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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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The evil power in Padan Fain has neither decreased nor increased, nor has that in the dagger. The corruption in him was partly caused by the taint on Shadar Logoth, but it didn't constitute a real connection to the city. Remember that it was because he was Padan Fain, the Hound of the Shadow, that he was able to leave Shadar Logoth in his new condition after he merged with/absorbed Mordeth. (By the way, any other artifacts that might be lying around from Shadar Logoth would have the same long-term corrupting effect as the dagger. Fortunately, or unfortunately, any such thing would need to be metal or stone. The wood and fabric had decayed. It wouldn't have been pleasant to get a splinter from, say, a chair from Shadar Logoth.)
The destruction of Shadar Logoth has not driven Fain any more insane. I'm not certain he'd be able to function at all if he were any madder than he already is. But being insane doesn't make him any less dangerous, only less predictable. He no longer responds to situations or events in any sort of sane, logical manner. His abiding concerns are hatred of Rand al'Thor (and to a lesser degree Mat and Perrin) because he blames them for what the Dark One did to him in order to turn him into the Shadow's Hound, and hatred for the Dark One because of what the Dark One did to him. He goes after Rand because Rand is the easiest target in his mind, but if he can take a swipe at the Dark One or the Dark One's minions in some way that he felt would cause real harm, he'd leap at it.
A Myrddraal wrote the Dark Prophecy on orders, as a threat. I might want to use some of the reasons, so the rest on that is RAFO.
Fain (now amalgamated with Mordeth) was seeking his own power base, something he would try again with Pedron Niall and Toram Riatin. He wanted enough power to be able to kill Rand, Mat and Perrin, though most especially Rand, and to protect himself against agents of the Shadow. Because of Darkfriend reports, the Myrddraal who wrote the prophecy already knew who the strangers on Toman Head were, or claimed to be: Artur Hawkwing's armies returned to reclaim the lands stolen from Hawkwing's heirs. He knew that they collared women who could channel, which appealed to Fain/Mordeth, since one disliked Aes Sedai at best and the other purely hated them. The Myrddraal didn't simply give this up to Fain, you understand. Fain is one of the few people who could successfully torture information out of one of the Eyeless. As for why he went to Cairhien first, he knew the location of the Waygate there (along with several others and how to read the guidings in the Ways, this last from Mordeth) and preferred to use the Ways rather than make the longer cross-country journey from Fal Dara to Toman Head.
Mordeth + person. Mordeth is a human-made evil. The Black Wind gets along with Mordeth because of professional courtesy. Fain is anti-Forsaken as well as anti-Rand. He has a lot of skills and abilities outside of channeling. He can not channel.
Has the Padan Fain/Mordeth character been present in previous Ages, or is he unique to this particular Age?
He is unique to this particular Age. A very unique fellow, indeed. In some ways, you might say he has unwittingly side-stepped the Pattern.
For the ever-popular Anonymous, Fain might be said to be contagious in the sense that he corrupts those he is around long enough, but not in the sense that they then have something communicable. As for his influence over people, remember that Fain is now an amalgam of Fain and Mordeth, and Mordeth was a counselor, quite accustomed to and skilled in gaining the ears of the mighty.
And yes, Amico Nagoyin was Yellow, and Berylla Naron Blue.
Ok. You mentioned that Mordeth was a man that had "power". You are reported as saying that his power was that "which he got by seeking out all of the evil things that weren’t related to the Shadow"...
He was seeking things that were related to the Shadow. I think that that might be a misquote. He was looking into the power of the Shadow in order to defeat it, was his goal. He was looking into everything. He was looking into things that were not necessarily related to the Dark One as well. He was looking for everything that he could get...
..previous to him arriving to Aridhol?
...before he went to the King and became the counselor, Mordeth was this guy that went around searching for Power?
Yeah, he wanted to defeat the Dark One and he felt that he could find other ways to do it [...] He originally was good. He did not...he wasn’t this terrible person to begin with but he was looking to defeat the Dark One, to find a way to defeat the Shadow. And he looked into a lot of things he shouldn’t have looked into. There are evils that are not necessarily directly related to the Dark One, though everything evil kind of has...just as there are goods that are not related necessarily to the One Power...we are talking much as Perrin runs with wolves. This is a thing older than...there are other evils things that are old in a similar way...
...is the assumption then that he found one of these?
He found one or multiple?
He found many things of darkness. There is one in specific that is driving him but he knew too much. He found things he should not have gotten into and that is what turned him into...when he got there he was already corrupt. He still thought he was doing a good work. He still thought we are going to raise this Kingdom up and it is going to become this bastion against the Shadow, but he was already by then corrupted.
Is this same corrupting influence what corrupts everyone through the dagger itself?
Yeah. Through him, yes. And even through his presence.
[Hah—Maybe I should have asked if Mordeth was under the influence of the Finns...or at the very least if they were one of the powers he found in his quest... ]
Ok. Is Mordeth’s power, this evil power, comparable to the One Power and True Power? Is it a power that can be woven?
No, it’s more something along the lines of Perrin’s wolf power, something more natural; you couldn’t weave Mordeth.
Ok, so it’s more of a natural...
...it’s more of a natural, though it is unnatural. It’s an unnatural natural thing...
...because Jordan was really particular about...he tried to have a logic-based system as it pertained to the One Power. Is this power more supernatural in sense than it is based on physics?
Let’s say more instinctual, alright?
When a soul is reborn, at what point does it enter the body?
Hmm… *think, think* I’d have to say as a fetus. When the body becomes capable of sustaining life.
*stupid grin* Ok. In The Eye of the World, Thom said that the dead can take over a living body. If this happened, what would happen to the original soul?
*gave me a “haha, nice try you stupid monkey” grin* “Read and find out.”
YAAAAAAAAAAAARG! DAMN YOU! (ok, not really)
Umm...yes, you don't abandon it that easily, but, the other touch on Fain is far more dominant.
That would be Mordeth?
Is Fain still a Darkfriend?
I don't know if Fain counts as a Darkfriend anymore. I think Fain is his own faction.
How is Fain getting Trollocs and Myrddraal to follow him if he is not a Darkfriend?
He is using...other means...they aren't following him because he is a Darkfriend. Certainly not [he smiles a bit here].
Is Mat still attached in any way to Fain's dagger?
Read and Find out.
Um, was there any connection between Mat's luck and the dagger?
Um, not that I know of. Good question, but we can MAFO that one, but you can give the, "not that I know of". I'm still kind of...you know, the Mat's luck being beyond him being ta'veren, is one that's very interesting to me, because everything that I know says that his luck does extend beyond his ta'verenness, but...
Well, it's like his whole plotline seems kinda designed as like this revenge story for Manetheren against Aridhol, you know?
Yeah, uh-huh. Yep.
And, you know, he starts speaking the Old Tongue right before they go into Shadar Logoth; that's the first time he speaks it...
...you know, and then as soon as he wakes up from the Healing, he's got memories, he's got this luck, you know?