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About BrainFireBob

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  1. I rather figured it for a "new" ability. One old (Perrin), and one new (Mat). Mat's lucky. I have a longer post somewhere how it fits a thunder god image- dice tumbling "loudly" sounds like thunder. It also fits Odin, Mat's primary Norse analog, who was desperate for foreknowledge. Mat has the most useless form of foreknowledge ever, he's just learned how to make it work for him. "Something's about to happen. Real soon. And it'll be important. And it could be anything." I'm partial to the idea that Mat has ta'veren luck, and also some kind of luck-talent, some ability to concentrate luck. Perhaps he bends chance in balance, and can "concentrate" his good luck. A wall did fall on him. That might have "paid" for the Band through all those dice/card games. Etc.
  2. Two things happened. 1) We got Mat's point of view. Turns out he's very attentive to some details, and sloppy with others, and that his decision making process makes absolute and total logical sense given what he does and doesn't notice. We lacked that insight before. 2) Mat gained instant PTSD from a veteran soldier's perspective. BS can't write it, Jordan could. Mat's drinking, gambling, and wenching is essentially his own "celebrating life", because he's filled with memories of death- including his own- but in his own words, "Gloriously alive today." Not surprisingly, Jordan was a decorated Vietnam vet and BS is a guy from Utah that didn't serve. BS understands, I think, the Mat who colloquially speaking signed up but not the one who came home from the war, having not only seen, but done, things. What's most interesting about Mat is that he's probably the most self-aware character in most respects. He's low-grade hostile to women who "can't take care of themselves"- the noble, the effeminate, the helpless- because he damn well knows he's going to leap out of a hayloft in the middle of the night five on one to save them in his underclothes. Women that'll kick you in the fork of the legs? He likes those women. He'll give'em a pinch and a tickle. And Light-bless the friendly ones, that's nice to come home to between the hurricanes of blood and death that in his bones he knows he'll seek out. His Arthurian parallel, I would argue, is Gawaine, the Knight of Ladies. Damsel in distress? Distress with an ashanderai to the face. And how he resents himself for it and them for "forcing" him into it. Don't they appreciate the sacrifices he makes for them? And they just think he's being dismissive to them. He just wants to know they appreciate the sacrifices, sweet Light the sacrifices . .
  3. She assumes the right to judgement while not applying it to herself. She takes Nynaeve and Elayne to task for loose cannon behavior- which she then indulges in herself (Tower chain, for instance). Yes, you can argue that she had extenuating circumstances- incidentally, so can they. Effectively, she assumes her own competence rates her to judge the competence of others when she disagrees with them. It's a realistic trait that makes many of us gnash our teeth. Take her judgemental attitude towards Rand in Cairhien, her horror at his cold-blooded manipulative actions and harsh decisions. Contrast that with her own cold-blooded manipulative actions and harsh decisions in both Salidar and the Tower. If she ever had a scene where she reflected on how "she'd judged Rand too harshly, she hadn't understood what leadership means", than many would probably forgive. Instead, her stance toward him in particular has not shifted one jot- she made her decision on him, even though she wasn't qualified to assess at the time, and just assumes she must have been because she's qualified now. Make sense?
  4. Let's be honest- the issue isn't the letter, it's that Sanderson understands pre-EotW Mat and doesn't understand PTSD post-memories grizzled soldier-escapism lifetstyle Mat. He gets the humor, but not the layers of discipline and cynicism.
  5. Has it been explained why Gholam's can pass through a gateway? They obvs are an artificial construct. Edit: Never mind, found this... Gholam hasn't survived passage through a gateway. Gholam survived "half" of passage through a gateway- passage outside of the Pattern (which is where Skimming space has to be). One assumes the Pattern recognizes the re-introduction of matter (will accept construct fleshy bits) but not the artificially chained soul (which would then be screened on re-entry into reality). Assume a gateway is essentially two back-to-back skimming gates, and there's no conflict.
  6. Tying off a knot bypasses the channeler. My degree is in physics, although I now work with circuit design. Summarizing RJ quotes from over the years: The Source is everywhere, and it's not limitless. Channellers tap into it like a waterwheel, the energy dissipates "back" into the Source when they're done. Channelers pull the Power through them and into their weave- there's a directionality to the flow. A channeler "knotting" or "tying off" a weave bypasses their person- they tie the Source "directly" into the weave, like creating a little culvert stream. If you prefer, they create an outlet link to bypass the battery (their own ability to maintain the weave). Theoretically, any weave could be tied off, I suppose- whether the weave is maintained would then depend on what the weave does. Given you have a background in physics, we'll discuss the specific of gateways. Men fold space and then use quantum tunnelling- they create an area of extremely low potential barrier to travel between two points. Rand's description of male travelling is pretty clear on this point. Women put two areas of the pattern into quantum phase (they are identical)- there is no energy barrier between the two points, which would explain why a woman's gateway opens on its own but a man's gateway must be bored. Each side of the gateway will naturally "drift" after the weave is tied off- it must actively maintain the connection, which is probably why they dissipate if tied. At least, that's how all the quotes stack up to me.
  7. 1) Aginor was a researcher, and his interactions with other Forsaken reveal a pedantic, lecturing streak. 2) Dashiva was not a fighter, and was being tossed into the thick. You'd better bet he'd encourage the field medic to use his entire medical pack- just in case.
  8. Actually, the Oaths do serve an interesting purpose. The first Oath created was not to make any weapon with which one man may kill another. Right after the Breaking, when they were trying to convince the nations to trust them. The lying and Power-as-weapon Oaths came right after the Trolloc Wars. The Power-as-weapon Oath would obviously be a needed reassurance, as needed after the Breaking, that they weren't going to go after everyone else. What's interesting is the lying Oath- I have a long version of this somewhere, but the Black Ajah was created in the Trolloc Wars. I believe there's enough contextual evidence that it was an attempt to root-out/prevent a re-occurence of the Black, without ever admitting they exist. How can you be an Aes Sedai and Darkfried if you can't lie about it?In fact, Egwene's version of it may have been a form of the original solution- they told the world they were binding themselves against lying, secretly they demanded each sister bound against lying avow in front of, say, the Amyrlin that she was not a Darkfriend. There's no other reason for that Oath to be introduced. What I've always wondered is if the inability of most Aes Sedai to make ter'angreal, or really do serious successful research into them, is a side effect of the non-lying Oaths. If they don't know what it does, they could be using the Power as a weapon accidentally. Not an effect, but a cultural influence.
  9. Or you could put together what we know of the introduction of Warders (happened this Age, came from the WT) and what we know of research into controlling men who can channel (such as the Breaking-era "sad bracelets"), and compare comments made by channellers regarding being able to "sense" other people to whom they are linked to the description of the Warder bond, note that the Warder bond has an implicit Compulsion element, and that Compulsion doesn't work when you are embracing the Source, and that Warder bond Compulsion has the same vulnerability (as Alanna found out when she bonded Rand, and he felt her scrabbling at him- he thought they were trying to shield him, when they imply Alanna was trying to Compel him through the bond), and that it gives enhanced physical capabilities and that male channellers eventually die of a rotting sickness- well, you realize the bond isn't necessarily entirely new, and there are good odds it's an outgrowth of early WT experimentation, as one of the Browns alluded went on, into finding a way to control men who can channel without gentling while still accessing their talent (via linking). Turns out if you do it to a non-channelling male, you get a super-fit, super-loyal man, who has a vested interested in making sure his "holder" stays alive. Win-win.
  10. Ah-ha! Nerd powers, activate! Quoth RJ: "I was wondering if someone would notice that. Yes, that was a kind of Shadar Haran 1.0, the beta, if you will." Re: The Fade that visited Carridan. Who, incidentally, smiled and had an evil sense of humor. Fades don't have a sense of humor. We are told this multiple times.. So no, not just a husk. Something that had to be made.
  11. Allright, you've hit a new level of geekiness when threadromancy has you reading an old post of yours, you nod in agreement and prepare to post that you do- and it's your screen-name.
  12. This is inaccurate. He was a philosophor specializing in meaning. What meaning is there if everything repeats, and no improvement- or regression, for that matter- can truly occur? Especially living in a nearly utopic society, things could only get worse. Ishamael wants to introduce linear time. The only way to introduce linear time is hurtling straight into destruction. The alternative, to him, is utterly pointless- the same pain and suffering and regression and inability to truly progress no matter what is done. Better being able to once and truly choose something than to be trapped like hamsters in the same wheel forever. That's his brand of nihilism. Rand's VoG revelation is simply . . . that the hamster wheel has its perks.
  13. I don't think it's Rand detecting DFs, I think it's DFs detecting Rand, and him detecting their inability to look directly at him.
  14. To paraphrase RJ: Rand is partially based on Tew. His sun god symbolism- I've got a long post somewhere recent about it- is also fairly endemic, with the male forsaken representing false or usurping sun gods in one aspect, battling them regains him the panoply of the sun (sunbeam, music, knowledge/inspiration, sacred marriage to the moon, the serpent, corona- Sammael himself is the image of a fallen Apollo); he's also Moses (Aiel=Hebrews, Waste=Egypt), Adam (Rhuidean is where the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is- although the Tree merely dominates the plaza), and the obvious Christ parallels (stigmata FTW- palms, side, prickly crown). He's also partially King Arthur, having drawn the Sword in the Stone, the links to three women (which is originally drawn from sun god mythos), unified the lands, forced justice, etc. Trained to rule by the Merlin, the once (LTT) and future (Ra'T) king. He's also the dragon from Chinese mythology, which has both black and white scales, since yin embodies an element of yang and vice versa (which is why the Flame and Fang lack the dots, it's representative of the world being out of balance). The Dragon, for those curious, has 113 black scales representing its power of destruction and masculine strength (the Companions), whereas it also has the ability from its feminine capacity to breath foam that restores fertility to the land (sha'rah links, Bowl of Winds). There's also the Korean mythology of the twinned dragons, expressed fairly directly in modern animes and mangas such as X. EDIT: Tew or Tyr was the god of justice and battle. In this aspect, he was also the patron of lawyers. He was honorable and implacable. When the other gods sought to bind the Fenris Wolf with the chain I can never remember how to spell (Hvaugnir?), the Wolf asked for one of the gods to put their hand in its mouth, to prove it wasn't a trick. Tyr volunteered, and lost his sword hand. He then became more dangerous with his other hand. Implacable? Obsessed with justice and the law? Lost a hand binding a monster out of nightmare? Simply moved on? That's Rand. Heck, he literally uses Justice as a weapon now.
  15. So in tEotW, Rand yells into the air at Ba'alzamon, who Rand thinks is the DO, and says, "This has to end!" The DO, knowing that only Rand has the ability to completely end the Pattern and give him total victory, is worried that Rand is about to assault Shayol Ghul or use too much of the Power or do something else crazy and get himself killed before he has a chance to get him to unravel the Pattern. Hence, the DO tries to stop Rand from doing that just yet. "IT" being Tarmon Gai'don, I guess. Or just the "end." He's just trying to keep Rand alive by telling him the fight is not "HERE," in time or place. Translation: "WHOA! NOT NOW! PLEASE DON'T DO SOMETHING STUPID AND GET YOURSELF KILLED BEFORE I CAN CONVINCE YOU TO DO WHAT I NEED YOU TO DO. THAT WOULD RUIN EVERYTHING AND MAKE ME WAIT ANOTHER SEVERAL MILLENNIA FOR YOU TO COME AROUND AGAIN." This would mean that only Rand, the "Chosen One," has the ability to unmake the Pattern and give the DO the final victory. From the DO's perspective, this is "WHAT MUST BE DONE." "IF HE WILL," of course. The Dragon has to do it of his own volition. I infer from RJ's quote that, though the Dragon has gone over to the Shadow on occasion, he's never been a true believer like Moridin and unmade the Pattern. I think it's more likely to be an EotWism, but I do kind of like this idea. Possible, but unlikely. At this point in the series, none of the cuendillar Focus Points have been found yet. There is no indication ( to the Light ) that any of the Seals themselves have failed until Aginor and Balthamel show up at the Eye. It is rather unlikely that enough had yet failed that the DO could manifest a VOICE at a place as far from Shayol Ghul as Tarwin's Gap. Things are just beginning. The Dark is just starting to make itself known to the outside world. The DO does not yet possess sufficient strength to touch the outside world so directly. Or reach so far from the one place it can manifest at all. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The DO may not be limited to speaking at SG, it might a) Require a stupid amount of his power to do it, so he doesn't elect to, or b) the Dragon is a special soul, and was chugging Power-juice at the time. Possibly the DO cannot find threads to communicate with, unless at SG, until Rand starts screaming at him. Rand's soul being neon green in the black cotton of the Pattern, he may be relatively easy to talk to. Also, we do see the DO act outside SG in the series prior to the seals breaking. Naming the DO brings misfortune. That's not reality, that's him.
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