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Mashiara Sedai

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  1. In August, I wrote a three part series on the conclusion of The Eye of the World. For this week, I want to do something similar with The Great Hunt. There aren't nearly as many questions for The Great Hunt, but there are some. And one thing I really enjoy about The Wheel of Time series is looking deep into these specific scenes and finding unanswered questions. But, before we start: Spoiler warning! This will include content from many books in the series, including Towers of Midnight, and speculation about A Memory of Light. Please read at your own risk. Also, this WILL NOT contain spoilers from A Memory of Light's Prologue, Chapter 1, or Chapter 11. Please refrain from posting any spoilers from A Memory of Light in the comments section. The A Memory of Light spoiler discussion board can be found here. The ending of The Great Hunt begins, in my opinion, at chapter 47, "The Grave is no Bar to My Call." To refresh your memory, Rand, Mat, Perrin, and Hurin just left Falme; Ingtar stayed behind to try to cleanse himself of the evil he had done. As they leave the town, the Seanchan army advances from behind them, and a Whitecloak army advances from ahead. They are stuck in the middle with nowhere to go. The interesting thing during this scene is that Rand knows he has to "go back" to Falme. This is one of the first examples of the Pattern forcing the characters to do its will. And later, Hawkwing confirms that this moment was destined by the Pattern. We discussed this a bit when we talked about Perrin possibly going against the Pattern, but I'm going to point it out again. Hawkwing, who has been summoned by the Horn of Valere, who has more knowledge than any living man, says the Heroes will only follow the Dragon. This is the complete opposite of Moiraine's insistence that the Horn could be sounded by Darkfriends and used for the Shadow's side. Robert Jordan had this to say on the matter: First off, this confirms, I think, that Moiraine was incorrect about the Horn being used by the Shadow, at least in this instance. Since Ingtar wanted to change sides, if he had blown it, the results would have been the same (likewise for Verin). However, if another Darkfriend had sounded it, a rift in the Pattern would have formed. No Darkfriend, with the intent to use it for the Shadow, could have sounded it at this precise moment. The Pattern wouldn't have accepted it. Also, in regards to Hawkwing, one thing I've always wondered is why the Seanchan don't notice Hawkwing is fighting against them? Surely they have historical books, or even paintings, to know what he looked like. Albeit, not many were able to get a good look at their attackers, but Min was able to see Birgitte, so some Seanchan should have. And, as fond as the Seanchan are of omens, their ancestor kicking their butts should have made them sail back home as quickly as possible. Another thing of interest is Birgitte's reaction to Rand when he says he needs to save Egwene. Obviously, as Heroes bound to the Horn, they have all of eternity in Tel'aran'rhiod. This is such an interesting concept. Think of how well they all know each other. It gives a new meaning to the term "life-long friends." But, when Birgitte is ripped from Tel'aran'rhiod, she has a completely different view of Rand. Why would her fondness and feelings of friendship disappear? She still has most of her memories, so she should still remember him as Lews Therin, like in The Great Hunt. This is something that's never made sense to me. Perhaps when she speaks to him again, since his epiphany on Dragonmount, she'll like him once more. A popular theory right now is that the Horn actually pulls the area around it into Tel'aran'rhiod. Many people speculate that this is how Rand will die and live again (a la Neo in The Matrix). There are a few things in The Great Hunt that point to this conclusion. One is that time actually stops once the Horn is used. Rand thinks that "no time at all had passed since the Horn was first blown, as though time had paused while the heroes answered the call and now resumed counting." We know time in Tel'aran'rhiod is different from normal life, so this could be an indication that they are in the World of Dreams. Another is that Min sees Birgitte shoot arrows at the Seanchan, and the arrows catch things on fire. This special ability could also be seen as proof that they are in Tel'aran'rhiod. Birgitte says later that "My bow is the ordinary sort, today" (The Path of Daggers, Chapter 6, "Threads"), so it is special while in Falme. Also, Rand and Ishamael fight in the clouds. I don't think there's any way this could happen in the real world. Going into that a bit more, why does their fight go into the air? And why is it broadcast all over the world? Moiraine says Rand's battle was seen by everyone in the area (The Great Hunt, Chapter 49, "What Was Meant to Be"), and Taim confirms that he saw Rand in the sky as well (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 2, "A New Arrival"). Robert Jordan says that this mirage of their battle was done by the Wheel, not the Creator or the Pattern: That only slightly answers the question. Why would the Wheel want the battle to be seen by everyone? Maybe the only point was to thwart the False Dragons? Maybe it was so the world could prepare for Rand's coming? Maybe it was when Rand actually became the Dragon? I think it more likely that happened when he took the Eye of the World, though. This is also an isolated incident. There are more important events that happen through the series, but they don't receive this kind of attention from the Wheel. And it was after this that Rand lets himself be named the Dragon Reborn, not during. In fact, it was five days after the battle that Rand finally "made his decision." So the argument that happened because he was announcing himself doesn't hold up. So, what's the point? Brandon Sanderson said in an interview that this was a "Pattern Level Event," so there must be some reason why the Pattern, or the Wheel, wanted it shown. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the Wheel did it to show off. It's as simple as that. The Wheel is saying, "Look at this miraculous thing I created. Here is my hard work, come to fruition." All the events after the Breaking, the Aiel fleeing, being chased and hurt, finally settling in the Waste; all the events after that, making peace with the Cairhien, the Jenn dwindling, the start of Rhuidean; all the events after the clans were formed, agreeing to see their secret past, the war against the Oathbreakers, Maidens heading for Tar Valon. ALL of this had to happen for Rand to be where he was. Look at all the work, all the planning, the Wheel had to do to get things in motion, to get the outcome it wanted. Why did it pick this scene to show? I've got the answer to that too. What better way is there to bolster the good guys and send fear into the hearts of the bad guys than broadcasting the Shadow's defeat around the world? That's all for this week. Next time, we'll take a closer look to see whether Birgitte will survive the Last Battle.
  2. I think he will need to re-seal the Dark One before he dies. If he dies first, the Dark One will have access to his soul, like Ishamael taunted oh so many books ago. Rand's soul in the hands of the Dark One is not a good thing. Unless it comes down to a tug-of-war, with the DO on one side, Nynaeve on the other, both trying to pull Rand's soul back. Maybe. But I'm thinking Rand will die after the DO is no longer free.
  3. The rest of Nicola's foretelling says, "The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade." So, when Rand and his girls are on "the boat," the "great battle" is already done. I think that means Tarmon Gai'don is finished by this point. And some time might have passed for the Asha'man to equal the number of Aes Sedai (unless a lot of Sisters die during TG).
  4. I think that could lead to an argument as to whether a soul is actually inside this world, or if they exist on a metaphysical plane. If outside this world, my argument still holds. (Now I'm just being argumentative.) Also, yes, it was saidin. http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=196
  5. If Min does die--and I'm not convinced she will--it will have to wait till after the Last Battle. There's been too many viewings she's been a part of to die before/during the battle. First off, she sees her own face around Rand's funeral pyre, so she's alive after he dies; then, we have Nicola's foretelling which says "Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives" (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 14, "Dreams and Nightmares"), so we know she lives after Rand is resurrected and the "great battle" is done.
  6. i dunno about that... the taint is in the ways themselves, i dont think that the way's corruption can come outside the ways... for example, the waygates, havent become corrupted... and theyre directly connected to the ways... i dont think that nym would be effected by the taint of the ways... even if theyre both grown by the talisman of growing... By that logic, the outside skin of the Nym wouldn't be corrupted, but the inside might be. :P Since the Talisman uses saidin only, I think anything it makes would eventually be tainted.
  7. I think the duty of choosing Brandon was solely Harriet's. I don't think they discussed it while RJ was alive. I feel Brandon was chosen because his ability to write magic. You bring up the example of allomancy in the Mistborn series, and rightly so. Channeling will be a HUGE part of A Memory of Light, with the Last Battle, and all. So, they needed an author who could write the magic system correctly. The allomancy scenes in Mistborn are amazing! Out of all the concepts in Wheel of Time, I'm most confident in Brandon's ability to accurately describe and detail channeling. Of course, that's just speculation on my part, but I think it's logical. :)
  8. Here's some helpful interviews with RJ: http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=213 http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=188
  9. I think it depends on how long the soul is able to be snatched by the Dark One. I don't think it needs to be instantaneous. I bet there's probably a window of time he's able to have access to the souls before they go off to the "waiting place." Aginor and Balthamel weren't brought back until Lord of Chaos, and they died in Eye of the World. Why would the DO wait so long to put them back in bodies? I don't think Shaidar Haran's, "You were both given the best that could be taken in the Borderlands," explains much. Did they have a lack of bodies on Shayol Ghul? And then the DO waited to grab their souls until he could find "suitable" bodies? Since the DO knew LTT was his enemy, I wouldn't be surprise if he grabbed Ilyena's soul. But, perhaps at that time--right after the sealing of the Bore--the DO's powers were diminished and he couldn't access souls?
  10. A few notes on the logic of circular time: has anyone seen the movie Somewhere in Time? This is the basis of how time, as a loop, works. There is a watch the woman has in the past, but gives to the man in the future, who gives it to the woman in the past. Where did the watch come from? Who initially had it? In what time was it actually created? All the questions and the answers are pretty much the same with everything in Randland. If time is a Wheel, then there was no beginning. There can be no end. All the items, people, places, histories, will continually repeat. So, it doesn't matter who first had the watch. It exists in both places. There are still some Malkieri women at the Tower. I think, when they hear their Uncrowned King stands in Tarwin's Gap, they will go. In particular, Nacelle Kayama is Malkieiri, and Green. Jesse Bilal, the Head of the Green, is still feeling embarrassed for her lack of battle skills when the Seanchan attacked. I think the Greens can go save the Borderlanders. It wouldn't take much prodding for them to Travel to where the action is already happening. Morning Mist: Sorry! I've never been pregnant, so don't know for sure! I always though women began to show by three months, though. But, as you said, Nynaeve would have realized something was different in her body--I would think. And if not, I'm sure she would have been delved for various reasons in that time period.
  11. AWESOME, Mark! Thanks for asking that! And Brandon actually answered! That's so cool! Though, I have heard theories that Elayne's babies will be Shivan and Calian, the Heroes who bring about the end of an Age: Also, I think that the Nym would become corrupted if they were created with the Talisman of growing--like the Ways. We see Someshta is wounded, but I don't think he was corrupted.
  12. That's interesting, Mark, that you think Nynaeve could feel saidin because she believed she could. I've never seen it that way before. *ponders ponders* While I agree that the ring is linked to Tel'aran'rhiod, I feel there is some truth to what they see. Look at the example of Egwene being Amyrlin in hers. In the vision of "what will come," she was still quite young, I believe, and I don't think she would ever have thought of herself as Amyrlin without some sort of prophetic link from the rings. Because of that, I think Nynaeve remembers how to feel saidin, maybe from a past life. We learn it is possible when Nacelle Kayama is able to detect Narishma channeling in Salidar (Knife of Dreams, Chapter 23, "Call to a Sitting"). Jack, I'm thinking the army Lan has gathered might be saved by the White Tower, rather than Rand. I don't think Rand will act quickly enough, and the Tower, shamed by not acting quickly enough to save Malkier 40 years ago, will send Sisters to help.
  13. Welcome back to another edition of "WoT If?". This week, I want to examine Min's viewings, what they actually consist of, and different ways they can be interpreted. I feel that some of what she sees hints at answers with regards to Lan and Birgitte, in particular. But before we begin: Spoiler warning! This will include content from many books in the series, including Towers of Midnight, and speculation about A Memory of Light. Please read at your own risk. Also, this WILL NOT contain spoilers from A Memory of Light's Prologue, Chapter 1, or Chapter 11. Please refrain from posting any spoilers from A Memory of Light in the comments section. The A Memory of Light spoiler discussion board can be found here. I think we need to come to the harsh reality that some of our beloved characters will die in the last book. As much as I don't want that to happen, it needs to. And even though Rand will die, I'm convinced he will be Healed, or his soul will be reclaimed. He doesn't count as one of the characters who will die, in my opinion. But there is one who most believe will die during the Last Battle: Lan. As my favorite male character, I'm hoping he won't. So, naturally, I'm going to point out all the clues—mostly from Min's viewings—that suggest he might survive Tarmon Gai'don. First, let's look at this interview with Robert Jordan to see what he has to say about Min's viewings. I think this is so interesting, because I assumed this viewing was of the past, too. Let's see exactly what Min said before we go into it more. We learn later (Chapter 47, "More Tales of the Wheel"), that Lan is the last Lord of the Seven Towers. And his parents placed a sword in his infant hands, and consecrated him the next Malkieri king. I think our first instinct at this point is to think back to Min's viewing and say, "Oh, there are the Seven Towers, and the babe with a sword." Pretty simple. But, taking that quote from Robert Jordan into consideration, especially because the asker points out the viewings in The Eye of the World, we know these are future events. And if these events are in the future, I think it's safe to assume that Lan will bear a child with Nynaeve. Looking at the timeline for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight, we see that it took Lan 100 days to ride from World's End, in Saldaea, to Tarwin's Gap, in Shienar. That's 100 days he's been apart from Nynaeve. That's more than three months, which would be plenty of time for Nynaeve to start showing if she was pregnant. We've seen her take the test for Aes Sedai, and know she swore on the Oath Rod; both things she wouldn't do if she was pregnant. So, I'm going to conclude that, at this point, Nynaeve is not pregnant. There is a viewing Min has about Nynaeve that might put a damper on this theory, in some people's opinions. Nynaeve is a very kind soul—despite her bullying. We saw in her test for Aes Sedai that they constantly made her walk away from sick children because it hurt her the most. She is a natural healer, wanting to cure anyone and everyone. So, her bent over in a posture of grief doesn't necessarily mean it's Lan she's mourning. Also, notice how Min can't interpret it. Nynaeve mourning the loss of her husband is pretty straightforward. Not much to interpret there. I think it more likely that it's Rand's body she's bent over. And it's this scene where she will Heal him, or grab onto his soul. My conclusion: Lan has to survive the Last Battle. Let's move on to Birgitte. Many wonder if she is still bound to the Horn after being ripped out of Tel'aran'rhiod. There are a few reasons I believe this is so. Now, this might not count as proof, but I want to point it out. After Mat recognizes Birgitte in A Crown of Swords, they speak in the Old Tongue and she calls Mat "Horn Sounder" (Chapter 21, "Swovan Night"). I think this definitely shows that Mat is still bound to the Horn, because Birgitte was in Tel'aran'rhiod after he was killed and brought back to life (The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 54, "To Caemlyn"). I feel Birgitte, being a Hero, would feel if the connection to Mat had been broken by his death and rebirth. Again, that's not really about Birgitte, but I think the parallels are similar. Birgitte is still bound after her strange rebirth too. And the main reason Birgitte is still bound to the Horn is Min's first viewings of her. Remember that all these viewings are in the future. She has so many of them, more so than Rand, even—and he's also bound to the Horn. This is probably due to Birgitte being ripped out. But she still has a thousand more lives to live, and all of them connected to Gaidal Cain. I think her rebirth threw off their cycle—hence his being younger or older—but there's no doubt she's still bound to him. And if Birgitte is bound to Gaidal, I don't think her connection to the Horn has been broken either. I have one last thing to point out about Min's viewings. This shows that everything—viewings, dreamwalker's prophecies, foretellings—are less true today than yesterday. And probably will continue to be less likely. We know Rand's use of balefire on Natrin's Barrow caused a great loosening of the Pattern (The Gathering Storm, Chapter 37, "A Force of Light"). Plus, we know Demandred was commanded to unleash balefire on the world by the Dark One (Lord of Chaos, Prologue). With the Pattern taking so much damage, I'm not sure how far we can trust any recent viewings. And that's all we have time for today. Next week, I want to look at the end of The Great Hunt and try to answer lingering questions about events at Falme. Thanks for reading!
  14. I really enjoy a lot of the discussions they have! I made a similar mistake with my sister. I told her to listen to the podcast and she tried the first one. Then she said to me, "When did Rand lose a hand?" *lol* She hasn't read past Winter's Heart, and I had completely forgotten! Whoops. *ggls* So, she's doing her re-read now, and will hopefully finished them all soon. Then we can start talking WoT, like we used to. And I'll get her to listen to all the podcasts. (And read my theory blog *pouts*)
  15. Actually, the one from the glass columns is Someshta, too. And the same chapter, as Coumin: Someshta is the only Nym we see. But the last quote does say that each field had a Nym, so maybe there were a couple hundred?
  16. Grabbing the soul might be a Talent, but as stated by Robert Jordan, each Nym had to be "hand-crafted." That could be one reason there aren't so many. They might have taken a lot of work to craft a construct--able to host a soul--out of plants and vines.
  17. Hmm, here's the quote (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 23, "To Understand a Message"): You make a very good point Stayz. Of course, anything can be meant by saying the pieces were "once human." They could have been transfigured, or have their soul removed, or a dozen other things. Grabbing souls could definitely be a Talent; maybe that's why there weren't so many Nym. I don't think it says right out, but I believe there were only a few Nym made.
  18. Agreed. From Robert Jordan's quote, it seems to say that they were the souls next in line to be born. And instead of being born, they were put inside the Nym construct. And New Ashaman did bring up a good point that the Aes Sedai probably wouldn't be able to choose which soul is put inside. But as primitive as current Aes Sedai are, they are capable of some pretty amazing inventions.
  19. Oh... I thought they were open for everyone. :( Sorry! I'm not saying anything because it's a big point of next week's theory!
  20. A Halloween Costume Contest! I'm going to have a "Make a Wheel of Time Costume Party" at my house sometime within the next few weeks, so hopefully I'll be ready in time to enter! Yay!
  21. I definitely think Birgitte being ripped out was part of the Pattern's plan. I don't think anything anyone has done has been outside its plan. Even the Forsaken's actions have been according to its plan. That's the point of the Pattern, at least as far as I can make out. It's there to balance the Creator and the Dark One, so it takes good and evil events into account. Don't jump the gun, Mark. I'm going to talk about this next week! If we want to start a philosophical debate over when a soul enters a body, let's go to the White Ajah boards. :P
  22. Sorry, guys. I had midterms due yesterday. :P A good point was raised about Rand's soul still being "active" in tel'aran'rhiod. Maybe his soul isn't in the waiting area. But, at the same time, those souls do get spun out, so it must be possible to access them. And while I like the idea of a cour'souvra, it's dark magic, and probably not the best way to bring him back. I think Birgitte's rip from tel'aran'rhiod is what will kill her in the last book. It's not a natural rebirth, and I think her body and mind are revolting against her current life.
  23. Hello, all! Welcome back to "WoT If?", Dragonmount's weekly theory blog. Today's topic is a little speculative, but I'm convinced I'm on the right track to how Rand's "to live you must die" riddle will be solved. As always: Spoiler warning! This will include content from many books in the series, including Towers of Midnight, and speculation about A Memory of Light. Please read at your own risk. Also, this WILL NOT contain spoilers from A Memory of Light's Prologue, Chapter 1, or Chapter 11. Please refrain from posting any spoilers from A Memory of Light in the comments section. The A Memory of Light spoiler discussion board can be found here. Let's start with a little background information about the Nym. This might seem off topic, but I'll tie everything together. According to The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, Nym are artificial constructs, like Trollocs (Chapter 21, "The Ogier"). The Nym were created to aid the Da'shain Aiel in seed singing. In the actual series, we see the Green Man, the last Nym, in The Eye of the World (Chapters 49 and 50). He teases us with knowledge (using phrases like "Child of the Dragon" in reference to Rand, and "wolfbrother" to Perrin), but his memory's not what it used to be due to the wound he suffered in the Age of Legends. This scene really piques our curiosity with all the tantalizing information we're almost given. And it makes us want to know more about what the Nym did before the Breaking. We see the same Nym, Someshta, in the glass-column ter'angreal in Rhuidean (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 26, "The Dedicated"). In this scene, we see him given the task of protecting the Eye of the World. Going back further, we see an actual seed singing, with Someshta, Ogier, and male Aiel. This is the important part: Seed singing uses the One Power to strengthen the crops. Ogier can't channel. The Aiel can't channel (those who can are taken to be Aes Sedai). Is Someshta the one who is channeling? It does say Someshta takes the threads and weaves them. If the Nym are artificial constructs, how are they able to access the One Power? Well, last week I talked about how Myrddraal might be able to access the True Power, and they are artificial. It's not too far of a stretch to apply the same logic to the Nym. Let's look at a quote from Robert Jordan in regards to constructs and souls: So many things leapt out at me from this statement. 1. "One of the best questions I've ever gotten!" I think Robert Jordan's enthusiasm for the question suggests the importance of it. Why would he get so excited about the concept of Nym souls unless it has some bearing on the future plotlines? Of course, his typical RAFO answer is used for really important things, but perhaps he thought he could disguise something important in this statement? 2. Pure construct vs. animal/human hybrid construct Trollocs, made from animal and human mixtures, are not pure constructs. They are organic, made from living things, but morphed into something else. Nym are pure constructs, completely artificial—they are made from plants, but not sentient beings. If that's correct, why are they attuned to plants and growth? I'd say it's because of the soul inside them; the soul is able to amplify their nature. Since they are constructed from plants, when the soul is added, those plants are given sentient life. 3. A Nym's soul is a human soul Wolves are always reborn as wolves, Trollocs are always Trollocs, but Nym aren't always Nym. That is such a strange concept, which leads me to the conclusion that Nym would be reborn as humans. And the only reason I can think of to explain it is, that since Nym are filled with a soul artificially, the souls come from the Pattern's pile of waiting, human threads. 4. "Borrowed…from the supply of souls" This makes my eyes pop! Only the Dark One seems to have the ability to snatch a soul after it's dead and place it inside a body (a dead body, which is like a construct!). But this quote seems to imply that the Aes Sedai had access to souls that they could store inside the Nym bodies. Anyone could sit around and make constructs all day. Make a body out of clay, make a body out of snow, make a body out of grass and leaves and vines. But something has to be done to the body to make it alive. Someone needs to give it a soul. The Creator wouldn't say, "Oh, here's a construct that looks okay, I'm going to send the next waiting soul into it." That's taking too much action, and the Creator doesn't get involved. Also, why would the Creator fill the Nym, and not a snowman? That means it is the Aes Sedai. There's no other way it could work. And if Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends found a way to access the "souls awaiting rebirth," there's no reason one of the channelers of this time (Nynaeve) couldn't figure out how to do it too! If Rand dies, as we all know he must, it seems plausible that someone will simply grab his soul and place it back inside his body. I speculated in my first post that Nynaeve might learn how to Heal death, but I think it's just as likely she will learn how to grab a soul that's outside the Pattern. That's my prediction for this week. It's not too different from other theories already circulating, but I like to back it up with plausible proof. Post your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree. We won't have too long to wait until we find out. That's all for this edition. Next time, we'll take a close look at some of Min's later viewings. Thanks for reading.
  24. I think in America, the holidays we celebrate don't really have a cultural significance. It's more of a marketing significance. That being said, Halloween is the best autumn holiday! Though it doesn't have a special meaning to me, it's fun to make costumes, interact with neighbors, and enter my pets in costume contests. Since I'm in Arizona, October is usually when it starts to cool down, so that makes it extra nice to get out in the evening. Plus, all the candy is awesome! There's also Thanksgiving, but my husband and I don't typically celebrate it. Rather than see our family, we make it a day to stay home and be together. We make a small turkey for ourselves, and all the other traditional foods, but don't turn it into a "we're so thankful for this" kind of holiday.
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