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enak101
05-17-2011, 04:55 AM
If Rand can't kill the dark one then he can't be killed ever.

If he gets sealed permenantly won't it be broken into again like Lanfear did?

If it is a non permenant solution then of course he will come out again.

If Rand seals him away 'permenantly' what happens during the next Third age?

How many times has the wheel of time turned? 300 billion or 5? I guess we can't know.

It seems inevitable that the Dark one will win somehow.

How come he hasn't been able to yet? If it just keeps going on forever and it being outside the pattern he should of figured a way out or he will.

Just some thoughts.

Tamyrlin
05-17-2011, 08:21 AM
On this and related topics Jordan (and Brandon) have been quiet. We have the little from the books and then we have the general idea of the Cosmos and supposedly how it is put together.

We can surmise from the Dark One's statements that he has battled many times with the soul of the Dragon. We can surmise from the softness in the Pattern where Lanfear bored that such a Bore has occurred before. We can surmise that the Wheel allowing for Lanfear and her fellow researchers to create the Bore fit the guidelines/parameters given/set for the Wheel. Why would the Wheel allow for it's own potential destruction? Therefore, why would the Creator have set parameters that allow the Wheel to allow for its potential destruction? Is the Creator hoping the system of the Wheel will eventually create a solution to the problem of the Dark One? What else would/could be its purpose? Why a closed, repetitive system with small variations per Turning?

I wonder how much of this Jordan worked out in the development of his system.

Matt: Did the Creator or does the Creator use the One Power to create?
Brandon: RAFO.
Matt: Can it be said that the Pattern was created by and infused with the One Power?
Brandon: RAFO.
Matt: I know youíll RAFO this one but Iíll ask it anyway. Does the Creator, for a lack of a better word, 'weave' the One Power?
Brandon: RAFO.
Matt: Ok. Iíll jump off the Creator for the moment...
Brandon: How about this, I do know . . . Robert Jordan . . . there are answers to these things that you are wanting to know . . .
Matt: Do you believe they ever will be discussed, like Encyclopedia type of things, or do you believe . . .
Brandon: He did not want to leave explicit answers about a lot of these things. There will be hints. So, they are a double RAFO because they are the sort of things Robert Jordan did not like to answer and they could spoil things [ . . . ] Double RAFO.
[Hah - I got a DRAFO]
Matt: Ok, so, what is then the nature of the Dark Oneís relationship with the True Power? In other words . . . is he the Power or it is separate like the One Power?
Brandon: When people bored into his prison they were searching for a new source of power, they found him. Alright? Now, that leaves a strong implication that the True Power is the essence of the Dark One. The True Power when it is used rips apart the Pattern to rebuild it as it desires. The True Power is very destructive to the Pattern. It leaves scars on the Pattern. Robert Jordan said in an interview or maybe it was actually in the books, when you make a gateway with the True Power you are actually ripping a hole in the Pattern and going somewhere else. When you are using the True Power that is what you are doing, it is contrary to the Pattern. That is not a direct answer to your question but I think there are enough implications in there that certain things can be discussed.

Brandon said that there are answers. Although, if you notice that the True Power can destroy the Pattern, what is the Power used to create the Dark One's Prison that the True Power cannot destroy, but that the One Power can destroy?

ChubbyAiel
05-17-2011, 08:58 AM
It seems inevitable that the Dark one will win somehow.

I think that is presented as Moridin's reason for following the Dark One, isn't it? He's going to win eventually, so why oppose him and only draw out strife and suffering?

How come he hasn't been able to yet? If it just keeps going on forever and it being outside the pattern he should of figured a way out or he will.

Maybe. But with Rand's revelation giving him access to old memories, etc, maybe The Dragon's understanding of what he should do develops each time as well. Yes, the Dark One is basically a god so you would think he would be more advanced than a human being, but maybe this is countered by the fact that he is never fully free of his prison, and therefore never fully able to exploit his "godhood", while The Dragon is better placed to act.

There is also much we don't know, such as what sort of condition is the Dark One in when his prison is first breached in any turning of the Wheel? Is he bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to go immediately or does the isolation of the prison make him unaware of developments in the world, and make him lethargic as if he's just woken from hibernation? If the latter is the case, then on top of having a limited capacity to act directly on Creation due to a relatively small bore, he might be in a condition where the initiative lies very much with the Dragon.

Ancalagon
05-17-2011, 09:23 AM
The most important thing we dont know is how the Dark One can actually win. A terrible war was waged for 100 years in the AOL, and still he did not win. What could he require that he could not get in 100 years?

My guess is that he needs help from the Dragon. The Dragon is both saviour and destroyer - if he ever sided with the DO, it would be the end of the Pattern. Thats why he has never won so far - he can cause terrible destruction, but thankfully has never got the champion of the Light to join his side.

My other guess is that the Light can never kill the DO because he is necessary for the survival of the Pattern somehow. Killing him is probably only possible with the destruction of the Pattern. Perhaps the DO is the personification of the Pattern's tendency to attempt to unravel itself? Its a dark side of the pattern.

Zombie Sammael
05-17-2011, 10:28 AM
I've just gotten to the point in my re-read where Balefire is first introduced, and it did make me wonder: what would happen if the Dark One was balefired? Nothing? If something, then what? Balefire appears to be the purest expression of the One Power within the world, requiring all five powers combined to produce the effect. of course, it can also be created using the True Power. What effect would such a weave have upon a being that by its nature exists outside the pattern?

The Unreasoner
05-17-2011, 10:39 AM
Apparently the amount of balefire needed would destroy the world, although I am convinced that this really is the "Last" Battle.

One could make an educated guess as to the number of Turnings by assigning probabilities to rarer events of Birgitte's life and comparing it with remembered frequency. Of course this assumes a perfect memory, and we have no idea how long it takes to become a 'hero'.

Elmindreada
05-17-2011, 11:02 AM
I've just gotten to the point in my re-read where Balefire is first introduced, and it did make me wonder: what would happen if the Dark One was balefired?

In addition to The Unreasoner's point,there isn't enough... concrete substance to the DO that would allow him/it to be balefired. He can't be burned out of the Pattern if he doesn't exist in it in the first place.

Balefire appears to be the purest expression of the One Power within the world, requiring all five powers combined to produce the effect. of course, it can also be created using the True Power.

Would there be a difference between balefire created by the OP vs the TP? OP balefire already burns a thread from the Pattern. I can't imagine a more destructive weave unless TP balefire burns someone out to the point of never being reborn... But that's a bit off-topic and random speculation on my part. :)

Davian93
05-17-2011, 11:03 AM
I would guess that even the DO doesn't actually know what is required to break free. Afterall, he's never actually been successful at it so its a possibility he's completely wrong. If anything, the Dragon knows more because the Light keeps winning cycle after cycle after cycle.

nameless
05-17-2011, 11:20 AM
The bit from the very end of Towers of Midnight about "the shadow in every man's mind" suggests to me that the Dark One's existence is an inevitable byproduct of the existence of life (or maybe intelligence or maybe even the Pattern itself). I'd guess that if the Dark One were balefired, the vacuum it left behind would implode the entire Pattern.

Some off-the-top-of-my-head speculation:
The 3rd Age is roughly 3,000 years long. If every Age is about the same duration, that makes each turning of the Wheel roughly 20,000 years. As a quick check for this estimate, we know that 1 turning is long enough that every record of what happened at the same point of the last turning is completely lost. Legend fades to myth and all that. In the real world, we have legends going back from 1,000-3,000 years ago (King Arthur back to the Trojan War) and myths going as far back as around 7,000 years, which is the oldest writing of any kind that anyone has ever figured out how to read. This seems to suggest a pattern of 1 spoke away = Legend, 2 spokes away = Myth, 3+ spokes away = forgotten. 20,000 years ago roughly corresponds to the last ice age, which could be the equivalent of the weather upheavals caused by the Dark One's influence on the Pattern. This could also correspond to the wolves' ancestral memories of hunting alongside humans through fields of ice.

Davian93
05-17-2011, 11:24 AM
The 3000 years thing is exact only for the 3rd Age. Each Age is however long it needs to be. The fact that the 3rd Age has lasted about 3500 years (end of Breaking until Pres) means nothing on extrapolating out the other 6 Ages.

Crispin's Crispian
05-17-2011, 11:47 AM
In addition to The Unreasoner's point,there isn't enough... concrete substance to the DO that would allow him/it to be balefired. He can't be burned out of the Pattern if he doesn't exist in it in the first place.
Yes, this. The Dark One is imprisoned outside the Pattern, so the best balefire could do is maybe widen the Bore?

As for the infinity of the Pattern, I'm one who's always believed this could be the last Turning. I do fully acknowledge that Robert Jordan said there was nothing special about this particular Turning. :D It's just going to be a bit of a let-down if Rand suddenly decides he has to settle for imprisoning the Dark One imperfectly again. But maybe that's the point. The destructive essence of the Dark One is such that any prison made with the Pattern will necessarily weaken.

Zombie Sammael
05-17-2011, 02:04 PM
RJ: No . . . Every Age is repeated, there is nothing that makes this Age any different from any other turnings of the Wheel. The Wheel is endless.

I have always felt that this quote has been taken to mean far more than it actually does. Just because there is nothing intrinsically different about this age doesn't mean something special or unusual can't happen within the age. There doesn't have to be anything intrinsically unusual about the time period for this to be the time when the Dragon turns to the Shadow or the Dark One breaks free.

Although, I do hate the notion that the Wheel will be broken and boring linear time will come into force.

Weird Harold
05-17-2011, 02:05 PM
If Rand can't kill the dark one then he can't be killed ever.

The DO doesn't need to be killed/destroyed, just "denied parole" or "rehabilitated/cured"

If he gets sealed permenantly won't it be broken into again like Lanfear did?

If it is a non permenant solution then of course he will come out again.

The Drilling of the Bore is an inherent feature of the design of the Wheel; a safety valve to relieve pressure within the DO's prison.

I think of this coming "Last Battle" as the verdict after a 3000-4000 year long parole hearing or the conclusion of an annual reevaluation of someone committed for being criminally insane.

To win T'G, Rand just has to say, "Nope, still not rehabilitated/cured. Back to your cell."

If Rand seals him away 'permenantly' what happens during the next Third age?

The entire next Turning will proceed according the the scripts of the seven plays in the playbill rotation. The actors might trade roles, or a play might be titled Tristam and Isolde or West Side Story instead of Romeo and Juliet, but each play will be the same, regardless.


It seems inevitable that the Dark one will win somehow.

How come he hasn't been able to yet? If it just keeps going on forever and it being outside the pattern he should of figured a way out or he will.

The DO can't win without "breaking character" and storming off the stage. The DO's freedom isn't in the script for any Age in the WOT, Rand's "Heroic Sacrifice" is the climax of the third play in the rotation.

RJ said in a very early interview that the greatest gift of the ancient Greeks to mankind was linear time. But I'm pretty sure a line from Hogfather would hold true if Rand simply cut the Wheel so it lays out in a line: "If the Hogfather had died, the Sun would not have come up; A burning ball of gas would have risen in it's place" -- OWTTE.

The design of the Wheel of Time includes Free Will as well as Destiny. Like government, it cannot exist without the will of the people, so T'G is the periodic opportunity for the ultimate expression of Free Will -- choose to continue an ordered existance or choose anarchy and chaos; with just a touch of chaos leading up to the decision so you cn see what you're asking for.

I'm not sure how RJ chose to resolve the question; his comments about this Turning not being special doesn't really say anything about the NEXT Turning being guaranteed.

The Unreasoner
05-17-2011, 02:14 PM
What if the Dragon put either the DO or the rest of the universe into a vacuole and just breaks it off?

enak101
05-17-2011, 05:05 PM
Interesting stuff guys. I believe Ishmael said the dragon has gone to the dark before but he is kind of insane.

nameless
05-17-2011, 05:54 PM
I think in the times the Dragon went over someone on the Light side killed him before he had a chance to do any real damage. RJ said in interviews that there have been stalemates like that in the past.

There's also the possibility of the Dragon switching sides and the Light still winning if we use sha'rah as a model. You can control the Fisher piece and still lose if the other side forces it into a position where it will self-destruct and take you out along with it, which is what Moridin tried to do in the Gathering Storm.

enak101
05-17-2011, 06:15 PM
I meant what would happen in the next third age if Rand killed the dark one or made the perfect seal. There would be no need for a dragon. Would the fourth age come along and then the fifth etc with no troubles till they kept super advanced tech and powerful OP race of people with no DO or evil. Similar to the AOL but for every age. I can't imagine much evil IF the dark one gets defeated.

nameless
05-17-2011, 06:54 PM
There's still the conflict of individuality vs. order that the Arthur Hawkwing soul gets spun out to fight in, various non-Shadow related evils such as whatever Mordeth found that created Shadar Logoth, the Cold War event that was the seed for the Mosk/Mercia story, and all the other 6 spokes of the Wheel that probably don't have anything to do with the Dark One. Of course, if linear time were re-established there would be no way to predict what would happen since the old patterns from previous turnings would no longer apply.

The Unreasoner
05-17-2011, 11:13 PM
I have always felt that this quote has been taken to mean far more than it actually does. Just because there is nothing intrinsically different about this age doesn't mean something special or unusual can't happen within the age. There doesn't have to be anything intrinsically unusual about the time period for this to be the time when the Dragon turns to the Shadow or the Dark One breaks free.

Although, I do hate the notion that the Wheel will be broken and boring linear time will come into force.

I find this hilarious. We stand on opposite sides of the likable character spectrum, but fully agree on this.

Weird Harold
05-18-2011, 12:35 AM
I meant what would happen in the next third age if Rand killed the dark one or made the perfect seal. There would be no need for a dragon. Would the fourth age come along and then the fifth etc with no troubles till they kept super advanced tech and powerful OP race of people with no DO or evil. Similar to the AOL but for every age. I can't imagine much evil IF the dark one gets defeated.
The DO's prison has never been "perfect" and probably can't be made perfect. To create a "perfect" prison, or to kill the DO would require Rand to be better/more powerful than the Creator. I do NOT think that's going to happen -- or could happen.

looqas
05-18-2011, 01:40 AM
If as said DO vs Dragon has been the feature with countless times then DO must the most depressed person out there. Dragon at least reborns without memories (usually), but DO remembers all the turnings and failings.

If Wheel comes up whatever solution there is at hand to keep DO sidelined then DO is as much as a puppet as Dragon is.

Also when DO is supposed to exist outside of the pattern the the Bore a door/gateway for him to Randland, thus the prison is actually just means of him denying access and not 6 walled cubicle as a word prison springs to mind.

ChubbyAiel
05-18-2011, 05:52 AM
I meant what would happen in the next third age if Rand killed the dark one...

There is no reason to think that Rand can kill the Dark One. If he is basically a god (though less powerful than the Creator), talking about his death would be like talking about killing the Creator. There is no reason to think it is possible at the moment.

Throughout the story, we are told that human souls are immortal and are destined to be born again and again. I struggle to see how something as powerful and godlike as the Dark One could be "less immortal" than a human insofar as it might be killed forever and never come back.

...or made the perfect seal.

It depends what you mean by "the perfect seal". If you mean that Rand remakes that part of the prison instead of just patching it up as Fel hinted at, that prison could still be breached from the outside, just like Lanfear did in the Age of Legends. Therefore, you couldn't be sure the Dark One would be sealed away forever.

If you mean that Rand could make the prison completely impenetrable - again, there's no reason to think such a thing is possible, since the Creator didn't do it in the first place. Rand is working with the One Power, something other people have access to. If he can build something with the Power, someone else can break it with the Power. The principles are the same as the real world - if you build something someone else can knock it down, if you dig a hole someone else can fill it in - provided they have the right tools.

There would be no need for a dragon. Would the fourth age come along and then the fifth etc with no troubles till they kept super advanced tech and powerful OP race of people with no DO or evil. Similar to the AOL but for every age. I can't imagine much evil IF the dark one gets defeated.

Even if the Dragon somehow kills the Dark One or permanently imprisons him it wouldn't comepletely irradicate evil in the world. People still have evil impulses and act upon them. Maybe the Dragon could still be born again when humanity was struggling amongst itself, and had thus created its own hour of need. But I don't think this is likely to happen, as I believe the Dark One will never be removed the scene permanently.

Weird Harold
05-18-2011, 12:31 PM
If you mean that Rand could make the prison completely impenetrable - again, there's no reason to think such a thing is possible, since the Creator didn't do it in the first place.

Or that if it is possible, it would be the right thing to do.

I've often compared the drilling of the Bore as the Wheel's "safety valve," releasing built up pressure in the DO's prison periodically. That could be almost literally true, in that a "perfect seal" would be like tying down the safety valve on a steam engine and result in short term gains and long term total distruction.

FelixPax
05-19-2011, 04:07 PM
Brandon said that there are answers. Although, if you notice that the True Power can destroy the Pattern, what is the Power used to create the Dark One's Prison that the True Power cannot destroy, but that the One Power can destroy?

What Power?

A combination of "Love", "Memory", "Imagination" ultimately of a Dreamer (or two)... with a dash of saidar & saidin used together via a linked circle (of three).


The Dark One does not exist is various Mirror Worlds, that is one key to the outcome of AMoL book.


Going out on a limb, who aids the "Creator" to Create the "World"?

Nynaeve al'Meara.


How? By Dreaming within a Dream of a World without the Dark One's presents existing at all.

In the very same way, Nynaeve will bring Lan BACK TO LIFE, Nynaeve will bring the World without the Dark One back to life. By a Dream.


Symbolically speaking, has anyone else noticed how the Green Man's Oak Tree formed around the body of a sleeping Nynaeve at the end of 'The Eye of the World' book?

A symbol of Life and Renewal, is created around the boundaries of Nynaeve's own body & mind: The Green Man's Tree, in the Blight.

Marie Curie 7
05-21-2011, 06:53 PM
I've just gotten to the point in my re-read where Balefire is first introduced, and it did make me wonder: what would happen if the Dark One was balefired? Nothing? If something, then what? Balefire appears to be the purest expression of the One Power within the world, requiring all five powers combined to produce the effect. of course, it can also be created using the True Power. What effect would such a weave have upon a being that by its nature exists outside the pattern?

Could you explain where you got the idea that balefire requires all five powers? Because it seems like TGS contradicts that:

TITLE: Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 47 - The One He Lost

"Rand," Tam said, frowning. "You should know better thanó"

"BE SILENT!" Rand bellowed, throwing Tam to the floor with a flow of Air. Rand wrestled with his rage on one side and saidin on the other. They threatened to crush him between them.

This was why he needed to be strong. Couldn't they see? How could a man laugh when confronted by forces like these?

"I am the Dragon Reborn!" Rand roared at saidin, at Tam, at Cadsuane, at the Creator himself. "I will not be your pawn!" He pointed at Tam with the access key. His father lay on the stone floor of the balcony. "You come from Cadsuane, pretending to show me affection. But you unwind another of her strings to tie about my throat! Can I not be free of you all?"

He had lost control. But he didn't care. They wanted him to feel. He would feel, then! They wanted him to laugh? He would laugh as they burned!

Screaming at them all, he wove threads of Air and Fire. Lews Therin howled in his head, saidin tried to destroy both of them, and the quiet voice inside Rand's heart vanished.

A prick of light grew in front of Rand, sprouting from the center of the access key. The weaves for balefire spun before him, and the access key grew brighter as he drew in more power.

By that light, Rand saw his father's face, looking up at him.

Terrified.

What am I doing?

Rand began to shake, the balefire unraveling before he had time to loose it. He stumbled backward in horror.

From this quote, it looks like only Air and Fire are used to create balefire.

Zombie Sammael
05-21-2011, 08:38 PM
Could you explain where you got the idea that balefire requires all five powers? Because it seems like TGS contradicts that:



From this quote, it looks like only Air and Fire are used to create balefire.

I think the pre-TGS theory of Balefire was that it was pure OP, thus all five powers. Looks like it's dead in the water!