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  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 03:52 AM
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Default The pillar ter'angreal in Rhuidean

It's a bit of a long shot but hear me out.

It is my theory that the pillar ter'angreal used to initiate Wise Ones and Clan Chiefs has an (in-built??) function to glimpse into a mirror world, the definition of which mirror world is determined by the identity of the user.

We know that going through the pillars reveals the genealogical history of the user - ancestor to ancestor, moving along the history line backwards. From Aviendha's POV we've seen a (possible) future, moving again along the genealogical line, but starting from the end of the line and moving back towards the present. I do not think it is a future as is set in the Pattern already (seeing as that is changeable based on individual actions) rather, I think perhaps the future Aviendha saw was from a mirror world in which time moves much faster than in Randland and is therefore set. In that mirror world, what Avi saw is 100% reality.

There's even a hint on this in the way the pillars are described:
Quote:
TITLE: Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 24 - Rhuidean
The way those thin shafts of glass caught the bluish light, refracting and reflecting, merely looking too hard was enough to give him a headache. He turned away, wandering back the way he had come, uneasily eyeing the ter'angreal-or whatever they were-filling the plaza. What was he doing there? Why?
Theoretically there are infinite numbers of mirror worlds, worlds that could have been, worlds in which one or more actions/events/decisions went differently than in Randland. Perhaps what Aviendha saw was a very specific mirror world where certain things happened in certain ways - a mirror world that came into existence (so to speak) by her action of stepping into the pillars the second time, fracturing away from Randland into its own realm of possibility.

I got RAFO'd on the question of whether the pillars were only usable for Aviendha - specifically for her. There is good cause to think that after she went through the pillars the second time, the ter'angreal was rendered useless:
Quote:
TITLE: Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 49 - Court of the Sun
There had to be more. Angry, she stood up and took another step. Nothing happened. She walked all the way to the edge of the pillars, then turned, furious. "Show me more," she demanded. "Show me what I did to cause this! It is my lineage that brought us ruin! What is my part in it?" She walked into the pillars again. Nothing. They seemed dead. She reached out and touched one, but there was no life. No hum, no sense of Power. She closed her eyes, squeezing one more tear from the corner of each eye. The tears trailed down her face, leaving a line of cold wetness on her cheeks.
This, considering her Talent of reckognizing what a ter'angreal does is quite telling. She should be able to pick up a vibe from them, but perhaps they are now unusable for her while others could still go through them. I cannot recall and I looked but couldn't find if she was able to read ter'angreal specifically designed for men. if not then it would mean that she can only read ter'angreal that she herself could use, however if she could read a male-only ter'angreal then it would mean that if there was any power left in those pillars, then she would've sensed it and by not sensing anything we could conclude that they're dead.

As to what happened to the pillar-ter'angreal to enable her to go through a second time, there are two possibilities:
1) they were always that way, Aviendha was simply the first to contradict strong tradition and attempt the second journey
2) Aviendha somehow changed the ter'angreal - she even asks this of herself:
Quote:
TITLE: Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 48 - Near Avendesora
She took a hesitant step away from the glass columns, and nothing happened. No further visions. Disturbed, she began to walk from the plaza. Then she slowed. Hesitantly she turned back. The columns stood in the dimming light, quiet and alone, seeming to buzz with an unseen energy. Was there more? That one vision seemed so disconnected from the others she'd seen. If she passed into the columns' midst again, would she repeat what she'd been given before? Or . . . had she, perhaps, changed something with her Talent?
So, open questions galore. As to the visions themselves, I do not believe they were a reading of the Randland Pattern but rather a visit to a mirror world.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by yks 6nnetu hing View Post
It is my theory that the pillar ter'angreal used to initiate Wise Ones and Clan Chiefs has an (in-built??) function to glimpse into a mirror world, the definition of which mirror world is determined by the identity of the user.

We know that going through the pillars reveals the genealogical history of the user - ancestor to ancestor, moving along the history line backwards.
Why would the Columns be constructed with two modes of operation. We know that the Columns showed an absolute past -- whether it followed threads or read the ancestry from the candidate's blood. In other words, there is absolutely no reason to believe that the original function had any connection to the Mirror Worlds, Worlds of If, Parallel Worlds or anything except the candidate's actual, absolute, ancestry.

Expecting a connection to mirror worlds or anything except the actual, absolute, bloodline of the candidate is like expecting your car to fly because you put the transmission in reverse.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:24 AM
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Why would the Columns be constructed with two modes of operation. We know that the Columns showed an absolute past -- whether it followed threads or read the ancestry from the candidate's blood. In other words, there is absolutely no reason to believe that the original function had any connection to the Mirror Worlds, Worlds of If, Parallel Worlds or anything except the candidate's actual, absolute, ancestry.
because the Pattern is not pre-determined. It's also possible that I'm reading too much into this but I was seriously bothered by the timelines in Avi's vision, considering channeler's lifespans, even with the Oathrod-limit, there just wasn't enough time between the visions as they jumped across generations. Though, of course, it's possible that RJ/BS made a little continuity error there. Another explanation (in which there is no continuity error) would be that that mirror world had a slightly different lifespan dynamic from Randland.

I think that if the columns were created with visibility in both directions (past AND future) then they were made so that the future visions option only became available once the past was viewed. Consider the Jenn Aiel who created the ter'angreal in the first place - they would have definitely wanted to build such a function into it.
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Expecting a connection to mirror worlds or anything except the actual, absolute, bloodline of the candidate is like expecting your car to fly because you put the transmission in reverse.
as I said, in the Mirror World I believe she saw, it WAS her actual, absolute bloodline. 100% solid and real.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:51 AM
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The function of the columns in showing the future is still very similar to the way in which they showed the past. I'm of the opinion that what they were doing was showing what the future would have been if they hadn't shown Aviendha that future. The very act of prophecy changes the future, of course. So in a way, what they were showing was a past future. Or days of future past. :-P
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:56 AM
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The function of the columns in showing the future is still very similar to the way in which they showed the past. I'm of the opinion that what they were doing was showing what the future would have been if they hadn't shown Aviendha that future. The very act of prophecy changes the future, of course. So in a way, what they were showing was a past future. Or days of future past. :-P
therefore, not real world future, but something else.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:00 AM
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therefore, not real world future, but something else.
Yes, but also not a mirror world as such (sorry). More like a computer predicting based on data it already has, but failing to take account of the prediction as a factor, and thus coming out with an error. A better analogy - like trying to add together all the sums that have ever been added together, without taking into account that it also needs to add the sum it is presently calculating to the total.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:05 AM
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Yes, but also not a mirror world as such (sorry). More like a computer predicting based on data it already has, but failing to take account of the prediction as a factor, and thus coming out with an error. A better analogy - like trying to add together all the sums that have ever been added together, without taking into account that it also needs to add the sum it is presently calculating to the total.
you're diverging from WoT. invalid.

Quote:
Date: 2005-09-04 | Location: DragonCon 2005
Type: Q and A Session | Questioner: Unknown

Q: How did your background in physics influence how you structured the world of the wheel of time?I was interested in how the physics like with the Mirror Worlds, the world of if?

A: Jordan: Largely it was to make things realistic, as realistic as I can. Background in physics and engineering; I also tried to structure channeling as if it were a science or technology. No eye of Newton, hair of dog. There are real limits, there are rules, there are technological structures to channeling which I think are fairly obvious to anyone who looks at it. That was the major influence. Plus making sure that I see that everything is real. Well if I bring about a blacksmith, well I don't know anything about blacksmithing, but I was able to get some nineteenth century books on blacksmithing, and once I had written the scenes I sent them to a women I met that was a blacksmith and Ferrier, and she said you need to do this and you need to do that, but otherwise it is okay.Harriet: This woman, was t the time the only woman blacksmith on the high council of American smithing. She made a lot of the stuff at Billy Graham's in North Carolina, but she wrote wonderful comments back and said, if you want Perrin to ever have children, you must have a leather apron, which was among her other good bits.Jordan: The Mirror Worlds of course come right out of physics, and the possibility of (mumble) universes and all of the rest of it. But frankly while I don't follow the literature, I haven't for a number of years, I occasionally get stuck on panels with physicists and I am supposed to discuss physics which I am twenty five years out of date. But I find that I can hold my own, although I do not have a doctorate or did I ever intend to get one, I went to work instead. I can hold my own with the PHd's in physics when they are talking theoretical physics if I stop talking physics, at least from my point of view, and start talking theology and this troubles me ...
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:28 AM
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Wow, I was just having a similar discussion on another thread, on the same topic. It's worth mentioning, though, that there are (from my poor memory), unclear differentiations in WoT between Parallel Worlds, and Mirror Worlds.

In any event, it seems that WoT cosmology operates under the Multiple Worlds theory. There is some minor evidence supporting the Copenhagen interpretation, but it seems to support, far more, Multiple Worlds.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:39 AM
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Wow, I was just having a similar discussion on another thread, on the same topic. It's worth mentioning, though, that there are (from my poor memory), unclear differentiations in WoT between Parallel Worlds, and Mirror Worlds.
that's not true. There is a clear distinction, at the very least in the interviews. Parallel worlds are those that do not share Randland's history and/or flora/fauna. For example, the Ogier come from a parallel world and the Snakes and Foxes are each from a parallel world.

Mirror worlds represent Randland where something has gone to a major or minor extent differently - for example Hawkwing lost the war or instead of naming the infant Rand, Tam thought that Narg would be a good name. There are infinite number of mirror worlds but an unknown number of parallel worlds. Each parallel world can have their own mirror worlds.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by yks 6nnetu hing View Post
that's not true. There is a clear distinction, at the very least in the interviews. Parallel worlds are those that do not share Randland's history and/or flora/fauna. For example, the Ogier come from a parallel world and the Snakes and Foxes are each from a parallel world.

Mirror worlds represent Randland where something has gone to a major or minor extent differently - for example Hawkwing lost the war or instead of naming the infant Rand, Tam thought that Narg would be a good name. There are infinite number of mirror worlds but an unknown number of parallel worlds. Each parallel world can have their own mirror worlds.
Well, now you made me feel silly, thankyouverymuch.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:47 AM
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In your defense, RJ mixed it up himself, which is probably where the memory of unclear distinctions come from. The distinctions are clear, but RJ wasn't always clear on which was which.

Also, I believe I mentioned the Mirror World thing at the Future of the Aiel panel, but maybe not. I know I talked about it at some point over the weekend. I think all the ter'angreal that show future scenarios use the Mirror Worlds, including the Rings and the Acceptatron.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:49 AM
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It seems that there is a bit of confusion on the matter. RJ called the world of the grolms a parallel world, at one point, and a mirror world at another point. The BWB points to the former, but later Maria indicates the latter.

It might just be some confusion on the answering end, but that was where I was getting the impression from.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
In your defense, RJ mixed it up himself, which is probably where the memory of unclear distinctions come from. The distinctions are clear, but RJ wasn't always clear on which was which.

Also, I believe I mentioned the Mirror World thing at the Future of the Aiel panel, but maybe not. I know I talked about it at some point over the weekend. I think all the ter'angreal that show future scenarios use the Mirror Worlds, including the Rings and the Acceptatron.
Heh, yeah. I was just looking through the quotes, as you posted.

And while I would agree that the glass columns use the Mirror Worlds, some of the testing stuff in the Tower seems a lot more like a TAR thing. They could be Mirror worlds (which is what I thought, when I first saw it), but it always seemed like the Sisters had some control over what happened in different testings.

Especially since the testings hold some of the TAR properties. Coming back with real damage sometimes, and not, others. Burning out. All that stuff seems like it has to do with how much you accept what is going on in the test, and the pre-conditions they give you.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:01 AM
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In your defense, RJ mixed it up himself, which is probably where the memory of unclear distinctions come from. The distinctions are clear, but RJ wasn't always clear on which was which.

Also, I believe I mentioned the Mirror World thing at the Future of the Aiel panel, but maybe not. I know I talked about it at some point over the weekend. I think all the ter'angreal that show future scenarios use the Mirror Worlds, including the Rings and the Acceptatron.
yeah, I think so too, particularly in the Accepted-test there seems to be a possibility that if the testee doesn't go through the gateway, they may actually remain and live (happily or not) in that reality they saw. The way back comes but once.

This is totally different in the test for AS though, where other channelers are actively controlling the scenario's the person is going through.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:03 AM
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you're diverging from WoT. invalid.
Not really diverging greatly. We know the ter'angreal is capable of showing past histories, so in some way it's sensible to assume it records data. What I suggest it is then doing is extrapolating out to show a possible future but is unable to take account of its own involvement (or not, as the case may be; this isn't actually necessary). The alternative suggestion is that the ter'angreal is somehow connected to mirror worlds, which there isn't evidence of it doing before - unless you think each of the past histories it has shown has been a minorly divergent mirror, which would be interesting, but as you acknowledge seems like a long shot.

So what we have is a ter'angreal which doesn't have any known interaction with mirror worlds prior to Avi's vision, but has demonstrated an ability to show a possible future in Avi's vision, and may then have deactivated. Aviendha posits that her Talent has altered the ter'angreal in some way, and that may well have happened; there may be a similar example during Egwene's accepted test, since the resonance may have come from her talent as a Dreamer rather than the ring, especially since the ter'angreal showed at least some things that then did come true.

What I would suggest is that it remembers the history of those who have passed through it before, either as a prerequisite of its function or as a side-effect of it. Those memories have to come from somewhere, but on the other hand, it appears that in the world of WOT there is such a thing as genetic memory; see for instance Mat's knowledge of the Old Tongue prior to visiting the Finns, or Perrin's use of it in TEOTW.

Avi's talent then alters the ter'angreal. This actually in some way touches on my idea of the future being altered merely by the act of prophecy, since Avi's talent is to observe the function of the ter'angreal; she may herself have altered it by observing it. As a result of this, it is broken, but not before it malfunctions for a time, by showing Avi a future extrapolated from the data it has already collected.

My intention with the examples wasn't to go outside the world of WOT, as I hope that demonstrates, but to give an understandable example of how I think the ter'angreal is working. If I had wanted to go outside of WOT, I'd have referred to how the Animus works in Assassin's Creed; they're actually really quite similar devices, both taking their information, as it were, from genetic memory.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael View Post
Not really diverging greatly. We know the ter'angreal is capable of showing past histories, so in some way it's sensible to assume it records data. What I suggest it is then doing is extrapolating out to show a possible future but is unable to take account of its own involvement (or not, as the case may be; this isn't actually necessary). The alternative suggestion is that the ter'angreal is somehow connected to mirror worlds, which there isn't evidence of it doing before - unless you think each of the past histories it has shown has been a minorly divergent mirror, which would be interesting, but as you acknowledge seems like a long shot.

So what we have is a ter'angreal which doesn't have any known interaction with mirror worlds prior to Avi's vision, but has demonstrated an ability to show a possible future in Avi's vision, and may then have deactivated. Aviendha posits that her Talent has altered the ter'angreal in some way, and that may well have happened; there may be a similar example during Egwene's accepted test, since the resonance may have come from her talent as a Dreamer rather than the ring, especially since the ter'angreal showed at least some things that then did come true.

What I would suggest is that it remembers the history of those who have passed through it before, either as a prerequisite of its function or as a side-effect of it. Those memories have to come from somewhere, but on the other hand, it appears that in the world of WOT there is such a thing as genetic memory; see for instance Mat's knowledge of the Old Tongue prior to visiting the Finns, or Perrin's use of it in TEOTW.

Avi's talent then alters the ter'angreal. This actually in some way touches on my idea of the future being altered merely by the act of prophecy, since Avi's talent is to observe the function of the ter'angreal; she may herself have altered it by observing it. As a result of this, it is broken, but not before it malfunctions for a time, by showing Avi a future extrapolated from the data it has already collected.

My intention with the examples wasn't to go outside the world of WOT, as I hope that demonstrates, but to give an understandable example of how I think the ter'angreal is working. If I had wanted to go outside of WOT, I'd have referred to how the Animus works in Assassin's Creed; they're actually really quite similar devices, both taking their information, as it were, from genetic memory.
it is one of the 2 possibilities that Avi changed the ter'angreal.

However, I think it's much more likely that the pillar-ter'angreal always had that function (that being the other possibility I mentioned in my OP)
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by yks 6nnetu hing View Post
it is one of the 2 possibilities that Avi changed the ter'angreal.

However, I think it's much more likely that the pillar-ter'angreal always had that function (that being the other possibility I mentioned in my OP)
Sure, but I respectfully disagree that it's much more likely they always had that function, based on the fact that after passing through them and viewing the future it appears to an expert that they are broken (the real test might be to get Elayne out there and see if she can make something that works in a similar way, or if they're just pretty glass columns with no OP effects now). That implies to me that they have been altered in some way; why else would they break? Note that in a similar example of a ter'angreal behaving in an unexpected way (Egwene's test) the strain does nearly destroy the ter'angreal:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TDR, 23, Sealed
The ter'angreal almost seemed to be trying to shut off the flow from saidar - or melt itself through the floor.
(emphasis mine)

A lot of people think that's the training ring, but it might well be her talent, or her talent plus the two ter'angreal. If it is the case that a particular talent can cause a ter'angreal to function in a way it's not designed for, then it stands to reason that Avi's talent could have a similar effect on the glass columns, causing them to malfunction and be rendered inert.

ETA: to be clear, Alanna does go on to say it's happened before with two ter'angreal that function in a similar way, but here we have a ter'angreal that uses TAR, a ter'angreal that allows the user to enter TAR, and a dreamwalker, so it's not wholly out of the question that a talent could have a similar effect, or be exacerbating the problem. Note that Avi's "see the use" talent isn't wholly unlike showing the past (of an object, rather than a person).
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:10 AM
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Because I am a nerd, I kept looking into this, and I found this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ, COT Glimmers E-Book Q&A
Someone who wasn't Aiel could wander through those spires forever and never see a thing except the spires. He or she might think it was a monument, or maybe a work of art.
So that at least suggests the pillars are capable of recognising someone based on genes/lineage. If the genetic memory thing from TEOTW is still in play then this strengthens my theory a little, I think.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:24 AM
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I don't think the Acceptatoron could have been reacting to Egwene. The reason? The Aes Sedai test Oval did not, and we have definite proof it has something to do with Dreamwalking. It didn't resonate to Egwene's presence at all.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:30 AM
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I don't think the Acceptatoron could have been reacting to Egwene. The reason? The Aes Sedai test Oval did not, and we have definite proof it has something to do with Dreamwalking. It didn't resonate to Egwene's presence at all.
Egwene didn't actually enter the Aes Sedaitron though. But then, you could also say that about the ring; it was just in the same room.
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