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WoT If...Aes Sedai Can Grab Waiting Souls?


Mashiara Sedai

Hello, all! Welcome back to "WoT If?", Dragonmount's weekly theory blog. Today's topic is a little speculative, but I'm convinced I'm on the right track to how Rand's "to live you must die" riddle will be solved. As always:

 

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 A Memory of Light spoiler discussion board can be found here.

 

Let's start with a little background information about the Nym. This might seem off topic, but I'll tie everything together. According to The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, Nym are artificial constructs, like Trollocs (Chapter 21, "The Ogier"). The Nym were created to aid the Da'shain Aiel in seed singing.

 

Chapter 3, "The Age of Legends"

 

Farmland produced optimum yield through use of the One Power. In a method called "seed singing," Ogier (a separate race of beings gifted with the ability to aid and enhance growing things), Nym, and Da'shain Aiel worked as a team, focusing the One Power to insure perfect growth for every field they "sang."

 

In the actual series, we see the Green Man, the last Nym, in The Eye of the World (Chapters 49 and 50). He teases us with knowledge (using phrases like "Child of the Dragon" in reference to Rand, and "wolfbrother" to Perrin), but his memory's not what it used to be due to the wound he suffered in the Age of Legends. This scene really piques our curiosity with all the tantalizing information we're almost given. And it makes us want to know more about what the Nym did before the Breaking.

 

We see the same Nym, Someshta, in the glass-column ter'angreal in Rhuidean (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 26, "The Dedicated"). In this scene, we see him given the task of protecting the Eye of the World. Going back further, we see an actual seed singing, with Someshta, Ogier, and male Aiel. This is the important part:

 

Coumin wondered if he could ask Someshta about Charn's stories. He had spoken to him once, and Someshta was old enough to know if Charn was telling the truth; the Nym were older than anyone. Some said the Nym never died, not so long as plants grew. But this was no time to be thinking of questioning a Nym.

 

The Ogier began it, as was fitting, standing to sing, great bass rumbles like the earth singing. The Aiel rose, men's voices lifting in their own song, even the deepest at a higher pitch than the Ogier's. Yet the songs braided together, and Someshta took those threads and wove them into his dance, gliding across the field in swooping strides, arms wide, butterflies swirling about him, landing on his spread fingertips.

 

Seed singing uses the One Power to strengthen the crops. Ogier can't channel. The Aiel can't channel (those who can are taken to be Aes Sedai). Is Someshta the one who is channeling? It does say Someshta takes the threads and weaves them.

 

If the Nym are artificial constructs, how are they able to access the One Power?

 

Well, last week I talked about how Myrddraal might be able to access the True Power, and they are artificial. It's not too far of a stretch to apply the same logic to the Nym. Let's look at a quote from Robert Jordan in regards to constructs and souls:

 

Question: How does the idea of souls apply to constructs such as Nym and Trollocs? Could either of them be reborn?

 

Robert Jordan: To whoever put this one forward, this is one of the best questions I've ever gotten! Nym and Trollocs both have souls, and either could be reborn, but since Nym were a pure construct (i.e. each of them was individually made, like hand-crafting) a Nym would not be reborn as a Nym. You might say that a Nym's soul was borrowed temporarily from the supply of souls awaiting rebirth. A Trolloc, however, bears a twisted, or corrupted soul, and would be reborn as a Trolloc. Though frankly, a Trolloc's soul is such a pitiful thing, it hardly seems worth calling a soul.

 

So many things leapt out at me from this statement.

 

1. "One of the best questions I've ever gotten!"

 

I think Robert Jordan's enthusiasm for the question suggests the importance of it. Why would he get so excited about the concept of Nym souls unless it has some bearing on the future plotlines? Of course, his typical RAFO answer is used for really important things, but perhaps he thought he could disguise something important in this statement?

 

2. Pure construct vs. animal/human hybrid construct

 

Trollocs, made from animal and human mixtures, are not pure constructs. They are organic, made from living things, but morphed into something else. Nym are pure constructs, completely artificial—they are made from plants, but not sentient beings. If that's correct, why are they attuned to plants and growth? I'd say it's because of the soul inside them; the soul is able to amplify their nature. Since they are constructed from plants, when the soul is added, those plants are given sentient life.

 

3. A Nym's soul is a human soul

 

Wolves are always reborn as wolves, Trollocs are always Trollocs, but Nym aren't always Nym. That is such a strange concept, which leads me to the conclusion that Nym would be reborn as humans. And the only reason I can think of to explain it is, that since Nym are filled with a soul artificially, the souls come from the Pattern's pile of waiting, human threads.

 

4. "Borrowed…from the supply of souls"

 

This makes my eyes pop! Only the Dark One seems to have the ability to snatch a soul after it's dead and place it inside a body (a dead body, which is like a construct!). But this quote seems to imply that the Aes Sedai had access to souls that they could store inside the Nym bodies.

 

Anyone could sit around and make constructs all day. Make a body out of clay, make a body out of snow, make a body out of grass and leaves and vines. But something has to be done to the body to make it alive. Someone needs to give it a soul. The Creator wouldn't say, "Oh, here's a construct that looks okay, I'm going to send the next waiting soul into it." That's taking too much action, and the Creator doesn't get involved. Also, why would the Creator fill the Nym, and not a snowman?

 

That means it is the Aes Sedai. There's no other way it could work. And if Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends found a way to access the "souls awaiting rebirth," there's no reason one of the channelers of this time (Nynaeve) couldn't figure out how to do it too!

 

If Rand dies, as we all know he must, it seems plausible that someone will simply grab his soul and place it back inside his body. I speculated in my first post that Nynaeve might learn how to Heal death, but I think it's just as likely she will learn how to grab a soul that's outside the Pattern.

 

That's my prediction for this week. It's not too different from other theories already circulating, but I like to back it up with plausible proof. Post your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree. We won't have too long to wait until we find out.

 

That's all for this edition. Next time, we'll take a close look at some of Min's later viewings. Thanks for reading.

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i think... its important that we distinguish between a thread, and a soul... because in randland, its clearly possible to have a thread, without a soul... thus, the soulless... they clearly dont have a soul, but they do have a thread... and i dont see how it could go the other way(soul without a thread)...

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Can I ask a question that's slightly off-topic, but also related to some secondary theories here?

 

Regarding Birgitte being pulled out of T'A'R. I may be remembering this wrongly, but didn't she say that she was no longer bound to the wheel as a result of how she got yanked from T'A'R by Moghedien? I always took that to mean that this was the last life Birgitte would ever have, and that she would no longer be re-born. If/when she dies this time, it'll be the LAST time for her. No more rebirths. She was, as I recall, extremely upset specifically because Gaidal Cain would be forced to live out all of his future lives without ever finding her, and every future life he would ever have would feel incomplete to him, because the two of them could no longer be together.

 

Am I remembering this wrong? My point is just that if she dies, she will not be reborn, and any theories for Rand "resurrection" based on this same line of thought would have to account for Birgitte's predicament.

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that, and i dont have privvys to see the white ajah's boards ;-)

Oh... I thought they were open for everyone. :( Sorry!

 

 

Can I ask a question that's slightly off-topic, but also related to some secondary theories here?

 

Regarding Birgitte being pulled out of T'A'R. I may be remembering this wrongly, but didn't she say that she was no longer bound to the wheel as a result of how she got yanked from T'A'R by Moghedien? I always took that to mean that this was the last life Birgitte would ever have, and that she would no longer be re-born. If/when she dies this time, it'll be the LAST time for her. No more rebirths. She was, as I recall, extremely upset specifically because Gaidal Cain would be forced to live out all of his future lives without ever finding her, and every future life he would ever have would feel incomplete to him, because the two of them could no longer be together.

 

Am I remembering this wrong? My point is just that if she dies, she will not be reborn, and any theories for Rand "resurrection" based on this same line of thought would have to account for Birgitte's predicament.

 

I'm not saying anything because it's a big point of next week's theory!

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Yeah, only members of the White Tower & Warders Social Group can see our Ajah board, Mashi. On that note, we'd be happy to have you in the Social Group and visit our Ajah, Mark!

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What if the Nim's barrow soul is someone who have to give themselves up to create the Nims. Like Aes Sedai who were nearing the end of their lives and wanting to do the greater good. Give themselves over to the process of becoming a Nim. This could also lead to how they have some simplified use of the One Power.

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the only problem i see with that theory deacon, is that RJ said the souls came from a "waiting pool" of unused souls... not a voluntary surrender of an in-use soul...

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Agreed. From Robert Jordan's quote, it seems to say that they were the souls next in line to be born. And instead of being born, they were put inside the Nym construct.

 

And New Ashaman did bring up a good point that the Aes Sedai probably wouldn't be able to choose which soul is put inside. But as primitive as current Aes Sedai are, they are capable of some pretty amazing inventions.

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hey long time lurker, but doing a re-read in prep for A Memory of Light gave me something to actually add. It concerns "normal" channellers being able to grab souls. There was a mention in LoC that Sammael had a game called Zharra (sp?) and its "once human playing pieces" with him in Illian. It was noted that it would have belonged to a darkfriend so it might not have been an acceptable practice during the Age of Legends, but placing a soul in something was obviously doable. I feel like the cour'souva and even myrdrall blades are more or less something that the DO is involved with, but I can't imagine him being bothered with something as petty as board game.

 

Another thing that just struck me was whether or not the ability to place souls into something, be it construct or Zharra pieces, might have been a Talent, not something inherently achievable by Aes Sedai?

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Hmm, here's the quote (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 23, "To Understand a Message"):

 

"Only a stasis box. I suppose people tried to save what they could in the last days.” His smile pulled at that awful scar across his face as he beamed around the chamber, with especial fondness for the zara board projecting its field of still-transparent boxes in the air; he had always liked the more violent games. Of course, a zara board meant his stasis box had been filled by someone who followed the Great Lord; possession of a single once-human playing piece had meant imprisonment at the least on the other side. What else had he found?

 

You make a very good point Stayz. Of course, anything can be meant by saying the pieces were "once human." They could have been transfigured, or have their soul removed, or a dozen other things. Grabbing souls could definitely be a Talent; maybe that's why there weren't so many Nym. I don't think it says right out, but I believe there were only a few Nym made.

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Grabbing souls could definitely be a Talent; maybe that's why there weren't so many Nym. I don't think it says right out, but I believe there were only a few Nym made.

 

i dunno about that... making terangreal is also a talent, not everyone can do it(as is said by the seanchan in TGH)... and there are clearly more than a few a'dam... i mean... if it takes less than a day to make one... which it does... with one person making them... there would be ALOT in notime...

 

i mean... if its a matter of talents, or supplies, id expect there to be ALOT of nym... which would mean, that its a matter of demand... there wouldnt be many nym, because they use the songs of the aiel and ogier... a group of them, only need one nym...

 

just as with the a'dam... theres no point in making a bazillion of them if you can only use a few thousand...

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for the record, im not saying it isnt a talent, which it probably is... its just that they probably didnt make so many because they didnt need so many... nym dont work on their own...

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for the record, im not saying it isnt a talent, which it probably is... its just that they probably didnt make so many because they didnt need so many... nym dont work on their own...

 

Grabbing the soul might be a Talent, but as stated by Robert Jordan, each Nym had to be "hand-crafted." That could be one reason there aren't so many. They might have taken a lot of work to craft a construct--able to host a soul--out of plants and vines.

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Had a chance to check through the world of WoT book and i cant see any mention of how many nym there were. The book mentions them in the same breath as Ogier and Aeil. Cant remember if it is said in EotW or somewhere else in the books.

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it doesnt actually say how many there are, however we do see two... the one in rands walk through rhuidean's columns, and the green man... other than those two, i know of no others...

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Actually, the one from the glass columns is Someshta, too.

 

Someshta sat against the wall near the door, a great shape seemingly woven of vines and leaves, his head a little above Jonai's even so (The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 26, "The Dedicated").

 

And the same chapter, as Coumin:

 

It was Someshta, surrounded by clouds of butterflies, white and yellow and blue. Excited murmurs rose from the townspeople and the folk whose fields these were, gathered to watch. Each field would have its Nym, now.

 

Someshta is the only Nym we see. But the last quote does say that each field had a Nym, so maybe there were a couple hundred?

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fancy that!

 

perhaps its like min... a talent that shows up SO uncommonly... because that memory rand was in, was near the end of the age... if it had of shown earlier in the age, there wouldnt have been the "now"... once the nym had first been constructed, id expect the crafter to start turning them out, paying teams of people to build them, and then channel them to life...

 

so if it showed up in just one AS, near the end of the age, theres only one question... if its so rare of a talent, to be able to "grab waiting souls"... whats the likelyness that nynaeve, or anyone else, has that talent? wouldnt that be like pulling out a golden gun at this point?

 

i would expect it to have shown earlier... theres no foreshadowing of the talent manifesting in anyone i know of...

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Bit late I know but I've seen no mention of the ability of some Ogiers to manipulate living things to make furniture, weapons etc. Maybe they are like living Ter'angreals and the Nym are able to manipulate them along with the Aiel's song. Maybe the Nym are made through an Ogier sacrificing themselves with the help of their community.

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@beardedfreak RJ said that the nym were made with the thread coming from a waiting pool... this would mean that its not a willing surrender...

 

what if, the nym are made with the talisman of growing?

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I sent your question to Maria (one of Robert Jordan's assistants) and she said "To the best of my knowledge, the soul comes into play at birth." so there you have it. You can't get a better source than Maria!

Best,

Brandon

 

there ya have it :D it is possible for brigette to die, and be reborn as one of elaynes babies

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Quote

 

I sent your question to Maria (one of Robert Jordan's assistants) and she said "To the best of my knowledge, the soul comes into play at birth." so there you have it. You can't get a better source than Maria!

Best,

Brandon

 

there ya have it :D it is possible for brigette to die, and be reborn as one of elaynes babies

 

 

AWESOME, Mark! Thanks for asking that! And Brandon actually answered! That's so cool!

 

Though, I have heard theories that Elayne's babies will be Shivan and Calian, the Heroes who bring about the end of an Age:

 

...Shivan the Hunter behind his black mask. He was said to herald the end of Ages, the destruction of what had been and the birth of what was to be, he and his sister Calian, called the Chooser, who rode red-masked at his side (A Crown of Swords, Chapter 21, "Swovan Night".

 

Also, I think that the Nym would become corrupted if they were created with the Talisman of growing--like the Ways. We see Someshta is wounded, but I don't think he was corrupted.

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Also, I think that the Nym would become corrupted if they were created with the Talisman of growing--like the Ways. We see Someshta is wounded, but I don't think he was corrupted.

 

i dunno about that... the taint is in the ways themselves, i dont think that the way's corruption can come outside the ways... for example, the waygates, havent become corrupted... and theyre directly connected to the ways... i dont think that nym would be effected by the taint of the ways... even if theyre both grown by the talisman of growing...

 

and as theres only one talisman of growing(that we know of) that could explain why there probably werent many nym, even if they could continually make them... the talisman hadnt been invented/made yet...

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i dunno about that... the taint is in the ways themselves, i dont think that the way's corruption can come outside the ways... for example, the waygates, havent become corrupted... and theyre directly connected to the ways... i dont think that nym would be effected by the taint of the ways... even if theyre both grown by the talisman of growing...

 

By that logic, the outside skin of the Nym wouldn't be corrupted, but the inside might be. :P

 

Since the Talisman uses saidin only, I think anything it makes would eventually be tainted.

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By that logic, the outside skin of the Nym wouldn't be corrupted, but the inside might be. :P

 

Since the Talisman uses saidin only, I think anything it makes would eventually be tainted.

 

and by that logic, the inside wall of the waygates would be corrupted, and the outside wouldnt be, but they arent... the ways are corrupted, not the waygates... the ways are not in this world, the waygates are... the corruption of the ways cannot come here... thus, the nym wouldnt be susceptible to it...

 

and, doesnt the talisman use ogier song to grow the ways? does it use saidin too?

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