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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

MahaRaj

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Everything posted by MahaRaj

  1. Really? Which group? I don't remember that at all. Admittedly, the way GRRM's going, I'll forget who Arya is by the time I lay my hands on ADwD. Bran's already slipping from my mind, and I have a feeling that he's going to be a messiah of sorts. The Wildlings from beyond The Wall. (Wait for it...) It is known.
  2. It's altogether better to argue from evidence in the texts than from evidence outside of the texts. An author of a mystery should have no interest in revealing any clues about the mystery except through the text -- otherwise, why bother writing the book? All that said, I don't believe Robert Jordan lied about anything he revealed. But if he *did* lie, in light of the legions of fans attempting to predict his story's outcomes, I wouldn't blame him at all.
  3. We know about the snakes answering 3 questions. We know the foxes like to wear stuff made from human skin. But what's that about taking the nourishment from food? I wonder if the reference to the Eelfinn taking nourishment from food have something to do with the real-world Celtic folk tales on which the Eelfinn are based. I haven't been able to find the particulars of those tales, but in the anthology Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio, Neil Gaiman has a short story, set in Ireland, with a creature that reminds me of the 'finns. SPOILERS FOR "THE TRUTH IS IN A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS", IN THE "STORIES" ANTHOLOGY: In "The Truth Is in a Cave in the Black Mountains", there's a spirit in a cave that allows you to take its gold (if gold is your need), as much as you can carry, but in return it feeds on your ability to enjoy life, and know right from wrong. And once it has fed on you, it can see through your eyes for the rest of your life. The spirit says: Gaiman frequently uses and expands upon existing folklore; this spirit and Jordan's 'finns may come from a common source story. Stealing the joy from experiences could be represented metaphorically as taking the nourishment from food; perhaps Tuon is referencing the legend as it exists in our reality.
  4. Hello, Does anyone in the forum know of any book stores in Denver that are staying open until midnight and selling Towers Of Midnight? If you do, I'd be grateful for the details! (Web searches for midnight releases of Towers of Midnight don't work very well...) Many thanks, and happy reading, everyone.
  5. The passage, in The Gathering Storm, "Before the Stone of Tear": That would be quite a piece of irony. Personally, I'd like to believe that RJ was lying, and Taim is in fact Demandred. Not likely, I know, but Taim seems more formidable than any of the Forsaken we've seen to date, and he's commanding a more powerful army than anyone on the continent except maybe the Seanchan. The Dark One should fire one of his idiot Chosen and send Taim an offer letter.
  6. It's important to separate the origin stories from the end results. I think people are getting hung up over the fact that it took a long time for Aridhol to become Shadar Logoth, and they make assumptions about how Mashadar first manifested after its citizens destroyed themselves. (In truth, we' don't know the mechanics of Mashadar's origin, just its behavior.) People argue against Hinderstap's nightly murder frenzy being related to Mashadar, thinking that Hinderstap would have to go through the same process Aridhol did, over the same time period. That's a bad assumption. Shadar Logoth's evil, and the Mashadar entity, are currently (1) fully manifest, (2) communicable, and (3) on the move through a vector once called Padan Fain. Knowing these three facts, we should expect to see Shadar Logoth/Mashadar type effects somewhere in the world. We know the evil-formerly-known-as-Fain has been growing in power, so it's not unreasonable to assume the effects he leaves will be more pronounced at this stage in the story. And that brings us to Hinderstap. I've listed several behavioral similarities between Hinderstap's nightly murder frenzy and Mashadar's, as well as a passage where Hinderstap's fights are described in a way that recalls Mashadar's physicality. I've noted how Sanderson deliberately reminds us of Shadar Logoth in the previous chapter, seeding the idea that the two phenomena could be related. We may not know the precise mechanism, but it makes the most narrative sense to interpret Hinderstap's nightly troubles as a "baby Mashadar", even if Hinderstap's and Shadar Logoth's histories are dissimilar.
  7. In short, to put it in terms that can be easily looked up, Ishamael falls victim to the Gambler's Fallacy.
  8. It's sort of off-topic, but it's worth noting that Verin does her best not to lie under most circumstances, even though she can. When you read her point of view in The Path Of Daggers prologue, she plays the Aes Sedai truth games, saying she would not speak of Katerine Alruddin to the Car'a'carn but considers giving him a note. I can only think of two times when Verin lies outright.
  9. The Guide portrays Elan Morin Tedronai as a nihilist philosopher (he was author of Reality and the Absence of Meaning), and it's not hard to draw parallels between his desire, as Ishamael, for the Dark One to permanently unmake reality and Buddhist and Upanisadic Hindu ideas of achieving the empty bliss of nirvana, liberation from the Wheel. At the end of The Gathering Storm we saw that even Rand al'Thor/Lews Therin, under the weight of his responsibilities and failures, was tempted to seek a permanent end to his suffering; he saw futility in the never-ending struggle until he realized that the cycle gave him a second chance, to do things right and to love again. It's easy to imagine Elan Morin as a man who didn't have that realization. Of course, if the metaphor of the Wheel spinning and re-spinning the pattern remains consistent, the Dark One will have to unravel the pattern, so the Wheel can re-spin it into a new-yet-familiar pattern. (Hinduism has a similar concept -- the dark age of cosmic dissolution, the kaliyuga must occur before the cosmic wheel can turn and create the universe anew. As Herid Fel says, "have to clear rubble before you can build."
  10. You're right -- Mesaana doesn't want to surrender Egwene to Aran'gar, and defers to Moridin on when or if a rescue will occur. But the point remains that Mesaana has specific motives for the Aes Sedai, worth quoting: Knife of Dreams, "At the Gardens" Contrast this with Silviana's actions: The Gathering Storm, "News In Tel'aran'rhiod" Mesaana wants Egwene broken. Silviana emphatically does not -- and risks being charged as a Darkfriend to stand up for her. That's proof enough for me that Mesaana is not Silviana.
  11. I'm not sure where you're getting the time frames necessary for Fain/Mordeth to "corrupt" a place. Lord Of Chaos, "Letters", suggests that he could corrupt with a mere "brush": We know his powers are growing. Beyond his corruption ability, he can intimidate the hell out of Shadowspawn, cause seizures with a touch, identify Darkfriends by sight and possibly command gray mist monsters. Every time we see him, his power seems to expand. By now, there's no reason in the texts to assume he'd need "weeks" to corrupt a village, especially now that he's the sole remaining embodiment of Shadar Logoth's evil. ("The dagger was part of Aridhol, what men called Shadar Logoth, but then, he was part of Aridhol too. Or it was part of him.") I agree with the history, if not your conclusion. Mashadar is the many-armed mass of murder that haunts Shadar Logoth, and it manifested after all the people of Aridhol killed each other. The original corruption in Aridhol took time to form, it's true, but in this Age, it is fully manifest AND communicable. These are the facts laid out in the texts. The way I see it, the people of Hinderstap are as good as dead. They can't leave (or be taken from) their village, they can't really die, and every night they become part of a murderous wraith that has too many similarities to Mashadar to be coincidental. At any rate, if Hinderstap is never mentioned again in The Wheel Of Time, I'll know I'm wrong. But I suspect we're going to see it mentioned in the same context as Padan Fain, where we'll see just how vast and awful the scope of his power is.
  12. I think the general assumption is that Jain "Noal" Charin is the third man raiding 'finnland.
  13. I was putting the 'finns in the "supernatural evil" category only to make an exhaustive list -- and promptly to remove them from contention as a cause for the Hinderstap phenomenon. I had Birgitte's explanation in mind, in fact -- they're not like the Shadow, but they're so different that they might as well be considered evil. Eelfinn make harnesses out of human skin and are more than happy to kill you unless you're clever enough to say you want to get out alive. Call it "evil" or cultural relativism, but a mouse could starve on the difference.
  14. Do you have a reference for how the dagger works? Your RJ quotation said that it was the dagger, not Fain on his own, that could spread the Shadar Logoth corruption. (Recall that while Fain was in the White Tower, he did not have possession of the dagger until he killed the novice, after which time he left the Tower.) Here's what Verin said (which RJ said was taking it too far), from The Great Hunt, "Blood Calls Blood": Even if Verin is wrong about the rate of spread, she describes the symptoms of the corruption exactly. "Every man and woman's hand turned against every other." That's exactly what's happening in Hinderstap.
  15. Motive is the main thing. We know that Mesaana wanted Egwene back leading the rebels, and Elaida in power and causing division within the Tower. If Mesaana was Silviana, she would have ample time to use a little Compulsion to get Egwene back to the rebels (maybe by ordering herself rescued), which would surely rally the Tower back against them. But Silviana spoke out for Egwene and publicly denounced Elaida. Silviana was stern, but fair in her punishments. She accepted the position as Keeper, a necessary component in Egwene's plan to heal the Tower. Silviana's actions make no sense if we're to assume that she was Mesaana in disguise.
  16. Thanks for the discussion, folks. It's good to get back into this stuff, awaiting the next book. Just to address some objections to the theory that what's happening in Hinderstap is an echo of what happened in Shadar Logoth... It's not run-of-the-mill human evil. There's a supernatural component to it, and this late in the game, I don't think we can posit a previously unseen source. That means Hinderstap has to be an effect of the Dark One, of Shadar Logoth's corruption, or of some other supernatural evil like the Ael/Eelfinn (unlikely). Indeed. As I mentioned, Fain has the dagger, which means he carries the means of infection and corruption. RJ's quote didn't say anything about Fain's presence negating the contaminating effects of the dagger, so we have to assume that he is a carrier of its particular brand of corruption (just as Mat would have been) -- and we have to ask ourselves why we haven't seen its effects anywhere. The Hinderstap theory satisfies this requirement. While the chapter icon for "Night in Hinderstap" does indicate the Pattern unraveling, the events don't conform to what we know about those phenomena. The unraveling of the Pattern usually manifests as time distortion -- the past being overlaid on the present (e.g. the "ghosts", A Village in Shiota, the rearrangement of rooms and buildings). Bubbles of Evil seem to be slightly different: they are localized, deadly short-term changes manifesting as attacks (e.g. insects eating their way out of people, people dissolving into hot tar, playing cards/mirror reflections/axes attacking their owners). Hinderstap is different. According to the mayor (ref: "Night in Hinderstap"), the nightly murderous frenzy has been happening for several months, in the same way repeatedly. If it's even an "advanced" unraveling or bubble, it's curiously unique. But Hinderstap's situation isn't unique. It has too many similarities with Shadar Logoth: The curse remains confined to a city/town. The curse begins at nightfall and ends at sunrise. The curse attempts to kill anything in its domain while it is active. The curse manifests as a (seeming) many-limbed mass of murderous rage (see quoted material in original post). The curse repeats itself on a nightly basis. I think Hinderstap has to be related to Shadar Logoth because: Hinderstap's curse is similar to Shadar Logoth's. Hinderstap's curse is dissimilar to the temporal overlays of the Pattern unraveling. Hinderstap's curse is dissimilar to Bubbles of Evil. "The Tipsy Gelding" likely references Shadar Logoth for narrative reasons. The Shadar Logoth dagger is uncontained, and we ought to see its effects (and thus far have not).
  17. Brandon Sanderson's comment seems consistent with the notion that Hinderstap is a proto-Shadar Logoth. It's well established that Shadar Logoth is a different kind of evil from the Dark One's (that was the underlying theory of Saidin's cleansing, after all). If Brandon was refuting the notion that what was going on was a different evil from the Dark One's touch, then a Shadar Logoth-style evil is a likely bet, given the physical similarities and the narrative setup. The only "other" kind of evil we know is that of *finnland, which doesn't seem relevant at all.
  18. Please forgive (and correct) a newcomer if I'm not following the proper posting etiquette, but I noticed that the new (lovely) FAQ didn't have much to say about the spreading of the Shadar Logoth taint, though there seemed to be a significant development in The Gathering Storm. As Mat and company are traveling, we get some establishing narration to remind us of the old plot point (The Gathering Storm, "The Tipsy Gelding"): When Mat spends the night in the village of Hinderstap, the madness he encounters looks very familiar, especially in light of the establishing context (The Gathering Storm, "Night In Hinderstap"): The phenomenon is similar enough to suggest that Hinderstap is a proto-Shadar Logoth, complete with a proto-Mashadar that comes out when the sun goes down. Two thousand years of ghostly violence may have turned perpetually-battling people of Aridhol into the single, many-limbed mist that we know and love. Or Mashadar's form could be a result of interaction with Mordeth himself, who seems able to create a monstrous, tentacled fog like in A Crown Of Swords, "Blades": It's surprising we haven't seen something like this before. The Aes Sedai predicted that having the Shadar Logoth dagger on the loose (or even a pebble of that tainted city) would spread its evil, and we know that the Fain/Mordeth amalgamation has been traveling far and wide, dagger in hand. Was Hinderstap an early stop along his way? Will we be able to trace his route through similar manifestations?
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