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View Full Version : Thoughts and questions after rereading Towers of Midnight


fdsaf3
05-20-2012, 06:12 PM
I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the other forum for A Memory of Light, so I'll put it here.

1. Could Nynaeve Heal Messana's broken mind?

After reading the scene where Egwene "breaks" Messana's mind in TAR, I started thinking about Nynaeve. She's Healed what were previously considered un-Healable conditions (being severed, Taint madness), so I'm wondering if she could Heal what happened to Messana. Healing Logain took time for her to study him, but Healing madness seemed to be more immediate - she Delved Naeff, saw the darkness hooked into his brain, and Healed it. There have also been references throughout the series about how anything short of death can be Healed. This is just idle speculation, I suppose, but I wonder if she could Heal Messana if she wanted.

Assuming she could, I wonder what the implications or ramifications would be. Would the protections afforded by the Dark One be in place if her mind was restored (i.e. the "mark" to control Shadowspawn)? I assume so. She didn't die, after all. Her mind was broken, but her body is fine.

Can she still channel? I doubt it. Channeling requires surrender in the case of weaving saidar, and to surrender to saidar requires an intentional decision or action that I don't think Messana is capable of in her current condition.

I'd be curious if anyone has any thoughts on this. I'm just throwing mine out there to see if anyone has anything to add.



**

Ok, I'll have to cut it off here. I have points/questions 1-5, so this is only the first. I'll leave this here to hopefully get a bit of a conversation going and then post the rest of my thoughts later.

Maesterbaevern
05-21-2012, 01:53 AM
I believe that Rand has commented that even during AoL, that healing troubles of the mind was especially complex and difficult.

Terez
05-21-2012, 02:31 AM
I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the other forum for A Memory of Light, so I'll put it here.

1. Could Nynaeve Heal Messana's broken mind?
Unlikely, if for no other reason than that Brandon has written her off (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=605#12).

Zombie Sammael
05-21-2012, 06:55 AM
Unlikely, if for no other reason than that Brandon has written her off (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=605#12).

I'm afraid I disagree that his answer means he's written her off completely:

TEREZ
Will we learn about the information exchange between Graendal and Mesaana?
BRANDON SANDERSON
Considering what's happened to Mesaana, Iím going to say thatís unlikely. No, that depends on what you mean by 'learn of'. If you wiggle it out of us, then perhaps some day.

It just suggests that what's happened to her will prevent us learning that particular information, not necessarily that she has no further role in the story; Nynaeve healing her might, for instance, help resolve the issues that drove her to the Shadow in the first place, or she might end up functioning but amnesiac (in which case she would need to be closely watched).

I do find it very interesting that of all the female Forsaken, Lanfear is the only one to have died - and then only by accident. I wonder what the purpose of that is, other than Rand's reluctance to harm women becoming a general theme.

Tomp
05-21-2012, 11:45 AM
I do find it very interesting that of all the female Forsaken, Lanfear is the only one to have died - and then only by accident. I wonder what the purpose of that is, other than Rand's reluctance to harm women becoming a general theme.

I may be mistaken since I don't have the book in front of me.
Surely Semirhage would be considered to be female and unless I'm remembering wrong she was balefired by Rand after she used the dom band on him.

Davian93
05-21-2012, 12:19 PM
I was somewhat hoping for Egwene to "smartly" execute Mesaana for her crimes only to see her transmigrated and fully healthy in the final book...as kind of a massive FU to Egwene's "brilliance".

But alas, it does not seem to be in the cards.

Zombie Sammael
05-21-2012, 02:49 PM
I may be mistaken since I don't have the book in front of me.
Surely Semirhage would be considered to be female and unless I'm remembering wrong she was balefired by Rand after she used the dom band on him.

Gimme a break I'm tired.

Terez
05-21-2012, 04:38 PM
I'm afraid I disagree
No one cares. Clearly from his answer he doesn't consider Mesaana to be a factor in the last book; he could have revealed that info through Graendal's POV, but he doesn't even consider that. His brain went straight to 'she's done for'.

greatwolf
05-21-2012, 06:00 PM
1. Could Nynaeve Heal Messana's broken mind?

Why not? And why! I think Nyn would be more careful about even trying after the problems that healing Logain caused. Will she heal her and place compulsion on her? Or use the adam that Moggy escaped? I don't think she would attempt it without something to make the forsaken harmless. She might just try extracting information from her and leave her a broken shell.

As for the healing itself, is healing Mesaana's mind going to be more difficult than healing taint madness? It depends on how RJ worked it out, but really taint madness aeems to be some kind of dynamic ongoing changes to a dysfunctional mind likely physiological. While Mesaana's injury is kind of static, fixed injury, probably structural or anatomical change.

Changing a process that is in flux and ongoing seems to me more difficult that fixing a static one. A surgery can be far more straightforward than treating ongoing electrolyte imbalance. Of course it could also be the other way around.

In a way madness is madness. She should be able to. But its probably more important to ask if she would even be willing to try.

ETA: You do seem to have a knack for some interesting thoughts and comments. :)

FelixPax
05-21-2012, 08:12 PM
Unlikely, if for no other reason than that Brandon has written her off (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=605#12).

If Brandon Sanderson said the below to you, word for word, in IMHO he is absolutely incorrect about Egwene's fork in road Dream being *FULFILLED*. It has not been fulfilled.


Terez
Have Egwene's dreams concerning Gawyn all been fulfilled?
Brandon Sanderson

Which one are they asking about?
TEREZ

This is my question.
BRANDON SANDERSON

Because it was a Min vision, about holding her life...
TEREZ

No, no...I know the difference. Iím thinking mostly of the fork in the road that Gawyn comes to in Egweneís dream, and down one road they marry, and down the other they donít...
BRANDON SANDERSON

Okay, yes. That has been fulfilled. That fork in the road was the same decision that Min saw. Those were parallel [prophecies]. And that prophecy did get fulfilled...and the meaning of that is...there is no hidden meaning, no 'Surprise, that wasnít really it!' You saw it: if Gawyn had not returned when he did, Egwene would have died.
FOOTNOTEóTEREZ

Brandon didn't let me finish telling him the dream, so I asked him about it again later. The dream actually refers to Gawyn's death rather than Egwene's, so it may be that the dream hasn't been fulfilled yet.

Someone has forgotten Gawyn's Oaths to Elayne Trakand, versus his Warder duties to Egwene al'Vere.

There's a tension between Elayne and Egwene at the end of #ToM book, which remains at the beginning of #AMoL.

Gawyn like the Gholam (earlier) has two conflicting things pushing against him, which together allow him free will to choose which to follow.

Fork in the Road, for Gawyn is to chose Egwene or Elayne at the Field of Merrilor. To stay with Egwene? Or to join his Elayne Trakand, Morgase Trakand, Galad Damondred, Perrin Aybara, High Lord Darlin, Rand al'Thor, Min?

If forced to choose by Egwene al'Vere, Gawyn Trakand will choose the side of Blood Calling. Yes, that's a Theory. It's a theory parallel TGH's Dark Prophecy, as well.

Gareth Bryne, Siuan, Leane also hold important game playing cards, against Egwene al'Vere continuing rule as Amyrlin Seat. Ditto Sorilea, Amys, Rhuarc, Melaine, Aviendha who KNOW Egwene al'Vere lied to every Aiel she met, claiming she was an Aes Sedai--when she have not yet earned that Title. Egwene al'Vere still owes Rhuarc Toh, for this in fact.

Terez
05-21-2012, 10:41 PM
If Brandon Sanderson said the below to you, word for word, in IMHO he is absolutely incorrect about Egwene's fork in road Dream being *FULFILLED*.
He did say it, word for word, but he didn't quite know what he was talking about, so clearly we can't glean much from what he said other than that Min's viewing was fulfilled.

Great Lord of the Dark
05-22-2012, 12:36 AM
Mesaana was in Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh, so whatever Egwene did to her changed her permanently. Transmigarting her will do no good since her mind will be equally as mushy in the new body. Nynaeve cannot heal it because there is nothing to heal; Mesaana has no cognitive functions because Egwene made her that way as though she had always been that way. It is akin to wondering if Nynaeve could have healed Rand of being a dog if Rahvin had succeeded in the transformation he was imposing on Rand.

Egwene herself could reverse it, but it would require even more willpower than she used to effect the change in the first place. Changes in Tel'aran'rhiod are difficult to undo, and require desire and willpower in excess of that which wrought the change.

GonzoTheGreat
05-22-2012, 04:42 AM
I don't think that Egwene did it, so I do not think that it would be all that easy for her to undo it either. It seems that Mesaana did it to herself. She tried to do something which she couldn't do, and eventually it broke her.
So if the one who did it has to undo it, that seems rather unlikely to happen.

Great Lord of the Dark
05-23-2012, 12:02 AM
Egwene pictured herself as a mountain that would not move before the insignificant insect that was Mesaana. It was a battle of wills, and Egwene crushed her. I have difficulty interpreting that battle as Mesaana's mind snapping due to her own actions. That was the description applied to the Wise One to whom the same thing happened so many years earlier when they didn't know what had actually taken place. Now we know: she met something with a stronger will than her own. It would take an equally strong will to undo it, but given how much effort went into crushing the insect in the first place...

GonzoTheGreat
05-23-2012, 05:09 AM
Egwene made herself into a mountain. If Mesaana hadn't banged her head straight into the mountain side, then she wouldn't snapped as she did.

Davian93
05-23-2012, 09:16 AM
Mesaana was in Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh, so whatever Egwene did to her changed her permanently. Transmigarting her will do no good since her mind will be equally as mushy in the new body. Nynaeve cannot heal it because there is nothing to heal; Mesaana has no cognitive functions because Egwene made her that way as though she had always been that way. It is akin to wondering if Nynaeve could have healed Rand of being a dog if Rahvin had succeeded in the transformation he was imposing on Rand.

Egwene herself could reverse it, but it would require even more willpower than she used to effect the change in the first place. Changes in Tel'aran'rhiod are difficult to undo, and require desire and willpower in excess of that which wrought the change.

I dont buy that. For one, there have been plenty of people that have likely suffered major head injuries that break the brain like that and they are likely reborn completely fine. I think if she were killed and transmigrated, there's a possibility of her healing.

WinespringBrother
05-23-2012, 10:26 AM
Nynaeve is a great Healer but not infallible. Mesaana's brain damage is probably similar to Kerb's, the messenger who was brain-wiped by Graendal's compulsion, and who was also beyond Nynaeve's abilities.

GonzoTheGreat
05-23-2012, 10:36 AM
Nynaeve is a great Healer but not infallible. Mesaana's brain damage is probably similar to Kerb's, the messenger who was brain-wiped by Graendal's compulsion, and who was also beyond Nynaeve's abilities.
For now. She is still very young, after all. Maybe she'll have better luck in another century or two.

Lost One
12-15-2012, 07:56 PM
Taint Madness and being severed are.. injuries, like a splinter, or a wound. There is an injured part to fix. Mesanna's mind, on the other hand, was shattered beyond compare. There is simply nothing left to work with. Graendal might be able to.. She was the mental expert, but again, there is nothing to work with. Something has to be there for cognitive recognition and Messan's shattered.

Her mistake was trying to match wills with Egwene instead of power because she (Mesanna) was stronger in the power. However, by this time, Egwene can break/dispell weaves in TAR by thought, like Perrin. So as long as the fight was in TAR, it would not have mattered. Mesanna chose her battleground poorly. Outside of TAR, she could have taken Egwene 1 on 1. And at the wrong time. She should have done it while she was still in the tent city, by waiting for the Rebel Hall to meet, prepare balefire weaves, open a gateway and spin BF through the gate at individuals. Or travel a short distance and pull a Rand and destroy the whole tent from behind a gateway. Gateways used like this would make wonderful assassination tools.