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Old 12-30-2010, 10:20 PM
twicemarked twicemarked is offline
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Default What to do to Seal the Bore?

My first theory here. I have seen a few interesting theory on what Rand will do to win. This is a theory on how people other than Rand will contribute to the Last Battle. This is a very long post, so I put some supporting quotes to the end.

Part 1)
Based on the properties of the current Seals, we can deduce that to properly seal the Bore,

the new Seal must satisfy several properties:

1) It needs to be at least as strong as Cuendillar. Anything less would be destroyed
instantly.

2) It needs to last for eternity. The current Seals weakened to the point of breaking after
three thousand years, and three thousand years is just not long enough.

3) It is desirable that the DO's counter stroke during the sealing process, if any, does not
cause another Breaking of the World.

4) It is desirable to have a good reason why the Aes Sedais in the Age of Legend can not come
up with the same answer then, other than they held the idiot ball.

After careful deliberations, there is one answer that satisfies all of them. Before I reveal the answer, let us first consider the nature of the DO's prison.

From all evidence, currently the Pattern is the DO's prison. The DO is outside the Pattern, and trying to break through. If we have something that is as strong as the Pattern, that should be able to contain the DO.

But what is the Pattern anyway? The answer is there in the very first book.

<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Eye of the World
GLOSSARY
The Wheel of Time weaves <b>the threads of human lives </b>into the Pattern of an Age
</quote>

The Pattern is made from threads of human life. So far, this concept is only used to explain
ta'veren and balefire. But it also has a hidden utilization -- a Patch made out of threads of
human life is "Pattern-like", and can fuse with the remainder of the DO's Prison when set to
the Bore. This is the only way to make the DO's Prison the same as the Creator made it, made
entirely out of the Pattern, without any foreign substance.

To seal the DO this way, would replace the existing Seals with a Living Seal, a Seal made of
human lives, stronger than cuendillar and Everlasting. At a metaphysical level, it implies
that people/souls can be the strongest materials in the world. This may be regarded as quite
cheesy, and very cliched. This is very true, but in the WOT, it is the natural result of the
cosmology of WOT. It could even be argued this is the very moral of the whole series.

Thematically, there is no better solution than this.

Before going further into the details, I will show how this solution have all four desirable
properties I set out in the beginning.

1) It is stronger than Cuendillar. The Pattern itself is made from threads of human life and
has stood against the DO for eternity. Since the patch is made from the same material as the
rest of the prison, it should be as strong as the rest of the DO's prison.

2) The Seal can last for eternity, provided people continue to be born, and added to the Seal
as others die. While individual humans are mortal, the human experience can be immortal. In a sense, this Living Seal represents the collective beliefs of those people whose lives are used to construct the Seal. An ideal will not die so long as there are people who follow this
ideal. The Seal can can last forever if there are people who follow the ideals represented by
this Seal.


3) As to the DO's counter strike, it can be rationalized the following way. The cuendillar
disks are not flexible. So the DO's counter strike is transferred to the Saidin used to set
the Seal, thus tainting Saidin. Life threads are flexible, so the counter strike can be absorbed, instead of transferred.

So instead of tainting the True Source, the people whose life threads are used to construct
the Seal will die, and only a remanent will survive the Sealing. It may take an Age for the
Seal to fully fuse with the rest of the DO's prison, and only a remanent of a remanent will
survive to the next Age. So while there will be a great loss of human lives initially, the
world can stabilize and progress from here on.

"The Hard shatters, while the Strong endures." Rand has tried to become as hard as cuendillar
in TGS, and that has failed to achieve any success. He almost shattered. He achieved success
only when he tried to become human, with human emotions. This will be mirrored in the final
Sealing process. Human will succeed where Cuendillar failed.

Robert Jordan said that the tainting of Saidin is due to a "unique" circumstance, without
much elaboration. It is worth noting that the DO has only tainted Saidin using the counter
strike during the Sealing process. If the DO can taint Saidin at any time, He could have done
so at the start of the War of Shadow. If the DO can taint Saidin through the disks after the
Sealing, Rand's Cleansing would have achieved nothing, as the DO can just taint Saidin all
over again.

By having a large death toll at the sealing process, the solution of a Living Human Seal
avoids the cheesy image of hugs and rainbows overcoming evil. Death and sacrifise are
necessary to defeat evil. Love and hugs does not avoid the pain and suffering at all. It only
ensures that the sacrifise given is worthwell, and given willingly.

<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 18 - A Taste of Solitude

it will not really be the Last Battle. Because the Wheel of Time turns, there will come a
time again when the Dark One's prison is whole and no one even remembers him. No one can do
what the Creator did, yet somehow the prison will get back to the way it was in the Age of
Legends.
</quote>


So while it seemed a rhetorical question to ask "how can a man mend what the Creator made",
there is a correct answer -- "using the same material that the Creator used."

In AMOL, this idea to make a Seal/Focus from life threads can easily come from Moiraine by accident. She is practically the only one mumbling about Threads and Patterns in the whole

series anyway. She can talk about the Pattern in an off-handed way like "or do you think the
Wheel will weave a new Pattern and keep the DO's Prison shut when the Dragon go down to the
Pit of Doom?", and someone says all of a sudden," Why, that is a great idea!" Thus, fulfilling Min's viewing about the importance of Moiraine.

4) For property number 4, to make the Seal, we need a special type of people, who are not
available in the Age of Legends. If we consider the Seals representing the beliefs of those
people, an ideal that materialized so to speak, the strength of the Seal should be directly
related to the strength of the ideal. "Order and belief brings strength." The strength of the
Living Seal is dependent upon the order and belief of the people made up the Seal, and how
strongly they believe in that ideal. While people and souls <b> can</b> be stronger than
Cuendillar, it is not always so. Only with the right ideals and belief can this be realized.

On who those people must be, we come to part 2).


I added a few references at the end of this post [1][2][3] about quotes in the book that can
be explained better with the idea of a Human Seal.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part 2)

After the method of Sealing the Bore is found, two questions remain:

A) Whose life threads to use, and
B) the mechanism of creating a Seal out of life threads.

The answer to the first question comes naturally during Aviendha's second trip into Rhuidean.

We can clearly see that the Aiel can not remain a society of warriors. Here, we have a people
without purpose, and we also have a purpose without the needed people from Part 1). Bring two
and two together, I imagine a scenario where Aviendha will make the Aiel the Focus of the
Human Seal, a new purpose given to the Aiel who follows a new Covenant. The lives of the Aiel
who swear to the Covenant willingly, will be added to the Focus of the Seal. As long as there
are enough Aiel keeping to the Covenant, the Seal will remain strong, and the DO can not
break free.

Some quotes in TOM implied this kind of battles as the ultimate last battle. The Last Battle
here is unlike in any traditional fantasy. It is not about Heroes defeating Evil, but about
mankind confronting Evil.

<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - The Tower of Midnight

This is not my battle. I will guide you, but I have too much to do,

Breaking the spirit of men....he thirsts for that. He struck far harder than he otherwise
would have because he wanted to break my spirit.
</quote>

Rand is only the leader. The real work has to be done by the regular people. The leader can
only prepare people to make the hard choices.

In order for the Covenant to have any meaning, becoming the Focus of the Seal must be a
dangerous, daunting and lifelong task. It might mean that they could possibly battle the DO
in an alternate dimension (T'A'R maybe) every day, for the rest of their lives. They may be
tortured, they may be tempted. Some will receive wounds in the dream, and wake up injured;
and some will die in their sleep during the battle. If enough died, the DO will break
through. And the first night when the patch is applied, the counter stroke will kill many,
and drive lots of Aiel insane. After that night, there will still be battles, and injuries
... thus the tension remains.

When Aviendha starts to train to become a Wise One, she gave up her spears. She can not fight
two battles at the same time. Similarly, it is for this specific purpose, that the Aiel are
no longer capable of fighting a battle in the flesh during the day. For them, it is "the last
battle" -- in the flesh, until the Wheel turns, and the Third Age comes again, at least.

They give up the spear not to avoid fighting, like the Tinkers, but to fight an even harder
battle of nightmares. This go back to the following theme earlier on in the series:

<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Shadow rising
Chapter 23 -- Beyond the Stone
You are not giving up a hard and dangerous life for a softer, but for a harder and more dangerous.
</quote>

This was said to Aviendha on giving up the spear. And Aviendha could say the same thing to all the Aiel joining the Covenant, and giving up the spear for something more.

This new battle front will change Aiel in a major way, because in this battle, there is no glory. There is no possibility of victory in the traditional sense. No Aiel can kill the DO.

The best they can do is to stand their ground, withstand the abuse, and prevent the DO from
getting out. Each will fight like other Aiel before them, and other Aiel after them. And even
if they succeed one night, they have to fight another night, just like the previous night,
and each battle is just as important as the last one. There can be no glory, just a job well
done. In a way, this is very close to the Da'shain Aiel's system of honor through service,
instead of glory in battle.

Some may consider this a bleak vision for the Aiel. Only a remanent of a remanent will
survive. A large percentage may die in the first night they become the focus, testing their
resolve. If 50% died in the very first night, people may ask, "can we really last through
this"?

But it also presents a highly idealistic version of war: that some people fight nightmares,
so other people don't have to. Consider RJ's combat background, it is a fitting end to his
final battles.

And this also connects nicely with the theme of the Horn of Valere.

<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Great Hunt
Chapter 46
Let who sounds me think not of glory, think only of salvation.
</quote>

I can't think of a better motto for the new Aiel. Their fight against the DO is not of glory,
but of salvation. Salvation of themselves, and salvation of man kind.

The idea of fighting a war for salvation instead of glory is an essential theme to this series. It is expressed repeatedly by Mat, Perrin and Rand. They are not fighting a war for their own glory, and they are not fighting a war for the glory of others, be it Andor, Seanchan or the WT. They only took up leadership for the salvation of their followers, not for their glory. And I expect the Light side leaders, especially Elayne, Tuon and Egwene, will eventually realize this, and work together.

Battling the DO in this fashion presents a whole new meaning to the Shaido incident and the
Bleakness. The Second Aiel War and the Bleakness must happen, so the remaining Aiel can be strong enough to stand against the DO in this new battle. The Aiel who left seek only of glory, are thus not fit to fight the DO. Even if they do not join the Shadow in seeking glory, they are likely to abandon their post to seek glory in a dream created by the DO, thus easily tempted.

Now, the answer to Property number 4) becomes clear: the Dragon can not seal the DO properly
in the AOL, but can do it in the Third Age because, "they had no Battle Harden Aiel back
then".

The peace loving Da'shain Aiel that followed the Way of the Leaf in the AOL were simply not
strong enough to face the DO. If the Aiel in the Third Age must return to the Way of the Leaf
before winning the last battle, the obvious question is: How come the folks in the AOL can
not figure out something so simple, with all their foretellings, dreaming and peace loving
Da'shain Aiel at the peak power for one hundred years before the War of the Shadow?

We can also look at the Breaking of the World in a new light. At the end of the War of the
Shadow, there was no permanent solution against the DO. So a temporary solution of using
cuendillar was chosen by the Pattern. This merely buys time until the Aiel can grow strong enough to face the DO in a Last Battle at the end of the Third Age. The task assigned to the Aiel by the Wheel becomes clear, even if the Aes Sedai who set this into motion may not be aware of this.

<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Shadow Rising
Chapter 26 -- The Dedicated
Besides, the Da'Shain have a part yet to play, if Deindre could only see far enough to say
what. In any case, I mean to save something here, and that something is you.

</quote>

From this point on, Aiel will no longer be marked by clan or sept or bloodline. Anyone who decide to dedicate themselves to the fight against the DO, and proves capable of doing so, can become an Aiel, and maintain the Seal at a personal cost. In this fashion, they will become like the Tinkers, who will take in anyone who want to follow the Way of the Leaf. The pure blooded way of the Aiel will become a thing of the past.

At the start of the Fourth Age, the DO's attack will be strong, and as society gets stronger,
more orderly, the attack will be fewer and fewer, until the attack themselves becomes a myth, then a legend, until the DO is forgotten, and the Prison is whole and drilled again when the
Second Age comes again.

Aiel will start with no more battle of the flesh. Then there is no more battle of the nightmare. Sometime during that long chain of events, the Aiel will adapt the Way of the Leaf, so when the Second Age comes again, the full cycle can begin anew.

In this fashion, the answer to why the Aiel <b> CANNOT </b> return to the Way of the Leaf before the Last Battle is the same answer as to why Olver can not be Gaidal Cain, the timing is wrong. If the Aiel return to the Way of the Leaf now, what do they do in Age 4,5,6,7 and 1?

Based on this assumption, I would also have the perfect item to raise an Aiel -- The Accepttron. Several Wise Ones will operate it, and show the new initiate what the DO is likely to do to prevent the initiate from his task of guarding the Bore, from their personal experience. When the initiate passes, he/she is washed clean of his previous life, and becomes an Aiel, ready to join the fight confronting the DO.

To come out of the Accepttron, requires one to have one purpose above all else. This is acceptable only if that purpose itself is noble enough. To guard creation from destruction
sounds like one that should override all other concerns.

In this context, the Dragon's Peace has an entirely different meaning than just no fighting
among the nations. The Aiel, by becoming the Living Seal, has to be protected and respected
by every nation, without a need to defend themselves ever again. They must prosper to ensure future generations of fighters against the DO. The Dragon's Peace is a necessary condition
for the Aiel to prosper, and defend the world, rather than a cease fire imposed as a price of
spoiling the Dragon's blood.

The Dragon's Peace will be the Peace upon the Aiel. They shall never be harmed by men, and
must be cared for by men. They can do whatever they need by day(planting trees, maybe), and
fight nightmares by night. Those that are injured or driven mad by the DO must be cared for by other men so that the Aiel can prosper. So while the Aiel are very good at self defense at the moment, there will no longer be a need for Aiel to defende themselves in the Fourth Age.

As time goes by, the Aiel can gradually adapt the Way of the Leaf. Only when all men who wish harm upon the Aiel are defeated by other men, can the Aiel themselves adapt the Way of the Leaf. Non-violence is only acceptable when peace is enforced without a need for self defense.

My personal belief is that the Sealing process will kill many Aiel, but thereafter, it is
likely madness that will result from the nightly battle against the DO. This is mirrored by the Sealing process at the End of the Second Age. The breaking of the World is the result of powerful channelers going mad. In this Age, a different group of people will go mad. The price is the same, but the world can handle one much easier than the other. There will likely be more Aiel than male channelers, so the impact is spread wider, and smaller.

I also have a lingerly thought that if there is one thing RJ may want to say in this series, based on his personal combat experience in Vietnam, it will be whether or not the U.S. has
paid enough attention to the mental health of combat veterans. Those Aiel who are driven mad
will have proper medical care in the book, and discussed as such in the setting of the series. What this says about us can be implied.

Rand's entire experience in TGS could well be a very personal experience for Robert Jordan. Hardened by brutal combat experience, driven by madness to the point of suicide, and recovered
due to love. While this is possible without outside help, like Rand did, and how RJ
reintegrated into society, it is highly likely that explicit mental health care for the Aiel
will be made in the series.

From the Aiel cultural prospective, this would fit their existing culture much better. As we
can see from Aviendha's POV in TGS, to an Aiel, the worst kind of shame is useless labor. If
the Aiel were to return to the Way of the Leaf now, the last three thousand years are useless
labor. The Aiel who throw away the objects of One Power, and became Tinkers at the Breaking
of the World would earn great honor.

If the Aiel becomes the Focus of the New Seal, the last three thousands years in the desert
would merely be the tempering process before they can be forged. The desert in Three-fold land, hot by day, and cold by night, exhibit the exact same condition as the tempering process. "Three fold", folding metal over and over to turn iron into tempered steel. The signs are all here for people who wish to look.

It would also grant them great honor. Basically, they are just declared the best warrior in the whole world, and the only warrior capable of standing up against a deity. Their stand every night against the DO is the proof that no one can deny. There is nothing more they could want. Rand has said he has toh toward the Aiel. And the best way to meet his toh is to give ji to the Aiel.

If the final solution to Sealing the DO is to use human threads, the obvious danger is for tyrants to sacrifice helpless people to make Seals -- Weak Seals that do not last long, but will do for the life time of these tyrants. The leaders are essentially sending people to harm's way.

The WOT series would become very dark if indeed someone would just pick up any human threads and make a Seal out of it. In fact, I suspect that Faile and Perrin will put their own life threads in, and Perrin will have to accept the possibilities, and that will be his ultimate
personal growth, in direct contrast to his "Damn the world,save Faile first" attitude.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part 3)

Having said that, it becomes obvious what my personal idea is, about question B), How will
Life Threads be made into a Seal. I took it to be self evident, that Perrin, the Blacksmith, will make new Seals out of human Threads with his magic Hammer, in the Dream World. Since Perrin put some of his own soul into the Hammer, I envision him leaving the Hammer there, and the Hammer will keep on working the Forge on its own, adding future life threads to reinforce the Seal, for eternity. That is a much better use of a magic hammer than killing mere Trollocs.

"There is a difference between an axe and a hammer. A hammer can build." That implies Perrin
will build something with his magic hammer. What better thing to build than a prison for the DO, or at least a new door/lock on that prison.

Or maybe Perrin becomes a hero of the Horn after death, and have to stay in the T'A'R, keep
working the dream forge and re-enforce the Seal with new life threads that swear to the new
Covenant. Perrin could live his after life doing what he want to do the most, being a simple
blacksmith god. In either case, it seems a fitting end.

Perrin could even "die"(enter the T'A'R too strongly so his body almost die) before the Last
Battle, so that he can start to make the Seal full time in the dream world, while everyone
else think the Broken Wolf has died.

If I didn't have the restriction of no more trips to Seanchan mainland, I would even have
Perrin use the Crystal Throne as the Anvil to make the Seals. Perrin could have found it
using "Need", and taken it to make the Seal without realizing what it is he took. That would
give Rand kneeling to the Crystal Throne a much more benign meaning, a tribute to the sacrifice of the Aiel. I just think it would be a great way to play with the letter of a prophecy like this.

The details to make it work can come about in many ways. It may well be that entering T'A'R
in the flesh will expose one's life thread, to someone who knows where to look. The Aiel
Dream Walkers may give Perrin the final hint, in a grand session of information sharing. Or
Lanfear may give Perrin a hint on how to bend life threads to create a Pattern. Anyhow, many
things in the dream world can be hand waved to allow a Seal to be constructed out of life
threads, and things happening to the life thread can be reflected to that person.

As to the Trollocs, they are still important. The purpose of the Trollocs are to eliminate
any human threads that can be used to form the Seal. If they can kill all the Aiel in their
sleep, the Seal will break and the DO will break free. So the battle of the swords are necessary, but the purpose is to protect the people who are fighting the DO at a different level. it is not the real battle, as Verin Sedai so thoughtfully indicated, but it is still a necessary battle.

In this line of thinking, a "Dark Rand" who did not destroy the Pattern could also "win" the
Last Battle by making Seals out of people's lives against their wills, and name they
"collateral damage". The Seal will be weak by nature, but will do for a period of time. That
would be like a world where the weak are routinely killed on the alter to strength the Seal.

A victory by the light could indeed be as dark as a defeat. The difference between good and evil then becomes obvious.

I envision the three ta'verens work together like this:

Mat is the General, and fights the Last Battle in the Flesh against the Trollocs and the Dreadlords.
Perrin is the Bannerman, gathering Wolves in the Dream, plus Aiel who dedicated themselves,
hammering these life threads into a new Seal, and gives it to Rand. The wolf will act as
guides to man, on fighting nightmare and the DO in the Dream. Man will be running with wolves, in the dreams at first. After a few ages, man will run with wolves in the flesh, which is how wolf brothers started in the beginning.
And Rand is the Dragon, using the Seal made by Perrin as the focus, and set it on the DO's
prison, and reseal the Bore for as long as there are Aiel left to maintains the Seal. This is
still going to a hard task, needing the help of women, a blade of light, etc. There will be a
struggle at SG, but this is only the beginning. The rest of the battle are fought by mankind,
not the Dragon. It will not be the Dragon that defeated Evil and saved mankind. It will be
mankind that hold the Evil at bay, and saved mankind.

Thus the DO's counter attack can kill many characters in one fella step, and reduce the Aiel
to the remnant of a remnant. And yet there are enough left to maintain the Seal, and win the
LB at a heavy cost, and a continuing cost with danger just lurking around the corner. It is a
fight with a heavy cost, but also hope.

To maintain dramatic tension, it may be preferable for Rand to go to the Pit of Doom, without the right idea of how to seal the Bore, or relying on a wrong idea. He went in relying on
faith, faith in the Creator to help him win. But in fact, he was relying on a faith of mankind, relying on others doing their part to help him.

Behind him, others like Perrin/Moiraine/Aviendha will be scrambling to create the things the Dragon would need, and rushing to deliver it to him. It would be a pleasant surprise to Rand,
that the people whom he is trying to protect come through for him. He does not have to do it all by himself. The whole world has become one to help him.

I could totally see Moiraine riding on dream Bela again to deliver the finished Seal to Rand at the very last second at the T'A'R version of the Edmonds Field, where it all began, and Seal the Bore properly.

-----------------------
Reference
[1]
The current thinking about the Seal center around the following statements by LTT:
<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 22 - The Last That Could Be Done

She's right, Lews Therin said suddenly.

She? Rand asked.

The pretty one. With the short hair. She says we need to break the seals. She's right.

Rand froze, pulling Tai'daishar up short, ignoring the groom who had come to take the horse.

To hear Lews Therin agreeing. . . .

What do we do after that? Rand asked.

We die. You promised we could die!

Only if we defeat the Dark One, Rand said. You know that if he wins, there will be nothing for us. Not even death.

Yes . . . nothing, Lews Therin said. That would be nice. No pain, no regret. Nothing.

Rand felt a chill. If Lews Therin began to think that way . . . No, Rand said, it wouldn't be
nothing. He would have our soul. The pain would be worse, far worse.

Lews Therin began to weep.

Lews Therin! Rand snapped in his mind. What do we do? How did you seal the Bore last time?

It didn't work, Lews Therin whispered. We used saidin, but we touched it to the Dark One. It
was the only way! Something has to touch him, something to close the gap, but he was able to

taint it. The seal was weak!

Yes, but what do we do differently? Rand thought.

Silence.
</quote>

The general interpretation is that the "something" here is referring to Saidin, due to the obvious fact that Saidin was tainted. But a simpler interpretation is the cuendillar disks,
the focus on the DO's prison. "something to close the gap", the Gap on the DO's prison.

It was a trap typical of Robert Jordan, hiding things in plain sight, just like good old Verin Sedai.

There are a number of quotes seeming to indicate that the DO is touching the cuendillar disks
directly.




[2]
<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 9 - A Signal

As much as she wanted to find out where Siuan Sanche wanted them to chase the Black Ajah
next, the seal was the source of her haste to reach Tar Valon. Digging coins from one of the
fat purses, she avoided touching the flat purse; the longer it remained in her possession, the more she wanted to hand it to the Amyrlin and be done with it. Sometimes she thought she could feel the Dark One, trying to break through, when she was near the thing.

</quote>

When the cuendillar disks broke, they no longer felt evil as they are no longer touched by the DO.

[3]
<quote>
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 50 - To Teach, and Learn

"It was whole when we put it in the purse." Nynaeve paused to work moisture back into her
mouth. As much as her eyes had avoided the covering cloth before, they could not leave the
seal now. Leane had smirked when she saw the red dress unwrapped from around its cargo, and
said... No, she would not run away from it, even in her head! "Why should we have thought to
take special care? It's cuendillar!"

"We didn't look at it," Elayne said breathlessly, "or touch it more than we had to. It felt
filthy, evil." It no longer did. Carlinya had made them each hold a piece, demanding to know
what evil feeling they were talking about.
</quote>


It may well be that only the cuendillar disk the DO is currently working on will felt evil.

The others, broken or otherwise, will not.

"The seal was weak!", because cuendillar was not strong enough to absorb the counter strike.