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Mashiara Sedai

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  1. Happy birthday, Dragonmount! I've been around since nearly the beginning! It's been a great fourteen years!
  2. Millon, I was under the assumption that Machin Shin was a product of the taint on saidin, therefore, it's part of the Shadow. That's something that sounds interesting, so I might look into it further. Elder Haman, I think the Power will be lost eventually (see my post about the sul'dam and damane relationship), but not right after the Last Battle. Looking at prophecies and Foretellings, the White Tower still exists after the battle is complete. There wouldn't be a White Tower if the Power completely disappeared. 78Warlock, I thought it was pretty clear that the oddity of Aviendha's babies is that they touch the True Source at all times--even when asleep.
  3. Welcome back to "WoT If?". As promised last week, this is my take on the possible outcomes of Padan Fain's presence in the last book. 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, let's start with a quote from Robert Jordan: So, according to this, it'll be easy to sort it all out. Now, what the HECK is Fain? He was a Darkfriend for forty years before the story started. When the Seals began to weaken, he was picked to become a Hound for the Dark One, sniffing out the Dragon Reborn. He had his memories "distilled" (The Eye of the World, Chapter 47, "More Tellings of the Wheel") and fed back to him. Then, ordered by Ba'alzamon (Ishamael), he began his hunt for the three ta'veren. Along this chase, he encountered Mordeth in Shadar Logoth and merged with him, becoming a combination of their two personalities (The Great Hunt, Chapter 49, "What Was Meant to Be"). To understand more of Fain's current state, we need to find out more about Mordeth. Mordeth, according to the glossary in The Great Hunt, was a councilor for the king of Aridhol. Obsessed with his hatred for the Shadow, Mordeth sought ways in which to conquer the Dark One once and for all. He wanted to accomplish this by any means necessary. This is important because to Mordeth, the end justifies the means; that is, he's not concerned about who is harmed as long as he achieves his goals. This principle led to the city of Aridhol using methods as evil as the Shadow's. An interview with Brandon Sanderson shows Mordeth's obsession with finding something that could beat the Shadow: Another interview speculates about what choices Mordeth made in his battle against the Shadow: Which of the Finns did Mordeth see? My guess would be both. So, he had three answers and three gifts. What would they have been? There's a lot of room for interesting speculation here. I won't go too much into it, but it seems like the Aelfinn gave him good answers—since he did go through with his plans—and he did receive something, from the Eelfinn or elsewhere, that made him gain these unnatural, evil powers. Hypothetically, one of those questions might have been how to defeat the Dark One. As we know, the Aelfinn give riddles for answers, so Mordeth probably acted on their advice the wrong way, leading to his, and Aridhol's, downfall. Personally, I'd guess that his actions will still aid Rand in re-sealing the Dark One, which would fulfill the riddle given by the Aelfinn, but probably not in the way Mordeth expected. Just a guess. The combination of Fain and Mordeth—we'll still call him Fain—gains some incredible powers, which increase as the story continues. Those powers include, but are not limited to, creating illusions. In fact, I was surprised to stumble upon an interview that said Fain was responsible for the visions Rand saw of Trollocs attacking a family (The Great Hunt, Chapter 10, "The Hunt Begins"). I always credited this to the "woman in white" (Lanfear). However, we see in the prologue of Towers of Midnight that Fain's illusion abilities have morphed into a sort of zombie-creating mist. I think this is an evolved version of Mashadar. Besides the illusion and Mashadar, I don't think we have a clear understanding of what kind of powers Fain has. That leads us to the heart of the discussion: what will Fain's role be in the Last Battle? There are many theories out there already; I've found five that seem plausible. And on a side note, I'm going to point out that Padan Fain is not going to have the same fate as Gollum. There's been a lot of comparison between the two, so here's Brandon Sanderson saying so: 1. Fain will kill one (or some) of the Forsaken. This one stems from Fain's line in Winter's Heart where he said, "He [Rand] belongs to me" (Chapter 22, "Out of Thin Air"). This theory suggests that Rand will be fighting the Forsaken, most likely Moridin, and Fain, in a jealous rage, will kill the Forsaken. This is very believable, and could easily happen. In all likelihood, the Forsaken will have all their attention focused on Rand. Fain could slip in unnoticed and easily do away with the Forsaken. We know that Fain is heading to Shayol Ghul, in order to meet Rand there (Towers of Midnight, Prologue). However, how safe will Fain be near the presence of the Dark One? He's got powers to protect him—and his zombified Trollocs—but there are some pretty scary creatures on the slopes of Shayol Ghul. Also, with the price on his head, and assassins (Slayer) after him, Fain would be an easy target out in the Blight. How will he go about hiding until the Last Battle starts? 2. Fain will kill Rand. This is the same as the one above, but substitute Rand for the Forsaken. Distracted by fighting, Rand could easily be killed by Fain in the same fashion. There are a couple of arguments against this one. First is Alivia. She is supposed to help Rand die (Winter's Heart, Chapter 25, "Bonds"). So, if Fain kills Rand, Alivia doesn't. Unless, of course, she is a Darkfriend, or some other sort of evil creature, who has sided with Fain and helps lead him to Rand. Second, there's been a big Rand/Ishamael rivalry going on since book one. Having Fain turn up and kill Rand would be unexpected, but not in line with the rest of the flow in the series. Most of us believe it will come to a Moridin and Rand showdown. 3. Fain draws the Dark One. I found this one on the Dragonmount forums, posted by bmunge. I'll expand on this a bit and say that since we do see the Taint and Shadar Logoth's evil battling one another, there could be a connection, or attraction, between the two. If, after Rand breaks the Seals, the Dark One gets free, he could be drawn to the anti-Shadow evil of Shadar Logoth. All his negative effects and powers could shoot straight into Fain, rather than at Rand and the rest of the world. That would be very interesting, and not at all expected, I think. 4. Fain breaks the Seals. This came as a surprise to me. I naturally assumed Rand would break the rest of the Seals, because he told Egwene he would. But some argue that the Dark Prophecy at the end of Towers of Midnight might refer to Fain, not Rand. Here's the quote: From this format, we may think the One-Eyed Fool is Mat, the First Among Vermin is Rand, and the Fallen Blacksmith is Perrin. Since three people are listed, our first thought is of our three ta'veren. However, these phrases are a bit vague. There are plenty of men with one eye (Uno?), many who can fit the description of First (Galad and the Whitecloaks?), and tons of blacksmiths (Aiel?). However, the logic of it being Fain who breaks the Seals stems from his overwhelming hatred for the Dark One: he'd unleash his anger and break the Seals. That seems almost counterproductive. If he hates the Dark One, wouldn’t he want to keep him sealed up? 5. Fain is the buffer against the Dark One. This one sort of evolved from the theory that Fain will be a buffer against the Dark One's backlash. However, I think saidar and saidin working together will be enough to keep the backlash from taking effect, if there will even be a backlash. If I understand correctly, the Dark One struck out blindingly when he was sealed by Lews Therin. It happened to hit saidin and taint it. I don't think it was actually planned. Fain being a buffer against the Dark One seems plausible. As I said before, the Shadow and the anti-Shadow evil of Shadar Logoth are enemies. The two wounds in Rand's side show that they battle against each other, almost negating the other's evil effects. If Fain could get close enough, he could negate the Dark One's power, allowing Rand to seal up the Bore. To do this, Fain's hatred for the Dark One would need to be more than his hatred of Rand. This could only happen if Rand is already dead, or if Rand is able to convince Fain to fight the Dark One instead. Is Fain past reason? Can Rand talk him into a different course of action? Brandon Sanderson did say this about Fain being sealed in with the Dark One: However, that could just be Brandon trying to get us off the scent. The best argument for this theory is Robert Jordan's insistence that Fain is unique to this age: If Fain is unique, that means something like him—and his counter-evil—hasn't been seen before. I think this piece of information could lead to the eradication of the Dark One completely. It could be the end to the battle, making this the Last Battle in truth. Ishamael has insisted that this battle happens every time the Wheel turns, but we do know that it's been called the Last Battle for a reason. Are we actually going to have the ending, not an ending? Out of all the five, I think the first and last (even without the ending of the Wheel) are most likely, though all could be possible. We'll conclude this week's edition there. Come back next time and we'll take a look at Dark Prophecy, among other things.
  4. Look at this video of an elephant who is best friends with a dog. Every time I watch it, I CRY!
  5. Thanks guys! I was a bit hesitant to take over after Despothera because he did set the bar so high. I'm glad I'm at least keeping up! Dudley, I like that theory. We do know that Dark Prophecy, like the Light Prophecy, doesn't always come true. It could be based on a different weaving of the Pattern. Interesting!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. I LOVE that drawing of Egwene in Tel'aran'rhiod. It's so cute!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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. :)
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. @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?
  18. 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.
  19. That is the CUTEST thing I've ever seen! And they just wander around in the yard? That's so cool! I wish I had wild hedgehogs in my backyard.
  20. Daruya, I love Apples to Apples! It so much fun to play with a lot of people. When we were younger, my sister and I would play Pit. It was a lot of fun too. Now, though, my husband HATES board games, so the few we have, we never play. Occasionally, when my in-laws are in town, they can convince him to play Pictionary. But since my husband and I make such an awesome team, we bet them before they've gone around a quarter of the board. :) It's fun when you win; I wonder why he doesn't like it...
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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