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SauceyBlueConfetti
10-13-2013, 04:12 PM
Liked this bit where Rand is ruminating on Shadowspawn:

Aginor had used people to create the Trollocs and Myrddraal. Was this the fate of some? To be reborn as twisted creations such as this?


Failed Darkfriends ultimate fate? Or is this the death beyond death in Tel`aran`rhiod?

suttree
10-13-2013, 09:01 PM
Well we know once the soul has been twisted it will only be reborn as a trolloc.

Interview: Dec 9th, 2002
Wotmania and Dragonmount Q&A
Question

How does the idea of souls apply to constructs such as Nym and Trollocs? Could either of them be reborn?
Robert Jordan

To whoever put this one forward, this is one of the best questions I've ever gotten! Nym and Trollocs both have souls, and either could be reborn, but since Nym were a pure construct (i.e. each of them was individually made, like hand-crafting) a Nym would not be reborn as a Nym. You might say that a Nym's soul was borrowed temporarily from the supply of souls awaiting rebirth. A Trolloc, however, bears a twisted, or corrupted soul, and would be reborn as a Trolloc. Though frankly, a Trolloc's soul is such a pitiful thing, it hardly seems worth calling a soul.

Zombie Sammael
10-13-2013, 10:16 PM
Sounds like the Darkfriend theory might be right on the money, although where you get that many dead Darkfriends to support such a large population of trollocs is another question.

Weird Harold
10-14-2013, 01:16 AM
Sounds like the Darkfriend theory might be right on the money, although where you get that many dead Darkfriends to support such a large population of trollocs is another question.
Aginor would only need a few dozen to a few hundred victims -- probably NOT DFs -- to create the various types of self-replicating Shadowspawn. The relatively few originals would then breed, drawing from souls waiting to be spun out and letting the Pattern draw on the least desirable souls -- eg Trolloc or shadowspawn souls -- from the "Soul Pool."

It is doubtful that there are only enough souls available for population peak of the most populous Age. Some souls, like Trolloc Souls, are probably only needed or spun out during the end of the Second Age through the Third Age; a few serial killers and other psychopaths in other Ages might wind up with Trolloc Souls, but only one or two at any given time.

Seeker
10-14-2013, 04:30 PM
Here's a thought. Trolloc souls didn't exist until trollocs did.

When a trolloc dies, its soul is simply deleted and never spun out again.

suttree
10-14-2013, 06:04 PM
When a trolloc dies, its soul is simply deleted and never spun out again.

RJ
A Trolloc, however, bears a twisted, or corrupted soul, and would be reborn as a Trolloc.

Seeker
10-14-2013, 06:27 PM
Ah yes.

Good point, Suttree.

Still what do you think happens to them when trollocs go extinct?

Weird Harold
10-14-2013, 07:16 PM
... what do you think happens to them when trollocs go extinct?

When no Trollocs are born, then no Trolloc Souls are spun out -- except for the odd serial killer or psychopath. :rolleyes:

Seeker
10-14-2013, 08:53 PM
When no Trollocs are born, then no Trolloc Souls are spun out -- except for the odd serial killer or psychopath. :rolleyes:

I'm not sure I like that cosmology. For one, it supposes that a serial killer is not the product of his own choices but rather the result of flawed hard-wired programming.

For two, it supposes that the Creator would make broken and twisted souls specifically for there to be trolloc souls. You might note that RJ never said trolloc souls are twisted versions of human souls; people just assumed that because nym souls come out of the human population. But it's possible that no trolloc soul has EVER been born in a human body. (Likely even).

Perhaps the Dark One made trolloc souls? Small pieces of his own essence?

Zombie Sammael
10-14-2013, 10:16 PM
I'm not sure I like that cosmology. For one, it supposes that a serial killer is not the product of his own choices but rather the result of flawed hard-wired programming.

For two, it supposes that the Creator would make broken and twisted souls specifically for there to be trolloc souls. You might note that RJ never said trolloc souls are twisted versions of human souls; people just assumed that because nym souls come out of the human population. But it's possible that no trolloc soul has EVER been born in a human body. (Likely even).

Perhaps the Dark One made trolloc souls? Small pieces of his own essence?

The Dark One doesn't ever really seem to "make" anything, only corrupt and destroy that which he comes into contact with; creation appears to be solely the purview of the Creator. With that in mind, Trolloc souls must be human souls that have been twisted by the Shadow, but also, necessarily, human souls that have come into contact with the Dark One. This means the serial killer/psychopath theory is hard to swallow; a serial killer could go on their rampage without ever having to visit Shayol Ghul, and as for psychopaths, there is not necessarily any reason to expect a psychopath to step outside of social acceptability provided they can see that do so is to their own benefit.

Thus we are left with Darkfriends, and otherwise victims of the Shadow. We know that Aginor twisted human stock, blending it with animal stock, in an attempt to create a perfect soldier. The question is how, and it leads to some rather uncomfortable lines of thinking. Did he physically alter or edit the genetics of those he was experimenting on, or did he create embryos that he then implanted into human females to gestate? Either prospect is horrific, but no doubt most of Aginor's experiments were horrific. The real world might persuade us toward the latter; not only would it be easier to create a "test-tube baby" than to alter the genetic structure of the already-born, but there are real world examples of human scientists attempting to impregnate women with non-human or half-human children, or saying they had; notably Nazi scientists in the second World War told Jewish concentration camp internees that they had been impregnated with half-human, half-chimpanze babies as a method of psychological torture.

With that in mind, it seems more likely that Trolloc souls are souls the Dark One and his servants had their claws into already, rather than the innocent human victims of Aginor's experiments; Darkfriends who failed or turned, or the souls of Grey Men.

Weird Harold
10-14-2013, 11:55 PM
I'm not sure I like that cosmology. For one, it supposes that a serial killer is not the product of his own choices but rather the result of flawed hard-wired programming.

Serial Killers and Psychopaths are suggested with tongue firmly in cheek.

However, it is not for you to like or dislike the Cosmology, only for you to understand the Cosmology RJ wrote; he wrote several unpleasant things into his Cosmology -- his cosmology doesn't work without the unpleasant to balance the roses and sunshine.

For two, it supposes that the Creator would make broken and twisted souls specifically for there to be trolloc souls.

Again, the Cosmology RJ Wrote has a single Creator who created EVERYTHING and set the Wheel Spinning. By RJ's basic premise Trolloc souls are "now and forever since the beginning of time" -- Since Trolloc Souls exist, the Cosmology of circular Time dictates that they always have existed; Which implies that the Creator created them at the same time he created everything else.

We can argue the origin and character of Trolloc Souls in the Real World -- where they obviously don't really exist, but in RJ's Cosmology, they exist and have existed forever.

Weird Harold
10-15-2013, 12:24 AM
With that in mind, Trolloc souls must be human souls that have been twisted by the Shadow, but also, necessarily, human souls that have come into contact with the Dark One.

As Seeker pointed out, RJ never said Trollocs had Human Souls. Personally, I tend to think they are "human souls" but souls with little "humanity" inherent in them.

This means the serial killer/psychopath theory is hard to swallow; a serial killer could go on their rampage without ever having to visit Shayol Ghul, ...

It is only necessary for someone with an "evil soul" or desire to promote evil to visit Shayol Ghul in ages when "Shayol Ghul" exists. The Forsaken all lived centuries before the Bore was opened and it was possible to pledge to the DO. They didn't trade in their souls for "DF Souls," they had "DF Souls" long before it was possible to be a DF.

As noted, the serial killer and psychopath qualifier is largely tongue-in-cheek. However, IF "Trolloc Souls" are spun out in other Ages, (other than between The Bore and T'G,) I'd expect the lack of "humanity" expressed by serial killers, genocidal dictators (and their henchmen) and other psychopaths/sociopaths.


Thus we are left with Darkfriends, and otherwise victims of the Shadow. We know that Aginor twisted human stock, blending it with animal stock, in an attempt to create a perfect soldier.

The Pattern would dictate which humans fell into Aginor's clutches. Being allowed to experiment on condemned prisoners would tend put those with little "humanity" in the path of his experiments -- ie souls he wouldn't have to twist very much at all.

The question is how, and it leads to some rather uncomfortable lines of thinking. Did he physically alter or edit the genetics of those he was experimenting on, or did he create embryos that he then implanted into human females to gestate?

As you suggest, the latter would be the simplest and negate the requirement for Aginor to tamper with or select souls at all.

With that in mind, it seems more likely that Trolloc souls are souls the Dark One and his servants had their claws into already, rather than the innocent human victims of Aginor's experiments; Darkfriends who failed or turned, or the souls of Grey Men.

It is definitely possible for Aginor to receive failed DFs as hiis "innocent" victims -- along with genuine criminals. However, if his tampering was at the cellular level -- before assignment of a soul by the Pattern -- then it makes no difference what the character of his victims might be.

Seeker
10-15-2013, 01:49 AM
Serial Killers and Psychopaths are suggested with tongue firmly in cheek.

However, it is not for you to like or dislike the Cosmology, only for you to understand the Cosmology RJ wrote; he wrote several unpleasant things into his Cosmology -- his cosmology doesn't work without the unpleasant to balance the roses and sunshine.

You're assuming that you've interpreted that cosmology correctly. The man did not say that trolloc souls came from human souls.


Again, the Cosmology RJ Wrote has a single Creator who created EVERYTHING and set the Wheel Spinning. By RJ's basic premise Trolloc souls are "now and forever since the beginning of time" -- Since Trolloc Souls exist, the Cosmology of circular Time dictates that they always have existed; Which implies that the Creator created them at the same time he created everything else.

We can argue the origin and character of Trolloc Souls in the Real World -- where they obviously don't really exist, but in RJ's Cosmology, they exist and have existed forever.

I'm not so sure that's true.

For one thing, it's based on the assumption that trollocs exist in every cycle.

For two, it's based on the assumption that souls are never created or destroyed. We have no proof of that either. Who says new souls don't get added Pattern every now and then. Take any random character... Let's say Basel Gill... Who is to say that this isn't his very first life?

padfoot89
10-15-2013, 03:16 AM
Side question: What happens to souls of those people who wind up being used for Thakandar blades?

Weird Harold
10-15-2013, 04:36 AM
You're assuming that you've interpreted that cosmology correctly. The man did not say that trolloc souls came from human souls.

I grew up with the same pop-culture as RJ and arguments over variations of the Cosmology RJ wrote were just part of growing up in the 60s and 70s.

Whether Trolloc Souls are human souls or something lesser is irrelevant. The fact that Trollocs have souls is straight from RJ, as is the fact they are rather poor excuses for souls.

I'm not so sure that's true.

For one thing, it's based on the assumption that trollocs exist in every cycle.

Trollocs, or something very like them, do exist in every cycle; that's inherent in RJ's assertion that the only difference between past and future is the direction you're facing on the Wheel.

For two, it's based on the assumption that souls are never created or destroyed. We have no proof of that either. Who says new souls don't get added Pattern every now and then. Take any random character... Let's say Basel Gill... Who is to say that this isn't his very first life?

RJ? In the epigraph beginning every novel?

Getting a brand-new soul that was just created -- somehow -- would be a "beginning;" that soul would have no past. But every novel starts with "there are no beginnings in the WOT."

You have to wrap your mind around the circular nature of Time in RJ's Cosmology. In the WOT it isn't just a convenient metaphor, it IS the way the universe works. Your arguments make sense in the linear time the Real World works with, but the WOT doesn't work that way; everything repeats with only minor variations, like a Shakespearean Festival that presents the same seven plays in endless rotation.

GonzoTheGreat
10-15-2013, 05:39 AM
Do Myrddraals have a soul?
We know that they don't dream, and dreaming is somehow tied to the soul. On the other hand, that's definitely not conclusive, only indicative.

Seeker
10-15-2013, 01:40 PM
I grew up with the same pop-culture as RJ and arguments over variations of the Cosmology RJ wrote were just part of growing up in the 60s and 70s.

Whether Trolloc Souls are human souls or something lesser is irrelevant. The fact that Trollocs have souls is straight from RJ, as is the fact they are rather poor excuses for souls.

Right but your original point was that a serial killer might be a trolloc in a human body. I don't think the Wheel would allow that.


Trollocs, or something very like them, do exist in every cycle; that's inherent in RJ's assertion that the only difference between past and future is the direction you're facing on the Wheel.

RJ? In the epigraph beginning every novel?

Getting a brand-new soul that was just created -- somehow -- would be a "beginning;" that soul would have no past. But every novel starts with "there are no beginnings in the WOT."

I don't think "there are no beginnings" was ever meant to be taken quite THAT literally. I mean every birth is a beginning, every death an ending. I'm pretty sure that sentence is meant to illustrate the fact that the universe has always been here and will always be here.

RJ himself said that the ages weren't direct repetitions of each other. The next time the Third Age comes around, we'll see the same motifs (epic struggle between the light and the Dark One, a Chosen One, war and chaos and eventual technological advancement) but the "minor details" will be different. (Different nations, different politics, different souls in key positions (except Rand; he's always the chosen one), possibly different types of shadowspawn)

Weird Harold
10-15-2013, 02:26 PM
Do Myrddraals have a soul?
We know that they don't dream, and dreaming is somehow tied to the soul. On the other hand, that's definitely not conclusive, only indicative.

There is little evidence either way. If pushed, I'd say they probably have a variant of a Trolloc Soul -- IIRC RJ said even animals have souls in his cosmology.

ETA PS: I don't recall any character accusing Mydraal of being "soul-less" as they do grey men or victims of Machin Shin.

Right but your original point was that a serial killer might be a trolloc in a human body. I don't think the Wheel would allow that.

What part of "tongue-in-cheek" don't you understand?

A serial killer or psychopath is, IMHO, what you would get if the Wheel did allow Trolloc Souls in humans but was NOT intended as a serious assertion of "fact."

I don't think "there are no beginnings" was ever meant to be taken quite THAT literally. I mean every birth is a beginning, every death an ending. I'm pretty sure that sentence is meant to illustrate the fact that the universe has always been here and will always be here.

I think that is where you and many others go wrong in understanding the WOT. The opening epigraph in each novel is meant to drive home the point that the WOT literally has no beginnings or endings in the cosmological sense.

Birth and Death in a resurrection based cosmology are NOT beginnings or endings. At best they could be considered scene or costume changes for the soul involved.

RJ himself said that the ages weren't direct repetitions of each other.

No more than every performance of a live stage play is an exact copy of any other performance. In a Cosmology where "the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills" and "The Pattern of the Ages" spins out specific souls to fit specific places in the Pattern--eg Heroes of the Horn--the script for each Age is cast and performed with a precision unmatched by professional actors.

Seeker
10-15-2013, 04:32 PM
What part of "tongue-in-cheek" don't you understand?

A serial killer or psychopath is, IMHO, what you would get if the Wheel did allow Trolloc Souls in humans but was NOT intended as a serious assertion of "fact."

Fair enough.

I think that is where you and many others go wrong in understanding the WOT. The opening epigraph in each novel is meant to drive home the point that the WOT literally has no beginnings or endings in the cosmological sense.

It seems to me that that is only one of several possible interpretations.

Birth and Death in a resurrection based cosmology are NOT beginnings or endings. At best they could be considered scene or costume changes for the soul involved.

That would imply that Rand is Lews Therin, that Rand always was Lews Therin and that they are the exact same person in different "costumes." This is something I agree with.

But I'm betting Gonzo will have a heart attack.


No more than every performance of a live stage play is an exact copy of any other performance. In a Cosmology where "the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills" and "The Pattern of the Ages" spins out specific souls to fit specific places in the Pattern--eg Heroes of the Horn--the script for each Age is cast and performed with a precision unmatched by professional actors.

Again, interpretation. I think that is one valid way to look at the series but it's not necessarily Truth with a capital T.

Weird Harold
10-15-2013, 05:17 PM
...
It seems to me that that is only one of several possible interpretations.

...

Again, interpretation. I think that is one valid way to look at the series but it's not necessarily Truth with a capital T.

The problem with looking for "Truth with a capital T" is that the answer differs within RJ's WOT Cosmology vs "the Real World." All of your arguments and speculations work in the Real World -- or at least plausible. However, the Cosmology of the WOT is a rigidly restricted, even simplistic, Cosmology; IMHO, applying that understanding to cosmological questions about the WOT results in the fewest anomalies.

In many ways, the WOT is "the universe works as the ancients thought it worked." Or "the WOT is our world before the Greeks invented Linear Time and Infinity" -- a sort of "alternate history" but with "alternative metaphysics."

Seeker
10-15-2013, 06:03 PM
The problem with looking for "Truth with a capital T" is that the answer differs within RJ's WOT Cosmology vs "the Real World." All of your arguments and speculations work in the Real World -- or at least plausible. However, the Cosmology of the WOT is a rigidly restricted, even simplistic, Cosmology; IMHO, applying that understanding to cosmological questions about the WOT results in the fewest anomalies.

Okay two things.

First, all of my arguments DON'T work for the real world. By all measurable tests, time is not cyclical in our universe. The closest would be the cyclic universe theory which states that when this universe dies - and we know it will - it will collapse into a new singularity, thus prompting another big bang. However, the new universe will almost certainly look nothing like this one.

Second: what you seem to be missing is that you are not an expert on WOT cosmology (because there can BE no experts on WOT cosmology, not even Maria). All we know is that time is cyclic and that each iteration of an Age forms the same general picture when viewed from afar and becomes subtly different when viewed up close. But what that means in terms of the level of variance is anybody's guess.

I sincerely doubt the next Dragon Reborn will be called Rand al'Thor. In fact, I doubt he will even be called the Dragon Reborn as that is a human concept. Will there be channelers? Yes. Will they be called Aes Sedai? Probably not.

Will the leader of these channelers be the reborn soul of Egwene al'Vere? Possibly but there's no reason it has to be her.

Weird Harold
10-15-2013, 07:12 PM
First, all of my arguments DON'T work for the real world. By all measurable tests, time is not cyclical in our universe.

But your arguments only work if there are beginnings and endings in the WOT -- eg if time is linear (or helical, or spiral, or anything but truly cyclical.)

RJ made it very clear that time in his cosmology is truly circular.

Seeker
10-15-2013, 07:42 PM
He also made it clear that there are variations between each repetition of the same Age, meaning that time CANNOT be truly circular.

The only way to have truly circular time is to have absolutely no variance whatsoever between successive cycles.

GonzoTheGreat
10-16-2013, 04:14 AM
Matt Peck
I asked that as the Wheel turned, each time an Age rolls around, is the Pattern exactly the same each time, or does it change?
Robert Jordan

He seemed to like this question. He likened it to a tapestry. When seen from a distance, each Third Age (to make it easy to track) has exactly the same pattern as the previous Third Age. However, when seen up close, there are differences. Threads are different, different nations exist, geography is different, different personalities rise to prominence. These changes, while minute in the grand scale of the Pattern, affect the Pattern enough so that while two iterations of an Age are almost the same, the first "Third Age" may be wildy different from the hundredth "Third Age".
So, in a sense, time is not truly circular, but more like a spiral. Or maybe like a wheel rolling around inside a slightly larger wheel, so that the total configuration changes a bit with each revolution. Or ...

Weird Harold
10-16-2013, 04:15 AM
He also made it clear that there are variations between each repetition of the same Age, meaning that time CANNOT be truly circular.

Is every ride on a roller coaster exactly the same? Even for contestants who ride continuously for days or weeks?

Is every lap in an auto race exactly the same?

Is the track left by a rolling tire exactly the same?

All of those are rough analogies of "circular time." Each example is something that repeats endlessly -- or seemingly endlessly -- but has slight variations in each repetition.

RJ incorporated the seeming contradiction of Free Will and Predestined Fate; he also incorporated "corrective mechanisms" like ta'veren and HotH to return "Time" to its preprogrammed cycle.

IOW, RJ built his cosmology so that Time was and would remain truly circular. Refusal to admit that RJ created a cosmology that was literally a Wheel of Time denigrates the effort he put into constructing a world that works the way he says it works.

Ishara
10-16-2013, 08:51 AM
I want to go back to something you said above, WH, that twigged a thought:

Again, the Cosmology RJ Wrote has a single Creator who created EVERYTHING and set the Wheel Spinning. By RJ's basic premise Trolloc souls are "now and forever since the beginning of time" -- Since Trolloc Souls exist, the Cosmology of circular Time dictates that they always have existed; Which implies that the Creator created them at the same time he created everything else.

We can argue the origin and character of Trolloc Souls in the Real World -- where they obviously don't really exist, but in RJ's Cosmology, they exist and have existed forever.

I feel like perhaps, while souls were created at the same time as everything else, "Trolloc" souls were not created and set aside for future use. It also doesn't track to say that those souls were first "serial killers and sociopaths" before the creation of trollocs, either. Too many given the population ratios. But what if instead, those twisted and corrupted souls that now go to Trollocs were orginally human souls that became twisted and corrupted - much like some humans do? We've seen characters who started off with a soul, and committed actions/ had things done to them that would have irreparably damaged said soul for future use. Padan Fain, for example.

As evil and the Dark One's influence grew, so too did the propensity for souls to become corrupted, therby allowing for the increase in population of Trollocs during certain times in history.

This, though, was especially problematic:
The Pattern would dictate which humans fell into Aginor's clutches. Being allowed to experiment on condemned prisoners would tend put those with little "humanity" in the path of his experiments -- ie souls he wouldn't have to twist very much at all.

Two things:

First, I don't think even someone as evil as a Forsaken is capable of twisting a soul on their own. I think a soul would have to become twisted and corrupted based on the actions of the person using the soul, mostly. Certainly a lifetime of torture and pain would help to twist a soul, but i think it would mostly be the internal actions that would do it.

Secondly, you're assuming above that the justice system was how Aginor got access to his victims, and if it was, in the Age of Legends, I'd say maybe you were right - those caught and condemned in the AoL would have to have had twisted souls. But Aginor didn't do his experiments in the system. So the likelihood of him conducting experiments on "failed" Darkfriends (I have my doubts that such things existed in the AoL), or criminals is very slim, in my opinion. Rather, I suspect that it would be much the same as those poor souls at Thrakandar: helpless, blameless and innocent. We know the Pattern allows for 'bad things to happen to good people', it doesn't magiaclly align crappy fates to terrible people, it's far more random than that.

That being said, the whole nature vs nuture argument also plays a role in the soul argument. If Narg had been captured by humans as a baby and raised as part of a village, maybe he wouldn't have been totally evil? ;)

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-16-2013, 10:36 AM
Found the following interviews while looking for Trolloc baby stuff, which has two big points:


Tim Kington (Paraphrased) Question

What are female Trollocs like?

Robert Jordan

They are basically breeding machines. They give birth to litters, and are quite fierce in defense of their children.

which brings up my first point:
1. Trollocs are born in litters. I doubt there was a pool of thousands of failed darkfriends to fill those bodies, but someone a bit twisted or psychologically scarred enough to become a twisted soul could probably be easily found. Eventually darkfriends, failed ones or not, became more plentiful.


Pam Korda Question

Where do Trollocs come from? Are there male and female Trollocs that mate? Are there only male Trollocs that mate with animals and/or humans to reproduce? Are Trollocs neuter, grown in a big vat at Shayol Ghul? Inquiring minds want to know!

Robert Jordan:
You know the original source, of course...a blending of human and animal genetic material in an effort to produce the "perfect" soldier, though as envisioned by somebody who had never seen combat. Yes, there are female Trollocs, though you don't want to know more than that...there was a clear statement of this actually—that Trollocs breed—when where Myrddraal come from was explained. Sometimes a Trolloc off-spring is a throwback, but not all the way back to human, and twisted. Thus, eyeless but with keen vision, very strong indeed though not in Trolloc-class, able to vanish into shadows & reappear in other shadows.

There are no female Myrddraal; not even the laddie who made the Trollocs in the first place knew why...Myrddraal must have their "pleasures" with captured human women...there is no possibility of cross-breeding—it was tested, during the War of the Power, in the crudest sort of way; the Myrddraal isn't sterile, but its sperm kills both human and Trolloc ova—and the sex practices and other attributes of Myrddraal are such that a very strong woman might retain her sanity for six months, but very few do.

Pam Korda

(Did I ask about the sex practices of Myrddraal? No, I didn't think so.)

Robert Jordan

For the record, a Trolloc could also have sex with a human...they are now two completely incompatible species, so there isn't any possibility of offspring—the Forsaken tested that out too... Trollocs are just not interested in human women sexually; to them, humans are just another food animal... Trollocs are of fairly low intelligence (I told you the designer was never in combat), so they would think of it about as we would having sex with sheep, though they would do it if ordered to. They'd just like it better if they could eat her afterwards.


which points to my second though, far more interesting to me than Trolloc souls:
2. The sex with a Myrddraal part is quite informative when you apply this to the Rape of Moghedian. (She was raped, RJ confirmed it in another interview before anyone starts to argue that point). Moghedian, recovering from the rape by Shaidar Haran, still having the cour'souvra taunting her, and now being leashed likely won't last too long in the world. It made me wonder if she will lose her mind and snap totally with insanity. And then my next thought was whether insanity bleeds through to the Sul'dam who holds her leash.

Seeker
10-16-2013, 12:16 PM
Is every ride on a roller coaster exactly the same? Even for contestants who ride continuously for days or weeks?

Is every lap in an auto race exactly the same?

Is the track left by a rolling tire exactly the same?

All of those are rough analogies of "circular time." Each example is something that repeats endlessly -- or seemingly endlessly -- but has slight variations in each repetition.

RJ incorporated the seeming contradiction of Free Will and Predestined Fate; he also incorporated "corrective mechanisms" like ta'veren and HotH to return "Time" to its preprogrammed cycle.

IOW, RJ built his cosmology so that Time was and would remain truly circular. Refusal to admit that RJ created a cosmology that was literally a Wheel of Time denigrates the effort he put into constructing a world that works the way he says it works.

And you keep stating your personal interpretations as fact. We know there is some amount of variance between any two cycles. We don't know how much. I think it's a perceptible amount and you think it's essentially microscopic. We've all seen the same quotes a thousand times. They leave room for interpretation. That was probably the point.

padfoot89
10-16-2013, 12:24 PM
2. The sex with a Myrddraal part is quite informative when you apply this to the Rape of Moghedian. (She was raped, RJ confirmed it in another interview before anyone starts to argue that point). Moghedian, recovering from the rape by Shaidar Haran, still having the cour'souvra taunting her, and now being leashed likely won't last too long in the world. It made me wonder if she will lose her mind and snap totally with insanity. And then my next thought was whether insanity bleeds through to the Sul'dam who holds her leash.

Same stuff happened to Graendal and Mesaana right? I don't think they would have suddenly lost their sanity after a few months.

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-16-2013, 04:30 PM
I believe Mogsie is the only one we have true confirmation about from RJ as to being raped.

"I could be wrong. I could be right." ---Johnny Rotten

Weird Harold
10-16-2013, 04:59 PM
which brings up my first point:
1. Trollocs are born in litters. I doubt there was a pool of thousands of failed darkfriends to fill those bodies, ...

IF Aginor did twist human souls into Trolloc Souls, he would only have done so for the first, prototype, Trollocs; a matter of a few dozen to a few hundred souls at most.

It is far more likely that Aginor's tampering was In Vitro and he had no involvement in the souls involved at all. In that case, the Pattern would be free to spin out whatever soul fit the Pattern's needs.


I feel like perhaps, while souls were created at the same time as everything else, "Trolloc" souls were not created and set aside for future use. It also doesn't track to say that those souls were first "serial killers and sociopaths" before the creation of trollocs, either. Too many given the population ratios.

That is a linear view of the WOT Cosmology.

In order for "Past and Future depend on which way you are facing on the Wheel" to be true, everything that exists MUST have been present at the moment of Creation. If "there are no "beginnings in the WOT" the WOT must have been created with Past and Future already in place.

The phrase "Moment of Creation" is even misleading because outside of the WoT, "Moment" has no meaning.

Consider a coin: Before minting, there is nothing except a mass of metal. Once the Die falls and forms the coin, which ridge on the milling at the edge is the "First Ridge?"

No matter where you start counting or which direction you count the ridges, there is always a "Last Ridge" right next to your arbitrary choice.

In order for there to be millions or billions of "Trolloc Souls" available for the Trolloc Wars and T'G, they had to be included at Creation. There is no requirement for the Pattern to USE any particular Soul -- or Billions of Souls -- in every Age; The Wheel selects the appropriate soul for each Thread in the Pattern, whether that be a Trolloc Soul, the Dragon Soul, or a HotH.

But what if instead, those twisted and corrupted souls that now go to Trollocs were orginally human souls that became twisted and corrupted - much like some humans do?

I would argue that, in the WOT, the soul dictates behavior rather than human actions dictating the Soul's condition. eg Nature predominates rather than Nurture.


If some humans become twisted and corrupted, it is because their soul predisposes them to be corruptible.

Padan Fain, for example.

Padan Fain was possessed by Mordeth -- "he" had two Souls, both susceptible to corruption and the influence of Evil.

Once killed by Mat, those two souls would return to the Soul Pool as separate, souls in the general mix of souls -- eg probably not aware as HotH Souls are aware between incarnations.



As evil and the Dark One's influence grew, so too did the propensity for souls to become corrupted, therby allowing for the increase in population of Trollocs during certain times in history.

Again, a mostly linear view. In order for this to be true, you need to provide some mechanism for the souls to become uncorrupted or reset as the DO's influence abruptly ends. I didn't see any signs of that happening in the ending of the series.

This, though, was especially problematic:

The Pattern would dictate which humans fell into Aginor's clutches. Being allowed to experiment on condemned prisoners would tend put those with little "humanity" in the path of his experiments -- ie souls he wouldn't have to twist very much at all.

First, I don't think even someone as evil as a Forsaken is capable of twisting a soul on their own. I think a soul would have to become twisted and corrupted based on the actions of the person using the soul, mostly.

I doubt that Aginor had anything at all to do with choosing or shaping Souls in any way. I think all of his "tampering" was done in vitro

Also, we know nothing of Aginor's original prototypes; we've only seen the results of "self-replication." For all we know, the prototypes were perfectly nice people just oozing humanity. :rolleyes: Probably not, but we don't know.

Secondly, you're assuming above that the justice system was how Aginor got access to his victims, ...

Not at all. The Justice System isn't the only source of condemnation and punishment. Aginor's superiors would not have provided sterling examples of humanity for his experiments, they would have provided the most incorrigible and or detested examples under their control.

Also, the condition of Aginor's victim's souls is probably irrelevant; in a different cosmology than the WOT I might be able to accept Aginor as a mad wizard turning everyone who offends him into Toads and magically transforming his victims into grotesques in job lots.

The WOT isn't that kind of Fantasy universe, though; Aginor was a mad scientistnot a mad wizard. His creations were the result of "genetic engineering" and bio-sciences. He used "magic" to enhance his science, not to replace it.

That being said, the whole nature vs nuture argument also plays a role in the soul argument. If Narg had been captured by humans as a baby and raised as part of a village, maybe he wouldn't have been totally evil? ;)

Narg wasn't totally evil, he was, as trollocs go, the pinnacle of kindness. I doubt that he was more than 99% Evil. :p He must have gotten the best of Trolloc Souls when he was born.

Seriously, in the WOT, Nature plays a much larger role than Nurture. The Soul spun out by the Pattern predisposes each person to certain skills and attitudes that "Nurture" can only work with or against.

Nothing in Mat's "Nurture" made him a Gambler, yet he sees the world almost entirely in Gambling terms -- He has the Soul of a Gambler.

Birgitte is "always an Archer" -- according to RJ. Specific information is sparse on her many incarnations, but I get the impression that a good many involve her running away from "Nurture" that tried to "make a lady out of her" instead of encouraging her Talent for archery. Birgitte has the "Soul of an Archer."

N.B. That is the way the WOT works, not the way I believe the Real World works.

Weird Harold
10-16-2013, 05:03 PM
And you keep stating your personal interpretations as fact.

I choose not to obscure my points with modifiers, disclaimers and qualifications. Most people understand that any post not citing a verbatim quote from RJ or the books is the author's opinion.

Seeker
10-16-2013, 06:51 PM
I choose not to obscure my points with modifiers, disclaimers and qualifications. Most people understand that any post not citing a verbatim quote from RJ or the books is the author's opinion.

Fair enough. *Bows to you.*

GonzoTheGreat
10-17-2013, 05:11 AM
I choose not to obscure my points with modifiers, disclaimers and qualifications. Most* people understand that any post not citing a verbatim quote from RJ or the books is the author's opinion.
*Citation needed.

Verin Mathwin
10-17-2013, 02:30 PM
I may have missed something while skimming this thread, but why are we assuming that all Trolloc souls were once human souls? They come from a mixture of animal and human stock. Does this mean the souls are also mixed? Does one soul die while the other remains and becomes twisted? It would seem more likely to me that in the creation of a Trolloc the human soul dies and reenters the soul pool in order to be reborn while the animal soul stays and is twisted.

Seeker
10-17-2013, 03:09 PM
I may have missed something while skimming this thread, but why are we assuming that all Trolloc souls were once human souls? They come from a mixture of animal and human stock. Does this mean the souls are also mixed? Does one soul die while the other remains and becomes twisted? It would seem more likely to me that in the creation of a Trolloc the human soul dies and reenters the soul pool in order to be reborn while the animal soul stays and is twisted.

I don't think that. I think trolloc and myrdraal souls (if you can call them that) are small manifestations of the Dark One. Particularly the myrdraal souls. When a trolloc dies, its essence goes back to the Dark One, who then returns that essence to a new Trolloc body. His own twisted version of the cycle of rebirth.

Weird Harold
10-17-2013, 03:36 PM
I may have missed something while skimming this thread, but why are we assuming that all Trolloc souls were once human souls? They come from a mixture of animal and human stock. Does this mean the souls are also mixed? Does one soul die while the other remains and becomes twisted? It would seem more likely to me that in the creation of a Trolloc the human soul dies and reenters the soul pool in order to be reborn while the animal soul stays and is twisted.
I think that comes from the perception of Aginor as an "Evil Wizard" who transformed job lots of humans and animals into Trollocs.

It is far more likely that Aginor was a "Mad Scientist" who did his tampering in test tubes and retorts and never tampered with Souls directly or deliberately.

Ishara
10-18-2013, 08:22 AM
Or, it could be that we have the notion tha anything with any small part of humanity - that is human stock - should have a soul. I bet they'd better off without them. I will say though, that I'm convinced that they do. There's too much propensity for humour and culture there for them not to have souls, twisted as they may be.

neurotopia
10-18-2013, 09:13 AM
So are there an infinite number of souls spun out by the Wheel? Seems like there's a potential Age-spanning problem there, if souls can be twisted by the DO but are subsequently hard/impossible for the Light to reclaim.

I'm also thinking of 13x13 turning as making it "impossible" to choose good, too- do the souls just "reset" when being spun out again? If the DO can collect twisted souls and stuff them into Trollocs, or do other things with them, there are multiple avenues for trouble.

GonzoTheGreat
10-18-2013, 10:21 AM
Would Egwene be reborn as an Aelfinn or Eelfinn?
I doubt it. I think that rather than there being one Soulpool, there are a number of them (some with more Chlorine in them than others have). There's one for humans, one for wolves, one for Ogier, probably two for the *finns and then double that, because men and women don't mix either. So that's ten pools already that we know of, with the Heroes in a class (school would be better, to remain with the theme) of their own. Having a few more for Shadowspawn wouldn't be a big stretch, would it?

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-18-2013, 01:46 PM
So are there an infinite number of souls spun out by the Wheel? .

I though I remember RJ stating that there is finite pool of souls. But naturally, I cannot find that quote in the interview database.

I did a haphazard search admittedly.

Weird Harold
10-18-2013, 05:38 PM
I though I remember RJ stating that there is finite pool of souls. But naturally, I cannot find that quote in the interview database.

I think I recall something along that line, too. It is one of the problems I have with the viability of RJ's Cosmology; IIRC, RJ also excluded the concept of reward/punishment or Soul Advancement from the WOT. Souls are always spun out into situations that constrain them to repeating the essentially the same life each time.

So are there an infinite number of souls spun out by the Wheel? Seems like there's a potential Age-spanning problem there, if souls can be twisted by the DO but are subsequently hard/impossible for the Light to reclaim.

I'm also thinking of 13x13 turning as making it "impossible" to choose good, too- do the souls just "reset" when being spun out again?

If I'm recalling RJ's comment correctly, the number of souls is "finite but infinitely reusable" -- much the same as he said about the OP. That fits the general nature of a wheel cosmology, where "infinity" as we know it doesn't exist.

Also, "Finite" doesn't necessarily mean "fathomable" -- the number of souls is easily "beyond human comprehension," and probably many orders of magnitude beyond what might be necessary for population of any point on the entire Wheel

ETA: I suspect there is some "repair and refurbishment" capability in the underlying mechanisms of soul management. I also suspect that "dying a final death" -- a la wolves in the Wolf Dream -- is over-stated; "Soul Memory" might be erased, but the Soul isn't destroyed.



Or, it could be that we have the notion that anything with any small part of humanity - that is human stock - should have a soul. I bet they'd better off without them. I will say though, that I'm convinced that they do.

I'm sure that you're correct that anything with even minimal intelligence has a soul. The main mis-perception is that Aginor did -- or could -- twist and/or merge the souls of humans and animals to create Shadowspawn. I strongly doubt that he did anything with his victim's souls -- or even that he did more than take tissue samples from his "victims."

What seems more likely is that he set up the conditions necessary for the Wheel to dig out and dust off its supply of "twisted, or corrupted" souls and start using them again.

Ishara
10-21-2013, 08:20 AM
Would Egwene be reborn as an Aelfinn or Eelfinn?
I doubt it. I think that rather than there being one Soulpool, there are a number of them (some with more Chlorine in them than others have). There's one for humans, one for wolves, one for Ogier, probably two for the *finns and then double that, because men and women don't mix either. So that's ten pools already that we know of, with the Heroes in a class (school would be better, to remain with the theme) of their own. Having a few more for Shadowspawn wouldn't be a big stretch, would it?

But then, how to explain Perrin, Elias and Noam? Are theirs human souls, or wolf souls? Was Noam originally a human soul and now with his death he's a Wolf Soul? Could it be that we're looking at something more akin to tidepools? Sometimes seperate from the bigger body of water, and sometimes not?

I'm sure that you're correct that anything with even minimal intelligence has a soul. The main mis-perception is that Aginor did -- or could -- twist and/or merge the souls of humans and animals to create Shadowspawn. I strongly doubt that he did anything with his victim's souls -- or even that he did more than take tissue samples from his "victims."

What seems more likely is that he set up the conditions necessary for the Wheel to dig out and dust off its supply of "twisted, or corrupted" souls and start using them again.

I'm not sure who is operating under that perception, thuogh. I looked through the OPs and no one is saying that Aginor had anything to do with the souls - just that his creation of the Trollocs resulted in the pattern needing Trolloc souls. I think your second proposition is actually the closest to the truth.

Enigma
10-21-2013, 06:20 PM
I wonder what happens to Sammael's soul as it was tainted so badly that not even the dark one wanted to recycle it into a new body. If something like that happens in every third age and there was no repair/renewal process for souls eventually the soul pool would diminish. It would takes very long time for the problem to become noticeable but were talking about eternity here. And that's assuming Sammael's soul is the only one damaged. There are the people caught by the black wind as well.

Presumably there must be some way for damaged souls to get fixed and if there is it might eventually work even for shadowspawn as well.

Weird Harold
10-21-2013, 06:48 PM
I wonder what happens to Sammael's soul as it was tainted so badly that not even the dark one wanted to recycle it into a new body.

I should think that the DO's disdain for Sammael's fate is more an indication of how un-tainted his soul was. I think Sammael was just a selfish, self-centered, "loner" and incapable of playing on any kind of team. That isn't "evil" per se and no indication of a twisted or tainted soul.

Enigma
10-21-2013, 07:22 PM
I should think that the DO's disdain for Sammael's fate is more an indication of how un-tainted his soul was. I think Sammael was just a selfish, self-centered, "loner" and incapable of playing on any kind of team. That isn't "evil" per se and no indication of a twisted or tainted soul.

The man was a jerk to be sure but if I was the Dark One at that point he would have died in my good books. After all he managed to seize a powerful nation, he was causing chaos all over the place and he was doing his best to follow the 'Don't kill Rand' order unlike some of the other forsaken.

He was able to follow orders and play with others when he had to. He might have been a loaner but he did work with Rahvin, Graendal and Lanfear and he was not the one who caused the partnership to implode - in fact he was actually playing the part none of them wanted i.e. target to trap Rand. Granted he was not happy about it, who would be? But he was going along with the plan right up to the point that Rand went flying off on a tangent and attacked the wrong forsaken.

Also he was a skilled military general and the DO knew there would be a use for those skills at the end game. Granted Sammael was better at defence that offence and he had Demandred tucked away in Shara where it was unlike he would come to any harm but still it would do no harm to have a backup to Demandred just in case.

Considering how badly Lanfear, Aginor and Belthamael had done and they still got recycled I think the DO could have recycled Sammale if he could.

Weird Harold
10-21-2013, 09:00 PM
The man was a jerk to be sure but if I was the Dark One at that point he would have died in my good books. After all he managed to seize a powerful nation, he was causing chaos all over the place and he was doing his best to follow the 'Don't kill Rand' order unlike some of the other forsaken.

Sammael also falsely, or mistakenly, claimed to have concluded a separate peace with Rand; Falsely claimed to be Nae'blis; mistakenly accused Demandred of being behind "events in the South;" etc.

From the DO's POV, Sammael was more trouble than he was worth; even as short-handed as the Forsaken were in the Third Age.

Seeker
10-22-2013, 01:31 AM
There is no soul pool.

Weird Harold
10-22-2013, 03:12 AM
There is no soul pool.
IIRC, that is RJ's terminology. What makes you say there is none?

GonzoTheGreat
10-22-2013, 05:21 AM
Sammael also falsely, or mistakenly, claimed to have concluded a separate peace with Rand; Falsely claimed to be Nae'blis; mistakenly accused Demandred of being behind "events in the South;" etc.

From the DO's POV, Sammael was more trouble than he was worth; even as short-handed as the Forsaken were in the Third Age.
How did any of that cause trouble for the DO?

Sammael was not always entirely truthful, but then, being fair, honest and nice aren't part of the Forsaken job description.

Weird Harold
10-22-2013, 06:12 AM
How did any of that cause trouble for the DO?

Sammael was not always entirely truthful, but then, being fair, honest and nice aren't part of the Forsaken job description.

Sammael made the mistake of claiming to be Nae'Blis at about the same time as Moridin acquired the title for real. To be fair, Sammael would be more trouble for Moridin than for the DO, directly. I don't think Sammael offered enough benefit to the Shadow to offset his deficits.

GonzoTheGreat
10-22-2013, 06:49 AM
Sammael made the mistake of claiming to be Nae'Blis at about the same time as Moridin acquired the title for real. To be fair, Sammael would be more trouble for Moridin than for the DO, directly. I don't think Sammael offered enough benefit to the Shadow to offset his deficits.
Moridin got the title later, didn't he?
Sammael was eavesdropped on, overheard making the claim, and the hidden watcher wondered whether or not it was actually true. That rather contradicts the idea that Moridin had been acclaimed as Nae'Blis already.

Weird Harold
10-22-2013, 07:41 AM
Moridin got the title later, didn't he?
Sammael was eavesdropped on, overheard making the claim, and the hidden watcher wondered whether or not it was actually true. That rather contradicts the idea that Moridin had been acclaimed as Nae'Blis already.
Officially, publicly, announced to the world? Yeah, that came later, after Moridin was introduced by name...

In Practice, I think he was Nae'blis in all but name from the moment he woke up in a new body -- even if nobody but the DO knew.

GonzoTheGreat
10-22-2013, 08:18 AM
Yeah, but in that case, the DO wouldn't worry about having his Chosen scheming for the position.

Weird Harold
10-22-2013, 08:58 AM
Yeah, but in that case, the DO wouldn't worry about having his Chosen scheming for the position.
Scheming for the position is not the same as claiming the position falsely.

Also, that was just ONE of Sammael's bad points.

GonzoTheGreat
10-22-2013, 09:13 AM
Can you explain in a bit more detail why those other shortcomings would have been enough to make the DO decide not to bother recycling Sammael?

padfoot89
10-22-2013, 09:45 AM
I believe RJ / Sanderson has said that the DO would have liked to transmigrate Sammael. Something about it being a bad idea. Whatever cleaning process souls go through, the DO couldn't do it.

As far as achievements go, I think Sammael most definitely did a good job. If the DO thought Sammael too unreliable, he could have had him mindtrapped. Other forsaken have performed worse and gotten transmigrated. Claiming to be Naeblis was a non-issue. The DO was hanging that carrot in front of everyone. In fact, I don't think Sammael claimed that he already was naeblis, just that he was likely to become.

GonzoTheGreat
10-22-2013, 11:29 AM
I believe RJ / Sanderson has said that the DO would have liked to transmigrate Sammael. Something about it being a bad idea. Whatever cleaning process souls go through, the DO couldn't do it.
From the interview database:
Brandon also said that the Dark One would have liked very much to transmigrate Sammael but didn't. Apparently, since he died by Mashadar, Sammael was either unable to be transmigrated or it would have been a very bad idea. Basically, Mashadar tainted Sammael's thread somehow.

Cor Shan
10-22-2013, 01:22 PM
I believe RJ / Sanderson has said that the DO would have liked to transmigrate Sammael. Something about it being a bad idea. Whatever cleaning process souls go through, the DO couldn't do it.

I also think its a misconception to think that the DO's transmigration is anything like a Wheel-based rebirth, due to the retention of memories - AFAWK, only Rand and Birgitte have memories of their past lives, and Birgitte is obviously a special case.

It could be that a normal soul is instantly cleaned of Mashadar once it returns to the soul pool, but since the Forsaken don't return to the soul pool before being transmigrated (ie: why balefire actually kills them) they don't get a chance to be cleaned.

ETA: we saw what Padan Fain was like post-Mordeth exposure, imagine a Forsaken like that. The DO made the right call there.

Seeker
10-22-2013, 01:48 PM
IIRC, that is RJ's terminology. What makes you say there is none?

It's obvious from RJ's quotes that when he says "soul pool," he's using the term in the same way that a CEO does when he says "secretarial pool." It's a convenient way of saying "The list of available candidates for this assignment."

It's obvious from the way you guys use the term "soul pool" that you think of it as a big storage tank where souls float about until a big claw comes down, grabs one and shoves it into the attern.

There's no storage tank.

In my opinion, souls are conscious and active between lives, we just don't know where they are.

Ishara
10-22-2013, 03:35 PM
The GOI!!

Seriously though, Seeker. Proof? Quotes? The thought of the big soul pool with the giant claw is the one most of us have because it seems to make the most sense, cosmologically speaking, no?

Weird Harold
10-22-2013, 04:18 PM
It's obvious from RJ's quotes that when he says "soul pool," he's using the term in the same way that a CEO does when he says "secretarial pool." It's a convenient way of saying "The list of available candidates for this assignment."

I can't speak for others, but that is essentially how I think of the "Soul Pool"

It's obvious from the way you guys use the term "soul pool" that you think of it as a big storage tank where souls float about until a big claw comes down, grabs one and shoves it into the attern.

There's no storage tank.

I agree. There's no "storage tank." I do think the Pattern has some sort of filing/ranking system that selects an "accountant's soul" when it needs to spin out someone destined to be an accountant.

In my opinion, souls are conscious and active between lives, we just don't know where they are.

Could be... I doubt it, but AFAIK, RJ just said that normal souls are stored "elsewhere" when asked if all souls were aware between lives as HotH are. IOW, we can be reasonable sure they aren't in T'A'R.

Weird Harold
10-22-2013, 04:25 PM
Can you explain in a bit more detail why those other shortcomings would have been enough to make the DO decide not to bother recycling Sammael?

No. RJ just said Sammael was "toast" and "hadn't deserved a better death."

I believe RJ / Sanderson has said that the DO would have liked to transmigrate Sammael. Something about it being a bad idea. Whatever cleaning process souls go through, the DO couldn't do it.

I tend to trust RJ's earlier quote about Sammael not deserving "a better death" than he received.

If he was in fact consumed by Mashadar, then Mashadar held his soul where the DO couldn't transmigrate it until Rand destroyed SL and Mashadar-- but RJ was very "Aes Sedai" about exactly how Sammael died and why he was "toast."

Enigma
10-22-2013, 07:03 PM
No. RJ just said Sammael was "toast" and "hadn't deserved a better death."

I could be wrong here but I took that statement to mean that RJ as a person thought the character was a punk who deserved not the grand exit but to go out with a whimper almost off screen. That's not to say that the Dark One would not have thought Sammael a useful servant.

I agree that he would probably be due a talking to for claiming to be the Dark One's regent on earth when he had not been given that title. And he came dangerously close to killing Rand when there was the order not to kill but he does not have any flaws the other forsaken don't have.

On an aside I wonder do the same souls play the same role each turning? I'm not talking about the souls bound to the horn like LTT or Hawkwing but the second tier characters. For example will Logain's soul turn up as a false dragon or what ever its called when the next third age comes around, then join up with the dragon soul in the fight against the shadow? Will Davram Bashere's soul be a leading general of the light?

Or in the next AoL will LTT's wife be his wife again or using the typing pool example will the pattern pick a female soul who is likely to have the qualities that the dragon soul finds attractive?

Seeker
10-22-2013, 08:37 PM
The GOI!!

Seriously though, Seeker. Proof? Quotes? The thought of the big soul pool with the giant claw is the one most of us have because it seems to make the most sense, cosmologically speaking, no?

Egwene speaks to Rand during his conflict with the Dark One, after it's been established that she's dead and her soul has left her body. This wouldn't be possible if she wasn't conscious and aware of what was going on.

Weird Harold
10-23-2013, 12:32 AM
Egwene speaks to Rand during his conflict with the Dark One, after it's been established that she's dead and her soul has left her body. This wouldn't be possible if she wasn't conscious and aware of what was going on.

Have we ever gotten a firm answer that Egwene is Not a HotH? Her ghost speaking to Rand would be unexceptionable if she is a HotH.

I could be wrong here but I took that statement to mean that RJ as a person thought the character was a punk who deserved not the grand exit but to go out with a whimper almost off screen. That's not to say that the Dark One would not have thought Sammael a useful servant.

I agree that he would probably be due a talking to for claiming to be the Dark One's regent on earth when he had not been given that title. And he came dangerously close to killing Rand when there was the order not to kill but he does not have any flaws the other forsaken don't have.

I see Sammael as a loose cannon who smart masterminds would encourage to defect to the other side because he's more dangerous to his own side than the enemy. :D He's the type of villian who is useful for thinning out the herd when you have a lot of minions. He's not terribly useful when you've only got eleven minions. Lanfear, Moghedien, and Greandal were useful if undisciplined; they could be brought under control by mindtraps and/or other punishments. I don't think Sammael was useful enough to bother with.

[QUOTE=Enigma;217847On an aside I wonder do the same souls play the same role each turning? I'm not talking about the souls bound to the horn like LTT or Hawkwing but the second tier characters. [/QUOTE]

They definitely play similar roles, but some seem interchangeable -- Taim and Demandred for example. Others seem indispensible -- Perrin and Mat, for example.

I think that it depends on the needs of each specific role. Some roles need only the general archetype others need more specific traits.

Seeker
10-23-2013, 12:36 AM
Have we ever gotten a firm answer that Egwene is Not a HotH? Her ghost speaking to Rand would be unexceptionable if she is a HotH.


It's possible but I see no reason to assume as much just to defend an idea that is - let's face it - fan speculation and nothing more. That would be an ad hoc fallacy.

There isn't a shred of evidence to suggest she is one and Hawkwing was very clear on the fact that not everyone who does heroic things gets bound to the Horn.

Weird Harold
10-23-2013, 02:20 AM
It's possible but I see no reason to assume as much just to defend an idea that is - let's face it - fan speculation and nothing more. That would be an ad hoc fallacy.

Equally, assuming she is not a HotH is fallacious. unless it has been confirmed one way or another either possibility exists. I think you might get some argument that there IS evidence she is a HotH -- especially since her rapid rise to Amyrlin through being ta'veren was shot down by RJ.

Seeker
10-23-2013, 02:51 AM
Equally, assuming she is not a HotH is fallacious. unless it has been confirmed one way or another either possibility exists. I think you might get some argument that there IS evidence she is a HotH -- especially since her rapid rise to Amyrlin through being ta'veren was shot down by RJ.

No, in my case it's not a fallacy because I don't bear the burden of proof. "Egwene is a Hero" is a very specific claim, the burden falls on the person trying to prove that she is not on the skeptic.

A quick rise to the Amyrlin Seat is a tenuous argument at best. It stands to reason that the Pattern was maneuvering people into the positions they needed to be in for the final battle. Will we also claim Elayne is a Hero because she gained the Crown so quickly? Or Nynaeve because she bested Forsaken?

You need more than that to claim Egwene - or anyone other than Rand - is a Hero and I'm pretty sure nothing short of Word of God would be sufficient.

Finally, even if you do prove that Egwene was (or has become) a Hero as of the end of the last book, all you've done is shift the issue back to a position of uncertainty. Proving Egwene to be a hero doesn't prove that normal souls aren't conscious in between lives.

Seeker
10-23-2013, 03:02 AM
And I can't believe I almost fell for that...

Egwene died before Olver blew the Horn; so, if she had been made a Hero by that point, she would have been called to fight. (Which, incidentally, would make it very hard for her to talk to Rand at the same time).

There is absolutely no mention of Egwene riding alongside the other Heroes. Not one. How many people witnessed that battle again? You mean to tell me not one would have taken up the call "It's the Amyrlin Seat! The Amyrlin Seat rides again!"

Wouldn't the Aes Sedai be abuzz with rumors of their Amyrlinn fighting even after death? And why weren't they?

Because it didn't happen.

She wasn't there.

Egwene is not a Hero of the Horn and she was conscious and active after the moment of death.

QED.

Weird Harold
10-23-2013, 04:00 AM
Egwene died before Olver blew the Horn; so, if she had been made a Hero by that point, she would have been called to fight. (Which, incidentally, would make it very hard for her to talk to Rand at the same time).

Good point.

Egwene is not a Hero of the Horn and she was conscious and active after the moment of death.

When exactly on Rand's timeline did Egwene die? Rand was at least partially outside of the Wheel Of Time during his battle with the DO. That makes it a tad difficult to pin down just exactly when Egwene's spirit spoke to him on it's way to Wash and Refurbishment receiving.

GonzoTheGreat
10-23-2013, 05:08 AM
There is absolutely no mention of Egwene riding alongside the other Heroes. Not one. How many people witnessed that battle again? You mean to tell me not one would have taken up the call "It's the Amyrlin Seat! The Amyrlin Seat rides again!"

Wouldn't the Aes Sedai be abuzz with rumors of their Amyrlinn fighting even after death? And why weren't they?
The AS were graduates of the school of Do Not Notice What You Don't Want To See. Plus, they'd been withdrawn from the battlefield at the time, after the fight in which most of them (and Egwene) had died. At the time, the majority of channelers on the side of the Light were sul'dam and damane, who weren't too likely to extol the virtues of an escaped damane, even in the unlikely event that they recognised her as a HotH.

Seeker
10-23-2013, 10:42 AM
That's the ad hoc fallacy, Gonzo.

She's not a Hero.

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-23-2013, 01:51 PM
I am almost 100% positive that Brandon confirmed Egwene did not become a Hero at her death. But I cannot find it.

GonzoTheGreat
10-24-2013, 05:13 AM
The only thing I can find in the Interview Database that comes close is the following:
Wetlander
Some would like a definitive answer: Are channelers ever bound to the Horn? (Rand? Egwene?)

Brandon Sanderson
"They certainly could be." Brandon and Harriet agreed that, although the notes never specified any channelers who were so bound, there was nothing in the notes to indicate it couldn’t/didn't happen either, and they both believe it’s entirely possible.

Wetlander
(A follow-on question might be asked about whether Egwene might be a Hero, but they didn't give me the impression that they were hedging—which they probably would have, if that were in the notes.)
Footnote

RJ previously confirmed that Rand/Lews Therin was a Hero of the Horn.
A problem would be that RJ probably knew quite well what he was doing with Rand and Egwene, so he did not have as much reason to keep notes for that as for less central characters. Thus, if it isn't mentioned for Else, that means she's not a HotH, but when it is not in the notes for Egwene, that doesn't really mean much.

Seeker
10-24-2013, 01:08 PM
Which is completely irrelevant because - and I cannot stress this enough - EGWENE DID NOT COME WHEN THE HORN WAS BLOWN, MEANING SHE'S NOT A HERO!!!

GonzoTheGreat
10-24-2013, 01:19 PM
Which is completely irrelevant because - and I cannot stress this enough - EGWENE DID NOT COME WHEN THE HORN WAS BLOWN, MEANING SHE'S NOT A HERO!!!
She wasn't mentioned. Does that prove that she didn't come?

Seeker
10-24-2013, 02:37 PM
She wasn't mentioned. Does that prove that she didn't come?

And that is the ad hoc fallacy.

You can use that line of reasoning to justify anything. A hypochondriac starts having stomach aches and decides it must be cancer. He goes to his doctor, who tells him, "The biopsy came back negative. We found no evidence of cancer." And he replies with "Well, just because you didn't find it doesn't mean it's not there."

Psychic: "I can read your mind."

Skeptic: "What shape am I thinking of?"

Psychic: "Triangle."

Skeptic: "No!"

Psychic: "Well your hostility is interfering with my abilities."

You can use an ad hoc supposition to make anything true, anything at all. Whenever you're presented with the fact that the balance of evidence is not in your favour, you can weasel out of it simply by adding untestable assumptions to your theory.

That's why in any objective analysis, ad hoc arguments are thrown out right away. Objectively speaking, absence of evidence IS evidence of absence.

Zombie Sammael
10-24-2013, 10:13 PM
Of course, bearing in mind that this is a literary work we're discussing, there are better arguments against Gonzo's point than point out his use of fallacy. From a narrative point of view, Egwene is such an important character that it is ridiculous to suggest that had she returned, it would not have been mentioned. It would have been thematically important to the work as a whole and its omission would have severely damaged the content of the series.

That said, I think I now fall into a camp that never wanted to know, and doesn't want to know, who is or isn't a HOTH. The "revelation" about Mat in AMOL was problematic for me, and I felt damaging to the entire concept of the heroes. They are supposed to be heroes of legend, and Mat's character embodies more mythological and legendary archetypes than any other in the series. I can only assume that the deeds he performed in this life will tie him to the Horn in all future lives. In addition, I found the notion that Lan was a HOTH and had returned from the dead upon the blowing of the horn entertaining, and felt it was wrong that this idea be dismissed. I think who is and isn't a hero is the mystery which, on reflection, I least wanted solved.

Seeker
10-24-2013, 10:50 PM
[QUOTE=Zombie Sammael;217933]Of course, bearing in mind that this is a literary work we're discussing, there are better arguments against Gonzo's point than point out his use of fallacy. From a narrative point of view, Egwene is such an important character that it is ridiculous to suggest that had she returned, it would not have been mentioned. [QUOTE]

Precisely.

Have you ever considered that maybe Heroes get a choice in the matter? See, Mat doesn't want to be a Hero.

It's possible the offer has been made many times and he turned it down.

Zombie Sammael
10-25-2013, 02:16 AM
Of course, bearing in mind that this is a literary work we're discussing, there are better arguments against Gonzo's point than point out his use of fallacy. From a narrative point of view, Egwene is such an important character that it is ridiculous to suggest that had she returned, it would not have been mentioned.

Precisely.

Have you ever considered that maybe Heroes get a choice in the matter? See, Mat doesn't want to be a Hero.

It's possible the offer has been made many times and he turned it down.

What it comes down to is this: that isn't the way I want the Heroes to work. It's my personal opinion, and that moment with Mat was one that took me out of the story for a moment. As harshly as possible, I felt like it was a Brandonism thrown to the fans to answer an ongoing debate. At its best, I felt it was poorly judged and damaged the concept.

What I want the Heroes to be as a reader is literally the Heroes of legend, whoever they may be. That's borne out through most of the series since we know that figures as divisive as Artur Hawkwing and Lews Therin are bound to the horn by virtue of their legend, despite their failings. Mat - and Perrin too - are so iconic that they ought to have been Heroes, and yet we're told that they're not, while Birgitte, a supporting character in a supporting storyline, is; while Noal, again a bit player, is.

Even in his early 20s, Mat is already legendary enough that he deserves that same status. The only conclusion I can draw is that this Mat Cauthon is the first to rise to the status he has so far, and thus will be bound to the horn upon his death. Otherwise the meaning of the Horn is, in my opinion, lost.

(It's actually not the only conclusion I can draw, playing devil's advocate with myself for a moment. A closer examination of the male Heroes we're most familiar with reveals that they are all individuals who in some way failed: LTT unleashed the taint; Artur Hawkwing's empire collapsed completely because of his antipathy towards Tar Valon; Noal became a pawn of the Shadow. We actually don't know enough about Birgitte's previous life to comment, but she did fail to protect Elayne at the end in this one, even though she succeeded postmortem. Perhaps being bound to the Horn is actually a sort of purgatory, rather than the honour we usually think of.)

Seeker
10-25-2013, 02:46 AM
What it comes down to is this: that isn't the way I want the Heroes to work. It's my personal opinion, and that moment with Mat was one that took me out of the story for a moment. As harshly as possible, I felt like it was a Brandonism thrown to the fans to answer an ongoing debate. At its best, I felt it was poorly judged and damaged the concept.

I think it's a mistake to label any part of the story that you didn't like as a "Brandonism." I don't like the fact that you can ACCIDENTALLY create a sa'angreal for the True Power. But that's the story we got.


What I want the Heroes to be as a reader is literally the Heroes of legend, whoever they may be. That's borne out through most of the series since we know that figures as divisive as Artur Hawkwing and Lews Therin are bound to the horn by virtue of their legend, despite their failings. Mat - and Perrin too - are so iconic that they ought to have been Heroes, and yet we're told that they're not, while Birgitte, a supporting character in a supporting storyline, is; while Noal, again a bit player, is.

I don't think fame is what binds someone to the Horn.

Even in his early 20s, Mat is already legendary enough that he deserves that same status. The only conclusion I can draw is that this Mat Cauthon is the first to rise to the status he has so far, and thus will be bound to the horn upon his death. Otherwise the meaning of the Horn is, in my opinion, lost.

Again, it's not a function of how famous you were.

Zombie Sammael
10-25-2013, 02:54 AM
I think it's a mistake to label any part of the story that you didn't like as a "Brandonism." I don't like the fact that you can ACCIDENTALLY create a sa'angreal for the True Power. But that's the story we got.

Well, of course it is. That scene may have come directly from RJ. I still feel broadly the same way about it: that it was put in to answer fan debates that would have been better left raging.

I don't think fame is what binds someone to the Horn.

Again, it's not a function of how famous you were.

Not a matter of fame, but rather of legend. The stories are what bind Heroes to the Horn. Perhaps we might be well served by considering by what mechanism souls could be attached to a ter'angreal. After all, the thing must have been created at some point, so the Horn must have some selection criteria. Even if it was simply already there at the theoretical first moment when the Wheel began turning with its history and future already intact, it is an object, and an object of the Power to boot; how then can such an object deal with living souls at all, and still more how does it choose those souls? After all, it doesn't choose Heroes willy-nilly; each Hero is a figure of some import.

GonzoTheGreat
10-25-2013, 05:07 AM
On the other hand, a figure like the Gambler would be far more useful outside the Horn than in it. By the time the Horn gets blown, the time for gambling is over, all that needs to be done then is work through the consequences of the decisions made earlier.
The same would be true of the Bard (Thom) and the Historian (Loial), who have to write up the legends for posterity (until they're forgotten again, of course) and so shouldn't be part of the HotH group either.

Weird Harold
10-25-2013, 06:42 AM
Not a matter of fame, but rather of legend. The stories are what bind Heroes to the Horn.

Still, not all Legends are "Heroic."

The parallel of Valhalla with the HoH, and the associated Norse mythology would link Mat most closely with Loki -- while one of the Aesir, Loki is NOT associated with Valhalla; He is in fact in opposition to the Heroes of Valhalla in some circumstances.

The confirmation of Mat's non-hero status does seem like "Fan Service" and is rather crudely executed.

GonzoTheGreat
10-25-2013, 07:03 AM
Then again, if Mat had gotten an answer from the Hero Egwene, he'd have spent the next three chapters agonizing over whether or not she'd given him an AS answer.

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-25-2013, 11:19 AM
No, I saw the quote on Egs being tied/not tied. That wasn't what I was thinking of when I said this.

I distinctly recall a conversation about this from JordanCon. Like I said, 100% (= +/- .05%) sure Egwene was confirmed NOT to be a Hero.

Anyone else around who sat in on the TL midnight stalking session with Brandon? Or was it said in one of the larger conference meetings? I SWEAR I REMEMBER THIS.

GonzoTheGreat
10-25-2013, 11:39 AM
Seems a good time for "pics or it didn't happen", doesn't it?

neurotopia
10-27-2013, 12:10 PM
So why is Jain a HotH but not Ingtar? They died under very similar circumstances. One might even surmise that Ingtar's sacrifice was greater, as he willingly went to the Shadow but opted to sacrifice for the Light, knowing full well what penalties may possibly wait for him. Or was Jain one in previous ages/turnings already, and I just missed that?

GonzoTheGreat
10-27-2013, 12:45 PM
Well, Jain had also been quite a hero during the rest of his life, being generally on the side of the Light except when he was being Compelled by Ishamael and Graendal. Ingtar, on the other hand, had been an active Darkfriend for most of his adult life, only repenting right at the end.
That might make a difference.

Weird Harold
10-27-2013, 07:03 PM
So why is Jain a HotH but not Ingtar? They died under very similar circumstances. One might even surmise that Ingtar's sacrifice was greater, as he willingly went to the Shadow but opted to sacrifice for the Light, knowing full well what penalties may possibly wait for him. Or was Jain one in previous ages/turnings already, and I just missed that?
In part, because Jain Farstrider was famous and Ingtar wasn't. Also in part for what Jain was famous for.

padfoot89
10-28-2013, 03:52 AM
I don't see the issue with Mat asking whether he was a Hero. He has always vehemently said that he didn't want to be a noble or a hero. If any character was going to ask such a question, it was Mat.

Zombie Sammael
10-28-2013, 05:33 AM
I don't see the issue with Mat asking whether he was a Hero. He has always vehemently said that he didn't want to be a noble or a hero. If any character was going to ask such a question, it was Mat.

The problem wasn't that he asked. It was that he got an answer.

GonzoTheGreat
10-28-2013, 06:46 AM
Why would the Heroes want to keep something like that secret?
The only possible effect of this that I can see is that Mat won't try to destroy the Horn, which overall should be counted as "good" for the Heroes and their purpose.

Ishara
10-28-2013, 10:38 AM
No, I saw the quote on Egs being tied/not tied. That wasn't what I was thinking of when I said this.

I distinctly recall a conversation about this from JordanCon. Like I said, 100% (= +/- .05%) sure Egwene was confirmed NOT to be a Hero.

Anyone else around who sat in on the TL midnight stalking session with Brandon? Or was it said in one of the larger conference meetings? I SWEAR I REMEMBER THIS.

Nope, I remember it. In fact, it may have been me that asked (desperately) for confirmation that Egwene wasn't a Hero, because I too ascribe to the School of Just Because We Like You and You Did Cool/ Heroic Things Doesn't Make You a Hero.

Seeker
10-28-2013, 05:32 PM
And there's your proof, Tal. Egwene I'd nut a hero and she was conscious after the moment death.

padfoot89
11-11-2013, 03:21 PM
I'm not sure I'd take it as definitive proof.

Perhaps Egwene decided to pull a Dumbledore and give a few encouraging words before moving on or the Pattern held her back for Rand's benefit.

SauceyBlueConfetti
11-12-2013, 10:52 AM
I'm not sure I'd take it as definitive proof.

Perhaps Egwene decided to pull a Dumbledore and give a few encouraging words before moving on or the Pattern held her back for Rand's benefit.

Brandon addressed the Egwene talking to Rand thing, I think, in a general way as well and said it wasn't a Hero thing, and she wasn't actually THERE. Maaaaaan. I wish I had taken notes. I was too captivated at the time.

Seeker
11-12-2013, 02:12 PM
I'm not sure I'd take it as definitive proof.

Perhaps Egwene decided to pull a Dumbledore and give a few encouraging words before moving on or the Pattern held her back for Rand's benefit.

The point I was proving is that souls retain consciousness after the moment of death. Where Egwene was is not germane to the issue.

GonzoTheGreat
11-13-2013, 04:54 AM
The point I was proving is that souls retain consciousness after the moment of death. Where Egwene was is not germane to the issue.
Whether it was Egwene is, however. Right before Rand hears Egwene there, he hears his father's voice in the same way. Yet, to the best of our knowledge, Tam actually survived the Last Battle.
So the fact that Rand "heard" Egwene's voice in his head does not prove that she spoke to him after her death.

SauceyBlueConfetti
11-13-2013, 11:39 AM
Whether it was Egwene is, however. Right before Rand hears Egwene there, he hears his father's voice in the same way. Yet, to the best of our knowledge, Tam actually survived the Last Battle.
So the fact that Rand "heard" Egwene's voice in his head does not prove that she spoke to him after her death.

my understanding is the "voices" he hears are not literal voices. It is the way we all hear familial advice in our heads...a culmination of direction, guidance and general knowledge becomes clear in our heads as advice or counsel. It just took a bit of calmness on Rand's part to actually "hear" what people told him all along and recognize what he thought people wanted was not actually how they felt. A dawning. "Oh, I get it now."

Twice Dawns the Day ;) hehehehe

padfoot89
11-13-2013, 03:41 PM
Brandon addressed the Egwene talking to Rand thing, I think, in a general way as well and said it wasn't a Hero thing, and she wasn't actually THERE. Maaaaaan. I wish I had taken notes. I was too captivated at the time.

Meaning that it wasn't actually Egwene? Rand expresses surprise at hearing Egwene's voice.

The point I was proving is that souls retain consciousness after the moment of death. Where Egwene was is not germane to the issue.

I'm saying that her consciousness being retained could have been a special case. A temporary delay before going through whatever process souls go through.

Weird Harold
11-13-2013, 09:13 PM
I'm saying that her consciousness being retained could have been a special case. A temporary delay before going through whatever process souls go through.

How long is the delay after death that the DO can grab a soul for transmigration? Presumably that is the time frame that allows the DO to grab an intact personality along with the Soul. It is also suggests that personality persists for some relatively short time between death and recycling into the soul pool.

GonzoTheGreat
11-14-2013, 04:45 AM
However long it is, it is not long at all. Not long enough to be useful as an explanation for Egwene's Voice.
That is shown quite clearly by the reappearance of Birgitte after she's killed and the Horn is blown. That episode gives us a maximum amount of available time, assuming that Heroes are typical of all people.

Weird Harold
11-14-2013, 06:25 AM
...assuming that Heroes are typical of all people.

They aren't.

Granted, it isn't very long, but Egwene didn't need much time for her message.