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Ishara
07-15-2011, 06:25 PM
To recap the concept:

First, pop over here (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5669) for the main thread, to see our list of upcoming characters.

I’d like discussions to link back to any existing theories, threads and ideas, but let’s try and integrate them into new theories, thoughts and ideas okay? This is less to do with whether we “like” characters – we are Theorylanders, and we are not vapid. If you want to be a Theorylander, practice thinking critically and objectively. Don’t worry, we’ll help!

(And remember: a new character of the week does preclude continuing discussion on past topics!)

This week, we'll be discussing: Shaidar Haran

One of the biggest baddies on the playing field, this Shade is somewhat of an anomaly. RJ has acknowledged that SH as had previous incarnations, versions if you will, from as far back as Whitebridge in tEotW. Which, is weird. And unheard of in any other Shadowspawn. Our own Winespring Brother had RJ confirm that:
It's as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature - it is the Dark One in shadowy form.

From the WoT Interview Database,
Week 23 Question: Was the Fade who visited Jaichim Carridin in the Prologue of The Dragon Reborn an early version of Shaidar Haran? Its response that it likes to keep an eye on 'all who serve me' and its apparent sense of humour are behaviour atypical of a Fade.

Robert Jordan Answers: I was wondering who would spot that. Shadar Haran Version 0.5! The Dark One doesn't get it spot on the first time every time.

This scary thing has a sense of humour (always a BAD thing to find in evil beings), powers that have not yet been fully explored and is, or has, the ear and the hand of the Dark One, as we have seen. Shaidar Haran has special power over those that swear to the Dark One, and the Forsaken in particular. Basically, he's a big creep who scares even the really Bad Guys.

How did he come about? Was he 'distilled' like Fain until he became something more? Was it a JRRT kind of 'super-orc (which have real names which escape me) kind of event? RJ only ever RAFO'd this, so we can only speculate...

Why did the Dark One create or augment a shadow spawn when he had the super-powerful, albeit occasionally bumbling and rapidly dwindling Forsaken?

Ever wonder what interaction between Moridin and Shadar Haran would be like? Who would break eye contact first?

Will he fight for the Dark One as proxy in the Last Battle?

How does one kill (can one kill) the über-Fade?

Kimon
07-15-2011, 06:33 PM
To recap the concept:

First, pop over here (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5669) for the main thread, to see our list of upcoming characters.

I’d like discussions to link back to any existing theories, threads and ideas, but let’s try and integrate them into new theories, thoughts and ideas okay? This is less to do with whether we “like” characters – we are Theorylanders, and we are not vapid. If you want to be a Theorylander, practice thinking critically and objectively. Don’t worry, we’ll help!

(And remember: a new character of the week does preclude continuing discussion on past topics!)

This week, we'll be discussing: Shaidar Haran

One of the biggest baddies on the playing field, this Shade is somewhat of an anomaly. RJ has acknowledged that SH as had previous incarnations, versions if you will, from as far back as Whitebridge in tEotW. Which, is weird. And unheard of in any other Shadowspawn. Our own Winespring Brother had RJ confirm that:




This scary thing has a sense of humour (always a BAD thing to find in evil beings), powers that have not yet been fully explored and is, or has, the ear and the hand of the Dark One, as we have seen. Shaidar Haran has special power over those that swear to the Dark One, and the Forsaken in particular. Basically, he's a big creep who scares even the really Bad Guys.

How did he come about? Was he 'distilled' like Fain until he became something more? Was it a JRRT kind of 'super-orc (which have real names which escape me) kind of event? RJ only ever RAFO'd this, so we can only speculate...

Why did the Dark One create or augment a shadow spawn when he had the super-powerful, albeit occasionally bumbling and rapidly dwindling Forsaken?

Ever wonder what interaction between Moridin and Shadar Haran would be like? Who would break eye contact first?

Will he fight for the Dark One as proxy in the Last Battle?

How does one kill (can one kill) the über-Fade?

He might just face Rand as the DO's avatar, but I can't help but think that it might be more fitting for him to end up being Lan's big prize. I mean Moiraine got Be'lal, and then Lanfear. Nynaeve got Moghedien. Egwene got Mesaana. Perrin got (and still has...) Slayer. Mat got Couladin and the finn. Logain presumably will get Taim. Rand got everyone else, and still has to face Demandred and Moridin. Lan seems left out.

The Unreasoner
07-15-2011, 10:13 PM
I found it fascinating that SH wanted Rand dead long before Elan did.

Also, maybe the double dawn will be necessary to make SH admit he is dead?

Lupusdeusest
07-16-2011, 06:33 AM
Uruk-hai?

I hope we learn of more "special" abilities.
Sorry, decaffeinated

FelixPax
07-16-2011, 09:19 AM
Quickly, what do I think of when I read Shaidar Haran name?


Viper
Serpents
Pit of Vipers
Domination
Torture
Death
Dream
Out of Time
Dim Smokey Wind
Black Light
Strong Mind
Ice Falling
Storm

The body bends to the soul, but the mind bends to the body.--Shaidar Haran (LoC, Prologue)

Shaidar Haren, the Dark One's limited essence in a body form? From nothing to something?

padfoot89
07-16-2011, 01:37 PM
He might just face Rand as the DO's avatar, but I can't help but think that it might be more fitting for him to end up being Lan's big prize. I mean Moiraine got Be'lal, and then Lanfear. Nynaeve got Moghedien. Egwene got Mesaana. Perrin got (and still has...) Slayer. Mat got Couladin and the finn. Logain presumably will get Taim. Rand got everyone else, and still has to face Demandred and Moridin. Lan seems left out.

You left out poor Fain. I've always thought SH would get beat by Fain, though I like the idea of Lan getting him.
Meanwhile Mat also got the gholam...

Kimon
07-16-2011, 01:49 PM
You left out poor Fain. I've always thought SH would get beat by Fain, though I like the idea of Lan getting him.
Meanwhile Mat also got the gholam...

Mat should get Fain.

Ishara
07-16-2011, 09:33 PM
Uruk-hai?

That's the one! Thanks. :)

What do we think about this?
Form the WoT Interview Database
Q: You mention that Shaidar Haran has quite a few limitations on his power. Can you give us a few concrete examples of these limitations?
A: Shaidar Haran needs a minion to do most of his work for him. Elza was essential to Shaidar Haran in getting things done.
Because if he can't even have put the collar on Rand, then how can he possibly fight like a real Fade?

Also:
From the WoT Interview DB:
WinespringBrother: Is Shaidar Haran an avatar to the world beyond the Bore?
Jordan: I am not certain you can really call him an avatar because I generally think of an avatar as having exactly the same powers as, and it is not, Shaidar Haran does not have nearly as much power as the Dark One. It's as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature - it is the Dark One in shadowy form.

So - not an avatar in the strictest sense of the word.

Let's also cast our minds back to the other incarnations of Shaidar Haran please. We saw 0.5 in Whitebridge - where else have we seen other incarnations? Jaichim Carridin did, that's for sure...

Sei'taer
07-16-2011, 11:18 PM
I need to do a reread. I had forgotten about the 0.5 incident. Maybe I should start now and I'll be finished sometime around Jordancon...maybe I'm too lazy to do that though.

JOS
07-17-2011, 06:20 PM
Let's also cast our minds back to the other incarnations of Shaidar Haran please. We saw 0.5 in Whitebridge - where else have we seen other incarnations? Jaichim Carridin did, that's for sure...

This got me to thinking, if there have been a couple incarnations of Shaidar Haran already, the current limited one may not be the one that shows up at TG. I think the DO is trying to develop an avatar in the sense that RJ mentioned:

RJ: I am not certain you can really call him an avatar because I generally think of an avatar as having exactly the same powers as, and it is not . . .

This also leads me to the "POV" (I use this term loosely, as it was kind of third person) of Shaidar Haran in aCoS, Spears (are there any other SH POV's out there? I am looking for them):

The Myrddraal moved from the deeper shadows, becoming visible ... it could distinguish saidin from saidar by the smell ... No other Myrddraal could smell that difference. Shaidar Haran was like no other Myrddraal... Angry black flames raced down the spear haft from Shaidar Haran's hand, the hand of the Hand of the Shadow. In an instant the wooden haft was charred and twisted; the spearhead dropped off. The Myrddraal let the blackened stick fall and dusted soot from its palm. If Sammael served chaos, then -all was well. If not....
A sudden ache climbed the back of its neck; a faint weakness washed along its limbs. Too long away from Shayol Ghul. That tie had to be severed somehow. With a snarl, it turned to find the edge of shadow that it needed. The day was coming. It would come.

There is a definite personality and pattern of thought. the question is, is it Shaidar Haran or the DO who's thoughts we see? I think either way, the DO will find a way to make Shaidar Haran 3.0, or whatever version we are on. It could be more of an avatar, if not at the least some of the weaknesses and limitations we have seen thus far will be addressed.

If the DO has to commit more and more of his essence or being to Shaidar Haran, perhaps he will become more vunerable in the physical world, allowing himself to be defeated, or at least smacked down for a couple ages.

Southpaw2012
07-17-2011, 11:05 PM
I don't think RJ was necessarily saying he WASNT an avatar right? I think he was just clarifying that he isn't an avatar in the sense that he isn't the DO himself. Less powers but still an image and somewhat body for the DO. That question cracked me up of who would look away first between Moridin and SH. In my opinion, Moridin has more authority and that's why when SH shows up, he tortures the Forsaken. It's under orders from Moridin and he's having fun with the methods SH uses

jana
07-18-2011, 02:53 AM
CENN WILL KILL HIM! Cenn Buick

GonzoTheGreat
07-18-2011, 04:07 AM
So - not an avatar in the strictest sense of the word.Well, not an avatar in the sense which RJ thought the word had. Actually, if you look at the way in which the word was (and is) used in Hinduism, then there are two different versions of avatars:
When Vishnu himself descends, he is called sakshat or shaktyavesa-avatara, a direct incarnation of God. But when he does not incarnate directly, but indirectly empowers some living entity to represent him, that living entity is called an indirect or avesa avatar.So SH might be considered an avesa avatar of the DO.

Apart, of course, from the fact that RJ explicitly said that SH is not an avatar. Which raises the interesting question: in discussions on WOT, do RJ's opinions trump reality?

Ishara
07-18-2011, 07:21 AM
Hmmm. But Gonzo, that makes me wonder. RJ clearly was familiar with Eastern religions and mythology, and I feel like he didn't use his words casually, expecially in interviews. Maybe I'm ascribing too much there, but I always got the sense that he wouldn't use the word without knowing exactly what it meant.

But, let's play this out.

Let's say that the Dark One indirectly empowered some version of Shaidar Haran (the living entity) to represent him.

First, is Shaidar Haran a Myrdraal in the sense that we know? They die obviously, and we know that they are born (of a Trolloc mother). So, how did Shaidar Haran become "special?" He's way bigger than a normal Myrdraal - did he start off that way, born of a Trolloc mother? Or was he a "normal" Myrdraal who was changed from within when imbued by the Dark One?

Second, if the current Shaidar Haran is the third (or fourth) version, what happened to the earlier versions? can they co-exist? Does the Dark One start on version 3.5 as version 3 exists, or does he wait for version 3 to die/ be killed first? How can one kill a Shaidar Haran?

I have visions of Rand's battle with the Mirror Rands in the Stone, but with multiple versions of Shaidar Haran, and can't help but think that his training against mobs of swordsmen will come in handy....

Third, How, genetically speaking, can you build upon a pre-existing mold of Shaidar Haran? If you were breeding, then you use the new, superior traits to mate with other desirable traits and make something that has both. But as far as we know, you can't breed Trolloc for the specific purpose of Myrdraal - they're more like a by-product of breeding Trollocs. So, how does the Dark One make more minions? Is he using the same female Trolloc and mating the previsou versions to it? (There's a fun thought for Monday morning...)

GonzoTheGreat
07-18-2011, 07:44 AM
So, how does the Dark One make more minions?Obvious: he saidared it. :D

Maybe the DO has seen the Matrix (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Smith)?

Zombie Sammael
07-18-2011, 07:46 AM
As someone who chooses his words and uses language so carefully, it would be logical to assume that RJ would understand there may be multiple meanings to a word and would choose to use the most commonly understood one, in a conversation with the general public, for instance, hence why he would say Shaidar Haran is not an avatar in the sense we normally understand the term, but he could still be Gonzo's second type - RJ would just avoid using that in order not to confuse the audience. He's normally very clear except when he's deliberately not - see the debate over the meaning of "Translation" in "Book of Translation" for example.

JOS
07-18-2011, 10:31 AM
Second, if the current Shaidar Haran is the third (or fourth) version, what happened to the earlier versions? can they co-exist? Does the Dark One start on version 3.5 as version 3 exists, or does he wait for version 3 to die/ be killed first? How can one kill a Shaidar Haran?...

...Third, How, genetically speaking, can you build upon a pre-existing mold of Shaidar Haran? If you were breeding, then you use the new, superior traits to mate with other desirable traits and make something that has both. But as far as we know, you can't breed Trolloc for the specific purpose of Myrdraal - they're more like a by-product of breeding Trollocs. So, how does the Dark One make more minions?

What if he is using the same entity or body each time? Just taking SH into the shop for a tune-up, or elective surgery. Probably involves killing a bunch of borderlanders or doing something twisted with trollocs whether it is a new body or not.

On another note, do trollocs have gender? Haven't seen anything to prove it either way yet.

Zombie Sammael
07-18-2011, 11:00 AM
On another note, do trollocs have gender? Haven't seen anything to prove it either way yet.

The lady trollocs are all in the Blight being pregnant all the time. Apparently they enjoy it.

The big question is where are the female Myrddraal...

GonzoTheGreat
07-18-2011, 11:46 AM
The big question is where are the female Myrddraal...Barefoot, in the kitchen. That's what division of labor is all about, isn't it?
Of course, this means that the Fade who surprised Rand in Baerlon (TEOTW, Ch. 17) was a girl.

Kimon
07-18-2011, 12:09 PM
The lady trollocs are all in the Blight being pregnant all the time. Apparently they enjoy it.

The big question is where are the female Myrddraal...

BWB:

So far as it is known, all Myrddraal are male, probably sterile due to their hybrid nature...

Juan
07-18-2011, 12:25 PM
As someone who chooses his words and uses language so carefully, it would be logical to assume that RJ would understand there may be multiple meanings to a word and would choose to use the most commonly understood one, in a conversation with the general public, for instance, hence why he would say Shaidar Haran is not an avatar in the sense we normally understand the term, but he could still be Gonzo's second type - RJ would just avoid using that in order not to confuse the audience. He's normally very clear except when he's deliberately not - see the debate over the meaning of "Translation" in "Book of Translation" for example.

Yep, RJ was infallible. He knew everything and was never wrong. Those countless typos he has in his book were also intentional/deliberate since he chooses his words very carefully...

Zombie Sammael
07-18-2011, 12:59 PM
Yep, RJ was infallible. He knew everything and was never wrong. Those countless typos he has in his book were also intentional/deliberate since he chooses his words very carefully...

How was that even in any way connected to what I said? I didn't say RJ was infallible - I said he'd choose the most commonly understood definition of a word. I don't know why you've decided to attack me over this but it was completely uncalled for.

Ishara
07-18-2011, 02:55 PM
Agreed. Juan, if you're not going to post with intent to speak to something remotely related to the OP, then please don't bother.

greatwolf
07-18-2011, 02:59 PM
There was a Fade in aCoS that was angry about being tied to shayol Ghul but I can't find it. It may be that the SH prototypes are fairly independent of will. In that sense, they may not be avatars at all.

Two things I'd like to know. First is SH outside the pattern? As in being connected to the DO and also ultilizing the TP. Did we ever agree if the TP puts one outside the pattern?

Second Q is what are his (SH) limits? Is he one or many?

I'm guessing SH came about from a breeding experiment, mixing a channeler with the trolloc stock resulting in a fade that can channel. Definitely some experiments must have been going on at some point that resulted in the Isam/Luc hybrid. And that was even before Aginor was transmigrated.

GonzoTheGreat
07-18-2011, 03:33 PM
There was a Fade in aCoS that was angry about being tied to shayol Ghul but I can't find it. It may be that the SH prototypes are fairly independent of will. In that sense, they may not be avatars at all.Is this the passage you're thinking of?
The Myrddraal moved from the deeper shadows, becoming visible. In its eyes, the gateways had left a residue - three patches of glowing mist. It could not tell one flow from another, but it could distinguish saidin from saidar by the smell. Saidin smelled like the sharp edge of a knife, the point of a thorn. Saidar smelled soft, but like something that would grow harder the harder it was pressed. No other Myrddraal could smell that difference. Shaidar Haran was like no other Myrddraal.

Picking up a discarded spear, Shaidar Haran used it to upend the bag Sammael had discarded, and then to stir the bits of stone that fell out. Much was happening outside the plan. Would these events churn chaos, or...

Angry black flames raced down the spear haft from Shaidar Haran’s hand, the hand of the Hand of the Shadow. In an instant the wooden haft was charred and twisted; the spearhead dropped off. The Myrddraal let the blackened stick fall and dusted soot from its palm. If Sammael served chaos, then all was well. If not...

A sudden ache climbed the back of its neck; a faint weakness washed along its limbs. Too long away from Shayol Ghul. That tie had to be severed somehow. With a snarl, it turned to find the edge of shadow that it needed. The day was coming. It would come.

Southpaw2012
07-18-2011, 04:09 PM
you could blame the typos more on the editing than RJ himself since it's his job to write the story and the editors job to make sure grammer is correct.

Crispin's Crispian
07-18-2011, 05:27 PM
Is this the passage you're thinking of?

If so, I've always argued that it doesn't indicate Shaidar Haran has a will independent of the Dark One. If Shaidar Haran is some sort of avatar, the Dark One would still want him to be able to roam freely away from Shayol Ghul. If anything, it's indirect and very circumstantial evidence that Shaidar Haran is tied directly to Big Bad--it still suffers the limitations of the prison.

Juan
07-18-2011, 05:57 PM
@zombie and ishara
No need to get so defensive-- it's all good. All I'm saying I'd that in the previous passage both of you wrote whether intentional or not, you come across as if saying how great and perfect RJ is. You're not the only ones that come across this way but it really bothers me because you should remember that he's a human being like everyone else. It's like reading a metaphor and other literary tools into everything he does. That's ridiculous. Again just saying keep the whole RJ is human in mind. ;)

I know you didn't outright say he was as describe previously. But you come off that way, whether intentional or not. I wrote this twice just to clear up any possible confusion. :P

The Unreasoner
07-18-2011, 06:23 PM
@zombie and ishara
No need to get so defensive-- it's all good. All I'm saying I'd that in the previous passage both of you wrote whether intentional or not, you come across as if saying how great and perfect RJ is. You're not the only ones that come across this way but it really bothers me because you should remember that he's a human being like everyone else. It's like reading a metaphor and other literary tools into everything he does. That's ridiculous. Again just saying keep the whole RJ is human in mind. ;)

I know you didn't outright say he was as describe previously. But you come off that way, whether intentional or not. I wrote this twice just to clear up any possible confusion. :P

coming off a metaphysics bender where I learned just how fallible RJ is, I must confess that I laughed.

On topic...
Shaidar Haran appeared to be going to engage Rand at the beginning of TGH, in Fal Dara. Would he have killed him? was he not/never under Ishamael's control? When exactly did Ishamael first approve killing Rand?

Shaidar Haran also seems to be the one who sammael 'can't override'. How long has Shaidar haran wanted rand dead? is he largely independent of the Nae'blis?

Kimon
07-18-2011, 06:31 PM
coming off a metaphysics bender where I learned just how fallible RJ is, I must confess that I laughed.

On topic...
Shaidar Haran appeared to be going to engage Rand at the beginning of TGH, in Fal Dara. Would he have killed him? was he not/never under Ishamael's control? When exactly did Ishamael first approve killing Rand?

Shaidar Haran also seems to be the one who sammael 'can't override'. How long has Shaidar haran wanted rand dead? is he largely independent of the Nae'blis?

Have you ever read Stephen King's The Drawing of the Three? In it Roland Deschain rides around in minds of the three. At first he only can act as an observer, but later learns to take over control of them. I wonder if Shaidar Haran is similar, and if this explains the progression of Shaidar Haran. At first, the DO used him as a passenger, seeing the world through him, but due to the number of still functional seals, could do no more. Then as the seals broke, his ability to assume greater control over his "hand" grew, or perhaps he was able to place more of himself within this Myrddraal vessel. That would make Shaidar Haran similar to an avatar, but not quite, thus allowing for RJ's response.

The Unreasoner
07-18-2011, 06:37 PM
Have you ever read Stephen King's The Drawing of the Three? In it Roland Deschain rides around in minds of the three. At first he only can act as an observer, but later learns to take over control of them. I wonder if Shaidar Haran is similar, and if this explains the progression of Shaidar Haran. At first, the DO used him as a passenger, seeing the world through him, but due to the number of still functional seals, could do no more. Then as the seals broke, his ability to assume greater control over his "hand" grew, or perhaps he was able to place more of himself within this Myrddraal vessel. That would make Shaidar Haran similar to an avatar, but not quite, thus allowing for RJ's response.

and explaining the progressive change in purpose, goals, and personality from that of a blunt instrument to a punisher of the chosen.

never read it, but you planted the necessary seeds for further thought. many thanks.

GonzoTheGreat
07-19-2011, 03:37 AM
On topic...
Shaidar Haran appeared to be going to engage Rand at the beginning of TGH, in Fal Dara. Would he have killed him? was he not/never under Ishamael's control? When exactly did Ishamael first approve killing Rand?Maybe in general, having someone (whether a Forsaken or someone else) kill the Dragon would be bad for the DO, but having the DO defeat the Dragon, no matter when, would be good.
In that case, Ishamael would have had orders not to kill Rand unless it was absolutely necessary, but SH would not hesitate to kill him whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Just like Demandred, who is willing to kill Lews Therin anywhere, anytime, but would be mightily put out if someone else did it.

The Unreasoner
07-19-2011, 03:46 AM
Maybe in general, having someone (whether a Forsaken or someone else) kill the Dragon would be bad for the DO, but having the DO defeat the Dragon, no matter when, would be good.
In that case, Ishamael would have had orders not to kill Rand unless it was absolutely necessary, but SH would not hesitate to kill him whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Just like Demandred, who is willing to kill Lews Therin anywhere, anytime, but would be mightily put out if someone else did it.
So... following the theme that shaidar haran is an (i call it as i see it, words rarely have fixed meanings anyway) avatar of the dark one? for instance, ishamael follows orders, but as SH IS a projection of the DO's will, his actions are always in line with the will of the DO (he is the orders)?

also...
myrdraal aren't sterile, but their sperm kill both human and trolloc ova on contact (an odd thing for RJ to have defined/clarified...I will take it as further confirmation that a LOT of thought was put into the series and its world)

Ishara
07-19-2011, 07:01 AM
@zombie and ishara
No need to get so defensive-- it's all good. All I'm saying I'd that in the previous passage both of you wrote whether intentional or not, you come across as if saying how great and perfect RJ is. You're not the only ones that come across this way but it really bothers me because you should remember that he's a human being like everyone else. It's like reading a metaphor and other literary tools into everything he does. That's ridiculous. Again just saying keep the whole RJ is human in mind. ;)

I know you didn't outright say he was as describe previously. But you come off that way, whether intentional or not. I wrote this twice just to clear up any possible confusion. :P

Explaining yur thoughts as opposed to leaving snarky one-liners is a good way to be sure you're misinterpreted.

Also, LOL. I have *never* suggested that RJ was perfect or infallable. Just that he put a lot of thought into his world, his characters and his plots. He is an author. By way of trade, they choose their words carefully. They have tend to have a better command of the language than most, and in RJ's case this was definite. The man was no dummy. Not perfect, but no dummy either.

Besides which, you should hear what I think about Guy Gavriel Kay if you want me to start preaching on how great and perfect an author is. ;)

So... following the theme that shaidar haran is an (i call it as i see it, words rarely have fixed meanings anyway) avatar of the dark one? for instance, ishamael follows orders, but as SH IS a projection of the DO's will, his actions are always in line with the will of the DO (he is the orders)?

also...
myrdraal aren't sterile, but their sperm kill both human and trolloc ova on contact (an odd thing for RJ to have defined/clarified...I will take it as further confirmation that a LOT of thought was put into the series and its world)
Exactly (to the first bolded section). That is how I interpret that RJ interview answer to WSB.

Quote please (to the second bolded section). This sounds like conjecture, especially in the face of the other quote regarding their sterility.

fdsaf3
07-19-2011, 01:26 PM
If Shaidar Haran is an avatar of the Dark One, why would it seek to break its connection to Shayol Ghul? It seems to me there are two possible answers to this. First, he is NOT strictly speaking an avatar of the Dark One, and seeks a bit of autonomy. Second, he IS an avatar of the Dark One, and was referring to after the Final Battle when he would have more freedom to roam the world due to the Dark One having more free access to touching the world.

If Shaidar Haran is an avatar for the Dark One, we need to consider why he has yet to take an active role in the series instead of relying on underlings to act in his stead. I don't have the books in front of me (on vacation!), but let's consider a possible connection which might explain this. Terez has a theory that the CAPITALIZED VOICE in the climactic battle in the Eye of the World is the Dark One. In the conversation between Rand and The Voice, The Voice states that he (it) cannot interfere. If this is (roughly speaking) a Prime Directive for the Dark One, and if Shaidar Haran is the avatar of the Dark One, then it makes sense that Shaidar Haran has yet to overtly act instead of relying on those who serve him.

That's all I've got for now. I'll post more musings later if I think of anything interesting.

Ishara
07-19-2011, 01:38 PM
If Shaidar Haran is an avatar of the Dark One, why would it seek to break its connection to Shayol Ghul? It seems to me there are two possible answers to this. First, he is NOT strictly speaking an avatar of the Dark One, and seeks a bit of autonomy. Second, he IS an avatar of the Dark One, and was referring to after the Final Battle when he would have more freedom to roam the world due to the Dark One having more free access to touching the world.

If Shaidar Haran is an avatar for the Dark One, we need to consider why he has yet to take an active role in the series instead of relying on underlings to act in his stead. I don't have the books in front of me (on vacation!), but let's consider a possible connection which might explain this. Terez has a theory that the CAPITALIZED VOICE in the climactic battle in the Eye of the World is the Dark One. In the conversation between Rand and The Voice, The Voice states that he (it) cannot interfere. If this is (roughly speaking) a Prime Directive for the Dark One, and if Shaidar Haran is the avatar of the Dark One, then it makes sense that Shaidar Haran has yet to overtly act instead of relying on those who serve him.That's all I've got for now. I'll post more musings later if I think of anything interesting.

Interesting musings...

We have quotes to lead us in the direction that Shaidar Haran is the Dark One in Myrdraal form, as opposed to a Mrydraal made special that seeks its own autonomy.

I believe the desire for more time away from Shayol Ghul is more related to his ability to act more than it is about hating it there. I mean, all the action is in the world, away from Shayol Ghul, so I can't say that I blame him.

As to the acting overtly piece, we also have quotes from Brandon that most actions currently ascribed to Shaidar Haran are actually made by minions, such as Elsa. Case in point, the collar. It's very debatable exactly how much he can actually impose himself on the world around him.

Crispin's Crispian
07-19-2011, 01:38 PM
If Shaidar Haran is an avatar of the Dark One, why would it seek to break its connection to Shayol Ghul?

Why wouldn't it? The connection to Shayol Ghul is a limitation regardless of any level of free will on the part of Shaidar Haran. The Dark One would want his avatar or incarnation to have as much freedom as possible.

Juan
07-19-2011, 02:53 PM
@crisp
Right. I see it akin to an extreme version of the ogier longing. If shaidar haran can't stay away from shayol ghul for prolonged periods of time, it reduces it's effectiveness as avatar/proxy/whatever you wanna call it of the dark one.

looqas
07-19-2011, 03:55 PM
Kimon got me thinking. Maybe SH indeed is controlled more and more by later versions. Maybe the versions are linked to how many seals are broken. So when Rand breaks the remaining ones we see SH = DO's avatar? I've been thinking why DO actually needs anyone to do his work? It's quite similar to why SH needs someone to do his work. Why?

Maybe the battle is coming too soon for DO too?

And why DO did not do whatever he is suppose to do now when the seals are broken, I.e. bore is open again, when he was free last time after Mierin et al drilling the hole last time?

the_collective
07-19-2011, 04:18 PM
Let's also cast our minds back to the other incarnations of Shaidar Haran please. We saw 0.5 in Whitebridge - where else have we seen other incarnations?

We definitely saw this Myrddraal at the Stag and Lion. I present the entire short encounter between Rand and Shaidar Haran v0.5:



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 17: Watchers and Hunters

As he came out of the kitchen, drinking, a shape in dull black started toward him down the length of the hall, raising pale hands to toss back the dark cowl that had hidden the face beneath. The cloak hung motionless as the figure moved, and the face...A man's face, but pasty white, like a slug under a rock, and eyeless. From oily black hair to puffy cheeks was as smooth as an eggshell. Rand choked, spraying milk.

"You are one of them, boy," the Fade said, a hoarse whisper like a file softly drawn across bone.

Dropping the mug, Rand backed away. He wanted to run, but it was all he could do to make his feet take one halting step at a time. He could not break free of that eyeless face; his gaze was held, and his stomach curdled. He tried to shout for help, to scream; his throat was like stone. Every ragged breath hurt.

The Fade glided closer, in no hurry. Its strides had a sinuous, deadly grace, like a viper, the resemblance emphasized by the overlapping black plates of armor down its chest. Thin, bloodless lips curved into a cruel smile, made more mocking by the smooth, pale skin where eyes should have been. The voice made Bornhald's seem warm and soft. "Where are the others? I know they are here. Speak, boy, and I will let you live."

Rand's back struck wood, a wall or a door--he could not make himself look around to see which. Now that his feet had stopped, he could not make them start again. He shivered, watching the Myrddraal slither nearer. His shaking grew harder with every slow stride.

"Speak, I say, or--"

From above came a quick clatter of boots, from the stairs up the hall, and the Myrddraal cut off, whirling. The cloak hung still. For an instant, the Fade's head tilted, as if that gaze could pierce the wooden wall. A sword appeared in a dead-white hand, blade as black as the cloak. The light in the hall seemed to grow dimmer in the presence of that blade. The pounding of boots grew louder, and the Fade spun back to Rand, an almost boneless movement. The black blade rose; narrow lips peeled back in a rictus snarl.

Trembling, Rand knew he was going to die. Midnight steel flashed at his head...and stopped.

"You belong to the Great Lord of the Dark." The breathy grating of that voice sounded like fingernails scratched across a slate. "You are his."

Spinning in a black blur, the Fade darted down the hall away from Rand. The shadows at the end of the hall reached out and embraced it, and it was gone.

According to the Forsaken, including Mr. Aginor, regular Myrddraal don't smile because they have no sense of humor. If someone could help out with the quote supporting this, it's found toward the end of the prologue to Lord of Chaos, in the section introducing the 'gars (also, 1st appearance of SH).

The underlined bits I'll get to in a moment. First, a perspective from Fain on this very same "Myrddraal:"



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 47: More Tales of the Wheel

"Did Fain follow us through the Ways?" Perrin asked. "He must have done."

Moiraine nodded. "Fain would follow the three of you to the grave, because he must. When the Myrddraal failed at Emond's Field, it brought Fain with the Trollocs on our trail. The Fade would not let Fain ride with him; although he thought he should have the best horse in the Two Rivers and ride at the head of the band, the Myrddraal forced him to run with the Trollocs, and the Trollocs to carry him when his feet gave out. They talked so that he could understand, arguing about the best way to cook him when his usefulness was done. Fain claims he turned against the Dark One before they reached the Taren. But sometimes his greed for his promised rewards seeps into the open.

"When we had escaped across the Taren the Myrddraal took the Trollocs back to the closest Waygate, in the Mountains of Mist, and sent Fain across alone. He thought he was free then, but before he reached Baerlon another Fade found him, and that one was not so kind. It made him sleep doubled up on himself in a Trolloc kettle at night, to remind him of the price of failure. That one used him as far as Shadar Logoth. By then Fain was willing to give the Myrddraal his mother if it would free him, but the Dark One never willingly loosens a hold he has gained.

OK, so we've established that this Myrddraal picked up Fain before he reached Baerlon, which means that this is the same Myrddraal Fain reported Rand's presence at The Stag and Lion to, which means this is the same Myrddraal that met with Rand in the above passage. This Myrddraal is shown to be capable of sensing humor, and being cruel enough that Moiraine makes a distinction about Fain's treatment at his hands versus his treatment by the previous Myrddraal he'd traveled with.

As for the rest, the bits I've underlined in the passages above are items that I wanted to draw attention to with regard to possible unique capabilities of this 'model' of SH prototype. Any or all of these could be considered to be properties of Myrddraal in general, but I want to keep my mind open to the possibility (however far-fetched) any/all Myrddraal present in TEotW could be one of these SH prototypes (if you were the Dark One, wouldn't you have it this way?), and I don't have any other books with me to supply additional quotes about generic Myrddraal. I'm working on a full-blown theory for all of this, so it's all speculation, but I felt the need to point out this Baerlon incident as definitive evidence that this SH prototype existed prior to any of the timeline examples given on this thread to date.

The Unreasoner
07-19-2011, 04:55 PM
OK, so we've established that this Myrddraal picked up Fain before he reached Baerlon, which means that this is the same Myrddraal Fain reported Rand's presence at The Stag and Lion to, which means this is the same Myrddraal that met with Rand in the above passage.

I don't know about that, you sound like terez now (where is she anyway?). is plausible =/= is.

Quote please (to the second bolded section). This sounds like conjecture, especially in the face of the other quote regarding their sterility.

From a letter to a Pam Korda in 1995...
Q: Where do Trollocs come from? Are there male and female Trollocs that mate? Are there only male Trollocs that mate with animals and/or humans to reproduce? Are Trollocs neuter, grown in a big vat at Shayol Ghul? Enquiring minds want to know!
RJ: WARNING--NOT FAMILY NEWSFROUP MATERIAL. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED. "You know the original source, of course...a blending of human and animal genetic material in an effort to produce the "perfect"soldier, though as envisioned by somebody who had never seen combat. Yes, there are female Trollocs, though you don't want to know more than that...there was a clear statement of this actually--that Trollocs breed--when where Myrddraal come from was explained. Sometimes a Trolloc off-spring is a throwback, but not all the way back to human, and twisted. Thus, eyeless but with keen vision, very strong indeed though not in Trolloc-class, able to vanish into shadows & reappear in other shadows...There are no female Myrddraal; not even the laddie who made the Trollocs in the first place knew why...Myrddraal must have their "pleasures" with captured human women...there is no possibility of cross-breeding--it was tested, during the War of the Power, in the crudest sort of way; the Myrdraal isn't sterile, but its sperm kills both human and Trolloc ova--and the sex practices and other attributes of Myrddraal are such that a very strong woman might retain her sanity for six months, but very few do." {did I ask about the sex practices of Myrddraal? No, I didn't think so.} "For the record, a Trolloc could also have sex with a human...they are now two completely incompatible species, so there isn't any possibility of offspring--the Forsaken tested that out too... Trollocs are just not interested in human women sexually; to them, humans are just another food animal... Trollocs are of fairly low intelligence (I told you the designer was never in combat), so they would think of it about as we would having sex with sheep, though they would do it if ordered to. They'd just like it better if they could eat her afterwards."

go nuts

the_collective
07-19-2011, 06:00 PM
I don't know about that

Really? So the fact that Fain did not mention seeing multiple Myrddraal until the Shadar Logoth incident does not imply to you that there was only one Fade he reported to at this time (as he deliberately tells Moiraine)? Does it mean anything to you that Moiraine specifically says:



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 47: More Tales of the Wheel

"Fain told me everything, Rand. Or almost everything. I believe he managed to hold back something, something important, despite all I could do, but he said enough."



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 47: More Tales of the Wheel

"Fain spoke the truth as he saw it," Moiraine said. "He could not lie to me, though he hid much.

Will you hang onto the part about the fact that Fain "hid much" and ascribe that to holding back from Moiraine such a mundane and unimportant fact as how many Myrddraal he was used by?

Remember, at this point in the story, Moiraine doesn't openly suspect what happened between Fain and Mordeth. It's very likely that the information she detected as "hidden" from her by Fain (under the influence of whatever she did to him - another subject altogether) was his connection with Mordeth. In fact, I'd go so far as to offer the hypothesis that Fain (still a distinct personality at this point, though Mordeth would see to this being rectified soon - as he states explicitly in the previous chapter) was the one doing all the talking in his private encounter here with Moiraine during this chapter and that Mordeth made himself dormant so as to avoid being "compelled" (Mordeth's word - during the group scene after Fain's capture in the previous chapter) by Moiraine. Though Mordeth intermittently shows himself through his dialogue when first brought before the group-at-large in Fal Dara, he clearly retreats (leaving Fain in full 'control') when Moiraine suggests to Agelmar that speaking with him in private may be prudent.

I wish I could just cut-n-paste the whole 2 chapter encounter. It's freakin' amazing. I believe that there is a great deal to be gleaned from this (and several other TEotW chapters) regarding how AMoL will turn out. I've got theories brewing, certainly. I highly suggest checking it out if you've got the book with you.

Back to the original point - to each his/her own on most of this theorizing. I can't make a better case, that's for damn sure.

The Unreasoner
07-19-2011, 06:10 PM
easy now. I actually agree with you. it's just a pet peeve of mine when someone uses absolute language without proving it's appropriateness.

Fain could have been kept ignorant of the Myrdraal's numbers. he could have reported to lurk 1, who reported to superfade, who went. You use a lot of "which means"...perhaps "which indicates/suggests?"

We all use absolutes when we shouldn't sometimes. I know I do.

But your use was just a tad bit overt (so I noticed it more)

the_collective
07-19-2011, 06:19 PM
easy now. I actually agree with you. it's just a pet peeve of mine when someone uses absolute language without proving it's appropriateness.

Fain could have been kept ignorant of the Myrdraal's numbers. he could have reported to lurk 1, who reported to superfade, who went. You use a lot of "which means"...perhaps "which indicates/suggests?"

We all use absolutes when we shouldn't sometimes. I know I do.

But your use was just a tad bit overt (so I noticed it more)

Ah! Well, that is certainly a fair criticism (see what I did there?). I'll try to watch that in the future. Unfortunately that'll be quite a task for me. I'm no stranger to exaggeration in my everyday vocabulary.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject of my writing habits, I tend to carelessly infuse emotion into my writing and in this case I was incredulous that the one thing in that original post that I thought I'd shown to be an implied truth was the first thing picked on. I apologize for my overreaction.

The Unreasoner
07-19-2011, 06:27 PM
no worries.

you want to see some real logical potholes, check out my bryne bashing theory. we all do it.

I do wonder though about SH's develpment. Can he only wield a finite bit of authority at this point? I wonder if he was at SL, and if Ba'alzamon wouldn't have been necessary with a more advanced SH.

greatwolf
07-19-2011, 07:09 PM
Thanks Gonzo, it was the exact one.

If so, I've always argued that it doesn't indicate Shaidar Haran has a will independent of the Dark One. If Shaidar Haran is some sort of avatar, the Dark One would still want him to be able to roam freely away from Shayol Ghul. If anything, it's indirect and very circumstantial evidence that Shaidar Haran is tied directly to Big Bad--it still suffers the limitations of the prison.

Circumstantial I agree with but its a useful pointer. SH is certainly not as powerful as the DO, so at best he is an indirect avatar. At best. The version at Baerlon carried a sword. Could it channel? (it seemed able to sense Lan or Moiraine) The present one doesn't, so likely its becoming more powerful with time or with each new version.

SH didn't seem to be as worried about its limitations as much as it wanted the connection broken. Though the desire is understandable in the DO's minions.

If SH lies outside the pattern, then the pattern will not be able to influence what it does. Then its a good ace for the DO to have.

Ishara
07-19-2011, 08:36 PM
Collective - excellent! Interesting thoughts, and great catch! I wonder then if they are one and the same (i.e both v0.5)? I bet yes, but of course have no evidence to provide there.

Unlike the Reasoner who came through with a quote, and a damn funny one at that. Great job!

Zombie Sammael
07-20-2011, 11:21 AM
I think he's a robot.

FelixPax
07-20-2011, 02:11 PM
Poll questions


Considering that Myrddraal operate at odds with 'Time', does Min's aura vision of the future include or exclude Myrddraal?


What are the odds Shaidar Haran, would seek to capture Elayne? 100% (certainly), 75%, 50%, 25%, 0% (no chance)


Will Shaidar Haran rape Elayne before last page of AMoL is written?



If so, would Shaidar Haran's sperm kill the twins?



What can stop Shaidar Haran? Pick a number please.



Gawyn and his special seanchan ter'angreal rings?
Loial and a horde of Ogiers?
Rand channeling True Power?
Aviendha and her blunt edge knife?
Mat Cauthon and his Foxhead medallion?
Mat Cauthon calling the Heroes of the Horn?
A Linked Circle of Thirteen Aes Sedai
A Linked Circle of Aes Sedai & Asha'man?
Dragonmount blows its top, and fries Shaidar Haran in lava?
A lone Trolloc stabs Shaidar Haran in the Back?
The Creature's Black Wind cuts the Cord between Shaidar Haran and the Dark One?
Snakes & Foxes cooperate to hang Shaidar Haran from the nearest Tree?
The Mistress of Kitchens poisons Shaidar Haran with a nasty stew?
Fortuona & a sul'dam places a Domination band around the neck of Shaidar Haran? New pet for the Empress?
The Wondrous Ind and his Mother?
Nothing can stop Shaidar Haran and the Dark One! Kneel worms!
Other

The Unreasoner
07-21-2011, 04:29 PM
I'm not sure I would call it 'at odds with' time, Aginor used 'slightly out of sync' for most myrdraal. However, SH, being the DO's own agent, may be further out of sync with reality. In any case I don't think Min's viewings can incorporate him.

the_collective
07-21-2011, 06:13 PM
I wonder then if they are one and the same (i.e both v0.5)? I bet yes, but of course have no evidence to provide there.

I too thought they were one and the same (and still do, really), until I read Chapters 46-47 to get Fain's perspective on the whole thing. There are plenty of anomalies about the first Myrddraal, for instance - the one that Fain met up with on Winternight near Emond's Field:

a) This Fade checked out several village boys, including our 3 ta'veren, from afar. But out of all the boys observed in this way, only Rand felt hatred toward him personally in the Fade's gaze (NOTE: relevant sections in bold, underlined sections to be addressed at the end of the post):



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 1: An Empty Road

The rider's cloak covered him to his boot tops, the cowl tugged well forward so no part of him showed. Vaguely Rand thought there was something odd about the horseman, but it was the shadowed opening of the hood that fascinated him. He could only see the vaguest outlines of a face, but he had the feeling he was looking right into the rider's eyes. And he could not look away. Queasiness settled in his stomach. There was only shadow to see in the hood, but he felt hatred as sharply as if he could see a snarling face, hatred for everything that lived. Hatred for him most of all, for him above all things.

Then, when Rand encounters Mat he mentions the black-cloaked rider:



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 1: An Empty Road

Mat swallowed his grin, and his voice dropped to an even hoarser whisper. "You saw him, too? I thought I was the only one. Don't laugh Rand, but he scared me."

"I'm not laughing. He scared me, too. I could swear he hated me, that he wanted to kill me." Rand shivered. Until that day he had never thought of anyone wanting to kill him, really wanting to kill him. That sort of thing just did not happen in the Two Rivers. A fistfight, maybe, or a wrestling match, but not killing.

"I don't know about hating, Rand, but he was scary enough anyway. All he did was sit on his horse looking at me, just outside the village, but I've never been so frightened in my life. Well, I looked away, just for a moment--it wasn't easy, mind you--then when I looked back he'd vanished. Blood and ashes! Three days, it's been and I can hardly stop thinking about him. I keep looking over my shoulder." Mat attempted a laugh that came out as a croak. "Funny how being scared takes you. You think strange things. I actually thought--just for a minute, mind--it might be the Dark One." He tried another laugh, but no sound at all came out this time.

Unfortunately, Perrin had precious little to say on-screen about the black-cloaked rider (he'd been speaking off-screen with Mat about it while Rand was verbally sparring with Nynaeve and Egwene):



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 2: Strangers

"I saw him on the edge of the village, watching the smithy, just at twilight yesterday. Gave me the shivers, he did."

b) Then we have Narg, an anomaly amongst Trollocs:



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 5: Winternight

A scraping sound behind him sent a chill to his marrow, and he spun, almost falling over the remains of the table. He caught himself, and moaned behind teeth that would have chattered had he not had them clenched until his jaw ached.

One of the Trollocs was getting to his feet. A wolf's muzzle jutted out below sunken eyes. Flat, emotionless eyes, and all too human. Hairy, pointed ears twitched incessantly. It stepped over one of its dead companions on sharp goat hooves. The same black mail the others wore rasped against its leather trousers, and one of the huge, scythe-curved swords swung at its side.

It muttered something, guttural and sharp, then said, "Others go away. Narg stay. Narg smart." The words were distorted and hard to understand, coming from a mouth never meant for human speech. Its tone was meant to be soothing, he thought, but he could not take his eyes off the stained teeth, long and sharp, that flashed every time the creature spoke. "Narg know some come back sometime. Narg wait. You no need sword. Put sword down."

Until the Trolloc spoke Rand had not realized that he held Tam's sword wavering before him in both hands, its point aimed at the huge creature. It towered head and shoulders above him, with a chest and arms to dwarf Master Luhhan.

"Narg no hurt." It took a step closer, gesturing. "You put sword down." The dark hair on the backs of its hands was thick, like fur.

"Stay back," Rand said, wishing his voice were steadier. "Why did you do this? Why?"

"Vlja daeg roghda!" The snarl quickly became a toothy smile. "Put sword down. Narg no hurt. Myrddraal want talk you." A flash of emotion crossed the distorted face. Fear. "Others come back, you talk Myrddraal." It took another step, one big hand coming to rest on its own sword hilt. "You put sword down."

Rand wet his lips. Myrddraal! The worst of the stories was walking tonight. If a Fade was coming, it made a Trolloc pale by comparison. He had to get away. But if the Trolloc drew that massive blade he would not have the chance. He forced his lips into a shaky smile. "All right." Grip tightening on his sword, he let both hands drop to his sides. "I'll talk."

The wolf-smile became a snarl, and the Trolloc lunged for him. Rand had not thought anything that big could move so fast. Desperately he brought his sword up. The monstrous body crashed into him, slamming him against the wall. Breath left his lungs in one gasp. He fought for air as they fell to the floor together, the Trolloc on top. Frantically he struggled beneath the crushing weight, trying to avoid the thick hands groping for him, and snapping jaws.

Lan's reaction to this news:



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 8: A Place of Safety

Rand swallowed. "A Trolloc said the Myrddraal wanted to talk to me. I didn't know what it meant."

Lan's head jerked up; his eyes were blue stones. "You talked to a Trolloc?"

"Not exactly," Rand stammered. Tha Warder's gaze held him like a trap. "It talked to me. It said it wouldn't hurt me, that the Myrddraal wanted to talk to me. Then it tried to kill me." He licked his lips and rubbed his hand along the nobby leather of the sword hilt. In short, choppy sentences he explained about returning to the farmhouse. "I killed it, instead," he finished. "By accident, really. It jumped at me, and I had the sword in my hand."

Lan's face softened slightly, if rock could be said to soften. "Even so, that is something to speak of, sheepherder. Until last night there were few men south of the Borderlands who could say they had seen a Trolloc, much less killed one."

NOTE: The word "talked" in the bolded section of Lan's dialogue here is italicized in the text (I couldn't figure out how to make it so within the quote box, as the whole thing gets italicized by default), making this a particularly incredulous response from Lan. Also note that this is one of only a handful of times that Lan is caught out-of-countenance in this book (hell, the whole series, really).

c) This Myrddraal fought both Moiraine and Lan on Winternight and survived the encounter:



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 8: A Place of Safety

"Myrddraal see like eagles, in darkness or in light, but they have no eyes. I can think of few things more dangerous than facing a Myrddraal. Moiraine Sedai and I both tried to kill the one that was here last night, but we failed every time. Halfmen have the Dark One's own luck."

Yet, literally on the same page - 4 'paragraphs' up, Lan says this about fighting Myrddraal:



The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 8: A Place of Safety

"Sometimes, sheepherder, stories make things larger than truth. Believe me, the truth is big enough with a Halfman. Halfman, Lurk, Fade, Shadowman; the name depends on the land you're in, but they all mean Myrddraal. Fades are Trolloc spawn, throwbacks almost to the human stock the Dreadlords used to make the Trollocs. Almost. But if the human strain is made stronger, so is the taint that twists the Trollocs. Halfmen have powers of a kind, the sort that stem from the Dark One. Only the weakest Aes Sedai would fail to be a match for a Fade, one against one, but many a good man and true has fallen to them. Since the wars that ended the Age of Legends, since the Forsaken were bound, they have been the brain that tells the Trolloc fists where to strike. In the days of the Trolloc Wars, Halfmen led the Trollocs in battle, under the Dreadlords."

To play the Devil's Advocate, let's assume this first Fade presented in TEotW is in fact a SH prototype (whether or not it's the same one from Baerlon/Whitebridge presented later in the book):

So, we've seen that Rand felt a hatred from this Fade that at least one (if not both) other ta'veren did not feel when watched. This is significant if we assume that the proto-SH's have part of the Dark One's essence imparted to them in the same way that is done later with SH himself. Of course Rand would feel hatred here - he's the Dragon. Just because Ishamael doesn't know this for certain (which I doubt, but I digress) which of the boys is the one sought, this doesn't preclude the Dark One (or any part of Himself, as imparted to others) from recognizing the soul in question.

Now let's take Narg - I'd like each of you to reread this section with the following possibility in mind: From all we know of Trollocs from later on in the series, plus all the information in the books concerning observed behavior and tendencies of Trollocs, plus Lan's response to the news that Rand had a parley with a Trolloc, we can say that this is definitively an odd, unique occurrence in the WoT. We know Trollocs to be interested in killing, eating, destroying and nothing else. They are cowardly, stupid and easily manipulated by others. Yet here we have a Trolloc that played possum at some point during the original fight with Tam, then laid there motionless for at least an hour - probably more, while Tam had time to run into the forest to lay a false trail for the Trollocs in pursuit, ensure that the Trollocs started to follow the false trail, come back to find and talk to Rand at a random location in the middle of the dark forest - all while wounded by Thakandar-tainted steel, AND enough time for Rand himself to sneak around as silently as possible back toward the farm (stopping his trip completely to listen/search the area regularly) while trying to make a plan of action, lurk around the property slowly and silently, then run his way into the house itself after finally seeing Trolloc corpses (which finally drew Narg's attention).

Now, keeping all this in mind, we move onto the encounter itself. As you read this passage, take careful note of the first 3 underlined passages: emotionless eyes, incessantly twitching ears, muttering (I'll get to these in a moment); then all of a sudden, Narg is Mr. Personality. Narg does his best to reason with Rand in a non-violent fashion, but then Rand replies with a philosophical question: "Why?" Note that immediately, Narg's Trolloc tendencies show themselves in the form of a snarling exclamation in the Trolloc tongue. Then note how quickly and deftly this urge is suppressed: "The snarl quickly became a toothy smile." Then, note that immediately after this next line is delivered by Narg, his face becomes "crossed" with "fear." Now, I realize we are led to believe that Narg's reaction here is a result of having mentioned (and therefore thought about) the Myrddraal that is in control of this fist of Trollocs; I will offer a different explanation in just a moment. Anyway, the scene continues and Rand decides that he's gonna cut his losses and give it up for the moment in light of this huge monster that he knows he can't fight head-on and live to tell about it. At that very moment, Narg suddenly becomes all vicious again and tries to take Rand into custody.

Now, I ask one last thing of you before giving a moment for my theory about all of this - compare Narg's behavior in this scene with that of Fain/Mordeth at the end of TEotW (Chapter 46: Fal Dara). In Fain/Mordeth's case, it is apparent to all of us (only because books 2-13 have been released of this series) that Fain is speaking as a distinct personality from Mordeth (and vice versa). Fain's personality is shown to be snivelling, cowering and utterly reprehensible, while Mordeth's personality is proud, arrogant and cunning. The two seem to fight each other for control of their shared body. Hard as it might be to do, try to read this Narg passage very carefully, as if the very same thing is happening to Narg.

We see Narg's Trolloc side attempting to maintain control (incessantly twitching ears, muttering), while Mr. Personality cuts in to give the "Narg won't hurt" speech. Then Rand speaks, which causes Narg's Trolloc side to flare up, but it's immediately brought under control by Mr. Personality. When Rand decides to surrender, Mr. Personality sees no reason to hold Trolloc-Narg back any longer, and so gives full rights of Narg's body back to Trolloc-Narg, who then acts as any other Trolloc would, given the circumstances, and attacks (if with intent to capture, rather than kill).

Obviously speaking peacefully is against Narg's nature as a Trolloc (as defined above). Even Lan is surprised at hearing about it. Now, assuming I'm right about this - who is it that's controlling Narg here?

You may also have noticed that, in several of the scenes quoted above from the book, we have instances of the good guys being frozen in place by "fear" (presumably). In fact, the scene I quoted about the Fade in Baerlon several posts ago also mentioned Rand being frozen in place. Perhaps that is one of the abilities of these proto-SuperFades, as it seems so prevalent.

One more underlined passage I want to touch on is Mat mentioning that when he first saw the "black-cloaked rider," he thought - just for a second - that it might be the Dark One. It's my opinion that this first Fade from TEotW IS in fact a proto-SuperFade, and as such, the Dark One is capable of some limited perception through and/or control of this - and any other - proto-SuperFade (and thereby Narg, as a Trolloc tied to this Myrddraal) as he demonstrates later with SH himself. I believe Mat's statement here to be an ironic joke on the part of Mr. Jordan, and it's freakin hilarious.

It's unclear to me if this first SuperFade is the same one that appeared in Baerlon (as Fain mentioned he'd already been picked up by a crueller Fade by this point) later, but it seems to me that it's entirely possible for each Fade in this book to have been one such.

I know this is an extremely long post and I wrote it over the course of 2 days at work, so I hope that it's not too disjointed. If any clarification is needed on these ideas, I'll happily provide it. Have at it...

nameless
07-21-2011, 06:45 PM
In the POV from the defenders of Maradon in ToM we learn that the human soldiers have given nicknames to the different Trolloc strains, and that the wolf-man version of Trollocs are the smartest strain and sometimes even learn to speak human languages.

GonzoTheGreat
07-22-2011, 03:28 AM
The Trollocs that pretend to be Trolloc puppets in Cairhien, in TGH, are also smart enough to be tame enough for long enough to be effective enough (well, almost, at least).