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missbee 01-30-2012 09:33 AM

Off-screen Rand and an alternative timeline
 
EDIT 2
As requested there is now a linear summary here

If anyone wants to follow the links and connections then the original big and clunky spreadsheet is still in place.





EDIT
I have now started a running list of queries and inconsistencies at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
Any suggestions, additions and comments most welcome.


There's been some confusion with the various timelines in TOM. Like other people I've wandered what Rand was up to off-screen and how exactly Mat's timeline works.
I've looked at Steven Cooper's chronology, and some others, but there are too many unknowns for anyone to come up with a definitive answer. Still, I thought I'd try my own version.
Now, there's no point in duplicating work so I thought I'd approach it differently - I've worked it out backwards, ie. starting at the FoM and in a different format.
After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing I have a timeline which agrees in most respects with Steven Cooper (well, apart from the last 2 books anyway)

Rather than following characters, my attempt is set out geographically for each PoV. Some interesting things have been shown up - Rand's off-screen activity in TOM in particular.
If you're still with me, then take a look here, at the bottom of the spreadsheet
I've never used Google docs before, so I don't know how well this will work, or whether you'll be able to see all the text - please let me know if it's unreadable.

I don't suppose this chronology is any more accurate than other people's attempts, I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes and clues I've missed.
And, please bear in mind it is unfinished and a working copy, though I have added a key at the bottom.
(I'll be very happy to hear from anyone spotting errors, missing references etc).

Anyhow, back to Rand.
BS has stated that the clouds clear around Rand, as opposed to the girls (ToM book tour 16 November 2010 WH Smith, Paris, France - Jonathan B. reporting - Avi section).
So, all I've done is to connect the dots as it were, patches of sunshine, ta'veren visions, comments from the girls etc. - just follow the thin black line.
Note - the entry for Mat on day 807 I've assumed to be the 'typo' BS has talked of - it should have been cloudy on that day

What was Rand doing in Caemlyn on day 826 that was so dangerous?
Any ideas?

WinespringBrother 01-30-2012 10:40 AM

That timeline looks similar to the one I compiled a while back.

There is something funky with Mat's timeline. According to Brandon, Mat stayed the minimum agreed-to 30 days in Caemlyn. However, in order to tie in to Elayne's timeline, he had to arrive in Caemlyn at least 12 days before Rand's meeting with Egwene, which was itself 28 days before the meeting at Merrilor. Perrin sent Mat from Caemlyn to the ToG via gateway the same day that Rand was meeting the Borderlanders, and that was the day before the meeting at Merrilor. So that would indicate that Mat was in Caemlyn at least 39 days. Unless the vision that Perrin saw was of Rand meeting with different borderlanders perhaps, and not the ones that were searching for Rand.

Quote:

Towers of Midnight CHAPTER: 53 - Gateways
"Open the gateway so we can get going," Mat said. "No more nonsense." Perrin nodded to Grady. The air rent, a twisting beam of light opening a portal that overlooked a broad, slow-moving river. "This is as close as he can get," Perrin said. "At least, not without a better description of the place." "It'll do," Mat said, poking his head through the gateway. "You'll open one for us to get back?" "Each day at noon," Grady said, repeating Perrin's orders to him. "Into that exact spot." He smiled. "Take care you don't get your toes cut off when it appears, Master Cauthon." "I'll do my best," Mat said. "I'm attached to those toes." He took a breath and stepped through the gateway. Quiet Noal followed, smelling of determination. That one was a lot tougher than he looked. Thom nodded to Perrin, mustaches wagging, then hopped through. He was spry, though he still bore the stiff leg from fighting that Fade two years ago. Light guide you, Perrin prayed, raising a hand to the three as they trudged along the river's bank.
...
Towers of Midnight CHAPTER: 53 - Gateways
Moiraine. Perrin should send word to Rand. The colors appeared, showing Rand speaking with a group of Borderlanders. But . . . no. Perrin couldn't tell Rand until he was certain she lived. To do otherwise would be too cruel, and would be an invitation for Rand to meddle in Mat's mission. Perrin turned as the portal closed. As he stepped, he felt a faint throbbing from his leg, where Slayer's arrow had hit him. He had been Healed of that wound, and from what he'd been able to tell, the Healing had been complete. There was no injury. But his leg . . . it felt like it could remember the wound anyway. It was like a shadow, very faint, almost unnoticeable.

Towers of Midnight CHAPTER: 51 - A Testing
"I'll leave you to discuss my offer," Rand said. "I can spare one hour-though, before you start your deliberation, could you send for someone on my behalf? There is a man in your army named Hurin. I would like to apologize to him." They still looked stunned. Cadsuane rose to go speak with the sisters waiting outside; she knew a few of them, and needed to feel out the others. She didn't worry about what the Borderlanders would decide. Al'Thor had them. Another army beneath his banner. I didn't think he'd manage this one. One more day and it all began. Light, but she hoped that they were ready.
ETA: Rand's battle with the Shadowspawn army at Maradon was the day before meeting the Borderland rulers, so if his meeting with Bashere/Ituralde was the one Perrin spied, than it still doesn't fix the timeline issues:

Quote:

Towers of Midnight CHAPTER: 32 - A Storm of Light
"I must rest now," Rand said softly. "Tomorrow I meet with your niece and the other Borderlanders, Bashere. I know not what they will require of me, but they must return to their posts. If Saldaea was in such a state with one of the great captains leading the defense, I can only guess what the other Borderland nations are suffering." Min helped him to his feet. "Rand," she said softly. "Cadsuane returned, and she had someone with her." He hesitated. "Take me to her." Min winced. "I shouldn't have mentioned it. You should rest." "I will," he said. "Don't worry."

missbee 01-30-2012 11:59 AM

As you say, there is something funky about that timeline.
One of the reasons I drew it in this particular format was so I could see all the connections clearly and easily (well, it's clear on my computer, Google has mangled it a little).
Copy and paste is a wonderful thing and I've been able to produce a number of variations. This version seems to have the least problems, as far as I can see, so far...
It has settled the question of that meeting with the Borderlanders for me though - definitely not the same as the Far Madding one.
Maybe Rand went to organise something for/with Lan? There is nothing that I'm aware of that would make it impossible.

WinespringBrother 01-30-2012 12:24 PM

Another oddity is that while the chapters don't necessarily take place in chronological order, it would be odd if 2 different events in the same chapter took place a week or more apart. In Chapter 52, Elayne seized the Throne of Cairhien and then traveled to Merrilor, the day before the scheduled meeting with Rand, and she also sensed Rand to the south (so at least he wasn't in Maradon at that moment). Later in Chapter 52, Mat spoke with Setalle, the day before going to the Tower. So these 2 events together would seem to indicate that Mat was in Caemlyn for more than 30 days.

ETA: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...rs-of-midnight

Quote:

Interview: Dec, 2010
Goodreads ToM Fantasy Book Club Q&A with Brandon Sanderson
Lordjuss
How long before Rand's epiphany did Mat arrive in Caemlyn? How long after the 30 days were up did he wait before going to the Tower of Ghenjei?
Brandon Sanderson
Mat set aside the letter and didn't open it for the required number of days. The next day he left for the Tower of Ghenjei. As for the rest, I will send you to the fan-curated chronologies. I have a chronology on my computer, but let's let the fans work it out.
Lordjuss
Rand goes to Bandar Eban shortly after coming back from Tar Valon. Nearly a month later, he rescues Ituralde just before going to the Borderlanders (the day before the Field of Merrilor). What was he doing in the intervening 20 days?
Brandon Sanderson
RAFO.
Lordjuss
The night before going to the Tower of Ghenjei, Mat sees Rand in a tent talking to some people. This is the day before Rand visits the Borderlanders so what event was he seeing?
Brandon Sanderson
I haven't seen the fan-curated timelines and compared them to the actual timeline. I'm not sure if a lot of these timeline questions are accurate.

missbee 01-30-2012 12:40 PM

time travel
 
That does happen though.
In chapter 5 Graendal is given the dreamspike by Moridin - that must be shortly after rand balefires Natrin's Barrow - I've got it at 809
Also chapter 5, Gawyn is getting frustrated with Eg, clearly this happens after she is raised - I've got it at 823. 14 days difference
I seem to remember there were other instances as well.
Seems that as soon as the PoV changes, you have to be prepared to jump in time

WinespringBrother 01-30-2012 01:13 PM

I guess it is possible that Rand did find another group of borderlanders to interact with - perhaps the farmers that ended up congregating at Merrilor, or maybe he went up to the borderlands to check up on Alanna after her abrupt disappearance.

Can you give a quote from the books, about Rand on day 826 and his dangers? I'm not sure what you are talking about.

Zombie Sammael 01-30-2012 01:30 PM

Could it be the Dark One's influence? Is he now able to touch the world so harshly that, while unable to step outside of time, he can reorder it? Think of threads coming loose in a tapestry. Some dangle farrher than others.

missbee 01-30-2012 01:49 PM

It's nothing very specific.
TOM, Ch 34, before his trial, Perrin talks to Faile and explains his link with Rand.
"The Last Hunt is here. Rand is in danger. More than any of us, he is in danger. And I can't go to him, not yet."
Pretty wooly, but it does coincide with Rand's apparent trip to Caemlyn so it made me wander. Maybe Rand thought he'd try to find out what is happening at BT?

By the way, are you able to expand/collapse the columns when you look at the spreadsheet? Can you read all the text, or do you have to struggle with just the start of the sentence?

missbee 01-30-2012 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael (Post 177323)
Could it be the Dark One's influence? Is he now able to touch the world so harshly that, while unable to step outside of time, he can reorder it? Think of threads coming loose in a tapestry. Some dangle farrher than others.

lol
Maybe you've just solved the 'twice dawns the day' conundrum

WinespringBrother 02-10-2012 12:06 PM

Just noticed, when Perrin arrived at Merrilor, there were soldiers from Cairhien already there. Did those troops go separately from the Cairhienin that accompanied Elayne to Merrilor on the day before Rand's meeting with Egwene? If not, then that would place Perrin's trip to Merrilor and Mat's trip to the ToG after Elayne's trip to Merrilor but likely on the same day, since Rand and the Borderlanders had not arrived yet.

Quote:

Towers of Midnight CHAPTER: 53 - Gateways
Grady peered through, then whistled softly. "How many people is that?" "Those are the Crescent Moons of Tear," Perrin noted, pointing toward a banner. "And that's Illian. Camped on opposite sides of the field." A green banner set with nine golden bees marked that army. "A large number of Cairhienin Houses," Faile said, looking out off the rise. "Not a few Aiel . . . No Borderlander flags." "I've never seen so many troops in one place," Grady said. It's really happening, Perrin thought, heart thumping. The Last Battle.

gen 02-10-2012 04:57 PM

Or those Cairhienin soldiers could come with Dobraine or others who had been doing bidding of Rand somewhere and now came with Tairens or some other Dragon loyalists who had been there too.

Terez 02-18-2012 12:42 AM

missbee, do you happen to have a list of internal contradictions? I found a few when I was trying to make a timeline, but didn't note them down. I need to go back through those books again and note those contradictions, but I'd need to start taking notes with COT and KOD to work it all out.

The Unreasoner 02-18-2012 12:55 AM

I know this won't be a popular theory, but I think one thing to take from these timeline anomalies is the fact that the Black Tower issue is resolved before the ToM Epilogue:

Rand seems ready to go to Shayol Ghul without any regrets

Androl and his lovable band of misfits seem to be destined to deal with it on their own (though possibly with Logain)

I always thought the Logain stepping over Rand's paper mache body was predicting Taim's defeat (looks like the Dragon, isn't the Dragon. Just like Taim 'looks like he might be the Dragon himself).

fionwe1987 02-18-2012 03:29 AM

Quote:

Anyhow, back to Rand.
BS has stated that the clouds clear around Rand, as opposed to the girls (ToM book tour 16 November 2010 WH Smith, Paris, France - Jonathan B. reporting - Avi section).
Wait... what? The sunlight had already cleared around Tear before Rand arrived, and were continually clear in Caemlyn. If Brandon wants me to believe Rand was in Caemlyn all those times it was clear, he's got to explain why Flatbed didn't hop through a Gateway and jump him...

missbee 02-18-2012 05:12 AM

@ Terez - I did have a short list - concerned with Mat mostly. I won't be able to get at it for a couple of days, but I'll see what I can do afterwards.

@ Unreasoner - I have similar thoughts on the paper mashe. To me it represents the end of Rand-the-puppet-in-charge.

@ fionwe1987 - Tear is a problem, though I suppose it could have been ordinary sunshine, this being post-enlightenment. Maybe... Can't think of a better explanation so I'll go with that for now

The Unreasoner 02-18-2012 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by missbee (Post 180331)
@ Unreasoner - I have similar thoughts on the paper mashe. To me it represents the end of Rand-the-puppet-in-charge.

Rand-the-puppet? I favor a puppet-Rand interpretation:
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Unreasoner (Post 165210)
But on Taim:
Quote:

Originally Posted by ACoS, Chapter 10
Logain, laughing, stepped across something on the ground and mounted a black stone; when she looked down, she thought it was Rand’s body he had stepped over, laid out on a funeral bier with his hands crossed at his breast, but when she touched his face, it broke apart like a paper puppet.

I commented on this in the second half of my thoughts on the prophecies (I need to get around to adding actual references, to satisfy popular demand. I just think it will be a pain the ass, so I keep putting it off. Anyway, the other half will be up eventually).

What if Taim is the one on the funeral bier? It has been said over and over: 'when looking at Taim, you would think he was the Dragon himself.' A literal translation would likely be a mistake (especially for Egwene's dreams. A viewing may ultimately be pretty literal, but Aes Sedai are not birds being gobbled by a snake. Not even Nesune). And I can't even imagine the point of having an actual paper puppet of Rand. Maybe instead of Real Rand/Dragon-False Body we have something like False Dragon/Rand-Real Body. The paper puppet may appear to be Rand at first glance, but it is not. And Taim may appear to be the Dragon, but is not. In both cases a minimal amount of effort can reveal the truth: touching the puppet destroys it, and not being in a coma should be enough to convince someone Taim is not the Dragon (It's really not, but it is pretty damn easy. Tattoos, ta'veren, Callandor. Oh and the patches of clear sky that follow him around are kind of a dead giveaway).

This view certainly makes Logain's significance in the dream very clear. And it in no way rules out my 'Taim is not a Darkfriend' theory.

(Another relevant quote:
Quote:

Originally Posted by WH, Prologue
Taim strode into the room as though he owned the Palace. She did not need him named. Blue-and-gold Dragons wove round the sleeves of his black coat from elbows to cuffs, in imitation of the Dragons on Rand’s arms. Though she suspected he would not appreciate the observation.

Basically, the puppet wants to think he is a real boy)

missbee 02-18-2012 02:58 PM

I was a bit rushed when I replied earlier, so here's a longer version

@ Unreasoner - Ok, not so similar then.
I can see where you're coming from, but in that case I would have expected more symbolism. The body looks like Rand right up to the point where Nyn touches his face. To me that suggests we're talking about Rand the individual, rather than the Dragon or anyone with pretensions to being the Dragon.
Not exactly what you'd call proof, but I'll stick with it.
My version -
Rand is ostensibly in charge of BT, but Taim has subverted it and used Rand as a figurehead.
Hopefully, soon, someone will teach Taim the error of his ways and Rand-the puppet will be laid to rest (along with Taim)

@ fionwe1987
One sunny morning in TOM Elayne is asked whether she knows where Rand is, she replies "no". It may well be that she was just being awkward, but that was the moment when I thought that there is a good chance that Rand has figured out how to mask the bonds and is hopping about with just his personal patch of sunshine to give him away.
He may have arrived in Tear early to do whatever, then unmasked the bonds when he was ready to face Tam, Min and the others.
Then again, it may have just been sunny that day

The Unreasoner 02-18-2012 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by missbee (Post 180392)
@ Unreasoner - Ok, not so similar then.
I can see where you're coming from, but in that case I would have expected more symbolism. The body looks like Rand right up to the point where Nyn touches his face. To me that suggests we're talking about Rand the individual, rather than the Dragon or anyone with pretensions to being the Dragon.
Not exactly what you'd call proof, but I'll stick with it.
My version -
Rand is ostensibly in charge of BT, but Taim has subverted it and used Rand as a figurehead.
Hopefully, soon, someone will teach Taim the error of his ways and Rand-the puppet will be laid to rest (along with Taim)

No. Not so similar at all. But feel free to run with it.

It seems that your interpretation depends on the strings controlling a flesh-and-blood puppet. So I feel the evidence is doubly lacking: you don't make much use of the lack of essence/substance in the puppet/dummy (which seems, to me at least, to be fundamental to the Dream), and you focus on assumed strings 'controlling' the puppet (which may not even be a puppet, I see it as something for display purposes only- Taim may go through the motions of 'Dragoning' (he channels/wears Dragon insignia/struts around) but he is not the Dragon).

I would favor your interpretation if the dream was more along the lines of: 'the Rand puppet suddenly cut the strings that bound him, then gave them a mighty pull. With the pull fell another puppet from the shadows, who was bound by the very strings he once held. And the puppet Rand was puppet no more, but master; and the former master danced for him.'

missbee 02-18-2012 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Unreasoner (Post 180397)
No. Not so similar at all. But feel free to run with it.

It seems that your interpretation depends on the strings controlling a flesh-and-blood puppet. So I feel the evidence is doubly lacking: you don't make much use of the lack of essence/substance in the puppet/dummy (which seems, to me at least, to be fundamental to the Dream), and you focus on assumed strings 'controlling' the puppet (which may not even be a puppet, I see it as something for display purposes only- Taim may go through the motions of 'Dragoning' (he channels/wears Dragon insignia/struts around) but he is not the Dragon).

I would favor your interpretation if the dream was more along the lines of: 'the Rand puppet suddenly cut the strings that bound him, then gave them a mighty pull. With the pull fell another puppet from the shadows, who was bound by the very strings he once held. And the puppet Rand was puppet no more, but master; and the former master danced for him.'

I'm not entirely sure I have grasped your meaning, but here goes (I'm sure you'll put me right if I haven't) :p
I suppose it comes down to the fact that Rand has never been in full control of BT. We can call him a puppet, a figurehead or a display mannequin.
"the lack of essence/substance in the puppet/dummy" is, to me, completely felt by majority of the residents of BT, most of whom haven't a clue who the Dragon really is, have never met him and have no idea of his immediate aims (never mind the long term goals). I think I'm even paraphrasing Logain here.
I'm not focusing on the strings, but rather on the idea that he has no control. He will not " suddenly cut the strings that bound him..." because it is not Rand who will be freeing himself (or regaining control). He remains a puppet while someone else (Logain, Naeff, Androl etc) cuts the strings and takes control, and, it will be someone else, not Rand, who will be assuming the ledership role afterwards.
The puppet leader is cut down, laid to rest and 'brakes apart' when he is finally replaced by others.

fionwe1987 02-18-2012 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by missbee (Post 180392)

@ fionwe1987
One sunny morning in TOM Elayne is asked whether she knows where Rand is, she replies "no". It may well be that she was just being awkward, but that was the moment when I thought that there is a good chance that Rand has figured out how to mask the bonds and is hopping about with just his personal patch of sunshine to give him away.
He may have arrived in Tear early to do whatever, then unmasked the bonds when he was ready to face Tam, Min and the others.
Then again, it may have just been sunny that day

That still doesn't add up for Tear. Min actually feels warmth through the bond even when she comments on the sunshine outside, AND that Rand is far away. So there's no way Rand was secretly in Tear then.

And when Faile and Perrin are entering Caemlyn to meet Elayne, Failed mentions how the ring of sunlight perfectly aligns with Caemlyn. Earlier Gawyn mentions the same. Now, unless Rand was sitting still for long hours in the dead center of Caemlyn for hours on two separate occasions just to mess with reader's heads, I don't see how he could have been there.

Incidentally, can you provide the Brandon quote? Maybe he meant something else...


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