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enak101
04-21-2011, 04:19 AM
I was wondering this when i read. Lews therin was given the nickname dragon. Does this mean he was chosen or that he was just the one who did it? Just because rand is the dragon does that mean someone else can't do it. Maybe logain's visions of glory are because he seals the dark one away or kills him etc. Just a thought.

Weird Harold
04-21-2011, 09:49 AM
I was wondering this when i read. Lews therin was given the nickname dragon. Does this mean he was chosen or that he was just the one who did it? Just because rand is the dragon does that mean someone else can't do it. Maybe logain's visions of glory are because he seals the dark one away or kills him etc. Just a thought.
I think Greandal put it best,"I've never heard of a specific soul being reborn according to prophecy before." (OWTTE)

For this Turning, the Rand/LTT/Dragon Soul is the designated savior of the world -- Rand is the only one who can determine the outcome of T'G.

GonzoTheGreat
04-21-2011, 10:00 AM
Of course, if it happens to be Fain who does the actual job, then a high level conference may decide that giving the credit to the Dragon Reborn might be preferable.
Having Padan Fain as The Great Hero could become embarrassing rather rapidly.

omni
06-25-2011, 02:02 PM
Of course, if it happens to be Fain who does the actual job, then a high level conference may decide that giving the credit to the Dragon Reborn might be preferable.
Having Padan Fain as The Great Hero could become embarrassing rather rapidly.

That would be an interesting twist!

The Unreasoner
06-25-2011, 02:22 PM
In the last age it (the savior) was ltt all along, but no one realized it. Ltt was doing a duty, but as far as he knew it was a choice, and someone else could have stepped in.

Rand knows (or at least thinks he does) that it has to be him, and foretellings and other evidence prove (or at least strongly imply) that his soul is the same as ltt.

Ozymandias
06-25-2011, 03:39 PM
Well of course it depends on how strictly you define the question. Technically, Rand cannot win without the help of at least two, possibly three people; Mat, Perrin, and Alivia (she helps him die, and he must die to win... so I assume she's needed as well).

Since victory is impossible without Mat or Perrin or both, when it boils down to it, their role is nearly as important as Rand's is, perhaps equally so. Rand/the Dragon is, in this case, merely the hand that performs the deed; the engine may be the most important part of a car, but take away the wheels and axles and coolant systems etc, and the engine won't move the car itself.

Terez
06-25-2011, 04:04 PM
Well of course it depends on how strictly you define the question. Technically, Rand cannot win without the help of at least two, possibly three people; Mat, Perrin, and Alivia (she helps him die, and he must die to win... so I assume she's needed as well).
Don't forget Moiraine.

Zombie Sammael
06-25-2011, 05:06 PM
In the last age it (the savior) was ltt all along, but no one realized it. Ltt was doing a duty, but as far as he knew it was a choice, and someone else could have stepped in.

Rand knows (or at least thinks he does) that it has to be him, and foretellings and other evidence prove (or at least strongly imply) that his soul is the same as ltt.

I admit that I haven't read the Strike At Shayol Ghul, but are you sure LTT wasn't acting from the same sense of duty and inevitability as Rand? Perhaps the first part of his life he was relatively unimportant, but discovered once the DO got free that there was no other course he could take. LTT was certainly a war leader, perhaps a little like Winston Churchill in being only of middling importance prior to the war, but vitally important once it began.

Rand al'Fain
06-25-2011, 05:11 PM
I admit that I haven't read the Strike At Shayol Ghul, but are you sure LTT wasn't acting from the same sense of duty and inevitability as Rand? Perhaps the first part of his life he was relatively unimportant, but discovered once the DO got free that there was no other course he could take. LTT was certainly a war leader, perhaps a little like Winston Churchill in being only of middling importance prior to the war, but vitally important once it began.

If I remember right, having 3 names (Lews Therin Telamon for example) means you have done great things. And I believe he had earned all 3 before the War of Power, thereby making him someone of pretty big importance.

The Unreasoner
06-25-2011, 06:43 PM
I admit that I haven't read the Strike At Shayol Ghul, but are you sure LTT wasn't acting from the same sense of duty and inevitability as Rand? Perhaps the first part of his life he was relatively unimportant, but discovered once the DO got free that there was no other course he could take. LTT was certainly a war leader, perhaps a little like Winston Churchill in being only of middling importance prior to the war, but vitally important once it began.

He was probably 'driven' by ta'veren and the pattern, yeah. Maybe my point was that both rand and ltt have the choice of why they fight, and not of whether they fight, but ltt at least thought he had both.

Jokeslayer
06-25-2011, 07:10 PM
If I remember right, having 3 names (Lews Therin Telamon for example) means you have done great things. And I believe he had earned all 3 before the War of Power, thereby making him someone of pretty big importance.

You only earn the third, everyone has the other two.

Davian93
06-25-2011, 07:13 PM
LTT was the greatest man of his Age before the War of Power, not because of it.

The Unreasoner
06-25-2011, 09:26 PM
You only earn the third, everyone has the other two.

Lol. Can you imagine needing to earn them all?

waterbucket
06-27-2011, 01:39 PM
I think it really does have to be Rand. If you go back to the Fisher analogy, the eponymous piece is vital to winning for both sides, it's possible to win without any other piece, as long as you can control or force your opponent to make a mistake with the Fisher.

Fain may be the wrench in the works though...it's hard to say :)

The Unreasoner
06-27-2011, 02:15 PM
Actually there is a third way to win, but the game always degenerates into a bloody melee. I interpret that as the seanchan empire effectively holding back the shadows assaults while bubbles of evil tear the pattern apart. Neither side would ultimately get an ideal victory. And maybe fain is a second fisher-like piece. I mean, he wants to kill rand and the dark one, so maybe forcing his actions in a certain way can equal victory for either side.

waterbucket
06-27-2011, 03:15 PM
Yeah, I don't remember exactly which book/page, but Moridin's viewpoints pretty much explain this aspect in detail. He states that there have been ages where the Dragon has died early, with instances of both sides winning the resulting melee. I think he also states that the Dragon has been turned before, but the Shadow did not win every time this happened.

It's a pretty interesting theory that Fain is the fisher piece rather than Rand, but I don't have the time to pull quotes and stuff..

Frenzy
06-27-2011, 03:22 PM
Welcome back Waterbucket!!!

As to the original topic: does Rand have to defeat the Dark One? i think the Dark One cannot be defeated without Rand centrally involved in it.

But does Rand have to defeat the Dark One to win? i don't think so. ~weg~

Ishara
06-28-2011, 11:50 AM
From PoD:

TITLE: Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: Prologue - Deceptive Appearances
From time to time he idly stroked one of the two mindtraps that hung on plain silken cords around his neck. At his touch, the blood-red crystal of the cour'souvra pulsed, swirls moving in endless depths like the beating of a heart. His real attention was on the game laid out before him on the table, thirty-three red pieces and thirty-three green arrayed across a playing surface of thirteen squares by thirteen. A re-creation of the early stages of a famous game. The most important piece, the Fisher, black-and-white like the playing surface, still waited in its starting place on the central square. A complex game, sha'rah, ancient long before the War of Power. Sha'rah, tcheran, and no'ri, the game now called simply "stones," each had adherents who claimed it encompassed all the subtleties of life, but Moridin had always favored sha'rah. Only nine people living even remembered the game. He had been a master of it. Much more complex than tcheran or no'ri. The first object was capture of the Fisher. Only then did the game truly begin.

TITLE: Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: Prologue - Deceptive Appearances
The Fisher held his attention, baiting him. Several pieces had varying moves, but only the Fisher's attributes altered according to where it stood; on a white square, weak in attack yet agile and far-ranging in escape; on black, strong in attack but slow and vulnerable. When masters played, the Fisher changed sides many times before the end. The green-and-red goal-row that surrounded the playing surface could be threatened by any piece, but only the Fisher could move onto it. Not that he was safe, even there; the Fisher was never safe. When the Fisher was yours, you tried to move him to a square of your color behind your opponent's end of the board. That was victory, the easiest way, but not the only one. When your opponent held the Fisher, you attempted to leave him no choice for the Fisher but to move onto your color. Anywhere at all along the goal-row would do; holding the Fisher could be more dangerous than not. Of course, there was a third path to victory in sha'rah, if you took it before letting yourself be trapped. The game always degenerated in a bloody melee, then, victory coming only with complete annihilation of your enemy. He had tried that, once, in desperation, but the attempt had failed. Painfully.

TITLE: Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: Prologue - Deceptive Appearances
Perhaps the Fisher did come from some dim remnant of a memory of Rand al'Thor, the shadow of a shadow. It did not matter. He realized he was laughing, and made no effort to stop. On the board, the Fisher stood waiting, but in the greater game, al'Thor moved already to his wishes. And soon, now. ... It was very hard to lose a game when you played both sides of the board. Moridin laughed so hard that tears rolled down his face, but he was not aware of them.

All that to say that I don't think that the Pattern echoes Sha'rah. I think that Moridin is a high-functioning psycopath who is totally insane and that he believes that events echo the game, but that they may not in reality. I also believe that he could be playing both sides of the game (Evil Min anyone?), but that his asscoiation of the two issues are not necessarily the truth.

Also, as Frenzy said the only person in the worl who can defeat the Dark One = Rand. What that looks like, and whether it will be as complete as he wants, that's the real question.

GonzoTheGreat
06-28-2011, 12:22 PM
All that to say that I don't think that the Pattern echoes Sha'rah.Semirhage would be a lot happier (well, she would be, full stop) if your assessment were correct:
The Chosen were no more than pieces on the board; they might be Counselors and Spires, but they were still pieces. If the Great Lord moved her here secretly, might he not be moving Moghedien or Lanfear, or even Asmodean? Might Shaidar Haran not be sent to deliver covert commands to Graendal or Sammael? Or for that matter, to Demandred or Mesaana? Their uneasy alliance – if it could be called by so strong a name – had lasted a long time, but neither would tell her if they received secret orders from the Great Lord, any more than she would ever let them learn of the orders that had brought her here, or those that had had her send Myrddraal and Trollocs to the Stone of Tear to battle those sent by Sammael.
If the Great Lord meant to make al’Thor Nae’blis, she herself would kneel to him – and wait for a slip to deliver him into her hands. Immortality meant infinite time to wait. There would always be other patients to amuse her in the meantime. What troubled her was Shaidar Haran. She had never been more than an indifferent tcheranplayer, but Shaidar Haran was a new piece on the board, one of unknown strength and purpose. And one daring way to capture your opponent’s High Counselor and turn it to your side was to sacrifice your Spires in a false attack. She would kneel if need be, for as long as need be, but she would not be sacrificed.

Ishara
06-28-2011, 01:00 PM
Good quote! But we take that to mean that it is her perception that the DO plays tchera against who? The Creator? We know that not oneof the "good guys' play the game in their minds. So, is it a perception thing on the part of the AoLers, or what?

Weird Harold
06-28-2011, 01:26 PM
Good quote! But we take that to mean that it is her perception that the DO plays tchera against who? The Creator? We know that not oneof the "good guys' play the game in their minds. So, is it a perception thing on the part of the AoLers, or what?
An interesting line of thought, worth a little extra research. Just what does RJ's use -- or non-use -- of gaming metaphors tell us about his world and/or the characters.

At first glance, first hypothesis, I would say that the Forsaken think in terms of complex, AOL, strategy games because they're actively plotting and planning ahead on multiple axes. The Third Agers think in terms of less complicated -- but by no means uncomplicated -- strategy games like Stones (GO) or possibly 'Chess.' Third agers are reacting, not plotting/planning several moves in advance.

---

As for Moridin''s thought on "playing both sides of the board," I think that's a reference to his many moles and spys; Wieramon, Taim, Dashiva (still in play at that time IIRC,) Elsa Penfell, Alviarin (and indirectly Elaida) etc. He believes with some justification that he controls events because he controls many of the main players shaping events.

Zombie Sammael
06-28-2011, 01:42 PM
An interesting line of thought, worth a little extra research. Just what does RJ's use -- or non-use -- of gaming metaphors tell us about his world and/or the characters.

At first glance, first hypothesis, I would say that the Forsaken think in terms of complex, AOL, strategy games because they're actively plotting and planning ahead on multiple axes. The Third Agers think in terms of less complicated -- but by no means uncomplicated -- strategy games like Stones (GO) or possibly 'Chess.' Third agers are reacting, not plotting/planning several moves in advance.

---

As for Moridin''s thought on "playing both sides of the board," I think that's a reference to his many moles and spys; Wieramon, Taim, Dashiva (still in play at that time IIRC,) Elsa Penfell, Alviarin (and indirectly Elaida) etc. He believes with some justification that he controls events because he controls many of the main players shaping events.

I like your thinking. I think the game metaphor has some correlation with the Pattern metaphor. I say "Pattern metaphor" because that's essentially what it is: a metaphor that allows us mere mortals, including the characters in the books, to understand the cosmic phenomenon that is created by the Wheel. In any case, a "Pattern" implies a one-sided piece of artistic creation, and you will note that the Pattern metaphor is most often deployed by the Lightsiders; to them, the Pattern is a single creative endeavour on the part of the Creator/Wheel which is being threatened by the Dark One, rather like an artist with a canvas in progress, next to which is a pyromaniac with a box of matches.

To the Darkfriends (using the term in its broadest possible sense), however, the Pattern is not a single creative endeavour, nor even a collaborative endeavour between two individuals. It is rather representative of a conflict between two cosmic beings using the individuals within the World (for want of a better term) as proxies. Thus, the Darkfriends tend to use a Game Metaphor to describe the world rather than a Patter Metaphor, since they see the world as the board and themselves as the pieces, with two players at either end; one piece is more significant but as Moridin notes it can be taken by either side and used to secure victory.

Another thing that pops into my head: the Sha'rah metaphor implies that, even if the Fisher is taken by the Shadow and made to work for them, the Light may still be able to use him to secure a victory, which is not something I had previously considered.

nameless
06-28-2011, 01:58 PM
The Fisher can self-destruct no matter which side controls him. That's the key to the white square/black square modalities and Sorilea's "tears and laughter" project. Rand almost blew up the planet, even though he was nominally on the Light side, because Moridin almost succeeded in pushing him on to a black square. Presumably something similar would happen if the Shadow controlled the Dragon and someone on the Light side managed to push him on to a white square. He'd think he was serving the Dark One but inadvertently spread peace and love wherever he went.

The Unreasoner
06-28-2011, 02:03 PM
I think it's a perception thing/literary device. Tcheran highlighted the selfishness of the forsaken and the secretive nature of the dark one in semmirhage's pov. Moridin's perhaps could be to show how he understands the last days, and that there are other ways to win without turning the dragon, or killing him.

Weird Harold
06-28-2011, 02:29 PM
I think the game metaphor has some correlation with the Pattern metaphor. I say "Pattern metaphor" because that's essentially what it is: a metaphor that allows us mere mortals, including the characters in the books, to understand the cosmic phenomenon that is created by the Wheel.

I think "Pattern" is more than a metaphor -- or atleast you're misreading the metaphor.

In the WOT, the universe is literally constructed by the interaction of "threads in the Pattern" aka all living things. Removing or damaging those threads -- as happens with Balefire -- literally destroys the "fabric of the universe."

It isn't a "single work of art" vs "conflict between two cosmic beings" but "the world as we know it" vs "total destruction of Time Space and Everything." DFs want to repeal all the Laws of Nature.

Weird Harold
06-28-2011, 02:47 PM
Good quote! But we take that to mean that it is her perception that the DO plays tchera against who? The Creator?

PS:

I think Semirhage is thinking as much about the way the WOT is a universe built largely on predestination where the only real difference is who gets to move the pieces. that quote also highlights Semirhage, in particular; the Forsaken, in general; and everyone in the WOT, to some extent, wanting to be the one who moves the pieces.

There is no "game" per se, just control or lack of control -- "pieces on a tcheran board" might be arranged for artistic effect as an interior design statement as moved purposefully to defeat an opponent; the pieces have no say whether or which.

Zombie Sammael
06-28-2011, 02:52 PM
I think "Pattern" is more than a metaphor -- or atleast you're misreading the metaphor.

In the WOT, the universe is literally constructed by the interaction of "threads in the Pattern" aka all living things. Removing or damaging those threads -- as happens with Balefire -- literally destroys the "fabric of the universe."

It isn't a "single work of art" vs "conflict between two cosmic beings" but "the world as we know it" vs "total destruction of Time Space and Everything." DFs want to repeal all the Laws of Nature.

I was trying to describe a metaphor using a metaphor. Within the WOT cosmology if we're to take it seriously there is no actual Wheel, nor are the "threads" in the "pattern" actually made of "lace" within a "weave". These are all symbols used to describe cosmic phenomena which are outside of our comprehension, much like when a physicist describes a black hole as being an unplugged drain, matter and energy water. That's what I was getting towards.

What I was trying to say was that the Lightsiders see the Pattern as one individual being's (or cosmic whatsit's) work, while Darkfriends see it as a two-sided affair. Hence the Lightsiders use a metaphor that requires a single cosmic mastermind, in the majority a cosmic tapestry, while the Darkfriends tend to use metaphors involving two masterminds, usually board games. Even though the Lightsiders know of the Dark One they don't see him as a being with the same status as the Creator, but rather a vandal trying to wreck the work of the Creator, either by destroying it or remaking it. The Darkfriends view it more as a conflict between equals.

I do understand that the upshot of a dark victory is not the continuation of such a grand game but (probably) the annihilation of all life as we know it, or at very least the complete remaking of the Pattern so as to render it unrecognisable, but I was talking not about the cosmic abstracts in themselves, but the way the followers of those cosmic abstracts tend to describe the universe. So I do appreciate that the conflict isn't between the metaphors the two sides use to describe the world, but what I am saying is that there is a clear and marked difference between those regardless of the final outcome of victory for one side or another.

With regards to the sha'rah, what is interesting and what I was commenting upon was that it is still totally possible for the Dark to achieve a victory. It's clear that they tried to force the Fisher (Rand) on to a black square with Dragonmount and failed, but they still have the options of annihilation or forcing him on to another black square even as he approaches the goal line. This is probably what Mierin's cry for help at the end of TOM represented.

The Unreasoner
06-28-2011, 04:10 PM
It would actually be a green or red square that he was forced on.
And if the game is anything it is the wheel vs the do. The wheel gives talents where needed, ta'veren and heroes when needed. Most of the characters/pieces are 'tugged' into position by the pattern, or ordered into position by the only agency free of the wheel.

From the perspective of the sha'rah players, a lot of 'evil' (the tel nathins) is not. Evil, to the wheel, is destruction of the pattern, not random deaths.

Zombie Sammael
06-28-2011, 04:20 PM
And if the game is anything it is the wheel vs the do. The wheel gives talents where needed, ta'veren and heroes when needed. Most of the characters/pieces are 'tugged' into position by the pattern, or ordered into position by the only agency free of the wheel.

I wasn't discussing what the game actually is so much as the way the characters in the books use their metaphors to describe the way they view the world they inhabit. From a Darkfriend's perspective, yes the game is the Wheel vs the DO. From a Lightsider's, it's not a game at all. I was comparing the different metaphors used by the two groups rather than trying to actually make a point about the way the cosmology is set up.

The Unreasoner
06-28-2011, 05:14 PM
oh i agree that the lightsiders see no game, they are too fully immersed in it. All that they can conceive (and actually all that the forsaken sans moridin can conceive) is within the pattern. only moridin sees himself as a player, and in a game far more complex than tcheran. semmirhage sees herself as a piece in the least complex of the three games, and has the mindset of a piece, albeit a reluctant one.

Zombie Sammael
06-28-2011, 05:17 PM
oh i agree that the lightsiders see no game, they are too fully immersed in it. All that they can conceive (and actually all that the forsaken sans moridin can conceive) is within the pattern. only moridin sees himself as a player, and in a game far more complex than tcheran. semmirhage sees herself as a piece in the least complex of the three games, and has the mindset of a piece, albeit a reluctant one.

I disagree. The other Darkfriends might not perceive the complexity of the game (which, bear in mind, has been played out only in this turning over 3000 years; if somehow Moridin has past life memories he could be playing an even longer game) but they don't see it as a one-sided affair in the same way the Lightsiders do. It's the philosophical difference between the light and the shadow; the shadow sees the DO as equal and adversarial to the Creator while the light does not.

The Unreasoner
06-28-2011, 05:44 PM
I meant more that the vast majority misinterpret the game, and their role.

Everyone except moridin among the dark sees the game as niall did, something akin to the trolloc wars. simple tcheran. they see themselves as pieces, but in a capture based game, where their personal goals are threatened by their status as pieces. the vast majority of people on both sides see 'victory' as being the only pieces left on the board, and are unaware of alternative routes of victory, or even the true nature of the battle. Most lightsiders see the battle as niall did.

Ishara
06-28-2011, 05:57 PM
PS:

I think Semirhage is thinking as much about the way the WOT is a universe built largely on predestination where the only real difference is who gets to move the pieces. that quote also highlights Semirhage, in particular; the Forsaken, in general; and everyone in the WOT, to some extent, wanting to be the one who moves the pieces.

There is no "game" per se, just control or lack of control -- "pieces on a tcheran board" might be arranged for artistic effect as an interior design statement as moved purposefully to defeat an opponent; the pieces have no say whether or which.
This I agree with 100%. I feel it's more of a metaphor than a true interpretation of events.

the_collective
06-28-2011, 06:31 PM
PROLOGUE: Deceptive Appearances (Moridin PoV)

Of course, there was a third path to victory in sha'rah, if you took it before letting yourself be trapped. The game always degenerated in a bloody melee, then, victory coming only with complete annihilation of your enemy. He had tried that, once, in desperation, but the attempt had failed. Painfully.

I "bolded" the first part of this Moridin thought-quote to propose that (in addition to the obvious game metaphor) Moridin is referencing his own entrapment enacted by LT @ the Hundred Companions, which caused victory to slip from the Shadow's grasp and ultimately resulted in another "draw" between the Shadow and the Light.

If we take this meaning of the phrase and combine it with the second "bolded" comment, perhaps Moridin is talking about the battle at Paaren Disen here. From the Shadow's perspective, the Fisher of the day (LT) was lost to them as a possible asset (he'd thrown his lot in with the Light whole hog), so I'm suggesting this battle was enacted during the AoL in order to bring about this 3rd possibility of victory in the Sha'rah game. Paaren Disen, of course is representative of what we would know as "paradise" and for Moridin (Ba'alzamon = Be'elzebub) to fail at the "Gates of Paaren Disen" (see quote below), it sounds like he'd failed to assault the "Heavenly Gates" themselves, which definitely could have turned the tide from a Shadow's outright victory to the "draw" he ended up with. Perhaps the Dark One punished him for this (going from the "Painfully" adjective he'd added to himself as an afterthought).


PROLOGUE: Dragonmount

Elan Morin grimaced. "Look at you," he said scornfully. "Once you wore the Ring of Tamyrlin, and sat in the High Seat. "Once you summoned the Nine Rods of Dominion. Now look at you! A pitiful, shattered wretch. But it is not enough. You humbled me in the Hall of Servants. You defeated me at the Gates of Paaren Disen. But I am the greater, now. I will not let you die without knowing that. When you die, your last thought will be the full knowledge of your defeat, of how complete and utter it is. If I let you die at all.

Enigma
06-28-2011, 06:38 PM
The "The game always degenerated in a bloody melee, then, victory coming only with complete annihilation of your enemy" could be a reference to either the War at the end of the AoL when the forces of the Shadow tried to wipe out the forces of the light by military means.

On the other hand it could just be a reference to when Ishamael decided to stop trying to turn Rand and went for the brute force attack approach in Tear and ended up dead.

the_collective
06-28-2011, 06:52 PM
The "The game always degenerated in a bloody melee, then, victory coming only with complete annihilation of your enemy" could be a reference to either the War at the end of the AoL when the forces of the Shadow tried to wipe out the forces of the light by military means.

The battle at Paaren Disen would certainly have been one of these.

On the other hand it could just be a reference to when Ishamael decided to stop trying to turn Rand and went for the brute force attack approach in Tear and ended up dead.

I hadn't considered this possibility, but it could fit - absolutely.

Ishara
06-28-2011, 09:41 PM
But the defeat at Paaren Disen wasn't a complete and total annihilation. A defeat yes, A significant defeat sure. But, he still survived. 12 other Forsaken still survived. I wouldn't call that total annihilation.

Instead, I suggest that option 2, that mentioned by Enigma is a more plausible option. That being said, there's nothing to say that it has to have been a time we've seen or are privy to - these two have fought since time began circling onto itself; they've had more than enough opportunity to try other gambits.

the_collective
06-29-2011, 04:36 PM
there's nothing to say that it has to have been a time we've seen or are privy to - these two have fought since time began circling onto itself; they've had more than enough opportunity to try other gambits.

The implication of your statement is that you believe that Ishamael can remember all of his past lives. Is that the generally-accepted line of thought concerning this topic here @ Theoryland? I wrote my initial post on this topic under the assumption that this issue may still be debatable.

I realize there's a number of bits in the books that suggest this to be the case, and I certainly believe this to be true as well, but I have a question for those that do buy into this idea...

Question: If Elan Morin Tedronai/Ishamael/Ba'alzamon/Moridin's memories go back into infinity, why does he never mention (or think of) any details from any Age but the "AoL" and the "3rd Age"?

For example, in this scene from the PoD prologue that we keep referencing in this thread, Moridin is sitting alone, idly musing to himself about the nature of the struggle between the Shadow and the Light. He sees it in terms of a game called sha'rah. He mentions the names of only two other games, as well - tcheran and no'ri:


PROLOGUE: Deceptive Appearances

A complex game, sha'rah, ancient long before the War of Power. Sha'rah, tcheran, and no'ri, the game now called simply "stones," each had adherents who claimed it encompassed all the subtleties of life, but Moridin had always favored sha'rah. Only nine people living even remembered the game. He had been a master of it.

In the above quote, Moridin mentions two things that are relevant to my comment:

1) no'ri is now called "stones" (which we know from the rest of the series is played widely in the 3rd Age)

2) sha'rah is still known by 9 living persons (meaning it is impossible that this game - with its current name and stated rules, at least - has existed longer than the beginning of the AoL, since it would be impossible for 9 people to remember how to play it if it were older)

Now the final game mentioned in the Moridin PoV is tcheran, which (we know from the Semirhage PoV quote provided earlier on this thread) is known to at least one other AoLer. This, too, implies (though not quite as strongly) that this game (again, with its "current" given name/rules) was unknown previous to the AoL.

Now, since Moridin is just thinking to himself, and if he does remember previous lives, why wouldn't he think of at least one game that predated the AoL?

I understand why RJ may have wanted to avoid such a thing, since if we are in the 1st Age now (circa 2011 - I don't believe this at all, myself, but I've heard the idea thrown around), Moridin thinking of "chess" or "scrabble" would be d-u-m-b; however, my point is this: Realistically speaking, if Moridin can and does remember Ages past, why would he not subconsciously recall random things here and there from said Ages past?

With all the trouble that RJ went through to create realism in his characters' points-of-view, using their own knowledge, ignorance, unconscious, subconscious, etc - why would nothing older than the AoL slip into Moridin's mind during this scene?

The Unreasoner
06-29-2011, 04:46 PM
I think that moridin's personal memories are limited to elan and forward. anything he knows of before is likely born of his philosophy and/or chats with the dark one.

In that very scene he notes that there is knowledge lost to him due to the passage of time, in this case the origin of the fisher.

nameless
06-29-2011, 05:15 PM
I understand why RJ may have wanted to avoid such a thing, since if we are in the 1st Age now (circa 2011 - I don't believe this at all, myself, but I've heard the idea thrown around)
What's not to believe? We know from Thom's stories in Eye of the World that the Age before the Age of Legends (1st Age if you count back) encompassed such events as the Moon Landing (Lenn in the belly of an eagle made of fire), the Cold War (the giants Mosc and Mercia, obvious distortions of Moscow and America), and Anne Landers (Anla the Wise Counselor).

At any rate, stones=no'ri=go, so almost every character in the book knows at least one board game that's older than the Age of Legends.

the_collective
06-29-2011, 06:42 PM
What's not to believe? We know from Thom's stories in Eye of the World that the Age before the Age of Legends (1st Age if you count back) encompassed such events as the Moon Landing (Lenn in the belly of an eagle made of fire), the Cold War (the giants Mosc and Mercia, obvious distortions of Moscow and America), and Anne Landers (Anla the Wise Counselor).

Thom replies:


CHAPTER 4: The Gleeman

"Old stories, those," Thom Merrilin said, and abruptly he was juggling three colored balls in each hand. "Stories from the Age before the Age of Legends, some say. Perhaps even older. But I have all stories, mind you now, of Ages that were and will be. Ages when men ruled the heavens and the stars, and Ages when man roamed as brother to the animals. Ages of wonder, and Ages of horror. Ages ended by fire raining from the skies, and Ages doomed by snow and ice covering land and sea. I have all stories, and I will tell all stories. Tales of Mosk the Giant, with his Lance of Fire that could reach around the world, and his wars with Elsbet, the Queen of All. Tales of Materese the Healer, Mother of the Wondrous Ind.").

You (and possibly everyone else here) assumes just as the people of this Age do, that these tales are from "the Age before the Age of Legends," but Thom himself states (and I think this is what he believes, or else he'd not have mentioned it) that they are "perhaps even older."

I think it's silly to assume that we're just one Age behind the Age of Legends. I mean, look around you. I laugh at the very idea that the True Peace of the Da'shain Aiel is denied us simply because channeling hasn't been rediscovered yet. This is essentially what you're implying.

Even so, there's no direct evidence to say one way or the other. As I've just demonstrated with this quote - the single quote in the whole series dealing with any of this, our own Age could just as easily have been 3+ Ages before the 3rd Age as 2 Ages.

At any rate, stones=no'ri=go, so almost every character in the book knows at least one board game that's older than the Age of Legends.

I hope you and others can see that this misses the point of what I'm trying to say. I'm quite aware of the origins of the "stones" game, as I am of all the other stories Thom talks about; no need to cover any of this in depth, as it's been done elsewhere.

Terez
06-29-2011, 07:09 PM
You (and possibly everyone else here)
Nope.

the_collective
06-29-2011, 07:19 PM
Nope.

Yay!!! Well, that makes two of us.

The Unreasoner
06-29-2011, 08:57 PM
Maybe they are older. But that leaves an entire Age devoid of stories, or at least ones worth telling.

And given the rate of knowledge loss even in the third age, i find this to be nothing more than unsubstantiated speculation.

FelixPax
06-30-2011, 01:16 AM
You (and possibly everyone else here) assumes just as the people of this Age do, that these tales are from "the Age before the Age of Legends,"


Nope, I second Terez's & the_collective's common position.



I just think it's important to remember, that souls are reborn.

Thus to learn about historical individuals, is to learn about the present & possible future(s).

Ishara
06-30-2011, 08:47 AM
Okay, I have to say that your logical argument here: sha'rah is still known by 9 living persons (meaning it is impossible that this game - with its current name and stated rules, at least - has existed longer than the beginning of the AoL, since it would be impossible for 9 people to remember how to play it if it were older)
Now the final game mentioned in the Moridin PoV is tcheran, which (we know from the Semirhage PoV quote provided earlier on this thread) is known to at least one other AoLer. This, too, implies (though not quite as strongly) that this game (again, with its "current" given name/rules) was unknown previous to the AoL. is not at all working for me. I see no reason whatsoever to believe that sha'ra, tcheran or nori were not played before the AoL given that as of PoD 9 peole knew how to play it. Those 9 people were from the AoL, which by the way, no one else is. Nor is their anyone around from the Age before the AoL. Therefore, your point is incorrect. Or, misunderstood, in which case elightenen me!
The implication of your statement is that you believe that Ishamael can remember all of his past lives. Is that the generally-accepted line of thought concerning this topic here @ Theoryland? I wrote my initial post on this topic under the assumption that this issue may still be debatable. For what it's worth, no I don't think he does, but I do think that it's not unbelievable that he would have access to other information from other sources (aside from his own memories) to draw upon. Which is why I said I favoured Enigma's response.

Maybe they are older. But that leaves an entire Age devoid of stories, or at least ones worth telling.

And given the rate of knowledge loss even in the third age, i find this to be nothing more than unsubstantiated speculation.

Pal, that seems to be your favourite thing to do! There are lots of reasons that stories aren't associated specifically with the 2nd Age or the Fourth (for example). I wouldn't naturally assume that any one Age was devoid of stories simply because there's not a one to one reckoning of which stories belonged to which Age.

ChubbyAiel
06-30-2011, 09:47 AM
I'm with Ishara. Those comments about sha'rah are like saying no one could possibly have known how to play chess in 1800 because people knew how to play it in 2000. Unless I've misunderstood your point too...

I don't think Moridin has memories of anything before AoL because we haven't heard anything specific from his POV, but I don't think your points actively prove the matter. As for why Moridin only thinks about those three games - he's just musing about three games contemporaneous to each other, he's not laying out his plans to write The Shadow's Bumper Book Of Board Games From Every Era Known To Man. It's like if you were talking about your favourite game with your mates, you wouldn't have discuss every single game you'd ever learnt to play, just the best ones and decide from a short list.

Crispin's Crispian
06-30-2011, 01:06 PM
I'm with Ishara. Those comments about sha'rah are like saying no one could possibly have known how to play chess in 1800 because people knew how to play it in 2000. Unless I've misunderstood your point too...


I think he was trying to say that sha'rah was a game from the Age of Legends, and not a memory of Moridin's from a prior incarnation. If it were from an earlier age and not from the AoL, those other eight people wouldn't know what it was.

But the argument as written sounded strange, I agree.


I don't think Moridin has memories of anything before AoL because we haven't heard anything specific from his POV, but I don't think your points actively prove the matter. As for why Moridin only thinks about those three games - he's just musing about three games contemporaneous to each other, he's not laying out his plans to write The Shadow's Bumper Book Of Board Games From Every Era Known To Man. It's like if you were talking about your favourite game with your mates, you wouldn't have discuss every single game you'd ever learnt to play, just the best ones and decide from a short list.
Or he's just thinking of games that might possibly apply to the strategy of blowing up the universe. He could start imagining double-dutch or Pictionary, but they don't really apply as well.

Finally, I don't think anyone necessarily believes 100% that our age is the Age before the AoL. I think everyone believes that our Age is one of the other five Ages on the Wheel...and probably not the 4th Age.

The reason the First Age stands out is because channeling hasn't been discovered as of right now.

The Unreasoner
06-30-2011, 03:54 PM
and because we have generally mapped out history to creation.

of course, if the Dark One destroys the world and the Dragon remakes it in tel'aran'rhiod, maybe we are the 4th/5th age. it could even solve the entropy issue.

Weird Harold
06-30-2011, 05:39 PM
Or he's just thinking of games that might possibly apply to the strategy of blowing up the universe. He could start imagining double-dutch or Pictionary, but they don't really apply as well.

I think it probably applicable that Moridin thinks of three board games, such as a scholar might play, rather than more active means of training tacticians and strategists, such as football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, etc.

In the AOL, before the Bore, such games were probably considered training for high-finance or big business rather than warfare and 'blood sports' that emphasize agressive, physical, violence (in addition to strategy and tactics) were probably disapproved of.

Toss the dice
06-30-2011, 06:08 PM
I think it probably applicable that Moridin thinks of three board games, such as a scholar might play, rather than more active means of training tacticians and strategists, such as football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, etc.

In the AOL, before the Bore, such games were probably considered training for high-finance or big business rather than warfare and 'blood sports' that emphasize agressive, physical, violence (in addition to strategy and tactics) were probably disapproved of.

I doubt any board games from the AOL (or at least the ones we know about) were training for anything. Stimulating the mind of course, just like many games we have, but nothing more. I don't see how they could be training for high-finance or big business. That would have been called school.

Try to put yourself in Moridin's shoes, at least selectively. You're in a completely different Age, the world has drastically changed, and most things you were familiar with "back home" don't exist anymore. The entire culture is different, from food to games to art to technology...to pretty much everything. You are able to scrounge and collect some things that have been preserved (like in stasis boxes), but for the most part that life and culture is gone.

Things such as board games are likely one of only a few things that could easily be replicated yourself. If you couldn't find one in a stasis box -- you could simply make it, possibly in a different or crude way. If I was trapped in the wilderness for a few weeks, I could make the board game checkers pretty easily. It would be crude but I could do it -- and most importantly, the knowledge of how to make and PLAY checkers I already have because it's in my mind. Moridin couldn't rebuild an exact copy of Paaren Disen complete with all details, but he could play board games (whether found or made) that DID come from his original time, ones he knew how to play and were something "from home."

In a nutshell, games like the Fisher game are basically nothing more than chess. A simple game. Moridin however took that game and applied it to the current situation, applied the Fisher to Rand. He used the game that was very strategic (like chess) to help him mentally process, focus and plan his moves in the real world. It probably didn't hurt that he was also "comfortable" with the game. Given his situation, using a comfort, something he knew well and was great at, was good for his morale, so to speak.

That's my take on it.

Crispin's Crispian
06-30-2011, 07:24 PM
I completely agree, TtD. It is a metaphor for Moridin, and a meta-metaphor for the reader to guess at Moridin's strategy. It's not as if he has a sha'rah ter'angreal that represents real people (like the Marauder's Map from Harry Potter). It's just a game, and he's a smart, pretentious guy who likes to think abstractly.

the_collective
06-30-2011, 09:14 PM
But the argument as written sounded strange, I agree.

I write the majority of my posts (not this one) over the course of an hour or so, as I am constantly interrupted by incoming phone calls at my call center job. I get anywhere from 0-60 seconds of silence between each; to concentrate on what I'm doing/saying here. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused (and yes, I reread before posting!). Put simply:

1.) Moridin may/may not remember past lives:

a.) If he does, why would he refer specifically to three games that existed during the Age of Legends and zero from any Age prior?

b.) If he doesn't, ignore what I was talking about entirely, because what I'd written was only relevant if he does.

2.) I was not saying that any of the games mentioned could not have existed prior to the AoL, I was giving the evidence that we have that states that:

a.) Everybody in Randland could potentially play stones/no'ri.

b.) Only 9 people in Randland could potentially play sha'rah.

c.) At least 2 people (Moridin/Semirhage) in Randland could potentially play tcheran.

3.) Using the "stones -> no'ri -> Go" example, even if we assume that the rules for said games are exactly the same for each (across the Ages), the name has changed. So:

a.) If the same is/would be true for sha'rah/tcheran, why wouldn't:

1. Anyone in Randland (other than AoLers) have mentioned the existence of these games (or any game with similar rules that is known by a different name)?

2. Moridin have mentioned (assuming access to previous lives' memories) different names for either of these two games?

That's it.

So we've established that Moridin probably doesn't have first-hand access to past-life memories, so my entire discussion topic (I don't consider it an argument or a theory, but to each his/her own) is invalid and/or irrelevant. Everything I'd written was in response to the quote of Ishara's that I'd used at the beginning of that post.

Secondarily, we've established that there's nothing to say that either of the two games sha'rah/tcheran do/do not exist in any form in any Age but the AoL. Done. Case closed. Thank you all for participating.

Oh, and ignore my crappy attempt at an outline here in your comments, if you please. This format doesn't work well for it (no indentation possible) and I couldn't come up with a "3b" to round it out. C'est la vie. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills and all that.

Terez
06-30-2011, 09:44 PM
If you go advanced, there are options for number lists and bullet points in the style menu.

the_collective
06-30-2011, 10:39 PM
If you go advanced, there are options for number lists and bullet points in the style menu.

Thanks, Terez!

I could edit it, I suppose, but don't want to lose my charm.

waterbucket
07-01-2011, 10:26 AM
I write the majority of my posts (not this one) over the course of an hour or so, as I am constantly interrupted by incoming phone calls at my call center job. I get anywhere from 0-60 seconds of silence between each; to concentrate on what I'm doing/saying here. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused (and yes, I reread before posting!). Put simply:

1.) Moridin may/may not remember past lives:

a.) If he does, why would he refer specifically to three games that existed during the Age of Legends and zero from any Age prior?

b.) If he doesn't, ignore what I was talking about entirely, because what I'd written was only relevant if he does.

2.) I was not saying that any of the games mentioned could not have existed prior to the AoL, I was giving the evidence that we have that states that:

a.) Everybody in Randland could potentially play stones/no'ri.

b.) Only 9 people in Randland could potentially play sha'rah.

c.) At least 2 people (Moridin/Semirhage) in Randland could potentially play tcheran.

3.) Using the "stones -> no'ri -> Go" example, even if we assume that the rules for said games are exactly the same for each (across the Ages), the name has changed. So:

a.) If the same is/would be true for sha'rah/tcheran, why wouldn't:

1. Anyone in Randland (other than AoLers) have mentioned the existence of these games (or any game with similar rules that is known by a different name)?

2. Moridin have mentioned (assuming access to previous lives' memories) different names for either of these two games?

That's it.

So we've established that Moridin probably doesn't have first-hand access to past-life memories, so my entire discussion topic (I don't consider it an argument or a theory, but to each his/her own) is invalid and/or irrelevant. Everything I'd written was in response to the quote of Ishara's that I'd used at the beginning of that post.

Secondarily, we've established that there's nothing to say that either of the two games sha'rah/tcheran do/do not exist in any form in any Age but the AoL. Done. Case closed. Thank you all for participating.

Oh, and ignore my crappy attempt at an outline here in your comments, if you please. This format doesn't work well for it (no indentation possible) and I couldn't come up with a "3b" to round it out. C'est la vie. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills and all that.

In response to some of your points, I don't think any one is actively arguing that Moridin remembers past lives before the AoL. However, that doesn't mean sha'rah and tcheran aren't older games. Remember that the Wheel is cyclical and finding something completely new is very rare. For instance, Wolfbrothers occur on a cyclical basis and even if they didn't exist in the directly previous age, they're still present in the past.

There are certain constants in the Pattern that are present in all Ages, mainly the war between Light/Shadow. I believe that culture, philosophy, and beliefs have over time been modeled on these constants, even if the players or thinkers don't even remember themselves. For instance, Snakes and Foxes is a simple children's game, but is at least partially based on something much more significant and few people are even aware of. It's a question of causality. Rather Moridin thinking in terms of sha'rah because it fits at the time, I think sha'rah itself is modeled on the struggle between Light/DO and the game rules are significant to reality and hence an answer to the original question in this thread.

With that said, I also believe Moridin is by far the most reliable source of information on the wider nature of the war. Your average Third Ager is ignorant, the Aes Sedai think they aren't but really are, and everyone else more important know bits and pieces, but never the whole picture. Of course, Moridin's view is skewed, but then it's a matter of removing his biases and getting to the information underneath, which is pure gold :). In any case, I can't imagine that Moridin is a master of sha'rah by chance, and that he just happens to like board games.

Oh, thanks for the welcome back Frenzy!