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New Futurist Man
04-12-2011, 08:50 PM
Exactly what's the reason behind never having an Asha'man point of view chapter or chapter segment? Compare this with the almost endless list of inane Aes Sedai POVs we have to wade through: Romanda, Sanche, etc., the nonsense associated with something like a 'Sitting of the Hall' when the Aes Sedai are at their most anal and most pompous.* Up to now the only Asha'man POV we've had has been the fairly lame Androl segments in ToM - an Asha'man who can barely channel!!!

Is the reason we've never had an Asha'man POV linked to the symptoms of the madness-inducing Taint, which was illustrated pretty explicitly in ToM?


The Dragon's POV in Towers of Midnight...
If the absence is due to the effects of the Taint - and we know the Dragon, unlike other male channelers, cannot be entirely cured of the Taint because of his channeling the True Power - then the near total omission of Dragon-POV's in ToM is suspect! Surely the Dragon hasn't gone insane? Even considering he has just melded with a 400-or-something year old male Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends who is certifiable...Exactly why is LTT suddenly sane anyway? Presumably the moment of revelation atop Dragonmount cured his insanity....?

At this stage it seems much more likely a chapter from the Dragon's point of view would give too much away regards the ending and what he'll do at Shayol Ghul...

The question is what!?


Likely Asha'man POVs in aMoL

With Naeff on his way to the Black Tower and, cured as he is, a POV is likely. A Logain or perhaps a Narishma chapter - the latter wielding Callandor - would be a treat. Or even Grady or someone.

Shame we didn't get a snippet of Morr as he came apart at the seams in PoD. All the signs were there in the chapter's featuring him that things weren't quite aright, so it wouldn't have entirely ruined the ending exactly - in fact, Rand leaving Min in Morr's care would've been more exciting if we'd been able to draw on knowledge of Morr's state...


The Dragon's Ability to Detect Darkfriends

Another very obvious permutation ofcourse in the lack of Asha'man POVs is it left the door open for a couple of them to be Darkfriends, which extended even to those we presumed were loyal to the Dragon. The Dragon's newfound ability to detect Darkfriend's link with the Dark One has obviously nixed that. And we can confidently presume all Asha'man who fought in Maradon or were in the Dragon's presence in ToM are loyal to the Light.

Logain couldn't be included in that list however...

-
*The Dragon strutting nonchalantly into the Aes Sedai's holiest of holies was very gratifying in ToM - you almost wish they had tried to stop him leaving.....

Kimon
04-12-2011, 10:59 PM
We've also had a short POV from Kisman- a darkfriend, and now dead, but he was an asha'man.

David Selig
04-13-2011, 05:04 AM
Technically, Rand is an Asha'man, so we've had plenty of Asha'man PoV chapters. ;)

I think the main reason for the lack of Asha'man's PoVs was maintaining the secret on what really was going on the Black Tower with Taim. But I would have certainly preferred more Black Tower chapters and Asha'man than yet another Aes Sedai PoV, hardly distinguishable from the previous 20. Thankfully Androl finally gave us a glimpse at the life of the average Asha'man, which was long overdue. There were a bit of this in Toveines chapters, but not enough.

Weird Harold
04-13-2011, 05:20 AM
Technically, Rand is an Asha'man, so we've had plenty of Asha'man PoV chapters. ;)

Rand is no more an asha'man than the President of the US is a Zoomie, Swabbie, Grunt, or Jarhead -- even though he is the commander-in-chief of all four and more. :D

ChubbyAiel
04-13-2011, 05:28 AM
"Surely the Dragon hasn't gone insane? Even considering he has just melded with a 400-or-something year old male Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends who is certifiable...Exactly why is LTT suddenly sane anyway? Presumably the moment of revelation atop Dragonmount cured his insanity....?

I don't think so. The way I read it, LTT was never really an entity in Rand's head. He was a collection of memories that Rand had access to, possibly he is Ta'veren and needed them, and the personality came about as a combination of the memories themselves, and the memory of the man LTT had been, and Rand's need to radically compartmentalise his own mind and personality so he could be as hard as he thought he needed to be. Although Rand was undoubtedly being affected by the taint, I think his rapid descent into madness was due to the stress he was under and the way he was trying and failing to deal with the deaths and suffering he was causing.

When he had his revelation, he lost the LTT persona in his mind and reconciled his own mind because he was able to deal with the things that had happened and he no longer had to effectively split his own personality on a subconscious level. LTT isn't "suddenly sane" because he was never really there, he was a construct of Rand's over-stressed mind based on various memories.

Rand is apparently much more sane now because the revelation allowed him to deal with his own issues, much like cognitive behaviour therapy. Rand at his most insane was that bad not because of the taint, but due to good old fashioned mental health issues from which anyone could suffer.

The taint is still there and will be affecting him still, but for now that is manageable and compared to his previous "natural" mental health issues, it is small fry.

That's my take on it all anyway. I don't really have much an opinion on the Asha'man question, just wanted to pitch in on that question.

WinespringBrother
04-13-2011, 08:06 AM
Rand is no more an asha'man than the President of the US is a Zoomie, Swabbie, Grunt, or Jarhead -- even though he is the commander-in-chief of all four and more. :D

Lord of Chaos CHAPTER: 42 - The Black Tower
Straightening, he hoped there were enough; he really had not expected anywhere near so many men. "Dedicated who advance their skill far enough will be called Asha'man, and they will wear this." Taking out the small velvet bag, he held up what it contained. Sunlight sparkled on finely crafted gold and rich red enamel. A sinuous form exactly like the one on the Dragon banner. That went onto Taim's collar too, on the other side, so sword and Dragon shone at the sides of his throat. "I suppose I was the first Asha'man," Rand told the students, "but Mazrim Taim is the second." Taim's face made stone look soft; what was wrong with the man? "I hope that all of you will become Asha'man eventually, but whether you do or not, remember that all of us are soldiers. There are many battles ahead, maybe not always the ones we expect, and at the end, the Last Battle. The Light send it is the last. If the Light shines on us, we will win. We will win because we must win."

Rand is an Asha'man, without a doubt. He has certainly been in the trenches and seen a lot more action than most of them, even since the BT was founded. He also fits the Old Tongue translation of "guardian of just causes" better than the rest of them. It would be more accurate to say that he is MORE than a simple Asha'man, maybe he is a Jenn Asha'man :D

Res_Ipsa
04-13-2011, 04:45 PM
Rand is an Asha'man, without a doubt. He has certainly been in the trenches and seen a lot more action than most of them, even since the BT was founded. He also fits the Old Tongue translation of "guardian of just causes" better than the rest of them. It would be more accurate to say that he is MORE than a simple Asha'man, maybe he is a Jenn Asha'man :D

Agreed. Were he simply a man without the ability to channel he would fit Harold's idea of him. However he has involved himself in the workings of the Asha'man as one, like say perhaps Ike could be said to be a truer form of Commander in Chief than a US President who did not serve in the military.

As for Asha'man PoV's I would speculate many of the people who bid to have their names included in the book will be making brief appearances as a fly on the wall in the overarching Last Battle, perhaps some of them as Asha'man.

Logain and Taim are also bound to have some pretty important PoV's.

Kimon
04-13-2011, 07:47 PM
Logain and Taim are also bound to have some pretty important PoV's.

Yeah, and hopefully from both of them, though Logain at the least would seem almost inevitable. He seems almost certain to be the man who will bring down Taim and cleanse the Black Tower, which likely would require a PoV. Moreover, he perhaps as well will lead the postwar world as Tamyrlin. That last might just be wishful thinking on my part, but it would seem possible when one considers the combined potential importance of Egwene's prophetic dream and Min's viewing. That might just mean that he will be the next M'Hael, of course (or something entirely else), but I for one think that he'd make a better hegemon than Egwene.

Narishma would also seem a likely candidate for finally getting a long overdue PoV.

New Futurist Man
04-13-2011, 09:53 PM
The way I read it, LTT was never really an entity in Rand's head. He was a collection of memories that Rand had access to, [..] the personality came about as a combination of the memories themselves,..[..]

This isn't right at all. Have you read Towers of Midnight, ChubbyAiel? What happened with the Dragon may be describable in terms of CBT, but not explainable in them.

What took place upon Dragonmount was the Dragon coming to know his true Soul and the limits of his being, a being which in some way encompasses the world, all generations of people who've lived on it, the other personalties who've inhabited the Dragon's Soul, as well as some metaphysical eternal truths, etc.

True, LTT was never an "entity" in the sense of some split personality or what have you. On the contrary LTT was and remains as real as Rand al'Thor - Rand's testimony in ToM makes it pretty clear he's LTT reincarnated.

When he had his revelation, he lost the LTT persona in his mind and reconciled his own mind because he was able to deal with the things that had happened and he no longer had to effectively split his own personality on a subconscious level. LTT isn't "suddenly sane" because he was never really there, he was a construct of Rand's over-stressed mind based on various memories.

The phenomena of LTT's presence in Rand's psyche was a consequence of the two men sharing the same Soul. It has nothing to do with deep-seated repression or the splitting of the personality etc.

How could anyone read tGS and ToM and not fathom out that Lews Therin Telamon and Rand al'Thor are now one person and always have been? I've read a few materialist theories that sought to explain the presence of LTT in Rand's mind - but that was before the release of tGS. Surely all such theories have been well and truly scuppered by what happened on Dragonmount...!?

Rand's aside to Cadsuane when the Dragon tells her his age and that perhaps she call him Rand Sedai should have sufficed to inform everyone that this person is as much Lews Therin Telamon as Rand al'Thor. Not that there isn't numerous other "clues". Rand explaining he's as ancient as the Forsaken, then expounding on that to Min when she asks him is he really; his very specific memories of the AoL woman featured in the Borderlander prophecy etc, etc., not to mention the imperious show with the One Power outside Maradon, when weave after AoL weave decimated the hoards of Shadowspawn...There was nothing "dredged up from memory" outside Maradon: that was the One Power being consciously and expertly employed. And was pure LTT.

New Futurist Man
04-13-2011, 10:06 PM
[A Logain POV]..would seem almost inevitable. He seems almost certain to be the man who will bring down Taim and cleanse the Black Tower, which likely would require a PoV.

Narishma would also seem a likely candidate for finally getting a long overdue PoV.

Agree on both counts. Brandon did say aMoL begins with, amongst other things, a few Black Tower chapters, so Logain's bound to figure in them. Although as Androl's already been introduced, and with him planning something with the Red Sister, its not outside the bounds of possibility that the coming events at the Black Tower take place from his POV. Which would be seriously disappointing.

What we want is a Logain-POV when he finally takes on Taim, not some second-hand account.

ChubbyAiel
04-14-2011, 05:24 AM
This isn't right at all. Have you read Towers of Midnight, ChubbyAiel?

I have, but just like with tGS I read it very quickly. I must read both again...


What took place upon Dragonmount was the Dragon coming to know his true Soul and the limits of his being, a being which in some way encompasses the world, all generations of people who've lived on it, the other personalties who've inhabited the Dragon's Soul, as well as some metaphysical eternal truths, etc.

I agree with you that Rand came to understand himself at Dragonmount and reconciled everything in his own mind, and his past lives and everything came together. But if there was no compartmentalising going on prior to this revelation, what happened to the raving lunacy of LTT? If everything about LTT in Rand's head had been "real" and combined with Rand al'Thor the shepherd, super-Rand would appear less sane to everyone, not more so.

True, LTT was never an "entity" in the sense of some split personality or what have you. On the contrary LTT was and remains as real as Rand al'Thor - Rand's testimony in ToM makes it pretty clear he's LTT reincarnated.

Hang on. I'm saying he wasn't an "entity" as in a foreign presence in Rand's mind. I'm saying he was a split personality. I don't see how you can argue that he was neither.

I'm not disagreeing that Rand is LTT reincarnated. I'm not arguing that the memories and even certain personality traits of LTT weren't real. I'm saying that the ranting madman who used to speak to Rand's conscious mind was not truly LTT. It was a combination of those memories and personality traits that had been Rand's soul in a previous life, but that the voice that effectively embodied them was not truly LTT. It was a result of Rand trying to be "hard" and surpressing his own emotions and, to in extent, his own personality.

The phenomena of LTT's presence in Rand's psyche was a consequence of the two men sharing the same Soul. It has nothing to do with deep-seated repression or the splitting of the personality etc.

But the explicit statement in the book when Rand has his revelation is that they were not two men and never had been. You even state this yourself, below. So how can that phenomenon be the consequence of something that was never the case?

How could anyone read tGS and ToM and not fathom out that Lews Therin Telamon and Rand al'Thor are now one person and always have been? I've read a few materialist theories that sought to explain the presence of LTT in Rand's mind - but that was before the release of tGS. Surely all such theories have been well and truly scuppered by what happened on Dragonmount...!?

As I say, you've tried to explain the wailing voice in Rand's mind as a true respresentation of LTT. I've said that Rand as we knew him had access to those memories and personality traits of his previous life, but instead of embracing them and accepting them as part of himself, he compartmentalised his own mind and assigned them another personality, which I do not believe to have been a true reflection of LTT. This extreme division of Rand's true self was unnatural and to my mind, caused by Rand's own mind as a reaction to the stress he was under, his mistaken belief that he had to be "hard", and probably fear that he was going mad when he started remembering things he had not experienced within his current lifetime.

Rand's aside to Cadsuane when the Dragon tells her his age and that perhaps she call him Rand Sedai should have sufficed to inform everyone that this person is as much Lews Therin Telamon as Rand al'Thor.

I agree completely. I'm not saying that everything about LTT is imagined by Rand. I'm saying the distillation of memories and personality traits of LTT into the voice of a weeping madman was a result a Rand compartmentalising his mind. Hence there was never really two of them. Hence at Dragonmount, after nearly killing his father, he accepted what he was and what he had been, he accepted those memories and personality traits, while still being the same person and losing his hard edge, and he would no longer hear the rantings of an insane construct.


And was pure LTT.

And so, without the insane construct, Rand can be "pure LTT" without weeping about Ilyena and raging about killing men who can channel.

Maybe I implied that Rand was Rand and he had access to LTT's memories, etc. I didn't really mean that. I meant that Rand had his own personality (of the shepherd) and he's grown, become aware of LTT's memories and personality and that had fed into him as a person. The LTT in Rand's head, not being the true LTT as far as I'm concerned, has not become wholesale imported into Rand's being because that voice/personality was a result of stress and mental illness, etc. Now that Rand has accepted that life is a good thing, and the cycle of rebirth is not just a cycle of suffering, and he knows it's OK to laugh and cry, he has been able to accept fully everything he is and was.

If you still disagree with me, could you explain:

Why Rand was hearing the voice of someone when "they were not two men and never had been"? If Rand and LTT were different incarnations of the same soul, but were really the same man, how could they be talking to each other without some compartmentalisation?
And if that separation, which led to a ranting, raving voice in Rand's head, was a true reflection of LTT the historical man, why, post-revelation and post-merging of "personalities", has that insanity apparently been turned down a few notches, rather than making Rand-the-personality-everyone-sees appear more insane.
Why was Cadsuane obsessed with teaching the Dragon to laugh and cry (or whatever) if she didn't recognise that Rand's sanity was being affected by issues other than the taint? And most importantly, why did Rand nearly killing Tam lead him to have the revelation? I would suggest that was down to him realising that compartmentalising his own emotions and personality was destructive, and once he had accepted this, the voice-construct disappeared because he had accepted the true parts of LTT and the parts of his own morality, etc, that he had locked away.


I don't see that the revelation at Dragonmount debunks my theory. I actually took that scene as confirmation. But as I said, I need to reread the two most recent books anyway.

Also, one more point: If Rand was Rand before the Dragonmount and he had no part of LTT in his mind/personality apart from what he assigned to "the voice", and now after Dragonmount he suddenly he a new combination of Rand and LTT, I would feel very sorry for Elayne, Aviendha and Min as they would have fallen in love with, effectively, a different man from who he is now. It is my belief that Rand progressively had more influence from his LTT side (memories and personality traits) because not all of it was confined to "the voice", which was a combination of certain aspects of the LTT memories/personality and a combination of what Rand was trying to surpress, from his own personality and experiences as Rand al'Thor.

GonzoTheGreat
04-14-2011, 06:41 AM
But if there was no compartmentalising going on prior to this revelation, what happened to the raving lunacy of LTT?Psychoanalysis. Rand and LTT talked it over, and figured out that because everyone is reborn anyway, it didn't really matter all that much anymore that Ilyena was a bit dead. She'd get over it eventually, if she hadn't already. This realisation resolved the guilt complex which had been unhinging LTT. And with the cause of his mental problems gone, he could regain his sanity. Which is what he did.

Neat, isn't it?

Bonek
04-14-2011, 07:28 AM
By no means this is intended as an insult or offense. My apologies if it may be presumed as such.
********************

ChubbyAiel: When you add yellow color to blue one it becomes green.

New Futurist Man: No, when you add blue to yellow it turns green.

ChubbyAiel: During the breaking of the World, J.K. Rowling Sedai with the help of her pet Myrdraal named - "Shaidar Long Legs" proved that when mixing two liquid entities which possess two different color schemes the result would be a different color.
Besides, applying Quantum Physics to this debate easily proves that yellow color turns blue to green. Therefore, you have to admit that I'm right.

:)

ChubbyAiel
04-14-2011, 07:43 AM
Psychoanalysis. Rand and LTT talked it over, and figured out that because everyone is reborn anyway, it didn't really matter all that much anymore that Ilyena was a bit dead. She'd get over it eventually, if she hadn't already. This realisation resolved the guilt complex which had been unhinging LTT. And with the cause of his mental problems gone, he could regain his sanity. Which is what he did.

Neat, isn't it?

Ah I see. If only it had been explained like this is the first place. :)

By no means this is intended as an insult or offense. My apologies if it may be presumed as such.
********************

ChubbyAiel: When you add yellow color to blue one it becomes green.

New Futurist Man: No, when you add blue to yellow it turns green.

ChubbyAiel: During the breaking of the World, J.K. Rowling Sedai with the help of her pet Myrdraal named - "Shaidar Long Legs" proved that when mixing two liquid entities which possess two different color schemes the result would be a different color.
Besides, applying Quantum Physics to this debate easily proves that yellow color turns blue to green. Therefore, you have to admit that I'm right.

No offence taken. I do have a sense of humour, even it might be hard to find on occasion.

I think the crux of my disagreement with New Futurist Man is basically about how real the voice of LTT was in Rand's head. NFM seems to be saying that LTT really was a real personality that was arguing with Rand's personality. Maybe I've read his comments wrong, but that's how I saw it. My take is that that voice can't have truly belonged to LTT because then Rand would have been arguing with another man inside his head, and we are led by Rand's revelation to believe that that cannot have been the case. And so I hold to the theory that LTT's memories and personality traits are real and part of Rand, but that the personification of those things into the LTT Voice was a product of Rand's over-taxed mind.

I think all of that is relevant because the original post asked why Rand didn't seem to have LTT's insanity post "merge".

GonzoTheGreat
04-14-2011, 09:01 AM
I think that it is a bit like suddenly getting a "previous you from three years ago" stuck in your head.
Suppose that those aliens finally achieved what they're after with their anal probes, downloaded your personality when they abducted you, and now reuploaded that old personality. Then both of your egos would think they were the real one, with the other being just mad (or whatever). Of course, you'd quickly figure out what was going on, seeing how those anal probing aliens are so very common and all.
Rand and LTT had a similar situation, but with a much older, and somewhat mad, personality to mess things up.

Thus, yes, they were really two different personalities, but also the same man at the core of it.

Think of it as a computer on which both Windows XP and Windows Vista are trying to run at the same time. That's all the same computer, it is all Windows, but the result won't be entirely sane. That's what Rand was, until he got a massive number of bugfixes stuffed into his head on Dragonmount.

Zombie Sammael
04-14-2011, 09:27 AM
Think of it as a computer on which both Windows XP and Windows Vista are trying to run at the same time. That's all the same computer, it is all Windows, but the result won't be entirely sane. That's what Rand was, until he got a massive number of bugfixes stuffed into his head on Dragonmount.

You can run both Windows and Linux on the same PC.

Bonek
04-14-2011, 09:28 AM
Suppose that those aliens finally achieved what they're after with their anal probes,


Anal probing aliens. :eek: You made my day :D

Gonzo, if you see those aliens again please ask them to taste the urine of Andor Queen. They'll add something new to their repertoire after that experience, I'm sure of it.

ChubbyAiel
04-14-2011, 10:33 AM
I think that it is a bit like suddenly getting a "previous you from three years ago" stuck in your head.

That to me would be another entity as far as I am concerned. If we were arguing within my mind and it wasn't an artificial construct made by my imagination, that would be another person. I am the product of my relationships. They make my personality, which in turn affects my future relationships, which define my future personality. If there is something in my head, even if it was once me, but it is now distinct, I would say that that was a different person.


Then both of your egos would think they were the real one, with the other being just mad (or whatever).

The other important distinction to make is that importing memories and experiences is one thing but assuming they would come with a sentient personality as a leap that needn't be made.


Thus, yes, they were really two different personalities, but also the same man at the core of it.

So as I say, I see this as a false distinction. For me The Personality = The Man.

When most people on these boards read the revelation chapter they saw the declaration "they were not two men and they never were" as confirmation that The Soul = The Man. I do not see it that way. I see it as The Personality = The Man, and so "the LTT Voice" wasn't a real sentient personality.

I don't see how Rand and LTT can be the same man. They were physically different with different personalities, who probably thought differently and were the products of different relationships. The soul of the Dragon was incarnated most recently as two different human males: two different men, physically, emotionally and mentally.

I'm the first to admit I need to reread the recent books, but that's how I read it at the time. This debate would be purely academic but for the fact that I believe my theory explains Enlightened Rand's relative sanity while yours would explain why his mental health had suddenly got worse, which it hasn't.

I definitely understand what you're saying though and will bear that in mind when I do my reread!

Zombie Sammael
04-14-2011, 01:20 PM
Multiple Personality Disorder brought on by the taint coupled with Rand repressing his own past life memories.

'nuff said.

New Futurist Man
04-15-2011, 12:27 AM
I'm saying he was a split personality...I'm not arguing that the memories and even certain personality traits of LTT weren't real...I'm saying that the ranting madman who used to speak to Rand's conscious mind was not truly LTT. It was a combination of those memories and personality traits that had been Rand's soul in a previous life, but that the voice that effectively embodied them was not truly LTT. It was a result of Rand trying to be "hard" and surpressing his own emotions and, to in extent, his own personality.
Rand as we knew him had access to those memories and personality traits of his previous life, but instead of embracing them and accepting them as part of himself, he compartmentalised his own mind and assigned them another personality, which I do not believe to have been a true reflection of LTT. This extreme division of Rand's true self was unnatural and to my mind, caused by Rand's own mind as a reaction to the stress he was under, his mistaken belief that he had to be "hard", and probably fear that he was going mad when he started remembering things he had not experienced within his current lifetime.

The above, culled as it is from your response, would seem a fair representation of were you stand.

The main point of order I have with the above is the idea the Dragon - a being who wields like no other the same powersource the Creator employed to create the multiverse - can be analysed and summed up using concepts and terminology borrowed from 20th century psychiatric pseudosciences like cognitive behavioral therapy etc.

The books are high fantasy. The main protagonist is about to face the font of all evil in the person of the Dark One, the idea for the past few books his moods can be satisfactorily explained in terms of repression and the splitting of the persona I don't buy at all.

The Dragon's Soul - what the Voice at the Eye of the World called "the Chosen One" - cannot be reduced to the level whereby its explainable by whatever's current in "brain" sciences like CBT or, and even less so, Freudian psychoanalysis.

Rand states to Min that he remembers being LTT just as he remembers his own childhood, the idea this is some pathological schism in the mind of Rand al'Thor, or ever has been, only holds water if analysed under the lens of modern psychological disciplines like CBT, an approach which, obviously, the books have never went anywhere near.

IMHO the Soul of the Dragon outstrips any and all materialist theories. I believe the voice of LTT was present in Rand's mind and that it was the actual voice of the first Dragon, albeit trapped outside the normal currents of what we appropriate as space-time. Claiming this is symptomatic of a schizophrenic state is merely to reduce and materialize what the Soul of the Dragon is: an entity which, lest we forget, warps space and time around its will and commands the One Power like no other being on earth, being second only to the Creator himself in those stakes!

So do I believe the phenomena of LTT in Rand's head was produced through Rand repressing traumatic events and thus creating a secondary persona AKA LTT?
No.
I think, on principle, your analysis is sound, but I think ignoring the fact that in truth the Soul of the Dragon must be comparable in some respects with the Dark One - evidently, if he's to defeat him -, or even the Creator, ergo must be godlike in essence and formed of a substance which can't be described or explained satisfactorily in terms of the normal physical or psychological parameters, does hobble it somewhat. Why not go the whole hog and declare that the Dark One's unbounded malice toward the human race is a consequence of transference originating from the fact that...well, who knows?

I understand where your coming from, but I just don't think concepts like 'repression' or 'split personality' really apply to the Dragon when you look at what he really is. Just seems grossly reductive and somewhat parochial.

Terez
04-15-2011, 01:27 AM
It's the best supported explanation for what was going on, along with taint madness. Your mention of 'pseudoscience' suggests that you are in the same camp as Gonzo, and you dismiss the idea because you believe that split personalities do not exist in the real world? If so, then that contradicts your objection to the idea that such concepts can be real in high fantasy. RJ obviously meant to make it real in some aspects, while incorporating fantastical aspects such as reincarnation and past life memories.

ChubbyAiel
04-15-2011, 03:28 AM
The main point of order I have with the above is the idea the Dragon ... can be analysed and summed up using concepts and terminology borrowed from 20th century psychiatric pseudosciences like cognitive behavioral therapy etc.

The books are high fantasy. The main protagonist is about to face the font of all evil in the person of the Dark One, the idea for the past few books his moods can be satisfactorily explained in terms of repression and the splitting of the persona I don't buy at all.

...

Rand states to Min that he remembers being LTT just as he remembers his own childhood, the idea this is some pathological schism in the mind of Rand al'Thor, or ever has been, only holds water if analysed under the lens of modern psychological disciplines like CBT, an approach which, obviously, the books have never went anywhere near.

I don't have a problem with the memories of LTT being in Rand's head. It's the supposed personality of LTT that I'd pin on these psychological issues.

These "pseudosciences" are very real and useful for a lot of people. Just because Randland hasn't discovered them yet doesn't mean that they couldn't appear in the books as something we from our 20th Century perspective can understand - the books were written for us after all. As far as I know none of the characters discuss or understand how gravity works, or why the sun burns but, even though concepts like nuclear fusion don't exist at this moment in Randland, we can apply our knowledge to a fantasy setting.

Obviously I see there is a distinction between something "scientific" like physics and something you consider "pseudoscientific", but if CBT and various schools of psychology/psychiatry were proven true, we might reasonably assume that those principles could apply to a character even in a high fantasy setting.


I think, on principle, your analysis is sound, but I think ignoring the fact that in truth the Soul of the Dragon must be comparable in some respects with the Dark One - evidently, if he's to defeat him -, or even the Creator, ergo must be godlike in essence and formed of a substance which can't be described or explained satisfactorily in terms of the normal physical or psychological parameters, does hobble it somewhat. Why not go the whole hog and declare that the Dark One's unbounded malice toward the human race is a consequence of transference originating from the fact that...well, who knows?

I understand where your coming from, but I just don't think concepts like 'repression' or 'split personality' really apply to the Dragon when you look at what he really is. Just seems grossly reductive and somewhat parochial.

Regardless of whom the Dragon is comparable to (Dark One/Ishamael/the Creator) you can't overlook his humanity. However much power he can control and have access to, he is humanity's champion and he is very much a human being, with a human mind and a human body, both of which are "sick" in one form or another.

Maybe it's comparable to Christian doctrines of Christ. Pretty much every church professes that Jesus was 100% God and 100% Man, and that neither nature infringes upon the other. I'm not suggesting that Rand is "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one being with the [Creator]", but what I am saying is that what you're saying about the nature of the Soul of the Dragon doesn't mean that it still can't be a human soul, inhabiting a human body with a human mind and personality. Therefore he would still face issues, frailties and weaknesses that any of us could face. His human concerns were what nearly caused him to end it all when he nearly killed Tam, but they were also what let him find peace, when he realised that rebirth under the Wheel allowed him to experience love, etc, over and over again. Part of his frailties are the wounds in his side, so why could he not have a "wound" in his mind that he has since healed? A fallible body and a fallible mind are all part of being human.

And so why do I not apply my theory to the Dark One's motivations? Because he is not human like the Dragon.

Terez
04-15-2011, 03:43 AM
According to RJ, the whole impetus for writing WoT was the question, 'What would really happen if a normal guy got tapped on the shoulder and told he had to save the world? And that he would probably die in the process?' The Lews Therin phenomenon is a part of showing exactly how human Rand is, and how susceptible to these pressures he is.

ChubbyAiel
04-15-2011, 04:15 AM
Yeah. What Terez said. That's a much better way of putting it, rather than resorting to theology. I get a bit carried away sometimes...

GonzoTheGreat
04-15-2011, 04:17 AM
Then again, getting the actual voice of LTT in his head could also be that "tap on the shoulder". All the other seeming taps could be dismissed as attempts to set him up as a false Dragon, after all.

New Futurist Man
04-15-2011, 06:22 AM
Your mention of 'pseudoscience' suggests that you are in the same camp as Gonzo, and you dismiss the idea because you believe that split personalities do not exist in the real world? If so, then that contradicts your objection to the idea that such concepts can be real in high fantasy. RJ obviously meant to make it real in some aspects, while incorporating fantastical aspects such as reincarnation and past life memories.

I don't and haven't dismissed "the idea...[of] split personalities..in the real world", by declaring CBT a pseudoscience is merely allotting it its proper designation. Its not an exact science, and can't aspire to be like physics or chemistry. It works, or attempts to work, on the mind, which is a mercurial subject which doesn't easily give up results that can be objectively and formally verified. Theirs quite an imaginative leap from my designating CBT a "pseudoscience" to my saying schizoid personalities are merely a figment of their sufferers imagination (and the medical establishment's!), i.e. that they don't exist (though in a sense that would be correct). All I said was that Rand wasn't suffering from said condition, not that the condition would be impossible in that world.

By my reckoning as regards the Dragon there can be either:

1) a schizoid personality disorder;

or

2) reincarnation and past life memories;

Not both. A discipline like CBT is a materialist pseudoscience which does not believe in concepts like "reincarnation", "pastlife regression" etc etc, meaning its entirely inaccurate to label the Dragon as suffering from that condition when its common knowledge his 'symptoms' also include the mannerisms, knowledge etc. of a man who lived thousands of years before. Thats just not the definition of Split Personality Disorder. And while its obvious the Dragon can be reduced down into that kind of terminology, it goes nowhere near to describe what is actually going on with the man.

LTT's "presence" was living and breathing, it wasn't some figment feeding on dead memories. The only difference between Rand and LTT was that Rand had possession of the body whilst LTT had not.

I suppose a 'modern' reading of what happened atop Dragonmount would go somewhere along the lines of what ChubbyAiel is proposing: that the dead memories of LTT were being animated by Rand because of repressed trauma and that the existential revelation Rand experienced allowed him to overcome the repression. But I think that's hardly what actually happened on Dragonmount.

What really happened was two identities entirely individuated from eachother became one in an act of gnosis. Sure it can be reduced to concepts like 'split-personality', but the fact is people who suffer from that are merely delusion, they don't actually possess memories or powers of this 'other' individual - unlike the Dragon Reborn.

So how does the condition really apply, is it even relevant?

New Futurist Man
04-15-2011, 06:37 AM
[the] Lews Therin phenomenon is a part of showing exactly how human Rand is, and how susceptible to these pressures he is.

But possessing the actual knowledge, mannerisms, neuroses of what's supposed to be a merely imagined schizoid 'other' isn't a normal human experience, so it doesn't really illustrate how "human" Rand is when he's experiencing something no man in the history of the universe ever has.

And I don't think LTT's 'appearance' was a cause of 'pressure', in my reading it was directly a consequence of the two men sharing the same Soul.

Terez
04-15-2011, 08:05 AM
By my reckoning as regards the Dragon there can be either:

1) a schizoid personality disorder;

or

2) reincarnation and past life memories;

Not both.
The point you seem to miss is that, in a world where reincarnation is real, and it is possible to remember past lives, the two are not mutually exclusive by any means.

Thats just not the definition of Split Personality Disorder.
You can name it whatever you like.

LTT's "presence" was living and breathing
This is your opinion. Even Rand doesn't believe that any more - he knows he was Lews Therin all along.

What really happened was two identities entirely individuated from eachother became one in an act of gnosis.
No, that's not what happened - Rand said they were not two men, and never had been.

So how does the condition really apply, is it even relevant?
It's mostly relevant because 1) it shows how resistant Rand was to those memories (for obvious reasons), and 2) it shows that 'Lews Therin' was really just a manifestation of Rand's subconscious. So, when Lews Therin is raging about killing Taim, we have to keep in mind that this is what Rand wants to do, deep down. He suppresses that urge because he perceives it as being inconvenient, and by association (through suppression and through Rand's impression of the kind of man Lews Therin was), these urges are expressed through the 'voice'. That's sort of an oversimplification, but the gist should be clear enough.

nameless
04-15-2011, 01:05 PM
I don't and haven't dismissed "the idea...[of] split personalities..in the real world", by declaring CBT a pseudoscience is merely allotting it its proper designation. Its not an exact science, and can't aspire to be like physics or chemistry. It works, or attempts to work, on the mind, which is a mercurial subject which doesn't easily give up results that can be objectively and formally verified. Theirs quite an imaginative leap from my designating CBT a "pseudoscience" to my saying schizoid personalities are merely a figment of their sufferers imagination (and the medical establishment's!), i.e. that they don't exist (though in a sense that would be correct). All I said was that Rand wasn't suffering from said condition, not that the condition would be impossible in that world.

By my reckoning as regards the Dragon there can be either:

1) a schizoid personality disorder;

or

2) reincarnation and past life memories;

Not both. A discipline like CBT is a materialist pseudoscience which does not believe in concepts like "reincarnation", "pastlife regression" etc etc, meaning its entirely inaccurate to label the Dragon as suffering from that condition when its common knowledge his 'symptoms' also include the mannerisms, knowledge etc. of a man who lived thousands of years before. Thats just not the definition of Split Personality Disorder. And while its obvious the Dragon can be reduced down into that kind of terminology, it goes nowhere near to describe what is actually going on with the man.

...

So how does the condition really apply, is it even relevant?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder#History

The condition is called Dissociative Identity Disorder. Previously it was called Multiple Personality Disorder. It is not "schizoid" personality disorder; schizophrenia is a different disease entirely, though it also causes people to hear voices. I'm not sure how cognitive behavioral therapy even enters into things. As far as I know CBT is not a common method of treating DID or schizophrenia.

Bringing real-world psychiatry into a discussion of a fantasy-world psychiatric ailment is, of course, a nonsensical proposition. We're better off relying on the fantasy-world psychiatrist's opinion. According to Semirhage, Graendal treated her past-life regression patients with the goal of achieving integration, and usually failed. That she aimed for reintegration tells us she considered the condition similar to DID, and that she often failed tells us she may have been incorrect to do so.

There's a decent amount of evidence for the "construct/compartmentalization" theory, especially the way LTT seems to be reacting to Rand's emotional repression. Rand forces himself to be hard, and LTT weeps and wails. Rand forces himself to hold on to icy self-control, and LTT screams and raves about killing everyone. After LOC, whenever Rand gets claustrophobic, it is Lews Therin who starts screaming about being back in the box (perhaps the most telling detail, since as far as we know the actual, historical Lews Therin was never trapped in a chest and never developed claustrophobia). However, there's enough ambiguity to keep the debate going ad naseum. The most we can say definitively is that the interactions between Rand and his past life personality resemble, but are probably not identical to, the interaction between dissociative identity patients and their alter egos.