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  #1  
Old 08-23-2010, 05:18 PM
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Default What purpose will Noal serve?

At this point it seems pretty clear that Noal (aka Jain Farstrider) will be the 3rd man who accompanies Mat and Thom into the Tower of Ghenjei. I'm wondering why he is needed for this mission, and in a broader sense what is his purpose in the story? He has not done anything particularly important yet (mostly just telling stories and helping Mat fight the Gholam), so it seems like his major role is upcoming.

Mat needs to go into the Tower because of Moiraine's letter, and Thom is likely there to provide "music" to help cheat the Finns. There is no obvious connection between Noal and the other methods of cheating ("courage" and "iron"), though so why does he need to go? An old man whose memory is messed up doesn't seem like the best choice if it's simply to provide manpower and support. My thought is that his presence will be more important for post-Tower storylines than for the rescue itself.

The best idea I can come up with is that he'll somehow have his Compulsion (if that is indeed the cause of his memory lapses) healed inside the Tower, which will allow him to remember something important for the forces of the Light in the Last Battle. I can think of two major possibilities for what he could remember:

1. Some detail about Ishamael's past actions. We know that Ishy made Farstrider into his tool, but we don't really know what that means. Maybe Noal will remember some action that he was compelled to do that had political consequences or something Ishy boasted about, and the revelation could help Rand unite the continent. For example, maybe Noal knows that Ishy was behind the sending of Hawkwing's armies to Seanchan. This information could affect Rand's dealings with Tuon if it became public and was believed by the masses. Many of Ishy's past actions have already been explained or dealt with in the story, though (i.e. the Black Ajah), so it's not immediately obvious how some tidbit of knowledge about Ishy would have a major impact on the remaining part of the story. Maybe someone else has a better idea?

2. Getting Noal to simply remember that he is Jain Farstrider and reveal himself could be the goal. As a national hero, he could serve as an icon or rallying point for the forces of the Light in the Last Battle. Sounds a little too simple and lame to me, though...it's been pretty obvious for several books now that he is Farstrider, so this wouldn't be much of a reveal.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

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  #2  
Old 08-23-2010, 05:37 PM
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He might be set up to play a traitor role of some sort. In his only POV, before we actually knew who he was, he indicates that there is not much time left for him to remember something. Why was he watching Darkfriends? What does he need to remember? I'm sure we'll find out soon enough, but we don't have much to go on.
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2010, 05:41 PM
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Well...the snakes & foxes do rummage through memories. And subjects about the shadow are taboo to them. Like yourself, I can't see Noal bringing "courage" or "iron"; the only thing about him that could be truly significant to the plot are the memories that Ishidin tampered with.

But still...if Noal/Farstrider knows something so devastating to the Shadow, why wouldn't Ishy just kill him instead of going through the motions with compulsion/memory tampering?
  #4  
Old 08-23-2010, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by amazinglarry View Post
An old man whose memory is messed up doesn't seem like the best choice if it's simply to provide manpower and support. My thought is that his presence will be more important for post-Tower storylines than for the rescue itself.
I halfway expect Noal to remain in the tower -- or at least leave his remains. He could well be a "blood sacrifice" in exchange for Moiraine; He would not be a great loss to the story if that were the case, so perhaps he's the designated "redshirt" for this "away mission?"


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Originally Posted by amazinglarry View Post
The best idea I can come up with is that he'll somehow have his Compulsion (if that is indeed the cause of his memory lapses) healed inside the Tower, which will allow him to remember something important for the forces of the Light in the Last Battle.
In order for the *finn to restore Noal's memories, they logically must have those memories to restore; IOW, Noal would have to have been into the *finn worlds before. I can't recall any mention of the Travels of Jain Farstrider including a trip to the Tower of Ghenjei or through any magical doorways, but we've seen so very little of the contents of Farstrider's travelogues.

Being able to restore Noal's memories would seem to reinforce Mat's concerns that the *finn are watching through his eyes and lead to him sacrificing an eye to thwart them?

All told, I have little passionate opinion on why Noal is to be included, but I suspect it will ultimately be a non-issue.
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2010, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Weird Harold View Post
In order for the *finn to restore Noal's memories, they logically must have those memories to restore; IOW, Noal would have to have been into the *finn worlds before. I can't recall any mention of the Travels of Jain Farstrider including a trip to the Tower of Ghenjei or through any magical doorways, but we've seen so very little of the contents of Farstrider's travelogues.

Being able to restore Noal's memories would seem to reinforce Mat's concerns that the *finn are watching through his eyes and lead to him sacrificing an eye to thwart them?
It could be that the memories are merely hidden from him by some form of Compulsion and have not actually been erased, in which case the *Finn may be able to see them and somehow either bring their existence to his attention or even abolish the Compulsion.
  #6  
Old 08-23-2010, 11:03 PM
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It could be that the memories are merely hidden from him by some form of Compulsion and have not actually been erased, in which case the *Finn may be able to see them and somehow either bring their existence to his attention or even abolish the Compulsion.
It would depend on the nature and severity of the compulsion, but Noal was apparently once compelled by Greandal and we have direct descriptions of what greandal's compulsion does to a person's memories and even personality -- there is nothing left to recover if the old man once seen in Greandal's collection was indeed Noal.
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  #7  
Old 08-23-2010, 11:14 PM
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It would depend on the nature and severity of the compulsion, but Noal was apparently once compelled by Greandal and we have direct descriptions of what greandal's compulsion does to a person's memories and even personality -- there is nothing left to recover if the old man once seen in Greandal's collection was indeed Noal.
That is of course assuming that she used her usual heavy handed Compulsion on him which, while likely, is not guaranteed to have been what happened. I would venture that the form of Compulsion she used is dependent on the reason she added him to her collection.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:25 PM
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I used to feel sure he would die in ToG, but I don't like that idea because I don't want Moiraine to have to feel guilty about it. She already has to feel bad about Mat's eyeball.
  #9  
Old 08-24-2010, 02:01 AM
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That is of course assuming that she used her usual heavy handed Compulsion on him which, while likely, is not guaranteed to have been what happened. I would venture that the form of Compulsion she used is dependent on the reason she added him to her collection.
When have we ever seen her NOT use the heavy-handed, mind crushing compulsion she's known for -- The compulsion on Kerb left him functional but still was so deeply embedded in his mind removing destroyed his mind.

We have seen her choose NOT to use compulsion because even she can't remove it without damage.

It is possible that Noal is under a Compulsion placed by someone other than Greandal, but his symptoms would certainly seem to suggest the same heavy-handed version of Compulsion rather than the relatively mild "Glamourie" Moggy used on Nyneave and Egwene.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:40 AM
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When have we ever seen her NOT use the heavy-handed, mind crushing compulsion she's known for
Ituralde
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:05 AM
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If he goes, I feel it will be for one of two reasons.

One: to die. the other players are too major, def need a red shirt for the away mission...

or Two: I have always been curious about what the tinkers know in regards to Ishmael, along with the "tell the dragon reborn" message. I think a good deal of that might be rattling around in his head, and the ToG is a good place for some answers to come up. Cant have everything come from Moiraine...
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:32 AM
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Ituralde
Citation? The messenger with the forged orders for Ituralde wasn't hammered as completely; he was as functional as Ker. I don't recall any proof that Greandal used Compulsion on Ituralde when they met; Mask-of-Mirrors would have sufficed to present the persona she wanted without risking damaging the tactical genious she needed to manipulate.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:27 AM
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In his only POV, before we actually knew who he was
Noal had a POV? I'd really appreciate a reference so that I can check it out, I don't remember that at all.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:27 AM
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I am definitely falling on the Noal=Trade/Bait side of things - He is a living encyclopedia, though blocked clearly. I doubt the Finns will have trouble finding his memories inside his head, it being their domain.

He will either be traded to them for our missing Aes Sedai or he will be captured at the last minute.

...

That said, it could very well be that the finns will be too distracted by Mat being in their presence once more to notice Farstrider. In that case he may serve another purpose altogether that I have yet to come up with
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:30 AM
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Noal had a POV? I'd really appreciate a reference so that I can check it out, I don't remember that at all.
A Crown of Swords

CHAPTER: 17 - The Triumph of Logic
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:07 AM
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A Crown of Swords

CHAPTER: 17 - The Triumph of Logic
Wow, I never even realized that was Noal. It definitely gives credence to Terez's idea of him being a traitor; though, I hope not, I like Noal.

But if his part in the story isn't treason (fingers crossed), I don't believe that he's going to come out of the Tower. I think he'll either trade his life or his freedom for his memories and relate them to Mat. Mat, Thom, and Moiraine can't/shouldn't die in Finnland, so that leaves Noal being the only expendable character.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:56 AM
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Perhaps his memories are more valuable to the Finns than those of average people because of everything he has experience in his life. Mat and Thom could allow the Finns to rummage through Noal's memories in exchange for Moiraine. It doesn't seem immediately obvious to me that he'll have to be sacrificed, although it's definitely possible. If something that drastic was going to happen you'd think Jordan would've thrown in a vague prophecy or viewing about his death somewhere along the way. But maybe not, you never know.

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Old 08-24-2010, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by amazinglarry View Post
Perhaps his memories are more valuable to the Finns than those of average people because of everything he has experience in his life. Mat and Thom could allow the Finns to rummage through Noal's memories in exchange for Moiraine. It doesn't seem immediately obvious to me that he'll have to be sacrificed, although it's definitely possible. If something that drastic was going to happen you'd think Jordan would've thrown in a vague prophecy or viewing about his death somewhere along the way. But maybe not, you never know.

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Old 08-24-2010, 12:24 PM
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Noal will damage the Light somehow thanks to all the embedded compulsion left behind...should be interesting to see.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:31 PM
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Considering that he has to be there for them to have a chance at success (assuming he is the third which seems likely) he really can't screw them over too bad. Even if he does the traitor thing, it will help the Light in the long run, though I can't see how.

I think he will somehow remember what Ishamael did to him, and more importantly why. He knows stuff. Important stuff.
 


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