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BobH
02-02-2012, 12:03 PM
First a quick recap of the two questions we know Rand asked of the Aelfinn.

1. How do I cleanse saidin?
2. How do I win the Last Battle and survive?

Linda @ 13th Depository suggests that Rand’s 3rd question may have been something like “How do I avoid breaking the world again?”, because of what happened after LTT and co. re-sealed the Dark One in the AoL, because of the following item from the Karaethon Cycle (after TGH prologue):

"And it shall come to pass that what men made shall be shattered, and the Shadow shall lie across the Pattern of the Age, and the Dark One shall once more lay his hand upon the world of man. Women shall weep and men quail as the nations of the earth are rent like rotting cloth. Neither shall anything stand nor abide...

Yet one shall be born to face the Shadow, born once more as he was born before and shall be born again, time without end. The Dragon shall be Reborn, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes shall he clothe the people, and he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind. Like the unfettered dawn shall he blind us, and burn us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood shall give us the Light. Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation."

… and because of his thoughts about escaping that fate, not long after he visited the Aelfinn, in TSR ch. 34:

“Prophecy said he would Break the World again. The idea horrified him. Perhaps he could escape that part, at least, but war, death and destruction already welled up in his footsteps.”

So perhaps he asked this question, and the Aelfinn answered him in a way that made him think he could escape that fate.

Personally, I think Rand asking such a question makes sense, as would any question related to what he read in the K-cycle about what he was prophesied to do (we know he was avidly reading the K-cycle at the time he visited the Aelfinn). In fact, I think it’s possible that he read something in the K-cycle that hasn’t been revealed to the reader yet (because it was info RJ was saving for the end), and asked about that. But if that were the case it would be impossible to guess (and I’d be rather disappointed that RJ would have had Rand ask a question about something in book 4 that the reader knew nothing about until the last book), so I’m going to ignore that possibility and only focus on possibilities the reader could actually guess.

I think we can safely assume that Rand gave a lot of thought to his questions before entering the doorway. Given that, I think it’s quite likely that Rand asked his questions in chronological order – i.e. in the order in which he expected the Q&A would play out in his lifetime. Because, he may have wanted to adjust his later questions based on the answers he received to his former ones. So, the question on cleansing saidin was almost certainly before the question on how to win the LB and survive, since Rand likely saw cleansing saidin (and thereby preventing his own decay into madness) as a prerequisite to winning and surviving the LB. Assuming that’s correct, do we know for certain whether those were actually his first two questions, and we are in fact missing the third question, or is that just speculation? Because if they really were his first two questions, then my reasoning suggests that the third question would have been about something he’d do after, or concurrently with, winning & surviving the LB. “After” seems unlikely – what would be so important for Rand to ask about that occurs after winning the LB? But “concurrently with” seems quite possible.

So my guess is, the missing question is either about something that happens between the cleansing and winning/surviving the LB, if we are actually missing his 2nd question. Or, it is about something specific related to winning/surviving the LB, in which case it could have been his 3rd question.

So what are some candidates for the question (aside from Linda’s theory)?

Well, RJ may have provided a big hint, actually, through Moiraine. In TSR ch.6, when Moiraine tells Egwene/Elayne/Nynaeve about the ‘finn doorway, she says:

“You three rush in blindly where Lan and a hundred Warders would tread warily. Why do you think I have not stepped through? Days ago I could have asked what Rand must do to survive and triumph, how he can defeat the Forsaken and the Dark One, how he can learn to control the Power and hold off madness long enough to do what he must.”

Note that she mentions 3 things she could have asked about Rand:

#1. What must Rand do to survive and triumph?

This is precisely one of the questions Rand asked the Aelfinn himself.

#3. How can Rand learn to control the Power and hold off madness long enough to do what he must.

As to the first half of that question … we know Rand thought about that. At the end of TSR, Rand told Lanfear “You gave me the whole idea, Lanfear. A man to teach me how to control the Power.”, referring to TSR ch.9 when Lanfear tempted Rand by saying “Asmodean will teach you to wield the Power without it killing you, teach what you can do with it.” Lanfear’s comment about Asmodean teaching Rand occurred several chapters before Rand visited the Aelfinn, by which time he had likely already started developing his plans re Asmodean, and so wouldn’t have wasted a question asking the Aelfinn about it.

As to the second half of that question … I think Rand thought about that too, and reasoned that “cleanse saidin” was the obvious answer. So, he asked the Aelfinn how he could cleanse saidin.

So essentially RJ, through Moiraine, either revealed, or gave a big hint at, two of the three questions Rand actually asked. Which makes me suspect that he also hinted at, through Moiraine, the 3rd question Rand asked.

So what else did Moiraine say she could have asked about Rand?

#2 How can Rand defeat the Forsaken and the Dark One.

That was the major concern in the forefront of Rand’s mind throughout the first 3 books (when he thought Ba’alzamon/Ishamael & the Dark One were one in the same), so it would make perfect sense that he’d devote one question that specifically (rather than generally, via the win/survive the LB question) addressed that issue. However, he had just killed Ishamael at the end of TDR; at first Rand thought he had killed the Dark One, but by the time he visited the Aelfinn Moiraine had almost certainly convinced him otherwise, that he had actually killed one of the Forsaken (probably Ishamael based on the info Egwene provided), since he wouldn’t have asked about winning and surviving the LB, otherwise. So maybe defeating/killing the Forsaken wasn’t high on his priority list at that moment. But defeating the Dark One would still have been in the forefront of his mind, especially since Moiraine convinced him that he didn’t kill the Dark One at the end of TDR. And even with his question about winning and surviving the LB, I would think Rand would have wanted more specific info on how to deal with the Dark One – the Aelfinn mentioned nothing about that in their response to the LB question. Of course such a question would have touched on the Shadow about as directly as you could get, but Rand got away with the LB question, which touches on the Shadow almost as directly. Plus, Rand may not even have known about the danger of asking questions that touch on the Shadow – that was something Moiraine revealed to the girls, not to Rand.

Anyway … it doesn’t appear that Rand asked specifically about the Seals, since the subject of the Seals came up in TGS - Min telling Rand that she thinks he needs to break the remaining Seals, and both Rand and LTT agreeing - but Rand didn’t ponder anything the Aelfinn told him when Min brought it up. Nor did he ponder it when he almost broke the Seal that Taim gave him at the beginning of LoC. I guess it’s possible Rand asked a more general question about defeating the Dark One, and got a cryptic answer related to breaking the Seals that he only is just beginning to think/understand (hence his agreement with Min). But that’s what Fel’s note to him re having to “clear the rubble before you can build” was about, I think, and therefore it would seem a bit redundant for RJ to have the Aelfinn provide the same information. So I don’t think that’s it.

In TGS Rand told Moridin that he intended to kill the Dark One. Even though Moridin scoffed at the idea, it could be that Rand asked the Aelfinn how to do THAT. It puzzles me why Rand would think killing the Dark One was possible as of TGS, given what Fel told him about the how the Wheel works in LoC – i.e. that the Dark One would have to be resealed in a completely whole prison again (not killed!) by the end of this particular turning. Unless … Rand asked the Aelfinn how to do it, and they gave him a cryptic answer that made him (mistakenly) think it was possible. I hope not, though – such misinterpretation could be problematic, to say the least.

Another possibility is … Rand knew, from the K-Cycle, that he’d have to confront the Dark One at Shayol Ghul, in the Pit of Doom, at the end. Here are the last two lines from the “Twice dawns the day …” prophecy, which Thom told Rand in TGH:

“Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow.”

From this, Rand may have asked something like “How can I reach the Pit of Doom safely, and elminate the Dark One’s ability to touch the Pattern once I get there?” (he got away with a two-parter once already) . If so, maybe he received an answer that implied he’d have to find/use the “hide from the Shadow” knife ter’angreal Elayne has to reach the PoD safely; who knows what he might have gotten as an answer to the second part?

So at this point, my best guess is that Rand’s other question was specifically about how to deal with / defeat the Dark One, largely because of RJ hinting at Rand’s other 2 questions through Moiraine. This could very well have been his 3rd question actually, due to the fact that the Aelfinn’s answer to his (probably 2nd, in this case) question about winning/surviving the LB didn’t mention how he should deal with the Dark One at all.

Thoughts?

Zombie Sammael
02-02-2012, 01:06 PM
Very well reasoned, IMO. My main thought/criticism/addition is that the Aelfinn obviously did not give Rand step-by-step instructions on how to do any of it, because Rand only figured out how to do what he needed to do to cleanse Saidin after he got the second wound in his side, and the wounds appeared to be fighting against one another. I suspect that, while Rand might have got away with double questions, the Aelfinn would also have gotten away with half-answers, such as:

"Q. How do I cleanse Saidin?
"A. With the Choedan Kal."

At that time, Rand would not even have known what the Choedan Kal were, let alone what to do with them to cleanse the true source, and that seems like a perfect answer for the Aelfinn to give. It then took him until WH to actually work it all out and get the pieces in place.

With that in mind, the question "How do I defeat the Dark One?" in all likelihood wasn't answered with a step-by-step guide, hence why Min's research is still vital. Perhaps the answer he got was "With the help of Aes Sedai" or something along those lines, given his comments to Egwene in TOM.

BobH
02-02-2012, 01:50 PM
Thanks. And I whole-heartedly agree that, regardless of what Rand's 3rd question was, the Aelfinn did not give Rand step-by-step instructions re how to achieve it.

Their response to his win/survive the LB question was cryptic to say the least. And although we don't know their exact response to his cleanse saidin question, we do know that it was a riddle, that he told Fel what they said, and Fel said that their response stated "sound principles, in both high philosophy and natural philosophy". Here is the exact quote, from TPoD ch. 14.

He [Rand] had asked once, warily, where he knew the answers would be true, how to cleanse the taint from saidin. And got a riddle for answer. Herid Fel had claimed the riddle stated "sound principles, in both high philosophy and natural philosophy," but he had not seen any way to apply it to the problem at hand. Had Fel been killed because he might have puzzled out the riddle? Rand had a hint at the answer, or thought he might, a guess that could be disastrously wrong.

So, their response wasn't as direct as "Use the Choedan Kal". It was probably phrased cryptically, that in some subtle way hinted at conflicting powers annihilating one another.

Bottom line is, he's going to have to puzzle out their answer to the 3rd question just as he did (or is trying to do) the other two.

Abbaaddon
02-02-2012, 01:59 PM
Wasn't there a element that made dangerous to ask questions about the Shadow to those strange guys ? I think it's Moiraine who tells about it

BobH
02-02-2012, 02:05 PM
Yes, but Moiraine told the 3 girls about the danger of asking questions that touch on the Shadow, not Rand. She had no idea Rand intended to use the Doorway.

Regardless, both of the questions we know Rand asked "touch on the Shadow" so apparently at least he was permitted to ask such questions without any repercussions.

Abbaaddon
02-02-2012, 02:28 PM
What I mean is that, IMO, the two previous question can be narrowed ton Rand's person only. "How do I clean saidin" = how can I Rand al'Thor can do something about not going mad.
Whereas the question a

Abbaaddon
02-02-2012, 02:29 PM
Erf, I am sorry, damn this tab button. Anyway, the question about the DO is too huge to be asked to the Aelfinn without consequences.

Terez
02-03-2012, 01:57 AM
So, the question on cleansing saidin was almost certainly before the question on how to win the LB and survive, since Rand likely saw cleansing saidin (and thereby preventing his own decay into madness) as a prerequisite to winning and surviving the LB. Assuming that’s correct, do we know for certain whether those were actually his first two questions, and we are in fact missing the third question, or is that just speculation?I asked Brandon about this.

INTERVIEW: Nov 21st, 2011
Alloy of Law Signing Report - littleleicesterfox (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=169961#poststop)

TEREZ
Ask him if Rand's question about how to 'win and survive' the Last Battle counted as two questions.


BRANDON SANDERSON
Terez: the win and survive counted as ONE question, very direct answer there. :)
So at this point, my best guess is that Rand’s other question was specifically about how to deal with / defeat the Dark One, largely because of RJ hinting at Rand’s other 2 questions through Moiraine. This could very well have been his 3rd question actually, due to the fact that the Aelfinn’s answer to his (probably 2nd, in this case) question about winning/surviving the LB didn’t mention how he should deal with the Dark One at all.

Thoughts?Many believe that he asked how to seal the Bore, and while that's possible, it does raise the question of why he still has no idea how to do it, unless the Aelfinn gave him a riddle he couldn't solve. But then why wouldn't he tell Min about it? Maybe Fel couldn't solve it. Maybe Rand hasn't told Min because it deals with his death.
So, their response wasn't as direct as "Use the Choedan Kal". It was probably phrased cryptically, that in some subtle way hinted at conflicting powers annihilating one another.
Agreed. It's made pretty clear that he got the idea for how to do it from them, so the principle of the conflicting powers has to be present in their answer. They probably specifically mentioned Shadar Logoth in the answer, and also the natures of saidar and saidin, which was another important part of making it work. The pure saidar which cannot mix with saidin had to form the conduit used to siphon the taint off of saidin.
Wasn't there a element that made dangerous to ask questions about the Shadow to those strange guys? I think it's Moiraine who tells about it
Yes, but Moiraine told the 3 girls about the danger of asking questions that touch on the Shadow, not Rand. She had no idea Rand intended to use the Doorway.

Regardless, both of the questions we know Rand asked "touch on the Shadow" so apparently at least he was permitted to ask such questions without any repercussions.
Ah, but he had his sword out when he frantically backed out of the doorway.

BobH
02-03-2012, 10:59 AM
Terez: the win and survive counted as ONE question, very direct answer there.

I had always assumed that the "win and survive the LB" question was ONE question. And, I had seen your Q&A with Brandon that confirmed it.

That's not what I was asking about. I was asking if we knew for sure that "how to cleanse saidin" was Rand's first question, and "how to win/survive the LB" was his second question, and therefore we are missing his third question (in the order in which he asked them).

I asked because I think Rand would have asked his questions in the order in which he expected them to play out. For example, I think he asked the "cleanse saidin" question before the "win/survive the LB" question, because he would have assumed that he had to cleanse saidin before winning/surviving the LB.

Therefore, if we know these were his first two questions (which I think is most likely), or his first and third question (possible, but less likely), it could help us narrow down options for the remaining question.

Many believe that he asked how to seal the Bore, and while that's possible, it does raise the question of why he still has no idea how to do it, unless the Aelfinn gave him a riddle he couldn't solve. But then why wouldn't he tell Min about it? Maybe Fel couldn't solve it. Maybe Rand hasn't told Min because it deals with his death.

Agreed. "How to seal the Bore" fits with the "how to deal with / defeat the Dark One" idea. I just wasn't sure if, at the time Rand asked his questions, he would have ASSUMED he needed to seal the Bore, and would have asked about that explicitly. Or if he would have asked a more general question like "How do I eliminate the Dark One's ability to touch the Pattern?", the answer to which which could very well have involved sealing the Bore, but could also have involved more than that - i.e. given Rand a bigger picture of what he needed to do.

The "seal the Bore" idea is a good possibility, though. There is this quote, from LoC:

It did not help a great deal with learning what Fel had puzzled out about the Seals on the Dark One's prison or the Last Battle.
The next day brought a note crammed onto a torn-off corner of parchment.

Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build. Will explain when see you next. Do not bring girl. Too pretty.
Fel

Note that Fel was trying to puzzle out two things - the Seals and the Last Battle. That could be because they were two questions Rand asked the Aelfinn about (the LB certainly was), and got Fel thinking about. I definitely think Fel's note to Rand was in reference to the Seals.

Also, I think Rand has some idea of what he needs to do at SG, and re the Bore. He's just playing his cards close to the vest for now, and not revealing much, even to Min. I don't think he knows everything he has to do, but I don't think he knows nothing, either. He clearly has a plan on when to go to SG, for example, and I think he as some plan for the Seals and the Bore, too. He may be withholding what he knows from Min because he thinks she has a better chance of finding out more to help him if she doesn't know what he knows/suspects. Especially if (as you said) what he knows involves his death - he would not want Min preoccupied with that.

Agreed. It's made pretty clear that he got the idea for how to do it from them, so the principle of the conflicting powers has to be present in their answer. They probably specifically mentioned Shadar Logoth in the answer, and also the natures of saidar and saidin, which was another important part of making it work. The pure saidar which cannot mix with saidin had to form the conduit used to siphon the taint off of saidin.

I agree with that first part, but I kind of doubt the Aelfinn mentioned Shadar Logoth by name. I'm thinking they said something like "The two co-operating earthly powers must be used to enable the mutual destruction of the two conflicting unearthly powers", and Rand had to puzzle out the rest.

Ah, but he had his sword out when he frantically backed out of the doorway.

Yes, Rand may have avoided repercussions for asking questions that relate to the Shadow by using his sword to fend them off.

But my point was, I don't think we should eliminate, as possibilities for Rand's 3rd question, questions related to, or even mentioning, the Dark One. Because 1) Rand may not have known about the danger of asking such question, and therefore would have felt safe to do so, and 2) had he done so, it's quite possible he either avoided repercussions by using his sword to escape, or he was allowed to (when no one else would have been) because he is the Dragon Reborn.

Either way, I don't see any reason to eliminate such questions as candidates.

Terez
02-03-2012, 11:09 AM
I had always assumed that the "win and survive the LB" question was ONE question. And, I had seen your Q&A with Brandon that confirmed it.

That's not what I was asking about.Okay.


I agree with that first part, but I kind of doubt the Aelfinn mentioned Shadar Logoth by name. I'm thinking they said something like "The two co-operating earthly powers must be used to enable the mutual destruction of the two conflicting unearthly powers", and Rand had to puzzle out the rest.
Why do you doubt they mentioned it by name?

Yes, Rand may have avoided repercussions for asking questions that relate to the Shadow by using his sword to fend them off.

But my point was, I don't think we should eliminate, as possibilities for Rand's 3rd question, questions related to, or even mentioning, the Dark One.
Yes, I know what your point was. Just saying.

BobH
02-03-2012, 11:48 AM
Why do you doubt they mentioned it by name?

It's not because I think they couldn't have - I know they mentioned Rhuidean by name, to Mat. It's because of this quote, from TPoD:

Herid Fel had claimed the riddle [with respect to the answer Rand received from the Aelfinn about how to cleanse saidin] stated "sound principles, in both high philosophy and natural philosophy," but he [Rand] had not seen any way to apply it to the problem at hand.

From that passage, I get the impression that the Aelfinn's answer was very vague, and didn't mention anything (like Shadar Logoth) specifically. Otherwise, it seems Rand would have had a clearer idea of "how to apply it to the problem at hand".

I could easily be wrong, though. We'll probably never know, unless RJ documented the actual reply, and Brandon (or Team Jordan) can tell us someday.

Yes, I know what your point was. Just saying.

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound pedantic in my reply. You made a good point, and I was just trying to acknowledge it, and fit it in with what I had said previously. :)

Terez
02-03-2012, 11:56 AM
LOL, 'pedantic' is exactly the word that was on my mind. It's all good. I agree it's clear their answer was vague, but that doesn't mean they didn't mention Shadar Logoth. They could have done that and still made it plenty vague. It seems to me that, if they didn't, it would have required way too much brainstorming to figure out what that opposite power was. It may be that he didn't figure it out until Fain wounded his wound. It may be that this is what finally convinced him it would work. I just think it's a stretch, that Rand could have figured that out enough by LOC for Fel to declare it sound. I mean, sound logic is nice and all, but when you're talking about a power opposite to the Dark One's power, and no such thing exists as far as you are aware, then how is it sound in high philosophy? Maybe Fel would have thought of that. But even with Rand's experience, it seems unlikely he did.

BobH
02-03-2012, 12:53 PM
LOL, 'pedantic' is exactly the word that was on my mind. It's all good.

Thanks. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone here. :)

I agree it's clear their answer was vague, but that doesn't mean they didn't mention Shadar Logoth. They could have done that and still made it plenty vague. It seems to me that, if they didn't, it would have required way too much brainstorming to figure out what that opposite power was.

Yeah, I understand your point. And I agree, it would have been very difficult to puzzle out without a mention of Shadar Logoth. But impossible? I don't know ...

It may be that he didn't figure it out until Fain wounded his wound. It may be that this is what finally convinced him it would work.

Isn't there a quote where Rand states/thinks that, more or less? I was thinking there was (and that's partly why I didn't think the Aelfinn mentioned Shadar Logoth explicitly), but I couldn't find it just now, looking.

I just think it's a stretch, that Rand could have figured that out enough by LOC for Fel to declare it sound. I mean, sound logic is nice and all, but when you're talking about a power opposite to the Dark One's power, and no such thing exists as far as you are aware, then how is it sound in high philosophy? Maybe Fel would have thought of that. But even with Rand's experience, it seems unlikely he did.

Hmmm ... I got the impression that Fel deemed the Aelfinn answer stated "sound principals in high philosophy" without having figured out what the principals applied to specifically. That seems plausible, to me.

I agree, though, that had the Aelfinn mentioned Shadar Logoth, it would have provided a stronger basis for Fel's comments, as well as for Rand figuring out what to do. You certainly could be right about that. Maybe you can ask Brandon one day if he knows what the specific wording of the Aelfinn answer was?

Terez
02-03-2012, 03:47 PM
Thanks. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone here. :)I am pretty easy to offend sometimes, lol. But I am like Nynaeve in that.

Yeah, I understand your point. And I agree, it would have been very difficult to puzzle out without a mention of Shadar Logoth. But impossible? I don't know ...Now, I didn't say it was impossible. ;)

Isn't there a quote where Rand states/thinks that, more or less? I was thinking there was (and that's partly why I didn't think the Aelfinn mentioned Shadar Logoth explicitly), but I couldn't find it just now, looking.He thought of the wounds while doing the deed, but it wasn't anything close to a direct comparison. There might be something else, but I can't recall it, and an epiphany like that should stand out. I think it's just the subtle emphasis on the throbbing wounds (both with Fain in Far Madding and in Shadar Logoth) that gives the impression.

Hmmm ... I got the impression that Fel deemed the Aelfinn answer stated "sound principals in high philosophy" without having figured out what the principals applied to specifically. That seems plausible, to me.

I agree, though, that had the Aelfinn mentioned Shadar Logoth, it would have provided a stronger basis for Fel's comments, as well as for Rand figuring out what to do. You certainly could be right about that. Maybe you can ask Brandon one day if he knows what the specific wording of the Aelfinn answer was?If I asked him, I'm sure he'd say "We might get that in the Encyclopedia." :D

Zombie Sammael
02-04-2012, 09:58 AM
Idle thought: with some analysis of the language of Mat's answer, and certain logical assumptions about the answers Rand was given, you could probably construct something very like the actual answer Rand would have gotten. I know some attempts have already been made, but without the analysis of Mat's answers. (yes, I might have a go myself later)

77jester
02-04-2012, 09:52 PM
I was under the impression that Rand finally puzzled out how to cleanse Saidin after he was slashed by Fain. Wasn't there a RJ interview where he basically said that?
The answer from the Finns could have been a simple "You need to combine 2 similar but opposing forces."

eht slat meit
02-04-2012, 10:24 PM
Herid Fel had claimed the riddle [with respect to the answer Rand received from the Aelfinn about how to cleanse saidin] stated "sound principles, in both high philosophy and natural philosophy," but he [Rand] had not seen any way to apply it to the problem at hand.


Given how the act that Rand performed with Nynaeve's aid is described:

The male and female halves of the True Source were alike and unalike, attracting and repelling, fighting against each other even as they worked together to drive the Wheel of Time. The taint on the male half had its opposite twin, too. The wound given him by Ishamael throbbed in time with the taint, while the other, from Fain’s blade, beat counterpoint in time with the evil that had killed Aridhol. ~ WH, ch 35

I get the distinct impression that the Aelfinn could have answered with something as simple as an expression of Newton's third law of motion:
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

That applies not only to the natural world, but in many respects to the social world, where an action results in a reaction, if not always what one expects. Herid Fel would recognize something like this, but not being a channeler, would have no way to understand how it applies to the situation at hand.

GonzoTheGreat
02-05-2012, 04:19 AM
I get the distinct impression that the Aelfinn could have answered with something as simple as an expression of Newton's third law of motion:
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

That applies not only to the natural world, but in many respects to the social world, where an action results in a reaction, if not always what one expects. Herid Fel would recognize something like this, but not being a channeler, would have no way to understand how it applies to the situation at hand.
Rand, on the other hand, having been told time and time again how saidin and saidar are opposites, would've set up a situation where he threw those two head long against each other. Which, of course, wouldn't have worked.

So I think that something else was involved here. What, I have no idea of, though.

Landro
02-05-2012, 02:27 PM
Yes, but Moiraine told the 3 girls about the danger of asking questions that touch on the Shadow, not Rand. She had no idea Rand intended to use the Doorway.

Regardless, both of the questions we know Rand asked "touch on the Shadow" so apparently at least he was permitted to ask such questions without any repercussions.

Moiraine spoke the truth as she knew it but AS know very little about the Ter'angreal they use and it's been quite a while since any AS had use the doorway.

For all we know it's perfectly fine to ask questions regarding the Shadow.

Seeker
02-05-2012, 02:51 PM
LOL, 'pedantic' is exactly the word that was on my mind. It's all good. I agree it's clear their answer was vague, but that doesn't mean they didn't mention Shadar Logoth. They could have done that and still made it plenty vague. It seems to me that, if they didn't, it would have required way too much brainstorming to figure out what that opposite power was. It may be that he didn't figure it out until Fain wounded his wound. It may be that this is what finally convinced him it would work. I just think it's a stretch, that Rand could have figured that out enough by LOC for Fel to declare it sound. I mean, sound logic is nice and all, but when you're talking about a power opposite to the Dark One's power, and no such thing exists as far as you are aware, then how is it sound in high philosophy? Maybe Fel would have thought of that. But even with Rand's experience, it seems unlikely he did.



But what exactly did he do? The book gives me the impression that he just channeled saidin into Shadar Logoth and let the taint leech away. This confuses me quite a bit.

I get that Mashadar and the Taint annihilate each other but I find it confusing to try to figure out how Rand got them to mix.

saidin is omnipresent, right? It's everywhere. So, if Mashadar annihilates the taint, then shouldn't Rand have been channeling clean saidin every time he went to Shadar Logoth? The first time in Eye of the World wouldn't have told him anything but when he went back in Lord of Chaos, shouldn't he have had a gasp moment?

Wait! Saidin is clean here! How can that be?

But he ddin't have a gasp moment. So, we can conclude that Mashadar and the taitn simply being in the same place isn't enough to make them annihilate each other. So, what did Rand do to make them mix and vanish?

Terez
02-05-2012, 03:13 PM
saidin is omnipresent, right? It's everywhere. So, if Mashadar annihilates the taint, then shouldn't Rand have been channeling clean saidin every time he went to Shadar Logoth? The first time in Eye of the World wouldn't have told him anything but when he went back in Lord of Chaos, shouldn't he have had a gasp moment?The Bore is everywhere. I don't think you can find the same comments about the Power. The Power comes from the Source, which might be everywhere, but once it leaves the Source it's not there any more. Rand made a conduit of saidar. He pushed saidin through the conduit and then Shadar Logoth and the taint were attracted to each other, and on contact destroyed each other. When the Power was used, it went back to the Source without the taint. But until Rand got rid of it all, saidin was still tainted.

Seeker
02-05-2012, 05:40 PM
Got it.

Okay, so the Power isn't omnipresent. It had to come in direct contact with Shadar Logoth. Do we ever learn what the Ael Finn told Rand?

SamJ
02-06-2012, 07:57 AM
[QUOTE=Seeker;178470]But what exactly did he do? The book gives me the impression that he just channeled saidin into Shadar Logoth and let the taint leech away. This confuses me quite a bit. QUOTE]

Terez's description makes sense to me. I've always figured he did what the AS who created the Eye did except rather than create a pool of clean Saidin he used SL to attract and destroy the taint.

Davian93
02-06-2012, 09:46 AM
I figured that he used Saidar to force Mashadar and the Taint together as they had no where else to go at that point...which then leeched it off the male side of the One Power.


As to the 3rd question...its pretty clear that he asked them how to go about convincing 3 women to love him and not get jealous towards each other. I mean, he already used up his other 2 questions on Big Picture stuff...I figure he wanted to learn how to be a pimp while he was at it. And, as we all know, pimpin' aint easy.

Zombie Sammael
02-06-2012, 10:20 AM
I figured that he used Saidar to force Mashadar and the Taint together as they had no where else to go at that point...which then leeched it off the male side of the One Power.


As to the 3rd question...its pretty clear that he asked them how to go about convincing 3 women to love him and not get jealous towards each other. I mean, he already used up his other 2 questions on Big Picture stuff...I figure he wanted to learn how to be a pimp while he was at it. And, as we all know, pimpin' aint easy.

"How do I save the world?"

"You must marry Elayne, Daughter-Heir of Andor."

"Elayne? But we barely know each other. Besides, I think her and Mat have a thing going on."

"Er, yeah. About that. We screwed up. We told him he had to marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons, thinking that was Elayne, but it turns out that's a different Daughter-Heir. Anyway, as you know, Aelfinn answers are binding, so if he doesn't marry that one and marries Elayne instead, the entire pattern will unravel."

"So you want me to-"

"Yes, break them up."

"And that's how I save the world?"

"That's a way you save the world, yes."

"But what about the Dark One?"

"Hsss no questions about the Shadow! Attack!"

Explains a lot.

Terez
02-06-2012, 04:03 PM
As to the 3rd question...its pretty clear that he asked them how to go about convincing 3 women to love him and not get jealous towards each other. I mean, he already used up his other 2 questions on Big Picture stuff...I figure he wanted to learn how to be a pimp while he was at it. And, as we all know, pimpin' aint easy.Except that, at that time, he barely knew who Aviendha was. She was just that Aiel chick that hung out with Egwene and Elayne and Nynaeve. Clearly women's business. At this time Rand was only dreaming about two women, unless you count Egwene.

GonzoTheGreat
02-06-2012, 04:11 PM
Except that, at that time, he barely knew who Aviendha was. She was just that Aiel chick that hung out with Egwene and Elayne and Nynaeve. Clearly women's business. At this time Rand was only dreaming about two women, unless you count Egwene.
The Lady Selene was one of the two, but who was the other? :p

Terez
02-06-2012, 04:14 PM
The Lady Selene was one of the two, but who was the other? :pShe entered his dreams in actuality so she definitely doesn't count. Egwene did that too in TDR, but Rand dreamed about her in the normal way in early TSR, when he was in the Waterwood with Min and Elayne. Which is, of course, the point at which Lanfear felt the need to inveigle her way into the situation.

Davian93
02-06-2012, 05:07 PM
Except that, at that time, he barely knew who Aviendha was. She was just that Aiel chick that hung out with Egwene and Elayne and Nynaeve. Clearly women's business. At this time Rand was only dreaming about two women, unless you count Egwene.

Well, the question was in all likelihood "How can I get Elayne and Min to love me and not mind each other?" The answer was likely "There will be three, not two, a blonde, a brunette and a redhead and all will equally share in your pimpness...you go Boy!

sleepinghour
02-06-2012, 06:16 PM
As to the 3rd question...its pretty clear that he asked them how to go about convincing 3 women to love him and not get jealous towards each other. I mean, he already used up his other 2 questions on Big Picture stuff...I figure he wanted to learn how to be a pimp while he was at it. And, as we all know, pimpin' aint easy.

Troy Terry (old rasfwrj poster) already worked out all the questions decades ago:

Rand's 3 questions:

1. Okay, since it's pretty obvious I'm not going to end up with Egwene, who *am* I going to end up with?
2. Reeeeeealy! Cool... Um, ... d'ya think they'll let me watch?
3. Hee-hee! Any way I could squeeze Selene in, too?

Moiraine's 3 questions:

1. Who's going to kill Asmodean? Ahhhh ... it's so *obvious* now!
2. I'm so lonely... whose arms will I end up in?
3. What the *fuck* do you mean, "Lanfear's"?