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  #1  
Old 11-06-2009, 11:18 AM
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Lightbulb theory on the detail from books 4-6

Brandon's recent comments indicate that this "small that is big" undiscussed detail was repeated beginning sometime in books 4-6 but referenced afterward as well. IIRC, we have not discussed this at all, since there doesn't seem to be a lot of context with which to make arguments/theories regarding it. I have found 5 quotes, beginning from TSR to LOC, and a couple of mentions after that, along with a comment from Demandred that may or may not be related:

Quote:
1 Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 17 - Deceptions
Tenobia may even be forced off the throne by it. The only good news I have heard is that the Blight has retreated for some reason. Two miles or more of green beyond the borderstones, without a hint of corruption or pestilence, all the way from Saldaea to Shienar. The first time in memory it has done that. But I suppose good news has to be balanced by bad. When a boat has one leak it is sure to have others. I only wish it was a balance. Leane, have the watch on Logain increased. I can't - see what trouble he could cause now, but I do not want to find out." She turned those piercing blue eyes on Min. "Why did you come flapping up here with this like a startled gull? Logain could have waited. The man is hardly likely to find power and glory before sunset."
Quote:
2 Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: Prologue - The First Sparks Fall
"Mother," Alviarin began with that irritating lack of emotion, but Elaida stopped her with a glare. "Putting our hands on Rand al'Thor is more important by far than skirmishes in Shienar or whether the Blight is quiet, more important than finding Elayne or Galad, more important even than Mazrim Taim. You will find him. You will! When next I see you, each of you will be ready to tell me in detail what you have done to make it so. Now you may leave me, daughters."
Quote:
3 Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 7 - A Matter of Thought
"At least the Blight is still quiet," Myrelle said. "Almost too quiet. It cannot last. A good thing that Elaida has plenty of eyes-and-ears through the Borderlands." Siuan managed to combine a wince with a glare at the Aes Sedai. Elayne did not think she had managed yet to make contact with any of her agents in the Borderlands; they lay a long way from Salidar,
Quote:
4 Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 9 - Plans
Despite those instructions Omerna's rendition was long, delivered in a sonorous voice full of certainty. Al'Thor had barely extended his control in Andor beyond Caemlyn. His lightning onslaught was clearly stalled at lastóas Omerna carefully pointed out that he had predicted. There was little chance the Borderlands would join the Children against the false Dragon any time soon; lords in Shienar, Arafel and Kandor were taking advantage of the Blight's quiet to rebel, and the Queen of Saldaea had gone into seclusion in the country, in fear of the same according to Omerna. His agents were at work, however, and the Borderland rulers would be brought to heel as soon as these small rebellions were quashed. On the other hand, the rulers of Murandy, Altara and Ghealdan were ready to fall into line, though making ambivalent noises at present to soothe the Tar Valon witches. Alliandre of Ghealdan knew her throne was shaky, knew she needed the Children to avoid plummeting as abruptly as her predecessors, while both Tylin of Altara and Roedran of Murandy hoped that the Children's weight would make them more than figureheads at last. Plainly the man considered those lands already as good as in Niall's coat pocket.
Quote:
5 Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 9 - Plans
"Not yet, my Lord. But Davram Bashere is in Caemlyn. With thirty thousand light horse, my informants claim, but I think no more than half that. He would not weaken Saldaea too far, however quiet the Blight, even if Tenobia commanded him to."
Quote:
6 Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: Prologue - Deceptive Appearances
"The Blight seems almost asleep," Terasian muttered, whiskers rasping as he rubbed his fleshy chin. "I've never seen it so quiet."
Quote:
7 Winter's Heart
CHAPTER: 9 - A Cup of Tea
Not all the news was important, either. His letter writers really were not eyes-and-ears; they just wrote the news of their city, the talk of the court. The talk of Tear was of increasing numbers of Sea Folk ships that made their way through the Fingers of the Dragon without pilots and now crowded the river at the city, of rumors that Sea Folk vessels had fought the Seanchan at sea, though that was purely rumor. Illian was quiet, and full of Rand's soldiers, recovering from a battle against the Seanchan; no more was known; even whether Rand had been in the city was in question. The Queen of Saldaea was still on her long retreat in the country, which Elayne already knew about, but it seemed the Queen of Kandor had not been seen in Chachin for months, either, and the King of Shienar was supposedly still on an extended inspection of the Blight border, though the Blight was reported quieter than any time in memory. In Lugard, King Roedran was gathering every noble who would bring armsmen, and a city already worried about two great armies camped near the border with Andor, one full of Aes Sedai and the other full of Andorans, now also worried about what a dissolute wastrel like Roedran intended.
Quote:
Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: Prologue - The First Message
There was water, of a sort, an inky rivulet oozing down the rocky slope beside a gray-roofed forge. Hammers rang inside, and with every ring, white light flared in the cramped windows. A ragged woman crouched in a hopeless heap against the forge's rough stone wall, clutching a babe in her arms, and a spindly girl buried her face in the woman's skirts. Prisoners from a raid down into the Borderlands, no doubt. But so few; the Myrddraal must be gnashing their teeth. Their blades failed after a time and had to be replaced, no matter that raids into the Borderlands had been curtailed.
As to why the Blight is quiet, we can probably only speculate on what happened just before this:

1) Rand takes Callandor and officially declares himself
2) Rand kills Ishamael
3) The Dark One starts trying to freeze the seasons in place

Comments? Thoughts? Ways to confirm this from Brandon?
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2009, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinespringBrother
As to why the Blight is quiet, we can probably only speculate on what happened just before this:

1) Rand takes Callandor and officially declares himself
2) Rand kills Ishamael
3) The Dark One starts trying to freeze the seasons in place

Comments? Thoughts? Ways to confirm this from Brandon?
I had thought we had decided that the retreating of the Blight was due to the Shadow gathering its forces and preparing for assault. When the military begins preparing for war, they don't let all their soldiers be stranded in groups around the country, they call them back to the base to send them out as a large group. I assumed the Blight was marshaling its forces, and that's why the Blight was retreating.

I suppose this could be wrong, though. Good catch, WSB.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2009, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSUCamel
I had thought we had decided that the retreating of the Blight was due to the Shadow gathering its forces and preparing for assault. When the military begins preparing for war, they don't let all their soldiers be stranded in groups around the country, they call them back to the base to send them out as a large group. I assumed the Blight was marshaling its forces, and that's why the Blight was retreating.

I suppose this could be wrong, though. Good catch, WSB.
Thanks!

I think there is a distinction between the Shadow's armies and the Blight. RJ has described it as the corruption caused by the exposure of the prison to the real world. I'm not sure if that means it is an intentional or unintentional process on the Dark One's part, but either way, it could be significant in the long run.
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2009, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinespringBrother
Thanks!

I think there is a distinction between the Shadow's armies and the Blight. RJ has described it as the corruption caused by the exposure of the prison to the real world. I'm not sure if that means it is an intentional or unintentional process on the Dark One's part, but either way, it could be significant in the long run.
Interesting. I always assumed the Blight expanded and contracted based on Shadowspawn presence. Very interesting.

Could it perhaps just mean that the DO is focusing his energies elsewhere?
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2009, 11:36 AM
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In TGS, the Blight is moving out again, correct? Doesn't Ituralde or Bashere comment on how it was a good distance further out than it had been?
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2009, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSUCamel
Interesting. I always assumed the Blight expanded and contracted based on Shadowspawn presence. Very interesting.

Could it perhaps just mean that the DO is focusing his energies elsewhere?
Or he is trying to make us THINK that LOL But that sentiment could also be why we have ignored this small detail that is spread out a few times through 1000's of pages.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:43 AM
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Yes, the Blight is expanding again in tGS. It does fit the perimeters of BS's comment.


So, what is its significance?
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:49 AM
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Is it decreasing again, now that Rand has made some sort of peace with himself? (Storms clearing around Dragonmount).
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:54 AM
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This is a very interesting idea. Doesn't the Blight extend with the growing power of the DO? If so, and considering the DO's prison is weakening and the DO can touch the world much more than before (his power is increasing), why would the Blight have retreated? It's expanding again, but not "normally." There's definitely something going on here.

I found this on TarValon.net:

Quote:
After Rand used up the Eye of the World, however (TEotW, Ch. 52), Moiraine says they struck a great blow against the Dark One. The Blight is very still (TEotW, Ch. 53) and has retreated two miles all along the Borderlands (TSR, Ch. 17).
Why would using the Eye of the World strike such a blow to the DO? Rand and co. killed a couple of Forsaken and retrieved the Dragon Banner/broken seal/Horn of Valere, and Rand had his weird visiony fight at Tarwin's Gap, so is that what Moiraine is referring to? I vaguely remember something about RJ saying that the key to the whole series was in the first book, but I might be wrong about that. Does anyone know where to find such a quote?

If the important key is in tEotW, that still doesn't explain Brandon's quote about the clue in books 4-6, unless, as WSB so cleverly researched, it's all about the Blight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davian93
Yes, the Blight is expanding again in tGS. It does fit the perimeters of BS's comment.
So, the fact that the Blight is now expanding quite rapidly should mean something. However, even though it's finally expanding again, it's still quiet. Too quiet.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:04 PM
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WSB - would you mind inserting the Brandon quote you are referencing? I haven't read it and have no clue whatever what you're talking about.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:16 PM
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I was always under the impression the Blight was the manifestation of the Dark One's corruption. His very slight touch has been focused on sending the Blight south for all these thousands of years. Now he's increasing in power, and instead of continuing with that agonizingly slow process, he decided to focus his energies on fixing the seasons, changing the weather; all much more intense endeavors, leaving him no time for the slow, nearly useless (given how little time is left before the real battles begin) creeping of corruption into the Borderlands.

Now that the seasons are better as of a few months ago, he's decided to start back on the Blight.
  #12  
Old 11-06-2009, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tworiverswoman
WSB - would you mind inserting the Brandon quote you are referencing? I haven't read it and have no clue whatever what you're talking about.
It's from Tam's thread about the Salt Lake City Q&A:

http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/...ead.php?t=2566

Quote:
Originally posted by Tamyrlin/Brandon

Question: You had a quote that we all talked about just recently, that there is a small detail with this secret thing. There were two quotes we put together where you told somebody from Chicago where you say this detail first comes out between books 4-6. Is that verified?

Answer: Itís been going for a long time. Somewhere in four and six the first hints of it are mentioned.

Question: But thatís not the only time itís ever mentioned?

Answer: Itís not the only time itís ever mentioned. It isÖhints about this hidden thing appear in pretty muchÖin several of the books. It first, somewhere in one of those three is the beginning of where it shows up. The first hint that you get. [Ö] I mean, itís a small thing that means something large, that sort of thingÖand you guys are very good at finding things and Iím not going to say whether you hit it or not.
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  #13  
Old 11-06-2009, 01:27 PM
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We've talked about the blight thing before. Not in much detail, but we have talked about it. Either way, I think your idea has merit, WSB.
Sorry, nothing to actually add. :-/
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tree Brother
Is it decreasing again, now that Rand has made some sort of peace with himself? (Storms clearing around Dragonmount).
Good question. Like some others have mentioned, I've always seen the blight as a tangible measure of how the battle between Light and Shadow is going.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:44 PM
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1. This detail was introduced in book 1, not in 4-6.
2. We've discussed it a lot.
3. It's not exactly a minor detail.
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowlwoman
This is a very interesting idea. Doesn't the Blight extend with the growing power of the DO? If so, and considering the DO's prison is weakening and the DO can touch the world much more than before (his power is increasing), why would the Blight have retreated? It's expanding again, but not "normally." There's definitely something going on here.

I found this on TarValon.net:



Why would using the Eye of the World strike such a blow to the DO? Rand and co. killed a couple of Forsaken and retrieved the Dragon Banner/broken seal/Horn of Valere, and Rand had his weird visiony fight at Tarwin's Gap, so is that what Moiraine is referring to? I vaguely remember something about RJ saying that the key to the whole series was in the first book, but I might be wrong about that. Does anyone know where to find such a quote?

If the important key is in tEotW, that still doesn't explain Brandon's quote about the clue in books 4-6, unless, as WSB so cleverly researched, it's all about the Blight.



So, the fact that the Blight is now expanding quite rapidly should mean something. However, even though it's finally expanding again, it's still quiet. Too quiet.
I wondered why the Blight and the unnatural winter were affected by the deaths of a few Forsaken and a few thousand Trollocs myself when I first read EotW. Presently I think the actual events at the Eye were almost incidental. The Shadow withdrew because the three ta'veren were standing in the foothills of Shayol Gul and in their presence the pattern corrected itself to remove the Shadow's influence. Or, to use Moridin's sha'rah analogy, Moraine picked up the Fisher piece and put it on a white square along the enemy's goal row, thereby winning the game.
  #17  
Old 11-06-2009, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terez
1. This detail was introduced in book 1, not in 4-6.
2. We've discussed it a lot.
3. It's not exactly a minor detail.
Do you have any quotes from book 1?
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  #18  
Old 11-06-2009, 03:32 PM
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As was already pointed out, Moiraine's comment after the EotW incident. From this point on its seems like its pretty quiet and gets quieter with every Rand "victory".

I also would discount this as a possibility for the reasons given.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Eye of the World
CHAPTER: 53 - The Wheel Turns

He half expected they would have to fight their way out as they fought their way in, but the Blight was as quiet and still as death. Not a single branch trembled as if to lash at them, nothing screamed or howled, neither nearby nor in the distance. The Blight seemed to crouch, not to pounce, but as if it had been struck a great blow and waited for the next to fall. Even the sun was less red.

When they passed the necklace of lakes, the sun hung not far past its zenith. Lan kept them well away from the lakes and did not even look at them, but Rand thought the seven towers seemed taller than when he first saw them. He was sure the jagged tops were further from the ground, and above them something almost seen, seamless towers gleaming in the sun, and banners with Golden Cranes flying on the wind. He blinked and stared, but the towers refused to vanish completely. They were there at the edge of vision until the Blight hid the lakes once more.

Before sunset the Warder chose a campsite, and Moiraine had Nynaeve and Egwene help her up to set wards. The Aes Sedai whispered in the other women's ears before she began. Nynaeve hesitated, but when Moiraine closed her eyes, all three women did so together.

Rand saw Mat and Perrin staring, and wondered how they could be surprised. Every woman is an Aes Sedai, he thought mirthlessly. The Light help me, so am I. Bleakness held his tongue.

"Why is it so different?" Perrin asked as Egwene and the Wisdom helped Moiraine to her bed. "It feels ..." His thick shoulders shrugged as if he could not find the word.

"We struck a mighty blow at the Dark One," Moiraine replied, settling herself with a sigh. "The Shadow will be a long time recovering."

"How?" Mat demanded. "What did we do?"

"Sleep," Moiraine said. "We are not out of the Blight yet."

But the next morning, still nothing changed that Rand could see. The Blight faded as they rode south, of course. Twisted trees were replaced by straight. The stifling heat diminished. Rotting foliage gave way to the merely diseased. And then not diseased, he realized. The forest around them became red with new growth, thick on the branches. Buds sprouted on the undergrowth, creepers covered the rocks with green, and new wildflowers dotted the grass as thick and bright as where the Green Man walked. It was as if spring, so long held back by winter, now raced to catch up to where it should be.

He was not the only one who stared. "A mighty blow," Moiraine murmured, and would say no more.
.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nameless
Or, to use Moridin's sha'rah analogy, Moiraine picked up the Fisher piece and put it on a white square along the enemy's goal row, thereby winning the game.
The Sha'rah game seems to be a metaphor for the entire good vs evil fight. Moiraine might have taken one piece of the dark's, no more. Certainly not a "winning the game" moment.
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