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Homeschool
12-29-2011, 01:57 PM
(If this has already been asked, point me to it - I tried searching for "wheel serpent logo", but that's like searching for a needle in a needle stack...)

Tor just released a wallpaper with new Wheel of Time logo art, and I happened to look at the logo for the first time in a long time. I noticed a few things:
1) The wheel has seven spokes, symbolic of the seven Ages.
2) The serpent (which may be time or the Dark One) is seen eating itself in a figure eight, symbolic of the infinite.
3) The serpent is woven through two of the spaces in the wheel.

It finally struck me that this may be a direct symbolism of the Dark One's presence in the world for two of the seven Ages, and absence for the rest. If that is what's meant, then it would suggest that the serpent is representing the Dark One.

If that's the case, then is it possible that the Dark One is sealed away by feeding it to its past self (or vice versa)? Or alternatively, sending it back in time to reappear at the opening of the Bore? Sort of an "I'm my own grandpa" type paradox? (Perhaps a Saidar/Saidin tube connecting current Dark One with past Dark One... That sounds similar to something I might've read.)

Ever been discussed?

WinespringBrother
12-29-2011, 03:58 PM
(If this has already been asked, point me to it - I tried searching for "wheel serpent logo", but that's like searching for a needle in a needle stack...)

Tor just released a wallpaper with new Wheel of Time logo art, and I happened to look at the logo for the first time in a long time. I noticed a few things:
1) The wheel has seven spokes, symbolic of the seven Ages.
2) The serpent (which may be time or the Dark One) is seen eating itself in a figure eight, symbolic of the infinite.
3) The serpent is woven through two of the spaces in the wheel.

It finally struck me that this may be a direct symbolism of the Dark One's presence in the world for two of the seven Ages, and absence for the rest. If that is what's meant, then it would suggest that the serpent is representing the Dark One.

If that's the case, then is it possible that the Dark One is sealed away by feeding it to its past self (or vice versa)? Or alternatively, sending it back in time to reappear at the opening of the Bore? Sort of an "I'm my own grandpa" type paradox? (Perhaps a Saidar/Saidin tube connecting current Dark One with past Dark One... That sounds similar to something I might've read.)

Ever been discussed?

That is an interesting thought. In the books, however, the Serpent is a symbol of eternity, not the Dark One.

Great Hunt CHAPTER: GLOSSARY
Great Serpent: A symbol for time and eternity, ancient before the Age of Legends began, consisting of a serpent eating its own tail. A ring in the shape of the Great Serpent is awarded to women who have been raised to the Accepted among the Aes Sedai.

Weird Harold
12-29-2011, 10:24 PM
That is an interesting thought. In the books, however, the Serpent is a symbol of eternity, not the Dark One.
The Great Serpent is more than the White Tower's interpretation. I don't recall when or why the White Tower began using the Serpent Rings, but the association with eternity, and only eternity, is a White Tower conceit.

It has been a long time since I researched "the Worm Ouruboros" and other great serpent legends, but I do recall that there is a lot more to the symbolism than just "eternity." There is also the various "serpent in the garden" myths/legends that tie into WOT symbolisms.

I think Homeschooll might be onto some subtle that has slipped past ost of us.

GonzoTheGreat
12-30-2011, 04:47 AM
"The Light will not help you, boy, and the Eye of the World will not serve you. You are my hound, and if you will not course at my command, I will strangle you with the corpse of the Great Serpent!"
"From trophies the Aiel carried, it was obvious they were coming back from the Blight. The Trollocs had followed, but by the tracks only a few lived to return after killing the Aiel. As for the girl, she would not let anyone touch her, even to tend her wounds. But she seized the Seeker of that band by his coat, and this is what she said, word for word. 'Leafblighter means to blind the Eye of the World, Lost One. He means to slay the Great Serpent. Warn the People, Lost One. Sightburner comes. Tell them to stand ready for He Who Comes With the Dawn. Tell them ...' And then she died. Leafblighter and Sightburner," Raen added to Perrin, "are Aiel names for the Dark One, but I don't understand another word of it. Yet she thought it important enough to approach those she obviously despised, to pass it on with her last breath. But to who? We are ourselves, the People, but I hardly think she meant it for us. The Aiel? They would not let us tell them if we tried." He sighed heavily. "She called us the Lost. I never knew before how much they loathe us." Ila set her knitting in her lap and touched his head gently.
Somehow I somewhat doubt that Ishamael is threatening to kill the DO here. Which would mean that Ishamael, the greatest authority by far on the subject, does not think that the DO is the Great Serpent.
He could be wrong, of course. In which case letting him carry out his threat would be a way of actually definitively defeating the DO.

Zombie Sammael
12-30-2011, 05:23 AM
Somehow I somewhat doubt that Ishamael is threatening to kill the DO here. Which would mean that Ishamael, the greatest authority by far on the subject, does not think that the DO is the Great Serpent.
He could be wrong, of course. In which case letting him carry out his threat would be a way of actually definitively defeating the DO.

Yeah, but obviously the Great Serpent doesn't have an actual corpse which would be of any help in strangling Rand al'Thor; for a start, if there was an actual serpent encircling the world, it would be monumentally huge, and trying to strangle someone with it would lead more to a sort of crushing.

As Weird Harold said, there is more to the symbolism of the books than the simplest and most obvious interpretation. In WOT, "The Dragon" is the Chosen One, a messiah figure. And yet the first to bear that name was Lews Therin, whose name is derived from Lucifer, a figure associated and often identified with Satan, or as he is known in Islam, Shai'tan. This doesn't mean the Dragon is the Dark One, but it does mean there are multiple sources for the symbolism, just as there are with the great serpent.

GonzoTheGreat
12-30-2011, 06:21 AM
In WOT, "The Dragon" is the Chosen One, a messiah figure. And yet the first to bear that name was Lews Therin, whose name is derived from Lucifer, a figure associated and often identified with Satan, or as he is known in Islam, Shai'tan. This doesn't mean the Dragon is the Dark One, ...
Of course, that is not quite as obvious as you make it seem:
Fain grinned, and Rand had the feeling he was mocking the villagers' isolation from the world, and their ignorance. The peddler leaned forward as if he were about to impart a secret to the Mayor, but his whisper was meant to carry and did. "The standard of the Dragon has been raised, and men flock to oppose. And to support."
One long gasp left every throat together, and Rand shivered in spite of himself.
"The Dragon!" someone moaned. "The Dark One's loose in Ghealdan!"
At least some did seem to think that even if there was a difference between the DO and the Dragon, then it wasn't a big difference.

Now a question of my own:
"So you do remember some things. Yes, Betrayer of Hope. So have men named me, just as they named you Dragon, but unlike you I embrace the name. They gave me the name to revile me, but I will yet make them kneel and worship it. What will you do with your name? After this day, men will call you Kinslayer. What will you do with that?"
I can't remember any other hint from the books that LTT did not accept the name/title "Dragon". I know that Rand needed a bit of time before he accepted the honor, but he did have some reason for that.
So, what's up with that?

Zombie Sammael
12-30-2011, 06:57 AM
Of course, that is not quite as obvious as you make it seem:

At least some did seem to think that even if there was a difference between the DO and the Dragon, then it wasn't a big difference.

Now a question of my own:

I can't remember any other hint from the books that LTT did not accept the name/title "Dragon". I know that Rand needed a bit of time before he accepted the honor, but he did have some reason for that.
So, what's up with that?

This risks opening up the "Dragon name linked to soul" or "Can Deamndred be the dragon" debate again, but it tends to suggest LTT was given the name much like how the Forsaken were given theirs as popular epithets or names. I'd say the people of the AOL had a similar understanding of the term "Dragon" to modern western society, and LTT wasn't too thrilled about being described as an enormous, destructive, fire-breathing, flying, maiden-kidnapping, gold-hoarding, short-tempered, lizard.

eht slat meit
12-30-2011, 11:09 AM
This risks opening up the "Dragon name linked to soul" or "Can Deamndred be the dragon" debate again, but it tends to suggest LTT was given the name much like how the Forsaken were given theirs as popular epithets or names. I'd say the people of the AOL had a similar understanding of the term "Dragon" to modern western society, and LTT wasn't too thrilled about being described as an enormous, destructive, fire-breathing, flying, maiden-kidnapping, gold-hoarding, short-tempered, lizard.

Keep in mind that there's a second, far less obvious definition to the word "dragon".

a. (n) a. A fiercely vigilant or intractable person. ~ dol

Both adjectives to fit both LTT (and Rand) to a great degree.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-30-2011, 12:09 PM
Moved this one to it's own thread as it looks to continue to expand

Homeschool
12-31-2011, 12:42 AM
Somehow I somewhat doubt that Ishamael is threatening to kill the DO here. Which would mean that Ishamael, the greatest authority by far on the subject, does not think that the DO is the Great Serpent.
He could be wrong, of course. In which case letting him carry out his threat would be a way of actually definitively defeating the DO.

Here's another possibility. The Serpent is without beginning or end, as it consumes its own tail. I pointed out the possibility of the saidin/saidar tube approach being used to rebind the Dark One, but what if that's what the Serpent IS? Perhaps the prison is a tube whose beginning is attached to its end (metaphysically, of course). The symbolism would be that the Dark One could never reach the exit, since the loop would HAVE no exit, but a hole in it would free him, and slaying the Serpent would be simply a complete destruction of his prison.

However, it would mean that the Serpent is more than just symbolism for eternity, and the Great Serpent rings are perhaps representing the role of Aes Sedai in guarding and protecting the prison?

The symbolism of the logo would also suggest that the prison is woven into those two ages, perhaps indicating some sort of link or binding points in those ages (or that the prison is literally woven into the pattern.)

I wonder if the repair of the prison is not a patch on the hole, but a new skin slipped over the entirety of the Serpent? (Reverse shedding!) Since the Serpent in that symbolism exists outside of time as an entity which touches both Ages concurrently, perhaps balefire is somehow involved, but as a pattern for a new weave which constructs a Serpent skin wrapping thousands of years of Dark One prison.

AbbeyRoad
12-31-2011, 09:13 AM
I can't remember any other hint from the books that LTT did not accept the name/title "Dragon". I know that Rand needed a bit of time before he accepted the honor, but he did have some reason for that.
So, what's up with that?
I always assumed the name in question here was "Kinslayer." But not having the text with me for reference, I could be wrong.

Zombie Sammael
12-31-2011, 09:31 AM
Keep in mind that there's a second, far less obvious definition to the word "dragon".

a. (n) a. A fiercely vigilant or intractable person. ~ dol

Both adjectives to fit both LTT (and Rand) to a great degree.

The second is pretty clearly derived from the first, though. Whichever way you slice it, he's being compare to a fire-breathing monster. Unless it's a Chinese dragon, I guess.

I always assumed the name in question here was "Kinslayer." But not having the text with me for reference, I could be wrong.

Ishy says later on in the quote that people will call him Kinslayer after that very day, and he commits suicide without ever having any real chance to not embrace his name, so it isn't that.

eht slat meit
12-31-2011, 01:00 PM
The second is pretty clearly derived from the first, though. Whichever way you slice it, he's being compare to a fire-breathing monster. Unless it's a Chinese dragon, I guess.

In real life, absolutely. In the world of Randland, RJ is not required to follow any such linguistic derivations, because his world didn't develop the same way, and a fundamental rule of language is that it changes.

As we've seen with the complete lack of recognition (Rand) for the creature, it's possible for the meaning of words and ideas to be lost entirely. Not having more than a chapter in the first book and some various ramblings from LTT's PoV, we don't know exactly where it originates from. Was a dragon an actual living, breathing creature in his Age? Was it a product of fantasy? In either case, does that "dragon" even remotely resemble the archetypal dragon, or has RJ taken liberties?

We have hints that he has, that his dragon isn't necessarily the same as the common dragon of fa
ntasy lore...


A long, white banner spread out, lifting on the air ... The whole thing seemed of a piece, neither woven, nor dyed, nor painted. A figure like a serpent, scaled in scarlet and gold, ran the entire length, but it had scaled legs, and feet with five long, golden claws on each, and a great head with a golden mane and eyes like the sun. The stirring of the banner made it seem to move, scales glittering like precious metals and gems, alive, and he almost thought he could hear it roar defiance.


It lacks the most noticeable characteristics of a "normal" dragon... breath of flame or wings. Sweet's cover depiction is either dramatically rendering it as having scales bordering on feathers or showing it wreathed in flame, but that's not reflected in the text. As you say, that's not necessarily a telling feature - there are many -kinds- of dragons, including the most likely relation, the Chinese Dragon.

This link seems obvious to the reader, because we know this. Randland doesn't. Moiraine makes it clear enough that the Banner is so named for LTT, not the creature on it.

Moiraine answered slowly. "The banner of the Lord of the Morning when he led the forces of Light against the Shadow. The banner of Lews Therin Telamon. The banner of the Dragon."

Of course, that doesn't mean that LTT wasn't named for the creature on it. Chicken-Egg Syndrome... which was first named dragon? Did his ta'veren nature draw sigil and name to him? Was it inspired by some modified creature from his own age, hunted by sportsmen the likes of Sammael? Or is it something like our own Age, talked about only in stories, because it never existed?

The answer might seem like an obvious duh, that it's a continuation of something from our Age but we know that our own age is myth bordering on obvlivion and that Randland functions in cycles; old things come new again, after being lost for a time. When you have an unnamed and unrecognizable creature held aloft as the sigil of a hero called Dragon, isn't it natural to name it after him?

IMO, there's really no clear cut derivation here; it's left to the reader to decide. That's not a fault but a credit, of course - it is how RJ tells his story.

This does, of course, lead us to speculate where LTT got the name from. What facet of the "dragon" was he named for? The fiercely vigilant, intractable personality? The ability to fly, or do things unheard of with fire? Battlefield raging? There's a number of things that come to mind, but it's the first that I keep coming back to. A quote from Lanfear that I saw on... DM, I think, about liking LTT better as the uncertain young Rand due to his unyielding nature.

Ultimately, that's why I tend to think he was named for the the latter definition instead of the former. I don't discredit other possibility, of course, because like I said... there's no clear-cut derivation, just what apply from our real world knowledge.

Marie Curie 7
12-31-2011, 03:48 PM
This risks opening up the "Dragon name linked to soul" or "Can Deamndred be the dragon" debate again, but it tends to suggest LTT was given the name much like how the Forsaken were given theirs as popular epithets or names. I'd say the people of the AOL had a similar understanding of the term "Dragon" to modern western society, and LTT wasn't too thrilled about being described as an enormous, destructive, fire-breathing, flying, maiden-kidnapping, gold-hoarding, short-tempered, lizard.

Okay, so I've posted this quote a number of times during these discussions, but apparently this information has been forgotten again. RJ said that there were no actual dragons (i.e., the beasts, fire-breathing or otherwise) in the world of the Wheel of Time. And, Lews Therin was NOT named "Dragon" after the fire-breathing beast. Lews Therin was first given the name "Dragon", and ONLY AFTERWARDS was the beast on his banner given the name "dragon" from its association with Lews Therin.

Netherlands tour, Dromen and Demonen chat - 6 April 2001 (http://web.archive.org/web/20010420004332/http://www.dromen-demonen.nl/luitingh_htdocs/transjordan.html)

Lowlander: Are there any dragons (like real dragons (=animals)) in Rand's world? If not where did they get the idea of dragons?

RJ: There are no animal dragons of any kind in this world. The people speak of a man called the Dragon. They know that the banner that has a certain creature on it was the banner of this man and they have taken to calling this creature the dragon. To them it is a simple association with the name of this man.

Zombie Sammael
12-31-2011, 04:16 PM
Okay, so I've posted this quote a number of times during these discussions, but apparently this information has been forgotten again. RJ said that there were no actual dragons (i.e., the beasts, fire-breathing or otherwise) in the world of the Wheel of Time. And, Lews Therin was NOT named "Dragon" after the fire-breathing beast. Lews Therin was first given the name "Dragon", and ONLY AFTERWARDS was the beast on his banner given the name "dragon" from its association with Lews Therin.

"Mummy, why do we call Lews Therin the Dragon?"

"Because a Dragon is a powerful beast, dear, and Lews Therin is a powerful man."

"So is that creature on his banner a dragon, Mummy?"

"Yes, I suppose it must be dear."

...by which I mean to say, the quote doesn't necessarily mean what you'd like us to infer it means.

eht slat meit
12-31-2011, 11:20 PM
"Mummy, why do we call Lews Therin the Dragon?"

"Because a Dragon is a powerful beast, dear, and Lews Therin is a powerful man."


Question: If no such animal exists, and Mummy has never seen or heard of one before, how can Mummy make the statement that "a Dragon is a powerful beast"?

It sounds like you're substituting reader omniscience for in-character knowledge, and reversing the causality based on that.

GonzoTheGreat
01-01-2012, 05:16 AM
Reversed causality is an effect of balefire, isn't it?

So obviously, Bela is a dragon, and the belafire she'll unleash during Tarmon Gai'don (at the request of the DO, see the LoC prologue) will cause people to associate Rand with dragons, and hence LTT, Rand's previous incarnation, will share in that association. Or something like that; details may vary.

If you don't buy that, then there is indeed a serious hole in the logic. Which, I guess, proves that my idea has to be correct.

Zombie Sammael
01-01-2012, 06:09 AM
Question: If no such animal exists, and Mummy has never seen or heard of one before, how can Mummy make the statement that "a Dragon is a powerful beast"?

It sounds like you're substituting reader omniscience for in-character knowledge, and reversing the causality based on that.

Not necessarily. I know that an aurochs is a large beast, but I have never seen one and would not know what one looks like. The association of the term "dragon" with a creature like the one on the banner is one that could have been lost over time until only the memory of the word and it's association with power remains, only to be rediscovered when Lews Therin raises a banner with a serpent on it, is given the name "Dragon" and lots of Mummys explain to lots of little girls what a dragon is. After all, that's the nature of the Wheel, isn't it?

The alternatives are that the name "Dragon" has some Old Tongue meaning, which it doesn't appear to - "aman" means "Dragon", but we've not seen it used in any other context. In that sense, the application of the term "Dragon" to LTT seems to either be related to the idea of what a dragon is, if not the specifics of what it actually looked like, or else be a completely arbitrary word applied for no reason, which makes no sense. Even if the OT word "aman" was used in the second sense, it's still related to the first.

No-one really knows what a Jabberwock looks like, but we know it has eyes of flame, jaws that bite, claws that catch, whiffles through the wood, and burbles as it does so.

Oden
01-01-2012, 09:04 AM
A long, white banner spread out, lifting on the air ... The whole thing seemed of a piece, neither woven, nor dyed, nor painted. A figure like a serpent, scaled in scarlet and gold, ran the entire length, but it had scaled legs, and feet with five long, golden claws on each, and a great head with a golden mane and eyes like the sun. The stirring of the banner made it seem to move, scales glittering like precious metals and gems, alive, and he almost thought he could hear it roar defiance.
This sounds like a young Imperial dragon. See Yinglong for the wings and the Imperial dragon for the claws. (http://www.mythicalrealm.com/creatures/chinese_dragon.html)

Lupusdeusest
01-01-2012, 11:13 AM
On an etymological note, it'd be interesting (if we actually could) to investigate the possible common root of "dragon" and "guardian" in the OT.

Zombie Sammael
01-01-2012, 12:18 PM
On an etymological note, it'd be interesting (if we actually could) to investigate the possible common root of "dragon" and "guardian" in the OT.

I suppose that is the other possibility: if "aman" originally meant guardian, dragons are often guardian spirits of one sort or another.

The possibility also gives rise to quite a nice loony theory: the name "siswai'aman" means that in the future, the Aiel will become warders to the Asha'man.

GonzoTheGreat
01-01-2012, 12:50 PM
The possibility also gives rise to quite a nice loony theory: the name "siswai'aman" means that in the future, the Aiel will become warders to the Asha'man.
Would they then be siswasha'man?

Zombie Sammael
01-01-2012, 12:55 PM
Would they then be siswasha'man?

No, they'd be responsible mainly for the washing up. Dishwasha'man.

eht slat meit
01-01-2012, 10:43 PM
Zombie Sammael Not necessarily. I know that an aurochs is a large beast, but I have never seen one and would not know what one looks like. The association of the term "dragon" with a creature like the one on the banner is one that could have been lost over time until only the memory of the word and it's association with power remains, only to be rediscovered when Lews Therin raises a banner with a serpent on it, is given the name "Dragon" and lots of Mummys explain to lots of little girls what a dragon is. After all, that's the nature of the Wheel, isn't it?

The reason you know that an auroch is a large beast, or have a rough sketch of what a jabberwock does is because of extensive literature and references to those creatures of fantasy. We don't have any indication from RJ that such imaginings exist in the popular culture of the AoL. It seems unlikely that the people of the AoL would simply invent a word with no meaning to name LTT, so the important question is - where did their inspiration for his naming come from?

Was it a beast of fantasy, still surviving through literature and works turnings of the wheel later?

Or was it through some chance of language, finding a title that best suited the champion of the light, perhaps a play on his name? Lews Therin Tel'aman (guardian of the world/land)?

As I stated in an earlier post before the quote from RJ was raised, I'm not sold on the idea that dragon MUST have been an artifact of language rather than based on a creature, and even with that quote, I still believe that there's a possibility that inspiration for LTT's title came from some unmentioned dragon in popular or arcane lore.

However, after reading RJ's quote, I find it less likely. Why? Because IF such a creature already existed in the popular imagination, why would the creature on the Banner take it's name from LTT rather than LTT from the Banner? In this theory, AOL'ians supposedly have a base desciption of the animal, enough to honor LTT by calling him one. Yet the animal's picture takes its name from LTT rather than its imagined predecessor? It's possible, but the reasoning seems... convoluted?

That's how I see it, but I won't argue that point to death... it comes down to a lack of supporting text either way.

Since we're talking about language, I find the possible corollation between a'man and aman that was mentioned interesting and possibly relevant.

You've brought up an interesting point that I think probably goes the furthest to explaining exactly what their inspiration for naming him Dragon was, but I'm going to go into that etiology in another reply.

No, they'd be responsible mainly for the washing up. Dishwasha'man.

If you don't make up your mind, they'll be Wishwasha'man!

eht slat meit
01-01-2012, 11:39 PM
On an etymological note, it'd be interesting (if we actually could) to investigate the possible common root of "dragon" and "guardian" in the OT.

Here's an attempt! We'll see how it goes.

Source-1 (S1): Asha'man (Guardian)
It means guardian, or guardians. Or defender, and maybe a couple of other things; I told you, the Old Tongue is very flexible. Guardian seems to be best, though. Not just any defender or guardian, though. You could not call a man who defended an unjust cause asha’man, and never one that was evil. An asha’man was a man who defended truth and justice and right for everyone. A guardian who would not yield even when hope was gone." ~ LoC, 42

Source-2 (S2): Aman (Dragon)
from - Siswai'aman, Spears of the Dragon

There are two important things we can take away from S1.
1> that the OT is flexible, suggesting that words may shift meaning with only a small adjustment.
2> that asha'man is a proper noun, indicating guardian. It may be that "a'man" is the actual word denoting guardian, and that "ash" gives it further meaning, in similar fashion to tai'shar (true blood) or jeade'en (true finder) combining adjective and noun (not necessarily separated by the apostrophe) to create a pronoun. Someone better with linguistics might be able to figure out RJ's rules on it, I'm at a loss ftm.

From S2, we can determine that aman is a noun as well, denoting dragon.

Conclusions - aman means dragon, a'man -might- mean guardian, without the connotations of truth and justice.

In form, they are a very slight shift, but are they the same in meaning? Does a guardian have anything to do with a dragon?

~ dragon (n) A fiercely vigilant or intractable person. /fod
~ vigilant (adj) On the alert; watchful. /fod
~ guardian (n) One that guards, watches over, or protects. /fod

In the English language, there is a direct connection between the words 'dragon' (in this context) and 'guardian'; guardians are by role, vigilant; a guardian who goes above beyond a normal standard of vigilance could be easily considered a dragon.

Example: To denote that shift in language, one might remove the apostrophe. Were this how the OT works, it would be reasonable to suggest that an Asha'man is a guardian of truth and justice, while an Ashaman is a dragon of truth and justice.

Both proper nouns indicating actual people, not animals.

Thoughts?

GonzoTheGreat
01-02-2012, 05:27 AM
No-one really knows what a Jabberwock looks like, but we know it has eyes of flame, jaws that bite, claws that catch, whiffles through the wood, and burbles as it does so.
Authorative picture of a Jabberwocky (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/TheJabberwocky.jpg).

Which, of course, sort of is the point: if there is a more or less well known mythical creature called a "dragon" (or a "jabberwocky"), then someone will have drawn or painted it. Which then provides the basis for more pictures, and one or more of those become standard. Whereupon people do know what that being looks like: they simply use that picture for reference.

Zombie Sammael
01-02-2012, 05:37 AM
Authorative picture of a Jabberwocky (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/TheJabberwocky.jpg).

Which, of course, sort of is the point: if there is a more or less well known mythical creature called a "dragon" (or a "jabberwocky"), then someone will have drawn or painted it. Which then provides the basis for more pictures, and one or more of those become standard. Whereupon people do know what that being looks like: they simply use that picture for reference.

It can't be an "authorative" picture if it's an illustration. It's merely one person's interpretation. if you can provide pictures of a jub-jub bird, a bandersnatch (both frumious and non-frumious), and a snark (both boojum and non-boojum), your argument will start having a bit more force. I think eht slat meit is on the right track though.

GonzoTheGreat
01-02-2012, 07:58 AM
It can't be an "authorative" picture if it's an illustration. It's merely one person's interpretation.
Of course it can. The Jabberwock is a product of Intelligent Design, and this picture was drawn up by the actual sub-contractor in charge of drawings for the actual Intelligent Designer of the Jabberwock. That's as authoritative as it gets.

Lupusdeusest
01-02-2012, 10:53 AM
Of course it can. The Jabberwock is a product of Intelligent Design, and this picture was drawn up by the actual sub-contractor in charge of drawings for the actual Intelligent Designer of the Jabberwock. That's as authoritative as it gets.


Would the Creator paint with all the colours of the mountain?

GonzoTheGreat
01-02-2012, 11:07 AM
Would the Creator paint with all the colours of the mountain?
An interesting theological question. Then again, are we allowed to question the Creator like that?

Lupusdeusest
01-02-2012, 11:33 AM
An interesting theological question. Then again, are we allowed to question the Creator like that?

The Creator made us to question. Were we not meant to question, we would be unable to do so.

GonzoTheGreat
01-02-2012, 12:31 PM
The questions might come from the Dark One.

So might, for that matter, the designation "Dragon". Could be why LTT was not really comfortable with it.

Lupusdeusest
01-02-2012, 06:56 PM
The questions might come from the Dark One.

So might, for that matter, the designation "Dragon". Could be why LTT was not really comfortable with it.


Brings the Creator's comments in TEotW into a different perspective.

Crispin's Crispian
01-03-2012, 12:41 PM
This does, of course, lead us to speculate where LTT got the name from. What facet of the "dragon" was he named for? The fiercely vigilant, intractable personality? The ability to fly, or do things unheard of with fire? Battlefield raging? There's a number of things that come to mind, but it's the first that I keep coming back to. A quote from Lanfear that I saw on... DM, I think, about liking LTT better as the uncertain young Rand due to his unyielding nature.

Ultimately, that's why I tend to think he was named for the the latter definition instead of the former. I don't discredit other possibility, of course, because like I said... there's no clear-cut derivation, just what apply from our real world knowledge.

More importantly for me--where did LTT or his followers come up with the design for this "creature?" If it was based on a known animal (real or legendary) it would already have a name. Since we know the name came from Lews Therin directly, it means someone invented the thing out of whole cloth. Maybe it was a PLE!

The other consideration is that the word "aman" is a bastardization or derivation of "oman" as in, "Teloman." That would make the etymology much more direct.

Zombie Sammael
01-03-2012, 01:24 PM
More importantly for me--where did LTT or his followers come up with the design for this "creature?" If it was based on a known animal (real or legendary) it would already have a name. Since we know the name came from Lews Therin directly, it means someone invented the thing out of whole cloth. Maybe it was a PLE!

The other consideration is that the word "aman" is a bastardization or derivation of "oman" as in, "Teloman." That would make the etymology much more direct.

Telamon. And I'll be putting down suggestions that Pattern Level Events are responsible for relatively mundane things like how the Dragon got its name with the following line from now on: "The Creator doesn't wash dishes*". ;)

*If anyone wants to ask Brandon if the Creator washes dishes, feel free.

Crispin's Crispian
01-03-2012, 01:50 PM
Telamon. And I'll be putting down suggestions that Pattern Level Events are responsible for relatively mundane things like how the Dragon got its name with the following line from now on: "The Creator doesn't wash dishes*". ;)

*If anyone wants to ask Brandon if the Creator washes dishes, feel free.

Tell your own mon.

Maybe not dishes, but does he play dice?

The PLE thing was a joke, of course. I supppose it's possible that the Pattern guided Lews's hand while he was drawing a personal logo/sigil. We know he could draw, unlike Rand, right?

Zombie Sammael
01-03-2012, 01:57 PM
Tell your own mon.

Maybe not dishes, but does he play dice?

The PLE thing was a joke, of course. I supppose it's possible that the Pattern guided Lews's hand while he was drawing a personal logo/sigil. We know he could draw, unlike Rand, right?

I'd think the idea that he saw some sort of similar creature in a dream, or simply came up with it off his own bat, would be sensible. He might have found it on some artifact; we don't know the Dragon banner isn't itself a relic of an earlier age.

eht slat meit
01-03-2012, 06:27 PM
The other consideration is that he word "aman" is a bastardization or derivation of "oman" as in, "Teloman." That would make the etymology much more direct.

It might also reflect a pluralization, though I'm not sure I understand RJ's grammatical rules well enough to make the claim, and "Compleat OT" has it as speculated, not confirmed.

If so, that might make the translation of "Telamon" something along the lines of "Dragon of Worlds", if I'm understanding the mechanics properly.

Zombie Sammael
01-04-2012, 05:39 AM
It might also reflect a pluralization, though I'm not sure I understand RJ's grammatical rules well enough to make the claim, and "Compleat OT" has it as speculated, not confirmed.

If so, that might make the translation of "Telamon" something along the lines of "Dragon of Worlds", if I'm understanding the mechanics properly.

I'd agree with you, but I think it's worth pointing out the argument someone made to me when I suggested something similar: "the" in "thesaurus" does not mean the same thing as "the" as a word itself.

eht slat meit
01-04-2012, 01:10 PM
I'd agree with you, but I think it's worth pointing out the argument someone made to me when I suggested something similar: "the" in "thesaurus" does not mean the same thing as "the" as a word itself.

Ah, I knew I missed mentioning something when I added that comment.

Unlike that analysis that I did of a'man versus aman, I'm far less sure on the analysis of LTT's name because it requires one or two steps of extended reasoning. Adding speculation on his naming conventions to speculation on his grammar rules for the OT dramatically decreases the likelihood of accuracy.

That said, speculating anyway! :)

My 'theory' on the name Telamon is based on what I perceive to be RJ's naming conventions, which have three parts.
1. First name, that which every man or woman of the AOL possesses, identifying them. - Ilyena, Lews, Meirin.
2. Family name, that which identifies the family of a person by blood or marriage. - Therin
3. Distinguishing name, that which is granted by others to a person for some outstanding achievement and is highly coveted by many... by some agency? - Telamon, Tedronai, Boann, Medar

The question at that point becomes: what does the third name signify that makes it an honorific? It -could- be a name for another famed individual in the past, perhaps, or it could be a name that reflects their accomplishment. I'm more inclined to the latter notion.

We know that "Dragon" was -a- (not necessarily the only, or all of it) name given to LTT. Was it his distinguishing name, and the definition of Telamon that earned him this third name? There don't seem to be any useful details on this. It could mean something entirely different, but we only seem to know that it was for the accomplishments over his lifetime. It might mean something else entirely, based on different etymology and naming conventions.

Perhaps his name shifted from the lesser form of Tela'mon to the further distinguished Telamon (from guardian to dragon), which results in his discomfort with the name. Titles are one thing, but perhaps tinkering with one's distinguishing name to confer even -more- status would smack of glorification that is due only the Creator.

The last idea resonates the most with me, but it's not something I'd argue heatedly for, y'know?

Zombie Sammael
01-04-2012, 01:28 PM
Ah, I knew I missed mentioning something when I added that comment.

Unlike that analysis that I did of a'man versus aman, I'm far less sure on the analysis of LTT's name because it requires one or two steps of extended reasoning. Adding speculation on his naming conventions to speculation on his grammar rules for the OT dramatically decreases the likelihood of accuracy.

That said, speculating anyway! :)

My 'theory' on the name Telamon is based on what I perceive to be RJ's naming conventions, which have three parts.
1. First name, that which every man or woman of the AOL possesses, identifying them. - Ilyena, Lews, Meirin.
2. Family name, that which identifies the family of a person by blood or marriage. - Therin
3. Distinguishing name, that which is granted by others to a person for some outstanding achievement and is highly coveted by many... by some agency? - Telamon, Tedronai, Boann, Medar

The question at that point becomes: what does the third name signify that makes it an honorific? It -could- be a name for another famed individual in the past, perhaps, or it could be a name that reflects their accomplishment. I'm more inclined to the latter notion.

We know that "Dragon" was -a- (not necessarily the only, or all of it) name given to LTT. Was it his distinguishing name, and the definition of Telamon that earned him this third name? There don't seem to be any useful details on this. It could mean something entirely different, but we only seem to know that it was for the accomplishments over his lifetime. It might mean something else entirely, based on different etymology and naming conventions.

Perhaps his name shifted from the lesser form of Tela'mon to the further distinguished Telamon (from guardian to dragon), which results in his discomfort with the name. Titles are one thing, but perhaps tinkering with one's distinguishing name to confer even -more- status would smack of glorification that is due only the Creator.

The last idea resonates the most with me, but it's not something I'd argue heatedly for, y'know?

We are rather retreading some old ground here, but I personally don't mind since you've clearly thought about it; you seem to have come up with a solution that would defeat the argument made when this was suggested before, which was that LTT had his third name before the War of the Power. I believe the citation for that is the BWB somewhere, but I can't find it right now. The only trouble is, as I think you acknowledged, there is no real evidence that LTT's name was ever Tela'mon in the first place; also "Guardian of the World" would make little sense as a name prior to the War of the Power, unless maybe LTT was a noted environmentalist :p.

Still, I am of the opinion that the name "Dragon" had to come from somewhere, whether that's LTT or some real or imagined creature, since, as I pointed out to Crispin, the Creator Does Not Wash Dishes. I wonder if it's possible that the word "Dragon" actually existed in that form in the OT, with "aman" only being used when something was ascribed to the Dragon, as in siswai'aman?

eht slat meit
01-04-2012, 01:55 PM
We are rather retreading some old ground here, but I personally don't mind since you've clearly thought about it; you seem to have come up with a solution that would defeat the argument made when this was suggested before, which was that LTT had his third name before the War of the Power. I believe the citation for that is the BWB somewhere, but I can't find it right now. The only trouble is, as I think you acknowledged, there is no real evidence that LTT's name was ever Tela'mon in the first place; also "Guardian of the World" would make little sense as a name prior to the War of the Power, unless maybe LTT was a noted environmentalist :p.

Still, I am of the opinion that the name "Dragon" had to come from somewhere, whether that's LTT or some real or imagined creature, since, as I pointed out to Crispin, the Creator Does Not Wash Dishes. I wonder if it's possible that the word "Dragon" actually existed in that form in the OT, with "aman" only being used when something was ascribed to the Dragon, as in siswai'aman?

On a side note about that particular interpretation, since I only mentioned it in passing rather than elaborating on it.

IF my translation of the name "Telamon" is correct, that would be Guardian of World(s), with an emphasis on the plural form. That takes on a whole new level of meaning when you consider the Portal Stones and the fact (?) that they were in use during the AoL, up through the end of Hawkwing's rule.

Zombie Sammael
01-04-2012, 02:30 PM
On a side note about that particular interpretation, since I only mentioned it in passing rather than elaborating on it.

IF my translation of the name "Telamon" is correct, that would be Guardian of World(s), with an emphasis on the plural form. That takes on a whole new level of meaning when you consider the Portal Stones and the fact (?) that they were in use during the AoL, up through the end of Hawkwing's rule.

I'm not sure if you might be confusing Portal Stones with Waygates. Certainly the darkening of the Ways didn't happen until around Hawkwing's time, putting an end to their use, but I don't think Portal Stones were in any kind of regular use at any time since the AOL:

“It was only a few pages. Part of it said Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends, some of those who could Travel, the most powerful of them, could use these Stones. It did not say how, but I think, from what I could puzzle out, that perhaps those Aes Sedai used the Stones somehow to journey to those worlds.”

Since Travelling apparently disappeared during the Breaking, it seems likely that Portal Stone usage did as well. It does stand to reason that if they were used in the AOL, LTT might have used them, though. Perhaps, since the AS were obviously looking for ways to remove the gender divide from the OP, one line of research involved the Stones.

eht slat meit
01-04-2012, 03:05 PM
I'm not sure if you might be confusing Portal Stones with Waygates. Certainly the darkening of the Ways didn't happen until around Hawkwing's time, putting an end to their use, but I don't think Portal Stones were in any kind of regular use at any time since the AOL:

Eh, my point is that they were in use during the AoL, and that "Guardian of Worlds" might have something to do with those Portal Stones. The Portal Stones lead to -other- worlds, the Waygates only take a person to other places in Randland.

You've probably got me on technical accuracy for the exact duration, but for some reason I recall there being mention of Hawkwing's Seanchan using the stones to bring back some of their critters?

Since Travelling apparently disappeared during the Breaking, it seems likely that Portal Stone usage did as well. It does stand to reason that if they were used in the AOL, LTT might have used them, though. Perhaps, since the AS were obviously looking for ways to remove the gender divide from the OP, one line of research involved the Stones.

In other words, this here is pretty much what I'm getting at. While their research might have been incomplete, there are some very clear implications about the dangers of such research. The Portal Stones are two-way doors, and what you find on the other side isn't always going to be friendly.

As the central world, Randland Prime, LTT might have had a responsibility to see that such did not happen, overseeing other "aman" known as Rods of Dominion.

Speculation of course, especially so when I mention the Rods. It may be that my thinking is being unduly influenced by my recent digging into the norse mythology underpinnings that appear prevalent throughout the books, and that I'm envisioning a parallel between Yggsdrasil, Randland and the Mirror Worlds that doesn't really exist.

Grig
01-04-2012, 03:40 PM
You've probably got me on technical accuracy for the exact duration, but for some reason I recall there being mention of Hawkwing's Seanchan using the stones to bring back some of their critters?

Pretty sure that was from the BBoBA, which can't really be considered canon since it suffers from the same issue of unreliable narrator as the series at large. It still seems like a reasonable explanation for the source of those creatures, as it was an obvious inference from TGH.

Zombie Sammael
01-04-2012, 04:10 PM
Eh, my point is that they were in use during the AoL, and that "Guardian of Worlds" might have something to do with those Portal Stones. The Portal Stones lead to -other- worlds, the Waygates only take a person to other places in Randland.

You've probably got me on technical accuracy for the exact duration, but for some reason I recall there being mention of Hawkwing's Seanchan using the stones to bring back some of their critters?



In other words, this here is pretty much what I'm getting at. While their research might have been incomplete, there are some very clear implications about the dangers of such research. The Portal Stones are two-way doors, and what you find on the other side isn't always going to be friendly.

As the central world, Randland Prime, LTT might have had a responsibility to see that such did not happen, overseeing other "aman" known as Rods of Dominion.

Speculation of course, especially so when I mention the Rods. It may be that my thinking is being unduly influenced by my recent digging into the norse mythology underpinnings that appear prevalent throughout the books, and that I'm envisioning a parallel between Yggsdrasil, Randland and the Mirror Worlds that doesn't really exist.

Sorry, didn't mean to be nitpicky, but I went into research mode looking for the exact quote, and then I had to post it... :p

I think it is pretty obvious, since Grolm appeared in the Mirror World and are also used by the Seanchan, that there is at least some connection between the Seanchan's exotic animals and the Mirror Worlds, though whether that's due to deliberate usage of Portal Stones by sul'dam to acquire the creatures, or whether it's down to some pre-Seanchan AS bringing them in, remains a mystery. I'd favour the latter, as Seanchan aren't exactly inventive when it comes to the OP*. All of which leads me to this: a Raken, or To'raken, sure does look an awful lot like a Dragon to me...

*I actually had a dream where, for some reason, it fell to me to persuade Tuon to stop using the a'dam. My argument ran along that sort of line; I told her that it didn't work, since its goal was to make the life of the people of Seanchan better, and it didn't achieve that as well as free channelers did. I think I should have a role in AMOL.

eht slat meit
01-04-2012, 04:39 PM
All of which leads me to this: a Raken, or To'raken, sure does look an awful lot like a Dragon to me...


That's not a bad insight, though if the wot-wiki pictures I'm looking at are properly representative, a stylized depiction of a torm might be more accurate - their legs are somewhat longer, and like the creature on the Banner, they have four legs, no wings, and a lizard-like appearance.

An artist's rendition, or a dead creature encountered on another world? No idea.

Grig
01-04-2012, 04:43 PM
I think it is pretty obvious, since Grolm appeared in the Mirror World and are also used by the Seanchan, that there is at least some connection between the Seanchan's exotic animals and the Mirror Worlds, though whether that's due to deliberate usage of Portal Stones by sul'dam to acquire the creatures, or whether it's down to some pre-Seanchan AS bringing them in, remains a mystery.

From the BBoBA, page 163:

"These strange new creatures were not Shadowspawn at all, but the descendants of beasts brought back from parallel worlds, via Portal Stones, during the first thousand years after the Breaking, probably in an attempt to find aid against the real Shadowspawn. While the creatures' effectiveness was not recorded, it was during this same period that all remaining Shadowspawn on the continent were eradicated. The creatures remained, their care and training surviving through all the political upheavals until Luthair's arrival. The knowledge that allowed their procurement by way of the Portal Stones, however, was lost."

So they were used by the Armies of the Night (who did have Aes Sedai), not by the "Seanchan" was we're used to referring to them (that is, Luthair's forces and descendants). Sul'dam and damane would have nothing to do with it. Incidentally, this initial summary of the Exotic Animals of Seanchan section as well as some of the individual animal descriptions are available on Google books, if you want a brief read and don't have the book handy.

Zombie Sammael
01-04-2012, 06:15 PM
From the BBoBA, page 163:

"These strange new creatures were not Shadowspawn at all, but the descendants of beasts brought back from parallel worlds, via Portal Stones, during the first thousand years after the Breaking, probably in an attempt to find aid against the real Shadowspawn. While the creatures' effectiveness was not recorded, it was during this same period that all remaining Shadowspawn on the continent were eradicated. The creatures remained, their care and training surviving through all the political upheavals until Luthair's arrival. The knowledge that allowed their procurement by way of the Portal Stones, however, was lost."

So they were used by the Armies of the Night (who did have Aes Sedai), not by the "Seanchan" was we're used to referring to them (that is, Luthair's forces and descendants). Sul'dam and damane would have nothing to do with it. Incidentally, this initial summary of the Exotic Animals of Seanchan section as well as some of the individual animal descriptions are available on Google books, if you want a brief read and don't have the book handy.

Thanks. I do have a copy of the BWB, but as it's not really cited by EWOT, when I'm looking for a quote it's often difficult to find the quotes from it. As you said before, I don't really consider it quite "cannon" either, and I hope it will be entirely superseded by the Encylcopedia next year.

Marie Curie 7
01-04-2012, 07:40 PM
As the central world, Randland Prime, LTT might have had a responsibility to see that such did not happen, overseeing other "aman" known as Rods of Dominion.

Speculation of course, especially so when I mention the Rods. It may be that my thinking is being unduly influenced by my recent digging into the norse mythology underpinnings that appear prevalent throughout the books, and that I'm envisioning a parallel between Yggsdrasil, Randland and the Mirror Worlds that doesn't really exist.

The Nine Rods of Dominion were essentially regional governors of Randland, and the "rods" themselves were symbols of office. From RJ:

RJ's blog 10 December 2005 "THIS AND THAT" (http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/blog/4/entry-332-this-and-that/)

For someone—Marigan, I think, but my notes are a little wonky right about here—the Crystal Throne is not the High seat of the Tamyrlin, none of the Forsaken were among the Nine Rods of Dominion, and the "Rods" were symbols of office.


DragonCon 4 September 2005 - Emma reporting (http://theoryland.yuku.com/topic/9912)

Question Part 1: I have a question about the Nine Rods of Dominion. We have a couple of references to this, and Ishamael says that Lews Therin summoned the Nine Rods of Dominion, and theories have been floating around. Are the Oath Rods not the Nine Rods of Dominion?

Jordan: They were not the Oath Rods.

Question Part 2: Well are they positions of power? Were they people, or were they actual rods?

Jordan: They were actual people, and they were, but you might call them regional governors of the earth, regional governors of the planet. So if I say, summon them, then we've got a guy who has been given in effect ultimate power.


From the BBoBA, page 163:

"These strange new creatures were not Shadowspawn at all, but the descendants of beasts brought back from parallel worlds, via Portal Stones, during the first thousand years after the Breaking, probably in an attempt to find aid against the real Shadowspawn. While the creatures' effectiveness was not recorded, it was during this same period that all remaining Shadowspawn on the continent were eradicated. The creatures remained, their care and training surviving through all the political upheavals until Luthair's arrival. The knowledge that allowed their procurement by way of the Portal Stones, however, was lost."

The problem with this is that the grolm were seen in The Great Hunt in a Mirror World, not a Parallel World. And RJ has stated that the Portal Stones connect Randland only to Mirror Worlds, not Parallel Worlds:

DragonCon 4 September 2005 - Matt Hatch reporting (http://theoryland.yuku.com/topic/9910/t/Third-Q-amp-A-Sunday.html#.Tn4qtr-4LqY)

Matt Hatch: This is in reference to a previous question I asked you about Parallel Worlds and Mirror Worlds, today I believe, and you mentioned they are different. And the question I had about Portal Stones was do Portal Stones lead to Parallel Worlds, Mirror Worlds, or both?

Robert Jordan: They lead to Mirror Worlds, the Portal Stones can take you to Mirror Worlds, not to Parallels, which are separate.

So there are some questions about how and where the grolm and other Seanchan exotics were obtained.

eht slat meit
01-04-2012, 07:50 PM
So there are some questions about how and where the grolm and other Seanchan exotics were obtained.

Thanks for the insight on the Rods. Guess I haven't gotten to that point in the interviews.

As far as the grolm are concerned, is there any reason to believe they can't exist in both the Mirror Worlds and the Parallels?

Zombie Sammael
01-04-2012, 08:21 PM
I would suggest that that is very likely an example of the BWB being wrong about something due to the fact that it was not wholly authored by the principal writers involved with the series. We know, Brandon Sanderson knows, and Robert Jordan knew, that there is a difference between a Mirror World and a Parallel World, and that position has been clarified since the publication of the BWB; the co-author of the BWB may not have known, or it may simply be a mistake.

Marie Curie 7
01-04-2012, 10:17 PM
"Mummy, why do we call Lews Therin the Dragon?"

"Because a Dragon is a powerful beast, dear, and Lews Therin is a powerful man."

"So is that creature on his banner a dragon, Mummy?"

"Yes, I suppose it must be dear."

...by which I mean to say, the quote doesn't necessarily mean what you'd like us to infer it means.

Here, you seem to be making the assumption that myths and/or legends about dragons existed during the Age of Legends. However, there is no such evidence from the books or from RJ to support that assumption. Furthermore, RJ even stated in the quote that I supplied that calling the beast on the banner 'dragon' was an association with the name given to Lews Therin – simply that.

In addition, we know that RJ said that Randland is a source of our myths and legends, and we are a source of theirs. It seems pretty clear from the progression in the books that RJ was setting up the myths that we have about dragons in our current world to have evolved from events in Randland during the Second and Third Ages.

The connection begins with Lews Therin and Rand named as the Dragon and Dragon Reborn, respectively. Our myths about dragons as ferocious and destructive beasts are certainly satisfied by Lews Therin being the ultimate 'cause' of the Breaking of the World, and with Rand as Dragon Reborn breaking the world again.

The connection continues with the association of the unknown and nonexistent beast on Lews Therin's banner with the name 'dragon' by the people of the Age of Legends, and again in the Third Age when Rand uses it:

TITLE: Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 9 - Decisions

But if the herons "named him true," what need for Dragons? For that matter, what was a Dragon? The only Dragon he had ever heard of was Lews Therin Telamon. Lews Therin Kinslayer had been the Dragon; the Dragon was the Kinslayer. Except now there was himself. But he could not be marked with himself. Perhaps the figure on the banner was a Dragon; not even Aes Sedai seemed to know what that creature was.


I think it is pretty obvious, since Grolm appeared in the Mirror World and are also used by the Seanchan, that there is at least some connection between the Seanchan's exotic animals and the Mirror Worlds, though whether that's due to deliberate usage of Portal Stones by sul'dam to acquire the creatures, or whether it's down to some pre-Seanchan AS bringing them in, remains a mystery. I'd favour the latter, as Seanchan aren't exactly inventive when it comes to the OP*. All of which leads me to this: a Raken, or To'raken, sure does look an awful lot like a Dragon to me...

Heh, if only RJ had thought of that... :s The generation of our myths in which some dragons appear as flying beasts from events in Randland is certainly further set up by the following:

TITLE: Knife of Dreams
CHAPTER: 21 – Within the Stone

He had not come to Tear to kill anyone, though, not unless he had to, so he rode into the stableyard of a tile-roofed inn, three stories of dark gray stone with a prosperous look. The sign out front was freshly painted with, of all things, a rough approximation of the creatures encircling his forearms. The artist apparently had decided the thing was inadequate as described, though, because he had added long, sharp teeth and leathery, ribbed wings. Wings! They almost looked copied from one of those Seanchan flying beasts. Cadsuane looked at the sign and snorted. Nynaeve looked at it and giggled. So did Min!

So here there is also the connection to dragons as flying beasts from the incorporation of real Seanchan raken into the picture.

The connection with fire-breathing dragons in our mythology and events in the Second/Third Ages may come from a couple of things in the events of Randland. First, it may be a distortion over time of the use of the One Power by Lews Therin and/or Rand. Second, it may follow from the Prophecies of the Dragon; for example:

"With his coming are the dread fires born again. The hills burn, and the land turns sere. The tides of men run out, and the hours dwindle. The wall is pierced, and the veil of parting raised. Storms rumble beyond the horizon, and the fires of heaven purge the earth. There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death."

"As the plow breaks the earth shall he break the lives of men, and all that was shall be consumed in the fire of his eyes. The trumpets of war shall sound at his footsteps, the ravens feed at his voice, and he shall wear a crown of swords."

And finally, it may have resulted from a linkage with Mat and Aludra and naming the cannons 'dragons', since they certainly will release fire upon the enemy. And really, it most likely is meant by RJ to be a combination of all of those things.

Marie Curie 7
01-04-2012, 10:38 PM
I would suggest that that is very likely an example of the BWB being wrong about something due to the fact that it was not wholly authored by the principal writers involved with the series. We know, Brandon Sanderson knows, and Robert Jordan knew, that there is a difference between a Mirror World and a Parallel World, and that position has been clarified since the publication of the BWB; the co-author of the BWB may not have known, or it may simply be a mistake.

RJ certainly knew the difference between Mirror Worlds and Parallel Worlds, but Brandon apparently didn't have a firm grasp on it, at least as of two years ago. Maria had to clarify his comments (and even she had to check to make sure that she had it right):

Driving Mr. Sanderson (from Half Moon Bay to San Jose), 21 November 2009 - Matt Hatch reporting (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2714)

Matt: Is the True Power used by any other creatures or beings within parallel or perpendicular worlds or other dimensions?

Brandon: Ok, see answering that actually gets us a 'begging the question' because . . . let’s step back: the question that people should be asking is does the Dark One exist in all of these parallels . . .

Matt: Okay, so yeah this is the question I’ll ask, you make a good point. Are there worlds and dimensions that exist outside of the Pattern?

Brandon: Ok, see that’s the question you should be asking. I mean, you should be asking it, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to answer it. [laughter] But that’s at the core of the question. I’m going to discuss it without giving you the answer. I like to do this because I think it frames the question without giving you too much information that I have that I don’t think is appropriate to share right now. Extrapolations of this question get us to: is there one Dragon for all different Parallels or are they all different Dragons? Traveling through the Portal Stone seems to indicate that there are many different lives Rand could have led. The same thing happens with several of the ter’angreal that people go through. The question then is, are those all separate universes? Do we have a multiverse sort of concept? Or are they possibilities? And do these worlds all exist, or could exist...what is the difference? In some of those Rand failed. So, is Rand the Dragon in all of them, or is Rand not the Dragon in some of them? What happens in the ones where Rand failed? Are they real worlds? Are those different worlds where there is a different Dark One who then takes over and destroys that world? Or maybe not, maybe he makes it as he wishes. Or are those just possibilities, reflections of this world that don’t really exist except when we touch them? Those are all very good questions. Robert Jordan said that Tel'aran'rhiod is a reflection of all different worlds, which implies other worlds continue to exist. The World of the 'Finns is something different...

Matt: He called it a parallel world.

Brandon: Yes, the parallel world, that one and also the one Rand and Lanfear visited are persistent regardless of someone from this world visiting.

Maria clarifies:

[Maria: I had to look it up to make sure that I had which one was which correct. The ‘finn worlds are parallel worlds, the Ogier world is a parallel world. The place that Lanfear, Rand, Loial and Hurin went to was a Mirror World, as were all of the ones in the Portal Stone incident.]

(Brandon cont.) Yet, many of those seem almost shadowy and reflections of the real world, some of them seem as real—just strange when visiting them. What happens in these different worlds? That sort of thing, those were never questions that Robert Jordan answered . . .

Matt: The answers exist?

Brandon: The answers exist, but are there many parallel Patterns or is there one Pattern?

Regardless, Brandon has had nothing to contribute to the origins of the grolm in TGS or TOM, so this has little relevance to the question.

The BWB is really seldom inaccurate, as far as we know, though people like to toss the fact that it may be out whenever the BWB is invoked for information. When it is inaccurate, it is usually pretty obvious, because it generally includes some qualifying language when there is a question about its veracity.

eht slat meit
01-04-2012, 11:06 PM
"With his coming are the dread fires born again. The hills burn, and the land turns sere. The tides of men run out, and the hours dwindle. The wall is pierced, and the veil of parting raised. Storms rumble beyond the horizon, and the fires of heaven purge the earth. There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death." -RJ

Finally, it clicks. For some reason, I could not for the life of me place which book that came from, and totally didn't realize it was the KC.

I'm bringing this up as tangential bit of piece of marginal relevance to the actual discussion, but it's just something I think is cool and makes me wonder just how much of his inspiration RJ takes from Norse mythology:

Now death is the portion of doomed men,
Red with blood the buildings of gods,
The sun turns black in the summer after,
Winds whine. Well, would know more?

Earth sinks in the sea, the sun turns black,
Cast down from Heaven are the hot stars,
Fumes reek, into flames burst,
The sky itself is scorched with fire. ~ the Voluspa

That's not the only part, of course, but I'll avoid spamming this reply up.

Grig
01-05-2012, 11:25 AM
Just noting that just because Rand/Hurin/Lanfear saw grolm in a Mirror World doesn't mean they could not have been sourced from a Parallel World. I am sure in their travails when Rand messed up in transporting them to Toman Head they saw Ogier in the Mirror World lives they lived through, but it's still Word of God that Ogier came from a Parallel World.

Glad to see a little discussion about the difference between Mirror and Parallel. I was kind of hoping for that. I've read the signing excerpts that mention them, but still don't have a great grasp on the details of how they differ and the possible implications of such.

Zombie Sammael
01-05-2012, 11:52 AM
Just noting that just because Rand/Hurin/Lanfear saw grolm in a Mirror World doesn't mean they could not have been sourced from a Parallel World. I am sure in their travails when Rand messed up in transporting them to Toman Head they saw Ogier in the Mirror World lives they lived through, but it's still Word of God that Ogier came from a Parallel World.

Glad to see a little discussion about the difference between Mirror and Parallel. I was kind of hoping for that. I've read the signing excerpts that mention them, but still don't have a great grasp on the details of how they differ and the possible implications of such.

My understanding is mirror world are worlds our world could have been, while parallel worlds are strange other universes with different physical laws, inhabited by strange otherworldly beings.