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Go Back   Theoryland of the Wheel of Time Forums > THEORYLAND STEDDINGS > Forum Archives > Archived - WoT Discussion Boards > Book 13: Towers of Midnight
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  #1  
Old 12-15-2010, 10:59 AM
Tower of Ghanja Tower of Ghanja is offline
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Default Rand's (Former) Saidin Dizziness

I, like most people from what I've read online, had traced Rand's dizziness/sickness when embracing Saidin to the merger with Moridin, and kind of tied up with the weirdness with the Bowl of Winds.

But I picked up a paperback of TGH the other day for lunch reading, and I was struck by something.

He first feels a dizziness as if the world was spinning in Fal Dara when he names the Dark One. He says "Shai'tan is dead" and is afflicted by a dizziness, and the description is very like that used later in the series when he is ill when seizing Saidin.

Conjecture - using the name Shai'tan creates a momentary connection to the DO, and increases the DO's strength just for a bit.

Later, when he and Moridin have that shared balefire bonding experience, that connection is made permanent. Everytime he opens the conduit to Saidin, he opens the conduit to the DO.

During his transformation on DM, the same light which protects him from madness also protects him from this connection.

No huge thing here, not sure if there are any real implications, but as frustrating as the series later became, props to RJ for the careful planting of complex seeds so early in the series.
  #2  
Old 12-15-2010, 09:17 PM
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Interesting...
  #3  
Old 12-16-2010, 08:21 PM
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I took that dizziness in EOTW to be his "first contact channelling sickness" similar to his experiences after wiping away Bela's exhaustion, hitting the Trolloc with the boom on Domon's ship, and hitting the inn in Four Kings with lightning.

We don't see his newer channelling sickness until book 7 or 8, but this could also be attributed to his increasing instability and multiple personality issues. Keep in mind that by the first instance of the newer nausea, only a week or so has passed since Dumai's Wells and the first time Rand and the voice got to talking (doesn't matter where the voice comes from). Now that the Dragon is in better mental shape he isn't showing any more symptoms that could possibly just have been psychosomatic.
  #4  
Old 12-17-2010, 10:54 AM
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NoD,

I'm not referring to his EOTW sickness, but specifically to the dizziness in TGH when he names the DO.

'"Shai'tan is dead," he said harshly, and abruptly the room seemed to lurch. He grabbed his head as waves of dizziness sloshed through him.'

Also in TGH he thinks for the first time, while resisting the urge to use Saidin, "If I were dead, it would be done with." This seems to me to be the first instance of an internal debate that later becomes the separate Lews Therin voice.

As TGH was written when he was still thinking of the series as a trilogy, we cannot know whether these elements were intended to lead to the later LTT voice and the later dizziness, or whether RJ took these elements and expanded on them when he decided to balloon the series so much.
  #5  
Old 12-17-2010, 11:16 AM
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Wait...the series was intended as a trilogy originally ?
  #6  
Old 12-17-2010, 02:40 PM
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Yeah. That didn't last long. Then he planned for 6 books. And that clearly didn't work either. Which in my opinion is great, because I love the length of this series. It's a long read of awesomeness.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2010, 05:59 PM
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ToG, I'll buy that.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:15 PM
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I like this idea a lot too; I'd been wondering why Rand no longer appears to get ill since the reintegration, despite still presumably being linked to Moridin (I don't think ToM provides clear-cut evidence of that either way, but since the link has yet to play out in truly meaningful fashion and prophecy tells us it will...)

This would definitely explain it, and neatly at that.
  #9  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:24 PM
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I'm pretty sure the channeling sickness is stress related.

My reason for thinking so is that the sickness gets worse the more stressed Rand gets, culminating in an overpowering urge to vomit when he seized saidin and went to Dragonmount. At the time, the sickness was so bad that if he released the source, he didn't think he'd be able to seize it again.


And now that Rand has his head on straight, Min notes that he no longer seems to be experiencing the sickness.

Granted, she admits that Rand could be hiding the sickness from her but we've also seen Min get queasy several times when Rand seized the source by feeling his pain through the bond.

So, the fact that she's not feeling it anymore would seem to indicate that it's gone.
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:45 PM
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I don't think stress explains it, as it came in in PoD, in between the defeat of Sammael and the beginning of the Seanchan campaign (he has it in his first POV chapter there). It could be argued that this is actually one of the least stressful times for Rand in the entire second half of the series; he's taken Illian, another Forsaken is dead, he's yet to hear of the Seanchan's return, etc. etc. This is also in the *middle* of the period of LTT's absence from his head, and so can't be connected to the voice.

This is the main reason I and a lot of other people tie it to the balefire clash; despite no obvious change for the worse in Rand's psychological or material circumstances, suddenly he's ill from one book to the next.

Taken together with Moridin's own symptoms, glimpsed in various Forsaken POVs all of which date from after the SL incident, it seems pretty clear that the channelling sickness comes from there. RJ tried to cloud the waters in PoD by making all the Asha'man who came near the Bowl of the Winds residues also get ill, but it was obvious then and only became more obvious with time that they weren't sick in the same way Rand was.
  #11  
Old 12-20-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by lord Mordeth View Post
RJ tried to cloud the waters in PoD by making all the Asha'man who came near the Bowl of the Winds residues also get ill, but it was obvious then and only became more obvious with time that they weren't sick in the same way Rand was.
I thought their illness had to do with the weapon the Seanchan sought, which was Elayne picking at her gateway and letting it slip and go er- nuclear. Not the Bowl.
  #12  
Old 12-20-2010, 01:07 PM
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I thought their illness had to do with the weapon the Seanchan sought, which was Elayne picking at her gateway and letting it slip and go er- nuclear. Not the Bowl.
RJ confirmed that he problems with the OP were the BotW.

The Bowl drew on both Saidar and Saidin once it was programmed and it drew far more OP than "Elayne's excellent exploding exit/"
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lord Mordeth View Post
I don't think stress explains it, as it came in in PoD, in between the defeat of Sammael and the beginning of the Seanchan campaign (he has it in his first POV chapter there). It could be argued that this is actually one of the least stressful times for Rand in the entire second half of the series; he's taken Illian, another Forsaken is dead, he's yet to hear of the Seanchan's return, etc. etc. This is also in the *middle* of the period of LTT's absence from his head, and so can't be connected to the voice.

This is the main reason I and a lot of other people tie it to the balefire clash; despite no obvious change for the worse in Rand's psychological or material circumstances, suddenly he's ill from one book to the next.

Taken together with Moridin's own symptoms, glimpsed in various Forsaken POVs all of which date from after the SL incident, it seems pretty clear that the channelling sickness comes from there. RJ tried to cloud the waters in PoD by making all the Asha'man who came near the Bowl of the Winds residues also get ill, but it was obvious then and only became more obvious with time that they weren't sick in the same way Rand was.
But was Moridin channeling himself or simply feeling Rand's pain when Rand channeled? Hard to tell since no one can sense his channeling. There is a scene where Rand takes hold of the source then sees Moridin's face and notes that Moridin looks ready to sick up.

Also, Moridin's left hand hurts thanks to Semirhage blowing Rand's hand off.

As to whether or not Path of Daggers is the least stressful time period in Rand's life, I must strongly disagree. Rand's stress levels get worse and worse with each passing book culminating in his nervous breakdown on Dragonmount. Only then does his emotional state improve. Consequently, the sickness gets worse and worse with each passing book and it culminates just before he goes to Dragonmount.

Yes, you have a point that the sickness started after he crossed balefire streams with Moridin but correlation doesn't equal causation. Just because it started after Rand's encounter with Moridin doesn't mean it wouldn't have have happened anyway had he NOT encountered Moridin.

Then again, there's not really enough information to explain my theory either (except that Min seems to think Rand is better). So, really until the next book, we won't know for sure.
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2010, 09:13 PM
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Fair point about Moridin; the last POV of his is from before the clash, so we can't be sure there.

But if you compare Rand's stress in, say, TDR with that of the beginning of PoD, can you really say it was way lower? He was under extreme stress the whole time, and I think I can continue to claim that the period the sickness hits him is not one of those at which it's highest.

More to the point, the state he was in just before and after Dumai's Wells should have brought it on, if it were stress-related. But through CoS, he has no hint of it. Instead, once he's killed Sammael and had some time to begin to recover from the beatings, imprisonment and massive Maiden deaths of LoC, suddenly he's ill, even though all he's doing at the time is dealing with some token resistance in Illian and enjoying his new crown.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:02 AM
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And he's getting regular comforting too. Could it be related to that?
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:56 PM
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Fair point about Moridin; the last POV of his is from before the clash, so we can't be sure there.

But if you compare Rand's stress in, say, TDR with that of the beginning of PoD, can you really say it was way lower?
Yes.

Quote:
He was under extreme stress the whole time, and I think I can continue to claim that the period the sickness hits him is not one of those at which it's highest.
I disagree but I guess it's subjective.

Quote:
More to the point, the state he was in just before and after Dumai's Wells should have brought it on, if it were stress-related. But through CoS, he has no hint of it. Instead, once he's killed Sammael and had some time to begin to recover from the beatings, imprisonment and massive Maiden deaths of LoC, suddenly he's ill, even though all he's doing at the time is dealing with some token resistance in Illian and enjoying his new crown.
Well, stress is more of a cumulative problem though. The physiological symptoms that can come from stress (like say stomach ulcers) build over time. Prolonged periods of stress lead to immune-system deficiencies, loss of energy, loss of stamina. Perhaps Rand's body simply lacks the wherewithal to handle the strain of channeling saidin.

If there is any one particular event that I would say triggered the sickness, it would be when Padan Fain cut Rand with the ruby-hilted dagger. The wound introduced Mashadar into Rand's system, which then battles with the taint from the wound given by Ishamael.

I'm pretty sure that would make one sick as well. Rand's sickness develops shortly after that incident as well. So, really, who knows? There just isn't enough information to pin it on any one thing. It could be the balefire streams. (Although, does Moridin get sick when Graendel watches him channel in TOM? If not, then it would seem to indicate that only Rand is getting sick and Moridin is simply feeling the effects through their weird bond).

Also....

Why in god's name would crossing balefire streams lead to a psychic link? (I'm just complaining here).

That's about as logical as if you and I both pointed guns at each other, and shot, and our bullets hit each other in mid-air thus giving us the ability to pick tomorrow's Lotto numbers.


And don't say "It's just a book so RJ can do whatever he wants." I'm not disputing his right to do whatever he wants, but I still think that plot twist was bloody stupid.

If he wanted to bond Rand to Moridin, couldn't he have done so in some way that would... you know... bond Rand to Moridin?
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:17 PM
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(Although, does Moridin get sick when Graendel watches him channel in TOM? If not, then it would seem to indicate that only Rand is getting sick and Moridin is simply feeling the effects through their weird bond).
I don't know if Moridin gets sick whenhe Channels, but Rand seems to get sick When Moridin Channels:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter's Heart
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Snow
“You should have picked smaller books, “ he told her, pulling on riding gloves to hide the Dragons. “Or lighter.” He turned toward the window, to fetch the leather scrip, and a wave of dizziness hit him. Knees turning to water, he stumbled. A shimmering face he could not make out flashed through his head. With an effort, he caught himself, forced his legs straight. And the whirling sensation vanished. Lews Therin panted hoarsely in the shadows. Could the face be his?

“If you think you’ll make me carry them all that way, think again,” Min grumbled. “I’ve seen better pretending from stablehands. You could try falling down.”

“Not this time.” He was ready for what happened when he channeled; he could control it to some extent. Usually. Most of the time. This dizziness without saidin was new. Maybe he had just turned too fast. And maybe pigs did fly. He settled the leather scrip’s strap over his free shoulder. The men in the stableyard were still busy. Building. “Min--.”
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:57 PM
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Good call. I hadn't noticed that.

Does Min's believe that Rand's channeling sickness is gone mean that Rand is severed from Moridin?

If so, it was an even dumber plot twist than I originally gave it debit for because it had absolutely no pay off.
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:15 AM
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I think he's insulated, rather than severed, by the lightpipes (sorry, I just can't think of a better term right now) Nynaeve sees in his brain in ToM.

Unless the link has no further role to play, which is way doubtful, then they must still be connected, just asymptomatically. Their dream conversation early in TGS makes it pretty clear that there will be a payoff, so Rand does appear to be buffered, not severed.

@Seeker: I'm not a huge fan of the BF link concept either, but it always seemed to me from PoD onwards that it was the best explanation for what was happening to Rand. And RJ was so careful to make its aetiology undefinable (like you rightly said, the Fain wound comes so soon before), that it must be crucial to the conclusion of the series. This was something he didn't want the fans to be able to pin down for sure until they read it.

The only way it isn't a midstream deus ex machina is that balefire does, after all, act on the soul. So something as unusual as two streams of it, of different Powers, clashing could have been expected to have some soul-affecting consequences. But yeah, it was a pretty thin reed with which to work in such a vital plot element, much thinner than the Cleansing, for instance.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:12 AM
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An extra point which may have had an effect is that Rand and Moridin were still holding hands while their balefire streams collided. I suspect that that makes it an even rarer event, while at the same time making the "it creates a lasting connection" idea more plausible.
 


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