PDA

View Full Version : Mesaana Has a New Identity


Tamyrlin
07-02-2010, 05:13 PM
I think it's worth mentioning. Mesaana has been in the White Tower for some time; undoubtedly, she is known and known by many (as in her alter ego). So, imagine for a moment that she hears that all of the Aes Sedai will be resworn to the Oath Rod. If she knows about it, why risk being found out? Why risk it, on the basis that she believes she'll be able to talk herself around the oaths? Why let herself be bound with a binding rod? Instead, why not kill one that has resworn the oaths and take this new identity?

In fact, I like that we are being pointed in the wrong direction as we buy into Egwene's thoughts at the end of the book:

TITLE: The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: Epilogue - Bathed in Light
That left the three names on the list in front of Egwene. Nalasia Merhan, a Brown; Teramina, a Green; and Jamilila Norsish, a Red. All were very weak in the Power. And the women on this list had all been in the Tower for years. It seemed implausible that Mesaana had been impersonating one of them and doing it so well that her subterfuge hadn't been noticed. Egwene had a feeling. A premonition, perhaps. At the very least, a fear. These three names were the only ones who could have been the Forsaken. But none of them fit, not at all. That gave her a chill. Was Mesaana still hiding in the Tower? If so, she somehow knew how to defeat the Oath Rod.

Heh - I like it when the character is telling us one thing, but you wonder if the author is saying something else. There are only three names left and Egwene believes Mesaana is not one of those three, yet she doesn't consider the very obvious idea that Mesaana has now taken a new identity and therefore will not be found.

FelixPax
07-02-2010, 05:26 PM
She would not even need to kill an Aes Sedai to change her disguise. Just take up an identities of individuals randomly, who may be in or out of the area. As Lanfear did in taking up Else Grinwell (http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/characters/e/else_grinwell.html) identity after she was sent out of the Tower.

For all we know, Mesaana is walking around the Tower as an invisible person cloaked by inverting her weaves of the power.

Weird Harold
07-02-2010, 05:46 PM
...why not kill one that has resworn the oaths and take this new identity?...

The same reason that many argue she was never hiding as an Aes Sedai at all. Replacing an AS who has been in the Tower and duplicating her voice and mannerisms while avoiding any embarassing backstory issues is nearly impossible under the best of circumstances. Doing it at random as a way to escape an immediate threat would be orders of magnitude more difficult.

It would make far more sense for her to run to Greandal for sanctuary than for her to have a fall-back identity (or two) researched and practiced well enough to pull it off in the midst of a inquisition that was keeping the cleared separate from the uncleared as best as possible.

Terez
07-02-2010, 06:05 PM
Yeah, the evidence suggests that Mesaana was hanging around under perhaps various identities while she was trying to figure out who to kill (or stuff in a trunk in her room). Else was one of them. I don't think Lanfear ever posed as Else; she was just spying on Mesaana (who was proud of the trap she set in Tear), and spying on Verin as well. The encounter that Mat had with 'Else' had to be Mesaana. Who knows how many other people she posed as in the beginning? But the Else episode demonstrates the fact that she can't Compel the entire Tower. She had to find an Aes Sedai with an at least moderate amount of influence (which is, of course, entirely based on strength in the Power)...someone that could get away with being aloof most of the time so that she could avoid situations where she would be forced to defer to anyone, hiding out in her room pretending to study flowers or something while eavesdropping on various people with reversed weaves.

So yeah...doing it on the fly does seem unlikely. Most of the Forsaken seem to have been free by the time that Rand and Co. lost in the Portal Stone on the way to Falme. They left the Spine on day 104, arrived in Falme on day 236. Mat sees Else on day 383, and Siuan is deposed on day 458.

Tamyrlin
07-02-2010, 06:11 PM
The same reason that many argue she was never hiding as an Aes Sedai at all. Replacing an AS who has been in the Tower and duplicating her voice and mannerisms while avoiding any embarassing backstory issues is nearly impossible under the best of circumstances. Doing it at random as a way to escape an immediate threat would be orders of magnitude more difficult.

It would make far more sense for her to run to Greandal for sanctuary than for her to have a fall-back identity (or two) researched and practiced well enough to pull it off in the midst of a inquisition that was keeping the cleared separate from the uncleared as best as possible.


She has been in the White Tower for a long time. She has had plenty of time to become intimately aware of the back stories of a variety of Aes Sedai. In fact, it makes a lot of sense that she would have prepared for the need to give up this identity, while needing to remain in the Tower. And it very well could be a temporary plan which wouldn't require a rich back-story; a bad hair day or a variety of reasonable excuses could give her days of time seclude herself to plan her next move, without raising any suspicions.

Certainly, I expect her to do anything she can to avoid the use of a binding rod.

Tamyrlin
07-02-2010, 06:18 PM
.someone that could get away with being aloof most of the time so that she could avoid situations where she would be forced to defer to anyone, hiding out in her room pretending to study flowers or something while eavesdropping on various people with reversed weaves.


I'm not suggesting that her plan is to remain this person for a long period of time, so she could get away with being aloof. Instead, I think it is a reasonable explanation for how she remains among the Aes Sedai for a short period of time without using a binding rod and without risking discover, something I believe she would choose to avoid if she could. This is a plausible way for her to do so.

Terez
07-02-2010, 06:29 PM
There's always Nicola. They made her swear to prove she wasn't a Darkfriend, then released her from the Oath because she's a novice. But in that case, whoever she was originally posing as should have been counted among the missing.

Tamyrlin
07-02-2010, 06:44 PM
There's always Nicola. They made her swear to prove she wasn't a Darkfriend, then released her from the Oath because she's a novice. But in that case, whoever she was originally posing as should have been counted among the missing.

Her original identity would have to be consider missing - do we have that list? (I really need to go back and read the end of TGS).

Tamyrlin
07-02-2010, 06:48 PM
TITLE: The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: PROLOGUE - What the Storm Means
Graendal sat back down. Were the other Chosen coming? If not, what did it mean? Mesaana spoke before Moridin could say anything. "Moridin," she said, stepping forward, "we need to rescue her." "You will speak when I give you leave, Mesaana," he replied coldly. "You are not yet forgiven." She cringed, then obviously grew angry at herself for it. Moridin ignored her, glancing over at Graendal, eyes narrow. What was that look for?
TITLE: The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: PROLOGUE - What the Storm Means
"I am perfectly poised," Mesaana said, turning back to Moridin with a sweep of her head. "The White Tower and those fools who rule it will shortly be mine. I will deliver not just a broken White Tower to our Great Lord, but an entire broad of channelers who—one way or another—will serve our cause in the Last Battle. This time, the Aes Sedai will fight for us!" TITLE: The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: PROLOGUE - What the Storm Means
"A bold claim," Moridin said. "I will make it happen," Mesaana said evenly. "My followers infest the Tower like an unseen plague, festering inside of a healthy-looking man at market. More and more join our cause. Some intentionally, others unwittingly. It is the same either way." Graendal listened thoughtfully. Aran'gar claimed that the rebel Aes Sedai would eventually secure the Tower, though Graendal herself wasn't certain. Who would be victorious, the child or the fool? Did it matter? The Dark Lord and Moridin don't accept failure well. Mesaana is already high on that list. Now, she has promised success in the Tower. If she were to run away with her tails between her legs, she would be the next mindtrap candidate play toy of Moridin, of which I'm sure she is very aware. Unless she was caught in the raid, Mesaana is still at the Tower.

Terez
07-02-2010, 07:22 PM
Her original identity would have to be consider missing - do we have that list? (I really need to go back and read the end of TGS).
Yes. There were only three names that disappeared after the Seanchan attack that weren't accounted for by Verin's list, and none of them are characters we have seen on screen.

Terez
07-02-2010, 07:24 PM
The Dark Lord and Moridin don't accept failure well. Mesaana is already high on that list. Now, she has promised success in the Tower. If she were to run away with her tails between her legs, she would be the next mindtrap candidate play toy of Moridin, of which I'm sure she is very aware. Unless she was caught in the raid, Mesaana is still at the Tower.
She was wearing a plain white dress in that prologue. ;)

FelixPax
07-02-2010, 07:33 PM
There are some text quotations supporting the view that Mesaana might have been around in the World, for as long as 3 years prior to tFoH Chapter 12 "Old Pipe".

Bryne frowned. Whitecloaks? What would the Children of the Light want with Mara? He would never believe she was a Darkfriend. But then, he had seen a baby-faced young fellow hanged in Caemlyn, a Darkfriend who had been teaching children in the streets about the glories of the Dark Oneóthe Great Lord of the Dark, he had called him. The lad had killed nine of them in three years, as near as could be discovered, when they looked like turning him in.

The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 12 "An Old Pipe", Gareth Bryne point of view

That Darkfriend's activities sounds like something Mesaana would do, based on Rand al'Thor later comments in the following book.

Mesaana set up schools in the territory she controlled, schools where children and young people were taught the glories of the Dark One, taught to kill their friends who didnít learn well enough or fast enough.

Lord of Chaos, Chapter 2 "A New Arrival", Rand al'Thor point of view

According to Steve's Calendar that event occured on Day 512 or Maighdal-14 (http://www.stevenac.net/wot/tl0999.htm#book5) in the year 999 NE. Three years of time in WoT is equal to 1092 days. That pushes Mesaana's release from the Bore prison into the wider world to at minimum 580 Days prior to the start of this story in 'The Eye of the World'.

Mesaana had ample time to learn about this world, and who to use as a disguise in the White Tower. Being it Danelle (http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/characters/d/danelle.html), Melare (http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/characters/m/melare.html) or multiple other individuals.


If Nynaeve could use multiple disguises--Rendra, Melaine--in the 3rd Constant, why shouldn't Mesaana think of doing a similar thing in the physical world? Why should Mesaana restrict herself in gaining cover? Multiple disguises would allow access to more places, and gossip among the social classes.

Aes Sedai do not have children, yet Mesaana has children preaching the gossip of the Dark One? Hard to see Mesaana interacting with her darkfriend children in any disguise as an Aes Sedai, whereever they maybe located.




Funny how some individuals use the phrase "the evidence" to support their particular interpretation of events, when other evidence disagrees with their global claims.



Yeah right, the novice Egwene al'Vere was running after Mesaana in the halls of the White Tower (tDR, Ch.25). Then Mesaana decides to switch from a Elsie Grinwell disguise to a Lanfear disguise in the middle of the hallway? :rolleyes:


This is the same Elsie Grinwell, who notices the Twisted Stone Dream Ring in Egwene's hand. Meanwhile a mysterious person who most people believe is Mesaana had to "ask" Sheriam how the Salidar Aes Sedai were getting into the 3rd Constant to meet Egwene (tGS, Chapters 25,43). Common sense suggests Mesaana was not disguised as Elsie Grinwell then, but Lanfear.


In the future maybe a selective use of qualifiers when making a broad claim would prove helpful.

Terez
07-02-2010, 09:40 PM
Yeah right, the novice Egwene al'Vere was running after Mesaana in the halls of the White Tower (tDR, Ch.25). Then Mesaana decides to switch from a Elsie Grinwell disguise to a Lanfear disguise in the middle of the hallway?
That is what everyone assumed, isn't it? Not that Mesaana switched, but that Lanfear dropped her Else disguise. But that assumption was wrong. This is what actually happened:

Now that she had their agreement, Egwene felt a queasiness in the pit of her stomach. I talked them into it. I wish I did not want them to talk me out of it. She became aware of a woman standing in the doorway, a woman in novice white, with her hair in long braids.

"Did no one ever teach you to knock, Else?" Nynaeve said.

Egwene hid the stone ring inside her fist. She had the strangest feeling that Else had been staring at it.

"I have a message for you," Else said calmly. Her eyes studied the table, with all the papers scattered on it, then the three women around it. "From the Amyrlin."

Egwene exchanged wondering looks with Nynaeve and Elayne.

"Well, what is it?" Nynaeve demanded.

Else arched an eyebrow in amusement. "The belongings left behind by Liandrin and the others were put in the third storeroom on the right from the main stairs in the second basement under the library." She glanced at the papers on the table again and left, neither hurrying nor moving slowly.

Egwene felt as if she could not breathe. We're afraid to trust anybody, and the Amyrlin decides to trust Else Grinwell of all women?

"That fool girl cannot be trusted not to blab to anyone who'll listen!" Nynaeve started for the door.

Egwene grabbed up her skirts and darted past her at a run. Her shoes skidded on the tiles of the gallery, but she caught a glimpse of white vanishing down the nearest ramp and dashed after it. She must be running, too, to be so far ahead already. Why is she running? The flash of white was already disappearing down another ramp. Egwene followed.

A woman turned to face her at the foot of the ramp, and Egwene stopped in confusion. Whoever she was, this was certainly not Else. All in silver and white silk, she sparked feelings Egwene had never had before. She was taller, more beautiful by far, and the look in her black eyes made Egwene feel small, scrawny, and none too clean. She can probably channel more of the Power than I can, too. Light, she is probably smarter than all three of us put together on top of it. It isn't fair for one woman to – Abruptly she realized the way her thoughts were going. Her cheeks reddened, and she gave herself a shake. She had never felt – less – than any other woman before, and she was not about to start now.

"Bold," the woman said. "You are bold to go running about so, alone, where so many murders have been done." She sounded almost pleased.

Egwene drew herself up and straightened her dress hurriedly, hoping the other woman would not notice, knowing she did, wishing the woman had not seen her running like a child. Stop that! "Pardon, but I am looking for a novice who came this way, I think. She has large, dark eyes and dark hair in braids. She's plump, and pretty in a way. Did you see which way she went?"

The tall woman looked her up and down in an amused way. Egwene could not be sure, but she thought the woman might have glanced a moment at the clenched fist by her side, where she still held the stone ring. "I do not think you will catch up to her. I saw her, and she was running quite fast. I suspect she is far away from here by now."

"Aes Sedai," Egwene began, but she was given no chance to ask which way Else had gone. Something that might have been anger, or annoyance, flashed through those black eyes.

"I have taken up enough time with you for now. I have more important matters to see to. Leave me." She gestured back the way Egwene had come.

So strong was the command in her voice that Egwene turned and was three steps up the ramp before she realized what she was doing. Bristling, she spun back. Aes Sedai or no, I —

The gallery was empty.
1. They didn't follow Else out the door. Plenty of time for a gateway that they did not observe.

2. Lanfear was too far away to be Else, without running. But why would Lanfear run, when she could just make a gateway, as she did in the end?

3. Much more likely that Lanfear was spying on Mesaana from a distance, hiding until she saw Mesaana Travel away.

The trap laid for Rand in Tear (which, of course, had nothing to do with the actual reason why he went there), was Mesaana's:

TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 6 - Threads Woven of Shadow

She stared at him, gathering herself, eyes glittering with enmity. Finally she said, "Little enough." She would not forget that he had seen her lose control. None of her anger came out in her voice; her tone was smooth, even offhand. "Semirhage missed the last gathering; I don’t know why, and I do not think Mesaana or Demandred does either. Mesaana in particular was annoyed, though she tried to hide it. She thinks Lews Therin soon will be in our hands, but then she has said the same every time. She was sure Be’lal would kill or capture him in Tear; she was very proud of that trap. Demandred warns you to be careful."
Directing the girls to the things designed to lead them to Tear was a trap, and it was Mesaana's trap.

This is the same Elsie Grinwell, who notices the Twisted Stone Dream Ring in Egwene's hand.
What of it? No two dreaming ter'angreal look alike, aside from the copies that Elayne has made, and they most likely can't be recognized by sight unless you happen to know that particular ter'angreal. With Lanfear, if she really did look at Egwene's hand, it was only because it was obvious she was hiding something. This is why your mom always knew when you had something in your pocket that you weren't supposed to have. ;) Just like how Saerin knew Seaine was hiding the Oath Rod in her skirts.

Terez
07-02-2010, 10:06 PM
Marie brought it to my attention that there is a book tour report:

A Crown of Swords book tour 9 October 1996, Dunwoody, GA - Erica Sadun reporting (http://linuxmafia.com/%7Epam/ACOS_signings.html)


Q: Was Else always Lanfear?
RJ: No. Else did exist as a separate human but was played by Lanfear after Else was expelled.


I still have to wonder if that was exactly what RJ said, since the entire report appears to be at least somewhat paraphrased (follow the link and you will see what I mean), and fans' assumptions have a way of slipping into the wording sometimes. But I will throw the towel in on this one for now. :D

Weird Harold
07-02-2010, 11:50 PM
The Dark Lord and Moridin don't accept failure well. Mesaana is already high on that list. Now, she has promised success in the Tower. If she were to run away with her tails between her legs, she would be the next mindtrap candidate play toy of Moridin, of which I'm sure she is very aware. Unless she was caught in the raid, Mesaana is still at the Tower.

Staying in the Tower after Egwene reunited it isn't going to save her from a mind-trap or worse -- if she's not already wearing one after her initiation into Shadar Haran's Harem.

One over-riding characteristic of all the Forsaken is arrogance -- none of them plan for being twarted very well. If Mesaana did snatch someone who had already resworn the Oaths, I'd be very, very, surprised if it was pre=planned.

greatwolf
07-03-2010, 04:34 AM
She could use BA sisters, but unless she compelled them, she might need to tell them what she did so they could cover up lapses. It would be safer than using anyone else.

But with the division in the WT, how has she been carrying out her plans? How does she influence people if she's hiding as a full sister? Unless she has a position like mistress of novices or keeper.

It would be to Mesaana's advantage if the WT was reunited with her in charge especially seeing how Arangar needed to relocate elsewhere. I guess she/he dies permanently in ToM.

nameless
07-03-2010, 03:42 PM
I hope Nynaeve's the one to kill Aran'gar. They've been setting that fight up ever since EotW

FelixPax
07-03-2010, 05:31 PM
She could use BA sisters, but unless she compelled them, she might need to tell them what she did so they could cover up lapses. It would be safer than using anyone else.

Doesn't Mesaana have groups of Children preaching the gossip of the Dark One to use too?
Children in Andor? Maybe Mesaana had parallel plans running, the way Graendal claimed to have earlier?

Mesaana needed Alviarin to use the Black Ajah. I don't see Alviarin operating under Mesaana absolute control since Shaidar Haran gave an order to Alviarin (CoT,Ch21). Besides what B.A.'s are left in Tar Valon since tGS book ended? Zero?

Let's see Mesaana was supposed to watch the White Tower and influence it to the Shadow's advantage. It's known she is a planner, in setting up her plots.

Aran'gar claimed once in the past to other Chosen, that Demandred was previously ordered to watch the Rand, along with Osan'gar who's since was killed by Elza's weaves (WH,Ch.35).

If Egwene, Rand all end up meeting in ToM, that should bring together up to three different Chosen. What will occur if Aran'gar learns what Demandred and Mesaana are planning to do, when Rand & Egwene finally end up meeting?

Will Aran'gar pull the trigger his own plan(s) to attack Rand independently then?

Mesaana, I think has interests in both places where Egwene & Rand might likely hold a meeting, in Caemlyn and in Cairhien. Demandred though only has known ties to Caemlyn, not Tar Valon. Aran'gar of course was previously charged with manipulating Egwene.

If the meeting between Egwene & Rand occurs in Caemlyn, that would be also bring in Elayne's story arc. Egwene still does need to gain a Seanchan women to stand behind her, to fulfill a Dream Foretelling--Egeanin & Bethamin are in Caemlyn as of tGS. Does anyone suspect Elayne will be captured by someone again in 'Towers of Midnight'?