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View Full Version : Ending of Light and Shadow chapter question (spoilers)


Southpaw2012
02-14-2013, 02:34 PM
What does, "He understood, finally, that the Dark One was not the enemy. It never had been." ???

Weird Harold
02-14-2013, 03:12 PM
What does, "He understood, finally, that the Dark One was not the enemy. It never had been." ???
The preceding paragraph answers your question:

He wove something majestic, a pattern of interlaced saidar and saidin in their pure forms. Not Fire, not Spirit, not Water, not Earth, not Air. Purity. Light itself. This didn’t repair, it didn’t patch, it forged anew.


With this new form of the Power, Rand pulled together the rent that had been made here long ago by foolish men.


He understood, finally, that the Dark One was not the enemy. It never had been.


The DO just IS; it was the "foolish men" who "made the rent" and those who sought power for power's sake who were the "enemy."

Dom
02-14-2013, 04:00 PM
The DO just IS; it was the "foolish men" who "made the rent" and those who sought power for power's sake who were the "enemy."

I'm not sure I agree.

I rather interpreted Rand's comment as a final criticism of the previous Age's foolish quest to remove human nature from humanity, to reach "perfection".

Thematically, one might say the AOLers had become obsessed with creating an utopian world not so different from the one Rand himself imagined to show the DO a world without him, except in the AOL many things were simply.. hidden. It was a world where 3% of the population were the solution to almost everything, the main creators, the sole area of real innovation. They controlled the technology, controlled the source of Energy, removed most difficulties and hardships before they became problems.

A soft tyranny, a soft totalitarianism but still... humanity must have been facing less and less actual choices toward the end of that ages, and the choices left were more and more trivial, self-centered.

The AOL was still a far cry from "perfection" and stasis, but we know it was a highly hierarchic society, with a proper place for everyone, that sought to remove all remaining imperfections.. and most choices. Beidomon's project is just typical of the mentality, I would guess. The likes of Mierin no longer saw in saidin/saidar and their complementary nature a natural balance but a limitation, some imperfection to solve.

In a way, their quest is much like trying to eradicate sex and the biological necessities for men and women to form families.

Rand,with LTT's memories, came to admire the Third Age people deeply. And he seems to think they live fuller lives, better lives, than they did back in the AOL.

I would say he realized the return of Shai'tan had been necessary and he made his peace with that, found out that this obsession with a world without any evil, hardships, pain, sorrows, challenges.. which the AOL had come too close to, had been the real enemy. It's fine ideals and a big temptation, but the AOL had brought this so far it no longer was a matter of choice. Even criminality got dealt with not by reforming people but by simply removing their choice to be evil. And we saw the results... when Shai'tan arrived on the scene, 50% of AS went to his side. These people had lost their ethical compass, mostly just served their own interests within the very narrow confines their society still left them. Shai'tan widened their possibilities, and they blindly just followed.

The drilling of the Bore was only a cause and symptom of that AOL mentality.

The real enemy was the whole Age of Utopia where Man sought to eradicate almost everything that makes humanity.

Rand's "ideal world" was nothing else but the perfected, final realization of the AOL's utopia, one where evil was truly removed, not just artificially removed or hidden. A world of mindless puppets.

Southpaw2012
02-14-2013, 05:29 PM
Another thing I've always wondered about. Moridin throwing a knife to kill Alanna? For some reason I just never imagined Moridin being able to throw a knife like that haha unless that was Brandon's idea.

Weird Harold
02-14-2013, 05:48 PM
I'm not sure I agree.

I rather interpreted Rand's comment as a final criticism of the previous Age's foolish quest to remove human nature from humanity, to reach "perfection".

The context implies that "foolish men" were the 'enemy' rather than the DO. But I don't see "foolish men" encompassing the entire AOL. Rand was immediately concerned with removing the DO's influence from the Pattern, but he came to the realization that the evil in the world was purely human rather than being caused by the DO.

Like many of the themes and memes in the WOT, Rand's final judgement of the DO has multiple possible meanings. Rand's exchange with Aviendha before the big meeting at Merrilor hints at your interpretation -- but that is separate from the epiphany Rand comes to at the end.

“Thank you,” he said, fetching a towel and tossing it to her. “You would consider most of what we did during the Age of Legends to be crackbrained and irresponsible. That was a different time, Aviendha. There were many more channelers, and we were trained from a young age. We didn’t need to know things like warfare, or how to kill. We had eliminated pain, hunger, suffering, war. Instead, we used the One Power for things that might seem common.

“You’d only assumed that you’d eliminated war,” Aviendha said with a sniff. “You were wrong. Your ignorance left you weak.”

“It did. I can’t decide if I would have changed things, though. There were many good years. Good decades, good centuries. We believed we were living in paradise. Perhaps that was our downfall. We wanted our lives to be perfect, so we ignored imperfections. Problems were magnified through inattention, and war might have become inevitable if the Bore hadn’t ever been made.” He toweled himself dry.

Rand al'Fain
02-15-2013, 03:18 AM
What does, "He understood, finally, that the Dark One was not the enemy. It never had been." ???
The way I figured it is;

Shaitan is the incarnation of the dark side of humanity. The Creator the Light side. Think Yin and Yang, balance, push and pull, Dark and Light, chaos and order.

Basically, the essence of free will. The choice to choose between doing what is right and what is wrong. You take away that choice, then you have someone who is no longer human. Think of Shaitan as a necessary evil.

Great Lord of the Dark
04-07-2014, 07:09 PM
The Dark One had never been the enemy, because he could never make Rand do evil. Only Rand could that himself. This is known by the 'adults' in the story, such as Tam, Lan, Cadsuane, and the Wise Ones, who all know that ultimately only they can choose what happens to them and what they do. Aiel culture is rife with references that what a person chooses to do makes them who they are. Sometimes the choice is between evil and death. Everyone hoped Rand could figure this out before the Last Battle.

When Rand rejects destroying the Dark One, he understands that the Dark One exists as the greedy, selfish part of men, and that his influence is only influence. It is Rand and Rand alone who decides what happens next. As much as he had to stop the Dark One, he also had to stop himself.

Having chosen the path without extremism (killing the Dark One), the embodiment of extremism is easily dispatched by one who has known its touch. Neither Mat nor Rand will ever take prejudiced action against others.

Rand's (and by extension mankind's) enemy has always been himself.