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Abbaaddon
01-03-2012, 07:58 AM
Hi everyone, I'm new on the forum.
I've posted this topic on antoher forum, yet I have not been answered :(

I've been through ToM once again and it struck me all of a sudden. Tuon is far from reasy for the Last Battle, only focused in striking the White Tower, which will be gathering for war if not already on its way.

I don't know how you feel about it but I find it hard to imagine the Tarmon Gaidon solved in one big battle, so in my mind they may have so time to prepare and to move, especially as they got Traveling, yet I have the feeling they won't do so unless Mat manages to convince Tuon. I had imagined a meeting in Tar Valon, Mat going there to get the Horn and so on but as Caemlyn is under attack I think he'll be with Talmanes trying to preserve the Dragons. Then, one "funny" thing could be that the Seanchan get a grip on the Horn and bring it back to Tuon as a present for the Empress-may she live for ever, which would force Mat to confront her and fully assume his role as the Prince of the Raven. By doing so he will be the leader of the Seanchan army and the co-leader of Rand's. Pretty messy situation...


Your thoughts about it ?

GonzoTheGreat
01-03-2012, 08:17 AM
Neat idea that the Seanchan would have the Horn when Mat asks Egwene to give it to him. That's gonna create some interesting problems all around.

Zombie Sammael
01-03-2012, 12:26 PM
Mat is obviously pretty key to the negotiation of a truce between Rand and the Seanchan, as well as the resolution of the Damane issue. My favourite theory on this matter is that the Seanchan will attack the WT only to find it largely empty, since Egwene has taken literally everyone to the Fields of Merrilor in preparation for TG.

Terez
01-03-2012, 12:32 PM
If there's anything to the Horn-Illian connection, then it's shaping up to be a battle over the border of Illian (Rand's only crown) and Altara (Tuon's capital).

Fin
01-09-2012, 09:13 PM
i was always under the opinion of tuon siding with rand/mat after the horn is sounded. i mean how can you seriously claim fealty under hawkwing's banner if you are fighting against the guy who helped father your empire? maybe not precisely like that but something along those lines

Loial
01-10-2012, 12:18 AM
One has to wonder about the role of the Seanchan. We know that the big unification comes after the Last Battle, if at all. (Aviendha's vision of the future doesn't look all that rosy.) Right now (end of ToM) it looks as if the best we can hope for is for the Seanchan to be passive or do something useful by accident. I don't see how Rand could bring Tuon around in the short time left. After the LB, their settlers may fill the large part of Randland that's currently uninhabited, like Caralain Grass.

Terez
01-10-2012, 12:35 AM
i was always under the opinion of tuon siding with rand/mat after the horn is sounded. i mean how can you seriously claim fealty under hawkwing's banner if you are fighting against the guy who helped father your empire? maybe not precisely like that but something along those linesIt's a popular idea, but it's too easy. Better for them to work toward the truce in some way or another before that point.

One has to wonder about the role of the Seanchan. We know that the big unification comes after the Last Battle, if at all. (Aviendha's vision of the future doesn't look all that rosy.) Right now (end of ToM) it looks as if the best we can hope for is for the Seanchan to be passive or do something useful by accident. I don't see how Rand could bring Tuon around in the short time left. After the LB, their settlers may fill the large part of Randland that's currently uninhabited, like Caralain Grass.
I really doubt that Rand will have much or anything to do with bringing Tuon around.

Loial
01-10-2012, 01:01 AM
Nicola Treehill's foretelling implies that all will go to hell even after the Last Battle unless they revive Rand, and it mentions the return, among other things. And there is that bit about "binding the nine moons to serve him." The last is obviously a metaphor but still, Rand will have to deal with the Seanchan, one way or the other. He'll need Mat, of course, but Rand will be involved, too.

Terez
01-10-2012, 01:08 AM
Nicola Treehill's foretelling implies that all will go to hell even after the Last Battle unless they revive Rand, and it mentions the return, among other things. And there is that bit about "binding the nine moons to serve him." The last is obviously a metaphor but still, Rand will have to deal with the Seanchan, one way or the other. He'll need Mat, of course, but Rand will be involved, too.Nicola's Foretelling implies that Rand will be in the process of resurrection as the battle between Seanchan and Randland goes on elsewhere. The Foretelling says 'the great battle', NOT the Last Battle, and the 'great battle' probably refers to the Battle of Caemlyn, because Rand can't win the Last Battle without the Seanchan truce. And since the prophecies gave Rand credit for Healing severing, there some room for interpretation on the 'nine moons' one. I think it's more likely to have to do with the Oath Rod. The most important players for the truce IMO are Mat and Egwene.

Loial
01-10-2012, 02:00 AM
The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade.

I don't think the great battle can be anything other than the "Last Battle," which of course is by no means the last battle ever fought. And why would Rand die before the Bore is closed? All the foreshadowing points at Rand's death, with blood spilled, at Shayol Ghul.

Terez
01-10-2012, 04:11 AM
I don't think the great battle can be anything other than the "Last Battle," which of course is by no mean the last battle ever fought.Why? It specifically doesn't say 'last battle', so there is good reason to question it. Another good reason to question it is the fact that the land is still divided by the Return, when the Aelfinn said that 'the two must be as one' for him to have any chance at winning. Of course, most people assume that there is a truce for the duration of the Last Battle and that they go back to fighting once the battle is done. IMO, that also doesn't make much sense. It's certainly not what happened in the future that Aviendha saw, since they were abiding by the Peace.

There is a lot of foreshadowing indicating that the general perception of the Last Battle is not going to line up with what actually happened. Many think that Logain will get the credit for winning the Last Battle. I think that's quite likely, at least in some respects, and Logain's battle will be the battle for the Black Tower, and Caemlyn, and perhaps the Borderlands as well. Arthurian legend suggests that Rand will die at the battle of Caemlyn, more or less concurrent with it at least, and Egwene has a dream showing Logain stepping up to power over the Asha'man (via clear symbolism) over Rand's dead body, which falls apart when Egwene touches it (indicating at the very least that Rand's death is not permanent).

The mass invasion of Shadowspawn is, in fact, what most people expect the Last Battle to be. They know that Rand has to go to Shayol Ghul and do his thing, but it's not their department. Most of them will never know what happens there. There will be stories about what really happened, but most people will not believe them. They will believe other stories, some of which downplay Rand's badassery and some of which attribute badassery to him that is pure 'blue sky', as RJ liked to say. It's one of the overarching themes of the series, that most people really have no clue what is going on at any given time. And so the Battle of Caemlyn will likely be synonymous with 'last battle' for many people, and the importance of Caemlyn, plus the Black Tower, and the likely involvement of all the nations meeting at Merrilor...sounds like a great battle to me, either way you cut it. But Rand is dead, and as per Nicola's Foretelling and the dream shared by Bair and Melaine, as of the time of his death, it ain't over yet. Presumably because he hasn't yet done his thing at Shayol Ghul.

And why would Rand die before the Bore is closed? Makes no sense.It makes perfect sense. Because, after all, you need a better reason to resurrect him (as you see in Nicola's Foretelling) than the fact that his girlfriends miss him.

Furthermore, I think one of the as-yet-unspoken themes of the series is the question of what would happen if the prophesied savior died before saving the world. RJ was originally planning to have the real Dragon decide that he just couldn't do it:

ComicCon Wrap-Up - July 22, 2004 (http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/blog/2/entry-2-comiccon-wrap-up/)
JASON DENZELAnother question was about why he chose, out of all of his ideas, to write the story of the savior of a world.

ROBERT JORDAN
While he didn't go into great depth as to why he chose it, he did discuss how the story originally formed. Some of you reading may probably know that originally Rand and Tam were basically the same character. This character came home to Emond's Field (which was not yet then called Emond's Field) after having fought in many wars. He was not the prophesied savior, but the guy who was—wasn't up for the job and was unable to do it. RJ said that he still would like to maybe tell that story someday (presumably in another world, not his WoT world), and said he may write it some day.
RJ was probably exploring ways that he could subvert the general savior trope. This guy who couldn't do the job was one way of subverting, but I think the one he settled on is better.

Of course, Rand will be resurrected, and everything will be okay, and he'll live happily ever after in the Westwood with Min and their kids and Tam. No one will know—everyone will think he went up to heaven on a chariot of fire or something—but every now and then he'll be spotted in the Westwood, which will no doubt be the king's (Perrin's) forest. But during that period of time when everyone knows he's dead, things will be a little chaotic.

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....his destruction shall bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, and shall shake their very will itself.A man lay dying in a narrow bed, and it was important he not die, yet outside a funeral pyre was being built, and voices raised songs of joy and sadness.Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation.The Shadow shall rise across the world, and darken every land, even to the smallest corner, and there shall be neither Light nor safety. And he who shall be born of the Dawn, born of the Maiden, according to Prophecy, he shall stretch forth his hands to catch the Shadow, and the world shall scream in the pain of salvation. All Glory be to the Creator, and to the Light, and to he who shall be born again. May the Light save us from him.Of course, that brings up the question of 1) why he has to die, and 2) why the Light needs to save the world from the savior. The answer to that question is really clear by now—he has to sever the link with Moridin. They are essentially becoming the same person. Rand can't win at Shayol Ghul until he severs that link, because the link makes him vulnerable and allows the Shadow to influence him.

There are three ways to resurrect someone that we know of.

1. Balefire. Seems pointless, since theoretically everything would revert to normal when his death is undone, including the link with Moridin. Of course, we're left to wonder when it comes to Mat's link with the Horn, but we'll know if someone other than Mat can use the Horn. Of course, Tuon is likely to get it. But it won't work for her. ;)

2. Transmigration. Obviously the Dark One resurrecting Rand would be a bad thing.

3. What Moghedien did to Birgitte. Not as bad as it might seem, since we know from Min that Birgitte is still linked to Gaidal and to the Wheel—she was just ripped out ahead of Gaidal, so she'll be older than him. That appears to be the only major consequence. Of course, Birgitte almost died, but Elayne saved her with the bond. That's what you see in Nicola's Foretelling—Rand being bonded again by his three women so that he can survive after Nynaeve rips him out.

All the foreshadowing points at Rand's death, with blood spilled at Shayol Ghul.

But none of it ever says straight out that he will die there. RJ even brought that to our attention several times. One of my favorites is this example:

TITLE - A Crown of Swords
PROLOGUE - Lightnings

Of course, the damage he had wrought was nothing beside what he could have caused, free. Not to mention the possibility that he might have gotten himself killed before he was needed. Well, that troublesome young man would be wrapped in swaddling and kept safe as an infant in his mother’s arms until time to take him to Shayol Ghul. After that, if he survived...

Elaida’s lips pursed. The Prophecies of the Dragon seemed to say he would not, which undeniably would be for the best.It's all very vague. This is one of Rand's constant frustrations, that most people take it for granted that he will save them from certain destruction, and will be happy to see the back of him when he is done.

"I am the Dragon Reborn," he whispered at the walls sometimes, and sometimes shouted at them. "I am the Dragon Reborn!" Silently and aloud he raged at those who opposed him, the blind fools who could not see and those who refused to see, for ambition or avarice or fear. He was the Dragon Reborn, the only hope of the world against the Dark One. And the Light help the world for it.Rand dying before he saves the day is RJ's literary vengeance on all these people. I don't think it's coincidental that there are a good number of people who will know the minute Rand dies. Alanna will know (everyone thinks she will die and have an effect on him somehow, but I think it more likely to be the opposite) and Alanna is in the Borderlands. Elayne, Min, and Aviendha will know. Mat and Perrin will know. Fain will know.

Of course, the ones to suffer the most will be the ones who have been behind Rand all this time, but they will be the ones figuring out what to do about it while the rest of the world wails in self-pity. And then you will see people like Renwald Fanwar, going to fight anyway. People like Logain. Prophecy be damned; if the world is in danger, you do something about it. That's what this story is about.

Another overarching theme that RJ has talked about is that it's not just about Rand. He can't do it by himself.

Master of the lightnings, rider on the storm, wearer of a crown of swords, spinner-out of fate. Who thinks he turns the Wheel of Time, may learn the truth too late.On top of all that, we're not sure if 'his blood' means literally the blood in his body, or if it means the Aiel, or Galad, or Perival Mantear. My guess is that it's a bit of both, but in either case, shed blood does not equal death. We know from four separate prophecies that Rand will die, but none of them are 'blood on the rocks' prophecies. For more detail, see my FAQ on the subject, linked in my sig.

Abbaaddon
01-10-2012, 05:23 AM
There is a point in what you said that bothers me. The thing of Logain taking the credit and stepping on Rand's body looks like Arthur's and Lancelot's story to me. If I had to choose someone to be Rand's Lancelot, I wouldn't have taken Logain.
On the othern you're right on the fact that Logain's the better candidate to rule the Black Tower once Rand is dead (if he does die at the end).
I hope I didn't misunderstood what you said =)

Dajoran
01-10-2012, 07:54 AM
I think the Seanchan have no need to be 'ready' per say, as they are already where they are most needed.

I don't know if this has been mentioned before so I apologise for stepping on any toes (This is becoming a Mantra of sorts now.)

I'll assume that the board has spotted the Tolkien shout-out in the form of Fields of Merrilor being quite similar to Pelennor Fields.

In classic fantasy we have the case of Big Battle followed by Big Battle in a linear fashion - until we reach the Final Boss and the Biggest Battle will occur at his front door (Morannon or for the help of my thoughts the Black Gates)

I believe that at the end of ToM with the introduction of the Battle of Caemlyn we are being introduced to the subversion of this trope.

Why introduce concepts like Gateways or Waygates just to have the climatic battle, the fight for all mankind - happen in Tarwin's Gap - breaching the blight - while it would be cool to loop it around to a retelling of the end of tEoTW, it would in the case of this world be quite unrealistic.

What the Battle of Caemlyn has shown is that the Waygates (blackwaygates? well... they have been looking kind of dark recently) will operate to spread the Dark Ones armies across the land.

What Rand has at the moment is a collection of the world's armies at his immediate command (By that I mean he has them at hand... a quick "Yo! Arafelian's, Shol Arbela is about to get trolloc'd!" should light a fire under their feet) - I think that Caemlyn is not the only city about to be hit, but in fact a full on strike against the world is coming. At this point we gateway (black gate-way? - see what I'm doing here? I'll stop now...) the most appropriate response army to whatever attack is occuring.

This is where the Seanchan come in they are already set up in half of Randland - so we already have a first response team in four or five of the countries in the land. Sure a heads up would be nice and all, but it's not like they would believe any warnings that came from the Republic of Randland anyway.

(Apologies for spelling/grammar - I rushed that one out.)

Terez
01-10-2012, 08:19 AM
I think the Seanchan have no need to be 'ready' per say, as they are already where they are most needed.

I don't know if this has been mentioned before so I apologise for stepping on any toes (This is becoming a Mantra of sorts now.)

I'll assume that the board has spotted the Tolkien shout-out in the form of Fields of Merrilor being quite similar to Pelennor Fields.It's been a while since I read Tolkien. Maybe I should freshen up. Anyway...

BRANDON SANDERSON (31 AUGUST 2011) (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/108816705609932800)
Dang. I just pulled off something in A Memory of Light that is GRRM-esque. I'm not certain if I should apologize, feel awesome, or go take a shower.

SARAH WALTERS (http://twitter.com/Xaraxia/status/108817594420695040)
Haven't read GRRM, should I? Also, I recommend feeling awesome and writing more of A Memory of Light, but I'm biased.

BRANDON SANDERSON (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/108818534691385344)
Depends on your threshold for content. His writing is genius, but he is very brutal. I could only stomach the first one.

BRANDON SANDERSON (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/108818614672572416)
His short stories are awesome, by the way. I've liked every one of those I've read.

BRANDON SANDERSON (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/108820084524457984)
Also, the Minas Tirith theme is playing on Pandora. Perfect.

TEREZ (http://twitter.com/Terez27/status/108824272935452673)
Gah, now you've got me thinking Boromir/Gawyn.

BRANDON SANDERSON (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/108826819414863872)
Some good mythological underpinnings and references in this scene, as I believe RJ would have done.

BRANDON SANDERSON (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/108827773128282112)
If I ever get to write the annotations for this book as I plan, this scene will be a nice one to talk about.

Dajoran
01-10-2012, 08:41 AM
For me the Minas Tirith battle will be analogous to the Battle of Caemlyn - it is where a decisive Battle will be fought but will not be the last fight.

It could also be split between both Caemlyn and Tar Valon (if the Seanchan do go ahead with their attack), as I imagine the White Tower and Shining Walls being more aesthetically similar to descriptions/depictions of Minas Tirith.

But I suppose it all depends on how much the LotR influence weighed on RJ.

I like the idea of a complete mess of a battle in the last book.

"Quick, open a gateway and get Mat to Tear - if the dreadlords get their hands on..." etc. etc.

Zombie Sammael
01-10-2012, 09:10 AM
For me the Minas Tirith battle will be analogous to the Battle of Caemlyn - it is where a decisive Battle will be fought but will not be the last fight.

It could also be split between both Caemlyn and Tar Valon (if the Seanchan do go ahead with their attack), as I imagine the White Tower and Shining Walls being more aesthetically similar to descriptions/depictions of Minas Tirith.

But I suppose it all depends on how much the LotR influence weighed on RJ.

I like the idea of a complete mess of a battle in the last book.

"Quick, open a gateway and get Mat to Tear - if the dreadlords get their hands on..." etc. etc.

I misread the part in bold as "Decepticons" for some reason. "You got the touch, you got the Power", anyone?

...why yes, I do have something to contribute!

I do prefer this idea to the Last Battle being essentially a series of focused attacks on areas such as Caemlyn and the Gap. When you think that during the Trolloc Wars, shadowspawn came "pouring" out of the Blight, that hasn't really happened yet in the series, but the Shadow have had 2000 years or more since then to rebuild. The Last Battle should be climactic and desperate, but where are the vast hordes of Shadowspawn? On the other hand, if Caemlyn is merely the first city of many to be attacked, especially while all of the leaders are gathered at Merrilor, that's a much more desperate situation with vastly higher stakes. And with the Seanchan making everything worse by attacking the Tower, you can see how a perfect storm would be created necessitating a swift agreement which the Dragon Reborn would be able to dictate.

GonzoTheGreat
01-10-2012, 09:31 AM
That's what the Portal Stones are for, isn't it?
Rand has had most of the Waygates guarded, but moving large armies through the Ways is not really feasible anyway, so that's not a significant problem. The one Waygate that's useful, the one in Caemlyn, will be used, and all the rest of the world will be flooded by using Portal Stones. Then the DO uses a totally different method for fighting the actually relevant fight; all those Shadowspawn are nothing more than reasonably articulate red herrings.

Terez
01-10-2012, 09:45 AM
For me the Minas Tirith battle will be analogous to the Battle of Caemlyn - it is where a decisive Battle will be fought but will not be the last fight.

It could also be split between both Caemlyn and Tar Valon (if the Seanchan do go ahead with their attack), as I imagine the White Tower and Shining Walls being more aesthetically similar to descriptions/depictions of Minas Tirith.I have been arguing for a long time that the Battle of Caemlyn will be mirrored by action in Tar Valon because of the Camlann connection. The word 'camlann' meant a crooked river, or a crooked bend in the river, and some theorize that the Battle of Camlann was named so because it took place by a river with a bend. Also, every map I can find of Minas Tirith has the Pelennor Fields in that bend.

http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/maps/minastirith.gif

But I suppose it all depends on how much the LotR influence weighed on RJ.They are drawing from the same sources. But I would be interested to know whether the obvious parallels have roots in Arthurian and other British myths. Like Mindolluin=Dragonmount. Would be cool if the second eruption of Dragonmount (my pet theory) creates something like you see above. And I expect that second eruption to happen when Rand dies.

One thing that is really iffy is the location of the Fields of Merrilor. I think it was purposefully made iffy. Rand at first says it's 'just to the north' of Tar Valon:

"Then meet with me at the place known as the Field of Merrilor, just to the north. We will talk before I go to Shayol Ghul. For now, I do not want to defy you, Egwene. But I must go."Then Gawyn says it is on the border of Shienar:

It wasn't until Gawyn stood there—smelling the musty scent of old paper and burning candles—that he felt the reality of the impending war. It was coming soon. The Dragon would break the seals of the Dark One's prison. The place he had told Egwene to meet him, the Field of Merrilor, was marked in bright red on the maps. It was north, on the border of Shienar.The border of Shienar would appear to be WAY north of Tar Valon:

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/Picture12-6.png?t=1262617429

The only thing that seems to explain it:

"A manor house," Ingtar explained. The little humor he had regained seemed to fade as he looked at the structure. "When Harad Dakar still stood, I expect the manorman farmed this land for a league around. Orchards, maybe. The Hardani loved their orchards."

"Harad Dakar?" Rand said, and Ingtar snorted.

"Does no one learn history any longer? Harad Dakar, the capital city of Hardan, which nation this once was that we are riding across."

"I've seen an old map," Rand replied in a tight voice. "I know about the nations that aren't there anymore. Maredo, and Goaban, and Carralain. But there wasn't any Hardan on it."

"There were once others that are gone now, too," Loial said. "Mar Haddon, which is now Haddon Mirk, and Almoth. Kintara. The War of the Hundred Years cut Artur Hawkwing's empire into many nations, large and small. The small were gobbled up by the large, or else united, like Altara and Murandy. Forced together would be a better word than united, I suppose."

"So what happened to them?" Mat demanded. Rand had not noticed Perrin and Mat ride up to join them. They had been at the rear, as far from Rand al'Thor as they could get, the last he had seen.

"They could not hold together," the Ogier replied. "Crops failed, or trade failed. People failed. Something failed in each case, and the nation dwindled. Often neighboring countries absorbed the land, when the nations were gone, but they never lasted, those annexations. In time, the land truly was abandoned. Some villages hang on here and there, but mostly they have all gone to wilderness. It is nearly three hundred years since Harad Dakar was finally abandoned, but even before that it was a shell, with a king who could not control what happened inside the city walls. Harad Dakar itself is completely gone now, I understand. All the towns and cities of Hardan are gone, the stone carted away by farmers and villagers for their own use. Most of the farms and villages made with it are gone, too. So I read, and I've seen nothing to change it."

"It was quite a quarry, Harad Dakar, for almost a hundred years," Ingtar said bitterly. "The people left, finally, and then the city was hauled away, stone by stone. All faded away, and what has not gone is fading. Everything, everywhere, fading. There is hardly a nation that truly controls the land it claims on a map, and there is hardly a land that claims today on a map what it did even a hundred years ago. When the War of the Hundred Years ended, a man rode from one nation into another without end from the Blight to the Sea of Storms. Now we can ride through wilderness claimed by no nation for almost the whole of the land. We in the Borderlands have our battle with the Blight to keep us strong, and whole. Perhaps they did not have what they needed to keep them strong. You say they failed, Builder? Yes, they failed, and what nation standing whole today will fail tomorrow? We are being swept away, humankind. Swept away like flotsam on a flood. How long until there is nothing left but the Borderlands? How long before we, too, go under, and there is nothing left but Trollocs and Myrddraal all the way to the Sea of Storms?"

...

"Watch sharp," Ingtar commanded, gathering his reins. "And do not believe that they're friendly just because they smile. If there is anyone there." He led them down toward the village at a slow walk, and reached up to loosen his sword in its scabbard.

Rand heard the sounds of others behind him doing the same. After a moment, he eased his, too. Trying to stay alive was not the same as trying to be a hero, he decided.

"You think these people would help Darkfriends?" Perrin asked Ingtar. The Shienaran was slow in answering.

"They have no great love for Shienarans," he said finally. "They think we should protect them. Us, or the Cairhienin. Cairhien did claim this land, once the last King of Hardan died. All the way to the Erinin, they claimed it. They could not hold it, though. They gave up the claim nearly a hundred years ago. The few people who still live here don't have to worry about Trollocs this far south, but there are plenty of human brigands. That's why they have the wall, and the ditch. All their villages do. Their fields will be hidden in hollows around here, but no one will live outside the wall. They would swear fealty to any king who would give them his protection, but we have all we can do against the Trollocs. They do not love us for it, though." As they reached the opening in the low wall, he added again, "Watch sharp!"Though it doesn't make much sense that Gawyn would think that the border was that far south just because Shienar keeps the Trollocs at bay. He's the son/brother of queens; he should know better. At least the Two Rivers is actually part of Andor on the map.

Terez
01-10-2012, 09:55 AM
I misread the part in bold as "Decepticons" for some reason. "You got the touch, you got the Power", anyone?

...why yes, I do have something to contribute!

I do prefer this idea to the Last Battle being essentially a series of focused attacks on areas such as Caemlyn and the Gap. When you think that during the Trolloc Wars, shadowspawn came "pouring" out of the Blight, that hasn't really happened yet in the series, but the Shadow have had 2000 years or more since then to rebuild. The Last Battle should be climactic and desperate, but where are the vast hordes of Shadowspawn? On the other hand, if Caemlyn is merely the first city of many to be attacked, especially while all of the leaders are gathered at Merrilor, that's a much more desperate situation with vastly higher stakes. And with the Seanchan making everything worse by attacking the Tower, you can see how a perfect storm would be created necessitating a swift agreement which the Dragon Reborn would be able to dictate.A perfect storm in which the Dragon Reborn can die. ;) And that in itself will lend to the pressure that Mat can put on Tuon. I see Mat essentially in the middle of Tuon and Egwene on this one, trying to convince Tuon to change her ways on damane, and trying to convince Egwene etc. to give in to the Empire, because it's not so bad after all. Without the damane thing. And that's where the Oath Rod comes in. It is, after all, one of Egwene's overarching themes. Along with the damane thing, of course. The destruction of Tar Valon and the rise of the Black Tower could also put some pressure on Egwene. And Tuon might be pressured by being put in a position where she must choose to channel. It's the only balance that makes sense; Rand has nothing to do with all of this, and I expect him to show up after it's mostly been hashed out, and while he might supply the final seal of approval for what's been hashed out, I expect his role in it to be small. His main role at that point is saving the day at Shayol Ghul, and I expect Tuon to be a part of that as well. I'm not convinced her prophecies are quite wrong on this point; all we have is a paraphrase of it.

Terez
01-10-2012, 09:59 AM
That's what the Portal Stones are for, isn't it?
Rand has had most of the Waygates guarded, but moving large armies through the Ways is not really feasible anyway, so that's not a significant problem. The one Waygate that's useful, the one in Caemlyn, will be used, and all the rest of the world will be flooded by using Portal Stones. Then the DO uses a totally different method for fighting the actually relevant fight; all those Shadowspawn are nothing more than reasonably articulate red herrings.This is why I always imagine Mat on the Fields of Merrilor, surrounded by something like a security room with a wide array of surveillance monitors. Except they're gateways, say, horizontal ones a few hundred feet above each battlefield (vertical on Mat's end, of course), each with a cannon in front, or a team of Two Rivers archers. Trollocs don't stand a chance.

Zombie Sammael
01-10-2012, 10:12 AM
I have been arguing for a long time that the Battle of Caemlyn will be mirrored by action in Tar Valon because of the Camlann connection. The word 'camlann' meant a crooked river, or a crooked bend in the river, and some theorize that the Battle of Camlann was named so because it took place by a river with a bend. Also, every map I can find of Minas Tirith has the Pelennor Fields in that bend.

They are drawing from the same sources. But I would be interested to know whether the obvious parallels have roots in Arthurian and other British myths. Like Mindolluin=Dragonmount. Would be cool if the second eruption of Dragonmount (my pet theory) creates something like you see above. And I expect that second eruption to happen when Rand dies.

One thing that is really iffy is the location of the Fields of Merrilor. I think it was purposefully made iffy. Rand at first says it's 'just to the north' of Tar Valon:

Then Gawyn says it is on the border of Shienar:

The border of Shienar would appear to be WAY north of Tar Valon:

The only thing that seems to explain it:

Though it doesn't make much sense that Gawyn would think that the border was that far south just because Shienar keeps the Trollocs at bay. He's the son/brother of queens; he should know better. At least the Two Rivers is actually part of Andor on the map.

Could it not just be that the north border of the area known as the Fields of Merrilor borders Shienar, while the southern border is just to the north of Tar Valon? Or am I missing something?

Terez
01-10-2012, 10:18 AM
A lot of trees.

Zombie Sammael
01-10-2012, 10:22 AM
A perfect storm in which the Dragon Reborn can die. ;) And that in itself will lend to the pressure that Mat can put on Tuon. I see Mat essentially in the middle of Tuon and Egwene on this one, trying to convince Tuon to change her ways on damane, and trying to convince Egwene etc. to give in to the Empire, because it's not so bad after all. Without the damane thing. And that's where the Oath Rod comes in. It is, after all, one of Egwene's overarching themes. Along with the damane thing, of course. The destruction of Tar Valon and the rise of the Black Tower could also put some pressure on Egwene. And Tuon might be pressured by being put in a position where she must choose to channel. It's the only balance that makes sense; Rand has nothing to do with all of this, and I expect him to show up after it's mostly been hashed out, and while he might supply the final seal of approval for what's been hashed out, I expect his role in it to be small. His main role at that point is saving the day at Shayol Ghul, and I expect Tuon to be a part of that as well. I'm not convinced her prophecies are quite wrong on this point; all we have is a paraphrase of it.

But how will Megatron and his evil armies be involved?

A lot of trees.

Ah, see what you mean. Although there is a bit of a gap between the woods extending almost to the Shienaran border (on the maps at least). I guess that could maybe be considered part of the fields?

Terez
01-10-2012, 10:26 AM
Still, it's hardly 'just to the north' of Tar Valon.

Dajoran
01-10-2012, 10:58 AM
RE: Portal Stones - I think where they are concerned there are too many limitations on them.

First, of all the power required to use them is
high:

"I have never used a Stone; that is why your use is more recent than mine. I am well aware of my limits. I would be destroyed before I came close to channeling enough Power to work a Portal Stone. But I know a little of them. Enough to help you, a bit."

We know Verin is strong enough to create a gateway - but is self-admitted to be weak in some areas - I would put her as an average strength Aes Sedai.

Given this - it would take a strong channeler to activate and successfully use a Portal Stone.

Also, is there a limit to how many can be brought across at any given time? Is this also strength dependant - or on other factors?

Come closer," Verin ordered the others. "It will be best if you are near.

Let's say that it takes someone of a certain strength to use a portal stone to begin with - and if there is a radius of effect that surrounds that portal stone - with the rate that a channeler will tire from constantly sending troops to different cities via the 'direct' method would use up a few dreadlords I'm sure. Not something the leaders of the Dark would want to do as we are leading up to the title clash.

Unless we can use less power - send them to a mirror world where time runs backwards - and then... Trollocs before breakfast!

For those waygates you believe that are guarded:

There is a Waygate in Caemlyn. It is guarded, barricaded, and thought secure. It is not.

She's blunt...

Dajoran
01-10-2012, 11:04 AM
But how will Megatron and his evil armies be involved?


That's obvious! When the Dark On-- I mean Unicron resurrected Ishm-- I mean Megatron as Mord--... Galvatron he gathered the friends of the... blood and ashes... decepticons together to try and steal the Chode... for the love of... The Matrix of Leadership.

Terez
01-10-2012, 11:06 AM
RE: Portal Stones - I think where they are concerned there are too many limitations on them.

First, of all the power required to use them is
high:It would appear that:

1. Verin was wrong (quite possible, since Moiraine didn't realize that she and many other Aes Sedai are strong enough to channel). Or...

2. The guy in TOM had a Talent for using Portal Stones.

Also, is there a limit to how many can be brought across at any given time? Is this also strength dependant - or on other factors?It seems to be strength-dependent. The weak guy in TOM was only bringing a few Shadowspawn at a time, apparently, and Rand was very exhausted (even though he was using an angreal) when he brought all the Aiel to Rhuidean.

For those waygates you believe that are guarded:

She's blunt...It may be that the guards were only compromised in Caemlyn. We will see.

Dajoran
01-10-2012, 11:33 AM
As for the weak channeler in the ToM portal scene - Grady describes him as "Not terribly strong".

I would think that is Grady making a reference in comparison to himself. I used to have an Asha'man power grade type table somewhere but I think I put Grady... not terribly high - but enough to make his joint threat with Neald about "pounding the Children of Light down" have some weight.

Maybe this male channeler is just strong enough to use the Portal Stone... but I could be barking up the wrong Chora - he was shifting a 'Fist' at a time - I believe that is One Hundred Trollocs...

Grig
01-10-2012, 11:38 AM
Maybe this male channeler is just strong enough to use the Portal Stone

Let's also not forget that males on average can use more of the Power than females can. The threshold to use them might be an uncommonly strong female channeler, but perhaps an average, nothing special male channeler could do the same.

Loial
01-10-2012, 12:05 PM
One of the big themes throughout the series is how Rand thinks nothing matters beside the Last Battle, which is obviously wrong. It does matter what means he uses in his fight. Ruthlessness can be as fatal as defeat. History does not end with the Last Battle. It just ushers in a new Age and that Age is shaped by decisions made in the current struggle, just as Lews Therin's decision to strike at Shayol Ghul and patch the Bore shaped the current Age through the Braking.

Everybody seems to think that Rand will be gone and in the future Aviendha saw that actually seems to have happened. But it isn't a good future. The peace doesn't last, the Aiel are destroyed, and all of Randland is conquered by the Seanchan. Something has gone wrong in that future despite the victory over the Shadow. Defeating the Shadow is not enough. The "Last Battle" is not the last battle at all, it's just the decisive battle in the fight against he Shadow. For this turn of the Wheel anyway.

Prophecy is always a bit vague and technically the great battle in Nicola's foretelling could be any battle, but the foretelling will hardly refer to some random Trolloc attack as "the great battle." And whatever the great battle is, the land is still divided after it. The "must be as one" in the Aelfinn answer indicates an alliance rather than unification. I wonder about Rand's own interpretation, BTW. If the Seanchan already rule the south and the west, then why are they only "as one?" And who are the north and the east? Between the Seanchan, Rand (Tear, Illian, Aiel, Perrin, Mat), the Borderlanders, Elayne (Andor and Cairhien), the White Tower, and several unaligned forces like that army in Murandy (Demandred?) it's hard to tell who's who in that Aelfinn answer. And it definitely doesn't imply that all other problems are solved with or before the Last Battle. The whole context of Nicola's foretelling points at a threat other than the Shadow. It mentions the return, the Aes Sedai, and the Ashaman, but not the Dark One or his minions. They need Rand revived because even with the Dark One defeated they are still headed for an unpleasant future. Averting that is as much part of his mission as the fight against the Shadow.

It's true that the blood on the rocks prophecy does not say that the Dragon dies, but there is that business with the funeral bier and the three women on the boat. And the Aelfinn told him "to live, you must die" when he asked how to win the LB and survive. So a death not related to the LB is out of the question. If Rand died fighting the Trollocs the Shadow would win. The Dark One is much better prepared than his opponents and has superior forces. They can't beat him in open battle. Their only hope is to take out the Dark One himself. Not sure what happens to his forces when the Bore is closed but I'd expect something akin to what happened to Sauron's army in after the Ring was destroyed. (I think the Trolloc part of the LB is like the Battle of Morannon rather than Pelennor Fields.)

Terez
01-10-2012, 01:31 PM
One of the big themes throughout the series is how Rand thinks nothing matters beside the Last Battle, which is obviously wrong. It does matter what means he uses in his fight. Ruthlessness can be as fatal as defeat. History does not end with the Last Battle. It just ushers in a new Age and that Age is shaped by decisions made in the current struggle, just as Lews Therin's decision to strike at Shayol Ghul and patch the Bore shaped the current Age through the Braking.

Everybody seems to think that Rand will be gone and in the future Aviendha saw that actually seems to have happened. But it isn't a good future. The peace doesn't last, the Aiel are destroyed, and all of Randland is conquered by the Seanchan. Something has gone wrong in that future despite the victory over the Shadow. Defeating the Shadow is not enough. The "Last Battle" is not the last battle at all, it's just the decisive battle in the fight against he Shadow. For this turn of the Wheel anyway. What has gone wrong in the future: Rand took away the purpose of the Aiel. They are a warrior society, not meant to survive in an age of peace. So, either he gives them a job where they can use their martial skills or he gives them a new purpose.

Prophecy is always a bit vague and technically the great battle in Nicola's foretelling could be any battle, but the foretelling will hardly refer to some random Trolloc attack as "the great battle."
See, now you're being disingenuous, which is where I start to lose respect. It's not just a random Trolloc attack; either address my points about it or don't address it at all.


The "must be as one" in the Aelfinn answer indicates an alliance rather than unification.
No, it doesn't. It suggests unification rather blatantly. The alliance is an assumption made by Rand, and carried over to the fans. It's called 'leading the reader astray so they don't expect what's actually coming'. Good books do that. Bad books follow through on all those fan assumptions.


The whole context of Nicola's foretelling points at a threat other than the Shadow.
No, it doesn't. The future teetering on the edge of a blade points to the Shadow. Rand's resurrection and continuing importance points to the Shadow.


It mentions the return, the Aes Sedai, and the Ashaman, but not the Dark One or his minions.
Because that would be bloody obvious, don't you think?


They need Rand revived because even with the Dark One defeated they are still headed for an unpleasant future. Averting that is as much part of his mission as the fight against the Shadow.
Says who? The prophecies specifically say that he will bind the north to the east (Illian, Tear, Mayene, Andor, Cairhien, etc.), and that the east 'will be bound' to the south (which means he doesn't do it). It's much more Mat's mission than it is his. The Aelfinn didn't tell him it was his job - just that it was necessary for his success.

It's true that the blood on the rocks prophecy does not say that the Dragon dies, but there is that business with the funeral bier and the three women on the boat.
Again, read my FAQ article on the subject. It's all explained.


And the Aelfinn told him "to live, you must die" when he asked how to win the LB and survive. So a death not related to the LB is out of the question.
That's stubborn stupid. I already explained why he has to die to win. Address it; don't just make stupid generalizations.


If Rand died fighting the Trollocs the Shadow would win.
Says who? And no one said he would die fighting Trollocs.

eht slat meit
01-10-2012, 01:31 PM
If the Seanchan already rule the south and the west, then why are they only "as one?" And who are the north and the east?

My guess would be that the north is represented by the Borderlanders, and the east by the Dragonsworn nations (DS+Aiel). That alliance seems to have only recently gelled as of ToM, when the world is already neck-deep in Tarmon Gai'don. As far as the south and the west are concerned, I want to say Seandar and the south/western mainland nations, but despite the two prologue mentions of Seandar (KoD/ToM), they don't seem to have any substantive role, unless Rand and Tuon are meant to go to the Crystal Throne, break some skulls and assert control.

Maybe those south-western mainland nations were divided by rebellion that would have caught fire by Ituralde's actions, had Rand not claimed him as a Dragonsworn? Which is why their oneness or lack thereof would be a concern.

eht slat meit
01-10-2012, 01:50 PM
No, it doesn't. It suggests unification rather blatantly. The alliance is an assumption made by Rand, and carried over to the fans. It's called 'leading the reader astray so they don't expect what's actually coming'. Good books do that. Bad books follow through on all those fan assumptions.


Question: What kind of unification are you referring when you talk about that? United States of Randland, with Rand as the Supreme Governor post-TG lasting type of unification, or United Nations of the Last Battle type of unification, that exists solely for the duration of the current Age's war against the Shadow?

Lupusdeusest
01-10-2012, 06:12 PM
In another thing - what purpose would a reduced Aiel nation have in a peaceful world? Will there still be any left in the Wetlands, or will it just be the Shaido in the TFL?
Policework for the Aiel has never really sat with me. I'm not sure why.

eht slat meit
01-10-2012, 06:16 PM
In another thing - what purpose would a reduced Aiel nation have in a peaceful world? Will there still be any left in the Wetlands, or will it just be the Shaido in the TFL?
Policework for the Aiel has never really sat with me. I'm not sure why.

Special warders for the Asha'man: Ninja Gaidins!

Terez
01-10-2012, 07:14 PM
Question: What kind of unification are you referring when you talk about that? United States of Randland, with Rand as the Supreme Governor post-TG lasting type of unification, or United Nations of the Last Battle type of unification, that exists solely for the duration of the current Age's war against the Shadow?I'm talking about the return of Hawkwing's empire.

eht slat meit
01-10-2012, 07:45 PM
I'm talking about the return of Hawkwing's empire.

Okay, maybe I'm missing something here, because it sounds like you're suggesting that Rand will not only give over control of all of Randland to the Seanchan (including Andor) to the Seanchan, but convince everyone to willingly submit to this empire as well.

Do I have that right? If not, explain? Or direct me to the theory you've written on this subject?

Note that I'm not ragging this theory, I'm trying to understand it, because I don't get why any of the dragonsworn nations would hop on board for it.

Lupusdeusest
01-10-2012, 10:26 PM
Special warders for the Asha'man: Ninja Gaidins!

It sounds like a kid's TV show!

GonzoTheGreat
01-11-2012, 04:42 AM
One of the big themes throughout the series is how Rand thinks nothing matters beside the Last Battle, which is obviously wrong.
Yes indeed. If that had been correct, then he would not have bothered with those academies of his. He would not have bothered with sending food hither and yon to keep civilians alive.

The charge of not thinking beyond the Last Battle (or not even thinking that far ahead) can be laid at the feet of a lot of the characters, but the DR isn't one of them. He does not expect to be around then himself, so he isn't making any plans for his own future after TG. But that's not the same as not thinking about the aftermath at all.

Dajoran
01-11-2012, 04:50 AM
Yes indeed. If that had been correct, then he would not have bothered with those academies of his. He would not have bothered with sending food hither and yon to keep civilians alive.

The charge of not thinking beyond the Last Battle (or not even thinking that far ahead) can be laid at the feet of a lot of the characters, but the DR isn't one of them. He does not expect to be around then himself, so he isn't making any plans for his own future after TG. But that's not the same as not thinking about the aftermath at all.

Just to add a quote to highlight your point:

I used to think about leaving something behind to help the world survive once I died.

(The past tense is due to his uberDarth Randness at this point - I'm pretty sure he reverted to his original feelings post VoG)

Terez
01-11-2012, 06:45 AM
Okay, maybe I'm missing something here, because it sounds like you're suggesting that Rand will not only give over control of all of Randland to the Seanchan (including Andor) to the Seanchan, but convince everyone to willingly submit to this empire as well. As I have said before, I don't think Rand will have much to do with it. It will be between Mat, Tuon, and Egwene for the most part. They have to work out the damane thing, and Tuon (maybe via Mat) has to convince the rulers that being her subjects won't be much different from the way they were doing things before. We have already seen her do that with Tylin and Beslan. Rand doesn't have the power to cede his lands to Tuon—all he has is a threat, that he won't go to Shayol Ghul unless they do what he wants. In pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow.

Do I have that right? If not, explain? Or direct me to the theory you've written on this subject? I've written a lot on it in this thread, some of which you seem to have not read, but I will write some more.

Note that I'm not ragging this theory, I'm trying to understand it, because I don't get why any of the dragonsworn nations would hop on board for it.Because for them, almost nothing would change, except the military structure and some taxes. Hawkwing purged the nobility and redrew the empire into districts, ignoring previous national boundaries, but Tuon approaches things differently.

One of the overarching themes of the series was that Hawkwing's empire was the best thing to happen to the human race since the Age of Legends. RJ was, by his own words, a 'monarchist', and so likely he thinks that government is more organized with power in a central place and in the hands of a decent person with a brain. This opinion probably has something to do with the burden of bureaucracy, but in this particular case it most likely has to do with the inability for Randland society to organize and come together to face a threat, or to do anything really. It was no doubt meant to be a comparison to Europe minus Britain, and Seanchan a comparison to the American Empire (which is, after all, part of what brought about the need for a European Union, since colonies had gone out of fashion).

But because Ishamael got his hands on the Empire, there are a few aspects of Seanchan culture that are intolerable for Randlanders, the first among those being the damane thing. The da'covale are not far behind that in importance. The Seekers are the CIA, basically, and it's clear what RJ thinks about that. (He always said he didn't like giving answers so much as questions, but in some cases the answers are deducible. In this case, the problem seems to be the level of power and autonomy given to the Seekers; a contrast is Elayne's control of her spy network in Andor.) Since RJ was an educated and self-educating person who served in our nation's first major self-delusory war, that's not surprising. (The Seekers are a subject of hot discussion in other WoT circles, not so much here.)

I see the Aiel finding a new purpose in life as servants of the Empire. That's a really shocking idea for a lot of people because it seems like slavery, especially since they will likely be taking the place of the da'covale. It was very difficult to nail RJ down on his 'favorites'—favorite book, character, etc.—but he made a concession for this:

ComicCon Wrap-Up - Jason Denzel (http://web.archive.org/web/20050307041607/www.dragonmount.com/Community/Events/comicCon2004.php)

QUESTION
Somebody asked what his favorite action scene in the series was.


ROBERT JORDAN
RJ replied that although it wasn't necessarily an ACTION scene, his favorite scene in the series, and the one which represents the best of his writing, is where Rand goes into Rhuidean to view the history of the Aiel through the eyes of his ancestors.
Point being, the Aiel in the Age of Legends were servants. Gai'shain all the time, basically, though it appears as though you could be Aes Sedai or a seed-singer instead of a servant to a Servant. They were also some of the most highly respected people in society. They had a purpose, and it was a peaceful one.

The Aes Sedai are no longer Servants to the people. The Empire is quite a different thing, and takes this responsibility very seriously. The Aiel do as well. Take the contrast between the Aes Sedai and the Aiel when it comes to finding girls who have the spark. There are no Aiel wilders. They find every one. That's because they have an organized society. There are Wise Ones for every clan, every sept. The Seanchan find them all as well, though they do it differently.

Organized society and responsible leadership are the key to providing justice and liberty for citizens, and Justice is also a big theme for Hawkwing's empire. The hierarchy of Seanchan society is stratified but there are no starving citizens in the Empire. You have farmers, but not peons. If you get rid of slavery, and the CIA, then it's a fine system. The Aiel can step in to take the place of the da'covale, but they will of course be treated with highest respect for having done what was necessary to free the 'slaves'. Their positions will be positions of honor. Their prophecies say they will take back their places of old. What else could that mean?

Randland is a parallel to Europe, but Tar Valon is, IMO, a parallel to Washington DC, where the people with the power are so concerned about politicking and reminding everyone of how powerful they are that they no longer serve the needs of the people in any meaningful way. I see the channelers becoming voluntary public servants under the Empire, working wherever their talents lead them. The negotiations will probably lead to all of them being bound by the Oath Rod. Maybe only one Oath, or two, which wouldn't create the ageless look. But the Oath Rod, despicable as it seems on this side of the Aryth, might make an acceptable compromise for Tuon. And thus she is bound to serve.

GonzoTheGreat
01-11-2012, 07:02 AM
As I have said before, I don't think Rand will have much to do with it. It will be between Mat, Tuon, and Egwene for the most part. They have to work out the damane thing, and Tuon (maybe via Mat) has to convince the rulers that being her subjects won't be much different from the way they were doing things before. We have already seen her do that with Tylin and Beslan.
But she did that after having actually conquered that country. The rulers that there are now have to be convinced that they have to submit to this newcomer from over sea who could not even hold on to her own kingdom.

And, of course, there's also the question: what if the next Seanchan ruler is more like Suroth than Tuon?
That'd be a very good reason for independence, but that might be a bit difficult after having accepted Seanchan supremacy.

Terez
01-11-2012, 07:22 AM
But she did that after having actually conquered that country. The rulers that there are now have to be convinced that they have to submit to this newcomer from over sea who could not even hold on to her own kingdom.It wasn't her job to hold onto her own kingdom; it was her mother's job. She's doing well enough holding onto what she has in Randland, which is what's really important. And yes, she conquered the other nations. She will eventually conquer the others, if nothing concrete is done to stop her. Peaceful transitions of power are, in general, preferable to war.

And, of course, there's also the question: what if the next Seanchan ruler is more like Suroth than Tuon?
That'd be a very good reason for independence, but that might be a bit difficult after having accepted Seanchan supremacy.It's easy enough to pick off one person. :) The same argument can be made for any monarchy, but RJ was a monarchist, so no doubt he thought the risk worth the benefits. He might even have a plan to prevent that sort of thing in the new empire.

Zombie Sammael
01-11-2012, 07:37 AM
It wasn't her job to hold onto her own kingdom; it was her mother's job. She's doing well enough holding onto what she has in Randland, which is what's really important. And yes, she conquered the other nations. She will eventually conquer the others, if nothing concrete is done to stop her. Peaceful transitions of power are, in general, preferable to war.

It's easy enough to pick off one person. :) The same argument can be made for any monarchy, but RJ was a monarchist, so no doubt he thought the risk worth the benefits. He might even have a plan to prevent that sort of thing in the new empire.

The trouble is, the present selection process for a Seanchan heir is years of backstabbing, plots, counter-plots, and assassinations, before the last one left (essentially) manages to ascend to the throne. I suspect given his politics that RJ would actually have preferred something like the Andoran method (one clear Daughter-Heir, ruler elected by popular vote among nobles) but even that has its problems if there should happen to be two female children born to the queen, or even if some of the nobles get uppity (see: recent Andoran succession). Tuon has managed to come out of that as a reasonably good person, but that's really a surprise. Most Seanchan rulers would likely simply be the most vicious allowed under the vagaries of the Seanchan honour system.

GonzoTheGreat
01-11-2012, 07:41 AM
She will eventually conquer the others, if nothing concrete is done to stop her.
It's easy enough to pick off one person.
Quite so.

Sort of like the precedent of the War of the Hundred Years, really. Kill Tuon and anyone else who has a chance of keeping things together, and you're done. With Traveling available that shouldn't be too hard, and the a'dam provides a neat incentive for Channelers to cooperate with this. Aviendha's vision shows that if they consider the Empress off limits, then they will lose.

Now, what precisely can Tuon offer to stop people from using this simple solution that would let them remain free?
And remember, the guarantees have to be as strong as those which could come from exterminating the Seanchan imperial line.

Terez
01-11-2012, 08:12 AM
The trouble is, the present selection process for a Seanchan heir is years of backstabbing, plots, counter-plots, and assassinations, before the last one left (essentially) manages to ascend to the throne. I suspect given his politics that RJ would actually have preferred something like the Andoran method (one clear Daughter-Heir, ruler elected by popular vote among nobles) but even that has its problems if there should happen to be two female children born to the queen, or even if some of the nobles get uppity (see: recent Andoran succession). Tuon has managed to come out of that as a reasonably good person, but that's really a surprise. Most Seanchan rulers would likely simply be the most vicious allowed under the vagaries of the Seanchan honour system.Yes, but it does no good to pretend that, just because it's always been that way, it will continue to be that way. Mat is obviously intended to be a strong influence on Tuon.

Terez
01-11-2012, 08:13 AM
Quite so.

Sort of like the precedent of the War of the Hundred Years, really. Kill Tuon and anyone else who has a chance of keeping things together, and you're done. With Traveling available that shouldn't be too hard, and the a'dam provides a neat incentive for Channelers to cooperate with this. Aviendha's vision shows that if they consider the Empress off limits, then they will lose.

Now, what precisely can Tuon offer to stop people from using this simple solution that would let them remain free?
And remember, the guarantees have to be as strong as those which could come from exterminating the Seanchan imperial line.I'm not going to argue the particulars of empire vs no empire with you because they're not relevant. This is about what RJ plotted, not about whether you agree with his ideas.

Lupusdeusest
01-11-2012, 09:04 AM
I'm not going to argue the particulars of empire vs no empire with you because they're not relevant. This is about what RJ plotted, not about whether you agree with his ideas.

So we shouldn't wonder about what-ifs?
I don't know, but i find them interesting - they give a good insight into the construction process. Why did he do this? What is he trying to tell us? What is the purpose of the work?

Terez
01-11-2012, 09:20 AM
So we shouldn't wonder about what-ifs?
I don't know, but i find them interesting - they give a good insight into the construction process. Why did he do this? What is he trying to tell us? What is the purpose of the work?It depends on how you go about framing your points. Gonzo is trying to show that my theory is incorrect because of certain inherent difficulties in the structure of an empire. There are all sorts of ways to overcome those difficulties, but there are only a few things that can be deduced about what RJ was planning to do to overcome those difficulties, and furthermore, he indicated that a good number of difficulties would remain when the story was done. Gonzo likes pointless arguments; I'm not personally very fond of them.

Green Man 22
01-11-2012, 11:27 AM
I see the Aiel finding a new purpose in life as servants of the Empire. That's a really shocking idea for a lot of people because it seems like slavery, especially since they will likely be taking the place of the da'covale. It was very difficult to nail RJ down on his 'favorites'—favorite book, character, etc.—but he made a concession for this:

Point being, the Aiel in the Age of Legends were servants. Gai'shain all the time, basically, though it appears as though you could be Aes Sedai or a seed-singer instead of a servant to a Servant. They were also some of the most highly respected people in society. They had a purpose, and it was a peaceful one.

The Aes Sedai are no longer Servants to the people. The Empire is quite a different thing, and takes this responsibility very seriously. The Aiel do as well. Take the contrast between the Aes Sedai and the Aiel when it comes to finding girls who have the spark. There are no Aiel wilders. They find every one. That's because they have an organized society. There are Wise Ones for every clan, every sept. The Seanchan find them all as well, though they do it differently.

Organized society and responsible leadership are the key to providing justice and liberty for citizens, and Justice is also a big theme for Hawkwing's empire. The hierarchy of Seanchan society is stratified but there are no starving citizens in the Empire. You have farmers, but not peons. If you get rid of slavery, and the CIA, then it's a fine system. The Aiel can step in to take the place of the da'covale, but they will of course be treated with highest respect for having done what was necessary to free the 'slaves'. Their positions will be positions of honor. Their prophecies say they will take back their places of old. What else could that mean?


I really like this idea. I cut down your quote because it was so long, but I just wanted to agree here. The Aiel allying with the Seanchan is the opposite of what Aviendha saw, and would alter the future she saw. As you say, it would also give them a purpose.

The Aiel seem to compare pretty well to the tribes of Israel. The Israelites were banished to the wilderness for failing to obey God (similar to the Aiel being punished with the Waste for their failure of the Aes Sedai). The Israelites started as a peaceful group (slaves in Egypt) before turning into a fierce fighting force (like the Aiel) when they conquered the land of Canaan.

After the Last Battle, the remnant of a remnant that is left may find their first service to the Empire in reconquering the continent of Seanchan. After all, if the issue of damane is resolved with them no longer being required to be leashed, the Empire will have far less channelers for battle (and presumably fewer troops due to the Last Battle). The first role of the Aiel for the Empire could be to reconquer Seanchan (similar to Israel conquering Canaan).

Once this is complete, the remaining Aiel could choose between serving in the Empire's military or taking on the Age of Legends role of being servants. The ones who became servants would be like the tribe of Levi (the priests). They didn't own any land, but instead were granted cities within the other tribes lands where they were serving. In exchange for their service, the Aiel could be granted a certain amount of land within every country/state/territory for their people to live.

maleshub
01-11-2012, 01:17 PM
In a separate continent with relatively no competition, the Seanchan imprinted their system. The foundation was that Channelers (born with the spark and exhibiting it up to a certain age) had to be leashed.

But the return exposed the Seanchan to other alternatives and to new systems. And in post-Falme Tanchico, the very foundation of the Empire was put to the test. Egeanin discovered the truth about Sul'dame and hinted that the very foundation of the Empire was on edge.

Mat's 24-day journey with Tuon exposed the future Empress to that shakey foundation. Her defense mechanism was that it was a difference between wanting to learn and not. So, she was still entrenched in the old ways of Seanchan. That might explain her obsession with the White Tower.

Mat can offer Fortuona alternatives. He can prove that they can channel (two former suldame turned channelers); and he has his dragons, the military alternative to damane. And I think the dragons are more effective than damane since their range is longer (presumably).

Rand's influence and changing the world include the Seanchan. He wants to stop the persecution of male channelers; and he hopes to rule a few decades after TG where he ushers a new age of advancement and prosperity.

RJ, through Rand's schools and the dragons, allows for a "technological" advancement (industrial age if you like) as opposed to Saiden/Saidar advancement. But it is uncertain if he'll (if he left instructions as such) push that agenda through.

My wish is for Perrin to be involved in the peace negotiations. A delegation of Rand, Mat, and Perrin would probably overwhelm Fortuona and make her stop the slavery of channelers.

suttree
01-11-2012, 01:30 PM
Rand's influence and changing the world include the Seanchan. He wants to stop the persecution of male channelers; and he hopes to rule a few decades after TG where he ushers a new age of advancement and prosperity.


On the contrary Rand has given little indication that he wants or expects to rule post TG.

eht slat meit
01-11-2012, 01:37 PM
As I have said before, I don't think Rand will have much to do with it. It will be between Mat, Tuon, and Egwene for the most part. They have to work out the damane thing, and Tuon (maybe via Mat) has to convince the rulers that being her subjects won't be much different from the way they were doing things before.

Personally, I agree on that insofar as you refer to Mat and Egwene in context of Egwene's dream of the scales, which specifically referred to the Aes Sedai. It seems clear enough that Mat's role is to overcome the final obstacle that Rand needs to unite the Seanchan with the Dragonsworn armies...

... under Rand's leadership. Because that's his purpose, isn't it? To unite people against the armies of the Shadow so that he can do whatever must be done on his part. They have to be as one in that purpose, though there are different ways to be as one in doing it, including your theory.

Okay, so your theory establishes a hierarchy... we're talking about Rand -> Tuon -> Everyone else, based on the idea that nothing really changes for them... since Mat destroys the obstacles that prevent the White and Black Towers from joining with the Seanchan. No more damane, no more murder of male channelers, no more definition of channelers as "animals" to be leashed. Rand apparently removes the other obstacle by giving the "fragment of a fragment" of the surviving Aiel to the Seanchan as a replacement for the da'covale.

Slavery and damane -are- the overarching problems that most nations would take issue with, and would certainly go a long way to shaping -that- kind of unity, one similar to Hawkwing's first empire.

I've written a lot on it in this thread, some of which you seem to have not read, but I will write some more.

I read it and was under the impression you were discussing the Last Battle and issues related to that, rather than what we're talking about now.

Because for them, almost nothing would change, except the military structure and some taxes. Hawkwing purged the nobility and redrew the empire into districts, ignoring previous national boundaries, but Tuon approaches things differently.

It sounds like Tuon's doing a whole lot of giving in this: giving up the damane, giving up the da'covale, destroying the Blood, and apaprently the Seekers, all so that things can return to Hawkwing's Empire, something nobody alive has experience with, including Zen Rand. What's her motivation, if Mat cannot guarantee that the nations will bow to her?

One of the overarching themes of the series was that Hawkwing's empire was the best thing to happen to the human race since the Age of Legends.

Unlike the United States (and perhaps like the EU, which is kind of the point), Hawkwing's Empire started breaking into pieces after his death.

I can see where removing the damane and da'covale from the equation (unfamiliar with the Seeker issue) would prevent that from happening, but that's post-unity issue of staying in one piece.
I'm interested in the process that gets them there - the actual unification of north-east to south-west.

Randland is a parallel to Europe, but Tar Valon is, IMO, a parallel to Washington DC, where the people with the power are so concerned about politicking and reminding everyone of how powerful they are that they no longer serve the needs of the people in any meaningful way.

I would qualify this statement by saying: -was- like Washingon DC, past tense. The Aes Sedai have squandered their power and influence, and no longer retain their influence over Randland since Rand broke it. Egwene has made in-roads to fixing the Tower internally, but outwardly, it's still known that the Tower is broken, and unless the Tower is going to continue its practice of deceiving people, it can't forward the lie that this never happened.

What that means in practical terms is that the Amyrlin's influence over world leaders, particularly when she's playing them against Rand, is limited.

All that said, I don't see any reasons why your theories on the Aiel and Aes Sedai shouldn't be true. I don't find them shocking at all, and the Aes Sedai idea makes particular sense in context of the changes Egwene wants.

That said, that's still just the Aiel and Aes Sedai. Not the rest of Randland. Rand had an epiphany to get to the point where he was not willing to simply smoke the Seanchan out of existence, while Mat has no such insights, nor any of the skills of diplomacy necessary to facilitate such a vision. How can he possibly convince the leaders of the world that this hostile foreign army, of whom nasty and confirmed rumors of slavery and chained Aes Sedai are abundant, that they can be trusted to simply turn over their lands?

I can see an alliance someday turning into this, but within the context of the last book? I don't think RJ could do it justice without a ridiculous ta'veren cheat.

Terez
01-11-2012, 02:28 PM
Personally, I agree on that insofar as you refer to Mat and Egwene in context of Egwene's dream of the scales, which specifically referred to the Aes Sedai. It seems clear enough that Mat's role is to overcome the final obstacle that Rand needs to unite the Seanchan with the Dragonsworn armies...

... under Rand's leadership. Because that's his purpose, isn't it?To lead armies? No. His purpose is to go to Shayol Ghul and do his thing, whatever that is. Mat's purpose is to lead armies.

To unite people against the armies of the Shadow so that he can do whatever must be done on his part.They have to be united. He doesn't have to be the one to do the uniting. As Morgase said...

Rand al'Thor was the Dragon Reborn—she was certain of that no matter what Niall said; she was almost certain—yet ruling nations was no part of the Prophecies of the Dragon that she knew.Okay, so your theory establishes a hierarchy... we're talking about Rand -> Tuon ->Tuon's prophecies say that she will lead the armies of the Light against the Dark One, and that she will send the Dragon Reborn into the Pit of Doom to battle Lighteater.

Rand apparently removes the other obstacle by giving the "fragment of a fragment" of the surviving Aiel to the Seanchan as a replacement for the da'covale.Rand does not have the power to 'give' the Aiel to the Seanchan, nor will he. Aviendha's role is to convince the Aiel that it's a good idea. No doubt Rand's memories will be useful in that, but he's not going to 'give' anyone to the Seanchan. No offense, but sometimes I think forum noobs have this idea that it's all about Rand, just because he's the Dragon Reborn. After 10,000 pages of secondary characters, we ought to know better.

It sounds like Tuon's doing a whole lot of giving in this: giving up the damane, giving up the da'covale, destroying the Blood, and apaprently the Seekers, all so that things can return to Hawkwing's Empire, something nobody alive has experience with, including Zen Rand. What's her motivation, if Mat cannot guarantee that the nations will bow to her?Her motivation is simple. The Empire is more important than anything else. None of the things you listed have anything to do with Hawkwing and his legacy, which is the root of the Empire, the entire justification for its existence. And Tuon is not evil. She's just misguided. That being said, she's not likely to give up any of it without getting her Empire back from the heathens.

Unlike the United States (and perhaps like the EU, which is kind of the point), Hawkwing's Empire started breaking into pieces after his death.Only in Randland. In Seanchan, it continued to grow and get stronger. Ishamael was busy during those years, so it's far from a foregone conclusion that the same thing would happen again.

I'm interested in the process that gets them there - the actual unification of north-east to south-west.I'm not going to pretend to be able to predict every detail of how that will go down. I like to focus on the overarching themes instead of focusing on details, though I can imagine several scenarios, and I've talked about them in other places. There are some thematic loose ends to consider that I think will come into play:

1. Aviendha's trouble with gateways.

2. Justice (Hawkwing's sword, which Rand now has).

3. Egeanin's fallout with Tuon, and her exile.

4. The amazing number of people likely to be at the negotiations who were at Falme when the Horn was blown.

Most importantly, all hell is going to break loose at some point, and Rand is going to die before the truce is reached. (There might not be any negotiations at all before his death involving Tuon; it doesn't seem likely she'll show up at Merrilor, and it doesn't seem likely that Rand will survive that day very long.) Part of Tuon's inducement will therefore be 'oh shit the Dragon Reborn is dead, what the fuck are we going to do'.

I wonder if Bayle bloody Domon has the Horn. Now that's a thought...I mean, what did he want to go to Tar Valon so bad for? I bet he got a letter from Verin, or someone in that party did (of the group that went to Tar Valon). It may be that Verin trusted one of the Aes Sedai. Verin doesn't know Domon or Egeanin.

I would qualify this statement by saying: -was- like Washingon DC, past tense. The Aes Sedai have squandered their power and influence, and no longer retain their influence over Randland since Rand broke it. Egwene has made in-roads to fixing the Tower internally, but outwardly, it's still known that the Tower is broken, and unless the Tower is going to continue its practice of deceiving people, it can't forward the lie that this never happened.Eh, it's not quite broken because their power has always derived from the fact that they can channel. They just have competitors now. Egwene wrapped some of those up in TOM. I wonder if that was quite planned.

What that means in practical terms is that the Amyrlin's influence over world leaders, particularly when she's playing them against Rand, is limited.DC's influence is also pretty limited in a lot of ways, despite the powers that reside there. The President is far from an autonomous leader, or Obama's hair wouldn't be so gray.

That said, that's still just the Aiel and Aes Sedai. Not the rest of Randland. Rand had an epiphany to get to the point where he was not willing to simply smoke the Seanchan out of existence, while Mat has no such insights, nor any of the skills of diplomacy necessary to facilitate such a vision. How can he possibly convince the leaders of the world that this hostile foreign army, of whom nasty and confirmed rumors of slavery and chained Aes Sedai are abundant, that they can be trusted to simply turn over their lands?Easy. Rand is dead. Got to do something, or it's all going down the tubes. Like Mat said:

Always leave a way out, unless you really want to find out how hard a man can fight when he's nothing to lose.And the real enemy is, of course, the Shadow. All is well as long as the Dragon Reborn is going to save everybody, but if he dies then the political climate changes drastically. And of course, most of the vile Seanchan practices are on the negotiating table. Without those, the rulers of Randland don't have much to complain about. Some of those rulers have extensive dealings with the Seanchan, like Elayne. She doesn't like them, but she's not so hardheaded that she wouldn't listen to Mat's wife a little bit. Obviously she doesn't want to be collared, but if that is on the table, then she'll listen. Berelain has foreshadowing for a shaved head, so she's no doubt going to be adopted. That leaves Tear, and Darlin...no big problems foreseen there. Illian is Rand's. Cairhien is Elayne's for now, maybe Moiraine's by the time the negotiations come. Sensible people. Alliandre is sworn to Perrin, and Perrin has already made an agreement with the Seanchan once, and you might say he made a friend. He doesn't like damane either, but if that's on the table...

After that, you have the Borderlanders. There are some shifting things there. Tenobia seems likely to die, but Faile has influence either way. Lan is a big one, but he might die. The others seem almost insignificant, and though Paitar is likely to speak strongly about the damane thing, they all seem like sensible folk who can recognize the consequences of the land being divided as it was. Imagine if the Empire had survived. Maybe so many would not have died in the Borderlands, not to mention wars down south.

I can see an alliance someday turning into this, but within the context of the last book? I don't think RJ could do it justice without a ridiculous ta'veren cheat.Don't be so quick to judge. There's a ton of foreshadowing for it. Once you get to the point where you have the series almost memorized, it all starts to click. I have dropped many examples in this thread already. I could sit here all day doing that. It goes on and on and on.

Zombie Sammael
01-11-2012, 02:43 PM
Unlike the United States (and perhaps like the EU, which is kind of the point), Hawkwing's Empire started breaking into pieces after his death.

The reason Hawkwing's Eastern Empire broke into pieces after his death is because there was no clear line of succession, the High King himself having accidentally-on-purpose sent his son to conquer hostile territories thousands of miles away.

Of course, Tuon has numerous ways of evading this problem, most of which involve doing things both her and Mat would very much like to do. In addition to MPS, she could also consider making Mat officially "Prince of the Wetlands" or some such, in a manner similar to the Prince of Wales; this role could potentially be passed on to either a male child, or an heir to the throne, to rule the easier-to-control Wetlands (which would essentially rule themselves through client states) while the Empress is running Seanchan.

But the only real problem with Hawkwing's Empire was lack of continuity. That's not a problem America has, because of its essentially democratic nature (it may be a problem it has in future, as the ruling parties move further and further away from the populace, or it may not); Europe has other problems.

Terez
01-11-2012, 02:55 PM
The reason Hawkwing's Eastern Empire broke into pieces after his death is because there was no clear line of succession, the High King himself having accidentally-on-purpose sent his son to conquer hostile territories thousands of miles away. Not just that.

Other speculations [concerning Hawkwing's turn against Aes Sedai] range from the possible (Hawkwing simply deciding that he wanted all of the land) to the bizarre (a complicated plot by the White Tower - those who favor Aes Sedai conspiracies hidden under every bush favor this one, though the aims of the supposed plot vary wildly according to the scribe). The Jalwin Moerad theory is popular with those who reject obvious causes.

Very little is known of Moerad, though he appears in several sources, most notably in letters gathered in the Terhana Library in Bandar Eban. In FY 973 he appeared in Hawkwing’s court, making his first entry into history. Many at the time wondered about his background, and some who inquired too closely into it may have suffered fatal accidents. It is noted that Tamika was icily cold toward Moerad, if always correct, yet although Hawkwing trusted her counsel, by the late summer of FY 974 Moerad was one of the High King’s closest advisors. He maintained this position until Hawkwing’s death despite frequent long absences, a volatile temper, and a temperament that more than one observer recorded as “more than half insane.”

It is on that proximity of dates (late summer, Moerad became a counselor; early autumn, Hawkwing dismissed Aes Sedai from his service) and the startling fact that Moerad seemed openly contemptuous of Aes Sedai that all theories concerning him rest. Contempt is an odd stance toward Aes Sedai, and even those who hate Aes Sedai are wise enough to be discreet; yet such feelings are hardly enough to condemn him.

A partial manuscript (private collection in Andor), dated some twenty-three years after Hawkwing’s death, builds on these shaky facts. According to the writer, within days of Hawkwing’s demise Moerad was advising Marithelle Camaelaine. When she was assassinated, he supposedly began advising Norodim Nosokawa (again within days), and immediately after Nosokawa’s death in battle, Moerad appeared at Elfraed Guitama’s side. As these three came the closest to seizing the whole of Hawkwing’s empire in the twenty years after his death, Moerad obviously either was an advisor of great skill or a man with a keen eye for a winner. How these things are supposed to tie into responsibility for Hawkwing turning against Aes Sedai is unfortunately among the missing portions of the manuscript.

Zombie Sammael
01-11-2012, 03:13 PM
In a separate continent with relatively no competition, the Seanchan imprinted their system. The foundation was that Channelers (born with the spark and exhibiting it up to a certain age) had to be leashed.

But the return exposed the Seanchan to other alternatives and to new systems. And in post-Falme Tanchico, the very foundation of the Empire was put to the test. Egeanin discovered the truth about Sul'dame and hinted that the very foundation of the Empire was on edge.

Mat's 24-day journey with Tuon exposed the future Empress to that shakey foundation. Her defense mechanism was that it was a difference between wanting to learn and not. So, she was still entrenched in the old ways of Seanchan. That might explain her obsession with the White Tower.

Mat can offer Fortuona alternatives. He can prove that they can channel (two former suldame turned channelers); and he has his dragons, the military alternative to damane. And I think the dragons are more effective than damane since their range is longer (presumably).

Rand's influence and changing the world include the Seanchan. He wants to stop the persecution of male channelers; and he hopes to rule a few decades after TG where he ushers a new age of advancement and prosperity.

RJ, through Rand's schools and the dragons, allows for a "technological" advancement (industrial age if you like) as opposed to Saiden/Saidar advancement. But it is uncertain if he'll (if he left instructions as such) push that agenda through.

My wish is for Perrin to be involved in the peace negotiations. A delegation of Rand, Mat, and Perrin would probably overwhelm Fortuona and make her stop the slavery of channelers.

This might be a good place to mention the random dream I had where (for some reason) the task of convincing the Empress to abandon the a'dam fell to me. The argument I used - which I think was quite good, and which I believe has a chance of showing up - was simply that the collar didn't work. The purpose of it was to control channelers, but the purpose of controlling channelers was to improve the lives of the other citizens of the Empire. But, as we've seen, free channelers are able to do far more; in the past few years, new methods of healing, travelling, and the construction of life-enhancing products have been discovered, none by damane. Thus, the collar has failed in its intended purpose; free channelers are better able to serve the empire than damane.

Not just that.

Well, no. There's the machinations already put in place prior to his death to bring about the fall of the Empire, by the Shadow.

eht slat meit
01-11-2012, 03:55 PM
To lead armies? No. His purpose is to go to Shayol Ghul and do his thing, whatever that is. Mat's purpose is to lead armies.

The two are not exclusive; there's a hierarchy here as well. Mat doesn't lead the Aiel, nor does Perrin, and these are the first and foremost army of the Dragon, to my understanding. Majority fated to die, perhaps, and the remainder fated to be changed into what they once were, but that's after.

They have to be united. He doesn't have to be the one to do the uniting. As Morgase said...[quote]

And you'll recall exactly what Rand's question to the Aelfinn was that spawned the prophecy-styled answer: "How can -I- win the Last Battle and survive?" The Aelfinn told him exactly what -he- needed so that he could do it. How he gets what he needs? Matter of prophecy: Rand unites the north-east, Mat/Egwene take care of the rest.
Mat is a key figure, yes, and an advisor, but the leaders of nations will not be looking to Mat for guidance.

[quote]Tuon's prophecies say that she will lead the armies of the Light against the Dark One, and that she will send the Dragon Reborn into the Pit of Doom to battle Lighteater.

Isn't the veracity of Tuon's prophecies a matter of debate?

Rand does not have the power to 'give' the Aiel to the Seanchan, nor will he. Aviendha's role is to convince the Aiel that it's a good idea. No doubt Rand's memories will be useful in that, but he's not going to 'give' anyone to the Seanchan. No offense, but sometimes I think forum noobs have this idea that it's all about Rand, just because he's the Dragon Reborn. After 10,000 pages of secondary characters, we ought to know better.

As the aforementioned 'forum noob' here, I will point out to the forum veteran that an assumption is being made here: that I believe it's all about Rand. I do not. My point was based on prophecy, and while it might have been phrased better (saving, as opposed to giving), I think it holds true. It's Rand that is going to save that remnant, not Aviendha. Rand may need Aviendha to do it, but it comes down to Rand:


With him, He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet a remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live.

Her motivation is simple. The Empire is more important than anything else. None of the things you listed have anything to do with Hawkwing and his legacy, which is the root of the Empire, the entire justification for its existence. And Tuon is not evil. She's just misguided. That being said, she's not likely to give up any of it without getting her Empire back from the heathens.

Never accused her of being evil, first and foremost she is a leader, and she makes decisions based on what she believes is right. That said, I believe that she is ruthlessly pragmatic to a point where there must be some perceived prophecy excusing the double standard she has, but that doesn't make her evil either. I don't perceive her as such. However, that said, she is a leader of the Seanchan as they are now, not as Hawkwing made them. All she has now is an army, not an empire, and there's a question of whether she even knows she's dealing from weakness. What's initiating this particular change? Where's the Hawkwing motivation come from? Reclaiming lands isn't the same thing.

Only in Randland. In Seanchan, it continued to grow and get stronger. Ishamael was busy during those years, so it's far from a foregone conclusion that the same thing would happen again.

That was a point of agreement. I thought I was clear on that, but if not, consider it clarified.

loose ends

Point of departure here, as the thing about loose ends that always comes back to me is a quote I recall seeing about how RJ had no intention of tying up all loose ends, even without the outriggers. That's a good thing, of course, as it adds unpredictability to the outcome of the story... poorly written fantasy drops loose ends that are assumed to lead somewhere, rather than treating life in that world as an imitation of reality where things don't end cleanly.

(There might not be any negotiations at all before his death involving Tuon; it doesn't seem likely she'll show up at Merrilor, and it doesn't seem likely that Rand will survive that day very long.) Part of Tuon's inducement will therefore be 'oh shit the Dragon Reborn is dead, what the fuck are we going to do'.

That's a flawed premise, isn't it? Let me put it this way.

To live, the Dragon must die.
If the Dragon is dead, the north is no longer tied to the east.
Mat cannot act as surrogate; he is not the Dragon and prophecy gives that role to Rand.
Without that tie, the nations will not be as one.

Moreover, the foretelling places the Resurrected Rand as well as the Return-Divided Land -after- the great battle. If the great battle is done, what does she have to gain by giving up anything? Her prophecy states that the Dragon must kneel before the Crystal throne before the great battle or all is lost. Making concessions doesn't Resurrect the Dragon.

Eh, it's not quite broken because their power has always derived from the fact that they can channel. They just have competitors now. Egwene wrapped some of those up in TOM. I wonder if that was quite planned.

There's more to it than that, or they'd simply be thugs wielding power by the fear of others for that power. They maintained, to an extent, the trust that the channelers of LTTs age built. That influence has waned, and in the current age, it's bordering on nil.

DC's influence is also pretty limited in a lot of ways, despite the powers that reside there. The President is far from an autonomous leader, or Obama's hair wouldn't be so gray.

DCs influence stems solely from laws of the land set down by men and women elected by the people, and is held in check by constitutional balances. You can see how poor their influence is these days.

Tar Valon has no such checks or authority, and has only what authority they can influence people to believe they have. The men burned their own away due to the taint, the woman diminished their own by centuries of shadow manipulation. What they have left stems from no laws, they are distrusted by the people to start with, and even more so with the advent of murderous leashed Aes Sedai and the breaking of the Tower.

Easy. Rand is dead. Got to do something, or it's all going down the tubes. Like Mat said:

So Mat and Egwene are somehow going to lie to all the leaders of the world and convince them that the Seanchan Empire is a replacement for the Dragon Reborn, that uniting under the rule of these people will save the world from Shadow like the Dragon could not?

And the real enemy is, of course, the Shadow. All is well as long as the Dragon Reborn is going to save everybody, but if he dies then the political climate changes drastically. And of course, most of the vile Seanchan practices are on the negotiating table. Without those, the rulers of Randland don't have much to complain about. Some of those rulers have extensive dealings with the Seanchan, like Elayne. She doesn't like them, but she's not so hardheaded that she wouldn't listen to Mat's wife a little bit.

It comes back to the trust issue. What can the Seanchan give these nations's leaders to replace the Dragon Reborn and convince them to surrender?

After that, you have the Borderlanders. There are some shifting things there. Tenobia seems likely to die, but Faile has influence either way.

I think that after the events of ToM, it's safe to say that the Borderlands aren't much of a consideration, since the only one standing seems to be the seat of the Broken Crown.

they all seem like sensible folk who can recognize the consequences of the land being divided as it was.

Certainly, but either the battle with the Shadow is done or it is not. How does submitting to the Seanchan rather than arranging an alliance save them from the Shadow that killed the Dragon?

Imagine if the Empire had survived. Maybe so many would not have died in the Borderlands, not to mention wars down south.

Tuon's Empire? It started breaking down two books ago, well before the Blightsiege in ToM. The Borderlands are gone, and I'm speculating that they are the Broken Wolf.

Don't be so quick to judge. There's a ton of foreshadowing for it. Once you get to the point where you have the series almost memorized, it all starts to click. I have dropped many examples in this thread already. I could sit here all day doing that. It goes on and on and on.

I do have a rough idea of the parts of text you refer to, but what I disagree with is the conclusion that the text must be "foreshadowing". Whether something is foreshadowing or not can only be confirmed in hindsight, once the actual text is known. It is possible to grow logic trees based on faulty conclusions about what one perceives to be foreshadowing, and have a creation that is completely different than what the author envisioned. This is why I take what you are saying on a piece by piece basis, and form my own conclusions.

I'm not judging your theory, as I believe that some, probably many, elements of it are accurate.

However, you've already stated that you base your conclusions on overarching themes, without presenting a lynchpin theory as to how exactly it comes together. There has to be a juxtaposition, and it's that lack that I'm basing my disagreement on, what you perceive as "judgment".

Terez
01-11-2012, 04:35 PM
The two are not exclusive; there's a hierarchy here as well. Mat doesn't lead the Aiel, nor does Perrin, and these are the first and foremost army of the Dragon, to my understanding. Majority fated to die, perhaps, and the remainder fated to be changed into what they once were, but that's after.See, I addressed that already. Apparently you're one of those people that likes to go in circles.

And you'll recall exactly what Rand's question to the Aelfinn was that spawned the prophecy-styled answer: "How can -I- win the Last Battle and survive?" The Aelfinn told him exactly what -he- needed so that he could do it.Yes, those are the requirements for his success. That doesn't mean he has to bring about those requirements. Rand's question was not even 'what must I do'.


How he gets what he needs? Matter of prophecy: Rand unites the north-east, Mat/Egwene take care of the rest.Yes, that's what I said. His part is already done.

Mat is a key figure, yes, and an advisor, but the leaders of nations will not be looking to Mat for guidance.The leaders of the nations know Mat, or their advisors. Elayne, Bashere, and even Agelmar know him. Bashere still thinks he learned everything he knows from Agelmar. Rand will be dead, so he won't be able to give guidance.


Isn't the veracity of Tuon's prophecies a matter of debate?Indeed, and it's a debate in which most assume that the Seanchan prophecies are corrupted. They don't have any evidence of it, though, and Tuon believes that her prophecies are true. And they don't exactly contradict, so you can bet that she will be lobbying for her role in the matter.

As the aforementioned 'forum noob' here, I will point out to the forum veteran that an assumption is being made here: that I believe it's all about Rand.There's a reason for that. You keep overlooking simple explanations because you believe that Rand's role is something other than what the prophecies say it is.


It's Rand that is going to save that remnant, not Aviendha.I'm sure his part in it will have to do with the memories. He can give them their purpose with those memories, but he can't give them to the Seanchan. Aviendha is the one who 1) takes all this very personally, and 2) had the vision of the future, so the task has been laid on her shoulders. Rand already has those memories, and he hasn't yet offered them up. Of course, all the chiefs and Wise Ones know something about it, but they've only seen small bits of it like Rand saw in Rhuidean. Lews Therin had hundreds of years of living with them, so he has a much better understanding of their 'places of old', such as they were.

However, that said, she is a leader of the Seanchan as they are now, not as Hawkwing made them. All she has now is an army, not an empireShe has Tarabon, Altara, and Amadicia...and she's closing in on Arad Doman and Illian. And Tar Valon (again).


and there's a question of whether she even knows she's dealing from weakness.She's not.


What's initiating this particular change? Where's the Hawkwing motivation come from? Reclaiming lands isn't the same thing.What?

Point of departure here, as the thing about loose ends that always comes back to me is a quote I recall seeing about how RJ had no intention of tying up all loose ends, even without the outriggers.They're thematic loose ends, not just random plot loose ends. It's the thematic element that lets you know he's going somewhere with it, and that it will be resolved. (He did say that all the major plotlines will be resolved.)

That's a flawed premise, isn't it?Nope.


Let me put it this way.

To live, the Dragon must die.
If the Dragon is dead, the north is no longer tied to the east.That's a false premise. All of the nations bound to him are dedicated to fighting the Last Battle. Ironically, the only thing holding them up before was Rand. (The rebels in Tear and Cairhien, and the mistrustful Borderlanders.)

Mat cannot act as surrogate; he is not the Dragon and prophecy gives that role to Rand.Rand has already done it.


Without that tie, the nations will not be as one.Nice try, but unimpressive.

Moreover, the foretelling places the Resurrected Rand as well as the Return-Divided Land -after- the great battle. Which is the Battle of Caemlyn, where Rand dies.


If the great battle is done, what does she have to gain by giving up anything?The world not done with battle. She'll know that the Dark One hasn't yet been defeated.


Her prophecy states that the Dragon must kneel before the Crystal throne before the great battle or all is lost. Making concessions doesn't Resurrect the Dragon.Doesn't matter. If he's dead, they have to do whatever they can to defeat the Shadow, or everything will be destroyed. The fact that the prophecies are unfulfilled is a stupid reason to just give up.

So Mat and Egwene are somehow going to lie to all the leaders of the world and convince them that the Seanchan Empire is a replacement for the Dragon Reborn, that uniting under the rule of these people will save the world from Shadow like the Dragon could not?Nice straw man. Everyone will know the Dragon Reborn is dead, so no one is going to lie. The armies follow their leaders, so all Tuon has to do is convince the leaders. You make it sound like a democracy or something.

It comes back to the trust issue. What can the Seanchan give these nations's leaders to replace the Dragon Reborn and convince them to surrender?Unity. The united armies in particular are important. Organization. Something to lend hope. May the great sword of Justice defend us, and all that.

Certainly, but either the battle with the Shadow is done or it is not. How does submitting to the Seanchan rather than arranging an alliance save them from the Shadow that killed the Dragon?Already explained. And of course, there are Tuon's prophecies to give hope. They don't say she will defeat the Dark One, but they do say she will lead the armies of the Light against his minions, so that's something.

Tuon's Empire? It started breaking down two books ago, well before the Blightsiege in ToM.Oh really? I hadn't noticed. No one cares about her Empire back home; they care about the lands she has already conquered. She has plenty enough force to present a problem for them, obviously.


The Borderlands are gone, and I'm speculating that they are the Broken Wolf.Rand is the Broken Wolf.

I do have a rough idea of the parts of text you refer to, but what I disagree with is the conclusion that the text must be "foreshadowing".That's nice.

eht slat meit
01-11-2012, 05:25 PM
See, I addressed that already. Apparently you're one of those people that likes to go in circles.

Actually, I don't like going in circles, and the problem I'm having is that you seem to be leaving something critical out:

You addressed the Aiel's role as the Neo-Da'Covale, which you assure me is going to happen -after- Rand dies when Mat, Tuon, Aviendha and Egwene fix everything up. Now, unless you're theorizing something catastrophic -before- Rand's death that will leave the Aiel "a remnant of a remnant for him to save", that leaves unfulfilled prophecy after his death, because he will have no further part in. Because they belong to the Seanchan and their future is already decided. What's there for him to do?

As for the rest, like I said, I don't like going in circles, and I'm not here to bash your theory, and was mainly looking for an explanation. It does make sense, and have sound elements, so I'll leave this at your explanation of what I'm missing in regards to Rand saving the Aiel.

Zarth
01-11-2012, 07:43 PM
Terez, it looks like the main points of your theory are the following. Let me know if I'm misrepresenting what you're going for.

1. Rand dies
2. Mat brings Tuon and Egwene together and they bargain.
3. Mat and Egwene come out of this bargain with Tuon and convince the rest of the monarchs to swear to the Empire.
4. Someone convinces Aviendha to have the Aiel take the place of the da'covale.
5. Rand comes back and defeats the Dark One.

I'll assume for now that 1 is true. Rand is dead and nobody expects him to come back (everyone's hearts are full of fear and sorrow). This has the important effect that the Horn of Valere is now useless! There are at least 4 people living that know that the heroes of the Horn must follow the Dragon.

I'll start with 4 because that's the easiest to refute. Compare the treatment of da'covale in Seanchan customs with the treatment of gai'shain in Aiel customs. Compare further the treatment of da'covale to the treatment of Da'shain Aiel. The two are not at all interchangable. A da'covale is not even to look their master in the eyes! The Aiel were always proud in their service, if there is one thing not allowed to a generic da'covale it is pride.

So now let's look at point 2. Tuon bargaining with Egwene. It's obvious what Egwene will want out of the bargain, the ending of the practice of damane. It is NOT obvious what Egwene offers Tuon. Egwene's army, while large isn't enough. Egwene controls no other country and it is terribly unlikely that she commands the Aes Sedai enough force them to swear an oath that the Seanchan would deem sufficient. Egwene has 0 control over the other channelers involved here, be they Aiel, Asha'man or Sea Folk, so there would have to be at least 3 more bargains.

I'm assuming that Tuon will want the monarchs and their people to swear the oaths. One of which is "to serve Those Who Come Home". It is impossible to believe that the Aes sedai will swear this oath. This is an oath of fealty and thanks to the oath rod the Aes Sedai would be unable to go against it. This oath would just be an a'dam that allows the Aes Sedai to walk around. It is still slavery.

But let's say I'm wrong. Tuon gives up the damane and the Aes Sedai do not swear an oath of fealty. What does Tuon now offer the monarchs? Tuon has just decimated her power base. The Seanchan army, sans damane, has not been shown to be unbeatable. Look at Mat's success along with Itulrade's. Without the damane, living under Tuon has very little benefit. Remember that the lands we're talking about now are not ruled by a weak monarch, Altara, or by a raving lunatic, Arad Doman. Beslan's choice was to live under Tuon and keep his people alive or die because of the Seanchan might. Easar of Shienar or Darlin of Tear need not make such a choice. Hell, even Beslan's calculus would be completely different if the Empire didn't control damane.

Finally, we have to question whether or not Tuon is ABLE to give up damane and da'covale. Does she have it in her power to force her people give up these things? Since she acknowledges that even when she's Empress people are scheming against her, it doesn't look to me that she's at all sure of her power. Suppose Tuon gives up the practice of keeping damane, but Galgan does not. The Seanchan would soon be mourning the Empress Fortuona and cheering the new Emperor (Galganastrom?).

eht slat meit
01-11-2012, 07:58 PM
I'll start with 4 because that's the easiest to refute. Compare the treatment of da'covale in Seanchan customs with the treatment of gai'shain in Aiel customs. Compare further the treatment of da'covale to the treatment of Da'shain Aiel. The two are not at all interchangable. A da'covale is not even to look their master in the eyes! The Aiel were always proud in their service, if there is one thing not allowed to a generic da'covale it is pride.


I think you're mistaking the lower position of da'covale as slaves for a form of abject humility, and that's not really accurate. As I recall, the so'jhinn are considered what is referred to as the heights among lowness, so much so that those of the Imperial Family are considered as equals to the Blood.

Elevate the Aiel to something like that in the wake of the Aes Sedai swearing some sort of oath of obedience that does not require them as animals, and I could easily see their decision as a positive influence upon the Aiel, considering it a matter of honor.

And honor comes before pride among the Aiel.

Zarth
01-11-2012, 08:06 PM
I mentioned generic da'covale. While some of the da'covale such as the so'jhinn, deathwatch guard, and seekers have attained some form of honor or privilege, it appears as though most of the da'covale are forced into a life of abject humility. For example, in the Age of Legends, see how the regular person treated Charn who was just a normal Aiel. How do you expect a Seanchan to treat a regular da'covale who runs into him on the street?

eht slat meit
01-11-2012, 08:31 PM
I mentioned generic da'covale. While some of the da'covale such as the so'jhinn, deathwatch guard, and seekers have attained some form of honor or privilege, it appears as though most of the da'covale are forced into a life of abject humility. For example, in the Age of Legends, see how the regular person treated Charn who was just a normal Aiel. How do you expect a Seanchan to treat a regular da'covale who runs into him on the street?

Is there some facet of Seanchan culture that -demandes- a subclass of da'covale that suffer in abject humility? I never got that impression, and would have to see text that shows it as a demand, rather than the behavior of a select few, an... aesthetic choice. I mean, we're talking about people with very strict ideas on what is proper for certain social classes. Their ideas on how da'covale should dress would cause the Cairheinin fits, while not disturbing the AIel in the slightest, but in other respects you've seen the prudishness and belief that sex with damane is bestiality and with da'covale is akin to rape.

In other words, while there are people who treat their property like that, they're probably considered the Seanchan equivalent of trailer trash or Paris Hilton.

That's a point of slave culture that RJ observes, if not outright states, in the other series.

Zarth
01-11-2012, 09:03 PM
From Winter's Heart, Chapter 28:

The da'covale seldom raised their eyes from the paving stones, and their faces were as meek as milk. He had once seen a da'covale sent for a strapping once, a yellow-haired man about his age, and the fellow had raced to bring the instrument of his own punishment.


From Knife of Dreams, Prologue

Her eyes would be lowered for a month if it was learned that she had struck a da'covale herself.



"Because you delayed telling me of the general's messenger. Because you still call yourself 'I' rather than 'Liandrin.' Because you meet my eyes." She could not help hissing that. Liandrin had huddled in on herself with every word, and now she directed her eyes to the floor, as if that would mitigate her offense. "Because you questioned my orders instead of obeying. And last - last, but most importantly to you - because I wish you beaten. Now, run, and tell Rosala each of these reasons so she will beat you well."


Here we learn that it would shameful in general Seanchan culture to beat Liandrin herself, but it is NOT shameful to have her beaten for those reasons.

eht slat meit
01-11-2012, 09:16 PM
Here we learn that it would shameful in general Seanchan culture to beat Liandrin herself, but it is NOT shameful to have her beaten for those reasons.

Shameful in Seanchan general culture? I'm not sure darkfriend trash, high-ranking as it is like Suroth, constitutes general Seanchan culture.

I also find it suspect that it's unacceptable for her to beat the da'covale, but demand that the da'covale go ask someone else to do it.

Especially when that "da'covale" is supposed to be a damane and kept on a leash. It's rather clear that Suroth has no problem with breaking any rules that suit her, and twisting her personal code so that her "honor" isn't affected when she say, tries to have Tuon killed or uses her "damane" to have Alwhin poisoned.

What I'm getting at, is that Suroth doesn't reflect general Seanchan culture.

suttree
01-11-2012, 10:02 PM
Finally, we have to question whether or not Tuon is ABLE to give up damane and da'covale. Does she have it in her power to force her people give up these things? Since she acknowledges that even when she's Empress people are scheming against her, it doesn't look to me that she's at all sure of her power. Suppose Tuon gives up the practice of keeping damane, but Galgan does not. The Seanchan would soon be mourning the Empress Fortuona and cheering the new Emperor (Galganastrom?).

The Empress is the Empire made flesh, she rules with absolute authority.

If she gave up damane with all of the significance that holds in Randland and someone in the Empire attempted to continue the tradition and revolt, just about every channeler male and female, in the know world would move against them. They would be quickly isolated and put down.

maleshub
01-11-2012, 10:47 PM
Mat's dragons give Fortuona a military alternative to damane. Maybe that will be part of his argument with his wife on the "merits of damane and the military."

I don't know if the last book will have room for Mat to prove his point; but I can see him re-uniting Seanchan and reclaiming Seandar for Fortouna using his dragons.

GonzoTheGreat
01-12-2012, 04:56 AM
They have to be united. He doesn't have to be the one to do the uniting. As Morgase said...
Rand al'Thor was the Dragon Reborn—she was certain of that no matter what Niall said; she was almost certain—yet ruling nations was no part of the Prophecies of the Dragon that she knew.
Yet Morgase can only say that to herself because she has either forgotten or is unaware of the following:
There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he one with the land. Soul of fire, heart of stone, in pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow. Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love.

From a much-disputed translation of The Prophecies of the Dragon by the poet Kyera Termendal of Shiota, believed to have been published between FY 700 and FY 800
That seems a rather unequivocal claim that he will (have to) conquer to me.
And, of course, there's a couple of thousand years of false dragon history showing that I'm not alone in that interpretation. If it were as obvious as Morgase suggests that the DR does not need to rule any countries, then those false dragons wouldn't have tried so hard to do that.

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. The Prophecies of the Dragon gave little hope for anything except victory over the Dark One, and only a chance of that.

Terez
01-12-2012, 05:33 AM
Yet Morgase can only say that to herself because she has either forgotten or is unaware of the following:

That seems a rather unequivocal claim that he will (have to) conquer to me.1. He already has conquered.


2. It still doesn't say anything about ruling, and the prophecy makes it clear that his conquering is a bad thing.


3. It's a disputed translation, whatever that's worth.

Zarth
01-12-2012, 06:53 AM
Consider Tuon's behavior to the damane, the other type of human property in Seanchan culture. The first meeting we have with Tuon is after she had a damane beat because she didn't like the answer the damane gave to a question. It's obvious in some cases the property were able to gain power and prestige, this is exactly the same as in the slavery period in the US. Following that line of thought it seems obvious that for most da'covale life is pretty shitty. Again, my point with the Suroth quote is that Suroth has a good idea what brings shame in the Seanchan culture. Physically touching a da'covale would be shameful, having the da'covale beaten because she wanted to is not seen as shameful. It even appears as though she wants it to be spread. I don't recall any other Seanchan later condemning her for it.

Tuon's power as Empress is not absolute. She expects that others like Galgan might scheme against her. If she tries to overturn such ingrained customs like damane and da'covale in Seanchan society I think it's assured that those schemes will become more numerous and serious. It seems to me that the Seanchan revere the throne more than whoever is in it, the higher Blood have no compunction about trying to place themselves in it. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the rest of the channelers would come down on this leader because they're not doing it now to Tuon!

Mat can't give the dragons to Tuon to counteract her military loss of power. The dragons aren't his to give, they're Elaynes and more to the point they're Aludra's. Aludra's ONLY condition for giving up the dragons was that they don't go to the Seanchan. Aludra has no horse in the discussion about damane so it's not like that would be able to convince her.

maleshub
01-12-2012, 10:50 AM
I guess Aludra would object to having the dragons go to the Seanchan.

As to ownership of the dragons, I was under the impression that the Band owned 25% of them.

Terez
01-12-2012, 10:57 AM
The only reason Elayne owns any of them is because she paid for their production. She doesn't own the technology. Yes, Aludra will have to be won over, but that's not as hard as it might seem. The only reason she hates the Seanchan is because they destroyed the chapter house and made the Illuminators da'covale. But she already had something of a grudge against the Order before that point. If we're getting rid of da'covale, then it may be that the Illuminators could be given honored positions, with Aludra the der'illuminator.

maleshub
01-12-2012, 11:12 AM
It would be wonderful if Aludra and Mat convince Fortuona to "humanize" the damane issue in exchange for dragons.

I see this as the shortest possible way to resolve the Seanchan if combined with giving them the land they have now in addition to Arad Damon. That would have to be the sweetener of the deal; and I don't think Alsalam would reject similar status to Beslan.

eht slat meit
01-12-2012, 11:52 AM
The only reason Elayne owns any of them is because she paid for their production. She doesn't own the technology. Yes, Aludra will have to be won over, but that's not as hard as it might seem. The only reason she hates the Seanchan is because they destroyed the chapter house and made the Illuminators da'covale. But she already had something of a grudge against the Order before that point. If we're getting rid of da'covale, then it may be that the Illuminators could be given honored positions, with Aludra the der'illuminator.

Not sure how well that would go over with Aludra for at least two reasons: every last Illuminator that died in the Seanchan raid was a member of her family, which is the worst kind of blood debt you can incur with someone who is raised in a family that puts family second only to the family trade. She knows exactly what the Seanchan can do and have done with the power they already possess, and knows exactly what kind of power she'd be giving them. To free the da'covale might be considered a kind of ransom for her surviving family in the Guild, but it does nothing to clear the slate for those they already killed.

On the other hand, -Mat- could do it, and make himself a dangerous enemy that he would face years down the road.

Grig
01-12-2012, 11:59 AM
This has the important effect that the Horn of Valere is now useless! There are at least 4 people living that know that the heroes of the Horn must follow the Dragon.

The former sentence is not true the way you seem to think it is. I wouldn't bother responding, but I've seen this thought a few times. The full quote:

His warhorse pranced, and he looked around, frowning. "Something is wrong ehre. something holds me." Suddenly, he turned his sharp-eyed gaze on Rand. "You are here. Have you the banner?" A murmur ran through those behind him.

"Yes." Rand tore open the straps of his saddlebags and pulled out the Dragon's banner. It filled his hands and hung almost to his stallion's knees. The murmur along the heroes rose.

"The pattern weaves itself around our necks like halters," Artur Hawkwing said. "You are here. The banner is here. The weave of this moment is set. We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon." Hurin made a faint sound as if his throat had seized.


The quote makes it clear that they normally merely follow the sounder of the Horn. Hawkwing was surprised that he was held from acting, and the reason was the banner. Perhaps a combination of the Dragon and the Dragon's banner. But that doesn't mean the Heroes of the Horn would be hindered from acting if neither is present. It just gives the Dragon a handy way of preventing the Horn being used against the forces of the light, if he's clever enough to keep his flag handy.

Terez
01-12-2012, 04:59 PM
Right, and the banner wasn't even necessary, I think. Just a little thing. Since the Dragon was there, Hawkwing felt the banner was appropriate. As a dead hero, he might have known it was necessary for Rand to proclaim himself at that moment (i.e. it happens every Turning at this point).