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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

It Works in Theory...(Week 2)


hazelkrs1

Hello there, fellow denizens of Dragonmount! Welcome to another weekly installment of "It Works in Theory...", Dragonmount's brand new theory blog headed by yours truly! Before I begin, let me say that I was thrilled to read all the comments and responses to last week's premiere entry, and I hope to continue to find little tidbits and ideas for you to bounce around in your head a little bit. Also, let me put in this disclaimer for legal purposes:

 

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 free-flowing narrative that occasionally touches on immature subjects, and if you don't like that, then your mama wears combat boots.

 

There's one more thing I want to address before I move to the focus of this week's issue. Obviously, any theory I put out here is just one opinion or take on a subject. There's a good chance I'll be way off base with various predictions, but I occasionally will get lucky and hit the nail right on the head, and there's a chance I might spoil some big reveal for you. I know you're probably aware of this already, but I only stress this because I get the feeling I might have tripped onto the bombshell theory I was looking for last week.

 

So, what is the subject of today's article? It has to do with the "hand of onyx" that Min sees in a vision involving Callandor around Rand in Towers of Midnight. I was extremely excited to cover this topic because in earlier theories and discussions regarding the hand of onyx, Tel'aran'rhiod is usually brought up as a way of helping Rand replace the hand that Semirhage blew away. For a long time I believed something like this might happen, and I found it to be an amazing allusion to another favorite fantasy series of mine: The Chronicles of Amber, written by Roger Zelazny.

 

In The Chronicles of Amber, there exists a world/plane of existence known as Tir-na Nog'th, and there are huge similarities between it and Tel'aran'rhiod, the world of dreams in The Wheel of Time. Of course the names even look similar, but the overall feel of the two worlds, their relation to dreams/visions, and their use by the authors to reveal certain hints and foreshadowing all draw big parallels as well. There is also a main character in The Chronicles of Amber called Benedict, who is an amazing swordsman who loses a hand but later gains an artificial hand from Tir-na Nog'th that he uses to replace his lost appendage.

 

Unfortunately, even though it's still possible that Robert Jordan was alluding to Zelazny's epic fantasy series, I have come to a different conclusion regarding the hand of onyx. Before I go further, let's examine the full quote regarding the dark hand, found in Towers of Midnight, the last book to come out in the series:

 

Towers of Midnight

Chapter 51, "A Testing"

 

The hair on Min's neck rose as she held the crystal sword. Callandor. She'd heard stories of this weapon since she was a child, wild tales of distant Tear and the strange Sword That Is Not a Sword. Now she held it in her own fingers.

 

It was lighter than she'd expected. Its crystalline length caught and played with the lamplight. It seemed to shimmer too much, the light inside changing even when she didn't move. The crystal was smooth, but warm. It almost felt alive.

 

Rand stood in front of her, looking down at the weapon. They were in their rooms inside the Stone of Tear, accompanied by Cadsuane, Narishma, Merise, Naeff and two Maidens.

 

Rand reached out, touching the weapon. She glanced at him, and a viewing sprang to life above him. A glowing sword, Callandor, being gripped in a black hand. She gasped.

 

"What did you see?" Rand asked softly.

 

"Callandor, held in a fist. The hand looks to be made of onyx."

 

"Any idea what it means?"

 

She shook her head.

 

There's also another viewing Min has, earlier in the same book, that seems very closely related to this matter:

 

Towers of Midnight

Chapter 25, "Return to Bandar Eban"

 

"Rand, I see sunlight around you."

 

He looked up at her, then glanced at the sky.

 

"Not that sunlight," Min whispered. "A viewing. I see dark clouds, pushed away by the sunlight's warmth. I see you, a brilliant white sword held in your hand, wielded against one of black, held by a faceless darkness. I see trees, growing green again, bearing fruit. I see a field, the crops healthy and full." She hesitated. "I see the Two Rivers, Rand. I see an inn there with the mark of the Dragon's Fang inlaid on its door. No longer be [sic] a symbol of darkness or hate. A sign of victory and hope."

 

In my quest to wrap my head around this issue and figure out what I thought it might be referring to, I started to look at different theories and discussion relating to Callandor. I still couldn't quite get a grasp on what I was looking for, so I started to venture to other subjects and focused on one in particular: The BLANK in the Blight.

 

From Brandon Sanderson Q&A at Dragon*Con, September 4, 2010

 

Q: This question has to do with a conversation I had with Wilson.

 

Brandon: Oh okay, is this going to be? Okay, I think I know what this is going to be.

 

Q: At last JordanCon I was talking with Wilson, and he was telling me about the night that Robert Jordan told him the end of the book.

 

Brandon: Uh huh.

 

Q: And he says that it started off with the word... they were talking about whatever, and it started off with Robert Jordan getting really quiet and then leaning in and saying, "There is a _____ in the Blight." To which that completely blindsides Wilson. He says, "There’s a what?!?" And Robert Jordan then says, "There's a _____ in the Blight and not even Harriet knows about it." And then went on for two hours describing about how this was important and pivotal and yet takes place... be really important for the end of the book. Any further hints?

 

Brandon: And see, Wilson can get away with stuff that I can't. And that is a story I've been told by three different people now. In fact, the first day I was there in Charleston, Harriet told it to me. Then Maria told it to me. And then I met Wilson later and he told it to me. Because that was the day when they suddenly said, "We need a tape recorder. Someone get a tape recorder." And I think Maria, like, went to the store to get one and came back with... But then, that was the session where he started for the first time dictating what was to happen and things like this. I do know that story. It's great for you to share it with everyone. I would not have shared that story because I have to be extra careful not to cross any lines. And so...you will get hints about whatever that was in the next book [Towers of Midnight].

 

At first I thought this was unrelated to what I had been researching, but suddenly I had a "Veins of Gold" type of revelation: There's a Callandor in the Blight. At least, there's a twin to Callandor in the Blight, a male sa'angreal most likely equal in power, which perhaps might even draw in the True Power instead of the One Power. This series has often examined the nature of duality (Light vs. Shadow, Saidin vs. Saidar, etc.) and the stage is set for the ultimate confrontation between the champion for the forces of Light (Rand) to face the champion of Shadow (Moridin). Both champions will have their sa'angreal swords, and both will have their two female companions to help them wield the swords (Rand has Nynaeve and Alivia; Moridin has Cyndane and Moghedien).

 

The only things we know about the _____ in the Blight are that it's something that would be very hard to unearth, that even Harriet didn't know about it, that it would be an instant shocker that must have huge implications, and that it would be hinted about in Towers of Midnight. I'd say the two Towers of Midnight quotes I provided would qualify for that, but there's even more hints:

 

Towers of Midnight

Chapter 32, "A Storm of Light"

 

"Have you ever wondered why Callandor is so often called a 'fearful blade' or 'the blade of ruin' in the prophecies?"

 

"It's such a powerful sa'angreal," he said. "Maybe it's because of the destruction it can cause?"

 

"Maybe," she said.

 

"You think it's something else."

 

"There's a phrase," Min said, "in the Jendai Prophecy. I wish we knew more of them. Anyway, it says 'and the Blade will bind him by twain.'"

 

"Two women," Rand said. "I need to be in a circle with two women to control it."

 

She grimaced.

 

"What?" Rand said. "You might as well be out with it, Min. I need to know."

 

"There's another phrase, from The Karaethon Cycle. Anyway, I think that Callandor might be flawed beyond that. I think it might...Rand, I think it might make you weak, open you to attack, if you use it."

 

"Perhaps that's how I'll be killed, then."

 

The flaw Min speaks of, the blade binding by twain, has to do with the fact that there is at least an equally powerful sa'angreal which is the perfect antithesis to Callandor, and that wielding Callandor in the presence of that other sa'angreal will lead to the Dragon's fall. Needing two women in a circle is a red herring here; we have often seen that we will miss something big because we overlook a part of prophecy or foreshadowing in the novels, thinking it already has been fulfilled or explained. There is another reference to this sa'angreal in the fourth book of the series, The Shadow Rising:

 

The Shadow Rising

Chapter 9, "Decisions"

 

Could he use a sword against a woman, against Selene? No, against Lanfear, against one of the Forsaken.

 

His back came up hard against something, and he looked around to see what it was. There was nothing there. A wall of nothing, with his back pressed against it. Callandor glittered not three paces away--on the other side. He thumped a fist against the barrier in frustration; it was as unyielding as rock.

 

"I cannot trust you fully, Lews Therin. Not yet." She came closer, and he considered simply seizing her. He was bigger and stronger by far--and blocked as he was, she could wrap him up with the Power like a kitten tangled in a ball of string. "Not with that, certainly," she added, grimacing at Callandor. "There are only two more powerful that a man can use. One at least, I know, still exists. No, Lews Therin. I will not trust you yet with that."

 

One of the sa'angreal that Lanfear mentions is the male Choedan Kal, which is now kaput. As for the other, the one that supposedly is stronger than Callandor:

 

From Netherlands tour 8 April 2001, Elf Fantasy Fair - Aan'allein reporting

 

Q: In The Shadow Rising, Lanfear mentioned two sa'angreal stronger than Callandor that a male could use. Is the second one ever going to appear?

 

Robert Jordan: Read And Find Out.

 

And here's another one four years later:

 

From Knife of Dreams tour 28 October 2005 - Jason Wolfbrother reporting

 

Jason Wolfbrother: Was Callandor constructed during the War of Power?

 

Robert Jordan: Yes

 

Jason Wolfbrother: Was it used in the War of Power?

 

Robert Jordan: Yes, that is how the flaw was discovered.

 

Jason Wolfbrother: Why didn't they ward/buffer Callandor?

 

Robert Jordan: The flaw with Callandor is simply a manufacturing flaw. (He went on to talk about how they were at the end of their tech age with only a few sho-wings and jo-cars left. A couple of shocklances were still around but they were not as prevalent as they had been. Anyway they had been mass producing ter'angreal, angreal, and sa'angreal, and there are bound to be flaws with the products. The flaw with Callandor is simply one such flaw.)

 

Jason Wolfbrother: What is the second most powerful angreal for men? Will it make an appearance?

 

Robert Jordan: RAFO (Read And Find Out).

 

So, how does all of this apply to the black hand holding Callandor? Well, we all know that there is a link between Rand and Moridin (for more information see Rand/Moridin Link). If you take this one step further, and introduce the body-swap theory (here's the link for that one Body Swap theory) which essentially states that Rand and Moridin will switch bodies due to their link and the amount of Power they will be channeling in the vicinity of Shayol Ghul, you begin to see how a black hand might hold Callandor. When Rand and Moridin swap bodies, Moridin will find himself in Rand's body, and he will be held in a circle by Nyneave and Alivia, but he will be wielding Callandor. The black hand in Min's vision means the same thing meant by a "blade of black, held by a faceless darkness", that it will be someone from the Shadow.

 

There are other possibilities with this theory, as well as big implications in how this will effect the outcome of the series. Seeing as I've already covered a large chunk of material and rambled on for too long already, I will have to continue the rest of this theory next week, when I cover what is meant by "the day that dawns twice". Thanks for stopping by again, and please feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree. Until next week!




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oh my god. i love this theory blog. i've read all the books once and i didn't think too much about the reference to two male sa'angreals more powerful than callandor. now that u brought it up i'm all excited about this. this is huge. can't wait to find out more about this other sa'angreal. waiting for more from you.

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I like this theory, I like it a lot actually.

 

I've always assumed the blank in the blight is actually a city. We've even seen a hint at a city in Towers of Midnight, when Perrin comes across the spot of blight with a strange looking tent or something that had switched places with normal land.

 

I think that's also how Trollocs were randomly popping up too. Just like the hallway switches we've seen, I think spots of land are switching.

 

However, back to your theory. It would work, and would make since that Alivia will kill Rand if she thinks he's actually Morridin. I hate the body swap theory, but it does work on a lot of levels. Rand as Moridin could kill his old body, making everyone weep which fulfulls black prophecy, then Alivia could kill Rand, which will allow them to switch back in T'A'R.

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I always wondered about those crazy, evil Aiel we see see with the pointed teeth, Perhaps many of the male Aiel channelers who have left the Three-fold land to fight the Dark one in the blight have been turned to the shadow, and the blank in the blight is a city of them.

 

However, its not a very strong theory, as I would think however long they have been there in the Blight, some could have seen them long since, so just speculation really.

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It's a nice theory but I think you're reading too much into the RAFO's. Those are the kind of questions that would get RAFO'd even if the answer is "no".

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When reading this I think there may be a possibility of the dark one taking a physical shape and take Callandor. This would, according to Mins viewing, be the Onyx hand that holds it.

 

By holding Callandor the dark one makes himself vulnerable. It will open him to be attacked by Twain (might be the name of the other Sa'angreal, or a name for being attacked by both male and female channelers forming a link of hundreds to strike at the dark one)

 

Just something that struck me while reading this blog, I may be way off.

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I really love this theory. I am also not a fan of the body swap theory but after reading this, it makes a lot of sense in so many points.

 

I would just like to add some thoughts about the anti-callandor theory. i know twain means "two" in old english but after reading Tomp's comment i went on and check the dictionary meaning and everything related to the word twain. i stumbled upon its synonym meaning "two items of the same kind". Just my two cents :)

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great job!

doesn't it say in one of the prophecies that the dragon reborn will watch his blood spill at shyal gul?

and if so then, it makes sense of the body swap.

but i dont like the idea of a body swap it seems too unoriginal for me.

but the swap makes sense cause alicia won't see the viewings min will see once the bodies swap and will help rand die.

BUT!!! they say that there are 2 sa'angreal that are stronger than callondor. Twain means equal to, so it can't be a duplicate.

which leads me to think that yes there is a "twin" of callondor But it is not the 2nd stronger sa'angreal. there is a different one which will come in handy. it has to use the one power and saidin at that. i wonder what it is!!!!!

 

o and one thing that has bothered me for a while.

i thought at the last battle the horn of valere was supposed to "connected" to Illian in some way.

does it get blown there?

 

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!

on a side note, I'm re-reading the prologue in ToM, god i hate graendal so much!!!!! i was so upset she got away and rand thinks she's dead! so not cool.

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Nice shout-out to the Amber series. Damn shame Zelazny never got to complete it, it still felt that there was a lot of story left to be told.

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Hey everyone, thanks for the great comments once again! I know a lot of people have thought the blank in the blight could be a city, and in my opinion there is almost definitely a city of some kind in the blight, and for all I know the blank in the blight could have nothing to do with this theory, but it seemed to fit so I ran with it.

 

A couple of other quick things: I know the body swap theory isn't the most popular one; that is although many seem to go along with it somewhat there is a general reluctance to see events unfold this way. That doesn't mean it will happen exactly as we theorize however, and once again the implications could be much more far reaching than we could realize. And although body swaps have become somewhat more common in pop culture, I have rarely seen them used in the fantasy genre.

 

As for the anti-callandor not being the second "more powerful" sa'angreal, even though Lanfear says that it's more powerful than Callandor, she might be lying. However, I believe it actually might be stronger in a way, that is because it helps you draw on the True Power instead of the One Power. Even though they both let you draw the same amount of power through them, because the dark Callandor channels the True Power, it is more powerful in a way because it's more destructive. There are other references by the way though, that talk about the other so sa'angreal as possibly being less powerful than Callandor, so I really don't know how powerful it will be exactly.

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@ Erryn Ball: Fo Realz! Why couldn't Brandon Sanderson finish that one as well?! And I'm sorry, but the prequel series that came out by John Gregory Betancourt just doesn't hold up compared to the original novels. I'm getting a Corwin tattoo soon though!

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Another thought, if Callandor really was made during the War of Power to fight the shadow then it wouldnt make sense if they made a duplicate and give it to the bad guys right? So it got me thinking that the Anti-Callandor wasnt made by the Aes Sedai but instead it was forged by the shadow to counter Callandor.

 

And since Callandor as RJ quoted has a manufacturing flaw due to the amount of weapons they were producing at that time, the Anti-Callandor doesnt automatically has to have that flaw since it was supposed to be specifically made by the shadow to counter Callandor making it somehow more powerful than Callandor. What do you think?

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That's definitely a very good point. It is possible then that there is a different flaw than the one I put forth, but there is also a possiblity that the anti-Callandor wasn't originally designed for use by the shadow. They had just found out about the True Power (which was actually the Dark One), but might have not been able to discover the unpleasantness that comes with the True Power. So, they create a sa'angreal which is able to use the new power source, but realize after the fact that they unwittingly crafted a powerful weapon for the forces of shadow to use.

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One issue with the Alivia killing Rand theory is that Min said that Alivia would "help Rand die" which doesn't necessarily mean she will be the one to kill him. It also implies that it will be Rand's choice to die, not her killing him by mistake.

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Hmmm, There is a Dream-Spike in the Blight... >:) Moridin had 2, one Perrin melted in a dream. Imagine the chaos that would cause. Get there, can't leave. Can't use gateways to kill trollocs... ewwww

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The second dreamspike is being made useful at the Black Tower, that's why in the last book some of the Ashaman mention not being able to make gateways out. I also liked the idea I heard from someone else that the blank in the blight is a seal on the Dark Ones prison, and that the one Mazrim Taim gave Rand is a fake.

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Love the anti-Callandor theory. What about the line Min found in Commentary on the Dragon in TGS? 'He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one.' (chapter 48, Reading the Commentary, page 742.) I have thought long and hard about this but cannot figure out what it might mean, or who the third of the 'three' might be. (assuming Rand and Alivia are two of them.)

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The theory suggests the third will be Nynaeve, but I've thought it would be fitting for it to be Moiraine. It would be a fitting role for her to play now that she's back, and she's the only Aes Sedai with decades of experience that Rand can trust. Min's viewing suggests that Rand will fail without Moiraine, and it would make sense for her to be in the circle weilding Callandor at the end.

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I'll have to check, but I thought if anything Nyneave's spot was was more secure cause Rand said she would be one of the women to help him wield Callandor. If Moiraine were to be one of the women in this scenario, she'd either have to take Alivia's spot (not likely considering Alivia's strength and Min's viewing) or possibly be around the area when everything's goin down and contribute in someway either to protect Zen Rand or kill Dark Rand 2.0

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I doubt that moiraine will be included in the circle. At the end of ToM we find out that she is left with only the smallest fraction of her once power, and I doubt that they would face the Dark One without the strongest.

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But Moiraine has the angreal that she got from the Eelfinn, she says that with it, she'll be very strong, stronger than she was before the 'Finns' drained her. If she can use that with Callandor she may be of more use than Nynaeve. Moiraine makes sense, and as Redshield said Rand trusts her, which I think lends quite a bit of weight to her being part of it.

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Whoa!

 

Being new I decided to stumble around DM and see some of the sights and I come across this article written by Despothera in which he references The Chronicles of Amber - which is where my username comes from!

 

Sorry, OT but I had to comment on that little bit of synchronicity.

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What's up buddy! I know my blogs are filled with spoilers, hurry up and finish the series so you can critique my articles! :hopper:

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Hey,

Just a little something i've been questioning

Lanfear specifcally mentions that there are only two more powerful that a man can use.

the Anti-Callandor would be used to weild the True Source whcih would mean that it could be weilded by either gender, and also the fact that the dark one has to grant his permission for one to be able to use the True Source would make it seem a bit useless her mentioing it, i mean what the likelihood of the Dark One granting the Dragon Reborn the true source?

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OK so just finished the second one so posting here as well (months and months after the last post).

 

I always had a thought that Tuon would be one of the three. It does not seem that power matters with the a'dam so I have assumed (perhaps wrongly) that power would not matter with the male a'dam. Always though with the idea of tying the Seachan to the cause that it would be fitting for Tuon who is tough as nails to be one of the two with Rand. I always thought Nynaeve was the other and that Alivia's role was different. Perhaps she can bring him back to life . . . .

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