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  1. ...No comments on the Leanne one? Really? That one caught my breath somewhat, and she's rarely depicted in fanart
  2. Good tidings, my talented guests of Dragonmount! Welcome back to "It Works in Theory", Dragonmount's intermittent Wheel of Time-themed theory blog. I'm sure I could come up with some playful banter to waste some time before the disclaimer, but since I'm guessing many of you might have been anxious for another dosage of "It Works in Theory", I'll go ahead and skip the theatrics in favor of getting to the proceedings (somewhat) quickly. WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!!! WARNING!!! This blog is based on theories that will include facts and material from the latest books in the series, so if you have not read through Towers of Midnight, continue reading at your own risk! "It Works in Theory" is best enjoyed from multiple psychological perspectives within each individual. Dilution of the signal by perceiving it through only one personality or that of a relatively sane individual will only serve to diminish the strength and clarity of the signal, resulting in confusion and lack of comprehension. "It Works in Theory" assumes no responsibility for those rare cases in which the consumer actually claims that of competent and clear mental faculties. We shall belatedly continue the "Darkfriend Appreciation (Month)" this week by examining a very peculiar character indeed, Mazrim Taim. He has long been a figure of much speculation and pondering, and he also seems to have a fairly strong role yet to play in the last book. Ever since he was first introduced into the storyline, multiple questions have constantly revolved around him. His blend of offhand casual insanity and calm calculation makes him an interesting character to theorize about because the reader always gets a sense he is plotting something rather elaborate. He also carries a good bit of power with his office, controlling a growing force of Shadow-controlled Dreadlords who will surely be very deadly in the Last Battle. Before we continue on the many ideas and questions regarding Taim, there is first one issue that we might as well go ahead and cover right out of the gate. Taim is not Demandred. Many seem to have independently arrived at this conclusion after reading the series, and even after rereading and researching key parts. Indeed, this issue seems to have gotten almost as much attention over the years as the famous "Asmodean's Murder Mystery" spectacle got. There are many clues which seem to suggest this idea may be true, which I will get to a bit later. Nevertheless, we have had several times in which Robert Jordan himself discounted the theory: I hope there aren't too many people out there who are disheartened by this information; I know it seemed like a perfect fit. After all, Taim is said to be extremely powerful in the One Power. He has been able to channel for far longer than most men and doesn't seem (completely) insane yet. Even his use of phrases and mannerisms seem to suggest that Taim could actually be a Forsaken, and Demandred to boot. Alas, it was not meant to be. We'll cover who Demandred's alter ego might be (or if he has one) in a future blog, but for today we can still discuss the questions concerning Taim's origins. The easiest part to explain is Taim's ability to channel and not be completely maddened by the Taint. He is obviously a Darkfriend, and more than likely due to the strength of his power has the Dark One's protection from the Taint on saidin. Even with his protection, there are more than enough examples of Taim having little slips of insanity. His power level is somewhat irrelevant, as we've seen several Third Agers who have seemed to sprout out of nowhere with unusually powerful abilities with channeling. Interestingly enough, though, his decorum and phrasing are the most interesting aspects about the "Taimandred" theory. Mazrim Taim seems to make some odd slips of the tongue throughout the series, and these vocal phrases and utterings have drawn a fair amount of attention from theoryheads on this and other websites. The most famous is probably the "So-called Aiel" line he drops in Lord of Chaos: Only one other person in the series uses this same way of referring to the Aiel: Moridin. There are other explanations for this phraseology, of course. Assuming Mazrim Taim was knowledgeable about history and translation of words from the Old Tongue, he would understand the irony in the People of the Dragon referring to themselves as Aiel. Aiel, as you may remember, means dedicated in the Old Tongue; however, the Aiel of today are no longer dedicated to the same set of morals and values that they once were. There are a couple of other important slips, though, that start to make this harder to explain away so easily. When Taim is first learning more of how much Rand knows about channeling, he sees Rand demonstrate opening a gateway, and Rand describes what he's doing: Yet later, Taim expresses astonishment at Rand's lack of knowledge of other channeling fundamentals: Rand never mentioned Traveling, yet Taim obviously sees that the gateway Rand opened was used for none other than Traveling. Once again, this might be able to be explained away on its own, but together with the "So-called Aiel" comment and this last example, it really starts to become a stretch. The last example comes from the book title of the last few quotes, an utterance that becomes both something of a motto and an order to anyone trying to further the Shadow's goals: "Let the Lord of Chaos rule." The directive is handed down to the Forsaken, and they mention it in passing several times in the span of a couple of books. Yet when the group of Red Ajah Aes Sedai from Elaida approach Taim about bonding some of his Asha'man for Warders, Taim catches both the Aes Sedai representative, Pevara, and the reader alike off-guard when he uses the phrase as well: The other parts about this theory that interest me are Taim's choice of decor. He definitely seems to favor red and black, which Moridin also seems to favor, and the dais he uses to address the Asha'man, made of a strange black rock, seems like it might perhaps be able to trace its origin to Shayol Ghul. Even more interesting, when Pevara is first being brought into the Black Tower and is describing some of the details she notices, we catch something interesting: There have been two other circumstances in which we have seen similar markings, and both were in adornment of something a Forsaken owned. The first was Belal's coach in The Dragon Reborn: Then we see it again in the meeting that Nynaeve and Birgitte spy on in Tel'aran'rhiod: There's really no easy explanation for this; the symbol is too similar to the ones used by the Forsaken to be mere coincidence. So, if Taim isn't Demandred, could he be another Forsaken? All the other clues would point to it being Moridin if he WAS one of them, but I find this highly unlikely because Taim would have to be present and active in the Black Tower affairs to keep a good eye on things, and Moridin is way too busy with other Nae'blis stuff. In all actuality, Taim is probably just Taim, not some other Forsaken's alter ego or avatar. That still leaves some unanswered questions, however. Taim definitely seems to exhibit the habits of a channeler from the Age of Legends. I personally would be very excited if this was the case, for I have long thought that this could be the case. Perhaps he was a channeler from that Age but just wasn't infamous enough to earn the reputation that the Forsaken earned. If this was the case, though, there would need to be an explanation for where he had been the past 3,000 years. It's possible that he was Sealed in the Bore with the other Forsaken, perhaps near the surface, and stole out in time to become a false Dragon. This seems kind of unlikely, but other explanations start getting even more flimsy (he was stuck in a stasis box, or he was on another Portal World whose time moved much faster than ours). So, the Age of Legends channeler idea might be nixed. A much simpler explanation for Taim's odd behavior and sayings would be that he is being controlled and directed by the Forsaken, and that their habits are wearing off on him. This explanation definitely seems to fit best with the whole "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" comment. Some even think Taim might be in the process of being groomed for a "new" Forsaken position, perhaps along with Alviarin (the head of the Black Ajah). This is speculated because of one scene in which a Forsaken meeting seems to have two extra chairs set out. I can see both sides to this debate: with some of the Forsaken balefired out of existence, I could see the Dark One wanting to "fill in the ranks" so as to better prepare the Shadow for the Last Battle, but I could also see the other Forsaken having a serious problem with this. They more than likely think that the less of them there are, the more power they will each get to split with one another, and I don't think they would show any mercy to a "new" Forsaken because of this. Alright, we're several paragraphs in, have a bunch of quotes from both the series and the author himself, and we've established that Taim is not Demandred, but that he's still kind of odd. Well done so far, if I do say so myself. So the next question is, what shall be his fate in the last book? At this point, I think it's safe to say that his fate is intertwined with that of Logain's; those two have been gearing up for a showdown for quite some time. What will happen, though? At first glance, Taim seems to have a decidedly significant advantage. He has more channelers on his side, the Forsaken and other nasty foes in his corner, and also has had much more time with which to plan whatever it is he's been planning. But we know that Logain is destined for glory, so really the main query would seem to be how Logain ends up taking him down. I actually LOVE an idea that one of my readers posted in the comments section for my blog on Logain, and in fact, I was fairly envious that I had not thought of it first: Grifter7 was gracious enough to point out how I had forgotten to include Logain's ability to see ta'veren, and he points out a VERY good example of how this ability could become very significant. Really, I don't have much to add to his thoughts, since it really does seem like a very good possibility at this point. Great job, Grifter. It's good to see my theorizing and general prognostication are rubbing off on some of my readers (just kidding). Don't worry, I'm not going to just leave it at that. Taim deserves a bit more, and seeing as how he is fairly loony himself, I don't mind borrowing a couple of theories from the "loony bin." Two things have always piqued my interest when discussing Taim. The first has to do with a very nefarious process we learned about early in the series when Egwene was completing her test for Accepted: the 13 x 13 trick. Just as a refresher, if 13 channelers use 13 Myrddraal to focus their channeling, they can initiate a ritual in which any channeler can be turned to the Shadow forcibly, no matter how strong the will of the channeler being converted. That's pretty nasty business. It looks like we already have evidence of it happening at the Black Tower: One of the funny things is that although I have probably discussed 17 different ways that we could end up seeing Dark Rand 2.0 in the last book, I've never really focused on the 13x13 trick being the way that he is converted, even though it's probably one of the most feasible ways it could happen. More importantly, though, the method can be used on ANY channeler, so we could very well see someone else kidnapped and brought to the tower and be in danger of being turned to the Shadow. We all know the stage is set for a big battle scene in Caemlyn somewhere around the start of A Memory of Light. It's very easy to believe that when Elayne finds out about her city being attacked, she will want to personally Travel back there and try to restore order. Maybe we'll see her, or another major character that can channel, being carted off to the Black Tower in order to be converted to the Shadow. Even if the ritual is stopped before fruition, it would definitely help add a good bit of tension to whatever rescue operation ends up going down. The second "out there" idea that I've always kind of focused on in my research has to do with something that Taim brought to Rand in their original meeting. He brought Rand one of the Seals to the Dark One's prison, claiming to have been given it by a random farmer on a trek back from Saldaea. Aside from how sketchy Taim's story is for where he got it, we first would have to wonder why a Darkfriend, one as high up as Taim, would be fine handing over a Seal to Rand. We know that several attempts have been made by those controlled by the Shadow to recover the other Seals Rand has in his possession, so it's obvious the Shadow has some small desire to get those back. One obvious motive for Taim could have been to try and earn Rand's trust by giving him such a token, and this actually kind of works to some extent. But this seems like a small reward for giving away one of the keys to Rand defeating the Dark One at Tarmon Gai'don. Then I read something from one of our discussion threads in the Wheel of Time discussion forums. In this post, one of our intuitive readers suggests that the Seal Taim gave Rand is actually a fake, and that this is part of a semi-elaborate ruse on Taim's part to try and help undermine Rand's attempt to fight the Dark One. Basically, the theory goes that Rand has to "clear away the rubble"--that is, he has to destroy all the Seals on the Dark One's prison so that he can perhaps construct a new prison for the Dark One. However, Rand already knows that with every Seal that he destroys, the Dark One gains that much influence on Randland. And he also believes that to do it right he has to destroy the Seals at Shayol Ghul, which just so happens to be the strongest area of the Dark One's power. What if Rand gets there, prepared to destroy the Seals and remake the Dark One's prison, only to realize at the last second he has only destroyed six of the seven Seals? Unable to continue his plan, he would suddenly be at the complete mercy of Shai'tan, and would have only a single moment to curse Mazrim Taim's name before being consumed by Darkness. A scramble would ensue, not only to try and keep Dark Rand 2.0 from terrorizing the countryside, but also to find the last Seal pronto so that Rand's plan can be finished. I, for one, find it to be a completely evil idea and a very interesting possibility indeed. Well, that's all for this week. I hope you enjoyed reading today's blog, and I'll try my best to keep getting these out to you with somewhat more regularity. As always, let me know what you think in the comments section, and be on the lookout for the last "Darkfriend Appreciation Blog", which will focus on a very interesting Darkfriend indeed! Adios!
  3. Whoops! Look like we got some ninjas here! If you think you might be interested in the Black Tower Nico, definitely stop by there, we'll give you a warm welcome there as well! There's a thread there specifically for newcomers, you can post in it and soon you'll find your own welcome thread being created! Interesting thing you already have in common with our Social Group: our Group Leader's real name is Niko
  4. Lol looks like you've already picked up on the Wheel of Time style of cursing hehe. The Org's that Ithillian mentioned are the Social Groups you can find further down the Forums page. I for example am most active in the Black Tower, where we tend to be a little bit silly but still have a great time
  5. Welcome Diels-Alder! That's quite an impressive amount of reads you've done on the series, you have me beat by a good bit. I am also a hardcore fantasy freak, and I can't wait till the last book comes out! There's definitely a large number of things to do in the forums, including joining both WoT and non-WoT themed discussions on discussion boards, and Social Groups that you can converse with other fans in a more relaxed and friendly manner, and even RP boards if you like to occasionally role play. Do you have any thoughts about the series and how things might wrap up? I bet you have a very interesting perspective after having read the series so many times Any interesting theories by chance? I happen to run the theory blog which runs on the front page, I'd love to steal some of your ideas and pass them off as my own! Jking lol
  6. Hey there Nico! I agree with Pankhuri that the Discussion forums might not be a good idea till you've read a bit further in the series, you could end up seeing spoilers even in the titles of threads! As Ithillian mentioned, The Social Groups can be an immense amount of fun and can help you see other fans perspective while you continue reading . Plus you have the chance to start some great friendships! I am also a member of the Black Tower, and I invite you to come check us out! We're a bit zany because of the Taint's hold on us, but we can be loads of fun!
  7. You definitely pick up on a great possibility a few others have also thought of, the idea of Rand "breaking" the cyclical style of the Pattern and making it a linear based model. One of my favorite blogs kind of touched on that issue, and whether the the model of eternal return in the Wheel of Time was all that bad. Honestly, it is my favorite blog The link for it is right here, in case you want to read it. And if you click on the "Theory Blog" link in any of the blogs, you can browse through past editions. /shameless self promotion Anyhoo, I'm glad to see that we have another intuitive fan of the series to come and toss around ideas with! Welcome once again!
  8. @Aaaammmond: That is actually one of the ideas of eternal return I talked about. The idea that mankind has already risen and fallen, a few times, yet each time we feel like we are "rediscovering" everything from before. It's more an illusion of cyclical time, you're right, but it's a valid example regardless. Great comment btw @b1ackb1rd: Wow, that is a GREAT catch! I never noticed that before! And thank you for being a fan
  9. Welcome Ben! I'm glad you finished your read so you can join in on the discussion! The main WoT discussion can be found in the Wheel of Time Discussion Forums, but you'll find you can discuss the books just about anywhere on the site! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Mat is also one of my favorite characters as well, not only is he funny but he's also a BAMF warrior! You have any thoughts on how the series will wrap up?
  10. Welcome to DM Tio! How far along are you in the series? Do you have any thoughts about how the series will end? I write the front page theory blog so I love picking other people's minds about stuff like that Our RP forums are very welcome to newcomers, feel free to look around and peek into a couple of them! Also, in case you're interested the Social Groups are a lot of fun as well; there's a variety of them as well and you'll find many opportunities for fun and friendship with other WoT fans (I personally am most active in the Black Tower)!
  11. Terez's theory library is literally too well stocked. Terez, I can't tell you how much I've tripped over myself when writing my blog to avoid pretty much copying your theories note for note. H8u and STOP WRITING THEORIES!!! I can't compete with you, I'm still on my second reread! Enough putting me to shame!
  12. Yeah I figured you'd end up reading it lol. I'm sure you also prob could have guessed as much anyways, considerin...
  13. @Metalhead: I'm glad you enjoy my writing! It's really been more satisfying than you can imagine, getting so many comments and messages telling me how much my blog is appreciated. Believe it or not, but during the holidays malaise and everything else, I had kind of been contemplating taking a break from the blog (don't tell Dwynwen that ). Now not only am I glad I didn't, I'm also overjoyed that my work is so appreciated. As an aspiring writer it means a lot, thank you. As for other writing of mine, I did used to write for another website but they have since closed down, even the portal link doesn't work anymore. I wrote about a lot of things on there, from daily observations and randomness to other deeper more introspective issues. I've been contemplating starting up another blog perhaps, a personal one, but I'm not exactly sure what I'd like to focus it around. Pop culture, music, sports, daily life, social issues; there are plenty of topics I would enjoy writing about. If I did start a personal blog, do any of my readers have a preference for what kind you might like? Oh, one more thing Metalhead, you can find a little bit more of my writing in the Cage Match fights we recently featured. I wrote all of the Week 2 matchups, and the Nynaeve vs. Moridin matchup. @Redshield: I agree with Mark, I think Mat's theory on the memories is false. The characters are often wrong throughout the series when it comes to certain matters, and Mat is prob the worst at this. More than likely he is in denial about his lineage/ancestry because of how much he loathes the idea of nobility or people who think they're better than others. He wants to believe the memories are from other people so that he can go on pretending he's no one special. As for the Slayer/'Finns connection, I'm really not sure because there aren't many other hints of a link between the two, but I would suspect him disappearing by the Tower was more likely an attempt to get Perrin to try and get inside the Tower.
  14. Regards, my intelligent browsers of Dragonmount! Welcome to another week of "It Works in Theory," Dragonmount's often duplicated but never imitated theory blog. I know what you're thinking: two weeks in a row with a new theory blog entry, now we KNOW the end of the world is near. Speaking of the end of the world, the release date for the final book of The Wheel of Time was announced recently, and of course there were some fans who were slightly disappointed to see a date a little bit later than they had anticipated. Obviously I, along with many others, am boiling over in anticipation for A Memory of Light, and I would love for the book to be out tomorrow so I can start flipping through the pages and seeing how everything ends up. But something we should remember is that we fans are extremely lucky even to be getting an ending to the series, period. So, let's have patience, and all hope the Mayans were just big pranksters so we'll all get a chance to finish our favorite series. Before all that, though, let's go ahead and get to the disclaimer: WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!!! WARNING!!! This blog is based on theories that will include facts and material from the latest books in the series, so if you have not read through Towers of Midnight, continue reading at your own risk! Before beginning your enjoyment of "It Works in Theory," the reader should remember to follow all safety protocol and take all caution necessary to prevent accidents or mishaps. This includes donning all protective gear and heeding all precautions, such as standing or sitting no closer than ten feet away from whatever device you happen to be reading the blog on to minimize exposure from the blog's glorious yet deadly radiation. At the very least, if a blindfold is unavailable, thick goggles should be worn to prevent overbulging of the eyes. Ear plugs are also a necessity to keep any brain matter from trying to escape the cranial cavity while the blog's contents are being transmitted directly to your mind. We're continuing the "Darkfriend Appreciation Month" theme this week, and as promised, we shall be discussing the individual(s) known as Slayer. Last week, we covered Padan Fain, who happens to be one of Slayer's many nemeses. Slayer is definitely a very interesting character for many reasons, and several of them are the same ones that make Fain so interesting. He also is somewhat of a conglomeration of two separate personalities that merged into one violent persona, being the combination of Luc Mantear and Isam Mandragoran. He has several powerful unique abilities, mostly tied to his strengths in the world of Tel'aran'rhiod. But to me, one of the most interesting things about Slayer is the multitude of connections that link him with many other main characters of the series. Put simply, a lot of people have potential beef with this guy, and he could end up meeting his possible end at the hands of any one of them. The first individual Slayer is linked to that I wanted to discuss was Fain himself. At one point in time, both Slayer and Fain were "on the same side." Fain had been created as a hound of the Dark One to help track down Rand, and Slayer had been a valuable tool of the Dark One for some time. But when Fain realigned his priorities and commitments after merging with Mordeth, they soon found each other trying to do the other one in. I already mentioned the oddity in that both are the product of two separate personas being merged, and the fact that both have unique and unusual abilities. Slayer has tried attacking Fain in proxy, sending Gray Men and Trollocs after him, but Fain is able to defeat or convert any Slayer sends his way. You get the sense from Fain that there is definitely no love lost in regards to Slayer; however, he also seems to have bigger fish to fry. As far as who would win in a showdown, it obviously has a lot to do with the placement of the battlefield. If the fight were to occur in Tel'aran'rhiod somehow, or if Slayer were able to drag Fain into the dream world, he would most easily hold the advantage. In any other circumstances, however, Fain would most likely dominate without breaking a sweat. Slayer isn't overly reckless, so I don't think a one on one showdown between the two is honestly that likely. In general, when we think of Slayer's true foe, only one person comes to mind: Perrin Goldeneyes. There is some serious bad blood in that relationship, as Slayer has killed countless wolfbrothers of Perrin's. Slayer seems to be perceptive of the relationship Perrin has with the wolves, and kills them to tease Perrin as much as to satisfy his own inhuman desire to destroy. They have met multiple times now, both in combat and in passing when Lord Luc was posing as a savior to the Two Rivers during the scouring of the Shire cleansing of Trollocs from Rand's homeland. They've traded off somewhat; the first encounter ending in sort of a draw (when Slayer seemed to disappear into the Tower of Ghenjei), the second again resulting in a draw (this time with Perrin fleeing), the third ending with Perrin injuring Slayer greatly with an arrow to the chest, the fourth ending with Perrin barely escaping with his life, and the last ending with Perrin outsmarting Slayer and using a nightmare to destroy the dreamspike. There is a subtle undercurrent to Slayer and Perrin's relationship. Slayer seems to have a connection to the Darkhounds, and might even have something to do with their creation or conversion. Perrin, as a wolfbrother, shares his wolf pals' aversion to creatures of the Shadow. Interestingly enough, the wolves seem to have a larger dislike for creatures that are less human or are abominations of nature. Their hatred for the "Neverborn," their term for Myrddraal, is a prime example. Well, Slayer has been in Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh long enough to have lost nearly all his humanity, so it stands to reason that this would set him apart already. Combining this with his connection to Darkhounds, it's easy to think that Perrin would love nothing more than to hamstring him and rip out his throat with a powerful set of wolf jaws or possibly a swipe of Mah'alleinir. Even worse, Slayer could possibly be the Shadow's version of a wolfbrother, some kind of Shadowbrother that gets glee from murdering and turning wolves. Hopper even hints at somehing far older than Slayer when referring to him while admonishing Perrin for wanting to chase him: I'll be getting back to the "dimly remembered" thing a bit later, but if Slayer is a Shadowbrother then it is most fitting for Perrin, the Wolf King himself, to be the one who takes him down. However, if they were to meet again, this time in a final confrontation, who would ultimately hold the advantage? To be honest, Perrin is actually easily outmatched by Slayer in terms of abilities within the wolf/dream world; the main reason Perrin has been able to keep it relatively even up to this point has been his ability to surprise Slayer, who was also most likely underestimating Perrin's abilities. Not only that, but you also must consider the nature of both men. Slayer has an extreme amount of pride and holds a deep personal vendetta against Perrin. And his rage, although cold and inhuman, would make him seek Perrin's death even if it didn't necessarily help the chances of the Shadow succeeding. Perrin, on the other hand, is not nearly as passionate in that sense. Yes, of course he has his own righteous fury and is a force to be reckoned with when enflamed, but most of the time he tries to think logically and choose the best course of action carefully. In Towers of Midnight when Perrin had stolen the dreamspike from Slayer and was fleeing from him, it wasn't nearly as important to him that he see Slayer dead as it was that he find a way to destroy or disable the dreamspike. He cared more about his duty and protecting those who had sworn fealty to him than he did about personal vengeance, and this was right after witnessing Slayer kill multiple friends of his in the wolf dream. So, at the end of the day, Perrin simply isn't as driven to kill Slayer as Slayer is to kill him. When taking into account the fact that Slayer is also more skilled in Tel'aran'rhiod, it's somewhat of a natural conclusion to say that Slayer would most likely defeat Perrin. Another individual that Slayer has a link to is one of the Forsaken, one who recently was visited by Shaidar Haran to finally be held accountable for all of her failings. Graendal tried shirking responsibility onto Slayer after he was loaned for her use by Moridin, but Shaidar Haran wasn't having any of it. She does seem to still be alive though, and it is possible that she would carry a grudge against Slayer if she truly believed he was to blame for her last epic fail of a plot. That being said, I doubt she would risk going after another of the Dark One's tools, considering she has been responsible for the deaths of almost as many Forsaken as Rand. She would know that she would be on her last lifeline, and wouldn't want to risk losing out on the chance at eternal life for some simple grudge. The relationship that Slayer has to the next couple of characters is somewhat more intimate; in fact, he happens to share a blood bond with both of them. One of Slayer's personalities is Isam Mandragoran, who happens to be the son of Breyan Mandragoran, who was Lan's aunt. This would make him Lan's cousin, which is why his dream form of Isam has caused some confusion for those who didn't realize who he was at first (Nynaeve and Egwene have both seen him in visits to Tel'aran'rhiod). Breyan Mandragoran is largely to blame for the fall of Malkier. Because of this, were Lan to ever learn of this side of Slayer's persona, he would relish greatly in the chance to be the one who made Slayer depart this world. Part of the reason Lan has "courted death" so much in his life-long vendetta against the Shadow is that he's always lacked an easy scapegoat for the fall of his kingdom. If he were given the son of the woman responsible for its fall, I imagine his mercy would not extend far at all. The difficulty here, however, would probably be having an excuse for these two to meet, and for Lan to have it verified who he was. The other half of Slayer consists of Lord Luc Mantear, and following his family tree results in another nice surprise: Rand. Rand's mother Tigraine, otherwise known as Shaiel, was Luc's sister, which would make Slayer Rand's uncle. First of all, who would've thought that someone with both Lan and Rand's blood could be such a psychopath? I mean, Rand and Lan are both such agreeable, mentally stable people...kinda sorta...right? One interesting possibility that arises with this information is Slayer's possible involvement in the "Blood on the Rocks" topic, if you presume that the "blood of the Dragon" might mean his blood relatives. I kind of doubt Slayer will somehow be sacrificed for the good of the Light, however. Another huge connection Luc has with Rand has to do with Rand's other biological parent: Janduin. After Shaiel's death, Janduin ventures forth to the Blight in a fit of grief, hoping to find solace in the deaths of as many Shadowspawn as he can cause, when he sees someone who seems to have a striking resemblance to Shaiel. It is implied that his hesitation at seeing someone who carries the likeness of his dead wife is what costs him his life, because the individual then kills him. Slayer is Rand's uncle, and also happened to kill his true father. Yes, the soap opera that is The Wheel of Time has many twists and turns. Suffice it to say that were Rand to find a chance to dispatch his father's killer, he would come upon Slayer like a terrible malevelont force of destruction that Slayer would have little chance against. In fact, there is an interesting caveat to this relationship: Slayer's death at the hands of Rand may well have been prophesied: Now, in one of my first blogs, I discussed the Dark Prophecy and its possible interpretations. In that blog, I said that the second paragraph I quoted here most likely had to do with the Seanchan invasion of Tarabon, but there is another possible interpretation. There was a great theory/write-up by one of Dragonmount's regular posters in the General Wheel of Time Discussion forum, in which FarShainMael lined out why the "seed of the Hammer" could possibly be Rand. Long story short, Rand could possibly be related to Artur Hawkwing through the lineage on his mother's side of the family. He burned "the ancient tree" when he lit Avendesora on fire during his fight with Asmodean at the end of The Shadow Rising. And what could the line "Again the seed slays ancient wrong" be referring to? In the same chapter after Hopper tells Perrin that Slayer uses abilities "dimly remembered from long ago," Perrin meets Birgitte for the first time, and she ends up describing Slayer's essence in a similar fashion. We all know what a fan Robert Jordan was of putting small hints in certain wordings or phrases, so it could be that he was breadcrumbing that Slayer is the ancient evil, or ancient wrong, that the seed shall...slay. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Rand ends up being the one who punches Slayer's ticket in, especially if Slayer adds Perrin's death to the list of grievances Rand would have against him. One more thing I wanted to discuss before we wrapped things up this week has to do with something that many of you might not normally consider. Well, what else am I good for if not for helping you exercise those theory muscles that don't often get worked out? What I'm interested in is the morality of Slayer; more specifically how much culpability can be placed at his feet, or just "how evil" he truly is. One thing to remember is that one half of Slayer, Isam, was taken into the Blight by his mother when he was still an infant. More than likely he was taken at an extremely young age, and probably went through who knows what kind of trauma and anguish before he was even merged with Luc. Luc, meanwhile, was sent to the Blight by Gitara Moroso, who supposedly had tried convincing him fame and fortune lie in the Blight. It's possible, though, that instead she convinced him to go because she told him it was necessary for him to go because the outcome of Tarmon Gai'don depended on him venturing into the Blight. What I'm getting at is, what if Luc went there with altruistic intentions, only to be taken by the forces of the Shadow and subjugated to whatever treatment would help develop him into Slayer? We know being in Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh has very harmful effects on your humanity, and that someone can be forcibly taken into the world of dreams. In that world, so much more is possible if your morals aren't so rigidly defined, and the use of its abilities might even have something to do with how Slayer was created, how both of his personalities were merged. So is it possible that Slayer is in fact a mere victim of circumstance and didn't choose to become evil of his own will but was forced to become a pawn of the Dark One? If this is the case, should we be rooting for his death more because it would be an act of mercy instead of wishing his death to satisfy our own morbid appetites? Or maybe I'm just cutting Slayer too much slack because he shares a name with an iconic speed/thrash metal band that I happen to dig (my band is even considering doing a cover of a famous song of theirs; I left a clue hinting which one at the very beginning of this week's blog). Well, that should just about do it for this week. I hope everyone has enjoyed it, and I would like to hear your thoughts on the topic. Comment, private message, or email me if you had any different takes or ideas on either this, or any topic you might want to talk about. Also, I apologize for bringing this up again, but one more positive that comes out of having a release date slightly later than expected: more theory blogs from yours truly! Ah, well, I tried. Alright, till next week theoryheads, when we will be focusing on the one and only...Mazrim Taim!
  15. Something yall might be forgetting about is Rand's link with Moridin, which is where he most likely originally got the ability to use the TP from. I suspect Rand will have the ability to access the TP without the Dark One's permission for as long as he and Moridin are linked. Having access to it and using it are two different things however, and I think Rand has an idea of what kind of effect using the TP could have on him, which is why we prob haven't seen Rand use it in other circumstances. I could easily see him using it in the last book for some reason though
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