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Cabadrin
10-29-2012, 03:58 AM
Dedicated to Mervin Poel, wiz mechanic
May you always drive in the Light

The Overkilling of Herid Fel

Terez has drawn my attention to the old conundrum: Why send the gholam to kill a human?
I made a survey of all the simple explanations I could imagine, and the construct Terez described as the favoured solution among oldtimers. Three candidates remained standing. I dismissed two as random, I don't think anything just happend here, so I was left with one unique solution:

The gholam was used in order to drive home the message that Fel had reached a breakthrough, the Shadow was desperate and sent their best operative to silence him.
What we see here is a final effort in an unravelling Demandred plot to persuade Rand to break the seals. Egwene is right, Rand must not break the seals.

Plan A

Demandred, learning from his spies that Rand had been meeting with Herid Fel, established himself at the School of Cairhien. Knowing of Idrien's disdain of theory, he would have presented himself as a financially independent scholar working in some obscure theoretical field he know enough about to bore anyone listening to tears, willing to pay for room and board to be close to the great Herid Fel.
He befriended Fel and spent many evenings with him, an intelligent amateur with interesting questions and suggestions, seeking to draw Fel's attention to parts of his works that could lead his thinking towards the conclusion Demandred desired, and then have Fel tell Rand.

This is just one of many projects and hideouts he maintains in different parts of the world. Somewhere, he is namned but not seen. A project important enough for Demandred to undertake, but it won't be one of the vital projects. Searching for angreal among the islands would fit. I haven't had time to read the new theory at Dragonmount, is that it? It looked complicated, which would fit, that is how RJ would set up a wild-goose chase.

To win you have to break the rules. If you want to find something important, look for simple.

Ta'veren luck

The first time Rand met Fel we only know about indirectly, TPOD 14 p15/16.
The second time, Fel reacted to Rand's question about breaking the seals:

"Break the seals? Why would anyone but a madman want to do that?"

LTT, the mind that designed the seals, concurred:

Break the seals, and end it. Let me die forever.

The third time Rand sought Fel, he had wandered off, lost in thought.
The fourth time, Rand brought Min. Fel is absent-minded and distracted by Min, Rand can make no sense of what little he says. A day after the meeting Fel sends Rand a note.
The fifth time Rand seeks him, after the note, Fel has gone fishing.

Demandred's prodding has been successful, Fel has reconsidered his initial thoughts on the breaking of the seals, but ta'veren luck is protecting Rand from hearing Fel clearly state his new position, only the cryptic note reaches him. Rand pays little attention to the note.

Min had no viewing of Fel's death, she was surprised when Rand told her. Fel has reached the conclusion Demandered was leading him towards, Demandred has no intention of having him killed.
LOC ch18 p10/20:
Herid's eyebrows shot up. Break the seals? Break the seals? Why would anyone but a madman want to do that? Can they even be broken? I seem to remember somewhere they can't, but I don't remember now that it said why. What made you think of a thing like that that?
I don't know, Rand sighed. In the back of his head Lews Therin was chanting. Break the seals. Break the seals, and end it. Let me die forever.

LOC ch50 p4/18 The note:
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.

Min to the rescue

As Rand is carried towards Dumai's Wells, Fel realizes the flaws in the argument, returning to his initial position. After Rand is freed, Demandred sends the gholam. He will have querried Fel about what he has told Rand, so he knows that Fel never told Rand about the conclusion Demandred had led him to, but he had no reason to ask if Fel had sent Rand any message. Fel must be killed, now that he has found firm grounds for advice against breaking the seals, but by killing Fel in a manner suggesting he had reached a breakthrough that frightened the Shadow, Demandred hopes to make Rand disregard Fel's initial advice. He knows he is dealing with a Ta'veren, so he sends the gholam for added emphazis.

Min, guided by the note, retraces the argument based on Fel's books that Demandred used to lead Fel to the false conclusion. Min has no ta'veren protection, and no chance events can keep Min from Rand, Min tells Rand that the seals must be broken. The fate of the world now rest on Min's shoulders. Will she see the truth in time and save the world by stopping Rand from breaking the seals? I expect a last minute rescue.

The Forsaken and ta'veren luck

Why didn't Demandred realize that ta'veren luck would interfere with his plan? It is not the only case where one of the Forsaken seems to pay no heed to this in dealing with the three Ta'veren. I asked for assistance to find out what the Forsaken knew about Ta'veren.

Ieyasu helpt me find Graendal's idea of frighteningly strong ta'veren luck:

TOM ch38 p16/16:
It had to be done carefully. Aybarra was ta'veren, and so strong a one as to be frightening. Arrows fired from afar would miss, and in a time of peaceful contemplation, he would be alerted and escape.

I found Osan'gar's myself, excusing the failed assassination attempt:
WH ch13 p14/21:
"Simply probabilities" he murmured, trying to sound offhand. "Next time he will be killed or taken. Chance can't protect him forever."

And, of course, Demandred would not have been so jealous with LTT if he could have explained away LTT:s successes as ta'veren luck.

The Forsaken had no idea what they were facing here. The BA knows, with Ta'veren Artur Hawkwing in their history, but the Forsaken wouldn't seek advice from them.

Moridin, reading all reports about improbabilities around the Ta'veren, realized that the luck of these three Ta'veren must be far beyond anything known from AOL. A genuine scientist, he tested his theory by sending Slayer to kill Rand in Far Madden. He masked himself to use the opportunity to test Slayer's loyalty, too, not suspecting anything, but Moridin is not a trusting man. This is Slayer on his day job, working for the Forsaken while reporting back to Moridin.
WH ch 22 p18/19:
"The pair sleeping in the room will sleep forever," Luc said, "but the man was bald, the woman gray."
"A pity," the man said, and the voice seemed to melt in Luc´s ears. He would not be able to recognize it if he heard it without the disguise. The man had to be one of the Chosen. Few save the Chosen knew how to reach him, and none of the men among those few could channel, or would have dared trying to command him. His services were always begged, except by the Great Lord himself, and more recently by the Chosen, but none of the Chosen Luc had met had ever taken such precautions as this.
"Do you want me to try again?" Luc asked.
"Perhaps. When I tell you. Not before. Remember, not a word of this to anyone."

We know from Cyndane in the AMOL prologue that Moridin has not shared his discovery to all Forsaken, he is probably keeping it to himself.

Mervin Poel

When he went back to the academy to collect Fen's books, Rand asked Idrien if someone had left suddenly. But Demandred stayed on; he had another plot running. We see the mechanical wizard Mervin Poel first with an early prototype steam engine, the next time he has built a barely functional steamwagon and finally, about a year after the early prototype, a steamwagon train travel, a hundred leagues per day, from Cairhien to Tear. For those who did not realize that he must have had help, massive help, BS provides the information that Demandreds had studied AOL military history in the AMOL prologue as an extra clue.
The resourses needed would not be a problem, the Shadow has had thousands of years to stockpile material for Tarmon Gai'don.

We have at least half a dozen clues or loose threads in the prologue that should be answerable by now by the rules of the game as I understand them, and I do not believe BS would cheat at this game. Three fit here:

It would appear from the discussion that not all of us have noted the difference between Lanfear and Cyndane: Lanfear was obsessed with Rand, Cyndane is a woman scorned. Cyndane is given the task of overseeing the killing of Rand as a reward. A reward for a long penance massproducing cuendillar parts would fit. Does not cost Moridin anything, he is confident Slayer will fail, but Cyndane will enjoy the hunt. Has anyone wondered why Moridin went to so much trouble to free Lanfear, only to use her as courier and plaything? I didn't. Not until I realized he needed her (surmised) Talent for cuendillar.

Demandred, posing as a fellow enthusiast, supported Poel with theory, design, and of course resources, with the aim of building steamwagons for military use. With cuendillar critical components this might even be realistic. Note Idrien's comment about bits breaking or freezing after the test drive, Demandred is not yet providing cuendillar parts.
If Demandred is reintroducing mechanized warfare, why not begin with artillery? Demandreds standard here is Balefire, a simple brass cannon wouldn't impress him. Moving Trollocs would be a constant headache though - the steamwagon trains are intended for use as troop transports, I'd leave the invention of mobile artillery to Mat.
GonzoTheGreat came up with the idea of driving through the Ways, outpacing Machin Shin.

And then there is Moghediens appointment to Demandred's new army. Her main job is probably to organize the BA attached to the Mobile Corps, setting up gateways for the return to pick up another load of Trollocs, and to restock supply depots.

If at first this seems absurd, you are not alone. It took me a week to fully realize that military steamwagons was not something I had invented, it was something RJ had invented.
Which is the hardest to believe:

- A civilian project, by one enthusiast and the limited resources that Rand put in thinking to leave a legacy for the future, resulting in a developement from early prototype steam engine to a fully functional steamwagon capable of driving from Cairhien to Tear in four days in one year.

- A military project, with massive funding, assisted by knowledge of steam technology and mechanized warfare from AOL history and cuendillar, achieving that same rate of developement.

To anyone with any understanding of technology, the difficulty should not be to accept the military steamwagons, the difficulty should be to accept the civilian steamwagons. And we know they are real. If it is a civilian project, why did RJ cheapen the series with this nonsense? He could have just left it out, it would have made a far better story. I thought at first he was a technological imbecille, but after I found a way to exonerate him I refuse to return to the belief that he was silly without massive evidence. Nothing else in this story supports that theory.

LOC ch18 p5/20 First steam engine demo; Rand's second meeting with Fel
LOC ch28 p1/19 Rand seeks Fel; Fel has wandered off.
LOC ch50 p3/18 Rand and Min meet Fel. Fel sends note to Rand. Fel gone fishing
LOC epilogue p2/5 The gholam kills Fel; p5/5 Demandred tells the DO
ACOS ch18 p15/16 Idrien tells Rand Fel is dead
ACOS ch19 p12/15 Rand tells Min
WH prologue p62/76 Rand and Min collecting Fen's books. Poel testing steam wagon
TGS ch15 p10/16 Min concludes Rand must break the seals
KOD ch21 p4/26 Six steamwagons pulling fifty wagons reached Tear

Davian93
10-29-2012, 08:44 AM
- A civilian project, by one enthusiast and the limited resources that Rand put in thinking to leave a legacy for the future, resulting in a developement from early prototype steam engine to a fully functional steamwagon capable of driving from Cairhien to Tear in four days in one year.



A couple thoughts on this. One, all chance is suspended when ta'veren are involved and Rand is the most powerful ta'veren in history. Two, its not new technology, its a rediscovery of old technology. Remember, the AoL was an advanced society. Three, the rediscovery of technologies like advanced optics (Rand's looking glasses for the battle of Cairhien), steam power, etc is part of an overall theme in the story of a transition of ages. Clearly, the 4th Age is going to be one where industrial advances take the lead from channeling as the dominant source of power. Avi's future-visions show something of this and there are other hints going forward that channeling will be less important or might even go away altogether at some point during that Age.

Res_Ipsa
10-29-2012, 09:27 AM
A couple thoughts on this. One, all chance is suspended when ta'veren are involved and Rand is the most powerful ta'veren in history. Two, its not new technology, its a rediscovery of old technology. Remember, the AoL was an advanced society. Three, the rediscovery of technologies like advanced optics (Rand's looking glasses for the battle of Cairhien), steam power, etc is part of an overall theme in the story of a transition of ages. Clearly, the 4th Age is going to be one where industrial advances take the lead from channeling as the dominant source of power. Avi's future-visions show something of this and there are other hints going forward that channeling will be less important or might even go away altogether at some point during that Age.

To build on what Dav is saying, I always thought that the progression of technology is a common thematic element to signal the end of the era of mysticism and the dawn of the age of science. As we saw in Aviendha's vision of the future, there is coming a time where channelers will be relegated to an increasingly smaller role and then one day, they will disappear.

Davian93
10-29-2012, 09:52 AM
To build on what Dav is saying, I always thought that the progression of technology is a common thematic element to signal the end of the era of mysticism and the dawn of the age of science. As we saw in Aviendha's vision of the future, there is coming a time where channelers will be relegated to an increasingly smaller role and then one day, they will disappear.

Exactly...such is the way of life in a cyclical universe.

Dom
10-29-2012, 04:30 PM
Fel is described as a loner and dreamer who did not socialize and who frequently vanished without warning for days to go fishing.

I think Demandred nor any Forsaken would have been prone to worry about Rand talking to any third age scholar.

My theory of what happened is simpler.

Around those time we learned that Sammael was still convinced Rand had Asmodean hidden somewhere safe, and that he was teaching Rand, and we know this worried him.

I believe Sammael did make some efforts to get spies to locate him, and his spies in Cairhien (we know he had some there, he's guessed much about Mesaana's plans once Graendal had tipped him about what to look for... BA) reported the only suspicious meetings Rand ever had were with one Herid Fel, who was supposedly a scholar, but contrary to the other inventors, never seemed to do anything concrete. To meet him, Rand came with Aiel bodyguards who were ensuring his privacy, and he always pretended to have come at the Academy to watch on the progress of inventions, each one more useless than the next. Then he secluded himself with Fel, every time. And to finish the picture, this men Fel had the strange habit to suddenly vanish for days without warning.

I believe Sammael has thought he had found Asmodean, that it was worth a shot. He only recently had found a gholam, the academy was built around a Waygate. He sent this gholam to kill this Herid Fel.

This is why when he met the DF in Ebou Dar, he started by saying he might have something to deal with Elayne and co. The gholam wasn't back, and it was its first "test run" out of stasis.

The gholam returned, with the disappointing news Herid Fel was not a channeller. Sammael put that out of his mind and sent the gholam to Ebou Dar.

This fits with RJ's answer that someone thought Herid Fel was passing too much information to Rand. It was just a devious "Aes Sedai" answer, basically RJ never wanted us to know the Shadow had no knowledge whatsoever of what Fel was up to, this way we would wonder if Min was in danger if she continued Fel's work.

The main reasons I've always been convinced Fel wasn't killed for his scholarly endeavour is that anyone who cared to investigate him closely enough to be able to figure out what Fel was looking into for Rand would have learned Fel helped by doing research in his own extensive library and in volumes he got from the royal library. If that had worried someone enough to kill Fel, it wasn't wise to have him killed by a Shadowspawn, as it would convince Rand Fel likely had found something important, and it was all the more stupid to leave intact and within Rand's reach all the books he was doing his research from, and to do nothing about it when Min and Rand went to fetch the books and she began to read them openly and avidly. Moridin, Mesaana, Demandred, Semirhage had spies in Rand's inner circle (might actually all be the same ones... Verin, Elza etc.)

It's very hard to believe the Shadow would have shed its usual arrogance to worry about the knowledge of the Bore and seals of Third Age scholars. AS barely understand how they work, and as for the Bore if Lanfear herself doesn't seem to have any clue how to further open it, if no one in the Shadow, including some of the top scholars and philosophers of the AOL, has come up with a plan that worked to release the DO during the Collapse (a century) or WOS (10 years), if neither LTT nor LPD and all the scientists with them couldn't come up with a better plan to seal the bore, then the odds a third age scholar with secondary or tertiary reports of the events and barely an understanding of the facts stood little to no chance at all to be of any help to Rand. Or so the Forsaken would have all assumed, including Sammael, who may have thought it made so little sense to find information in books about something the AOL's best minds had not figured out that this had to be a cover story, a pretext for Rand and Asmodean to meet.

Cabadrin
10-30-2012, 02:00 AM
@Davian93:

Steam technology is not nonsense, it is the rate of developement that makes it preposterous except as a military project.

@Res_Ipsa

I don't see a future without channeling, it is real and useful. The problem came with the DO:s touch on the world after the Bore, undermining morals: Anarchy in Seanchen, small kingdoms led by channeler queens in constant wars, with the dubious solution of the a'dam, the use of Oaths among Aes Sedai, reducing creativity and inviting stagnation
There is still a need for mechanical technology, channelers are a small minority.

@Dom:

Demandred, or Moridin, was not initially interested in Fel because of fear he might tell Rand something important; he was looking for a conduit to feed Rand disinformation.

The gholam was able to sense a channeler from 50 feet, it would not have to enter the room to realize Asmodean was not there. It does seem to have some initiative and discrimination.
The demonstrations was Idrien's idea, Rand came openly to see Fel.
Unlikely that Asmodean would be hiding out as a scholar. I'd look for Asmodean where the music is.
And what's the point? A constructed answer to a constructed puzzle, leading nowhere. This is essentially a "just happened" solution - Sammael just happened to mistake Fel for Asmodean, on the flimsiest of evidence. It should not be difficult to find out who Fel was, and realize why Rand was meeting him. The Forsaken may not have seen Fel as a great scholar but Rand was a sheepherder after all, he'd look for advice where he could find it.

Ieyasu
10-30-2012, 02:15 AM
Steam technology is not nonsense, it is the rate of developement that makes it preposterous except as a military project.

Except that it wasnt starting from scratch. He had a manuscript from the AoL... perfecting a old piece of technology is not as difficult as inventing it from scratch as you are suggesting.


I don't see a future without channeling

You do realize time is a wheel in this universe, right? You do realize that the dawn of the Age of Legends was the re-discovery of channeling right? That means that there IS a future age in which channeling is lost... whether you see it or not.

Landro
10-30-2012, 07:42 AM
I like the "I thought he was Asmo" theory.

If they wanted to prevent Rand from getting information they would have gotten rid of the books and any other research work as well.

If they wanted Fel to provide false information it would have been better to use compulsion than to kill him.


@Dom
Gholam can survive going through a gateway for skimming. It stands to reason they could use regular gateways too. Therefore there would be no reason to risk him in the Ways.

Res_Ipsa
10-30-2012, 10:05 AM
I don't see a future without channeling, it is real and useful. The problem came with the DO:s touch on the world after the Bore, undermining morals: Anarchy in Seanchen, small kingdoms led by channeler queens in constant wars, with the dubious solution of the a'dam, the use of Oaths among Aes Sedai, reducing creativity and inviting stagnation
There is still a need for mechanical technology, channelers are a small minority.

Well if you will pardon the pun here, RJ was not reinventing the wheel. Granted, having not read AMoL or knowing how it all plays out he could be going in a relatively unexplored direction of literature, but I doubt that. We love the characters in the book because of RJ's take on them but the central elements and themes of each character and book are nothing new. It is like the original three (AND ONLY!) Star Wars films, Lucas was putting a fresh coat of paint on something that was already there to begin with and impossible to draw away from. In my opinion, I think we are seeing the death of the age of mysticism. Will there still be "channelers"? Perhaps, but they may only be as we, in a modern age, perceive such mysticism; the stuff of folk-lore and certainly not to be trusted. Far more likely, it would seem that the need for channelers will die out, and humanity will move on "legends will become myth . . .."

GonzoTheGreat
10-30-2012, 11:21 AM
Far more likely, it would seem that the need for channelers will die out, and humanity will move on "legends will become myth . . .."
Considering the fact that nowadays, channelers could be very useful indeed in areas such as medicine, firefighting and flower preservation, just to mention a few wildly differing potential career choices, I don't really think that channeling would lose its usefulness with a level of technology comparable to our own. And, frankly, I think that even with the Star Trek level it would still be useful enough to warrant spending a few years of training for anyone who had the talent for it. Especially given the fact that after passing such training the student would have added centuries to his or her life expectancy.

Even if it were no more than an anti-aging gimmick it would still be something sought after by lots of people.

Dom
10-30-2012, 02:20 PM
Demandred, or Moridin, was not initially interested in Fel because of fear he might tell Rand something important; he was looking for a conduit to feed Rand disinformation.

?? Fel corroborated Rand's interpretation of the Finn's answer about how to cleanse saidin rested on sound principles. Had Moridin or Demandred been involved with Fel or intended to use him to feed Rand disinformation they would have gotten out of Fel first some intelligence about what Rand was asking him about... They would have known all along he planned to cleanse saidin and at least the general lines of how he intended to do it.

They clearly did not. It's Osan'gar who raised the alarm, and it's out of Cyndane Moridin got the information Rand had a set of access keys. The Forsaken never knew before it happened that it involved using Shadar Logoth.

The race to stop Rand from cleansing saidin would have started all the way back in LOC had Demandred been involved with Fel, and whenever Moridin appeared at the latest if he was the one involved with Fel. Instead, this started following a boast made by Rand in front of Osan'gar and Asha'man in TPOD.

I'm not sure where this idea about disinformation comes from. What makes you think that?

RJ's answer as to the motive of the assassination is pretty clear and rather: Fel was killed because somebody thought he might reveal too much.

RJ never said straight out it was about the information Fel was passing to Rand for real, nor did he said affirmatively that Fel was revealing too much. He phrased it deliberately as someone thinking Fel was releaving too much.

And this was accomplished with a gholam, that's a massive overkill unless the one who ordered the murder suspected there might be hidden channellers to face to get to Fel (and even cursory spying would have quickly revealed the Academy wasn't even guarded) or that the target himself was or could be a channeller. It would have made far more sense if Demandred or Moridin ordered this to send Isam, a Gray Man, Darkfriends than a gholam.

I'd also point out there's zero evidence of a second gholam around, and not long after we learn of Sammael is still worried that Rand has Asmodean smuggled somewhere and that he's passing to him his knowledge of the One Power.

Then there's the matter of temporal possibility. Sammael sent the gholam to Ebou Bar not long after, but when he spoke to Carridin, he used "might have something" and spoke as if either he wasn't yet sure the gholam "still worked" or perhaps he had it do something for the first time since finding him, and wasn't sure the gholam would return from that mission.

Other things I see as clues (and typically for those mysteries that Jordan didn't intend to resolve they are indirect and not "red flags" is that in the next book we see Sammael convinced Asmodean is hidden by Rand somewhere and he teaches Rand, and then Graendal's comment about nearly dying from an encounter with a gholam, a clue even a Chosen with the mark is not guaranteed to be able to control the Shadowspawn if another Chosen sent it with orders to kill him/her. Basically, Jordan put in our heads the notion that a Chosen could very well send a gholam against another Forsaken.

The gholam was able to sense a channeler from 50 feet, it would not have to enter the room to realize Asmodean was not there.

No need for that much finesse (and it's not Sammael's style), and he certainly didn't tell the gholam to make sure it was Asmodean before killing the man... .if it wasn't, the motiveless murder of that scholar fit the orders to spark chaos great and small.

Sammael could have ordered it to enter the Academy unseen and find and kill the scholar Herid Fel, avoid being seen, and come back. He could question the gholam after he returned to him if the target was a strong channeller, and even if it had the Chosen mark. It's not like Sammael would have lost any sleep over killing an innocent...

The demonstrations was Idrien's idea, Rand came openly to see Fel.

I know it had nothing to do with a cover up.

I was presenting events as spies might have perceived them, Rand putting two guards at the door while he was secluding himself with Herid Fel, after a cursory visit of the inventors (Rand appeared not to be interested, in fact he just didn't know what to say) which to outside observers could have been seen as a pretext, a cover for the real reason he came there, and the real reason he had created this academy in the first place.

And what's the point? A constructed answer to a constructed puzzle, leading nowhere.

You mean just like Asmodean's murder by Graendal? Sara Convenry's assassination?

There are plenty of writing/plot device reasons. Fel was a plot device to turn MIn into a scholar, and to make this slow as her findings would only start to show up in the finale of the series.. It let Jordan introduce anticipation about the gholam. It added a mysterious red herring out of nowhere, and one more layer of apparent chaos in the book in which it was a central theme (plenty of weird never resolved mysteries in that book, and some which were only later resolved). Killing Fel that way, making us think it was the information he was discussing with Rand added for cheap a layer of threat over MIn who was setting out to solve the mystery of what Fel was about to tell Rand. RJ added a new layer when he had Rand and her fetch the books in plain sight.

The murder of Fel was also a plot device that convinced MIn and Rand Fel's information was valuable and it was better investigating it. So far, Min has unearthed good stuff in there that's got nothing to do with what Fel left as a note, and this happened because she's reading all the books to find out what Fel had discovered.

Jordan did stuff like that often. Asmodean was murdered for Jordan to get rid of him, but he turned this into a device that let him increase Rand's paranoia in LOC (just as he introduced Taim), and to make us believe an unidentified Forsaken may now be very close to Rand and began by killing Asmodean. You saw that in some theories at the time - even in some early Taimandred theories.

@landro
Gholam can survive going through a gateway for skimming. It stands to reason they could use regular gateways too. Therefore there would be no reason to risk him in the Ways.

Yes, possibly. I didn't bring this up because many believe that the tidbit about gholam being able to use gateways is a retcon introduced by Brandon for overlooking this issue in the way he wrote the death scene (i.e.: that RJ planned to trap the gholam in a skimming zone, but Mat and the others found out that passing the gateway had killed the gholam). RJ was pretty definitive in a Q&A that Shadowspawn can't use gateways, and he even volunteered more info and added that no Construct can, not even those the Light made like Nym (and presumably chora trees can't be brought by Travelling either). He didn't leave much room for exceptions.

It's not very important. The Ways were important in the original theory, because at the time I wrote it (after reading TPOD, revised to exclude Travelling as a possibility, after KOD) I had to account for how the gholam went to Cairhien and came back to Illian in time to be sent to Ebou Dar. To make it temporally possible, Sammael had to have a way the Gholam could go from Illian to Cairhien and go to Ebou Dar in a set number of days. There wasn't enough time for the gholam to have, for e.g., done that by horse or on foot. There was enough time, though, to make it through the Ways, or with Travelling.

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-30-2012, 03:00 PM
To add to Dom's comments about the intro of the gholam...

it also gave us a bit more of the nasty bits still lurking that could await the heroes. Trollocs were old game by this point in the story, Myrdraal have been seen and fought, the Forsaken are not so scary (i.e. they can be defeated, some quite easily).

And who better to kill than the sweet old librarian type, the smart one, the one trying to figure out stuff, the one befuddled by pretty girls? Hello nerd readership, can you relate to the character? Let me now kill him with something very nasty, very ugly, very scary.

Plot progression, I agree.

Cortar
10-30-2012, 03:08 PM
I don't think there is any reason to believe the Shadow thought Fel was Asmodean. I think the spies would have seen the mysterious new "bard" that hangs around Rand all the time.

Cabadrin
10-31-2012, 03:37 AM
@Ieyasu and Res_Ipsa:

You are right, the Pattern weaves as the Pattern wills, there could be an Age where no channelers are born, or where the cataclysmic event preceeding the Age leaves such a residue of hatred that all channelers are hunted down and killed. Certainly there is not going to be an orderly transition from now to the next AOL, and Aviendas vision indicates that life will continue without dramatic changes after Tarmon Gai'don, except for the Aiel, and we already knew only a remnant of a remnant of the Aiel would survive. Will Avienda change that by changing the names of her children? Min noticed that something had changed in her last viewing of Avienda (Min's viewings can change!).

There are seven spokes to the Wheel as depicted in the books. Relevant?

@Landro:

The Forsaken probably did not know about Fel until after his first meeting with Rand. Rand would likely notice the change if compulsion had been used.
Any scholar who could make sense of Fel's note probably had their copy of his books already, and the Forsaken didn't know about the note, or Min's unexpected interest and talent.

@Dom:

Demandred (let's stay with him, although he kept the DO informed, and possibly Moridin) likely heard about Fel after Rand's first visit, and established himself at the School, preparing his disinformation plot. He may have been in the library on the second visit, reading Fel's works and developing a nodding acquaintance with him, certainly he had not been talking with Fel about the seals, Fel was unprepared when Rand asked about them.
Rand's second visit was a perfect opportunity to contact Fel, asking what the Dragon had wanted, and Fel told him about the seals. Demandred had no reason to probe deeper, the seals was what he wanted to talk about.

The "disinformation plot" is my explanation for the killing, as I write in the beginning: "What we see here is a final effort in an unravelling Demandred plot to persuade Rand to break the seals." Demandred realized Fel was going to warn Rand not to break the seals, on solid grounds now, not just an immediate reaction, and decided he must be killed, arranging his killing in a way he hoped would cause Rand to conclude that Fel had made a breakthrough, different from his initial reaction, whereas, as I read the situation, Fel had returned to his initial position.

I see no reason to introduce a second gholam, we have only Sammael's word that the gholam was his, and we have Sammael on record lying through his teeth. He is unusually free with the information, if he wants to keep the gholam secret.

Not sure there are any irreconcilable differences here, just that you see a RJ plot where I see a Demandred plot.

As for Graendal, that is precisely why I still hope for a different solution to Asmo's death. A Forsaken, killing the renegade, where is the mystery? What's the point? Sound and fury, singnifying nothing.

I trust RJ is better than that, otherwise why bother with Theoryland?

Dom
10-31-2012, 09:41 AM
I don't think there is any reason to believe the Shadow thought Fel was Asmodean. I think the spies would have seen the mysterious new "bard" that hangs around Rand all the time.

Of course the Forsaken with spies (Rhavin, probably Sammael, Graendal) have figured out Asmodean was the new Bard Rand acquired in the Waste.

But need I remind you the new Bard in question was known to have come with Rand to Caemlyn then the minute Rand settled there he disappeared without a trace?

There were not trace of Jasin Natael around Rand anymore, but Sammael was still convinced Rand was being taught in secret by Asmodean. Indulge me an instant and assume Asmodean wasn't killed after all. To Sammael it would appear Asmodean abandoned his Bard disguise and was sent in hiding somewhere as something less conspicuous.

He was concerned about Asmodean. He told Graendal. She replied that Asmodean and Lanfear disappeared the day Rahvin died and that he must be dead. Sammael angrily replied: "if you want me to believe anyone dead, show me a body."

My whole rationale rests on the suggestion Sammael, as he showed great concern about Rand getting more and more dangerous because of Asmodean's ongoing (sic) teachings, did try to end it and locate Asmodean by having his agents spy on Rand. If he got lessons from Asmodean in secret, then he went to him in his hiding place, or he had Asmodean come to visit him at one of his lair. Of course the incentive to see to that problem was getting even greater, as Rand had declared an amnesty for male channellers and men were coming to him. Sammael as soon as he heard of this would have seen were it lead, if Asmodean was training Rand who might train other men at his side, or have Asmodean train them too...

Of course Rand had no lessons from Asmodean, who was dead, and in the palaces he was barely ever alone, having Maidens in and out all the time, servants, Min etc. During LOC, the only behaviour that spies might have caught and reported to Sammael concerned Rand's visits to the Farm, and Rand's repeated visits to a scholar in Cairhien who also came from time to time to the Royal Library. The fact Rand created an academy in each town he had a lair might have contributed.

Also, I'm not saying Sammael was convinced Herid Fel was Asmodean, I'm saying after ruling out The Farm as no one there fitted and Rand was not spending much time there when he visited, after ruling out visits in his lairs as Rand was barely ever alone there,, he had only the Academies left as obvious locations, and this Fel guy Rand seemed to meet leaving his guards outside was the only person there standing out, aside from a woman. Sammael had nothing to lose having the guy killed on mere suspicions and using a gholam made sense as if it was Asmodean and he found him, he had one chance to strike successfully or Asmodean would move out and hide even better. It was more than worth the shot if it turned out it was indeed Asmodean's cover, especially since this only involved giving orders to a Shadow-spawn.

Cabadrin
11-06-2012, 03:11 AM
@Dom:
You are still saying that Sammael would send the Gholam to kill a channeler without telling it that the target was a channeler. What if the meetings with Fel was a cover for meetings with Asmodean? Sammael was a sociopath, not an idiot.



If Egwene is right and the seals must not be broken, it follows logically they should be mended. As it happens, Egwene has just rediscovered the making of cuendillar, and apparently any material can be turned into cuendillar, even the material the seals are turning into under the strain of the DO:s effort throughout the third Age to widen the Bore. The making of cuendillar seals any cracks - the harbour chain turned solid - so the seals will return to their pristine condition and the DO will temporarily be cut off from the world, except for the part of him already in the world, Shaidar Haran.

The next step should be something LTT couldn't do:
TPOD ch 2 p17/21 Moridin watching Avienda unweaving:

whenever he thought he had the measure of them, these primitives revealed some new skill, did something no one in his own Age had dreamt of. Something the pinnacle of civilization had not known! What had that girl done?

The stitching that was used to close the Bore so the patch could be placed must be removed to permit the Bore to heal while the DO remains quiescencent. On her own, Avienda couldn't unweave saidin and Rand does not have the skill; this requires a circle. As it happens we have Callandor, one man, two women, a woman in charge. The unweaving would have to be done in the Pit of Doom, and there will be some resistance on the way: Tarmon Gai'don. The Pit may have closed, but as it happens Perrin have a very good hammer. It may be possible to open the way by channeling, but that could be dangerous or impossible here, and Mah'alleinir needs a vital mission, beyond being a very good weapon, now that it will not be used to break the seals.

The flaw in Callandor should play a vital role, so what is it, exactly? Rand took the time to describe the wards he had set arround Callanor to Narishma rather than just Travel to the Heart of Stone himself, and Narishma returned complaining "You didn't tell me everything". Unless Rand just happend to forget, Callandor had changed the ward weaves. I surmise that the buffer in Callandor is not missing but inversed, protecting the channeler from the weave, not from a too strong flow from the Source; an empty buffer might interact with nearby weaves even when Callandor is not being used. This would make Callandor the perfect sa'angreal for unweaving a powerful and dangerous weave, and could protect the channeler from the DO:s touch - "Callandor apparently magnifies the taint", Cadsuane says, which probably means that the buffer of other angreal and sa'angreal partially blocks the taint.

Cuendillar, unbreakable except by an Age of resisting the DO:s efforts to widen the Bore or when used to pass massive amounts of saidar or saidin for days, cannot be eternal or the world would be filled by all the cuendillar objects produced every turn of the Wheel. The seals will have crumbled to dust by the next AOL, so the they can be left where they are, no need to remove them.

TPOD ch 21 p11/17 Narishma complaining about Callandor wards
TPOD ch 27 p26/26 Cadsuane on Callandor

Davian93
11-06-2012, 10:09 AM
Unless Rand just happend to forget, Callandor had changed the ward weaves

Or, a more likely explanation of what might have happened: One of the Forsaken attempted to take Callandor from the Stone by working through Rand's weaves prior to him inverting them after Asmo showed him how. Realizing that they couldn't take it, they left a nasty surprise for Rand when he came back to grab it himself.

Far, far more likely than Callandor taking on a completely unknown power all on its own like that.

If Egwene is right and the seals must not be broken, it follows logically they should be mended

Egwene clarified in the prologue that they shouldn't be broken until the correct time. They all agree that the Seals will be broken, its a matter of timing.

Dom
11-06-2012, 07:16 PM
@Dom:
You are still saying that Sammael would send the Gholam to kill a channeler without telling it that the target was a channeler. What if the meetings with Fel was a cover for meetings with Asmodean? Sammael was a sociopath, not an idiot.

I contend no such thing. You can't hide from a gholam its target is a channeller... It would sense it quite before it got close to the target. Sammael may very well have told him this man could be a Chosen and to take him by surprise as he would attempt to take control of it. We don't know the rules, if a gholam would refuse to attack someone it's told is a Chosen for instance, so let's not get embroiled in irrelevant details. RJ let us know a gholam wouldn't shy from attacking a Chosen in some circumstances, through a reflection of Graendal on just such an encounter she barely escaped with one... I chose to consider this as evidence Sammael could have used a gholam if he thought he might have located someone who made a good suspect for Asmodean... and Fel happened to be the only man Rand was meeting in private like this.

What I said was that I don't think Sammael bothered to tell the gholam "and if this Herid Fel I send you to kill isn't a powerful channeler, then make sure you don't kill the poor guy, I wouldn't want to have the death of a poor innocent on my soul".

Herid Fel was not a channeller or wasn't powerful, the gholam would tell Sammael when he returned. If the gholam didn't return, there was a fair chance Sammael was right and either Asmodean had managed to kill it or take control of it - Sammael would have to take other measures. If it returned telling him Fel was dead and not a channeler... which I believe it did... well, it was worth a try, and that would become an assassination of someone Rand was obviously interested in and that he would look in the completely wrong directions to puzzle out the motive of, quite in line with the DO's orders to increase chaos great and small.

And if this was the first time Sammael used that gholam taken out of its stasis box, then that mission proved it was still fully functional. I believe that mission in Cairhien is why Sammael used the conditional when he spoke to Carridin. He didn't tell him he would send something to deal with the girls, he said he might have something. The gholam wasn't back and Sammael didn't know if it would return.

I've yet to see any credible evidence there's a second gholam around.

More than anything, what bugged me nearly from the start about the murder of Fel was that whoever did this had to be a complete moron. Finding Herid Fel would have been the biggest advantage the Shadow would have gained thus far. He was the man Rand was confiding to, and not about triffles.. Rand was discussing with Fel plans to cleanse saidin and exchanging ideas with about the Strike at the DO. A few lick of compulsion to make sure Fel always dithered and asked for time to make research before he gave answers to Rand and right then and there the Shadow gained an invaluable agent would could not only feed Rand with misinformation but could get out of Rand priceless intelligence... what Rand planned exactly, what he didn't know, eventuallty Fel could even fish for the location of the seals or clues about that etc. Men as intelligent as Moridin or Demandred would have seen this potential immense value of Herid Fel immediately. They would have made sure no one gave Rand any reason to doubt Fel or fear for his safety. Killing him was incredibly stupid, if the reason to kill him was the information he was really giving Rand...

Then something else bugged me the minute we got the information that gholam were basically channeller-killing machines. Why use a gholam against a feeble old man who couldn't channel? A gholam was rare and a valuable secret weapon for the Chosen that found it, why risk it would blunder and Rand and a Chosen would get a forewarning of its existence, unless there was a good motive to use the gholam? Why was it sent to make that job? A Grey Man could easily slip into the Academy, the Shadow had even used one to infiltrate the White Tower. A Myrddraal could better the gholam and appear straight in the shadows of Fel's room. Why, beside the obvious reason that RJ wanted a gholam "preview" before ACOS?

I've wondered what could possibly have made the Shadow think Fel could possibly channel and got nothing except RJ made a point of telling us these creatures were dangerous even for the Forsaken - one had nearly killed Graendal once, and that Sammael seemed convinced Rand had hidden Asmodean somewhere. With the ongoing lack of evidence anyone but Sammael had access to a gholam, I connected dots.

I sure don't discount RJ planned to bring rabbits out of his hat and provide a credible explanation why it was Demandred or Moridin chose to kill Fel, but beside losing a guy who could have been precious to figure out in advance how Rand would strike at their master, and influence him to do it wrong, I still don't see how someone who learned enough to feel alarmed by Fel failed to put the man to the question, and how they could credibly have learned about the seals but not about the cleansing of saidin.

Cabadrin
11-08-2012, 03:09 AM
A recent developement: I have focused on the Patch, taking it for granted the Bore is beyond us, but codetoast, in the thread Sealing the bore vs. another way post#21, proved me wrong, and led me to conclude the explosion at Collam Daan was likely caused by the Bore weave unravelling, which would mean the Bore is only held open by the DO. A DO weave, using the TP, is that what should be unweaved? Rand has used the TP, so it may be possible. Avienda, confident from Min's viewing that her children will be born healthy, need only begin unweaving, then let the weave unravel: she told Elayne the effects are unpredictable, there will not always be an explosion. Could Callandor be used for unweaving TP, though?


@Davian93

Far, far more likely than Callandor taking on a completely unknown power:

IRL, yes, but this is WOT, oddities are likely to be clues. I have trouble accepting that one of the Forsaken would leave a nasty surprise that caused Narishma to complain rather than, say, die. Sounds more as if something was not quite as Rand had described it, dangerous but not fatal.
Terez: "Will we ever learn what went wrong when Narishma went to fetch Callandor?"
BS: "Perhaps." ... "I didn't answer it, but I didn't RAFO it."

Avienda using her Talent to read Callandor, but we will have to link this to the problem Narishma had ourselves? A Forsaken prank is nowhere near RAFO unless BS was desperate for pagefillers.

Breaking the seals:

Egwene, AMOL ch1:
"There may be a time to break the seals, but that time is not at the start of the Last Battle, whatever Rand thinks. We must wait for the right moment, and as the Watcher of the Seals, it is my duty to choose that moment. I won't risk the world on one of Rand's overly dramatic stratagems."

May be. Egwene is trying to keep an open mind, despite information from the librarians of the 13th depository. As she should, not everything that is written down is true, sometimes it is deliberately misleading, the Shadow may gain access to anything written down:
Moridin, TOM ch 5 p20/20:
"We know of their prophecies, but they will never know all of ours."

I'm waiting to hear from Min. I don't see how Rand&Co could make it into the Pit of Doom without the DO quiescent, though, and we seem to have him on the threshold on the cover. How did LTT&100 do that?


@Dom:

I have this feeling you are so close to my position that I don't quite know what we are arguing about.

We agree there was only one gholam, I just do not take it for granted the gholam was Sammael's. I thought I remembered Sammael boasting about the gholam, but when I looked to se what he had said I found nothing. In a meeting with Graendal he had a famous AOL painting and an illegal AOL game on display, and mentioned a stasis-box. He also claimed to have a truce with Rand, and intimidated he was about to be named Nae'blis (LOC ch 23) - he was trying to impress Graendal to make her agree to play a part in his - failed - plan to use the Shaido against the army Rand was moving into Illian.
This, Birgitte saying that the gholam must have survived in a stasis-box, and the gholam arriving in Ebou Dar after Sammael promised Carridin "I will send ... someone ... to to deal with these Aes Sedai" seems to have been connected to make "Sammael's gholam".

More likely, Moridin or Shaidar Haran found the gholam where it should be, in a secret military cache near Shayol Ghul. After the Fel assassination the Forsaken were told this resource was available.

I don't suspect Sammael of scruples, I just think it would be very strange, and unnecessary, to send the gholam without telling it the target was a channeler.

Your point that Fel could have been very useful to the Shadow is precisely what my theory says. I conclude that Fel was killed after just such a scheme had backfired, in an plan B attempt to rescue the scheme by arranging the killing in such a way that Rand might draw the conclusion Fel had been groomed to tell him.

I contend that Demandred learnt of Fel from Fel's first meeting with Rand, when they discussed cleansing, and had begun to establish himself, a nodding acquaintance in the library, before the second meeting. After the meeting, it would be natural to ask, "was that really the Dragon? What did he want?" And maybe ask some intelligent questions after Fel answered. Since this brought the conversation to the issue Demandred was interested in, he had no reason to bring up previous meetings, he wanted to stay in the background and not seem too inquisitive.

I have absolute confidence in RJ:s ability to arrange a sensible preview of the gholam if that was what he wanted.

Dom
11-08-2012, 10:55 AM
I have this feeling you are so close to my position that I don't quite know what we are arguing about.

Two plausible scenarios, too little facts to be able to completely rule one out. :)

You don't like much the way I have Sammael reason, I don't like much the way you have Demandred reason. I can no more demolish your theory than you could demolish mine. Both are possibilities.

I think if Fel got Demandred's attention, he would have acted more decisively than putting on a MOM and befriending him. This was alarming stuff, he would have found out from Fel what he needed to find.

I also don't find it so likely Fel's research would have drawn the Shadow's attention so early. Their first clue would have come when Fel started borrowing new books from the Library. That's when the Shadow's spies could possibly connect the topics he researched and Rand's visits. Based on Min's readings it's not so obvious though... Fel had a whole collection of books about prophecies, the WOS and such. There's no "Book of the Seals" in there. IMO, "Belief and Order make Strength" is a line of prophecy (or alternatively the beginning of a quote, from a commentary on the KC or the like). The key to understand what it's about is in the following verses/lines we don't yet have. It's one Rand isn't familiar with, neither is Min. It would probably be over if Min/Rand had told Cadsuane and her scholars about Fel and what they're looking for. Of course, RJ coudn't have that, it will wait until Min finds the quote in the right book. Murphy's Law stroke: it's in one she still hasn't read.

I also doubt Fel would have shared what he discussed with Rand so willingly with anyone. He was conscious of the need for secrecy (and you can be sure Rand warned him to not tell anything to anyone about their conversations...), his last message to Rand was purposefully cryptic, so only Rand understood (which he didn't...).

I think the notion the Shadow interrogated Fel but missed the Cleansing information (and we know the Shadow did miss that.. at least Moridin, who put it together after Osan'gar found out about the intent, and after forcing out of Cyndane Rand had the Choedan Kal, and Demandred, who figured it out only when he saw where Rand had chosen to accomplish his deed).

I thought I remembered Sammael boasting about the gholam, but when I looked to se what he had said I found nothing.


It wasn't a boast - that's why you can't find it - he made what might be an allusion, speaking somewhat teasingly/threateningly of the risk of opening a stasis box only to find one of Aginor's nastier creations in it. That made Graendal reminisce on a suprise encounter with a gholam, which is how I think Jordan planted the notion a gholam was dangerous even to a Forsaken.

It took place during the scene where Sammael was flaunting AOL artefacts about which Graendal deduced the stasis box he claimed to have found obviously belonged to a servant of the Shadow, that the ones she had found herself so far only had dross beside streith. What we knew, but Graendal didn't, was that there was a Gholam around. In the next book (IRRC), we discovered Sammael had a gholam. That it's what his comment to Graendal about finding nasty Shadowspawn in one alluded to is one way to "connect the dots". RJ's mysteries are often not all that convoluted, it's just that his clues are so flimsy and require to fill in holes creatively. Supporters of the "Graendal killed Asmodean" theory did just that. Deniers often pointed out Graendal simply bumping into Asmodean was boring, that all the clues she might have killed him were flimsy and incidental, and that the whole thing rested on extrapolations of the events for which RJ left no clue. She still killed Asmodean... I see the gholam mystery a bit the same way. In this case we know the "how" and all the clues lead back to Sammael's gholam, but it requires a lot of rationalization and creative leap to come up with a full theory, as it's near impossible to link credibly Sammael and the apparent motives of the murder. Sammael wasn't even so focussed on Rand - not directly - he was focussed on Demandred and Mesaana and on interfering with their plans to get to Rand. Graendal told him about Mesaana in the Tower and her claim soon Rand would be near her, he puzzled out her plan and went to Sevanna to ruin it and, seemingly, to get Rand killed and get Mesaana/Demandred blamed for it. Graendal has riled him about Rand being dangerous, and Demandred, and it worked, just not as she hoped it would as Sammael puzzled out her game and instead of going on his own, forced her to be complicit in his schemes. I still don't believe it's a coincidence the disguise Sammael used was a tall dark man, with "an Aes Sedai", nor that he sent the Shaido in the area where he suspected, wrongly, Demandred was engineering a proxy war between WC and Dragonsworn/Masema and starting to expand that chaos near Illian with other WC (Carridin, that soon he snatched for himself). All he did was aimed at leading back to Demandred and Mesaana, not him and Graendal, after "something happened" to Rand.

He could have got his gholam in the vaults of Shadow HQ, but there appears to be no such Shadow HQ, or rather it's Moridin's own vaults, and given Graendal's and Mesaana's greed for the dreamspike, it's rather obvious Moridin kept them and their existence well hidden from the Chosen. You'd think if it was known the Shadow had one gholam still alive, the Chosen would all have used it by the time Sammael put it into play.

It's not impossible Sammael looted Ishamael's palace after his death and found a few things but not the main vaults. I used to think it's what he did, but I dropped that after the TOM scene with the vaults. But the timing seems wrong anyway, it's rather happened while Sammael was on a hunt for AOL stuff, that's what his agents were doing in Ebou Dar, the ones who bumped into Mat and co, and Moghedien's own agents sent there for the same.

Sammael got lucky with one stasis box he found, luckier than Graendal, Moghedien, Mesaana in their similar ventures. Not quite as lucky as Ishamael who had millenia to build up his collection.


Your point that Fel could have been very useful to the Shadow is precisely what my theory says. I conclude that Fel was killed after just such a scheme had backfired, in an plan B attempt to rescue the scheme by arranging the killing in such a way that Rand might draw the conclusion Fel had been groomed to tell him.

I see the point, but the Shadow had a simple mean (compulsion) to make sure that scheme didn't backfire. I also happen to disagree that what Fel said about the seals is misdirection, probably because I'm quite convinced what Rand has wrong at this point is his apparent belief that breaking the focal points will be enough to "clear the rubble first". For the rest, Fel's theory appears sound, Jordan re-used it in a Q&A.

I'll summarize as it's not really the topic, but I believe Nynaeve's newly acquired skills are building up to her role in the finale.

I think two things are keeping the Bore open:

- the corrupted residues of LTT's sealing weaves. The first step to clear them is to break the focal points, the second step will have to be accomplished in the Pit and be similar to how Nynaeve removes compulsion.
- Then I think the Bore is held open by the DO, which will look a bit like how the Taint held a human brain... but more like Rand's brain than Naeff's I'm afraid.

Rand's role will be to face the DO directly, to keep his attention and give him a chance to seize his soul, distracting Him from Nynaeve's work.

Nyaneve will clear the rubble before Rand dies, but remove the DO's "grip" on the Bore as the DO struggles to seize dead Rand's soul. The Horn of Valere is the key to save Rand's soul in the moment where the Bore will finally close, I think the proper interpretation of the verse of "legend" the AOL AS etched on it should be: Even the Lord of the Grave/Death is no bar to my call, that the Horn can call Rand's soul back even is Shai'tan has seized it.

The sequence I had in mind is something like:

Rand-Nynaeve-Moiraine at the Pit. Moridin and SH show up, Nynaeve has been removing the residues, which the Shadow is happy to let her do as it blocks Shai'tan's efforts too. Then SH appears and seizes Callandor (now all black, full of the DO's counterstrike), tries to seize Rand's soul via the link to Moridin (that's its final purpose: translate Rand's soul in Moridin's body - something the Shadow has tested - it's what Isam/Luc are a template for: a DF linked to Shai'tan merged with a dead man's soul. We'll see if Luc is or isn't a Hero soul.), after which Moridin will have the "power" to let his master into the Pattern). Rand's wounds will rip open, his body will die, his soul in Moridin merging as "a man of two worlds" like Slayer. Alivia's the one with the ter'angreal hiding from Shai'tan. She will kill Moridin, releasing Rand's soul. That part Rand won't have told Nynaeve who wouldn't go along with it and expected to heal Rand after his wounds opened... In death (it should be in TAR for Rand), Rand will face Shai'tan, the Heroes coming to his help. Nynaeve will start to remove the "grips" on the Bore like she did with Naeff, and Shai'tan's attention will return to the Bore, desperate to regain his grip on it before the Wheel return the Pattern to its normal state: a weakness, not a Bore. This is when the Dreamwalkers come into play... all the wolves, the WO, Egwene, Perrin will fight Shai'tan's will and help the Wheel accelerate the process. As He loses the struggle, he will rush again for Rand's soul, grab it as the Bore is closing. This is when Mat sounds the Horn, releasing Rand's soul.

I believe the "secret" about Callandor is that the flaw could be used to contain within the san'angreal a counterstrike of the DO, so it would not taint the TS itself this time. RJ made sure we couldn't puzzle out how san'angreal are made, not even the principles on which they work. We know they stand somehow between the source and the channeler, providing a buffer and magnifier. That's because LTT, as Cadsuane explains the disappointing findings of her AS friends, will understand the implications that these AS couldn't - because they don't know how san'angreal work but he does.

My other prediction: Justice is a third "magical" artifact from earlier than the AOL. It forms a triad with the Dragon Banner, the Horn of Valere. LTT knows this (we learned in TGS there are things about that sword he kept from Rand) but it's the same thing as the Horn: in the AOL its powers were believed to be legendary, it sat nicely in a museum, no one trying to sound it. Those legends, I think, are the origins of how LTT was dubbed "dragon", given the sword (taken out of a museum, I believe) and the banner (also from a museum or a cultural artifact belonging to a specific culture... the Da'shain Aiel for instance). The connection between those two and the Horn was lost in time. LTT wasn't a believer in those legends, no more than his Age in general was. Think of Perrin and his banners. LTT was the same re: the dragon stuff. He let them stay, he didn't believe but reluctantly understood that for some they were important as symbols. Foretellings appeared in the late WOS pointing to the Horn. So... it wasn't a legend, its powers were real. By then, the Horn (that once sat in a museum) had however been lost.

Too similar to Rowling's three Hallows and in a way to her ending with Harry in the Afterworld? Yup, but it's what happens when you draw a lot from legends and myth....

What are the powers of Justice and do Rand or AH or both have to use it, in dead or life? Well, that's like trying to puzzle out what the Horn could do and how it relates to the Banner without knowing any of the legends. RAFO.


I have absolute confidence in RJ:s ability to arrange a sensible preview of the gholam if that was what he wanted.

Oh there's no doubt there. Well, maybe not absolute. A few of RJ's "mysteries" were a bit contrived. He wasn't above pulling rabbits out of hats from time to time either. I like my Sammael was after Asmo theory, but I sure don't rule out I got the wrong flimsy clues or connected them wrong and we'll find out it's Demandred and there will be a credible explanation provided, and we'll find other overlooked flimsy clues in hindsight. One thing about RJ is that he didn't "play fair" always. He liked to tease, but when he didn't want us to puzzle things out he simply kept out some crucial bits of information. Even if we connected the dots correctly, we could never be sure before the big "tadam" moment.

SamJ
11-08-2012, 12:55 PM
I had thought it might be Ishy/Moridin (iirc he was back by then) because with his background and knowledge he might have reason to pre-emptively kill any philosopher Rand showed an interest in to keep him ignorant. Or, he might have knowledge from dreams/prophecy that Fel could be important. But actually, I like the Sammael theory because it accounts better for the use of the gholam.

Dom
11-08-2012, 02:28 PM
I had thought it might be Ishy/Moridin (iirc he was back by then) because with his background and knowledge he might have reason to pre-emptively kill any philosopher Rand showed an interest in to keep him ignorant. Or, he might have knowledge from dreams/prophecy that Fel could be important. But actually, I like the Sammael theory because it accounts better for the use of the gholam.

Moridin definitely have the best motive, the best reasons to have been alarmed.

I just find it out of character for him not to have drained out of Herid Fel everything he had discussed with him first. Moridin was also the one best placed to understand the value of that information for his own plans, it let him anticipate Rand. Much better to compel Fel and let Rand keep using him as source of (now twisted) information.

A better case can be made for Demandred because unlike Moridin who pushes the issue aside for some reason (I get the feeling it's because he understands the issues involved better), Demandred seems a bit obsessed with the seals on the DO's prison.

I get the feeling it owes a lot to the fact he's gambled on giving the one he found to Taim to give Rand, to gain his trust but also in the hope it would lead Taim to where Rand hid the others, and that failed spectularly and the DO was perhaps... grating about that failure. It seemed the early plan was for Taim to gain Rand's trust and become his inseparable companion and lieutenant. It smacks of Demandred, just like it seems Demandred gave Taim tips and instructions in how to transform the Farm into proper military organization. But typically maybe, Demandred let Taim do all the hard work, thinking whatever came of it would fall under Demandred's authority for the LB. My feeling is that in terms of OP, most of what Taim got came rather from Osan'gar and later Moridin.. that Demandred himself fell quite short of creating a army of rivals he trained to his best. The DO values this age's channellers little, and Chosen like Demandred don't go and disabuse him... their uniqueness, their value rests on that a lot. An army of soldiers extremly well-trained in the OP, WOS-level of skills, would serve the DO's interests, but not so well Demandred's. I got the feeling reading the prologue scene that the way Moridin spoke of Taim might have had the subtext for Demandred's sake: "Taim has done what you didn't dare do". Mesaana acted much the same, she could but didn't train the BA.

I think the LTT Demandred knew was someone who would have loved to have an underling he could treat... like Rand treated Logain in KOD, and possibly the Hundred Companions too. However Rand wasn't the LTT he knew, Demandred doesn't know the completely paranoid post-madness LTT. And that LTT wasn't one to suffer rivals around him anymore either, can't trust them. It reminds him all too bitterly of Demandred.

But to get back to Fel, again with Demandred I have the same problem as with Moridin: the cleansing matters, and the fact that if this was meant to remove Fel for what he was telling Rand, it was really botched.

I do like the "it was meant to make Rand believe Fel's info was right and worried the shadow angle". I don't think if fits RJ's quote about the motive for his murder, though.

And there's the big bug I have with using a gholam against a feeble old non channeler.

It's how the theory came about.. asking myself how could someone in the Shadow have believed Fel was a channeler, and that it would still fit with RJ's quote that Fel died because someone thought he was telling Rand too much. At some point I noticed Sammael seemed genuinely worried about finding Asmodean, that Asmodean was giving Rand too much and making him more and more dangerous. Graendal tried to tell him to give up (without admitting she did it...), Sammael angrily snapped at her "show me a body".

Sammael obviously had spies near Rand, not only to find signs of Asmodean but also because he was following the development of Mesaana's plans for Rand at the time.

The way he involves Demandred into it "despite how it ended" suggests Sammael has found something about tying the Asha'man in this period to Demandred we still don't know about for sure too. It might be as simple as a spy at the BT reporting something that Sammael identified immediately as AOL-ish or Demandred-ish.

Cabadrin
11-09-2012, 03:48 AM
@SamJ:

Ishy was dead. Moridin's first appearence, watching "Caddar", took place the day after Fel was killed, according to the stevenac.net timeline. Of course, we do not know how long he had been alive then.

@Dom:

RJ always plays fair. He keeps warning us, to win you have to cheat.

I thought we agreed what drew the Shadow's attention to Fel was Rand meeting him, not what books Fel was reading. Since Rand had already met Fel, he would likely have spotted the use of compulsion.

We agree that Callandor can block the taint, and I am already on record as agreeing with you about the Horn being used to recover Rand.

Another thing we can agree on, we will probably not get any closer than this. Just two months to wait now, at least for confirmation of my theory; yours will probably have to wait for the encyclopedia. One more reason I prefer my theory, it still matters.

Just for the record, I believe Rand, Avienda and Elayne will go down into the Pit. No real reason for Elayne, but she has a Min's viewing guarantee of survival, and it would make it a family affair, with Min figuring out what to do in the Pit once they get there. And what else could Elayne do, she is of the Royal House of Andor, she should play a vital role.

GonzoTheGreat
11-09-2012, 04:38 AM
It will be Rand, Nynaeve and Moiraine. Rand has already asked Nynaeve, and no one is going to trump Moiraine in this.

Landro
11-09-2012, 09:11 AM
Wasn't Fel killed while Rand was kidnapped? If that's the case, the Gholam might have been ordered to lie in ambush to kill Rand when he visited Fel. Because Forsaken don't communicate all their plots with each other, the Gholam might have been frustrated and at least killed Fel before leaving.

Landro
11-09-2012, 09:13 AM
It will be Rand, Nynaeve and Moiraine. Rand has already asked Nynaeve, and no one is going to trump Moiraine in this.

The cover art by Whelan clearly shows Moiraine and Nynaeve accompanying Rand to Shayol Ghul.

Dom
11-09-2012, 01:02 PM
Wasn't Fel killed while Rand was kidnapped? If that's the case, the Gholam might have been ordered to lie in ambush to kill Rand when he visited Fel. Because Forsaken don't communicate all their plots with each other, the Gholam might have been frustrated and at least killed Fel before leaving.

This makes sense but doesn't work because of this RJ quote:

"Fel was killed because somebody thought he might reveal too much."

Cabadrin's theory IMO pushes this a bit far by having Fel killed to finish to convince Rand he was about to reveal something important - his note, if I followed his reasoning, is disinformation. But essentially it's a theory resting on the fact the information Fel was passing to Rand alarmed a Chosen. He has Demandred kill him for that, organizing a deception at the same time.

My theory rests on the "thought" in RJ's quote - a misinterpretation from Sammael who mistook Fel for Asmodean's disguise and who sent a gholam to kill him because Asmodean was revealing too much about the One Power to Rand. Or so Sammael thought, as Asmodean was nowhere in hiding as he still believed, but dead.

Dom
11-09-2012, 02:23 PM
RJ always plays fair. He keeps warning us, to win you have to cheat.

LOL! Good one.



I thought we agreed what drew the Shadow's attention to Fel was Rand meeting him, not what books Fel was reading. Since Rand had already met Fel, he would likely have spotted the use of compulsion.

We agree that Callandor can block the taint, and I am already on record as agreeing with you about the Horn being used to recover Rand.

Another thing we can agree on, we will probably not get any closer than this.

Indeed, and we pretty much went into everything.

A last point, maybe. For the Compulsion, I had in mind forcing Fel not to commit himself in Rand's presence, tell him he'd make research and give him answers at their next meeting. Fat chance Loc-era Rand could detect this type of compulsion.

Just two months to wait now, at least for confirmation of my theory; yours will probably have to wait for the encyclopedia. One more reason I prefer my theory, it still matters.

Yeah, I see where you're going with it. An early Demandred POV would reveal to us there's a deception in place and in hopes Rand falls for the trap.

Then either Rand falls for it, or is about to. Or Rand and Min figure out Fel was wrong, and understanding why it's wrong leads them to the right solution, in Fel's books, which they got because his murder convinced Min Fel had discovered something. Take that Demandred.

I find my solution perhaps more typical of how the Pattern and ta'veren seems to work.

Fel was about to give Rand an answer he wasn't ready to get, because he needs to wait for the winning conditions to be in place (the north-east-west-south/two as one riddle) to strike. The Wheel altered odds and the pieces of the puzzle all fell in place: Sammael had sent a gholam to kill the man he thought was Asmodean, the gholam killed Fel right after he had sent an important but cryptic note to Rand, the note decided Min to collect the books of Fel, convinced there's an answer in there. There's a whole lot of books and she won't pick the right one until it's time for Rand to get the solution, or the clues to the solution. And the need for secrecy doesn't let Min share what she knows with others, to get their help going through all the books.

Rand will come up with a "wrong solution", he's well on his way to that. When the time's right for him to get the right one, Min will come across the "belief and order makes strenght" quote, and she will puzzle out what it's all about.

Just for the record, I believe Rand, Avienda and Elayne will go down into the Pit. No real reason for Elayne, but she has a Min's viewing guarantee of survival, and it would make it a family affair, with Min figuring out what to do in the Pit once they get there. And what else could Elayne do, she is of the Royal House of Andor, she should play a vital role.

I thought it was all but confirmed the women with Rand on the cover art are Moiraine and Nynaeve, and otherwise at least confirmed by Tor's caption both are Aes Sedai, ruling out Aviendha?

Nynaeve's already been asked, and the other woman he trusts and who has the dedication for this is clearly Moiraine.

Honestly, I think when Rand is in the Pit of Doom is too late for chats with Min to figure out anything.

I expect more a build up in the vein of the Cleansing, with the author giving us pretty much all the elements but as Rand enters the Pit we won't know how all those elements will fit together and won't find out until it unfolds in Rand's and other POVs.

IMO, it will all revolve around Rand (dead) offering his soul to Shai'tan to distract him from what others are doing to remove the Bore, and as the process is about finished, too late for Shai'tan to find back his lost grip on the closing Bore, Mat will sound the Horn and we'll understand the real meaning of the etching on it which is "Shai'tan is no bar to my call".

I think there are steps, in the right order, to what must be accomplished. Someone has to remove the residues of the sealing, deflecting a counterstrike from Shai'tan (Callandor's role) as it's done, then someone would have to remove the "tentacles" of TP preventing the Bore from closing, holding it like the Taint holds a brain. The residues of sealing, what's left of the weaves once the cuendillar discs have shattered, Shai'tan will let Rand's team remove unhindered as they stand in his way, the removal of his grip on the Bore he won't... the Light will have to offer him something he wants just as badly: the Dragon soul. As he struggles to seize dead Rand's soul, Nynaeve will proceed to remove the "tentacles".

For various reasons I won't go into here I'm pretty convinced the Bore was drilled in TAR/through TAR, so I think the final role of Perrin, the wolves, Egwene etc. is to fight Shai'tan's will and help the Wheel return the Pattern to its normal state (just a "weakness", no hole) fast enough after Nynaeve released his grip on the Bore that Shai'tan won't be able to grab it again as it closes.

As for Shai'tan's plan, one of them anyway, it is to complete the process already started of turning Rand and Moridin into what he's done as a template with Luc and Isam. His "Slayer 2.0" the DO intends to use to rip the Bore open.

Yup... I believe Luc has the soul of a Hero the DO has transmigrated in Isam's body, with a bonding.

This will fail, perhaps because Rand will arrange for Alivia, hidden with the ter'angreal which hides from Shai'tan, to kill Moridin when himself dies, thus releasing his soul/really dying.

The rest, for Rand, will happen in the afterworld (which for a Hero is TAR, but the journey might not start there but at the threshold of death, which I think used to be the weakness in the Pattern and is now the Bore...offering Shai'tan a window of opportunity...). That threshold of death is everywhere, like a layer of the Pattern standing between the living world and the Afterworld / TAR (is the afterworld for normal folk a special dimension of TAR invisible to Heroes and wolves? Perhaps. I have an idea why the wolves may be kept in "regular" TAR like Heroes, but I won't go into it here). That layer makes use of Shai'tan's powers for the Wheel to be able to program decay and provide death in the Pattern, powers quite foreign, I believe, to the Creator. It's during this transition from the living world to the after world, and in his case to TAR, that Rand's soul will have to face Shai'tan. The closer you die to the physical manifestation of the Bore, I think the greater the odds Shai'tan can find you and seize you. A soul he touched... like Rand's who channelled the TP, like a Forsaken or DF bonded to him, is likely far more easy for him to find. Balefire shortens the "journey" between living world and afterworld as it makes you leap some time ahead depending on its strength, reducing Shai'tan's window of opportunity. Rand, of course, will die as close to the physical Bore as can be...

Or something like that.. it's fun stuff to speculate about, but RJ has so many balls up in the air for the endgame I doubt anyone will spot all the pieces of the puzzle and assemble them just the right way.

newyorkersedai
11-09-2012, 08:02 PM
RJ's mysteries are often not all that convoluted, it's just that his clues are so flimsy and require to fill in holes creatively.

Well, then, thank heaven for all the theorists out there! You're still my favorite theorist, Dom, and you've unpacked a lot developments brilliantly, developments I couldn't piece together myself.

Edit: And since we've got two months or so until it's all decided/resolved/revealed, it would be asinine to miss at least some of the great folks who've helped in this regard along the way. So extra super-kudos to: the people on encyclopaedia-wot (which helped me build my best theories and humorous WoT posts), terez, fionwe, sidious, whoever made those super-funny WoT summaries which had the "stupid stick," the recorder of RJ's Prague Q&A, Jana, darius , shannow, alanna, Jana, the wotmania founders, and all those folks who kept the WoT FAQ going for so long. I love you all; what are we gonna do together once this is wrapped up?

neurotopia
11-09-2012, 11:38 PM
Just a thought- if Fel was being compelled it had to be somebody really good at it. Perhaps Sammael was sending a "don't meddle in my affairs" message to another Forsaken by sending the gholam.

Cabadrin
11-10-2012, 04:22 AM
Enough, I concede on the Pit crew. I even managed to contradict myself. A good thing, using up your silliness quota on something that doesn't matter much.

@Landro:

Fel was killed two days after Dumai's Wells (stevenac.net). Fits my theory, Fel was no threat as long as Rand was, in effect, held by the Shadow.

@Dom:

My theory says Fel wrote the note while he believed what Demandred led him to believe, so the note is de facto disinformation, though I prefer to say it is a snapshot of Fel's thoughts while in "safe" territory.

My theory makes predictions for future events, so it may be falsified or strengthened by AMOL. A full confirmation by a kindly Forsaken would be nice, but I don't count on it. It's an editorial decision, really: will BS provide answers for as many riddles as possible, or will he leave as much as possible for the Encyclopedia? Or something in between, teasers for the full solution in the Encyclodedia? Thats a RAFO, I guess, unless I missed something in the interviews.

@neurotopia:

Nothing says Fel was compelled; the issue is wheather compulsion could have been used instead of killing.

Dom
11-10-2012, 04:52 PM
Fel was killed two days after Dumai's Wells (stevenac.net). Fits my theory, Fel was no threat as long as Rand was, in effect, held by the Shadow.

And mine, it was a good time for Sammael to make an attempt on the Asmodean suspect since Rand had escaped Mesaana (and in Sammael's mind, Demandred's) trap.

My theory says Fel wrote the note while he believed what Demandred led him to believe, so the note is de facto disinformation, though I prefer to say it is a snapshot of Fel's thoughts while in "safe" territory.

Ok. What's your ideas on how Min will puzzle this out if it's not something taken from a book she'll finally come across?


A full confirmation by a kindly Forsaken would be nice, but I don't count on it. It's an editorial decision, really: will BS provide answers for as many riddles as possible, or will he leave as much as possible for the Encyclopedia? Or something in between, teasers for the full solution in the Encyclodedia? Thats a RAFO, I guess, unless I missed something in the interviews.

I think Brandon might not go out of his way to solve old mysteries. He mentionned Jordan had made a list of stuff "hanging", and noted if they were or not to be revealed.

Harriet and him intended to stick to RJ's intent for those. If Fel's on it and one of those noted to leave unresolved, odds are we'll never know. It's fairly doubtful Harriet reveals in the Encyclopedia what RJ intended us not to know.

In my scenario, the storytelling purposes of Fel's murder included make us wonder if Min's in danger because she's continuing Fel's work that the Shadow feared enough to kill him. Relevant, as she's very likely been reading his books in front of spies of Mesaana/Demandred and well, I did wonder at some point if Min could be in danger reading those books in front of the likes of Elza and co, so it worked on me. :)

The final purpose of the plot device would be when Min puzzles it all out. Min and Rand will wonder "has the Shadow found out about this and is this why master Fel died?". It could have an impact on how they choose to approach this at SG, because if the Shadow knows... Suspenseful, except it turns out the Shadow, after all, didn't know. Or it could make Rand hesitate a while, trying to solve the unsolvable connonundrum that his plan may not work if the Shadow has found out it's what he has to do, before he decides in the end he has no choice but try.

We could even learn the truth from Moridin/Demandred's frustration that they can't find out what Rand plans for the Bore are, and it's only Rand who is wondering if the Shadow found out from Fel or not.

I think if a living Forsaken had Fel killed for something close to your theory, we'll know in AMOL. It seems obvious a plot device like this would work only if the readers learn from the perpetrator that Rand's plan is flawed. Otherwise it's going to be confusing when the plan is revealed as flawed. No deception would be mentionned, Min would simply conclude Fel was wrong, with most of us thinking "oh, he was wrong? Ah.. okay". It would even make Min appear like this super scholar cleverer than even Fel.

It seems to make more sense to use this by having the one who killed Fel mention it in a POV, and leave us hanging on the issue whether that Chosen also knew about the last note or not.

There's another way to resolve Fel's murder if Sammael did it. We know from what the gholam said in TOM that a new Chosen was now controlling him. That Chosen might have asked the gholam where the heck it's coming from, whom he served and what it's done for that Chosen. I sure know I would take those security precautions with a gholam found "in the wild" where no gholam should be if I were a Chosen... Which Chosen had found one in stasis, and what's it ordered it to do. That Chosen, who failed to kill Mat in TOM, could mention in a POV that he/she would have liked to still have that gholam now, and would have put it to better use than dealing with Elayne Trakand or killing people Sammael suspected could be Asmodean.

Cabadrin
11-11-2012, 04:03 AM
@Dom:

Very difficult to guess what Min may find in a book we know nothing about. Anyway it does not have to be a new book, look at the way we're finding gold, or something, by going back and connecting the dots in a new way. What would really impress me is if RJ (this is old material, it should be RJ) manages to explain the turnaround from the little we know, rather than by handing out new material.

Or will she figure out why Fel was killed, and find the solution that way?
EDIT Mat may serve as a catalyst, with his tale of the Gholam. I don't think Rand is aware that Fel was killed by a gholam. END EDIT

I think Min is relatively safe, in this respect, Luc's "wench" probably reflects the Shadow assessment - no one sees her as a serious scholar, she is in more danger as a possible hold on Rand. It's a small joke, in my theory, that by killing Fel Demandred replaced him with Min, a threat he does not even know about.

Dom
11-11-2012, 06:11 PM
@Dom:

Very difficult to guess what Min may find in a book we know nothing about. Anyway it does not have to be a new book, look at the way we're finding gold, or something, by going back and connecting the dots in a new way. What would really impress me is if RJ (this is old material, it should be RJ) manages to explain the turnaround from the little we know, rather than by handing out new material.

Or will she figure out why Fel was killed, and find the solution that way?
EDIT Mat may serve as a catalyst, with his tale of the Gholam. I don't think Rand is aware that Fel was killed by a gholam. END EDIT

I think Min is relatively safe, in this respect, Luc's "wench" probably reflects the Shadow assessment - no one sees her as a serious scholar, she is in more danger as a possible hold on Rand. It's a small joke, in my theory, that by killing Fel Demandred replaced him with Min, a threat he does not even know about.

It might be fun if it turned out that way. We'll see soon.

I reached the same conclusion as you re: Min when Slayer called her dismissively "the wench", though I know others who perceived it the opposite way and believed a Chosen had included her on the "hit list" on purpose.

Min's quite lucky to pass for Rand's brainless floozy. I'm pretty sure an Aes Sedai so close to Rand reading the same books Min reads would have attracted attention from the various spies the Forsaken had in that circle. But not Min, no one cares what she reads.

By the way I think the Chosen Jordan thought most readers would pick as suspect about the gholam and Fel initially was Osan'gar/Dashiva (who do make as good as suspect as Moridin/Demandred, perhaps even better given his scientific background and the fact he had just joined Rand's side). That increased the threat he represented near Rand. I think this is the "false connection" he wanted us to make when he got Graendal think about gholam and Aginor and that even he wasn't crazy enough to make more than six. We had known Osan'gar was Aginor from the get go. It worked with some people, Osan'gar as the sponsor of the gholam was a popular theory at some point (but criticized on the basis he had just joined Rand.. the theorists argued back Taim probably had spies in Cairhien and Osan'gar learned of Fel from them, and took care of it as soon as he was in Cairhien). Then RJ revealed the Chosen with a gholam was Sammael (well, we deduced it as it's obvious from its instructions and Sammael's conversation with Carridin, but it's never stated straight out Sammael was the master of the gholam in Ebou Dar)

Mat may serve as a catalyst, with his tale of the Gholam. I don't think Rand is aware that Fel was killed by a gholam.

He shouldn't be aware, a Fade could have entered the room through shadows just as well (as I'm pretty sure one did to kill Barthanes Damodred). Not sure what it would change if Rand learned this, though.

As for connecting dots vs. handing "new stuff" for free, unless Brandon filled holes that way, which somehow I doubt based on KOD, it seems that RJ was pretty much in the mood for "new stuff" in AMOL, from Justice to Nynaeve's new skills to various prophecies and tons of new viewings.

That's one way Min might puzzle out something "big", by the way: as she discovers something, she might have a viewing of Rand. In your hypothesis, the viewing would be really dark, in mine it would confirm her finding to be the "Rand, this time I've got it" moment.

A side note to conclude: I've long more or less assumed Demandred's obsession with the seals vs. Moridin's virtual lack of interest could be explained by the fact Moridin understands something about the Bore/sealing Demandred doesn't, namely that Rand will have to remove the sealing at SG itself. Moridin doesn't care much when, he'll know when it happens.

Demandred, OTOH, is obsessed with finding the seals before the LB for purely strategic reasons. Having the last seal would have given him a massive advantage in that he could break them on his own time, forcing Rand to follow his timeline. I think Demandred might care little for the matter of the new Sealing etc., because he never intended to let Rand the chance to get to SG. Demandred is possibly a little obsessive because he had the one seal he needed and made a gamble he lost of given it to Taim so he gave it to Rand to gain his trust. The gamble would have been that Taim would manage to learn where Rand has hidden the others. But Rand never took Taim to be at his side as planned by the Shadow.

Demandred might have made his first strategic mistake of the war by striking big on the eve of Merrilor - at least he might well lose this gamble. Instead of breaking up the alliance, he might have provided Rand with what he needs to demonstrate to the rulers they'll be taken out one after the other if they split up before he's ready to strike at SG. Rand will likely need to revise his plans though, the odds he actually goes to strike at SG (because in his own words it's exactly what he plans... he said move to SG and break the seals) the next day seems near non existent (for the good reason it's impossible the whole book covers only that night and 3-4 days after Merrilor). I get the bad feeling Rand's convinced that with Merrilor he's achieved the conditions of the "two as one" riddle (it wouldn't be his first misinterpretation of that riddle) and the Pattern is about to provide him the solution for the Bore imminently now the winning conditions predicted by the Aelfinn are met. Except, they aren't met, he'll have no choice to play Demandred's game a while, until Mat brings the Seanchan north.

Cabadrin
11-12-2012, 02:31 AM
@Dom:

This is a new line of thought, triggered by your question, and it hasn't quite solidified, but try this: Mat tells Rand and Min about his adventures with the Ghoulam, making Rand realise it was a ghoulam that killed Fel. This draws Min's attention from Fel's books to his death. The Ghoulam won't distract her, it tried to kill Mat, why not Fel, but why didn't she have a viewing of his death? That's all she needs to give her a reason to believe that Fel may have reached a different and dangerous conclusion after writing the note. Going back to her books with this perspective, she will try to follow Fen's thinking away from the note.

Min never explained her reasoning from the note to the "break the seals" advice, she will probably not explain her reasoning for the new advice, "mend the seals" in my theory.

She may have a viewing confirming her advise, but only if this is the final hurdle, the future, enough of the future for a viewing, is certain from then on. Well, I began this thread predicting a last minute rescue.

Artur pendragon
11-14-2012, 05:22 PM
@Cabadrin



[QUOTE="What do you mean about Callandor?"
"It is flawed," she replied curtly, "lacking the buffer that makes other sa'angreal safe to use. And it apparently magnifies the taint, inducing wildness of the mind. PofD The Bargain p. 615


1. Callandor blocking the taint? I don't think so Even cleansed saidin if the taint was introduced back into the one power/and or while rand was channeling will it change how it affected the way Callandor acted before.

[QUOTE=Just for the record, I believe Rand, Avienda and Elayne will go down into the Pit. No real reason for Elayne, but she has a Min's viewing guarantee of survival, and it would make it a family affair, with Min figuring out what to do in the Pit once they get there. And what else could Elayne do, she is of the Royal House of Andor, she should play a vital role.[/QUOTE]

2. At the time that Accepted Elaida had that Foretelling the Ruling house of Andor was not Morgase and heirs It was Tigraine ie her and descendents are the key to the LB. Don't think Elayne will be anywhere near the Pit of Doom is will be on the battle field doing what she does best something stupid:D

Edit can't get quote tags to work any help?

Cabadrin
11-15-2012, 02:50 AM
@Artur pendragon:

I have concluded, from the few clues we have, that Callandor's buffer is not missing, it is reversed, protecting the channeler from a strong flow from weave rather than from the source. Add Cadsuane's info that Callandor appears to magnify the taint: other sa'angreal magnify the source flow but not the taint flow. This suggests that a normal buffer blocks the magnified taint from the source, if so Callandor's reversed buffer should block taint from the weave, that is it will block the DO:s touch. This would make Callandor ideal for unweaving the DO:s weave holding the Bore open.

And we know that Callandor was identified early on, probably in an unrecorded Foretelling, as being vital to the unmaking of the Bore. Not, presumably, despite the flaw, but because of the precise nature of the flaw.

Looking forward to unweaving in the Pit, I nominated Avienda for the Pit Crew, adding Elayne to make it a family affair, not having observed that the Pit Crew had already been appointed.

Elaida sought the position as Aes Sedai advisor to Morgase persuaded that her Foretelling meant Morgase or her children would play that vital role. She would not have been able to maneuver herself into position as the Amyrlin Seat if she had been stupid. Unwise, yes. Don't forget though, it has been confirmed in the interviews that she was under the influence of Fain at the end.
Of course she may still have been wrong, she has been wrong before, as have I, and I suppose you, too. Wonder if Avienda and Elayne will wait out Tarmon Gai'don in the maternity ward?

Your QUOTE:s lacks the ending square bracket.

GonzoTheGreat
11-15-2012, 03:52 AM
2. At the time that Accepted Elaida had that Foretelling the Ruling house of Andor was not Morgase and heirs It was Tigraine ie her and descendents are the key to the LB.
Then again, those descendants are Galadedrid Damodred and his (illegitimate) half-brother. I do not really see how Galad could be more important than Elayne in the Last Battle. Do you?

Aulis Vaara
11-15-2012, 04:46 AM
Rand being the Dragon Reborn and son of Tigraine makes house Mantear key for the Last Battle. The Last Battle can't be won without Rand, which is the very definition of "key". Just because we've let this sink in for years, doesn't suddenly mean there must be more to it.


Edit can't get quote tags to work any help?

Replace the equals-symbols by close-brackets ( these: ] ).

GonzoTheGreat
11-15-2012, 05:06 AM
Edit can't get quote tags to work any help?

Replace the equals-symbols by close-brackets ( these: ] ).
Tip for a comprehensive quote tag course: click on the "Quote" button of a short post, and study how it works there.

There are basically three formats which you can use. In all, replace the round brackets with square brackets to make it work; if I'd used square brackets then you couldn't see what I meant.

1. Simple quotes.
(QUOTE) Text to be quoted (/QUOTE)

2. Named quotes.
(QUOTE=Gonzo) Text to be quoted (/QUOTE)

3. Automatically generated quotes.
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The number which is the extra parameter of the automatically generated quote can be used if you do it manually too, but then you would have to figure out what the in-system number of the post you want to refer to is. I'm sure that can be done, I am also too lazy to bother trying to figure out how.

Dom
11-15-2012, 02:30 PM
Rand being the Dragon Reborn and son of Tigraine makes house Mantear key for the Last Battle.

Andwe have enough (with Egwene, Nicola, the WO's dreams, Min's viewings) to determine the Wheels tends to duplicate its oracular warnings.

Elaida's foretelling could have been variant of the one Gitara Moroso (who appears to have been a better Foreteller than Elaida) had about Tigraine.

The royal line of Andor was they key to the LB because the only heir to that line would give birth to the Dragon. As simple as that.

This is Elaida. The odds she interpreted one of her foretelling correctly are about 99 to 1 against.

The odds her foretelling would have done harm if she shared it are about 99 to 1 for.

She shared the one she had about Rand, it nearly broke the Tower. And we do not know the role of Duhara in the Caemlyn attack...

Alviarin witnessed her foretelling about the BT and Elaida wholly misinterpreted it, it turned to disaster... BT fiasco, Rand's kidnapping, and her own hilarious ironic punishment as damane... where she gave Traveling to the Empress.

She had her "royal line" foretelling while Accepted, thus in Mantear's days. Had she shared it, it had good chances to lead to Tigraine and to disaster. She kept it to herself. It was fulfilled as Tigraine gave birth to Rand. Yet Elaida spent years pursuing the Trakands with her attentions, and still managed to bring bad stuff with it: her Red agenda nearly cost Morgase her throne before Rahvin even came, she got Elayne captured in Amadicia.. in WC territory... so wise, it got Elaida to plot against Elayne with Duhara (had Duhara succeeded House Trakand could very well have lost the throne Elayne just gained) etc. and worse of all, even knowing that the Royal line not just the heir or Queen could be the key to winning the LB, Elaida tried repeatedly to get a Prince of Andor killed.

The woman is a living cautionary tale about prophecies.

if there's any justice, Sufa will soon give to her mistress a nice Foretelling to misinterpret.

Cabadrin
11-15-2012, 05:45 PM
Or Morgase will play a vital role, along with the others; there is just no way of telling.

And don't forget, there is a reason for all Foretellings, even when misinterpreted. Definitely for RJ, but would he present a Foretelling that does not serve the Pattern, somehow?
Why would the Pattern give Elaida a Foretelling about something she couldn't do anything about (Gitara sending Tigraine to the Waste)?

Dom
11-15-2012, 06:28 PM
And don't forget, there is a reason for all Foretellings, even when missinterpreted. Definitely for RJ, but would he present a Foretelling that does not serve the Pattern, somehow?

All Elaida's Foretelling had a purpose, just never the purpose she believed they could have, and it's Elaida acting on misinterpretations that made it all.. messy. But it's stil the Pattern... her blunder misinterpreting that she'd triumph over the BT was a fiasco but still needed to happen: it's how Logain's faction gained bonded Aes Sedai.

Elaida's first foretelling combined with her one about Rand (and we have to consider the possibility Elaida put even more importance to her foretelling about Rand because he seemed to be a threat to the Royal Line of Andor she believed was key to the LB) eventually lead her all the way to the Amyrlin Seat. Prophecies said the Tower had to break. Elaida was the perfect bait for Mesaana. Even the Chosen are bound by the Pattern and used.

Elaida's foretelling tend to have much more "unforeseen consequences" than your average prophecy, and mostly turning against Elaida herself because she's too prejudiced and narrow minded, to keen to jump to conclusions about what they mean. But what she does still serve the Pättern...

It's just in sharp contrast to the others with prophetic talent, far more cautious.

Moiraine tried to "pull an Elaida" becoming convinced she had the right interpretation of a verse of Prophecy she had completely wrong.. she was sending TDR-level Rand straight to a frontal confrontation with Sammael.

Rand is another who's nearly blundered fatally when he misinterpreted the riddle of the Aelfinn.

GonzoTheGreat
11-16-2012, 03:14 AM
Moiraine tried to "pull an Elaida" becoming convinced she had the right interpretation of a verse of Prophecy she had completely wrong.. she was sending TDR-level Rand straight to a frontal confrontation with Sammael.
She did have the good sense to leave the actual decision up to the one who was actually qualified to make that decision. Not that she had all that much choice about it, admittedly, but I do think she could have done more to obstruct Rand, and she chose not to.

Dom
11-16-2012, 09:13 AM
Yes, this wasn't a criticism of Moiraine but another example that Prophecies can be a very bad guide even for people as open minded and cautious about them as Moiraine.

Moiraine had her moments of frustration when she very much wished she could steer more (and that TSR moment was one of those), but she did a well balanced job between going on instinct/pull, making decisions and "letting the Wheel weave". She's always much better at feeling the need of the Pattern than attempting to steer using prophecies. She understood quite well it didn't work like that, and it didn't take long for her to sense, understand and accept all her "careful planning" with Siuan and many assumptions had to be thrown away in front of an unexpected unfolding reality (and in the end, when the Will of the Wheel for her was made clear and she had to put herself on the sideline, that this surrender might turn out into her final contribution to the LB, she didn't hesitate.) For Siuan and Elaida, it didn't work out so well.

A great irony in the series is that 3,000 years of Karatheon Cycle scholarship have, so far, been near absolutely useless, except for one lucky shot Rand himself had (after which his later attempts to continue doing this - pursuing the riddle of the Aelfinn - has lead him on the path he needed to go, but certainly not on the one he aimed and meant to follow.

Another irony is that the clearest prophecy the WT had (Egwene's dream), a real warning they could act on, Elaida and most of the WT rejected.

In a way Elaida has turned herself into the advocate for that (misguided) belief/comment of Lanfear that "prophecies are just what people hope for/wish for". For Elaida, it's what they've become. She's built herself a whole worldview where she'd be the one going down in history as winning the LB, believing she held the key to it. She had everything mapped out, and what she could not fit in (like the evidence the Dragon would break the nations and bonds etc.) she simply rejected. She'd have him in a cage, ready to dump him at SG at the right moment.

I can't help but notice not only the whole series is written the same way - placing the reader in a position about "prophecies" (foreshadowing) very similar to the characters, but this was also reflected in the way Jordan approached the readers in Q&A with his "RAFO" (which is a bit the equivalent of the in-story "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel" telling) . He's got us to react more like Elaida or the KC commentators than Moiraine often enough!

GonzoTheGreat
11-16-2012, 09:26 AM
Prophecies for and regarding the Aiel seem to be more useful.
They haven't really gone noticably wrong with their own prophecies, have they? They're even fairly good when it comes to handling their Dream visions, definitely better than the Tower is.
And when Siuan arranged to send an AS into the Waste because the KC said the Stone of Tear wouldn't fall until the People of the Dragon came and that was probably about the Aiel, she was correct too. Not in time, as Rand was already leaving the Waste then, but definitely more accurate than the average AS manages with the average prophecy.

Dom
11-16-2012, 11:11 AM
Prophecies for and regarding the Aiel seem to be more useful.
They haven't really gone noticably wrong with their own prophecies, have they?

The WO were usually pretty good at putting aside any assumptions they held when reality did not match expectations. The Waste made them very adaptable. All things considered, their "breaking", a rogue clan, the bleakness, were nothing compared to the Tower's.

The contrast is stark with most Aes Sedai. Most of them still haven't fully accepted the Tower's minimal role in steering/guiding the Dragon and under Elaida and Siuan they've fought a lot to change what couldn't be changed, and meanwhile the Tower was no longer playing a role in uniting the Light, and was falling apart beside. And they did and still fight any change bitterly. Egwene adopted something closer to the WO'S view when she focused on the WT itself first before turning again to Rand. WO never lose track of the Aiel, focus most of their efforts on them and leveling their divisions). She's progressed, but she's still no Moiraine or WO.

The WO are probably about to face their greatest challenge though. The clues are there their views of the Aiel being about to meet their toh as warriors for Rand and that their role is to guide them so as many as possible survive this is somewhat wrong, or at least it's not meeting their perceived toh that way (as I guess most Aiel will) that's the key to save a remnant of a remnant (it seems to be accepting what they still don't accept: the Last Battle has to be their last battle - their days as warriors are coming to an end. It remains to be seen if the older WO will be able to face that, or if only Aviendha can.

Cabadrin
11-16-2012, 05:20 PM
remnant of a remnant

I suspect the remnant of a remnant that survive will be the remnant who stayed in the wetlands of the remnant who didn't follow the Dragon. Bandits, but bandits with training and disciplin, a natural kernel for a new kingdom, probably led by Avienda's children.

One Aiel prophecy/vision we only know about indirectly: It is pretty clear that the WO have manipulated Avienda and Rand from the beginning because they knew their children would be vital to Aiel future.

It remains to be seen what Avienda's attempt to change the future will affect other than Min's vision, a remarkable achievement in itself.

Dom
11-16-2012, 11:36 PM
I suspect the remnant of a remnant that survive will be the remnant who stayed in the wetlands of the remnant who didn't follow the Dragon.

Not sure it fits the prophecy. It seems to really refer to the remnant of a remnant of those whose blood the Dragon will spill like water on sand and who he will break like dead twigs. That remnant of a remnant Rand shall save.

It think it's about to begin, the Aiel will soon go north to Lan. They may go early with the Bordermen and channelers, or it may wait until Isam attempts to strike at Rand and the Aiel thus learn of the Red Veils, then Perrin (for Isam) and the Aiel (for the Red Veils) will choose their battlefield. Alternatively, Moridin might have the Red Veils and Shadowspawn strike at Rhuidean and the holds, and it's there the Aiel will go.


The prophecy is dire and seems to herald the virtual annihilation of the Aiel as a people, whom Rand will either save (which would be somewhat lame...letting most die and coming to save the last few...), or give something (a purpose, a path etc.) that will ensure their survival. I think it's Rand who will orient them back to the Way of the Leaf.

IMO, there won't be many Aiel warriors left post TG, not enough to ensure the survival of their people in the Waste. There's not enough warriors left there such as it is to ensure their survival if the Shadow was to strike, and there's a Portal Stone right next to Rhuidean... the Aiel are Rand's biggest ally, and Demandred seems to hate them. It seems obvious Rhuidean makes an excellent early target to draw the Aiel away from Rand. We used to think the Shaido would return to the Waste, but the evidence is they are currently trapped in Altara, blocked by the mountains and the Seanchan armies facing Murandy, and those all over the border with Illian.

An important point few mention is that in one verse of the Aiel prophecy the time when the Aiel will come out of the Three-Fold Land is specified as when the Shadowspawn pour out of the Blight again. It goes on to say this is when "they'll take back their old places". It's not a location, they don't have any "places" to take back in that sense. It refers to their places in society: followers of the Way, servants of the Aes Sedai.

When the Trollocs pour out can just as easily refer to the attack on Tarwyn Gap in EOTW (this is when the Aiel started coming out of the TFL as to Tarmon Gai'don itself. In both case the exodus isn't finished, the Aiel left behind are soon to leave the Waste. I believe this indeed refers to Tarmon Gai'don or includes TG, the Aiel have not finished leaving the Three Fold Land, only most of their warriors and their leaders did. The Clans have left their people behind (and don't they outnumber the warriors?).

One Aiel prophecy/vision we only know about indirectly: It is pretty clear that the WO have manipulated Avienda and Rand from the beginning because they knew their children would be vital to Aiel future.

I've long thought that but changed my mind.

The problem is that it doesn't fit with the WO's philosophy. They're all about facing facts and accepting them. They can be devious with chiefs, but not with each other. If they knew of a prophecy concerning Aviendha, they would have told her bluntly it was her duty to her people. They were blunt with her, and their "manipulations" to push her in Rand's life were transparent to her because she's known it to be her fate before they even started pushing her, and because she's Aiel and knows it's part of the traditional duties of a WO to play matchmaker to chief and WO.

It remains to be seen what Avienda's attempt to change the future will affect other than Min's vision, a remarkable achievement in itself.

Assuming Aviendha has seen the future. I don't believe she has. I believe she has seen something more comparable to the Accepted test.

The Paraan Disan Aes Sedai seemed to consider the Aiel very important. They organized their departure as they were seeing to vital, Foretelling driven tasks.. they had Callandor, they had the Horn, now etched. I've always believed to them the Aiel were another vital/urgent and prophecy-driven task quite comparable to the others in the works, that they've foreseen the importance of the Aiel, and what they told their leader was : whatever happens, don't lose the Way. It was about the Way. The Aiel are meant to become a counterpoint to the the fact the World had to be broken, divided and armed to the teeth for TG. They're meant to bring back to the post TG world the ideal of peace, the legendary warrior people dedicating themselves utterly and totally to peace after the threat of the Shadow is gone. This is the opposite of what Aviendha saw, and she saw it to come to understand the Aiel remaining warriors leads to a world of war (with they even start...).

The post-Breaking Rhuidean Aes Sedai who are widely believed to be the origin of the Aiel prophecies also were convinced the survival of the Da'shain Aiel were important. When they saw the branch that became the first Tinkers gone, the Jenn doomed, they finally understood the Aiel warrior culture was they key to their survival and it was then a matter of guiding them to continue on that path, and organizing for them to return to the old ways when it's time. They programmed the Glass Columns so their leaders would know their Da'shain past, so they understood as well when time came that becoming warriors was not the end, but a mean to an end, a mean to ensure the Da'shain Aiel could return to fulfill their purpose in world free of the Shadow, taking back their old places. Aviendha's vision is a warning from the Rhuidean Aes Sedai the time is coming. It's not the future Aviendha saw, it's a simulation based on the current Pattern and either on her own life thread or on data about her future collected from her passage in the Rings. Aviendha triggered the programmed second vision because the ter'angreal identified her after her first passage as the Dragon's Aiel wife.

Bair knows who Nakomi was. She chose not to tell Aviendha for some reason.

How Bair acted in chapter one was decidedly odd. It's not much like Wise Ones to act in the backs of each other, especially not those WO. If she thought a Wise One and not an apprentice should go, the Bair we know would have said so to Sorilea and Amys and they would have reached a consensus. The only difference is that it could have been Amys or Sorilea who went then, and it may be what Bair wanted to avoid.

It's hard to tell if Brandon simply wrote her a bit off character or if we're seing an hidden agenda emerging. There's really no good clue beside that Bair could be up to no good. Still, Bair has clearly manipulated Aviendha, waiting for the two others to be gone before asking her for a gateway, as if she intended to be the Wise One bringing the last word on Aviendha's vision. Once Bair returns, the WO aren't likely to send more women to confirm Bair's report... they'll take Bair's word, whether she confirm Aviendha's vision or whatever she reports, and this could massively change what the WO choose to do. Bair has very high standing, she's always been able to debate her views with Amys and Sorilea before, and they've nearly always act by consensus. The fact she chose to by-pass them, not even trying to raise her differing views with them, is odd.

Cabadrin
11-17-2012, 03:39 AM
Assuming Aviendha has seen the future.
My point is, Min's vision changed, however slightly. Whatever the almost certain future of Avienda's children had been, something changed.

Are'nt you trying to set the stage for the next AOL a bit early? There should be at least four Ages till then, with sufficiently total collapses to remove all knowledge about the DO.

And we will never know anything about them, only what little we will learn about the Fourth Age. Sigh.

Landro
11-17-2012, 04:08 PM
Wasn't Avienda's trip at the same time Mat was with the Finn? The absence of MAt to make the Seanchan see reason might have had a very big effect on the prediction made by the glass columns

Cabadrin
11-17-2012, 06:10 PM
@Landro:

I don't see how you make that connection, we know nothing to suggest that visions of the future would be affected by a key character being temporarily outside the universe. The Finns themselves make predictions about "our" future.

Mat spent a great deal of time with Tuon on the journey through Altara, and all he managed was to make her intrigued by the prospect of a husband who wouldn't try to kill her. The Seanchan have a long way to go to our idea of "see reason".

We have known almost from the beginning that only a remnant of a remnant of the Aiel would survive, and as Dom points out that cannot mean only warriors killed in battle. The vision gives us one version of how this could come about. Dom seeems to hope for a future where the Aiel warrior culture dies but the Aiel survives by returning to their AOL role, but we have no reason to look forward to a "they lived happily ever after" ending.

Dom
11-18-2012, 03:09 PM
we have no reason to look forward to a "they lived happily ever after" ending.


The Aiel returning to their "old places" doesn't necessarily herald an "happily ever after" ending.

Just look at us. We live in world where the equivalent of Da'shain Aiel (the Jains in India) exist, and we have icons like the Dalai Lama, Gandhi etc. Our world isn't much like the AOL for that...

Are'nt you trying to set the stage for the next AOL a bit early? There should be at least four Ages till then

That's a bit like arguing "the Aes Sedai refounding a supranational organization right after the Breaking, isn't that setting the stage for a replay of the AOL many Ages too soon?".

What we know for sure now is that the fourth age isn't an Age without channeling and that prophecies say that all the seas of the world will be the Sea Folk's (which doesn't necessarily imply dominion.. just access/discovery.. with Traveling, the shape of the world and its oceans is within their grasp and it will go very, very fast) and that the Aiel will retake "their places of old".. except we know of no such geographical locations and it has to refer to "place" in the sense of "role/purpose" . The series isn't ushering into "our Age" at all. We know, because Brandon said so. We're looking at an Age that sees new Talents not tied to channeling return (communication with animals, whatever Min's talent really would be if she truly mastered it), or take again importance, like Dreaming (and they're all fairly "primitive" for now, more like seeds), and the return of long lost channeling talents - from aol-style Restoring with Nynaeve and Flinn to Traveling to the making of ter'angreal, and it's only beginning. We have no certainty what form the coalition of channelers will take but it seems unlikely given the series's themes that some kind of viable reunion of men and women isn't in order.

This is also an Age where aiming to return to some things from the so-called "Age of Legends" will remain an ideal for channelers, except they'll have to re invent advanced OP knowledge and how they decide to use those skills will usher a society that may be fairly different from that of their predecessors. That Age isn't forgotten, Elayne's ter'angreal library is already making it better known to AS scholars than it's been since millenia. All kind of puzzling long lost concepts and ideas are about to return (but it's all about using those ideas as seeds to be creative, they will be no one to answer questions about what's missing or what's not understood, not once Rand is dead or if he loses his LTT memories after a succesful attempt by Nynaeve to repair the taint damages on his brain. The memories Rand has made his own already could remain, but the rest he's never "accessed" in the series would no longer be available to him, or would fade like a dream), and meanwhile there's this new drive, this boost in the development of techniques and empirical research is appearing... in time for a scientific age to emerge to give a new importance to non-channelers, for big developments in engineering, which will make channelers better understand the laws of the world and spark their own creativity even more. There are signs, clues, the new Age might rely less exclusively on the One Power and channelers than the AOL did, at least for a while.

The AOL was far from a perfect society, Rand may set everyone quite straight about that before the series is over, especially in the form of advice to the channelers not to be cautious to ponder well some of what they find. The third Age seems to have found better solutions to quite a few things, in others simply repeating old mistakes (the WT culture seems to have inherited quite a bit of the flaws of the late days of its predecessor Guild). The Guild of LTT's times seems to have veered long before the collapse quite a bit from the ideal of "Servants of All". It seems to have been an era where ter'angreal had been made for most purposes, where the vast majority of channellers didn't have much services to provide on a regular basis anymore (the likes of Moghedien or Aran'gar or even Elan Morin seemed to be wasting years training as Aes Sedai not to use their OP skills that much), where they had become obsessed with a race for status and honor, with the greatest talents of the times focusing more and more on the frivolous, the "flabbergasting" for the sake of being impressive, the abstract, the rather useless but oh so fascinating and the hubristic and risky, having long stopped interesting themselves to the simplest, solvable concrete problems (like severing...).

The early series gave the impression the AOL was close to perfection, but the mid and late series more and more suggests the end of that Age before even the collapse wasn't so nice, about as constraining, hierarchical and keen at people in boxes as the Seanchan society, with elites that had become self-centered, and on the whole content to merely stand on the shoulders of the giants, their ancestors, who built it all, imagining themselves the greatest to have ever lived because they could devise amazingly complex devices for entertainment and leisure or simple beauty.

The Chosen are much better trained, but are they better weavers/channelers than say, the WO whose control of saidar is great enough to safely pick out their weaves thread by thread, or thinking enough for themselves to invent like Nynaeve and Flinn a utterly simple method to reverse a severing? The DO seems to have sparked a new creative drive for the concrete at the end of the Ahe, but for his Chosen it was in inventions each more horrific than the last, and for the Aes Sedai it was in devising skills to destroy, or crossing boundaries they refrained from crossing before (like creating san'angreal as powerful as the CK).

The end of the third Age seems to have rekindled above all the self-confidence of channellers. The men have nothing to measure themselves to, they simply invent. The SF have limited themselves, the WO have hidden their skills too, and the Aes Sedai have lived over 2000 years crippled by their conviction the channelers of the end of the previous Age were far superior (rather than simply having more knowledge to learn from) and they couldn't possibly match them. They had long stopped even trying by the end of the New Era.

There's no telling what the fourth Age will result into (and we won't know much), but it seems RJ intended to leave his characters faced with new big challenges as the Age begins, but also big potential. It's not a return to the late days of the AOL, though what's known of it will certainly keep influencing the channelers's vision, it's inventing a new world, walk in the footsteps of the giants who built the previous Age, not in those of the Aes Sedai who stood on their shoulders, from the end of the Age. Basically, it's leaving humanity facing its own challenges again in a world devoid of Shai'tan. It's an Age of immense opportunities and dangerous pitfalls. The Tarmon Gai'don crucible in which the Westlanders/Aiel and Fortuona will have gone won't have the same cathartic effects on the continents farther from Shayol Ghul. Even if we have a core of Seanchan on their way to a great transformation by the end of the series, there's a whole continent of them back home that might become a huge threat when/if it discovers some of the new "wonders" and "horrors" found in the Westlands, and another continent to the east where channellers have ruled as tyrants and have lost control... the Ayyad tyrants will one day be others terribly interested to learn the secrets of the Westlands channelers, and not necessarily with any benign goals in mind.

It's not because most of the conflicts in the Westlands might be more or less resolved (incl. the Seanchan conquest halted) that this will be a wonderland of peace...

A return of the Aiel to the Way of the Leaf wouldn't be a return to the AoL, only the return of ideals of peace and dedication to the common good now again possible for humanity after Shai'tan's removed for a while from the equation (and speaking of that, victory of the Light doesn't mean there won't remain a "dark cult" aiming to drill a new Bore, nor that no group of channellers biding their time before war for supremacy won't emerge out of remnants of the Shadow. Etc. It's long been foreshadowed, the WO already know this (it's the main motive for "training AS") and a big element of it is that the Aes Sedai/channelers clearly do not yet meet the standards that might inspire the Aiel to serve them again.

But yeah, the series has to end with a large group of channellers dreaming of a new AOL within their reach. There isn't much choice with memories of that Age still around, and channeling remaining part of the equation for the next Age.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Seven Ages cosmology is purely theoretical, and forcibly is because according to the cosmology itself there's always some Ages that have been totally forgotten. The cosmology itself seems to date from the AOL (building on previous elements we know just scraps about.. the concept of circularity of time being one thing we know predate the Wheel) - and the Creator only knows how they came up with their number of "missing Ages" beside the few they had remnants from. Post Breaking people seemed to have concrete knowledge of two previous Ages, thus naming their own the Third. We know from RJ the times humanity has gone through are typical of that phase of the turning of the Wheel, and he confirmed that Ages do return. He's never confirmed much more than this. He's confirmed a new Age will usher at the end of the series, but he's never confirmed in Q&A (IRRC) the Breaking truly marked an ending of the previous Age (its beginning didn't seem to be marked with a "reshuffling of talents" by the Wheel as the cosmology implies it should have - those are only appearing now as the Age ends - and the Wheel had no control to make Shai'tan's counterstrike happen to bring the Breaking either...was the third Age really an Age, or the last phase of the AOL?). For all we know, the seven ages, if there are seven for real, also each go through extremely similar "phases". The starting ingredients are somewhat different from those of the previous Age, but there's also a whole lot of continuity. It's not a tabula rasa, no more than it was at the beginning of the third Age. Again it's marked by a phase of destruction, this time with the addition of some new talents to the mix by the Wheel but not the disappearance of all the old (well... the Ogier ones might vanish from the human world, and I suspect the people of Sindhol's as well), followed by a phase of immense potential to be creative and build something new, different from before the destruction, and this time without the interference from Shai'tan that hindered the third Age (and thus much closer to the AOL than to the "Third Age", and that "shape" will remain until channeling itself is removed from the "ingredients" available to the world at the beginning of an Age).