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  1. Moiraine once said the DO was also a part of the Wheel. Outside of the Pattern, but still a part of the Wheel of Time. This leads me to believe that the DO was never meant to destroy creation, was never meant to "win". Just as the One Power drives the Wheel, the Dark One is one of the components that helps create the Pattern. He is the force of change and destruction, of progress and renewal. A question we've never asked: why did the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends wanted to tap into the True Power? Was not the One Power enough? Why did they feel the need to potentially destabilize the very fabric of reality in order to tap into a new source of Power? I think that question reflects something that was fundamentally wrong with the society of the Age of Legends: a calcification of progress, a dearth of meaningful change. They desired desperately, needed even, something new to happen, and were willing to take great risks for change to happen.
  2. No, if the battle was lost, Aiel would flee. Only the Stone Dogs would never retreat (which makes me wonder how they manage to keep existing as a society). The "fifth" rule is to ensure that the defeated Aiel can return to their hold and rebuild.
  3. The problem is that you are assuming the Dark One cares about political power. No, it has been said time and again that the Dark One wants to *destroy* the Pattern. Ishamael is the Nae'blis because he is the only one among the Forsaken who understands this. Or at least, that's what we're led to believe...
  4. From AMOL: Too weak. Each shield was too weak, and yet their attacks had him worried. They had come quickly, at least three dozen Dreadlords, each trying to cut him off from the Source. This was dangerous—that they had anticipated him. That was why they had hit Lan so hard with channelers. To draw Rand out. Rand fought off the attacks, but none of them were in danger of truly shielding him. A single person could not cut off someone holding as much saidin as he was. They should have . . . He saw it right before it happened. The other attacks were cover, feints. One that was coming would be created by a circle of men and women. A man would be leading. There! A shield slammed against him, but Rand had had just enough time to prepare. He channeled Spirit in the tempest, weaving by instinct from Lews Therin's memories, and rebuffed the shield. He shoved it away, but could not destroy it. Light! That had to be a full circle. Rand grunted as the shield slipped closer to him; it made a vibrant pattern in the sky, motionless despite the tempest. Rand resisted it with his own surge of Spirit and Air, holding it back as if it were a knife hanging above his throat. He lost control of the tempest. Lightning crashed around him. The other channelers wove to enhance the storm—they didn’t try to control it, for they didn’t need to. It being out of control served them, as at any moment, it could strike Rand. He roared again, louder this time, more determined. I will beat you, Taim! I will finally do what I should have months ago! But he did not let the anger, the wildness, force him into conflict. He couldn’t afford to. He had learned better than that. This was not the place. He could not fight here. If he did, he would lose. Rand pushed with a surge of strength, throwing back Taim’s shield, then used the moment of respite to weave a gateway. His Maidens went through immediately, and Rand, ducking his head against the wind, reluctantly followed. It has been said throughout the book that a full circle of 13 Aes Sedai could shield any man, no matter how strong. Rand himself was shielded easily by a circle of 13 in LOC. True, Rand was holding an angreal in the above passage, but normally, anything short of a sa'angreal would not have been enough to stop a full circle. Worse yet, this was a circle of men and women. That meant a "full" circle might mean 72 instead of 13! If Rand could rebuff a circle of 72 and still have enough strength to escape with a gateway, no wonder he wasn't worried about the circle of 13 shielding him when he went to the White Tower to see Egwene!
  5. That's a very good point!
  6. Where would you love to live?

    I don't know, the worms grow kind of big over there. Plenty of empty land throughout Randland.
  7. Where would you love to live?

    Rural Saldaea, during harvest season. Other times, traveling with Tinkers.
  8. Here's my take: The lions sing and the hills take flight The lions may refer to Andor, and the hills may refer to Cairhien. Remember that Cairhien was known as Al'cair'rahienallen, meaning "Hill of the Golden Dawn". This line may refer to Andor and Cairhien mobilizing for the Last Battle. Another possibility is this refers to the Aiel invasion of Cairhien. The Aiel are known to sing when going to battle. The moon by day and the sun by night I think this is a reference to "twice dawns the day" in the Karaethon Cycle. Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool I think this refers to the men and women who ignore the coming of the Last Battle. We've seen that a lot of the troubles in the world come from people who don't believe the Last Battle is coming and continue to maneuver for their own ambitions. This fits well with the next line. Let the Lord of Chaos rule In the 3rd Age, this saying was only known to Darkfriends. Perhaps in the 4th Age, like the rhyme for the game of Snakes and Foxes, the saying is part of a game that recreates the events surrounding the Last Battle.
  9. That's an interesting interpretation, though the metaphors are a bit too stretchy for my taste. The "blind woman" and the "deaf man" reminds me of a joke about a couple who had been married for 60 years and never argued with one another. The woman was blind, and the man was deaf.
  10. Imagine there's this girl you really like. Imagine she's dating this guy, and she really seems to care for him, and she doesn't seem to care about you at all. Then you learn that this guy killed your mom and is making moves on your sister. Pretty creepy, right? That's what Gawyn felt, and that's why he kept believing Rand killed his mother despite everyone telling him differently. Gawyn needed a justification for hating Rand. Imagine you're on a road trip with a buddy, except you have no money and you're being chased by the mafia. He took care of you when you were temporarily blinded, and you took care of him when he fell suddenly ill. You went through some pretty crazy things together. Now imagine this buddy coming to you and announcing that he was now a noble, and you're now beneath him and he no longer wanted to be associated with you. That hurts. A lot. Maybe you think to yourself that nobles are such assholes, and hope you never become one. Maybe that's why Mat dislikes nobles so much and refuses to be thought of as one. Finally, I've always thought of Morgase as a throwaway character. Her plot arcs were pretty boring and inconsequential. Then I realized that it was the news of her death that made Rand decide to attack Rahvin. Without that decision, Lanfear would not have attacked Rand, and Moiraine would not have fallen through the doorway ter'angreal. What's more, Morgase would not have fled the palace if Mat and Perrin had not set certain things in motion. Morgase had been pulled by their ta'veren nature, and in turn set into motions events that would influence the Dragon Reborn. Everything comes back to the 3 ta'veren...
  11. I've always thought that they were likely innocent travelers and Rand killed them as a manifestation of his madness. The Gray Man is inconsequential, he/it could have just been hiding among the caravan.
  12. The White Tower floor plan

    Where did you get the 10,000 number from? AFAIK, the White Tower was built to house 3000 Aes Sedai. Currently, it only houses a few hundred, which is probably why all the AS have their own rooms. I would imagine if the Tower was fully occupied, novices and AS would have to share rooms.
  13. American Collapse

    America is not going to collapse anytime soon, but it is undergoing unprecedented changes, brought on largely by the advent of social media. Before social media, people relied on a relatively few number of organizations for news. People talked about issues face-to-face. With social media, anyone can disseminate news, and issues are no longer talked about through conversations, but through one-liners posted on Twitter or Facebook. While this confers great power to the public, it also comes with great risk. When you talk with someone face-to-face, you have to respect social etiquette, and the conversation rarely veers into extremism. It is also very likely that the people you speak with have different stances on those issues, and your own stance is shaped in part by theirs. Social media, on the other hand, allows people to circumvent personal interactions, and go straight to argumentation, often toxic argumentation. It also allows people to easily find groups of like-minded others, thus reinforcing their existing worldviews. This combination is a fertile breeding ground for extremism of all kinds.
  14. A new definition of masculinity

    The problem is cultural, so there aren't any easy solutions. It ties into what Jordan Peterson has been saying. Young men don't know what to do with themselves. They are not motivated, they lack meaning in life. Historically, this is nothing new. Western societies are currently peaceful and prosperous. Prosperity breeds indolence while adversity builds strength and character. This is how, throughout the ages, empires rise and fall.
  15. A new definition of masculinity

    Feminism, even toxic feminism, is just a mirror. The problems with western concepts of masculinity didn't start with the rise of feminism, feminism just made them more apparent to men. Look at the concept of consent: the real problem is not actually consent in sexual activity, but the fact that western culture and media encourage high-risk sexual liaisons. Alcohol fueled sexual debauchery has become not only expected but encouraged among young people. Masculinity is defined by the number of women you sleep with, or the amount of alcohol you can imbibe. The whole debate over consent sounds ridiculous because it ignores the elephant in the room. Don't sleep with people you barely know. Don't get drunk around people you don't trust. Don't put yourself into those situations and there would be no debate over consent. This applies to both men and women.