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View Full Version : Rand vs DO, the oval ring, AS "composure", and a missed opportunity...


EvilChani
04-09-2013, 04:34 PM
I write a WoT fic, one set in an alternate universe/mirror world (so I don't take a huge crap all over what has been written), and have been outlining the ending sequences. It got me thinking about how the final battle actually went down in aMoL...

I really think that BS (or, possibly, RJ, if he was the one who detailed how things were supposed to happen) missed a huge opportunity to tie a few things together. I'll try to make this short, but brevity has never been my strong point...

Even now that the series is done, the WT's final testing for a woman to become a full sister seems stupid and little more than a way for Sitters to abuse initiates they do not like. The weaves are stupid and pointless (though Nynaeve managed to find a use for many of them in her test, that is simply a testament to her ingenuity rather than a sign that the overly complex weaves have some real use), the "keep your cool" thing is needless, really, and little more than a final test to make sure the initiate can behave like an arrogant, know-it-all, emotionless, inhuman asswipe even when her world is falling apart. The Tower has, for as long as anyone can remember, used the oval ring for this purpose. But what if there were another purpose, one that actually can come in handy when the Dragon and the DO are having their little showdown? And what if Nynaeve actually found that purpose when she basically broke the test by overcoming the Compulsion she was under (their little 'weave' at the beginning of the test to screw with her memory) and managing to, for all intents and purposes, defeat those who were 'controlling' her reality?

Let's look at what Rand and the DO did during their little battle, before Rand finally escaped back into the real world and locked up the DO. What if, instead of them simply weaving realities to show each other what 'could' be, they had actually been changing the real world? Almost as though they had turned the 'real' world into their own little TAR...or, more to the point, the situations they created became reality for the people in it. Much like what happens when an AS is tested via the oval ring. Someone like Nynaeve, who was able to overcome the Compulsion she was under, who was able to bend the rules by sheer force of will (she did this in her Accepted testing as well), or someone like Egwene or Perrin (who are supposed to be Gods of TAR), might be the only thing(s) able to keep the world 'grounded' in the true reality.

Now, whoever died in those false realities would be dead in the 'real' world, much like if someone dies in TAR, but it would definitely have made the AS test a lot more important. It would have also made the trademark 'Two Rivers stubbornness' a huge factor in the Last Battle, since it seems that they are the ones who are able to break the rules everyone has always claimed to be unbreakable.

I don't know. The never-ending battle scenes were all well and good, but it might have been cool if Verin's worlds about the Final Battle not being what Rand thought it would be had applied to everyone else as well. Everyone was gearing up to battle Shadowspawn and such, not preparing for their world to be altered. I can't help but wonder how much more interesting the Final Battle would have been if the people in the world were being forced to experience the Rand vs DO showdown. Your average everyday person would likely succumb to whatever happened to them, and some of them would have died or been turned into drooling idiots like Mesaana. But the AS, especially the ones who had training in TAR (and those like Nyn - Egwene, and Elayne, whose tests would likely mirror Nyn's due to their training), and even the Asha'man (who are used to fighting saidin and some of them, like Logain, would have fought it as well) would have likely been able to protect groups of people, or areas, and keep them rooted in reality. And, if the people remembered what had happened to them, and to the world, they would have had lessons they would not soon forget.

/end babbling

GonzoTheGreat
04-10-2013, 03:09 AM
Good idea. How are you gonna convince Brandon to use this version of the ending in the next print of AMoL?

Master Ablar
04-13-2013, 12:38 PM
Good idea. How are you gonna convince Brandon to use this version of the ending in the next print of AMoL?

Blackmail. And alcohol. Lots of alcohol

Garak
04-14-2013, 01:05 AM
I like your idea, EvilChani, but I think the problem with it is that if it was executed poorly, it would render everything in the previous thirteen novels meaningless. If reality is changed, then so is the history of the new reality. It also begs the question of why Rand should be the one to choose what reality looks like in the end. (I'm assuming that the results of the battle are permanent in your scenario).


If reality can be changed by force of will alone, then shouldn't the shape of reality be determined by consensus?

I'd like to see your WOT fanfic sometime. A friend of mine did a pretty cool one set 1000 after TG with the world progressed to a state of modern day technology.

EvilChani
04-25-2013, 04:07 PM
I like your idea, EvilChani, but I think the problem with it is that if it was executed poorly, it would render everything in the previous thirteen novels meaningless. If reality is changed, then so is the history of the new reality. It also begs the question of why Rand should be the one to choose what reality looks like in the end. (I'm assuming that the results of the battle are permanent in your scenario).

There is no "new" reality. Reality would still be there, provided the DO doesn't win, of course, and it would 'return' once Rand and the DO stopped playing the Architect game and altering the world to 'show' certain things. Look at it this way...

Demandred is doing his little batcrap crazy dance, yelling for Lews Therin, Egwene is decimating Fades and Trollocs right and left with her little Godmode Wand. Meanwhile, Rand decides to, say, show a possible world where the Light won and blah blah blah. BOOM! All of a sudden, Demandred goes from running around all nutzoid to, say, being dressed in a tutu performing a dance to entertain Tuon, Egwene is planning a war against the BT to get the Asha'man all bonded, Logain is having a threesome with Toveine and Gabrelle, and some random farmer in Murandy is being attacked by Andorans who want his land because "Queen Elayne" is building quite the empire and her subjects figure that means they can take what they want as well.

Now, that random farmer is not going to understand and become 'lost in the moment' (much like Nynaeve was supposed to become 'lost' in her testing except for whatever orders they had given her). So, at first everyone may become lost in the moment, so to speak. Then BAM! The world shifts again when Rand 'dissolves' the possible world he created and all of a sudden they're back on the battlefield fighting each other. Your average, everyday person is going to be extremely disoriented. They'll remember what just happened and that something bizarre is going on. A lot of them could die if they get hit during this little adjustment period. The ones who survive just begin to gain their wits and BOOM! The DO makes a possible world to show Rand...

All of a sudden, Nyn is a dreadlord, Egwene is the Nae'blis, the WT and BT are all evil and force people into submission, Darkfriends are in charge, and everyone is at their mercies. Now, again, your average schmuck is going to be 'in the moment' and lose themselves in their parts, but someone like Nyn, who stubbornly knows who she is and has already beaten a test that is quite similar to this, would come to her senses and realize what was going on, or at least refuse to play along with the scenario anymore (and yes, egghead too...blech).

Even your average AS might lose themselves in it (unless they had 'trouble' during their testing or were extremely strong-willed like Cadsuane). But those who had the strongest wills, and who were not so easily manipulated (Nyn, the rest of the TR crew, Caddy, Logain, etc) would know something was up, possibly figure out that it might be a side effect of Rand battling the DO, and then attempt to hold everyone together and help them stay rooted in 'reality', so to speak. That way, when the world shifted again, they may be more prepared and wouldn't be so disoriented.

Given that the DO's real goal seemed to be to get everyone hopeless so they wouldn't resist (mainly Rand, since if he gives into despair he'd doom the world to 'no choice' either with or without the DO), this would be perfect. How many people would just give up when they saw what they could become or got thrown into one too many realities that sucked balls? On the other end of the spectrum, how much more likely would people be to fight for the right to choose their own path if they saw how pointless and horrible life would be if either good or evil were forced upon them with no choice in the matter? How much more would they respect Rand for showing it to them?

While the whole ordeal might ruin/kill/drive crazy some people, it would make others stronger. It would have made the hard training for the Asha'man much more useful, and would have made the AS test make a little more sense (and show us that they've been doing it wrong all along...submitting in it is NOT the way to go, and the people who have trained in TAR - Nyn, Egwene, Elayne, the WOs, etc - would be the ones leading). And Cyndane could've shined if she could manipulate even the tiniest area to her whims during the 'simulations'.

Now, the kicker to all of this is that if you get killed during the simulation worlds, you're dead (much like how, if you get killed in TAR, you're dead). The number of Shadowspawn becomes a bit less important because, in the game they're playing (Rand, unwittingly, until the end, when he realizes this crap is really happening and he has to put an end to it once and for all) because, in some cases, you have good guys fighting good guys because that's the situation they are placed in. You have good guys giving up after a simulation, you have armies too paralyzed to move (including some in Demandred's Sharan army). It's mass confusion and chaos, held together only by the select few who can keep their heads, and those are the ones that the Forsaken would focus on for destruction when they were between sims....

If reality can be changed by force of will alone, then shouldn't the shape of reality be determined by consensus?

Not when the only ones able to truly alter it, during this time, are Rand and the DO. Everyone else is just forced to hang onto themselves, so to speak, and not got lost in the shuffle. When they stop playing their game, the world is returned to what it was before the sim started (any change that occurs between sims, like Taim being killed and Egwene dying, is still in effect).

But you saying it should be determined by consensus is funny, even though that isn't where I was going with this. I mean, think about it...remember how long it took the Aes Sedai to be able to handle themselves even halfway decent in TAR when Nyn and Elayne were training them? They almost died in there because they couldn't control their thoughts. In the scenario I'm talking about, Rand or the DO creates the reality....the people in it are not really going to be able to fight it unless they understand what's going on, and even then they can only control themselves (Nyn channeling before she reached the arch in the test, despite the Compulsion is a good example) and attempt to reason with others to do the same (Elayne pleading with the AS in TAR to just stop thinking what they were thinking).

I'd like to see your WOT fanfic sometime. A friend of mine did a pretty cool one set 1000 after TG with the world progressed to a state of modern day technology.

It's on fanfic.net (along with a few Nyn/Lan fics to fill in parts of their romance...and don't laugh, I thought it was needed!). If you want a link, let me know.