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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Dark One's Reluctance to Kill Rand


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  • 3 weeks later...

I think a lot of people are forgetting that they need to take the ending with a grain of salt.  It is Brandon Sanderson's ending; not RJ's.  We can see hints of what RJ wanted if we pay attention to the details, but a lot is awash with Sanderon's own theories and designs.

 

My sense of things is that the DO was never going to break free and remake the world.  He never could break free and annihilate the world.  The DO was merely a force of nature outside of the pattern that evil men could use to help spread their malice.  He never could break free and take direct action in the pattern.  Rand could win or lose, but the world was never going to end.  If the good guys had lost then we would see a terrible world for the next 1000+ years where tyrants and evil ruled.  Eventually, a champion would rise up and change things.  If Rand wins, there is a period of prosperity and peace for 1000+ years.  It will always repeat; hence the familiar theme of the books about how the wheel of time will turn forever.  The whole "the DO will break the wheel of time and kill the great serpent" is a bunch of rabble used to rally evil men to his cause.

 

Given the above, there is only ONE situation where the DO could win.  Complete and total annihilate of everything.  Why is that a win?  Because there is no tomorrow.  There is no continual battles between the good guys and bad guys.  It's over.  Absolute and utter nothingness.

 

Now, given this situation, who would undertake such a task?  How could it happen?  Well, the DO is powerless to do this on his own  His only power is manipulating idiots and projecting an illusion of force while providing them some additional tools (true power, etc).  Would anyone who follows his cause do this?  Destroy the world and creation completely and utterly forever?  No way.  They are lured to his side purely through the promise of power and life eternal.  Killing themselves and all their potential kingdoms is not going to happen.  Only Ishamael thinks like that (hence why he is special and its a shame that we did not get to see his character play out the way his plot was intended by RJ).

 

So who is left?  The good guys.  The Dragon being chief amongst men.  The DO has learned through infinite repetitions of this conflict that the only way to win is to cause humankind to destroy themselves through war and conflict.  Literal destruction, not the typical conflict destruction we think of.  In the age of legends, balefire almost achieved this.  In the age with Rand, Rand almost achieves this himself using the access keys.  I firmly believe that if RJ had written the final books we would have learned quite a bit more about balefire and its impacts on the world.

 

So...why does the DO want Rand alive most times and other times want him dead?  Well, being locked up for 1000+ years sucks and if the conflict looks like its turning in a direction that the DO doesn't like he would prefer to just kill Rand and let the bad guys reign for 1000+ years.  Not ideal, but it would allow him to continually influence the world and that presents a greater chance of victory the next time because he can set the table for the next match.  When the DO gets locked up he is at a disadvantage for the next round.  The ultimate goal is to win fully and completely, but when that goal seems like its at risk of not even occurring...its best to plan for the future.  Of course, the DO wants Rand alive because he is the catalyst for war and the one who can really do his bidding.  Manipulating the dragon into destroying the world was the real goal.  The DO had nearly succeeded in the AoL; LTT just didn't take the rest of the world with him.

 

The reality is that the DO lost the ability to win the moment Rand had his epiphany on the mountain.  Additionally, I believe that Rand's moment on the mountain was meant to occur much closer to the conclusion of the series than it actually occurred.  I also suspect that Demandred was preparing an alternative road to victory for the DO through his use of balefire in the background and that was going to play out in the final part of the book.  Unfortunately, we never got to see what RJ had planned for Demandred.

 

Anyways...a little bit of rambling here, but I suspect this is pretty close to what RJ had planned.  I haven't spent a tremendous amount of thought on this theory so I'm sure there are some logical holes that will be poked through it here and there.  However, the general idea feels right.

Edited by Mark D
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all of Sanderson's content I imagine was permitted by the notes.

And Sanderson told that the very last was written by Robert Jordan; though how much of the last was not specified.

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You would imagine wrong.

 

While all of the content is officially approved by Team Jordan, Mr. Sanderson had taken (and needed to due to lack of notes/info) many liberties in writing the last two books.  The parts that RJ wrote (or mostly wrote) are very clearly a different author.  I believe he wrote the majority of the epilogue.  He also wrote the portion of the prologue with the town in the Blight I believe...I forget if that was the last book or the second to last book though.  It's been awhile since I've cracked mine open and I've more or less just taken to pretending the series stopped when BS started writing since so much of what he wrote was not the real story anymore and was instead more or less fan fac written with some insider tips.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If Rand ever turned to the Shadow, then I believe Perrin would be the one to stop Rand, while Mat would effect a draw. That is my thought on the matter. Only Rand could effect a win.

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Only issue I would  have is if Rand goes to the shadow, Perrin or the borderlanders kill Rand.  Who stop the DO from being freed?  Even if Mat beat Dem's army, wouldn't matter if the DO could fully  escape.

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Only issue I would  have is if Rand goes to the shadow, Perrin or the borderlanders kill Rand.  Who stop the DO from being freed?  Even if Mat beat Dem's army, wouldn't matter if the DO could fully  escape.

 

Fain. 

 

He was the Pattern's stop-gap for if Rand failed. 

 

Notice that Fain was killed at pretty much the exact moment Rand won. I suspect that he - or rather the Shadar Logoth miasma - was a safety net. If Rand had turned to the Shadow, you have an insane, powerful entity who was bent on doing 2 things - Killing Rand and getting revenge on the DO. 

 

 

Both are conspicuously necessary to eliminate if Rand turned. I'd say that the DO would be trapped in a battle with Shadar Logoth evil. It wouldn't have been a perfect or good win, but it would stop everything being destroyed, which is the Pattern's main priority. It doesn't have a moral compass, SL would be within the Pattern's parameters to 'use',  and since the Shadar Logoth evil was primarily created to counter the DO, paired with what we see happen when the two are brought together at the Cleansing, the evolved 'Shaisam' would have acted as a temporary Seal to stop the full destruction of the Pattern. 

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That is a good point but i have a question. If the Pattern is never ending and always repeating the same cycle wouldn't the Dark One learn how it needs to beat the light and win after however many attempts there have been and will be? How could he not know almost exactly how things could go down. In fact in the books it he knew more than the forsaken in some areas of what was going on in the world,but in others he was ignorant. So it does mean he knows kind of what to expect. So over all of infinity do you not think that he would be able to win just once, or is it more of the case where he cant destroy the pattern because he would not have meaning or anything to mess with anymore so he just has fun every few thousand years or more?

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That is a good point but i have a question. If the Pattern is never ending and always repeating the same cycle wouldn't the Dark One learn how it needs to beat the light and win after however many attempts there have been and will be? How could he not know almost exactly how things could go down. In fact in the books it he knew more than the forsaken in some areas of what was going on in the world,but in others he was ignorant. So it does mean he knows kind of what to expect. So over all of infinity do you not think that he would be able to win just once, or is it more of the case where he cant destroy the pattern because he would not have meaning or anything to mess with anymore so he just has fun every few thousand years or more?

 

The problem with that is thinking the DO is anything remotely like a human. Humans learn, evolve and adapt. The DO is an entirely different entity that does not have human capabilities, as you mentioned, the Forsaken wonder at the DO's ignorance in some matters where the DO knows so much about other things. It is suggested, specially in the events of aMoL that the DO doesn't have the capability to learn and adapt, and thus Rand thinks the DO can never win, because the DO doesn't understand what it would take to win. 

 

RJ said the DO could win, but I don't think that contradicts Rand's view. I think that the DO has the power and tools to win. The threat is real, but Rand at least believes that the DO would never be able to learn how to do it. The nature of the DO prevents it.

 

My personal take on the DO always being released and sealed throughout the ages is that it is a test for humanity - whether created by the Creator, or the purpose of the DO, I don't know - but essentially it is a test to see if they are worthy of surviving. The DO has to crush hope from humanity to win. The DO's goal is complete surrender. Rand believes that this will never happen. He might be right, and if the day came when humanity did give in, I think the Creator would be fine, since humanity would be totally broken as a species, and thus justify the DO's victory and destruction of the Pattern. 

 

It may be that it has happened before in other Patterns that the Creator has created. Every time that the DO succeeds, it could be the Creator creates a new Pattern and starts anew. 

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Good point about Fain, though with Fain a bolt of balefire and poof.  It would suck for him to kill the DO, come out of the cave and die to a bolt of balefire from a gateway hole in the sky.

 

That's also what I think, RJ mentioned something about the DO has won but never achieved "ulmiate victory or considers he had won" (something like that, I forget the quote).  Just like you that's what I have always thought victory for the DO is humanity losing hope and basically begging for  mercy.  Not simply killing everyone.  I see it as where is the fun in killing everyone who opposes you if they never acknowledged your superiority?  The DO wants to see the forces of light  grovel and plead to him.  But they never will they were determined to battle him to the end even if they all died.  Which is why Rand claims the DO will never win because he can't understand why people never give up.  Things like sacrifice, selflessness, dying for others are foreign  concepts to the DO.   His followers fight out of fear and to achieve power.

Edited by Sabio
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Exactly, and thats why the DO says to forsaken that they have to release the caos on the world, and in the final books you can see that they are trying to make that rand loose the hope and turned in a person without feelings. Also, i think that maybe the DO knows that the Dragon Reborn can not be killed before TG (in the end, rand says to DO that he has no power over  death)

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Ok this might have spoilers.

 

In the last book Rand says "You cannot fathom it, can you?  It is beyond you.  You break us and still we fight why?  Haven't you ruined us?  Haven't you killed us? 

 

Then he goes on to say "You cannot win unless we give up, That's it, Isn't it?  This fight isn't about a 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 other times you didn't seem to care.  You win when you break us.  But you haven't, you can't. 

 

 

That's the ultimate victory for the DO, not just killing everyone, or even killing Rand.  The DO more then anything the DO wants to break peoples spirits and hope.  As sutree said the DO has won before, and has turned the dragon.  But regardless people always fight the DO to the end, he has never broken them.

This is the best answer to this question. At various stages leading up to the Last Battle, Rand's death or life would achieve the ultimate goal of destroying hope. He knows he can't consume the souls of those who maintain hope, he can't really 'win' unless all hope is lost. The goal of the Dark One is to stop the Wheel forever, not win one turn and wait for the next. I firmly believe that this is why, at different points, he wants Rand either dead or protected. He ALWAYS wants Mat and Perrin dead since he knows they're crucial to the Last Battle but Rand the martyr doesn't serve his ends where Rand the destroyer might.

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