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greatwolf
03-16-2012, 05:11 AM
Anyone know who this old man was?

"Did someone mention sport?"
Rahvin had not even noticed the opening of a third gateway, showing a large room full of pools and fluted columns, nearly nude acrobats and attendants wearing less. Oddly, a lean old man in a wrinkled coat sat disconsolately among the performers. Two servants in filmy bits of nothing much, a well-muscled man bearing a wrought-gold tray and a beautiful, voluptuous woman anxiously pouring wine from a cut-crystal flagon into a matching goblet on the tray, followed the true arrival before the opening winked out

Certainly not Alsalam. But who?

Ishara
03-16-2012, 06:02 AM
Noal Charin/ Jain Farstrider

greatwolf
03-16-2012, 06:21 AM
Noal Charin/ Jain Farstrider

So now he's demandred?

The Unreasoner
03-16-2012, 11:32 AM
Noal Charin/ Jain Farstrider
Wait, is this true? Definitely not Alsalam or anyone else?

Grig
03-16-2012, 11:39 AM
Wait, is this true? Definitely not Alsalam or anyone else?

It's definitely not Alsalam since Graendal never got her hands on him (the Tower sent an embassy to kidnap him, then they got stuck in the snow). It being Farstrider is an old theory, but there's no other likely candidates and the appearance fits. He has memory problems, leading one to suspect Compulsion (but we already know Ishy was up in his head from tEotW, so it could just be that). If it was him at Graendal's, the big question is why he never tried to kill Mat (and indeed, saved him from the Snakes/Foxes). Unless of course her plans and actions regarding Tuon were actually through Mat, and she was planning to manipulate them through Jain (one of her "strings around the new childlike Empress", and he's not a Darkfriend so it fits her MO). In that case, he would have done as he did despite Compulsion since his earlier experiences had allowed him to develop a way of thinking that would help avoid cognitive missteps that would let the Compulsion kick in.

GonzoTheGreat
03-16-2012, 11:39 AM
Wait, is this true? Definitely not Alsalam or anyone else?
It wasn't Alsalam. We have since found out that Graendal never even had him.
As for anyone else: what other badly-dressed old man would be good enough to meet Graendal's fairly exacting standards?

Maybe Cenn Buie, but apart from him ...

Terez
03-16-2012, 01:17 PM
It wasn't Alsalam. We have since found out that Graendal never even had him.
I suspect there's something fishy going on there. Incidentally, I argued with Luckers about this before TOM. I said it was Farstrider, he said it was Alsalam. Anyway, it's just a little bit odd that Graendal never had him. The timing seems wrong, for one thing. We know she was already set up in Arad Doman by TSR at the latest, since Asmodean had been to visit her. And while it's possible she let him out of her grasp, it seems unlike her. Not saying it's totally unbelievable. Just that maybe we shouldn't be so quick to take Alsalam at face value. And if Graendal Compelled Farstrider, what exactly did she Compel him to do? Keep an eye on Mat for her?

Cortar
03-16-2012, 01:53 PM
I suspect there's something fishy going on there. Incidentally, I argued with Luckers about this before TOM. I said it was Farstrider, he said it was Alsalam. Anyway, it's just a little bit odd that Graendal never had him. The timing seems wrong, for one thing. We know she was already set up in Arad Doman by TSR at the latest, since Asmodean had been to visit her. And while it's possible she let him out of her grasp, it seems unlike her. Not saying it's totally unbelievable. Just that maybe we shouldn't be so quick to take Alsalam at face value. And if Graendal Compelled Farstrider, what exactly did she Compel him to do? Keep an eye on Mat for her?

I thought of the "things" about Graendal was she never compelled people subtlely. Everytime I hear about her compelling its so much that it turns their mind into mush.

The Unreasoner
03-16-2012, 02:04 PM
Gotta side with terez here.

I mean, she managed to get a hold of Byar, but never gave a thought to Alsalam? I just seems oddly...fortuitous. Not to mention the fact that Jain just hung out with Mat, even when the 'kill Mat' order reached the mass-produced drawing stage.

Tomp
03-16-2012, 02:15 PM
There's also a possiblity that Alsalam in ToM is not the real Alsalam. Graendal may have compulsed someone else to impersonate him. Although this is a little farfetched, I guess.

Davian93
03-16-2012, 02:24 PM
There's also a possiblity that Alsalam in ToM is not the real Alsalam. Graendal may have compulsed someone else to impersonate him. Although this is a little farfetched, I guess.

That wouldn't explain why Ituralde recognized him on sight.

The Unreasoner
03-16-2012, 02:24 PM
I thought of the "things" about Graendal was she never compelled people subtlely. Everytime I hear about her compelling its so much that it turns their mind into mush.
It is also said that Graendal so often used Compulsion like a hammer that many forget she is very talented in its subtle forms as well.

Grig
03-16-2012, 02:50 PM
Just that maybe we shouldn't be so quick to take Alsalam at face value.

It's also unbelievable that Rand would take him at face value after suspecting foul play by Graendal (he knows she set up shop early in Arad Doman). There's no way he didn't have a female channeler delve Alsalam for Compulsion residue. He can give step by step instructions, or just have Nynaeve do it.

And if Graendal Compelled Farstrider, what exactly did she Compel him to do? Keep an eye on Mat for her?

And Tuon. She does distinctly consider the strings she's surrounding Tuon with before Shaidar Haran finds her.

I thought of the "things" about Graendal was she never compelled people subtlely. Everytime I hear about her compelling its so much that it turns their mind into mush.

Their minds are only mush if you remove the Compulsion. Which you need to do, since you have no way of knowing what the Compulsion is triggered by or what it will instruct them to do. We've seen people she has Compelled, and while they seem a bit dim they're perfectly capable of functioning normally (if behaving oddly to certain stimuli). For instance, consider the king's nephew or cousin or whatever it was that was sent with the letter to Ituralde saying to drive the Seanchan off. He even had his own motives and everything (granted said motive was to get laid by her, but I say we count it), even though she had messed with his mind.


As far as I'm concerned, the only real problem with the old man being Farstrider is the matter of payoff. How is it useful to the story now that he's dead? Seems like a huge waste of potential. But then, Farstrider's character as a whole suffers from this (I'm still irritated that we didn't learn anything more about how Ishy messed with him, and that was from the first book), so maybe there's more forthcoming.

Terez
03-16-2012, 02:54 PM
It's also unbelievable that Rand would take him at face value after suspecting foul play by Graendal (he knows she set up shop early in Arad Doman). There's no way he didn't have a female channeler delve Alsalam for Compulsion residue. He can give step by step instructions, or just have Nynaeve do it.
An easy thing to assume, but then why not show it on screen? Easier for me to believe that Rand is being clueless as usual.

Davian93
03-16-2012, 06:49 PM
An easy thing to assume, but then why not show it on screen? Easier for me to believe that Rand is being clueless as usual.

In his defense, Nynaeve isn't available to delve Alsalam and he likely doesnt trust/believe any other AS to do such a delving (if they'd even know how as Nynaeve's abilities are probably elite in that area.

Still, my fear/thought is that Rand is overestimating his new godlike state in being able to "see" evil and is simply missing it with Alsalam.


If Alsalam is completely normal, the entire plotline screams waste of time/stupid addition to me

greatwolf
03-16-2012, 07:43 PM
I guess I have to agree with Terez too. (is that a bad habit or something). But if its Jain, she might have sent him to find out what the other forsaken, especially Sammael were doing in Ebou Dar. But that would create more questions than answers.

Belasalam?

greatwolf
03-24-2012, 12:16 AM
Is this a valid question for BS? Or team jordan? O don't think they'll have any reason to RAFO it.

Grig
03-26-2012, 01:04 PM
It'll likely get RAFOd. Still worth asking, I'd think. Would you be asking if the old man was Farstrider, or whether Alsalam was really free of Compulsion? Either question would sort of answer the other, though, so unless you catch Sanderson unawares he'd probably not be willing to answer for that reason. Graendal has to have something up her sleeve for aMoL, right? Especially if you agree with Terez, the answer would have to be a RAFO.

Maria RAFO'd a question about whether Alsalam was the old man between tGS and ToM, which doesn't really help.

greatwolf
03-27-2012, 08:20 AM
Why would they RAFO? Both Jain and Graendal are out of the picture for now amnd giving a RAFO only indicates that we are not yet done. Then we can start the theories really rolling :)

Grig
03-27-2012, 11:54 AM
Both Jain and Graendal are out of the picture for now

What, do you think Shaidar Haran summarily executed Graendal? There's no such thing as "out of the picture" for any Shadow figures that haven't been balefired, considering there is only one book remaining. No time for them to fade into the background for a couple years. Ask anything touching on Graendal's motives, deeds, or pawns and it would likely get RAFOd. But please ask, any new information is always nice.