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Anaiya Sedai
01-13-2013, 10:31 AM
I read on another thread here (though I can't remember which one) that Moridin's fate was left open.
(I also remember being scared to post in General after posting something about body swap theories ;) )

I am just wondering if I missed something that left it open.. Rand looks at the Pyre and thinks "Moridin is getting a funeral with all the honours and regalia due to the Dragon Reborn" or somesuch.. to me that says Moridin is definitely not in the back of Rand's head a la LTT...?

KyleLitke
01-13-2013, 10:34 AM
I think Moridin being dead was very definitive and backed up by Min's viewing. The "three become one" prophecy from the Karatheon Cycle was clearly Saidin, Saidar, and the True Power in retrospect. I believe others disagree though on Moridin, not totally sure why but I'm curious. I might have missed something as well.

Terez
01-13-2013, 10:47 AM
I read on another thread here (though I can't remember which one) that Moridin's fate was left open.
(I also remember being scared to post in General after posting something about body swap theories ;) )

I am just wondering if I missed something that left it open.. Rand looks at the Pyre and thinks "Moridin is getting a funeral with all the honours and regalia due to the Dragon Reborn" or somesuch.. to me that says Moridin is definitely not in the back of Rand's head a la LTT...?
I say it's open-ended because Min said they would merge, and Rand was never particularly aware of Moridin being in his head anyway. So what does he know? Four separate prophecies also said Rand would die, and at least one said Perrin would die, so Min's viewing about one of them dying doesn't mean much.

KyleLitke
01-13-2013, 10:58 AM
I say it's open-ended because Min said they would merge, and Rand was never particularly aware of Moridin being in his head anyway. So what does he know? Four separate prophecies also said Rand would die, and at least one said Perrin would die, so Min's viewing about one of them dying doesn't mean much.

Min has said repeatedly that when she KNOWS something about a viewing, it happens. And she flat out said "One of you dies". Most of the prophecies about death were second or third hand interpretations of a vague line from a prophecy. This was a viewing, and we later see that Min isn't just interpreting what she thinks she saw, she knows what many of her viewings mean.

If the only evidence is "Min said they'd merge", I don't think you can then discount the rest of that same viewing as "Eh but THAT part she was wrong about".

Zaela Sedai
01-13-2013, 11:42 AM
Rand is the only one in Rand's head now.

pg - 905 "Rand al'Thor - just Rand al'Thor - woke in a dark tent by himself"

I think its made pretty clear right there that noone else is around. I doubt he's lost all the memories, but he already accepted LTT's memories on DM. Plus they are the same person always. Only he and Moridin were separate.

I'm done with my arguing days... I don't feel you can pick apart that particular quote no matter how much you try. Though, I'm sure you will try. /shrug

GonzoTheGreat
01-13-2013, 11:53 AM
pg - 905 "Rand al'Thor - just Rand al'Thor - woke in a dark tent by himself"
Moridin had lost a lot of sleep lately, so Rand let him sleep.

Moridin al Thor
01-13-2013, 12:01 PM
Rand is the only one in Rand's head now.

pg - 905 "Rand al'Thor - just Rand al'Thor - woke in a dark tent by himself"

I think its made pretty clear right there that noone else is around. I doubt he's lost all the memories, but he already accepted LTT's memories on DM. Plus they are the same person always. Only he and Moridin were separate.

I'm done with my arguing days... I don't feel you can pick apart that particular quote no matter how much you try. Though, I'm sure you will try. /shrug

SHHHH! You can't just go quoting the book and debunking terez's pet non sense theories!

Terez
01-13-2013, 12:41 PM
Min has said repeatedly that when she KNOWS something about a viewing, it happens. And she flat out said "One of you dies".
She also flat out said Alivia would help Rand die.

Rand is the only one in Rand's head now.

pg - 905 "Rand al'Thor - just Rand al'Thor - woke in a dark tent by himself"
That's a deliberate contrast to many previous lines introducing him as "Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn..."

Anaiya Sedai
01-13-2013, 01:23 PM
I saw that line as Rand al'Thor not-the-dragon.. I still don't really doubt it ;)

KyleLitke
01-13-2013, 02:47 PM
Then who was in Rands body growing weaker while the girls clearly felt him growing stronger (which is backed by Nynaeve saying Moridins body is growing stronger)?

As for Alivia, if I had to guess, I'd say her role didn't entirely unfold as it could have, as its difficult to interpret what she did as helping him die under any circumstances. If it had been her "helping him live", it would have made sense. As it is, it's possible her specific role changed slightly. It doesn't immediately invalidate every interpretation Min has ever given. If there was any real evidence at all, I'd say yeah, it's possible Min misinterpreted, but I don't think there is. The only evidence is she said they merged, but that could just signal what appears to have happened, that Rands soul went to Moridin's body, and vice versa. That's pretty much it. Against that, you have Min saying one will live and one will die, you have no indication that Rand hears any voices, a line about "just Rand al'thor" waking up, the fact that while Rand in Moridins body was growing stronger, SOMETHING was in Rand's body growing weaker, Rand specifically thinking Moridin is burning with full honors as the Dragon Reborn, and outside the text, simply the idea that RJ seems to be giving Rand, who has had it rough the entire series and sacrificed a ton, a happy ending, which doesn't really exist if he's actually got crazy evil Ishamael in his head for eternity. I just don't see it.

Terez
01-13-2013, 02:51 PM
Then who was in Rands body growing weaker while the girls clearly felt him growing stronger (which is backed by Nynaeve saying Moridins body is growing stronger)?
Rand's body was growing weaker. That doesn't mean they split entirely. It just means one body was dying. The TGH dark prophecy says 'one did live, and one did die, but both are' re: Luc and Isam. But even though one of them died, both personalities remained. I'm not saying Rand's situation is the same, but I don't think it's as definitive as you make out.

kivo
01-13-2013, 03:58 PM
If you are concluding your roughly 13,000 page epic fantasy series, with no intention of sequels, why would you have the hero's archrival exist in his head as a second personality/voice/etc/whatever? Doesn't make sense just from that perspective. Letting Rand be free does make sense.

Terez
01-13-2013, 04:17 PM
He wasn't your typical archrival... ;)

GonzoTheGreat
01-14-2013, 02:47 AM
In gleeman's tales, the outcome of stories makes sense, in real life, less so. :D

Truthless
01-14-2013, 03:05 AM
So here's the thing that's been bugging me... Moridin is pretty much the leader of the forsaken, and he's being healed by the good guys. Which is fine, I guess. But they know he's getting better, and no one sets a guard or three on him?

It makes sense that Avi, Min, and Elayne (and, I guess, Cadsuane) aren't worried, because they know he's actually Rand, but everyone else? I can't see him just walking away unscathed, it bugs me.

Still, that book was amazing and I loved every minute of it.

GonzoTheGreat
01-14-2013, 03:35 AM
So here's the thing that's been bugging me... Moridin is pretty much the leader of the forsaken, and he's being healed by the good guys. Which is fine, I guess. But they know he's getting better, and no one sets a guard or three on him?
Who would be able to recognise Moridin, though?
There isn't any reason for most to think this bloke was on the side of the Shadow if Moirane and Nynaeve vouch for him.

On the other hand, I would expect Loial and others to mob him, just to hear all that he saw while watching the Lord Dragon battle the Dark One. Surely paparazzi exist in what used to be the Blight?

Sinistrum
01-14-2013, 11:54 AM
I say it's open-ended because Min said they would merge, and Rand was never particularly aware of Moridin being in his head anyway.

And they did. Rand's mind and soul with Moridin's body. There's nothing saying Moridin's soul has to stick around for the merging. I think Rand's remark on Moridin having died and being buried as the Dragon Reborn being ironic is there to indicate, that yes, in fact, Rand is alone in his head.

She also flat out said Alivia would help Rand die.

And she did. At least his body and "the Dragon" portion of his identity. It was as close to a physical death as a metaphorical death could get, but it was still a "death" for the purposes of Min's viewing.

Terez
01-14-2013, 11:56 AM
And they did. Rand's mind and soul with Moridin's body. There's nothing saying Moridin's soul has to stick around for the merging.
There's nothing saying...anything, actually. It's all interpretation. Which was my point.

Sinistrum
01-14-2013, 12:07 PM
There's nothing saying...anything, actually. It's all interpretation. Which was my point.

True, and we can only go with the relevant evidence to draw conclusions. And the only relevant evidence is Rand's POV in the epilogue in which Moridin's mind is absent and all the verbal clues indicate that Rand is alone in his own head.

Terez
01-14-2013, 12:14 PM
True, and we can only go with the relevant evidence to draw conclusions. And the only relevant evidence is Rand's POV in the epilogue in which Moridin's mind is absent and all the verbal clues indicate that Rand is alone in his own head.
That's not the only relevant evidence, though. Rand is fairly proven to be an unreliable narrator, even after his epiphany, so that has to be taken into consideration. He was never aware of Moridin being in his head to the point of influencing his thoughts; why should he be now? It's one of Rand's main themes. I think it was meant to be ambiguous.

Crispin's Crispian
01-14-2013, 12:19 PM
That's not the only relevant evidence, though. Rand is fairly proven to be an unreliable narrator, even after his epiphany, so that has to be taken into consideration. He was never aware of Moridin being in his head to the point of influencing his thoughts; why should he be now? It's one of Rand's main themes. I think it was meant to be ambiguous.

To what end?

Moridin desperately wanted oblivion. If there was some irony, it wasn't spelled out at all. But why else would the authors leave it ambiguous.

I do agree that it wasn't clear what happened with their bond, but having Moridin in there doesn't really make narrative sense (to me).

Terez
01-14-2013, 12:22 PM
To what end?
Intrigue, of course. The hero became his foe, in more ways than one. He conquered the evil with his epiphany, but there's nothing to indicate he conquered the merging of their personalities.

Crispin's Crispian
01-14-2013, 12:25 PM
Intrigue, of course. The hero became his foe, in more ways than one. He conquered the evil with his epiphany, but there's nothing to indicate he conquered the merging of their personalities.

I guess. Even if it was ambiguous, I don't see even subtle hinting.

Sinistrum
01-14-2013, 12:36 PM
That's not the only relevant evidence, though. Rand is fairly proven to be an unreliable narrator, even after his epiphany, so that has to be taken into consideration. He was never aware of Moridin being in his head to the point of influencing his thoughts; why should he be now? It's one of Rand's main themes. I think it was meant to be ambiguous.

Consider this though. There was almost certainly a theme of "just desserts" to how the Forsaken were all disposed of in the Last Battle. Taim was killed by someone he considered his inferior. The strong becomes the weak. It was Demandred's selfish wrath that led him to bellow challenges for all to hear toward Rand, challenges that allowed Lan to pin point him and who's arrogance in his own knowledge and abilities proved to be his downfall. Duty and selflessness (what Demandred was supposed to be) overcame selfishness and pride. Moghedian ended up facing her worst nightmare. Excuse making was cast aside and her own failures and their attached consequences confronted and consumed her. Graendal, simply put, was hoisted by her own petard. The user became the used.

All of the Forsaken had the things that turned the against the Light thrown in their faces and their opposites inflicted as punishments. So that leaves us with Moridin and his reasons for turning to the Shadow. He wanted oblivion to alleviate his hopelessness and despair but he wanted to live and rule for a time before it happened. I think this quote right here is a big key to what happened to him.

"You thought you were the Dark One, didn't you? Has he punished you for that?"

"Yes," Moridin snarled. "He returned me to life." aMoL The Way of the Predator, p.526

I think Moridin's "just desserts" in this case would be to have died only to be spun out again to continue the fight in another age over and over again. That would truly deny him both the power he wanted and the end to it he craved.

GonzoTheGreat
01-15-2013, 03:17 AM
To what end?

Moridin desperately wanted oblivion. If there was some irony, it wasn't spelled out at all. But why else would the authors leave it ambiguous.
To leave the possibility of a sequel open, of course. :D

padfoot89
01-15-2013, 04:45 AM
It would be an epic punishment if Moridin, the man who wanted oblivion, ended up stuck in Rand's head for years.

Dom
01-15-2013, 05:04 AM
I guess. Even if it was ambiguous, I don't see even subtle hinting.

There's no ambiguity on that level IMO. Rand when he wakes up states he's "Rand, just Rand". Then to further drive the point home he mentions it's Moridin's body that's being burned.

They switched and one died and one lived by Min's viewing.

They haven't merged. The viewing also specifically said they appeared to merge (as Terez reminded me a few times).

His "just Rand" also strongly implies that when he switched to Moridin's body and Moridin went to die in his, he got rid of his taint madness and of LTT's memories as well.

Terez
01-15-2013, 06:04 AM
It would be an epic punishment if Moridin, the man who wanted oblivion, ended up stuck in Rand's head for years.
Exactly. :D

The ambiguity was in the lead-up, and the way their link was never really explained. How does a merging that is below the radar end up in a body swap? We don't know, nor do we have any real reason to believe that after all that merging, they suddenly split again.

AbbeyRoad
01-15-2013, 07:48 AM
It would be an epic punishment if Moridin, the man who wanted oblivion, ended up stuck in Rand's head for years.
The only reason I don't think this is the case is because it invalidates Rand's implied new character arc in the epilogue. His whole deal was now that he was in a new body and presumed dead by almost everyone in the world, he had no pressures, no obligations. He just wanted to be Rand, and he had the opportunity as a reward for fulfilling his duties.

Throwing his arch-rival in his psyche just doesn't seem to jive with the tonal shift in his ending. He earned his 'ride off into the sunset' moment. Moridin trapped in Rand's had doesn't seem to fit.

Terez
01-15-2013, 07:52 AM
It fits to me because the post-merge differences were not all that profound, not after Rand's epiphany anyway. He didn't succeed in banishing Moridin from his mind on Dragonmount; he merely succeeded in overcoming his nihilist tendencies, despite the odds being stacked against him. If the Dark One is the capacity for evil within every person in Randland, why can't Moridin still be in Rand's head? And Rand being oblivious to it would just be par for the course.

I disagree that the 'just Rand al'Thor' line means anything beyond Rand not having the responsibilities of being the Dragon Reborn any more.

Edited for quotes:

Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, sat quietly in his dream. (TOM epilogue)
Inside that tent, Rand al'Thor—the Dragon Reborn—laughed, head thrown back. (AMOL 1)
Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, turned away from Aviendha and left her and Ituralde to their battle. He had a different one to join. (AMOL 23)
And then, Rand al'Thor—the Dragon Reborn—stood up once again to face the Shadow. (AMOL 38)
Rand al'Thor—just Rand al'Thor—woke in a dark tent by himself. (AMOL epilogue)

Pretty clear what the last line is supposed to mean, and it has nothing to do with Moridin being in his head.

neurotopia
01-15-2013, 08:12 AM
Exactly. :D

The ambiguity was in the lead-up, and the way their link was never really explained. How does a merging that is below the radar end up in a body swap? We don't know, nor do we have any real reason to believe that after all that merging, they suddenly split again.

Malkovich Malkovich?

Dom
01-15-2013, 08:15 AM
It fits to me because the post-merge differences were not all that profound, not after Rand's epiphany anyway. He didn't succeed in banishing Moridin from his mind on Dragonmount; he merely succeeded in overcoming his nihilist tendencies, despite the odds being stacked against him. If the Dark One is the capacity for evil within every person in Randland, why can't Moridin still be in Rand's head? And Rand being oblivious to it would just be par for the course.

I disagree that the 'just Rand al'Thor' line means anything beyond Rand not having the responsibilities of being the Dragon Reborn any more.

Edited for quotes:

Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, sat quietly in his dream. (TOM epilogue)
Inside that tent, Rand al'Thor—the Dragon Reborn—laughed, head thrown back. (AMOL 1)
Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, turned away from Aviendha and left her and Ituralde to their battle. He had a different one to join. (AMOL 23)
And then, Rand al'Thor—the Dragon Reborn—stood up once again to face the Shadow. (AMOL 38)
Rand al'Thor—just Rand al'Thor—woke in a dark tent by himself. (AMOL epilogue)

Pretty clear what the last line is supposed to mean, and it has nothing to do with Moridin being in his head.

You might well be right Brandon meant only to say Rand was no longer the Dragon. I tend to think Moridin in his mind ended with Moridin's death, though.

For the LTT memories, I'm not sure what to believe. A good case can be made the switching of body made them disappear, or not at all, or that perhaps they will now fade as they are just "normally" in Rand's head, while he had access unnaturally to "full memories" previously. But not even balefire can erase memories, and the SL effect on Mat he massively inflated, so...

Birgitte's case might suggest Rand's memories will fade. Their situations are different, but that we know, Moridin's brain doesn't have the "broken barrier", so Rand wouldn't have access to the "LTT bank", like Birgitte in the real world lost access to her "storage bank" and only memories of her lives remained, and much too numerous for her to remember them long, so they started to fade.

Terez
01-15-2013, 08:40 AM
You might well be right Brandon meant only to say Rand was no longer the Dragon. I tend to think Moridin in his mind ended with Moridin's death, though.
I just don't see why it should, seeing as how the 'merge' itself is the only thing that explains why Rand was able to steal Moridin's body. At least, it's the only explanation that's not terribly deus ex machina.

fdsaf3
01-15-2013, 11:11 AM
I just don't see why it should, seeing as how the 'merge' itself is the only thing that explains why Rand was able to steal Moridin's body. At least, it's the only explanation that's not terribly deus ex machina.


Rand heard LTT's voice in his head because they were always the same person. Rand and Moridin aren't. Moridin's presence in Rand's mind can be justified any number of ways: proximity to the last battle, the increased influence of the Dark One on reality (bending the rules), the fragility of the Pattern, etc. Now that those factors are gone, and especially since Moridin is dead, it doesn't strike me as a possibility that Rand would still have Moridin in his mind. That's just me, though.

Terez
01-15-2013, 11:36 AM
Rand heard LTT's voice in his head because they were always the same person. Rand and Moridin aren't.
Rand never heard Moridin's voice in his head. It's an entirely different thing. And Rand heard Lews Therin's voice in his head because he was crazy, not because they were the same person.

Moridin's presence in Rand's mind can be justified any number of ways: proximity to the last battleTalk about a wishy-washy mechanism. :confused:

GonzoTheGreat
01-15-2013, 11:37 AM
That would be a bit more believable if not for the fact that Rand was now residing in Moridin's brain. Unless Moridin was ousted from that (for which we don't have any actual evidence or explanation), he should still be in there too.

Davian93
01-15-2013, 11:41 AM
Too easy, it was a PLE.

Done.

fdsaf3
01-15-2013, 11:45 AM
Rand never heard Moridin's voice in his head. It's an entirely different thing. And Rand heard Lews Therin's voice in his head because he was crazy, not because they were the same person.

Talk about a wishy-washy mechanism. :confused:

I'm not defending it from a literary standpoint, just attempting to point out that there are story-driven reasons to explain their connection. I'm not prepared to defend anything; I just thought I'd throw it out there and see what you thought.

And I know it's a horse that's been beaten to death, and please forgive lack of understanding of the nuance of the metaphysics of the WOT universe, but I thought Rand made it clear in the last book that his insanity (LTT's voice in his head) gave him access to the memories of his past lives. Maybe it's improper to say they are the same person; maybe I should have said they shared the same soul?

This is one area I've never felt truly comfortable with, and never really had much passion in figuring out.

Terez
01-15-2013, 11:51 AM
No, I think they're essentially the same person, and that's why Rand had the memories. But the voice was another thing entirely, and due to his madness.

Sinistrum
01-15-2013, 11:58 AM
and the way their link was never really explained.

Except it kind was infered. Rand started seeing images of Moridin in his vision after he and Moridin crossed the streams at Shadar Logoth. That proximity in time seems to indicate it was the event that triggered the connection.

The only reason I don't think this is the case is because it invalidates Rand's implied new character arc in the epilogue. His whole deal was now that he was in a new body and presumed dead by almost everyone in the world, he had no pressures, no obligations. He just wanted to be Rand, and he had the opportunity as a reward for fulfilling his duties.

Throwing his arch-rival in his psyche just doesn't seem to jive with the tonal shift in his ending. He earned his 'ride off into the sunset' moment. Moridin trapped in Rand's had doesn't seem to fit.

This. The tone was one of Rand reaping a just reward, just like the Forsaken did. Having the conciousness of your insane arch-rival hardly speaks of a reward. Especially in light of "Nakomi" making an appearance immediately after Rand won with her "yes, that's good. that is what you need to do." statement. She said that while he was carrying Moridin out of the Bore btw (aMoL p. 892).

Terez
01-15-2013, 12:02 PM
Except it kind was infered.
Brandon admonished us for making the assumption that the link was caused by the stream-crossing—technically that might have simply aggravated an already-existing link, and it's also possible that Moridin Warder-bonded him in Shadar Logoth—but even if that was it, it's still not explained how it works.

This. The tone was one of Rand reaping a just reward, just like the Forsaken did. Having the conciousness of your insane arch-rival hardly speaks of a reward.
It hardly speaks of punishment either. As I said, the differences were subtle before; I imagine they would continue to be subtle.

Especially in light of "Nakomi" making an appearance immediately after Rand won with her "yes, that's good. that is what you need to do." statement. She said that while he was carrying Moridin out of the Bore btw (aMoL p. 892).
What does that have to do with anything? It was what he needed to do; that doesn't mean that Moridin is magically gone from his head.

Sinistrum
01-15-2013, 12:40 PM
Brandon admonished us for making the assumption that the link was caused by the stream-crossing

And was he being serious or trying to throw us off? I've always been extremely doubtful of the utility of using author interview quotes as evidence in discussions like this. There is too much room for intentional misleading in order to preserve the mystique of the story.

technically that might have simply aggravated an already-existing link, and it's also possible that Moridin Warder-bonded him in Shadar Logoth

What link was that and when did it occur?

It hardly speaks of punishment either. As I said, the differences were subtle before; I imagine they would continue to be subtle.

Yeah, because it was such a fullfilling and enriching experience when Rand had LTT's voice ranting in his head. I'm sure Moridin's voice will be just as equally pleasurable, if not more so. C'mon. How could it not be construed as a punishment regardless of the "subtly?"

What does that have to do with anything? It was what he needed to do; that doesn't mean that Moridin is magically gone from his head.

It has everything to do with it. If Nakomi is who a lot of us suspect, then that scene can be interpreted as the Creator checking up on her champion in order to see that he gets his reward for doing a good job. The quote in question thus indicates that this point in time is when the body switch starts to occur in order for that reward to come to fruitition. She was specifically addressing Rand, the only one at that point who was taking any action. She wasn't addressing Moridin. That infers that Rand was the only one being rewarded.

Lets try this from another approach though. What about Rand's final POV's give any evidence that a. Moridin is alive and cohabitating in Rand's head or that b. Rand's POV is flawed somehow in this specific instance when he says Moridin is dead and being honored in Rand's place? I'd kind of like to know where you are drawing your conclusions from in terms of solid evidence instead of the "well I FEEL it would add intrigue" (as if intrigue were necessary to the conclusion at all).

Terez
01-15-2013, 12:52 PM
And was he being serious or trying to throw us off?
We don't know, but we also don't have any reason to assume that it was caused by the stream-crossing, so why make the assumption when it's not a particularly helpful one to begin with?

What link was that and when did it occur?
The link between Rand and Moridin, and we don't know.

Yeah, because it was such a fullfilling and enriching experience when Rand had LTT's voice ranting in his head. I'm sure Moridin's voice will be just as equally pleasurable, if not more so.
No one said anything about voices. Rand's never heard Moridin's voice in his head before; why should he start now?

Lets try this from another approach though. What about Rand's final POV's give any evidence that a. Moridin is alive and cohabitating in Rand's head
The evidence for this is previous to the last scene. We have no reason to believe that he was able to stop or reverse the merging, and as I said before, the merging itself is the only mechanism for the body swap that makes sense.

or that b. Rand's POV is flawed somehow in this specific instance when he says Moridin is dead and being honored in Rand's place?
He has proven himself to be an unreliable narrator in the past when it comes to what is going on in his head, and this includes post-epiphany. He didn't understand the depth of the link between himself and Moridin at any point, and while Moridin didn't understand it either, he at least showed that he understood it better than Rand. Rand has been essentially thinking Moridin's thoughts since COT, and he was entirely unaware of it. And he never showed any signs that he was aware of that aspect of it except in the vaguest sense.

DahLliA
01-15-2013, 01:49 PM
For a second I thought all of the discussions here would end after the last book :p

For the record I think Moridin is gone.

Simply because Rand deserves a break.

Even though I really don't think he'd just ride away from everyone like that.

Terez
01-15-2013, 02:06 PM
I don't think Rand getting a break and Moridin being in his head are mutually exclusive.

Davian93
01-15-2013, 02:07 PM
Personally, I thought the "Just Rand..." comment was pretty definitive.

Guess I was mistaken. Of course, some people still argue that LTT was real too....so there's that.

Terez
01-15-2013, 02:14 PM
Personally, I thought the "Just Rand..." comment was pretty definitive.
I addressed that with multiple quotes a few posts back. It was definitive, in that Rand no longer has the burden of being the Dragon Reborn.

Davian93
01-15-2013, 02:19 PM
I addressed that with multiple quotes a few posts back. It was definitive, in that Rand no longer has the burden of being the Dragon Reborn.

Yes, that is one interpretation of it.

Terez
01-15-2013, 02:21 PM
It's the only one with actual evidence to support it. ;)

Davian93
01-15-2013, 02:24 PM
It's the only one with actual evidence to support it. ;)

Given that RJ apparently went with a very literal ending, I dont quite agree.

DahLliA
01-15-2013, 02:28 PM
I don't think Rand getting a break and Moridin being in his head are mutually exclusive.

True. I just don't feel like that is the case.

Same as when I never felt like Moiraine was really dead.

*forgets several other times he's "felt" wrong*

Terez
01-15-2013, 02:56 PM
Given that RJ apparently went with a very literal ending, I dont quite agree.
You can disagree all you like, but that's a BS statement that doesn't mean anything. ;)

Davian93
01-15-2013, 04:21 PM
You can disagree all you like, but that's a BS statement that doesn't mean anything. ;)

I agree that its definitely "BS"...

Anaiya Sedai
01-15-2013, 04:56 PM
So how did the link happen?

Somehow I'm not surprised to find that people are still discussing this :D (even though it's fairly obvious to me.)

Alec
01-15-2013, 06:17 PM
I just don't see why it should, seeing as how the 'merge' itself is the only thing that explains why Rand was able to steal Moridin's body. At least, it's the only explanation that's not terribly deus ex machina.


Callandor could explain it, couldn't it? Wasn't the Callandor thing "all that he is can be seized?"

Terez
01-15-2013, 06:19 PM
So how did the link happen?
We don't know. We don't know much about it at all, but it's clear enough that RJ always intended to use the 'merge' as the mechanism for the bodyswap. What we didn't anticipate is that it would be the only mechanism. That's what leaves open the possibility that they are still essentially merged, just as they were before. Moridin stabbing his own hand to make Rand drop Callandor is a pretty big clue. So, people don't like the idea that they're still merged...but what was so bad about Rand as he was at that moment?

Crispin's Crispian
01-15-2013, 06:24 PM
I think we should differentiate between Rand and Moridin sharing a body versus what you're talking about, Terez.

Unless...you think they were the same thing?

Crispin's Crispian
01-15-2013, 06:26 PM
I interpreted that to mean the Dark One--whom (which?) Rand literally seized. But you could be right. It doesn't really help us, since we still don't have a mechanism.

Alec
01-15-2013, 06:35 PM
Moridin had Callandor, which makes it so that all that he is can be seized. It seems at least possible that this would allow a body swap.

Terez
01-15-2013, 06:36 PM
I think we should differentiate between Rand and Moridin sharing a body versus what you're talking about, Terez.

Unless...you think they were the same thing?
Eh, sort of. The differences were always subtle, which is how the darkness crept up on Rand so quickly in books 8-12. But some were as blatant as this:

Irritably, Rand pushed his sleeves down and dropped into a chair. What he had done made no matter to Logain. The man knew saidin was clean, but he could not believe Rand or any man had actually done the cleansing. Did he think the Creator had decided to stretch out a merciful hand after three thousand years of suffer*ing? The Creator had made the world and then left humankind to make of it what they would, a heaven or the Pit of Doom by their choosing. The Creator had made many worlds, watched each flower or die, and gone on to make endless worlds beyond. A gardener did not weep for each blossom that fell.

For an instant, he thought those must have been Lews Therin's reflections. He had never gone on that way about the Creator or anything else that he recalled. But he could feel Lews Therin nod*ding in approval, a man listening to someone else. Still, it was not the kind of thing he would have considered before Lews Therin. How much space remained between them?
Rand knew it wasn't his thought, and he knew it wasn't Lews Therin's thought. That only leaves one option, and it just so happens to fit perfectly with everything we know about Moridin.

That's the level of merging that was going on between them. I doubt the ambiguity about their link—how it came about, and how (or if) it was resolved—was accidental. RJ wanted this to be a point of conversation. We don't know if they're still merged; that's the point.

Crispin's Crispian
01-15-2013, 09:58 PM
It always seemed kind of subtle, as you said. They sometimes shared thoughts, and sometimes shared physical peculiarities (particularly their hands).

I'm just wondering what a fully merged pair would be like. Would there be shared consciousness, and awareness of such? Or just an entirely new personality with aspects of both?

Sinistrum
01-15-2013, 10:47 PM
Rand knew it wasn't his thought, and he knew it wasn't Lews Therin's thought. That only leaves one option, and it just so happens to fit perfectly with everything we know about Moridin.

Or Rand just evolved as a person. Between his experience flickering with the mirror worlds, his conversations with Harid Fel, Min's continued study, and LTT's influence, he could have easily conjured up such thoughts himself. To use the word of the thread, I think its ambiguous at best that this is Moridin's thought seeping into Rand's mind.

probe907
01-15-2013, 10:52 PM
The Dark One had the power to put souls into bodies, and Rand controlled the DO for a moment. So perhaps Rand used his own power combined with the DO's power to exploit his link with Moridin to complete the switch. Moridin (in Rand's body) died from overdrawing and extreme nihilism, while Rand recovered and went on his merry way. I'm not entirely sure Rand did the switch for the purposes of survival. I figure he just wanted to be left alone for a while.

Stonebender
01-16-2013, 12:41 AM
Eh, sort of. The differences were always subtle, which is how the darkness crept up on Rand so quickly in books 8-12. But some were as blatant as this:


Rand knew it wasn't his thought, and he knew it wasn't Lews Therin's thought. That only leaves one option, and it just so happens to fit perfectly with everything we know about Moridin.

That's the level of merging that was going on between them. I doubt the ambiguity about their link—how it came about, and how (or if) it was resolved—was accidental. RJ wanted this to be a point of conversation. We don't know if they're still merged; that's the point.

Meh, you're wrong. It's Rand's thought. He is simply stating that his thought processes have evolved since LT started speaking to him.

probe907
01-16-2013, 03:12 AM
Shouldn't the entirety of Randland chase after Morandin after the epilogue? For all anybody except the Harem, Alivia, and Cadsuane knows, Rand is dead, and Morandin remains the DO's right hand.

Isn't this a gigantic plot hole, or am I missing something obvious?
-----
Ah, I see Truthless and GonzoTheGreat covered that. It turns out practically nobody in the world knows about Morandin, and the few who know are influential enough to cover up the entire affair.
OK, reasonable enough.

Tollingtoy
01-16-2013, 07:22 AM
Could the merging of the "Moridin" soul and the "Dragon" soul be a natural occurrence and something that happens during every turn of the Wheel? This might explain Ishmael's actions in the early books because he was trying to kill Rand before this happened. Moridin mentioned in AMOL that the DO was punishing him by bringing him back after being killed in TDR, this could explain his different approach to Rand in his new body as opposed to his actions in the 1st three books.

Terez
01-16-2013, 08:26 AM
Meh, you're wrong. It's Rand's thought. He is simply stating that his thought processes have evolved since LT started speaking to him.
No, he isn't. This is just one clue of many that Moridin is influencing his thoughts; that's why we ended up with Dark Rand in TGS. His thoughts haven't evolved; the thought actually surprised him to the point that he attributed it to Lews Therin (even though part of him knew it wasn't Lews Therin either).

Sodas
01-28-2013, 11:56 PM
I read on another thread here (though I can't remember which one) that Moridin's fate was left open.
(I also remember being scared to post in General after posting something about body swap theories ;) )

I am just wondering if I missed something that left it open.. Rand looks at the Pyre and thinks "Moridin is getting a funeral with all the honours and regalia due to the Dragon Reborn" or somesuch.. to me that says Moridin is definitely not in the back of Rand's head a la LTT...?

Exactly. Rand knows Moridin body swapped with him.

padfoot89
01-29-2013, 01:56 AM
Nynaeve also mentions Rand sinking while Moridin was getting stronger. So it looks like Rand took over Moridin's body and shoved Moridin into his own.

Terez
01-29-2013, 03:19 AM
Except the details we actually have point to something different happening. Their merge is what allowed Rand to steal Moridin's body; just because his own body died doesn't mean they have somehow un-merged. And again, Rand was never particularly aware of the nature of the merge; why should he start now?

GonzoTheGreat
01-29-2013, 04:05 AM
And again, Rand was never particularly aware of the nature of the merge; why should he start now?
Good question.The only difference between "before" and "after" his fight in this regard is that before he hadn't seen the actual threads involved in the merging, and afterwards he had. He had really witnessed the interactions of all the threads in the Pattern, and, while he could only comprehend part of it, he may have been able to pay a bit more attention than average to his own thread and that of Moridin. But there's no specific evidence saying he did this, of course.

Sodas
01-29-2013, 04:09 PM
I think it has nothing to do with the "merge" of Rand and Moridin. They were physically linked, not mentally linked. Rand planned this out as I'm sure he could have forseen that Moridin would be exhausted by the use of him to fix the rend in the Pattern, and would probably be severed by the cut off in the TP. Moridin was drawing the absolute max he could handle through Callandor to the point he couldn't even move. And then was suddenly severed completely. That should have killed him if not turned him into a unrecoverable vegetable.

How do we know Rand had the body switch planned out? When Nakomi speaks to Rand upon his exitting of SG -

"Yes," a woman whispered. He did not recognize the voice. "Yes, that's good. That is what you need to do."

Nakomi recognized what Rand was going to do, what he needed to do. Rand needed to swap bodies to live.

Since this all happened with the barriers between the worlds broken, simply needing that swap could have been enough. We have seen before how need works in T'A'R ... the Eye of the World, The Bowl of Winds, etc. Rand needed a body and Moridin's soul was weakly attached to his. No need for any merger mechanism. Rand just controlled the fact that he would wake up in Moridin's body, and Moridin would die in Rand's, and it was.

Dom
01-29-2013, 04:25 PM
I think it has nothing to do with the merge. Rand planned this out as I'm sure Moridin was already dead. Moridin was drawing the absolute max he could handle through Callandor to the point he couldn't even move. And then was suddenly cut off completely. That should have killed him.

How do we know Rand had this planned out? When Nakomi speaks to Rand upon his exitting of SG -



Nakomi recognized what Rand was going to do, what he needed to do. Rand needed to swap bodies to live.

Since this all happened in with the barriers between the worlds broken, simply needing that swap could have been enough. We have seen before how need works in T'A'R ... the Eye of the World, The Bowl of Winds, etc. Rand needed a body and Moridin was dead.

Aocording to Nynaeve, neither Moridin nor Rand were dead when they came out. In Moridin's body, Rand was recuperating. In Rand's body, Moridin, burned out and with absolutely no will to live (far from it) was rapidly dying.

For the rest I agree, I think simply willed himself in Moridin's body as Moridin died. Pushing him out sounds way too DO-ish, evil.

I think those two are soul-bonded much the same way Birgitte and Gaidal are, and Brandon implied as much. That bond is probably eternal. I don't think that with Moridin dead, the so-called "merging" continued or remained. Rand is ... just Rand. Since the LTT memories seemed to have to do with the physical attack of the taint on his brain, my guess is that by jumping in Moridin's body he lost those too, along every shred of madness.

Moridin's gone, and dead. I'm not sure what would be the point of having him present in Rand's mind.

Sodas
01-29-2013, 04:32 PM
Aocording to Nynaeve, neither Moridin nor Rand were dead when they came out. In Moridin's body, Rand was recuperating. In Rand's body, Moridin, burned out and with absolutely no will to live (far from it) was rapidly dying.

For the rest I agree, I think simply willed himself in Moridin's body as Moridin died. Pushing him out sounds way too DO-ish, evil.

I think those two are soul-bonded much the same way Birgitte and Gaidal are, and Brandon implied as much. That bond is probably eternal. I don't think that with Moridin dead, the so-called "merging" continued or remained. Rand is ... just Rand. Since the LTT memories seemed to have to do with the physical attack of the taint on his brain, my guess is that by jumping in Moridin's body he lost those too, along every shred of madness.

Moridin's gone, and dead. I'm not sure what would be the point of having him present in Rand's mind.

Sorry, I had to edit that first part, it came out wrong. I've been trying to type it up on my new motorola photon, but the editing wasn't working so I switched back to my laptop.

Sodas
01-29-2013, 04:35 PM
I totally agree btw Dom, as LTT is completely gone. I love Rand's comments as he thinks about traveling around and enjoying it for the first time. If he had any shred of LTT in him, that wouldn't have been true as LTT had time before the War of Power to have done so. So it worked out great for Rand! :p

hippie-joe
01-29-2013, 05:10 PM
As for Alivia, if I had to guess, I'd say her role didn't entirely unfold as it could have, as its difficult to interpret what she did as helping him die under any circumstances. If it had been her "helping him live", it would have made sense. As it is, it's possible her specific role changed slightly. It doesn't immediately invalidate every interpretation Min has ever given. If there was any real evidence at all, I'd say yeah, it's possible Min misinterpreted, but I don't think there is. The only evidence is she said they merged, but that could just signal what appears to have happened, that Rands soul went to Moridin's body, and vice versa. That's pretty much it. Against that, you have Min saying one will live and one will die, you have no indication that Rand hears any voices, a line about "just Rand al'thor" waking up, the fact that while Rand in Moridins body was growing stronger, SOMETHING was in Rand's body growing weaker,.
.

to live you must die...

for him to have a life of his own truely free, the body everyone knew to be rand had to die and he had to remain hidden. in this way alivia helped him die by keeping the secret that he still lived. if everyone thinks he's dead he no longer has the responsibility of the dragon or any kingdoms to rule, he was free just like he always wanted, but couldn't be if he remained rand.

now He is the wanderer

Dom
01-29-2013, 06:05 PM
I totally agree btw Dom, as LTT is completely gone. I love Rand's comments as he thinks about traveling around and enjoying it for the first time. If he had any shred of LTT in him, that wouldn't have been true as LTT had time before the War of Power to have done so. So it worked out great for Rand! :p


Having just reread the scene, I'm even more convinced we're right the LTT bundle of memories is gone.

After all the "we're one, I have all his memories" stuff, in the last scene RJ really seem to have made a point of giving Rand only memories of his Rand life (no reference whatsoever to the LTT life, the freedom of his youth, the prospect to live again some of the good stuff LTT but not him enjoyed. Nothing). He's not forgotten he did had the memories of LTT once, surely, but he's really just a young man free to really experience the world for the first time, and "hopelessly in love".

Davian93
01-29-2013, 06:53 PM
Having just reread the scene, I'm even more convinced we're right the LTT bundle of memories is gone.

After all the "we're one, I have all his memories" stuff, in the last scene RJ really seem to have made a point of giving Rand only memories of his Rand life (no reference whatsoever to the LTT life, the freedom of his youth, the prospect to live again some of the good stuff LTT but not him enjoyed. Nothing). He's not forgotten he did had the memories of LTT once, surely, but he's really just a young man free to really experience the world for the first time, and "hopelessly in love".

That would definitely fit the "Just Rand Al'Thor" comment.

I'd imagine he has memories of memories but it'd probably be like trying to remember a dream after waking up for him. Like, he'd remember talking about LTT's memories but not anything more than the vague footnotes of those comments and not the knowledge behind them.

Which works for me.

Terez
01-30-2013, 01:09 AM
They were mentally linked, which is part of what caused Rand's descent beginning in TPOD.

Cortar
01-30-2013, 04:22 AM
I like the idea of Moridin either being in Rand's head, or them having merged.

It makes a lot of sense with the whole yin-yang theme of the book. Moridin being completely gone would almost be like the DO being killed.

Having the two champions, in one, walk away into the sunset, being at peace with each other, seems like a very good ending.

Terez
01-30-2013, 06:44 AM
I don't really see it as an equal relationship; it's kind of like how when Isam is in Isam's body, he's mostly Isam, and vice-versa, except Rand is dominant in Moridin's body, and he's far less aware of the merge than Luc and Isam were.

Verin Mathwin
01-30-2013, 12:33 PM
I mostly want to agree with Terez here, but if they were still linked after the body swap wouldn't Moridin's death have had an effect on Rand. When one was physically hurt the other could feel it. What would death do?

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-30-2013, 12:50 PM
If the point would be the other body was actually a shell, nothing in it...because Moridin and Rand now share one body, with Moridin's part being the more dormant of the two...I can't really agree with the idea.


The argument would be if the body was without a soul (because it was a merge, not a swap) those who tried to heal him would have "felt" it. This is akin to the Ogier, Trayal (if I recall correctly the name?) whose soul was taken by Mashadar and the body was left to shuffle along with motor skills intact. RJ answered a question that this could be detected in a stedding (as it was by Verin) because channeling isn't required...it is detected by touch. Therefore, because Nynaeve tried to heal him-and in the process TOUCHED HIM--with her skills, would have known.

I still think Moridin and Rand swapped...and Moridin died. Dead. Dead as a doornail. Dead.

Dom
01-30-2013, 12:54 PM
I think the whole idea of the merging by the end has become Moridin's body, and Rand's mind.

RJ left no clue whatsoever that Moridin is still a presence in Rand's mind, and I think he definitely would have if he intended us to go in that direction.

Even the saa is shown as frozen in place.

He's gone, his essence-soul is gone, leaving just a shell, like his Master with Shaidar Haran.

Rand's no longer the Champion of the Light, the Dragon, he's just Rand.

Moridin in many ways was a false Champion of the Shadow, more like Shai'tan's biggest fool.

At the point when Rand knew "all the secrets" of Shai'tan's mind, he revealed that Shai'tan never had any intent to give Moridin his promised oblivion. It was a lie. It's Rand who gave Moridin his rest, the normal rest of souls in death.

I'm sure they're still soul-bonded, but the mechanism that made them mirror one another and let their minds touch is gone.

With Moridin dead it would be meaningless, essentially a bond between Rand's new body and his old body. If the mirroring was still there, the physical aspect would also be there. Rand would have much enjoyed the burning of the body...

Nah, Rand is free. Of Moridin for this life, of ta'veren, of his LTT memories, of the burden of being the Dragon. Gone. All that remain are his bond to his three women, his "threads of Gold".

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-30-2013, 12:58 PM
lololol

Ummmm, I doubt the fire would have any effect on Rand as the other person was DEAD already.

Verin Mathwin
01-30-2013, 01:22 PM
I wasn't saying the burning of the body would have hurt him, but his actual death.

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-30-2013, 01:24 PM
No, Dom did lololol

I was teasing him

Dom
01-30-2013, 01:27 PM
lololol

Ummmm, I doubt the fire would have any effect on Rand as the other person was DEAD already.

That was sarcastic. Moridin's dead and Rand isn't. Of course their mirroring has stopped :)

They're always bonded like Birgitte and Gaidal, but their mind-bond didn't start until late in the series.

They're two souls. What pulled them together (which wasn't normal.. Gaidal and Birgitte are similarly linked yet experience none of this) and made their minds touch is over. We saw even saw it end, when both bodies initially were dying, and gradually they began to "grow apart", the body with Rand's soul gradually recuperating, the other body with Moridin's soul declining fast, then dying.

mogi67
01-30-2013, 02:06 PM
Having just reread the scene, I'm even more convinced we're right the LTT bundle of memories is gone.

After all the "we're one, I have all his memories" stuff, in the last scene RJ really seem to have made a point of giving Rand only memories of his Rand life (no reference whatsoever to the LTT life, the freedom of his youth, the prospect to live again some of the good stuff LTT but not him enjoyed. Nothing). He's not forgotten he did had the memories of LTT once, surely, but he's really just a young man free to really experience the world for the first time, and "hopelessly in love".

I think his comments in the epilogue are definitely indicative of that, like his thought about having a finer sword than he ever could have expected. Also, his relief at finding out that he couldn't channel is definitely something that the Two Rivers Rand Al'Thor would have felt.


I wonder what's in store for Elan now. I like the idea that he died after the prison was sealed and he was burned out. I'm not solid on the effects of the true power on the channeler - but I'm sure that channeling that amount would have been extremely dangerous and harmful, wouldn't it? Moridin certainly wanted to die, but I wonder if his wasting away was more than the depressive effects that come from losing the ability to touch the source. It's interesting that although Rand doesn't now have the ability to channel, he doesn't seem to feel that he's lost anything.

I seriously doubt that Moridin would still live on somehow in Rand's head. It seems that RJ wanted Rand to live on freely after the last battle, as he was always meant to. Having Moridin in there doesn't really make sense to me thematically.

Sodas
01-31-2013, 02:03 AM
If they had mentally merged, Moridin would have known that Callandor was a trap.

GonzoTheGreat
01-31-2013, 04:40 AM
If they had mentally merged, Moridin would have known that Callandor was a trap.
Yeah, but if, like Rand, he'd been watching Elayne a lot, then he might still have walked into it happily, trusting on "the magical babies" to save him. :D

Terez
01-31-2013, 04:43 AM
If they had mentally merged, Moridin would have known that Callandor was a trap.
They hadn't merged to the point where they could read each other's minds; the merging was more subtle, so that it affected the way they thought and their emotions.

mogi67
01-31-2013, 02:43 PM
I'd have liked to see their bodies merge:cool:

Sodas
02-01-2013, 12:19 AM
Maybe in TPOD and up to the Cleansing, but in AMOL Rand is cunning and jokes around on multiple occations. There is no evidence that Rand suffered from Moridin's poor mood or ability to think clearly.

Even theoretically, Moridin trapped inside Rand's body, unable to know what Rand was thinking, would be pointless. That would be nothing like Isam-Luc.

Rand al'Fain
02-01-2013, 02:21 AM
I thought the ending made it rather obvious that Rand and Moridin simply switched bodies, considering Rand's POV at the end. And noting how one body was failing (Moridin dying in Rand's boy) while the other was slowly getting stronger (Rand in Moridin's body). No soul merging of Rand and Moridin. Though, Moridin probably had influence on Rand's psyche up until the epiphany on Dragonmount (note, the golden aura thingy around Rand's brain when Nynaeve delved him).

And the "2 become 1" was pretty well confirmed by Rand as well (during his talk with Perrin), when he accepted he had been LTT in his past life and the memories of that life are his, along with his current life as Rand al'Thor. Thus, the "2 became 1".

Terez
02-01-2013, 02:26 AM
Maybe in TPOD and up to the Cleansing, but in AMOL Rand is cunning and jokes around on multiple occations. There is no evidence that Rand suffered from Moridin's poor mood or ability to think clearly.
That's because he overcame his Moridin-like tendencies when he had his epiphany. They were still merging, but Rand was winning the battle for control. The most telling signs of the mental merging are after the cleansing.

Terez
02-01-2013, 02:28 AM
Moridin probably had influence on Rand's psyche up until the epiphany on Dragonmount (note, the golden aura thingy around Rand's brain when Nynaeve delved him).
That was the residue of the taint on his brain. The merging was internal.

Sodas
02-02-2013, 12:00 AM
So according to you, Rand could be winning control, but he could never win. Sad.

Rand al'Fain
02-02-2013, 02:26 AM
So according to you, Rand could be winning control, but he could never win. Sad.

Looks like it would kind of go against how it was probably set up by Jordan as well. You know, finally having the weight of the world off of your shoulders and able to ejoy life and love. No worries about dealing with political leaders who (almost) all believe you to be dead, no worriess about leading nations where half are terrified of you and the other half wouldn't mind seeing you beheaded.

I think Jordan set it up so Rand could live his life for once without having to worry about power struggles, madness, and everything else for once. Just him, his horse, and his family (whether or not that includes Tam and a couple other close friends is hard to say).

But I guess some people are just to adamant and want him to suffer more, despite his role in the world as taveren and the Dragon being over with.

GonzoTheGreat
02-02-2013, 03:40 AM
I think Jordan set it up so Rand could live his life for once without having to worry about power struggles, madness, and everything else for once. Just him, his horse, and his family (whether or not that includes Tam and a couple other close friends is hard to say).
When Birgitte and Gaidal Cain got that, they found it to be horribly boring.

Sodas
02-02-2013, 11:51 AM
I still believe too many people wanted Rand to be a Jesus figure and suffer. It didn't play out that way, Rand faked his own death, and now we have to listen to sour grapes about how the series disappointed. It isn't the end that's disappointing, it's that Rand isn't Jesus. Rand wasn't a puppet to be crucified.

Dom
02-02-2013, 01:47 PM
I still believe too many people wanted Rand to be a Jesus figure and suffer. It didn't play out that way, Rand faked his own death, and now we have to listen to sour grapes about how the series disappointed. It isn't the end that's disappointing, it's that Rand isn't Jesus. Rand wasn't a puppet to be crucified.


+1.

RJ warned us long ago not to focus too much on the Jesus/messianic parallels, that he conceived of Rand more in the tradition of cultural Heroes like Arthur, Charlemagne, Gilgamesh etc. than as a religious figure. Many people just didn't listen, and they kept wanting to either see the christian parallels play out more importantly, or focused too much on the "christianized" versions of Arthurian legends (Mallory's notably) when RJ was going more for the older/celtic ones, or was trying to remove the christian varnish placed over the legends a bit.

He did nod a bit to the christian parallels, but a lot of that he placed in the red herrings, no doubt knowing much of his audience was christian and it was extremely familiar stuff they would catch easily and fall for (more easily than by using more "obscure" legends like Roland's Song to fool us. That he meant Rolan to be a red herring possible heroic figure near Faile, and a clue she was still relevant to the Horn story arc went over the head of most readers even though Roland and Olivier were fairly obvious clues - the real Olivier fails to sound his Horn, though, it's Rolan who does - .. but not quite as obvious to most readers as the repetitions of "three days dead" attached to Nynaeve. The christian elements made good red herrings considering the cultural background of WOT's readers.)

Rand al'Fain
02-02-2013, 02:38 PM
When Birgitte and Gaidal Cain got that, they found it to be horribly boring.

They didn't have the taint of Saiden and the wieght of the entire world resting on what their decisions were. Or being the leader of not only multiple nations (including the Aiel), but the de facto leader of the Light forces (put Elayne in charge so he could focus on Shayol Ghul and make appearances for all of his forces).

Brigitte and Gaidal may have found it boring, but Rand's last two lives were pretty much hell on earth. First he goes insane and slaughters all of his friends and family as LTT, is given a moment of sanity, sees what he had done, and kills himself by making Dragonmount. As Rand, he goes from a simple, yet otherwise happy life in the Two Rivers to being the most powerful person on Earth in the span of less than 2 years. Throw in madness, numerous assassination attempts, rebellions, wars, torture, losing his hand and part of his eyesight, and nearly destroying the world due to tainted madness. And probably a fw other things that are not on here as well.

Yeah, I'd be pretty happy to return to a simple life after all of that.

The Unreasoner
02-02-2013, 02:42 PM
I still think Moridin and Rand swapped...and Moridin died. Dead. Dead as a doornail. Dead.
Exactly. People still arguing for a merge are grasping at straws.

Rand's blood on the rocks frees men from the Shadow (because it means the death of the last free Forsaken).

GonzoTheGreat
02-03-2013, 04:36 AM
Yeah, I'd be pretty happy to return to a simple life after all of that.
He'll probably enjoy a couple of weeks of vacation, yeah.

Then he'll start adding to his harem again, and when Elayne finds out, he'll have excitement once more. :p

mogi67
02-19-2013, 11:32 AM
+1.

RJ warned us long ago not to focus too much on the Jesus/messianic parallels, that he conceived of Rand more in the tradition of cultural Heroes like Arthur, Charlemagne, Gilgamesh etc. than as a religious figure. Many people just didn't listen, and they kept wanting to either see the christian parallels play out more importantly, or focused too much on the "christianized" versions of Arthurian legends (Mallory's notably) when RJ was going more for the older/celtic ones, or was trying to remove the christian varnish placed over the legends a bit.




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

The Christ parallels are still there, even if Rand did not explicitly die. I think people forget that Jesus didn't die on the cross because of blood loss or asphyxiation - it was after he willingly and consciously gave up his spirit. Similarly, Rand does not perish due to his wounds, but freely hands over his soul to "death" (Moridin)

capnplanet
02-27-2013, 06:13 PM
I don't really see it as an equal relationship; it's kind of like how when Isam is in Isam's body, he's mostly Isam, and vice-versa, except Rand is dominant in Moridin's body, and he's far less aware of the merge than Luc and Isam were.

The only problem I see with Rand being an unreliable narrator and Rand not understanding the connection with Moridin is that he now seems to be able to change the pattern at will.

Rand before Last Battle does not equal Rand after Last Battle. IT would seem that he has a much better understanding of the pattern and it's workings then he did before. Doesn't seem likely he wouldn't know he was sharing a body.

Demon
02-27-2013, 06:15 PM
"Red on black, the Dragon’s blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow"

The Christ parallels are still there, even if Rand did not explicitly die. I think people forget that Jesus didn't die on the cross because of blood loss or asphyxiation - it was after he willingly and consciously gave up his spirit. Similarly, Rand does not perish due to his wounds, but freely hands over his soul to "death" (Moridin)

Or maybe because of that. Not trying to start anything here.

Terez
02-27-2013, 07:02 PM
The only problem I see with Rand being an unreliable narrator and Rand not understanding the connection with Moridin is that he now seems to be able to change the pattern at will.
Just because he can manipulate the Pattern doesn't mean he's omniscient, any more than a dreamwalker is omniscient in Tel'aran'rhiod.

Rand al'Fain
02-28-2013, 02:47 AM
Just because he can manipulate the Pattern doesn't mean he's omniscient, any more than a dreamwalker is omniscient in Tel'aran'rhiod.

Just to be clear on this whole thing, why would Rand, while watching the funeral pyre, think to himself that Moridin is being burned with full honors of the Dragon Reborn in Rand's old body at the end of the chapter?
Would he not know if Moridin is in his head/sharing his body?
Because that part seems pretty blatantly clear that Moridin is dead and his soul has gone back to the soul pool thing after perishing in Rand's body, while Rand gets Moridin's mostly healthy body to start a new life.

Why would there even be a merge thing when Rand's story, except for maybe a cameo or two in an outrigger, is done? To be one of those stupid cliffhangers where you see good triumph or evil, but the evil has really taken over? Somehow, that does not seem like RJ's style to me. Instead, it's more like souls swapped bodies, Rand's soul swapped his battered and beaten body for a healthy body, while Moridin got the beat up body and soon perished.

Not much point except stubborness to really cling to the soul merge theory at this point.

Terez
02-28-2013, 03:45 AM
Just to be clear on this whole thing, why would Rand, while watching the funeral pyre, think to himself that Moridin is being burned with full honors of the Dragon Reborn in Rand's old body at the end of the chapter?
Would he not know if Moridin is in his head/sharing his body?
I've addressed this several times (along with your other questions). The answer is no, and the evidence begins in TPOD. He's never been truly conscious of the link between them, not even after Moridin flat out told him about it in TGS. Why should that be different now?

fionwe1987
02-28-2013, 06:17 AM
I've addressed this several times (along with your other questions). The answer is no, and the evidence begins in TPOD. He's never been truly conscious of the link between them, not even after Moridin flat out told him about it in TGS. Why should that be different now?
Hasn't Brandon said that Moridin got a normal death, and doesn't that prove that he is indeed dead?

Terez
02-28-2013, 07:41 AM
No, Brandon has said that's how he sees it. He's made it clear that RJ left no notes on the subject.

SauceyBlueConfetti
02-28-2013, 09:07 AM
I thought Brandon said Moridin didn't get his final oblivion. Has he been more specific?

To me the merging of their thoughts and even physical responses is not too much more than a form of bonding. The Birgitte/Elayne bond (note this is also a same sex bond) mimics some of this. And sensing/visualizing each other is common even with Rand and his relationships with Perrin and Mat.

Final oblivion comes at the hands of balefire (sometimes) and/or the DO. Moridin died --in Rands body-- because of physical issues/power overload. I took Brandon's comments to mean Moridin's soul is recycled. And given another chance. Which makes more sense in RJ's existing story arcs and overall themes. There is always another chance.

Terez
02-28-2013, 09:14 AM
I thought Brandon said Moridin didn't get his final oblivion. Has he been more specific?
In that case he was speaking of the final death, meaning Moridin never being born again. Nothing happened to cause that.

Final oblivion comes at the hands of balefire (sometimes)
No, balefire does not cause final death.

SauceyBlueConfetti
02-28-2013, 09:39 AM
No, Brandon has said that's how he sees it. He's made it clear that RJ left no notes on the subject.

What are you referring to here then if not the final oblivion Q/A


(Heh. My iPhone is so freaking nerdy. It auto corrected "you" to "thou" Heheh. Should've added a "pray tell" to the end too)

Southpaw2012
02-28-2013, 02:06 PM
I've addressed this several times (along with your other questions). The answer is no, and the evidence begins in TPOD. He's never been truly conscious of the link between them, not even after Moridin flat out told him about it in TGS. Why should that be different now?


He would never know anyways even if he was affected. Like Terez said, he wasn't aware even when Moridin flat out told him. However, even if Moridin does have some type of effect on him it wouldn't matter much except maybe influence the way he views or thinks about certain things. Maybe even less than that in my opinion.

GonzoTheGreat
03-01-2013, 03:12 AM
Another issue is of course that it wasn't Moridin's (Elan Morin's) first body either. What Rand has now is a third hand body.

Weird Harold
03-01-2013, 10:42 AM
Another issue is of course that it wasn't Moridin's (Elan Morin's) first body either. What Rand has now is a third hand body.
Idle curiosity:

Will Rand ever run into anyone who knew the original owner of the body? A 'widow' or children perhaps?

Rand al'Fain
03-01-2013, 11:41 AM
Idle curiosity:

Will Rand ever run into anyone who knew the original owner of the body? A 'widow' or children perhaps?

That's something that also came to me. Or even a DF who escaped the carnage of the last battle who had seen Moridin in that body. Kind of makes you wonder what would happen in such a situation.

The Unreasoner
03-01-2013, 01:42 PM
That's something that also came to me. Or even a DF who escaped the carnage of the last battle who had seen Moridin in that body. Kind of makes you wonder what would happen in such a situation.
Or even some Joe Randlander who watched Moridin commit some atrocity or other, and names him Darkfriend.

SauceyBlueConfetti
03-01-2013, 02:26 PM
Moridin likely was never really 'seen' by the public in his true (new) form. He took great pains:

TITLE: Crown of Swords
CHAPTER: 20 - Patterns Within Patterns
Sammael stopped, glancing behind them. The watcher stood very still. Swathed in fancloth except for his eyes, he had no worry that he would be seen. Over the years he had learned expertise in many areas Sammael scorned. In some he favored, too.

he wore fancloth, and even a face cover:
TITLE: Crown of Swords
CHAPTER: 20 - Patterns Within Patterns
The watcher smiled crookedly behind his fancloth skulker's mask.


even those who could recognize him...like Perrin...from the retreat from Shayol Ghul in Rand's arms, were few. I tend to lean towards (insert someone's name here, I can't remember who) theory that Rands escape in Moridin's body will be weaseled out of the girls by those who suspect it. And shared on a need to know basis. That would likely encompass most, if not all, of those who would recognize him as a bad guy. Moghedien would be the only possible problem. AND SHE WONT ESCAPE ANYWAY. (see what I did there? I tied together another WHOLE argument)

Weird Harold
03-01-2013, 03:13 PM
That would likely encompass most, if not all, of those who would recognize him as a bad guy.

I was thinking more of someone who knew the original owner; Someone who never associated the body with Moridin or evil.

Of course that assumes that the original owner hadn't been a re-veiled Aiel or generally all-round rotten DF.

GonzoTheGreat
03-01-2013, 04:24 PM
I like the idea that he's gonna get hit by a lawyer for alimony payments plus interest.

The Unreasoner
03-01-2013, 05:30 PM
I like the idea that he's gonna get hit by a lawyer for alimony payments plus interest.
That would be quite amusing, especially since he will have kids that do not have his DNA, and kids who are not his will have his DNA.

Wonder how that would play in court.

Hugin "Poppa" Cauthon
03-02-2013, 12:59 AM
I just read through this entire thread in one go.

I can't believe you guys kept ignoring Terez's answers and re-asking the same questions. At least try to refute the answer. You sound like politicians.

I also can't believe no one mentioned this once:

The only possible way Rand could have won in the end was to accept that evil is a necessary part of the world - to accept evil, to allow himself to be more dynamic than just a good guy, to accept the duality of man, to... dare I say it... MERGE with the opposing force.

It wasn't even metaphorical - he tried a world without evil and it wasn't the answer. I suppose it's ironic, but the only way for Rand to be at peace is to embrace that evil is within him. The epilogue doesn't give us a whole lot to go on, but the rest of the series constantly shows us that Rand suffers when he thinks he must be all good, and he suffers when he turns bad. It's only after he willingly accepts the merging with Moridin (i.e., purposefully joins himself with Moridin) that he finds peace.

The merge and a happy ending are most definitely NOT mutually exclusive. It's the exact opposite - there would be no happy ending for Rand without the merge. I also like the point that all Forsaken met fitting ends, and nothing fits Moridin better than to carry on as his enemy.

The tricky thing is how it works. I do have trouble seeing it as two personalities in one body. I think that the subtlety Terez mentioned (and quoted) is really that they were truly, completely merging. It's not that Rand just isn't aware of Moridin in his head; it's that Rand and Moridin are now one (good and bad, yin and yang, etc.) - just like how Rand tried to explain that he and LTT were one. Before Rand was willing to accept that he is LTT, he experienced LTT as a voice in his head. When he willfully accepted LTT, things changed.

Anyway, I honestly don't know if I'm actually agreeing with Terez, but Rand and Moridin merged. It's a microcosm of the macrocosm. It has nothing to do with Rand continuing to suffer. It has nothing to do with Jesus. It's about balance and the fact that Rand needed to learn that, without evil, there's no such thing as good.

I can't believe you guys couldn't make me second guess this. Most of these threads have me changing my position on the topic with nearly every counter-argument. This time, except for one or two things Dom said, all the counter-arguments kind of just strengthened my belief in the merge. There was something Cortar said that was good but I can't remember it now and I'm clearly on a rant so I'm not going back to look.

I haven't been a party to Theoryland as long as most of you, so I'm missing the backstory here, but I truly don't understand how Terez's explanation brought up a "people just want Rand to be Jesus" counter. I believe in the merge and I almost stopped reading as soon as I realized Masema was turning Rand into Jesus. I said, "wait... Rand's not supposed to be Jesus, right? I can't have that." (Luckily, it was just crazy old Masema doing his thing.)

I do like the thought that Rand could potentially run into someone who recognizes the body, though. I imagine he would end up having fun with the situation.

Alright, I've run out of steam. I don't know what else to say. Rant over.

Rand al'Fain
03-02-2013, 03:26 AM
Just to point this out, Rand would already have the evil in him without having to merge with a sociopath who was bent on the destruction of everything. Rand, like everyone else, was born human, thereby giving him the same freedoms as all other humans (he would just have a few extra "gifts" to go along with it).

And Rand did learn about balance when he and Shiatan were creating the "what if" worlds. He learned that with no good, people are less than human. And the same thing with no evil. He learned this lesson, went with the best choice (of re-sealing Shaitan) and swapping bodies with Moridin (POVs even state that one life force was fading while the other was growing stronger, in seperate bodies. As well as Rand saying Moridin died in Rand's body). There is no point to him "merging" except to satisfy some people's theories.

Also, Rand made it clear that Moridin was just a peon, as Rand's true nemisis was Shaitan. Always was and had been Shaitan. Moridin was just a vessel to use for a few things.

1. An indirect access to the True Power.
2. A conduit to use all 3 powers to reseal Shaitan.
3. Someone for whom Rand would get a new body from, while seemingly dies. Thus allowing the world to believe him dead (minus a few exceptions) and him to enjoy life. No merge needed.

GonzoTheGreat
03-02-2013, 04:06 AM
That would be quite amusing, especially since he will have kids that do not have his DNA, and kids who are not his will have his DNA.

Wonder how that would play in court.
Bonus points if Moghedien is also pregnant right now.

The Unreasoner
03-02-2013, 01:37 PM
Bonus points if Moghedien is also pregnant right now.
No wonder Rand was in such a hurry to get out of there.


@Hugin
I don't know that we are ignoring Terez so much as just disagreeing with her. It seems intuitively obvious, in any case.

But I'll make a few points:
The whole 'merger' thing is unnecessary, limited, and is not consistent with the theme, though you see otherwise.

I don't see that 'not wanting Rand to be Jesus' equates to 'agreeing with Terez'

Anyway, the theme isn't about having evil, it's about not choosing evil. Evil is necessary in the world, not in the person.

Also there are several points that argue against the merger:
1. Rand didn't mention it, not even as a curiosity. Saying he would not notice feels weak at this 'pipe-lighting'/'DO was never the enemy' juncture. Saying he would not comment is a bit stronger, but just a bit. It seems like something that would have gone through his head when he was running through everything.

2. The best evidence for the merger is Min's viewing, not the 'face one face' quote that has been listed here a thousand times. And, as Min notes, one of them died. Having a soul thread still in the Pattern seems to be impossible.

3. Rand's body didn't seem to exhibit any signs of soullessness

4. This bears repeating: it is absolutely unnecessary

5. The case might be made that (like Logain from the attempted 13x13) Rand has some lingering changes effected by the link while it was in force, but (much like the Asha'man and the Taint) now that the source of the alterations is gone, the process will stop.

Hugin "Poppa" Cauthon
03-02-2013, 07:38 PM
The whole 'merger' thing is unnecessary, limited, and is not consistent with the theme, though you see otherwise.

I don't see that 'not wanting Rand to be Jesus' equates to 'agreeing with Terez'

3. Rand's body didn't seem to exhibit any signs of soullessness

4. This bears repeating: it is [I]absolutely unnecessary


First, I did mean to say that I honestly wasn't sure if I was agreeing with Terez. I think I'm seeing the merge as more of a complete thing. It's not that Moridin's personality is now in Rand, separate from Rand, and potentially capable of influencing Rand as a third-party. I guess it's more of an internalizing of Moridin. Maybe even just of the concept of Moridin. This is more along the lines of what I should've tried to explain when I said, "microcosm of the macrocosm."

I do still see it as in line with the overall theme. I never meant to imply that Rand was devoid of evil-nature up until the merge (okay, I'll say "internalization" from now on). What I wanted to suggest was that Rand wasn't truly accepting the necessity of having evil within (and, yes, within each and every human - not just generally "in the world") until the DO proved it to him. Then, to drive home the point that Rand had finally accepted this all-important duality, he accepted the "evil" body as his own, and internalized Moridin. (Even as I explain this, I realize I'm moving more toward an internalization of the concept of Moridin than the personality.)

Anyway, in this way, I can still see Shaitan as Rand's true nemesis - but I see Moridin as the tangible, human, counterpart (after all, Rand's human, right?). Perhaps we could look at it as Rand learned his lesson about evil in the world from Shaitan, and then applied it to the microcosm of evil in the individual by internalizing the concept (or, maybe, essence) of Moridin.

Second, I guess this is the lesson I learn from letting myself rant... I did not explain things well.

Third, Unreasoner, is your #4 (above) stating that your #3 is necessary? If so, I guess I would like to say that by internalizing the essence/concept of Moridin, Rand doesn't need Moridin's soul. But, then, I'm pretty much saying that they didn't actually merge, Rand just accepted that, as a human, he needs to have both good and bad tendencies. So... maybe I'm agreeing with you now. Yay! I prefer when these conversations make me second guess myself. I know for sure that I'm not as familiar with any aspect of this series as most of you are. I started it only about a year and a half ago and I'm still only halfway through my first re-read. Plus, the whole point of my name is that I want to think about everything from all sides (hence the "Hugin" being the one of Odin's ravens who represents 'thought' - as opposed to 'memory' - and the rest being an homage to Abel Cauthon).

But, really, I think I just realized that I actually am agreeing with Terez in that it's ambiguous. I like the idea of a physical/psychical (whatever) merging of the two as a parallel to the higher-level internalization of evil that Rand went through vs. Shaitan. But I seem to be leaning toward a more abstract internalization that, I concede, does not require the merge. I do still think the possible merge/internalization would be a nice touch - and I admit that even though both you and al'Fain finally made me think about it more from the other side, I'm still not convinced that there was absolutely no merge whatsoever with any part of Moridin on any level.

And, fourth, to me, the "one who dies" is The Dragon. Especially considering that Alivia in no way helped Rand die, yet Min said, "she will help you die" (talking to Rand al'Thor - the Dragon Reborn). And, in this way, I definitely am agreeing with Terez that the line about "just Rand" waking up is about him no longer being the Dragon. LTT doesn't even factor into that line because Rand had already accepted that he is LTT. That also emphasizes the importance of Rand's accepting of these things being the key (not his simply having them, his willing acceptance of them). And this goes with you're tweak of my theme. It's not about having evil it's about accepting that it's there and that the choice is yours (for each individual person, which, I guess, is where I just have to agree to disagree with your point).

I hope that explains it a little better. I feel like there's a disconnect between a lot of the arguments in the sense that, I don't think we're all talking about the merge/internalization on the same metaphorical (I guess) level. It kind of boils down to your idea of what constitutes 'identity' (i.e., does the merge mean that two personalities are now at odds inside Rand, or that Moridin's ideas are now part of Rand's way of thinking, or that Rand just accepted in himself what he fought against in Moridin, or any number of things). I don't think I'm explaining this point well, but I'll leave it anyway. I will say that I consider merging as "becoming one" (like if you merge two cells in a spreadsheet), which, to me, most definitely allows for a Rand/Moridin merge that result is "just Rand al'Thor" (especially since, sometimes, when merging spreadsheet cells, you get a warning that says something like, "only the content in the first cell will be retained" - Rand's the first cell and he already had some of the content that was in the Moridin cell, but now they're one cell and Rand carries on). Okay, now I'm sure I'm not explaining things well. I should take a nap.

The Unreasoner
03-02-2013, 08:22 PM
4. is saying that the merger is unnecessary. The story doesn't need it. It's independent of 3.


And I think you are extrapolating a bit too far with Alivia. We have learned that there is some error (or sense of error) in the reporting of that viewing. But you seem to be rejecting that the viewing even exists.

If you are saying that the 'one who dies' is the Dragon, who is it that's left? Moridin? Rand? Remember how hard (and harshly) Terez argued for the notion that Rand and the Dragon were one, and re-evaluate how you interpret this issue.

I'm not saying Moridin effected no change. And it was probably closer to Logain post-13x13 attempt than, say, Perrin after Dumai's Wells (by which I mean: a lasting, serious change rather than an unpleasant learning experience).

If there was any merge, it is probably something closer to 'Moridin's body merges with Rand's soul'. A bodyswap is a merger depending on scope, and Min only viewed Rand (not to mention we have learned about possible errors in reporting).

The macrocosm you speak of just had the embodiment of all evil temporarily banished outside of reality, so I'm not sure what you mean there.

And lastly, if some part of Moridin remains in Rand (other than his body)...some part of Moridin remains in Rand. And if (as you seem to be at least allowing) it is not his mind or his soul, what is it?

You rebuke us for not addressing your concerns. I am trying to, in good faith. But to do my job better, I must see your position clearer.

Dom
03-03-2013, 07:02 AM
I guess it's more of an internalizing of Moridin. Maybe even just of the concept of Moridin.

The problem then is with presenting Moridin as a fitting microcosm or human counterpart of Shai'tan. Moridin is rather the dark mirror of LTT.

Thematically this isn't working. Moridin in the end proved to be just as much an antithesis of his Master as Rand was. While Rand toyed with killing the DO and creating a world without Him, Moridin sought The End of Everything. In between those two human extremes and delusions stood the choice between the DO and Creator: the "Illusion" of Shai'tan, his world without any free will and the continuation of the Creator's design.

Moridin embodied Oblivion/nihilism and rejection of Life which he saw as "a prison for the souls". He embraced Shai'tan's cause on a false promise that Shai'tan would bring an end to everything, a promise Rand discovered Shai'tan never had any intent to fulfill.

The whole thematic idea behind the "merging" of Rand and Moridin did not play out in the ending, it played out during Rand's epiphany. This marked the moment of Rand's rejection of Moridin's beliefs, triumphing over the pains of his life (lives) to find again the desire to see the Pattern go on. Rand rejected Moridin's nihilism and his "darkness". Their final encounter before the confrontation turned the tables on the one in TGS and showed Rand as the dominant side. The temptation of oblivion became since the Epiphany remote, distant, not very significant.

Rand's challenge in the ending was rather to reject this utopia of a Creation without Shai'tan, which was simply a mirror of Shai'tan's plans, as devoid of free will, and ironically either was precisely a Pattern functioning as a Prison and fitting the worldview of Elan Morin.

A good question (and one we won't ever have the final answer for as RJ left no notes on this) is if Moridin, after Rand returned to reality and sealed back Shai'tan, gained some knowledge from Rand that the worldview of a Creation devoid of free will, meaningless, with humans puppets for a Deity his philosophy first exposed then the Bore allowed to transform into a crusade was actually Shai'tan...

I think Elan Morin probably did understand in the end. I prefer to see it that way, notably because Elan choosing the dying body to get the only oblivion he can, physical death and the wiping of Elan Morin's memories, while Rand chose to inhabit the body that could live works much better for me than having Rand alone switching body and "pushing" Moridin's soul in the other.

The great irony and paradox of WOT was that Shai'tan was opposed by a man who had lead and deeply believed in a society that aimed for perfection and had convinced itself it had eradicated evil while He was served by a man who was in truth, philosophically and intellectually, his greatest adversary but having been lied to didn't realize it. Elan Morin's big mistake was to have extrapolated from his Age's "comfortable stasis" a Pattern that functioned as a prison than proceeded to embrace the Deity that would bring about just such a world.

After defeating the temptation of Elan Morin's nihilism at Dragonmount, Rand had to defeat at SG the temptation brought by his integration with LTT: this AOL longing for an utopian "perfect world". In the end, the "Rand side" triumphed. It triumphed over Shai'tan, it triumphed over both Elan Morin and Lews Therin.

The only "integration" of Moridin Rand experienced was what the Aiel called "embracing Death". He no longer feared death, but unlike Moridin he didn't wish it either. It's not about Good vs. Evil, it was about Free Will vs. being puppets. Moridin wasn't the embodiment of Evil and Rand doesn't need to be "merged" with him to integrate the possibility of evil which is present in everything and everyone; Moridin just didn't realize the Creator's vision was what granted him the possibility of the choices he had made, and that his illusion of oblivion would actually annihilate free will, first depriving humanity of it completely to ultimately destroy his own free will, just as certainly as Rand/LTT's illusion of "a perfect world without Evil" did.

In the end, Rand left them both behind. He was "just Rand" again. It doesn't matter if it meant or not he had lost LTT's memories (I personally believe he lost them, ie: they're now just memories of memories and they'll fade like Birgitte's, by switching body, whatever barrier the Taint had destroyed or whatever pathways to his past life's memories it had bridged was on Rand's physical brain, and Moridin didn't have that on his) or if it just meant he was leaving the Dragon behind, as thematically he left both LTT's ideals behind (he had planted the seed for a "new AOL" with the Peace of the Dragon then by riding away and letting the "Dragon" die he left the world to its own devices and choices), and Moridin's beliefs behind. He had opened a world of possibilities for himself again. He's gone from being as poweful ta'veren the most constrained soul in the Pattern to having as near complete freedom as being alive in Creation can allow, and with knowledge that it is so. He could see the world as a 20 years old again, a world in which to love, a life determined by his choices, a world to discover with new eyes and in which to build his own happiness and path.

Sure, by the end of the confrontation Rand has embraced the Augustine view that there can be no Good without the possibility of Evil to define it and without the possibility of choosing to be good instead of bad, but that's nothing he gained from Moridin. All he gained and retained from Elan Morin is during the confrontation the conviction that a world without free will is meaningless and evil. That Elan Morin was right about, but only that.

The souls of Moridin and Rand were always connected, and for a while they touched, and in future lives they'll be connected again (Brandon strongly hinted their relationship isn't dissimilar to Birgitte-Gaidal). As Rand "rode away in the sunset", the two souls had gone their own ways again, one choosing death and the boon of a wiped slate and memories and the other life and memories, switching bodies to make it happen.

Hugin "Poppa" Cauthon
03-04-2013, 03:24 PM
Unreasoner and Dom, I'm really looking forward to reading your replies. Since I got myself into it, I want to see the conversation through. But this is gonna totally screw up my position...

I randomly realized last night that the idea of those two merging never even crossed my mind until I read this thread. I guess I just read it at a moment that I really needed to argue something (anything). I do enjoy the discussion, though. So I will try to make sense out myself and both sides of the argument and come back with something as soon as I can.

Thanks for continuing the debate.

P.S. it's very possible that my comment about ignoring Terez's answers was based on some posts from people who came into the middle of the conversation without seeing that she had already addressed the particular questions (i.e., I swear my comment was based on at least one specific post and I don't think it was either of you). I'll look through the posts and try to get a hold of that. Even though I'm the one who brought it up, it would be nice to get passed it, since it wasn't at all a productive comment on my part.

Anyway, even though I walked into this conversation without my head on straight, I'm enjoying it and I hope it's not just annoying for you guys. I'll be back!

Almen Bundt Cake
03-05-2013, 10:08 AM
Taking nothing away from the quality analysis in this thread, does anyone else find it hard to square the idea of "free will" with a Pattern that produces Ta'veren, demands balance, and spins souls out over and over again to live very similar lives?

How much free will do Birgitte and Gaidal have? Rand and Ishy? Aren't they bound together by the wheel?

GonzoTheGreat
03-05-2013, 10:32 AM
I think that the "demands balance" thing is rather overrated.
The main reason why souls which are spun out again and again to live the same kind of lives (almost) each time is that they tend to make the same kind of choices in each life.

Weiramon
03-05-2013, 11:13 AM
That's something that also came to me. Or even a DF who escaped the carnage of the last battle who had seen Moridin in that body. Kind of makes you wonder what would happen in such a situation.

Bah, you make it sound as though some Friend . . . I mean Darkfriend . . . met with this Moridin fellow, but is now unaccounted for. Ridiculous!

Hugin "Poppa" Cauthon
03-05-2013, 03:14 PM
I just read Dom's reply and I think you have turned me (note that I didn't use a capital 'Turned'). The key being that you pointed out Elan as representative of the third option - DO's world, Creator's world, Oblivion.

I also really like the idea of Elan choosing the dying body. I suppose it fits with the theme of "just desserts" in the sense that he wanted oblivion (absence of anything, including 'choice') but, in the end, his fate required for him to choose something. (This is a stretch, but whatever.)

I also like the thought that, for how jealous so many of the Forsaken were, he didn't seem all that jealous (i.e., it wasn't about having what LTT has, for him, it was about his own goals), yet he was the one who gets the hero's death. I also really like Elan's character(s) in the series, in general.

So, I do quit after all. Ha! (And just won't have time in the next couple weeks to prepare an argument strong enough to make it worth your consideration.)

The only point I would still argue is that I think "Free Will vs. Puppetness" is connected to "Good vs. Evil" in the sense that Rand did need to accept the necessity for both options before he could understand that Free Will is the answer. (And, remember, I'm not saying there was no evil, I'm saying that on a very general level, Rand still believed he needed to eradicate it completely.) He was trying so hard to protect everyone, and letting it get to him too much when he couldn't, that he was sort of trying to live that "no-DO" world before the DO proved that it wasn't the answer. But, to act like there's only one way (good or evil) is to remove the ability to choose - as Rand learned from the DO and Egwene at the end.

Hugin "Poppa" Cauthon
03-05-2013, 03:56 PM
4. is saying that the merger is unnecessary. The story doesn't need it. It's independent of 3.
I agree that the merger is unnecessary. I would like it to have happened in some way (but you're right that the more I try to figure out how, the less likely it seems to be.) Thanks for clearing that up.


And I think you are extrapolating a bit too far with Alivia. We have learned that there is some error (or sense of error) in the reporting of that viewing. But you seem to be rejecting that the viewing even exists.
The viewing exists. Min had it. However, Rand did not die at the end and, unless I'm misremembering something, as far as we know, Alivia had nothing to do with even the death of Rand's body or with convincing the world that Rand died. She put stuff in his secret tent so he could sneak away unnoticed. I suppose you could argue that by supplying him with things he would've otherwise had to get himself, she kept people from seeing him- but even then, very few people would've seen Moridin's body and thought, "Oh, Rand's not dead."

So, the only ways I can see for Min's viewing to work are (1) simply by saying that X will help Rand die, Min convinced everyone that Rand would die (because when she knows, she knows) and the only help there that X did was to be the one named in the viewing (which is why I'm using a variable instead of Alivia's name - this could've been anyone); or, (2) Min just said Alivia will help "you" die, to Rand, when he was still using the Dragon persona. In the case of #2, the Dragon persona died because Rand no longer had to live that way - he just gets to be Rand now. To bring this back to Moridin, either of those explanations still allows for ambiguity (i.e., the way I see the merge, the merge could still happen, but it is not necessary).

If you are saying that the 'one who dies' is the Dragon, who is it that's left? Moridin? Rand? Remember how hard (and harshly) Terez argued for the notion that Rand and the Dragon were one, and re-evaluate how you interpret this issue.
Rand. I guess this is semantic, similar to my argument about Alivia. I see Rand as the person, and The Dragon as a title. Maybe I'm not in-line with Terez there, but my goal wasn't to just agree with her. So, that's fine.


The macrocosm you speak of just had the embodiment of all evil temporarily banished outside of reality, so I'm not sure what you mean there.
I meant it more generally as the macrocosm being "overall theme" of the story and the microcosm being "this moment/scene." Or, "on the level of DO/Creator" vs. "on the level of humans." I didn't mean to specify any of the worlds that Rand & Shaitan showed each other. That was probably my least-explained point; so, sorry for the confusion.

And lastly, if some part of Moridin remains in Rand (other than his body)...some part of Moridin remains in Rand. And if (as you seem to be at least allowing) it is not his mind or his soul, what is it?
Yup. That's where I really break down. It's like studying epistemology - the harder you try to truly define "knowledge," the more you realize it doesn't exist. To the best of my argument, I'd have to say "his influence?" Ha. Yeah, that's the best I got.

So, to see my position clearer is to see that my position is poorly defined. And that's what happens when a person rants instead of doing the research first. Thanks for going along with it though! All in all, I'd say you guys win. Maybe next time, Mr. Cauthon... maybe next time.

Sukoto
03-05-2013, 04:31 PM
Alivia is one of the more annoying characters in the series. Mysterious background, uber powerful, part of the inner circle. But it all turned out to be hype. Annoying.

You're telling me no one else could have gotten Rand some gold and supplies? Alivia was the only one trustworthy enough? Is Alivia officially in on the secret, then? What's the point of Alivia again? Annoying.

Ishara
03-07-2013, 08:37 PM
Sure, but not everything mentioned in the series was meant to be super significant. Take the Ayaad. It was hyped up to be a huge deal - and it was, I guess - but it underwhelmed a lot people too. Red herrings are disappointing sure, but to be expected.

Terez
03-08-2013, 01:44 PM
I think Elan Morin probably did understand in the end. I prefer to see it that way, notably because Elan choosing the dying body to get the only oblivion he can, physical death and the wiping of Elan Morin's memories, while Rand chose to inhabit the body that could live works much better for me than having Rand alone switching body and "pushing" Moridin's soul in the other.
I prefer to see their threads as being inseparable until both are dead. That way the merge becomes more significant; it wasn't just a test, a problem that could have been solved in some other way (as the idea of the 'swap' requires), but a permanent problem that Rand surmounted in the only way possible.