkness. There is one in specific that is driving him but he knew too much. He found things he should not have gotten into and that is what turned him into...when he got there he was already corrupt. He still thought he was doing a good work. He still thought we are going to raise this Kingdom up and it is going to become this bastion against the Shadow, but he was already by then corrupted.

Matt Hatch

Is this same corrupting influence what corrupts everyone through the dagger itself?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Through him, yes. And even through his presence.

MATT HATCH

[Hah—Maybe I should have asked if Mordeth was under the influence of the Finns...or at the very least if they were one of the powers he found in his quest... ]

 

As an aside a later interview confirmed that Mordeth had made it in and out of Finnland and that is where some of the knowledge comes from.

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Well, like I said, I don't know where I got the idea.  It may have been someone else speculating on it.  But it does make sense that desperate and unscrupulous Light-siders would try to use Trollocs against the Shadow.  And I imagine the attempt could play a role in the corruption of the people making it.  Not just from the proximity to creatures made through use of the True Power, but also in the kinds of things you'd have to do to make that kind of situation workable.  People who have to constantly beat and intimidate their labor into submission and murder 5% of all their offspring are unlikely to remain pleasant, reasonable people.

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I totally agree with everything you've said in this post. I first started reading the books when I was 16 and I could relate to the three boys more than anyone else, but after subsequent re-reads I've found that Nynaeve is my favourite character of the entire series!

 

Also, "a godmode faction of evil douchebags" made me laugh out loud :rolleyes:

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