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  #1  
Old 07-15-2011, 07:25 PM
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Default CotW - Shaidar Haran

To recap the concept:

First, pop over here for the main thread, to see our list of upcoming characters.

I’d like discussions to link back to any existing theories, threads and ideas, but let’s try and integrate them into new theories, thoughts and ideas okay? This is less to do with whether we “like” characters – we are Theorylanders, and we are not vapid. If you want to be a Theorylander, practice thinking critically and objectively. Don’t worry, we’ll help!

(And remember: a new character of the week does preclude continuing discussion on past topics!)

This week, we'll be discussing: Shaidar Haran

One of the biggest baddies on the playing field, this Shade is somewhat of an anomaly. RJ has acknowledged that SH as had previous incarnations, versions if you will, from as far back as Whitebridge in tEotW. Which, is weird. And unheard of in any other Shadowspawn. Our own Winespring Brother had RJ confirm that:
Quote:
It's as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature - it is the Dark One in shadowy form.
Quote:
From the WoT Interview Database,
Week 23 Question: Was the Fade who visited Jaichim Carridin in the Prologue of The Dragon Reborn an early version of Shaidar Haran? Its response that it likes to keep an eye on 'all who serve me' and its apparent sense of humour are behaviour atypical of a Fade.

Robert Jordan Answers: I was wondering who would spot that. Shadar Haran Version 0.5! The Dark One doesn't get it spot on the first time every time.
This scary thing has a sense of humour (always a BAD thing to find in evil beings), powers that have not yet been fully explored and is, or has, the ear and the hand of the Dark One, as we have seen. Shaidar Haran has special power over those that swear to the Dark One, and the Forsaken in particular. Basically, he's a big creep who scares even the really Bad Guys.

How did he come about? Was he 'distilled' like Fain until he became something more? Was it a JRRT kind of 'super-orc (which have real names which escape me) kind of event? RJ only ever RAFO'd this, so we can only speculate...

Why did the Dark One create or augment a shadow spawn when he had the super-powerful, albeit occasionally bumbling and rapidly dwindling Forsaken?

Ever wonder what interaction between Moridin and Shadar Haran would be like? Who would break eye contact first?

Will he fight for the Dark One as proxy in the Last Battle?

How does one kill (can one kill) the über-Fade?
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishara View Post
To recap the concept:

First, pop over here for the main thread, to see our list of upcoming characters.

I’d like discussions to link back to any existing theories, threads and ideas, but let’s try and integrate them into new theories, thoughts and ideas okay? This is less to do with whether we “like” characters – we are Theorylanders, and we are not vapid. If you want to be a Theorylander, practice thinking critically and objectively. Don’t worry, we’ll help!

(And remember: a new character of the week does preclude continuing discussion on past topics!)

This week, we'll be discussing: Shaidar Haran

One of the biggest baddies on the playing field, this Shade is somewhat of an anomaly. RJ has acknowledged that SH as had previous incarnations, versions if you will, from as far back as Whitebridge in tEotW. Which, is weird. And unheard of in any other Shadowspawn. Our own Winespring Brother had RJ confirm that:




This scary thing has a sense of humour (always a BAD thing to find in evil beings), powers that have not yet been fully explored and is, or has, the ear and the hand of the Dark One, as we have seen. Shaidar Haran has special power over those that swear to the Dark One, and the Forsaken in particular. Basically, he's a big creep who scares even the really Bad Guys.

How did he come about? Was he 'distilled' like Fain until he became something more? Was it a JRRT kind of 'super-orc (which have real names which escape me) kind of event? RJ only ever RAFO'd this, so we can only speculate...

Why did the Dark One create or augment a shadow spawn when he had the super-powerful, albeit occasionally bumbling and rapidly dwindling Forsaken?

Ever wonder what interaction between Moridin and Shadar Haran would be like? Who would break eye contact first?

Will he fight for the Dark One as proxy in the Last Battle?

How does one kill (can one kill) the über-Fade?
He might just face Rand as the DO's avatar, but I can't help but think that it might be more fitting for him to end up being Lan's big prize. I mean Moiraine got Be'lal, and then Lanfear. Nynaeve got Moghedien. Egwene got Mesaana. Perrin got (and still has...) Slayer. Mat got Couladin and the finn. Logain presumably will get Taim. Rand got everyone else, and still has to face Demandred and Moridin. Lan seems left out.
  #3  
Old 07-15-2011, 11:13 PM
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I found it fascinating that SH wanted Rand dead long before Elan did.

Also, maybe the double dawn will be necessary to make SH admit he is dead?
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:33 AM
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Uruk-hai?

I hope we learn of more "special" abilities.
Sorry, decaffeinated
  #5  
Old 07-16-2011, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimon View Post
He might just face Rand as the DO's avatar, but I can't help but think that it might be more fitting for him to end up being Lan's big prize. I mean Moiraine got Be'lal, and then Lanfear. Nynaeve got Moghedien. Egwene got Mesaana. Perrin got (and still has...) Slayer. Mat got Couladin and the finn. Logain presumably will get Taim. Rand got everyone else, and still has to face Demandred and Moridin. Lan seems left out.
You left out poor Fain. I've always thought SH would get beat by Fain, though I like the idea of Lan getting him.
Meanwhile Mat also got the gholam...
  #6  
Old 07-16-2011, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by padfoot89 View Post
You left out poor Fain. I've always thought SH would get beat by Fain, though I like the idea of Lan getting him.
Meanwhile Mat also got the gholam...
Mat should get Fain.
  #7  
Old 07-16-2011, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Lupusdeusest View Post
Uruk-hai?
That's the one! Thanks.

What do we think about this?
Quote:
Form the WoT Interview Database
Q: You mention that Shaidar Haran has quite a few limitations on his power. Can you give us a few concrete examples of these limitations?
A: Shaidar Haran needs a minion to do most of his work for him. Elza was essential to Shaidar Haran in getting things done.
Because if he can't even have put the collar on Rand, then how can he possibly fight like a real Fade?

Also:
Quote:
From the WoT Interview DB:
WinespringBrother: Is Shaidar Haran an avatar to the world beyond the Bore?
Jordan: I am not certain you can really call him an avatar because I generally think of an avatar as having exactly the same powers as, and it is not, Shaidar Haran does not have nearly as much power as the Dark One. It's as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature - it is the Dark One in shadowy form.
So - not an avatar in the strictest sense of the word.

Let's also cast our minds back to the other incarnations of Shaidar Haran please. We saw 0.5 in Whitebridge - where else have we seen other incarnations? Jaichim Carridin did, that's for sure...
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2011, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ishara View Post
Let's also cast our minds back to the other incarnations of Shaidar Haran please. We saw 0.5 in Whitebridge - where else have we seen other incarnations? Jaichim Carridin did, that's for sure...
This got me to thinking, if there have been a couple incarnations of Shaidar Haran already, the current limited one may not be the one that shows up at TG. I think the DO is trying to develop an avatar in the sense that RJ mentioned:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishara
RJ: I am not certain you can really call him an avatar because I generally think of an avatar as having exactly the same powers as, and it is not . . .
This also leads me to the "POV" (I use this term loosely, as it was kind of third person) of Shaidar Haran in aCoS, Spears (are there any other SH POV's out there? I am looking for them):

Quote:
The Myrddraal moved from the deeper shadows, becoming visible ... it could distinguish saidin from saidar by the smell ... No other Myrddraal could smell that difference. Shaidar Haran was like no other Myrddraal... Angry black flames raced down the spear haft from Shaidar Haran's hand, the hand of the Hand of the Shadow. In an instant the wooden haft was charred and twisted; the spearhead dropped off. The Myrddraal let the blackened stick fall and dusted soot from its palm. If Sammael served chaos, then -all was well. If not....
A sudden ache climbed the back of its neck; a faint weakness washed along its limbs. Too long away from Shayol Ghul. That tie had to be severed somehow. With a snarl, it turned to find the edge of shadow that it needed. The day was coming. It would come.
There is a definite personality and pattern of thought. the question is, is it Shaidar Haran or the DO who's thoughts we see? I think either way, the DO will find a way to make Shaidar Haran 3.0, or whatever version we are on. It could be more of an avatar, if not at the least some of the weaknesses and limitations we have seen thus far will be addressed.

If the DO has to commit more and more of his essence or being to Shaidar Haran, perhaps he will become more vunerable in the physical world, allowing himself to be defeated, or at least smacked down for a couple ages.
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Last edited by JOS; 07-17-2011 at 07:34 PM.
  #9  
Old 07-18-2011, 12:05 AM
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I don't think RJ was necessarily saying he WASNT an avatar right? I think he was just clarifying that he isn't an avatar in the sense that he isn't the DO himself. Less powers but still an image and somewhat body for the DO. That question cracked me up of who would look away first between Moridin and SH. In my opinion, Moridin has more authority and that's why when SH shows up, he tortures the Forsaken. It's under orders from Moridin and he's having fun with the methods SH uses
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:53 AM
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Ishara View Post
So - not an avatar in the strictest sense of the word.
Well, not an avatar in the sense which RJ thought the word had. Actually, if you look at the way in which the word was (and is) used in Hinduism, then there are two different versions of avatars:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia on Avatar
When Vishnu himself descends, he is called sakshat or shaktyavesa-avatara, a direct incarnation of God. But when he does not incarnate directly, but indirectly empowers some living entity to represent him, that living entity is called an indirect or avesa avatar.
So SH might be considered an avesa avatar of the DO.

Apart, of course, from the fact that RJ explicitly said that SH is not an avatar. Which raises the interesting question: in discussions on WOT, do RJ's opinions trump reality?
  #12  
Old 07-18-2011, 08:21 AM
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Hmmm. But Gonzo, that makes me wonder. RJ clearly was familiar with Eastern religions and mythology, and I feel like he didn't use his words casually, expecially in interviews. Maybe I'm ascribing too much there, but I always got the sense that he wouldn't use the word without knowing exactly what it meant.

But, let's play this out.

Let's say that the Dark One indirectly empowered some version of Shaidar Haran (the living entity) to represent him.

First, is Shaidar Haran a Myrdraal in the sense that we know? They die obviously, and we know that they are born (of a Trolloc mother). So, how did Shaidar Haran become "special?" He's way bigger than a normal Myrdraal - did he start off that way, born of a Trolloc mother? Or was he a "normal" Myrdraal who was changed from within when imbued by the Dark One?

Second, if the current Shaidar Haran is the third (or fourth) version, what happened to the earlier versions? can they co-exist? Does the Dark One start on version 3.5 as version 3 exists, or does he wait for version 3 to die/ be killed first? How can one kill a Shaidar Haran?

I have visions of Rand's battle with the Mirror Rands in the Stone, but with multiple versions of Shaidar Haran, and can't help but think that his training against mobs of swordsmen will come in handy....

Third, How, genetically speaking, can you build upon a pre-existing mold of Shaidar Haran? If you were breeding, then you use the new, superior traits to mate with other desirable traits and make something that has both. But as far as we know, you can't breed Trolloc for the specific purpose of Myrdraal - they're more like a by-product of breeding Trollocs. So, how does the Dark One make more minions? Is he using the same female Trolloc and mating the previsou versions to it? (There's a fun thought for Monday morning...)
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2011, 08:44 AM
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So, how does the Dark One make more minions?
Obvious: he saidared it.

Maybe the DO has seen the Matrix?
  #14  
Old 07-18-2011, 08:46 AM
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As someone who chooses his words and uses language so carefully, it would be logical to assume that RJ would understand there may be multiple meanings to a word and would choose to use the most commonly understood one, in a conversation with the general public, for instance, hence why he would say Shaidar Haran is not an avatar in the sense we normally understand the term, but he could still be Gonzo's second type - RJ would just avoid using that in order not to confuse the audience. He's normally very clear except when he's deliberately not - see the debate over the meaning of "Translation" in "Book of Translation" for example.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:25 PM
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As someone who chooses his words and uses language so carefully, it would be logical to assume that RJ would understand there may be multiple meanings to a word and would choose to use the most commonly understood one, in a conversation with the general public, for instance, hence why he would say Shaidar Haran is not an avatar in the sense we normally understand the term, but he could still be Gonzo's second type - RJ would just avoid using that in order not to confuse the audience. He's normally very clear except when he's deliberately not - see the debate over the meaning of "Translation" in "Book of Translation" for example.
Yep, RJ was infallible. He knew everything and was never wrong. Those countless typos he has in his book were also intentional/deliberate since he chooses his words very carefully...
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:59 PM
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Yep, RJ was infallible. He knew everything and was never wrong. Those countless typos he has in his book were also intentional/deliberate since he chooses his words very carefully...
How was that even in any way connected to what I said? I didn't say RJ was infallible - I said he'd choose the most commonly understood definition of a word. I don't know why you've decided to attack me over this but it was completely uncalled for.
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2011, 03:55 PM
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Agreed. Juan, if you're not going to post with intent to speak to something remotely related to the OP, then please don't bother.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:26 PM
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If Shaidar Haran is an avatar of the Dark One, why would it seek to break its connection to Shayol Ghul? It seems to me there are two possible answers to this. First, he is NOT strictly speaking an avatar of the Dark One, and seeks a bit of autonomy. Second, he IS an avatar of the Dark One, and was referring to after the Final Battle when he would have more freedom to roam the world due to the Dark One having more free access to touching the world.

If Shaidar Haran is an avatar for the Dark One, we need to consider why he has yet to take an active role in the series instead of relying on underlings to act in his stead. I don't have the books in front of me (on vacation!), but let's consider a possible connection which might explain this. Terez has a theory that the CAPITALIZED VOICE in the climactic battle in the Eye of the World is the Dark One. In the conversation between Rand and The Voice, The Voice states that he (it) cannot interfere. If this is (roughly speaking) a Prime Directive for the Dark One, and if Shaidar Haran is the avatar of the Dark One, then it makes sense that Shaidar Haran has yet to overtly act instead of relying on those who serve him.

That's all I've got for now. I'll post more musings later if I think of anything interesting.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fdsaf3 View Post
If Shaidar Haran is an avatar of the Dark One, why would it seek to break its connection to Shayol Ghul? It seems to me there are two possible answers to this. First, he is NOT strictly speaking an avatar of the Dark One, and seeks a bit of autonomy. Second, he IS an avatar of the Dark One, and was referring to after the Final Battle when he would have more freedom to roam the world due to the Dark One having more free access to touching the world.

If Shaidar Haran is an avatar for the Dark One, we need to consider why he has yet to take an active role in the series instead of relying on underlings to act in his stead. I don't have the books in front of me (on vacation!), but let's consider a possible connection which might explain this. Terez has a theory that the CAPITALIZED VOICE in the climactic battle in the Eye of the World is the Dark One. In the conversation between Rand and The Voice, The Voice states that he (it) cannot interfere. If this is (roughly speaking) a Prime Directive for the Dark One, and if Shaidar Haran is the avatar of the Dark One, then it makes sense that Shaidar Haran has yet to overtly act instead of relying on those who serve him.That's all I've got for now. I'll post more musings later if I think of anything interesting.
Interesting musings...

We have quotes to lead us in the direction that Shaidar Haran is the Dark One in Myrdraal form, as opposed to a Mrydraal made special that seeks its own autonomy.

I believe the desire for more time away from Shayol Ghul is more related to his ability to act more than it is about hating it there. I mean, all the action is in the world, away from Shayol Ghul, so I can't say that I blame him.

As to the acting overtly piece, we also have quotes from Brandon that most actions currently ascribed to Shaidar Haran are actually made by minions, such as Elsa. Case in point, the collar. It's very debatable exactly how much he can actually impose himself on the world around him.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdsaf3 View Post
If Shaidar Haran is an avatar of the Dark One, why would it seek to break its connection to Shayol Ghul?
Why wouldn't it? The connection to Shayol Ghul is a limitation regardless of any level of free will on the part of Shaidar Haran. The Dark One would want his avatar or incarnation to have as much freedom as possible.
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