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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 thought it was interesting Tsukibana did not see Moridin being turned voluntarily. It got me thinking on 13x13 terms and made me wonder, what is the Light equivalent of a Lurk? Da'shain Aiel singing perhaps? With Aes Sedai. The Green man and the Ogier prove that singing has power if only just to grow but Elaida used the source to do the same thing... 


Probably been bandied around before no doubt ha. Hasn't everything? Someone out there has definitely figured out all the main wow moments but WHO? 


Probably frivolous but Rand doing impossible thing could be related to his stubborn Two Rivers temperament?


That Dragon Reborn, he's impossible to deal with sometimes!


Rand! You're being impossible!


How is it possible for one man to track that much mud inside?


and so on..

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I like the idea of the Shaido being the remnant of a remnant.


If you are right Mashiara, i.e. the DO's permission was needed despite the link between Rand and Moridin, we have quite an irony here - the DO could fulfill his plans concerning Rand without any of the Forsaken's conscious acting. Not very surprising, given how successfull they usually are :)

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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.


I had to think on this for awhile, Caelvan, but I think I've got the answer now.  When Elaida had her own Foretelling, it said, "Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger" (A Crown of Swords, Prologue).  We see in The Gathering Storm, that this is fulfilled with Egwene on the Amyrlin Seat ("The Amyrlin's Anger").  So, even at this point, Elaida is a false Amyrlin.  So, I don't think the "Amyrlin imprisoned" counts as Elaida too, since even by her own Foretelling, Egwene is the true Amyrlin.

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And what about him being in a relationship with three women? A know-it-all houghty queen, a kickass bartender and a proto-wiseone maiden. I mean.... doing THAT and still being alive is obviously the most impossible thing he has done so far LOL.


Now seriously, i think marrying three women will be one of the impossible things he will achieve in the last book.

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rand did not face the amyrlin and knew her anger(well technically he did)

he instigated it.

when i first read the scene between rand and egwene,i missed something

obvious:rand could have kept the information about breaking the remaining

seals to himself,and tell egwene that he is planning to reseal the bore.

rand manipulated the meeting from start to finish,he clearly was not happy

doing it,but he did it anyway.

and unsurprisingly,egwene fell for it,she is after all a bully,and she is very


elaida wanted rand in a box,cadsuane literaly drove him to the brink of

insanity,and egwene clearly wants to be the boss,a few days after her meeting with rand she tells her sitters:"it is wise of the hall to put me in charge of dealing with the dragon reborn-he will need a firm,familiar hand"

really egwene?really???rand will need a firm hand?????

so for once rand faced the amyrlin,and knew her anger on his own terms.

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@jack - I think you're bein' a tad bit hard on Egwene.  I wouldn't call her a bully any more than I would any other Aes Sedai (except Cadsuane, who really is a bully, but a well-intentioned one).  Remember, she was willing to let go of the blame for the Breaking of the Tower, and even selected a Red sister for her Keeper.  This isn't the act of a bully.  This is the act of a negotiator.  She just doesn't have all the facts yet about Rand's plan.

Rand has said that the mistake he made as Lews Therin was in thinking that the Dark One could be defeated using only saidin.  That was a mistake.  He NEEDS saidar as well, or he will fail again.  The parallels with Rand's plan and Lews Therin's struggle to bring the female channelers into the plan are pretty obvious to me.  


I think it's true that Egwene hasn't really been thinking about this the right way.  She still thinks the White Tower needs to lead Tarmon Gaidon, not the Dragon.  She's wrong about that, but she's right that the Tower needs to be involved.


I think that's what Rand has to convince her of: his plan can and will work, but only if the two of them work together.  She'll come around.  She's a smart cookie.  She'll figure it out in the end.  After all, people working together is one of the central themes of the whole story.  In the end, I think she'll see things Rand's way.


Besides, in my experience, ALL women think that men need "a firm hand."  And most of the time, they're right. :)

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you are missing the point,the problem is not with this amyrlin or another one,

the problem is the white tower itself:3000 years this powerful institute run

unchecked meddling everywhere,without a counterforce to restrain it.

the old prophecies were just that,old,dusty neglected books,same with the

dragon reborn,he was just and old myth....

and suddenly he was there,alive and kicking,very powerful and nobody's  lapdog.

rand existence changed everything,he radically changed the whole world around him,but the white tower is still living in the past without a clue how to

deal with this new force.

because of that we had five!!!! different approaches to the dragon reborn problem:

moiraine+siuan,elaida,the salidar group,cadsuane and now egwene-the

epitome of unity....

nynaeve is the only aes sedai who really understand the big picture,the white

tower must radically change its ways.

in my book she is a thousand times more worthy to be amyrlin than egwene.

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While I agree with most of what was said here, i would like to touch on a couple of points.

Number two of the posted "impossible things" list: i don't believe that being ludicrous merits being called impossible. Rather, I think Rand already did another impossible thing: he conquered the  Taint. When Nynaeve Delved him in "Towers of Midnight", she found a nexus of light protecting him from the Taint. In that same book, he came to terms with who  he was, in cooperating with Lews Therin, without going mad.

Semirage told him that Lews Therin's presence was a sign of madness, yet he is there in a time when Rand is clearly not mad. in fact, it almost seems as though the Taint waas Shielding Rand from Lews Therin.

So, Rand conquered the madness almost by himself. that is impossible, yet he did it. he also came to cooperate with a past life without going/being mad. that is impossible, yet he did it.

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I don't think the Aiel going back to the way of the leaf isn't so far fetched an idea if you remember in The Great Hunt Loial said "No, he has the look. You remember, Rand, I remarked on it once, though I thought it was just because I didn't know you humans well enough then. Remember 'Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the shadow writhe teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last night breath, to spit in Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day.' You remember, Rand?" Then two paragraphs later ingtar says that is how long the Aiel say they will fight. So it isn't so far fetched an idea because after the Last Battle they would have fulfilled that way of thinking.

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Has anyone considered the possibility that his new hand may be supplied by Nynaeve, her abilities in healing seem to growing at such a rate that she's able to do miraculous things (perhaps even heal death? (an argument for another day)) just a thought.

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