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  #1  
Old 10-29-2010, 01:36 AM
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Default A Forsaken Love Story

In the epilogue, when Rand recognizes Lanfear in Cyndane's eyes, he has a strange reaction:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - Towers of Midnight
EPILOGUE - And After

Rand froze, staring into that pit. He sought calmness, but he could not find it. Instead, he felt hatred, concern, and—like a seething viper within him—desire. That had been Mierin Eronaile, a woman he had once called the Lady Selene.

A woman most people knew by the name she'd taken upon herself. Lanfear.
On the surface, it might not seem all that strange. We know that Lews Therin and Mierin were lovers, so it seems natural that he might have some desire for her.

But there are some strange things about this. The most obvious is that she does not even look like Lanfear any more. The next thing to come to mind is this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 6 - Gateways

"You were always ambitious, Mierin." His voice grated in his ears. "Why do you think I turned away from you? It wasn't Ilyena, whatever you like to think. You were out of my heart long before ever I met her. Ambition is all there is to you. Power is all you ever wanted. You disgust me!"

She stared at him, both hands pressed hard against her stomach, her dark eyes even larger than usual. "Graendal said..." she began faintly. Swallowing, she began again. "Lews Therin? I love you, Lews Therin. I have always loved you, and I always will. You know that. You must!"

Rand's face was like rock; he hoped it hid his shock. He had no idea where his words had come from, but it seemed he could remember her. A dim memory, from before. I am not Lews Therin Telamon! "I am Rand al'Thor!" he said harshly.
So, even with Rand having all of Lews Therin's memories now, that desire makes no sense, quite aside from the fact that she doesn't even look the same. This came straight from Lews Therin's memories. His hatred and concern make more sense as his own emotions, but not the desire.

What makes me most suspicious is that there is even more evidence in this book of Rand's merge with Moridin, though the Light ta'veren and Fisher effects detract away from that truth. Everything seems perfectly groovy, but inside Rand's head, there are some scary things going on. I'll start another thread for this, probably.

With that fact in mind, IMO things get much more interesting. Take this, for example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 5 - Writings

"You did this intentionally?"

"Of course," Graendal said. "I practically had to lead him by the hand to Natrin's Barrow. Lews Therin never was good at seeing facts directly in front of his nose. Moridin, don't you see? How will Lews Therin react to what he has done? Destroying an entire fortress, a miniature city of its own, with hundreds of occupants? Killing innocents to reach his goal? Will that sit easily within him?"

Moridin hesitated. No, he had not considered that. She smiled inwardly. To him, al'Thor's actions would have made perfect sense. They were the most logical, and therefore most sensible, means of accomplishing a goal.

But al'Thor himself . . . his mind was full of daydreams about honor and virtue. This event would not sit easily within him, and speaking of him as Lews Therin to Moridin would reinforce that. These actions would tear at al'Thor, rip at his soul, lash his heart raw and bleeding. He would have nightmares, wear his guilt on his shoulders like the yoke of a heavily laden cart.

She could vaguely remember what it had been like, taking those first few steps toward the Shadow. Had she ever felt that foolish pain? Yes, unfortunately. Not all of the Chosen had. Semirhage had been corrupt to the bone from the start. But others of them had taken different paths to the Shadow, including Ishamael.

She could see the memories, so distant, in Moridin's eyes. Once, she'd not been sure who this man was, but now she was. The face was different, but the soul was the same. Yes, he knew exactly what al'Thor was feeling.
There is a very, very strong implication here that Ishamael once had a heart. That fact in itself is not too surprising - Rand seems to have some amount of affection at least for the memory of who Elan Morin was before he turned to the Shadow - but it brings up an interesting possibility.

What if Elan Morin turned to the Shadow because Mierin Eronaile broke his heart?

It seems kind of crazy, but there is at least some evidence for it. First, a quote from RJ:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
The Path of Daggers book tour 24 October 1998, Palo Alto - Drew Gillmore reporting



Chris asked if Moghedien had been raped by Shaidar Haran. The answer was "Yes, among other things."...someone asked if Lanfear had been raped as well, and he answered right away with a "No".
Moghedien, Mesaana, and now Graendal have all been raped by Shaidar Haran. Why not Cyndane? Could it be that Moridin claimed her for himself?

There seems to be at least some evidence for that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - Winter's Heart
CHAPTER: 13 - Wonderful News

Putting a hand over his heart, for all the world like a lover, Moridin tilted up Cyndane's chin on his fingertips. Resentment burned in her eyes, but her face might have been a doll's unchanging face. She certainly accepted his attentions like a pliable doll. "Cyndane knows many things," Moridin said softly, "and she tells me everything she knows. Everything." The tiny woman's expression never altered, but she trembled visibly.
And also, Moiraine indicates that a man came to Ghenjei to make a deal for Lanfear:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 57 - A Rabbit for Supper

"They claimed to have killed Lanfear by draining her too quickly, though I think they may have been trying to make me afraid. A man was there once, when they woke me. He said I was not the one he wanted." She hesitated, then shivered. "Sometimes I wished that they would drain me quickly and end my life."
Some might suggest Slayer, but I still think Slayer is a red herring concerning Ghenjei. The timing is right for Moridin to have saved her; we first saw him a book before we first saw Cyndane. It's even possible that his price had to do with the scene in Shadar Logoth where he helped Rand with Sammael.

It makes a lot of sense to me, from a thematic perspective, that Lanfear had something to do with Ishamael's path to the Shadow. He should have been the next best thing to Lews Therin for someone who loved only power - he was intelligent, honored, respected, and just as strong in the Power - but Lanfear remained obsessed with Lews Therin, right up until the point where she battled Moiraine.

It also gives a new and creepy meaning to her name, Last Chance. Her last chance to accept him as her lover? And her pride was what led to her being mindtrapped? She's obviously broken to his will now, but only barely. She accepts it in her actions, but not in her demeanor. She's still just as obsessed with Lews Therin as she was before...only now she wants to kill him.

There are still questions about her physical appearance too. Was she killed, or not? They don't seem to have drained her as much as they did Moiraine, so their story doesn't make sense (aside from what Moiraine saw), but there is still the fact that Brandon assumed she had been. What's going on here? Did she die, or is she wearing an inverted Mask of Mirrors? If so, then why? Does Moridin want to keep her real beauty for himself? Did he make her an offer after he realized she (finally) hated Lews Therin, and kill her when she refused him, only to transmigrate her in another body?

In any case, I think it adds a very, very interesting new dimension to the Forsaken.
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Last edited by Terez; 11-07-2010 at 12:16 AM.
  #2  
Old 10-29-2010, 10:29 AM
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Default I never thought of that

I don't disagree with your theory necessarily, you make some good arguments, but I thought the desire stemmed from the fact that the things about Lanfear that had disgusted him, the ambition, the desire for power, had been so thoroughly beaten away from her that she was now once again the woman he had loved. The same way a woman wearing an a'dam can entirely lose her previous traits and identity, one held in a mindtrap must feel much the same way.
  #3  
Old 10-29-2010, 03:47 PM
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I don't think that all those things would make the desire come back, especially not conflicted with the hatred.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:10 PM
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Hmmmm, from a guy's point of view how about having basically the best sex with the hottest chick of all time for years before things sorta fell apart.

You'll never go back but all those memories aren't going away either?

Besides, the rep that has been built up for Lanfear is that she could elicit desire in basically any man that sees her.

Now granted she's not particularly very desirable in the dream but perhaps Rand/Lews Therin still has that physical reation from all the time he spent with her before.

IF INDEED Ishamael has a soft spot for her, then things get sorta twisted. Do you normally torture someone you have that amount of desire for like she's been tortured? Does it turn him on in some sort of sick twisted way? Is he being forced to torture her by either Shaidar Haran or the Dark One?

Also I thought that the reason Ishy turned was for more philosophical reasons. His logic led him that way because of despair.

This has thematic resonane actually with Denethor in Lord of the Rings. He looked into the palantir and saw Sauron's twisted version of things, lost hope, fell into despair, and went apeshit crazy, and tried to burn his own son.

I can see Ishy turning to the Dark One for similar reasons.

Thinking along the same lines, Rand should have destroyed Creation in tGS but was able to step back perhaps because of the upbringing he had in this life and the love of family and friends he experienced.

Ishy perhaps never had access to that or simply did not understand these issues and thus gave up.

I really don't see how a love for Lanfear would be thematically superior as a driving force to turn to the Shadow.

Interesting theory though and well supported as always Terez but my gut tells me this is not the way we are headed with Ishy, Lanfear, and Rand in book 14.

Dennis
  #5  
Old 10-29-2010, 04:12 PM
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Most guys have had the same reaction as me - his desire for her was downright odd. So maybe not all guys are so shallow as you.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:47 PM
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No most guys are, they're just better at hiding it.

This piece by sports columnist Bill Simmons comparing wide receiver Randy Moss to the "Crazy Hot Chick" is instructive:

"You know it probably won't last long. You know you can't get attached. You know that it has to be condoms all the time, every time, no exceptions. You know you can't let her move her stuff into your apartment, give her a key, get your e-mail password or find out where your checkbook is. Even when things are going perfectly -- like a vacation in Mexico when you're watching the sun setting on the beach, or a dance floor at a wedding when she's the sexiest girl there and you're the envy of your buddies -- in the back of your mind, you're constantly saying 'Keep your guard up, keep your guard up, keep your guard up,' because that's how it has to be. And at the first hint of trouble, you bail. No hard feelings."

And:

The last two lines were eerily similar to what Whitlock wrote. You know why? Because that's how you end things with the Crazy Hot Chick! Bill Belichick finally bailed late Monday night, right after Moss didn't catch a pass in Monday's Miami blowout, missed a couple of blocks, nearly got punched by the quarterbacks coach at halftime, then couldn't be calmed down on the team's plane ride home. (And yes, that story is true, too.) Added together, it was like Crazy Hot Girl causing a scene at dinner just because you said "I don't know where this is headed," steaming in silence on the way home, breaking a wine bottle back at your apartment, storming out with no shoes, disappearing for the night, then sending a group e-mail to your buddies the following morning that you were hung like a field mouse. And the whole time, you're thinking "God, I was attracted to her that ENTIRE TIME. I need to get out of this!"


Basically, Lanfear is the crazy hot chick ex-girlfriend of Lews Therin. Does he love Ilyena? Of course. Will he ever go back to Lanfear? Of course not. Can he still feel desire for her? Sure. She's the Crazy Hot Chick.

Dennis
  #7  
Old 10-31-2010, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terez View Post
Most guys have had the same reaction as me - his desire for her was downright odd. So maybe not all guys are so shallow as you.
Are you familiar with the crazy/hot graph? That could explain it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:13 AM
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Default Schwing!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terez View Post
Most guys have had the same reaction as me - his desire for her was downright odd. So maybe not all guys are so shallow as you.
Hang on! I resemble that remark

Dang it my last post was eaten while I was looking for a quote. Durned timing out site #$^@@!

Ahem.

Quote:
"I have never thought of it before," Loial said abruptly, as if he were talking to himself,"but if there is such a thing as perfect human beauty, in face and form, then you-"

"Loial!" Rand shouted. The Ogier's ears stiffened in embarrassment. Rand's own ears were red; Loial's words had been too close to what he himself was thinking.
Maybe if Rand just got a tee shirt saying "yup, I tapped that"... or words to that effect.

OTOH Rand has exchanged one lover for three, so in a way, he is moving up in the world... in the sense that the three know about it and are okay with it.

Is there a chance Ilyena will resurface at any point?
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:26 AM
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Maybe Min is Ilyena reborn and Elayne's hair is a red herring.
(I'm pretty sure Egwene is Latra Posae reborn)
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofer View Post
OTOH Rand has exchanged one lover for three, so in a way, he is moving up in the world... in the sense that the three know about it and are okay with it.
If he times it right, then he could now do Mierin* and have all three think it is one of the other two.

* Whatever she wants to call herself.
  #11  
Old 11-28-2010, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat View Post
If he times it right, then he could now do Mierin* and have all three think it is one of the other two.

* Whatever she wants to call herself.
Now you're making it sound like a sitcom.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:19 PM
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Perhaps more of a 'reality series'. The DO does try to play Big Brother, doesn't he?

At the end of book three, Be'lal was voted out. At the end of book five, Rahvin was voted out, and Asmodean left in a rather suspicious manner too. In book ...
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat View Post
Perhaps more of a 'reality series'. The DO does try to play Big Brother, doesn't he?

At the end of book three, Be'lal was voted out. At the end of book five, Rahvin was voted out, and Asmodean left in a rather suspicious manner too. In book ...
And he failed the food task, which is why the world is starving.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:05 PM
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Surely, you guys can see what's coming.



CYNDANE:
Oh, Rand, I'm so sorry. I've seen the error of my ways. I was a fool to put pride and ambition before friendship and family and now I suffer for my sins.

RAND:
Yes, yes you were.

CYNDANE:
I have little time left, but please know this. Before I go, just let me say one thing. I'm sorry.


RAND:
I don't believe you...

CYNDANE:
Of course you don't. Why should you. It's not like I've given you any cause to trust me...

RAND:
Mierin...

CYNDANE:
Aaaah! He's torturing me again.

RAND:
Oh, Flame me...

CYNDANE:
I'm so sorry! So sorry! Please forgive me, Lews Therin. AAAAAAAAAH!


RAND:
*Sigh* I have to save her.

MIN:
What? Are you nuts?

RAND:
Even SHE doesn't deserve to suffer His tortures, Min. I have to save her so her soul can rest.

MIN:
Rand, you've always had a blind-spot for women in need.

MAT:
Seconded.

BIRGITTE:
Thirded. Don't be an idiot, al'Thor. I already have enough of those on my hands. *Looks at Elayne*


ELAYNE
*Strokes the Admiral Ackbar statue*

STATUE:
It's a trap!


RAND:
No! I must save her.


(Some considerable time later)


RAND:
Mierin, I have come to save you.


DARK ONE:
DIE NOW MY ANCIENT ENEMY

CYNDANE:
Ha ha ha ha! Sucker!


RAND:
Agh! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

CYNDANE:
Wuh ha ha ha ha! Mine is an evil laugh.

And scene.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:30 PM
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Default Unaccountable Desire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terez View Post
I don't think that all those things would make the desire come back, especially not conflicted with the hatred.
Terez, from your post it seems that

1 Rand has an unaccountable desire for Cyndane/Lanfear (along with hatred and concern)

2 Moridin seems to have some sort of fixation or desire for her.

3 Rand and Moridin seem to be merging more

Maybe Rand is feeling Moridin's desire through the connection?

Or perhaps that was a conclusion in your post that I somehow missed?
  #16  
Old 10-29-2010, 09:45 PM
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That was what I was getting at. Dennis is saying that Rand's desire makes sense, but I think the quote from TFOH makes it clear that it makes no sense at all.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 15 - A Place to Begin

"I feel so tired," Moridin continued, closing his eyes. "Is that you, or is it me? I could throttle Semirhage for what she did."

Rand frowned. Was Moridin mad? Ishamael had certainly seemed crazy, at the end.

"It is not time for us to fight," Moridin said, waving a hand at Rand. "Go. Leave me in peace. I do not know what would happen to us if we killed one another. The Great Lord will have you soon enough. His victory is assured."

"He has failed before and will fail again," Rand said. "I will defeat him."

Moridin laughed again, the same heartless laugh as before. "Perhaps you will," he said. "But do you think that matters? Consider it. The Wheel turns, time and time again. Over and over the Ages turn, and men fight the Great Lord. But someday, he will win, and when he does, the Wheel will stop.

"That is why his victory is assured. I think it will be this Age, but if not, then in another. When you are victorious, it only leads to another battle. When he is victorious, all things will end. Can you not see that there is no hope for you?"

"Is that what made you turn to his side?" Rand asked. "You were always so full of thoughts, Elan. Your logic destroyed you, didn't it?"

"There is no path to victory," Moridin said. "The only path is to follow the Great Lord and rule for a time before all things end. The others are fools. They look for grand rewards in the eternities, but there will be no eternities. Only the now, the last days."

He laughed again, and this time there was joy in it. True pleasure.
Why does he want it to end so badly? Why is he so full of hate? The others are so easy to read in this aspect, but Ishamael has always been a bit of an enigma.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:39 AM
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Exactly. If Ishamael is correct, then final victory for the Dark One would also mean ultimately annihilation for himself as well. The other Forsaken don't get it, but he does. Soooo . . . why work for that?

Unless he is just as tired of being spun out over and over and over again and just wants it to end no matter what. In other words the void is better than this repetition?

Dennis
  #19  
Old 11-01-2010, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfchang813 View Post
Exactly. If Ishamael is correct, then final victory for the Dark One would also mean ultimately annihilation for himself as well. The other Forsaken don't get it, but he does. Soooo . . . why work for that?

Unless he is just as tired of being spun out over and over and over again and just wants it to end no matter what. In other words the void is better than this repetition?

Dennis
We've got an expression in law enforcement - suicide by police.

Maybe Ishy is suicidal and contemplating suicide by the DO.
  #20  
Old 10-30-2010, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Dragon Reborn
CHAPTER: 27 - Tel'aran'rhiod

"Oh, you've come to the right place for answers, my Lady. The Heart of the Stone is full of answers. And secrets. The High Lords would not be pleased to see us here, my Lady. Oh, no. None but the High Lords enter here. And servants, of course." She gave a sly, screeching laugh. "The High Lords don't sweep and mop. But who sees a servant?"

"What kind of secrets?"

But Silvie was hobbling toward the crystal sword. "Plots," she said as if to herself. "All of them pretending to serve the Great Lord, and all the while plotting and planning to regain what they lost. Each one thinking he or she is the only one plotting. Ishamael is a fool!"

"What?" Egwene said sharply. "What did you say about Ishamael?"

The old woman turned to present a crooked, ingratiating smile. "Just a thing poor folks say, my Lady. It turns the Forsaken's power, calling them fools. Makes you feel good, and safe. Even the Shadow can't take being called a fool. Try it, my Lady. Say, Ba'alzamon is a fool!"

Egwene's lips twitched on the edge of a smile. "Ba'alzamon is a fool! You are right, Silvie." It actually did feel good, laughing at the Dark One. The old woman chuckled.
I like this one.
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