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tehpistolpete

The Wheel, Rebirth, and the Dark One (Full Spoilers)

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Hello. I'm new to this forum, clearly. I just finished A Memory of Light, and I'm a bit confused about something.

 

Since people are reborn over the ages, does that mean that Rand is reborn every third age, and seals away the Dark One the way he did every time? And every second age the bore is opened and Lews Therin seals it, goes insane, and taints saidin?

 

If this is the case, doesn't the Dark One, who never dies, know what Rand is going to do, and what Therin is going to do, and stop them?

 

I guess ultimately what I'm asking, is do these specific events happen every time the wheel goes through their respective ages? And if so, what are the ramifications for the Dark One making the same errors every time...

 

Thanks.

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The details change every time. Any two iterations of the same Age might seem the same from a distance, but the closer you look the more different they'll appear - get close enough and they won't look the same at all. In some Ages the Bore might not be drilled, in some Rand/LTT might die, and someone else has to finish things, or he goes dark and has to be killed, or he finds a different way to win. So no, these specific events are unique to this Age, and other iterations would play out differently, in big ways or small.

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The details change every time. Any two iterations of the same Age might seem the same from a distance, but the closer you look the more different they'll appear - get close enough and they won't look the same at all. In some Ages the Bore might not be drilled, in some Rand/LTT might die, and someone else has to finish things, or he goes dark and has to be killed, or he finds a different way to win. So no, these specific events are unique to this Age, and other iterations would play out differently, in big ways or small.

 

I'm not saying that you are wrong or trying to start and argument but I am curious to know where and how you came across this information.

 

I've always felt that the turning of the wheel must proceeded as you've described.  The only thing that seems to stand against this is Moridin's game piece, The Fisher.  When Moridin examines this game piece he notes some striking similarities to Rand and surmises that this may represent a memory that has survived a full turning of the wheel.  If this is true then is seems to imply that the ages do, in fact, repeat themselves verbatim.  I still agree that the ages are the same thematically with each turning of the wheel but differ greatly in detail. The Fisher does, however,  provide some food for thought.

Edited by Leopoled Boothe

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please do not get Mr Ares started because if you do you do so at your own peril and do not tell me later on that i did not warn you lol

 

I'm not trying to start an argument, as I said I agree with him on this point.  I just want to get his perspective on The Fisher. 

 

And yes, I do understand the risk involved, lol.

Edited by Leopoled Boothe

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The details change every time. Any two iterations of the same Age might seem the same from a distance, but the closer you look the more different they'll appear - get close enough and they won't look the same at all. In some Ages the Bore might not be drilled, in some Rand/LTT might die, and someone else has to finish things, or he goes dark and has to be killed, or he finds a different way to win. So no, these specific events are unique to this Age, and other iterations would play out differently, in big ways or small.

 

I'm not saying that you are wrong or trying to start and argument but I am curious to know where and how you came across this information.

 

I've always felt that the turning of the wheel must proceeded as you've described.  The only thing that seems to stand against this is Moridin's game piece, The Fisher.  When Moridin examines this game piece he notes some striking similarities to Rand and surmises that this may represent a memory that has survived a full turning of the wheel.  If this is true then is seems to imply that the ages do, in fact, repeat themselves verbatim.  I still agree that the ages are the same thematically with each turning of the wheel but differ greatly in detail. The Fisher does, however,  provide some food for thought.

 

 

Well, just because the whole Rand story has happened before doesn't mean it happens every time, or that it always happens in the Third Age. I mean, most of the events get repeated in one way or another. Plus, it could be that the Rand the Fisher piece is based on was actually blind. Who knows?

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The details change every time. Any two iterations of the same Age might seem the same from a distance, but the closer you look the more different they'll appear - get close enough and they won't look the same at all. In some Ages the Bore might not be drilled, in some Rand/LTT might die, and someone else has to finish things, or he goes dark and has to be killed, or he finds a different way to win. So no, these specific events are unique to this Age, and other iterations would play out differently, in big ways or small.

 

I'm not saying that you are wrong or trying to start and argument but I am curious to know where and how you came across this information.

 

I've always felt that the turning of the wheel must proceeded as you've described.  The only thing that seems to stand against this is Moridin's game piece, The Fisher.  When Moridin examines this game piece he notes some striking similarities to Rand and surmises that this may represent a memory that has survived a full turning of the wheel.  If this is true then is seems to imply that the ages do, in fact, repeat themselves verbatim.  I still agree that the ages are the same thematically with each turning of the wheel but differ greatly in detail. The Fisher does, however,  provide some food for thought.

 

 

There are quotes out there by Robert Jordan to this effect.  The general theme of ideal world > evil/darkside rises > a dark period > champion comes along > reverts back to an ideal world is the repeating theme of the wheel.  Infinite iterations are possible, like perhaps the darkside "won" and the dark period last four times as long then the previous turning.  Over the ages, the details are lost, but the general theme is passed along in stories and legends.

 

It is a person's soul that is tied to the wheel and not the physical representation of the person. I read a lot of Moridin's parts as remembering the soul and not the body, and it cleared up a lot of the history and previous turnings for me.

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The details change every time. Any two iterations of the same Age might seem the same from a distance, but the closer you look the more different they'll appear - get close enough and they won't look the same at all. In some Ages the Bore might not be drilled, in some Rand/LTT might die, and someone else has to finish things, or he goes dark and has to be killed, or he finds a different way to win. So no, these specific events are unique to this Age, and other iterations would play out differently, in big ways or small.

 

I'm not saying that you are wrong or trying to start and argument but I am curious to know where and how you came across this information.

 

I've always felt that the turning of the wheel must proceeded as you've described.  The only thing that seems to stand against this is Moridin's game piece, The Fisher.  When Moridin examines this game piece he notes some striking similarities to Rand and surmises that this may represent a memory that has survived a full turning of the wheel.  If this is true then is seems to imply that the ages do, in fact, repeat themselves verbatim.  I still agree that the ages are the same thematically with each turning of the wheel but differ greatly in detail. The Fisher does, however,  provide some food for thought.

It's from various interviews: "as for an analogy: imagine two tapestries hanging on a wall, and you look at them from the back of the room to the front of the store. And to look at them, they look identical to you. But as you get closer, you begin to see differences. And if you get close enough, they don't look anything at all alike. That is the difference between the Ages. Between the Age in one Turning and the Age in another. So it's quite possible that someone other than Rand could be the reborn soul of the Dragon Reborn."; "Yes, the Champion of the Light has gone over in the past. This is a game you have to win every time. Or rather, that you can only lose once—you can stay in if you get a draw. Think of a tournament with single elimination. If you lose once, that's it. In the past, when the Champion of the Light has gone over to the Shadow, the result has been a draw.". There're probably others as well, but I think these cover the point quite well.

 

As for the Fisher, bear in mind that's speculation on Moridin's part - it could be a vision of the future rather than a memory of the past, or it could be that Moridin's speculation is correct, and that something sufficiently similar to the Fisher existed in the last Third Age (but perhaps in radically changed circumstances, carrying out a different role, etc.), or it could be a memory of something else altogether - an incarnation of the Dragon's soul from, say, the Seventh Age, the injuries sustained for reasons having nothing to do with the Shadow. There are any number of possible explanations, and about as much evidence for any of them, which is to say none.

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interview: Nov 30th, 2000 Matt Peck
I asked that as the Wheel turned, each time an Age rolls around, is the Pattern exactly the same each time, or does it change?
Robert Jordan

He seemed to like this question. He likened it to a tapestry. When seen from a distance, each Third Age (to make it easy to track) has exactly the same pattern as the previous Third Age. However, when seen up close, there are differences. Threads are different, different nations exist, geography is different, different personalities rise to prominence. These changes, while minute in the grand scale of the Pattern, affect the Pattern enough so that while two iterations of an Age are almost the same, the first "Third Age" may be wildy different from the hundredth "Third Age".

 

 

 

Interview: 2001
Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)
Signing Report (Workings of the Wheel) Robert Jordan
Each age is NOT precisely the same with each new turning of the Wheel. I actually asked RJ to explain this before Eye even came out, because he was trying to explain the cosmology to me and I wasn't getting it. The analogy he used (for the differences between an Age in one turning and in another) was to say that it would be like standing in front of what looked to be two copies of the same painting; but as you looked closely, you'd start to find tiny, subtle differences, more and more differences the more closely you looked, until you eventually realized that the paintings were almost completely different.

 

 

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Just to add:

 

I think the proceedings follow slightly more closely than Ares thinks. Thus, the third Age always starts with an existant bore and ends with a closed one. Might be it starts more or less open, but its growth impaired, might be the whole age is misery with a sort of open bore that never quite snaps open without the dragon, might be it's all just patched... (the fact that Saidin is tainted I seem to recall MUST happen, too, but not sure; I think I saw an interview. But then, why couldn't Saidin be tainted in a failed patching?)

 

Likewise, it might be that a last ditch attempt of the Light blocks the Bore at the end of the third Age, while the Forsaken-equivalent rule afterward, or it might be that the Lightsiders crush all opposition and blocking the bore is almost an afterthought.

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Thanks for all the info folks,

 

My understanding of the turning of the ages is that souls are reborn but bodies are not.  Therefore, while the Dragon's soul is eternal there is only one Lews Therin Telamon and only one Rand al'Thor.  When the next 2nd and 3rd ages come along the same soul will be reborn into individuals who will play similar roles, but they will not be Lews Therin and Rand.  Similarly I believe that Perrin's soul and "The Gambler" are always The Dragon's companions in the 3rd age but they were only Perrin Abarya and Mat Cauthon one time.

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Thanks for all the info folks,

 

My understanding of the turning of the ages is that souls are reborn but bodies are not.  Therefore, while the Dragon's soul is eternal there is only one Lews Therin Telamon and only one Rand al'Thor.  When the next 2nd and 3rd ages come along the same soul will be reborn into individuals who will play similar roles, but they will not be Lews Therin and Rand.  Similarly I believe that Perrin's soul and "The Gambler" are always The Dragon's companions in the 3rd age but they were only Perrin Abarya and Mat Cauthon one time.

 

I disagree with Perrin's soul and "The Gambler".  The pattern spins out ta'veren as needed to help restore a balance.  These could be light side or dark side ta'veren. 

 

It just so happens that in this age, the pattern spun out three powerful ta'veren from the same town.

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I've been mulling this over since the last time I read this thread, and I think I've got something.

 

Even when he isn't so delusional that he thinks he is the DO himself, Moridin seems to think of himself as the supreme leader of the Shadow. When playing sha'rah, he doesn't think of the game as being between the DO and the Creator, the DO and the Pattern, or the DO and Rand. He thinks he is running both sides of the board, and is therefore guaranteed to win. Also, if you look at when this scene happens, it's not long after he's had that balefire run-in with Rand, and apparently it's right around the time that he is officially made Nae'blis, considering that that had to happen between Sammael's death and the last Forsaken get-together. So Rand has his crown of swords plus some other countries, and his "kingdom" is basically complete at this point. Sure, he has a lot to do, but the board is mostly set, Rand and Moridin each having just received the reins of an empire, or rather a set of pieces. To Moridin, this is great because he thinks he's the only player who is aware enough of the game to be able to move the pieces, and he is changing Rand's allegiances through guile.

 

But really, Rand doesn’t do a whole lot of side-changing, or any of that other Fisher piece stuff. I mean, you’ve got times where he has a little outburst of madness, but overall, he never really gives up hope. Every time he comes close, he has an epiphany or something happens to make him realize what he’s doing and stop it.

 

Compare that to Moridin, who is batsh*t crazy and does some incredibly weird stuff. He saved Rand from Sammael, and he's got some fairly decent reasons for that, but this probably benefited the Light-siders more than it did the DO. Also, with him being the DO's favorite, is it really that necessary to make sure Sammael snuffs it? If he primary motive is to die (which actually makes no sense given some of his actions), then why does he even care about being Nae'blis anyway? It might be a good reason for him to show up and watch, but to get involved? It could just be because he's crazy, or it could be Rand's ta'veren nature working on Moridin's shifting desires and unstable mind to move him like a chess piece.

 

And what about him telling Rand how to destroy the Forsaken? Why would he do that? Just to show off how smart he is?

 

Plus, where is he for most of the story, once he's resurrected? You kind of assume he's got a lot going on this whole time, but at the end it seems like he never really did. He apparently spends a lot of time playing games with himself and getting high on the True Power. For just a moment, I even thought that that was his big plan, that sucking down TP like that would allow the DO to attack Rand directly using his body or something. But apparently, this served no useful purpose to the Shadow whatsoever. Not only did he end up being more useful for the opposing side, but he did it unwillingly. He ends up getting played like a piece by Rand, who is supposed to be the blind cripple.

 

It worked out really, really well for the Light, though, didn't it? Maybe Rand could have used the TP himself, maybe, but there are several things that could have put a stop to that, such as if the DO didn't allow access or if taking in that much of the TP at once made him snap and go as crazy as Moridin.Also, the DO says that Moridin "brought you here." It's not really clear what that means. It seems like Rand could have touched that black stuff on his own, sans Moridin, but maybe he really was needed for that. That might also explain why Moridin was also frozen even though he wasn't part of the conversation- he was subsumed in either Rand's will or the DO's at that time. None of that happened when LTT attacked the DO.

 

By the end, however... Rand is the philosopher and strategist, whereas Moridin doesn't even know what the hell is going on. He decides to have a swordfight, because by this point he's totally snapped, partially from the TP, and partially because of his desire for what probably drove him to the DO in the first place- significance. Sure, he says it was just the smart thing to do, and Rand says that he was probably looking for power, but neither explanation completely fits Elan. If he joined for power, why wouldn't he just openly admit to having joined for the sake of power? Plus, whereas he seems to like having power, he doesn't use it very much. He is the leader of all the Chosen, but he rarely even bothers to make sure they are all on the same page. He does tend to show off a little bit around them, but he doesn't often assert his authority, as if he doesn't really care what everyone else is doing. Why was it so important to him to be Nae'blis if he never really cared to act like one? Probably because it's an important job, and whoever is doing it must be a really significant person, in a logical sense. He was already a celebrated philosopher, but the general public was more familiar with the scientific advances that came about as a result of his work than in the actual philosophy.

 

He also really enjoys knowledge and thinks he's entitled to know everything. Curiosity may have killed this cat. The DO may have actually offered him knowledge, or it might have been something almost accidental. "Some new, sinister power appears and no one knows what it is? It's threatening the whole world? Well, as the celebrated expert on the nature of reality, I had better go check this out. I'd better not tell everybody, though, because then I'd have to admit that I don't actually know what I'm doing. I'm going to be such a hero when I get back!" How easy would it be for the DO, doing stuff like what he did with Rand when he almost got him to agree to the destruction terms, to snap up somebody like Moridin, who craves significance and knowledge above all else, and also has depressive tendencies? So he goes over to the DO, and later even thinks he is the DO sometimes, probably because being himself, the moron who just had to go and spring the bear trap on himself, was unbearable to someone like him, who has to be the big force that turns the wheel, not just some schmuck who got himself caught up in the gears. That's what makes him such a perfect Fisher piece, that he wants to be victorious and important and doesn't seem to care very much about what side he's on or what the absolute final outcome is. He has to be on the winning side, and he has to be a driving force behind it.

 

As Rand becomes darker and, surprisingly, as he finds the light again, he is often compared (usually by himself) to Ishamael, as if he is experiencing a lot of what Ishy turned him against hope. This makes sense, obviously, as a foil for the hero, but it also kind of shows you how Rand and Moridin are switching places. Moridin becomes less and less sane, and a hell of a lot less feisty. Rand, who used to be a poor, confused kid without a snowball's chance in hell against his enemies, becomes more confident and composed. Moridin still appears confident, but he's definitely coming apart at the seams, and he does less strategizing when he should be doing more. It almost seems like he just gives up, though he does still show up for the Last Battle.

 

When Rand mentions how some of the Forsaken might never have changed over if they had been treated differently in the AOL, he obviously means Demandred (because he acted like a jerk to him and stole his dream woman), but he also definitely means more than one of them. Elan Morin was supposedly friends with LTT, but LTT was kind of an arrogant jerk, and Elan probably spent a lot of time cooped up in his own thoughts. The results of his works were celebrated, but hardly anybody actually read what he wrote. This was the kind of stuff he dedicated his life to, in a time when most people were into goofing off and having fun. Most people would probably consider him a Debbie downer and would politely shun him.Not much is said about Ishy's past outside of him being a philosopher, but it's hard to believe that he was ever a seriously happy guy. It seems likely he was starved for attention and admiration.

 

Rand, however, is raised in a great place with great people who teach him the skills he needs in life, like how to cope with despair. Ishy never learned that, which is probably why Rand seems a lot more sympathetic and even friendly toward Moridin near the end, even in that one scene in TGS. If it's not a Sandersonism, then his slight warmup towards Moridin as the story comes to a close probably comes from some recognition that he could have helped the guy before he became so unhinged and didn't, but it could also be that Rand has finally really understood what's going on, and he knows that Moridin is actually just a poor, crazy bastard who's overall a lot more useful to the Light than to the Shadow.

 

So really, in this scene, the board is laid out and ready to be played in real life, just like the one in front of Moridin, but he isn't a player. He is the Fisher, moving to the DO's wishes, and to Rand's, once Rand really learns how to play the game... which basically means he just had to learn the pieces work.

 

((Moridin did get one piece of all this right: either way, he wins. At least, if his real goal was to be a major figure in the epoch of eternity, he did that. He played a key role in defeating the DO, and was even cremated with full honors as a hero, getting that recognition that the world (LTT?) never quite gave him before. You might say that's his reward for serving his purpose in the Pattern.))

Edited by Sylvan Fox

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The Wheel of Time turns as history repeats itself - you know, that whole passage about memory fading to legend, legend fading to myth, and myth being forgotten before it all happens again? The one that every book starts with? 

 

The Dragon is reborn whenever he is needed by the pattern to restore balance. Last time it was LTT; this time it was Rand. The actual person is less significant than the greater role the person needs to fulfill to preserve the pattern. Same goes for other legendary roles, like the Gambler (Mat), Jain Farstrider (Noal), and Birgitte. You could even claim this for the shadow - how many times was Moridin resurrected to be Nae'blis, just within this story?

 

The Dark One cannot be destroyed, as doing so is no better than the Dark One himself, and would probably destroy the pattern at the opposite extreme. Rather, the world (pattern) is about balance, and the fate of any one person is his/her ability to choose. For that, you must have both light and shadow. Without that ability to choose, people are mere puppets, enslaved by the lack of any alternatives to choose from, where there can be no pattern.

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In the end Moridin just wanted to die and simply wanted to take LTT with him.  None of the Forsaken ever truly understood the DO, that they meant nothing to the DO and the DO would never give Moridin the release of death.  Moridin might of sat around a lot getting his TP fix but I also got the feeling he was giving orders to the forsaken since he seemed to know where each of them was suppose to be doing.  He was chilling taking no risks in order to make sure he would be there to face LTT.  

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This has little to do with the original topic but I wanted to add a little something I was thinking about while reading what Sylvan Fox had to say.

 

There is this Anime called "X" that is a lot like the WoT.  In that you kinda of have 2 sides, both fighting with crazy powers for the future.  One future is the destruction of the earth while the other is to just keep it the way it is.  Now both sides have a champion and they are the same, just 2 sides of the same coin.  They start out with different names but once one of them makes a choice on what side they will fight for the other becomes his other side.  Take on his powers, and his name.

 

What is this is what LTT and Elan went through?  What if they both could have been the Dragon... and what if once one of them make up their mind... the other, by the wheel, would have been forced to the other side.

 

To me, it seems that the wheel has all the power.  The wheel is always in control.  It keeps the balance.  And how does it do it?  By allowing a tie.  The light never really wins, and the dark never really wins.  You will always have both.  Always.

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please do not get Mr Ares started because if you do you do so at your own peril and do not tell me later on that i did not warn you lol

That is seconded, with emphasis!

I don't actually think Rand has ever gone to the Darkside, as it were, but the Ages repeat. Remember the end of Book Two when Rand got the first wound. "I have never served you" I think he said. And remember Veins of Gold. That also makes it seem, at least to me, he has never served the DO. Not intentionally, though his last sealing of the Bore gave the DO the opportunity to taint saidin.

Of course, that begs the question, if the DO knows the Dragon is out there, why not eliminate him? The DO, I believe, is trying to win forever. Until VoG, Rand was on a path to break the Wheel forever. He could have done that with the Choedan Kal.

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I don't actually think Rand has ever gone to the Darkside, as it were, but the Ages repeat.

We know he has:

 

Interview: Feb 26th, 2003

tarvalon.net Q&A (Verbatim)

Question

Was Ishamael lying when he told Rand that the hero of the Light had turned to the Shadow in other lifetimes?

Robert Jordan

No he was not. Even those who lie sometimes tell the truth when it serves their purposes.

Rand is the dragon soul/champion of the light and that was specifically in reference to Ishy telling Rand "you" have served him before.

 

Interview: Jan 16th, 2003

COT Signing Report - Tim Kington (Paraphrased)

Question

(inaudible)

Robert Jordan

Yes, the Champion of the Light has gone over in the past. This is a game you have to win every time. Or rather, that you can only lose once—you can stay in if you get a draw. Think of a tournament with single elimination. If you lose once, that's it. In the past, when the Champion of the Light has gone over to the Shadow, the result has been a draw.

Remember the end of Book Two when Rand got the first wound. "I have never served you" I think he said.

Unreliable narrator, Rand did not have access to those old memories.

 

Of course, that begs the question, if the DO knows the Dragon is out there, why not eliminate him?

Because the DO is trying to win the ultimate victory not just a partial one of "I win again Lews Therin" type. Killing the Dragon in the past did not lead to an ultimate victory.

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And it also would make sense Rand has gone over to the Dark One, since with all the other worlds it would make sense if he defied the DO in this world then there must be a world he said, sign me up.

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though i have to wonder.

 

if killing Rand isn't enough, Turning him by force isn't enough, and making him turn on his own isn't enough for the DO to win.

what is?

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though i have to wonder.

 

if killing Rand isn't enough, Turning him by force isn't enough, and making him turn on his own isn't enough for the DO to win.

what is?

It's more accurate to say that none of those things guarantee a win for the Shadow - a win can be achieved even if none of those things happen as well. Rand is an important piece in the game, he is not the game itself, and the game can be won by either side no matter whose side he's on, or if he's dead. Shai'tan needs to break humanity to win.

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I agree its sort of confusing since if the DO breaks free there should be nothing that would stop him from winning.  If he remakes the world into his image, isn't that winning?

 

But Mr Ares is right, Rand basically said the same thing that the battle for Maradon was more than just the battle for the city, That the DO thirsts for the breaking the spirit of men.  And Rand told the DO "YOU cannot win unless we give up. That's it isn't it?  This fight isn't about victory in battle.  Taking me.... It never was about beating me.  It was about breaking me.  That's what you tried to do with all of us.  It's why at times you tried to have us killed, while at other times you didn't seem to care.  You win when you break us.  But you haven't, you can't. "  So it seems as if victory to the DO isn't killing everyone, but making everyone lose hope and heart till they give up.  Which wasn't going to happen, even if Rand had died Mat and the army of light would of fought to the death instead of giving up.  So for the DO that would of still been like a loss.

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