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Old 07-21-2011, 07:13 PM
the_collective the_collective is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishara View Post
I wonder then if they are one and the same (i.e both v0.5)? I bet yes, but of course have no evidence to provide there.
I too thought they were one and the same (and still do, really), until I read Chapters 46-47 to get Fain's perspective on the whole thing. There are plenty of anomalies about the first Myrddraal, for instance - the one that Fain met up with on Winternight near Emond's Field:

a) This Fade checked out several village boys, including our 3 ta'veren, from afar. But out of all the boys observed in this way, only Rand felt hatred toward him personally in the Fade's gaze (NOTE: relevant sections in bold, underlined sections to be addressed at the end of the post):

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ

The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 1: An Empty Road

The rider's cloak covered him to his boot tops, the cowl tugged well forward so no part of him showed. Vaguely Rand thought there was something odd about the horseman, but it was the shadowed opening of the hood that fascinated him. He could only see the vaguest outlines of a face, but he had the feeling he was looking right into the rider's eyes. And he could not look away. Queasiness settled in his stomach. There was only shadow to see in the hood, but he felt hatred as sharply as if he could see a snarling face, hatred for everything that lived. Hatred for him most of all, for him above all things.
Then, when Rand encounters Mat he mentions the black-cloaked rider:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ

The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 1: An Empty Road

Mat swallowed his grin, and his voice dropped to an even hoarser whisper. "You saw him, too? I thought I was the only one. Don't laugh Rand, but he scared me."

"I'm not laughing. He scared me, too. I could swear he hated me, that he wanted to kill me." Rand shivered. Until that day he had never thought of anyone wanting to kill him, really wanting to kill him. That sort of thing just did not happen in the Two Rivers. A fistfight, maybe, or a wrestling match, but not killing.

"I don't know about hating, Rand, but he was scary enough anyway. All he did was sit on his horse looking at me, just outside the village, but I've never been so frightened in my life. Well, I looked away, just for a moment--it wasn't easy, mind you--then when I looked back he'd vanished. Blood and ashes! Three days, it's been and I can hardly stop thinking about him. I keep looking over my shoulder." Mat attempted a laugh that came out as a croak. "Funny how being scared takes you. You think strange things. I actually thought--just for a minute, mind--it might be the Dark One." He tried another laugh, but no sound at all came out this time.
Unfortunately, Perrin had precious little to say on-screen about the black-cloaked rider (he'd been speaking off-screen with Mat about it while Rand was verbally sparring with Nynaeve and Egwene):

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ

The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 2: Strangers

"I saw him on the edge of the village, watching the smithy, just at twilight yesterday. Gave me the shivers, he did."
b) Then we have Narg, an anomaly amongst Trollocs:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ

The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 5: Winternight

A scraping sound behind him sent a chill to his marrow, and he spun, almost falling over the remains of the table. He caught himself, and moaned behind teeth that would have chattered had he not had them clenched until his jaw ached.

One of the Trollocs was getting to his feet. A wolf's muzzle jutted out below sunken eyes. Flat, emotionless eyes, and all too human. Hairy, pointed ears twitched incessantly. It stepped over one of its dead companions on sharp goat hooves. The same black mail the others wore rasped against its leather trousers, and one of the huge, scythe-curved swords swung at its side.

It muttered something, guttural and sharp, then said, "Others go away. Narg stay. Narg smart." The words were distorted and hard to understand, coming from a mouth never meant for human speech. Its tone was meant to be soothing, he thought, but he could not take his eyes off the stained teeth, long and sharp, that flashed every time the creature spoke. "Narg know some come back sometime. Narg wait. You no need sword. Put sword down."

Until the Trolloc spoke Rand had not realized that he held Tam's sword wavering before him in both hands, its point aimed at the huge creature. It towered head and shoulders above him, with a chest and arms to dwarf Master Luhhan.

"Narg no hurt." It took a step closer, gesturing. "You put sword down." The dark hair on the backs of its hands was thick, like fur.

"Stay back," Rand said, wishing his voice were steadier. "Why did you do this? Why?"

"Vlja daeg roghda!" The snarl quickly became a toothy smile. "Put sword down. Narg no hurt. Myrddraal want talk you." A flash of emotion crossed the distorted face. Fear. "Others come back, you talk Myrddraal." It took another step, one big hand coming to rest on its own sword hilt. "You put sword down."

Rand wet his lips. Myrddraal! The worst of the stories was walking tonight. If a Fade was coming, it made a Trolloc pale by comparison. He had to get away. But if the Trolloc drew that massive blade he would not have the chance. He forced his lips into a shaky smile. "All right." Grip tightening on his sword, he let both hands drop to his sides. "I'll talk."

The wolf-smile became a snarl, and the Trolloc lunged for him. Rand had not thought anything that big could move so fast. Desperately he brought his sword up. The monstrous body crashed into him, slamming him against the wall. Breath left his lungs in one gasp. He fought for air as they fell to the floor together, the Trolloc on top. Frantically he struggled beneath the crushing weight, trying to avoid the thick hands groping for him, and snapping jaws.
Lan's reaction to this news:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ

The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 8: A Place of Safety

Rand swallowed. "A Trolloc said the Myrddraal wanted to talk to me. I didn't know what it meant."

Lan's head jerked up; his eyes were blue stones. "You talked to a Trolloc?"

"Not exactly," Rand stammered. Tha Warder's gaze held him like a trap. "It talked to me. It said it wouldn't hurt me, that the Myrddraal wanted to talk to me. Then it tried to kill me." He licked his lips and rubbed his hand along the nobby leather of the sword hilt. In short, choppy sentences he explained about returning to the farmhouse. "I killed it, instead," he finished. "By accident, really. It jumped at me, and I had the sword in my hand."

Lan's face softened slightly, if rock could be said to soften. "Even so, that is something to speak of, sheepherder. Until last night there were few men south of the Borderlands who could say they had seen a Trolloc, much less killed one."
NOTE: The word "talked" in the bolded section of Lan's dialogue here is italicized in the text (I couldn't figure out how to make it so within the quote box, as the whole thing gets italicized by default), making this a particularly incredulous response from Lan. Also note that this is one of only a handful of times that Lan is caught out-of-countenance in this book (hell, the whole series, really).

c) This Myrddraal fought both Moiraine and Lan on Winternight and survived the encounter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ

The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 8: A Place of Safety

"Myrddraal see like eagles, in darkness or in light, but they have no eyes. I can think of few things more dangerous than facing a Myrddraal. Moiraine Sedai and I both tried to kill the one that was here last night, but we failed every time. Halfmen have the Dark One's own luck."
Yet, literally on the same page - 4 'paragraphs' up, Lan says this about fighting Myrddraal:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ

The Eye of the World
CHAPTER 8: A Place of Safety

"Sometimes, sheepherder, stories make things larger than truth. Believe me, the truth is big enough with a Halfman. Halfman, Lurk, Fade, Shadowman; the name depends on the land you're in, but they all mean Myrddraal. Fades are Trolloc spawn, throwbacks almost to the human stock the Dreadlords used to make the Trollocs. Almost. But if the human strain is made stronger, so is the taint that twists the Trollocs. Halfmen have powers of a kind, the sort that stem from the Dark One. Only the weakest Aes Sedai would fail to be a match for a Fade, one against one, but many a good man and true has fallen to them. Since the wars that ended the Age of Legends, since the Forsaken were bound, they have been the brain that tells the Trolloc fists where to strike. In the days of the Trolloc Wars, Halfmen led the Trollocs in battle, under the Dreadlords."
To play the Devil's Advocate, let's assume this first Fade presented in TEotW is in fact a SH prototype (whether or not it's the same one from Baerlon/Whitebridge presented later in the book):

So, we've seen that Rand felt a hatred from this Fade that at least one (if not both) other ta'veren did not feel when watched. This is significant if we assume that the proto-SH's have part of the Dark One's essence imparted to them in the same way that is done later with SH himself. Of course Rand would feel hatred here - he's the Dragon. Just because Ishamael doesn't know this for certain (which I doubt, but I digress) which of the boys is the one sought, this doesn't preclude the Dark One (or any part of Himself, as imparted to others) from recognizing the soul in question.

Now let's take Narg - I'd like each of you to reread this section with the following possibility in mind: From all we know of Trollocs from later on in the series, plus all the information in the books concerning observed behavior and tendencies of Trollocs, plus Lan's response to the news that Rand had a parley with a Trolloc, we can say that this is definitively an odd, unique occurrence in the WoT. We know Trollocs to be interested in killing, eating, destroying and nothing else. They are cowardly, stupid and easily manipulated by others. Yet here we have a Trolloc that played possum at some point during the original fight with Tam, then laid there motionless for at least an hour - probably more, while Tam had time to run into the forest to lay a false trail for the Trollocs in pursuit, ensure that the Trollocs started to follow the false trail, come back to find and talk to Rand at a random location in the middle of the dark forest - all while wounded by Thakandar-tainted steel, AND enough time for Rand himself to sneak around as silently as possible back toward the farm (stopping his trip completely to listen/search the area regularly) while trying to make a plan of action, lurk around the property slowly and silently, then run his way into the house itself after finally seeing Trolloc corpses (which finally drew Narg's attention).

Now, keeping all this in mind, we move onto the encounter itself. As you read this passage, take careful note of the first 3 underlined passages: emotionless eyes, incessantly twitching ears, muttering (I'll get to these in a moment); then all of a sudden, Narg is Mr. Personality. Narg does his best to reason with Rand in a non-violent fashion, but then Rand replies with a philosophical question: "Why?" Note that immediately, Narg's Trolloc tendencies show themselves in the form of a snarling exclamation in the Trolloc tongue. Then note how quickly and deftly this urge is suppressed: "The snarl quickly became a toothy smile." Then, note that immediately after this next line is delivered by Narg, his face becomes "crossed" with "fear." Now, I realize we are led to believe that Narg's reaction here is a result of having mentioned (and therefore thought about) the Myrddraal that is in control of this fist of Trollocs; I will offer a different explanation in just a moment. Anyway, the scene continues and Rand decides that he's gonna cut his losses and give it up for the moment in light of this huge monster that he knows he can't fight head-on and live to tell about it. At that very moment, Narg suddenly becomes all vicious again and tries to take Rand into custody.

Now, I ask one last thing of you before giving a moment for my theory about all of this - compare Narg's behavior in this scene with that of Fain/Mordeth at the end of TEotW (Chapter 46: Fal Dara). In Fain/Mordeth's case, it is apparent to all of us (only because books 2-13 have been released of this series) that Fain is speaking as a distinct personality from Mordeth (and vice versa). Fain's personality is shown to be snivelling, cowering and utterly reprehensible, while Mordeth's personality is proud, arrogant and cunning. The two seem to fight each other for control of their shared body. Hard as it might be to do, try to read this Narg passage very carefully, as if the very same thing is happening to Narg.

We see Narg's Trolloc side attempting to maintain control (incessantly twitching ears, muttering), while Mr. Personality cuts in to give the "Narg won't hurt" speech. Then Rand speaks, which causes Narg's Trolloc side to flare up, but it's immediately brought under control by Mr. Personality. When Rand decides to surrender, Mr. Personality sees no reason to hold Trolloc-Narg back any longer, and so gives full rights of Narg's body back to Trolloc-Narg, who then acts as any other Trolloc would, given the circumstances, and attacks (if with intent to capture, rather than kill).

Obviously speaking peacefully is against Narg's nature as a Trolloc (as defined above). Even Lan is surprised at hearing about it. Now, assuming I'm right about this - who is it that's controlling Narg here?

You may also have noticed that, in several of the scenes quoted above from the book, we have instances of the good guys being frozen in place by "fear" (presumably). In fact, the scene I quoted about the Fade in Baerlon several posts ago also mentioned Rand being frozen in place. Perhaps that is one of the abilities of these proto-SuperFades, as it seems so prevalent.

One more underlined passage I want to touch on is Mat mentioning that when he first saw the "black-cloaked rider," he thought - just for a second - that it might be the Dark One. It's my opinion that this first Fade from TEotW IS in fact a proto-SuperFade, and as such, the Dark One is capable of some limited perception through and/or control of this - and any other - proto-SuperFade (and thereby Narg, as a Trolloc tied to this Myrddraal) as he demonstrates later with SH himself. I believe Mat's statement here to be an ironic joke on the part of Mr. Jordan, and it's freakin hilarious.

It's unclear to me if this first SuperFade is the same one that appeared in Baerlon (as Fain mentioned he'd already been picked up by a crueller Fade by this point) later, but it seems to me that it's entirely possible for each Fade in this book to have been one such.

I know this is an extremely long post and I wrote it over the course of 2 days at work, so I hope that it's not too disjointed. If any clarification is needed on these ideas, I'll happily provide it. Have at it...

Last edited by the_collective; 07-21-2011 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Corrected chapter #s referenced in beginning of post.