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Old 08-15-2010, 12:57 PM
Scaw Scaw is offline
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Default Theory: the Ta'veren is a weak point in the Pattern

I am not quite sure if this is the right board, as this is not entirely ToM related. But most general theories seem to get posted here. If this is wrong, please move.

The theories of course builds on well discussed themes but I did not find this particular view yet so hopefully it is new.


The theory in a nutshell:
The Dark One is needed as a source of change that the Creator is unable to provide. But the DO tries to destroy the balance and destroy the Pattern because he does not play by the rules of the Creator. The Dragon Reborn is the key to the Dark One's victory because the Dark One needs the most powerful Ta'veren to destroy the Pattern, since the Ta'veren is a strength and a weakness at the same time.



1. WHY IS THERE A DARK ONE?


Quote:
Compuserve chat June 1996
„Martin Reznick asks: How was the Dark One created, i.e. is he a fallen angel, an inherent part of the universe, etc.?

RJ:I envision the Dark One as being the dark counterpart, the dark balance if you will, to the Creator carrying on the theme, the yin yang, light dark, necessity of balance theme that has run through the books...it's somewhat Manichean I know, but I think it works.“
So RJ tells us that the Creator and the Dark One are opposite forces, supposed to balance each other out. But what do they actually do?

We know about the DO and the Creator in general terms:
- The Creator is a source of order and the Dark One a source of chaos.
- The Creator stands for good, the DO for evil.

What do they both do in more specific terms?
The Creator created the Pattern and the Pattern weaves the souls or lives of people. Otherwise, the Creator apparently leaves the world a.k.a. the Pattern to itself and enjoys himself with a cocktail at some remote beach on another world he created. We also know that the Creator sealed the DO in his prison.
While the Creator seems to be absent and take no part, the DO is different. His influence is limited by location and also by what he can do (if this is a temporary state related to the size of the Bore or a general state is not important right now). While the DO can influence the weather, many believe the DO cannot influence people directly. It is also believed that people have a free choice whether to join his side and also that the DO can only resurrect souls if they want to be resurrected, all of this is evidence that he is not all powerful.

Now why did the Creator seal the DO in his prison?
It may be that that was simply all he could do. He cannot kill the DO so that was his best solution. But this conflicts with the yin/yang theme. Apparently both sides are needed. We need good and evil, we need chaos and order.
So I will continue on the assumption that the DO serves a purpose for the Wheel, that he is needed. At this point I will introduce a thought (that might be new?), it basically rests on an analogy:

Think of the idea of evolution: The species in the world evolve because of change, because of mutation. Change is the key to progress. That which changes survive, that which stays the same perishes.
Now in the world of the WoT, the Dark One is the source of necessary change. Think of him as a source of radiative energy and this radiation in very small doses causes necessary mutations and the necessary change. Usually, this source is sealed away and only tiny amounts of change enter the Pattern.
While the Creator can only create order, the world needs order and chaos to strive. So this is the reason why there is a Dark One.
But too much chaos causes destruction (as too much radiation can cause cancer). This is the problem of the Wheel of Time: while a little chaos is needed, the DO always strives to cause more.



2. WHAT IS THE DARK ONE'S AIM?


Since the Creator sealed him in his prison, one can assume he would like to change that. The DO is trying to be free from his prison but this cannot be the end of it. What does he do if he is free?

There are basically two main goals the DO could follow: (I.) creating the world to his liking or (II.) destroying the Wheel of Time.
I. Creating a dark world does not seem fitting. Let us imagine the Forsaken ruling the world. That would certainly not be a nice place but it would eventually become normal. Actually, the Forsaken as rulers would be a source of stability. The Pattern could weave on, only the lives people live would not be very good. So while the DO would be good on the „evil and dark“ side, he would rather fail on the „chaos“ side.

II. If, on the other hand, he strived to destroy the Wheel he could achieve both: destroying the Wheel can certainly be counted as an evil deed and unraveling the Pattern would be the most chaotic thing imaginable (of course, after the Wheel has been destroyed there would be neither order nor chaos so this argument is not rock solid).

So I tend to option II: The Creator created the Wheel, so the DO wants to destroy it and the Pattern. Thus adding the creation/destruction opposition to the light/dark - good/evil – order/chaos oppositions.



3. WHY DOES THE CREATER NOT INTERVENE?

Since the Creator created the DO's prison we must assume he would be able to fix this. Why does he not do so?
Quote:
„I WILL TAKE NO PART. ONLY THE CHOSEN ONE CAN DO WHAT MUST BE DONE, IF HE WILL.“ (TEotW, Ch. 51)
It is somewhat beside the point whether the Creator does not want to or cannot intervene, because the result is the same. But I have an explanation why he cannot:
The Creator is all about order and rules, the Dark One is all about breaking rules and destroying order. The Creator, as the highest source of order, does not and cannot intervene because this is against his own rules: He and the DO do not take part directly. If he would break the rules, he would no longer represent order and contradict himself (compare the plot of the movie Dogma where the world can end if God's word is contradicted).
The DO, however, does not play by the rules of the Creator. The Bore gives him the opportunity to intervene in the world and he does so gladly to achieve his aims.



4. HOW CAN THE DARK ONE DESTROY THE PATTERN?

It really makes no difference if we say the DO wants to destroy the Wheel, the Pattern, reality, or the world because the effect is always somewhat similar in terms of an ultimate end for existence (and not simply a darker future or a linear timeline). So how can the DO achieve this?

I think what is neat about the options below is the fact that all of them are things the DO can do simultaneously. Chaos, destruction and madness causes the Pattern to weaken. The DO does not rely on perfect planning, he does not rely on one strategy alone and he does not need to give detailed instructions, he is adaptive:


4.1 BALEFIRE USED BY THE FORSAKEN


The obvious way to unravel the Pattern is to use balefire and this seems indeed to be something the DO wants:
Quote:
„WOULD YOU UNLEASH THE BALEFIRE IN MY SERVICE, DEMANDRED?
[...]
SO YOU SHALL.“ (LoC, Prologue)
Demandred in this scene also recalls the destructive nature of balefire and how both sides stopped using it in the Age of Legends.
When we assume that the DO was at his most powerful state in that time, why could he not force his followers to continue using balefire and end it then and there? My guess is that the answer refers back to free will and the nature of most of his followers (except Ishy). They want to survive and rule the world, not destroy it entirely, that is why they are afraid to use balefire. The DO simply could not find enough followers powerful enough and willing (by what was left of their free will) to do the deed. Indeed Demandred is the perfect example, he wants to rule below the DO, not help him destroy the Pattern, and is obviously easily tempted in doing as the DO wants by the mention of the position of Nae' blis.
While balefire helps to unsettle the Pattern, nobody would use it to the necessary extend. The DO is in somewhat of a fix here. His followers are selfish and greedy. If he told them what he wanted, they would not do it. This is partly why he does not let anybody in on his plans (of course the Teller of Lies cannot trust anybody himself). So unless the DO can find more people like Ishy, he has to come up with an alternative plan and he did.


4.2 WREAK HAVOC VIA MADMEN

The DO tainted saidin. It followed the Breaking of the World. But this again did not destroy the Wheel. The DO, being sealed (imperfectly) again, could not influence the madmen to really destroy the Pattern, they destroyed much of the world and so he did win, but did not achieve his ultimate victory.


4.3 BALEFIRE USED BY SOMEONE POWERFUL WITHOUT HOPE

So back to the present. The DO is gaining strength, but saidin is cleansed. Another option of the DO is somebody who thinks destroying the Pattern is a good idea. So the DO tries to influence the most powerful channeler of the world (Rand) and try to plant the idea inside his head that this struggle is useless. In TGS, in the Chapter Veins of Gold, he almost succeeds:

Quote:
„Lews Therin had made a mistake. He had died, but had left the world alive, wounded, limping forward. He'd let the Wheel of Time keep turning, rotating, rotting and bringing him back around again. He could not escape it. Not without ending everything.
“Why?” Rand whispered to the twisting winds around him. The Power coming to him through the access key was greater than he'd held when cleansing saidin. Perhaps greater than any man had ever held. Great enough to unravel the Pattern itself and bring final peace.
“Why do we have to do this again?” he whispered. “I have already failed. She is dead by my hand. Why must you make me live it again?” (TGS, Ch. 50).
But Rand finds the will to live on, to make it better this time. If Rand was right and he could have unravelled the Pattern with the Choedan Kal, the DO would have won (the road of events leading up to this event certainly lets it appear to be the DO's intentions).

The problem for the DO in cashing an early win is that Rand is a Ta'veren. The Ta'veren is such a device that it is hard for the DO to get a hold on. The Pattern wants him to continue and fulfill his role, it wants the Dragon to reach the Last Battle and fulfill his destiny.

No matter how much destruction the DO's minions caused, it did not destroy the Pattern itself. The DO cannot win against the Pattern. Or can he? The DO needs to use the power of the Pattern itself somehow to destroy it and this is where Ta'veren come in.



5. THE NATURE OF THE PATTERN AND TA'VEREN


So far so good. While the Creator does not take part directly, he allows the Pattern to employ its own correcting device: Ta'veren. Ta'veren can influence chance towards the outcomes the Pattern needs. But there is a major flaw in this and this is most important:

Quote:
„...one shall be born to face the Shadow...and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes shall he clothe the people, and *he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind*. Like the unfettered dawn shall he blind us, and burn us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood shall give us the Light. Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation.“ (TGH: Header Prophecy)
In order to influence outcomes, the Pattern shapes itself around Ta'veren, but this is very risky, because it can create disorder and disorder is the Dark One's theme. Think of it this way:

Take the „Pattern“ literal. See it as a carpet, a fishing net or a grid, all very orderly. Now a Ta'veren comes along. What we know is that they can reshape the Pattern. Thus he changes the uniform pattern so it looks more like the net of a spider. Now there is still order but it is order of a different kind. It rests on the shoulders of the Ta'veren. The Ta'veren as the correcting device of the Pattern is also the best point of attack. If the DO can attack this point in the Pattern in the right way thousands of threads could unravel, maybe enough to completely unravel the Pattern.
This ability can play into the hands of the DO, if he plays his cards right. This is why he wants both chaos and get his hands on Rand and also why he wants him to be as powerful as possible.

While the Dark One can only be defeated (sealed) at the Bore where he is at its strongest, the Pattern can only be destroyed with the help of the most powerful Ta'veren.

Now the weakest point of the theory may be the following argument, lets call it „the straight argument“: the Dark One simply tries to escape his prison. If he does so, he wins. He does not need the Dragon Reborn for this, the Dragon Reborn is there to stop him, this is why he is Ta'veren.

Yes and no. I think my theory explains why the Last Battle is so significant. The simple explanation of „the straight argument“ has a serious flaw: if the DO simply needs to escape, why has he not done so already?

Look at this quote from RJ:

Quote:
Crossroads of Twilight book tour 16 January 2003, Dayton, OH - Tim Kington reporting
Q: (inaudible)
RJ: Yes, the Champion of the Light has gone over in the past. This is a game you have to win every time. Or rather, that you can only lose once--you can stay in if you get a draw. Think of a tournament with single elimination. If you lose once, that's it. In the past, when the Champion of the Light has gone over to the Shadow, the result has been a draw.
When „the Champion of the Light has gone over to the Shadow“, would we not assume he would help free the DO from his prison? Why the hell does this count as a draw?
The least we can assume from this quote that victory for the DO is not as easy as it looks at first glance (a god fighting against mere humans).

A possible explanation why „a Champion of the Light that turns to the Shadow“ does not result in victory is what I referred to in section 4.1. A champion turned to the Shadow would be a new Forsaken, but he would also share their aspirations, he would want to rule, not destroy the Pattern.



6. WHY NOT ISHAMAEL?


Ishamael seems to know what the DO wants and he seems to share this goal. The DO seems to acknowledge this by making him Nae'blis and letting him control Cyndane and Moghedien through a mindtrap.
Why didn't he destroy the Pattern yet? Well, following my argument, the answer is because he is not Ta'veren.

We do not know what he would have done had he gotten his hands on the Choedan Kal but this option is no longer available. Also it would be really difficult for him to get the Choedan Kal because the most powerful Ta'veren in the world carried it with him day and night. As a single individual, Ishy is not able to defeat the Pattern.

We do not know if Ishy knows how important Ta'veren are for the victory of the Dark One but we can assume he would not explain the matter to Rand as that might be counter productive.
I, however, think that Ishy does not know all there is to know. His master is a jealous one, he does not trust even his most trustworthy follower.
  #2  
Old 08-15-2010, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaw View Post
We do not know if Ishy knows how important Ta'veren are for the victory of the Dark One but we can assume he would not explain the matter to Rand as that might be counter productive.
I, however, think that Ishy does not know all there is to know. His master is a jealous one, he does not trust even his most trustworthy follower.

First I think I can agree with what you're saying generally. The DO might be trying to take the pattern apart through Rand. And other means like balefire.


But Ishamael probably won't try to destroy the pattern with the CK until the pattern itself is weak. If the pattern remains strong, whatever Ishy tries will be percieved as a threat, and the pattern would do whatever necessary to eliminate the threat and probably Ishamael as well.

But now things are changing, the pattern is unstable. He has already given orders to attack the weaker taveren. Perhaps he'll try to take Rand soon.
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaw
4.1 BALEFIRE USED BY THE FORSAKEN
I believe you are using this quote out of context. the "SO YOU SHALL" part was in response to Dem saying he would serve the DO as he wished. It was not a direct order to start using Balefire as your editing of the quote makes it appear to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by verdene View Post
But Ishamael probably won't try to destroy the pattern with the CK until the pattern itself is weak. If the pattern remains strong, whatever Ishy tries will be percieved as a threat, and the pattern would do whatever necessary to eliminate the threat and probably Ishamael as well.
Ishamael will have a lot of trouble attempting to use the CK since it no longer exists.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatwolf View Post
But Ishamael probably won't try to destroy the pattern with the CK until the pattern itself is weak. If the pattern remains strong, whatever Ishy tries will be percieved as a threat, and the pattern would do whatever necessary to eliminate the threat and probably Ishamael as well.
That is entirely possible. We only have Rand's view that he could have destroyed the Pattern, we do not know if this would really have happened.
The more interesting question is: was it Rand's free will that kept him from using the CK or was it him being Ta'veren?

Quote:
But now things are changing, the pattern is unstable. He has already given orders to attack the weaker taveren. Perhaps he'll try to take Rand soon.
I have been thinking about Perrin and Mat too in this regard. But your interpretation cannot be quite right. After all the order to kill Perrin and Mat is quite old and we also have the fireflies and all the other viewings that say Mat and Perrin need to be at the LB or Rand will loose.

If I stick to my theory, maybe several Ta'veren are too hard for the DO to manipulate that is why he only wants the strongest to survive.


@Ieyasu
No, this is in context. If anything the entire quote lends more support to my theory than the short one. Let me cite you:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ieyasu View Post
the "SO YOU SHALL" part was in response to Dem saying he would serve the DO as he wished.
That is true but what is it that the DO wishes? The only wish he makes explicit is the use of balefire.
I did not quote the entire passage because Dem goes on (in thought) about how they stopped using balefire during the War of Power, which supports my point that the Forsaken are too selfish to assist the DO in his ultimate goal (section 4.1) and that balefire can indeed destroy the Pattern.
Here is the entire passage, I highlighted some parts:

Quote:
[LoC, Prologue]DEMANDRED. HOW FARES THIS WORLD?

He was never sure how much the Great Lord knew of the world. He had been as startled by ignorance as by knowledge. But he had no doubt what the Great Lord wanted to hear.

“Rahvin is dead, Great Lord. Yesterday.” There was pain. Euphoria too strong became pain quickly. His arms and legs twitched. He was sweating, now. “Lanfear has vanished without a trace, just as Asmodean did. And Graendal says Moghedien failed to meet her as they had agreed. Also yesterday, Great Lord. I do not believe in coincidence.”

THE CHOSEN DWINDLE, DEMANDRED. THE WEAK FALL AWAY. WHO BETRAYS ME SHALL DIE THE FINAL DEATH. ASMODEAN, TWISTED BY HIS WEAKNESS. RAHVIN DEAD IN HIS PRIDE. HE SERVED WELL, YET EVEN I CANNOT SAVE HIM FROM BALEFIRE. EVEN I CANNOT STEP OUTSIDE OF TIME. For an instant terrible anger filled that awful voice, and—could it be frustration? An instant only. DONE BY MY ANCIENT ENEMY, THE ONE CALLED DRAGON. WOULD YOU UNLEASH THE BALEFIRE IN MY SERVICE, DEMANDRED?

Demandred hesitated. A bead of sweat slid half an inch on his cheek; it seemed to take an hour. For a year during the War of Power, both sides had used balefire. Until they learned the consequences. Without agreement, or truce—there had never been a truce any more than there had been quarter—each side simply stopped. Entire cities died in balefire that year, hundreds of thousands of threads burned from the Pattern; reality itself almost unraveled, world and universe evaporating like mist. If balefire was unleashed once more, there might be no world to rule.

Another point pricked him. The Great Lord already knew how Rahvin had died. And seemed to know more of Asmodean than he. “As you command, Great Lord, so shall I obey.” His muscles might be jerking, but his voice was rock steady. His knees began to blister from the hot stone, yet the flesh might as well have been someone else’s.

SO YOU SHALL.

“Great Lord, the Dragon can be destroyed.” A dead man could not wield balefire again, and perhaps then the Great Lord would see no need for it. “He is ignorant and weak, scattering his attentions in a dozen directions. Rahvin was a vain fool. I—”

WOULD YOU BE NAE’BLIS?

Demandred’s tongue froze. Nae’blis. The one who would stand only a step below the Great Lord, commanding all others. “I wish only to serve you, Great Lord, however I may.” Nae’blis.

THEN LISTEN, AND SERVE. HEAR WHO WILL DIE AND WHO LIVE.

Demandred screamed as the voice crashed home. Tears of joy rolled down his face.

Unmoving, the Myrddraal watched him.
  #5  
Old 08-16-2010, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Scaw View Post
@Ieyasu
No, this is in context. If anything the entire quote lends more support to my theory than the short one. Let me cite you:

That is true but what is it that the DO wishes? The only wish he makes explicit is the use of balefire.
I did not quote the entire passage because Dem goes on (in thought) about how they stopped using balefire during the War of Power, which supports my point that the Forsaken are too selfish to assist the DO in his ultimate goal (section 4.1) and that balefire can indeed destroy the Pattern.
Here is the entire passage, I highlighted some parts:
He doesnt make any such wishes known, he poses a question. He asks Dem if he would use BF. Dem, after thinking about it, says he shall does as the DO commands and the DO agrees that he will. He does not order him to use BF. We have never seen him use BF.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:38 AM
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If somebody asked you: "Would you pick up the new WoT book for me at the bookstore, Ieyasu?"

What would you think was meant by that question? No matter what you call it (wish, request, question), the matter is pretty simple, really. Somebody wants you to do something for him.

The only possible interpretation that would account for your reading would be a hypothetical one. Something like: "Would you really do EVERYTHING I ask you, my little pet?"

The least one can say from this is the use of balefire must have crossed the DO's mind.

But you must think the DO is against the use of balefire?
Do you think he aims for what I referred to as option "II" in section 2?
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Ieyasu View Post
We have never seen him use BF.
Maybe Demandred's alter-ego is Rand al'Thor. That'd be a surprise, now, wouldn't it?
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:10 AM
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Maybe Demandred's alter-ego is Rand al'Thor. That'd be a surprise, now, wouldn't it?
Would explain all that AoL knowledge, neatly put an end to the one-soul, 1.5 soul, 2 soul, whatever the current incarnation of soul debate debate.

I like it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:04 PM
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I think Demandred is Valan Luca.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:30 PM
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I think Demandred is Valan Luca.
I support this hypothesis.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:41 PM
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I think Demandred is Valan Luca.
You're just asking for Felix's 20+ page "Valan Luca - the Tinker, the Lover, the Hero, and the Third" essay.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:00 PM
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Scaw - I think some of your write up and thinking here are a little flawed. For instance we already know the DO has no intention of remaking the wheel in his image. However, I think you come to the right conclusion: Rand is necessary for the DO to break to the Wheel and the necessity comes in the form of his ta'vereness. Looking at Rands recent effects on the land, we can see how much of an effect his actions and mental state have on the weave. I can only image what kind of effect Rand would have on the weave were he as mad and corrupted as Ishy.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:34 PM
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If somebody asked you: "Would you pick up the new WoT book for me at the bookstore, Ieyasu?"

What would you think was meant by that question? No matter what you call it (wish, request, question), the matter is pretty simple, really. Somebody wants you to do something for him.

The only possible interpretation that would account for your reading would be a hypothetical one. Something like: "Would you really do EVERYTHING I ask you, my little pet?"

The least one can say from this is the use of balefire must have crossed the DO's mind.

But you must think the DO is against the use of balefire?
Do you think he aims for what I referred to as option "II" in section 2?
I think there is an implication that the DO's unseen orders may have involved instructions to use BF. It is easy enough to speculate that using BF is something the DO may want, but that speculation is not confirmed. Could the question have been a rhetorical questioning of Dem's loyalty to the DO? Sure. Could it have lead to instructions to use BF in whatever unseen things he is doing? Of course. We have no idea what instructions he received as we got the cliffhanger 'cut to commercial break' chatper endings, both when the DO gave orders to Dem, as well as when Dem shared those orders with the Chosen who showed up to his social. Is there any confirmation of what those orders were or are? No. Again, using that quote and question to say the DO is ordering Dem to do so is a speculation, not a confirmed fact.

As for what I think of the DO's intentions? I think the DO wants to destroy existence. I think it is pretty clear that he requires some sort of aid from the 'Chosen One' to do so.
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:19 AM
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Rand is necessary for the DO to break to the Wheel and the necessity comes in the form of his ta'vereness.
Since we seem to agree on this, where do we differ?



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I think the DO wants to destroy existence. I think it is pretty clear that he requires some sort of aid from the 'Chosen One' to do so.
And how could this aid look like?
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:12 AM
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And how could this aid look like?
A little ring, the least of rings, that someone once stole. It is but a trifle that Shai'tan fancies, and an earnest of your good will.

That is intuitively obvious to the most casual reader, isn't it?
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:24 AM
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And how could this aid look like?
I think this aid looked like a angry man sitting on top of dragonmount holding the largest most powerful power device in history and contemplating destroying the pattern so they wouldnt keep making the same mistakes.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:45 AM
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Last time I checked, this series was called WoT, not LotR

Well, in case you are really serious: that analogy is rather weak, what is the ring? How can it be destroyed?

The only working parallel is Fain aka Gollum. I think he will be needed in the end to perform a similar stunt as with the cleansing of saidin.


@Ieyasu.
Yeah well, I covered that point.
If that is the only way the DO could have won, the remainder of the story would be somewhat less thrilling.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:01 PM
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@Ieyasu.
Yeah well, I covered that point.
If that is the only way the DO could have won, the remainder of the story would be somewhat less thrilling.
I don't know that its the only way... There is still the repercussions of Rand using the TP. Massive shadow armies, the remaking of the prison or reseal which ever is applicable. Lots could still go wrong. I think that moment on dragonmount was the 'knock-out from the ropes' that RJ mentioned. We'll see in a few months
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Last edited by Ieyasu; 08-18-2010 at 01:48 PM. Reason: spelling
 


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