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WoT If…Dark Prophecy Points Out Darkfriends?


Mashiara Sedai

Hello, all. Welcome to "WoT If?", Dragonmount's weekly theory blog. For this edition, I want to look closer at the Dark Prophecies we've been given throughout the series. Despothera did a blog on this last year, but I'd like to look at them again; after all, we have different perspectives on many things.

 

Spoiler warning! This will include content from many books in the series, including Towers of Midnight, and speculation about A Memory of Light. Please read at your own risk.

 

Also, this WILL NOT contain spoilers from A Memory of Light's Prologue, Chapter 1, or Chapter 11. Please refrain from posting any spoilers from A Memory of Light in the comments section. The spoiler discussion board for A Memory of Light is found here.

 

The first Dark Prophecy we get is in The Great Hunt. According to an interview with Robert Jordan, it's written there by a Myrddraal. The first question I have is why would the Shadow even bother? Why would they want to give any information to the Light? The second question is who made the Myrddraal write it?

 

So, number one, why write it in the first place? We've seen that Trollocs like to write blasphemies to taunt their enemies, but Robert Jordan's quote says the Myrddraal was threatened into writing out the prophecy. He didn't do it to strike fear into the hearts of our main characters. What information in the prophecy does the Dark One, or at least one of the Forsaken, want the Light characters to know?

 

There's plenty of spoilers of the Dark One's plans here; a lot is actually given away. For example, it explains that Lanfear is seeking Rand; we could have figured this out, but now we have confirmation. It also tells us the true nature of Luc and Isam. Why would the Shadow reveal insight to their greatest assassin? That whole last stanza lets the Light characters know about the Seanchan army's invasion. How could that possibly help the Shadow? Let's hold onto that thought and see who ordered the Myrddraal to write this prophecy.

 

There's plenty of intrigue going on in Fal Dara. To the best of my understanding, it happened like this. Ingtar, at the Darkfriend social (The Great Hunt, Prologue), seems to have his strings pulled by Ba'alzamon (Ishamael, at the moment). So, logically, Ishamael is the one who wanted the Dark Prophecy written on the wall in the dungeon. It was Ishamael who wanted to reveal all this information to the Light characters—probably Rand, more specifically.

 

This might be reading too much into it, but there are several theories that say Moridin (Ishamael's latest identity) will turn back to the Light, or that he's been a double agent from the start. With his talk of theology and the nature of good and evil, his desire to see the Wheel broken, plus his reputation for being insane, it's understandable to think he might have ulterior motives when serving the Dark One. Could letting sensitive prophecies, such as this, slip into the hands of the Light characters imply that Ishamael is on their team, giving them aid?

 

Later, though, Moridin seems to have a change of heart. When speaking with Graendal about the Dark Prophecy, he says this:

 

Towers of Midnight

Chapter 5, "Writings"

 

"The Light must never know of these words. We know of their prophecies, but they will never know all of ours."

 

When characters are inconsistent, it points to deeper secrets.

 

The part about Lanfear is interesting:

 

The Great Hunt

Chapter 7, "Blood Calls Blood"

 

Daughter of the Night, she walks again.

The ancient war, she yet fights.

Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.

Who shall stand against her coming?

The Shining Walls shall kneel.

Blood feeds blood.

Blood calls blood.

Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.

 

Notice the line about her lover, "who shall serve her and die, yet serve still." Despite the scene in Towers of Midnight when Cyndane begs for Rand's help, I think this prophecy is showing her true intent. Some people believe Cyndane will be the Forsaken who returns to the Light, but I don't think so. In my personal opinion, there are further hints to this in the A Memory of Light Prologue, but I won't go into it here.

 

Now for the part about Isam and Luc:

 

Luc came to the Mountains of Dhoom.

Isam waited in the high passes.

The hunt is now begun. The Shadow's hounds now course, and kill.

One did live, and one did die, but both are.

The Time of Change has come.

Blood feeds blood.

Blood calls blood.

Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.

 

There's a few things to point out. Luc and Isam are merged; we know that. But why does the line, "The hunt is now begun…" come before, "One did live…"? It breaks up the topics. Most believe the first line refers to the Darkhounds hunting, but I'll offer a different opinion. Slayer thinks of himself as a hunter; he also serves the Dark One. Is it possible he's the Shadow's hound? Also, since it's plural, the other hound could be Fain. Then, if that line is also referring to Slayer, it stays on topic, not jumping around. That makes more sense, to me.

 

Another thing to note is the line, "The Time of Change has come." Since this is so ambiguous, I don't think there's much we can say for certain about it. However, I do want to point out that—to the best of my knowledge—the only other time we hear this phrase is from Bair:

 

The Shadow Rising

Chapter 23, "Beyond the Stone"

 

"If he is the one," Bair said, "the Time of Change is upon us. Aes Sedai stand on Chaendaer, and Aan'allein with his shifting cloak. Can we hold to the old ways still? Knowing how much is to change?"

 

There has been some debate over whether one of the prominent Wise Ones is a Darkfriend. The two most often suspected are Bair or Sorilea. It seems a bit odd that Bair would use a random phrase we've only ever seen in Dark Prophecy.

 

Since we talked about the Dark Prophecy in Towers of Midnight last week, it got me thinking about the different ways it could be interpreted as well. First off, we can't be 100% certain that the prophecy printed in the Epilogue is the same one Moridin and Graendal talk about. So, maybe they have a different passage that says more firmly that Perrin will be killed by the Shadow, because I don't think the "Broken Wolf" refers to Perrin.

 

First, let's look at the second stanza of the prophecy:

 

Towers of Midnight

Epilogue

 

In that day, when the One-Eyed Fool travels the halls of mourning, and the First Among Vermin lifts his hand to bring freedom to Him who will Destroy, the last days of the Fallen Blacksmith’s pride shall come. Yea, and the Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers. And his destruction shall bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, and shall shake their very will itself.

 

Let's take that first line, but remove the dependent clauses: "In that day, the last days of the Fallen Blacksmith's pride shall come." It's easier to see the main point of the sentence this way. My first instinct was, like Despothera said, to think that the pride represents Perrin's wolf pack. They aren't called a pride, of course, I think it's still possible. Other words for pride are:

 

Arrogance (not something Perrin has)

Satisfaction or delight (perhaps in terms of Faile)

Self-respect (his confidence in himself has grown over the last book).

 

I can see Perrin having pride and satisfaction in Faile, or perhaps in their child. However, Faile getting captured again seems pretty unlikely. Likewise, I don't see him losing all his self-respect or confidence after having just gained it in the last book.

 

His army might count as a pride, but I still think it will wind up referring to his wolf pack.

 

Next, "when the One-Eyed Fool…." Mat has a reputation as the Fool throughout the series. Karede is flabbergasted to find out that "Tylin's Toy" is the one leading the army against him (Knife of Dreams, Chapter 36, "Under an Oak"). He's called "trickster" by the Aelfinn (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 15, "Into the Doorway"). Also, he lost his eye at the Tower of Ghenjei (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 54, "Light of the World"). It seems conclusive this is talking about Mat. But doesn't that seem too easy?

 

Despothera linked the "halls of mourning" to the Tower of Ghenjei, but I'd counter that with this: Mat lost his eye at the Tower, so he wouldn't be called a One-Eyed Fool yet. Ah, paradoxes. I think it much more likely that the halls of mourning will be either a) the burned city of Caemlyn after the Trolloc attack, or b) the city of Ebou Dar where they still might be mourning the death of the Empress.

 

Next, let's look at "First Among Vermin" and "Him who will Destroy." The first might be Rand. There is a parallel between Lews Therin being called "first among the Servants" by Elan Morin (The Eye of the World, Prologue), but Rand really doesn't consider himself the First of anything. Plus, I think it's more likely that "Him who will Destroy" is Rand. It's possible that Rand might be bound at some point during the Last Battle. Then, the First Among Vermin will free him, allowing Rand to "Destroy" the Dark One. Looking at it that way, the First Among Vermin could be Fain, as discussed last week, but it could be Galad. Their blood connection should play an important part in the Last Battle, since he is as much a part of the "Royal line of Andor" as Rand is (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 1, "Seeds of Shadow"). Even the Shadow would consider the Children of the Light to be vermin.

 

On to "the Broken Wolf…whom Death has known…." The Forsaken—if this is the passage they are looking at—take this to mean Perrin. Since Min did see the Broken Crown above him in one of her viewings, a Broken Wolf fits. However, there are many people with connections to wolves, and there are the real wolves too. My first pick would be Ituralde. He is called the Wolf (or Little Wolf) in the prologue of Crossroads of Twilight. He has been broken by his battle in Maradon, and also by the invasion of the Seanchan into his nation. I think Maradon would count as knowing Death, as well. He was left for dead by Rand, completely abandoned.

 

Another interesting theory is that the Broken Wolf is Hopper. We are led to believe that he died during the Tel'aran'rhiod battle in Tar Valon (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 38, "Wounds"). But it could be his soul was being reborn into the waking world.

 

The next bit says the Broken Wolf will fall to the Midnight Towers. Even Midnight Towers is an ambiguous term. The Towers of Midnight is the name for the Seanchan prison (The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, Chapter 17, "Seanchan"). It's also referenced in Egwene's Dream, symbolizing the thirteen Forsaken (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 3, "The Amyrlin's Anger").

 

Ituralde could be killed by one of the Forsaken. The same is true for Hopper. However, if the Broken Wolf is Perrin, the Seanchan explanation seems more likely than the Shadow. Perrin did make a pact with the Seanchan; he could be consumed into their Empire.

 

"His destruction" refers to the Broken Wolf. I think Despothera had the right idea suggesting it's about the destruction he (whichever it is) causes, not necessarily his death. Again, I think this would point to Ituralde, since more people would be shaken by his destruction; most don't even know Perrin is alive.

 

Well, hopefully that didn't lead to only more questions. There were a few left to ponder, so let me know what you think. I wanted to get into Mashadar and other things a bit more, but I'm out of time for today. We'll save it for next week. Thanks for reading.

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I think the First Among Vermin could be either Rand or Fain ( I prefer the latter, thanks to your recent article!) and He Who will Destroy is the DO > "his destruction" = Rand's death (then the Broken Wolf would have to be Rand; I can't see anyone else's death shake people's will itself). But the prophecy seems too ambiguous right now since it's time I went to bed and can't think any more today :)

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i dont think the broken wolf is rand atall! at most, perrin ala faile's death... at least, aram...

 

could also apply to luc/slayer, but then, i dont see how anyone would really care at his death... cheering seems more likely...

 

as far as ive seen, ive yet to see a fortelling, which hasnt had a profound impact, or relevancy, to one of the people witnessing... egwene has many dreams about shadowrunners, but then, the dreams all impact her in some way... i doubt it would be any different for the dark prophecies... theyre relevant to who they are given to... if given to a dark friend, i could certaintly see them pointing out other darkfriends...

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One thing I didn't include was this quotefrom Brandon about the possible fight between Light and Shadow prophecy:

 

Ty Margheim: Are the prophecies competing a la The Belgariad (by David Eddings), or are they complementary?

 

Brandon Sanderson: Not competing like The Belgariad, and certainly not intelligent like in The Belgariad.

 

BRANDON SANDERSON: Some may be interpreted wrong, others may be recorded wrong, but there is not a this/that nature to them.

 

Footnote: The questioner is probably referring to the dark/light prophecies, as this makes the best comparison for Eddings. Brandon is saying that they will all be fulfilled, whether dark or light. (The Seanchan prophecies are another matter altogether, and Brandon was hinting at this in his last tweet; there is good reason to believe that the Seanchan prophecies have been corrupted.)

 

So, that means the Foretelling--unlike Dreaming--will come true. It's only the different, or twisted, perspective of the Shadow that makes it so ambiguous.

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I think the First Among Vermin could be either Rand or Fain ( I prefer the latter, thanks to your recent article!) and He Who will Destroy is the DO > "his destruction" = Rand's death (then the Broken Wolf would have to be Rand; I can't see anyone else's death shake people's will itself). But the prophecy seems too ambiguous right now since it's time I went to bed and can't think any more today :)

I agree I think that the dark Prophecies are referring to Rand as the First among the Vermin (I can see the Shadow refering to humanity and those who oppose them as vermin). Also, the prophecies seem to be referencing Rand's plan to break the seals on the Dark One's (Him who will Destroy) thus freeing him. If this particular prophecy is going in order, as it seems to be, then something will apparently happen to Perrin (the Fallen Blacksmith) something that will probably destroy his new found confidence/responsibility to lead (your guess is as good as mine on this one).

I don't think the Broken Wolf is Rand because if you look farther down the prophecy, it says

 

And the Lord of the Evening shall face the Broken Champion, and shall spill his blood and bring us the Darkness so beautiful.

 

If the Broken Wolf is Rand and is already destroyed, who would be the Broken Champion?

 

Is there anyone else on the side of the light who has "known Death" other than Rand (ala Lews Therin) or Mat (when he was hung)? Who else (other than Rand) could die and shake the will of the forces marshalled for the Last Battle?

I think the Broken Wolf is referring to Perrin because if you take just this part out and look at it,

 

the last days of the Fallen Blacksmith's pride shall come. Yea, and the Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers."

 

To me the Broken Wolf is refering back to the Fallen Blacksmith, although I can't think when "Death" has known Perrin unless it is talking about someone who Perrin has fought or actually knows.

 

Of course I could just be talking out my backside. Thoughts?

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But why call the Dark One "Him who will Destroy"? So far in the prophecy, he's refered to as "the Great Lord" and "Glorious One" (or something like that). Wouldn't they stick to one theme with names for him?

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Perrin could have 'known death' due to, if I remember right, most of his family being killed. He's lost a great portion of his family back before the return to Two Rivers.

 

I also thought Fain was the one to have the prophecy written on the wall in Fal Dara. Since thats when he stole the Horn/dagger, and had the most motive at the time to draw Rand out. Didn't it say something about Waiting for you in Falme or Almoth Plains but he scrubbed that part off?

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But why call the Dark One "Him who will Destroy"? So far in the prophecy, he's refered to as "the Great Lord" and "Glorious One" (or something like that). Wouldn't they stick to one theme with names for him?

My guess would be because they have many names for Him. Lord of the Evening, Great Lord, Great Lord of the Dark, Ba'alzamon, Lord of the Grave, and Shepard of the Night. It just seems to fit that the line refers to Rand breaking the Seals and releasing the Dark One. The Dark one is supposed to be released thereby destroying those who walk in the Light and the Wheel of Time.

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Fain did write that part about meeting on Tomen Head, but only after he interrogated the myrddraal to get the info (at least that's my understanding of it based on that interview).

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Jason Denzel must be laughing at us all right now, being the only person who has read the final book. He already knows the answers to all these questions. Somebody put him to the question. We'll get the truth out of him.

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For some reason I think the First among Vermin will end up referring to either Egwene or Logain. Just a gut feeling at the moment.

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@gwenifer.

i read the dark prophecy in tom hundred times,and changed my mind regarding the broken wolf at least a dozen times,in the end i arrived to the same conclusion as you,the broken wolf is rand.

let me start from the end,the only one to cause fear and sorrow to the hearts

of men is rand,because he is the focal point of the forces of light and their greatest champion,the other are not that important,not perrin nor lan and

certainly not the others(iturralde,bashere etc).

rand as ltt died in dragonmount,so he knows death.

i believe the midnight towers are the forsaken,not the towers of midnight in

seanchan,and first among the forsaken is moridin,so there is going to be a

battle between rand and moridin.

now to the broken wolf part:rand reffered to himself as a wolf a few times in

the past,i don't remember exactly when,but it was in a conversation with min.

the wolves named rand shadowkiller and many went to dragonmount when

rand was at his lowest ebb.

when rand met egwene she asked him:

what has happened to you?

and rand answered:i was broken.

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I'm too lazy to re-read the entire comment thread, but has anyone else noticed that in the phrase "whom Death has known..." death is capitalized?

 

Moridin's name means "death" in the old tongue, which I recall from book 6 when he's first introduced to the other Forsaken, either Moghedian or Demandred makes that observation. Something about "any fool can call themselves 'Death.'" Easy to remember for us Californians, since the Spanish word "morir" means "to die."

 

The Broken Wolf... whom Death has known. So assuming that "Death" in this case refers to Moridin, Rand is the only broken thing that Moridin could be said to have "known." Their mysterious link has resulted in them being able to influence one another, sometimes without even realizing it. More credence to the theory that Rand is the Broken Wolf.

 

As for first among vermin, has anyone suggested that might be referring to Taim or Egwene? This really could mean anything since I don't believe there's a context for "first among vermin" or "him who will destroy." So I'm assuming that "him who will destroy" would be the Dark One. "First among vermin" could be a reference to either the Aes Sedai (first among servants) or the Asha'man (universally reviled by almost everyone including Aes Sedai, hence vermin). Taim, as a darkfriend would have an obvious reason to set the Dark One free, even if he doesn't realize that breaking the remaining seals would help Rand to "clear away the rubble." Or it could mean that Rand is able to convince Egwene that not only do the seals need to be broken, but perhaps he also convinces her that she has to be the one to do it.

 

There's just so many cool ways this could play out!

 

Another thought about the Broken Wolf. Assuming it's Rand, Rand was obviously broken (he said as much, as jack pointed out), and now has found his sense of purpose and reclaimed his compassion. If he was broken before, he certainly isn't broken now. My point is that the dark prophecies might only hint at how the shadow COULD win, and not how they WILL win. In order for the shadow to win, Rand would have to be considered "broken" in some way at the start of the Last Battle, but that doesn't look like it's going to be the case. We've already seen that since Veins of Gold, Rand is a lean mean shadow-stompin' machine. Remember Maradon?

 

Good theories, folks!

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I think that the fallen blacksmiths pride refers directly to Perins pride in being a simple blacksmith in TOM he realized that he was wrong and could no longer hold to that pride.

The Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers, i think this is Lan he has know death directly though the bond when Moiraine "died" by falling though the portal to Aelfinn land and the Towers of Midknight probably do belong to the Forsaken and Lan is at Tarwins Gap when his POV in the epilogue ends and one of the Forsaken is the general for the shadow and their horde of trollocs that are surgeong towards the Gap

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I think that the fallen blacksmiths pride refers directly to Perins pride in being a simple blacksmith in TOM he realized that he was wrong and could no longer hold to that pride.

Yeah, these are my thoughts as well. Perrin was kinda proud - he stubbornly denied his own destiny, the way to actually serve the people he loved. He had to be broken just as Rand was. Now he's finally a badass :) So the prophecy is actually good for him.

 

As to the Broken Wolf again, let's not forget that he literally knows Death, like Metal Head said. And if the theories of Rand's death and resurrection - and 3 days of the darkness between them - are right, the Prophecy is not just a possibility how the Shadow could win, it tells us straight what could happen. But still it doesn't know the ending. Therefore, Rand becomes consumed by the Midnight Towers aka Forsaken, the DO's darkness covers the sun ("His

glorious cloak shall smother the Pattern") , the people's will itself is shaken, and then the Lord of the Evening rules. Next, I don't know if his facing the Broken Champion refers to the previous Rand's fall or to their ultimate showdown after the supposed resurrection - the phrase "bring us the Darkness so beautiful" seems to imply the former. Well, the ending is open and seems to suggest that the Lord of the Evening rules. But we know it's not going to end like that :)

 

Have you noticed that the dark ToM prophecy is a paralell to the Karaethon prophecy from tGH? Look (the phrase from the ToM goes first):

"Lo, it shall come upon the world that the prison of the Greatest One

shall grow weak, like the limbs of those who crafted it." vs "And it shall come to pass that what men made shall be shattered"; "Once again, His

glorious cloak shall smother the Pattern of all things, and the Great

Lord shall stretch forth His hand to claim what is His" vs "and the Dark One shall once more lay his hand upon the world of man"; "The rebellious

nations shall be laid barren, their children caused to weep." vs "Women shall weep and men quail as the nations of the earth are rent like rotting cloth". Then goes the Shadow pov vs the Light pov - either the Lord of the Evening fights or the Dragon confronts him but anyway the blood is spilled... though a result of it is seen in such a different light!: "And the Lord of the Evening shall face the Broken Champion,

and shall spill his blood and bring us the Darkness so beautiful" vs "yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood shall give us the Light". Finally, "Let the

screams begin, O followers of the Shadow. Beg for your destruction!" vs "Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation."

 

Isn't it fascninating? I'm sure I said nothing new, but still - I find it exciting.

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@gwenifer,

you had mentioned parallels,so i have two more very intersting parallels for you:

when rand met min for the first time after his epiphany he tells her:

"all its eyes are fixed directly upon me,and will be until i blind them",vs

"and then shall the lord of the evning come.and he shall take our eyes..."

and a little later:

"the confrontation is assured and the scream that begins the avalanche

has been sounded." vs

"let the screams begin,o followers of the shadow.beg for your destruction.

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The Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers, i think this is Lan he has know death directly though the bond when Moiraine "died" by falling though the portal to Aelfinn land and the Towers of Midknight probably do belong to the Forsaken and Lan is at Tarwins Gap when his POV in the epilogue ends and one of the Forsaken is the general for the shadow and their horde of trollocs that are surgeong towards the Gap

 

I like that. The only problem is Lan's House sign in a Crane, not a Wolf. I don't think he has any connection to wolves, in general. But I love the parallel of "Death" from the Bond breaking. He was near the brink, for sure, until Nynaeve's love brought him back. And, if Lan dies at Tarwin's Gap, like many people believe, it would definitely shake the will of men. He is a symbol of hope, even to those not in the Borderlands. (But I personally don't think he'll die; more on this in a few weeks.)

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I must (very) respectfully disagree with the idea of Lan or any other Warder as the Broken Wolf, and I also have a minor issue with the phrase "whom death has known" referring to Moiraine's death. Seems a bit of a stretch for me, and here's why:

 

While it's true that warders are often referred to as wolves, there's nothing in the simile to single out Lan as being the "Broken Wolf" mentioned in that prophecy OTHER THAN Moiraine's death possibly being the way that Lan has "known death."

 

The part that loses me is that Lan isn't the only warder who has lost his Aes Sedai. By this rationale, ANY warder that has lost his Aes Sedai could be the "Broken Wolf that death has known."

 

I think "knowing death" in the Shadow's Prophecies means something much more personal. The only ones that could say they have "known death" personally in this series (out of the major characters) on the side of the LIght are Rand, Mat, & Aviendha. Rand knows Moridin, whose name means literally "Death" and Mat & Aviendha both died were brought back by Rand at the end of TFoH. Mat also died (or nearly so) in TSR in Rhuidean.

 

Is there any possibility that the "Broken Wolf" is currently someone working for the Dark One? That expands the list of those who have "known death" to include all of the surviving Forsaken, or possibly just the ones the DO has brought back at some point and are still alive.

 

We should make a list. A "Broken Wolf" list of possible contenders.

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@metalhead if the broken wolf is someone working for the DO, it could just as easily, be slayer... if theres any one character who could be called a broken wolf, its him... and, its been long theorized that he had worked for moridin... thus, knowing death... but then, why would his death bring fear and destruction?

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One of the reasons why I think the broken wolf is Lan and not another warder whos aes sedai has dead is the next part of the prophecy,

And his destruction shall bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, and shall shake their very will itself.

Lan is a symbol and the carrier of a fallen nation which defended all benath the borderlands and his fall would be the final fall of the land he repersents and would weaken the resolve of men.

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"His destruction": I disagree about this referring to the Broken Wolf; I think the two statements are separate, but the transcriber (of the original Foretellings, in-story) didn't realise it!

 

But I do think it's about the destruction he causes. A likely candidate for bringing 'fear and sorrow to the hearts of men" and shaking "their very will itself" would be Mat's cannons. Note Egwene's dream in CoT20:

 

"Mat bowls on a village green. He knocks over pins again and again, only the pins are men and they are dead. Each pin represents thousands of men and an Illuminator was part of it."

 

Note also, Birgitte's reaction to the cannons in action, in ToM29:

 

"The world just changed, Elayne.. It just changed in a very large way. I have a terrible feeling that it's only the beginning."

 

These cannons are the WMD of WoT.

 

@gwenifer: superb catch about the parallels between the prophecies!!

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