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Blog Entries posted by herid

  1. herid
    I posted some AMOL predictions last year but since then I've changed my mind about some and have thought of some new ones based on the recently released AMOL material. So here goes.
    Things I believe will happen in AMOL. These are in random order
    Rand will be captured by the Dark side in some fashion, perhaps during his attempt to kill the DO using Callandor. He will therefore have to be killed by one of the Light Siders. He will be held prisoner in TAR by Lanfear. He will be rescued after being dead for 3 days and Nynaeve will push him out of TAR thus resurrecting him.
    Rand does not kill the DO and time remains circular. However, the sealing of the Bore this time around will be somehow special. I don't know how but there will be a twist of some sort.
    The Aiel will return to the Way of the Leaf after the LB. Avi convinces Rand to include the Aiel in the terms of the Peace of the Dragon. Little to nothing of Avi's Rhuidean visions come to pass.
    I almost forgot this one. Taim is revealed to be an impostor and not the original Taim.
    Androl links with Pevara and defeats the dreamspike in the BT.
    Fain or his power will be instrumental in the final sealing of the Bore. His power will be used to touch the DO directly. LT said that something has to touch him and touching him with OP is a bad idea. Something similar to how Flinn healed Rand and how Rand cleansed saidin will happen. Possibly, Rand's blood from his wound by Fain's dagger is spilled and helps in sealing. Or it could be that Rand will get Fain's dagger after Fain is killed and use it directly somehow.
    Rand will not channel TP in the sealing process. I'll bet my house on this one. TP is the essence of pure evil and absolutely nothing good can come of using it.
    Rand will merge with Moridin somehow and Rand will be the one to die, not Moridin. This will fulfill Min's viewing about Rand merging with another man and one of them dying.
    Rand cleanses the Ways.
    The prophecy about Rand bowing to the Crystal Throne is fulfilled.
    Verin hid the Horn in the Two Rivers. That's what BS meant in his remark about a Chekov's gun from TDR ch 30-40 finally firing.
    Cadsuane dies. She has no purpose after the LB is over. Bashere dies. Bashere is NOT a DF but he is killed by DFs close to him. Tenobia dies and paves way for Perrin and Faile to become rulers of Saldaea. Tam dies. Elyas dies. Talmanes dies. Gawyn dies. Egwene lives.
    Slayer will be killed twice: once in TAR and once in the real world to take care of both of his souls. At least one of these will be done by Perrin.
    Nynaeve or Birgitte kills Moggy. Birgitte dies and is reborn normally to be close in age with Gaidal.
    Rand survives the LB but either goes off with Min somewhere totally removed from this world (like the Ogier world or a portal stone world) or looses all his powers, his ta'vereness, the ability to channel and his memories of past lives (same as Birgitte after being pushed out of TAR) and becomes a completely ordinary person.
    Hawkwing's sword Justice plays a major role in the peace of the Dragon and the peace with the Seanchan (Terez' idea).
    The Forsaken that are currently dead stay dead (brain-dead in case of Mesaana). None are brought back as they so often were before. None turn back to the Light.
    Moiraine and Lanfear have another go at each other and Moiraine finishes what she started.
    Tuon sees the light and the Seanchan decide to abandon the practice of leashing female channelers by the end of AMOL. Absolutely sure of this one. They also likely abandon slavery. Tuon starts channeling in AMOL. Tuon gets an Aes Sedai advisor to be her Truth Speaker.
    Demandred is Roedran.
    Demandred has been balefiring something in the south-west. (Terez' idea). This is part of the reason the pattern is unraveling. Faile and Perrin felt two different balescreams related to Demandred's activities.
    Rand will bring back the Song.
    The Black Tower will be completely destroyed. The Asha'man move to the palace Elaida was building and unite with the Aes Sedai in some fashion.
    Channeling does not disappear after the LB.
    Rand gives the Illian crown back to Stepaneos.
    Somebody's mindtrap gets broken. Could be Rand's if he gets mindtrapped while trying to kill the DO (Terez' idea).
    Malkier is restored. The viewing Min had of Lan of a babe holding a sword is of Lan's future son as a king of Malkier.
    Verin sent Alanna to deal with the Waygate on the border of the Blight and Arafel that the Trollocs are using in the Caemlyn attack. Alanna is not Black.
    Tuon bonds Mat (this might be delayed to the outriggers).
    One of the Whitecloacks (most likely Bornhald) will be revealed as gay. This has been confirmed to be wrong. Ah well, I'm sure it won't be the only wrong prediction on my list. Or maybe it wasn't wrong. Whatever the situation, I'll just leave this one alone.
    The thus far unfulfilled part of a lesson Cadsuane will teach Rand and all Asha'man will involve her paralis net (particularly the part analogous to Mat's medallion) and will be something about limitations of usefulness of One Power and the fact that they can not rely on channeling to deal with every problem.
    The spotted dice ter'angreal will make an appearance. Mat and his luck will have to duke it out with it.

  2. herid
    In short I believe that Moiraine and Co were baited into using the Eye of the World prematurely by Ishy in order to speed up the destruction of the seals on the DO's prison.
    Many of the ideas here are not due to me originally. I'll try to give appropriate links when I can.
    The original purpose of the Eye was never explained. We are simply told that it's supposed to be used for "the greatest need the world would ever face" (tEoTW, ch 52). Here is how it ended up being used.
    Moiraine believes that it can be used to break the DO's prison.
    She gets two pieces of intel that indicate that the DO plans to do just that. First Raen tells Perrin that two years ago a bunch of Aiel maidens who returned from the Blight and on the brink of death one of them told the Tinkers that the Leafblighter (the DO) intended to blind the Eye of the World (tEoTW, ch 25).
    Then Loial tells the story of a man (later revealed as Jain Farstrider) who came to stedding Shangtai some twenty years ago and

    Moiraine puts two and two together and off they go to visit the Eye.
    So basically she wants to use the Eye because she fears the Shadow will use it for some really sinister purpose.
    However, this can not possibly be the intended purpose of the Eye.
    For if it was never made in the first place there would not be any danger of it being used this way. Its secondary usefulness was to let Rand have the Horn and the Dragon Banner. But again, why would that require huge amounts of saidin? They could have just stored those things under Callandor if that's all it was intended for. Or else they could have warded them as they did Callandor wherever they wanted to store them. We know from Rand's visions in TSR, ch 26 that the same group of people was responsible both for the placement of Callandor and for the creation of the Eye.
    Rand also used it to kill a large number of Trollocs and other shadowspawn in Tarwin's gap. But really, compared to the numbers of Trollocs pouring in from the Blight currently (TOM, prologue and ch 32) this was not a large force at all. Rand also killed Aginor with it (or, perhaps, Aginor did it to himself) but Aginor was not going to find the Eye if not for Mat's presence there. And again, he was just one Forsaken and Rand later killed a number of them without using anything close to the amount of saidin that was in the Eye. None of this seems to qualify as "the greatest need the world would ever face" especially compared to the LB that is starting right now. Lastly, it is completely unclear why any of this required saidin in the Eye to be clean. Rand channeled huge amounts of tainted saidin later through Choedan Kal and did all right. I don't see why he couldn't have done the same things he did use the Eye for but with tainted saidin.
    Moiraine realizes that something may not be right here but only after the fact.

    As I explained above, her second guess that the Eye's primary purpose was to guard the Horn and the Banner looks wrong to me.
    Ishy tells Rand that he baited him into using the Eye.

    He is implying that he deliberately allowed the Aiel and Jain to escape in order to bait Rand to use the Eye.
    Now, Ishy, of course, is not exactly trustworthy. He told Rand a number of lies but he also told him a number of truths. In this case he knows exactly where their info on the threat to the Eye comes from, including the detail that only one of the Aiel was left alive. And he just seems to be gloating. I don't see what would be the point of lying here. The Eye has already been used up. What does it matter if Rand believes him or not? Furthermore, his story seems to be corroborated by Noal much later

    Noal/Jain was clearly compelled by Ishy but he still remembers a few things.
    Edit: Just found an old quote by Jordan supporting the idea that the Eye was not used as originally intended.

    So what was the point of using the Eye early from Ishy's point of view? What did he want with it? I believe this has to do with the seals on the DO's prison. This part is mostly based on a theory posted at the thritheenth depository. I agree with pretty much everything in it so I will be somewhat brief.
    The seals are made from cuendillar which is supposedly unbreakable. The first seal found was sitting under the Eye. It's broken into pieces when found but each piece seems like perfect cuendillar. Lan breaks a knife made of best steel on it.

    In contrast, the rest of the seals are very brittle when found and are easily breakable so much so that Nyn breaks one accidentally. Moreover, while still intact they have a strong evil sense to them. Nyn feels this with the seal they found in Tanchico and were bringing to Salidar

    But when the seal was broken the evil feeling disappeared (TFOH, ch 50). It was confirmed by BS that one of the two ways to destroy cuendillar is by using TP (the other is a mystery). So I believe that's what was going on. The DO was working on the seals from inside the prison. But while all seven were unbroken he couldn't do much and the process was very slow. It could even be that he could do nothing at all and the seals were simply weakening by themselves with the passage of time. But once the first seal went he could destroy the others relatively quickly with TP. That's why they become brittle and is also why they feel evil while unbroken. Once broken the DO has no further use for them and moves on to the other seals which is why the broken seals do not have the "evil" feel.
    That does it for all the seals except for the very first one. It seems to have been destroyed by different means (the above mentioned mysterious second method of destroying cuendillar) because the shards are not brittle at all. I believe that destruction of the first seal was the result of the use of the Eye and this allowed the DO to work on the remaining seals and destroy them much faster than he could have if the first seal remained intact. It also likely accelerated the release of the trapped Forsaken except for Ishy, Aginor and Balthamel who were out before the Eye was used. This more or less follows another thirteenth depository theory.
    We actually have some confirmation of this. When Rand and co used the Portal stone in TGH, ch 27, he saw many alternate lives he could have lived. In a lot of them he didn't declare himself the Dragon Reborn and lived for many years (sometimes having multiple children) before dying in some way.
    However, note that in the current timeline only slightly more than two years have passed since the beginning of tEoTW. Currently, the world is completely breaking apart due to the seals being very weak. No matter what happens it can not last much longer in its current state. Nothing like this happens in most of Rand's alternate lives. Why not? I believe the reason is that the Eye was not used in those other lives and hence the deterioration of the seals proceeded at a much slower pace than in the current timeline. I also believe that Ishy knew of this effect of the use of the Eye and baited Rand into using it early in order to accelerate the destruction of the seals.
    On a slightly more speculative note it may be that the intended use of the Eye was exactly that - to help Rand break the seals but only at the correct moment during the Last Battle, when he would be ready to reseal the bore. The fact that saidin in the Eye apparently needed to be clean might be related to the exact mechanism of the seal destruction which I don't really understand.
    It's very clear that the seals do need to be broken. Even Egwene agrees with that. The disagreement is only about the timing. The Horn and the Banner should not have really been needed before that moment either as far as the makers of the Eye knew. Lastly, this would fit "the greatest need the world would ever face" designation much better than what the Eye ended up being used for. What need can be greater than the need to win the LB?
    Along the lines of the same speculation there are some definite similarities between Rand channeling at Maradon in ToM and his using the Eye. BS confirmed that in an interview

    There has been a lot of discussion about what exactly allowed Rand to channel so strongly at Maradon. My own, admittedly rather far fetched idea, is that during his epiphany on the Dragonmount he created some kind of substitute for the original Eye of the World and that's what he is using at Maradon.
    After all, if my theory is right he'll need something in place of the original Eye during the LB.
  3. herid
    One of the thus far unanswered questions is who ratted out Egwene's plans to turn the harbor chain into cuendillar which led to Egwene's capture in CoT, ch 30.
    I believe it was one or several of the five Sitters sent by the Tower Ajah heads to Salidar: Takima, Magla, Faiselle, Saroiya and Varilin.
    Let's go through the list of possible suspects and examine each from the point of view of knowledge of Egwene's plans, motives, opportunity and evidence.
    Part of the difficulty here is that a lot of people knew of Egwene's plans, if not of her personal participation in the operation which she decided upon at the very last minute and didn't tell anybody about.
    Egwene told the Hall about her plan (CoT, ch 30) so they all knew and may have told many others. Kairen (before she was killed), Leane and Bode obviously knew. Siuan knew. Gareth Bryne knew (CoT, ch 30). The sisters sworn to Egwene may have known although this is not altogether clear.
    Clearly, Leane, Bode, Bryne and Siuan can be safely discounted as suspects.
    Let's look at the others.
    Nicola and Areina
    Knowledge of the plan: Most likely not. They left several days before the plan was carried out (CoT, ch 30) and would be very unlikely to know about it beforehand anyway.
    Motive: Maybe. Nocola tried to blackmail Egwene and this is the kind of info she might have thought would help her get special privileges in the Tower.
    Opportunity: Yes, but only if they found out about Egwene's plan (how?) before running away from her camp which was at least 3 days earlier and those plans were already set by that date. This is unlikely as Egwene seems to have only just decided on her plans in COT, ch 30.
    Evidence. Don't see much. Nicola was very surprised at seeing Egwene in the Tower. She apologized for running away immediately but not for betraying Egwene's plans about the harbor (why not if she was responsible?). Not when she first saw her, not at any time later. Egwene also never considered the possibility that she was to blame which supports the notion that Egwene at least didn't think Nicola knew about her plans. She was likely a red herring by RJ. He was very fond of those.
    Conclusion: It was not Nicola or Areina.

    Knowledge of the plan: Most likely yes. Egwene thought she knew and accused her directly.
    Motive: Definitely.
    Opportunity: Possibly. She was involved in the negotiations with the Tower although her role there was much reduced by the Sitters.
    Evidence. Clear evidence to the contrary. She is not Black (confirmed on the oath rod and in her POV) so we know she can't lie and she told Egwene straight out that it was not her.
    Conclusion: It was not Beonin for sure.

    Knowledge of the plan: Yes. She is a Sitter.
    Motive: Not really. She is scheming against Egwene and doesn't like a number of reforms Egwene instituted but the last thing she would want was to help Elaida which would have been the result of Leane and Bode being captured. She is a Blue. Siuan thinks that no Blue would have been behind Egwene's betrayal (KoD, ch 1) when considering Lelaine as a possible suspect and I agree with that. Also, the capture of Leane (who was part of the plan all along) could give the Tower knowledge of Traveling. There is absolutely no way Lelaine would want that.
    Opportunity: Don't see one. She is not involved in the negotiations directly. How would she do it? The information would have to be delivered to the Tower in such a way that it was believed.
    Evidence. The only thing that might be considered as evidence is her rather insulting attitude toward Egwene in a meeting on the day Egwene was captured (CoT, ch 30). But this likely had a different cause. It is later revealed (KoD, ch 1) that she just unmasked Faolain as spying on her on Egwene's behalf. That could easily explain her behavior in the last meeting with Egwene. So this was likely another red herring by RJ. Did I mention that he was fond of red herrings?
    Conclusion: Most likely it was not Lelaine.

    Knowledge of the plan: Yes. She is a Sitter.
    Motive: Same as with Lelaine. She is scheming against Egwene too and doesn't like many of the changes, the latest being Egwene's plans for the Kin (CoT, ch 30) that Egwene reveals in their last meeting. But again, the very last thing she would want was to help Elaida, in particular by possibly giving her access to Traveling.
    Opportunity: Same as for Lelaline. Don't see how she could have done it.
    Evidence: Don't see any. In fact, we have circumstantial evidence to the contrary. Romanda has a couple POVs after Egwene's capture (KoD, ch 31 and tGS, ch 26) where she thinks about the event and of Egwene and Bode (who would have been the one captured if Egwene didn't switch places with her) but not of the betrayal which would have been more than natural if she was the culprit. Yet, her ruminations about Bode are completely mundane. Same with her thoughts about Egwene.
    Conclusion: It almost certainly wasn't Romanda.

    Knowledge of the plan: Maybe. She is a high ranking Blue and in cahoots with Lelaine. Lelaine could have told her.
    Motive: Same as with Lelaine. And again, she is a Blue, just as Lelaine and none of them would do anything to help Elaida. Prolonging the siege by keeping the harbors unblocked would not be on her agenda. And neither would be giving Elaida access to Traveling.
    Opportunity: Same as for Lelaline. Don't see how she could have done it.
    Evidence: Don't really see any. Only mentioned her because she was a new face around Egwene and was present during her last day interactions with Romanda and Lelaine.
    Conclusion: It most likely wasn't Maigan.
    [*]Black Ajah (Sheriam, Delana, Moria) and/or Aran'gar

    Knowledge of the plan: Yes.
    Motive: Absolutely. They want to prolong the Tower division as much as possible and with the harbors blocked Egwene would get a distinct advantage. I'm not sure, however, that Aran'gar would have wanted the Tower to get access to Traveling as this would tilt the advantage in the conflict to them. As this old FAQ points out it would have been better from Aran'gar's point of view to kill both Leane and Bode, rather than let them fall into Tower's hands.
    Opportunity: Pretty problematic IMO. How would they do it? They can't just Travel to Tar Valon and pass an anonymous note to somebody in the Tower. With this kind of information there should be a clear trail for it to be considered credible. Apparently, whoever betrayed Egwene didn't tell the Tower everything. The Aes Sedai who captured Egwene don't understand what she did to the harbor chain (KoD, prologue). Elaida doesn't know about it either (KoD, ch 1). She is stunned to hear that Egwene can make cuendillar. Before Egwene nobody has been able to make cuendillar for thousands of years. Without that bit of info the intel about the threat to the harbor chain would have to come from very trusted sources in order to be taken seriously. After all, what could she possibly do to the chain which would constitute a threat to the Tower if the ability to turn it into cuendillar is taken out of the picture?
    Evidence: Don't really see any. In Aran'gar's POV in KoD, prologue it's fairly clear that she didn't plan this. She is pissed that Egwene got captured but she doesn't think, even to herself, that it was her operation. It's highly unlikely that the others would have done it on their own and without Aran'gar's blessing. Next, we have Sheriam's POV in tGS, ch 25. She thinks of Egwene's capture but not of anything that looks like her own involvement in it. And after she is unmasked as Black, she confesses to many plots but not to this one, at least so far as the readers know. One would think that if Sheriam mentioned her involvement in this, Egwene would have remarked on it as it concerns her directly and she was quite interested in the identity of her betrayer(s).
    Conclusion: It probably wasn't Aran'gar and her crew.

    Now we come to the last and my favorite group of suspects - the anti-ferrets, i.e., the Sitters sent by the Tower Ajah heads to infiltrate Salidar. We learn in tGS, ch 43 that the Ajah heads in the Tower sent Sitters to Salidar to steer the Salidar Aes Sedai back to the Tower. They are not named, but there is no need. They are very easy to identify. In fact, they have been so suspicious that they have been apparently called the footdragging five by the fandom. They are Faiselle, Magla, Saroiya, Takima and Varilin. As this is not at all new and I agree with everything in that post by luckers I will be somewhat brief. These five were Sitters before the split. They are from five different Ajah: White, Grey, Green, Yellow and Brown. The Ajah heads sent at least one Sitter from each of those Ajahs. They voted against the declaration of war against Elaida (tPoD, ch 19). All anti-ferrets would vote against that for sure. That should make at least one "No" vote from every Ajah other than Blue, so five "No" votes in total. The only other person who voted against the war was Romanda, who is definitely not an anti-ferret. This nails the anti-ferrets down to this particular group of five and to nobody else. They acted in unison on other matters related to unification too. They and Beonin were the ones pushing for negotiations with the Tower (CoT, ch 16). They (and Delana, who changed her vote) were also, exactly the whole group of Sitters opposed to an alliance with the Black Tower (CoT, ch 20), likely because it would make the Tower unification under Elaida more difficult as she would never support it. They took over the negotiations with the White Tower from Beonin. In fact, they and Beonin are the only people ever mentioned by name as taking part in the negotiations. So they could have even comprised the entire negotiating team. Let's examine them according to the criteria used for the other suspects.
    The anti-ferrets: Faiselle, Magla, Saroiya, Takima and Varilin
    Knowledge of the plan: Yes. they are all Sitters and Egwene informed the Hall of her plans to block the harbor, but not of her own participation.
    Motive: Absolutely. It's mentioned in CoT, ch 30 (the day of Egwene's capture) that they are upset that the negotiations are not going well. the last thing they'd want was for the harbors to get blocked as it would tilt the balance in the siege further towards Egwene's army and make their task even more difficult than it already is. They would also not at all mind giving the Tower access to Traveling.
    Opportunity: Definitely. They are conducting daily negotiations with the Tower Sitters in Darein. These negotiations are fully supported by the Ajah heads in the Tower (excluding the Reds) (CoT, ch 21) and the negotiating team might even include some of the Tower Ajah heads such as Suana and Ferane (both are now Sitters for the Tower) who sent them to Salidar in the first place. In fact, out of all possible suspects they are the only ones who have a credible opportunity to do this.
    Evidence: Mostly discussed already. The anti-ferrets are at the negotiations every day, including the day of Egwene's capture and Varilin has recently taken charge of the negotiations (CoT, ch 30). They are also seen by Beonin heading back to Darein the day after Egwene was captured who makes very extensive observations about them. I bet they are!
    They seem to be in a strange mood. This is understandable. Their plan sort of worked but they likely never wanted for Egwene to get captured. They formally acknowledged her as Amyrlin after all. This is serious betrayal. She might get executed after all and they raised her. This might also explain why their reaction to Egwene's capture is so different from Beonin's. They are pretty much in the same position, yet, while Beonin bolts to the Tower as soon as Egwene is captured, none of the anti-ferrets do. Why not? Beonin also considers further negotiations pointless and is very surprised to see them going back to Darein (see the above quote). Why don't the anti-ferrets feel the same way? My guess is that they feel responsible for Egwene's capture and believe they must stay where they are and continue the negotiations because of it. They are in a very conflicted situation indeed. The anti-ferrets involvement in Egwene's betrayal might also explain Takima's rather strong reaction to Egwene's appearance in the unified Hall in ToM, ch 27, when the Hall is discussing how to curb Egwene's powers. All of the anti-ferrets are present which is not really surprising, given their extensive struggles with Egwene before the unification She is likely still feeling guilty about betraying Egwene earlier. She never fessed up to that. In light of that her reaction in this scene is perfectly understandable. Saroiya, another anti-ferret, can't look at Egwene either.Lelaine and Romanda on the other hand have no such troubles. Romanda's and Lelaine's reactions are the more natural ones here (and Takima's isn't). Why should they be embarrassed? They are doing exactly what the Hall is supposed to do. Takima might be embarrassed because not the whole Hall is present but this is really par for the course for the old Sitters, which includes Takima. That's how things have been done in the Tower in the past. Again, neither Romanda nor Lelaine feel any guilt. Their reactions also further support their innocence in regards to Egwene's capture in CoT.
    Conclusion: The people who betrayed Egwene were most likely some or all of the anti-ferrets. They had the strongest motive, the best opportunity and there is some circumstantial evidence pointing in their direction. It's not clear if they were working as a team and were aware of each other's missions (most likely not), so possibly not all of them were involved.

  4. herid
    It's a well established theory that Rand will have to die and come back to life before the end of the Last Battle. There are many clues in support of this theory and I believe in it fully so I won't bother presenting arguments for it.
    The interesting question for me is how exactly Rand is going to die (and come back to life). The idea I'll present occurred to me recently when I was writing up my impressions on Chapter 1 of AMOL.
    There are a number of prophecies, viewings, dreams and foretellings related to Rand's death and the trick is to come up with a theory that will satisfy them all.
    My theory is pretty far out there, it's far from being fully formed and definitely doesn't explain all of them but I want to record it anyway.
    The first prophecy to consider is the often forgotten Dark Prophecy from TGH. There is some argument about whether or not it's an actual prophecy but I believe that it is because some of its elements are clearly prophetic and occurred exactly as described in the prophecy after it was written.
    It would also be extremely weird to include it in the book and put a bunch of cryptic stuff in it ( particularly in the last stanza) that we still don't know how to interpret if it meant nothing at all.
    So I'll treat it as the real deal. We'll be only interested in the first stanza here so I'll skip the rest.
    Daughter of the Night is Lanfear because that's the meaning of her name in the OT. Her new lover can only be Rand. She ain't interested in anybody else. This much is clear but what's with Rand serving her before and after his death?! How can this possibly come about?
    Next, the second Dark Prophecy from TOM
    This one is long and complicated and I'm far from certain on most of it so I will only concentrate on the bolded part here. The question of who the Broken Wolf is has been subject of a lot of fierce debates and while I'm not sure on it, the best theory I've seen is the one by terez that it means Rand. Death has known him both literally and figuratively (Moridn knows him and Moridin's name means death in the OT) and Rand's death will definitely "bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, and shall shake their very will itself". Nobody else really qualifies for these two togther. Now let me say again that I don't have anything close to a full interpretation of this prophecy. My biggest problems are with the timeline sequence but I have a very deep suspicion that this is related to the following comment by BS
    This suggests that there will be some shenanigans with time in AMOL and I strongly suspect that until we understand what that's about it will be impossible to correctly interpret the full second Dark Prophecy. So I won't even try for now.
    Next, there are several reasons to believe that Rand's death will be a willing sacrifice. It fits with the messianic parallels for his character. He's done something like that before (fight with Ishy in TGH). He knows it has to happen because of the Aelfinn answer "To live you must die" and he has accepted it.
    Elaida drops the following line referring to Rand in tFOH, prologue
    It's not quite clear what exactly has been prophesied apart from Rand' dying but in any case this follows a very typical foreshadowing pattern in WOT when someone mentions a future event as a very unlikely joke.
    Next, Min's viewing of Alivia that she will "help him die" (WH, ch 25). This is perhaps the most important clue. It doesn't say that Alivia will kill him, but that she will help him die which is a different thing.
    Why would that be necessary? The simplest reason might be that Rand finally completely succumbs to the madness. Judging by what's happening to Androl, even the cleansing of saidin didn't stop the worsening of the madness on those who channeled tainted saidin (I don't understand why though) so whatever balance he achieved during VoG might break. Nynaeve can't Heal Rand's madness the way she did for the other Asha'man so most likely he'll have to die to get rid of it.
    Many other reasons are possible. In particular, there are a number of clues suggesting that Rand might fall under the control of the Shadow. The first is the the first Dark prophecy that's mentioned earlier. The second Dark Prophecy says that the Broken Wolf will be consumed by the Midnight Towers (the Forsaken) which is a rather interesting way to put it and IMO points in this direction too.
    Then, there is his link with Moridin. They are going to finish merging eventually (being consumend by the Midnight Towers might again be relevant). It's not clear what the result will look like (a new Luc/Isam?) but Min's viewing suggests that nothing good will come out of it.
    When Rand hears of this viewing he jumps on it like a duck on a beetle and decides that it means that he'll merge with LTT and LTT will be the one to die. But Rand was misinterpreting a lot of viewings at the time and his exaggerated reaction to this one strongly leads me to believe that he is wrong on both counts. The second man in the viewing is Moridin and Rand will be the one to die, not Moridin.
    There is also a sinister comment by BS that there "will be consequences of Rand's use of TP". According to LTT, TP means "death and betrayal" (tGS, ch 22).
    Next, there is an interesting foreshadowing in tPD, prologue when Moridin is playing sha'rah against himself.
    The Fisher (and Fisher King) is an obvious parallel to Rand. He already changed sides twice (light->almost to shadow->light) but the foreshadowing speaks of changing sides many times. The last part also suggests that the Shadow really really doesn't want to go the brute force confrontation route and will do anything they can to avoid it and win by other means. They are obviously still trying. Cyndane's appearance in Rand's dream at the end of TOM is a clear sign of that. Also, the foreshadowing suggests that there are three ways to win, not two. The Shadow tried the first one and it didn't work. The third one is the brute force method which they don't like so they should be currently going for what's behind door number two.
    Basically, I believe that they will succeed in capturing Rand and turning him to the shadow against his will in some way. Not literally, like via 13x13 but in some other fashion. How exactly I don't really know. Could be because of merging with Moridin which results in Rand loosing control of his body or something of that sort. Could be that Rand's use of TP will give Shaidar Haran some power over Rand. SH definitely has powers over those sworn to the shadow. He can prevent them from channeling for example. Could be some trap laid by Cyndane. Could be a mindtrap as terez suggested recently. That involves the use of blood. Rand's blood is supposed to be spilled to bring the Shadow and this sounds like a good plan to do it. Could be something else altogether that I can't think of.
    Here is one possibility how it may come about. There is a good reason to believe that Rand will have to go to Shayol Ghul twice
    with the first trip depicted on the AMOL cover which shows Rand, Moirane and Nynaeve going down to the Pit of Doom.
    So what would Rand be doing at Shayol Ghul on his first trip there? We can assume with reasonable certainty that he is going to break the seals there. That's his firm intention and the line of the second dark prophecy "and the First Among Verminlifts his hand to bring freedom to Him who will Destroy" supports this too, provided that the First Among Vermin means Rand, of course. But this can't be all he wants to do at SG. He can break the seals anywhere, no need to go to Shayol Ghul for that. The seals are very brittle now and are easily breakable.
    As I said, Rand's plan A seems to be to go to SG, break the seals and kill the DO. I believe that's what he'll try to do. He'll succeed in the former but not the latter. The attempt to kill the DO should exhaust Rand quite a bit. It should be a much harder affair than Maradon and he was very tired after that. This should then make him vulnerable and then there will be counterstrike by one of the Dark Siders which should eventually lead to Rand's death. He even hinted that something like that might happen after the Maradon fight.
    Futhermore, as was pointed out by Durinax this may tie in with another prophecy and another viewing of Min.
    Min reads the following prophecy while thinking about Callndor and its flaws
    In the same scene she also mentions that Callandor is often called the "blade of ruin" in the prophecies.
    In ToM, ch 51 she has another viewing of Rand
    It is possible that Rand will be weakened by using Callandor while trying to kill the DO, which will make him vulnerable and allow the DO to strike back and capture Rand (to seize "all that he is") in some fashion. In that case the back hand holding Callador in the viewing could represent Rand being possessed by the DO.
    Now, if Rand is turned and has to be killed the deed will likely be done by one of the lightsiders. I also believe this will likely be done by a Mordred parallel from Arthurian myths. Alivia will help but it's clear from Min's vision that her role will be secondary. Perhaps she'll have to shield Rand - she is immensely strong in the OP and that should come into play somewhere. She is also one of the few lightsiders who won't balk at the necessity of doing it if Rand asks for it.
    The other Lightsiders who won't hesitate to do it are Moiraine, Galad and Gawyn. All three are Mordred parallels. Moiraine by her first and last name. I described Galad's Mordred parallesbefore. Terez likes Gawyn above all for that and she wrote a lot about it.
    Moiraine made the following rather enigmatic promise to Rand, Perrin and Mat way back in tEoTW, ch 13:
    One of the most often repeated lines about Galad is that he will always do what he thinks is right no matter who it hurts. He won't hesitate to do what has to be done either. Gawyn will do anything at all for Egwene and there is a persistent theme of betrayal related to him (see terez's article for more on that). While Egwene is not likely to do it herself (she is a not a Mordred parallel) it's rather striking that in both her Accepted test and in one of Rand's alternate lives he saw when using the Portal stone Rand begs her to kill him (this also agrees with the idea that his death will be willing on his part). Those scenes are almost identical. Gawyn might do it on her behalf though, especially if he thinks it can help her somehow. It is also possible that not one but several of the people I mentioned will be involved.
    The first Dark prophecy suggests that Rand will continue to be a prisoner in TAR after his death. The fact that he will be turned before death (and likely the exact manner of turning) should somehow facilitate this. Such things are possible in TAR. Egwene trapped Joiya and Amico in TDR, Moggy trapped Birgitte (when she was a dead HoTH, same as Rand will be) and then Nyn trapped Moggy herself in FOH and lastly, Be'lal trapped Faile using a hedgehog ter'angreal in TDR. Kari Al'Thor seemed to have been Ishy's prisoner in TAR (tEoTW, ch 51) although I'm not really sure about this one. There may be even more examples that I'm just forgetting.
    In AMOL, ch 1 we learn of yet one more prophecy.
    The girls think the "captive rails" part refers to the DO but they are not completely sure. This looks very similar to Moridin and Graendal discussing the second Dark Prophecy in TOM. In both cases they are likely misinterpreting. I suspect the "captive" means Rand being held prisoner in TAR by Lanfear.
    There will have to be a rescue mission of course which will not be instantaneous, hence "wait upon the light". There are also multiple foreshadowings that Rand will be dead for three days: from master Norry's comment that he won't believe Rand dead till he sat three days with his corpse (WH, ch 9) to jokes about Nynaeve healing a man three days dead (LoC, ch 7). The rescue mission will likely be lead by Egwene and Perrin who are the main actors of the Light in TAR. This will also tie in with Perrin's mythological paralllel's as well as Min's vision about Perrin having to be there for Rand twice (LoC, ch 46). The first time was at Dumai's Wells. I think the rescue mission in TAR will be the second.
    Egwene also has either a prophecy or a dream connecting her to saving Rand. Ishy ordered Liandrin to take Nyn and Egwene to the Seanchan because he had some info that they will play a role in saving Rand. He told as much to Rand himself
    This most likely comes from a dream as it's too detailed for a prophecy and BS hinted that Ishy is a Dreamer.
    This is pretty much it for my theory at the moment.
    Then there will be Rand's resurrection of course. I really like terez' theory about Nyn pushing him out of TAR the way Moggy pushed out Birgitte but this is a separate story.
  5. herid
    Brandon Sanderson recently commented on twitter that some major things in aMoL that have not been guessed.
    Here is a loony theory to possibly "fill the gap".
    I've been thinking about parallels between WoT and Arthurian myths (most are, of course, well known and rather obvious) and it occurred to me that Galad might have some rather interesting role to play based on that.
    His most obvious parallel is, of course, sir Galahad but I think that he just might have some strange parallel to Mordred and I wonder how that can possibly play out. There are a number of other more obvious Mordreds in WoT, namely, Fain/Mordeth, Moridin and Demandred. Galad would seem to be an extremely unlikely Mordred. However, his last name is Damodred which is similar to Mordred. Moreover, as was recently discussed on the forum, the fact that Galad's last name is Damodred and not Trakand or Mantear is somewhat strange. There has to be a reason for it. Also, arthurian Mordred was a son of Morgawse and he had a brother (or half-brother depending on the version of the legend) Gawain ( a well-known parallel to Gawyn). Lastly, Mordred had the hots for Guinevere (=Egwene) and Galad did too for a while. All this seems more than a little coincidental to me even though these parallels are very formal and there don't seem to be any plot lines setting up any kind of Mordred role for Galad. I admit, I don't have any firm theories on the subject but here is one possibility.
    King Arthur was killed by Mordred in the battle of Camlann. As I mentioned, there are several obvious Mordreds running around who will have a hand in Rand's death. Moridin and Mordeth already gave him unhealable wounds which are pretty sure to play a role in this. Demandred (another Mordred) is set to do his thing (whatever it is) at the battle for Caemlyn (Camlann). It seems to me that Galad should have a piece of Rand too somehow.
    Whatever it is it might actually tie in with Galad's parallel to Galahad who cured the Fisher King (an obvious parallel to Rand). Rand needs to die in order to survive the LB and killing him (and later resurrecting him) might be the only way to heal the unhealable wounds in his side and maybe also severing the link with Moridin.
  6. herid
    The current Mazrim Taim is an impostor.

    I'm still not sure if he is Moridin or not but I'm quite sure that he is not the original Taim who declared himself the Dragon. I believe that can be proved beyond any doubt without deciding on Taim's true identity. I posted about it on the forums and I want to lay out my arguments here.
    1. Bashere does not recognize Taim when Taim first shows up. That's extremely suspicious all by itself. And not just because Bashere really ought to recognize him but from a storytelling point of view. If this is the original Taim why put something so strange into the story at all? It serves no purpose if that's the original Taim. The issue never comes up again and is not used for anything. And RJ said that very little in the books is done by accident.
    Some have argued that this makes it more believable that this Taim is the real Taim since otherwise readers would question that. But the way it's handled does the opposite - it makes Taim a very suspicious character. More on that below.
    2. Taim is very quick with an explanation that he shaved because it's so hot this far south.
    But that explanation doesn't make sense. In the same scene it's mentioned that he is not sweating.
    and just a bit later, in case somebody didn't clue in the first time, it's mentioned again in the same scene
    It's beyond reason that something like this would be brought up twice in the same scene if it was not important.
    A few chapters later Taim teaches Rand the anti-sweating trick and Rand is quite happy about it.
    The issue comes up a couple more times in the next few chapters when Taim discusses teaching the trick to other Asha'man. In short, Taim seems to be a real master of the anti-sweating technique and so there is no reason for him to shave because of heat (and risk not being recognized on top of that).
    3. Right after giving this phony reason for shaving Taim immediately diverts Bashere's attention by enraging him. Taunting Bashere is the last thing he should be doing in this situation if he is the real Taim. It's liable to get him killed on the spot. it almost does:
    This is a diversion. And it works too as the shaving issue is quickly forgotten and Bashere is pissed and wants to go for Taim's throat.
    Note that he even refers to himself in 3rd person in this explanation. And of course he'd be ready with an explanation like this. I'm sure that the original Taim was thoroughly "debriefed" once taken.
    Also note that Taim could have easily said that he shaved to make himself less recognizable (he is a man on the run after all). That is a perfectly reasonable explanation and it would have raised none of the issues mentioned above. Instead he lies, and his lie, while indisputable, is subtly hidden from the reader for some reason. To prove that he is lying the reader needs to read a few more chapters, notice the explanation about the anti-sweating trick and connect the dots.
    So what we have is this. Taim came, he lied, his lie is later exposed in a fairly tricky way but it seemingly has no visible consequences for the plot. I find it completely impossible to believe that all of this is just an accident. RJ specifically mentioned that very little in the books is by accident.
    Lastly, let me say a few words about why an impostor Taim would shave at all. There may be several explanations for that and it's not really important which one is the right one. It doesn't bear on the issues raised above which have to be explained no matter what. So why would an impostor need to shave? Couldn't he have just made a perfect power created disguise of Taim including the beard? Maybe he could have. But a beard is a physical object. A power disguise works best when the disguise is closest to the actual appearance of the person behind it. That's mentioned several times. Having a big beard totally made with the power might run a higher risk of detection. It is also possible that the original Taim was killed before the current Taim could interrogate him in person. We don't know the details of Taim's kidnapping. In that case the current Taim could not make a perfect disguise of the old Taim. If he showed up with a beard but still looked different from the old Taim he'd have no explanation left to account for the difference in appearance. In any case, regardless of what the actual reason for shaving is, the questions raised by Taim lying about his reason for shaving and the way it's handled in the book need to be addressed. The only explanation I see is that Taim is an impostor.
    Update. Some bad news for this theory. At my request terez asked BS about the whole shaving-antisweating trick issue and here is what he said.
    This is certainly not the answer I was hoping for and does nothing to support my theory. However, I don't really view it as a proof negative either. The plot trick involved was quite subtle and overlooked by a vast majority of readers. As it was not in the notes it could have been easily overlooked by BS who came aboard a very long time after the scene in question was written. Even Maria might not know if this was not in the notes.
  7. herid
    Ok, This is a long one with lots of pro and con arguments. I must admit I haven't completely made up my mind yet although I'm leaning strongly toward Taim=Moridin.
    This theory seems to be pretty old and the earliest reference to it I can find is by Linda at the thirteenth depository. I borrowed a number of arguments from her page. I even asked Linda to clarify some points and she helpfully obliged.
    First, let's establish who Taim is not.
    He is not Demandred. This is proved in-story in the Demandred POV at the Cleansing and is also repeatedly and rather forcefully confirmed by both RJ and BS.
    Is he a new Forsaken?
    No, he is not. First and foremost we have a Dream of Egwene in TOM where she sees only 13 towers which represent Forsaken. That's enough for me. It would be more than a little strange if there was a new Forsaken around but Egwene somehow only saw the old ones. But there are more clues than that. Taim likes red and black which are Moridin's favourite colors (more on that below). This is a deliberate plot device to indicate either Moridin or his associates. And a true Forsaken would never defer to Moridin to such extent even though Moridin is Naeblis. None of the other Forsaken (except for Moggy and Cyndane who are mindtrapped) express a slightest inclination to do such things.
    They can not afford to appear to be weak. The weak ones quickly get eaten by the others.
    So Taim is not a new Forsaken.
    Now, it's beyond doubt that he is of the shadow and if he is not a Forsaken himself then he is a high ranking protegee of one. And his boss can only be Moridin and no other. This is again, because he uses Moridin's colors .
    Ok, let's say he is a high-ranking darkfriend and a protegee of Moridin. Is he the original Taim who declared himself the Dragon? I believe that the answer to this one is NO. It does take a while to explain this so I put the explanation in a separate blog post.
    To sum up, Taim is an impostor and not the original Mazrim Taim who declared himself the Dragon. He might be Moridin or he might be a high ranking protegee of Moridin.
    Pro arguments for Taim=Moridin

    Taim likes red and black just as Moridin does. I mentioned this already but it's worth noting again.The fact that the color is accentuated is particularly striking. As for Moridin, red and black are practically his business card. He dresses Moggy and Cyndane as well as his servants in red and black. His digs in the Blight are decorated in red and black. To drive home the point Moridin even comments on this openly to MoggyRed and Black are Moridin's colors and he marks his territory with them like an alpha dog that he is.
    This firmly identifies Taim as either Moridin or Moridin's lieutenant, a very very trusty lieutenant.
    Moridin is known to do that with his left hand since Rand lost his left hand while capturing Semirhage.
    This gesture is a deliberate plot device used to indicate the link between Moridin and Rand. Nobody else in the books does this other than Moridin and Rand (who of course has no hand to hold in a fist but does walk around with one hand behind his back). As such I don't believe that this is just an accident that means nothing. Perhaps Taim imitates his boss's gestures.
    Taim uses the same sigil as Bel'al and Sammael who were both shadow's top generals in the war of power. 
    Some even speculated that the fact that Taim's sigil is gold while the other ones are silver and steel indicate that he has higher rank than Bel'al and Sammael. While not definitive, this is a natural assumption. We have other indications that gold means higher rank in military hierarchy in Randland. Rand himself does this. Full Asha'man get red-gold dragon pins while Dedicated get silver sword pins.
    Furthermore, Taim's sigil has three lightning bolts while Sammael's has one and Bel'al's has two. That would point to a higher rank as well.
    Taim is very contemptuous of swords and sword-fighting. The same is true of Ishy-Moridin. Unlike some other Forsaken like Sammael and Bel'al Ishy was never a swordsman.
    And yet in later books (but not in the earlier ones!) Taim is described as having a Warder's grace.So far as we know Taim hasn't bonded anybody. A warder's grace would be understandable if he were a trained swordsman like Galad or Gawyn but he is an opposite of one by his own admission. But if he is Moridin then the warder's grace could be explained by his link with Rand who is a warder four times over and a blademaster to boot. Furthermore, the remark about shadows following him might be an indication of a person who's been using TP.
    A dark aura is a well known side effect of using TP. Ishy had it in abundance and BS confirmed that Rand's TP usage is partly responsible for the dark aura around him in TGS. Moridin has it too although this is not mentioned as often.
    There are more hints of that in Taim
     so he is ready to explode into violence (like a warder) and there is an air of darkness about him (an indication of TP use).
    BS even made a comment on twitter about this. While this may seem cryptic he didn't RAFO'd the question and didn't say that the dark aura around Taim is inconsequential. The mere fact that he responded to this question at all is pretty suggestive IMO. He is bombarded with WoT questions all the time on twitter, most of them remain unanswered and don't even get so much as an RAFO. Why would he respond at all if this was inconsequential?
    Taken together this gives pretty good evidence that that Taim does use TP. That's a really really high honor for a DF that very few people get. We only know of two at the moment - Graendal and Moridin. It's hard to imagine that the same honor would be extended to somebody else who is not a Forsaken (which Taim is not if he is not Moridin).
    Taim uses some phrases particular to second-agers. Specifically, only Taim (LoC, Ch 11) and Moridin (CoS, Ch 20) refer to the Aiel as "so-called Aiel". This is natural for the Forsaken. The Forsaken are second-agers and they just can't get used to the idea of the Aiel changing so much. Nobody else should have any reason to call Aiel "so called Aiel". Even a pupil of a Forsaken would be a stretch here. He would have to be quite well educated on the subject by his boss and it seems unlikely that a Forsaken would hold history classes with his followers. Possibly, Taim might be imitating his boss and just using a phrase he's heard his boss use. That doesn't seem in character for Taim though. He thinks rather a lot of himself.
    There is this rather mysterious comment from a BS interview:
    One can debate what that means but if it's reported correctly, I would view it as strongly suggestive that Taim is a second-ager or at least someone who has been born a very long time ago.
    There would be zero reason to be mysterious about it if all BS wanted to say was that Taim is not a standard Randlander. We know that already. He is a former false Dragon, the boss of the BT and obviously a high ranking darkfriend and a close disciple of a Forsaken at the least. How much less standard can he get? The fact that he is a very unusual guy goes absolutely without saying at this point.
    Calling him a third-ager in this context definitely emphasizes the age he was born in IMO. Moreover, I've searched through the WOT interview database and Brandon's wtitter feed (which is quite extensive) and I could not find any examples of BS using this term at all. So this is apparently not a term he uses normally when referring to Randlanders.
    Unfortunately, we don't have an exact quote here and it's quite possible that the answer was paraphrased by the person reporting it. In which case all this elaborate linguistic argument comes to absolutely nothing. Still, I wanted to include it for the sake of completeness.
    LT raves about killing Taim from the very beginning. He does so about other Asha'man but not nearly so much. I don't think he ever raved about Logain for example.
    And he does rave about killing Taim every single time they meet. Rand remarks on this himself.Moreover, one of those rants is particularly interesting.
     In view of Rand's newly disclosed ability to see souls those rants should be given some extra weight. LT might be able to see past the power disguise Taim is using and recognize his soul. Rand recognizes Lanfear that way in a dream (ToM, epilogue), and also Siuan when he visits the Tower (ToM, Ch 3).
    So who would LT really want to kill "finally"? Who does he blame for the deaths of his family above all others? Ishy/Moridin is the obvious suspect.
    Taim is extremely strong in the power. Logain can tell when Rand holds as much as he can handle after the attack on Algarin's manor in KoD so presumably Rand should be able to do the same with Taim.This suggests that Taim does in fact hold back when Rand measures him up.
    Note that while Rand might not be at his full potential when he measures up Taim he is pretty far advanced at the time. Men achieve their full strength quickly (just look at the Asha'man) and Rand, like Egwene, was pushed. His progress in achieving his full potential was greatly accelerated by the use of various very powerful sa'angreal (Callandor and Choedan Kal) and of the Eye of The World. He was already a match for Amodean (who is a Forsaken after all) when they fought in Rhuidean and that was more than a book before he meets Taim, plus using Choedan Kal would push Rand greatly as I mentioned already.
    So Taim is extremely strong in the power, almost as strong as Rand himself. That would be quite unusual even if he was the original Taim who declared himself the Dragon. LT was supposedly the strongest channeler of his age, stronger than any of the Frsaken. Ishy was a close second and the rest were weaker still. But we have established that this Taim is not the original Taim. This begs the question: where did Moridin get such a powerful male channeler? They don't grow on trees. There is no mentioning of anybody like that in shadow's employ in the earlier books. Where was he all that time then? Hiding under a rock for years?
    None of the Forsaken ever mention Taim onscreen, think about him or are seen speaking to him. This is very strange given his very important position if he is just a high ranking DF. Alviarin, who is Taim's closest analogue in the White Tower is not neglected that way. This was understandable early on when Taim's dark nature was in question and kept a secret from the reader but that has not been in doubt for some time.

    There are a few more arguments in favor of Taim being Moridin but they are more psychological in nature and hence more subjective. Still, while no single one of them would be particularly persuasive on its own, taken together they are pretty suggestive.

    Forsaken treat their followers like dogs. This is mentioned very often so I will only give one example.
    Yet, if Taim is Moridin's pupil, Moridin definitely treats him much better than this. In particular, he lets Taim use a sigil that two other Forsaken use. That would be similar to an Aes Sedai painting a seven striped stole on the door of her room. Also, Taim has got himself a throne to sit on in the BT. This is certainly very presumptuous. The Forsaken normally don't tolerate that kind of behavior in their subordinates.
    Taim is allowed considerable leeway in decision making. Look again at how Mesaana treats Alviarin.
    This would seem a fairly natural and likely typical attitude that one of the Forsaken would have to their pupil. Now let's look at Taim.
    When Taim first makes an appearance he is surprised to hear that anybody showed up at Rand's amnesty. Yet he immediately teaches Rand how to detect the ability to channel (which is a pretty unusual skill to have btw). This is actually a very important decision. Without being able to tell who can channel Rand's progress in building his army of channelers would be greatly slowed down, perhaps by years. Yet, Taim does not consult anybody and teaches Rand how to do it. His bosses might well approve but can he be sure of that? Doing what he is doing is a double edge thing. He can train his Black Asha'man along with the others but lots of people in the BT are not darkfriends. Taim does deliver a large number of light-sided Asha'man to Rand. Logain said that this would have happened eventually even without Taim. But how long would that take?
    The decision to teach Rand to detect channeling ability is a dangerous gamble. If his bosses don't approve they will extinguish Taim (as Mesaana threatened to do to Alviarin in the above quote). It would make sense to at least ask Taim's superiors for instruction before doing this. He can always claim the he "discovered" how to do it later.
    Dashiva (who is after all a Forsaken in disguise) is properly differential when he mentions Taim.
     Dashiva certainly doesn't treat Rand with too much respect yet Taim is Lord Mazrim Taim and M'Hael to him? This should not be so if Taim is just a darkfriend, no matter how elevated.
    While we are on the subject, how does Taim know any Old Tongue? Knowing Old Tongue in Randlands is similar to knowing Latin in real life. Only educated people (nobles, scholars, Aes Sedai) know it. Mat gets plenty of odd looks when he spouts Old Tongue. The fact that Dashiva knows it and the excuse he gives is a good early tell that something is up with him. Rand is a tool for not noticing. We never see any regular folks speaking any Old Tongue. Taim and Dashiva are the only exceptions. And it would be rather unlikely that his Forsaken boss would teach him any OT. Forsaken holding language classes for their followers would be no more likely than holding history classes. Of course Taim might simply be an educated man or even a noble. However, nothing like this is ever mentioned. We do know that Logain is a noble but there is no mentioning of Taim being one. In fact, absolutely nothing is ever said about Taim's background apart from the fact that he was false Dragon. This is rather unfortunate (and somewhat strange too).
    When Rand establishes Asha'man and declares himself the first Asha'man and Taim the second, Taim shakes with rage.
    What exactly is Taim's problem here? His reaction is obviuosly important or it would not be emphasized so. It is very hard to understand if he is just a high ranking darkfriend, even a pupil of one of the Forsaken. I could perhaps, understand it if he was the original Taim who declared himself the Dragon and resented playing second fiddle to Rand, but this Taim is an impostor. And even if you don't believe that part, he is certainly a darkfriend and a follower of Ishy/Moridin. He should have known full well that he never was the true Dragon. Why is he shaking with rage then? Not even other Forsaken like Dashiva or Asmodean ever behave quite that way toward Rand.
    Yet, Taim finds it very hard to bend his neck. And he certainly hates being equated with other Asha'man. He hates it so much that he refuses to wear the Asha'man pins Rand gave him and creates his own insignia to mark himself as the boss in BT. Moreover, his self-assigned title of M'Hael not only means "leader" in the Old Tongue but it means "leader of everything" when taken as a title as Pevara explains in KoD, CH 38:
      If we assume that Taim is Moridin's lieutenant we have to believe that on one hand he is a very independent operator who thinks a great deal of himself and won't bow to anybody, not even Rand and on the other hand that he seems to be quite subservient to his boss and imitates him in many ways (uses his colors, phrases and gestures). This is hard to square psychologically if we are talking about the same person.
    When Taim shows up he wants to be Rand's advisor, almost an equal. That fits very well with Ishy's MO who took a role of an advisor to Arthur Hawkwing.

    Before going on to the con arguments lets discuss who knows what if we assume that Taim=Moridin. While we don't know the exact answer it would be natural to assume that Moridin is hiding his secret identity as Taim from some or all of the Forsaken. The Forsaken are not exactly obligated to let each other know of their secret identities. Graendal (along with the readers I might add) is still dying to know how Demandred is hidden. Sammael questions Graendal about whereabouts of the others. When Rand questions Asmodean about the same Asmodean knows very little. The Forsaken scheme against each other constantly. Moridin is not made Nae'blis right away and even when he is, that hardly stops the others from scheming against him. They all want to kill him and become Naeblis themselves. Every single one of them thinks about this explicitly in their POVs. Moridin would be well aware of that fact.
    Moridin would not forget this after becoming Nae'blis. Moreover, it would also make sense to keep his true identity from the Black Asha'man who are his subordinates a least for a while. Demandred meddles in BT for sure and if the Black Asha'man knew that Taim is Moridin then Demandred would quickly find that out too. Other Forsaken might meddle in BT as well. Dashiva definitely hides his identity as a Forsaken from the Black Asha'man as is clear from a quote by Kisman below. Moridin could easily be doing it too.
    Also, If Taim is Moridin, the transmigration happened around the same time that Aginor and Balthamel were transmigrated (LoC, prologue). The DO seemed to be in transmigrating mood at the time.
    Let us now consider the con arguments

    The most commonly cited con argument is the triple orders to Black Asha'man to kill Rand.
    This is indeed a strong con argument. However, the problem is that we are given practically no context here. As politicians and political TV talk show hosts know very well, picking up quotes out of context is a great way to mislead your audience.
    There can be many things that happened off-screen that could explain this. The last set of orders seems to be given in Far Madding. Perhaps Moridin has learned something important (like the fact that Rand had the access key with him) and couldn't show up in Far Madding without blowing his cover as Taim if Taim was supposed to be somewhere else. If they could get the access key from Rand then it would definitely not be necessary to kill Rand as he'd have no chance of cleansing saidin without it. Perhaps his disguise is made with OP and not TP. Then it could not be used in Far Madding at all because of the Guardian ter'angreal. Perhaps he received some new orders from the DO in the interim time between the first and the last set of orders. It could be something else altogether that I can't think of without more context. After all, who could have possibly guessed the details of Graendal's survival of Rand bale-nuking Natrin's Barrow.
    Still this is a strong con argument especially because of a serious deifference in tone between the first and the last set of orders.
    If Taim is Moridin in disguise his cover would be blown any time he is touched. He is poked with swords in the very first scene he shows up and Rand himself touches his collar when he pins the Asha'man sword and dragon pins on Taim [LoC, Ch 42).
    This argument is rather easy to refute although some people are rather adamant about it. Moridin and Taim have very similar build and almost the same height. Taim is described several times as being almost as tall as Rand
    The only reference to Moridin's height is when Rand meets him in SL.
    That would make it quite easy for Moridin to impersonate Taim. Only a small adjustment in height is required. An inch or so difference in height can easily pass the touch tests mentioned above. Moreover, they might actually be the same height. Rand had a very short time to size Moridin up. He didn't have a measuring tape on him and they weren't standing in front of a mirror or back to back. It's very hard to judge somebody's height as compared to your own accurately if the difference is only an inch or so. According to RJ, Rand misjudged Taim's age when Taim first showed up. He could have easily misjudged Moridin's exact height in the few moments he had to do it.
    Next, we don't really know what a good OP disguise can do. Lanfear, who is quite tall successfully poses as Keille who is very short and fat over a period of many days. She gets close to people, trades with them, pinches and pats Mat's cheek.
    And lastly, who knows what a TP disguise can do.
    Rand sees Moridin's face when channeling and Moridin knows about it. If he happens to see Taim's face (which he never does btw), Taim's cover is blown.
    Counterargument: It's pretty unlikely that a power created disguise would pass through the link. Rand sees Moridin's true face.
    Moridin only channels TP (we never once see him channel OP onscreen). Ishy much preferred using TP too. Taim, by the very nature of his position would need to channel saidin constantly.
    In its pure form this argument is easy to refute too. yes, Moridin prefers TP but surely he can bend to the necessities and channel OP when he must. It's not as if he forgot how.
    When he is using his Moridin persona he uses only TP as he likes to do.
    But Demandred said that Moridin only uses TP, didn't he?Demandred was referring to a fairly short time period. Moridin was first revealed as Nae'blis some time in tPoD. The scene in question is for a Forsaken gathering from early in WH. Also, Demandred likely saw Moridin several times in between. In the same scene Moridin mentions that Mesaana is absent again. This indicates that several such meetings took place.
    However, this argument becomes much more interesting if we take into account Luckers' theory on Rand's channeling sickness. According to that theory Rand gets the sickness when either he or Moridin embrace or release saidin. The evidence for Rand's side is quite overwhelming and can not be denied. He does indeed get sick every time he embraces or releases saidin, although the effects are mild for a while and grow as the link strengthens. Rand barely gets the sickness in tPoD but by the end of tGS it's so bad that he falls down and throws up when he embraces saidin. He also affects Moridn through the link when he does it. This is one of the main reasons Rand channels as seldom as possible. If the same is true for Moridin then it's almost impossible for him to be Taim. As mentioned, Taim, by the nature of his position would have to channel saidin quite regularly. If he is Moridin and the theory is correct then both he and Rand should double over every time this happens which would have to be quite often. We don't see that happening, definitely not on Rand's side.
    We actually have one instance of Taim channeling onscreen after the link is formed and he does not get sick.
    When Pevara and co visit him in the Black Tower to ask to bond Asha'man we see this:
    A tall, golden-haired man standing near the dais sneered at her. "Why should we allow Aes Sedai to take any m—" Something unseen struck the side of his head so hard that his feet left the floor tiles before he fell in a heap, eyes closed and blood trickling from his nostrils.
    A lean man with receding gray-streaked hair and a forked beard bent to touch a finger to the fallen man's head. "He's alive," he said as he straightened, "but his skull's cracked and his jaw's broken." He might have been talking about the weather. None of the men made any move to offer Healing. Not one!
    "I have some small skill in Healing." Melare said, gathering her skirts and already moving toward the fallen man. "Enough for this, I think. With your permission."
    Taim shook his head. "You do not have my permission. If Mishraile survives till nightfall, he'll be Healed. Perhaps the pain will teach him to guard his tongue. You say you want to bond Warders? Reds?"
    -KoD, Ch 38

    It's pretty clear that Taim was the one who channeled here. It's very unlikely that anybody else would decide to punish Mishraile in Taim's presence without asking permission. Also, Taim is surrounded by 100 Asha'man in this scene.
    It's quite unlikely (although not impossible as all present seem to be Taim's followers) that he channels TP in front of all of them. And if he channels saidin then he really ought to get the sickness.
    The problem is that at the moment this is just a theory and we don't know exactly what happens on Moridin's side.
    There are a number of question marks here.
    First, the fact that both Moridin and Rand would get sick when channeling saidin is pretty strange given that Moridin was channeling TP when the link was formed and both he and Rand got sick at the time.
    Next, there is only a single instance I can find of Rand getting the sickness because of Moridin doing something (it's not even clear what but the natural assumption is that he channeled saidin). 
    Rand gets sick (and affects Moridin via link) when he either embraces or releases saidin. If the same is true in reverse then
    Rand should get sick a second time when Moridin released saidin in the above scene. This is not mentioned. I'm not sure what to make of this. It could of course simply be an oversight by the writer. Or maybe Moridin channeled very briefly.
    It is also not clear why Moridin (if he is not Taim) would want to channel saidin at all. He never did it even before the link was formed and Ishy used TP exclusively. If Moridin does use saidin occasionally, one would expect that he would have tried at least once before that episode in WH but after the link was formed (30 days pass in between). But then Rand should have felt the sickness without channeling long before that scene in WH.
    It is also somewhat strange if Moridin would channel saidin once, get the sickness and then totally give up on it and never try to channel saidin again, not even to try to figure out what was happening. Just one time would certainly not be enough for him to understand what was really going on. Yet, there are no other instances of Moridin making Rand sick via the link except for that one time.
    Nevertheless, the channeling sickness theory does look very reasonable to me and if it is correct I would consider it by far the strongest argument against Taim=Moridn among all that I've seen.
    Moridin has a lot to do as Moridin. He is apparently marshaling the DO forces in the Blight. This is no small task. Taim has quite a bit to do too. Hard to see how one person could manage all that.
    Graendal comments on thisI'll quote Linda on this BWB mentions this When Moridin eavesdrops on Sammael and Graendal in CoS, Ch 20 he is surprised to hear about Sammael's supposed truce with Rand and seems to be unsure of the facts. Taim on the other hand should be very sure that there is no truce.
    This is an interesting argument but it is hardly conclusive.So his immediate reaction was definitely skepticism and some mysterious evidence to the contrary is cited. That evidence could easily be the incident with Sammael's messenger.
    Also, the episode with the messenger was a while ago (LoC, Ch 16). Things may have changed since then and Rand is well known to keep many things secret. Graendal believed Sammael that he had a truce with Rand despite a fair amount of evidence to the contrary. Other Forsaken could believe that he could possibly agree to such a truce as well. The way the Forsaken think none of them would put it past Rand to do something like that.

  8. herid
    BS mentioned on his twitter feed that Perrin was in part based on the ancient Slavic thunder god Perun.
    I've looked up some info on Perun and there are indeed a number of striking parallels. Unfortunately, since there are many forms of the myths about Perun varying greatly with time and place, different sources seem to give very different information.

    Perun's symbol is an axe crossed by a hammer.<A HREF="#symbol">1</A>
    Perun's sacred animal (some sources say animal form) is a huge wild bull.<A HREF="#animal">2</A>
    Perun was mostly a god of war, related to the Nordic god Thor. His most ancient weapons are thunder and lightnings.
    But he is also mentioned as a fertility god. In particular, many slavs believed that the spring doesn't start until the first spring thunderstorm which brings moisture necessary for the crops to grow.
    Perun's main weapons are some sort of throwing stones, arrows (two kinds are mentioned - thunder arrows and lightning arrows) and war axes<A HREF="#russian-wiki">3</A>. (The arrows might be a parallel to Perrin's force of Two River's long-bowmen). In Russian Perun legends (but not in those of other slavs) Perun also has a "palitsa" (not quite sure how to translate that, it seems to be similar to a mace).
    Perun has a big coppery beard which is particularly important. In some Russian fairy tales derived from Perun myths it even has magical properties<A HREF="#main-myth">4</A>. Nevertheless, I can predict with 100% confidence that this will not be the case for Perrin's beard.
    There are several myths about Perun but there is one which is the main one which has persisted the best through the years in various incarnations. It revolves around a fight of Perun with his arch-nemesis who is a snakelike-creature (sometimes with several heads) that committed some grievous offense against Perun (the nature of the offense varies). In some instances he is the god of the underworld or a guardian of the entrance to the underworld. Perun pursues his quarry relentlessly who, while trying to escape hides in some unusual places such as in water, in a tree, in stone and inside another person. The names of the main antagonists (Perun and his enemy) change in various later versions of the myth but the main structure of the myth remains the same: The fight consists of two distinct stages. In the first Perun wounds his snaky enemy but does not kill him. In one version of the myth he wounds him with an arrow, in another by throwing a lightning at him and in yet another by throwing his hat at him. I'm not sure how this last one is supposed to work. I guess the guy is an early version of Oddjob from Goldfinger.
    In the second stage of the fight they tussle some more and Perun eventually kills his enemy. In the versions in which the enemy has several heads all of them had to be cut off to finish him off. After the enemy is killed it rains and the rain brings invigorating water to the fields and lets the crops grow rapidly. <A HREF="#main-myth">4</A>. I wonder if something like this is yet to come in relation to as yet unfulfilled viewing that Min had about Perrin: 
    Perun's father Svarog is often mentioned as a blacksmith but Perun is a balcksmith too. However, his blacksmithing seems to be mostly limited to making weapons. In some Russian fairy tales likely derived from the main Perun myth mentioned above the person who defeats the snaky guy is a magical blacksmith <A HREF="#blacksmith">5</A>.
    As I mentioned earlier Perun who is a Slavic thunder god is related to the Nordic thunder god Thor. I didn't do much reading on Thor but he certainly has obvious similarities to Perrin too. His main weapon is a huge magical hammer called Mjöllnir<A HREF="#hammer-thor">6</A>. That pretty much speaks for itself.

    Given that so much of Perrin's character seems to be based on Perun and Thor I wonder if the part about talking to wolves comes from some myth too. There doesn't seem to be much of a connection between Perun and wolves (although I've seen some people speculating about it). I don't know about Thor.
    Actually, I dug around some more and it does look like in some stories Perun is associated with wolves although this is not mentioned very often and there seems to be some debate about it. In some stories he can even turn into a wolf like in this story about Perun getting married to the daughter of the sea king.
    In general, in Slavic mythology wolves were considered to be related to the other world - the world of the dead.
    The next part is highly speculative (based on some comments by terez) but I thought I'd throw it in just for kicks. There is an extremely popular Russian fairy tale (every Russian knows it) called "Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf."
    Like many other such stories it has many variations and I've seen a number of suggestions that the character of the grey wolf in this fairy tale is loosely based on Perun. I don't want to recount the whole fairy tale but the grey wolf is a very wise character in it and it helps out the main character Ivan Tsarevich repeatedly out of a number of increasingly tight spots. The last tight spot is particularly tight. Ivan Tsarevich gets killed! Then the wolf gets magical "dead water" ("mertvaya voda") and "water of life" ("zhivaya voda"). When the wolf sprinkles "dead water" on Ivan Tsarevich his wounds close and when he sprinkles "water of life" on him, Ivan Tsarevich comes back to life.
    Now, this is a wild speculation but maybe Perrin will be involved in bringing Rand back to life in some fashion (accrding to Min he has to be there twice for Rand and the second time has not come to pass). Also, "mertvaya voda" and "zhyvaya voda" may be somehow related to spilling of Rand's blood which is supposed to happen twice "once for mourning and once for birth".
    UPDATE: At the Q&A session at Polaris convention (Toronto, July 16)
    BS confirmed the mythology connection to Perrin being wounded in the leg in the fight with Slayer in ToM that was suggested by Hael Me in this thread. Perrin gets wounded in the leg like many mythical dieties like greek god Vulcan. Perun was also wounded in the leg by his arch-enemy.


    <A NAME="symbol">Eastern Slavic religion</A>
    <A NAME="animal"> http://rusvarga.narod.ru/perun.htm</A>
    <A NAME="russian-wiki"> Perun entry on Russian wikipedia </A>
    <A NAME="main-myth"> Perun - Slavic thunder-god. </A>
    <A NAME="blacksmith"> http://mith.ru/alb/slavic/slav4.htm </A>
    <A NAME="hammer-thor"> Thor wikipedia entry </A>

  9. herid
    How does Fain know that the Horn is in the Tower?
     He is being very vague about his sources. Whoever among the Aes Sedai knows about the Horn's location would never discuss it anywhere somebody could hear. And very few of them would know of it anyway so if Fain kidnapped some random Aes Sedai to question she could not tell him anything about it.
    In FoH, Ch4 the maidens play a game called a Thousand Flowers, laying out patterns of bits of stone carved with different symbols. I wonder what this game is based on. Doesn't sound like anything I've heard of.
    Some interesting tidbits suggesting that the Wise Ones might know something interesting about Avi's future.What is this "more besides" that Melaine is talking about? This is from the conversation when the Wise Ones order Avi to sleep in Rand's tent. They don't know what will come of it yet or that he'll even allow it. Do they know something about Avi's future, perhaps from their dreams?
    More hints of that in later books.
    When Avi tells Rand about some Dreams the Wise Ones had about him Rand remarks 
    Rand is right. This is fairly early in Avi's apprenticeship. Why are the Wise Ones discussing important Dreams with her besides those concerning Rand? I suspect they had some Dreams that concern Avi herself.
    Even more inkling of this much later in tGS. The Wise Ones push Avi hard ( very hard) to complete her training. But why? 
    so little time for what? Why is it so important that Avi becomes a full Wise One before the Last battle? There are lots of other apprentices. None of them are pushed this way.
    I find Egwene's attitude towards peeking into other people's dreams (FoH, Ch 7) rather unpalatable. She thinks that she shouldn't spy on Avi's dreams because Avi is a friend but spying on the others this way she finds quite acceptable. In modern terms this would be considered an outrageous invasion of privacy. It's worse than being a peeping tom. It could, perhaps, be justified when really necessary (like when searching for darkfriends) but she is just doing it for fun or sport. Makes me cringe every time I read this chapter.
    Speaking of searching out darkfriends, Egwene peeks into Kadere's and Isendre's dreams but does not suspect them of being darkfriends. That's really daft of her. And what about the Wise One Dreamwalkers? They never looked into any of those dreams or into Amodean's dreams, which would have been rather interesting. They had ample hints that there were darkfriends about. Peeking into dreams appears to me to be a good way to uncover darkfriends and would be one of the few reasons to justify the practice.
    The Aiel notions of honor are strange too. They see nothing wrong with spying on Rand's dreams but won't spy on Shaido.
    In the same chapter 7 we get a very rare Moiraine POV. Some interesting stuff there. In particular she remarks on her experience in Rhuidean
     We get to see some of those effects much later in Avi's POV in ToM. She suddenly remembers some of her experiences in the Rhuidean ter'angreal rings.
    Moiraine of course seems to remember quite a lot of her experiences in the rings based on her confrontation with Lanfear and the letter she left for Thom. I do wonder if she remembers the role she is supposed to play in helping Rand. That's coming for sure one way or the other.
    FoH, Ch 10 Mistress Macura says that she discovered forkroot tea properties with respect to Aes Sedai by accident. This strikes me as implausible. She lives in Aamadicia where Aes Sedai are outlawed so I presume they don't visit that often. And even if she did feed forkroot tea to some passing Aes Sedai once, that woman should now know of forkroot properties too. Yet, none of Aes Sedai were apparently aware of this. How can this be?
    Egwene walks in on Moiraine eavesdropping on Rand with the power in FoH, Ch 15. That's how Moiraine must have found out about Asmodean=Natael. This was pointed to me on the forums. I can't believe I didn't realize that before.
    in TFoH, Ch15 Egwene dreams of Perrin and a tinker with a sword (obviously Aram) but does not recognize Aram. Why is that? She certainly knows him.
    Socialized welfare for state employees in Andor?!I wonder if something like that ever existed in real medieval societies.
    RJ really seemed to have a lot of fun writing Lini and her sayings.
      This cracks me up.

    Rand remarks that Moiraine told him that Elaida was the new Amyrlin.
     This is slightly strange. Egwene did not tell the Wise Ones about the coup in the Tower but after this exchange with Rand they should have realized where Moiraine got her info and nailed Egwene for adventuring in TAR without them.
    It just occurred to me that the Aiel have no last names. Quite common in tribal societies but it does make it strange that they insist on using both first and last names when addressing others. I seem to remember Avi thinking that it would be too informal and personal to do otherwise. But that makes no sense given that the Aiel themselves don't have last names. They call each other by their first names all the time and find nothing informal about it.
    This reminds me of foreigners visiting Russia. Russians use first names together with middle names when addressing each other formally. Instead of Ivan one would say Ivan Matveevich. Addressing somebody just by their first name is a sign of informality. Many foreigners (like Americans) visiting Russua or learning Russian find it strange and often use first names only as they normally do in their native languages. This is only natural and usually nobody takes offense. I would expect the Aiel to do likewise but they don't.
    On a different note, there are also no two characters with the same first name in Wot. That makes it easier on the reader in some respect but is hardly natural.

  10. herid
    There are some frustrating timeline issues in ToM and tGS that make it difficult to verify some interesting theories like the Nakomi=Verin theory. I mentioned that in my post on Nakomi.
    Most notably, this relates to Verin's and Mat's timelines. I went so far as to complain about it to BS on twitter so I feel the need to lay down the evidence.
    There seem to be contradictions in how many days passed between Mat's meeting with Verin and Rand's transformation on Dragonmount. By one calculation it should only be a few days (4-5 at the most). By another it's at the very least 9 and likely 10 or more.
    Let's look at the first calculation. Verin's letter to Mat says that she intended to return in one day. So when she takes poison in the Tower it's either the same day she left Mat or the following one. The same night Verin dies, the Seanchan attack the Tower, the following day Egwene reunites the Tower. Rand's transformation takes place only a couple of days after that.
    In TGS epilogue we see Egwene reading fresh reports from Sylviana when Sylviana lets her know her of the clouds parting over Dragonmount:
    so, Egwene tried to root out the Black Ajah in the Tower on the same day she was raised. That's understandable as this was something that had to be done as soon as possible.
    Given the urgency of the issue, the reports Egwene was reading (particularly the first one) must have been prepared as quickly as possible. Also, it's mentioned that the Amyrlin's office was basically empty as it was stripped of Elaida's things but nothing has been replaced yet.
    Altogether this puts the scene at most 2-3 days after reuniting of the Tower and at most 4-5 days after Mat-Verin meeting.
    Note that this timeline would also agree nicely with Mat's later timeline in ToM. Mat is supposed to wait 30 days in Caemlyn to fulfill his promise to Verin. According to BS, Mat left for TG pretty much as soon as his promise let him
    Mat mentions this a number of times too
    as additional in-book evidence for this we can use Verin's letter. It says
    So Verin estimates that Caemlyn invasion will start in about a month. She might be off by a few days but I don't see her being off by more than 10 days as the other timeline would indicate.
    It's pretty clear that Mat left for TG very shortly before the meeting at FOM which takes place 28 days (= 1 month) after Rand meets Egwene which is 1 day after Rand's transformation at Dragonmount. The above chronology puts the FOM meeting at about 33-34 days after Mat-Verin meeting. Given that Mat should have left for TG after 31 days wait that means that it happened a couple of days before FOM. As I said above, this agrees with Verin's estimate of the start of the invasion of Caemlyn. It also nicely meshes with other things that we see in ToM.
    Mat leaves for TG at the same time as Perrin leaves for FOM. When Perrin arrives at FOM there are lots of armies there already which indicates that the meeting time is close.
    (Curiously, it's mentioned that lots of Cairhienin are there. This seems strange to me as they are later said to come together with Elayne. Perhaps those are the ones that were with Rand like Dobraine?)
    Also, one day before the meeting Egwene talks to Gawyn and they make several comments strongly suggesting that Perrin arrived only recently.
    A little later Egwene comments that she should talk to Berelain and Alliandre to sound them out.
    Such things, especially the fact that Galad is there and leading the Whitecloaks is something that would have come up shortly after Perrin's arrival. Maybe a day or so but no longer than that.
    Also, the day before Mat leaves for TG he sees a vision of Rand
    and Perrin sees something similar too at about the same time
    This is most likely Rand talking to the borderlanders the day before FOM.
    There are some time markers pointing in a different direction though. In the same scene Perrin thinks that Berelain has been spending lots of time with Galad in the last few days
    Perrin arrived in Caemlyn about 10-11 days after VoG (17-18 days before FOM). Galad and Morgase visit Elayne the day after the big battle in TAR and Elayne comments that it's been about a week since the Dragons test.
    One day earlier she tells Gawyn that it's been about a week since the clouds parted over Caemlyn:
    So the best estimate would be that the clouds parted 1 day after the Dragons test (more on that below).
    Presumably, Galad and Berelain would hang out together most of the time after arriving in Caemlyn. If Perrin left for FOM shortly before the meeting that would make it about 15+ days of them staying in Caemlyn which does not qualify as "a few days". Could be another mistake. Or perhaps Galad went away for a time. He mentioned his estates in Andor.
    On the other hand, if we look at Mat's early timeline in ToM there should be a lot more than 4-5 days between Mat-Verin meeting and Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount. After parting from Verin Mat arrives in Caemlyn and writes Elayne a letter. He then waits for her response and stews that none is coming. We see him in ToM Ch 8 complaining about it. That scene is at least 3 days after they arrive in Caemlyn. Thom comments in that scene
    That night the gholam attacks Mat in his tent. The next day Mat sends Elayne another letter. She gets his second letter, sets up a meeting with Mat and they finally meet. That's another 1 day (or more) after the gholam attack and 4+ days after Mat arrives in Caemlyn. Then Aludra has to start the Dragon production, test the Dragons, let Elayne know about the first successful test and set up a demonstration for Elayne.
    The clouds part over Caemlyn some time after the demonstration. During the Dragon test the sky is still clouded and Elayne never mentions feeling anything unusual through the bond prior to that scene.
    The Dragon test happens at least one day before VoG. There are several indications of that but the clearest one is the the following.
    In the evening of some day after the dragon test Mat confronts the gholam and finally kills it. This happens before VoG because the sky over Caemlyn is still clouded.
    Even if the action happens the very same day as the Dragons test it's still at least one day before VoG.
    Given the earlier discussion, it's most likely exactly one day before VoG.
    Next, at least 4 days (likely more) passed between Elayne's first meeting with Mat and the test of the Dragons. Mat gave her the medallion for 3 days and she gave it back to him at least one day prior to the Dragons test. All in all, that makes it at least 9 (3+1+4+1) days ( and very likely 10 or more) from Mat meeting Verin till clouds breaking over Caemlyn which is very different from the 4-5 days estimate obtained earlier.
    There is actually more indirect evidence that this estimate may be on the low side. Mat promised Verin not to open her letter for 10 days. However, he actually thinks of opening it on the spot at various points during his stay in Caemlyn. In particular, in ToM, Ch 22 (shortly after the first meeting with Elayne but well before the Dragon test) Mat feels the dice rattling in his head and thinks
    This should put the scene at least 10 days after his meeting with Verin. Knowing Mat and how scrupulously he keeps his promises he would never consider opening the letter before his promise to Verin allowed him to do so. This would put the time between Verin-Mat meeting and Rand's transformation in VoG at at least 11-12 days.
    There is worse yet. In ToM, Ch 8 Mat is talking to a waitress about Verin's letter
    As I said he did promise not to open it for 10 days. so that would mean those 10 days already passed for the above conversation to make sense. This would put even more time (15+ days) between Mat-Verin meeting and VoG. This is clearly wrong as the encounter happens soon after Mat gets to Caemlyn. In the same scene he complains that Elayne hasn't answered his letter. It's entirely unreasonable to assume that Mat waited for more than 10 days before writing to her again. He is hard pressed for time to start on the Dragon production. Also, in the same scene Mat says that he has only been in Caemlyn a short time. This is just a plot mistake.
    So let's be generous here and keep the time between Mat meeting Verin and VoG at 9 days. Things become simply way too inconsistent otherwise.
    The first timeline calculation made one assumption that may be disputed. Namely, that Verin died at most one day after leaving Mat. Possibly there was something unforeseen that seriously slowed her down and several more days passed so as to reconcile the first timeline with the second one. However, if this is the case we still run into problems as the second timeline clearly contradicts the claim that Mat left for TG as soon as his promise to Verin let him. Indeed, there are 9+ days before Rand's transformation and then about 27 days after that. Altogether that's at least 36 days. It also contradicts Verin's estimate on the start of the Caemlyn invasion by at least 9-10 days.
    Also, I find it hard to see how Verin would be slowed down by more than a couple of days. It's pretty clear that whatever it was that might have slowed her down didn't happen in the Tower itself.
    She also said that she looked for the oath rod but couldn't find it. Egwene comments that Saerin and co must have taken the rod. But they wouldn't take it for long. That would risk discovery.
    All in all this means that if Verin fell behind in her schedule it must have happened before she arrived in the Tower. But her letter said that she expected Mat to only resist opening it for a few days.
    If that is what she thought and she fell behind by more than a couple of days she would have been required to go back to Mat and take the letter from him. Her oaths to the DO would absolutely demand it. She could not risk Mat opening the letter before she died. This puts a pretty hard cap on how much of a delay Verin could tolerate. A couple of days perhaps, but surely no more than that. And a couple of days difference is not enough to reconcile the two timelines so we are back to square one.
    I can't see how one could possibly modify these numbers to avoid contradictions.
    I just found another time marker which would on one hand make it possible for Nakomi to be Verin and on the other make it completely impossible for Verin timeline to make sense. It would also mean that Mat waited well over 40 days before leaving for the TG. This is no more than I suspected of course. I really wish BS would release his secret tGS and ToM chronology. He said in interviews that he has one. Anyway, in TGS, Ch 31 while riding through Bandar Eban Rand thinks of Mat and sees this
    First, this is definitely Caemlyn. Even if we accept that Rand might be mistaken about which city it is, Mat has not been to any other city in a very very long time. This puts the scene after Mat-Verin meeting. At least one day after. Indeed, Rand sees Mat in the afternoon. It happens right after he notices Cadsuane in the street and just before that happens we get this:
    On the other hand Mat meets Verin in the middle of the day (definitely in the afternoon) and she tells him that she could get him to Caemlyn by the evening. It can hardly be sooner than that. He has to break camp which takes some time even for the Band. Also, Verin could not put the gateway very close to Caemlyn. That would be just crazy as the area around Caemlyn is pretty densely populated. Elayne travels to well outside of Ebu Dar in a similar situation. So it would take Mat some time to reach the city after he was through the gateway. And he wouldn't bring his whole army right into Caemlyn anyway. The gateway must have been placed well outside the city. This means that he could not possibly get to Caemlyn itself until late in the evening if that.
    Next, the scene itself is from Rand's early days in Bandar Eban. He has only been there a few days. This is mentioned several times in the chapter. By any reasonable timeline I can make this is well before (at least 9 days before) Verin visits Egwene in the Tower and dies. Let's break this number down.
    That scene in Bandar Eban is at least a few days before Rand-Tuon meeting.
    Indeed, on the same day as that scene Rand screams at Nynaeve when they discuss Lan. Sometime later we have a scene where Nynaeve (with Cadsuane and the others) observes the ghosts over the harbor. This is a few days ("a few" means at least 3 or more by any definition of the phrase) after the previous scene when Rand saw Mat in Caemlyn.
    On the other hand, it is also at least a couple of days before Rand's meeting with Tuon. Nynaeve thinks:
    "A short time" in this context surely doesn't mean "tomorrow" (the scene happens late at night) so it's at least two days away.
    Tuon orders the attack on Tar Valon after the meeting with Rand.
    It would take at the very least one day to get the attack organized. The meeting with Rand is at Falme but the attack itself is planned from the southwest (likely from Altara).
    It would get Tuon at least a day just to get back to Altara from Falme. Actually, likely 2+ days as the distance from Falme to Ebu Dar is not much smaller than from Ebu Dar to Tar Valon and the latter journey takes at least 3 days by raken (more on that below). So it should really be 2+ days from the meeting with Rand to the launch of the attack. But let's keep it at 1 day.
    It should then take several days ( at least 3 days and likely longer) for the raiding party to reach Tar Valon.
    Tuon comments on this
    This would make it at least 10(1+3+2+1+3) days between Mat-Verin meeting and Verin dying in the night of the Seanchan attack on the Tower. And this is the most conservative estimate so it's likely 11 or more days if even one of the above min estimates is off by a day.
    Steven Cooper's chronology puts it 27 days before. This is surely impossible given the content of Verin's letter to Mat (plus it would put Mat's wait before going to TG at 50+ days). There is no way Verin could live 10 days after leaving Mat). As I explained above, she could not live fore more than a couple of days after leaving him. Her oath to the DO would not allow it. If she lived that long she would have been forced by that oath to go back to Mat and take that letter away from him. Certainly living for 10 days is quite out of the question. She made Mat promise that he won't open the letter for 10 days. After that all bets are off.
  11. herid
    Alviarin killed Carlinya

    There is some confusion about a viewing that Min had about Carlinya:
    Carlinya died in the fight against Black Ajah in ToM with this viewing seemingly unfulfilled. Some people have thought that this must be a plot mistake yet BS claimed that this is not the case. So what does it mean and what happened?
    Here is my guess on this one. It was Alviarin who killed Carliniya. Alviarin was there at the fight in TAR.
    She is even mentioned by name when Saerin reports on Carlinya's death
    But what about the tattoo? I think it means the mark that Shaidar Haran placed on her.
    A raven is a symbol of the shadow and RJ himself equated Shaidar Haran's mark to a tattoo.
    So I think that's the meaning of this vision and it was indeed resolved and was not a mistake.
  12. herid
    Here is my take on the Memories of Light, week 4.
    Monday December 17th:

    Clearly, this is a woman speaking and it's somebody whose offer of aid would seem suspicious to Perrin. My best guess is that it's Tylee. She mentioned that she is fond of Perrin (tGS Prologue) and she fits the bill really well.

    Tuesday December 18th:

    I think Rand just realized that somebody is not the person they were pretending to be. I would really like this to be Taim as I still think that the current Taim is not the original Mazrim Taim but an impostor.
    Wednesday December 19th:

    The speaker is obviously Rand. None of the Forsaken would say anything of the sort. Since this much is immediately obvious, why is this memory being given to us? What is there to discuss? I think it's more about the content of the above passage, rather than about who the speaker is. It looks like boring philosophizing at first glance (that was my first reaction) but perhaps there is more to it than that. Rand is talking about the necessity of balance between the Light and the Darkness, a recurrent theme in WoT. What he is saying is that even if the DO were not around the Dark would come eventually. This may be related to the idea that even if the DO is killed or permanently removed from the Pattern there will be a need for the Dragon in the future. The main quote that I think proves that the DO will survive (from tEoTW prologue) rather carefully says that the Dark will come again many times, not the Dark One.
    I don't much like this as I don't find the idea of a superhuman messianic figure as a Dragon being necessary to fight regular human created evil. However, it does agree with the cosmology of WoT where ta'veren are needed from time to time to fix problems in the Pattern and it might be necessary to bring out the big gun (the Dragon) once in a long while to fix major problems.
    I still don't believe the DO will be killed however. I think this memory is more about the fact that even if Rand seals the Bore as well as possible the Dragon will still be needed in the future even if the Bore remains closed.

    Thursday December 20th:

    I don't have many ideas about this one. Obviously, Cadsuane has just learned something extremely dire. She is not prone to swearing. In fact, as far as I can tell, she never swore onscreen even once!
    The other thing that strikes me here is that Cadsuane's back was apparently turned to whoever "them" is. So whatever just happened might have something to do with what's going on behind Cadsuane. How did she sense it then?
    It likely involves channeling (either saidin or saidar) that Cadsuane sensed using her ter'angreal.

    Friday December 21st:

    Uno is swearing at something. That's not exactly new.
    Other than seemingly inappropriate use of the word "blasphemy" (Uno swears a lot but blasphemy means something else altogether in WoT) I see nothing of interest in this memory.

    Saturday December 22nd:

    First, it's been mentioned quite often that peaches are believed to be poisonous in the world of WoT. There is some contradictory info in interviews about whether or not this belief is actually correct. This RJ's quote says that it is
    But this one by Harriet suggests that it all may be a mistake and only the peach pits are poisonous and the fruits themselves are not.
    I think that Harriet is wrong on this one. Firstly, RJ is the Creator and he is quite unambiguous about the subject. I'll take his word on this over anybody else's any time. Furthermore, there are several instances in the books supporting the notion that peaches really are poisonous. Firstly, during the fake assassination attempt on Elayne in WH the assassins knives were smeared with peach powder
    Nynaeve is a wisdom so she knows about poisons. And she makes a distinction between peach pits and their flesh. This suggests that she actually had experience testing both, else she would not know that one is more deadly than the other. It also shows that at least peach pits are very poisonous. In our world peach pits contain some cyanide but they are far from being as deadly as Nyn suggests.
    Even more interestingly, a casual remark by Demandred suggests that peaches were not poisonous in the AoL but they are now.
    Given that peaches were apparently not poisonous in the AoL it would be natural for Demandred to question the current belief about them being poisonous now. The fact that he does not suggests that he has some evidence that this belief is not mere supposition based on the fact that peach pits are poisnous.
    Lastly, I have a very strong hunch that this memory is related to the following item from Leigh Butler's review
    If this is the case then it's not just a gag and has some real plot relevance although judging by Leigh's reaction not a huge one. The most fitting IMO would be if one of the Forsaken died by eating peaches in ignorance of them being poisonous. This is very unlikely though since all of the Forsaken should know about this by now. Not sure what else this could be. It may be that peaches have stopped being poisonous or that somebody developed a nonpoisonous variety. That doesn't really fit however, as neither would really qualify as being relevant.

    Sunday December 23rd:

    This immediately reminds me of the Robin Hood stories. Don't see why this would be relevant though. The person Birgitte is speaking to is most likely Mat or possibly Elayne. Nobody else speaks to Birgitte so freely about her past and few people know about it. Most likely it's Mat since Elayne never discussed such things with Birgitte onscreen.
    What Forest is being discussed? There are not many that have names in WoT that I can recall. Westwood in the Two Rivers, Great Blackwood across the river from the Two Rivers. It is however rather unlikely that either one is involved. Both are quite remote and would not be associated with any Birgitte stories. Certainly none of the Two River people ever mentioned anything of the sort.
    There is also Braem Wood north of Caemlyn, where the Borderlander armies were sitting in WH. It's a possibility although I don't know what Mat or Elayne or Birgitte would be doing there. It's sufficiently far from Caemlyn not to be involved in that battle or in the battle for the BT. Lastly, there is Haddon Mirk in Tear. Various rebels against Rand hid there so perhaps it's involved in some military operation although again, hard to see why. But it's likely one of these two. The Forest should be well known and have a name to have one of the legends about Birgitte attached to it.
  13. herid
    Monday November 26th:  
    Rand thinking about the fat man angreal. He could have retrieved it post VoG, most likely based on the info he got from Verin's red letter she left for him in the Tower. The next day after getting to Tear Rand went somewhere to fetch something
    Could easily be the fat man angreal if he only just found out about it from Verin's letter. The fat man need not be touched to be used (tFoH, ch 21). This explains how Rand could channel so powerfully at Maradon. He just had the angreal in his pocket. This would also fit the following item from Leigh Butler's review:

    Tuesday November 27th:  
    The most fun explanation here is that this is somebody talking to Androl who turns out to be Jain Farstrider's son. I've always thought of Androl as a kind of Jain Farstrider Junior based on how well traveled he is. However, this is probably false because if Jain had a son he'd definitely tell Mat to contact him in the last moments of his life. He didn't and instead mentioned Malkieri in general. There is a (very) slight chance that this may still be right because the TG scene was written by RJ and pretty much the whole Androl story line seems to be due to BS. Androl shows up only once and that only very briefly before tGS (in the CoT prologue) and there is absolutely nothing remarkable about him in that scene. As a result of the author switch there are some rather ugly untidy ends in the TG scene, like Mat telling Moiraine that Morgase is dead (Perrin already told him about his travels by that point and he could not leave Morgase out). Jain forgetting that Androl is his sone might be one of those things. (Very unlikely, I know). A more plausible explanation is that it's somebody talking to an Aiel. The Aiel go to Shara so it could be anybody. This could be Rand and Avi's pillow-talk, could be Faile talking to Bain or Chiad, could be Perrin talking to Gaul etc. Too many possibilities to pick a definite one.

    Wednesday November 28th: Loial.

    Thursday November 29th: This one is tricky. I think it's somebody (probably Egwene) talking to Elayne, Alanna or Avi (probably Alanna) about Rand's bond after Rand is captured by the Dark side and needs to be killed. Even if this is wrong I don't believe it's a Dark Side character asking. They wouldn't want Rand's bond even if they could get it. They know about Alanna and the fact that she can't control Rand through the bond. Elza knew for sure and Nalaene likely knows too. At least one of them (probably Elza) was in communication with Mesaana and/or Demandred. Mesaana mentions in tGS, prologue that they had a spy present during the capture of Semi in KoD. Shaidar Haran also might have questioned Elza in tGS but it's not clear how much time he had for that. So I don't see much point for any Dark Sider in wanting to bond Rand. No benefits gained and instead they would give Rand a bead on their location.
    Edit: I think the speaker is most likely Egwene. There were a couple of early foreshadowings that Rand will be Egwene's warder. And he might end up one, at least for a time, in the above scenario. In tEoTW Ewgene tells Rand
    Min's viewing seems to preclude this possibility but actually, it does not. What Min told Rand specifically was
    At that point in the story Egwene and Rand wanted to marry each other. So the viewing excludes that, but it does not exclude the possibility of Rand becoming Egwene's warder.
    There is another foreshadowing in tGH when Elayne tells Egwene
    This suggests specifically that Rand will be Egwene's warder but she won't marry him.

    Friday November 30th:  
    No idea. Obviously, they are talking about some very dire news that would be considered very dire by everybody, including Tuon. Don't know what news and don't know who Mat is talking to. Could be Moiraine, could be Egwene, could be Elayne, could by Nyn, could be any Aes Sedai really. Could be Setalle.

    Saturday December 1st:  
    This one is tricky too. The first thing I would say is that this is written by RJ given apparent regression in Galad's thinking about doing the right thing. Next, Galad will likely play a very important role in the Last Battle. There are various theories on the subject. Personally, I have him fitted for being a Mordred parallel but he is also a Galahad parallel and this quote might be related to that. He could be the Broken Champion from the second Dark prophecy and the above quote might also be related to this part of Leigh's review
    I think this is about Galad bringing a sword to fight the DO or possibly Moridin or Shaidar Haran. Nothing good will come out of any of these encounters and Galad will likely bite the dust as a result. No other outcome can be expected in such confrontation.

    Sunday December 2nd:  
    Somebody suggesting to Ituralde that they have to use the Ways to get somewhere. There is a foreshadowing that this might be necessary.
    The interesting thing is why using the Ways would be necessary. Perhaps Traveling will be compromised in some fashion beyond problems presented by dreamspikes (there is only one left).

    Monday December 3rd:  
    There are some completely nutty interpretations of this one floating around such as that this is not Egwene's dream and "She" might refer to somebody else other than Egwene. This is obviously wrong but I can't say much more beyond that. Looks very cryptic.
    Somebody on the Tor website spoiler thread suggested that the glass pillar of light might represent the OP and the fact that it's frozen means the access to the OP is unavailable. This can only happen temporarily (would also agree with the pillar being frozen) since we know for sure that the OP will be present past the LB. But perhaps something will happen that will make the True Source temporarily unreachable during the LB. There have been references to saidar failing wards not holding etc. This could explain why Ituralde would need to use the Ways in memory #7. It could also explain why Rand might need a Well replacing the used up Eye of the World. The latter reason is problematic however since it doesn't account for saidar which will also be needed in the Sealing. But really, this is extremely tenuous.
    Basically, I got nothin' here.

    Tuesday December 4th:  
    If this is written after Mat gets together with Tuon and she supervises his writing I'm sure it would be much neater than before. Another (very remote) possibility is that the letter is a fake.
    Wednesday December 5th:  
    This one might look simple but I haven't seen a completely satisfactory explanation yet. It's pretty clear that "she" is talking to the air because the person she is addressing is no longer there. Why would that be? Possibly because the scene takes place in TAR. Or it could take place in the real world and "she" is addressing a Hero of the Horn who just disappeared back to Tar after being called by the Horn. Let's list various possibilities.
    Luckers' idea that it's Lanfear speaking to Rand sarcastically right after she balefires him. This would explain everything including the promise to meet in a dream soon (Rand is supposed to serve her before and after death according to the first Dark prophecy). But it really doesn't sound like her. There would be at least one mention of Lews Therin in there somewhere if that was Lanfear. Somebody is speaking to a Hero of the Horn shortly after the LB is over and the Heroes go back to TAR. The problem is that the HoH follow the precepts and stay away from visitors once they are in TAR. The only exception is Birgitte. But she doesn't fit either because the person speaking is addressing the air. If Birgitte dies she will leave a body behind and won't just vanish. Elayne speaking to Birgitte in TAR after Birgitte dies. Elayne addressing Birgitte in such a formal manner? No way. And why is she speaking to the air? The speaker is the one dying and it's an Aiel, in which case "until I dream again" means "until I'm reborn again". But why are they addressing air then and not a real person in this case? And why would they expect to meet whoever they are speaking to in their next life? neither makes sense. The action takes place in TAR, whoever the speaker is addressing just died and their body disappeared from TAR which is why the speaker is addressing the air. But again the "until I dream again" part doesn't work whether or not the speaker is an Aiel. a conversation between two characters (Siuan and Moiraine were suggested) after one of them dies normally and "until I dream again" just means an ordinary dream and neither TAR, nor a rebrith. Quite sure that's not it. This is not how things work in WoT. The phrasing is wrong too. If this were the meaning the speaker should have said "I'll be dreaming of you" or something like that or at least clarify what they meant. Two people are speaking in TAR, nobody dies and one of them addresses the air because the other one is already gone. Unlikely for two reasons. First, leaving without saying goodbye is rude. The person who is no longer there should have stuck around till both people involved said their goodbyes. Secondly, the language is quite formal. It really sounds like a final goodbye and nor a regular one. So far I can't come up with a completely satisfactory explanation for this memory. Perhaps after Birgitte dies (I'm sure she will) she comes back as a Hero of the Horn and it's somebody (Elayne?!) talking to her after she disappears back to TAR. We know that Birgitte is one HoH who doesn't mind breaking the precepts so she might actually talk to the speaker when the speaker shows up in TAR.

    Thursday December 6th:  
    Obviously, Mat is speaking to a Seanchan. It can't be Tuon or Selucia because none of them are prone to gawking. They both also know about his foxhead so would not be surprised that Mat expects to be able to deal with some channelers. My guess is that Mat is speaking to a suldam who doesn't know Mat very well. Hard to say who Mat is speaking about. The fact that he says "channelers" suggests that either he is facing a totally unfamiliar group of channelers (like Ayyad) or a mixed group like Aes Sedai and Wise Ones together. It could also mean some Dark Side forces which Mat is not able to examine closely before engaging them. They could be discussing an impending battle but it can also be something else such as a negotiation.

    Friday December 7th:  
    Either Avi to Rand or Tuon to Mat. The former is a little more likely IMO but either one is possible.

    Saturday December 8th:  
    Balefire is one obvious guess but I doubt that's what it is. The Wise Ones know very well that balefire is not to be used, especially after Natrin's Barrow. Also, I don't believe anybody but Aes Sedai know how to make balefire so Amys using the phrase "all our allies" would be somewaht strange. Of course, it's possible that others are taught balefire by this point in the story and the Wise Ones discover that balefire is particularly dangerous to the Pattern now, even more so than it was before. But I still suspect some other weave is meant here. Perhaps the Wise Ones have discovered that Traveling has been compromised. Possibly the weaves are failing because everything seems to be failing right now (the wards against vermin and spoilage are not holding and so on). perhaps things have been destabilized to such degree that Traveling has become dangerous for the users. Saidin Traveling involves boring a hole in the Pattern which may become too destructive given the weakened state of the Pattern. Saidar Traveling involves making two places in the pattern identical. This does not sound too destructive but perhaps it is. This might explain why using the Ways may be necessary. However, if Traveling is compromised it's not at all clear how they are supposed to spread the word to all of their allies. The scene is unlikely to take place at FOM and the forces of the Light will be spread over wide space after that. The dreamwalkers can contact others in Dream but that takes a lot of time and effort and there are only two of them left since Bair has gone to Rhuidean.

    Sunday December 9th:  
    I would really like this snippet to be in response to something like this
    The main interesting thing here is that italic is used instead of quotation marks. This means that we are not talking about oral communication. This could be maiden's handtalk. Perhaps Avi or Amys is one of the speakers. Or it could be one of the Wise Ones speaking to Egwene in the dreamspace where they don't have bodies. They can easily say something that would piss Egwene off royally. They've done this a number of times already but she's kept her tongue for the most part so far. Tuon and Selucia also use sign language but I serously doubt it's them even if this is from after Tuon changes her mind about the damane situation (which will happen for sure). Even after this happens neither Tuon nor Selucia will know much about what should or should not be mentioned to Aes Sedai. Nobody else who might know will have enough time to learn their sign language.

    Monday December 10th:  
    Cadsuane discussing with some Light Siders the necessity of killing Rand after he is taken over by the DO. The main thing of interest here is how Cadsuane would know that it's simple to stop a man's heart. She is bound by the Oaths and would not have any first hand experience in the matter. I doubt she's been practicing on some DF's or even on animals (that would be simply creepy). Don't know how to explain this.

    Tuesday December 11th:  
    No good idea on this one. Sounds like an Aiel or an Aes Sedai talking but no idea what the subject is. Sure hope it's not Perrin's refusal to use his wolf side again when it might be needed. But it sounds like it's something similar to that.

    Wednesday December 12th:  
    Obviously, Rand stating his demands at FOM. One of the demands will be Peace. We know that. The other two? One might be about the treatment of male channelers. Few accept that saidin has been cleansed and rand is quite upset about it. Don't know what else he could ask for. It could be a short term request about the command structure for fighting in the Last Battle. He needs to secure overall command.
    Thursday December 13th:  
    This is quite interesting. First, whatever has happened to Selucia? She is currently both Tuon's Voice and her Truthspeaker (and her Shadow of course) but Tuon wants to keep her as a Truthspeaker and get a new Voice. Did she fall out favor? died? Also, who did Tuon ignore? Looks like it was somebody arguing with Tuon and there are not many who'd do that outside of Selucia. Who is Tuon's new Thruthspeaker? I seriously doubt it's another Forsaken or a DF. That game has been played out already. As a plot twist it would be too repetitive. My best guess is that this is after Tuon changes her mind on the damane issue. It would be fitting if her new Thruthspeaker was an Aes Sedai. An Aes Sedai advisor to a ruler in Randlands plays pretty much the same role as a Thruthspeaker for a Seanchan Empress. The fact that Tuon sees fit to reinforce the notion that the Truthspeaker is not to be touched agrees with the idea that it's an Aes Sedai. Even after Tuon changes her mind about the Aes Sedai, it may take her subjects some time to accept the change. I don't have a high degree of confidence on the identity of the Aes Sedai in question (except I'm sure it will NOT be Nynaeve as Terez thinks). It would be really cool if mistress Anan was Healed and became Tuon's Soe'feia. There is some measure of trust and understanding there already.
    Friday December 14th:  
    The second speaker is clearly Mat but who is he speaking to? I doubt he is addressing Tuon here judging by the tone. Perhaps, Joline or Leilwin? or maybe Aludra? Could be Elayne or even Perrin. Actually, Perrin would be might first choice as it fits his speech pattern as written by BS:
    The interaction fits how BS writes Mat and Perrin together too.
    But the problem is that if it's Perrin then the scene takes place soon after Mat gets back from the ToG and Perrin should know exactly what Mat has been about and should not ask such dumb questions. No firm guess on this one.

    Saturday December 15th:  
    No doubt about this one. It's Rand and Tam sparring. Leigh Butler had the following line in her review
    I guessed right away that this was about Rand sparring with Tam and this memory confirms it. Without Leigh's review this memory would have been a lot more intriguing than it turned out to be.

    Sunday December 16th:  
    Probably at FOM, after all the disagreements are patched up.
  14. herid
    This theory is mostly a variation of a theory by Linda at the thirteenth depository but I disagree with her on one very important point. I would also like to  address a fair amount of additional evidence which she doesn't consider and so I want to record the whole thing here.

    In short, I believe that the Aiel will have to return to the Way of the Leaf after the Last Battle.

    Let's start from the beginning. At the end of tEoTW when Rand meets the Green Man,  the Green man says a number of interesting things to him.

    The first covenant is the term used in the AOL for the Way of the Leaf. BS mentioned on twitter that this scene is full of foreshadowings. I bet this is one of them.

    Next comes an Aiel prophecy mentioned by Urien in TGH

    What were the Aiel places of old? In the AOL the Da’shain Aiel served the Aes Sedai and followed the Way of the Leaf. They also had an ability to amplify channeling using Singing along with the Ogier and the Nym. This seems to have been closely related to the Way of the Leaf.
    Both the Ogier and the Nym were completely peaceful. The Ogier this side of the ocean largely remain so and they are the only ones who retain any Singing ability at the moment. It would be interesting to see if the Seanchan Ogier retained this ability as well. They appear to be a much more militant bunch.
    But in any case, the core of what the Aiel were was the Way of the Leaf (just as it is ji'e'toh now). Rand sees this in his visions in Rhuidean

    One might reasonably suppose that becoming the servants of Aes Sedai might qualify as "taking back the Aiel places of old" but it's pretty clear that this is not the meaning of this prophecy. The Aiel attitudes toward Aes Sedai changed quite a bit and they will never go for it. Also, Egwene spent a good bit of time in ToM setting up a fairly elaborate structure of future relations between the White Tower and the Aiel. If they Aiel were going to become servants of the Aes Sedai none of this would be necessary and  would only waste highly valuable screen time.
    Besides, there are several more clues pointing to the Aiel returning to the Way of the Leaf which I will address below.
    In TDR, ch 34 Gaul tells Perrin of another Aiel prophecy

    One can argue that this has already happened but I don't think so. The Aiel haven't changed fundamentally yet. And neither have they found what they lost yet in any meaningful way.  Both things are yet to happen.

    Another Aiel prophecy that Rand sees in his visions in Rhuidean say that

    so far Rand has not tied the Aiel with the bonds they can not break. Also, the part that he will destroy the Aiel can not be literal because another prophecy says that he will save a remnant of a remnant (more on that later). This means that the prophecy speaks of the destruction of what the Aiel are. This has not happened yet. I believe that the Aiel will be a part of the Peace of the Dragon where they will decide to accept the Way of the leaf after the LB. So while the decision to return to the Way will be made before the LB, the actual act of doing so will happen after the LB is over. This will be the bonds they can not break the prophecy speaks of.
    Another prophecy from the The Karaethon Cycle that Moiraine mentions in TDR I think also points to this

    Here  is where my interpretation differs substantially from Linda's. She thinks that the Aiel will have to convert to the Way before the LB and will not take part in the fighting. I think that's wrong for several reasons. First, there is a rather persistent theme in the series that every last man will be needed to fight the LB. Throwing away hundreds of thousands of excellent warriors before the LB is fought makes no sense. There is another prophecy indicating that this won't happen.

    This means that Rand will use up most of the Aiel in the fighting. This hasn't happened yet.

    Another possibly relevant prophecy

    This can refer to a number of things. The damane positions among the Seanchan  is one.  The adoption of the Way of the Leaf by the Aiel is another.  It would certainly turn things upside down in their society.

    In TOM we get a couple more interesting clues. The first and the most important one is from Avi's visions in Rhuidean. They are often completely misunderstood and many people think that they show  Avi's  descendants being responsible for leading the Aiel on the road to oblivion. Nothing can be further from the truth.  Let's briefly look at the last two visions as they are clearly the most significant ones. The Oncala POV elicits a strong emotional reaction both from the readers and from Avi herself on account of Oncala so clearly being a horrible person.

    But is this charge justified? Let's see what really happened in that scene.
    Oncala doesn't say anything during the crucial negotiations and Hehyal does all the talking

    After the negotiations are over we learn that the idea to trick Talana was Hehyal's

    We also learn that Hehyal planned this for years.

    So what does this all amount to?  While the reader hates Oncala for the despicable human being that she is, she is actually little more than a bystander in the whole scene.
    She keeps her mouth very firmly shut throughout the entire negotiations with Talana, and we learn that Hehyal was the one who came up with the plan to trick Talana, stole the plans from the Seanchan, did all the talking with Talana and was actually trying to involve the Andorans in the war for years. Yet the reader assigns most if not all the blame for what happens to Oncala because it's her POV and she is so clearly wicked. This is a very clever misdirection of guilt by BS which is part of the reason I like this scene so much.

    The last vision (Padra's POV) is even more important for understanding the true purpose of the visions. The readers tend to blame Rand and Avi's kids for the decision to go to war with the Seanchan. But again, is this justified?
    Padra (and presumably the other kids) had nothing to do with the meeting. Padra had no clue what was going on there or what was on the agenda.  The agenda was clearly set the the clan chiefs. There are 11 of them and they all speak before any of Rand's kids say anything. The vote is 9 to 2 in favor of war before any of the kids say a word. They might share some blame but they are not the deciders. They are kids. Their opinions matter but the  real deciders are the clan chiefs. They are the ones driving the decision to attack the Seanchan. And  we see exactly what is driving them.

    The indicators of what went wrong are spread nice and  thick here including the very last line of the visions. The Aiel went to war because they needed a purpose as a people and their purpose has been to be warriors. This was going to happen eventually no matter what. That's the real lesson of the visions and not Avi's lack of parenting skills.
    This is what has to change. The Aiel need a new purpose as a people.  They need something else other than war to give them honor. Returning to the Way of the Leaf and finding honor in peace as opposed to war fits right in here.
    But when should this happen, before or after the LB? I already gave some arguments why I think this should happen after the LB.

    The Nakomi encounter (TOM, ch 39) provides another. Whoever Nakomi is, she pushes Avi to start thinking of the need for the Aiel to change.

    There is no disagreement between Avi and Nakomi up to that point. They both think that by fighting in the LB the Aiel will meet their toh for abandoning the Way of the Leaf. Avi only goes astray when it comes to the question of  what the Aiel should do after the LB

    What Nakomi is saying that once the Aiel fight in the LB they will fulfill their purpose as warriors and will need something new. Moreover, by fighting in the LB the Aiel will finally meet their toh for abandoning the Way of the Leaf. But after toh is met one should stop doing what gained one toh in the first place. In this case it means that the Aiel have to go back to their state before they incurred toh, i.e. they need to change their warrior culture and go back to the Way of the Leaf.

    However, the Way by itself is not a purpose. It's just a way of life. The Aiel need a more clearly defined purpose too. I'm fairly hazy on what exactly that will be. As I said before, I don't think the Aiel will become the servants of the Aes Sedai as they were in the AOL.
    I do think that Rand will teach them the Song and they together with the Ogier will recover that part of their old functions. This is hinted at very early on

    RJ formed the notion of Singing very early on. We have indications that LTT could do it. In tEoTW prologue he says to Ishy

    Rand now has full access to LTT's memories so he is primed for the task. It will likely be much needed too because even after the LB is over the world will be in a pretty ravaged state and Seed Singing will be very helpful in returning it to normalcy as the above passage indicates. It's from the fourth age, so from after the LB and presumably the author knew what he was writing about.

    We learn from Avi's visions in Rhuidean that  part of the problem with the Peace of the Dragon in the visions is the absence of enforcement.

    It is possible that part of the new purpose of the Aiel will be enforcement of the Peace of the Dragon.
    Given that the Aiel will return to the Way of the Leaf I'm not sure exactly how they will go about it. As some sort of unarmed UN peacekeepers perhaps? 
  15. herid
    Rand wants to kill the DO for good. Will he manage that unlikely feat? I believe the answer is "NO".
     First, a closely related question is whether or not time will remain circular after the LB. BS said the following on the subject.
    If the Wheel of Time remains a wheel the time will be cyclical. That's what cyclical time means.RJ had  some  similar quotes too. E.g. this one
    This is pretty definitive about time remaining circular IMO. Time remaining circular is often linked to the DO surviving in the books. The biggest clue to both is actually given in the prologue of book 1 of the series:
    The first bolded part reconfirms that the time will remain circular but it also says that the Dragon will be needed to fight the Dark in the future. Certainly, if the DO was permanently killed people would know  about it after the LB was over (the quote is from the fourth age) and would not say this.
    Also, the second bolded part says that the Dragon will be repeated reborn in the future.  The function of the Dragon is to fight the DO. He is never born for any other reason. RJ said that Rand's soul can be reborn as a regular person and need not come as a Dragon every time he is reborn.
    This passage is repeated for a good measure at the end of TGH. (BTW, it also says that Rand will bring the Song back and it might play a role in the LB but that is a different subject altogether.)
    The header of TGH points very strongly in that direction too.
    That's a prophecy so it's got to hold unless the DO breaks the wheel which we know won't happen.  The bolded part also strongly couples the repeated rebirths (including the future ones) of the Dragon with fighting the Shadow.
    For my money the above quotes are sufficient to settle the issue but there are a few other clues that I find interesting even though they are much less definitive than the ones I cited earlier.
    First, there is a note from Herid Fel to Rand
    This note is clearly of rather large importance in the books. It's also beyond doubt that the part "Have to clear rubble before you can build" speaks about the necessity of breaking the existing seals before building new seals (or whatever will take their place). If the DO was going to be killed this would not be really necessary or of any great importance. Furthermore, Herid Fel expressed rather firm opinion that it's beyond Rand's capacity to seal the Bore perfectly.
    If this is beyond the Dragon's abilities, killing the DO should be quite out of the question. Now, of course, Herid Fel may be mistaken about this but I don't think he is. I has a strong feeling that he is speaking with the voice of the Creator (I mean RJ of course) about all these matters. LTT thought much the same thing in the last moments of his life
    I think the references from tEoTW prologue are particularly important because RJ said repeatedly that he knew how the series was going to end from the very start and tailored tEoTW prologue  with the ending in mind.
    Next, there is a constant theme in the series that there has to be a balance between the good and the bad. This is repeatedly mentioned when discussing Rand's ta'veren nature. It's mentioned in other situations too. Thom spells it out in TDR in a conversation with Mat.
    In ToM the same idea is further accentuated when Gawyn discusses bloodknives with Kaisea:
    Moridin believes this too.
    Moridin doesn't have to be right about this of course but it's quite clear that he is not lying here and actually believes what he says. And Rand  is acting fairly dumb in this scene. He totally misses another useful (and true!) fact that Moridin tells him right before which is that their link was the reason he managed to get into Moridin's dream. I believe that Moridin is correct on both counts here and Rand will eventually find that out, likely  painfully, in both cases. What might happen is that Rand will try to kill the DO and fail. Killing the DO seems to be his plan A at the moment. It would certainly be preferable to simply sealing the DO away.
    Here is how it may possibly happen. There is a good reason to believe that Rand will have to go to Shayol Ghul twice.
    It has been long noticed that the prophecy "He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one" means that Rand will get himself a second hand at some point.
    On the other hand, on the AMOL cover we see Rand, Moiraine and Nynaeve going to the Pit of Doom. His left hand is behind his back but the artist confirmed that this is just to hide the stump. If that info is correct it means that Rand won't have his left hand back by that point. The only explanation I can see for this is that the AMOL cover shows Rand's first trip to Shayol Ghul, later he gets his left hand back (say, by dying and being pushed out of TAR by Nyn), then goes to Shayol Ghul the second time and seals the Bore.
    Another clue in this direction noticed by Suttree on the forums is the following quote from TSR
    This is a typical foreshadowing. We know that one  half of it has been fulfilled by Nynaeve herself and the other one is likely on the way. This ties in nicely with references to Nynaeve healing a man dead three days.
    Nynaeve pushing Rand out of TAR would neatly fulfill both things.

    So what would Rand be doing at Shayol Ghul on his first trip there? We can assume with reasonable certainty that he is going to break the seals there. That's his firm intention and the line of the second dark prophecy "and the First Among Verminlifts his hand to bring freedom to Him who will Destroy" supports this too, provided that the First Among Vermin means Rand, of course. But this can't be all he wants to do at SG. He can break the seals anywhere, no need to go to Shayol Ghul for that. The seals are very brittle now and are easily breakable.
    As I said, Rand's plan A seems to be to go to SG, break the seals and kill the DO. I believe that's what he'll try to do. He'll succeed in the former but not the latter. The attempt to kill the DO should exhaust Rand quite a bit. It should be a much harder affair than Maradon and he was very tired after that. This should then make him vulnerable and then there will be counterstrike by one of the Dark Siders which should eventually lead to Rand's death. He even hinted that  something like that might happen after the Maradon fight.
    Lastly, let me mention that I used to think that there was an (admittedly very remote) possibility that Fain will replace the DO as the primary source of evil. But a couple of quotes by BS pretty much rule that out.
    This pretty much says that Fain is nowhere up to snuff to kill the DO despite what he himself may think. And another quote
    This is from before tGS but it still shows what BS thinks of Fain as a  character and of his power relative other characters. BS had access to the notes by then so if Fain was going to have a really grand role like killing or replacing the DO, BS would never say this. Incidentally, IMO this quote also pretty much guarantees that Ishy will not turn back to the Light  (not that I ever for a moment believed that he would).
    In summary, the DO won't be killed or replaced and the cyclical time will continue as before. It is possible (and even likely  IMO), however, that the sealing of the Bore this time around  will be somehow special. I don't know how but  I do expect there to be a twist of some sort.
    Update: I believe memory #24 might be relevant to the above discussion.
    The speaker is obviously Rand. None of the Forsaken would say anything of the sort. Since this much is immediately obvious, why is this memory being given to us? What is there to discuss? I think it's about the content of the above passage, rather than of who the speaker is. It looks like boring philosophizing at first glance but perhaps there is more to it than that. Rand is talking about the necessity of  balance between the Light and the Darkness, a recurrent theme in WoT which I highlighted earlier. What he is saying is that even if the DO were not around the Dark would come eventually. This may be related to the idea that even if the DO is killed or permanently removed from the Pattern there will be a need for the Dragon in the future. The main quote that I think proves that the DO will survive (from tEoTW prologue) rather carefully says that the Dark will come again many times, not the Dark One. I don't much like this as I don't find the idea of a superhuman  messianic figure as a Dragon being necessary to fight regular human created evil. However, it does agree with the cosmology of WoT where ta'veren are needed from time to time to fix problems in the Pattern and it might be necessary to bring out the big gun (the Dragon)  once in a long while to fix major problems.
    I still don't believe the DO will be killed however. I think this memory is more about the fact that even if Rand seals the Bore as well as possible the Dragon will still be needed in the future even if the Bore remains closed.
  16. herid
    First the general impression. I was very glad to see chapter 1 released as I was starved for new material and developments. But the chapter itself is just so-so from the literary perspective. Basically ok  but nothing I'll want to reread just for the pleasure of it.  The writing seems  rushed at times and BS seems to be having difficulties handling so many major characters at once. In some places it feels little more than slightly thickened plot outline - this character did that and moved there. Quite a number of retcons  are squeezed in, no doubt to address fandom concerns about this or that mistake. I don't mind that in general but some retcons are a bit clumsy. Another unfortunate result of not doing a reread before starting to write AMOL.
    I'm really confused by the description of destroyed Tarren Ferry. What happened there? It was completely rebuilt after it was almost destroyed during the Trolloc invasion in TSR. Was it attacked again recently? Or did something else happen there? The reference to feral dogs suggests that it's been destroyed a while back. Looks like a continuity error. Despite Rand's presence it's mentioned twice that there are clouds over Merrilor. First, describing people gathered there
    And later
    I complained about a similar reference to clouds over Merrilor in the prologue. The second quote suggests a possible explanation - that Rand's influence is weakening. But I suspect the bolded part is a retcon. There were no clouds just a few hours earlier (TOM, CH 56). And there is another retcon about the wines which looks to have been inserted in a similar way. Rand tells Perrin about the Trolloc invasion in the Two Rivers. When an excerpt from chapter 1 was first published a lot of people immediately complained that Perrin and Rand talked about it in great detail already  in LoC, ch 45. This was obviously retconned later when the full chapter 1 was released with the following exchange
    This feels rather clumsy to me. I would have preferred saying that he just wanted to hear it again because it's a good story. That's a fairly natural thing to do. Of course, it would have been better still if this mistake was never made in the first place or if it was caught in beta reading. As mistakes go it's a rather big one. Another retcon that was not in the originally released version of chapter 1.
    Without the retcon this was in contradiction to Moridin's opinion from tPOD, prologue that
    This was a minor  thing though and didn't bother me either way. Is this a ghost of Christmas past?! Beralna, who has not been mentioned since LoC shows up. I'm pleasantly surprised that BS didn't use another random new character as is his wont. Demandred/Roedran is cooking something up
    He seemed to have ignored an earlier offer from Egwene:
    Something is fishy here. Why would Roedran ignore an offer from Egwene and accept an offer from one of his bitter rivals all the while complaining about it?  Is this some effort to divert Elayne? Rand and Balwer talk about their spies in Elayne's camp and her spies in Rand's camp. Besides being pretty sickening it makes no sense in terms of timeline. Both Elayne and Rand got to Merrilor just a few hours ago. What kind of spies do they have who are able to infiltrate the opposing camps, get useful info and report back? Are they superspies? little James Bonds? Rand's reaction to the earthquake
    This is a Fisher King effect of being one with the land. In the middle of Rand's POV after Rand praises Balwer we get this
    This again makes no sense as they have only just met. Or it's a momentary POV change which is bad too. Egwene Travels directly into Elayne's tent. Shouldn't this be supremely dangerous? Yet, Rand did basically the same when visiting Mat (Loc, ch 33). And the Forsaken do this to each other regularly. I never understood it.  Do they know some trick not to open a gateway on top of somebody? When Egwene shows up in Elayne's tent Elayne kisses her ring (is it really necessary? they are alone) and Birgitte does nothing. Some weird etiquette here. Egwene is being way too reasonable (kind of)  about breaking the seals question. Another nod to the fans? There was a lot of (IMO justifiable) complaining about her position in TOM. Egwene rubs her temples when the subjects of the seals comes up. This used to be a regular sign of Aran'gar induced headaches. I recall somebody suggested on the forums that Aran'gar compelled Egwene. I poo pooed the idea but this could explain her generally asinine stance on the matter of the seals. Birgitte is wearing a sword again. Where is her bow? It's nowhere in sight. And it hasn't been seen in ToM either. This feels very wrong. It was sort of explained in ToM why she started wearing a sword but she would never totally give up the bow. So Talmanes lives, at least for a while. That means that terez' pipe theory is still alive too. LOL, could the meeting of Leilwin and Egwene have been made any more anti-climatic? Leilwin: "Hi, I'm Leilwin." Egwene:"Go stand there, I'm busy". after healing Talmanes
    Not sure if this is a mistake or Nyn is just unaware but Tam was wounded by a trolloc blade while Talmanes by a Myrddraal one and those are far deadlier.
    Egewene and Elayne think the captive means the DO but I suspect it might mean Rand. The first Dark Prophecy (from TGH) suggests that Rand will die and be held by the shadow in TAR even after death. Perrin and Egwene will likely have to knock some heads to free him so that Nyn can push him out of TAR. This will take some time, hence "wait upon the Light". And it will fulfill Min's viewing about Perrin needing to help Rand twice. This is my crazy theory of the day. Another BS introduced new term for previously described objects like archway (doorway), lunch (midday meal) and now orb instead of a globe of light. Reed and Kert. Sigh. Another pair of barely sketched new characters make a brief appearance never to be heard from again. This could be Perrin's ta'veren effect but I think it's also the "Belief and order give strength" effect. It's not tied to ta'veren. Tuon has it in abundance too. Not sure why but I find this passage really jarring. For one Rand Sedai was hardly masking his emotions in ToM. Quite the contrary. Rand suspects that Demandred is involved in the attack on Caemlyn. I'm certain he is right. He is the only real field general left for the shadow. Gholam are the only shadowspawn that can pass through gateways. Yet another retcon. That's a lot for just one chapter. Perrin suggests to hit the waygate to cut off the Trollocs flow. Makes sense but I'm betting Demandred is waiting for this. Is this where Rand will die or at least get a serious blow from Demandred? This ought to happen soon as I'm fairly certain that it should happen during the battle for Caemlyn to fulfill the parallel with the Arthurian myths (Mordred killing Arthur in the battle for Camlann). Rand's thought process looks really weird. It jumps about very suddenly. He is thinking of using Elayne?!  and then this
    I thought we were done with this nonsense at the end of TGS?! Is this bad writing or is it just the evidence that Rand is still mad ( which he is despite the changes)? I believe all his thinking especially about this is still tainted. Would be really interesting to see what he thinks of this issue once the madness on his mind is gone, which will have to happen one way or another before the end. Now that is madness talking for sure. I'm certain that Rand's madness won't be saving anybody. To elaborate, he still believes that he got access to LTTs memories because of the taint. I'm reasonably sure he is wrong. We see in early books that his access to the memories leaps ahead every time he channels huge amounts of saidin. This happens at the end of tEoTW, TDR, battle in Cairhien against Couladin etc. This often happens to the point when he is not sure who he is afterwards. There are two possibilities here. The first (the one Rand believes) is that this happens because saidin is tainted and when he channels a lot he absorbs a lot of the taint, gets more mad and this increases his access to LTT's memories. Or two, it's just the effect of a lot of saidin and the taint simply turns this into a mad voice of LTT but even if there was no taint at all he would still get access to the memories, just not in a mad way. That's what I believe. That's because the first time we see this happen at the end of tEoTW, he channels huge amounts of pure saidin from the Eye. There is no taint there so it can not be involved. Rand might still have a chance to unify all those at Merrilor before going off to Shayol Ghul to break the seals but what about the Seanchan? He has the Aelfinn answer implying that he really needs to unify with them too. The Dark Rand in tGS decided to just leave them behind but the new Rand seems to know better. Yet he appears to give no thought to the matter. Events are seriously in motion. I wonder when Rand will marry Min, Elayne and Avi to fulfill Min's vision about Elayne sharing her husband and Avi's vision from the first trip to Rhuidean about having sister-wives. This has to happen soon and everybody necessary (except maybe for Min's aunts) is in place at Merrilor.  But it doesn't look like a real good time for a wedding with the attack on Caemlyn already in progress.
  17. herid
    Some general comments and impressions first. Overall the prologue is so so. Not too bad but not too good either. It is certainly much weaker than the TOM prologue. That one had some of my favorite scenes in the whole series: the Apples first and the borderlander Tower scene. Nothing in the aMoL prologue comes anywhere close to either of those in terms of writing. My favorite part is probably the Isam POV. Some nice lines there. Nothing else really grabbed me though.
    My biggest complaint about it is the same as was with both TOM and tGS and it is this
    [begin rant]
    I LOATHE all these new random minor characters that BS keeps introducing! As I understand it, he is putting various fans, friends and so on in the books in this fashion. I could tolerate a few such inclusions but BS takes it to infinity and beyond. This is the LAST book of a 14 book series so can we please stop with the new guys?! Who are Sandip, Melten, Madwin, Dennel, Filger, Brynt and Ryden and what happened to all the old members of the Band so carefully developed by RJ? Where are Carlomin, Reimon, Edorion, Harnan, Metwyn and Mandevwin? Have they deserted? Been eaten by bears in the Altaran woods? Are they fired? sent off somewhere on a secret mission? Who the heck is the Wise One Kymer and why does she play such a prominent role in the Avi scene?
    I find that this treatment of minor characters hurts the quality of the books as it feels quite intrusive and destroys the cohesiveness of the world so carefully constructed by RJ. Worse, the vast majority of all these new people are very one dimensional and underdeveloped. I'm certain RJ would hate them. They remind me of a gag from "Понедельник начинается в субботу" by Strugatskys. There is an episode there when the main character gets into a very special time machine that travels not into the real future but into the future described in literature. Once there he meets a lot of strangely dressed people wearing e.g. a bright tie and yellow shoes (and nothing else) or dark glasses and a fancy hat (and again nothing else). He is very surprised and embarrassed until he realizes that this is simply how some authors describe their minor characters. This is exactly what most of those minor characters introduced by BS feel like to me. I can forgive a lot of things because for the most part I feel that BS is doing the best job he can with the series. But he is purposefully screwing things up with this crap and that drives me crazy.
    Well, another thing I find unforgivable is not doing a reread before starting on aMoL. That's at least two or maybe even three years after BS did his last full reread.
    [/ end rant]
    I don't like the Jarid Sarand part of the prologue. I understand that BS is just tying off a loose plot line but this is just way too anticlimactic. It's obvious that RJ originally intended something interesting for Jarid but as it is his escape after the battle for Caemlyn serves absolutely no purpose - he could have just as easily been killed off right then and nothing at all in what follows would have been affected. The same thing happened to Masema in tGS (should have died in Malden) and I hated that too. Both are written off like second rate sitcom characters.
    Talmanes doesn't have Olver with him. This is perfectly understandable but I wonder where Olver is. Presumably back in the camp with mistress Anan.
    So the BLANK in the Blight turns out to be a town. I believe some people (not me) on the forums guessed this correctly.
    I wonder how the Forsaken contact Isam when they need him. It was never explained in the books. He's been summoned to the Town. But exactly how do they summon him?
    Isam:This seems weird. A wooden table worn with age would normally be polished with age too and not produce splinters. Quite the opposite, usually. Is this some effect of the Blight or of the vicinity of Shayol Ghul?
    The Samma N’Sei walk around with their veils raised and lower them only when they kill. This is the exact opposite of what regular Aiel do and indicates the effect of Turning on them. As I recall RJ once described the result of Turning as becoming a mirror image of oneself.
    What kind of constraints are those? It's hard to think of anything. The only constraints the Black Ajah have that we know of come from their oaths to the DO. Perhaps the Samma N’Seis have similar oaths. Yet it's never mentioned that the Samma N’Sei have ageless faces so it seems unlikely. On the other hand Verin seemed to imply that her oaths to the DO involved more than just swearing on an oath rod. Somebody on the forum suggested that maybe they are prevented from harming each other with the Power. This would of course explain the constraints remark but it would be an extremely strange restriction to implement. Plus, the Black Ashaman clearly have no such prohibitions placed on them.
    Cyndane is still mindtrapped and is still wearing Moridin's colors. Isam doesn't know who she is (why should he?) but it's clearly her. Isam sees a group of 13 Myrddraal and 13 Black Ajah escorting somebody for Turning. He assumes it's another caught Aielman. The Aiel men who could channel traditionally went north to the Blight to dance with the Dark One. They and their descendants are clearly the main source of the Samma N’Sei. But as Isam remarks, this practice should have stopped with the cleansing of saidin (and I'm sure it did). The person being escorted is most likely an Ashaman. Later on Androl mentions that Ashaman are still being Turned.
    Isam thinks: Well, really. What an idea. Why would any of the Forsaken keep Isam from any important events?! and in such a strange fashion too. They can command him to do whatever they want and he obeys. This notion seems completely preposterous to me.
    Cyndane tells Isam that he has to find Rand. There is certain inconsistency here. Rand told Min that the shadow now needs no help to find him and can locate him easily. Sunlight above him is certainly one good indicator of his presence. This is likely because the Isam scene was written by RJ and was originally meant to happen right after KOD and so before Rand's transformation.
    This is a very strange reaction. Why would Cyndane (or any of the Forsaken or Black Ajah for that matter) react to Isam that way? Perhaps Isam's hunch that she would rather kill Rand herself is right.
    One of the best lines in the prologue. Feels very RJ who apparently wrote most of the Isam scene.
    As Luckers observed on the forum (I wished I thought of this myself) Isam's scene shows the originally intended Isam plot line in aMoL. This means that the entire Perrin-Slayer confronation (including the dreamspike) was thought up by BS. I must say I did not expect this. This is a major plot arc of one of the major characters.
    Talmanes is wounded by a Myrddraal and he is walking around?! This contradicts what we've been previously told about the effect of wounds from Myrddraal blades. When Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne first meet the Aiel they are told the following
      The Aiel wounded by Myrddraal in that scene died very quickly. It is also clear that this is common knowledge among the Aiel. Mat thinks the same thing when he fights a Myrdraal in FOH
     It's not clear where Mat's info on the subject comes from here - it could be from Moiraine or the past lives memories he got from Eelfinn.
    Talmanes is later treated with blisterleaf which is supposed to slow the poison from the wound and we are given an additional explanation thatBut it still feels like a mistake and a change of rules. It would have been more consistent to have him been wounded by a Trolloc blade like Tam was in tEoTW. Those wounds are also lethal but take time to kill.
    Second-best pipe?? This is a very weird thing to mention unless it plays some kind of role. When I first read this I immediately thought of Terez' pipe theory. Talmanes' first best pipe is presumably the gold one that Roedran/Demandred gave him.
    When Leilwin arrives at FOM the sky is cloudy.Yet, both Rand and Elayne are already there so the sky should be clear. Is this just a mistake or is something more interesting going on? Like an effect of Rand's merging with Moridin? When Rand arrived at Merrilor the sky did clear but when Elayne got there shortly before him it didn't.
    Descriptions?! She traveled in a company of two warders for weeks or even months! She shouldn't need a description to recognize a warder.
    Nynaeve's tent is not in Aes Sedai's camp but in Rand's. That's pretty interesting and indicative of her loyalties. Me likes.
    It's very clear that neither Domon nor Leilwin are aware that Elayne is the queen of Andor. Leilwin thinks of her only as an Aes Sedai, they both talk of her as only an Aes Sedai, they look for her in Tar Valon and in the Aes Sedai camp at FOM. The queen of Andor is not likely to be in any of those places. This is completely implausible. They spent several days in Caemlyn with Mat. They would have to be deaf and blind not to know that there was a new queen in Andor called Elayne. Moreover, Elayne told Leilwin/Egeanin that she was the daughter-heir of Andor when they first met (TSR, ch 46) so Leilwin really ought to have put two and two together even if somehow she didn't hear the new queen's name while in Caemlyn.
    Lastly, she traveled from Caemlyn to Tar Valon in the company of 3 Aes Sedai, Vanin and a bunch of Red arms all of whom knew who the queen of Andor was.
    Leilwin is carrying a cudgel and thinks of using it to defend herself against Sleete in case of trouble. But what happened to her sword? If she is the woman from Egwene's dream about a Seanchan woman with a sword saving her the the omission (or maybe even total disappearance) of Leilwin's sword is pretty strange. In fact I think the last time her sword is mentioned is in KOD. I can't recall it ever showing up in tGS or TOM.
    That's pretty cool.
    So Talmanes is now a Dreadbane (clearly a Brandoism). I really don't like this term being introduced at this point in the series. It's the last book in an epic and the last thing we need is new unnecessary terminology. A number of people killed Myrddraal before onscreen with borderlnaders around them. For example, Mat did in the episode I quoted above and Lan was nearby. So did Perrin a number of times, the first time in TDR, ch 5 with a bunch of Shienarans fighting next to him. Lan was right there too and while he parised Perrin for fighting well none of them gave Perrin any titles. Did they forget?
    Avi's timeline seems messed up. Where was she all the time after Rand's transformation? She should have finished her second pass through the columns a few days after that (the clouds parted above her in the middle of the second pass) so what has she been up to since? Did she run back to Cold Rocks? That should have taken less that 12 days (probably way less) because that's how long it took Rand and company to get from Rhuidean to Cold Rocks in TSR and that with the peddler vagons slowing them down. So where was she all that time? No explanation is given.
    Avi's POV clearly shows that Nakomi is not a Wise One in disguise. The only options left IMO are that Nakomi is Verin (terez' theory) or that she is an Aiel Hero of the Horn. The latter is more likely IMO, especially given that Bair mentions that Nakomi is an ancient Aiel name and she doesn't know anybody who uses it. Where could Verin pick it up?
    Avi and the other Wise Ones don't know what Rand will demand of the others the next day. This doesn't make sense. It's crystal clear from Avi's visions (which she just related to them) that he will demand peace. She at the very least ought to realize that, yet she acts as if she basically has no clue and only some vague suspicions. She is not that dumb. She is a Wise One for crying out loud.
    I'm absolutely sure Bair has the right of it. The whole point of Avi's visions was clearly to show the Aiel that they must change or else perish.
    Sorilea's reaction to Avi's news seems very straightforward. Moreover the following line makes it much harder to imagine her being a DF as terez suspects:None of the DFs with the sole exception of Moridin entertain such ideas. Indeed, this might be the single most persuasive argument NOT to become a DF.
    This is my single biggest beef with the Sea Folk. They demanded a heavy payment from Nyn and Elayne for helping them fix the weather. In effect they demanded payment for fighting the DO. I find that quite sickening. It makes them quite equal to the mercenaries that demanded payment from Talmanes for for fighting Trollocs. Actually, those mercenaries are better because they saw the right of it eventually. The Sea Folk never did and Avi is quite right to despise them. I also find it interesting that judging by this line BS is aware of this issue. RJ on the other hand never acknowledged it as a problem.
    How will Bair get back from Rhuidean? She can not channel, it's not known how long her trip through the columns will take (it's usually days) and she and Avi made no plans for Avi to make a return gateway for her. This is strange, particularly given that the Last Battlle is just about to start and likely will only last a few days. Perhaps there are Wise Ones that can channel in Rhuidean itself.
    I wonder how Pevara (or other Aes Sedai) know so much about the rules of linking with men. It's not something any Aes Sedai could have tested in three thousand years. Presumably it all comes from some old books.
    Androl's madness is getting worse despite the fact that saidin is now clean. What could this mean? No idea.
    Pevara is suprised that in Androl's group leadership is not determined by strength in the Power. A good teaching moment for her.
    Androl apparently fought in the Knoks rebellion in Murandy some ten years ago. Yet he is from Tarabon (TOM, CH 46) aand he has traveled around a lot. He works leather which suggests that he is not a nobleman but he also tried his hand at the Game of Houses which for a commoner is very unusual. Who is he? No idea.
    Jesamyn says that she doesn't have the skill to Heal Talmanes but I would think she could have at least done what should could. She only gives him some herbs but doesn't try Healing at all.
    A dreamshard. I really don't like it. The name doesn't sound WOT (surely a Brandoism) but more importantly, it's yet another new notion introduced in the very last book. And it doesn't mesh well with the previously established mechanics of TAR. For example, the Forsaken meeting called by Moridin in in KOD, CH 3 clearly takes place in TAR and not in any "dreamshard". Moridin wasn't even the first to arrive there and it's made clear that anybody could change it, not just Moridin. Yet in the aMoL prologue Moggy thinks BS should have really left this well alone. Another unfortunate byproduct of not doing a reread before writing aMoL.
    Moggy remarks that Moridin made sun shine in his dreamshard. This has got to be the result of his continued merging with Rand.
    So Moggy now can choose her own closing and no longer has to wear Moridin's colors after getting her mindtrap back from him. The mere fact that he gave it back to her is highly unusual. Another clear effect of his continued merging with Rand. A bit later we get yet another sign of the same. I'm hoping somebody's mindtrap will be broken before the end. It will very be disappointing if this particular gun doesn't fire. It has been dangled before the readers far too much for far too long.
    So Taim is not Moridin. That does it for that theory. There was a very small chance that he is a TAR creation but this has apparently been debunked by some careless comments by one of the beta readers. Still, I feel quite strongly that there is more to Taim that has been revealed so far. All the old arguments in favor of Taim=Moridin point to a VERY strong connection between Taim and Moridin. He is clearly a protegee and has been groomed by Moridin for a while. Taim is using his colors. He shares the Forsaken disdain for the Aiel. Somebody taught him the Old Tongue, history, AOL heraldics, channeling (it's fairly clear that Taim knew how to make gateways before Rand showed him). Taim knows the antisweating trick and he teaches it to Rand. This is something that Taim had to be taught and could not discover by himself. Same with the test to detect the channeling ability. Absolutely no way he could have figured it out by himself. The test is very lengthy and subtle and the test subjects are very few. Clearly someone (Moridin) taught him. Right generous of him, isn't it. Hardly common behavior for a Forsaken towards a regular DF. All the Forsaken including Moridin treat them like dogs. Why is Moridin being so incredibly nice to Taim? Somebody suggested once on the forum that Moridin is Taim's father. I laughed it off but BS expressed interest in the theory on twitter. Still seems really loony to me but I certainly don't have a better one. If he didn't look Saldaean I would go with something outlandish like him sitting in a vacuole or a stasis box since AOL.
    I don't find it believable that Moggy would be so clueless about Taim. No Forsaken would completely ignore the Black Tower - it's too important. They would keep some spies there at the very least.
    Moridin obviously means Cyndane here (BS confirmed that too). It's not entirely clear though why she is the one being punished the most. She did commit some very large transgressions in the past. Withholding the info that Rand had the access keys which let him cleanse saidin certainly counts as one for example. But it's been a while since that happened.
    Taim's Forsaken handle is M'Hael. I find it strange that none of them remark on it. It's been mentioned twice that it means "the leader" in the Old Tongue. The second time is particularly striking
    This is more than a little pretentious yet Moggy doesn't bat an eye.
    It was pretty clear already but if there was any doubt this confirms that the LB will only take a few days.
    I like Ituralde's POVs in TOM much better than Talmanes' POVs here.

  18. herid
    What exactly did Rand see here?Sounds like some sort of mechanical device for shooting spears? Is it ever explained later?
    Mat's rules of lifeThat's great!
    Shaido seem to be a much larger clan than the rest.
    So the Shaido have about the same number of people as the 4 other clans not with Rand Shiande, the Codarra, the Daryne, and the Miagoma. and 7 clans with Rand have only about twice as many people as the Shaido. Even counting the influx of brotherless from other clans, the Shaido seem too numerous compared to the rest.
    Some of my favorite Mat's scenes are in these chapters. The planning of the battle for Cairhien and the battle scenes with Mat are awesome.
    Rand, Egwene and Avi channel lightnings during the battle for Cairhien. Other Aes Sedai have done it too. I've always wondered how that's supposed to have worked given that none of them had any idea about electricity.
    Avi over injured Rand
     Rather poignant stuff. And some rare and early glimpses of Avi worrying about the future of the Aiel. Much more of that in tGS and ToM but not so much in between.
    A mini-foreshadowing that Mat will kill Couladin: 
    I still remember thinking the very first time I read it that Couladin was doomed once Mat decided to take him out. In general, this is an example of Mat's supreme tavereness and luck. Whatever he decides to do he succeeds at. I can't recall him failing in anything. Even Rand failed on occasion but not Mat. That's why I think that Tuon is doomed too once Mat mentions to Seta and Bethamin in passing that he wants to end damane leashing (ToM,Ch 17).
    Very often when Rand channels a lot, especially using some aid like an angreal, sa'angreal or tEoTW it leads to blurring of the line between him and LTT. It happens during the fight for Cairhien too. 
    I wonder if this has something to do with the taint or if it's something else.
    A random thought while reading of Rand using the little fat man angreal. Rand found it in the Great Holding in Tear. Bel'al was really dumb not to find it first.
    Moiraine told Rand all she knew of Forsaken (FoH, Ch 44) which was little more than everybody in Randlands knew. That supports the idea that Moiraine couldn't id Bel'al and Sammael by their general descriptions in TDR.
    Don't the Aiel know about Aes Sedai three Oaths? None of them think anything of Egwene, "a green Aes Sedai", participating in the battle for Cairhien.
    Reading description of Pevin (FoH, Ch 46) reminds me what I liked so much in RJs style of writing and what's missing in Sanderson's.
    RJ gave all his characters, even very minor ones like Pevin (who is only present for a few chapters before he dies), personality and color. As a reader I can definitely sympathize with them. When BS writes minor characters they are often only mentioned by name and maybe one characteristic like being tall or short or plump. That's it. Completely lifeless and boring. That's why the world of tGS and ToM feels much smaller than before even though the total number of named characters might actually be greater than in any of the previous books.
    Rand notices Edorion with Meilan once he gets to Cairhien. Edorion owes him quite a bit of dough for the bet they made in FoH, Ch 30. Yet he never tries to collect on the debt and Edorion doesn't try to pay up either.
    Nynaeve talking to Elayne
     I often wondered about that. Why didn't Moggy try to do just that? The only reasons I can think of are that either she couldn't find their dreams or was afraid of being completely sucked in. The Wise Ones told Egwene in LoC that a very strong emotion (love or hate) between two people involved might lead to that and there is certainly no love lost between Moggy and Nyn.
    Moggy somehow knew that Elayne and Nynaeve were going to try to escape Samara on Riverserpent. How did she know? My guess is that she had someone keeping close tabs on Masema. There are other indications of that and Luckers has an elaborate theory on the subject.
    Another possibility is that she had spies among the Whitecloaks but that is less likely IMO. That seemed to have been Graendal's domain. Still, Asumawa, for example, displays certain behavioral similarities to Masema and Byar, both of whom were pretty clearly compelled. There is no trace of Asunawa is Samara though and none of the others like Galad or Trom seem to fit the mold.
    Why couldn't Asmodean teach Rand how to Travel? yes, Asmodean is shielded but he can still channel a little. Sorilea taught Cadsuane Traveling and she can barely channel too.
    Mat thinks that Melindhra went to look at the River but I rather suspect she went to meet up with Sammael's messengers.
    Interesting info on gateways The space beyond is somehow related to TAR as I understand. It certainly behaves a lot like TAR as far as creating things is concerned. and is it really true that the amount of saidin does not matter? it's mentioned elsewhere that some channelers (both men and women) are not strong enough to make gateways. I also wonder if Rand could make a bigger one using his angreal or a sa'angral like Callandor. that quote would seem to say that he could not. But it also implies that several people together can make bigger gateways. That shows up in ToM when Perrin's asha'man and Aes Sedai make huge gateways linked. It will likely come into play in aMoL when Androl links with Pevara and defeats the dreamspike.
    Rand makes his first gateways for Traveling after Mat, Avi and Asmodean are killed by Rahvin
     Where did he learn how to make it? he just arrived in Caemlyn by skimming. Is this LT's memories bubbling up? None are mentioned in that particular scene.
    But it does seem to be the case. Later (in Ch 55) LT is bubbling up again and Rand is having trouble separating himself from LT and he remarks FoH, Ch 54 Moggy follows Nyn somehow when she shifts from Salidar to Jurene. I mentioned this again but I still don't understand how she did it. Later in the same scene Birgitte somehow finds them there too. She is no longer residing in TAR. Yet she seems to still have the ability to find people who are consciously in TAR that she mentioned earlier (FoH, Ch 17):
     I wonder if this ability of Birgitte will come into play when/if they need to find Rand in TAR after his death. Presumably, Heroes of the Horn could find each other (Gaidal found her easily enough) and this quote suggests that she retained at least some of her abilities of finding others in TAR.
    Nynaeve is using an inferior ter'angreal to enter TAR in FoH Ch 54-55. Hence, she can barely channel in TAR. (BTW, how does it square with BA channeling strongly during the TAR fight in ToM? They were using copy ter'angreal too.)
    Yet Nynaeve's mental powers in TAR seem undiminished. She traps Moggy with an imagined a'dam and outwrestles her mentally when Moggy tries to unmake the a'dam. Nyn is using almost the same trick that Egwene uses later when she confronts Mesaana in ToM.
    Compare this with how Egwene thinks of Mesaana
      Moggy seems remarkably well-informed about Rand's plans to go after Rahvin (FoH, Ch 54). Those plans were made very quickly and not publicized until the last moment. How does she know about them? Someone very close to Rand must be a spy, likely an Aiel (Sorilea?).
    Rand learns TAR rules really quickly during his fight with Rahvin.
    It's strange that Rand is so much inferior to Rahvin mentally. When Rahvin tries to change his appearance he can hardly resist. he is of course, very inexperienced in TAR but still... This is just a mental issue and he is aware of what is happening there so he should be able to resist better.
    Nyn feeds Moggy some forkroot in TAR to put her out. But how does she find her after that in the real world? She doesn't know who she is masquerading as. Lots of people in Salidar and she can't knock on the door of every room.
    Graendal smokes Asmodean (Ch 56), presumably, with balefire as his body is never found.
    I 've always hated everything related to this episode and I still do. Totally senseless mystery with no consequences for the plot. What exactly was the reason to keep this secret for so long with no clues for who did it and why? I see none other than to mess with the readers, and a nice reason that is. And I certainly HATE the killer reveal in ToM. Zero reasons or details are given. Zero explanation for why it was kept hidden for so long.
    This reminds of the moment from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when at a crucial moment during a missile attack on the spaceship carrying all the main characters somebody's arm gets bruised
    This is exactly how I feel about the Asmodean mystery.
    Basically, the whole thing sucks with no redeeming features that I can see.
    I'm sure this means that there will be Peace of the Dragon, the Seanchan will be a part of it and the sword Justice will play a big role. The only line I don't understand is this one: "Yet the shards of hearts did give wounds". Not sure what's that about.

  19. herid
    Sorilea in Ch 23: I quite liked her. I wonder if she will really turned out to be a DF.
    In FoH, Ch 25 Egwene mentions that both Moiraine and Rand shield their dreams so she can not peek in. yet none of the Wise Ones appear to shield their dreams and Egwene doesn't shield hers.
    Lanfear does mention that they at least tryBut Lanfear doesn't mention which Wise Ones those were. Perhaps those were the Wise Ones that can channel but can not dreamwalk. At least when Egwene describes how the dreams of the Aiel dreamwalkers look she never mentions any shields and she can speak into their dreams any times she needs to.
    The natural assumption would be that shielding one's dreams interferes with dreamwalking. It does seem strange though that neither Nynaeve nor Elayne ever appear to shield their dreams either or even indicate that they know how. They don't go to Tar every night and they hang around a number of Aes Sedai later in the story (Merilille and her group) so presumably, they could have learned if they asked.
    In the same chapter Egwene is looking through reports in the Tower and one mentions "fighting in the Borderlands, possibly minor rebellions in Shienar and Arafel". Danelle (Mesaana) mentioned this in FoH, prologue too. I wonder if this will play any role or if it was just a ruse.
    Moggy was able to follow Egwene in TAR when Egwene shifted to Emonds Field (FoH, Ch 25). Moggy makes it clear in that scene that she has never been to Emonds Field before.
    She did the same with Nynaeve and Birgitte later in FoH, Ch 34. How did she do it? It's not "need" else she could have tracked them with need earlier. Is it something like what Perrin can do by "smelling" or how Birgitte can find others?  
    The former seems unlikely as "smelling" somebody's trail in TAR seems to be a thing of wolves. The latter seems unlikely too as it looks to be a thing of dead heroes of the Horn residing in TAR. What is it then? Egwene certainly doesn't know how to do it. What about the Wise Ones though? Amys followed Egwene to Tanchico somehow when they first met. I thought she might have used "need" but maybe it was something else. Seems a useful tool whatever it is so it's strange that the Wise Ones didn't teach it to Egwene.
    I can't understand why Min lets Siuan boss her around in these chapters. This is long before Siuan was Healed and Min doesn't owe Siuan anything. It's the other way around, actually. Siuan also doesn't appear to know anything about Min that would give Siuan some special leverage over her.
    Siuan regrets that she can't use the antisweating trick since being stilled.
      This would seem to prove that the anti-sweating trick is related to the ability to channel. However later in the very same chapter she thinks something suggesting the opposite 
    This is quite confusing. Which way is it? Can she use the anti-sweating trick after being stilled or not?
    Bryne demands that Siuan be his servant to work off the debt (FoH, Ch 28) but lets Leane and Min free and clear. He doesn't even object when Min is later sent off with the embassy to Rand. The issue of their debt never comes up again. Why?
    Bryne comments on the likelihood of someone unifying MurandyOne of the number of clues that Roedran unifying Murandy is extremely unusual and supporting the theory that Demandred might be involved there.
    In Ch 32. Avi's first-sister Niella is mentioned. At the time she is gai'shain with half a year to go. That means that her time as a gai'shain should be over by CoT if not earlier. But she is never mentioned again. I guess Avi doesn't have much of sisterly affection for her, certainly not nearly as much as she has for Elayne.
    Moggy mentions to Nynaeve that compulsion woven in TAR lasts in the waking world
     This is actually somewhat strange but I guess we should take it as a given. Compulsion seems to be mostly or purely spirit and weaving spirit has strange properties in relation to TAR. as I recall it's mentioned somewhere that the only thing one can weave while asleep is spirit which is how some dream ter'angreal work.
    In general, putting someone under compulsion while they are asleep seems like a powerful tool. I wonder why none of the Forsaken actually used it.
    When Moggy pushes Birgitte out of TAR Nynaeve is very angry and can channel (if she were not shielded) and can see the glow of saidar around Moggy. But it's never mentioned that she saw the actual weaves Moggy used.
    Earlier in the scene when Moggy shields Nyn and gags her with air, Nyn is also very angry, can see the glow of saidar around Moggy but no weaves are mentioned either. Is Moggy inverting her weaves? Not clear why she should when gagging and shielding Nyn.
    This is quite important to terez's theory that Nynaeve will bring Rand back to life once he dies by doing to him what Moggy did to Birgitte.
    Can Elayne compel Birgitte via the bond? She clearly doesn't know how but perhaps it's not even possible because Birgitte is a woman?
    Menagerie chapters are my least favorite in FoH. Too much time spent describing temper tantrums and women's attire.

  20. herid
    WARNING: AMOL spoilers ahead.
    These are some loony theories I've seen on DM. I wanted to list them all primarily for historical purposes, not to insult anybody.
    There have been some loony theories in the past (at least I thought them loony) that turned out to be true. I remember thinking that the idea of Graendal surviving the destruction of Natrin's Barrow was totally nuts. However, I didn't put that down on paper and now when I think of it I sometimes believe that I actually had some doubts about it. I'm pretty sure that it's just my mind playing tricks on me - wanting to be on the right side of things. Anyway, to avoid any such self deception after aMoL I want to list theories that I consider loony now. If I'm wrong about any of them I'll happily eat crow on the subject and there will be a written proof that I was wrong.
    These are in no particular order. The number in parentheses is the loonymeter on on the scale 1-10. 10 means totally loony and 1 means hardly loony or not loony at all, just something I disagree with.

    Some Forsaken (Lanfear is mentioned most often) will turn back to the Light (6).
    Gawyn will kill Rand (4)
    Channeling will disappear after the LB (10)
    Taim is a new Forsaken (5).  
    Taim hears a real voice in his head from his past life in AoL just as Rand heard LTT's voice and that AoL persona has taken over Taim (5).
    The Dark One isn't really evil but he/she/it is actually the Creator who has somehow been tainted (probably by people's dark thoughts or whatever) (11)
    The Seanchan will keep leashing female channelers after the LB (8).
    Verin sent Alanna to hunt Slayer (8).
    Elayne will die after the LB and Moiraine will take the throne of Cairhien (7).
    Mesaana was mindtrapped by SH and will come back as a "robot" in aMoL (8).
    Rand will channel TP to seal the Bore (9).
    Taim is mindtrapped and his mindtrap has been broken (8).
    Nakomi is a Jenn Aiel (8)
    Red veiled Aiel in ToM Epilogue are male Aiel channelers that went to the Blight to dance with the DO once they found out they can channel (8).  
    Demandred is hiding on the Isle of Madmen and will bring an army from there (7). To clarify, I'm absolutely certain that Demandred's alter ego is not somebody on the Isle of Madmen (I'll give this one a 10 on the loonymeter), it's possible that he'll bring some troops from there.
    Olver will try to kill Mat because someone will somehow convince him that Mat killed his parents. Then Mat will kill Olver. (10)
    Tam is a Forsaken in disguise (10).
    Nynaeve is already pregnant but she is in denial about it (10).
    Rand already bound 9 moons to him. It doesn't mean Tuon at all but rather refers to the length of Elayne's pregnancy in lunar cycles (10).
    Taim is Moridin's son (9).
    Nakomi is a Forsaken (10)
    Moridin is not Ishy transmigrated (11)
    Gawyn will kill Egwene (10)
    Gitara Moroso was a darkfriend (10)
    Taim is Asmodean transmigrated (10)
    Noal was not Jain Farstrider. He has been to the TG before and got Jain's memories there (11).
    Lanfear and Moggy will be the ones helping Rand wield Callandor at the LB (10).
    Graendal compelled Avi and it was Avi who actually killed Asmodean (11).
    Tuon is Elderene (the last queen of Manetheren) reborn (9).
    Demandred is Timolan (10).
    Demandred is Amel (8).
    Bashere is a DF (8).
    Alivia is a DF (10).
    Rand will not die before the end of the LB. He will fake his death instead (9).
    The DO will be killed and the Last Battle will really be the last (8).
    Fortuona will be forcibly sparked by the Graeffalump. (10).
    Either Thom or Gawyn will be able to learn to channel (10).
    Either Mat or Perrin will be able to learn to channel (10).
    The Prophecy that Rand must bow before the Chrystal Throne has already been fulfilled when Rand fell down when channeling in Ebu Dar in tGS, ch 49 (10).
    Elayne will give birth on the day Rand is resurrected.(9)
    Nynaeve will be Tuon's new Truthspeaker.(5)
    Tar Valon will be destroyed when Dragonmount blows and the new home for the Aes Sedai will be in Rhuidean.(10)
    Farstrider got out of Ghenjei alive. The bargain said they had to leave the portal open, so if he could have found his way back to that, he could have gotten out without the ashandarei. (10)
    The Broken Wolf from the Dark Prophecy is Luc/Isam (8).

    Edit (Jan 30, 2012): I gave up on this list quickly because there were too many theories I thought were loony. But I added a few more things to it recently.
  21. herid
    Things I believe will happen in AoL. These are in random order
    Androl links with Pevara and defeats the dreamspike in the BT (95% sure).
    Egwene gets collared again by the Seanchan, Tuon herself tries to break her down and fails (65%).
    Fain will be instrumental in the final sealing of the Bore. His power will be used to touch the DO directly. LT said that something has to touch him and touching him with OP is a bad idea. Something similar to how Flinn healed Rand and how Rand cleansed saidin will happen. Possibly, Rand's blood from his wound by Fain's dagger is spilled and helps in sealing. That's the only way I can see how "his blood on the rocks of Shayoul Ghul" can bring the Light to the World" (95% sure).
    Rand will not use TP in the sealing process (100% sure).
    Rand will merge with Moridin somehow and Rand will be the one to die, not Moridin (99% sure).
    Rand will die before the end of the LB and be resurrected in some fashion after 3 days. Likely by Nynaeve pushing him out of TAR the way Moggy pushed out Birgitte. (90% sure)
    Cadsuane dies. She has no purpose after the LB is over. (95% sure) Bashere dies (90% sure). That will fulfill Min's viewing about something dark in his future. Tenobia dies and paves way for Perrin and Faile to become rulers of Saldaea. (90% sure).
    Perrin kills Slayer (99% sure).
    Nynaeve or Birgitte kills Moggy (95% sure).
    Almost nothing from Avi's visions in Rhuidean comes to pass (100% sure, will bet my house on this one). Just about the only things from the visions that will happen in some form will be the Peace of the Dragon (100% sure), Avi having four kids constantly tied to the OP (95% sure) and the defeat of the DO (100% sure).
    Aiel convert to the Way of the Leaf (99% sure).
    Moridin is the last Forsaken standing before the final showdown (99% sure).
    Rand either dies again after his resurrection (in which case Min also dies) or he lives and Rand and Min go off together somewhere, most likely another world. Don't know where but they don't stick around.
    Hawkwing's sword Justice plays a major role in the peace of the Dragon which includes everybody including Aiel and Seanchan. (100% sure)
    The Forsaken that are currently dead stay dead (brain-dead in case of Mesaana). None are brought back as they so often were before. (99% sure)
    None of the Forsaken turn back to the Light (99% sure).
    Moiraine and Lanfear have another go at each other (75% sure).
    Tuon sees the light and the Seanchan abandon the practice of leashing female channelers (100% sure, will bet my house on this one too). They also likely abandon slavery (90% sure).
    Demandred is Roedran (99% sure).
    Demandred has been balefiring something in the south-west. This is part of the reason the pattern is unraveling. Faile and Perrin felt two different balescreams related to Demandred's activities (100% sure).
    Gawyn will use all 3 bloodknives ter'angreal rings at once for some purpose (99% sure), most likely against the Seanchan (80% sure).
    The Song will NOT play a role in the sealing of the Bore (100% sure).
    Time will remain circular and the DO will be sealed outside the Pattern (100% sure). The current DO might be killed and replaced by Fain but some kind of supreme dark power will remain.
    Channeling does not disappear after the LB (100% sure).
    Rand gives the Illian crown back to Stepaneos (99% sure).
    Tuon will start channeling (99% sure).

    On somewhat loony side here are a few theories I have less than 50% confidence in but I still want to throw them out there.
    Birgitte dies and is reborn normally. She joins Gaidal as she should as the slightly younger of the two (45% sure).
    Tuon bonds Mat (45%). I'm actually very sure that this will happen eventually but it might not in aMoL. This is one of those things that may be reserved for a sequel.
    Lanfear's or Moggy's mindtrap gets broken (45%). This is simply something I'd like to see. Otherwise it's just Chekov's gun that never fires.

  22. herid
    The short answer is - I don't know.
    The long answer is that there are several theories that I find at least somewhat plausible. There are some that I find completely implausible (such as Nakomi is Jenn) so I won't discuss them here.
    Before discussing the theories let me say that whoever Nakomi is I'm pretty certain that the encounter takes place in TAR.
    There are several clues for that. First, the food cooks impossibly quickly. That's rather hard to do in real world. Also, the food tastes very good. The scene happens after Rand becomes the dark Rand. At that point nothing tastes good anywhere. Yet, the food that Nakomi prepares is not simply good but delicious.
    Avi leaned on a rock and closed her eyes before Nakomi showed up.
    She just fell asleep.
    Also, Elayne gave Avi a dream ter'angreal when they parted.
    The stone ring does not require channeling so Avi simply had to be touching it when she went to sleep and she would end up in TAR.
    Now let's discuss various theories.
    1. Nakomi is Verin.
    I have to say that I find it the least likely of the ones I want to mention.
    The main pro argument I see for it is that Nakomi uses a verinism when she talks to Avi.
    This is a definite verinism - no question about that.
    Nakomi also seem to speak at least somewhat strangely for an Aiel when she talks of Rand. I can't quite put a finger on it but it sounds somewhat unnatural.
    The main con arguments are the absence of a motive and of an opportunity. Verin never showed any interest in the future of the Aiel which seems to be the main subject of the conversation between Avi and Nakomi. She was interested in the Aiel but only as in tools to use in helping Rand (and possibly as a source or female channelers for the Tower). And she never understood them very well even when she was forced into being a Wise Ones apprentice.
    Consider this for example
    Given the above quotes it's not clear to me that Verin understood the Aiel and ji'e'toh well enough to pass as Nakomi much less to begin to deeply care about the future of the Aiel as a people. She definitely never identified with the Aiel as Egwene did by the end of Egwene's apprenticeship. We see none of that in Verin's POVs.
    It's also very hard to imagine a scenario of how Verin could find out about Avi's trip to Rhuidean or find her in the desert or in TAR. How would she do it? Visit the Wise Ones with Rand? why would they tell her about Avi? It's not something they'd consider to be any of her business. And why would she even ask?
    And if the encounter happens in TAR or in a Dream there are still issues. Verin is not a dreamwalker. maybe she has a dream ter'angreal but this has never been mentioned before.
    I've never seen anybody suggest a plausible explanation for any of this. Until I do, I'm not giving Nakomi=Verin a serious consideration.
    There are a few other small details like Nakomi cooking some tasty roots that Avi's mom used to make. Those likely only grow in the Waste so Verin wouldn't know about them. also, I'm not sure but I think gaishain are the ones cooking most of the food and Verin was not a gaishain, she was a Wise One apprentice. I remember apprentices making pots of tea but not cooking any food.
    Lastly, the timeline seems to put Nakomi encounter at least some 9-10 days before Rand's epiphany on the Dragonmount. Avi meets Nakomi at night in the middle of the desert "several days" (that means 3 or more at the least) before she reaches Rhuidean.
    She reaches Rhuidean at night and spends the night there before entering the columns on the following morning.
    She then spends several days in the columns. It usually takes about 6-10 days for that judging by Rand's experience and the custom of waiting for 10 days. We don't know how long Avi's first pass through the columns took but she says "days".
    When it says "days" it usually doesn't mean one or two or even three days. It's likely at least 5 but let's say it's 4 to be safe. Then she enters the columns again and sees the future. The clouds break in the middle of her second pass through the columns (after she lives as Norlesh).
    Even if this only takes one day (very likely at least two) that's still at the very least 9 (3+1+4+1) days (likely much longer) from the Nakomi meeting to clouds breaking. Let's compare this with Verin's timeline. She sits waiting for Mat and is unable to Travel till he shows up. She meets Mat and gives him the letter. The letter says that she plans to return in one day. She leaves Mat and sometime later the same day (or the following day at the latest) takes poison and dies in the evening in the Tower. That same night the Seanchan attack the Tower. The next day Egwene reunites the Tower, at most 2-3 days after that the clouds break over the Dragonmount. That makes it at the most 4-5 days from Mat meeting Verin to Rand's epiphany.
    There is more indirect evidence that there is probably 10+ days between the Nakomi scene and Rand's transformation. Avi leaves Rand the day after Semirhage's attack and Travels to Cold Rocks. She runs to Rhuidean from there. Various chronologies I've seen put 22 days or longer between Semirhage's attack and VoG. I would really like an explanation for how that number was derived but let's assume that 22 days is the lower bound here. On the other hand, the whole trip from Cold Rocks to Rhuidean should have taken no more than 12 days. It took that long for Rand and co to get from Rhuidean to Cold Rocks in TSR. Unlike so many other numbers discussed earlier this is a firm number and not an estimate. It can be easily derived from the books. Rand and co leave Rhuidean in the morning, they meet Kadere the same day and the same night they are attacked by Trollocs at Imre Stand (TSR, CH 36). They arrive at Cold Rocks in the evening 11 nights and 11 days after that.
    So that makes it 12 days total for the journey from Rhuidean to Cold Rocks.
    Avi likely made it faster as Rand and his group in TSR had lots of wagons etc to move along and Avi was all by herself.
    It's mentioned several times that they were walking while Avi was running pretty much most of the way. Moreover, they had to stop early every day once they picked up Kadere and his party on the first day of their journey as traveling companions.
    And even when they were moving the peddlers wagons were moving very slowly as the above quote indicates.
    All in all if it took Rand's party 12 days to get from Rhuidean to Cold Rocks, Avi should have made it in no more that 10 if not faster. But let's keep it at 12 days to be generous.
    Even then Avi should have arrived in Rhuidean at least 9 days before VOG (likely 11+) and the Nakomi meeting took place at least 3 days earlier. This puts the time between Avi-Nakomi meeting and the clouds parting over Rhuidean at over 12 (likely 14+) days .
    Altogether that means that Avi met Nakomi while Verin was still sitting around waiting for Mat and unable to move. And Verin definitely didn't lie to Mat about her reasons for being where she was. She would never find him there if she was not pushed by the Pattern to go to Murandy where she had zero plans of ending up. So the ta'veren tugging story she tells him must be true. To get around this issue we'd have to assume that the Pattern relaxed its grip on Verin at some point and allowed her to Travel before Mat showed up and she simply lied to Mat about it. And why would she lie to him about this? Mat certainly doesn't give a fig - all he wants is a gateway to Caemlyn. To sum up, I find this an altogether unlikely and highly convoluted scenario.
    However, after explaining all that let me say that I don't consider the timeline argument a definite proof. The timeline in tGS and ToM is seriously messed up (most particularly Mat and Verin timelines) and is so full of contradictions that I would not trust it to prove anything. I wrote up a detailed post on timeline inconsistencies. My main objections to Nakomi=Verin remain the absence of a motive and an opportunity.
    I just found another time marker which would on one hand make it possible for Nakomi to be Verin and on the other make it completely impossible for Verin timeline to make sense. This is no more than I suspected of course. I really wish BS would release his secret tGS and ToM chronology. Anyway, in TGS, Ch 31 while riding through Bandar Eban Rand thinks of Mat and sees this
    First, this is definitely Caemlyn. Even if we accept that Rand might be mistaken about which city it is, Mat has not been to any other city in a very very long time. This puts the scene after Mat-Verin meeting. However, the scene itself is from Rand's early days in Bandar Eban. He has only been there a few days. This is mentioned several times in the chapter. By any reasonable timeline I can make this is well before Verin visits Egwene in the Tower and dies. At least 10 days before and very likely longer. Steven Cooper's chronology puts it 27 days before. This is surely impossible given the content of Verin's letter to Mat. There is absolutely no possible way Verin could live 10 days after leaving Mat. Her oath to the DO would not allow it. If she lived that long she would have been forced by that oath to go back to Mat and take that letter away from him.
    2. Nakomi is just a dream, an ordinary dream of the kind normal people have in real life, not of the kind that folks in WOT seem to have. In normal dreams everything is a construct of the dreaming person's subconscious. Avi is pretty worried about the future of the Aiel although she doesn't allow herself to consciously dwell on the issue. This would explain everything about the encounter including Nakomi cooking food that Avi's mom used to make. The trouble with this explanation is that this is decidedly NOT the kind of dream that people in WOT have. It would go too much against the grain of the story. I just can't swallow it.
    3. Nakomi is a dead Aiel (possibly an ancestor of Avi) tied to the Wheel and thus residing in TAR. This would also explain everything about the encounter: The fact that Nakomi is very interested in the future of the Aiel, that she speaks somewhat strangely about Rand and that she cooks food that Avi's mother used to make and that she refuses to give her sept.
    The problem with this theory is that no Aiel Heroes of the Horn are mentioned when Mat blows the Horn. Moreover, it's mentioned explicitly that Rand knew them all.
    Presumably, if any were Aiel Rand would not think that. This can be countered by saying that one of the Heroes of the Horn may have been born as an Aiel once in the last two or three thousand years. After all, Birgitte lived many lives in that period. But Nakomi sounds like she is unfamiliar with wetlands at all. A Hero of the Horn would be quite familiar with wetlands, if not from her life as an Aiel but from her other lives. Perhaps she is a new Hero of the Horn? Then she would definitely appear as an Aiel when Mat blows the Horn. Ok, maybe this person died after Mat blew the Horn and became a Hero of the Horn for the first time. This is possible (Hawkwing mentions that sometimes the wheel adds to their number) but I consider it very unlikely. Apparently, this happens very very rarely as there are only about 100 Heroes overall.
    Another option is that Nakomi is an established Hero of the Horn who lived as an Aiel once some time ago and she is simply testing Avi and her question about wetlands being glorious is subterfuge. But even then there are further issues. Heroes of the Horn obey the precepts for the most part (Birgitte is definitely an exception). Yet, Nakomi is fairly familiar with details of Aiel interactions with Rand. How did she find out?
    All in all I find this scenario a bit too contrived but I would not rule something like this out completely.
    4. Nakomi is a Wise One in disguise. This explanation is not without its problems but I find it the most likely of all that I've seen so far. The Wise Ones have a motive. They are extremely worried about the future of the Aiel. That's their paramount concern. This is mentioned many times.
    The latest example is from tGS
    The Wise Ones also had an opportunity. They knew of Avi's trip and of her route and Amys, Melaine and Bair are dreamwalkers so they could find her in TAR easily.
    A Wise One dreamwalker could also change her face and mask her channeling ability (unless it's Bair who can't channel and wouldn't need to mask anything).
    Of course, a few things need to be cleared up here. Namely, why couldn't the Wise Ones talk to Avi about this before or after her trip to Rhuidean and why all the subterfuge.
    Why they wouldn't talk to her before the trip? Because Avi wasn't a Wise One yet. The Wise Ones don't discuss the most important matters with others, not even with their apprentices. She left for Rhuidean immediately after she declared herself ready to join them. There was no time to chat. Also, note that once Avi embarked on her journey they were not allowed to speak to her openly till she returned. That's why a Wise One would have to use Nakomi as a disguise and could not give her clan or sept. ok But why would the Wise Ones be so desperate to discuss the issue with Avi and why couldn't they wait till she came back?
    These questions are related. The first clue comes from long before.
    When Avi tells Rand about some Dreams the Wise Ones had about him Rand remarks
    Rand is right. This is fairly early in Avi's apprenticeship. Why are the Wise Ones discussing important Dreams with her besides those concerning Rand? The most natural answer is that they had some Dreams that concern Avi herself.
    We get more inkling of this in tGS. The Wise Ones push Avi hard, very hard. But why?
    so little time for what? Why is it so important that Avi becomes a full Wise One before the Last battle? There are lots of other apprentices. None of them are pushed this way. In fact, Avi is the first to pass through the columns since the Aiel came out of the Waste with Rand.
    The most likely answer is that the Wise Ones Dreamed something very important about Avi. Something that makes her important to the future of the Aiel, something that makes them drive her to become a Wise One before the LB at all costs.
    ok, fine, let's say we buy all that. But why couldn't they wait till she comes back? She wasn't going to be gone that long. Why break the precepts and talk to her disguised?
    This can be explained too. Avi leaves for Rhuidean the next day after Rand has his rather memorable encounter with Semirhage.
    The Wise Ones see that something is wrong with him right away. They even mention it to Avi before she leaves.
    Amys tells her
    However, even though the full extent of Rand's transformation doesn't become apparent overnight, it does becomes apparent fairly quickly. So here is the situation as the Wise Ones see it. The world is going to hell in a basket, the LB can start at any moment and Rand is totally loosing it. After he nukes Natrin's Barrow it's pretty clear that he is on the brink and can blow up at any second, before Avi comes back. In fact, this is exactly what happens in the end. The Wise Ones know that every day can be their last and they might not live to see Avi again. Yet someone needs to shepherd the Aiel after the LB and Avi seems to be especially important in that regard, likely because of some Dreams they had about her. So they break the precepts and talk to her in disguise.
    There is another popular argument in favor of Nakomi= a Wise one theory. Nakomi sneaks up on Avi. Avi claimed several times that only a maiden or a former maiden could do that which led many to believe that the Wise One in question is likely Amys.
    I must say that I don't find this argument compelling. Avi might not want to admit it but she lost some of her skills as a maiden. She let Melaine sneak up on her in tGS, Ch 11. Melaine was never a maiden. Worse, she let Min sneak up on her too!
    If Min can do that, anybody can.
    This theory is not perfect and some of the explanations might be a bit contrived but overall I find it the most likely of all I've seen thus far.
  23. herid
    Can Egwene ward her dreams? She never does even as Amyrlin. That certainly helps Anran'gar. Does it interfere with Dreaming and/or dreamwalking?
    When Egwene first meets Amys in TSR, Ch 11, Amys follows her to Tachico. How did she do it? Could she "smell" her trail much like Perrin and the wolves can? Or is her ability similar to how Birgitte does it by following ripples left by people in TAR (FoH, Ch 14)? This is never made clear.
    What is this "more besides" that Melaine is talking about? This is from the conversation when the Wise Ones order Avi to sleep in Rand's tent. They don't know what will come of it yet. Do they know something about Avi's future, perhaps from their dreams?
    More of that later
    When Avi tells Rand about some Dreams the Wise Ones had about him Rand remarks
    Rand is right. This is fairly early in Avi's apprenticeship. Why are the Wise Ones discussing important Dreams with her besides those concerning Rand? I suspect they had some Dreams that concern Avi herself.
    Egwene peeks into Kadere's and Isendre's dreams (FoH, Ch 7) but does not suspect them of being darkfriends. That's really daft of her. She should have looked into Asmodean's dreams too. And what about the Wise One Dreamwalkers. They never looked into any of those dreams. That's daft of them as well.
    FoH, Ch 10 Mistress Macura says that she discovered forkroot tea properties with respect to Aes Sedai by accident. This strikes me as implausible. She lives in Aamadicia where Aes Sedai are outlawed so I presume they don't visit that often. and even if she did feed forkroot tea to some Aes Sedai once that woman should now know of forkroot properties too. Yet, none of Aes Sedai were apparently aware of this. How can this be?
    Egwene walks in on Moiraine eavesdropping on Rand with the power in FoH, Ch 15. That's how Moiraine must have found out about Asmodean=Natael. This was pointed to me on the forums. I can't believe I didn't realize that before.
    in TFoH, Ch15 Egwene dreams of Perrin and a tinker with a sword (obviously Aram) but does not recognize Aram. Why is that? She certainly knows him.
    How did Birgitte's arrow make it out of TAR? is this a way to make stuff in TAR and then push it out into the waking world as Moggy did to Birgitte and her arrow? or is the arrow somehow special, like Birgitte herself? Tied to the wheel, perhaps? and Why didn't the girls ever ask Moggy about any of this?
    Why didn't Moggy ever ask some random maid to help her take off her "necklace"? None of them know what it is and it can be removed without channeling. That's not very clever of her...
    When Halima frees Moggy at the end of LoC, Moggy's first thought when seeing Halima make a ball of light is that it's impossible for a woman to channel saidin. Why doesn't she think of TP? That would be a far more natural explanation in this situation. Looks like that concept was not created yet at that point.
    Elayne makes a gateway to a point on a map when traveling from Salidar to Ebu Dar without ever being anywhere near the place. So does Rand when moving Mat and the Band to Salidar. This is really a very silly concept IMO.
    Egwene's group's use of Traveling in LoC and ACoS is very strange.
    First, the idea of the Traveling ground. This is supposed to make traveling safer so that gateways are not opened on top of people. But I would think the effect would be the opposite. A lot of gateways are opened constantly in a very confined space with lots of people passing through. The likelihood of one of the many gateways slicing through a person would seem to me to be quite high. How is this safer?
    In aCoS, Ch 9 Egwene laments that there is no news from Merana on her mission to Caemlyn. and what news they get comes by pigeons that arrive to Salidar. Instead of Traveling back to Salidar every day to check on the pigeons she should send somebody to Caemlyn via gateway.
    in aCoS ch 11 Romand and Lelaine argue about Romanda's suggestion to root out Balck Ajah and Romanda seems to suggest something close what Egwene does in the end. Romanda even says that she'll be the first to submit to the testing if Lelaine will be second. This looks like a foreshadowing. Egwene is not paying attention to their bickering but perhaps she should have. Romanda had the right idea.

    [*] Avi's thoughts on the way to meet seafolk
    Boy, I agree with that. RJ (and BS after him) tried very hard to convince the readers that this is quite all right yet they often failed. I suspect that is why so many readers have such a strong visceral reaction to Elayne's thought in ToM that she should hang Perrin for rebellion in Two Rivers. Who does this chick think she is? Perrin saved the Two Rivers from Trollocs (it likely would have fallen without him). The people there chose him as their leader. What has she done to demand their loyalty apart from being her mommy's daughter? (Her mom has done nothing for the Two River's either btw).
    [*] Moridin ruminates in tPoD prologue over a game of tcheran and mentions that only 9 people living know the game. At the time he already mindtrapped both Moggy and Cyndane (that's mentioned in the scene) so there are 9 live Forsaken:
    Moridin, Demandred, Osan'gar, Aran'gar, Mesaana, Moggy, Cyndane, Graendal and Semirhage.
    What about Rand though? It's well known by now that he remembers all kinds of things from LT's life.
    Also, all the chronology websites I checked put Sammael's death after that scene which would make him alive as well. I don't know how they deduce it though. I see no obvious time markers to make that conclusion. Something is wrong here.
    BTW, this scene also proves that there are no other hidden 2nd agers lurking around anywhere. The Forsaken and Rand are it.
    [*] In the same tPoD prologue scene Moridin thinks:
    That looks like a major piece of foreshadowing to me. Rand will likely be turned again (and again). We see a beginning of this in ToM epilogue. It would also tie in with the Dark prophecy from THG
    sounds ominous for Rand...
    [*] Alanna says in WH, CH 25:
    This looks like a foreshadowing to me.
    [*] Elayne promised seafolk one square mile of Andoran soil. I wonder what they want it for. They should request one foot wide stretch of land along all the major rivers to monopolize the river trade.
    Min to Rand:
    This looks like a foreshadowing to me. Min might play a bigger role in Rand's resurrection than is commonly believed.
    [*] Mat talking to Tuon in KoD, Ch 8
    This metaphor is exactly the same as the one in Egwene's dream in CoT Ch 20
    I used to think that the woman in that dream was Egeanin or possibly Tylee. But Terez has almost had me convinced that it's Tuon and the sword is Justice. That remark of Mat might be a subtle hint supporting that idea.
    [*] Semrhage mentioned that the domination band is a Breaking Era creation.
    So it was created after the Forsaken were trapped in the Bore. How does Semirhage know how to use it then? She did have it in her possession before she tried to capture Rand the first time but she sounds like she actually used a domination band before.
    When and on whom? did she kidnap an Asha'man?
    Also, what exactly is this domination band made of? This has been debated on the forum but the situation is confusing. If it's made of cuendillar then even balefire should not be able to destroy it. yet, Rand destroys the collar on him. and he is not using balefire then. he is using "spears of Fire and Air". ok, TP can destroy cuendillar so maybe that's it. but then why do the bracelets survive when he balefires Semirhage and Elza? This is quite confusing. Perhaps parts of the domination band that was used to capture Rand were made of cuendillar and other parts not.
    [*] In WH, Ch 53 Moggy compares the effect over Shadar Logoth to Stygian fire. That's a cultural reference based on Greek mythology. I wonder if it was conscious or not on RJ's part.

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