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  #1  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:36 AM
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Default Rand's new superpowers

[These posts were moved from the Question thread. We can discuss Rand's new superpowers here. (i.e. his new strength in the Power, how that affects Aviendha's children, his increased ta'verenness or lack thereof, etc.) - Terez]

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Originally Posted by ChubbyAiel View Post
I think his enormous strength in the Power is an effect of his superpower, not the superpower itself. I think Rand is consciously in touch with the Pattern and his own Ta'veren-ness. This means that his little bubble of protection from decay and corruption follows him around, he can seemingly mentally dominate a Hall full of Aes Sedai, and he appears to be even more powerful when it comes to Channelling, to the extent that he can shape reality around himself. A bit like Neo in the Matrix. There. I said it.
Nothing he's done is strictly speaking a super-power outside the rules of the world as already established, it's just that post DM, it's occurring on a larger scale. It also appears that he now spreads only the positive side of his ta'veren nature, not the negative. But there's nothing I've seen that isn't explained by his ta'veren-ness or OP strength, other than the rays of sunshine.

Last edited by Terez; 05-26-2011 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:19 AM
ChubbyAiel ChubbyAiel is offline
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Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael View Post
Nothing he's done is strictly speaking a super-power outside the rules of the world as already established, it's just that post DM, it's occurring on a larger scale. It also appears that he now spreads only the positive side of his ta'veren nature, not the negative. But there's nothing I've seen that isn't explained by his ta'veren-ness or OP strength, other than the rays of sunshine.
There are some specifics that might defy such explanation. I think early in the series Moiraine says that no matter how strong an individual they cannot resist shielding by a circle of 13 women. Maybe she was talking only about her personal experience, or the received wisdom of the Aes Sedai and so was wrong, but maybe Rand's confidence before Egwene in the Hall was down to his knowledge that he now transcends the normal rules attached to channelling, maybe due to his nature as Ta'veren. The way he seems to understand and rely on his Ta'veren nature is kind of a new thing because he's never been able to rely on it before, at least consciously. If his Ta'veren nature always kept him safe he would never truly be in danger, neither would Perrin or Mat, not once during the books, which would be a bit lame. Therefore, maybe now he can focus it and use it, or at least be certain where and when it would kick in. If it was down to his new-found strength in the Power, that would be a "super-strength" as a Channeller that no one else could come close to emulating.

The rays of sunshine and the way he can stop food from rotting just by being near suggests (in line with the whole Fisher King motif) that he is in connected to the pattern and able to stabilise it just by being near. That is different to any other Ta'veren we know of.

Maybe it is just a matter of degrees of strength and awareness as Ta'veren, but that doesn't exclude a "super-power" idea. To draw an analogy, normal men can be physically strong but there are limits to what human muscles can lift, therefore to be as strong as the Incredible Hulk you'd have to have a super-power. Other men can channel or be Ta'veren but the fact that Rand breaks the normal rules (could now break a shield made by 13 linked women or purify food in a way no one else can, for example) he is "super" Rand.

Last edited by ChubbyAiel; 05-26-2011 at 09:22 AM.
  #3  
Old 05-26-2011, 09:24 AM
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I do see the argument there but there's nothing within any of that, as far as I see, breaks the established rules of the world within WOT to the point where Rand could be said to have powers no-one else could ever have. In the first place, he's more strongly ta'veren than anyone who's ever lived; perhaps when you're that strongly ta'veren this happens naturally. In the second, the pattern comes under threat in the manner it has only once or twice per turning, so it would require something more than "just" a ta'veren of the strength of Artur Hawkwing to set things right.

I see the sunshine and the food as just being effects of his ta'veren nature, and the fact that they are now solely positive would be a side-effect of the hugely important but not rule-breaking psychological experience he had on Dragonmount.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael View Post
I do see the argument there but there's nothing within any of that, as far as I see, breaks the established rules of the world within WOT to the point where Rand could be said to have powers no-one else could ever have. In the first place, he's more strongly ta'veren than anyone who's ever lived; perhaps when you're that strongly ta'veren this happens naturally. In the second, the pattern comes under threat in the manner it has only once or twice per turning, so it would require something more than "just" a ta'veren of the strength of Artur Hawkwing to set things right.
But surely no one other than an incarnation of the Dragon's soul would ever have access to these massively hightened powers? The distinction for me is that although Nynaeve found that auld granny that was weirdly strong in the Power, stronger even than Nynaeve, no one is ever going to find someone with Rand's powers or strength who isn't an incarnation of Rand's own soul. For me what makes Rand super is that his Dragonmount experience takes the established rules then adds dimensions (like maybe being able to control and anticipate his Ta'veren nature, like being able to keep the Pattern healthy when he is near) and magnitude far beyond what we thought or were earlier told was possible (if Rand didn't know he could trust his Ta'veren nature, then he's got super-strong in the Power).

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Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael View Post
I see the sunshine and the food as just being effects of his ta'veren nature, and the fact that they are now solely positive would be a side-effect of the hugely important but not rule-breaking psychological experience he had on Dragonmount.
And so, I would say that the experience on Dragonmount didn't invent entirely new rules, but meant that Rand could exploit them in ways and to magnitudes that he couldn't before and which we didn't think possible before. Otherwise we are effectively saying, going back to my analogy, that the Incredible Hulk isn't really a superhero, he's only very strong. Rand and his incarnations past and present can access this level of power and manipulate this Ta'veren nature in a way and to magnitudes that no one else can or ever will. The Dragon's soul's strength/awareness/connection-with-the-Pattern is, by its uniqueness, "super".
  #5  
Old 05-26-2011, 10:06 AM
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I don't think it's really something where there's that much division between us to be honest. From our perspective, there are lots of people in Randland who have super-powers, from AS to Wolfbrothers to Min to sniffers. What you're saying is just that Rand has powers no-one else would get, and I'm saying that's true but it doesn't really break the rules of the world in the way that the term "super-powers" suggests (so it's entirely semantic). But in the Marvel Universe, the Hulk doesn't really break the rules either.

Picking up on something else you just mentioned - do you think that every time Rand's soul is spun out he must always be the Dragon?
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:10 AM
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He's always the same soul, but he lives normal lives sometimes.

Also, Rand is apparently stronger than it is possible to be for a man - RJ has implied that men have an upper limit just like women do (exemplified by Lanfear pre-Cyndane), and Rand was at that limit before he got stronger. That's 'superpowers', and the display at Maradon is the evidence of it. Also, the weird ability of Rand's children to channel almost from birth - that has to be explained by something.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
He's always the same soul, but he lives normal lives sometimes.

Also, Rand is apparently stronger than it is possible to be for a man - RJ has implied that men have an upper limit just like women do (exemplified by Lanfear pre-Cyndane), and Rand was at that limit before he got stronger. That's 'superpowers', and the display at Maradon is the evidence of it. Also, the weird ability of Rand's children to channel almost from birth - that has to be explained by something.
If part one of your post is correct, then is it possible that the channeler stronger than Nynaeve could be explained by being some important Hero presently having one of her normal lives? I completely agree with you that I would think even the big heroes get other chances to e.g. just be an accountant in the sixth age or whatever.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael View Post
If part one of your post is correct, then is it possible that the channeler stronger than Nynaeve could be explained by being some important Hero presently having one of her normal lives? I completely agree with you that I would think even the big heroes get other chances to e.g. just be an accountant in the sixth age or whatever.
True, but Rand was powerful in the normal, comparative sense until he had his Dragonmount experience. If the old lady is a Hero, she is still powerful in a comparative sense in the way that Einstein was intelligent in a comparable sense without being superhuman. Rand in another life might still be a powerful channeller but he wouldn't achieve that awakening to super-power status outside of his fight-the-Dark-One lives, I wouldn't have thought.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael View Post
If part one of your post is correct
Both RJ and Brandon said so.

Quote:
then is it possible that the channeler stronger than Nynaeve
Not sure what you are talking about here.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ChubbyAiel View Post
Maybe it is just a matter of degrees of strength and awareness as Ta'veren, but that doesn't exclude a "super-power" idea. To draw an analogy, normal men can be physically strong but there are limits to what human muscles can lift, therefore to be as strong as the Incredible Hulk you'd have to have a super-power. Other men can channel or be Ta'veren but the fact that Rand breaks the normal rules (could now break a shield made by 13 linked women or purify food in a way no one else can, for example) he is "super" Rand.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:14 PM
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Both RJ and Brandon said so.


Not sure what you are talking about here.
The Grandmother who is stronger than Nynaeve - I'm suggesting she is a hero who is having one of her "normal" lives.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:34 PM
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Everyone's assuming that Rand wasn't worried about the circle of 13 because he was strong enough to punch through any shield they could have woven, which I'm not sure is warranted. One of the overarching themes of tGS is that pure brute strength was not really the solution Rand was looking for, which is one of the reasons he ended up smashing the CK. I think it's more likely that he's learned to harness his ta'veren nature more effectively, and he knew that if he concentrated really hard on how he needed the Aes Sedai to let him go, they would all "spontaneously" decide that letting him go was the right thing to do.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:00 PM
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One thing to keep in mind, it was not Rand who thought he could break a 13 person shield. He was just not worried about it. It was Egwene who felt he could have broken it, and easily. Rand was just better at being calm under pressure.

Another thing to keep in mind, just as when he was shielded by the gaurdian while meeting the Borderlanders, he still had access to the True Power. Rand may have felt confident he could True Power his way out if push came to shove. (Although there is an old RJ quote stating shielding one shields the other, and from our experiences with Mog, she never tried to use True Power to aid in her escape, so there may be some truth to that, tho i think there may be conflicting reports on there since Sanderson took up the series, either way that doesnt mean Rand is aware of such)

Furthermore, there is nothing to suggest that Rand was at his potential cap prior to his Dragonmount moment, beyond conjecture and opinion. At Maradon, more was going on than just One Power destruction, as Rand said, it was very near to a direct confrontation. In fact, it seems clear to me that he is still reaching his maximum potential. I am not confident that LTT ever reached his maximum potential either. Rand compares the amounts of power he drew at the cleansing and at his suicide as comparable...then he drew even MORE while having his moment on the mountain.

I so not see anything Rand has done as "super-powered"

We have never seen Rand control the elements as he did there, but we have also never seen him combating with the fully integrated 2nd age memories either. The closest was the manor attack. Whipping up some hurricanes and tornados to wipe out a large army may not be as hard as we think. That an ashaman was impressed with the amount and prowess of his channeling isnt very surprising to me.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:01 PM
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Everyone's assuming that Rand wasn't worried about the circle of 13 because he was strong enough to punch through any shield they could have woven, which I'm not sure is warranted. One of the overarching themes of tGS is that pure brute strength was not really the solution Rand was looking for, which is one of the reasons he ended up smashing the CK. I think it's more likely that he's learned to harness his ta'veren nature more effectively, and he knew that if he concentrated really hard on how he needed the Aes Sedai to let him go, they would all "spontaneously" decide that letting him go was the right thing to do.
Exactly. When Rand was dark I remember him boasting/saying in Arad Doman that did the guy he was squeezing at that moment believe that he could kill him just by wishing it (via ta'vereness). I don't remember the quote, but the message was pretty clear.

Funny but when I first read Egg's comment that they could not have held him I thought of True Power, but in the recent light I don't think merits any serious thought.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by looqas View Post
Funny but when I first read Egg's comment that they could not have held him I thought of True Power, but in the recent light I don't think merits any serious thought.
I disagree, since it was precisely this reasoning he was thinking about while he was blocked from channeling by the Guardian in Far Madding.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by nameless View Post
Everyone's assuming that Rand wasn't worried about the circle of 13 because he was strong enough to punch through any shield they could have woven, which I'm not sure is warranted. One of the overarching themes of tGS is that pure brute strength was not really the solution Rand was looking for, which is one of the reasons he ended up smashing the CK. I think it's more likely that he's learned to harness his ta'veren nature more effectively, and he knew that if he concentrated really hard on how he needed the Aes Sedai to let him go, they would all "spontaneously" decide that letting him go was the right thing to do.

I thinking more along the lines of his so called "integration". Channelers have an advantage when it comes to tasks that require focusing and Rand's abilities could simply be due to a better understanding of how taveren works and also LT's much greater experience.


Since he's no longer squabbling with himself (that we know of anyway) he can focus better on the task at hand. And with LT's training in channeling and TAR experience to draw on, he'll likely be able to do it a great deal better.


If he believes the pattern wants him to go to the WT, then he can draw faith that the pattern will protect him there, and so on.


Lastly I should add that he'd be a stronger taveren if both he and Rand were taveren rather than just one of them.

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Originally Posted by T
and Rand was at that limit before he got stronger.
Totally unproven. We have no idea how much Rand has gained so far (less than three years, mostly fumbling along, and we know men's growth comes in spurts) Besides LT was the strongest not Rand.


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Originally Posted by ZS
Nothing he's done is strictly speaking a super-power outside the rules of the world as already established, it's just that post DM, it's occurring on a larger scale. It also appears that he now spreads only the positive side of his ta'veren nature, not the negative.
I tend to concur but we do not really have proof. And quite a few "new" things seem to be coming up this age like healing "stilling"; the Warder bond; Fain and even the three taveren.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ieyasu View Post
Furthermore, there is nothing to suggest that Rand was at his potential cap prior to his Dragonmount moment, beyond conjecture and opinion.
There's plenty of reason to believe he'd reached his full potential, not least that he never noticed an increase in strength much long after Asmodean disappeared, and after the Cleansing, he should have. Using that much Power is called 'forcing'; if anything was going to 'force' him, the use of the Choedan Kal should have. But Taim was 'almost as strong' as Rand in LOC, and Logain was 'almost as strong' as Rand in KOD. At Maradon, Rand was 'like an entire army of channelers'. Huge difference there. You can call that opinion if you like, but it's far from unsupported (quite aside from the matter of the babies, which you ignored).
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:45 PM
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Babies that haven't even been conceived yet? There's no way of telling what's going on with them at this point in the story. The other channelers at Maradon were awestruck by how many different weaves he threw simultaneously, but I don't recall any of them mentioning anything about the amount of Power he was holding. We know from Egwene's experience that someone can be too weak to light a candle and still split their weaves enough to impress other channelers. Maradon provides plenty of evidence that Rand's reached a new level of mental focus but it doesn't speak to the upper limit of how much Power he can hold at a time one way or the other.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
There's plenty of reason to believe he'd reached his full potential, not least that he never noticed an increase in strength much long after Asmodean disappeared, and after the Cleansing, he should have. Using that much Power is called 'forcing'; if anything was going to 'force' him, the use of the Choedan Kal should have. But Taim was 'almost as strong' as Rand in LOC, and Logain was 'almost as strong' as Rand in KOD. At Maradon, Rand was 'like an entire army of channelers'. Huge difference there. You can call that opinion if you like, but it's far from unsupported (quite aside from the matter of the babies, which you ignored).
He used more power at Dragonmount than he did at the cleansing. That is proof positive that he was not at his max potential when he cleansed. Considering he drew more than he did when he suicided as LTT, it is also proof positive that LTT wasnt at his max potential either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gathering Storm
He closed his eyes, drawing in more and more power, feeling as he had only twice before. Once when he had cleansed saidin. Once when he had created this mountain.
Then he drew in more.
Pointing out people who are 'almost' as strong as Rand does not have anything at all to do with growing to his potential. Pointing out the impressed ashaman who described him as such, likewise, doesnt surprise me. His fires were larger than the other ashaman's... so what? So are his gateways, and deathgates, etc. That he was impressed is no surprise at all. You can pretend he capped out at the cleansing, however the quote I just posted proves your opinion of such is wrong.

As for the babies? They are unborn and that "future" is suspect and in no way set in stone. I do not see how they are relevant to this discussion of "super powers" since we have no idea if or why they will turn out that way.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nameless View Post
Babies that haven't even been conceived yet? There's no way of telling what's going on with them at this point in the story.
That doesn't mean there aren't clues.

Quote:
The other channelers at Maradon were awestruck by how many different weaves he threw simultaneously, but I don't recall any of them mentioning anything about the amount of Power he was holding. We know from Egwene's experience that someone can be too weak to light a candle and still split their weaves enough to impress other channelers.
We also know that it's a matter of potential strength. You won't find an example of a weaker channeler being able to split flows many ways; it's always been presented as a matter of potential strength and of course skill.

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Originally Posted by Ieyasu View Post
He used more power at Dragonmount than he did at the cleansing. That is proof positive that he was not at his max potential when he cleansed.
No it isn't. As I said, I think he stretched his ability on Dragonmount.
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