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Dark One's Reluctance to Kill Rand


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The 'Dragon' isn't the right word I don't think. The Pattern can supply an alternate, imperfect fix. If the Dragon soul were to die prematurely or turn to the Shadow, another hero would be selected to at least prevent the DO from a full victory. 

 

Having said that, I doubt Logain or Taim would ever have had that job. They would in fact be the last people to do so. The 'Dragon' would be a failed plan, and the Pattern would need to come up with something else, for the reasons Sabio provided. The false Dragons were a protective mechanism to hide the real Dragon until he proclaimed himself, they played their role. If Rand had died, it's much more likely that Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne or Aviendha would become ta'veren and manage to do a repeat of Lews Therin's imperfect sealing. It would prevent the DO from winning, but the Dragon is needed to complete the job perfectly. (I only use this because it is the only example of defeating the DO imperfectly we know of. other situations are more likely)

 

Even more likely is the possibility that something like Fain would keep the DO from winning, or another, completely different method. I don't think there can be a 'substitute' Dragon. With prophecies etc.. you either are the Dragon or you aren't. The 'Dragon' is one soul, designed with a very specific purpose that nobody can emulate. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Rand being LTT's reborn

that seems to imply that rebirth of a soul could only be once.

Either of these seem more accurate::

-"Rand being LTT reborn"

-"Rand being a reborn of LTT"

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True, maybe dragon was the wrong term, maybe it should be the light would select a new champion.  But there was a passage that described possibly what would happen had Rand died.  From TOM when Rand met the Borderland Rulers" If he cannot answer" Paitar said " then you will be lost.  You will bring his end swiftly, so the final days may have their storm.  So the light may not be consumed by he who was to have preserved it".  So at least the fortelling was that if Rand died they were going to lose.

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The only true DO victory is for Rand to destroy creation with the CK. Veins of Gold is really the true climax of the series in that regard. After that, its just a question of how we get to the next turning of the wheel, the easy way or the hard way (for humanity). The only other possibility seems to be for Rand to kill the DO, which would remove free choice from existence, in which case everyone loses. So I think the possibilities are like this:

 

Total Light Victory: Speculative, but if each turning gives everyone opportunities to do better, it seems that humanity could someday reach a state of perfection/enlightenment. Exit at the axis.

Major Light Victory:  Rand remakes the DOs prison whole again. Wheel turns, but with a little more enlightenment than the last turn.  (This is what happened).

Draw: Rand loses, but the wheel throws up a new means of sealing off the DO prison long enough for another shot in a different age.

Partial Dark Victory: Rand is turned, killed, or becomes a monster the wheel has to put down. Wheel throws up a solution and turns, but perhaps a step back in enlightenment.

Total Dark Victory: Rand destroys creation.

 

Lose/Lose: Rand destroys the DO (who isnt OK with that) which destroys free will in creation, assumedly forever. 

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I disagree the Total dark victory being Rand destroy creation since really no one would win, sort of seems like a everyone loses type of situation  Rand at least believes the DO version of a total victory isn't just winning  or even killing everyone.  Rand believes the DO total victory is making men lose hope and giving up.  But as we see they don't do that, even if Rand lost they were still going to fight to the end. 

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From what I skimmed, it seems to me that Rand does not give an opinion on what total victory for the Dark One would be.  Men losing hope and giving up would be at least a victory.

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My pet theory is that Rand KILLING the DO would actuaslly be the total Light victory. He was just deceived into thinking it'd create a world without choice.

 

That said, I agree that the DO needed Rand for a total victory, and he doesn't care for less. All he ever achieves without a Dragon is just a bit of misery, rather than the abyss he's looking for.

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Rand told the DO:

 

"You cannot Fathom it can you?  It I beyond you.  You break us and still we fight, why?  Haven't you ruined us?  Haven't you killed us?"  He then says "You cannot in unless we give up, That's it, isn't it?  The fight isn't about victory in battle.  Taking me.....  It was never  about beating me, IT WAS ABOUT BREAKING ME.  That's what you tried to do with all of us.  Its 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 Rand at least seems to think its not about killing  everyone, but the DO more than anything  wants to break peoples will.  The DO in all the times has yet to win what he consider a total/absolute victory because he has never accomplished breaking people's will.

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death of the Dark One (through any means) I take would not be a victory of the Light.  kill/destroy the Dark One (and/or the Creator), and I take the Pattern would be destroyed.  the Pattern being destroyed, everything/everyone would be destroyed; according to the books.

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Well depends on how you look at the pattern, death of the DO would mean death of peoples free will.  So choice would of been taken from the pattern since no one could freely choose good or evil.  But the world wouldn't end.

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I find that notion to be pretty absurd. Remember, the DO is the father of lies. There's absolutely no reason to believe the DO when it says that there would be no free will if it was destroyed.

 

Also, just because you can't choose to do something doesn't mean you don't have free will. There are tons of things that I can't choose to do because I'm physically incapable of doing them. Does that mean I don't have free will? Similarly, a person who is blind cannot choose to see. Does that mean the blind person has "less" free will than someone who can see? Not to mention people with different brain structures/chemistry. For example, there are people who have no empathy. On the flip side, there are people who are extremely empathic. If destroying the DO takes away some kind of physical capability, it doesn't necessarily mean taking away all free will.

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I find that notion to be pretty absurd. Remember, the DO is the father of lies. There's absolutely no reason to believe the DO when it says that there would be no free will if it was destroyed.

 

Also, just because you can't choose to do something doesn't mean you don't have free will. There are tons of things that I can't choose to do because I'm physically incapable of doing them. Does that mean I don't have free will? Similarly, a person who is blind cannot choose to see. Does that mean the blind person has "less" free will than someone who can see? Not to mention people with different brain structures/chemistry. For example, there are people who have no empathy. On the flip side, there are people who are extremely empathic. If destroying the DO takes away some kind of physical capability, it doesn't necessarily mean taking away all free will.

 

Interesting post dude, it brought up a couple of thoughts. Firstly, don’t we already know that the universe of WoT doesn’t have free will per-se? The pattern ‘weaves as it wills’ and the characters are inextricably motivated not by free-will, but by the necessity of the pattern?

As I remember (I could be remembering aMoL wrong here, it has been a while) the DO-less vision Rand has, is a representation of a world stripped of evil (the DO). That removes impulses like hate, selfishness, ect – impulses that are fundamentally human. By removing the DO, Rand would be  ripping a decent chunk of “human nature” out of humankind.

On the other hand, if there is free-will to the extent that you can choose to turn to the shadow (which I could see potentially making sense, as the DO is outside the pattern, and so perhaps he offers an escape from the life the pattern has laid out for you) then if Rand then removed the DO, he would be removing the choice between good and evil. Which is potentially the only meaningful choice people in WoT can make. And if you don’t have the choice to be evil, you also cannot be truly good, because you never really had any other option. By removing the DO, rand would remove the opportunity for people to reject the DO themselves, and therefore be noble and good.

Regardless, I cannot see how destroying the DO wouldn't have potentially catastrophic consequences. If balefiring a relatively small number of people and things, can start to break apart the pattern, how could it survive the removal of such an important element? Especially in the WoT universe, where time is cyclical. If the DO has existed in infinite turnings in the past, and into the future, destroying him would fundamentally break the cycle of the ages, where the DO is forgotten, found, and sealed away again by the dragon. In this way I could see how destroying the DO, would break the cycle, or the “Wheel of Time”.

Edited by Sphinx
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Rand when gripping the DO knew everything at that moment of time and had the POV that Rand then knew almost all of the DO' visions were in fact lies, but the one about if the DO died was true.  Rand would leave the people no better then had the DO actually won.  Forcing good on someone is just as bad as forcing evil on them.  In some ways no free will does mean no choice, sort of like the class system.  If you are born into a class that was only a teacher, you really have no free will to decide I want to be a fireman since teacher is only thing you can choose.  The people of Randland would still have some free will about their lives, but would loss the free will to decide good or evil thus take a lot of options from their life.

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I find that notion to be pretty absurd. Remember, the DO is the father of lies. There's absolutely no reason to believe the DO when it says that there would be no free will if it was destroyed.

 

Also, just because you can't choose to do something doesn't mean you don't have free will. There are tons of things that I can't choose to do because I'm physically incapable of doing them. Does that mean I don't have free will? Similarly, a person who is blind cannot choose to see. Does that mean the blind person has "less" free will than someone who can see? Not to mention people with different brain structures/chemistry. For example, there are people who have no empathy. On the flip side, there are people who are extremely empathic. If destroying the DO takes away some kind of physical capability, it doesn't necessarily mean taking away all free will.

 

Interesting post dude, it brought up a couple of thoughts. Firstly, don’t we already know that the universe of WoT doesn’t have free will per-se? The pattern ‘weaves as it wills’ and the characters are inextricably motivated not by free-will, but by the necessity of the pattern?

 

The Pattern places certain limitations on free will, but that doesn't man it negates it entirely. For all the Pattern weaves as it will, things don't always go to plan. Ta'veren function as a corrective mechanism to correct the drift of the Pattern, when things aren't going as they should. The period covered by the series would be unusual, most of the time the average person probably isn't pulled down any specific path by the Pattern, they just go their own way, and the Pattern only does something if things start going very wrong.

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Similarly, a person who is blind cannot choose to see.

That seems to be a bad example.

There is surgery that can undo blindness.  A blind person can choose to attempt that surgery.

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@barid bel medar,

"if rand had died,it's much more likely that egwene,nynaeve,elayne or aviendha would become ta'veren 

and manage to do a repeat of lews therin's imperfect sealing".

@mbuehner,

"rand is turned,killed or becomes a monster the wheel has to put down,wheel throws up a solution and turns.."

i did find your respective comments...problematic.

rand stood on top of dragonmount intending to break the wheel of time,the world was minutes?seconds?

heartbeats? away from the very end,a situation thousands times more dangerous or urgent than a dead or

turned rand,yet the pattern didn't interfere,(e.g. rand wasn't struck by a bolt of lightning or something),the 

pattern allowed rand to fight his own demons without knowing the outcome of rand's inner battle,

so where exactly was plan B?

@sabio,

"if he cannot answer"paitar said"then you will be lost.you will bring his end swiftly,so the final days may have

their storm...".

same problematic attitude in this far madding folly,four rulers took their armies south to test rand and ask him

a question,if he couldn't answer,to kill him,when rand pointed out that the arafellin prophecy is a declaration

of what might happen not a user guide paitar said"perhaps another would have risen in your stead".

apparently,barid bel medar and mbuehner are not the only ones who believe in the pattern's ability to supply 

heroes on-demand,the borderland rulers thought so too!!

 

on a side note,

@mebuehner,

"veins of gold is really the true climax of the series..."

agreed,it certainly was rand's biggest triumph,the aiel said that rand has embraced death,as usual,they 

completely missed the point(to be fair,rand didn't go out of his way to be understood,he was a law unto

himself,and most of the time  took the aiel for granted).

rand maybe accepted his inevitable death,but he didn't embrace it, he embraced life,post dragonmout 

epiphany rand was a changed man,his balance was back,his compassion was back,he became the

complete leader,the dragon reborn was not  just a title anymore,it was part of him.

Edited by jack of shadows
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"so where exactly was plan B?"

 

Well, Perrin was there for one thing. Its a tough counter-factual because Rand didnt destroy the world, so its tough to say what the pattern might have done in retrospect had he committed to do it.

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I find that notion to be pretty absurd. Remember, the DO is the father of lies. There's absolutely no reason to believe the DO when it says that there would be no free will if it was destroyed.

 

Also, just because you can't choose to do something doesn't mean you don't have free will. There are tons of things that I can't choose to do because I'm physically incapable of doing them. Does that mean I don't have free will? Similarly, a person who is blind cannot choose to see. Does that mean the blind person has "less" free will than someone who can see? Not to mention people with different brain structures/chemistry. For example, there are people who have no empathy. On the flip side, there are people who are extremely empathic. If destroying the DO takes away some kind of physical capability, it doesn't necessarily mean taking away all free will.

 

Imagine a world divested of selfishness. Every decision we make every day gives us the opportunity to be a selfish, if even a tiny little bit. If instead, we always automatically did the most altruistic thing, our near infinite set of possibilities is whittled down to one, for every impulse, every moment. We become soulless automatons.  And I say soulless because, unlike a blind person, these people would have no ability to even imagine anything. These arent people in mental prisons, looking out from the bars but unable to act how they wish to act as if compelled. Its far worse- there is nothing in there that imagine doing anything different than the exact thing they are going to do that very moment, as altruistic as possible. Its like a robot built to vaccum a rug. It cant imagine doing anything but cleaning the rug, cant imagine that it could imagine anything else. Its not doing anything honorable, as it has no other options, and regardless honor has no meaning in its universe.

 

Thats the horrific result of a world without choice.

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It probably wouldn't be that hard for the DO to destroy creation. It could just have the Dreadlords and Chosen balefire everything.

Except the Dreadlords and Chosen want to rule...
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Ishamael/Moridin seems to be a exception for the Forsaken.

Dreadlords; they for the most part took orders from various Forsaken.

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Well Moridin was insane and in the last battle all the shadow channelers were using balefire regardless of all the cracks forming.  Knowingly trying to destroy the pattern so the DO could remake it.

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Well Moridin was insane and in the last battle all the shadow channelers were using balefire regardless of all the cracks forming.  Knowingly trying to destroy the pattern so the DO could remake it.

 

They were using balefire, i dont think there is any evidence they were trying to break the pattern for him. They could have done that from the comfort of their own condos in the Blight.

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"Tiny spiderweb cracks spread on the ground from him, Cracks into nothingness". The Later Dem said "Destroy the Amyrlin; use balefire.  We have been commanded, and in this we will obey.  The world must be unraveled before we reweave it to our vision". 

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