Hello again, everyone! So, I've been having a great time telling you about various odds and ends in the Wheel of Time fandom. This week, I'm turning back to our home base, Dragonmount. I will be guiding you to a new place on Dragonmount every other week. There is a lot more to this board than just information about The Wheel of Time. It's a fantastic platform through which fans can meet their fellow fandom members. Dragonmount offers a variety of features with which fans can interact on our forums. There are discussion boards, boards for creative-minded artists, writers, and crafters, and even game boards. Besides those, a large part of the forums is dedicated to Social and Role Playing Groups. Both base their structure on the various organizations that are found in the Wheel of Time books, but the Social Groups--as the name implies--are for social interaction of members. The Role Playing Groups concentrate on exactly that, role playing characters as though they were present in Randland. This week, I'll bring closer to you a place that is a frequent first stop for new members. The discussion boards are a great place for people to voice their opinions--in a peaceful, non-flaming way, of course. There is a great variety of discussion topics available. We have entire boards for the discussion of individual topics, be it to discuss theories about our favorite series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson or to discuss other literary works in our General Discussion forum. For those needing a break from book-related matters, we have a Debates and Discussions board on which you do exactly that--debate. We also have Entertainment boards in which you can discuss games, tv shows, movies and sports. So, next time you have some time on your hands and nothing to do, why don't you pop over and add your voice to the fray?
<p>Old World Parallels is the topic for the 105th Episode of The 4th Age Podcast. Your hosts for this episode are Andrew, Virginia, Spencer, and Carrie.</p><p>(This episode, like most of our talks, is chock full of spoilers if you haven’t read Towers of Midnight yet!) <span style="color: #800000;">Warning: SPOILER ALERT!</span></p><p>Be sure to check out <a href="http://www.dragonmount.com">Dragonmount.com</a> for forums, comments, and all the latest news in the Wheel of Time world.</p><p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>ATTENTION! THERE ARE TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT SPOILERS in this podcast!</strong> </span><em>Also, spoilers on ALL the other books are VERY likely!</em> If you haven’t read all the way through the Wheel of Time, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS of all previous books! There also may be spoilers of other book series, tv series, and movies as well, too, or anything ELSE we can think of in the known and unknown universe…. We will try to give warning. We can give no guarantees, however.</p><p>Hosts: Andrew, Virginia, Spencer, and Carrie</p><h6>Editor for this episode: Richard F. Editor-in-Chief: Spencer</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-105.mp3">Download'>http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-105.mp3">Download this Episode now</a> </strong></h6><h5>A HUGE thanks to all our editors, past and present, from all of us here! We couldn’t make this happen without your help and technical expertise. We are usually in need of editing help – please, contact Spencer at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank">email@example.com</a> if you are interested in volunteering.</h5><h5>Music by: Josh Needleman. His website is at <a href="http://www.joshneedleman.net/">www.joshneedleman.net</a> and he has the music available to hear on his MySpace page at <a href="http://www.myspace.com/joshneedleman">www.myspace.com/joshneedleman</a>. Its title is <em>Floodgate</em>. Thanks, Josh!</h5><div><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-105.mp3">Download this Episode now</a></strong></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/4thAge/~4/kshjIjgNZzI" height="1" width="1"/>
It's almost time for Dragon*Con! This means that some of your friendly neighborhood Dragonmount Admins, including me, won't be able to post things on our front page for a few days because we will be busy representing our fandom at the convention. You'll still see some of your favorite features during that time, but we won't have a Fan Art Friday this Friday or a Weekly Roundup next Tuesday. Everything will be back and better than ever after Dragon*Con, though! I always enjoy it when our theory blog inspires people to post in our forums. If yesterday's blog made you hungry for more discussion of who the Broken Wolf might be, head to our A Memory of Light Non Spoiler Discussion forum and fill up with some hearty theories. Whether you call them wizards, sorcerers, or something else, their magic is still fascinating. Who are your favorite magic-wielding characters in the fantasy genre? Come share your picks in our General Discussion forum. It looks like the Ogier Social Group has some new entries in their haiku thread. Let's hear some of yours! The White Tower & Warders Social Group wants to know everyone's thoughts about why a man would choose to be a Warder. It seems like they are having a riveting discussion so far! More than just a nice story of an Aes Sedai and her Warder, Dancing Among Golden Leopards is a well-written role play that even features some original poetry. Come check it out! If you checked our Twitter account today, you may have noticed that we posted a link to an amusing comic featuring Rand and Lanfear. Did it make you chuckle? That's all I have for you today! Keep your eyes on this page, because we'll have plenty of exciting updates for you after Dragon*Con.
Salutations, my savvy sojourners of Dragonmount! Welcome to another weekly installment of "It Works in Theory", the new theory blog this gentleman has the giddy pleasure to write. I hope everyone's had fun so far in picking my brain apart; I know I've had plenty of fun (not as much sleep, however). I have enjoyed your comments so much, in fact, that I was inspired with what I think might be a great idea. Many of you who have left comments or have posted on our forums have very good theories of your own that often have my head nodding and my mind thinking of all the implications they would entail. So, I thought it would be serendipitous if some of you could send in some of your ideas, and I could pick one idea once a month (or perhaps several if they can fit) and elucidate on all the ins and outs on my blog. Just to clarify: I more than likely wouldn't pick one out that I disagree with just to pick it apart. It's more than likely I'll go with one I find to be interesting or provocative, and try to expound in other ways that the theory could be significant. If this sounds like a good idea, or if you had any other suggestions or possible topics for my blog, you can either PM me here on Dragonmount or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think this is me being lazy and you don't feel like doing my work for me, feel free to pretend your computer monitor is my face and dash it, dash it good. Now, on to our weekly disclaimer: WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!!! WARNING!!! This blog is based on theories that will include facts and material from the latest books in the series, so if you have not read through Towers of Midnight, continue reading at your own risk! "It Works in Theory" is not intended for human consumption. Should any hypothesis or presupposition come into contact with your skin or eyes, flush the affected area with a tepid saline solution for at least 10 minutes. Should a rash or itching persist, consult a physician or visit the forums. I figured we'd go with something slightly different this week, both to give my fingers and my readers' eyes a rest. Instead of breaking down another one of my wacky, convoluted theories for umpteen paragraphs, I thought it might be nice to highlight an individual set of prophecies or viewings every now and again. We already have a great resource for general Wheel of Time questions in our Wheel of Time FAQ, and there you can find an explanation of what the prophecies might be referring to, so this is just another take on it. Today, we are going to examine the Dark Prophecies. There's some uncertainty over one of the prophecies--the one introduced to us when Padan Fain escapes from the dungeons in Fal Dara, towards the end of The Great Hunt. It was written in blood on the walls of the dungeon, and we were lucky enough to have Verin record it down for us so that she could study it and give her thoughts on it. It was verified later to be a Myrddraal, possibly influenced by Ishamael, who actually wrote the prophecy on the wall. When asked about whether or not the Fal Dara prophecy was a true dark prophecy, Robert Jordan gave us a Read And Find Out response, leading us to believe that even if it's not true prophecy, there's still something we can gain from studying it. The Daughter of Night is obviously Lanfear, and she walks again in the world after being released from the prison containing the Dark One. She fights his ancient war against the Light. I will say there might be subtle foreshadowing in the phrasing of "yet fights" relating to her capture and "death" in the land of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, which she survives to fight yet again. I talked about the next line last week in my blog when I spoke of the possibility of Lanfear gaining control of Rand through Callandor (here's the link in case you missed it). I think Rand is her new lover--new because he's not quite the same person she remembers from the Age of Legends--but others have brought up the possibility of her falling for someone else. I'm still not quite sure how Rand might serve her after dying, though, but I've got a theory (not to be revealed this week, however). The last couple of lines are fairly important because part of them might be overlooked. "Who shall stand against her coming" could possibly be a reference to Moiraine, who stood up against Lanfear in The Fires of Heaven, but could also be foreshadowing of a future event. Then we come to "The Shining Walls shall kneel", which many take to mean that the White Tower (Shining Walls) will defer to someone else's authority, most likely Rand's. I contend that the line is both a metaphor and not one at the same time. "Shining Walls" refers to the White Tower, but when it says the "walls" shall "kneel", I take that to mean the shining walls and towers of the White Tower will fall. We know the Seanchan are gearing up for a second attack on Tar Valon, and that the White Tower is lightly defended because so many forces are currently gathered at the Fields of Merrilor. There isn't any indication, however, that the Seanchan would want to hold the White Tower. They just want to capture as many marath'damane as possible, so it could very well come to pass that they simply demolish the Tower after they pillage it for whatever resources and treasures they can find. This is the refrain from the prophecy we're currently reviewing, and I just wanted to address some things I felt were relevant. We have a good amount of references to the Dragon's blood having something to do with mankind's salvation, but nothing indicates why we might specifically need his blood for the Dark One to be defeated. I also have a theory on that (yes, I'm saving that one too), but I feel the last line of the refrain might be hinting at something. Blood is--Rand is the Dragon Reborn, and the Champion of the Light. Blood was--Lews Therin was the Dragon and helped seal the Dark One away for three millenia. Blood shall ever be--either the Dragon will always be reborn to fight the Dark One, or perhaps that Rand survives Tarmon Gai'don using his "blood"? The channeling man is Rand, and the second line is referring to the callus way in which Rand uses those around him to get what he thinks he needs. He puts Mat and Perrin, as well as countless others he meets, directly in harm's way with little hesitation. The next part is very interesting because it can be interpreted in two completely different ways. The first way is from the perspective of Darkfriends: one path leads him to "death beyond dying" because either he's balefired, the Dark One grabs his soul, or his soul is destroyed in Tel'aran'rhiod; the second path leads him to life eternal, for that is what is promised by the Dark One should he come to rule the land. The alternate way of looking at it is that Rand can either end up destroying the Pattern, which leads to "death beyond dying", or he can take the other path and seal the Dark One away. The last line is also very significant because it is ominous foreshadowing to both the hand that he lost when he captured Semirhage and to Rand's internal conflict as he wonders which hand was destroyed, the one that shelters, or the one that slays. This whole stanza involves the origins of one of our most mysterious bad guys, Slayer. Perrin knows there is some relationship between Slayer and Lord Luc, who he met when he went to the defense of the Two Rivers in The Shadow Rising, because their smells are somewhat similar. One of the most interesting aspects of Slayer is the fact that both halves of his makeup have very interesting lineages that could have many possible outcomes in the last book: Lord Luc is Tigraine's brother, making him Rand's uncle; Isam is the son of Breyan, the woman known for having a large part in Malkier's betrayal, and through this line he is Lan Mandragoran's cousin. This is better than daytime soap operas, huh? The last bit we can glean from this particular passage is the reference to the Darkhounds' hunt, which Slayer is at least involved in, and more than likely leading. He's also been referenced as being given the task of hunting Padan Fain down, so he has plenty of possible confrontations in his future. The "time of change" simply refers to the last days before Tarmon Gai'don and the possibility of the Pattern being unraveled. The "Watchers" are clearly the "Watchers over the waves", who wait for the return of Artur Hawkwing's armies from across the ocean. The "seed of the Hammer" refers to Hawkwing's descendants, the Seanchan, where he was known as "The Hammer of the Light". The Seanchan burned the ancient tree when they defeated Tarabon because Tarabon's sigil is a tree, which is supposed to be a sapling of Avendesora, the Tree of Life. The middle two lines are pretty cryptic and hard to discern, but the next line is somewhat enticing to me. One way to look at the "seed" slaying ancient wrong is by correlating the Seanchan with the earlier mention of seed. The ancient wrong that they would slay could potentially be the practice of leashing channelers as damane, or possibly even slavery in general. Another way to look at it is switching Rand out with the Seanchan, and his ancient wrong could be the Dark One himself. I see this possibility and other obscure references as hints to Rand's possible re-altering of the Pattern itself, in which he replaces the cyclical expression of time in his universe with a linear expression of time. This is very iffy, but I'll probably explore that idea further some other day. Next, we have the grade "A" approved Dark Prophecy, found at the end of Towers of Midnight. This prophecy is misinterpreted earlier in the same book by Graendal, when she attempts to set a trap for Perrin and his army. The seals holding the Dark One's prison are weakening, and the "limbs" more than likely refer to the the ancestry of the male channelers who created his prison, and how the skill and ability to use the One Power is being culled out of humanity. Channelers today aren't able to complete anywhere near the same type of feats as they were able to in the Age of Legends. The rest of the excerpt goes on to elaborate on how awful and dark things will get as the Dark One's influence grows. The one-eyed fool is Mat, and the halls of mourning could possibly be when he went into the realm of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn to rescue Moiraine. The Aelfinn and Eelfinn feed on emotion, and it seems the particularly delectable morsels are the emotions drawn from those suffering and in agony. It also seems pretty clear that many have died in its halls, which is another reference to mourning. Lastly, they describe themselves as "the warriors of final regret". The "first among vermin" is most likely Rand because it's a good play on the wording of Lews Therin's title in the Age of Legends: First Among Servants. There's other ideas relating the first among vermin to either Fain, Perrin, Moridin, or possibly Slayer, but Rand is the best option because he's the one who will be most directly responsible for freeing the Dark One when he breaks the seals. As for the "fallen blacksmith", that most definitely is Perrin, but the fallen part might be more ominous than we realize. There is a chance that Perrin might be one of the characters who don't survive the Last Battle. Don't start throwing things at me yet! The great thing is that even after he died, he could still have a hand in shaping things, especially concerning his abilities in Tel'aran'rhiod. Many would say, though, that the part concerning "the fallen blacksmith's pride" was fulfilled when he quit trying to deny the mantle of leadership, which is a reasonable enough conclusion. One idea I thought of, though, could be the possibility that the pride here refers to his wolf friends. We've had an image ready to visualize for a long time of Perrin riding into battle with thousands of wolves running with him and burning through the hordes of Trollocs like a brush fire in west Texas. They're his pack, not a pride as we normally think of with lions, and his connection to the wolves is where he gets a big source of strength, individuality, force of will, and pride. So, the line could refer to Perrin leading a very large number of wolves to their death, which would be heartbreaking because it would be the second time Perrin will have been responsible for that many wolf deaths (the first being Dumai's Wells). Wow, I really like theorizing about deaths of characters and races, don't I? The way you interpret the last part of the passage depends on your idea of what "broken wolf" means. Some might think this would be Perrin, or a bunch of other alternatives that make less and less sense, but there's a much stronger case for Rand. There are a couple of comparisons made between Rand and wolves in the books, and he even has his own wolf-name, Shadowkiller. The point is that Perrin isn't the only one in the series who could be connected with wolves somehow. A much more thorough and elaborate argument is made by Terez in the Wheel of Time FAQ; she pretty much lays it all out very well. Still, after all that, there is one line which is usually interpreted one way but could easily mean something else. "His destruction" is generally considered to be his death, but it is very possible it could be referring to the destruction he will cause. There's still only one person who truly could be said to cause enough destruction that it could shake the very will of men. That's right, you guessed it, Dark Rand 2.0 came back to rear his giant, ugly, prophetic head. I actually meant to make this connection last week, but forgot in my sleep deprived, zombie-like state of mind. Imagine Rand going to the Midnight Towers to be used like a puppet, wreaking a wild, destructive force across the countryside, balefiring friend and foe alike. Yeah, that would shake the will of men alright. The Lord of the Evening more than likely refers to Moridin, in that as Rand is known as the Lord of the Morning, Moridin as his arch nemesis would be the opposite. Being that the Lord of Morning will face the Broken Champion, it stands to reason that Rand would be the Broken Champion for a few reasons. No one else could really face Moridin and have a chance, unless they had some kind of sa'angreal or something, which would probably be referenced in the prophecy. Rand is the Light's Champion, and he refers to himself as being broken several times in the books. Then we come to the last part of the prophecy, another reference to the spilling of Rand's blood possibly being a necessary catalyst for the freeing of the Dark One/defeat of the Dark One. I definitely want to contemplate this "Blood" issue hopefully in the weeks to come, so I might need a little more time for dramatic build up and eager anticipation to occur. You might or might not be seeing a blog from me next week, as the site will be busy handling the Dragonmount duties at Dragon*Con this coming weekend (plus it's my birthday next Monday), so it might be a good idea to emotionally, mentally, and physically prepare for a possible week of no theory blog. I'm sure you'll manage!
Next weekend is the 25th anniversary of Dragon*Con, the largest fan run pop arts convention in the world. It also marks the 11th year of Wheel of Time programming at Dragon*Con. Here's some helpful links for Wheel of Time fans attending the convention. Official Wheel of Time track website Tentative Wheel of Time track schedule Tentative convention schedule grid Official Dragon*Con App If you're planning on attending, please stop by our forums and let us know.
You asked, they listened! Ta'veren Tees now has a Wolfsister shirt available to be pre-ordered from their website. Here's what they had to say about the shirt:
Alright, so I've been busy lately. I'm teaching again, which obviously keeps me busy all day. I'm also in my final semester of grad school (I'm getting my M. Ed. in Special Education), I just got home from WorldCon and I'm running the Wheel of Time track at Dragon*Con next week. So hopefully, you all can excuse my slackerness here recently. To make up for it, I am working on something super cool that you'll get to see after Dragon*Con. Anyways, I still don't have time to update here, but I didn't want to leave you hanging. So consider this an open fan art thread. Have an awesome piece of art (yours or someone else's)? Post it in the comments for all to see. I'll probably end up mining this thread later for ideas, so if you've ever wanted me to feature something, now's a good time to post it. See you at Dragon*Con!
So, we Wheel of Time fans might start searching for a new epic once the Wheel of Time has finally come to a conclusion. Well, we need not go very far. Our very own Brandon Sanderson has recently published a novel by the name of The Way of Kings. The good news doesn’t end there, though, since it’s not a stand-alone novel or even a trilogy. It’s planned that it will be a 10-book series. I, for one, am very excited. From the back cover of the novel: I have found that there is nothing more disappointing than reading a book which was surrounded by great hype and excitement, then finding that you painted it to be so much more in your mind. AnyWheel of Time fan who thinks Brandon Sanderson has done a good job of finishing the last few books will agree that they expect a lot from the poor man. Luckily, I can say that this was not the case with The Way Of Kings. I was immediately ensnared into the world that Brandon Sanderson created despite at first having a bit of a hard time imagining all the animals to be some adaptation of the crabs we commonly know. The world creation was so well-rounded and deep, and that's not all. We get to know the world through the eyes of the characters, its history, and the thoughts and beliefs that the people hold. The leading protagonists are flawed characters. In this case, it makes it easier for us to relate to them. You howl and cry in frustration for their mistakes and rejoice in their victories. The plot of the story could have been better, in my opinion. I found it slightly predictable at times, and then it caught me completely by surprise at other times. It was still great and a definite attention-gripping narrative. All in all, it is a book that I recommend you definitely should read. You will come to love the world and the people in it.
<p>Nakomi, the mysterious Aiel woman Aviendha met in the Waste on her way to Rhuidean, and other oddities found is our topic for the 104th Episode of The 4th Age Podcast. Your hosts for this episode are Andrew, Virginia, Spencer, and Carrie.</p><p>(This episode, like most of our talks, is chock full of spoilers if you haven’t read Towers of Midnight yet!) <span style="color: #800000;">Warning: SPOILER ALERT!</span></p><p>Be sure to check out <a href="http://www.dragonmount.com">Dragonmount.com</a> for forums, comments and all the latest news in the Wheel of Time world.</p><p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>ATTENTION! THERE ARE TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT SPOILERS in this podcast!</strong> </span><em>Also, spoilers on ALL the other books are VERY likely!</em> If you haven’t read all the way through the Wheel of Time, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS of all previous books! There may be spoilers of other book series, tv series, and movies as well, too, or anything ELSE we can think of in the known and unknown universe…. We will try to give warning. There will be no guarantees, however.</p><p>Hosts: Andrew, Virginia, Spencer, and Carrie</p><h6>Editor for this episode: Ken S. Editor-in-Chief: Spencer</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-104.mp3">Download'>http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-104.mp3">Download this Episode now</a> </strong></h6><h5>A HUGE thanks to all our editors, past and present, from all of us here! We couldn’t make this happen without your help and technical expertise. We are usually in need of editing help – please, contact Spencer at <a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank">firstname.lastname@example.org</a> if you are interested in volunteering.</h5><h5>Music by: Josh Needleman. His website is at <a href="http://www.joshneedleman.net/">www.joshneedleman.net</a> and he has the music available to hear on his MySpace page at <a href="http://www.myspace.com/joshneedleman">www.myspace.com/joshneedleman</a>. Its title is <em>Floodgate</em>. Thanks, Josh!</h5><div><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-104.mp3">Download this Episode now</a></strong></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/4thAge/~4/uQRxdXXCrAE" height="1" width="1"/>
It looks like it's that time of the week already! Let's see what's been happening on the boards. Do you think Rand will survive the Last Battle? Terez has proposed an interesting theory about this in the General Wheel of Time Discussion forum. Are you a Minecraft fanatic? The ongoing discussion of this popular game continues in our Games Discussion forum. If you haven't read the Aiel Social Group's latest edition of their newsletter, "The Dedicated Spear," what are you waiting for? The suspense caused by nominating and voting is finally over. The Shayol Ghul Social Group is announcing the winners of the Ghoulie Awards here! Summer is almost over, which means it's time for some to head back to school. Come take a trip down memory lane with the White Tower Social Group's Red Ajah as they lead their Back to School Week. It looks like our role players may have a new Warder on their hands soon. Come see what happens here. Were any of you at WorldCon this weekend? Some of our members were there. You can see what shenanigans they got up to by visiting our Twitter account. Have a great Tuesday, everyone!
Willkommen, various visitors of Dragonmount! Welcome to week 3 of Dragonmount's new theory blog, which I happen to have the privilege to write. I hope everyone brought their pipe, monocle, and smoking jacket so you'll be prepared to contemplate and philosophize about what we cover today! Due to the length of today's dissertation, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a pillow to get as comfortable as you can. Once again, before we begin, let's go ahead and get out our little disclaimer: WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!!! WARNING!!! This blog is based on theories that will include facts and material from the latest books in the series, so if you have not read through Towers of Midnight, continue reading at your own risk! Any views and opinions expressed in "It Works in Theory" are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Dragonmount, any of the staff or members of Dragonmount, or of any sites affiliated with Dragonmount, Brandon Sanderson, any of Team Jordan, Herid Fel, anyone of the Fourth Age, or anyone with more than half a brain, for that matter. This week I'll be continuing the ramifications of the theory I presented last week (Hand of Onyx) in which I theorized that there was a "Dark Callandor" which would counter the power of Callandor, and also possibly facilitate the transfer of souls between Rand and Moridin (click here for Body Swap Theory). The main focus of some of the effects that this theory will have will center on the phrase "Twice dawns the day...", which we get from prophecy. So, without further ado, let us begin! Let's go ahead and get some of the preliminary quotes out of the way concerning this phrase and others that might relate to it: and yet another one from The Great Hunt, out of the Prophecies of the Dragon: There's actually some really good ideas out there for possible ways the twice-dawning day can come true. One of my favorites is the idea of an eclipse happening. This would be somewhat out of left field (in a good way) and would tie in fairly well with a lot of prophecies. The only problem I really see with it is it's harder to directly associate Rand with the eclipse ending. Why does the Dark One need to do an eclipse when he can shut the sun out with cloud cover every day? Another theory I've heard mentioned is that the volcano on Dragonmount, the mountain created by Lews Therin Telamon that is this site's namesake, will erupt. I'm less a fan of this one because even a massive eruption from Dragonmount wouldn't quite be enough to compare to the brightness of a second dawn. In addition, how would the "once for mourning, once for birth" line fit in there? I'm going in a slightly different direction with my theory. I believe too many instances exist involving a link between Rand and dawn to dismiss. There's also another connection made in the books between something else and bright sunlight or dawn: objects of Power that are drawing on massive amounts of saidin or saidar. This brilliant light is seen by non-channelers as well, as we find from the two random passersby who venture near the male and female Choedan Kal in the taint cleansing scene in Winter's Heart: Now we know the Last Battle has begun. The Shadow reaches across the Pattern, and the Dark One's influence upon the world grows. It will grow even more when Rand breaks the seals. As it is, the Dark One has been able to make things, well, pretty dark for a while, both literally and figuratively. The skies of Randland have been cast over with cloud cover the past few months, only parting around Rand after his "Veins of Gold" epiphany. I think it's safe to say that he can make things even darker in Randland, even without an eclipse. I think a "tempest" of a dark thundercloud will explode above Shayol Ghul and blanket the skies with an even more impenetrable darkness. Under such conditions, the normal dawn isn't even noticed at all because the sky is so dark. And yet, as Rand confronts Moridin, each wielding their sword sa'angreal, the amount of Power being channeled will become a beacon in the sky, a radiant sun on the horizon (more than likely the confrontation will happen at Shayol Ghul, which is far enough from any civilizations that it would appear on the horizon for almost everyone). Remember, Callandor blocks balefire, as we see in the fight at the end of The Dragon Reborn between Rand and Ba'alzamon. It is more than likely that the Dark Callandor will have the same property, so this won't be a quick balefire fight to the dea- erm, oblivion. In fact, this property of Callandor might even have something to do with the Body Swap. So, BAM! The body swap happens, and Rand gets put in Moridin's body, while Moridin is put in Rand's. The circle of Alivia and Nyneave will now be controlling Moridin; however, in a big blow to the Light, Rand becomes controlled by the circle of Cyndane and Moghedien. Remember that first verse in the dark Prophecy we saw written on the wall of the Fal Dara prison cell after Padan Fain's escape? The "Daughter of the Night" is obviously Lanfear, who has been transmigrated into Cyndane. We never really saw her make Rand, her "new" lover, serve her up to this point, even though she was manipulating him for a time when she was donning her alter ego, Selene. There's also other parts of prophecy that suggest he will be controlled: The first reference has to with his destruction of the Aiel, and the second has to do with making the Seanchan submit to him. The "wound of madness" is most likely the taint on saidin, and I would speculate that the cutting of hope that he healed has to do with the internal struggle he was having up until "Veins of Gold". The chains he has broken could have to do with the bonds of all men he breaks with his coming, but I'm crossing my fingers that it means he gets the Seanchan to free all damane. That last part could be foreshadowing the chains that Rand will be put in because of the transfer. So, now we see the ultimate reason why there is always so much devastation linked with the coming of the Dragon Reborn. Yes, he is the world's savior, but for a time, he will be the ultimate weapon of destruction. He will truly break the world with his loss of control to the Shadow. There's many things I can see happening in this scenario, and almost none of them are good. One of the awful atrocities I think he definitely will commit will be confronting his own gathering of Aiel and unleashing massive destruction on his own people. I suspect Rand might even kill Lan in this mode; the irony of Lan surviving a suicide mission to the Blight just to be killed defending Nyneave from Dark Rand 2.0 would be too much to pass on. Nyneave's grief was very important in a viewing Min had of Nyneave; it might be the thing which finally lets her truly let her anger go. If she's able to forgive Rand for killing her love (this would be after Rand is resurrected again, of course, so then there's no need for her to hold up that defense mechanism wall of anger ever again). You probably noticed I mentioned Rand's resurrection even though I hadn't covered his death yet. Don't worry, I'm getting there. This muddled spiderweb of a blog post has a purpose, and it should all come together perfectly in the end, I hope think. We already know that Alivia is guaranteed to be one of the people that will "help Rand die". One of the others is almost certainly going to be Moiraine in my opinion, simply because we've had an indication from Moiraine starting all the way back in the first book, The Eye Of The World, that if she felt it was in the Light's best interests to take Rand out, she wouldn't hesitate. I strongly suspect that the last person in the circle to take out Dark Rand 2.0 will be Narishma, because he seems to have his own connection to Callandor after drawing it out of the Heart of the Stone. His dark complexion also makes him a perfect candidate for satisfying Egwene's dream of a dark young man wielding a very shiny object (A Crown of Swords). It is at some point during this tirade of terror when Rand sees himself either killing or about to kill Aviendha that he suddenly has "a memory of light" and wrests control back from Cyndane, giving Alivia and friends time to kill him. I believe he will end up dying in the Pit of Doom, his blood spilling on the rocks of Shayol Ghul to satisfy prophecy. Now we come to why this dawn is the one for mourning. The Light just saw their Champion turned against them, pave a wide swath of destruction through their forces, and die before the Last Battle was done. Many would be devastated, others would rejoice that Dark Rand 2.0 is dead, or that the Dragon is dead. Overall, though, things would look very bleak indeed. I suggest that if you haven't read Terez's writeup on "Blood on the Rocks" and all the mystery surrounding Rand's death and possible resurrection, do it now. It states very clearly how easy and practical it would be for Nyneave to "rip" Rand out of Tel'aran'rhiod, just like Birgitte was. She would most likely need some help from Perrin, Egwene, and others in fending off Slayer and other Shadowspawn, and possibly Rand's help in fighting off the Dark One himself reaching for Rand's soul. Rand would also need his three ladies waiting in the real world to bond him immediately to keep him from dying when he is ripped out of Tel'aran'rhiod. Once resurrected, he turns things back to how they should be very quickly, brings Sunlight to Shayol Ghul through pure willpower, and seals the Dark One away for another turning of the Wheel. This second dawning would represent birth, in that Rand has a whole new life, a new opportunity to find love without the world resting on his shoulders, and the birth of a new age. It's possible that most Randlanders would perceive the two dawns as being the normal sunrise, and the brilliant explosion of light coming from Rand and Moridin's fight, but I feel in the philosophical and literary artistic sense that it is more fitting that the second dawn be the rebirth of Rand. With that, ladies and germs, my mind is about to collapse so I must put a stake in this undying vampire of a blog's heart, and bid you adieu.
Wow, the people at Ta'veren Tees are unveiling lots of exciting things this month! Here's the information for their newest bit of fun: I don't know about you, but I'm going to go vote as soon as I've finished typing this!