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View Full Version : The Karaethon Cycle (Spoilers)


Terez
01-05-2013, 10:17 PM
(NOTE FROM TAMYRLIN: This thread comes from a private forum I made available a few days before the release to those I knew had read the book. There are no spoiler tags, and a discussion of the entirety of A Memory of Light may follow. So expect full spoilers.)

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"who draws it out"

So, Narishma was a big red herring, which I always suspected. He wasn't developed deeply enough to play a major role; he never had a POV, not even in AMOL. (Same for Alivia, but she is another matter.)

After TOM I theorized that Moridin had done something to Callandor some time between when he appeared in ACOS and the time Narishma went to get it in TPOD.

Springing from the cot, Rand snatched the bundle before Narishma could proffer it. "Did anyone see you?" he demanded. "What took you so long? I expected you last night!"

"It took a while to figure out what I had to do," Narishma replied in a flat voice. "You didnít tell me everything. You nearly killed me."

That was ridiculous. Rand had told him everything he needed to know. He was sure of it. There was no point to trusting the man as far as he had, only to have him die and ruin everything. Carefully he tucked the bundle beneath his cot. His hands trembled with the urge to strip the wrappings away, to make sure they held what Narishma had been sent for. The man would not have dared return if they did not. "Get yourself into a proper coat before you join the others," he said. "And Narishma... " Rand straightened, fixing the other man with a steady gaze. "You tell anyone about this, and I will kill you."
He could see another circular yellow room up ahead. Sitting in the middle of that room was a redstone doorway. Or what was left of it.

Mat cursed, running forward. The floor was strewn with chunks of red rock rubble. Mat groaned, dropping his spear and taking a few of the chunks, holding them up. The doorway had been shattered by something, a blow of awesome force.
So Moridin entered via Ghenjei (else he would have only gotten answers to questions) and left by the doorway in the Great Holding, destroying it behind him. And then he took the opportunity to do something to Callandor.

I've argued before that he might have been able to tamper with Rand's wards because of the bond between them, but I'm not sure it works with the timeline. It might, if Moghedien hadn't seen Moridin wearing another mindtrap when he handled hers. Of course, it's possible that Moridin hadn't activated that one yet, since we didn't actually see Cyndane until after Moridin and Rand met in Shadar Logoth.

So, is it possible that Moridin was the first to draw it out? I wonder if this wasn't something RJ put in without a clear idea of what he was going to do with it. It's something to ask about on the tour; we already have reason to believe that RJ wrote the bit about the destroyed doorway.

Dom
01-05-2013, 11:57 PM
Hmmm... I don't know.

It's not that I don't like the theory.

I'm still unsure it wasn't Narishma.

I always though the prophecy was mostly a warning Rand himself musn't be the oneto take it out of the floor. Rand knew his wards and probably wouldn't have seen the trap meant to fool him. He might have died.

What saved Narishma was that he got only Rand's explanations to go by and did it far more cautiously and wary he had missed something.

I know most interpret the verse as either meaning that the one who draws it out shall afterward follow, or be some sort of heir.

I rather tend to see it as an ornate way to say at once "a follower must draw it out" and "the one who draws it out must retrace Rand's steps (and thus spot the trap)"

Terez
01-06-2013, 12:04 AM
The part of it that makes me fairly certain it's not Narishma is the 'what hand can grasp that fearful blade?' part. It implies that one has to be a special sort of person to use it, and Narishma only ever used it in a circle.

Dom
01-06-2013, 02:33 AM
The part of it that makes me fairly certain it's not Narishma is the 'what hand can grasp that fearful blade?' part. It implies that one has to be a special sort of person to use it, and Narishma only ever used it in a circle.

Hmmm.. I'll need to ponder more on that.

Egwene also did dream of the moment, and it was clearly Narishma holding Callandor.

Moridin makes sense. It's just not very obvious.
But then quite a few prophecies were not, and some were pure misdirection/possibilities. Eg: Rand didn't confronted Egwene and women, among them a Seanchan. Unless Bethamin and the other were there when he confronted Egwene at the WT. Because Egwene had Egeanin well away for the Merrilor meeting, unless I misremember it.

This could count as a "mistake", though Dreams being just possibilities is a good way to wriggle out of any of those.

The one that pissed me off a bit was the dying man on a narrow cot one.

Terez
01-06-2013, 02:53 AM
Hmmm.. I'll need to ponder more on that.

Egwene also did dream of the moment, and it was clearly Narishma holding Callandor.
I don't see why it was clearly Narishma. Moridin is also a dark young man. Narishma's skin is even pale when he doesn't have a tan.

The one that pissed me off a bit was the dying man on a narrow cot one.
Technically that could refer to the end, but it wasn't particularly important that Rand not die, then. And it's hard to be bothered by the Dreams when we're told they're only possibilities; I'm more bothered by the Alivia viewing than anything else.

Linda
01-06-2013, 03:09 AM
There's the pyre and the grieving and celebration and everything.

It was important that Moridin's body not die - Pattern wants Rand alive.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 03:11 AM
I think there is a big possibilty that jordan didn't write down how all the prophecies ended, so that team jordan had to guess a lot.

I did like how the alivia one ended up:)

Terez
01-06-2013, 03:16 AM
You would. ;) That's the one people have been most consistently bothered about, and with good reason. Min makes it clear enough in TDR that when she says someone will die, there is no alternate interpretation. And while you could argue that Rand died when his body died (at a stretch), Alivia had nothing to do with it. The boat also bothers a lot of people. I'm sure there's some lame explanation for it, but no one has proposed a good one yet.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 03:29 AM
The prophecy about the boat could be about the situation after the last battle.
We interpreted it having to do with his ressurrection, but it wasn't.
It makes more sense that its from after the last scene.

I need to look up some quotes and get back to you about that. :D

Terez
01-06-2013, 03:34 AM
The prophecy about the boat could be about the situation after the last battle.
Except for the whole future teetering on the edge of a blade thing. It pretty much has to be that scene. And if it isn't, it's lame no matter how you frame it, as a storytelling device. But this is apparently one of those prophecies that perplexed Brandon; he considered trying to fit in a boat but decided against it since RJ didn't indicate it in the notes.

Linda
01-06-2013, 03:35 AM
Yes, there are prophecies depliberately left unanswered.

I asked about the boat one, and I think Peter answered that it was one, but now I can't find his answer! Don't think I imagined it though.

Terez
01-06-2013, 03:39 AM
I also asked Peter about it, and he gave me the answer I gave above. He had a couple of guesses about what it might mean in a metaphorical sense, but they were only guesses.

Linda
01-06-2013, 03:52 AM
yes, it was early on when he told me the boat one was after the events of AMOL, but maybe he changed his mind on it.

Terez
01-06-2013, 03:58 AM
These were his guesses: (sorry Peter, I can delete this before release day if you like :p)

I do think the boat is metaphorical. Maybe the three are acting as River Styx boatmen by playing a role to convince everyone he is dead. Or maybe it's just that the three are "in the same boat." I like my first idea better.
The River Styx thing works in a sense, but IMO it works better if the bond is what allowed him to survive in Moridin's body. It just doesn't work for me as a prophecy in a story where the Styx legend isn't known. Even if it was known, it would be a stretch, but it isn't, so the boat is meaningless and/or extremely allegorical to the Randlanders. RJ said once that Elaida's Foretellings are more literal than other Foretellings, which I always thought was odd, but I'm sure now he had his stupid boat prophecy in mind.

Linda
01-06-2013, 05:03 AM
Wow he really changed his mind.

Terez
01-06-2013, 05:09 AM
Maybe he's just playing all of us from the shadows, telling us what he thinks we want to hear.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 05:19 AM
So basicly they didn't know exactly what that prophecy meant and what RJ had intented with it.
Could be metaphorical or could be after the last battle.

'The future teetering on the edge of a blade thing' could still mean after the last battle, especially since the other lines seem to be referring to the situation after the last battle.

But however we don't know. I am convinced that there are many more things they didn't know what Jordan intended. I think a lot to do with secondary plotlines.
I think the whole black tower thing was described as 'they freed themselves'. I could be wrong, but the whole Androl thing seemed a little bit to convenient.

Ok and now regarding the Alivia foretelling:
TITLE: Dragon Reborn
CHAPTER: 3 - News from the Plain
Min looked uncertain. "I saw. . . . I thought I saw her death. Her own face, all over blood. I was sure I knew what it meant, but if she split her scalp . . . . Are you sure she is all right?"

"When I know, I know," Min whispered obstinately. "Light help me, I do." "Or perhaps it is yet to come. She has a long way yet to travel, to return to her wagons, and she must ride through unsettled lands."


So when Min sees something around someone and understands what it means it will happen.

However, we never hear her say that she had a vision about Rand in which Alivia helps him to. No, she had a vision about Alivia in which she helps Rand die. That is different. In that way Rand didn't have to literary die for that vision to be true.Rand could figuratively die.

BTW, i don 't remember Rand speaking to Alivia before the last battle to get him the coins, clothes etc. (perhaps I missed it) Could it be that RJ intended to put that in before the last battle?

WH,Ch22

Alivia - Rand asks, "Have you had any viewings of her, Min?" Min replies, "All the time, but not the kind you mean, nothing I understand."

WH,Ch25

Alivia - "Rand, I like Alivia. But she is going to kill you." Rand replies, "Helping me die isn't the same as killing me. Unless you've changed your mind about what you saw."

Terez
01-06-2013, 05:34 AM
You can explain it all you want, but it still cheapens the story, particularly considering RJ's well-known issues with killing characters and the general overload of metaphorical death as it relates to the prophecies. As others have said to me, it's like RJ was trolling the readers, though some people will be happy with whatever RJ came up with, regardless of how dumb it is.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 05:37 AM
:D Yeah, looking back Jordan has been incredible in giving Aes Sedai answers and putting things in the book to throw us off the scent.

Remember the 'Three Days dead lines?' :)

Terez
01-06-2013, 05:41 AM
There's nothing incredible about it, really. Any idiot can put a bunch of red herrings in. It takes skill to craft your prophecies and foreshadowing into something that will be satisfying for readers. Verin is a good example of how it's done. The ending is a good example of how not to do it.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 05:46 AM
LOL, well too bad you are pissed of about it. :p
I am really happy about the ending. The ending is an ending, but at the same time it's not a closed ending. The world and the characters are still alive and will keep on having adventures.

Terez
01-06-2013, 05:52 AM
I am really happy about the ending.
Again, not surprising. You'd be happy with whatever garbage RJ came up with. ;)

Dom
01-06-2013, 12:55 PM
These were his guesses: (sorry Peter, I can delete this before release day if you like :p)


The River Styx thing works in a sense, but IMO it works better if the bond is what allowed him to survive in Moridin's body. It just doesn't work for me as a prophecy in a story where the Styx legend isn't known. Even if it was known, it would be a stretch, but it isn't, so the boat is meaningless and/or extremely allegorical to the Randlanders. RJ said once that Elaida's Foretellings are more literal than other Foretellings, which I always thought was odd, but I'm sure now he had his stupid boat prophecy in mind.

I don't think it was all that greatly executed, but lacking notes I wouln't blame Brandon for this, especially since the pointers I think he might have missed, are very much open to interpretation.

I'm still confused... why the old Aiel woman and what she tells Rand? She speaks as if she reads Rand's mind, which is why the hypothesis it's Sorilea doesn't work for me, but Bair, who's had the Dream, does work for me.

Was he Rand carrying Moridin's body, or Moridin carrying Rand? I assume the former. Is it after this epiphany about the Aelfinn's answer, and Bair figuring it out that Rand's soul jumped in the body Moridin had just vacated and let his Rand body die? Obviously, Rand is just "alive yet dead" - like Birgitte. Burned out, but his bonds will keep him from letting go of life. It's unexplained how he shifted body with Moridin, but obviously it's his choice, probably the final purpose of their mysterious so-called bond.. their life threads were touching, as if their souls had begun to, after a fashion, dance between the two bodies for a while now.... some barrier or another between their two lifethread had been broken. Why he has acquired TAR powers to replace channeling isn't fully clear... that's another barrier that broke there, according to Lanfear.

I'm confused a little about Alivia. It's not clear from the scene how this happened. Rand planning all this with Alivia before going to the Pit is a bit weak - but I guess he originally meant to vanish as Rand in disguise should he survived, just didn't foresee all the details like the body switching. That probably came about when someone, was it Moiraine or Cadsuane, told him he was wrong to go in the Pit certain he would die there. That probably triggered the plan with Alivia?



Arthuriana, Styx river etc. That all works for me as the meta-explanation. It's meaningless in the WOT world, like nearly all the mythological parallels, but it's significant to the readers, they place the events in their mythological context.

Even in Arthuriana, Arthur on a boat to Avalon is symbolic. Rivers in celtic myth are thresholds to the Sidhe.

But there's WOT-universe symbolism involved too. It probably should have been emphasized more - for instance by having some running water, a spring that's emerged near the Pit over which the body of Rand was carried. That would have made the metaphorical boat work better, fitting it with RJ's symbolism for running water.

Jordan used rivers as symbols through the series in two distinct/completementary contexts. First, they are a symbol of the One Power. It's most often used as "the two rivers" joining motif, saidin and saidar, then spreading (the Fingers of the Dragon, the Waterwood, the Bog at Merrilor) into a Pattern. RJ usually put a Wheel symbol somewhere, weaving the Pattern. Master's Thane's Mill, Tar Valon, etc.

Secondly, and it's probably the relevant one to "the boat", RJ associated strongly rivers and their crossing to very important transitions/passages/transformations. Some of those were between two worlds. They are also barriers. It's difficult for Shadowspawn to cross rivers.

Navigating on rivers associated to being carried on your path, the elements of symbolism in the "passage" rather happening when boarding, or when docking.

With each one, RJ made important how it happened, with various in-world or mythological allusions.

Ferries and boats are most often "passive". The characters aren't crossing willingly, or they need help to cross.

The first time the allegory showed up is in EOTW. Moiraine masks the Taren with her mists.

To ensure passage, you need to get the help of the Ferrymen. In that first scene, RJ played with Sindhol elements. Master Hightower with foxlike features is the ferrymen. Lan climbs the redstone stairs to his doorway and knocks three times. He pays him with "Great Serpent coins". He pays twice, once to ensure passage, once after it's done. Moiraine tricks Hightower and destroys the ferry. She symbolically cuts the characters from their old lives. They leave the Two Rivers behind. None of them will ever return to the Two Rivers this way, they all take "magical means" to return. Perrin will pass the Taren once more, this time as Lord Goldeneyes and on his path to become the Wolf King.

Crossing the Taren brought Rand to Min.

There's two other big river symbolism moments in EOTW: Rand and Mat jump on a boat. Beyond the river, Thom falsely "dies" after a clash with a Half-Man. Mat enters his "crazy" phase. Rand faces Ishamael and his pawns, channels for real, and goes to Caemlyn.

The other big moment is for Perrin and Egwene. They run and jump into the river. Perrin is nearly drowned by his axe, but he doesn't let go. It's only thanks to Bela Egwene makes it to the other side. They are lost in the wilderness. Egwene begins to channel for real, she gets captured while sheltering in the hand of Hawkwing in the night, faces her first AS haters. For the first time, she needs to be a leader, and decides to defer to Perrin in this world of near empty, predatory wilderness. Egwene is meant to lead in a more civilized world.. the wilderness she leaves to Perrin. Perrin is transformed into a wolfbrother.

Crossing the Manetherendrelle brings Rand to Elayne, wife number two.

This goes on. Mat has another "river moment" as he board a ship to Tear. He passes under a redstone archway. It's a letter that lead him on that path, and he's got a "get out free" card in the form of Siuan's letter.

The girls leave the Tower for the last time, also passing under the redstone archway (Moiraine did as well in New Spring). They leave TV as accepted pretending to be AS... Egwene will return there only as Amyrlin Seat. They get stuck, have to change plans, meet the Aiel, change boat, finally arrive then get captured.

Perrin crossed the Erinin to receive his blacksmith's hammer, and to save Faile.

Moiraine crossed to do what Rand could not, and save him from Be'lal.

Lan crossed back to Nynaeve.

For Rand, crossing the Erinin brought him to Aviendha, wide number 3 (who herself had to cross the Alguenya to get there... using a tree trunk as "boat"... :D )

Going by RJ's uses of the river motif, "Three in a boat" has overtones of passivity. Rand needs to be carried by his three women for this - they can cross the river, he can't do it on his own. Their bond to him is what lets him stay alive. It implies an important transition, his last. RJ stayed true to horse symbolism (their represent destiny) to the end: Rand's last horse is unnamed, and he has to ride it bareback.

There's the "they're all in the same boat" connotation playing as well.

The Dream was meant to be interpreted only by Rand's three women (and the Dreamers). The metaphorical symbolism was meant for them alone. They were the boat, the ones whose triple-bond carried Rand to his new life.

And there's a final inside joke RJ played on us: Boats are what make Nynaeve sick. She hates them.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 02:03 PM
Sounds beautifull Dom:) i indeed think you may be right:)
And LOL about Nynaeve:)

Peter Ahlstrom
01-06-2013, 09:14 PM
yes, it was early on when he told me the boat one was after the events of AMOL, but maybe he changed his mind on it.

I don't remember this conversation at all. :confused:

sleepinghour
01-07-2013, 11:14 AM
RJ stayed true to horse symbolism (their represent destiny) to the end: Rand's last horse is unnamed, and he has to ride it bareback.


It was a bit surprising that Rand's new horse was a gelding (men in WoT usually ride stallions while women ride geldings), though it might not remain that way considering Kiruna's gelding Tai'daishar became a stallion again after Rand got him. :D

Dom
01-07-2013, 11:39 AM
It was a bit surprising that Rand's new horse was a gelding (men in WoT usually ride stallions while women ride geldings), though it might not remain that way considering Kiruna's gelding Tai'daishar became a stallion again after Rand got him. :D

:D

It makes sense RJ gave Rand a fairly nondescript and intentionally unnamed gelding now that his "Warrior of the Pattern" days are over. Rand's horses echoed a lot his fate... Cloud, the horse he couldn't control, Jeade'en - a superb stallion - after he was proclaimed Dragon and sought the Aiel warriors. He switched to a fiery eyed arrogantly named "Lord of Glory" gelding when he entered his tyranical yet incapacitated by madness phase etc.

This comes a bit out of nowhere.. but I'll had to that that I think "The future tethers on the edge of a blade" is a red-herring (if a rather annoying one...). It turns out it's not about the Pattern at all, and not even ominous. It's all about the open-ended nature of Rand's future life of adventure/travels and Laman's sword... and it's random/choices driven fate. Rand always loved deeply "The Travels of Jain Farstrider", dreamed of a such a life as he read it as a kid, on the rug in front of the fire at home. Now he has this life ahead of him... with odd magical powers. If he gains any fame, or make legends, they will be his own. And he might well... he remains a Hero of the Horn, just in a non-dragon and non-ta'veren life now.

Terez
01-07-2013, 11:47 AM
Eh, the men can ride either stallions or geldings. They just can't ride mares. I think Stayer or Stepper is a gelding, and the other is a stallion...

Davian93
01-07-2013, 11:50 AM
Eh, the men can ride either stallions or geldings. They just can't ride mares. I think Stayer or Stepper is a gelding, and the other is a stallion...

Rand used to ride Bela when he was just a sheepherder...though he only rode her bareback.

Terez
01-07-2013, 11:52 AM
Yeah, that and Dashiva in early ACOS are the only instances in the whole series I know of where a man rides a mare. But of course, Rand was younger when he rode Bela. ;)

Davian93
01-07-2013, 11:54 AM
Yeah, that and Dashiva in early ACOS are the only instances in the whole series I know of where a man rides a mare. But of course, Rand was younger when he rode Bela. ;)

He was still confused then.

Dom
01-07-2013, 12:50 PM
Eh, the men can ride either stallions or geldings. They just can't ride mares. I think Stayer or Stepper is a gelding, and the other is a stallion...

As Dav pointed out, very young boys sometimes rode mares.

Brandon used that in a funny way with Olver. That was good Brandon humor, for once.

Dashiva was an example of the Shadow's turning things upside down. A nod to Aginor's misuses of animals, similar to the gender switcheroo with Aran'gar.

RJ used a very great deal of specific ideas from the medieval "Upside Down World" tradition.

Rand's story of the rooster comes from there.

Bryne "the bull" leading the Aes Sedai's war is from there.

The Swan that can't sing, the fish and bird saying, the false "Guardians" of Taim, the "noble ladies warriors" of Cha'Faile, the Queen turned into a maid, the Nurse/Nanny in charge of adults, the novice/inn's maid turned into Abbess, the wolves turning into protectors, Tylin and Mat, even much of the spanking jokes come from there etc. It all comes from medieval "carnival" folklore, mainly continental (French, Italian, German). Then RJ also added the anglo-saxon "Lord of Misrule" tradition (which emerged from the same roots, but has a few unique elements).

Stepper the stallion and Stayer the gelding represented the duality of Perrin. Swallow (instead of Falcon!) had a lot of irony, representing Perrin's more "Zarine" than Faile vision of his wife. She died as that vision shattered and Perrin stopped seeing her as a fragile thing... which Faile both was very fond of - she liked Perrin's protectiveness as she was fond of her mare, but also found that annoying at times. RJ had a lot of fun with his horses. Lots of little "inside jokes" in there.