Calichniye, my cunning companions of Dragonmount! Welcome to another weekly installment of "It Works in Theory," Dragonmount's wild ride of a theory blog! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving last week, for those who celebrate it. For those who don't, I hope you found some other reason to stuff your belly (it's never hard for me to find a reason to do so). I'm sure everyone is anxious for me to continue with the second part of last week's blog...(crickets chirping), but I have one quick announcement: This week, I'll be venturing forth on a cruise with my newlywed wife, and as such, there's a good chance you might not see a blog from me for the following week. Fear not, though, for I will bounce back again completely relaxed and rejuvenated and should have oodles of new theories for you to masticate upon. And now, for our weekly disclaimer (does anyone actually read these?):
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 a high velocity, roller coaster-type ride that includes sudden brief stops in hyperbole and sharp turns away from reason. Please secure all loose belongings and keep all attached and unattached limbs and body parts inside the blog at all times during the ride. Don't sway the cabin or rock the boat, that's my job. Due to the nature of the ride, guests with back and/or neck problems, expectant mothers, any who have recently had experimental non-FDA approved surgery, or anyone without an open mind or a sense of humor should not ride this blog.
As this is the second part of a two-part entry, I'll go ahead and review what we covered in last week's blog: The Gray Tower. It seems obvious to me that the White Tower and the Black Tower will not exist in the same way after both of their impending altercations. Many signs point to a joint organization being formed, a "Gray Tower," which would combine both of their forces and allow men and women to work together again using the One Power to help their world flourish after Tarmon Gai'don. This week, I'm going to cover exactly how that might occur. It seems like it might be a tall order after all, since the current leader of the Black Tower is an evil maniac, and the leader of the White Tower is somewhat biased regarding the sanity of male channelers. So, who would help these two groups come together to resolve their differences and work together?
Why, who else but the Dragon Reborn himself, Rand al'Thor?
Back in A Crown of Swords, Elaida a'Roihan had a Foretelling that seemed to assure her of her own control of the White Tower. She ended up drastically misinterpreting the Foretelling, but let's take another look at that vision of the future and see if we can glean more of what it really meant.
A Crown of Swords
The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds. This I Foretell.
The White Tower ended up becoming whole again, only it was under Egwene as Amyrlin, not Elaida. The Black Tower section is part of why I think some kind of calamity will ensue there, which will cause the Asha'man to have to find a new home. The part in the middle, about Rand facing the Amyrlin Seat and knowing her anger, is what really interests me. Some suggest that this in fact has already happened, when Rand visited the White Tower in Towers of Midnight. After all, Egwene wasn't exactly happy to hear about Rand's plan to break the seals on the Dark One's prison. However, I don't think this to be the case, as she wasn't nearly as angry as she was awestruck by Rand; she sensed the profound change inside him. There's also another reason I don't think Rand has "known her anger"...yet.
The Fires of Heaven
Chapter 15, "What Can Be Learned in Dreams"
Rand sitting down in a chair, and somehow she knew that the chair's owner would be murderously angry at having her chair taken; that the owner was a woman was as much as she could pick out of that, and not a thing more.
So, in one of Egwene's Dreams, she sees Rand taking a woman's seat, and that woman being very upset with him. Could this mysterious woman in fact be the same woman whose anger Rand would be "gettin schooled" in from Elaida's Foretelling? In the Wheel of Time FAQ, they bring up the possibility that this has occured already as well. It's possible that this happened when Rand briefly sat on the Lion Throne after securing the rule of Andor later in the same book as the Dream. Morgase would be considered the rightful owner at the time, and she did become pretty upset with the thought of Rand taking her throne. Another possibility mentioned is that the chair is the Crystal Throne, but at this point I find this to be highly unlikely; I just don't think there's enough time in the series for Rand to visit the continent of Seanchan and rob it from Tuon. So, this dream of Egwene's could be a possible foreshadowing of Rand sitting in the Amyrlin Seat's seat itself, which would cause her to be extremely upset, of course.
There's one more piece of evidence that I wanted to cover, and it's a little less solid, but together with the other pieces, it does make the picture slightly clearer.
The Shadow Rising
Chapter 19, "The Wavedancer"
The White Tower shall be broken by his name, and Aes Sedai shall kneel to wash his feet and dry them with their hair.
This quote is taken from the Jendai Prophecies. Many might look at the footwashing part mainly as flavor text that would mainly indicate Aes Sedai serving him, but keep in mind the odd ritual carried out during the ceremony of raising someone to the Amyrlin Seat:
Lord of Chaos
Chapter 35, "In the Hall of the Sitters"
The ceremony for choosing a new Amyrlin is very old and very strict. The woman is chosen and brought in front of the sitters for each Ajah. The first part of the ceremony is to make sure that only women are present. The oldest Aes Sedai stands and inspects each woman, who is naked to the waist, in order to make sure only women are present. Ages ago this portion would have been conducted with every woman completely naked. Once it is determined that every person present is a woman the ceremony continues until the woman who has been brought in front of the sitters is asked, "How would you serve the tower?" The woman responds, "by serving as Amyrlin." The sisters present then stand if they feel the woman should be raised. Generally, most take their time as to show they will not be easily controlled by the new Amyrlin. All sisters must be standing in order to raise a new Amyrlin, as the tower must remain whole. If some are not standing, the woman must go through and wash every sister's feet individually and ask, "Please allow me to serve." Once the washing is done, the vote is taken again and a third time if it is necessary. If by that time not every sister stands, the woman who had hoped to be raised will most likely be exiled along with the women that voted for her, because they would always be a reminder of division within the tower. Once raised, the woman is given the stole with the colors of each Ajah on it.
First of all, let me state that the undressing portion of the ritual is extremely odd and is probably an example of why some have been heard to complain about a possible sexist feel to the series. Moving past that, though, you'll see the part of the ritual I was referring to before. If an Amyrlin is being raised and every Sitter doesn't stand for her, the would-be Amyrlin must go to every one of the Sitters and wash their feet, asking them to let her serve. This seems a little different than the scenario described in prophecy, but let's not forget that several rituals and traditions have changed greatly over the years. The Oath Rod itself, which is used to swear Aes Sedai in after achieving the Shawl, was used as a way of punishing criminals back in the Age of Legends. So, it could be that the ritual became skewed over time and ended up having the Amyrlin doing the footwashing, when originally they were the ones getting their feet washed.
A funny little footnote to this theory is the fact that Rand, being Lews Therin reborn, might even have an odd sort of claim to the Amyrlin Seat. After all, Lews Therin was the Amyrlin himself before he committed the most extreme version of hari-kari ever, and for all we know the laws of that time might not have made the Seat automatically pass to someone else upon the Amyrlin's death. In that case, Rand would simply state that he already was the Amyrlin, and proceed to start barking out orders like General George S. Patton, foregoing the whole footwashing business altogether.
So, what would cause Rand to do such a thing? Is it the Two Rivers young prankster side of him coming back out for a moment, stealing Egwene's chair for a second just to upset her? I doubt it, but I'm sure plenty of fans of the series wouldn't mind Egwene being brought down a peg or two (judging from the forums, Egwene appears to be an extremely polarizing figure). More than likely, the disaster that will befall the White Tower will end up being placed at Egwene's feet, since she has taken a large percentage of the defensive forces of the White Tower with her to the Fields of Merrilor in an attempt to convince Rand not to break the seals. It goes without saying (which is why I'm typing it) that the fall of Tar Valon would be a huge loss for the forces of Light, not to mention that several important items are being safeguarded there. Should the attack be comprised solely of Seanchan troops, then Tuon would have a powerful edge in negotiations between the two (Rand would likely end up buying the Horn off her with another trinket that would be immensely valuable to her, but that's a story for a future blog). Should the Horn end up being stolen by the forces of the Dark, it would be a very bleak day for Rand and friends indeed.
Rand obviously would be very upset at Egwene for committing such a grievous transgression, and combined with the fact that Egwene would more than likely oppose the idea of Asha'man joining the ranks of the White Tower, it might be enough to make him so upset that he temporarily commandeers the Seat in order to help force the Aes Sedai to accept their new peers. Don't forget about the Dream that I quoted in part 1 of this entry, in which Egwene saw the window across from the Amyrlin Seat that had the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai (The Dragon's Fang mixed with the Flame of Tar Valon, making a yin-yang like symbol); this symbol is said to be the symbol under which the Dragon Reborn conquers. Egwene has been dreaming of an important confronation with Rand for some time, and instead of it being over the breaking of the Seals like most of us believe, it could in fact be a confrontation over the leadership of the new "Gray Tower" itself.
I have two more things to mention before I go. First, I'll ask you to please be nice when adding comments for this week's blog. As I mentioned before, Egwene can be a particularly polarizing figure, and if you have certain strong feelings about her, just try your best to keep it respectful. Second, I want to remind you that the JordanCon fundraiser is ending on December 1st. Go here if you would like to participate. With that, I bid you adieu for a couple weeks, and I'll send everyone warm, happy thoughts from the Bahamas!