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Mashiara Sedai

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  1. Thanks, Gwenifer! :) Metal Head does have good points. But if the Pattern would accept either decision from Perrin, that brings up an interesting line of speculation. What would have changed--I mean drastic things--if Perrin had gone to the Waste instead of back home? His family was already dead, so he wasn't really needed to save them. That wouldn't have changed. The Whitecloaks would have helped the Two Rivers folk from the Trollocs, eventually. The Whitecloaks are messed up--most of them--but they do fight for the Light--most of them. So, the Two Rivers could have been saved, I think, if Perrin hadn't gone. He still would have had Faile following him. No change there. Lord of the Two Rivers... I think that plays an important part in Perrin's storyline throughout the rest of the series. I also think there will be a great reason for him joining with Galad's Whitecloaks. Perrin's own ta'veren tug pulled the Whitecloaks to him. I think they'll be needed. ... However, he could have had Rand send him back to the Two Rivers at another time, to check on things. He could have become their Lord then. All the rest would follow after that. So maybe things could have still worked out if Perrin went to the Waste.
  2. I've heard that many things within the series will be left unanswered. I think we'll still have plenty to theorize about after A Memory of Light.
  3. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to "WoT If?". Sorry to keep you in suspense for a week over what topic we would be discussing. This time, I want to look at one specific scene in The Shadow Rising and examine why Perrin finds it so difficult to leave the Stone of Tear. 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. We all know that the Pattern swirls around our three ta'veren, but it's also true that the Pattern forces them to do its bidding. Loial is the one who brings this up the most: And even Hawkwing himself speaks of the Pattern's demands: So, if the Pattern—or more specifically, the Wheel—is deciding who goes where and who does what, why does Perrin have trouble leaving the Stone of Tear? We know he had to go back home, to become Lord of the Two Rivers, to marry Faile, etc. Why is there this conflict of interest? Let's look at the scene in The Shadow Rising. Perrin assumes he is unable to leave because of the pull of Rand, ta'veren to ta'veren. But how does he come to this conclusion? When it is time for Mat to leave—after the victory in Cairhien—he does so with no problem. Also, after Perrin is reunited with Rand and leaves again, there is no resistance. This seems to be an isolated incident. There's no doubt the ta'veren are drawn to one another, especially when one of them is in need. For example: After things settle in the Two Rivers, Perrin feels the tugging. He knows Rand needs him, and he does. Right after they reunite, Rand is kidnapped by the Tower Aes Sedai and Perrin is the one who leads the rescue mission. However, this tugging is not the same one Perrin felt at the Stone. At the Stone, the pull seemed almost violent. Perrin physically struggled to get away from its grasp. In the Two Rivers, it's calmer, a sensation of nagging, a slight tickle. Notice Perrin doesn't jump on his horse in quick motions and run as fast as he can, as he did in Tear. His voice is "sad" rather than frantic. To me, this shows that the tugging in Tear was something of an anomaly, and that makes me wonder why. I can only see two different reasons why there is such a pull. First, Perrin believes in it. He assumes it is the pull of ta'veren, but that doesn't mean it's true. The whole thing could be in his head, due to his strong sense of duty. He, unlike Mat, recognizes his role in Rand's life, but still wants to go home to save his family, if he can. When he and Mat discuss going home, Perrin acknowledges that he is straying from his duty to Rand: Notice how Mat isn't able to say he'd go. If Perrin can plan, and Mat cannot, it seems the Pattern is okay with Perrin making the trip, or else he'd be in the same boat as Mat. So, the Pattern is fine with it, Rand's thread is fine with it, and it's only Perrin's disappointment in running that holds him back. The second reason, which is a stretch, I'll admit, is interference by the Dark One or the Forsaken. We know Lanfear was wandering around the Stone the previous night. We know she visited Perrin in his dreams (The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 4, "Shadows Sleeping"). It's possible that she used Compulsion on him, to make him stay. Mat does hear from the Aelfinn that he will be killed by "those who do not want that fate fulfilled" (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 15, "Into the Doorway") if he doesn't go to Rhuidean. Perhaps Perrin would suffer the same fate if he didn't go back to Emond's Field? And at this point, the Dark One does want all of them dead. On a side note, after Perrin being tugged to Rand during Lord of Chaos, I can only recall two times when the ta'veren pull comes into play. And both of them are in regards to Mat pulling someone he needs. First is Talmanes: And later, in The Gathering Storm, the Pattern forces Verin into Mat's path: All this ta'veren tugging seems random and inconsistent, to me. Why is the pull so strong in Tear? Why does the sensation get milder as the series continues? Perhaps their urgency to be together decreases with the ability to see what the others are doing? There is a spike in the swirling colors in the last few books, so maybe. That's all for this week. I'd really love comments about things I've missed or overlooked in relation to the ta'veren tug. Next week, as Metal Head requested, we'll take a closer look at Padan Fain and his role in the rest of the series.
  4. Since the ter'angreal was made specifically to show the Aiel their past, I don't think it was made in the Age of Legends. I think it's more likely the elderly Aes Sedai shown in Rhuidean were the ones who created it. The whole point of it was to show the Aiel their forgotten roots since someone who wasn't Aiel wouldn't see anything if they went inside--said Robert Jordan in the interview quoted. When Rand had his epiphany, he realized he had a second chance. I don't necessarily think that means the future--especially things we know are set in stone--can be changed. He just realized there was a reason to try his hardest, to try and right the wrongs he caused in the past. Whatever happens, he has love, and that's enough to get him through the rough times.
  5. Ohhh. This sounds fun. What is it, exactly? Another Mafia game? Or something where we make crafty-ter'angreal type stuff?
  6. I LOVE that drawing of Egwene in Tel'aran'rhiod. It's so cute!
  7. I think there is evidence on both sides. As I pointed out in the blog, personally, I feel there is more evidence pointing to the visions being the factual future. But, the big counter argument is that the ter'angreal seems alive. If it has knowldge and thought, then it must be showing the visions for a reason--not just to torment Aviendha.
  8. Even if Aviendha doesn't bear Rand's children, the Aiel are still floundering for a purpose after the Last Battle. If it's not Padra who takes the first step, another will.
  9. Those are SO cool! I'm buying one right away! I already have the "Tai'shar Manetheren" one. AWESOME!
  10. Wow, everyone. I totally agree that it's much better if they suggest a "possible future," but one of the theories on time travel is that you can't change anything, ever. In that "possible future," she saw the vision in the glass columns; she tried to warn her children about the dangers; her children, and their offspring, still made mistakes and had a slightly different perspective about what it means to be Aiel. There's a saying that goes something like this: "You often meet your destiny on the road you took to avoid it." Also, some things are set in stone, like Min's viewings. That must mean the Pattern is already woven, or else, what is she seeing? She doesn't see possible futures--except in the case of Egwene and Gawyn. That being said, I like to point out both sides of an argument. It's not harmful to keep an open mind and try to examine the stories from another angle. :)
  11. Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining me for another week of "WoT If?". For this edition, I want to look at some of the facts surrounding the glass column ter'angreal and the visions/past lives it shows to those who enter. There will be a focus on Aviendha's trip through them, trying to determine if it's actually the future of her line, or if it's a warning of things she can change. 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. Many fans agree that Rand's trip through the glass column ter'angreal is one of the finest scenes in the series. It's a wonderful display of Robert Jordan's storytelling abilities. It's intriguing, captivating, and gives us a lot of information about life before the series began. Even Brandon Sanderson said, "However, as I consider it, probably my favorite sequence of scenes in the entire series is the one with Rand going through the ter'angreal at Rhuidean." From Rand's trip inside the ter'angreal, we get a detailed view of what life was like for the Aiel. We see their decline from serving Aes Sedai and practicing the Way of the Leaf to being desert nomads who are constantly at war with the world and each other. This is a tragic fall for their people, losing their purpose as well as their home and native lifestyle. Rand understands right away that he saw the "lost history of the Aiel's origins" (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 34, "He Who Comes With the Dawn") when he went through the ter'angreal. His assumption is correct; Rhuarc confirms it: This is important because it shows us that the ter'angreal shows factual events. It shows actual pieces of the Pattern through the person's ancestor's thread. Rand's experiences were seen through the eyes of that ancestor, even knowing their thoughts. It's as if he was transported into their body and mind completely for the duration of the vision. That means the ter'angreal has access to weaves already woven into the Pattern. It can step outside of time and pull out the threads it needs to, in order to show the person their past. It's not too surprising that a ter'angreal can do this. The one used to test novices shows "what was" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 23, "The Testing"). And it could be argued that Nynaeve's first encounter in this test was in a past life. She did have an experience fighting Aginor in The Eye of the World, but during the test, she knows things she shouldn't. She is able to sense Aginor's channeling and alters his flows of saidin; this doesn’t become possible in the main storyline until Knife of Dreams, Chapter 23, "Call to a Sitting." Nynaeve's knowledge hints that this comes from a past life, not something based off their fight during The Eye of the World. So, if the glass column ter'angreal can show the factual past, can it show the factual future? I think this is the biggest concern facing our characters. Because, even if the Light wins the Last Battle, the Seanchan empire still rules over everything, eventually. Jason Denzel, in his review of Towers of Midnight, implies that if Aviendha's visions are correct, it leads to a not-so-happy-ending: With that in mind, I think we can see two different ways of looking at this sequence. The first way is that the ter'angreal is unbiased, showing the facts, not wanting to take any part. With this way of thinking, Aviendha's vision is true, unchangeable, the irrevocable future. The other way is that the ter'angreal is caring, showing a possible future, wanting to lead the viewer in a new direction. If this is what happens, Aviendha's vision is a warning and can be changed. I think I've already established that the ter'angreal's past visions are accurate, but here's more proof. In an interview, Robert Jordan was asked about the glass columns: If Robert Jordan says they see "through the eyes" of their ancestors, then it's got to be true. The ter'angreal is accurate, showing the exact past. And because it doesn't lie about the past, why would it lie about the future? I think this is the main proof that what Aviendha sees will come to pass. She thinks so too: Still, Aviendha decides to try to change the future, whether or not she can: But, in her last vision, Padra remembers her mother (Aviendha) talking "often" about the challenges the Aiel would face after their part in the Last Battle was done: To me, this sounds like Aviendha trying to tell her children about the dangers she saw in their future. Trying to instill in them the consequences of going down a path toward war. However, it's Padra's desire to prove herself that makes her agree to the plan of war against the Seanchan. I don't think there's anything Aviendha can do to remove a child's desire to gain "great ji" like her parents. That makes it seem pretty certain that events will unfold as they have been shown in the ter'angreal, but there is a counter argument. First, as Jason said, it leaves the reader with a sense of unhappiness. Obviously, Robert Jordan's story won't end with "they lived happily ever after," but I think the readers want a sense of peaceful closure. There will be war in the world's future—we know it eventually becomes our own time, which is constantly at war—but I don't think Robert Jordan would leave us with such a sour taste in our mouths. So, could the ter'angreal be lying? Could it be a warning, not prophecy? It's possible. When Aviendha tries to read the ter'angreal, she senses that it is alive: After she touches it and takes a step, she sees through the eyes of Malidra. This is important because she steps away from the columns, not into them. The ter'angreal, when it touched her, sensed her need for more answers. Or perhaps Aviendha accidentally flipped a switch, making it show the future rather than the past? If so, is the flip permanent? Will another Aiel see the past now, or the future? Either way, it acted on its own, not waiting for her to enter a second time. This fact suggests that the ter'angreal is sentient and that the future might be changed. It has a desire to show Aviendha this for a reason. If there was nothing she could do, why would the ter'angreal bother showing her? Well, one reason could be the fact that the future was difficult for her to see. The whole point of the test was to weed out people unworthy of becoming Wise Ones and Chiefs. Aviendha had no problem seeing the past; in fact, she thinks that "everything she’d seen had been expected. Almost disappointingly so" (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 48, "Near Avendesora"). There's no longer a challenge for them going into the ter'angreal. But seeing the future could kill. Aviendha really struggled with the visions. She is disgusted by what the Aiel have become, sickened that it starts with her line. If they want to continue to test their Chiefs and Wise Ones, this seems a better challenge. Could the ter'angreal know its purpose? Could it know that it is supposed to test the Aiel? If so, it could understand that the past wasn't enough of a challenge now. It could have changed so its usefulness wouldn't end. I don't think we will find out the answer to this question in A Memory of Light. I bet this is one of those things Robert Jordan wants left unsaid. I think more evidence points out that it's the actual future and Aviendha can't change it no matter what she does. However, my understanding of the Pattern is that it's not woven yet. So perhaps there is some wiggle room for certain threads. There won't be a post next week due to Dragon*Con, so I'll keep you guessing about what the topic will be for the week after that. Thanks for reading.
  12. I could see your point, if it wasn't brought up again in Towers of Midnight. During the battle at Maradon, Rand is said--from an outside source--to be "a storm of Light" (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 32, "A Storm of Light"). Also, during this scene, a darkfriend plucks out his eyes and says, "That Light eats at my mind, like rats feasting on a corpse. It burns at my thoughts. It killed me. That light killed me" (same chapter). So, Rand certainly has Light inside him at this point in the story. It seems likely he had it all along, but wasn't able to access it because of all the negative and Shadow-influenced emotions inside him.
  13. This interview with Robert Jordan talks about Aginor's desire to channel the Eye of the World. Jordan's reply seems to fit in with the Eye being a pool of saidin. Those quotes by Ba'alzamon lead me to believe that the Eye was definitely more than just saidin. It could be protecting the seals, as Aielyn said in the comments two weeks ago. It could be that Rand used it for the wrong purpose. It did destroy the Shadowspawn army and bring an end to the crazy weather--for a time--so maybe the actual channeling didn't matter, only the fact that it was used.
  14. @Philip in Richmond That's a good point. She could be trying to mislead Agelmar. But, there's no reason for it. Agelmar, like most Borderlanders, respects and honors Aes Sedai. He wouldn't have pried into her affairs at all. So, there was no point in mislead him. @pandemonium I agree, refilling the Eye is a stretch. But I did want to throw it out there because it's been discussed before. @jack of shadows I agree that those veins were probably there for awhile, though no from birth. I think that it's the effect of the connection with the Creator through the Eye that gave Rand a sort of immunity. But, iIs it Nynaeve's increased ability that finally revealed the veins, or did they appear suddenly because Rand accepted Lews Therin's memories?
  15. Welcome back to "WoT If?". This week will conclude our in-depth look at The Eye of the World. There are only a few more pieces of information that need to be examined, so there might be some hopping around from subject to subject. 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. First off, there's something curious about these last few chapters with regards to Moiraine having been to the Eye of the World before. I think there is a lot of information here. But let's take a step back and try to figure out when Moiraine went to the Eye the first time. We know that she goes up to the Borderlands right after being raised to Aes Sedai. So, after leaving the Tower, Moiraine has traveled for three months. During this scene, she's in Kandor—which lies between Arafel and Saldaea. The whole second half of the novel takes place in Kandor. It's not very close to the location in the Blight where she takes the Emond's Fielders. However, it's been three months, so that's plenty of time to get up there. I'm also assuming Moiraine went without Lan. Notice how Agelmar addresses her only. Maybe Lan would keep quiet about it, letting Moiraine hold onto that Aes Sedai secrecy, but when the Green Man first appears, he says: The Green Man would have included Lan in this statement if he had been with her the first time. Also, note that the Green Man calls her "Sedai," so her visit to him would have been after being raised, but the lack of Lan's presence would suggest that it was before she bonded him. That only leaves the three month window for her to go up to the Blight—alone?—to seek the Eye of the World. Why would she go there? She heard the Foretelling about Rand's birth, and is one of the few searchers who wasn't killed. Obviously, she's looking for signs that would indicate which child he is, but she's also looking for answers. There are several instances throughout the series when Moiraine disappears to find answers. Would the Green Man have any answers, though? His memory is fading and tattered because of his injury. He remembers enough to recognize Perrin as a Wolfbrother, and he remembers the hair and eye coloring of the Aiel. But, when pressed, he can't recall any specific details about anything. Also, there's no reference to the Eye of the World in the prophecies of the Dragon. Moiraine doesn't even plan on going there until Perrin, Loial, and Rand all bring it up while staying at The Queen's Blessing (The Eye of the World, Chapter 42, "Remembrance of Dreams"). Was she just desperate, searching any possible place for leads? Her need was great enough to summon the Green Man the first time, so maybe he was able to give her something helpful. What of Moiraine's statement, "I have something those other seekers have not"? Rand notes that she half-looks at Loial as she says this. Is there something significant about having an Ogier among the group? Loial notes that the Green Man doesn't avoid Ogier the way he avoids humans (The Eye of the World, Chapter 46, "Fal Dara"). So, maybe Loial's presence will help draw the Green Man, but would it be enough that it would counter Moiraine's meeting him already? I think it's more likely that Rand is mistaken and she was actually going to look at him. Since he is the Dragon Reborn—and Moiraine knows that by this point—he would be the best to summon the Green Man and the Eye. Here's another unanswered question: is there a possibility the Eye could be refilled? I'll admit, with the taint cleansed from saidin, there might not be a need for a second Eye of the World. However, Moiraine puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that both men and women channelers are needed to make a pool of the Power. This balance between men and women is a reoccurring theme throughout the series. With the addition of Light-aligned Asha'man and fealty-bound Aes Sedai, we are beginning to discover what happens with the combination of saidar and saidin. But why would Moiraine get so wordy about how females alone can't "fill a spoon with the Power"? I'd call this foreshadowing. What would be the purpose of a second, or refilled, Eye of the World? As discussed two weeks ago, I think it's possible the Eye is a connection to a) the Creator, and b) Rand's past lives. If the Power inside is restored, Rand could hear the ALL CAPS voice again. Either that, or he could allow someone else to be connected to their past lives. Would it be necessary for the Last Battle? Probably not. But it could help the Light side by giving Rand access to the Creator or other channelers' past memories. Another unanswered question at the end of The Eye of the World revolves around Rand's channeling abilities. He uses many weaves as he fights off the Shadowspawn in Tarwin's Gap, and some when he's fighting Ba'alzamon. There's even the Traveling/Skimming weaves Rand uses to get from one place to the next. How does he make these weaves? I see two possibilities: either it's Lews Therin's memories Rand's acquired through the Power of the Eye, or it's the instinctual channeling that wilders typically learn. We see examples of Egwene and Nynaeve using weaves instinctually. There is a good example of Egwene doing this, and knowing she's doing this, in The Dragon Reborn. Because of this, it's easy to see that Rand could be doing all these weaves based on instincts. However, it could also be argued that Egwene and Nynaeve can do so many things without being taught because they are remembering fragments of their past lives too. The Old Blood is strong in both of them, and if they are able to draw on Manetheren's strength, they might be able to draw on Manetheren's memories as well. I think this is plausible because of the fact that Egwene is aware of this happening. When Nynaeve was channeling by instinct as Wisdom, she didn't know she was using the Power. Moiraine points out how the channeling works as the result of the channeler's will, subconsciously. This shows that wilders, who don't know they can channel, use the Power instinctively. This is a big difference from Egwene—and Rand—using weaves they haven't learned. I think this is good evidence that Nynaeve and Egwene are important people reborn. Personally, I believe Nynaeve is Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlan, Queen of Manetheren. Let's move on to the final mystery: what are those cords that connect to Rand and the Forsaken? Rand first sees the cord attached to Aginor when the Forsaken is drawing on the Eye of the World. During this scene, the cord transfers from Aginor to Rand. And once Rand has it, he burns from the Power and Light it gives him. Because of this, the cord must be the Power of the Eye. The cord is the metaphysical connection from Rand to the Power. This raises the question of whether it's a specialty of the Eye to have this sort of connection, or if it's Rand's actual connection to saidin. We know there is no physical link between a channeler's body and the Source—Nynaeve muses on this when she Heals stilling. And Rand admits that "it was not there to see." So, what is he actually looking at? Rand sees a cord connecting to Ba'alzamon too: Ba'alzamon's seems to be the exact opposite of Rand's, except it doesn't dwindle as the Power is used. The more Rand channels, the smaller his cord gets. Ba'alzamon's doesn't shrink at all. So, if the cord is Rand's connection to the Eye, what is Ba'alzamon's attached to? Could it be that the cord is similar to the "wires" Rand removes from Asmodean in The Shadow Rising? Rand's assuming that he cut Ba'alzamon off from the Dark One when he severed the black cord at the end of The Eye of the World. Does that mean Ba'alzamon was reconnected later? Or, if not, is it the reason Ishamael uses so much True Power now? And if the black cord/wire is the link to the Dark One, the cord of Light must be the connection to the Creator. This could be more evidence that the ALL CAPS voice is the Creator. Well, there weren't too many definite answers, and it only led to more questions. That will conclude my ramblings for this week. Next week, we'll take a look at the glass columns ter'angreal and Aviendha's journey through it.
  16. I got the impression he was gay, as well. I thought that was one of the reasons he keeps putting her off. No spoilers, so I won't say more. But, yeah, Breeze is heterosexual. ~Mashiara
  17. The forward of The Gathering Storm says, "Mr. Jordan did write this ending himself before he passed away, and I have read it. And it is fantastic." Brandon Sanderson is also a fan of the series, and I'd say he's a good judge about the conclusion. If he thinks it's "fantastic," then I bet we will all agree.
  18. A "fantasy" literary fiction novel by Haruki Murakai, called 1Q84, is the best book outside WoT that I've ever read. Murakami is a wonderful author to begin with, but this is his masterpiece. The characters are so pefectly complex and compelling. Typical of Murakami, the plot has some strange and "fantasy-ish" twists, but are so gripping. I've never read anything quite like it. It's perfection. Peacesells, I also really enjoyed the Apprentice Adept series. I loved the mix of magic and technology.
  19. Ireond, come join us in the White Ajah. That could be a good discussion. :P
  20. :P I think Luna Lovegood said it best: "a circle that has no beginning."
  21. Lews Therin makes sense. After the epiphany and accepting Lews Therin's--and all his past lives--memories, Rand's mind seems free from madness. That connection also gave him so much knowledge from the Age of Legends and beyond. But I also think Snowball could be right. This series has gone on for 22 years. It's understandable that plots have shifted from what was originally planned.
  22. Basel's got a point. However, even if we still had Niel, or he was replaced, I'm sure he would have been lynched that day. And after that, all we would have needed was one more NK and we would have knocked Town down to 4 players.
  23. He's only viewing the scene through the eyes of Jonai, his ancestor. Rand would recognize it, but the Aielman wouldn't.
  24. You are absolutely right! I can't believe I left off the italics! From that, I would gather the thought is coming from inside Rand. Italics in a novel mean the words are internal thoughts. That would lead me to believe it's Lews Therin, or some other form of the Dragon's Soul, or that the Creator is INSIDE Rand and speaks through him...
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