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Old 10-29-2010, 01:36 AM
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Default A Forsaken Love Story

In the epilogue, when Rand recognizes Lanfear in Cyndane's eyes, he has a strange reaction:

Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - Towers of Midnight
EPILOGUE - And After

Rand froze, staring into that pit. He sought calmness, but he could not find it. Instead, he felt hatred, concern, and—like a seething viper within him—desire. That had been Mierin Eronaile, a woman he had once called the Lady Selene.

A woman most people knew by the name she'd taken upon herself. Lanfear.
On the surface, it might not seem all that strange. We know that Lews Therin and Mierin were lovers, so it seems natural that he might have some desire for her.

But there are some strange things about this. The most obvious is that she does not even look like Lanfear any more. The next thing to come to mind is this:

Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - The Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 6 - Gateways

"You were always ambitious, Mierin." His voice grated in his ears. "Why do you think I turned away from you? It wasn't Ilyena, whatever you like to think. You were out of my heart long before ever I met her. Ambition is all there is to you. Power is all you ever wanted. You disgust me!"

She stared at him, both hands pressed hard against her stomach, her dark eyes even larger than usual. "Graendal said..." she began faintly. Swallowing, she began again. "Lews Therin? I love you, Lews Therin. I have always loved you, and I always will. You know that. You must!"

Rand's face was like rock; he hoped it hid his shock. He had no idea where his words had come from, but it seemed he could remember her. A dim memory, from before. I am not Lews Therin Telamon! "I am Rand al'Thor!" he said harshly.
So, even with Rand having all of Lews Therin's memories now, that desire makes no sense, quite aside from the fact that she doesn't even look the same. This came straight from Lews Therin's memories. His hatred and concern make more sense as his own emotions, but not the desire.

What makes me most suspicious is that there is even more evidence in this book of Rand's merge with Moridin, though the Light ta'veren and Fisher effects detract away from that truth. Everything seems perfectly groovy, but inside Rand's head, there are some scary things going on. I'll start another thread for this, probably.

With that fact in mind, IMO things get much more interesting. Take this, for example:

Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 5 - Writings

"You did this intentionally?"

"Of course," Graendal said. "I practically had to lead him by the hand to Natrin's Barrow. Lews Therin never was good at seeing facts directly in front of his nose. Moridin, don't you see? How will Lews Therin react to what he has done? Destroying an entire fortress, a miniature city of its own, with hundreds of occupants? Killing innocents to reach his goal? Will that sit easily within him?"

Moridin hesitated. No, he had not considered that. She smiled inwardly. To him, al'Thor's actions would have made perfect sense. They were the most logical, and therefore most sensible, means of accomplishing a goal.

But al'Thor himself . . . his mind was full of daydreams about honor and virtue. This event would not sit easily within him, and speaking of him as Lews Therin to Moridin would reinforce that. These actions would tear at al'Thor, rip at his soul, lash his heart raw and bleeding. He would have nightmares, wear his guilt on his shoulders like the yoke of a heavily laden cart.

She could vaguely remember what it had been like, taking those first few steps toward the Shadow. Had she ever felt that foolish pain? Yes, unfortunately. Not all of the Chosen had. Semirhage had been corrupt to the bone from the start. But others of them had taken different paths to the Shadow, including Ishamael.

She could see the memories, so distant, in Moridin's eyes. Once, she'd not been sure who this man was, but now she was. The face was different, but the soul was the same. Yes, he knew exactly what al'Thor was feeling.
There is a very, very strong implication here that Ishamael once had a heart. That fact in itself is not too surprising - Rand seems to have some amount of affection at least for the memory of who Elan Morin was before he turned to the Shadow - but it brings up an interesting possibility.

What if Elan Morin turned to the Shadow because Mierin Eronaile broke his heart?

It seems kind of crazy, but there is at least some evidence for it. First, a quote from RJ:

Originally Posted by RJ
The Path of Daggers book tour 24 October 1998, Palo Alto - Drew Gillmore reporting

Chris asked if Moghedien had been raped by Shaidar Haran. The answer was "Yes, among other things."...someone asked if Lanfear had been raped as well, and he answered right away with a "No".
Moghedien, Mesaana, and now Graendal have all been raped by Shaidar Haran. Why not Cyndane? Could it be that Moridin claimed her for himself?

There seems to be at least some evidence for that:

Originally Posted by RJ
TITLE - Winter's Heart
CHAPTER: 13 - Wonderful News

Putting a hand over his heart, for all the world like a lover, Moridin tilted up Cyndane's chin on his fingertips. Resentment burned in her eyes, but her face might have been a doll's unchanging face. She certainly accepted his attentions like a pliable doll. "Cyndane knows many things," Moridin said softly, "and she tells me everything she knows. Everything." The tiny woman's expression never altered, but she trembled visibly.
And also, Moiraine indicates that a man came to Ghenjei to make a deal for Lanfear:

Originally Posted by RJ/BWS
TITLE - Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 57 - A Rabbit for Supper

"They claimed to have killed Lanfear by draining her too quickly, though I think they may have been trying to make me afraid. A man was there once, when they woke me. He said I was not the one he wanted." She hesitated, then shivered. "Sometimes I wished that they would drain me quickly and end my life."
Some might suggest Slayer, but I still think Slayer is a red herring concerning Ghenjei. The timing is right for Moridin to have saved her; we first saw him a book before we first saw Cyndane. It's even possible that his price had to do with the scene in Shadar Logoth where he helped Rand with Sammael.

It makes a lot of sense to me, from a thematic perspective, that Lanfear had something to do with Ishamael's path to the Shadow. He should have been the next best thing to Lews Therin for someone who loved only power - he was intelligent, honored, respected, and just as strong in the Power - but Lanfear remained obsessed with Lews Therin, right up until the point where she battled Moiraine.

It also gives a new and creepy meaning to her name, Last Chance. Her last chance to accept him as her lover? And her pride was what led to her being mindtrapped? She's obviously broken to his will now, but only barely. She accepts it in her actions, but not in her demeanor. She's still just as obsessed with Lews Therin as she was before...only now she wants to kill him.

There are still questions about her physical appearance too. Was she killed, or not? They don't seem to have drained her as much as they did Moiraine, so their story doesn't make sense (aside from what Moiraine saw), but there is still the fact that Brandon assumed she had been. What's going on here? Did she die, or is she wearing an inverted Mask of Mirrors? If so, then why? Does Moridin want to keep her real beauty for himself? Did he make her an offer after he realized she (finally) hated Lews Therin, and kill her when she refused him, only to transmigrate her in another body?

In any case, I think it adds a very, very interesting new dimension to the Forsaken.
Qui nos rodunt confundantur, et cum iustis non scribantur.

Last edited by Terez; 11-07-2010 at 12:16 AM.