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WoT If...The Dragon Reborn Does Nine Impossible Things?


Mashiara Sedai

Welcome back to "WoT If?", Dragonmount's weekly theory blog. For this week's post, I want to look at Nicola's Foretelling.

 

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, Chapter 2, Chapter 11, or Tor's daily previews. 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.

 

We all know Nicola's major Foretelling that happens in Lord of Chaos, Chapter 14, "Dreams and Nightmares." It has been analyzed to death, and most everyone is sick of it. So, we won't even touch it at all. Rather, I want to look at her Foretellings that have happened "off-screen," so to speak. This happens in Crossroads of Twilight, where Janya Frende is complaining to Egwene about Nicola.

Crossroads of Twilight

Chapter 17, "Secrets"

 

"Ever since we found out she has the Foretelling, she's been Foretelling two or three times a day, to hear her tell it. Or rather, to hear Areina tell it. Nicola is smart enough to know everyone is aware she can't remember what she says when she Foretells, but Areina always seems to be there to hear and remember, and help her interpret. Some are the sort of thing anyone in the camp with half a brain and a credulous nature might think of—battles with the Seanchan or the Asha'man, an Amyrlin imprisoned, the Dragon Reborn doing nine impossible things, visions that might be Tarmon Gai'don or a bilious stomach—and the rest all just happen to indicate that Nicola ought to be allowed to go faster with her lessons. She's always too greedy for that. I think even most of the other novices have stopped believing her."

 

Janya doubts the credibility of Nicola's Foretellings, and even says the novices don't believe her. Because of that, we—the reader—should dismiss it as well. But you'll notice that one aspect of that list happens at the end of this book: an Amyrlin imprisoned. I think what's meant to be a throw away line, in an effort to discredit Nicola, becomes important when we realize at least one is correct. Because of that one line, I think the rest is important as well. Nicola struggles very hard to be noticed, but that doesn't mean she can't also be right.

 

The first part talks of battles with the Seanchan or the Asha'man. Since Nicola is the one saying it, I'm assuming that the battles will be between the White Tower, which she is a part of, and the Seanchan/Asha'man. We get one battle with the Seanchan in The Gathering Storm, or does that not count? It's technically a raid. And the phrase used is "battles," so that could mean more than one attack on the White Tower. With the Seanchan discovery of Traveling, they are planning a second raid—but I thought it would be post-Tarmon Gai'don. Perhaps it won't be. Besides knowing that the Last Battle constitutes a 50,000 word long block in A Memory of Light, we don't have clues about what happens before or afterwards (without going into spoilers). So, I think because of Nicola's Foretelling, it's possible another Seanchan raid could happen before the Last Battle begins.

 

The next part is a battle with the Asha'man. Again, people have suggested that there won't be time for this before Tarmon Gai'don. But we know that at the end of Towers of Midnight, Pevara and Androl are trying to find a way to escape the Black Tower. There is definitely a battle looming here. In a previous blog, I talked about Logain and the possibility that he is recruiting other channelers—maybe male and female—to help him take back the Black Tower. That would count as the White Tower—as Aes Sedai are initiates—battling Asha'man. And since we all know this is coming, it also gives credibility to Nicola's words.

 

That leads to the most important part of Nicola's Foretelling, in my opinion: the Dragon Reborn doing nine impossible things.

 

We see Janya repeating this in Crossroads of Twilight, but that doesn't mean Nicola said them all in that time. They could have been spread out from when her Talent appeared (in Lord of Chaos) to this point, at least half a year later. So, I would list the cleansing of the taint as one of the nine impossible things. But what else has Rand done that's considered impossible?

 

What about the balefire streams crossing (A Crown of Swords, Chapter 41, "A Crown of Swords")? I think most people would believe weaves that cross and cause a semi-merging of two people is impossible. Plus, this is going to play a huge part in the Last Battle. Whether or not you believe the body-swap theory, Min says to Rand, "I saw you and another man. I couldn't make out either face, but I knew one was you. You touched, and seemed to merge into one another, and...one of you dies, and one doesn't" (A Crown of Swords, Chapter 33, "A Bath"). Since Min doesn't believe this refers to Lews Therin, I don't either. And Rand and Moridin's connection has greatly increased over the past few books. So, if the streams crossing isn't the impossible aspect, perhaps Rand merging with Moridin—literally or figuratively—would be.

 

Rand was able to destroy cuendillar. That's impossible. In The Gathering Storm, Chapter 22, "The Last That Could Be Done," Rand uses the True Power to destroy the Domination Band. When it's first introduced, Moghedien says, "You cannot destroy it. That is not metal, but a form of cuendillar. Even balefire cannot destroy cuendillar" (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 54, "Into the Palace"). I think that counts.

 

Another feat: Rand becoming "Light and Power" (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 32, "A Storm of Light"). He defeated hundreds of thousands of Shadowspawn. By himself. Without an angreal. Impossible.

 

That's four we've seen, leaving five to be fulfilled. I've got a couple ideas on those.

 

1. Have a hand made of the One Power.

 

There's been some foreshadowing that Rand might be able to get a new hand—Min saw a viewing above Rand's head that was "a glowing sword, Callandor, being gripped in a black hand" (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 51, "A Testing"). This image has led many to speculate that Rand could make a new hand from the One Power. We know that using the Power on yourself doesn't work, so that would be impossible.

 

2. Break the seals.

 

Though they are cuendillar, they can be broken with a bare hand, so the physical destruction of them isn't impossible. It's the concept of destroying the seals that is ludicrous! Therefore, I think many would believe it impossible, just because it's a bad idea—and that's why Egwene plans on stopping him. However, Min says, "You have to destroy the seals to the Dark One's prison," and Rand replies with, "Yes, that sounds right. I doubt that many will wish to hear it. If those seals are broken, there is no way to tell what will happen. If I fail to contain him..." (The Gathering Storm, Chapter 15, "A Place to Begin").

 

3. Making the Aiel give up their spears.

 

We've seen through Aviendha's second trip through the glass column ter'angreal that Rand intends to leave the Aiel out of the Dragon's Peace agreement (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 49, "Court of the Sun"). Perhaps to avoid this dismal future, Aviendha will make Rand include the Aiel, having them give up their spears. That would be considered impossible by everyone, even the Aiel. If so, the Shaido heading back to the Three-Fold Land could be the "remnant of a remnant" (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 34, "He Who Comes With the Dawn")—meaning they will still act as warrior Aiel.

 

4. Surviving after the Last Battle.

 

Everyone believes Rand will die in the Last Battle—"twice to live, twice to die" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 26, "Discord")—so him surviving is pretty much impossible. Yet, many of us still think he will live, though the method in which he comes back is heavily debated.

 

5. Actually destroying the Dark One.

 

Rand seems to have the intent to kill the Dark One, not just reseal him in the Bore. When he speaks to Moridin in Tel'aran'rhiod Rand says, "I mean to kill him. Slay the Dark One. Let the Wheel turn without his constant taint." (The Gathering Storm, Chapter 15, "A Place to Begin"). Moridin replies with, "I doubt you can understand the magnitude of the stupidity in your statement," implying that it may be impossible for Rand to kill the Dark One.

 

I think most of the ideas on this list are likely, no matter that they are deemed impossible. And I think Nicola should be given a bit of credit for her Foretelling abilities. Even if only the imprisoned Amyrlin is correct, that's still a better record than Elaida, who always seems to misinterpret her Foretellings.

 

That's all for this edition. Please join us next week for a discussion—suggested by Metal Head—on what Moridin's true intentions are, and why there's a constant flip-flop in the orders to kill Rand. Thanks for reading!

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i always thought the "remenant of a remenant" would be the leftovers from the shaido that perrin didnt manage to kill... still :)

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I wonder if cleansing saidin could have been thought of as one of the impossible tasks?

1. Hand of One Power - Liking this idea.  Can't channel on himself, but what if he found a way to do just that?

 

2. Breaking the seals - We know that's his intention.  The impossible part seems to be getting Egwene to go along with it.  The mistake Lews Therin made the first time was believing he could seal the Bore without female channelers.  Rand already knows he needs them.  Egwene doesn't sound convinced yet.

 

3.  Making the Aiel give up their spears - Hmm... maybe.  Might be even more impossible to get them to reunite with the Travelling People.

 

4.  Surviving the Last Battle - I know longer think of this as a possibility.  I now think this is an absolute certainty.  But I have no idea HOW.

 

5.  Actually destroying the Dark One - Now if Rand figures out a way to do this that makes sense within the context of the story, that would certainly qualify as "an impossible feat."  I still have my doubts about this one.  I'm still thinking he has more of a chance to tie up, or otherwise arrange for the DO to be occupied with other things (or re-imprisoned) for the next several turnings of the wheel.  Time is still a wheel, one that Rand has decided to protect, so that means the Dark One MUST break free again at some point in the distant future, no?

 

Remnant of a remnant - Could the "Aiel" in that prophecy possible be referring to ALL of the groups that descended from the original Aiel?  Do those prophecies pre-date the splintering of the Aiel?  If so, it might be referring to the Travelling People.  My feeling is that the Shaido are still too numerous to be considered a "remnant of a remnant."  But it's possible it could be them.


And I wouldn't take too much credit for suggesting the next blog.  I got the idea from many of the commenters on this blog, and by Mashiara herself (that, plus way too much time spent thinking about this stuff).  So let's ALL take the credit together.

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first amongst some of the impossible things rand already did was removing

the taint,but on the same day,rand also destroyed shadar logoth and

mashadar by making the two hostile and opposite forces annihilate each other.

leaving only our "lovely" padan fain as the sole representation of the shadar

logoth evil.

but in my opinion,the most amazing thing rand ever did,was to reverse the dark one's taint from the apple orchards,for some reason this little scene moved me to tears.

for its not always about kings,queens,aiel clan chiefs,aes sedai or ashamans,

sometimes its about everyday people,farmers,fishermen,foot soldiers or merchants,

the backbone of randland.

when rand returned from dragonmount after his epiphany,he was a changed man,

he found balance between power,glory,love,compassion and determination.

if you ask me,rand overcame a very very big impossible in my book.

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You know the part about her foretelling that I never hear/read anyone address "an Amyrlin imprisoned" is actually twice proven.  Egwene by other Ae Sedai and then Elaida by the Seanchan (assuming you would categorize enslavement as a kind of imprisonment). 

 

I personally felt that was done so intentionally as RJ has various characters point out that prophecy is not necessarily what it says nor can it mean only one thing.

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Well I must disagree with Mardon being impossible.

 

As for impossible things cleansing the taint has already been mentioned. Uniting the Aeil was a pretty impossible seaming thing.

 

Uniting the world, specifically making the seachan bend.

 

Making the amrylin bow to him.

 

The ways were also mentioned and that sounds plausible.

 

Killing the forsaken is another thing that is deemed as impossible. At least until rand started doing it.

 

Cutting off the forsakens connection to the dark one. (did twice)

 

It seems every other page Rand does something thats impossible...

So him doing nine impossible things is rather plausible. And all of the ones mentioned above besides Mardon also seem like good ones.

 

 

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Bit of a stretch to assume there's something impossible in the "light and power". Unexplained dos not mean unexplainable. For all we know the ward that he used around himself to take down the Draghkar that got too close caused a shimmer in the air that could be seen by a non channeler, hence the glow. He had all LTT knowledge at that point, which just made him more efficient and effective than say his work from the tower at Cairhien.

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"The battle with Asha' Man," Some of the aes sedai have bonded asha' man and some of the asha' man have bonded aes sedai, That would mean both on Taim's side and both on Logan's side.

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About the hand of power I made a post , earlier this years , about a foretelling of Elayne and an Hand . I extrapolated she would make a new Ter'angreal , this was a question I meant to ask Sanderson to but didn't have time for it .

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Another impossible thing was him breaking free from the Domination Band, and using the TP.  Semirhage even uses those words, "But...that's impossible..." she said.  Not to mention destroying the item itself, as it was also made of some form of cuendillar.

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An idle thought I've been having as I'm re-reading The Gathering Storm, is the idea of Ishamael and Rand working together (this could potentially be a means of creating the new hand, as Ishamael has always been an innovator).  Now this could potentially be entirely too far-fetched, and is essentially based on the dream scene where Ishamael and Rand discuss how Ishamael understands that the Dark One being victorious means the end of all things.  He insinuates that he went to the dark side based off of the logic that eventually, in some age, the DO would win and it makes no sense to be on a side that has a 100% loss rate.  If Rand/LTT were to come up with some means of defeating the dark one for good, possibly involving this bond between the 2 of them, would Ishamael come back to the side of good? (another impossible accomplishment could be getting one of the forsaken to swap sides)

 

Again I don't exactly have a lot of research to back this up, but it is an idea I've been toying with.

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@NeekNack - There was a blog some months ago, I think before Mashiara took over, about how Moridin/Ishamael was the Forsaken MOST likely to switch sides and come back to the light, if any do at all.

 

It was pretty interesting.  Unfortunately, I cannot find it now, or I'd post a link.

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I'll have to dig around and look for it.  It also strikes me that if anyone were capable of coming up with a means of destroying the dark one, it would be Ishamael.

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How about the country on the other side of the Aiel Waste? Has anyone even considered that they might have something to do with anything? And also - I think it was in Towers of Midnight, not too sure though - there were Aiel-like men with red veils who seemed to be cannibals. I think they could be important too, maybe - just a random train of thought... :)

 

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And Rand destroying the Domination Band and Semirhage saying it's impossible could be a reference to Rand possibly having used the DO's Source, and that being impossible without the DO's say-so...??? A random idea that I think makes sense, since Rand goes really dark and gloomy, and all his ta'veren activities in the city he goes to after (can't remember which one :S) were all bad things happening. Make sense to anyone?

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@Lavenderdog

 

I've been under the impression that the use of the True Power was made possible by 1 of 2 things.

 

1.  The DO felt that Rand was ripe to turn away from the light, and allowed the use of this power in order to further draw Rand towards the dark.  It seems possible that Shadar Haran was sent to free Semirhage to provide an opportunity for Rand to cease this power.

 

2. (The one I tend to lean towards) The link between Ishamael and Rand inadvertedly allowed Rand to touch the source.  This takes place right after the accidental meeting between Rand and Ishamael in the world of dreams, which itself pointed that the link between the two seemed to be growing stronger. 

 

The Ta'veren activities that happen after in Bandar Eben could be caused by the pattern beginning to further loosen in response to Rand having touched this power, or potentially all of these bad things could be happening to balance the good that could potentially come from Rand being freed from the domination band (which as noted above should have been impossible).  Also this is where the  the battle taking place inside Rand, that leads to the great epiphany, really starts to liven up.  Possibly without the ability to touch the True Power and free himself from the domination band, the Dragon would have been made into a mere tool of the DO rather than becoming the true source of the Light.

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Bandar Eban was a case of "the Dragon is one with the land," as Apples First was the antithesis of that.  In regard to the True Power, it would seem like a prudent move to always have the Dragon soul switched on, so to speak, since the Dark One only has to win once. It also seems unlikely that the TP would be able to be turned against him, so it seems like a good move.

 

Slightly off topic, but Moridin keeps coming up here, so... Ishy throws around the struggle between him and the Dragon being eternal, but I'm not so certain I buy it.  Rand may possibly have full access to the Dragon soul, not just LTT. But all the instances Ishy mentions in TEOTW happened during his imprisonment, and give us no indication that he has access to past lives. There are ages where the Dark One is completely outside of the pattern, and essentially doesn't exist. It stands to reason that he can only be the "Lord of the Grave" when he is able to influence the pattern. Where the Heroes of the Horn live on in TAR, which is within the pattern, it doesn't seem possible for the DO to take his champion with him into storage outside of existence.

 

All idle speculation, of course. I'm on TGS in my reread, and some of this stuff has been popping up around here lately, so its been floating around in my head at work.And I'm spent.

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@snowball

..."as apples first was the antithesis of that"...

care to elaborate?i really like to read your opinion on the apples first episode,

it was such a pivotal moment in rands journey....

after all you are  part of mashiara's merry band of theorists lol,

so please write.

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@Neek, @Metal...

Somehow, I do not see Ishy turning from the Shadow voluntarily. We have already had our redemption moments - Ingtar, for one, and lovely, lovely Verin for the other. To have Ishy turn away with the key to the DOs defeat would reek of Deus Ex Machina. That would be more cliche than the end of The Dark Tower (Stephen King, for those who don't know).

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I agree with Snowball, about Bandar Eban. Let us not also forget the warping of light around him (compared to the current aura) and Min hearing about only bad coincidences. While Rand was still in "balance", so to speak, both good things and bad things happened as a result of his ta'veren swirl. but as the darker part of him tool over, the pattern swirled in darker and darker events. Now that he is Light in truth, only good events swirl about him.

Perhaps the DO granting the Dragon the TP IS essential for victory. In the EotW, recall how Moiraine says the DO may even weave himself away with ta'veren influence? Well, Rand is MUCH stronger a ta'veren now than he was then. what if the counter is true - a strong enough ta'veren, tapped into the DO's source, causing a swirl, hell, a ta'veren typhoon, at the Bore itself, the thinness of reality?

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@jack

 

Tsuki pretty much nailed it. I'm obviously not big on research, its how I'm able to stay in the closet as a nerd. But the mass food spoilage in Bandar Eban happens right when Rand decides to flake. The line about the dragon being one with the land is from one of the prophesy excerpts at the beginning of one of the books. Spring comes but doesn't come with Darth Rand, then apples is his first pov after veins of gold, and he's reversing it. I've seen it bandied about that the cloud cover is more Rand than the DO(not the stuff from the TGS prologue, but the gloom in the rest of Randland). And I've gone on record stating that I like Zen Rand, and he is what he needs to be. Darth Rand was just so much more fun to read.

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"Slightly off topic, but Moridin keeps coming up here, so... Ishy throws around the struggle between him and the Dragon being eternal, but I'm not so certain I buy it.  Rand may possibly have full access to the Dragon soul, not just LTT. But all the instances Ishy mentions in TEOTW happened during his imprisonment, and give us no indication that he has access to past lives. There are ages where the Dark One is completely outside of the pattern, and essentially doesn't exist. It stands to reason that he can only be the "Lord of the Grave" when he is able to influence the pattern. Where the Heroes of the Horn live on in TAR, which is within the pattern, it doesn't seem possible for the DO to take his champion with him into storage outside of existence."

@snowball, Mashiara and I had this exact same conversation a few days ago.  I don't want to give anything away though, because she's planning an "Ishamael/Moridin" blog for next week's Theory.  It would be completely [rude] of me to spill the beans now.

 

Apologies.  I have drawn the ire of the censors.  It was accidental, I promise.  Sometimes I type faster than I think.

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The link between Rand and Moridin is one of the topics I think about most.  I am no where near to getting a definitive theory on it, but I'll talk a bit about it next week.  As for Rand's access to the True Power, I always attributed it to his link with Moridin--Rand was able to access it because Moridin was able to access it.  But, I'm thinking now it might be most likely the Dark One still had to grant Rand access--even through Moridin.  It was part of a plan  to steer Rand towards the Shadow, so the Dark One willingly let Rand touch it; but if the Dark One had denied it, Rand wouldn't have been able to, even with Moridin's link.

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I've always taken the remnant of a remnant line to mean the beliefs of the Aiel rather than an amount of people or anything of that nature.  In one of the books right after Rand reveals the past of the Aiel, I think he makes a comment about the Aiel and swords and it being the last remnant of the Jenn Aiel (might not have been Rand, wish I could remember the exact comment).  Taking that with Aviendahs visions and what we know of the Dragon's Peace.  It sure seems stripping of the belief of no swords yada yada will be somewhere in the future of the Aiel.  Or maybe it will lead them back to being the Jenn Aiel eventually.  So could be right about the giving up of the spears, but I think it has to be even more significant than that, it has to be something of the hold over from Jenn.

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