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Barid Bel Medar

[Weekly Topic] The Mystery of Mesaana

Danelle = Mesaana  

26 members have voted

  1. 1. Did you guess before the reveal?

    • Yes.
      6
    • No.
      20
  2. 2. Were the clues given sufficient to figure it out before the reveal?

    • Yes.
      17
    • No.
      9
  3. 3. Did Mesaana do well in choosing and imitating Danelle?

    • Yes.
      26
    • No.
      0


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This week isn't so much a long essay as an answer to a question many may find interesting. 

 

It was a long standing question in the WoT. We knew Mesaana was in the White Tower posing as an Aes Sedai, but who? 

 

In ToM, it is revealed that she was posing as Danelle of the Brown Ajah. 

 

Many people had already guessed correctly prior to the revelation, but many people were also asking: Who on earth is Danelle, and how did people have any idea? 

 

Here is a compilation of the clues that led to people to believe Mesaana was Danelle. 

 

The first is physical appearances:

 

Mesaana is described in the BWB as " a woman of average height and appearance...hard headed, practical and intelligent, though often taken for being dreamy..." 

In KoD 3, Aran'gar adds to the description. "Mesaana's big blue eyes narrowed. They were her best feature, yet only ordinary when she frowned." 

 

Danelle: In tSR 47 Suian describes her as young with big blue eyes, noted for being especially dreamy, even for a Brown. 

 

Similarly, Elaida describes her in FoH prologue as having big blue eyes, slight and "often seemingly lost in a dream." 

 

Obvious similarities there. 

 

In addition to appearances, we can add her clothing. When Mesaana visits Aliviarin in PoD 25, her illusion is a bit crap, and she sees that she wears a brown fringed dress. Obvious implications being "Brown Ajah," of which Danelle is a member. 

 

But...that's hardly damning evidence just because she looks like someone, right? 

 

There is more, Danelle's actions

 

The first mention of Danelle is, perhaps fittingly, in TSR47 with Suian's deposition.

 

At the start of Suian's PoV, she is irritated that Danelle of the Brown Ajah hired too many (200) men to work on the library.

A little time later, Elaida appears to depose her, where it is noted Danelle is in tow with Alviarin.

 

As it turns out, these "workers" turn out to be hired soldiers participate in the fighting that breaks out in the Tower. 

 

In the ensuing books, Danelle is mentioned twice in Elaida's councils (FoH prologue and LoC 7) where she reports on Pedron Niall, the fighting in Shienar. 

 

In the latter, Suian finds a letter from Danelle to Elaida that states Mattin Stepaneos has "accepted the offer" while Roedran, Alliandre and Tylin are still considering. We later learn that Mattin Stepaneos was in fact kidnapped by the "White Tower" two days before Rand attacks Sammael. He is particularly incensed about the treatment he received from the Aes Sedai. 

 

Further, if we want to go into more subtle hints, Danelle is the first sister Alviarin sees, apparently lost in thought, after she leaves Elaida in aCoS prologue. Alviarin briefly thinks about how Danelle helped Elaida depose Suian, but doesn't know she has been forgotten. (which is exactly what Mesaana wants) Of course right after this, when Alviarin returns to her rooms, she receives a visit from Mesaana.  In this meeting, two things are pointed out. The first is that Alviarin summizes that Mesaana is somehow hiding her ability to channel. The second is that Mesaana had eavesdropped on the meeting with Elaida. 

 

Put two and two together, we have a similar looking Danelle the first Sister she encounters, and we are given an explanation as to how Mesaana eavesdropped. (although it is not directly mentioned about inverted weaves, the hint is there with the disguised ability. 

 

 

IN addition, we have some less "hard evidence" hints and more logical theme and character traits. 

 

Mesaana turned to the Shadow because she was refused a place at the Collam Dan as a researcher, and was demoted to a teacher. She didn't like that, she was fascinated with cutting edge research but also a very good teacher  (recall Mesaana's Children). 

 

Choosing a Brown Sister - those dedicated to research, was something that Mesaana would most likely do. She would like the idea of being respected as a Brown "researcher" type. She would also be thinking that, as a schrolar, the Brown was the easiest for her to pull off. She didn't really have to act much, because she WAS really a Brown. It would have been much harder to masquerade as a Green or a Blue, whose MO's are not Mesaana's interests or talents. She is a scholar posing as a scholar. 

 

A very minor point, but possibly interesting. The "masons" were called in to "work" on a library. Considering the above history of Mesaana, this is thematically appropriate, if not exactly astounding (or even intentional on RJ's part). Obviously, this can be passed of as Danelle as a Brown would be most focused on a library rather than the Tower Guard, but still, it is a nice little piece where it conforms with Mesaana's personality. 

 

 

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I think her choice of Danelle was very good. 

 

The clues were probably sufficient, but I've never really read the BWB, so would have missed the description section, but probably wouldn't have paid it to much mind, as I'd have assumed she was in disguise.

 

I'd got as far as she's brown Ajah, but never any further...

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I have to confess that I had no idea who Mesaana was masquerading as, but when I look at the list of clues you've compiled above it does seem like there was plenty for the keen observer to notice.  I read the books as they came out, without doing much re-reading, so I had trouble keeping track of the numerous Aes Sedai, and didn't remember little comments and tips from book to book.  I think if I had re-read the series after finding out that Mesaana was hiding in the White Tower I might have spotted the clues as I would have been on the look out for a suspicious Brown Sister.

 

I think Mesaana did an excellent job hiding as Danelle.  Of all the Forsaken I think she was one of the most effective despite not getting much screen time or development.  She was very successful in promoting chaos and conflict within the White Tower and if Perrin hadn't moved the dreamspike she might have killed Egwene (plus Nynaeve, Siuan, Leane, and the Wise Ones).  I don't think we ever found out exactly the nature of the trap she had planned for Egwene/them.  The only thing that slightly undermines her achievements is that the White Tower seemed to loose importance as the series progressed - in terms of fighters for the Last Battle, the Kin, Aiel, and Seanchan all had more channellers, and the Asha'man had as more/as many who were better in combat.  Plus there were however many Windfinders as well.  And in terms of their importance on the political world stage, they also fell somewhat as the series progressed, with Rand and the Seanchan gaining control of nations. 

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I have to confess that I had no idea who Mesaana was masquerading as, but when I look at the list of clues you've compiled above it does seem like there was plenty for the keen observer to notice.  I read the books as they came out, without doing much re-reading, so I had trouble keeping track of the numerous Aes Sedai, and didn't remember little comments and tips from book to book.  I think if I had re-read the series after finding out that Mesaana was hiding in the White Tower I might have spotted the clues as I would have been on the look out for a suspicious Brown Sister.

 

I think Mesaana did an excellent job hiding as Danelle.  Of all the Forsaken I think she was one of the most effective despite not getting much screen time or development.  She was very successful in promoting chaos and conflict within the White Tower and if Perrin hadn't moved the dreamspike she might have killed Egwene (plus Nynaeve, Siuan, Leane, and the Wise Ones).  I don't think we ever found out exactly the nature of the trap she had planned for Egwene/them.  The only thing that slightly undermines her achievements is that the White Tower seemed to loose importance as the series progressed - in terms of fighters for the Last Battle, the Kin, Aiel, and Seanchan all had more channellers, and the Asha'man had as more/as many who were better in combat.  Plus there were however many Windfinders as well.  And in terms of their importance on the political world stage, they also fell somewhat as the series progressed, with Rand and the Seanchan gaining control of nations. 

Yeah, this.  So many of the Aes Sedai were just background characters to me, I just didn't pay much attention to their details, because I knew I'd likely never see them again and I'd forget them anyway.

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