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WinespringBrother
10-14-2011, 09:49 AM
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!

This week, we're discussing Padan Fain.

Fain has come a long way since he first appeared on screen as a hound of the Dark One, sent to flush out Ba'alzamon's prey in Emond's Field. He has merged with Mordeth, a disembodied soul, who had successfully discovered super talents that enable him to create illusions and take control of Shadowspawn and create killer fogs, among other things. The Dark One granted him the ability and drive to hunt out Rand, Mat and Perrin, though it was a tortuous process for Fain. So, between his madness/lack of humanity, his Machavellian tendencies and his driving hatred for both the Shadow and Rand, and his last known location of the Blight, he obviously has something up his sleeve to throw a wrench in the works for all parties during Tarmon Gai'don.

So far, he has eluded both the Shadow and Rand in their quests to put him out of his misery. How will those failures come back and bite them? His powers and the element of surprise may let him cause a lot of collateral damage to his foes. So, what is he planning?

Rand al'Fain
10-14-2011, 12:05 PM
Fain is wanting to kill Rand and the DO. He likes to think up ways of doing it. Only problem is;

1. Plan to kill Rand and DO.
2. Gather darkfriends.
3. Gather Trollocs.
4. Feed darkfriends to Trollocs.
5. Kill Trollocs.
7. ???
8. Profit!

At least, that is what is shown so far. The guy is now madder than LTT was, minus controlling the OP, if no less deadly in his own way. He is also quite manipulitive, but those that he has manipulated thus far, have either been killed and turned into a slave (Elaida). So while he does cause problems, they seem to work themselves out one way or another in time anyways.

Zombie Sammael
10-14-2011, 01:05 PM
I think the most interesting thing about Fain is his power, and where it actually comes from. There's very little in the books beyond "Aridhol went evil/mad with paranoia and consumed itself", but the quotes reveal a little more (long quote ahead):

Matt: Ok. You mentioned that Mordeth was a man that had "power". You are reported as saying that his power was that "which he got by seeking out all of the evil things that weren’t related to the Shadow"…
Brandon: He was seeking things that were related to the Shadow. I think that that might be a misquote. He was looking into the power of the Shadow in order to defeat it, was his goal. He was looking into everything. He was looking into things that were not necessarily related to the Dark One as well. He was looking for everything that he could get.
Matt: Previous to him arriving to Aridhol?
Brandon: Yeah.
Matt: Before he went to the king and became the counselor, Mordeth was this guy that went around searching for power?
Brandon: Yeah, he wanted to defeat the Dark One and he felt that he could find other ways to do it. He originally was good. He did not…he wasn’t this terrible person to begin with, but he was looking to defeat the Dark One, to find a way to defeat the Shadow. And he looked into a lot of things he shouldn’t have looked into. There are evils that are not necessarily directly related to the Dark One, though everything evil kind of has…just as there are goods that are not related necessarily to the One Power…we are talking much as Perrin runs with wolves. This is a thing older than…there are other evil things that are old in a similar way.
Matt: Is the assumption then that he found one of these?
Brandon: He did.
Matt: He found one or multiple?
Brandon: He found many things of darkness. There is one in specific that is driving him, but he knew too much. He found things he should not have gotten into and that is what turned him into…when he got there he was already corrupt. He still thought he was doing a good work. He still thought, 'We are going to raise this kingdom up and it is going to become this bastion against the Shadow', but he was already by then corrupted.
Matt: Is this same corrupting influence what corrupts everyone through the dagger itself?
Brandon: Yeah. Through him, yes. And even through his presence.
Matt: I heard you answer a question last night, which sounded interesting. Someone asked about Padan Fain and Elaida...
Brandon: A lot of people don’t remember that they met.
Matt: So, his influence...how long, for example…wasn’t Egwene exposed to Padan Fain? Are there still effects that Egwene has on people because of him?
Brandon: Remember the idea that people have, generally, a choice. There are ways to turn people to the Shadow against their will, but when that happens the person is no longer the [same] person. What is happening with Padan Fain is, natural tendencies can be exacerbated or they can be fought off...
Matt: ...so Elaida’s paranoia fed that? With someone like Egwene, she might have fought it off, so it’s not going to be…
Brandon: ...right. exactly, or someone like Rand who continues to fight it off. He has become very paranoid. And the wound in his side, certainly someone could make the connection that that might have an influence. I won’t say for certain but…
Matt: ...so, the suggestion is, not only does he have the taint, which is negatively influencing him, or influencing him in such ways that might bring on paranoia; there is this accentuation of it because of Fain…
Brandon: ...this corruption…I mean that wound and the dagger…
Matt: ...that is another source…
Brandon: Mat managed to fight it off pretty much completely; well, not completely, but we don’t see Mat running around paranoid anymore. Elaida gave it something to feed upon, and it was very, very small and subtle with Elaida, but certainly that was an influence.
Matt: Ok. Is Mordeth’s power, this evil power, comparable to the One Power and True Power? Is it a power that can be woven?
Brandon: No, it’s more something along the lines of Perrin’s wolf power, something more natural. You couldn’t weave Mordeth.
Matt: Ok, so it’s more of a natural…
Brandon: ...it’s more of a natural [thing], though it is unnatural. It’s an unnatural natural thing.
Matt: ...because Jordan was really particular about…he tried to have a logic-based system as it pertained to the One Power. Is this power more supernatural in this sense than it is based on physics?
Brandon: Let’s say more instinctual, alright?

I used to think mashadar was a weapon that had been created to fight against the Shadow, but, let loose, turned on it's masters. The idea that the evil that tainted Shadar Logoth was something like being a wolfbrother that Mordeth (and thus Fain) tapped into, though... it at least implies something different. That link between Fain and Mordeth is also very interesting.

We know from other quotes (I can post them if people insist, but, uh, I already used up my quote quota in this post, heh) that Fain won't end up like Gollum. This is interesting, because the cleansing in WH gives us an idea of one way someone might try to kill the Dark One, a notion that both Rand and Fain have expressed interest in. Exposing the Dark One's power to a counter-evil seems to cause the two to cancel each other out, so chuck Fain into the Pit of Doom and everything will be fine, right? Wrong. Within Padan Fain, the evil that was Jeraal Mordeth and whatever the DO did to Fain have merged in some way, become one, and perhaps greater than the sum of their parts. If the cleansing method worked against Mordeth, you would expect Fain to now be either dead, or plain old Padan Fain, peddler, again. So what would actually happen if you exposed the Dark One to Fain?

Some have suggested that Fain might, as a result of being exposed to Shai'tan, become the "new" Dark One himself. This is a thought that literally occurred to me as I was writing this post, but what if Fain is actually the means of the Dark One's release? Perhaps Fain's unique evil allows him to play host to the whole energy of the Shadow in a way even Shaidar Haran is incapable of. The Dark One would thus be free, and Rand would be left in the position of having to kill Fain to get rid of him. If he succeeded, that would be game over for the Shadow. Of course, that would also be the end of the cycle of DO imprisonment/release which has so influenced the pattern of the Ages so far. Perhaps Ishamael was right about this being the last battle in the sequence...

Crispin's Crispian
10-14-2011, 01:51 PM
It would be kind of cute if Fain turned out to be Nae'blis, but I'm not sure how satisfying that would be.

If you subscribe to the idea that Rand actually rids the universe of the Dark One forever, then having the Dark One inhabit Fain certainly seems like one scenario by which Rand could do it. But...having Rand physically kill the DO seems rather silly.

Zombie Sammael
10-14-2011, 01:57 PM
It would be kind of cute if Fain turned out to be Nae'blis, but I'm not sure how satisfying that would be.

If you subscribe to the idea that Rand actually rids the universe of the Dark One forever, then having the Dark One inhabit Fain certainly seems like one scenario by which Rand could do it. But...having Rand physically kill the DO seems rather silly.

I base lunatic notions like the one above in part upon the belief that if AMOL ends "as expected" with the bore sealed and the DO trapped and muttering "Next time, Dragon, next time" it will be deeply unsatisfying. The DO getting out in some way and Rand having to deal with it would be much more interesting. Fain'blis would be one way for that to happen without a TAR recreation of the world or anything like that. Perhaps I'll research it and write it up as a theory - my reread is presently on pause as I'm reading A Dance With Dragons with a friend.

Speaking of TAR, do we know if Fain has a TAR reflection or not?

The Unreasoner
10-14-2011, 02:29 PM
Speaking of TAR, do we know if Fain has a TAR reflection or not?

...
According to everything I believe, he should have no direct reflection. Indirect should still be possible.

But I really don't know.

Zombie Sammael
10-14-2011, 02:36 PM
...
According to everything I believe, he should have no direct reflection. Indirect should still be possible.

But I really don't know.

I don't know what you mean by indirect. But I think my first idea was actually two questions: firstly, does Fain appear in TAR; secondly, if he does, is it normally, or in an "odd" way, like Rand?

Perhaps a more pertinent question would be: was it possible to enter Shadar Logoth in TAR?

Crispin's Crispian
10-14-2011, 02:47 PM
I'm not sure what you guys mean to TAR "reflection." People don't generally have reflections. They can appear in TAR when asleep, or can Travel there in the flesh if they are channelers (or Slayer). If you're asking whether Fain dreams, I have no idea.

What is Rand's "odd" way of appearing in TAR?

Could you enter Shadar Logoth in TAR? Don't know the answer to that, either.

Zombie Sammael
10-14-2011, 02:50 PM
I'm not sure what you guys mean to TAR "reflection." People don't generally have reflections. They can appear in TAR when asleep, or can Travel there in the flesh if they are channelers (or Slayer). If you're asking whether Fain dreams, I have no idea.

What is Rand's "odd" way of appearing in TAR?

Could you enter Shadar Logoth in TAR? Don't know the answer to that, either.

Brandon suggested Rand had a permanent reflection in TAR, the way the wolves do. I was thinking of that when I made my first post, and it was somewhat confusingly worded, sorry. I think I explained what I meant better in reply to The Unreasoner.

The Unreasoner
10-14-2011, 06:13 PM
Brandon suggested Rand had a permanent reflection in TAR, the way the wolves do. I was thinking of that when I made my first post, and it was somewhat confusingly worded, sorry. I think I explained what I meant better in reply to The Unreasoner.
Rand sometimes does. I sort of doubt he always does.

In any case, I took your question to mean 'is Padan Fain reflected in a way simmilar to Rand?'

For which my answer was as I said (no). But he might be reflected indirectly, like everyone else is. If he were to burn a village down, the village would flicker, I would think. So, indirectly reflected.

At first I thought there was some idea going around that he has Presence similar to Rand's.

Not being reflected at all might be interesting. Min doesn't seem to be able to have viewings of him. Maybe the village wouldn't flicker. Although I haven't a clue as to how that could be yet.

Zombie Sammael
10-14-2011, 07:14 PM
Rand sometimes does. I sort of doubt he always does.

In any case, I took your question to mean 'is Padan Fain reflected in a way simmilar to Rand?'

For which my answer was as I said (no). But he might be reflected indirectly, like everyone else is. If he were to burn a village down, the village would flicker, I would think. So, indirectly reflected.

At first I thought there was some idea going around that he has Presence similar to Rand's.

Not being reflected at all might be interesting. Min doesn't seem to be able to have viewings of him. Maybe the village wouldn't flicker. Although I haven't a clue as to how that could be yet.

It would actually tell us a hell of a lot if we knew, i.e. whether he was able to appear in TAR at all. He's "outside the pattern" in some way, so my instinct is a no on both counts, but obviously his actions would be reflected, I would think.

His outside the pattern-ness lends a bit to my rapidly-forming Fain'blis theory.

WinespringBrother
10-17-2011, 09:16 AM
This past weekend at NY Comic Con, I learned a couple of interesting tidbits about Padan Fain/Mordeth, the more interesting being that Mordeth has visited the Finns at some point. Which makes sense given the proximity of Aridhol to the Tower of Ghenjei. It would be interesting to find out what boons/knowledge he gained from them (maybe I will be able to ask a followup and find out which Finns he was able to visit). Seeing as how the Eelfinn generally give out objects such as ter'angreal, it would be interesting to determine if any of his "instinctual" powers are augmented by some device.

Ishara
10-19-2011, 12:53 PM
Sheesh - that's really juicy! What was the context of the question WSB? That just seems like really good info handed out apropos of nothing - lucky you!

One has to wonder what the Finns' reaction to him would have been. He's not necessarily of the Shadow, but he's certainly been touched by it in an everlasting way....

Something that hasn't been raised yet so far is the fact that Fain is undoubtedly our Gollum. He's the semi-tragic character that is so pitiful that you almost feel sorry for him until you realize that he's also icky and evil. Now, the parallels aren't identical, obviously, but there have been theories tossed around for years about how Fain may be the one to actually help Rand (intentionally or not) to defeat the Dark One. How do we think that could happen?

(Oh, and huge kudos to Rand al'Fain - in post #2 no less - for sneaking in a South Park reference successfully.)

WinespringBrother
10-19-2011, 02:29 PM
Sheesh - that's really juicy! What was the context of the question WSB? That just seems like really good info handed out apropos of nothing - lucky you!

One has to wonder what the Finns' reaction to him would have been. He's not necessarily of the Shadow, but he's certainly been touched by it in an everlasting way....

Something that hasn't been raised yet so far is the fact that Fain is undoubtedly our Gollum. He's the semi-tragic character that is so pitiful that you almost feel sorry for him until you realize that he's also icky and evil. Now, the parallels aren't identical, obviously, but there have been theories tossed around for years about how Fain may be the one to actually help Rand (intentionally or not) to defeat the Dark One. How do we think that could happen?

(Oh, and huge kudos to Rand al'Fain - in post #2 no less - for sneaking in a South Park reference successfully.)

Welcome back! You can now retake over the COTW threads :D

The question was actually very straightforward - did Mordeth ever visit the Finns? (full thread posted here (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=165712#post165712)) Maybe I can get more in-depth info in the future such as which Finns did he visit, or what kind of boons he got.

Brandon did say on tour (I think last year TofM NY signing) that Fain is actually not going to turn out like Gollum. But obviously he will play just as major a role, especially seeing how souped up he is now!

ETA: fixed link

Ishara
10-20-2011, 10:03 AM
Welcome back! You can now retake over the COTW threads :D

The question was actually very straightforward - did Mordeth ever visit the Finns? (full thread posted here (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=165712#post165712)) Maybe I can get more in-depth info in the future such as which Finns did he visit, or what kind of boons he got.

Brandon did say on tour (I think last year TofM NY signing) that Fain is actually not going to turn out like Gollum. But obviously he will play just as major a role, especially seeing how souped up he is now!

ETA: fixed link

Ha ha...yeah...thanks for covering for me! :D You did a fabuous job!

But I wonder what he (or the asker) meant by "not turning out like Gollum." As in, dead? Or, unintentionally saving the day? Too bad he's not coming to the Con (am still annoyed about that) so we can just spend the weekend getting it out of him...

WinespringBrother
10-20-2011, 12:57 PM
Ha ha...yeah...thanks for covering for me! :D You did a fabuous job!

But I wonder what he (or the asker) meant by "not turning out like Gollum." As in, dead? Or, unintentionally saving the day? Too bad he's not coming to the Con (am still annoyed about that) so we can just spend the weekend getting it out of him...

Thanks!

Here is the q&a regarding the Fain/Gollum from TofM book signing:

http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=124969&postcount=13

Q: (a takeoff on Leigh's review) I've seen this somewhere before : gollum gollum gollum

A: Fain will not end up like Gollum. Though Harriet said he is even crazier than how he was shown in prologue.
EDIT to clarify and correct: Brandon rewrote his original submission of Fain's scene based on Harriet's comments that he wasn't portrayed as crazy enough.