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morat'corlm 12-12-2010 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weird Harold (Post 135189)
The Three Rings that show multiple futures only show multiple futures for the candidate, but don't show the past, as the White Tower's testing ter'angreal does. With a ter'angreal mere yards away that has already shown Aviendha several alternatives to her future, why would another ter'angreal be needed to show her just one alternative?

It wouldn't be. Which is why it didn't, until Aviendha tinkered with it.

I think you're attributing too much to "old blood memories."

Weird Harold 12-12-2010 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morat'corlm (Post 135250)
I think you're attributing too much to "old blood memories."

Could be, but I think I'm more attributing many old and extended discussions about how that particular ter'angreal works -- includng the meager hints that RJ was willing to share. :D

In general, the WOT has proven to be remarkably consistent and very few things that overturn "the way things are understood to work" are not foreshadowed extensively. Aviendha's second pass would be a glaring exception to that trend.

morat'corlm 12-12-2010 08:23 PM

Aviendha's ability with ter'angreal is itself a glaring exception to the trend. We've seen ter'angreal work in unprecedented ways under unusual circumstances before.

Weird Harold 12-12-2010 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morat'corlm (Post 135253)
Aviendha's ability with ter'angreal is itself a glaring exception to the trend. We've seen ter'angreal work in unprecedented ways under unusual circumstances before.

Not really. Aviendha's Talent for identifying ter'angreal is a reasonable extension of "Old Talents and New Abilities" appearing and could be seen as a variation on, or complement to, Elayne's manufacturing Talent.

What is a violation of the trend is that Aviendha's Talent appeared to activate the Columns -- no other ter'angreal she's identified was activated by her Talent. i.e Her Talent was initally presented as, "The Ability To Identify Ter'Angreal Safely Without Activating Them."

morat'corlm 12-12-2010 11:39 PM

Elayne's Talent (as with all Talents I can think of) involves use of the Power itself, whereas Aviendha's supposedly does not; that is the unprecedented part. The ability to understand how inactive ter'angreal will function is more akin to Min's power than anything else.

Unlike any ter'angreal she had inspected previously, this one has the ability to scan the user in some way. It's hardly unreasonable that any interaction with something like that might cause it to interact back. In fact it strikes me that it might be a plausible deduction that her ability is more dangerous to use in general on ter'angreal which do not require the Power to function, particularly those which affect the consciousness of the user.

Weird Harold 12-13-2010 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morat'corlm (Post 135262)
Elayne's Talent (as with all Talents I can think of) involves use of the Power itself, whereas Aviendha's supposedly does not; that is the unprecedented part. The ability to understand how inactive ter'angreal will function is more akin to Min's power than anything else.

Unlike any ter'angreal she had inspected previously, this one has the ability to scan the user in some way. It's hardly unreasonable that any interaction with something like that might cause it to interact back. In fact it strikes me that it might be a plausible deduction that her ability is more dangerous to use in general on ter'angreal which do not require the Power to function, particularly those which affect the consciousness of the user.

Whether her talent is related to Elayne's or Min's or not related to either, it is "something we've seen before" in that we've seen many "New Things and Old Things Come Again" -- especially coming to the main characters. Aviendha just finally discovered her unique super-power a little later than Min, Elayne, Egwene, or Nyneave.

It isn't so much that the Ter'angreal reacted to Aviendha's touch as that it inexplicably reversed it's function from History to Prognostication. Nothing in Aviendha's POV suggests an accidental request for foreshadowing, just the equivalent of a "what do you do" query. (a metaphorical device ID request.)

Glen 12-13-2010 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weird Harold (Post 135189)
Yes they could have, but the Jenn Aiel have been extinct for thousands of years -- since sometime before the Trolloc Wars. The problem is keeping a viable cell of Jenn Aiel alive and hidden, for something like 2,000 years, while remaining recognisably Aiel.

Where and how has Jenn Nakomi been hiding that she is still Aiel enough for Aviendha to recognise her as an Aiel? (Even when the Columns showed Rand the first Clan Chiefs sent to Rhuidien the Jenn wore distinctive clothing that weren't Aiel-like.)

Where and How have the Jenn Aiel for her to aculturate with been hiding so that they remain recognisably Aiel yet unknown to the rest of the clans?

*sigh*

I addressed this right at the start - Rhuidean is the answer, and my theory addresses not just the mystery of Nakomi, but the mystery of Rhuidean's fog.

Why was Rhuidean covered in fog? What purpose did it serve? If it was just intended to make it seem daunting, to keep people out, then why bother making it so that it's inaccessible from T'A'R, as well? It always seemed odd to me, the fact that Rhuidean was covered in fog, and then the fog lifted when some of the ter'angreal in the city were broken in the struggle between Rand and Asmodean.

But wait, there's more: Avendesora survived for thousands of years without water, and without sunlight. There was nobody to care for it, either (to be clear, I wasn't suggesting that the Jenn Aiel had kept tending to it). So how did it survive? And channelling was apparently difficult in Rhuidean under the fog, too.

I speculated that Rhuidean's fog was a manifestation of a kind of pseudo-stasis effect generated from a ter'angreal. This basically kept the pattern from flowing normally within its range, which meant no T'A'R entry, very slow aging (Jenn Aiel and Avendesora), weak One Power, etc.

morat'corlm 12-13-2010 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weird Harold (Post 135266)
It isn't so much that the Ter'angreal reacted to Aviendha's touch as that it inexplicably reversed it's function from History to Prognostication.

But it worked in exactly the same way as it had before, 'forward and back'; it did not reverse the function. The difference is the starting point–real or potential–, which is your objection, and one that, it is true, I cannot answer with any degree of confidence. But I don't see how even that could not be thrown into the general category of "new things and old things come again", if you want to get down to it.

For that matter, what changes the function of the Acceptatron in the White Tower?

finn 12-13-2010 03:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morat'corlm (Post 135262)
Elayne's Talent (as with all Talents I can think of) involves use of the Power itself, whereas Aviendha's supposedly does not; that is the unprecedented part. The ability to understand how inactive ter'angreal will function is more akin to Min's power than anything else.

Dreaming is a Talent that does not have anything to do with the power either. I don't see how Min's ability to read the pattern (or dreaming) is akin to reading ter'angreal. Even when inactive, ter'angreal could hold traces of the Power. With the glass pillar, it was described as a powerful aura. Aviendha also has the rare Talent of reading residues of weaves after they have been dismissed, so perhaps her two Talents are related.

Altering the glass columns function was somewhat new. Nakomi had put her on a track where she felt concern about the future of the Aiel. Aviendha describes the glass column ter'angreal as seeming alive almost with an awareness, wondering if it was reading her. Could it have read in her those worries, interpreting them as instructions and reacted to show Aviendha the future of her line? The WT ter'angreal for testing for the shawl works with the AS using thought, not unlike Dreaming in T'A'R and accepts instructions on how to conduct the tests. So too the glass columns could have worked to show a dream-like vision of the pattern for threads of lives that can be traced along bloodlines, only in this case for the future.

morat'corlm 12-13-2010 05:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by finn (Post 135284)
Aviendha also has the rare Talent of reading residues of weaves after they have been dismissed, so perhaps her two Talents are related.

A good point. I stand corrected.
Quote:

Nakomi had put her on a track where she felt concern about the future of the Aiel. Aviendha describes the glass column ter'angreal as seeming alive almost with an awareness, wondering if it was reading her. Could it have read in her those worries, interpreting them as instructions and reacted to show Aviendha the future of her line?
Yes, I think this has to be the mainstream alternative to the Svengali Nakomi theory; a history of a potential future formed by latching onto her concerns.

Weird Harold 12-13-2010 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glen (Post 135269)
*sigh*

I addressed this right at the start - Rhuidean is the answer, and my theory addresses not just the mystery of Nakomi, but the mystery of Rhuidean's fog.

...

I speculated that Rhuidean's fog was a manifestation of a kind of pseudo-stasis effect generated from a ter'angreal. ...

Apologies, I missed that since I came into this thread a month late and nearly a hundred posts behind. :(

That still doesn't explain how the Jenn Aiel avoided centuries worth of prospective Clan Chiefs and Wise Ones. It also doesn't explain why there were NO signs of habitation when the Aiel moved back into Rhuidean when the mists were lifted.

Weird Harold 12-13-2010 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morat'corlm (Post 135272)
But it worked in exactly the same way as it had before, 'forward and back'; it did not reverse the function. ...

In one sense it did reverse the function even if it did shift to showing the future.

When a candidate passes through the Columns, the first, outer ring, showed the most recent incident it was programmed to show; the incident with the least offset from the present

The second ring shows the next most recent or incident with the secondl east offset from the present.

Etc, Etc, until it reaches the greatest offset from the present at the center -- where it brands clan chiefs with one Dragon Tattoo, if they survive that far. (what does it mark Wise Ones with?)

With Aviendha's second pass, it started with the incident with the greatest offset. and worked backwards. On the surface that seems the same, but think of why the ter'angreal might show things from least offset to greatest offset -- increasing energy requirements.

The Ter'angreal corelates to the real world "phenomenon" of hypnotic regression. As the hypnotist regresses the patient, each successive step back into the past requires a deeper trance and more effort to recall. Hypnotism can't progress a patient into the future, but it would seem logical that the more effort to go further pattern would hold if it could.

Proceeding through the ter'angreal seems to involve increasing resistance to each step which would suggest the ter'angreal also is working harder for each successive vision.

That's one more oddity that I didn't recognise immediately and only identified through this discussion -- thanks for that.


Quote:

Originally Posted by morat'corlm (Post 135272)
For that matter, what changes the function of the Acceptatron in the White Tower?

I'd have to re-read the various accepted trials, but off-hand, I'd say it was either the number of passes through or the AS sitting next to it channeling into the power connector to turn it on?

There is the "Once for what was, Twice for What is, and three times for what might be." mantra going on that suggests it is the number of times passing through it. (What would be the mantra for a fourth pass?)

GonzoTheGreat 12-13-2010 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weird Harold (Post 135295)
I'd have to re-read the various accepted trials, but off-hand, I'd say it was either the number of passes through or the AS sitting next to it channeling into the power connector to turn it on?

There is the "Once for what was, Twice for What is, and three times for what might be." mantra going on that suggests it is the number of times passing through it. (What would be the mantra for a fourth pass?)

The fourth time is for "what you wish reality were like", and that's what being AS is all about anyway, so there is no need for a fourth pass.

Weird Harold 12-13-2010 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by finn (Post 135284)
Aviendha also has the rare Talent of reading residues of weaves after they have been dismissed, so perhaps her two Talents are related.

I also had forgotten that Talent. Good catch.

Quote:

Originally Posted by finn (Post 135284)
Altering the glass columns function was somewhat new.

My problem with altering the function isn't so much that the function WAS altered as the nature of the alteration as compared to years of off-and-on discussions about how that particular ter'angreal works.

The ability to read the future can always be explained away by the deus ex machina, "the difference between past and future is the direction you're looking along the Wheel," but that is very unsatisfying.

Quote:

Originally Posted by finn (Post 135284)
Aviendha describes the glass column ter'angreal as seeming alive almost with an awareness, wondering if it was reading her. Could it have read in her those worries, interpreting them as instructions and reacted to show Aviendha the future of her line?

The ter'angreal has never shown any inclination to read minds. If it could be 'reprogrammed' by thoughts and emotions, couldn't that corrupt the testing for Clan Chief and Wise One? Surely some candidate has touched the ter'angreal in wonder before going through it in the thousands of years it has been used for teaching the Aiel leaders?

Quote:

Originally Posted by finn (Post 135284)
So too the glass columns could have worked to show a dream-like vision of the pattern for threads of lives that can be traced along bloodlines, only in this case for the future.

Without the DEM explanation, how would the ter'angreal trace bloodlines that aren't present in the candidate? The columns haven't shown any previous connection to Dreaming, why would they change basic principles of function that drastically?

Quote:

Originally Posted by morat'corlm (Post 135293)
Quote:

Nakomi had put her on a track where she felt concern about the future of the Aiel. Aviendha describes the glass column ter'angreal as seeming alive almost with an awareness, wondering if it was reading her. Could it have read in her those worries, interpreting them as instructions and reacted to show Aviendha the future of her line?
Yes, I think this has to be the mainstream alternative to the Svengali Nakomi theory; a history of a potential future formed by latching onto her concerns.

I'm not sure how this is an alternative to the Svengali Nakomi theory? Svengall Nakomi can survive with an actual trip through the ter'angreal -- especially if "Nakomi had put her on a track where she felt concern about the future of the Aiel" that was a false concern manipulated by mesmerization. :D

The whole premise of Svengali Nakomi is that Nakomi manipulated Aviendha's thoughts and concerns about the future, the exact nature and content of that manipulation is open to debate and still being refined.

I happen to believe that the discrepancies between Aviendha's second pass and the previous knowledge of the ter'angreal is incompatible -- and blame the inconsistancies on a conspricay by Nakomi. Disproving Svengali Nakomi doesn't erase the reasons for involving Nakomi in the ter'angreal question in any way.

Weird Harold 12-13-2010 06:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat (Post 135297)
The fourth time is for "what you wish reality were like", and that's what being AS is all about anyway, so there is no need for a fourth pass.

*snerk*

Glen 12-13-2010 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weird Harold (Post 135294)
Apologies, I missed that since I came into this thread a month late and nearly a hundred posts behind. :(

That still doesn't explain how the Jenn Aiel avoided centuries worth of prospective Clan Chiefs and Wise Ones. It also doesn't explain why there were NO signs of habitation when the Aiel moved back into Rhuidean when the mists were lifted.

I came in quite late, too, actually. And it's no problem - it's just that the Rhuidean part was one of the key points I was making - that most of the "it's someone from the past" theories depended on the more arcane and obscure concepts such as vacuoles, whereas Rhuidean itself had a mystery that can be fit neatly with the rest of it all.

As for how the Jenn Aiel avoided Clan Chiefs and Wise Ones, it seems fairly straightforward - Rhuidean's a big place, and the Clan Chiefs and Wise Ones considered it to be a sacred place, not a place to spend any more time than necessary for the trials. They wouldn't have explored the city. And even if they did, it's not like there are that many clan chiefs or wise ones, and with fog covering everything, it would be pretty easy to hide a few people amongst it all.

To be entirely honest, I'm surprised that the Aiel were even willing to go in there long enough to get a cutting from Avendesora.

Anyway, the point is that, if Rhuidean did have a few Jenn Aiel hiding within it, they would probably not have experienced time at the same rate as those who spent only a short time in there, and there wouldn't have been many. My speculation is that the Jenn Aiel knew that someone would need to bring the Aiel back to the way of the leaf, or at least guide them to a sustainable future, come the last battle... and when they realised that they were dying out, the last of the Jenn and the AoL Aes Sedai made plans for the Clan Chief and Wise One system, and shrouded Rhuidean in its fog, ensuring that, come the right time (when they knew, through prophecy, that the Dragon Reborn would have entered Rhuidean), there would be Jenn Aiel there, ready to guide them.

Why were there no signs of habitation? Because Rhuidean was in a sort of pseudo-stasis. It, and the Jenn within it, would experience time at a rate far slower than the outside world. Indeed, it could go beyond that - they could actually have been, in a sense, part of the fog itself. The exact form is up to speculation - the point is, the behaviour of Rhuidean does seem to be consistent with the idea of time flowing differently there... which is itself consistent with the idea that the Jenn may not truly be gone.


An interesting observation, by the way, is that Aviendha observed that the glass columns seemed to be almost alive... could this be more than just a way to represent them as seeming to react to her?

The pillars also seemed to be able to identify Rand, and mark him differently from the rest.

"Indeed, the pillars seemed... alive, somehow. It was almost as if she could sense an awareness from them."

"She tried to read ter'angreal as she had done before, but this one was vast. Incomprehensible, like the One Power itself."

There might be even more to this than we've all assumed. The Aes Sedai seemingly just vanished. The Jenn Aiel seemingly died out. In their place was a ter'angreal that we now see seems to have an awareness.

Mindtraps are capable of storing a person's soul. What if there's some similarity between that and the glass pillars? Maybe she really was getting a reading on what the ter'angreal does... but that it's a ter'angreal that is very different from the others. AoL Aes Sedai were able to create creatures like the Nym, and the ones that turned were able to invent a mindtrap. It seems plausible to me that they'd be able to use some of their own consciousness, some of their own soul, to empower a ter'angreal in a way that greatly enhances its power... with the result being the death of the ones creating it.

Maybe it's not entirely impossible, that the ter'angreal was able to modify itself, having detected that its original purpose had ended.

But of course, all of that part is speculation at this point. The parts that I think may go beyond speculation and into the realm of an actual theory are the Jenn Nakomi part and the Rhuidean bubble part.

finn 12-13-2010 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weird Harold (Post 135299)
I also had forgotten that Talent. Good catch.

Thanks!

Quote:

My problem with altering the function isn't so much that the function WAS altered as the nature of the alteration as compared to years of off-and-on discussions about how that particular ter'angreal works.

The ability to read the future can always be explained away by the deus ex machina, "the difference between past and future is the direction you're looking along the Wheel," but that is very unsatisfying.

Without the DEM explanation, how would the ter'angreal trace bloodlines that aren't present in the candidate? The columns haven't shown any previous connection to Dreaming, why would they change basic principles of function that drastically?
I don't understand. We ought to have seen the explanation for the ter'angreal's workings in terms of the basic premise of the Wheel of Time -
Quote:

The Wheel of Time weaves the Patterns of the Ages, and the threads it uses are lives.
This lies at the core of canon. The ability to read the pattern as it will be woven, with varying degrees of certainty has always been known as predicting the future. So why would it seem like deus ex machina to apply the same explanation for the past, where both past and future are part of the pattern woven by the wheel. A ter'angreal that can show the past may also show the future using the same principles.

Quote:

The ter'angreal has never shown any inclination to read minds. If it could be 'reprogrammed' by thoughts and emotions, couldn't that corrupt the testing for Clan Chief and Wise One? Surely some candidate has touched the ter'angreal in wonder before going through it in the thousands of years it has been used for teaching the Aiel leaders?
Aviendha touched the glass pillar to read it and thought she felt an awareness in the ter'angreal with the feeling that maybe it was touching her. That suggests the possibility that it read her in turn. This is reasonably the cause for the change to its settings, one somehow in tune with her own worries and feelings.

And perhaps it saw Aviendha's attempts to read it as a means for input. Even if someone else did touch it nothing might have happened because only a channeler with Aviendha's Talent could trigger the change.

Ishara 12-15-2010 09:57 AM

Look, do we know if anyone else who has gone through the Pillars (just Rand that we have a PoV from) has touched them? It may explain the change without involving a change in Talent re: ter'angreal. Maybe anyone who touches them can "reset" the Pillars? But, then I don't recall any specific instruction from the WO's saying not to touch it either...but then, Aviendha's urge to touch, to understand, to sense its purpose is unique too.

Glen 12-15-2010 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ishara (Post 135632)
Look, do we know if anyone else who has gone through the Pillars (just Rand that we have a PoV from) has touched them? It may explain the change without involving a change in Talent re: ter'angreal. Maybe anyone who touches them can "reset" the Pillars? But, then I don't recall any specific instruction from the WO's saying not to touch it either...but then, Aviendha's urge to touch, to understand, to sense its purpose is unique too.

The pillars may also have been keyed to her, in the same way that they must have been keyed to Rand, when it gave him dual dragons rather than the single dragon given to Clan Chiefs.

I could definitely see the pillars being set to "reset" upon being touched by Aviendha as "one who has bonded the Dragon Reborn".

GonzoTheGreat 12-15-2010 11:50 AM

Or maybe simply "some chick involved with the Dragon".
Wonder what Mierin would've seen if she had tried the thing.


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