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Luckers
05-12-2010, 02:14 PM
As some of you know I have called the Big Unnoticed Thing as the Unseen Eyes of Tel'aran'rhiod.

The Unseen Watchers of Tel’aran’rhiod

The first citing of the girls feeling eyes on them in Tel'aran'rhiod occurs in book four...

Studying the columns herself, Egwene shrugged uncomfortably. It did feel as if, they were being watched. No doubt it was just because they were the only people in the Stone. No one who had access to Tel'aran'rhiod could expect to find anyone to watch, here. [tSR;35, Sharp Lessons]

It gets referenced frequently, however. Here are some of the quotes.

"...She had the sensation of being watched from the dimnesses between the columns..."
"...The emptiness of the vast chamber oppressed her, all those great polished columns and that sense of being watched from the dimness between..."
”... there was often a feel of unseen eyes in the World of Dreams…”
"...that sensation of being watched that was so common in Tel’aran ‘rhiod. It was all Nynaeve could do not to flee..."
“…Suddenly very much aware of feeling unseen eyes…”
“…She had almost grown accustomed to the feel of unseen eyes in this vast chamber…”
“…Even the feel of unseen eyes could not touch her through her anger this morning…”
“…often she had the feeling of eyes watching…”
"...calling [Egwene] did nothing except increase that uneasy feeling of being watched..."
"...she became aware of being watched by unseen eyes. That sensation was always present in Tel'aran'rhiod, and not even the Wise Ones knew why..."
"...The ever-present sensation of unseen eyes watching was not dreamlike..."
"...That no longer seemed any odder to her than the feel of unseen eyes watching..."


The Ongoing Principal: Brandon stated that: “It’s been going for a long time.” And that entries in books 4-6 are “not the only time it’s ever mentioned. It is…hints about this hidden thing appear in pretty much…in several of the books.”

This implies several things—first and clearest is that the BUT is referenced outside books 4-6. Second, that the BUT is an event, action or effect. It has been ‘going on’ for some time, not ‘existing’ for some time. This does not wholly rule out it being an object, but it does require that if it is an object that it is doing something, or something is occurring due to it. It may even be as simple as the way characters are reacting or not reacting to it, but it has to be more than it’s existence which is significant.

The Ongoing Principal; The Unseen Eyes: First mentioned in book 4, with heavy mention in through books four and five, slows down a bit in book 6, and then has one mention each in books 7, 9 &10. This fits neatly with Brandon's comments on who the BUT appears and plays out in the books.

The Discussion Factor: Brandon said that he has never seen anyone discussing this point in his lurking on the Forums. That being said he reiterated several times that that does not mean that it hadn’t been discussed, a point which I came to appreciate recently when I made a passing reference to the Sylvase Theory—which I would have said was heavily discussed—and everyone in the thread stared at me blankly.

As such I didn’t really bother to investigate whether an idea had been discussed and am just putting down the degree to which I recall it being discussed, and am instructing you all to take the discussion factor with a grain of salt.

The Discussion Factor; The Unseen Eyes: I cannot recall it being discussed once on DM, though Terez stated that it had been on Theoryland. If I missed that, Brandon easily could have.

Revelation Requirements: Brandon said that: “it's something we should have picked up on when it appeared.”

This of course is on par with Asmodean’s killer being intuitively obvious. It does help in some ways—if the suggested BUT does not have significance except when looked at with knowledge gained in the later books it most probably isn’t the actual BUT.

Revelation Requirements; The Unseen Eyes The eyes are an oddity that is brought up often and never explained. We indeed should have taken notice the second they appeared. This fits Brandon's comments about how we should have noticed this perfectly.

Potential Impact: Uncertain. The eyes have a dire feel to them, but we have no specific indication of what may come from them should this be the BUT--note I now have a theory on them relating to the evil that created Shadar Logoth--for the short, look to the connection between the Unseen Eyes of TAR and those of Shadar Logoth and Fain

Terez thinks that picking one theory from the multitude is meaningless unless I can explain the impact of the Unseen Eyes. I think that's silly. Nothing in Brandon's comments indicates that we should predict the impact of the Unnoticed Thing, just that we should have noticed it in itself. This directly parallel's the way the Big Unnoticed Thing in the Mistborn series played out--we had hints that something weird was going on, but no clue as to its impact or reality. For those interested in exploring this point further check out my post on the Mistborn Spoiler which can be found here (http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php/topic,57075.msg1633535.html#msg1633535). I do strongly suggest you actually read the series, however. It is good and this will spoile a great deal for you.

But alright, I've been called out, and I've never been one to back away from a challenge. Here is my first theory on the Unseen Eyes--I'm developing another dealing with the Ways which I think is less likely, but I'll post it anyway in a few days--after all god forbid we not predict the BUT's impact..

The Evil That Twisted Mordeth and Gave Birth to Shadar Logoth

Brandon has told us that Mordeth, in searching for ways to combat the Shadow, encountered an entirely different evil which changed him into what he is, and is currently driving him.

Matt: 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"…

Brandon: ...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…

Matt: ...previous to him arriving to Aridhol?

Brandon: ...Yeah...

Matt: ...before he went to the King and became the counselor, Mordeth was this guy that went around searching for Power?

Brandon: 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…

Matt: ...is the assumption then that he found one of these?

Brandon: He did.

Matt: He found one or multiple?

Brandon: 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.

[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... ]

Matt: Is this same corrupting influence what corrupts everyone through the dagger itself?

Brandon: Yeah. Through him. yes. And even through his presence.

So, this evil exists seperate of him, is driving him (or perhaps was before Fain's introduction and the presence of DO evil--it has been stated Fain is unique), and is the source of all the corruption related to Shadar Logoth.

The Unseen Eyes of Shadar Logoth

It must be noted that a direct parallel exists between the Unseen Eyes of TAR, and those of Shadar Logoth.

The back of his neck prickled. Something was watching them from the darkness in the columns. He spun around, staring at the buildings across the way. He could feel eyes on him from there, too. His grip tightened on his sword hut, though he wondered what good it would be. Watching eyes seemed to be everywhere. The others looked around warily; he
knew they could feel it, too.

[tEotW; 19, Shadow's Waiting]

The watchers followed them. Or else there were lots of watchers, lots of eyes staring out of almost every building. Rand could not see anything move, hard as he tried, but he could feel the eyes, eager, hungry. He did not know which would be worse. Thousands of eyes, or just a few, following them.

[tEotW; 19, Shadow's Waiting]

At last, with twilight falling, they came in sight of the white stone building they had left what seemed like days ago. Suddenly the watching eyes departed. Between one step and the next, they vanished in a blink. Without a word Rand broke into a trot, followed by his friends, then a full run that only ended when they hared through the doorway and collapsed, panting.

[tEotW; 19, Shadow's Waiting]

Disturbingly similar descriptions. Of course this cannot be the BUT--it's mentioned in book one, after all. More on that in a second, though I would point out that these eyes are noted to have grown worse in LoC.

Rand turned slowly where he stood, staring up at windows like empty eye sockets, the eyes gouged out. With the sun climbing high he could feel unseen watchers. When he had been here before, that feeling had not come this strongly until the sun began to go down.

[LoC; 21, To Shadar Logoth]

Rand hesitated. Well short of midafternoon yet, and he could feel the eyes again. As strong as they had been with the sun setting his first time here.

[LoC; 21, To Shadar Logoth]

The invisible watchers filled every window, every opening, thousands of them, waiting, anticipating.

[LoC; 21, To Shadar Logoth]

So yes, Shadar Logoth was destroyed, yet it can be clearly noted that the evil was somehow growing stronger.

The Unseen Eyes of Padan Fain

The next interesting point is that these Watchers aren't just in Shadar Logoth. Fain seems to carry the same sense with him. In tGH Rand experiences the sensation of Unseen Watchers.

In the woodyard, the presence returned, the sense of someone there. The feel of eyes peering at him around tall piles of split firewood under the long sheds, darting glances over the stacks of seasoned planks and timbers waiting on the other side of the yard for the carpenter's shop, now closed up tight. He refused to look around, refused to think of how one set of eyes could move from place to place so fast, could cross the open yard from the firewood shed to the lumbershed without even a flicker of movement that he could see. He was sure it was one set of eyes. Imagination. Or maybe I'm going crazy already. He shivered. Not yet. Light, please not yet. Stiff-backed, he stalked across the woodyard, and the unseen watcher followed.

Down deep corridors lit only by a few rush torches, in storerooms filled with sacks of dried peas or beans, crowded with slatted racks heaped with wrinkled turnips and beets, or stacked with barrels of wine and casks of salted beef and kegs of ale, the eyes were always there, sometimes following him, sometimes waiting when he entered. He never heard a footstep but his own, never heard a door creak except when he opened and closed it, but the eyes were there. Light, I am going crazy.

[tGH; 2, The Flame of Tar Valon]

Now many assume this to be the Grey Man that later attempts to kill Rand during the Leavetaking. However, Liandrin also experiences the Eyes. Consider.

Pulling the door shut behind her, Liandrin suddenly felt a prickling across her skin. Breath catching, she whirled about, looking up and down the dimly lit hall. Empty. It was full night beyond the arrowslits. The hall was empty, yet she was sure there had been eyes on her. The vacant corridor, shadowy between the lamps on the walls, mocked her. She shrugged uneasily, then started down the hall determinedly. Fancies take me. Nothing more.

[tGH; 5, The Shadow in Shienar]

Why would the Grey Man watch Liandrin--more to the point on the same page we switch to Fain's POV.

As a lamp came into the cell chamber, Fain raised his head, grinning at something, unseen yet felt, beyond the dungeon's stone ceiling. "It isn't over yet," he whispered. "The battle's never over."

[tGH; 5, The Shadow in Shienar]


Furthermore in chapter 3 Fain keeps looking towards where the woman's apartments are, where Liandrin is.

He let his arm fall, and his eyes rose to stare intently at an angle up into the darkness. A crooked grin twisting his mouth, he chuckled deep in his throat as if whatever he saw was amusing. "Mordeth knows more than all of you. Mordeth knows."

Egwene backed away from the cell until she reached Rand, and only the edge of the light touched the bars of Fain's cell. Darkness hid the peddler, but they could still hear his chuckles. Even unable to see him, Rand was sure Fain was still peering off at nothing. With a shiver, he pried his fingers off his sword hilt. "Light!" he said hoarsely. "This is what you call being like he used to be?"

"Sometimes he's better, and sometimes worse." Egwene's voice was unsteady. "This is worse-much worse than usual."

"What is he seeing, I wonder. He's mad, staring at a stone ceiling in the dark." If the stone weren't there, he'd he looking straight at the women's apartments. Where Moiraine is, and the Amyrlin Seat. He shivered again. "He's mad."

[tGH; 3, Friends and Enemies]

Of course this raises the question of why would he be looking at Liandrin. LoC gives us something of an answer.

It was the most remarkable thing about Darkfriends. There should be nothing to single out a Darkfriend from anyone else, but of late he found he could tell one at a glance, even someone who had only thought of swearing to the Shadow, as if they had a sooty mark on their foreheads.

[LoC; 28, Letters]

Obviously he has only just gained mastery of this skill, but much like the flies situation in tGH was an early manifestation of his illusion skills, this awareness of Liandrin (and likely Alviarin) was an early manifestation of his awareness of Darkfriends. At least, that is what I suggest.

What Is The Relevence? These Things Occur Before Book Four, So They Ain't The BUT

Shadar Logoth and Fain are both results of the touch of the same evil thing, as shown by Brandon's comments. Both of these evils manifest with the feel of unseen eyes, unseen watchers. They themselves cannot be the BUT, but what I am suggesting is that the source of their evil may be.

Consider, Fain and Shadar Logoth have a linked source, but TAR has no links to either. So, if neither Shadar Logoth or Fain are the source of the TAR eyes--what if the TAR eyes are the source of Shadar Logoth and Fain?

The final thing I would address is that many have asked why the Eyes haven't done anything till now--what indication we have that that is to change. Little, in truth, but I do have this one quote which I think frames the response to such a question nicely.

"Whatever watches us is waiting for nightfall, I think," Sulin said. "I have looked into windows where something was looking back at me, but there was nothing there. Dancing the spears with something we cannot see will not be easy."

[LoC; 21, To Shadar Logoth]

Whatever watches waits till nightfall. The Shadow darkens the world, the next book is to be called the Towers of Midnight. The time the watchers wait for, perhaps?

Crispin's Crispian
05-12-2010, 03:24 PM
I like the connections you've made, but I don't really see the point or relevance. I agree with Terez that you probably should come up with a scenario involving the Unseen Eyes, because the big surprise is going to be a huge plot twist. What will they do? Who are they?

I also happen to think the Unseen Eyes might be the big plot twist, but I don't think they have anything to do with Shadar Logoth or Fain. Rather, I think they are the souls of the Heroes and/or dead non-Heroes in Tel'aran'rhiod. The plot twist could come in a several ways, but Terez's Gawyn theory makes me think they will be important to Rand's death and...whatever happens after.

Terez
05-12-2010, 03:55 PM
I think they are the souls of the Heroes and/or dead non-Heroes in Tel'aran'rhiod. The plot twist could come in a several ways, but Terez's Gawyn theory makes me think they will be important to Rand's death and...whatever happens after.
I know what you are getting at, but I doubt that the Heroes will be all that important to what happens after Rand's death. It may be that Rand decides to follow the precepts, which would make it difficult for Nynaeve to find him...but not impossible. All they have to do is use Need. Nynaeve might need the assistance of Egwene to hold him down once they find him, but all of the necessary means have already been introduced in the story.

WinespringBrother
05-12-2010, 08:28 PM
FWIW, Mat also thought there were hidden watchers in Finnland.

TITLE: Shadow Rising CHAPTER: 15 - Into the Doorway
He saw no one except his silent guide; he could have believed the place empty except for the two of them. From somewhere he had a dim memory of walking halls that had not known a human foot in hundreds of years, and this felt the same. Yet sometimes he caught a flicker of motion out of the corner of his eye. Only, however quickly he turned, there was never anyone there. He pretended to rub his forearms, checking the knives up his coatsleeves for reassurance.

Spasmodean
05-12-2010, 10:09 PM
FWIW, Mat also thought there were hidden watchers in Finnland.

To be fair, there probably WERE. We can't just assume that there are only 4 Finns and a gatekeeper per doorway. /wildconjecture - With the twisty nature of Finnland they probably had some trick to keep them hidden from full view which is why he only saw then at the corners of his vison

Tercel
05-13-2010, 05:04 AM
I believe the Unseen Eyes of Tel'aran'rhiod are the hidden thing that Brandon mentioned. There are very few things that fit BS's criteria, but the Unseen Eyes fit that criteria well. I doubt there's a correlation with the Shadar Logoth unseen eyes however.

Luckers
05-13-2010, 08:39 AM
I like the connections you've made, but I don't really see the point or relevance. I agree with Terez that you probably should come up with a scenario involving the Unseen Eyes, because the big surprise is going to be a huge plot twist. What will they do? Who are they?

Firstly, I already did make a suggestion in the issue of who Perrin's unseen foe was. It's stated in the blurb that an unseen foe (not the whitecloaks or slayer) is pulling a noose tight around Perrin's neck, and that he must seek the answers to this problem in tel'aran'rhiod.

Secondly, the above post does make a suggestion about who the Unseen Eyes are--that they are the evil Mordeth found when he was searching for ways to kill the Dark--the evil which currently drives him, and the evil which gave birth to Shadar Logoth and its taint.

Thirdly, this is the problem with yours and Terez' logic. We simply don't know enough about the situation to predict all aspects of it. This does not invalidate the parts that we can predict.

Rather, I think they are the souls of the Heroes and/or dead non-Heroes in Tel'aran'rhiod.

Yet when Nynaeve states that Birgitte had no knowledge of what the Eyes are, which means they are not the heroes, and RJ stated that the non-hero dead have their own place of waiting between lives, and are thus not present in TAR.

FWIW, Mat also thought there were hidden watchers in Finnland.


The sensation of the Eyes is very specific, and not at all like what Mat describes. My guess is that Mat's experiences were a result of the warped nature of Finnland reality.

I believe the Unseen Eyes of Tel'aran'rhiod are the hidden thing that Brandon mentioned. There are very few things that fit BS's criteria, but the Unseen Eyes fit that criteria well. I doubt there's a correlation with the Shadar Logoth unseen eyes however.

I don't know about it either. That's the problem with Terez's request, by confusing the question of what the BUT is with what its impact will be you muddy the original issue. I believe the Eyes are the BUT, and this is the most viable answer I have to offer, but it is far from stone.

Neilbert
05-13-2010, 08:59 AM
Interesting idea, good quotes, support, and connections. However, I have no idea what to do with this other than assume that things are going to get hairy for our heroes.

Luckers
05-13-2010, 09:29 AM
Yup. That's the end game for any theory on this issue. We simply do not know enough.

Sei'taer
05-13-2010, 09:47 AM
I like this idea too. It's insignificant enough to not be noticeable, but when it's pointed out it makes you think that it could be right. Good catch as far as I'm concerened.

There may be some things in there that aren't quite right. I'm not sure I agree with the whole Aridhol angle. I guess I need to do a little research...something I haven't done in years. Jordancon screwed up my lackidaisical lifestyle.

Tamyrlin
05-13-2010, 10:54 AM
I like the idea of trying to tie this other evil or darkness to the "small detail" through the unseen eyes - however, it's difficult to disconnect the variety of initial Shadar Logoth references, Padan Fain and the dagger's influence from the requirement that the "small detail" was first mentioned somewhere between books 4-6. I understand that you are placing the emphasis to these occurrences in T'A'R, but that remains the biggest weakness, when directly connected to this other evil. However, disconnected, the unseen eyes in T'A'R certainly could be the Small Detail (Big Unnoticed Thing seems to be the thing the Small Detail will lead to...BUT that's just me). :)

I'll be interested in seeing your second idea about that connects the Ways instead.

By the way - I don't get the impression that Crispy and Terez are discounting or invalidating parts of your theory (although I haven't read replies other than what are here)...I think most of us, while interested in the Small Detail, are just as interested in theories regarding what it will lead to. So, now that you have an idea about what the Small Detail is, it would be fun to come up with the ideas as to its Potential Impact.

Also, to everyone, it would be good of us to craft a series of questions that we can use to invalidate the long list of suspect Small Details, the next time we get a chance to question Brandon...DragonCon does approach.

Luckers
05-13-2010, 12:12 PM
I like the idea of trying to tie this other evil or darkness to the "small detail" through the unseen eyes - however, it's difficult to disconnect the variety of initial Shadar Logoth references, Padan Fain and the dagger's influence from the requirement that the "small detail" was first mentioned somewhere between books 4-6. I understand that you are placing the emphasis to these occurrences in T'A'R, but that remains the biggest weakness, when directly connected to this other evil. However, disconnected, the unseen eyes in T'A'R certainly could be the Small Detail (Big Unnoticed Thing seems to be the thing the Small Detail will lead to...BUT that's just me).

The destinction would be not so much that the Eyes of TAR are in TAR as opposed to being in SL or Fain, but that the Eyes of TAR were the source of the evil in Shadar Logoth and Fain (the Mordeth side).

Think of it like we met the kids in the early books, but the Dad in books four to six. They are distinct. The TAR Eyes influenced Mordeth, and guided him, but the evil the results for all that it stems from them, is not them. Now we've actually met the Big Bad.

(Again, a reminder, I'm just saying this in light of the question. There is clearly not enough evidence here to be in any way certain).

I'll be interested in seeing your second idea about that connects the Ways instead.

I'll post it either tomorrow or monday. It's not as strong though. Not by far, so don't get your hopes up.

By the way - I don't get the impression that Crispy and Terez are discounting or invalidating parts of your theory (although I haven't read replies other than what are here)...I think most of us, while interested in the Small Detail, are just as interested in theories regarding what it will lead to. So, now that you have an idea about what the Small Detail is, it would be fun to come up with the ideas as to its Potential Impact.

Indeed, what I was talking of is not present in this thread--and in truth doesn't involve Crispy. Terez has expressed--frequently--her disdain for the idea that simply identifying the BUT is meaningful, which I have a fairly large problem with.

That being said don't mistake me--the question of the impact of the BUT is a good one, and worth discussion. It is a seperate question, however.

Also, to everyone, it would be good of us to craft a series of questions that we can use to invalidate the long list of suspect Small Details, the next time we get a chance to question Brandon...DragonCon does approach.

Have you checked out my compilation of theories? I'm considering creating a shortlist of the most viable, but it may help in what your looking at. It can be found here (http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php/topic,57075.0.html)

Crispin's Crispian
05-13-2010, 12:17 PM
Secondly, the above post does make a suggestion about who the Unseen Eyes are--that they are the evil Mordeth found when he was searching for ways to kill the Dark--the evil which currently drives him, and the evil which gave birth to Shadar Logoth and its taint.
But that's pretty nebulous. It's just an "evil" of some kind. How would it manifest as the feeling of being watched? What is it? How is it related to anything else in the story?

Thirdly, this is the problem with yours and Terez' logic. We simply don't know enough about the situation to predict all aspects of it. This does not invalidate the parts that we can predict.The Big Secret is supposed to be a major plot device in the next book. To me, that has to be part of any theory because it is one important criterion. Sure, there's no way for us to know what it is or what is going to happen, but it will give your theory a lot more strength if you can tie it to the plot.


Yet when Nynaeve states that Birgitte had no knowledge of what the Eyes are, which means they are not the heroes, and RJ stated that the non-hero dead have their own place of waiting between lives, and are thus not present in TAR.Did he say that, or did he just say that there is an "ordinary afterlife"? I'm not sure he ever said they don't go to Tel'aran'rhiod.

Tamyrlin
05-13-2010, 12:36 PM
The destinction would be not so much that the Eyes of TAR are in TAR as opposed to being in SL or Fain, but that the Eyes of TAR were the source of the evil in Shadar Logoth and Fain (the Mordeth side).

Think of it like we met the kids in the early books, but the Dad in books four to six. They are distinct. The TAR Eyes influenced Mordeth, and guided him, but the evil the results for all that it stems from them, is not them. Now we've actually met the Big Bad.

(Again, a reminder, I'm just saying this in light of the question. There is clearly not enough evidence here to be in any way certain).


So, are you suggesting that T'A'R is this entity's "home"?


I'll post it either tomorrow or monday. It's not as strong though. Not by far, so don't get your hopes up.


Ok - I guess my interest is in other variations of what the unseen eyes could signify, so anything will be interesting...while possibly not compelling. You have sufficiently lowered my expectations. :)



Indeed, what I was talking of is not present in this thread--and in truth doesn't involve Crispy. Terez has expressed--frequently--her disdain for the idea that simply identifying the BUT is meaningful, which I have a fairly large problem with.

That being said don't mistake me--the question of the impact of the BUT is a good one, and worth discussion. It is a seperate question, however.


The potential impact would be a good thread to begin - hmm, I'll see if I have time at lunch to start that (organized a bit).


Have you checked out my compilation of theories? I'm considering creating a shortlist of the most viable, but it may help in what your looking at. It can be found here (http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php/topic,57075.0.html)

I have read through it a couple of times - I appreciate the organized way you are going through it (by the way, directly linking that information gleaned from TL would be useful to your users since conversation continues on those threads). I'm including your list in a Small Detail compilation for the WoT Theory Index I'm working on. (Let me know if you would be interested in helping out - I should have a few samples in a week or so for you to get an idea of what it intends to accomplish).

Luckers
05-13-2010, 12:45 PM
But that's pretty nebulous. It's just an "evil" of some kind. How would it manifest as the feeling of being watched? What is it? How is it related to anything else in the story?

Yup. You're asking questions of impact when we have no basis to suggest any. Oh, we can give some (mostly baseless) conjecture--I did with Perrin's Unseen Foe--but that's all we got.

All of which is rather irrelevant to indentifying the BUT, now isn't it.

Let me compare what you are doing. In tSR Amico and Joiya are killed by an agent of the Shadow which manages to enter a closed and locked cell. This is beyond the capabilities of all of the agents of the Shadow Moiraine was aware of. She can predict its existence, guess at some points of its nature, but had you asked her what it was could she have answered "Oh, it's Slayer of course. An amalgamation of Luc and Isam which can utilize Tel'aran'rhiod to entire locked rooms".

Of course not. That she couldn't do that doesn't invalidate her perceptions of a new agency of the Shadow. Just so that we do not know what this evil is, what it wants, or its full nature, but that does not invalidate predictions of its existance or involvement.

These questions are interesting, but the attempt to frame them as necessary in the question of what the BUT is is highly problematic. In fact its impossible.

The Big Secret is supposed to be a major plot device in the next book. To me, that has to be part of any theory because it is one important criterion. Sure, there's no way for us to know what it is or what is going to happen, but it will give your theory a lot more strength if you can tie it to the plot.


You are wrong in your insistance. Brandon made no comments that specify the identification of impact as a criterion for the Big Unnoticed Thing. It will be in play in ToM and that is all we know--anything further is your high jinks, and not our duty to answer. Sorry.

By the way I did, incidently, tie it to the plot with the Unseen Foe suggestions. That should have no impact on my theory though--it could be easily wrong. It is baseless conjecture. The work on the Unseen Eyes as BUT however is theory backed in evidence.

Did he say that, or did he just say that there is an "ordinary afterlife"? I'm not sure he ever said they don't go to Tel'aran'rhiod.

Then look it up. I mean thats hardly a no brainer--if you don't know something, you look it up.

Luckers
05-13-2010, 12:55 PM
So, are you suggesting that T'A'R is this entity's "home"?

Perhaps. It's uncertain from the reference to the Wise Ones not knowing what the Eyes are whether this is a new phenomena or an old one. Perhaps the Eyes have only recently taken up residence.

It is where they are currently, however.

I have read through it a couple of times - I appreciate the organized way you are going through it (by the way, directly linking that information gleaned from TL would be useful to your users since conversation continues on those threads). I'm including your list in a Small Detail compilation for the WoT Theory Index I'm working on. (Let me know if you would be interested in helping out - I should have a few samples in a week or so for you to get an idea of what it intends to accomplish).

Lol--the problem with directly linking info that was gained from Theoryland is that none was directly gained from theoryland. That was my intention originally mind, cite theories with links to where they were posted--but 99% were posted piecemeal. Someone says 'how bout the Trollocs in the stone', someone else says 'how'd semirhage react so fast', a third says 'did Semirhage send her trollocs through the Ways?'

That was how it was with all of it. What wasn't posted ten million times was posted in ten million pieces. In the end I compiled. Hence the name. What may do better is to link the Discussion threads in general. Currently I only have the DM discussion thread listed by I might throw in the Theoryland and 13th Depo threads too.

Pass me a line on what your doing through my DM PM or Facebook PM. Even if I can't fully contribute maybe I can do bits--I'm mostly focussed on the Dragonmount Theory Compilation at the moment (the old DM FAQ was in shambles but has some really good stuff, and reconstituting it is where the most of my time is directed).

Terez
05-13-2010, 12:59 PM
That was my intention originally mind, cite theories with links to where they were posted--but 99% were posted piecemeal.
Not the Unseen Eyes, though. ;)

Crispin's Crispian
05-13-2010, 01:07 PM
Yup. You're asking questions of impact when we have no basis to suggest any. Oh, we can give some (mostly baseless) conjecture--I did with Perrin's Unseen Foe--but that's all we got.

All of which is rather irrelevant to indentifying the BUT, now isn't it.
No, it's not irrelevant at all. But I've made that point already. Let me be clear--your lack of a plot impact does not invalidate your theory. I'm sorry if that what I've implied. However, any well thought out theory (and I certainly make no claim to one) should include the relevant possible impact. No, we can't know what it is, and we're only speculating.




You are wrong in your insistance. Brandon made no comments that specify the identification of impact as a criterion for the Big Unnoticed Thing. It will be in play in ToM and that is all we know--anything further is your high jinks, and not our duty to answer. Sorry.
Well, let's see what he said:

There is a very small detail in books 4-6, not sure which one that will end up playing a huge role in Towers of Midnight (might end up being in amol, but pretty sure he said ToM). This is on a scale (~example from Mistborn of a small detail~), with how that was such a minor detail touched on in book one, and ended up being the key detail that saved the day in the end. That kind of small detail.



...including one thing is secretly hidden in the books for books and books and books, and I haven't been able to find a hint that any of the fan communities have even gotten a whiff it, which is awesome, because they get a whiff of almost everything. And it is really going to be a shocker when it happens, but it is going to be one of those shockers that people are going to slap their foreheads, why haven't we been talking about this for twelve years...

I believe there was another quote where he said it would "blow our minds, but I can't spend that much time looking.

All of the above indicates that it's not just "in play" in ToM or AMoL, but is very important. So, not hijinks, but nice try.

Then look it up. I mean thats hardly a no brainer--if you don't know something, you look it up.Thanks for the tip. I actually did look it up, but couldn't find the quote in question. I did find the afterlife quote.

But continue being condescending. It's quite endearing.

Luckers
05-13-2010, 01:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
That was my intention originally mind, cite theories with links to where they were posted--but 99% were posted piecemeal.

Not the Unseen Eyes, though.

No, they were posted in bits too. The first two were on Dragonmount, and then yours, then a third on DM and a reference on 13th Depo, all amounting to much the same--'how bout them unseen eyes...'.

I'd already fleshed that theory out, but it was much the same with any of the others. Either generalities repeated often, or bits and and pieces which could be combined to make a viable theory.

However, any well thought out theory (and I certainly make no claim to one) should include the relevant possible impact

I disagree. To place such strictures means that attempts at analytical thought are bound by the need to add conjecture. An invalid methodology. Consider Siuan, she managed to identify the Too Young Sitter conpiracy without identifying its impact or purpose. Were her efforts pointless from that lack? No, she identified a significant plot.

That one may not detail the full intentions of a thing doesn't mean identifying it is pointless.

Quote:
You are wrong in your insistance. Brandon made no comments that specify the identification of impact as a criterion for the Big Unnoticed Thing. It will be in play in ToM and that is all we know--anything further is your high jinks, and not our duty to answer. Sorry.

Well, let's see what he said:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Sanderson
There is a very small detail in books 4-6, not sure which one that will end up playing a huge role in Towers of Midnight (might end up being in amol, but pretty sure he said ToM). This is on a scale (~example from Mistborn of a small detail~), with how that was such a minor detail touched on in book one, and ended up being the key detail that saved the day in the end. That kind of small detail.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Sanderson
...including one thing is secretly hidden in the books for books and books and books, and I haven't been able to find a hint that any of the fan communities have even gotten a whiff it, which is awesome, because they get a whiff of almost everything. And it is really going to be a shocker when it happens, but it is going to be one of those shockers that people are going to slap their foreheads, why haven't we been talking about this for twelve years...

I believe there was another quote where he said it would "blow our minds, but I can't spend that much time looking.

All of the above indicates that it's not just "in play" in ToM or AMoL, but is very important. So, not hijinks, but nice try.


I see nothing in that to state that we should be able to predict the impact of the role it will play in ToM. That we should have noticed the thing itself, yes. That it is big, yes.

Nothing about us being able to predict its impact.

The quote you are thinking of is that he said we'd slap ourselves on the head when we figured it out.

Quote:
Then look it up. I mean thats hardly a no brainer--if you don't know something, you look it up.

Thanks for the tip. I actually did look it up, but couldn't find the quote in question. I did find the afterlife quote.

But continue being condescending. It's quite endearing.

You're right, I was frustrated, but that is no excuse. My appologies.

Tamyrlin
05-13-2010, 01:23 PM
Perhaps. It's uncertain from the reference to the Wise Ones not knowing what the Eyes are whether this is a new phenomena or an old one. Perhaps the Eyes have only recently taken up residence.

It is where they are currently, however.


I've always thought the Eyes in T'A'R were a factor of the increase of people using T'A'R, such as the Forsaken spying. But that very well might have been what Jordan wanted us to feel is implied, while hiding something much larger


Lol--the problem with directly linking info that was gained from Theoryland is that none was directly gained from theoryland. That was my intention originally mind, cite theories with links to where they were posted--but 99% were posted piecemeal. Someone says 'how bout the Trollocs in the stone', someone else says 'how'd semirhage react so fast', a third says 'did Semirhage send her trollocs through the Ways?'

That was how it was with all of it. What wasn't posted ten million times was posted in ten million pieces. In the end I compiled. Hence the name. What may do better is to link the Discussion threads in general. Currently I only have the DM discussion thread listed by I might throw in the Theoryland and 13th Depo threads too.


I was speaking to general discussion thread links such as in your 1.3 Things Peter Ahsltrom Ruled Out. Seems like an obvious place to drop the link to the original thread where you gleaned all of the things you listed so any of your users have an easy way to review it on their own. I wasn't suggesting linking each idea on its own. I'm pointing this out...because it took me a while to find our thread after reading your compilation from which you were quoting the list of things that were discounted, so I imagine it would be very difficult for your users to find the original Discussion.


Pass me a line on what your doing through my DM PM or Facebook PM. Even if I can't fully contribute maybe I can do bits--I'm mostly focussed on the Dragonmount Theory Compilation at the moment (the old DM FAQ was in shambles but has some really good stuff, and reconstituting it is where the most of my time is directed).

I'm guessing what you are doing on Dragonmount will be the most useful use of your time - but I'll send you a note through Facebook when there is something to see.

Luckers
05-13-2010, 01:28 PM
I was speaking to general discussion thread links such as in your 1.3 Things Peter Ahsltrom Ruled Out. Seems like an obvious place to drop the link to the original thread where you gleaned all of the things you listed so any of your users have an easy way to review it on their own. I wasn't suggesting linking each idea on its own. I'm pointing this out...because it took me a while to find our thread after reading your compilation from which you were quoting the list of things that were discounted, so I imagine it would be very difficult for your users to find the original Discussion.


You're right of course. I'll probably fix it up tomorrow.

I'm guessing what you are doing on Dragonmount will be the most useful use of your time - but I'll send you a note through Facebook when there is something to see.

Sweet.

Tamyrlin
05-13-2010, 01:38 PM
Luckers - I think Crispy was talking about this reference:

He also confided that there is one thing that isn’t being discussed on any of the forums yet that will blow our minds when we read it.

http://www.dragonmount.com/News/?p=1021

Tamyrlin
05-13-2010, 01:45 PM
Discussing your compilation reminded me that I couldn't find that original thread when I read it. No rush, just thought I'd mention it since you were around.

Luckers
05-13-2010, 01:53 PM
Luckers - I think Crispy was talking about this reference:


Quote:
He also confided that there is one thing that isn’t being discussed on any of the forums yet that will blow our minds when we read it.

http://www.dragonmount.com/News/?p=1021


Doesn't surprise me. I've grown far too strident on this thread, and need to take a break. I've lost objectivity.

Appologies.

Discussing your compilation reminded me that I couldn't find that original thread when I read it. No rush, just thought I'd mention it since you were around.

Read what? The compilation?

Tamyrlin
05-13-2010, 02:00 PM
I think we should be focusing on both.

There is the larger question of what we should have been discussing for twelve years. What is the mind blowing event when it happens we will be slapping our foreheads wishing we had spent the last twelve years discussing it?

http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=97790

Tamyrlin
05-13-2010, 02:02 PM
Read what? The compilation?

That when I read through your compilation and hit 1.3, I wanted to check your summary of the Small Details we discussed prior to Peter's comment and couldn't find our discussion thread without some digging :). Which speaks more to my lack of organization over here.

Terez
05-13-2010, 03:08 PM
Luckers - I think Crispy was talking about this reference:
He also said that he was surprised the fandom hadn't already figured it out, and that he was worried we would start digging and would figure it out, ruining the book for us. That implies that 1) there is evidence as to the plot implications, and that 2) 'figuring it out' means figuring out the plot implications. Not just randomly guessing what the overlooked 'detail' is (elsewise the book would hardly be ruined for us).

This argument is pretty silly, I have to admit. But I also think that Luckers and his 'I dared to call the BUT' theatrics are pretty silly. I'm dropping it now...just sayin.

Crispin's Crispian
05-13-2010, 04:18 PM
I disagree. To place such strictures means that attempts at analytical thought are bound by the need to add conjecture. An invalid methodology.
OK, I give up. I'm tired of repeating myself as I'm sure you are. I recognize what you're saying and understand your point. I just disagree. By all means, continue theorizing though--I never want to be one that puts a chilling effect on this place.

I see nothing in that to state that we should be able to predict the impact of the role it will play in ToM. That we should have noticed the thing itself, yes. That it is big, yes.

Nothing about us being able to predict its impact.No, nothing in there says that we should be able to predict the plot impact. However, the theory should take into account that it will have a big impact else what's the point? And if you're taking into account that it will have a big impact, you might as well try to figure out what that is. You could even induce from the possible plot arc in ToM what area might be covered, then use that to make the prediction.

For example, we can assume that Baerlon is not going to be important to the plot for the remainder of the series. As such, any theory you come up with probably shouldn't depend on Baerlon. (I know Baerlon didn't appear in 4-6, but that's beside the point.)

The quote you are thinking of is that he said we'd slap ourselves on the head when we figured it out.That's actually one of the ones I quoted.



You're right, I was frustrated, but that is no excuse. My appologies.
I'm sure I've been condescending, too, at some point. In any case, I'm ready to move on. I mean if Terez thinks the argument is silly, we should probably discontinue. :p

But once again, I have never discounted your theory, Luckers. It's incomplete, IMO, but not invalid.

ckparrothead
05-13-2010, 04:43 PM
I love this theory. As I said before when we got into an argument about it, I don't see the snobbery about this theory just because Luckers isn't finishing it off with some piece that would constitute 100 percent fan fiction, laying out plot lines that haven't been written and telling us how this Unseen Eyes thing is going to play an important role. As Luckers says, nobody ever said that we're supposed to know from what is already written what role this thing is going to play. What's with this concept that we the fans should be able to finish the next two books based on what has already been written? I don't get that. I like theories and I even like the fan fiction scenarios, very entertaining, but I think Luckers has a pretty tremendous theory about what this unnoticed thing could be and I don't think it's got to be shunned just because he's not attaching the critical piece of fan fiction to go with it.

I had been thinking that the unseen eyes in TAR reminded me of the unseen eyes in Shadar Logoth, mentioned it in another thread, but that's a nice find by Luckers also tying it in with things that people notice about Fain himself. That bit about Liandrin feeling the eyes, and then Fain looking straight up into the womens' apartments, and later admitting that he can sense when someone even once thought of turning to the Shadow...that's hella strong stuff!

And I'd never seen those Sanderson quotes about what Mordeth found that fights the Shadow, so that's really cool.

Here are some things that might connect in some way:

1. Have we ever gotten the explanation about why it's bad to go into TAR in the flesh? It's supposed to be this evil thing and make you less human but I don't think we ever knew why, did we? What if these unseen eyes have something to do with that? Mordeth sought means of fighting the Dark One, what if he found a way to enter TAR in the flesh, which exposed his soul directly to whatever these unseen eyes are, and that's how he came back "contaminated" so to speak?

2. It's interesting that we're sort of debating how this could end up being something big but one thing we do already know is that whatever evil it was that contaminated Mordeth and Aridhol, this evil that attracts the Shadow, it and the Taint canceled one another out to where they both basically disappeared forever...sort of a parallel to matter and anti-matter meeting one another. So I mean IF the unseen eyes are connected to the evil that tainted Mordeth, which is just a theory but it's fun, and we're trying to figure out how that's going to play some kind of pivotal role...I think there are some possibilities contained in that concept of what happened at the cleansing of the taint. Just sayin.

Sodas
05-14-2010, 03:40 AM
I thought that there were originally many theories on what the eyes could be. I remember one speculated it was the watching Heroes, who reside in TAR. Another speculated it was an effect related to how TAR was created, basically stating it was because TAR is made from dreams. So I'm more surprised that the eyes would be considered a relatively undiscussed thing in the books.

Tercel
05-14-2010, 09:34 AM
1. Have we ever gotten the explanation about why it's bad to go into TAR in the flesh? It's supposed to be this evil thing and make you less human but I don't think we ever knew why, did we? What if these unseen eyes have something to do with that? Mordeth sought means of fighting the Dark One, what if he found a way to enter TAR in the flesh, which exposed his soul directly to whatever these unseen eyes are, and that's how he came back "contaminated" so to speak?Snap! I'd just thought of that too. After all, what do the eyes in SL actually do? The only person we know who's been exposed to them is Liah, and she seemed to suffer mental issues. So the 'loss of humanity' that results from entering TAR in the flesh could well be a product of the Unseen Eyes.

However the Forsaken seem to enter TAR in the flesh regularly... apart from being already evil they don't seem to experience any side effects, nor do the Unseen Eyes cancel out their Dark One-touchedness.

ckparrothead
05-18-2010, 01:41 PM
That's a good point about the Forsaken entering in the flesh. But, do we know they do it regularly? I know they make regular use of TAR but how many instances do we see of them entering in the flesh? I know that Rahvin did it when he fought Rand. It seemed like he was just trying to use everything he could to get advantage over a guy that could control as much or more of the One Power as he could. If he made a gateway and retreated anywhere, Rand could follow him. Rand had already shown the ability to defeat several One Power traps and also to overpower other Forsaken, so choosing to go into TAR in the flesh could have been a clever but highly risky way of getting an advantage that is unrelated to teh One Power since Rand doesn't know much about controlling TAR.

Were there more instances of Forsaken actually being in TAR in the flesh, other than that?

Belazamon
05-18-2010, 02:45 PM
Were there more instances of Forsaken actually being in TAR in the flesh, other than that?
Either that, or they're all Dreamwalkers. That seems rather unlikely, especially when we know that there's an alternate explanation available.

ckparrothead
05-18-2010, 03:02 PM
Either that, or they're all Dreamwalkers. That seems rather unlikely, especially when we know that there's an alternate explanation available.

I think it's very likely that they are dreamwalkers, or at least the ones that we've seen using TAR are dreamwalkers. We know that strength in the power is not necessarily linked to the ability to dream, but I think it's safe to say that it's a more rare talent nowadays than it was back in the Age of Legends. Also, the Forsaken were basically the biggest, baddest and most powerful of Darkfriends from back in their day. It would make sense if they all could (or at least most could) Dream, since that would help along in making them the baddest mofos around.

ckparrothead
05-18-2010, 03:04 PM
It could also be that if they do regularly go there in the flesh, they're protected by their bond with the Dark One somehow.

JSUCamel
05-18-2010, 03:25 PM
It could also be that if they do regularly go there in the flesh, they're protected by their bond with the Dark One somehow.

But are they, really? The Wise Ones have very strong feelings about visiting TAR in the flesh, and we still don't know exactly why that is, but it could be linked to why most of the Forsaken seem to know about TAR and how to get there.

Belazamon
05-18-2010, 03:47 PM
I think it's very likely that they are dreamwalkers, or at least the ones that we've seen using TAR are dreamwalkers. We know that strength in the power is not necessarily linked to the ability to dream, but I think it's safe to say that it's a more rare talent nowadays than it was back in the Age of Legends. Also, the Forsaken were basically the biggest, baddest and most powerful of Darkfriends from back in their day. It would make sense if they all could (or at least most could) Dream, since that would help along in making them the baddest mofos around.
While this is certainly possible, I just think it's stretching the bounds of credulity. Especially when we know that channeling and Dreamwalking aren't correlated. But you're right, we can't rule it out for a certainty.

GonzoTheGreat
05-18-2010, 04:17 PM
Were there more instances of Forsaken actually being in TAR in the flesh, other than that?Ishamael, when he fought Rand in the Stone of Tear.

Of course, Ishy isn't really a good example for typical Forsaken behaviour, and that occasion was atypical even for him.

Interesting aside: Asmodean could probably have taught Rand quite a bit about this, if only they'd ever discussed it.

ckparrothead
05-18-2010, 04:57 PM
While I still would not be surprised at all if the Forsaken were all (or mostly) able to Dream their way to TAR, just by survival of the fittest...it would make sense if there's some kind of protection afforded by the Dark One against whatever could happen in TAR if you go in the flesh. Slayer regularly goes there in the flesh. He's not exactly human and he smells weird to Perrin (cold) but he's pretty functional, leastways he's not a walking contaminant like Mordeth was when he wandered to Aridhol.

One way or another I'd love to know why you're not supposed to go to TAR in the flesh. I think it's a somewhat sound theory that the reason you're not supposed to do it is because of that feeling of unseen eyes you always have in TAR and how if you were fully there in the flesh, rather than just Dreaming your way there, they could get you.

We'll call it the Langol'ieran'rhiod theory.

WinespringBrother
06-04-2010, 09:22 AM
The possibilities that I have seen mentioned so far here and at DM for the Unseen Eyes are:

Shadar Logoth evil
Heroes of the Horn
Dead wolves
Random TAR inhabitants
Dreamwalkers
Forsaken
The Dark One
Finns

Just wanted to bring up another possibility for them - the adventurers who became eyes and ears for the Finns. Based on Mat's observation being correct about the Finns creating a link to their visitors, perhaps that link to their spirits causes them to be trapped in a limbo state upon their deaths.

Scaw
08-11-2010, 08:11 AM
While I think it is likely the BUT are the Unseen Eyes, I am skeptical about the nature of the Eyes.

I would rather guess the Unseen Eyes is the DO ability to gain information. (consider what Demandred thinks in LoC Prologue about how he is often surprised the DO knows some things and is ignorant of others).

Here is why:
You have to turn the question around: the question is not "what entity is using unseen eyes in TAR?" the question is "who has an interest in learning something trough TAR and could have gained an advantage from it?"

I know this argument is based on significance for the plot but I think it is important.
What would some ancient evil learn from TAR? What does it do with the information? Most of what occurred in TAR from books 4 on is dealt with by now, a lot of the information gained by the "Unseen Eyes" is pretty old and useless by now. So this evil would be discovered in the next books it would be sort of pointless.

Now consider the DO: he would have put all he learned to good use by now.

Of course the argument of who puts what he sees to good use would hold for others besides the DO too (e.g., the Forsaken), but the Unseen Eyes seem to be something without a real body, more of a constant entity in TAR.


Of course I have to say I also find this idea very intriguing:
2. It's interesting that we're sort of debating how this could end up being something big but one thing we do already know is that whatever evil it was that contaminated Mordeth and Aridhol, this evil that attracts the Shadow, it and the Taint canceled one another out to where they both basically disappeared forever...sort of a parallel to matter and anti-matter meeting one another. So I mean IF the unseen eyes are connected to the evil that tainted Mordeth, which is just a theory but it's fun, and we're trying to figure out how that's going to play some kind of pivotal role...I think there are some possibilities contained in that concept of what happened at the cleansing of the taint. Just sayin.

Very good connection. Which leads me to the following:
"He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one." (TGS, Ch. 48)
I previously thought this could be Rand-LTT-Moridin but now I think it may be Rand-Moridin-Mordeth and that Rand must somehow balance Moridin as a link to the DO and Mordeth as a link to the Shadar Logoth evil to seal the prison flawless.

Of course this has not much to do with the Unseen Eyes but it would make it likely that the SL-evil will play a more important role in the books to come.