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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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So I'm wondering what would happen if...

 

  1. You balefired whoever taught you how to channel
  2. You balefired yourself (is this even possible)

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Haven't been here for a while...disappointed with amol as much as i was with the true detective finale...haha.

 

anyways...didnt lews therin balefire himself (soft of?)

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I'm not really sure, sorta? Well he killed himself with the One Power I know...

 

I'm talking like if you just shot balefire at yourself, would you die? Because if you balefired yourself, couldn't it undo the balefiring you just did on yourself? *brain hurts from too much thinking about this*

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1. Lews Therin did not use balefire, he killed himself over-drawing the power. RJ made that clear here: 

 
INTERVIEW: Nov, 1993
Trinity College Q&A (Paraphrased)
ROBERT JORDAN
Specific questions: Lews Therin Telamon's suicide was emphatically not balefire, but an overload of the Power. And when Verin was mentioned, he just said he hoped he kept surprising people.
 
2. Balefire can at the most burn the pattern back a few days - that's with a powerful angreal/sa'angreal most likely. Rand was able to burn back 15 or so minutes with Rhavin. The average person would likely only have the power to burn back a few minutes. So nothing would happen if you balefired the person who taught you to channel. It wouldn't go far enough back to erase that training. 
Now, if someone showed you the balefire weave and you immediately balefired them, that might cause some problems. In that scenario, I could only guess, but I have no idea what would happen. 
 
3. RJ has responded to this question in a famous interview. 

 

 

INTERVIEW: Feb 26th, 2003
tarvalon.net Q&A (Verbatim)
QUESTION
If I were to open a gateway in front of me that opened behind me, and I balefired myself, what would happen?
ROBERT JORDAN
Young lady, you are entirely too obsessed and have far too much time. You need to get some sort of life. I suggest you go have an intense love affair. Doesn't matter with who, be it man, woman, or German Shepherd.
 
It would indicate that it's pretty much impossible to do. 

 

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I've been away from this board for awhile and now i recall i asked the same balefire question about LTT in EoTW.   back then balefire wasnt introduced to us in that book, but the description of the white light coming from heaven or whatever it was...is so balefire like...oh well.  

 

I dont mind being corrected.  

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Haha. 

 

I think it was only a joke to avoid the question because he didn't know himself. I'm sure it was light-hearted and not supposed to be taken seriously :P

 

But yeah, from that I would guess that it was impossible. 

 

I also had a look and found some more info: 

 

 

 

INTERVIEW: Jan 17th, 2003 QUESTION

Question: 'What happens when balefire hits balefire?'

ROBERT JORDAN

(with a chuckle)You don't want to know!

QUESTION
What happens if you balefire yourself?
ROBERT JORDAN
That would be a bit tricky, kind of like performing eye surgery upon yourself.

 

Also, if you want a heartwarming follow-up of the person who asked the question and recieved the Get a life answer, here it is: 

 

 

INTERVIEW: Feb 11th, 2013 KATHY
I don't know if you remember me, but I was a Stormleader for The Gathering Storm...
BRANDON SANDERSON

Thank you.

KATHY

...and I got that first RAFO part, which was then answered in this book. And I was wondering if that question that I gave to Robert Jordan so many years ago, and he gave that wonderful answer, was the reason [?] or was it...[?]

BRANDON SANDERSON

(laughs) You're dog girl. Yes, you are! I will say...there's an inside joke here. Once, this wonderful young woman asked Robert Jordan what would happen if you balefired yourself through a gateway, and what exactly did he say?

KATHY

He said, "Young woman, I need you to go have an affair—with man, woman, or German Shepherd; it doesn't matter. Either way, you need to get a life." (laughter, applause)

BRANDON SANDERSON

Now, I, uh...(laughter continues)

KATHY

I also happened to then, several years later, marry a man who also read, and this is our daughter Aviendha.

HARRIET MCDOUGAL

Awwww! (applause)

KATHY

See...[?]. (laughter)

BRANDON SANDERSON

I don't have one either, and I'm worried...my big question was always about gateways, and when I began reading the series, as soon as I discovered them, I started to think about what would happen, cause I'm a magic system guy, right? And I'm like, "Oooh, what could you do with this? What could you do with this?" In fact, I started taking notes on what I could do, and they sat there in my notes file for years and years because I eventually started moving away from things I had seen done by other authors, and that meant, specifically the few things I was most interested in in the Wheel of Time. I didn't end up ever writing a magic system using. gateways and the World of Dreams, the way Robert Jordan had it. I avoided these things intentionally. And yet I had all these notes of things that I would like to have done, if I ever did a magic system with them.

Lo and behold, I got that opportunity, and so I found ways to....when I got the project, I didn't want to come in and make any sweeping changes—that wasn't my goal—but there are some places where I felt it appropriate to add some of my touch to the books, and one was with the gateways. I didn't want to be spending a lot of time doing anything with the magic system, you know—inventing a lot of new weaves, or anything like that—but I did want to expand some parts.

And so I actually....I went to Charleston, and we needed a new viewpoint character, specifically someone in the Black Tower—we hadn't had...we didn't have the right viewpoint character for the Black Tower—so I said, is there an Asha'man you guys think that I could take over, so to speak, and really flesh out and make into a more...you know, elevate a side character to a medium level character, which is something Robert Jordan frequently did in the series, and they came to the decision that Androl was the person that I should take, and I gave him the gateway Talent because I wanted to explore what happens with gateways.

And so, right there....we are all on the same wavelength; it wasn't necessarily me trying to answer your question. It was me answering questions to myself as a young man reading the series, wondering a lot about gateways. And so, Androl was a lot of fun.

In fact, there's another story there. At one point, I'm working on the series, and I get in the mail this envelope—it's a manila envelope from Charleston, and in it are a bunch of photocopied pages, and Harriet has written on the front of them: "Jim planned to use this somewhere. Can you fit it in?" And what it was was a detailed explanation from the viewpoint of a leatherworker about how one goes about using leather, and leatherworking. And this is the sort of detail, craftsman-style sort of things that Robert Jordan really liked to find places for that sort of detail in the books, and meanwhile, I've been sitting here trying to build a character for Androl, and I'm like, "Okay! I've got a place for it." And that's how Androl became a leatherworker, is from that stack of pages from Robert Jordan; it was just a photocopy of a leatherworker talking about their work.

So, there's some Androl stories. And so the answer is, it's half to you, but it's mostly to me (laughter). It's to both of us.

FOOTNOTE
Kathy met her husband at tarvalon.net

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I figured the problem with balefire in general is that it rips threads from the pattern, by creating contradictions--people would continue on with memories of the balefired person, but the actions they remember wouldn't have happened.  From this we can deduce some possible answers to the questions.

 

In the first case, supposing you balefired the person who taught you the weave, since canon has established that memories of the person persist post balefiring, particularly in the person wielding the balefire, there wouldn't be any further contradictions beyond the usual issues with balefire.  That one doesn't seem like a big issue.

 

The second one is trickier.  I suspect one of four things would happen.  First, the Pattern might unravel entirely, destroying the world.  That would earn you a Darwin Award for sure, if the world wasn't destroyed thanks to the unraveling of the Pattern.  The second likelihood comes from the way that balefire is described as working--you cease to exist, and all of your effects up to that point would also not happen.  This gives rise to the other three possibilities:  In two cases, you would rewind until the point at which you balefired yourself.  The question then involves what would happen after that point.  If it rewinds you until the point right BEFORE you release the balefire, you could get stuck in a Groundhog Day type loop, forever doomed to balefire yourself repeatedly until you end up destroying the Pattern.  Or, you could just end up with the vague memory of having done something really stupid, shortly before making the attempt.  Also, you'll unravel the Pattern a little more.  Lastly, since balefire is supposed to rip you from the Pattern, like snipping a thread, you would merely cease to exist.  I think, based on the descriptions, that this possibility or the first are the most likely.

 

Of course, if we follow the pattern and thread analogy further, we might consider that you might be stuck in the loop of time defined by how powerful your balefire was, outside the Pattern, forever doomed to repeatedly balefire yourself in an otherwise empty part of space and time.  After all, what happens to people who get balefired, really?  They're removed from the Pattern, yes, but when you snip a piece of thread out of a tapestry, it still exists somewhere, just not in the tapestry.

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 After all, what happens to people who get balefired, really?  They're removed from the Pattern, yes, but when you snip a piece of thread out of a tapestry, it still exists somewhere, just not in the tapestry.

 

But they aren't removed from the pattern, their thread merely burns backwards a bit. Think about touching a shoe string with a lighter. Balefire is not the final death...their soul will still be reborn.

Edited by Suttree

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Yes, but if you were to balefire yourself, that would burn back into the pattern - to before you even DID balefire yourself - so you never would have balefired yourself. I don't really know. 

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 After all, what happens to people who get balefired, really?  They're removed from the Pattern, yes, but when you snip a piece of thread out of a tapestry, it still exists somewhere, just not in the tapestry.

 

But they aren't removed from the pattern, their thread merely burns backwards a bit. Think about touching a shoe string with a lighter. Balefire is not the final death...their soul will still be reborn.

 

 Ah, good analogy.  So I guess then I'm leaning towards ending up with a weird memory that you may have balefired yourself.

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