View Full Version : Lan in AMoL

04-19-2015, 08:21 PM
After AMoL came out, some people speculated that Rand had somehow resurrected Lan, or that Lan had died and returned as a Hero of the Horn. I must admit, I never paid much attention to those theories at the time since they didn't make much sense to me. Nynaeve held Lan's bond the entire time and never gave any indication in her (admittedly short) POV in the epilogue that anything had happened to him or was off about him. Their bond appeared intact:
"You shall not be rid of me in the next few weeks, Nynaeve," he said, love pulsing through his bond. "Even if you want it."

It also seemed probable that Lan being a Warder helped keep him alive until Narishma Healed him:
Narishma was still there, fighting alongside the Borderlanders. Mat quickly removed the foxhead as the Arafellin Asha'man threw himself off his horse and took Lan by the arm, then concentrated. The brief Healing was enough to bring Lan back to consciousness.

However, some of Brandon's comments appear to throw some doubt on the matter. He's mentioned it on several occasions now, sometimes without being asked first. First he said this (http://www.reddit.com/r/WoT/comments/1alj0w/sanderson_ama/c8zk7oe) about Lan:
Lan's survival was mandated by RJ. It was something we could have changed, in that he didn't say directly "don't kill him" but some of his notes talk of what happens after the Last Battle, and those involve Lan. It is clear to me that he wanted Lan to live. I took comments like this as mandates unless there were very good reasons to do otherwise.

Note that I have not weighed in on whether Lan died or not. The position some fans have theorized (that he died, and Rand changed the Pattern) is defensible. Some asked me about it on tour. I haven't said whether it is the case or not.

And, because I have more leeway with such things now, here are some nice quotes from you directly from RJ's notes regarding what happens to Lan and the Borderlands following the Last Battle.

"Malkier might have a lot of uniting to do with the western end of the Borderlands under Lan, who will find himself made king out there..."

More recent comments (https://www.reddit.com/r/WoT/comments/2k81zy/well_i_finally_finished_and_felt_like_sharing/clisz2p?context=3):
Everyone keeps assuming that Lan didn't die...

For what it is worth, I am not trolling. I sincerely thought this item would be one that fans asked me about once the book was out. I expected to have to dodge questions about it.

I am not confirming your theories, but am indicating that in the mind of the author of that scene, the sequence of events is not as clearcut as presumed. In the end, the simple explanation might be the right one. But there are other possibilities.

That RJ wanted Lan to live and be made king rules out the HotH theory, I think, and Brandon only mentioned the theory that Rand resurrected Lan by changing the Pattern. Again, I'm not really a fan of that theory, but it occurred to me recently why RJ and/or Brandon might have wanted to add such an element: as a parallel to Jesus resurrecting his follower Lazarus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_of_Bethany).

Disclaimer: I'm not religious and most of what I know about this comes from Wikipedia, so please tell me if I got something wrong here.

Lazarus was one of Jesus' followers and was said to be loved by him. Lazarus had a sister called Mary of Bethany, who along with another sister begged Jesus to save Lazarus when he was ill. But Jesus intentionally delayed his journey and only arrived after Lazarus was already dead. Then he brought him back to life.

Incidentally, it's an old theory of mine that Nynaeve might be a parallel to one or several of the Biblical women named Mary. In TDR, she went by the name of "Maryim" in Tear, which is very close to Maryam or Mariam which was the Aramaic form of Mary. That's what made me look into possible parallels, and I found a few interesting possibilities.

There are evidently several important women named Mary, from the Virgin Mary to Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany. To add confusion, some of those Marys are sometimes believed to be the same person. Which fits with how RJ borrowed bits and pieces from different mythological figures and distributed them among various WoT characters (several people have bits of Merlin, Rand and Hawking are both King Arthur parallels, etc). I think Nynaeve had elements from more than one Biblical Mary:
“This is Nynaeve al’Meara,” Uno said quickly into the first pause for breath. “From Emond’s Field, in the Two Rivers, whence the Lord Dragon comes.” Masema’s head turned slowly to the one-eyed man, and she hastily took the opportunity to re-do the shawl as she had had it. “She was at Fal Dara with the Lord Dragon, and at Falme. The Lord Dragon rescued her at Falme. The Lord Dragon cares for her as for a mother.”

Another time, she would have given him a few choice words, and maybe a well-boxed ear. Rand had not rescued her—or not exactly, anyway—and she was only a handful of years older than he. A mother, indeed!

Here's a possible explanation of why anyone might take Nynaeve for Rand's mother: saying that to Masema is practically asking for wild rumors to spread. She's not the only Virgin Mary parallel, of course—Shaiel being an unwed Maiden is probably a nod to the virgin aspect.

In TFoH, Nynaeve also wore a revealing red dress and had dyed her hair red, which Masema disapproved of and found sinful. Another Biblical Mary, Mary Magdalene, was commonly depicted as having long red hair and red clothes, to show that she was a sinner. However, Mary Magdalene was a follower of Jesus and present at his crucifixion as well as his resurrection, much like Nynaeve was at Rand's "death." I can see RJ enjoying the irony of Nynaeve, one of the most prudish characters in the series, being the inspiration for that figure.

Some traditions hold that Mary of Bethany (sister of the resurrected Lazarus) is the same person as Mary Magdalene. Both are sometimes identified as the woman who washed Jesus' feet:
Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair.

"The Prophecy is being fulfilled. He is the Coramoor. Aes Sedai serve him. You are proof of that, that you are here in this city. That is in the Prophecy as well. 'The White Tower shall be broken by his name, and Aes Sedai shall kneel to wash his feet and dry them with their hair.'"

"You will have a long wait if you expect to see me wash any man's feet," Nynaeve said wryly.

Seems Nynaeve ends up tied to all sorts of stories she really wouldn't like. :p

TL;DR: If Nynaeve is Mary of Bethany, it makes sense that Lazarus who was closely tied to Mary, and whom Mary tried to get Jesus to save, is Lan.

I can't say I like the idea of Rand resurrecting Lan and would much prefer Lan having survived on his own, but Brandon's comments make it difficult to completely discount the theory, and the possible Biblical parallels also make sense to me.

04-20-2015, 03:27 AM
That RJ wanted Lan to live and be made king rules out the HotH theory, I think, and Brandon only mentioned the theory that Rand resurrected Lan by changing the Pattern. Again, I'm not really a fan of that theory, but it occurred to me recently why RJ and/or Brandon might have wanted to add such an element: as a parallel to Jesus resurrecting his follower Lazarus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_of_Bethany).
First: I don't see any reason to think that Lan actually died. He merely came very close to it.

Second: wouldn't it have been a closer parallel if Jesus had raised John the Baptist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Baptist)?
John was the teacher of Jesus, as Lan was of Rand, while Lazarus was a mere pupil/follower.
John, like Lan, was struck down by the sword, while Lazarus just got sick.
Of course, raising John the Baptist would also have generated a lot more publicity, so all in all that would clearly have been the superior option.

04-20-2015, 06:13 PM
Fully expected this tread to consist of the title and one post that simply read:

......was fucking awesome.

Rand al'Fain
04-20-2015, 09:38 PM
I think a line from "The Princess Bride" fits with what I think happened.