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WoT If...Lan Survives the Last Battle?


Mashiara Sedai

Welcome back to another edition of "WoT If?". This week, I want to examine Min's viewings, what they actually consist of, and different ways they can be interpreted. I feel that some of what she sees hints at answers with regards to Lan and Birgitte, in particular. But before we begin:

 

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.

 

I think we need to come to the harsh reality that some of our beloved characters will die in the last book. As much as I don't want that to happen, it needs to. And even though Rand will die, I'm convinced he will be Healed, or his soul will be reclaimed. He doesn't count as one of the characters who will die, in my opinion.

 

But there is one who most believe will die during the Last Battle: Lan. As my favorite male character, I'm hoping he won't. So, naturally, I'm going to point out all the clues—mostly from Min's viewings—that suggest he might survive Tarmon Gai'don.

 

First, let's look at this interview with Robert Jordan to see what he has to say about Min's viewings.

 

Slayer: Do Min's viewings always predict the future, or do some tell about the past, mainly the seven towers around Lan in The Eye of the World?

 

Robert Jordan: Um, her viewings are always concerning the future.

 

I think this is so interesting, because I assumed this viewing was of the past, too. Let's see exactly what Min said before we go into it more.

 

The Eye of the World

Chapter 15, "Strangers and Friends"

 

“The War...ah...Master Andra has seven ruined towers around his head, and a babe in a cradle holding a sword, and...” She shook her head. “Men like him — you understand? — always have so many images they crowd one another."

 

We learn later (Chapter 47, "More Tales of the Wheel"), that Lan is the last Lord of the Seven Towers. And his parents placed a sword in his infant hands, and consecrated him the next Malkieri king. I think our first instinct at this point is to think back to Min's viewing and say, "Oh, there are the Seven Towers, and the babe with a sword." Pretty simple.

 

But, taking that quote from Robert Jordan into consideration, especially because the asker points out the viewings in The Eye of the World, we know these are future events. And if these events are in the future, I think it's safe to assume that Lan will bear a child with Nynaeve.

 

Looking at the timeline for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight, we see that it took Lan 100 days to ride from World's End, in Saldaea, to Tarwin's Gap, in Shienar. That's 100 days he's been apart from Nynaeve. That's more than three months, which would be plenty of time for Nynaeve to start showing if she was pregnant. We've seen her take the test for Aes Sedai, and know she swore on the Oath Rod; both things she wouldn't do if she was pregnant. So, I'm going to conclude that, at this point, Nynaeve is not pregnant.

 

There is a viewing Min has about Nynaeve that might put a damper on this theory, in some people's opinions.

 

The Gathering Storm

Chapter 48, "Reading the Commentary"

 

And...what was that vision that was suddenly hovering above Nynaeve's head? She was kneeling over someone's corpse in a posture of grief. The viewing was gone a moment later.

 

Min shook her head. That hadn't been a viewing she could interpret, so she let it pass. She couldn't waste her time trying to unravel all of those.

 

Nynaeve is a very kind soul—despite her bullying. We saw in her test for Aes Sedai that they constantly made her walk away from sick children because it hurt her the most. She is a natural healer, wanting to cure anyone and everyone. So, her bent over in a posture of grief doesn't necessarily mean it's Lan she's mourning.

 

Also, notice how Min can't interpret it. Nynaeve mourning the loss of her husband is pretty straightforward. Not much to interpret there. I think it more likely that it's Rand's body she's bent over. And it's this scene where she will Heal him, or grab onto his soul.

 

My conclusion: Lan has to survive the Last Battle.

 

Let's move on to Birgitte. Many wonder if she is still bound to the Horn after being ripped out of Tel'aran'rhiod. There are a few reasons I believe this is so.

 

Now, this might not count as proof, but I want to point it out. After Mat recognizes Birgitte in A Crown of Swords, they speak in the Old Tongue and she calls Mat "Horn Sounder" (Chapter 21, "Swovan Night"). I think this definitely shows that Mat is still bound to the Horn, because Birgitte was in Tel'aran'rhiod after he was killed and brought back to life (The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 54, "To Caemlyn"). I feel Birgitte, being a Hero, would feel if the connection to Mat had been broken by his death and rebirth. Again, that's not really about Birgitte, but I think the parallels are similar. Birgitte is still bound after her strange rebirth too.

 

And the main reason Birgitte is still bound to the Horn is Min's first viewings of her.

 

Winter's Heart

Chapter 12, "A Lily in Winter"

 

Auras danced around her and images flickered, more than Min had ever seen around anyone, thousands it seemed, cascading over one another.

 

Besides, those multitudes of images and auras flashed by too quickly for her to make out any clearly, but she was certain they indicated more adventures than a woman could have in one lifetime. Strangely, some were connected to an ugly man who was older than she, and others to an ugly man who was much younger, yet somehow Min knew they were the same man.

 

Remember that all these viewings are in the future. She has so many of them, more so than Rand, even—and he's also bound to the Horn. This is probably due to Birgitte being ripped out. But she still has a thousand more lives to live, and all of them connected to Gaidal Cain. I think her rebirth threw off their cycle—hence his being younger or older—but there's no doubt she's still bound to him.

 

And if Birgitte is bound to Gaidal, I don't think her connection to the Horn has been broken either.

 

I have one last thing to point out about Min's viewings.

 

Question: How valid are the viewings and prophecies, given that the Pattern has been loosened? There was also a comment by the person about how the viewings and prophecies are readings of the Pattern.

 

Robert Jordan (paraphrased): The viewings and prophecies that occurred before the loosening of the Pattern are very valid. But those that occurred at, or after, the loosening have a higher chance of not coming true.

 

This shows that everything—viewings, dreamwalker's prophecies, foretellings—are less true today than yesterday. And probably will continue to be less likely. We know Rand's use of balefire on Natrin's Barrow caused a great loosening of the Pattern (The Gathering Storm, Chapter 37, "A Force of Light"). Plus, we know Demandred was commanded to unleash balefire on the world by the Dark One (Lord of Chaos, Prologue). With the Pattern taking so much damage, I'm not sure how far we can trust any recent viewings.

 

And that's all we have time for today. Next week, I want to look at the end of The Great Hunt and try to answer lingering questions about events at Falme. Thanks for reading!




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I've never subscribed to the theory that Lan will die. I've always felt that he would live. So I agree completely with you on this, Mashiara. One of the quotes you brought up about Min's viewing:

 

"And...what was that vision that was suddenly hovering above Nynaeve's head? She was kneeling over someone's corpse in a posture of grief. The viewing was gone a moment later."

 

"...SOMEONE's corpse..." Hmm... "Someone's?" This could be anyone. Possible a woman? It could be Birgitte, who I think is a prime target for dying in AMoL, and Nynaeve would certainly feel that she is at least partly to blame, as she blamed herself for Birgitte being ripped out of T'a'R in the first place.

 

It could be Siuan, or Leane, or Perrin (if anyone still thinks he's going to die, I actually think he'll live), or anyone else that Nynaeve cares about. Could be Rand too. Heck, it could even be Moiraine. Nynaeve may not have liked her, but she knows what side Moiraine is on, and presumably will have a lot more respect for her once she finds out she's still alive. But I really don't think it's going to be Lan, for all the reasons that you mentioned here, Mashiara. And from a literary stand-point, I just don't think either author has really laid the ground-work for killing Lan. That's just how it "feels" to me.

 

But I guess we'll all find out in three more months!

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I thought it was practially known that Lan is going to survive. Their is far too much evidence contrary to the popular view that he is going to die. Really that only comes from his nature and the sticky situation he was in when we last saw him.

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id say that brigette has more images than rand, simply because she's spun out more often... rand is spun out what... once per age? mat is spun out almost immediately? perrin, i have no clue about... but brigette and gaidal have been spun out hundreds of times, through thousands of ages...

 

i really dont know who will die during the last book... i suspect brigette and perrin will... and we know rand will... tho, i cant foretell :( would make this all alot easier...

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My first time posting but this is a favorite topic of mine. I agree Lan will live. I've always thought that the events in the test for accepted were alternate futures and we should be on the lookout for some of those events to come true. During Nynaeve's test for accepted she viewed herself as being Lan's wife with children. Combining that with Min's viewing about the Seven Towers and the babe I think it's pretty certain that both Lan and Nynaeve will survive to re-establish Malkier as a kingdom and have children.

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I've always thought that the events in the test for accepted were alternate futures and we should be on the lookout for some of those events to come true.

 

actually, the rings that the accepted go through, work similar to TAR, beliefs of the person, forms the scenarios... they are not alternate futures... which is why nynaeve could alter the weaves of saidin, or re-open the exit, she didnt know that she couldnt.

 

nynaeve believed she wanted lans babies, and so, for the future ring, she had lans babies

 

and the AS testing terangreal, again similar to the rings, but the scenarios are chosen by those outside of the terangreal, not the one inside...

 

 

those events are not foretellings.

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let's examine lan situation from a different angle,so forget about min's viewings:

the last we saw lan,he was charging light brigade style 12000 warriors strong

without channelers vs a shadowspawn army of 150000,so the odds are very much against him.

i am 100 percent sure that nynaeve will be one of the selected few to go with

rand to shayol ghul after his proclamations,so she not going to be anywhere

near tarwin's gap.

so everything boils down to one question:will rand send help in time?the most

obvious answer to this is the four armies of the north,but where are they?

did rand left them in far madding?did they come with him to the field of merrilor?

look,this gathering at the field of merrilor is sheer idiocy from a military point of

view,why concentrate so many armies(20+) in one place and leave so many

cities defenceless?and on top of it all,their best general,lord of luck himself is

not even there.

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@jack theres another MASSIVE army that youre forgetting... thats already left for the blight... the one which twisted ones and neverborn fear... the wolves.

 

and yes, gathering all the worlds leaders (summoning the nine rods of dominion sound familliar?) is a strategically stupid idea...

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Mashiara Sedai

Posted

actually, the rings that the accepted go through, work similar to TAR, beliefs of the person, forms the scenarios... they are not alternate futures... which is why nynaeve could alter the weaves of saidin, or re-open the exit, she didnt know that she couldnt.

 

That's interesting, Mark, that you think Nynaeve could feel saidin because she believed she could. I've never seen it that way before. *ponders ponders*

 

While I agree that the ring is linked to Tel'aran'rhiod, I feel there is some truth to what they see. Look at the example of Egwene being Amyrlin in hers. In the vision of "what will come," she was still quite young, I believe, and I don't think she would ever have thought of herself as Amyrlin without some sort of prophetic link from the rings. Because of that, I think Nynaeve remembers how to feel saidin, maybe from a past life. We learn it is possible when Nacelle Kayama is able to detect Narishma channeling in Salidar (Knife of Dreams, Chapter 23, "Call to a Sitting").

 

Jack, I'm thinking the army Lan has gathered might be saved by the White Tower, rather than Rand. I don't think Rand will act quickly enough, and the Tower, shamed by not acting quickly enough to save Malkier 40 years ago, will send Sisters to help.

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@mashiara

 

TAR is a world which, that which you believe, is true... the rings mimic TAR in most respects... nynaeve was left out of most of the early discussions between egwene and moraine, so she skipped the parts in the discussions which moraine said that saidar and saidin are different, and from there, went to other aes sedai who taught her how to use it... as far as im aware, she wasnt told(or found out herself) that she cant feel saidin, until after her testing... she felt saidin's weaves while in the rings, simply because she didnt know that she couldnt...

 

i do believe nynaeve and lan are heros of the horn too, but thats unrelated in this instance... she had no memories while in the rings, she didnt have memories of all her past lives... i dont see how she would have known the saidin dectection weaves, letalone used them, without foreknowledge or mention of em...

 

as for egwene's testing, of being amerlyn, i would say that moraine had earlier said that she *could* become amerlyn, so the seed of thought had already been planted... so while it may appear as prophecy, its actually not... that this actually happened, yet not atall like in the rings only aids my perspective... she wasnt stripped of the stole, she wasnt pronouncing judgement over rand, she already knew which ajah she would join... its all in her mind, within the scenario to test her fears.

 

i believe the wolves are FAR more likely to save lans army, rather than rand or the WT...

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What if Rand and Moridin concoct a scheme to kill the Dark One? Then we can have our Lord of the Rings happy ending where all the shadowspawn drop dead as the pockets of resistance are all about to be overwhelmed. Jeebus, I hope not, but it could happen.

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@mashiara.

the white tower will save lan?really????don't hold your breath.

if you recall egwene knows about the shadowspawn invasion in the north

(tom,chapter 27),did she do something?she did nothing!!!!,did she save

maradon?again a resounding no,rand did.

egwene is too busy playing politics,she ordered many rulers and their armies

to come to the field of merrilor for her own agenda i.e to intimidate rand.

the white tower army is at the field of merrilor,like all the other armies,and like

many other cities,tar valon is defenceless,and ripe for a seanchan surprise

attack via gateways this time.

so my best bet is still the armies of the north.

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I tend to agree with Jack. Egwene isn't the caring little girl from the Eye of the World, she is an Aes Sedai. People are just numbers, and the Tower is separate, and above all. They're allowed to feel shame, but not required to reconcile their blunders with the lowly masses. I wouldn't shed a tear if the Tower was turned to a rubble heap, and the Servants of all were required to do a little soul searching, and go back to their roots.

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@mark

rand is not going to save lan,he is going to send help,his destination is

shayol ghul, for some small and overdue battle with the do.

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@mark

rand is not going to save lan,he is going to send help,his destination is

shayol ghul, for some small and overdue battle with the do.

 

completely agree... rand is not going to tarwins gap... nor is perrin or mat... or the white tower for that matter... but perrin did say that the wolves were already heading north to the blight... THEY are the ones who will really take back malkier...

 

that much said, rand probably wont send help, he's got enough on his plate... but the wheel weaves the pattern, it already has set into motion to bring peace to the blight... with or without rands reinforcements

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First of all, concerning Egwene and her testing and seeing herself as Amerlyn I think it is worth making sure people remember that she is a Dreamer, she may not have known how back then, but she still had that ability which MAY have altered what she saw, made it more, or even less true, there is also the fact that she had the ring dreaming ter angreal in the room as well, which again, may have altered how the testing rings work.

 

Now, as for Birgitte, I have a theory about how current link status to the Horn, the wheel of time is all about just that, the wheel, that everything has happened before, and everything will happen again, we know this is fact in the Wheel of Time universe, age lace and all that, but that is from the perspective of the characters, who live in the age, I speculate that maybe there is a larger pattern going on, not just that the ages are repeating, but other things are as well, like maybe the dark one will be destroyed at some point and be recreated at some later point. The point to this theory is that the Horn had to be created at some point, which means based on this theory, it would need to be destroyed at some point to be recreated.

 

Ok, I got a little off topic, the above theory aside I also think that the same is said for the heroes, they all have to have been linked to the horn at some point, what if the events to come in the last battle is Birgitte proving she is worthy of being linked. I would also like to point out that even before Birgitte was torn out, she did not remember her oldest lives, since there was so many and they where so long gone, so it is entirly possible that she has played out this before, or something like it.

 

Finally, since I dont usually post I would like to add one more thing. Why is this battle the one the Wheel of time focuses on, why this 'last battle' I have always viewed the struggle between the DO and the Creator as something of a chess match, both create their peices and try to win, it has been said that a win for the Light simply means another chance for the Dark in the next age, but what if this last battle, truely is to be just that, that maybe, finally the Creator has all the peices he needs in just the right spot for the first time since the moment of Creation to actually 'win'

 

Anyway, some off topic, some on, I have posted similar thoughts here before, somewhere a long time ago, but thought I would throw it all out there again, and I would like to also add my theories are usually always wrong :)

 

Just one persons ramblings :D

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RJ said there was 7 ages in all... imo, the stories stay the same, but the characters keep changing :) if something exists in all 7 ages, it is neither created, nor destroyed in any... i believe there are only 2 items like that... the horn, and the dragons banner... the two items seem connected in a way most dont understand... nor do i see how either could have been created, tho that may be a lack of imagination...

 

and, ive never heard of anyone stop being one of the heros, but artur did say that the wheel does add to their number from time to time, so it is understandable that the heros also stop being heros at some time...

 

as far as the DO being destroyed, i believe that the DO will be destroyed in this age, and replaced with fain after the bore is repaired... but i spose ill have to wait 3 months to be proven right :D

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I've always had this feeling that Gaidal Cain has already been spun out. In one of the books (Ican't remember which) Birgitte comments that she hadn't seen Gaidal around as much and she figured that he had been spun out again.

 

My thoery is that Gaidal Cain or his soul is Olver. Birgitte and Olver have a strange bond as if they have known each other for years.

 

Anyway just something to think about

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I think Rand will send help north just because he said he would, didn't he? Let it even be wolves, if only he will become aware of that possibility, but the contrast between the Dark Rand - who would sacrifice his friend to win - and the new one must be shown - now he's not going to compromise and he would help friends, even if it doesn't seem reasonable from the military pov.

 

I find all those ter'angreal showing past, future, fears, beliefs, parallel universes or whatever very mysterious - one can never say for sure what it actually is they show. When pondering the nature of the girls' tests we can add one more factor: no Aes Sedai knows those ter'angreal intended purpose. I wonder what it had been used for.

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Looking at the timeline for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight, we see that it took Lan 100 days to ride from World's End, in Saldaea, to Tarwin's Gap, in Shienar. That's 100 days he's been apart from Nynaeve. That's more than three months, which would be plenty of time for Nynaeve to start showing if she was pregnant. We've seen her take the test for Aes Sedai, and know she swore on the Oath Rod; both things she wouldn't do if she was pregnant. So, I'm going to conclude that, at this point, Nynaeve is not pregnant.

 

Just wanted to point out, as a pregnant woman, that three months is not plenty of time for Nynaeve to start showing. Most women don't start showing until the fourth month, or later depending on her body type. However, three months is plenty of time for Nynaeve to figure out something is happening inside her body, like a pregnancy. :) And, no, she wouldn't have taken the test for Aes Sedai and would definitely not have sworn the Three Oaths knowing she was pregnant.

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Going back to Nynaeve and the Accepted ter'angreal, I was always struck that Lan suggested he call Sharina Sedai to help Nynaeve because she seemed unwell. Nynaeve hadn't heard of Sharina until she met her as a novice in the rebels' camp, so I think the ter'angreal visions can't just be based on Nynaeve's deepest thoughts/ fears.

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I've always had this feeling that Gaidal Cain has already been spun out. In one of the books (Ican't remember which) Birgitte comments that she hadn't seen Gaidal around as much and she figured that he had been spun out again.

 

My thoery is that Gaidal Cain or his soul is Olver. Birgitte and Olver have a strange bond as if they have known each other for years.

 

Anyway just something to think about

 

RJ has said that oliver is not gaidal... but yes, he has been spun out, the theory is that he is a child of one of the ashaman... i forget the exact quote, but the ashaman clearly described him as quite ugly... "face like a stump" comes to mind...

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I do think it will be the wolves to save Lan's army, because Rand's busy wuth his politics and his army at Merrilor and Mat's still oblivious to the fact that Caemlyn's being attacked by trollocs. I'm just wondering how Elayne will react to the Caemlyn/Trolloc thing. AND I do remember that RJ said at one stage that Gaidal Cain wouldn't have a very major role to play in the story.

 

And one last thing - I think that Rand, Mat and Perrin will survive the whole thing, and Lan and Nynaeve. At least, I really hope those five survive. The rest - not to sound horrible - I don't mind so much. And what about Cadsuane? What'll happen to her?

 

:P

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@lavender

 

agreed, rands plate is FULL, and if we're going to leave him to solve every problem, the last book will be very boring...

 

yea, gaidal is an infant, clearly he cant have a large role in the books... he couldnt be 3 yrs old...

 

we know that mat survives, as RJ was planning the outrigger novels... the rest, we dont really know tho... tho i do find it hard to believe that as the series ended with a leveling of every major character, that it will end with all the major characters still alive...

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Mashiara Sedai

Posted

A few notes on the logic of circular time: has anyone seen the movie Somewhere in Time? This is the basis of how time, as a loop, works. There is a watch the woman has in the past, but gives to the man in the future, who gives it to the woman in the past. Where did the watch come from? Who initially had it? In what time was it actually created?

 

All the questions and the answers are pretty much the same with everything in Randland. If time is a Wheel, then there was no beginning. There can be no end. All the items, people, places, histories, will continually repeat. So, it doesn't matter who first had the watch. It exists in both places.

 

There are still some Malkieri women at the Tower. I think, when they hear their Uncrowned King stands in Tarwin's Gap, they will go. In particular, Nacelle Kayama is Malkieiri, and Green. Jesse Bilal, the Head of the Green, is still feeling embarrassed for her lack of battle skills when the Seanchan attacked. I think the Greens can go save the Borderlanders. It wouldn't take much prodding for them to Travel to where the action is already happening.

 

Morning Mist: Sorry! I've never been pregnant, so don't know for sure! I always though women began to show by three months, though. But, as you said, Nynaeve would have realized something was different in her body--I would think. And if not, I'm sure she would have been delved for various reasons in that time period.

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