Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

WoT If...Myrddraal Use the True Power?


Mashiara Sedai

Welcome back to "WoT If?". The look at Padan Fain two weeks back got me thinking about the baddies in the Wheel of Time world, and what roles, if any, some will have in the final book.

 

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 is found here.

 

Let's start with a quick look at Mashadar, since he's the odd man out—not being Shadowspawn. We talked a bit about Mordeth in the Fain discussion, but I didn't really focus on Mashadar's powers and aspects.

 

Mashadar is a stealer of souls and memories, according to Brandon Sanderson. It is able—like Machin Shin—to steal the very core of the things it eats. It's suggested that this is one of the reasons Rand chose to cleanse saidin at Shadar Logoth; the taint siphoned off the Source was consumed by Mashadar. Or, rather, they consumed each other. But was Mashadar really eradicated? Let's look at this interview:

 

Azral Hanan: Can Mashadar destroy True Power and True Power weaves like it destroyed the taint?

 

Brandon Sanderson: RAFO.

 

Benjamin Moldovan: Mashadar is gone, isn't it? Would it really hurt to say whether the True Power would be affected?

 

Brandon Sanderson: Have we ever confirmed that Mashadar is dead? :)

 

I think this refers to the Mashadar powers that still reside within Fain. We see him using a fog to create zombie Trollocs (Towers of Midnight, Prologue). That's definitely Mashadar, but evolved. I'm not going to go into it all again; look at the Fain post for more details on Fain and Mashadar's possible role in the Last Battle. Or perhaps it's a suggestion that Mashadar will return, even with Shadar Logoth completely gone.

 

One last thing to note on Mashadar is that, when it touched Sammael, it somehow tainted his thread, which is the reason the Dark One didn't transmigrate his soul. That's pretty tainted if even the Dark One won't touch it. (This, again, reinforces the dueling nature of Shadow evil vs. Shadar Logoth evil.)

 

Next is Gray Men; though once human, they are listed as being Shadowspawn. They are the Shadow's assassins, people who have willingly given up their souls to the Dark One. First off, I wonder who would be stupid enough to make that bargain. I can't see any benefit for the person in that arrangement. But, apparently, some go through the process.

 

The interesting thing I found while researching this topic is the connection between Gray Men and someone who is mindtrapped. Robert Jordan said:

 

Greebs: [Thinking he better get to the questions fast.] Umm, we were wondering if you had to take someone down into the Pit of Doom to make them into a Gray Man, you know, 'cause it seems so similar to mindtrapping someone.

 

Robert Jordan: Yes...at least that's the way I've always thought of it. It's not easy to remove someone's soul.

 

The only difference I can see between a Gray Man and the cour'souvra is the surrender seems to be voluntary with the Gray Man. Also, I wonder what the ability to channel has to do with it. The cour'souvra only works on channelers (A Crown of Swords, Chapter 25, "Mindtrap"). Is the same true for Gray Men?

 

When Moghedien is first entered into the mindtrap she thinks:

 

A Crown of Swords

Chapter 25, "Mindtrap"

 

Breaking a mindtrap did not require much more pressure than he was using. She could be on the other side of the world or farther, and it would not matter a hair. The part of her that was her would be separated; she would still see with her eyes and hear with her ears, taste what crossed her tongue and feel what touched her, but helpless within an automaton that was utterly obedient to whoever held the cour’souvra. Whether or not there was any way to get free of it, a mindtrap was just what its name implied.

 

That sounds very similar to what a Gray Man does: utterly obedient, but with no will of his own. Is it possible that Gray Men are people who have been put into a mindtrap, then had it broken? If it's so difficult to take someone's soul, wouldn't it make sense if there is only one way to do it?

 

When Aginor made Trollocs and accidentally created Myrddraal, both the One Power and the True Power were used. Robert Jordan said so in an interview:

 

Wotmania: Ishamael's corpse in The Dragon Reborn had only pits where his eyes and mouth once were. Was this a result of the True Power? If this is true, is the True Power the reason that Fades have no eyes, but some supernatural abilities?

 

Robert Jordan: The True Power is the reason that Ishamael's corpse had no eyes, just as it was the reason that his eyes had been caverns of flame, but is not precisely the reason that Fades have no eyes. The True Power as well as the One Power was used in creation of Trollocs, which proved to be uncontrollable and useless as soldiers until the first Myrddraal were born, throwbacks to the human stock used in creating Trollocs, but twisted by the inclusion of the True Power in making Trollocs.

 

First, this is interesting because of the way the True Power seared out Ishamael's eyes. That's a bit off topic, but I wanted to point it out. Also, notice Robert Jordan's Aes Sedai answer by adding in the "not precisely." While the True Power might not be the entire reason Myrddraal have no eyes, it's probably part of the reason. That raises the question of whether Myrddraal can manipulate the True Power themselves.

 

We learned in Towers of Midnight that the True Power is used to turn rats and ravens into the Dark One's eyes. Graendal thinks:

 

Towers of Midnight

Prologue

 

A dove would be unobtrusive, but using one was more difficult than a raven or a rat, the Great Lord’s own favored eyes. The weave worked better on those than it did other animals. Though, most vermin that watched for the Great Lord had to report back before he knew what they’d seen. Why that was, she was not certain—the intricacies of the True Power’s special weaves never had made much sense to her.

 

Since the True Power seems necessary to control these vermin, wouldn't that mean someone needs to constantly be using the True Power on them? Wouldn't that mean the first raven seen (The Eye of the World, Chapter 2, "Strangers") could have been controlled by a Myrddraal? It most certainly was spying for the Dark One, and we know there are Myrddraal about. I think it seems logical to assume Myrddraal can manipulate—though probably not channel—the True Power.

 

Isn't it also interesting that it takes thirteen channelers working through thirteen Myrddraal to change a person to the Shadow against their will? Thirteen weaves of the One Power and thirteen weaves of the True Power?

 

An answer by Brandon Sanderson in reference to Shaidar Haran has me wondering about the phrasing of his answer.

 

Question: Was the Compulsion which Elza told Semirhage about Verin's work from after Dumai's Wells, and was it Shaidar Haran who told her about it and to ask Semirhage to remove it?

 

Brandon Sanderson: Yes.

 

Question: How did Elza defeat the wards on Cadsuane's plain wooden box?

 

Brandon Sanderson: Elza had been given knowledge of several rarely known weaves, and in other ways made into a tool of Shaidar Haran. Not all of it was pleasant for her.

 

Again, Aes Sedai answers. Just because Elza had been given knowledge of weaves doesn't mean she used them in this circumstance. I'm thinking it was Shaidar Haran, and his use of the True Power, that broke through Cadsuane's wards. He's able to shield Moghedien from the One Power (A Crown of Swords, Chapter 25, "Mindtrap"); perhaps through his ability to touch the True Power, he can overcome the One Power.

 

On top of that, we know that Shaidar Haran is a sort of "shadowy" version of the Dark One in the world (says Robert Jordan). That means he has some of the Dark One's powers, though not all, according to that interview. It seems likely that Shaidar Haran can at least tap into the Dark One's power, or else what would be the point of having him around? And since he is a Myrddraal, I think it likely others share some of those abilities.

 

I'll save Machin Shin for another time; I think there's a lot to say about it. But next week, we'll look at a quote about Trollocs and see what implications it can have for Rand's "to live, you must die" riddle. Thanks for reading!




User Feedback

Recommended Comments

ironically, neverborn have no eyes, no eyes, means no eyes of fire...

 

id have to say that they do... they are the throwback of the twisted ones, back close to the human stock used to create them... so i assume they are capable of channelling the TP...

 

in tDR(i believe), when egwene, elaine, nynaeve were captured just after meeting aviendha, before tear, the neverborn showed up and could tell that the girls held the OP... he described it as a "tingle", much as rand does...

 

tho, we've never seen them use it in the way i would expect, as a weapon, they always use their swords... why?

 

also, in tEotW, lan says that the neverborns ravens/rats, need to report to the neverborn, they cannot see directly through their eyes... now, this is early in the series and may be an inconsistency, or, it may be that the neverborn cannot see through their spies eyes, unlike the forsaken can with the TP...

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

And let us not forget Lan's line (probably going to misquote) "Fade's have no eyes but they see better than you or I boy".-EOTW

 

Who else sees better and can feel the world around them better? Channelers. Especially those using the true power.

 

This theory is very likely to me.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mashiara Sedai

Posted

also, in tEotW, lan says that the neverborns ravens/rats, need to report to the neverborn, they cannot see directly through their eyes... now, this is early in the series and may be an inconsistency, or, it may be that the neverborn cannot see through their spies eyes, unlike the forsaken can with the TP...

 

I don't think it's farfetched to think that Lan doesn't know the inner workings of Shadowspawn. He can believe the vermin have to report to a Fade all he wants; that doesn't make it true.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

im pretty sure this theory is true... tho, i have only one question... if the neverborn can channel the TP, why dont they ever use it as a weapon? be it for fire-wrought swords, balefire, or otherwise...

 

also, its been said many times that the neverborn have the DOs own luck... and having luck(not to mats scale mind) is a side-effect of being able to channel...

 

all in all, im quite sure this is true, i just have that one question...

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

mark, on , said:

 

also, in tEotW, lan says that the neverborns ravens/rats, need to report to the neverborn, they cannot see directly through their eyes... now, this is early in the series and may be an inconsistency, or, it may be that the neverborn cannot see through their spies eyes, unlike the forsaken can with the TP...

 

I don't think it's farfetched to think that Lan doesn't know the inner workings of Shadowspawn. He can believe the vermin have to report to a Fade all he wants; that doesn't make it true.

 

perhaps, tho, as its the first book, ill give RJ a little leeway there... it could also be that... when we saw grendal do it, she was able to switch her vision back and forth... i dont think the neverborn can see through others eyes, for they dont have any themselves...

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mashiara Sedai

Posted

Fades don't have eyes, but they still see. I think they can control vermin, the same as Graendal does. The quote about controlling vermin, implies that it requires the True Power. In the time when the Forsaken were still locked up--early in The Eye of the World, for instance--who is channeling the True Power onto the rats, ravens, etc? I would have to be Myrddraal, I think. No one else should have access to it, since it's reserved for the Forsaken only.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmm, i'm not too sure...I don't remember the chapter or book, but I remember Semirage claimed that she tortured Myrdraal to find out how it is they did what they did and that even Myrddraal didn't know (this was, I believe, while she was torturing Cabriana and her Warder). Though I guess that doesn't disprove your theory, because if Myrddraal don't know how it is they do what they do, and therefore it is instinctive, that could explain why they don't channel the True Power and use it as a weapon; it could be something like how Nyneave healed people sometimes without even realising that she used the One Power.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fades don't have eyes, but they still see. I think they can control vermin, the same as Graendal does. The quote about controlling vermin, implies that it requires the True Power. In the time when the Forsaken were still locked up--early in The Eye of the World, for instance--who is channeling the True Power onto the rats, ravens, etc? I would have to be Myrddraal, I think. No one else should have access to it, since it's reserved for the Forsaken only.

 

to see is not necessarily to look (a quote from a sensei) ;-) sight is a combination of all senses, and the minds interpretation of reality...

 

if thats true, fades *see* because theyre embracing the TP, and thus their other senses are more attune, and can see, regardless of the light conditions...

 

i do suspect that they control the shadoweyes by the TP, but if this isnt an inconsistency, they have to report back to the neverborn simply because they do not have the sense of sight... they cannot look through their eyes, or others... so, they have to use their other senses...

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mashiara, I like this week blog very much! No big theories, but some very interesting details we have here. I've always wondered why Myrddraal are needed to turn someone to the Shadow. And if they can instinctively channel the TP, that explains a lot.

 

Also, the paragraph about vermin made me suddenly realise that it can really be Fain who will break the Seals - the First among Vermin... That would fit in very well, I think. He used to be a very special vermin, changed by the DO himself to be his eyes on Rand from the very beginning.

 

And the point about the eyes - there seems to be a subtle link between the facts that the Myrdraal have no eyes, Ishy lost them upon his death and the DO is the Sightblinder. I'm wondering what becomes of one's eyes when there are more and more of saa - do they turn into the caverns of fire in the end as the person becomes mad, like in case of Ishy? Probably we'll never find out.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

@gwenifer if memory serves, RJ confirmed that the saa turn to the caverns of fire if let progress enough....

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mashiara Sedai

Posted

What Mark said. Here's the quote:

 

It didn't affect his vision. You're aware of it, but it's not like there is blackness between you, because it gets thicker and thicker and thicker and you get to a point where if you've used it long enough you get a steady stream even if you're not connected. And you are then on the road, at that point, inevitably, to becoming what Ishamael was. Because these are stigmata, if you will. These saa are stigmata caused by a linkage to the Dark One. And eventually the effect is to become all fire eyes. You no longer have eyes visible to other people. If they're looking into your eyes, they seem to be looking into caverns of flame that stretch to infinity. And when you open your mouth they see another cavern of flame that stretches to infinity. Because you've reached at that point the ultimate level of this usage and quite possibly, if you've at this point not been granted immortality, you're on your way to death. Not madness, but you're on your way to death. So it's sort of a race. The Dark One has given you this boon, but if you use it very much, then you'd better hope he is willing to give you another boon, because if he doesn't give you the second boon then you're dead. Some of the Forsaken have expressed discomfort with the fact that Ishamael and Moridin are so free with using the One Power.

 

I think the interesting thing here is why the link to the Dark One causes these fiery pits. And also, since the Myrddraal's eyeless face is "not precisely" the same as Ishamael's caverns, what is the difference between Ishamael's link and the Fade's link?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

perhaps, the forsaken(and SH?) have the spark for the TP, but the fades can learn it?

 

i dont think the saa could effect the fade(for obvious reasons), but we've yet to see inside of a fades mouth(sorry about the mental image) to see if theres caverns of fire...

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

perhaps, the forsaken(and SH?) have the spark for the TP, but the fades can learn it?

 

i dont think the saa could effect the fade(for obvious reasons), but we've yet to see inside of a fades mouth(sorry about the mental image) to see if theres caverns of fire...

 

except for the fade speaking in baerlon. rand would have DEFINITELY noticed a cavernous maw of flame.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

BS said that Myrddraal can't channel

Interview: Nov 14th, 2009

 

TGS Signing Report - Aubree Pham (Paraphrased)

 

Brandon Sanderson

 

Myrddraal are not Trollocs who can channel. Their powers are totally independent from the One Power. They really are just throwbacks to the human stock. Harriet added that there are also animal throwbacks, but they just die.

and RJ said that the ability to channel TP and OP is the same. I agree that Shaidar Haran most likely can channel TP. The description of him burning a spear in aCoS, ch 40 is very similar to the description of Ishy using TP in early books. and he has a dark aura too. But SH is all kinds of special and what's true of him need not be true of regular Myrddraal.

 

BTW, BS also pretty much said straight out that it wasn't SH but Elza who broke the ward on Cadsuane's box.

 

 

Interview: Nov 10th, 2009

 

 

 

 

TGS Signing Report - Lexington, KY (Paraphrased)

 

Brandon Sanderson

 

Brandon hinted at some severe limitations on Shaidar Haran to affect the physical world. He says that a lot of actions that people assume to be those of Shaidar Haran in the book in one particular scene were physically carried out by Elza. He further indicated that Shadar Haran would have been incapable of physically placing the collar himself.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites



Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...