Fri
May 21 2010 1:03pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 9

Greetings, salutations, and welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 13 and 14 of The Path of Daggers, in which we completely fail to encounter rainbows, puppies, unicorns, hugs, or hot chocolate. I mean, damn.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, in which you can find links to news, reviews, and all manner of information regarding the newest release, The Gathering Storm, and for WOT-related stuff in general.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 12, The Gathering Storm. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!


Chapter 13: Floating Like Snow

 

What Happens
Rand sits his horse some distance from the army he’s led here, Tairen and Cairhienin and Illianer all mingling uneasily together, and notes that the nobles are glancing at the sky and him both with worry. He thinks that they’re not sure what to make of their prayers for the weather to break being answered with relentless storms, and wonders if they think it’s his doing, which makes him laugh bitterly to himself. With saidin in him, he examines the hills nearby, knowing they hide two or three thousand men. Rand thinks that he doesn’t have time for this, but nevertheless the remnants of Sammael’s former army cannot be left to wander the countryside.

What would you do? he thought. Are you there? And then, doubtfully, hating the doubt, Were you ever there? Silence answered, deep and dead in the emptiness that surrounded him. Or was there mad laughter somewhere in the recesses of his mind? Did he imagine it, like the feel of someone looking over his shoulder, someone just on the brink of touching his back? Or the colors that swirled just out of sight, more than colors, and were gone? A thing of madmen.

Rand announces that he will go down to talk to the men himself, which produces an instant flurry. Gregorin and First Captain Marcolin from the Illianers, Weiramon, Tolmeran and Rosana from the Tairens, and Semaradrid from the Cairhienin all ride over to him, and though their feelings for each other range from wariness to hatred, they all variously tell him how they think this would be a bad idea. Rosana points out bluntly that even the Dragon Reborn can be killed by an arrow, Weiramon uses the opportunity to insult the Illianers, Gregorin takes umbrage at Weiramon, and Semaradrid thinks Rand should just kill them all.

“Did I ask for opinions?” Rand snapped harshly. Babble became silence, except for the crack of cloaks and banners flapping in the wind. Suddenly expressionless faces regarded him, more than one going gray. They did not know he held the Power, but they knew him. Not all of what they knew was truth, but it was just as well they believed.

Rand tells Gregorin and Marcolin to come with him, and yells for Dashiva and Hopwil. The nobles eye the two Asha’man uneasily, especially Dashiva, who is muttering to himself and licking his lips, and Rand cocks his head, listening for Lews Therin’s outrage as men who can channel approach, but only senses that Alanna is feeling shock about something; he thinks that it must be a very strong emotion for him to feel it while this far away from her.

He became aware of Marcolin staring at him, and Gregorin trying very hard not to. “Not yet,” he told them wryly, and almost laughed when they clearly understood right away. Relief was too plain on their faces for anything else. He was not insane. Yet.

They ride down, Rand fretting over how little time he has, and listening to Dashiva mutter to himself in the Old Tongue, which Rand knows he reads and speaks fluently despite being a farmer. Hopwil is frowning and silent, and Rand tells him he did well, though the news he brought, that the Seanchan are back and already have Ebou Dar and Amador, fills Rand with rage. Hopwil doesn’t respond, and Rand asks if he’s upset because he had to kill women, and stops himself from reciting his own list in his head. He continues that Hopwil had had no choice but to kill the sul’dam and damane who had discovered him while scouting; Hopwil replies that it doesn’t bother him at all, but Rand hears the lie.

Liah, of the Cosaida Chareen, a name written in fire. Moiraine Damodred, another name that seared to the soul rather than merely burning.

A lone man comes out to meet them from the woods, and Rand rides to meet him and demands to know if he is the leader. The man asks why he wants to know, and Gregorin snaps at him to watch his tongue, as he speaks to the Dragon Reborn and King of Illian. The man is doubtful of this, but Rand forestalls Gregorin from an angry reply, and tells the hidden army with a saidin-enhanced voice that he offers them a generous choice: they can either join his army, or lay down their weapons and go home, but it must be one or the other. Voices from the trees reply, shouting of Dragonsworn and Aiel burning villages, and the spokesman says Rand asks them to go home unarmed while his own people pillage their farms and villages. This infuriates Rand, who shouts that his Aiel are hunting down the Aiel plundering the countryside and the bandits both, and he will allow no one to disrupt the peace of Illian. He snaps that they have till midday to decide, and gallops back up to his forces.

Reluctantly he let go of the Power, forced himself not to hang on like a man clutching salvation with his fingernails as life and filth drained from him together. For an instant, he saw double; the world seemed to tilt dizzily. That was a recent problem, and he worried it might be part of the sickness that killed men who channeled, but the dizziness never lasted more than moments.

He rages to himself about the Seanchan, and brigands using his name, and Sammael; he wonders if the Shaido were Sammael’s doing, to be a thorn in his side everywhere he went, and thinks of the Aes Sedai the captured Shaido had spoken of being involved as well. He is even more furious at the notion that the White Tower might be involved somehow. He tells the nobles that he’ll be in his tent.

Fire and ice, and death was coming. But he was steel. He was steel.

Commentary
Ow. Ow ow ow ow ow.

Now it’s coming back to me, why I didn’t like this book. Basically my reaction when I first read this was, jeez, when did Rand become a total asshole? And also, I would like a hug and a cookie, because wow.

Of course, now I know I ain’t seen nothing yet on the Rand-as-asshole front. I do not think this merits a “yay”. Maybe I would also like some hot chocolate now.

I’m joking around, but I remember it was kind of almost like a slap in the face, to get to this after being so eager to find out what happens after Rand got crowned King of Illian at the end of ACOS, and see that what happened is, it apparently turned him into a MASSIVE JERK.

Okay, to be fair, that’s not exactly correct. I don’t honestly think Rand is flipping out like this because he let his kinging go to his head—I think Rand is flipping out because he is alone.

Alone, in the sense that for the first time in quite a while, he has no one with him who he trusts fully, and who… eases him, for lack of a better term. There’s no one here to make him feel normal. To be more specific, he has none of “his” women with him. And I don’t just mean Min, Aviendha, or Elayne; I include Egwene and Nynaeve, and the Maidens, too. I mean, therefore, the people I think he feels will both have his back, and who don’t always make him feel like he has GIANT SCARY FREAK tattooed on his forehead. He maybe doesn’t trust the latter group quite as far as he trusts Min/Aviendha/Elayne, but he trusts them far more than most. And all of the above work overtime to assure him they do not think he is All That, which can be occasionally annoying but also is often just what Rand needs to hear.

And it’s interesting, that this group seems to be solely comprised of women, though you could possibly make a case for Bashere and Rhuarc to be included. But honestly I’m not sure Rand either trusts or is as comfortable with either of them as far as he would/is with the others.

And why no Mat and Perrin, you ask? Well… I think Rand trusts them (or does for the moment), but I don’t think Rand feels comfortable with them, at all—mainly because they don’t feel comfortable with him. In other words I don’t think having either Mat or Perrin with him at this juncture would help the way having Min or the Maidens around would.

So, it seems to be mainly just women, and I’m fairly certain that isn’t an accident. Balance, y’see. Male/female, yin/yang, saidin/saidar, yadda/yadda. This is something we’ll come back to later, I think.

Other notes:
Dizziness: starts up here.

…And that’s all I have to say about it, since I’m pretty sure the origins of it are clear (from crossing the streams with Moridin in ACOS). The eventual result, of course, ain’t clear at all. I can’t remember if the dizziness cleared up at some point in TGS or not, but I seem to recall that it did. I could be hallucinating that, though. Well, whatever; I’ll get to that eventually.

Another mention of the swirling colors, and here’s an interesting thing I noted which may or may not be a coincidence: the first time (to my knowledge) the colors appear is in Chapter 18 of ACOS, where Rand meets Cadsuane for the first time. Which is, lest you’ve forgotten, also where Lews Therin pulls his vanishing act, but at the point in the chapter where Rand experiences the color swirls, Lews Therin hasn’t gone yet. Here, I’ll quote the passage again for convenience:

“Berelain, I don’t know what else I can do to guarantee Mayene for you, but I will write out any—” Colors swirled so strongly in his head that his tongue froze. Lews Therin cackled. A woman who knows the danger and isn’t afraid is a treasure only a madman would spurn.

So, that’s two mentions now of the swirling colors, both in close conjunction with either Lews Therin talking to Rand, or Rand trying to talk to Lews Therin. What does it mean?

Well, possibly, not a damn thing. It could just be a coincidence. And even if it isn’t, I have no idea what the implications might be if there is a connection; Ta’veren Telepathy doesn’t seem to have much to do with a crazy voice in your head, except maybe for the “in your head” part. And of course, it’s probably a moot point after the end of TGS anyway.

So, in conclusion, dunno. But it caught my attention, so I bring it to yours. Have fun with it if you so desire.


Chapter 14: Message from the M’Hael

What Happens
Rand rides back to camp, ruminating on why these men follow him; he’s pretty sure it’s more out of fear of him than any belief in the end of the world, and he thinks he doesn’t have time to do anything but accept that. His tent is heavily guarded and staffed by soldiers and servants from all three nations. Damer Flinn, whom Rand thinks he trusts more than most, comes to tell him Torval is in the council tent, and Flinn had left Narishma to watch him, per Rand’s orders that no one from the Black Tower was to be left alone. Flinn adds that Torval wasn’t happy to see Rand had raised all of the men with him (to either Dedicated or full Asha’man). Rand tells Flinn they deserved it, and heads off with Hopwil and Dashiva after ordering refreshments sent.

Flinn saluted again, but Rand was already striding away, black mud squelching around his boots. No cheers rose for him in the blustering wind. He could recall when there had been. If that was not one of Lews Therin’s memories. If Lews Therin had ever been real. A flash of color just beyond the edge of sight, the feel of someone about to touch him from behind. With an effort, he focused himself.

Inside, Torval is as supercilious as ever, and much too richly dressed; he is studying the maps when Rand enters (which Rand does not care for), and greets him almost as if speaking to an equal. He congratulates Rand on his conquest of Illian, and makes a sneering remark about Narishma, making “Dedicated” seem like an insult; Narishma flushes angrily, and Rand asks roughly what Torval wants. Torval produces a letter from “the M’Hael” with a very fancy seal in the shape of a Dragon, which Rand notes dryly almost looks like it could have come from the Dragon Reborn himself. Torval adds that an army led by Aes Sedai are indeed marching toward the Black Tower, and Rand replies they march toward Caemlyn, not the Black Tower, and repeats his orders that they are to be left alone. Torval argues against this, and Dashiva chimes in with his agreement; angrily, Rand tells them he’ll kill anyone who goes near them, and says he can come back to the Black Tower to make himself clear if need be. Torval hastily reassures him that isn’t necessary, and Rand thinks to himself sourly that it is Taim’s displeasure Torval fears, not his. Dashiva and Hopwil are enjoying Torval’s comeuppance, but Narishma only watches Rand gravely. A stream of servants, led by a Cairhienin woman named Boreane, enter with refreshments; Rand ignores them to read Taim’s letter, in which he reports that twenty-nine Asha’man, ninety-seven Dedicated and three hundred twenty-two Soldiers are now enrolled at the Black Tower, and that the number of deserters and losses in training have been “acceptable”.

I now have as many as fifty recruiting parties in the field at any given time, with the result that three or four men are added to the rolls almost every day. In a few months, the Black Tower will equal the White, as I said it would. In a year, Tar Valon will tremble at our numbers.

I harvested that blackberry bush myself. A small bush, and thorny, but a surprising number of berries for the size.

[…] Rand grimaced, putting the… the blackberry bush… out of his mind. What had to be done, had to be done. The whole world paid a price for his existence. He would die for it, but the whole world paid.

He thinks Taim is overly optimistic about matching the White Tower; the Asha’man might soon equal or exceed Aes Sedai in numbers, but practically every one of those sisters has ten times the amount of channeling experience as any Asha’man, and much of that in specifically how to counter a man who can channel. He asks Torval how many deserters and “losses”; Torval answers nineteen deserters so far, and adds that Taim has ordered their heads be displayed on the Traitor’s Tree if caught. Rand levelly approves this, thinking Taim is a great one for naming things, but the men needed that sort of thing, and adds that next time he comes there he wants to see all their heads. This unnerves Torval a bit; Rand demands to know about the losses, and all the Asha’man are intent on Torval’s answer.

Torval shrugged, too casually. “Fifty-one, all told. Thirteen burned out, and twenty-eight dead where they stood. The rest… The M’Hael, he adds something to their wine, and they do not wake.” Abruptly his tone turned malicious. “It can come suddenly, at any time. One man began screaming that spiders were crawling beneath his skin on his second day.” He smiled viciously at Narishma and Hopwil, and nearly so at Rand, but it was to the other two he addressed himself, swinging his head between them. “You see? Not to worry if you slide into madness. You’ll not hurt yourselves or a soul. You go to sleep… forever. Kinder than gentling, even if we knew how. Kinder than leaving you insane and cut off, yes?” Narishma stared back, taut as a harp-string, his mug forgotten in his hand. Hopwil was once more frowning at something only he could see.

“Kinder,” Rand said in a flat voice, setting the mug back beside him on the table. Something in the wine. My soul is black with blood, and damned. It was not a hard thought, not biting or edged; a simple statement of fact. “A mercy any man might wish for, Torval.”

Torval’s cruel smile faded, and he stood breathing hard. The sums were easy; one man in ten destroyed, one man in fifty mad, and more surely to come. Early days yet, and no way till the day you died to know you had beaten the odds. Except that the odds would beat you, one way or another, in the end. Whatever else, Torval stood under that threat, too.

Abruptly Rand became aware of Boreane. It took a moment before he recognized the expression on her face, and when he did, he bit back cold words. How dare she feel pity! Did she think Tarmon Gai’don could be won without blood? The Prophecies of the Dragon demanded blood like rain!

“Leave us,” he told her, and she quietly gathered the servants. But she still carried compassion in her eyes as she herded them out.

The men are silent for a time, until Fedwin Morr bursts in with the news that the Seanchan will be moving from Ebou Dar soon, to come against Illian. Rand only nods, but Torval sneers in disbelief, wanting to know how an army can cover more than a thousand miles without knowing how to Travel. Morr counters with the intelligence that they are spacing companies along the Venir Mountains all the way to Arran Head, and commandeering every wagon and cart they can find. Torval is still contemptuous, not seeing what carts have to do with anything, but Rand congratulates Morr on a job well done, and informs Torval that armies don’t do well without food, and food means supply trains, which means wagons and carts; the Seanchan are nothing if not good organizers.

Ebou Dar had been theirs barely more than a week, but the merchants’ eyes-and-ears wrote of repairs well under way on the damage done to the city in its taking, of clean sickhouses set up for the ill, of food and work arranged for the poor and those driven from their homes by troubles inland. The streets and the surrounding countryside were patrolled so that no one need fear footpads or bandits, day or night, and while merchants were welcome, smuggling had been cut to a trickle if not less. Those honest Illianer merchants had been surprisingly glum about the smuggling.

Rand declares that Morr is correct; sulkily, Torval opines that even so, it will take months for them to get to Illian, and fifty Asha’man can destroy any army anyway. Rand counters that an army with damane is not so easily dispatched, and studies the map, choosing where to make his stand. Morr pipes up that there was something else, talk about some sort of Aes Sedai weapon; Morr had gone to the site, which was scorched for three hundred paces around the epicenter. He comments that “saidin was worst there”, and Rand jumps on this, asking what he means.

Saidin was... strange,” he said hoarsely. His words came in rapid bursts. “Worst there—I could… feel it… in the air all around me—but strange everywhere around Ebou Dar. And even a hundred miles away. I had to fight it; not like always; different. Like it was alive. Sometimes… Sometimes, it didn’t do what I wanted. Sometimes, it… did something else. It did. I’m not mad! It did!”

Dashiva mutters that it’s not possible, and Rand asks how he or any of them could know that; Dashiva gives him a startled look, and Rand tries to reassure Morr that it will be all right. They all go back to their brown study, and Rand thinks of how he had asked once “where he knew the answers would be true” how to cleanse saidin, and got a riddle for an answer. Herid Fel had claimed the riddle had “sound philosophical principles”, but didn’t know how it applied to the question.

Had Fel been killed because he might have puzzled out the riddle? Rand had a hint at the answer, or thought he might, a guess that could be disastrously wrong. Hints and riddles were not answers, yet he had to do something. If the taint was not cleansed somehow, Tarmon Gai’don might find a world already ruined by madmen. What had to be done, had to be done.

“That would be wondrous,” Torval said in a near whisper, “but how could anyone short of the Creator or…?” He trailed off uneasily.

Rand had not realized he had spoken any of his thoughts aloud. Narishma’s eyes, and Morr’s, and Hopwil’s, belonged in one face, shining with sudden hope. Dashiva looked poleaxed. Rand hoped he had not said too much. Some secrets had to be kept. Including what he would do next.

Rand sends them all off with various orders, and Torval back to the Black Tower, and keeps Narishma back to give him a particular set of instructions, warning Narishma not to fail him. Narishma swears he won’t, and leaves.

Dangerous, a voice whispered in Rand’s head. Oh, yes, very dangerous, maybe too dangerous. But it might work; it might. In any event, you must kill Torval now. You must.

Weiramon and the other nobles walk into the tent soon after this, to find Rand alone, laughing hysterically.

Commentary
Reenter: Lews Therin.

HA-hah!

I remember my reaction when I first read that, which was along the lines of, “Ah, crap.” For reals, y’all. I had really been hoping that was over and done with—however unrealistically, because I do recognize it would have been lame if Lews Therin had just disappeared with no resolution or ultimate consequence.

Which he did do, in TGS. So I guess this is one instance where the author(s) know better than me, eh? ONLY ONE, THOUGH.

(I kid, I kid!)

And, well, you guys know where I stand on the issue. Alternate personality goes under deep cover when Cadsuane outs him; alternate personality comes up for air once she’s been out of the picture long enough (though of course, that was all of 15 days ago in internal chronology, yeesh).

Though I will say I’m not sure what if anything the voice coming back at this particular juncture means, for either theory. Maybe it was all that thinking about going crazy that triggered Lewsy’s big comeback? Like, see no evil hear no evil, except with insanity? Look, I don’t know.

Also, yet another mention of color flashy-thing in close conjunction with Rand thinking about Lews Therin. Coincidence, still? Eh? Eh?

Seanchan: Not to completely Godwin myself here, but I read that complimentary bit about how organized and efficient the Seanchan are, and all I could think was YEAH, SO WERE THE NAZIS. Pfeh. Pfeh, I say!

In other news, I totally know I quoted way too much of this chapter, but damn, I kind of had to, you guys, especially that bit with the “losses”. That whole passage… man. I love scenes like this, that telegraph themselves so cinematically in my head—these men standing there in that tent, with all this power at their fingertips, and yet this invisible Sword of Damocles hanging over every single one of their heads, and no way to know when it would drop.

Bleak, yes, but compelling, too. It’s all about making you care for the characters, and Jordan really does that here, so well that I even felt compassion for Torval, black-hearted little weasel that he is.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, therefore, that Boreane felt compassion, too, but I was. I guess I’m just so used to everyone in Randland being either terrified or nauseated (or both) by men who can channel, that seeing someone actually get past that stigma enough to feel sorry for their situation was rather startling. You go, Boreane. I don’t know if we ever see you again, but you go.

M’Hael: What a tool. Make up your own seal, dude, damn.

And again with Rand completely ignoring the hinkiness of what’s going on at the Black Tower! The fact that Taim totally does not want Rand to come to the Black Tower is not setting off any alarm bells at all? Seriously? Gah.

Blackberry bush: I know what this is referring to now, of course (which is, Taim sending a recruiting party to the Two Rivers, which apparently is just as abundant with Power-capable men as it is women), but at the time I first read this I was like ARGH, what are you talking about and WHHYEEE do you not explain it? Heh. And also, wow: that was pretty damn cold of Rand to deliberately suggest it.

Cleansing saidin: What’s odd is that even though the taint was cleansed three books ago now, we never did (to my knowledge) learn what exactly the “riddle” was that Rand received in answer to his question to the Finn about it. (The “to live you must die” riddle was in answer to another question, which was obviously something along the lines of “How can I survive (or is there a way for me to survive) Tarmon Gai’don?”) To my mind, it’s very strange that we didn’t even get to hear the riddle before seeing the solution, and I can’t figure out why Jordan would do it that way. Unless he forgot about it, I suppose…

Well. It’s a moot point now, perhaps, but I’d still like to know. For completion’s sake, or something.

One other thing to note about this chapter is that it’s the basis of one of the very few Looney Theories I came up with by my own self: about the Minion Taim theory, based on Dashiva’s reaction here to Rand talking about cleansing saidin. If you would like to read about it, go here and scroll down to point #18.

Interestingly, even as of TGS it’s not a completely outdated theory, since we still don’t really know what Taim’s deal is. He works for the Shadow, yes, but in what capacity and with what degree of willingness (and under whose authority) are all very much up in the air. My theory, she is sort of not dead yet! Whoo!


And that’ll about do me for this installment, kids. Here, have a weekend. See you next week!

383 comments
Marcus W
4. toryx
See, chapters like these are why I got into the beer discussion so deeply on the last post. There's just...nothing much...going on. Bah.

And of course, Rand becoming an asshole isn't fun either. Burn me, I need a drink.
Megaduck
5. Megaduck
"Blackberry bush: I know what this is referring to now, of course (which is, Taim sending a recruiting party to the Two Rivers, which apparently is just as abundant with Power-capable men as it is women), but at the time I first read this I was like ARGH, what are you talking about and WHHYEEE do you not explain it? Heh. And also, wow: that was pretty damn cold of Rand to deliberately suggest it."


Ummm, I'm pretty sure Blackberry bush refers to Tar Valon. Considering Tam was all talking about 'Hey, we'll rival Tar Valon oh and BTW I picked it myself."
Daniel Goss
6. Beren
Just a quick note -- Dizziness hasn't cleared up yet. The last time we see Rand sieze the Power is in Ebou Dar, and it hits him so bad he vomits all over himself, thus prompting everyone to try to be all solicitous and prompt the 'I can't kill these people' mega-emo moment. So in a way . . . Thank the Light for dizziness?
-Beren, the picker of nits.
Lannis .
7. Lannis
Alanna's shock? Cadsuane's treatment of her? Enlighten me someone... brain is fried.

Boreane: Okay, I so totally hate that Rand sends her out for showing him pity. Finally someone sees him as a person worthy of compassion and he gets angry? Yes, Leigh, you're right, he's a jerk. :/

Black Tower: That Taim took issue with Rand's decision to promote the Asha'man really bugs me... more than the "stay away from the Black Tower" bit. Yes, Rand left him in charge, but he's supposed to be working for Rand, in which case Rand outranks him. So if Rand wants to promote them, he can. And Taim should be listening. Should, but we all know he's a skeez, and it drives me nuts that Rand's not bothering to do anything about it! GAH!

Thanks for the post, Leigh! Have a great weekend! :)
Megaduck
8. Megaduck
chaplainchris1 @3

No cookies, but, as it happens, I made a big blackberry pie for everyone.

Taim was kind enough to pick them for me. He used the power. Little known fact, there is actually a really big blackberry bush right near the Black Tower which even gave the tower its name.

So you see, Taim's really a nice guy and Rand was just reading to deep into a simple honest statement.
John Mann
9. jcmnyu
There was a huge hint in these chapters as to Dashiva=Osan'gar=Aginor. Speaking fluently in the old tongue should have turned on light bulbs all over. Add to that his disbelief that Saidin could be weird as if it went against everything he knew about a subject he knew well. It wasn't until he lectured Rand later in this book about the weirdness of Saidin that I clued in.

@5 Megaduck

The "blackberry bush" definitely refers to going recruiting in the Two Rivers. I was very confused about it when I first read it trying to figure it out, but it is made clear later in the books. I'm sure someone will post the relevent text.
Sam Mickel
10. Samadai
Excellent chapters, When Narishma's morr's and Fedwins eys are shining with hope is one of the best scenes in all the books
Noneo Yourbusiness
11. Longtimefan
I will agree that I thought the blackberry bush ment Tar Valon. the "speaking of which" implication linked those two statements in my mind.

As for Alanna's shock I always thought that it was a different perspective and reminder that Cadsuane had just let the Wise Ones know that punishing Alanna would not harm Rand. Secret spanking indeed.

These chapeters are in need of cookies and rainbows and hot chocolate stat!

All I have here in Oregon is rain.
TW Grace
12. TWGrace
I always assumed that we never got the riddle for the cleansing because of two possibilites:

The answer would have been obvious to our "outside" eyes. Something like "Evil destroys evil"...

or

RJ never had the riddle, and just passed the buck hoping he could think of one...
Sean Banawnie
13. Seanie
I thought the blackberry bush was the poison for the wine......wow , I must be even more clueless than I thought......I need cookies and a hug now too.
Chris Chaplain
14. chaplainchris1
Agreed - blackberrry bush is Two Rivers. The surprising number of berries is the surprising number of potential channelers that were found there. "The old blood sings."

Dashiva - I can't believe I never figured out he was a Forsaken. That was a big fail as a reader.

Megaduck @ 8 - cool, thanks. Hey, there's this bridge in Brooklyn I want to buy, should I send you the check?

Lannis @ 7 - Alanna's in shock that the Wise Ones are now punishing her like they do the other AS apprentices, thanks to Cadsuane's reveal to Sorilea that doing so wouldn't harm Rand.

Rand is scary mean here - and I'm sure his isolation has a lot to do with it. But given that this is our first glimpse of him post-balefire crossing connection with Ishydin...could that connection also be in play? We see the double vision for the first time, and the feel that someone's looking over his shoulder (which I originally thought was Lews Therin) is how contact with Moridin was described in KOD. So - Ishydin connection leading to dizziness, double vision, feel of being touched on the shoulder, general crankiness and bad disposition?

At the same time Rand is mean, this latter chapter (as Leigh says) does a good job of making you see how much it sucks to be him. "The prophecies of the Dragon demand blood like rain!" Rand's 'soul is seared by fire' at the thought of the deaths of people around him, esp. women, esp. Moiraine (omg squee Moiraine)...and you just have to feel bad for him.

But not Torval. Ptui!

Yay Boreane. Simple human compassion, show up more in WOT!

Re: the riddle - maybe RJ just never came up with verbiage he liked for the riddle? Maybe he preferred to have us deduce that the 'Finn hinted at pitting Shadar Logoth against the taint, but didn't want to come up with an actual riddle?
Ben Frey
15. BenPatient
or revealing the answer to THAT riddle would give away something yet to come that we would figure out but randlanders wouldn't.
Lannis .
16. Lannis
Longtimefan @ 11: Re: Alanna... Aha, you're right, I remember now... the "he's too far, he won't feel it" link. Got it. Thanks! :)

And thanks to ChaplainChris, too. :)
Tess Laird
17. thewindrose
Lannis - Alanna is being treated like a regular apprentice now that Cadsuane told Sorilea that anything short of death wouldn't hurt Rand. The Wise Ones had thought that punishment would effect Rand as well. So Alanna is getting spanked now:)

I am positive that Taims' plucking of the blackberry bush means the Two Rivers boys/men. We find out in KoD that Mazrim Taim had personally been to the Two Rivers to recruit when Perrin has Grady get Tam and other Two Rivers men before attacking Malden.

When Rand sees the colors the first time -
“Berelain, I don’t know what else I can do to guarantee Mayene for you, but I will write out any—” Colors swirled so strongly in his head that his tongue froze. Lews Therin cackled. A woman who knows the danger and isn’t afraid is a treasure only a madman would spurn.
-I have a different thought, and that is he is thinking about sending Berelain with Perrin on the Gheldean/Prophet arc.

..And I see I type to slow:(

tempest™
craig thrift
18. gagecreedlives
Have we met any of these Two Rivers channellers yet? Im thinking they might end up being Logain's ace in the hole in the upcoming Black Tower civil war.
Sam Mickel
19. Samadai
Longtimefan @11
I am with you on the rain thing in Eugene. 10 day forecast calls more of the same
Tricia Irish
20. Tektonica
Leigh...thanks so much and sqeeeee...a Rand chapter! Even a dark one, I'll take it!

Now I gotta run, so I'll be 100 posts behind when I get back. Damn....

Have fun y'all....
R B
21. MasterAlThor
Swirling colors,

Isn't there some mention of swirling colors in one of Min's viewings?

Research Time!

I will post my finding later.

Shoryuken
Megaduck
22. Megaduck
chaplainchris1 @14

Could someone tell me why everyone seems to think The Blackberry Bush is Two Rivers? Where is this quote later in the series that reveals this? I'm really confused here, It seems totally random, like saying that the Blackberry Bush refers to the Aiel Waste, or Seanchan, or something.

I do remember that Tam recruited from TR but not that The Blackberry bush refers to that.


Sure, you can send me the check. I'll even through in the island connecting to the bridge and some of this tasty Blackberry Pie as well, for FREE!
Daniel Goss
23. Beren
RE: Blackberry bush
I don't know about that being a 'cold' decision, though. The unusual concentration of people from there who can channel has already been noted, and Rand may very well have saved the lives of any sparkers in the group.
Yeah, I'm choosing to assign altruistic motives. Not sure that's defensible, but there it is.

And I think the confirmation is just Tam talking to Perrin about Taim's men coming in and recruiting. It makes sense, though. The "surprising harvest" is in line with the surprising harvest the Aes Sedai had, and the two rivers would definitely fit the "small" designation.
craig thrift
24. gagecreedlives
Mat@21

Only one I can think of is the one with the shadow trying to swallow the sparks from the earlier books.
Hugh Arai
25. HArai
Lannis@7:

Boreane: Okay, I so totally hate that Rand sends her out for showing him pity. Finally someone sees him as a person worthy of compassion and he gets angry? Yes, Leigh, you're right, he's a jerk. :/


It's a fairly normal reaction, especially for someone of Rand's current mindset. The "don't be nice to me or I'll break down and cry" sort of thing people do. He can't have someone feeling compassion around because he's trying to harden himself.

Agreed about the Black Tower, although Rand is apparently suspicious enough to never leave someone from the Black Tower alone. I thought someone fluent in the Old Tongue would be suspicious but then on further reflection it seems like Rand has met a ton of people that know the Old Tongue so he might just shrug it off.
R B
26. MasterAlThor
Megaduck,

Don't ever think you can get away with quoting Ren & Stimpy and someone won't catch it.

You've been warned.

No sir. I don't like it

Shoryuken
Birgit
27. birgit
Torval shrugged, too casually. “Fifty-one, all told. Thirteen burned out, and twenty-eight dead where they stood. The rest… The M’Hael, he adds something to their wine, and they do not wake.” Abruptly his tone turned malicious. “It can come suddenly, at any time. One man began screaming that spiders were crawling beneath his skin on his second day.” He smiled viciously at Narishma and Hopwil, and nearly so at Rand, but it was to the other two he addressed himself, swinging his head between them. “You see? Not to worry if you slide into madness.

Is Torval not worried about going mad himself because Taim's faction of darkfriend Ashaman are protected from the taint like the forsaken?

Have we met any of these Two Rivers channellers yet?

Yes, there is one guarding the gates of the Black Tower when someone (can't remember who, maybe Elayne?) comes there.

Edit: It was Pevara in KoD Epilogue.
Megaduck
28. WinespringBrother
The earliest mentions of Rand imagining colors are in ACOS Ch 7 (and happened during Rand's confinement with LTT LOL):

"Faile and Perrin and Mat. Flashes of color, quick motion just out of sight. "

" Rand muted the voice to an insect's buzz, something he had learned while cramped into that chest. Alone, in the dark. Just him, and the pain, and the thirst, and the voice of a long-dead madman. The voice had been a comfort sometimes, his only companion. His friend. Something flashed in his mind. Not images, just flickers of color and motion. For some reason they made him think of Mat, and Perrin. The flashes had begun inside the chest, them and a thousand more hallucinations. "
Raul Gallegos
29. Master_Asmodean
Great post Leigh. RE Blackberry bush: I too don't get it and so would be willing to be educated. And on one last note, I can't stand Torval. Never did, even before knowing the reality of him.
Roger Powell
30. forkroot
Geez, anybody that reads these two chapters and doesn't realize that Dashiva is probably a Forsaken in disguise is totally clueless. And that would be ... um... me. Yup ... sailed through this on the first read and never picked up on Dashiva. Doh!

EDIT: That's first "read" - double Doh!
Megaduck
31. Hrothgordo
I believe Megaduck is correct with the “blackberry bush” being Tar Valon not the TR.

At this time most of the TR men that would be useful aren’t in the TR but with Perrin. The men left in the area are relocated outlanders or too young/sick/old to be fighting.

Plus I can’t see Rand suggesting that they go recruiting in the TR, it’s possible that he would given the possibility of channelers there but he works so hard at removing any connection to his home it would seem odd to bring them directly into his army. And if he did make the decision I see it as 100% impossible he would send Taim.


As to the colors I always saw them as a function of his ta’averen nature and his connection to the Pattern. This is backed up by the fact that it is happening to Mat and Perrin as well. They are “seeing” the Pattern.

For want of a better description I always likened it to Neo who could see the Matrix as it was projected but also as the base code. The colors occur when key decisions or people are involved, and at least early on Lews Therin seems to be an interpreter of the colors.

In the first case you cited the colors react to him moving towards removing Berelain from his service. Beyond the stupidity of removing a capable and trustworthy administrator the Pattern needed her to be around for the Perrin stroyline (as much as I wish the Pattern didn’t need the storyline at all.).

All the others follow a similar slant.

This also ties into my somewhat looney belief that this connection can also be used to control Rand allowing him to essentially become an avatar of the Creator. To me the events at the end of EotW struck something like that where Rand needed to do certain things that he couldn’t have done.

I see it playing out as Rand/avatar Vs. SH/avatar with them canceling each other out. This would leave the Pattern to continue but without a “weaver “to guide it. Humanity would face the chaos of an unkown future but be in control of it’s own destiny.

This could tie up the SH thing, the two men becoming one thing and the “belief and order”. In that case the belief and order is in mankind and the rubble would not only be the Seals but could be the Creator and DO themselves.

Basically, Rand as a really baddass Nietzhe.
Sharon E.
32. Sulin
No time to read all the comments yet, but I love these two chapters. There are some great scenes! Favorite tidbits: Boreane, Narishma/Morr hopeful re cleansing, Dashiva's cluebats, LTT (yay he's back!). Also, yeah Rand's being a jerk here, but I feel sorry for him, being isolated from his stabilizing women. Poor guy needs a hug-and a Polygamy Porter! ;)

Anyway, gotta run for now.
R B
33. MasterAlThor
Ok did some searching and didn't find what I thought was a viewing.

The closest was a viewing by Min in COS chp 33.

I saw you and another man. I couldn't make out either face, but I knew one was you. You touched, and seemed to merge into one another, and...one of you dies, and one doesn't


Somehow I thought that the swirling colors had something to do with this.

Is there ever a mention of a third man? I thought that there was. More research I suppose.

Shoryuken
Hugh Arai
34. HArai
Blackberry bush = Two Rivers confirmation:

In KoD chapter 29:
Tam tells Perrin that Mazrim Taim visited the Two Rivers and took forty men and boys to the Black Tower. He told Tam that Rand is the Dragon Reborn.
Marcus W
35. toryx
I missed that Darshiva was a Forsaken here too. It really is pretty obvious when you look at it with hindsight but it never occurred to me. I was too caught up on Taim, I think.
Tina Pierce
36. scissorrunner
forkroot:
Geez, anybody that reads these two chapters and doesn't realize that Dashiva is probably a Forsaken in disguise is totally clueless. And that would be ... um... me. Yup ... sailed through this on the first reread and never picked up on Dashiva. Doh!


clueless - me too - for shame

sooo sad to see Rand "hardening" here.
Taim - getting creepier & nastier
Boreane - need to see more of her!!

and the "hope shining" in the Ashaman's eyes is one of the best/saddest/happiest moments
Rob Munnelly
37. RobMRobM
@18 - yes. When the Red Ajah made their trip to BT in KoD, one of the Asha'many (I like that as the plural) was a youth from the Two Rivers, and he very much seems like an outsider to the Taim faction. The Red Sisters then began their debate over ethics of bonding young'uns.

Rob
Birgit
38. birgit
I tried to edit my earlier comment, but it disappeared because I added a link, so I'll try posting it again:

Torval shrugged, too casually. “Fifty-one, all told. Thirteen burned out, and twenty-eight dead where they stood. The rest… The M’Hael, he adds something to their wine, and they do not wake.” Abruptly his tone turned malicious. “It can come suddenly, at any time. One man began screaming that spiders were crawling beneath his skin on his second day.” He smiled viciously at Narishma and Hopwil, and nearly so at Rand, but it was to the other two he addressed himself, swinging his head between them. “You see? Not to worry if you slide into madness.

Is Torval not worried about going mad himself because Taim's faction of darkfriend Ashaman are protected from the taint like the forsaken?

Have we met any of these Two Rivers channellers yet?

Yes, there is one guarding the gates of the Black Tower when someone (can't remember who, maybe Elayne?) comes there.

Edit: It was Pevara in KoD Epilogue.
http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/books/kod/epilogue.html

Is there ever a mention of a third man? I thought that there was.

The third man besides Rand and LTT is Moridin.
Megaduck
39. Hrothgordo
I see that as confirmation that Taim recruited in the TR but not with it as the blackberry bush.

The probable timeline of that recruitment was during or just before LoC. I just don't buy that Taim is just getting around to telling Rand about it in PoD.

Plus my big issue is the reference to "thorns". The TR is not inherently dangerous to any male chanellers.

I can buy that it may not be TV either, but I think TV, Far Madding or the Seanchan empire are the most likely areas to have a crop of undiscovered talent AND be a tough area to recruit.
Megaduck
40. BenM
HArai @ 34: That absolutely does NOT confirm that the TR is the blackberry bush. It DOES confirm that they recruited there AT SOME POINT. The letter seems to make it pretty clear, when you think about it, that he's actually continuing to talk about Tar Valon. (Caps for emphasis, not shouting. Don't know the codes to underline or whatever.)
Megaduck
41. BenM
testing

edit: Ok, got it.
Megaduck
42. Looking Glass
Megaduck@22: It’s never explicitly stated, hence the people who think otherwise. However, (a) the specifics of the message match well with the Two Rivers (Taim did it personally; small, “thorny” area with surprisingly rich results; someplace Rand had an interest in, but didn’t want to think about recruiting from), (b) it follows immediately after a more general statement about the progress of recruiting, suggesting it’s about a recruiting trip to somewhere at least, and (c) while there aren’t many things Rand would even bother to talk code about, especially in a message so singularly unlikely to be intercepted, he’s specifically trying to pretend the TR means zip to him.
Bonnie Andrews
43. misfortuona
forkroot:

Geez, anybody that reads these two chapters and doesn't realize that Dashiva is probably a Forsaken in disguise is totally clueless. And that would be ... um... me. Yup ... sailed through this on the first reread and never picked up on Dashiva. Doh!


I actually got this one first time through, and would feel really good about it, if it weren't for all the other blatantly obvious stuff I missed elsewhere. Sigh.

Anyway Forkroot, I think you've probably got more than you missed so no bozone around you.

**waves to Tek**

Mis-finally hit with a cluebat
Daniel Goss
44. Beren
"Thorns" might not be implying danger, though, merely difficulty. And I don't think we've found a thornier bunch of people than the duopotamians. Also, Perrin and Faile didn't leave the TR until the beginning of LoC. In fact, the incident referred to in the letter (and thus, per my understanding, the recruitment) couldn't have been before LoC. It almost certainly would have had to have been after LoC as Taim and Rand spoke at Dumai's Wells, so whatever this letter refers to must have happened since then.

Also, Taim's recruiting parties are a tad . . . flamboyant to assume that he's referring to Tar Valon. Yes, he referrenced TV in the previous paragraph, but I assume that the reason he started another paragraph is that he's changing the subject. Anyway, remember the description we're given of the recruiting parties? A bunch of guys come into town asking for people to serve the Dragon Reborn and learn to "wield the lightnings" or some such. I can't see that going well in TV, especially as Taim said that he did it "himself." In fact, that actually lends further credence to the bush=TR theory, as Tam specifically mentions Taim coming to the TR, and how many recruiting parties do you think that Taim tends to personally, now?
Tina Pierce
45. scissorrunner
WOT encyclopedia
http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/

note 7 indicates that the blackberry bush IS the Two Rivers
Tina Pierce
46. scissorrunner
WOT encyclopedia
http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/

note 7 indicates that the blackberry bush IS the Two Rivers

(can't get the silly link to work)
Megaduck
47. WinespringBrother
There is this quote from COS ch 2 (Taim speaking):

"I can hardly forget, my Lord Dragon," the black-coated man replied dryly. "I will handle that trip personally. But if I may bring it up again.... You need a proper honor guard."

This makes the blackberry bush the 2 Rivers. I don't think Rand would mention it repeatedly (at least once off-screen) if it wasn't so important.
Chris Chaplain
48. chaplainchris1
In the first place, folks that read the Blackberry bush as being Tar Valon - think about it. You're saying that Taim is claiming to have harvested Tar Valon. How does that make any sense? Taim's not been anywhere near there. The Ashaman are ordered by Rand to stay away from AS - they're not even allowed to go to Caemlyn for fear of running into a random sister, so how could they go to *TAR VALON*? Granted Taim might disobey orders, but he'd not disobey this order and report on it to Rand! And Rand would be raving if he thought Taim had gone to Tar Valon.

Also, Tar Valon is not small, but the Two Rivers is, and as we know from AS recruiting there, full of a surprising number of channelers, er, berries. I say again, the old blood sings! (Don't make me use Old Tongue.)

The Two Rivers is thorny b/c the people are tough and not intimidated easily.

Rand's grimacing and angsting about the blackberry bush is guilt at bringing men from home into this whole mess. The angsting wouldn't make nearly as much sense if it were Tar Valon related. No, he feels for these folks from home, while at the same time pretending not to care.

Finally, kindly, not meant snarkily, check out the reading comprehension. Not only is Taim *not* still talking about Tar Valon (it's a new paragraph), he *never was* talking about Tar Valon. The only thing Taim is saying about Tar Valon is that the Black Tower will eventually outnumber the White Tower.

What Taim says, stripped of hyperbole, is: "we're recruiting 3 or 4 new guys almost every day. In a year there'll be more Ashaman than AS. And by the way (new paragraph), I handled that special recruiting trip we talked about myself. For the size of the place, there were a surprising number of suitable recruits."

Tar Valon is mentioned only in reference to the home of the institution they're competing with - not as the destination of any recruiting party.

Nowhere do we have any indication of recruiting in Tar Valon. And if we did, given that Tar Valon is one of the greatest of the great cities, a high number of recruits there wouldn't be surprising, it would be expected. It's only surprising if the place they're recruiting from is small. Small, but signficant enough to mention to Rand, and to mention in code, but code that Rand effortlessly understands. Ergo...

As for the other pieces of the deduction - don't have my books in the office, but using the Encyclopedia of the Wheel of Time (www.­encyclopaedia-­wot.­org) - ACOS chp 2 Rand tells Taim to remember what he said about recruiting, and Taim says he'll do it personally. This chapter in TPOD is Taim's report. WH prologue reveals men for the Two Rivers have been recruited.

No, like so much of RJ, there's no place where he says "It was Taim in the Two Rivers with the candlestick." But the pieces fit for the Two Rivers, and do not at all for Tar Valon.

And if you're sure that Rand would never, ever endanger the Two Rivers this way - remember that he refused to go to the TR's aid in book 4. And note here how he feels that his soul is black and damned. Nope, he authorized Taim to recruit in the Two Rivers, and he hates himself for it.
Maiane Bakroeva
49. Isilel
Well, unlike Our Fearless Leader I actually like Rand's descent into darkness. In the sense that I find it interesting and actually think that Rand's plot was the most interesting one in PoD, with a couple of other bright moments here and there. It feels true to me that taint + enormous pressures are catching up to Rand and he gave distinct signs of megalomania in ACOS already. I do pity him tremendiously, of course, but kudos to RJ for not pulling punches there.

Dashivagar - could he be more obvious? Argh, poor Rand is so oblivious.

Torval - nobody wonders where his finery came from and what payed for it? Really?
Also, his vicious threatening of Rand and Co. with madness makes me sure that as a DF he is protected. And his brief wonder at Rand's intention to cleanse saidin is his moment of doubt whether he had chosen wrongly.
Speaking of which - sometimes secrecy is harmful. If only the Asha'man had that hope from beginning of the BT...

1 in 10 dead seems pretty low, considering the brutal pace at which the Asha'man are trained and that they are required to channel without supervision from the beginning. This supports my loony theory that the AS notions about the dangers of channeling are exaggerated by the millenia of BA murders being covered up as OP accidents.

And BTW, what happens to the Asha'man wives/children when their men are killed? Are there some provisions for them, or are they expected to survive on their own? Do the Asha'man even get a soldier's pay?

The deserters - how do you find them, really? Particularly if they can Travel? And IMHO, at least some of them are DFs on detached duty. Or failed recruiting attempts for the Shadow. Wouldn't surprise me if some of the men put down for madness were unsuccessful recruiting attempts, too.

Taim as a minion - I am 100% with Leigh. My own embellishment to the theory is that IMHO he had been trained by Ishamael in the 15 or so years since Ishamael became pro-active again. And that the men who were promoted earliest in the BT were some of the "missing" male channelers of the last decade, whom Taim had been training in turn. They might have even been with him when he was a False Dragon - I bet that the rumors that he had male channelers as followers were on the money, for once. And yes, we still don't know for sure. ToM can't come soon enough!
Lucas Vollmer
50. aspeo
Wall o’ Text Warning ;)

Rand and not being comfortable with Mat and Perrin:
I think the reason that Rand might not feel comfortable with Mat or Perrin with him would have to do with them being his close friends. He knows that they would not approve of some of the things he is doing. They grew up together, and I think were closer than pretty much anyone else than Tam to him. They played together, got into trouble together, and went on adventures together. I think that is why he pushes them away by sending them on assignments far from him because he knows that he is changing into something he doesn’t like, and facing their disapproval would only be somewhat less than facing Tam’s. We see in TGS just what happened when that happened, so it makes me wonder if he would have been as hard if Mat and Perrin had stayed with him. Rand’s women are close to him and can see the human side in him which is good. However, they see him mostly as the Dragon Reborn because they are forced to. They worry about him, but have very few options to really get to him.

They only woman that we haven’t seen interact with Rand in a long time is Egwene. She also would have been pretty close to Rand I think. I don’t think she would have been on the same level as Mat and Perrin though, and that is why I don’t think her disapproval of his actions would cause him as much emotional turmoil. The same goes for Nynaeve. As for his trio of women that he loves; I think that they all love him and want what is best, but maybe Min more than the others would see him as truly just a person.

Ok I'm about done rambling now :p ... But the gist of my idea is that short of Tam only Mat and Perrin would have emotional impact on Rand to see how bad he has gotten. This is why he trusts them to do some of the most important stuff out away from him, and it lets him be removed from the discomfort their objections and disapproval would bring to him.

As a caveat to this I do think that Mat and Perrin would be more physically comfortable around Rand now that they have been out in the world, and have had many life building experiences. They have both dealt with men who can channel, and have become more comfortable with the idea that they aren’t going to all spontaneously go mad and kill everyone.

I think I have said more than I could possibly have needed to on a kind of small point, so I will move on to the next chapter :D

Dashiva not being a regular asha’man:
In retrospect there are some very big clues about who Dashiva really is. I’m surprised I never saw it earlier when I was reading the series for the first couple times. He can speak and read the Old Tongue fluently. He is not hopeful when Rand lets it slip that he wants to cleanse Saidin, but instead dumbfounded. Which being a person who lived in the AoL, he probably thought that it was impossible, especially for a “uncivilized” person of this current age. Also he is extremely strong in the OP, and seems to learn very quickly. Two things Rand expressly wanted to know about in case a forsaken slips into his ranks. I can’t remember if Rand knew that Dashiva was a forsaken in disguise or a shadow spy, but it seems like sometimes he might have thought he was. I don’t have my books to confirm this, but from my recollection it seems like the possibility was there.

Also one last thing, I always thought that the blackberry bush referred to the Two Rivers area as well. I still think that it does, and have to admit that the thought of it being Tar Valon never really crossed my mind. I guess I just don’t really associate Rand with really caring about recruiting in TV, but he probably would want to know about recruiting people in the TR.
Megaduck
52. Vegan Rob
Re. the Two Rivers men at the Black Tower

1) I think the "blackberry bush" was Tar Valon myself

but

2) I think the Two Rivers men are the "big unnoticed thing" Brandon Sanderson hinted at in an interview, which has prompted INTENSE speculation on the forums at Dragonmount and other places. Interestingly, the DM compilation thread doesn't mention this as one of their possibilities despite having just about every other idea under the sun

First post, hello everyone
Megaduck
53. jefff
@5 Megaduck - I too believe(d) that the blackberry bush was Tar Valon, a dangerous and thorny place to recruit.

@34 Harai - I'm sorry. I'm not sure how this clarifies the question. Yes, Taim did recruit in the Two Rivers, but it doesn't deny/refute the Tar Valon connection.

Taken in context it seems that the blackberry bush has to be Tar Valon.

Just my .02
Chris Chaplain
54. chaplainchris1
But that's not "in context." Tar Valon, in context, is only a synonym for "The White Tower" or "The Aes Sedai" - it's not mentioned as a city.

Completely off-topic - Google's tribute to Pac-Man's 30th Anniversary is awesome. Click on it and you actually play Pac Man!
Bonnie Andrews
55. misfortuona
Megaduck this pie is really good. Thanks.

As to the thorny bush though, I always thought it was the TR. I'm honestly surprised that some people saw it as TV.

Somebody - scrolling up - Chaplainchris1@48 says it well.
You're saying that Taim is claiming to have harvested Tar Valon. How does that make any sense? Taim's not been anywhere near there. The Ashaman are ordered by Rand to stay away from AS - they're not even allowed to go to Caemlyn for fear of running into a random sister, so how could they go to *TAR VALON*?


It also seems to me that an area that has a number of potential male channelers would also have had a larger than average number of sparkers. I would think that were that the case, the AS (yes I know they can be pretty blind to some things) would have been activly looking for men with the inclination.
But that might just be me.

Mis-pass the Patron Suffa.
Noneo Yourbusiness
56. Longtimefan
Wheeee, a descent into stentence structure and grammatical inference. (something my poor spelling and run on sentences would indicate is more a descent into madness for me.)

My only point would be that Tar Valon would be the last place noun leaving the term "that" to back reference it.

Had Taim ment the Two Rivers he should have used "the" as a non specified location separate from the content of the letter.

Also just for fun the white tear drop has the pointy end up much like a thorn.

Rand would grimace and put it out of his mind since he told Taim not to go near the Aes Sedai and he obviously skirted that by only seeking out men who could channel which would indicate he had no reason to "go near" any Aes Sedai if near was described as "within half a pace". Vauge instructions often lead to loopholes big enough to slip a White Tower through.

It is a small place being on an Island and it is a thorny place being full of Aes Sedai, Warders, the Tower Guard and the general populace looking twice at any stranger because of the seige and the general state of decay happening because of the Dark One's touch upon the world.

Rand avoids dealing with Taim over small or large infractions and partially it might be because he does not want to deal with the Black Tower in general and partially it might be because the Pattern needs the Black Tower to develop separate from Rand.

To what ends I cannot say but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.

Edit: I am totally waiting for Wetlandernw to weigh in on this. She has impeccable grammar.
Megaduck
57. Lsana
Count me as another idiot who didn't have a clue who Dashiva was until I was explicitly told. In retrospect, Dashiva might as well have F-O-R-S-A-K-E-N flashing over his head in neon.

To everyone who thinks that the Blackberry Bush is Tar Valon, I have 3 questions:

1) Do we have any evidence that the Black Tower has done any recruiting in Tar Valon?

2) Do we have any reason to believe that Tar Valon would be a particularly good place to recruit?

3) Do we have any reason to believe that Rand would be so especially interested recruiting in Tar Valon that Taim would send him a particular report about it? Or that Rand would be somewhat upset when he read about it?

Without this, I'm going to go with Occam's razor and assume that the bush is someplace we know Taim recruited (and recruited in person), someplace we know had many potential channelers of both sexes, and a place that Rand cared about deeply: the Two Rivers.

@50 aspeo,

Just a nitpick: Mat hasn't worked with any male channelers except Rand. He was gone before the BT started up and hasn't met any of the Asha'man. My guess is that he still does think of male channelers (with the possible exception of Rand) as monsters.
Maiane Bakroeva
58. Isilel
How can the bush be Tar Valon? It doesn't produce even a noticeable amount of female channelers. The city where the AS are revered and where becoming a sister is seen as a brilliant opportunity to rise in the world, and we still have to meet even one AS who is a native! IMHO, Tar Valon is pretty much void of potential channelers because the pool had been depleted in the last 3 millenia.

BTW, what's this with sending Narishma after Callandor? Did Rand try to force the prophecy or what?

Oh, and it now occurs to me that the reason of Rand's blindness re: Dashiva may be because he chose him, along with the others, ta'veren-fashion and he can't believe that the Wheel would have slipped him a FS!
Lucas Vollmer
59. aspeo
Isilel@49
I like the theory that Taim is a minion of Ishydin. He seems to know too much for a person who has had to learn much of this on his own. Even if he had a forsaken as a mentor, the timing would have been too little/nonexistent for almost any of them except the one that was most loosely bound. Taim’s red and black coloring motif would also go with Moridin’s current choice of livery, which I believe is also red and black.

Lsana@57
Good point, maybe I was just subconsciously thinking he had dealt with them for some reason. Mat does have his ter’angreal though and it has served him very well throughout his adventures, so maybe that would make him a little less wary of Rand.
Bonnie Andrews
60. misfortuona
aspeo for lack of anyone else to reference on this.
Do we even know that MAT's ter'angreal stops saidin? I've always just assumed it does, but now I'm wondering based on what.

Mis-full of questions today.
Noneo Yourbusiness
61. Longtimefan
As to the disorienting rainbows that do show up in these chapeters, (the fan of colors) could it be that Rand gets the briefest flash of color when thinking about LTT because he is thinking of himself in the third person?

If Rand and LTT are the same person and not two separate entities in one body then would the Ta'veren causing rainbow windows also work when he thinks of himself in the third person as LTT?

He would not understand why this was happening since he does not see himself (at this time) as the same person as LTT.

Just an idea.
Rob Munnelly
62. RobMRobM
@60. It does. Stopped Halima's saidin weave during the party scene in LoC.
Megaduck
63. Seamus1602
I don't understand all the confusion about Taim's balckberry bush.

As soon as I read this, I knew he was talking about recruiting inthe 2 Rivers. This goes back to a comment Rand made at the beginning of aCoS, saying to Taim "Remember what I said about recruiting." To which Taim replies, "I can hardly forget. I will make that trip myself."

The 2 Rivers is the only possible referenced location, especially because this occurs relatively soon after Rand meeting all the 2R girls with Verin and Alanna and realizing what a treasure trove the place is.

I cannot understand how this is even in doubt, much less how people were confuses by this reference. Maybe it helps that I read these 2 books back-to-back and it was thus fresh in my mind.
Bonnie Andrews
64. misfortuona
RobM@62
Thanks I knew there was something somewhere to back up my thoughts.

Mis-grateful and now full
Hugh Arai
65. HArai
@various: People keep asking about context. Taking dates from http://www.stevenac.net/wot/wotchron.htm
together with the plot summary from the WOT encyclopedia.

Jan 02 - Taim is with Rand in the aftermath of Dumai's Wells. He tells Rand that he will "handle that trip personally." Rand sends him back to the Black Tower with the rest of the Asha'man. (ACoS,Ch2)

Jan 20 - Taim sends a letter to Rand updating him on recruiting. He also states that he picked that blackberry bush himself. It was small and thorny, but with a surprising amount of fruit.(TPoD,Ch14)

We also know:
- the blackberry bush is somewhere Rand won't let himself think about.
- we know Taim personally recruited at the blackberry bush.
- Mazrim Taim personally visits the Two Rivers recruiting Asha'man.
- He has been and gone by the time Tam joins Perrin on Apr 10.
- He brings forty men and boys back to the Black Tower.
- Saml Al'Seen is a Soldier on guard at the Black Tower by the end of April when Pevara gets there.

Ok, now conjecture:

-The Two Rivers is a small place but they got 40 channelers from there. "small but a lot of fruit" fits. Tar Valon is anything but small.

-Rand avoids thinking about home all the time.
He's never even been to Tar Valon. "Won't let himself think of the blackberry bush" fits the TR better

- Taim has to have personally recruited at the TR within a maximum of two months of being told by Rand to recruit somewhere personally at Dumai's Wells. Countering that we have... no mention of recruiting at Tar Valon at all.

Is it explicitly stated? No. Does the balance of evidence point to the blackberry bush being the TR? I think so. Your opinion is of course your own.
Invisible Cheese
66. MatOdin
Misfortuona@60:
I'm fairly sure that Mat's ter'angreal does stop saidin. However, like with women, it doesn't stop indirect channeling, i.e. Rahvin's lighting bolts didn't effect Mat, but the superheated air DID, and killed him, much like how if a clod of mud is tossed at Mat by an Aes Sedai, he still get's muddy.
So, we can assume it stops channeling, based on the evidence it presents, but it does raise a question:
How did Mat go through Verin's Gateway? Wouldn't he cancel it out?
Barry T
67. blindillusion
The "blackberry bush" was some good TR pickings to my eyes.

I had Dashiva pegged as one of the Forsaken during my first read through. He over-acted his "I'm slightly crazy but not insane yet" part. And muttering fluently in the OT? Yeah.... Also, his name just sounds a little bit too much like “deceit” to be anything but.

I'm with Isilel that the TV pool was drained many, many years ago.

Besides the Two Rivers, I'm thinking (were it possible) Far Madding would be an excellent site for a search from both Towers.

Taim’s lackeys: I’ve always been operating under the theory that Taim is Guy With His Own Agenda. But after reading Isilel at 49:
And that the men who were promoted earliest in the BT were some of the "missing" male channelers of the last decade, whom Taim had been training in turn. They might have even been with him when he was a False Dragon - I bet that the rumors that he had male channelers as followers were on the money, for once. And yes, we still don't know for sure.
I’m starting to think he might just be something other than Randland’s biggest Patsy (or Moirdin…or Demandred =)…should one happen to want to follow one of the three possibilities I mentioned here:

1) The M’Hael±Moridin=Rand’s Screwed Theory

2) The Taim is WoT’s biggest Patsy and is being played every which way by the Shadow. (Poor Guy…being the Chump of the World.)

3) The The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled Theory. (Pretty much: What better way to present Taim=Demandred than to convince us Tain isn't Demandred.) (This theory was first presented here.

Minion Taim Theory is starting to sound more and more plausible. But gah...I was really hoping he'd turn out to be a patsy.

Meh. Hopefully we’ll find out in ToM. The whole Black Tower situation (with the various plot lines dangling there (I mean, THINK of all of them…sheesh)) is well overdue for resolution.

Anyway. As Leigh said so many Threads ago…it really sucks being Rand al’Thor.
Marcus W
68. toryx
Re: The Blackberry Bush

I'm with those who state it's obviously the Two Rivers. I'd go into a big ol' long post about it but other people have already done a great job with that. So yeah, what y'all said.

MatOdin @ 66:
How did Mat go through Verin's Gateway? Wouldn't he cancel it out?

You'll probably get a landslide of responses on this one but the reason he can go through is he doesn't touch the flows. The opening in the center of the gateway is not constructed of the Power. The borders of the gateway (that slice through anything that happens to be there already) is. As long as he doesn't touch that, the gateway will be fine. If he does, the jury is still out as to whether or not he'll cut something off or the gateway will be cancelled out.
Lucas Vollmer
69. aspeo
@Misfortuona
Like RobM^2 said :)
This makes me wonder what kind of MOA stuff Mat is going to do in Tarmon Gaidin. I think one or more forsaken baddies are going to be sorely surprised that they tried to pick on the guy who can't channel!

MatOdin@66
I always thought that a regular gateway was more of a hole between the two places. So that the one power that made it formed the edges, but was not actually permeating the whole thing. This would allow Mat to go through the gateway because no weaves would be contacting him, and thus would not be melted.

Edit: Toryx beat me to it
Jacy Clark
70. Amalisa
Just a quick note...

RE: the blackberry bush

KoD, "The Last Knot":
..."Fellows like him visited the Two Rivers a while back. One of them called himsel Mazrim Taim, a name we'd all heard. A false Dragon. Only now he wears a black coat with fancy embroidery and calls himself the "M'Hael. They talked everywhere about teaching men to channel, about this Black Tower." He (Tam) freighted the words with sourness. "The Village Councils tried to put a stop to it, and the Women's Circles, but they ended up taking about forty men and boys with them."

Also in Kod, "Remember the Old Saying", one of the "Soldier" Asha'man that met Pevara's party was named Saml al'Seen. A good Two River's name, "al'Seen".

That settles the question in my mind... :)

EDIT: Ooops! HArai, I just saw your post, and you had covered this beautifully! Sorry!
Daniel Goss
71. Beren
MatOdin@66 Re: Matt going through a gateway
Presumably Matt wouldn't have to interact directly with any weaves to step through a gateway. He didn't have any problems getting onto the skimming platform that Rand took to Caemlyn, so Travelling isn't probably isn't a problem.
-Beren
*edit Toryx and sundry beat me to it.*
Roger Powell
72. forkroot
MatOdin@66
How did Mat go through Verin's Gateway? Wouldn't he cancel it out?
Beren@71 mentions the skimming platform. I think we've also seen Mat go through a regular gateway when Rand took Mat and the band to the outskirts of Salidar so that Mat could find Elayne.
Megaduck
73. DonPaulie
Regarding the harvesting of the thorny bush...
I am thoroughly convinced they are talking about Tar Valon. The flow of the conversation was about the White Tower and then the mention of harvesting that bush. Pretty obvious to me. Also, picking berries from a thorny bush means you have to be careful and it's dangerous. Finding male channelers in Tar Valon fits this description to a tee. There is no reference to the TR in that convo, so I'm not sure why that is even an option.
Megaduck
74. Megaduck
MasterAlThor @ 26

Huh? I don’t even know which line I said was a quote…

HArai @34

Did they call it a Blackberry or anything? I knew Tam went to TR, I just don’t see why people think it’s the Blackberry Bush when the sentence pushes it towards TV so strongly.

Looking Glass @ 42

Ah, so that is why people think the Blackberry bush is TR and not TV. Ok.

chaplainchris1 @48

I am thinking about it. Taim can Travel, has a gift for the dramatic, and harvesting Tar Valon is exactly the sort of thing that might appeal to him. He’s basically making the entire Tower look stupid.

Rand never ordered him to stay away from TV, just the AS. It’s word play but it’s also why Rand pretty much HeadDesks after he reads it. Rand knows it’s stupid risky move but Taim decided it was better to beg forgiveness then ask permission.

That’s why Taim uses the rather snarky simile to refer to it. He’s tweaking Rand’s nose and gloating that he tweaked the AS’s noses collectively. He doesn’t have a reason to gloat that he recruited in TR, but TV would be really hard and worth gloating about.

Compared to an entire district it is pretty small. Only one city, if a large one. The surprisingly large amount of barriers doesn’t make sense for TR. After all The Old Blood Sings in the TR, what is surprising about finding a bunch of Male Channelers there? However, at TV, under the very eye of the Red Ajah, finding any men who could channel is surprising.

Also, why would TR be thorny? It’s Lord and most if its fighting power are away. Also by this point Taim has met Perrin at the battle of DW. He knows what’s there and I don’t think the people being stubborn would irritate him much. There isn’t much a group of TR folk could do against a recruiting party of Ashaman.

Now, TV is definitely thorny. It’s right under the very eye of the Tower and the entire might of Red Ajah.

Now, finally, we simply look at the quote itself. The subject is TV. TR is never mentioned. Taim says “That Blackberry bush” right after he said Tar Valon without ever switching subjects. He does change thoughts which is the reason for the new Paragraphs.

Distilled what he says is . “In a year, Tar Valon will tremble at our numbers. I harvesting it myself.”

Tar Valon fits perfectly. He mentions it earlier in the letter. It’s small. It’s thorny. And the fact that there are Male Channelers there at all is surprising.

The Blackberry Bush could also be Seanchean, Searha, the South Continent, or Far Madding. All thorny places to recruit with potentially surprising amounts of male channelers but they’re not the ones mentioned in the letter.


Lsana @57

1) Taim’s letter. ^_^
2) That’s why the number of berries was “Surprising”
3) Taim’s showing off. “Look at me, I snuck right beneath the tower’s nose and recruited there. Beat that!”

Isilel @58

Again, that’s why it’s surprising there were so many berries there. We’d expect them in TR, but not TV.

misfortuona @60
Yes, it does. It stopped Halimina when she/he tried to channel at him at the dance in Salidar.
j p
75. sps49
It just occurred to me, but Taim has his Dragon seal, and his coterie who see/ will see him as THE Dragon-

Come Tarmon Gaidon, Taim thinks Rand is dead, or moves to kill him, Taim proclaims hmself Dragon, and to live, Rand must see that Taim dies.

Not based on much, but David Wren-Hardin said it best....
Daniel Goss
76. Beren
On the subject of Matt and Gateways, though, the far more interesting question is "what would happen if he touched the weave." Of course, then the question becomes "What part of the gateway is the weave?" Every description that we've heard about gateways describe them as having something to do with the "pattern" Err . . . I'm not sure how to say what I'm trying to say here. What I mean is, Rand doesn't actually weave a "doorway" as much as he burns a hole in the pattern, and the doorway appears. As such, even the edges of the gateway would not be part of the 'weave' as the edges are merely defined as the places where the two parts of the pattern meet. Of course, then the question becomes 'Where is the weave?' Does the weave itself only exist in metaphysical space? Obviously, some sort of weaving is being maintained, because it's not like you weave it, the hole appears, and then the weave is gone. The weave has to be maintained or the gateway disappears. The weave can not be a 'curtain' or any such, or it would have been disrupted by Matt walking through it. I don't know, but this is a question that I'd really like an answer to, if one exists.
EDIT: punctuation failures.
Hugh Arai
77. HArai
Amalisa@70: Thanks for the direct quote. Tam's talking on Apr 10 and he says the visit from Taim was "a while back". So, interpretation time again:

People don't say "a while back" about yesterday. So the maximum gap between the conversation at Dumai's wells and Taim's visit to the TR drops to the gap from Jan 02 to (Apr 10 minus "a while"). Still not explicit but still trending towards the TR.

Megaduck@74: Why would Rand avoid thinking about Tar Valon? He doesn't shy away when Taim's people challenge or dance around his orders, he threatens to kill them. He says precisely that to Torval: he'll kill any Asha'man that goes near the Aes Sedai in Murandy. What makes you think he'd shrug off actually hanging out in Tar Valon?

Related to that - care to conjecture how the Asha'man could recruit a surprising number of people from Tar Valon without the Aes Sedai noticing? You can't recruit secretly unless you already know your target. The Asha'man need people to volunteer to be tested.
T C
78. Freelancer
Hi Leigh,

Thank you for cutting Rand some slack here. I was sure you were going to be all on his case for his harshness here, but you backed off, and for the right reasons. 'Nuff said there.

Also about Rand, I see no insanity here. I see pragmatism. At each step along the way, he does what he believes is the best and most effective thing he can do to advance the overall objective, with the knowledge at hand, what he has read, what the 'finn answers said, etc.

My only problem with Rand in this segment is that he didn't thrash Torval after the first insult. I consider that he chose not to simply because that's when Lews Therin spoke up again, and Rand has been in the habit of ignoring his demands to kill Taim or other male channelers. Too bad, the sooner Torval was dead the better.

The blackberry bush is definitely the Two Rivers (Edit: I see HArai@34 has that). Rand knows that three ta'veren born within weeks of each other came from there. He knows that two of the strongest female channelers known at that day came from there, and that Verin and Alanna found many more. He wants as many asha'man as possible for the Last Battle. How could he possibly ignore the potential source? He wants to stay away from his home town to keep it safe. But a clandestine recruiting party seeking men who can channel will take prospects away from the Two Rivers, and it will remain safe. As to many of the Two Rivers men being away with Perrin, we're talking about a region larger than just a single village. Forty men and boys who can learn to channel isn't implausible, even with near two thousand of them following Perrin. I think that Rand's forced air of non-chalance about Taim's message speaks volumes. He wants nobody (not even Taim) to think he has any feelings left for his home, just that he can use it. Lastly on this point, why recuit at Tar Valon? Men who can channel living there are more likely than anywhere in the world to be caught and gentled. And a recruiting party would be more at risk there than anywhere. In fact, Rand issued a direct order to stay away from the White Tower. I can't find any justification for thinking that the blackberry bush was Tar Valon.

RE: Dashiva

My suspicion about Dashiva was early, but wasn't very strong. It was based on the short space of time between Rand warning Taim about someone who learns fast or is very strong, and Dashiva's reveal at Dumai's Wells. Alarm bells, but not certainty until everyone simply accepts that a rural farmer speaks the Old Tongue fluently. Then I threw the flag and waited for him to make his move. I think Jordan did a great job with this, since most of us would have expected a Forsaken that close to Rand to have made a play on his life before waiting too long. Dashiva acted the part of borderline nutcase very well. (If he was acting)


MasterAlThor@33

Yes, there is mention of a third man. By Lews Therin, talking to Rand. He refers to them all as destroyers. You see, he can also see Moridin's face since the Shadar Logoth balefire stream incident.
T C
79. Freelancer
blindillusion@67

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled. That line doesn't have the same impact in print as when it's said Verbally.
James Jones
80. jamesedjones
Ideas for the riddle? Anyone?

How do I cleanse saidin? You must find an ancient brillo pad. It's big, scary, and evil at night. Like your first girlfriend. Mwa ha ha ha ha...

Edit: I know. I know. I ain't getting into heaven anyway.
Bonnie Andrews
81. misfortuona
jamesdjones@80
OMG I snorted water everywhere. You are a bad man.
Scince this is Rand, aren't you describing Egwene?

Mis-choking and gasping
Tricia Irish
82. Tektonica
Back 3 hours later and I'm 61 posts behind......

Read fast, read fast.....
Maiane Bakroeva
83. Isilel
Freelancer @78:

everyone simply accepts that a rural farmer speaks the Old Tongue fluently.

Not only that, but Dashiva also seemed very uncomfortable around horses(!) and generally being out in the nature.
Oh, and he taught Damer Flynn the theory of his all-5-powers AoL-style Healing, despite being unable to Heal himself.
Add to that O'sangar's description and I knew within a couple of chapters after he was first introduced ;).

Megaduck @74:

It is not surprising to us (though Rand's ruthlessness is), but Taim isn't privy to all the information we have.
By the same token TV _would_ be surprising indeed, because we have yet to see a female channeler who used to be a native. Ergo, no rich stash of potential male channelers either.
Megaduck
84. Megaduck
Isilel @83

Except of course, Taim just said there was a surprisingly rich stash of channelers in TV. ;p

This argument is going to start going in circles real quick.
Daniel Goss
85. Beren
Wait, what? When did Taim say that there was a surprisingly rich stash of channelers in Tar Valon?

Unless you mean "Channelers that will kill me on sight."
Sam Mickel
86. Samadai
Does anybody here know where the duck tape was put?
Suffa? Anybody?
Megaduck
87. alreadymadwiththeriddle
I wonder if Boreane ever reappeared. There's one who was finally able to look past the fear and see the wretched choices left to these men. The burdens they had taken upon themselves in order to prepare for the Last Battle.

Fedwin Morr, so young. Too bad you had to go the way you did.

Incidentally, as nutty as Lews Therin's voice is designed to sound, I happen to believe his advice usually makes sense.

As for the riddle, given Fel's opinion, and RJ's own physics background, I suspect it was something about like disolving like. No wait, that's chemistry. Maybe something about polar opposites neutralizing each other? Nope, still chemistry. Mutual annihilation, anyone?

On the scary mean Rand:
Every step in Rand's hardening of himself is generally precipitated by a traumatic experience, usually the death of a female through Rand's actions or inaction. In this case, he seems to be fixating on Liah's death.
James Jones
88. jamesedjones
85 Beren

Megaduck is working off of the assumption that the "Berry Bush" is TV. Taim never actually said that there was a rich stash of channelers in "Tar Valon".
Jennifer B
89. JennB
Not much to say. I think the blackberry bush is the Two Rivers.

Longtimefan@11 and Samadai@19
Hmmff... We're getting snow flurries on the other side of the mountains.

Freelancer@78
I had always wondered what LTT was referring to when he mentions the third man. Moridin makes perfect sense. I'm surprized I didn't make the connection because I was aware of the link fairly early on.
Tricia Irish
90. Tektonica
Have you guys thrashed out whether the Blackberry bush is TV or TR yet? Geesh. Two Rivers, hand's down. Tar Valon was only mentioned tangentially in the paragraph before the mention of the Bush. IMHO, Taim would NEVER go near TV after what the AS put him through. I also don't think there would be very good pickin's there. If I were a man who could channel, I wouldn't be living in TV. Plus, plus, plus....oh no, the horse is dead! ;-)

Like the theory about Taim bringing in his former minions to start the BT too. I vote for Taim as Ishydin's minion as well...or avatar.

And thank you Leigh, Free, Sulin and others who take compassion on Rand. The poor guy is totally isolated here, sending his friends away so he won't hurt them or make them a target of an attack on him and.....He's afraid!

He's afraid of hurting others, killing women, not living to save the world, not knowing how to save the world, of not being able to unite everyone behind him, of not living up to everyone's hopes and needs. He's dancing as fast as he can. And he doesn't trust enough to delegate well. He's had a lot put on his very young shoulders in a very short time. :-( So , yeah Boreane.

Torval, ug, toast him, please, quickly. I did get that Dashiva was a forsaken, which is amazing because I tend to miss a lot. He was just too weird from day one and babbling in the OT was the clencher. I do wish Rand had put "deal with the BT" on his heavy "to do" list though. Ignoring that is going to bite him in the, well you know, IMO.
Chris Chaplain
91. chaplainchris1
@73 DonPaulie (and others) -

this is the same stuff that gives my sister (an English teacher) such fits in grading student essays...literalistic thinking.

The fact is, the clear meaning of the passage is that Taim is never talking about Tar Valon at all in that passage. He uses Tar Valon as a metaphor for the Aes Sedai.

But I've already said that at length, and others commented on this at length as well.

I suppose it's unfair of me to wish that, if you're going to post that you have a different belief, you would go through one of those posts and point out the flaws in their (my) reasoning and explain your own. Saying merely that the words Tar Valon are mentioned in one paragraph, and therefore how could the blackberry bush mentioned *in the next paragraph* be anywhere else...well, this is unsatisfying. As Megaduck @ 84 says - the discussion is getting pretty circular. And about such a minor point, too!

So, I'm gonna drop it after this post, unless one of the TarValon contingent will try to answer these questions (as I consider the TRivers contingent to have already given point-by-point analysis) to help me understand their reasoning:

1) If it's Tar Valon, why does Taim call it small?
2) Likewise, if it's Tar Valon, why is the high number of recruits surprising? Big city = big pool.
3) If it's a continuous thought - "Tar Valon will tremble at our numbers, I harvested that blackberry bush personally" - why is there a paragraph break?
4) If it's Tar Valon, why do we never meet any Ashaman recruit from Tar Valon?
5) Rand has a order to all the Ashaman, and Taim specifically, to stay away from all Aes Sedai. They may defend themselves but are not to seek them out, not to give AS any more reason to oppose Rand. Rand will hold them personally responsible for any harm to Aes Sedai and orders them to stay out of Caemlyn. Given all this, why would Rand have reversed his thinking long enough to send Taim to the seat of Aes Sedai power - esp. under a Red's leadership? How could he possibly expect this to go off without a confrontation? Esp. when there's even random fly-speck villagers have sometimes protested the recruiting parties?
6) Ok, that was several questions. But all related. :)
7) Assuming Rand somehow reversed his thinking in that way (but had reinstated by the time the Reds attacked the Black Tower, as shown by his rage at the Ashaman who bonded Aes Sedai), why would he send Mazrim Taim to Tar Valon personally, when as a notorious False Dragon who'd killed AS when originally captured, he'd be far more likely to be recognized than anyone else the Black Tower could send?
8) Taim (mostly?) stopped going recruiting personally once there were men who could Travel who could do it for him. But we have confirmed, reliable reports of Taim recruiting in the Two Rivers - Tam in KOD ch 29 f'r example. If Rand *didn't* order Taim to recruit in the Two Rivers, why did Taim decide to do so?

Some of these questions are more serious than others. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 are the most serious.

All right, take it away!

And what happened to the potluck? I had to go out for McDonald's, what a let-down.
Chris Chaplain
92. chaplainchris1
Megaduck @ 74 - I hadn't read this post when I started mine @ 91. Give me a minute and I'll post a new response to it.
Jennifer B
93. JennB
Hope everyone has fun with these chapters in the upcoming weeks. I will be going into lurk mode some time in the next few days. (Hopefully sooner rather than later, though my due date is on Tuesday.) Can't imagine I will have the time to read all your wonderful comments and add my two cents while caring for a newborn and a two year old. Yikes!
Bonnie Andrews
94. misfortuona
Chaplainchris@91

Are you sure you went to the right place,
Amalisa alone supplied
homemade cheese tortellini with basil, chicken and sweet marinara, bruschetta, Italian cream cake and two bottles of Valpolicella


Plus there was Megaduck's blackberry pie, bacon wrapped appies, all sorts of drinks. Heck I've been here eat... er hanging out all day and there's plenty of food left.

Sam, Suffa left the Mega roll of Duck tape behind the hot tub.

mis-ooo there's cookies as well.

Jenn B. Awsome for you be sure to let us know all about the new arrival.
Captain Hammer
95. Randalator
re: backberry bush

Just to give even more evidence for the bush being the Two Rivers:

"I was hearing it was the Lord Dragon himself told the M'Hael to pluck up anything male in this Two Rivers that could channel, down to the roosters. With the number he brought back, I'm just surprised he didn't bring the chicks and lambs, as well."
(WH, Prologue)

So, with all the other quotes already given by my fellow WoTmaniacs there is no doubt Duopotamia is the land of scary Power wielding blackberries.
Jay Dauro
96. J.Dauro
JennB

Don't lurk so much that you don't let us know when the little one arrives. Yes, you will be busy, but we need to know. Hope everything goes well.
Mikey Bennett
97. EvilMonkey
Count me in with the didn'tcatchDashivaasForsaken on first read through. Probably should have caught it but Hindsight is 20/20 and all that mess.

Just a thought...If Rand actually trusted anyone he had to give orders to, Ashaman in particular, then how effective would Dashiva have been? Good plan by the Shadow, but because of the repeated abusiveness of team Dark rendered ineffective. HalimaGar was a much more effective intel gatherer than old Corlan.
Chris Chaplain
98. chaplainchris1
Re-Re-edit - for bbCode instead of html.

Before I get to the TR/TV debate, the important stuff:

Ok, y'all are pranking me again! Where is the darn bunker with the tortellini and blackberry pie! This sux!

Ok, Megaduck @ 74 - here we go.

Edit: Randalator @ 95 - bless you for finding that quote! *collapses in a heap at the thought that the Wall o Text that follows was completely unnecessary.*

To begin with, this whole discussion is weird but appropriate. Since RJ's central theme is communication failures, and we have a group of people interpreting a pretty short letter in radically different ways, and expressing amazement that the other interpretation is even possible, it seems RJ knew what he was talking about.

So - let me apologize in advance if I offend anyone. You people are intelligent, engaging, and entertaining - otherwise I wouldn't be spending so much time here. I find it hard to believe that the TR camp is real, and I will not be sugar-coating my incredulity - sorry, and I don't mean it rudely.

another edit - I meant TV camp, not TR. Thanx HARai!

(I've probably referenced before, on some thread, a seminary exercise where our incoming freshman class was given the Myers-Briggs personality type test, and then divided according to whether we, I think, were Intuitive (N) or Sensing (S). The two groups were then separately asked to look at a picture and list what we saw. When we came back together, our lists were *completely* different. The sensing group listed things like "chains" and "clouds". Our intuitive group listed things like "conflict" and "distress". The S group thought we were making ridiculous stuff up instead of doing what we were asked. The N group thought they were ridiculously naming objects, as if they were toddlers, instead of doing the assignment and naming what the picture was communicating. Which perspective was valid?*)

*Both, by the way. That was the point of the exercise, at least. I still don't get those weird S folks.

Anyway, it'd be interesting to know the Myers-Brigg breakdown of the TR/TV groups!

I knew Tam went to TR, I just don’t see why people think it’s the Blackberry Bush when the sentence pushes it towards TV so strongly.

Asked and answered - though not to your faction's satisfaction. The sentence doesn't push it toward Tar Valon at all. "Tar Valon" in that sentence doesn't mean the city or its people. It means the Aes Sedai. In this letter, Taim uses Aes Sedai=White Tower=Tar Valon. Tar Valon *as a city*, rather than Tar Valon as another name for the White Tower, is never mentioned.

For the rest, any gloating Taim is doing is only over the success of their recruiting. Recall that Taim isn't tweaking Rand's nose over breaking rules and getting away with it. Rand ordered him to harvest the blackberry bush (in ACOS). So the gloating and nose-tweaking you think you see? You're imagining it. Taim's reporting that he followed orders.

So, you have to envision, not a scenario by which Taim foolishly and cheekily went to Tar Valon. You have to envision a scenario by which Rand ordered him to do so, and trusted him to go unsupervised, and not cause trouble with Aes Sedai, and not get caught, and not get hurt or hurt someone else.

I can't think of the word for this, but it starts with l and ends with udicrous.

Also, wherever the blackberry bush is, it's a place that Rand ordered Taim to recruit from. So let's take it in turn: A) Why would Rand order recruiting from the Two Rivers? Because he knows, although Taim and most of the world still don't, that it's a place where the Old Blood is strong, and women stronger than any AS in a thousand years, at least one of Forsaken class, are to be found. Logically, men of great power must be there too.

In other words: Rand orders Taim to recruit in the Two Rivers because he knows it's fertile ground. Taim, lacking Rand's knowledge of the TRs and how many female channelers it's currently producing, however, has reason to comment in surprise at what turns up in those three fly-speck villages. *EVEN WITH* a large part of the population gone off to war, he still find 40 recruits.

So there's very good reason for Rand to order Taim to recruit in the Two Rivers.

B) What reason is there for him to have ordered recruiting in Tar Valon? Well....none. He's got no reason to think it'd be productive. As you and others have pointed out, it would be surprising to find recruits in Tar Valon, considering sparkers would've been found for generations.

Now, conversely, non-sparkers are more likely to have respect of/reverence for/fear of AS than in any other place they might go - and thus be least likely to be open to recruiting. Somebody, surely, would raise a fuss or warn the AS.

I know Rand's going crazy, but you really think he's simultaneously saying "don't go to Caemlyn b/c you might encounter Aes Sedai, I'll hold you responsible if anything happens" while also saying "hey, infamous False Dragon guy who killed some Aes Sedai the last time they hunted you down, how about stopping by the seat of Aes Sedai power for the last 3000 years and asking folks if they want to learn how to wield the lightning and stuff, kthanxbye and have fun!"

Cuz that's...well...udicrous-lay.

Oh, and 'Tar Valon is small compared to "an entire district"?' Uh...no. Not even. The boys think Baerlon, *outside* the Two Rivers, is a great city when they see it. Emond's Field, Devin Ride, and Watch Hill are, together, miniscule when compared to Tar Valon. There is no way this argument is logical.

On thorniness - I'm repeating myself - but Tar Valon isn't thorny, it's suicidal. Rand is concerned enough when thirteen Aes Sedai arrive in Caemlyn to flee the country, pausing barely long enough to send Taim a warning and reiterate that he's to stay away from AS. Going to Tar Valon alone = looney.

Thorns, by the way, are an inconvenience, not a life-threatening hindrance. The arguments you give about why TRs stubborness wouldn't be a serious hindrance while AS power in Tar Valon would, to my mind, proves that the TRs is thorny whereas TV is death. And gentling.

Now, finally, we simply look at the quote itself. The subject is TV.

No. The subject is recruiting, and how soon their numbers will match Tar Valon's numbers. The White Tower's numbers. The AS's numbers.

TR is never mentioned.

What is mentioned is 'that place you told me to recruit from in ACOS'. Whether or not the TR is mentioned is exactly what's at issue - and please see above and think about whether or not Rand is likely to have ordered recruiting from Tar Valon or the TR.

Taim says “That Blackberry bush” right after he said Tar Valon without ever switching subjects. He does change thoughts which is the reason for the new Paragraphs.

I cry foul! He changed thoughts, and paragraphs, as you say. To say he doesn't change subjects is therefore suspect. Since he changed thoughts, he likely did change subjects.

And remember, the context of the blackberry bush is not (necessarily) the paragraph before, but it is (necessarily) the context of Rand's orders in ACOS.

Distilled what he says is . “In a year, Tar Valon will tremble at our numbers. I harvesting it myself.”

Or:

"In a year, Tar Valon will tremble at our numbers.

And I personally carried out your orders re: that place. The one you ordered me to recruit from. Small thorny place, but surprising number of recruits."

Tar Valon fits perfectly. He mentions it earlier in the letter. It’s small.

No it's not. It's one of the biggest cities in Randland.

It’s thorny. And the fact that there are Male Channelers there at all is surprising.

Which is why it *doesn't* fit - the blackberry bush has to be a place that Rand had reason to single out for recruiting. It has to be a place that surprises Taim but is logical to Rand.

We can speculate all we want about how fruitful recruiting in Tar Valon, Far Madding, or Seanchan might be. But Rand KNOWS, no speculation required, that the TR produced Nynaeve, Egwene, Bodewhin Cauthon, Hilde Barran, Jerilin al'Caar, Marisa Ahan, Emry Lewin, Elise Marwin, Darea Candwin, Larine Ayellin, Jancy Torfinn, Susa al'Seen and Marce Eldin, at least, all in a single generation. And Verin and Alanna indicate that they're just scratching the surface.

If it walks like a megaduck and quacks like a megaduck, then the blackberry bush is the Two Rivers.

And with that, I'm out!
Megaduck
99. Kreeble
Not to mention,

With the following books giant influx of Elaida PoVs, dont you think we would have had her flipping out on screen at some point had she had Mazrim Taim himself show up at her front door recruiting mass numbers of people?
Jacy Clark
100. Amalisa
Randalator, let me add my heartfelt thanks to those of chaplainchris! That was the quote I was trying to remember, and it ties in with this one from ACoS, "The Butcher's Yard" - between Rand and Taim:
If Rand noticed the byplay, he ignored it. "Taim, you take the Asha'man back to the Black Tower as soon as the Wise Ones have charge of the prisoners. As soon as. Remember to keep an eye out for any man who learns too fast. And remember what I said about recruiting."
"I can hardly forget, my Lord Dragon," the black-coated man replied dryly. "I will handle that trip personally...."
(emphasis mine)

So... it looks like Rand told Taim to handle the recruitment trip to the Two Rivers personally. Off-screen, perhaps, but still... And as chaplainchris said, a trip to Tar Valon to look for male channeler wannabes would be an entirely unacceptable risk at this stage of the game.

And then there's the literary/poetic/metaphorical reason: it seems to me that a "blackberry bush" is a "code name" with a distinctly agricultural feel to it... not exactly one that lends itself to a big (and it is big!) city like Tar Valon.

@chaplainchris1 - You'll have to look at "Part 8" for what I brought to the potluck... bon appétit!
Daniel Goss
101. Beren
re: Blackberry Pie

I think what it really boils down to is this. There is ample positive evidence, both within the statement and elsewhere, for us to infer that he is referring to the Two Rivers. There is only grammatical evidence, and that shaky, for the 'blackberry bush' being Tar Valon. There is only negative evidence for it being any other location. So.

Two Rivers: Positive evidence (amply recounted above), therefore simplest answer.
Tar Valon: Mentioned in previous paragraph, but there is enough of a break that it simply could have been the end of a previous thought. This is especially compelling when you remember that every time Taim mentions recruiting he says something like "I'll match Tar Valon in a year." Every. Time.
Other places: Purely negative evidence or conjecture, nothing specifically pointing to anywhere.

This having been said.
I am thinking about it. Taim can Travel, has a gift for the dramatic, and harvesting Tar Valon is exactly the sort of thing that might appeal to him. He’s basically making the entire Tower look stupid.
Rand never ordered him to stay away from TV, just the AS. It’s word play but it’s also why Rand pretty much HeadDesks after he reads it. Rand knows it’s stupid risky move but Taim decided it was better to beg forgiveness then ask permission.
That’s why Taim uses the rather snarky simile to refer to it. He’s tweaking Rand’s nose and gloating that he tweaked the AS’s noses collectively. He doesn’t have a reason to gloat that he recruited in TR, but TV would be really hard and worth gloating about.

I'm sorry, but this is pure conjecture. There is not one shred of actual evidence that this happened. Yes, it fits with his personality, but there are no actions that you can point to that show that he actually did it. Just knowing that he would is not evidence that he did.
Compared to an entire district it is pretty small. Only one city, if a large one. The surprisingly large amount of barriers doesn’t make sense for TR. After all The Old Blood Sings in the TR, what is surprising about finding a bunch of Male Channelers there? However, at TV, under the very eye of the Red Ajah, finding any men who could channel is surprising.

Yes, the Old Blood Sings in the TR, but who, exactly, knows that? Certainly Taim has no reason to before going there. Moiraine and Verin both comment on the surprising concentration of potential channelers. It makes sense that Taim would do the same.
Also, why would TR be thorny? It’s Lord and most if its fighting power are away. Also by this point Taim has met Perrin at the battle of DW. He knows what’s there and I don’t think the people being stubborn would irritate him much. There isn’t much a group of TR folk could do against a recruiting party of Ashaman.
Now, TV is definitely thorny. It’s right under the very eye of the Tower and the entire might of Red Ajah.

Actually, thorny is a good description of recruiting in the Two Rivers. It's a difficult job, but not insurmountable, and may cause some discomfort for all involved. Sneaking into Tar Valon to recruit would be less "harvesting a thorny blackberry bush" and more along the lines of "stealing a warder's underwear while he's wearing it." Less 'uncomfortable' and more 'deadly.'
And now in response to my own words . . . TL:DR.
-Beren, the Long Winded
Hugh Arai
102. HArai
chaplainchris1@98:
find it hard to believe that the TR camp is real, and I will not be sugar-coating my incredulity - sorry, and I don't mean it rudely.


Extrapolating from the rest of your post I think you meant 'TV camp' here.

As for your incredulity - I think one of humanity's most fair and perilous gifts is the ability to believe anything at all.
Jacy Clark
103. Amalisa
Wow... six hours, 102 posts, and most of them about the dang "blackberry bush"... *happy sigh* I love this group of people!! :D

@HArai - "I think one of humanity's most fair and perilous gifts is the ability to believe anything at all."

That is - truly - profound. I mean that. Sincerely. :)
Noneo Yourbusiness
104. Longtimefan
As to the "riddle" about cleansing the taint maybe it was something like.


The Finn: "Have you heard of the phrase, 'Kill two birds with one stone?' Well first you need a really big stone. I mean HUGE! The Universe HUGE! Now instead of killing the birds with the stone you put the birds in the stone and let them kill each other. Not birds of a feather mind, cause they will flock together but birds most diametrically opposed to each other. Like a penguin and a condor. Don't go and get a penguin and a condor, or a stone, this is a metaphor. Don't get all stupid human literal on us now man."

Rand: "I do not understand the old tongue. Could you say that again?"


The Finn: (sigh) "Ok, how about this, 'the enemy of my enemy is....' "

Rand: "the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

The Finn: "How does that make sense in your tiny human brain? Try again."

Rand: "Rodel Ituralde"

The Finn: "Not in this book"

Rand: "Enemies with benefits?"

The Finn: "She is not among us yet. Never mind you go and think on it later."
Sam Mickel
105. Samadai
Longtimefan@104,

I think you need to go find the Sun somewhere, all this rain is making the moss grow too thick in your head. :D
Daniel Goss
106. Beren
Chaplainchris1@98
Ok, from now on I'm just gonna ME2 your posts, since it looks like you said everything that I said, almost verbatim, but you said it first. And that's not the first time.
/sigh.
-Beren, still hoping to have an original thought someday.
Megaduck
107. JekWindu
Rand has always been my favorite character, and I think moments like this is a big reason. Most characters, when placed in a similar situation, either stay straight heroes with nary guilt in the world- or go completely off the slippery slope into the dark side. Rand, however, stayed mostly in the middle where things are most intense and painful for a character. Even at his worst in TGS, Rand never did anything truly and purely evil. The very fact that he only almost killed Tam is what drove him over the edge into despair, rather than actually killing his father. Very slick, authors, very slick.
John Massey
108. subwoofer
Well, my initial reaction to this is that Rand is a sheepherder. He is also the Dragon Reborn. But that title came along much later in life. He was not trained or taught the ins and outs of political intrigue and bureaucracy. That is a learned skill that takes many years to master. Poor schmuck is thrown in the deep end and it is like "sink or swim, yo!" Thems be a tall order and pretty harsh odds. I cut him some slack, but only so much. Hey, the guy has three wives- that is stress relief enough for most people... unless the cause of the stress is the three wives.

Woof™.
John Massey
109. subwoofer
@Ama103-"blackberry bush"- I think RIM's share price creeped up a couple points due to our ranting.


Woof™.
Chris Chaplain
110. chaplainchris1
@102 HARai - yep, you extrapolate correctly.

And anybody who works in a "fair and perilous" reference gets a cheer from me.

Amalisa - I thought part 8 was the _menu_, and the party was gonna be in part 9! *pouts sulkily and...hey, pie!*

Beren @106 - maybe, but you said it with much less unnecessary verbiage. Kudos.

Longtimefan @ 104 - bwah-hah-hah! Have some pie.
Roger Powell
111. forkroot
JekWindu@107
Even at his worst in TGS, Rand never did anything truly and purely evil.
Agreed, although he came "this close"
      :: holds thumb and forefinger close together ::
a couple of times, including the near miss with Tam, the near miss with calling down lightning on the Borderlanders, the near miss of balefiring the palace at Ebou Dar, and the near miss of, um ... destroying the world?
lin mei
112. twicemarked
1.
I was kind of surprised that the "riddle" was never spelled out exactly. RJ was well read, and there are saying in the East that comes very close to what Rand actually did. It goes like, "To cure poison, use another type of poison." In rough terms, the answer wouls simply be "Destory evil with evil, an ancient evil."

Now for readers, that would invoke SH immediately, given how that city came into its current state by trying to fight evil with evil methods. So maybe that is a dead give away?

2.
As to the blackberry bush, I don't think TV is even possible. All the channeling genes are weeded out by the constant presence of the Red Ajah. No male sparkers can possibly hide in TV long enough to allow the recruiting party to find them.

The thorns are refering to the Women's circle and Village councle trying to prevent the recruiting party to take people away. Since Rand's dad is on the village councle, Taim can't exactly use lighting on these folks, can he?
Chris Chaplain
113. chaplainchris1
subwoofer @ 109 - also, the words "blackberry bush" have now lost all meaning to me. They seem like the teacher-voice from Charlie Brown specials.

Forkroot @111 - aw, he was jus' feeelin' cranky. He all better now.
D R
114. Ouroboros
Bing bong! You've got eM'Hael

TO: rand@thor.com
CC: Dashiva@shibboleth.net
BCC: SH@thakan.dar; Nae_blis@chosen.com; shai.tan@shayol-ghul.org
FROM: taim@darkfriends.net
SUBJECT: Recruiting

My Lord Dragon,

you will be pleased to know that there are now over five-hundred men at the Black Tower. Nearly 50 died during training accidents because they like you and I have given the Dragon to nearly thirty men who hate you. I have established a core of Darkfriends within the tower who will betray you at a crucial moment and make you feel like an idiot. I have plans to smooch over your girl friend and I am now pretending to be you so that I can sew chaos as per my true master’s instructions. Oh, and I have recruited a large number of men from the Two Rivers to hold hostage as we discussed.

I hope Dashiva is working out. I can't say that I like the devious little snake but his patron assures me that he is just the man to help you lose the last battle.

BW,

Mazrim Taim, The True Dragon Reborn
---
TO: taim@darkfriends.net
FROM: rand@thor.com
SUBJECT: RE: Recruiting

Taim, fine, whatever. The Two Rivers? Where’s that?
---
TO: SH@thakan.dar; Nae_blis@chosen.com
FROM: shai.tan@shayol-ghul.org
SUBJECT: Recruiting

GOOD, THAT ALL SEEMS WELL IN HAND. LEAVE THEM TO IT. S.H. I'VE GOT DEATH FROM THE DISK WORLD COMING ROUND. WE'RE GOING ON EBAY FOR A KEYBOARD WITH A CAPS LOCK KEY. LOOK AFTER THINGS WHILE HE'S HERE.

NAE'BLIS, DON'T FORGET TO ORDER THE BLACK COATS WITH RED EMBROIDERY FOR RAND. I EXPECT HE'LL BE NEEDING THEM SOON. *SMIRK* OH, AND WE'LL NEED SOME MORE TP. MORIDIN GOT CARRIED AWAY AGAIN LAST NIGHT.

REGARDS,

YOU KNOW WHO!
Tricia Irish
115. Tektonica
Chaplainchris@98:

That was the most amazing post! You may win the award for longest and most logical post ....hard to believe with Wet and Free around. Thank you. Well said. Dead horse....again.

JennB: We will miss you, but hope all goes well! Do check in and let us know about your bundle of joy!

longtimefan@104: ROFLOL....what have you been smoking??
diane heath
116. jadelollipop
In LOC Liah just got left behind in Shadar Logoth and then Rand took the Ogier to Two Rivers (the pain of leaving like losing his arm was a more fitting memorial to Liah).

Memory failing ....What did Torval do that everyone hates him? From the commentary etc I think he is an
Ashaman from the Black Tower but I don't recall any thing special (good or bad) about him.
Roger Powell
117. forkroot
Ouroboros@114
Good Stuff!

jadelollipop@116
Torval is one of the four "renegade" Ashaman who plan to kill Rand in Far Madding. He also might have been part of the attack on Rand at the Sun Palace although Rand doesn't see him.
Julian Augustus
118. Alisonwonderland
Leigh @Commentary:
“Berelain, I don’t know what else I can do to guarantee Mayene for you, but I will write out any—” Colors swirled so strongly in his head that his tongue froze. Lews Therin cackled. A woman who knows the danger and isn’t afraid is a treasure only a madman would spurn.

I don't know if someone else has commented on this as I am yet to read the responses. The first time I read this scene my immediate reaction was that Berelain had slapped him hard. I still think it is the right interpretation of the scene.
Barry T
119. blindillusion
Freelancer@79

Agreed. There is a loss there. But the sentiment remains.
Thomas Keith
120. insectoid
I know I'm really late to the party when there are already nearly 120 comments... Finally got my computer back in my room,so please forgive the slight Wall o' Text here. ;)

Great job of making these dull chapters enjoyable, Leigh!

Rand: Eurgh. I think Leigh is right—Rand's becoming an Asshole is because he left the women behind. I think it gets a lot better when he at least has Min with him.

Dashiva: His fluent use of the Old Tongue (though he's only a farmer!) should be a screamingly obvious, hefty Clue-by-Four for those who haven't caught on that he is Not Who He Seems. Add to that his reaction to Rand's wish to cleanse the Taint...

Blackberry bush: I haven't the foggiest idea why so many commenters think that this means Tar Valon; I cannot recall any passage explicitly stating that Taim + Co. recruited there. (Please correct me if I'm wrong; brain has been on the fritz the last 4 weeks.) Add to that the scene HArai @34 refers to, and put 2 and 2 together.

Torval, and the losses: ::shudder::

Rand's ignorance of the BT goings-on: AARGH. ::pauses to remove glasses::

*headdesk*

::replaces glasses:: Ow. Now where's that Clue-by-Four—I know someone who needs it...

LTT: Hee hee hee.

ChapChris @54: Re: Pac-Man... Thanks for pointing that out! That is way cool;)

Lsana @57:
In retrospect, Dashiva might as well have F-O-R-S-A-K-E-N flashing over his head in neon.
Yeah, really! LOL!

Toryx @68:
The opening in the center of the gateway is not constructed of the Power. The borders of the gateway (that slice through anything that happens to be there already) is.
Does this mean that, say, a gholam actually can go through a gateway, so long as it doesn't touch the edges? ::ducks back into bunker::

JEJ @80: LOL!!

JennB @93: May the Light shine on the little one when he/she arrives!

LTF @104, Ouroboros @114: BAHAHAhahaha!! ::rolling on the floor::

Bzzz™.
Megaduck
121. Lurking Canadian
From the commentary:

"I read that complimentary bit about how organized and efficient the Seanchan are, and all I could think was YEAH, SO WERE THE NAZIS. Pfeh. Pfeh, I say!"

Preach it, Sister Leigh! Testify!

From me:

One point nobody has mentioned is that Rand has given his men orders not to leave anybody from the Black Tower alone. From this, upon my first reading, I concluded that Rand knows Taim is evil and is playing some kind of long game with him. I can't figure out why he leaves Taim in charge but at the same time doesn't trust any of the Asha'man. You just want to smack the back of his head sometimes.

I never noticed Dashiva because I was distracted by Torval's obvious Shadow-ness, after he needled the others about going crazy. Torval's not the stealthiest of spies for the Shadow is what I'm saying.
James Jones
122. jamesedjones
114 Ouroboros

Reminds me of work emails I've seen before. RECALL!!! RECALL, dangit!
Bonnie Andrews
123. misfortuona
longtimefan@104
ROFLMAO I agree with Tek, what is in your pipe?

Chaplainchris@110
No punking this time. Sorry we didn't explain. Once the food is in the bunker it's fair game.

Oroboros@114 Hahahaaaaaha gasp haha haha.
I'm glad I decided to catch up tonight at home. I might have gotten fired if I waited till tomorow. That was epic.

Mis-what happened to all the pie?
Alice Arneson
124. Wetlandernw
chaplainchris1 @48 (and more, but I'm not listing all the numbers) - Excellent summing up; I think you are entirely correct in the "blackberry bush" analysis.

Longtimefan @56 - I am totally waiting for Wetlandernw to weigh in on this. She has impeccable grammar. Not sure if I should purr over the compliment or hiss at the sarcasm! ;) I must be feeling catty today.

But if you really want to know... Careful analysis of the letter itself and the surrounding paragraphs in the text are open to either interpretation. "Tar Valon" is certainly the immediate antecedent to "that blackberry bush," so the point stands. On the other hand, "that" as used here easily fits in the common usage of "that blackberry bush we discussed a while back...," which implies a return to the indirect antecedent of recruiting parties and where they've been going.

It comes down to a matter of how the individual reads not only this particular text, but the context of the interactions between Rand and Taim, as well as other events described in the books. My personal interpretation is that he was referring to the Two Rivers, since we know that Taim did go there (and "harvested well," given the number of recruits he obtained), whereas we have no textual indication (other than that claimed for this letter) that he ever went to Tar Valon. All the relevant quotations have been posted, so I won't elaborate. So... my two bits worth. I'm with the Two Rivers.

Longtimefan @61 - I've never bought into the "alternate personality" theory, but that's a pretty cool interpretation of the colors & LTT.

JennB @93 - Here's hoping all goes well for you. Post stats and pictures, please, when you can; we love new WoT babies. We'll miss you, in the meantime. Maybe you can do some of those middle-of-the-night feeding next to the computer...:) We promise to forgive any sleep-deprivation-induced incoherence.

I have a couple more comments, but I have to do a little research first, and I have to do the dishes before I do the research... So I'll be back in a while.
John Massey
125. subwoofer
@ChaplainChris- Charlie Brown? Dude- you put War and Peace to shame with your epic, and you could have been the reread pt 9 comment all on your own. Mind you, I was sybil long before I reached your post. Personally, I thought the bush was the world. Taim has guys buggering around hell's half acre, I just assumed it meant that after 2000 years, you dig through every one horse town and something is bound to get upturned. Hence his bragging about the numbers he will reach.

Meh.

Enough has been said.

Now Rand is the Dragon Reborn. His symbol is the dragon. Arm tattoos, belt buckle, seal- long sinewy Chinese dragon thingy.

Taim is a douche bag. I wonder how one depicts a bag of douche?

@Orou- my HR manager types the same way. She says the program she uses the most only recognizes all-caps and forgets to put stuff back after, I blame her nails, but she gives me a baffled look when I call her the Dark One. It is fitting though, I hate human resources, PC run amok.

@Longtimefan- how do you put birds in a stone?

Woof™.
Jacy Clark
126. Amalisa
Baby news?? How did I miss baby news?!?!

Congratulations and best wishes, JennB! Tuesday due date? I'll be thinking of you and sending all good positive thoughts your way!
T C
127. Freelancer
Samadai@86

Don't you mean the megaduck tape?


Ouroboros@114

Somebody has been perusing the 8-bit WoT, it seems.


blindillusion@119

Dude. Swing and a miss! Well, maybe just a Fowler ball. Go read my comment @79 once more.
Noneo Yourbusiness
129. Longtimefan
Dearest Wetlandernw,

It may be true that you and I are not always on the same page but I would never use sarcasm towards your impressive command of the English language.

It is totally a compliment. I just knew you would know the correct terminology for what I was trying to say in a much less elegant way.

I am glad that I am not one of the people on your shift down list. :)

As to the others who wonder what is in the bowl of my pipe. Air.

I have a Meerschaum pipe that I received as a gift several years ago and I tried out some hand blended tobacco for a bit (Rich's is a Portland store known for having a skilled tobacconist on staff) but smoking just is not my thing.

I do not smoke and I do not drink. I do however eat chocolate which is a vice if you are going old school catholic. (a mild one)

I have a sense of humor. It is just odd.

@Subwoofer 125

you have Mat blow a hole in it with fireworks and then let them fly in.

It is too literal but I have never been that skilled at riddle making. It must be my puny human brain making no sense.
T C
130. Freelancer
Longtimefan@129

Well, trade in a puny brain for a punny one, and those riddles/witticisms/etc will be at your fingertips.
Janet Hopkins
131. JanDSedai
re:potluck
It seems there are plenty of blackberries to make another pie! Along with cherries and cheesecake; so ChaplainChris1, eat up!

Actually, I made some blackberry brandy two years ago, and I still have some left. So we can have that as well as the ale and stout.

I was gonna post the timeline, but somebody else already did. January 20, just two weeks after Dumai Wells.

And JennB, surely you are going to to let us know when you have your child! Boy or girl? I remember the last few days before labour being the longest time. So maybe we can while away your boredom.

Or if Ouroboros keeps posting like that, you may laugh your way into early labor!
Joseph Blaidd
132. SteelBlaidd
@JennB Congratulations, I hope you have an excellent birth. Do you have a good Doula? having one helped make this last birth go much better than our first.

I think my favorite bit in this whole chapter is "Not yet." It's funny and sad at the same time. especially when you realize that even if he's not "Mad" he certainly isn't exactly what one would call "sane" either.
Birgit
133. birgit
The men of Manetheren were a thorn to the Dark One's foot and a bramble to his hand. Sing of Manetheren, that would never bend knee to the Shadow. Sing of Manetheren, the sword that could not be broken.

EotW ch. 9

If Rand was the one who invented the blackberry code for the Two Rivers, he was probably thinking of Moiraine's story about Manetheren.
Megaduck
134. alreadymadwithblackberry
Longtimefan @104
Methinks the Taint had a much more lasting effect on you than it did on me. LOL.

On the blackberry issue:
To be honest I never really made any connection on the blackberry reference. The last instruction I remember Rand giving Taim with respect to recruitment was to keep a low profile and stay away from Aes Sedai. Plus possibly some obscure roundabout instruction about concentrating on backwater flyspecks. All these the recruiting parties did, with the exception of the one Tarna encountered, which was just plain bad luck, presumably with express instructions from Taim.
I did think it strange that he would brag about picking blackberries himself. But then again, these are men who deal with the Taint on a daily basis.
Tricia Irish
135. Tektonica
Ouroboros@114: Funny stuff! Wish Rand had gotten this email.

steelblaid@132: "Not Yet". Funny, wry, sad, good tension reliever.

Birgit@133: Excellent find! Thank you.

Sub: There's a post for you at the end of Reread part 8.


Did someone eat all the Ribs? I love leftovers for breakfast, darnit. If we're out of blackberries, I'll make my annual spring Rhubarb pie...no strawberries..with vanilla ice cream. It'll be in the Bunker this afternoon.
Abdel Masdoua
136. TheDarkOne
@Ouroboros 114: Dude, You totally lost it! ^^
At the same time, ROFLMAO!!! Really!
John Massey
137. subwoofer
@Tek-gotcha!

Thought you would appreciate this- "I kinda wish I was drunk before eating this".

"I shall call you Ebola".

re-post for posterity.

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
138. Tektonica
Sub: Wonderful! Thank you. Maple-bacon donuts....I didn't know they were REAL! Voodoo indeed.
John Massey
139. subwoofer
@LtF- maybe you meant two birds, stoned?

@Tek- yeah, Tony is good stress relief. It's a gooder. I call dibs on the Captain Crunch doughnut.

WoT- well, I am still baffled by Rand's blatant ignorance of a situation going sideways on him rapidly. As has been stated before- "Don't come on by, we're still plotting". Hello? Huge red flag there buddy-boy. Stop thinking about Avi's hair for once.

Woof™.
Karen Jacobs
140. KJacobs
JennB@93: Congratulations! Do you have suitably WOT-ish names picked out? :)

Chaplainchris1@98 - Well thought out & presented. Couldn't agree more. Thanks for taking the time to pull all that together!
Tess Laird
141. thewindrose
We meet Torval when Rand visits the Black Tower in Chapter 42 of LoC:
A black-coated man just short of his middle years planted himself in front of Rand. "And who are you?" he demanded in a Taraboner accent. "I suppose you have come to the Black Tower to learn, yes? You should have waited in Caemlyn for the wagon to bring you. You could have had another day to enjoy that fine coat."
"I am Rand al'Thor," Rand said quietly. Quietly so as not to let out a sudden surge of anger. Civility cost nothing, and if this fool did not decide it was cheap at the price soon....
If anything, the sneer deepened. "So you are him, are you?" He looked Rand up and down insolently. "You do not look so grand to me. I think that I myself could-" A flow of Air solidified just before it clipped him under the ear, and he collapsed in a heap.
"Sometimes we need a hard discipline," Taim said, coming to stand over the man on the ground.{...}"Kisman! Rochaid! Drag Torval away and douse him until he wakes. No Healing, mind you. Maybe an aching head will teach him to mind his tongue."


Ouroboros / Longtimefan -Very entertaining!!

JennB - Hope all goes well. And , indeed - your little one will get and keep you up a lot in the beginning. Come here and get some entertainment!

tempest™
Megaduck
142. Jonathan Levy
chaplainchris1@91

All of your questions are answered in Megaduck@74, and answered quite well. I'll gladly go over the questions you asked, but I doubt I'll do better than he did.

1) If it's Tar Valon, why does Taim call it small?

Tar Valon is a city on an Island. As far as square miles go, it's not that large. Densely populated, but not large. You could fit at least a few dozen of it into the two rivers.

2) Likewise, if it's Tar Valon, why is the high number of recruits surprising? Big city = big pool.

I think being able to find even one male channeler in Tar Valon would be surprising. I'll grant you a weakness in my argument, in that Taim explicitly links the harvest to the size.

3) If it's a continuous thought - "Tar Valon will tremble at our numbers, I harvested that blackberry bush personally" - why is there a paragraph break?

But it's not a continuous thought. The first paragraph is a general report on the recruiting status of the Black Tower. The second paragraph is a sly boast about a daring personal accomplishment. Megaduck@74 explains it better.


4) If it's Tar Valon, why do we never meet any Ashaman recruit from Tar Valon?

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. We know the hometowns of maybe six Ashaman. Just because none of them happens to be from TV is not evidence that no recruiting was done there. Do we know any Aes Sedai from Tar Valon?

5) Rand has a order to all the Ashaman, and Taim specifically, to stay away from all Aes Sedai. They may defend themselves but are not to seek them out, not to give AS any more reason to oppose Rand. Rand will hold them personally responsible for any harm to Aes Sedai and orders them to stay out of Caemlyn. Given all this, why would Rand have reversed his thinking long enough to send Taim to the seat of Aes Sedai power - esp. under a Red's leadership? How could he possibly expect this to go off without a confrontation? Esp. when there's even random fly-speck villagers have sometimes protested the recruiting parties?
6) Ok, that was several questions. But all related. :)

Well, obviously Taim did this behind Rand's back, and is tweaking his nose with it. Equally obviously, he would use more discreet/underground recruiting tactics in TV. There's more than one way to skin a cat. I'm pretty sure the U.S. Marine Corps recruiters don't behave the same way in Texas and in Berkeley.


7) Assuming Rand somehow reversed his thinking in that way (but had reinstated by the time the Reds attacked the Black Tower, as shown by his rage at the Ashaman who bonded Aes Sedai), why would he send Mazrim Taim to Tar Valon personally, when as a notorious False Dragon who'd killed AS when originally captured, he'd be far more likely to be recognized than anyone else the Black Tower could send?

Again, Taim went behind his back.

8) Taim (mostly?) stopped going recruiting personally once there were men who could Travel who could do it for him. But we have confirmed, reliable reports of Taim recruiting in the Two Rivers - Tam in KOD ch 29 f'r example. If Rand *didn't* order Taim to recruit in the Two Rivers, why did Taim decide to do so?

The conclusion that Blackberry Bush = Tar Valon does not in any way imply that Taim did not recruit in the TR, or that Rand did not order him to. Taim would only go on particularly delicate recruiting trips - and both Tar Valon (on his own initiative) and the Two Rivers (following Rand's orders) qualify.



My own opinion is that the wording of this letter strongly favors Tar Valon, but all the other circumstantial evidence favors the Two Rivers.

The wording of the letter favors TV for the same reason that when I just said "the letter" everyone knew I was talking about Taim's letter. Nobody thought I meant Mat's letter to Nynaeve and Elayne in Ebou Dar. It's the current context. It's what's being discussed.

On the other hand, all the other circumstantial evidence points to the Two Rivers. Yes, it makes sense that the Ashaman would avoid TV, despite Taim's attitude problem. Yes, it makes sense that Taim would report to Rand, and that he would do it in code. If only the text read "The Blackberry Bush" there would be no argument.

I can only suggest two ways to resolve this:
1) Jordan screwed up, and wrote something ambiguous which was meant to be clear (Bush = TR, not TV).

2) Taim deliberately and cunningly phrased his letter so anyone else reading it would think he meant TV, and wouldn't even think that there was another hidden meaning.
D R
143. Ouroboros
@Many on the swirly-color-thingy.

Cadsuane's first visit with Rand and Berelain is around the same time that Mat first meets Octopussy - sorry - Tylin. Since this is a big moment for Mat, this could be the connection.

I don't by the idea that LTT was the cause of the swirl in the reread chapter. If he was I'd expect Rand to see a bigger swirl when he starts up again at the end of chapter 14. It's very well established that the boys see the swirls when one of the others is doing something important but we're not made privy to it. It's a very small swirl, "just out of sight", so if it was triggered by a specific event involving Mat or Perrin it must have been only mildly important. Maybe, Mat nearly broke his neck getting out of the bath.

Another possibility is that the swirls sometimes flair up for no reason at all, like a random discharge.
Bonnie Andrews
144. misfortuona
All re Blackberry Bush (sort of)
Okay, I'm already on record as being in the Blackberries are best in the TR, so that's the sort of.

Anyway I'm wondering about the 40 male channelers collected from the TR and what they're importance could be in the final battle.

One would think that these guys would be on Rand's team, home town favorites and all, but they've been personally collected by and under the influence of the certainly DF, maybe FS, Taim.

How dificult would it be for him to use the very connection that these men have to Rand against him? He could easily play on the fact that Rand didn't come to the TR when the Trollocs attacked, didn't come personally to recruit, and hasn't shown up ever to check on thier progress.

Taim: "Yep I can see why you'd be loyal to a guy who's shown so much loyalty to home."

How will Rand, and the other TR supers for that matter, react to two score of thier own on the wrong side come TG?

Mis-musing on a Saturday morning
Sandy Brewer
145. ShaggyBella
Re: Rand going Mental

Rand, your average 18 year old farm boy, has had a series of very large shocks to his system.....(not necessarily in the right order)

The 2 Rivers is attacked by trollocs and he has to run for his life. His father is not his father anymore & Rand has to give up his home, future wife and the livelihood he had planned on.

He had his dreams invaded by scary Ba'alzamon.

He realizes he is a male channeler and will go crazy & die.

He then has to accept he is the Dragon Reborn and will break the world and die.

He also has to accept he is the Car'a'carn for the Aiel and will be responsible for destroying them.

Crazy Lanfear tries to get him to rule the world with her and then tries to kill him.

He gets bonded by Alanna who tries to control him.

LTT shows up (in his head!) telling him to kill everyone and wanting to die.

The White tower Aes Sedai imprison him in a box and beat him.

Rand crosses the streams and now has flashes of Moridin.

Bonding Elayne, Min and Aviendha put 3 more people in his head!

It must really be crowded in there. This makes a total of seven counting himself! No wonder Rand is a nutter!
Oh, and now flashes of Mat and Perrin whenever he thinks of them. There are no psychiatric professionals or exorcists in Randland to help him out, except for Graendal I guess.

Not Yet! But soon.

I baked a batch of Elvis Cookies (PB, Banana & Bacon, of course!) I'll leave them in the bunker.
diane heath
146. jadelollipop
Had a busy and productive morning Cleaning/clearing up room as left by a 4 year old. @144 Thanks for mentioning the day. I did not realize it was Saturday!!
Oh I brought brownies for the bunker.
D R
147. Ouroboros
@many on the blackberry bush. Given the number of words expended on this I can only say that I hope these berries had better make a good vintage. Still, I might as well share in the love. *nods to everyone who has already said what I'm about to say, especially chaplainchris1 *

“I’ll make you a wager. You name the price. The first day I recruit, I will find as many men who can learn as walk into Caemlyn in a month on their own. Once Flinn and some of the others are ready to go out without me . . . ” He spread his hands. “I will match the White Tower for you in less than a year. And every man a weapon.” (LoC 11)


That's what the White Tower comment in the letter is about. Just that, and nothing more. The Tar Valon comment is exactly what it seems to be. "The Aes Sedai will poop their pretty little pants when they see how many of us there are."

“Taim, ... remember what I said about recruiting.”

I can hardly forget, my Lord Dragon,” the black-coated man replied dryly. “I will handle that trip personally. (ACoS 2)


Taim is being sent on a "sensitive" recruiting mission.

“I was hearing it was the Lord Dragon himself told the M’Hael to pluck up anything male in this Two Rivers that could channel, down to the roosters. With the number he brought back, I’m just surprised he didn’t bring the chicks and lambs, as well.” ...
Toveine hastily smoothed the sneer from her lips. Ignorant louts. The Tower accepted girls under fifteen only if they had already begun channeling. The other was interesting, though. The Two Rivers again. Everyone said al’Thor had turned his back on his home, but she was not so certain. (WH Prologue)


Taim went to the Two Rivers recruiting and Rand wants it kept quiet, hense the code. It's a small place but he found a surprising number of recruits, or blackberries.

"Fellows like him visited the Two Rivers a while back. One called himself Mazrim Taim, a name we'd all heard. A false Dragon. Only now he wears a black coat with fancy embroidery and calls himself the M'Hael. They talked everywhere about teaching men to channel, about this Black Tower." He freighted the words with sourness. "The Village Councils tried to put a stop to it, and the Women's Circles, but they ended up taking above forty men and boys with them. Thank the Light some listened to sense, or I think they'd have had ten times that." His gaze shifted to Perrin. "Taim said Rand sent him. He said Rand is the Dragon Reborn." (KoD 29)


The Two Rivers tried to stop the recruiting. That's why the bush was thorny. Also, telling the locals that Rand is now one of the most feared men in history is hardly an unthorny task.

Finally, there is no reference anywhere in the entire series of recruiting missions to Tar Valon, and any such missions would be pointless since this is the last place in the world that you'd expect to find men channeling. On the other hand, there have been several references to recruiting in the Two Rivers.

The best evidence of all however, is that my dog says it's so, and he's really got a nose for this kind of thing. QED.

I've still got ale for any who wants it!
Chris Chaplain
148. chaplainchris1
Ouroboros @ 114 - been laughing for the last 5 minutes. I esp. like going shopping for a keyboard with Caps lock! *giggle snort bwah hah hah choke breathe*

@121 Lurking Canadian - just *maybe* Rand's playing a long game. In KOD when Logain comes to tell him about troubles at the Tower, he makes that comment about not striking at the target your enemy presents you. Similar thinking stood him in good stead in tSR and tFOH - so maybe he's right.

Course, he was really crazy by KOD!

@144 misfortuona - on 40 TR Ashaman on the wrong side - chilling.

@ various re: the blackberry bush - *deep breath* - nope, not going there. La la la la can't hear you....

Hey, cookie...yum yum yuh - uck, what the cr*p is this? PB and bacon, what kind of sick, Shadow-twisted mind would *gags, spits* Ptui!...THE STORM IS COMING!!!!
Tricia Irish
149. Tektonica
ChaplainChris:

Watch Sub's link at 137...the first one. Peanut butter and bacon are two of the world's great smells/flavors. Together, heaven.
Megaduck
150. Jonathan Levy
Wall-'O-Text about Blackberries warning. People who are inclined to skip the whole post are invited to read the last two paragraphs anyway.

More for chaplainchris1@98

Asked and answered - though not to your faction's satisfaction. The sentence doesn't push it toward Tar Valon at all. "Tar Valon" in that sentence doesn't mean the city or its people. It means the Aes Sedai. In this letter, Taim uses Aes Sedai=White Tower=Tar Valon. Tar Valon *as a city*, rather than Tar Valon as another name for the White Tower, is never mentioned.


It is true that "Tar Valon" is used as a proxy for "The White Tower". This does not preclude it from being referenced as a placename. For example, if the letter has read: "...Tar Valon will tremble at our power. I harvested that island city myself..." how many of us would have wondered "Wait, which island city is he talking about? Far Madding? He hasn't mentioned any island cities recently, except as proxies-for-all-aes-sedai which doesn't count, so I have no way of knowing which city he's talking about. This is so confusing!". But in fact, there is no confusion. Therefore, "That Blackberry bush" can very well refer to Tar Valon. Even if your final conclusion is true, this argument does not support it.


For the rest, any gloating Taim is doing is only over the success of their recruiting. Recall that Taim isn't tweaking Rand's nose over breaking rules and getting away with it. Rand ordered him to harvest the blackberry bush (in ACOS).


Excuse me? How can you ask me to recall this when this is the point you are trying to prove? This is circular reasoning. Rand ordered him to recruit in an unspecified place in aCoS, which was identified as the TR in WH. Whether this is the blackberry bush or not is in dispute.

So the gloating and nose-tweaking you think you see? You're imagining it. Taim's reporting that he followed orders.


This is an interpretation which assumes your conclusion is correct, not an additional argument in support of it.

So, you have to envision, not a scenario by which Taim foolishly and cheekily went to Tar Valon. You have to envision a scenario by which Rand ordered him to do so, and trusted him to go unsupervised, and not cause trouble with Aes Sedai, and not get caught, and not get hurt or hurt someone else.

I can't think of the word for this, but it starts with l and ends with udicrous.


The word you were looking for begins with "S" and ends with "traw man". The whole Blackberry Bush = Tar Valon argument assumes that there were two expeditions, one to the Two Rivers and ordered by Rand, and one on Taim's own initiative to Tar Valon. The expedition to TV is a minor and inconsequential detail which only serves to illustrate Taim's independence and arrogance. It is therefore mentioned only once at this point.

Also, wherever the blackberry bush is, it's a place that Rand ordered Taim to recruit from.


Again, you are assuming precisely the point that you need to prove.



This is quite reasonable, and is not disputed. What is being disputed is whether this is the issue being discussed in the letter. You have not realized that this is the point being disputed, and therefore you continue to assume that which you should be trying to prove.



Now you are beating your straw man. No-one suggested that Rand ordered Taim to TV.

Oh, and 'Tar Valon is small compared to "an entire district"?' Uh...no. Not even. The boys think Baerlon, *outside* the Two Rivers, is a great city when they see it. Emond's Field, Devin Ride, and Watch Hill are, together, miniscule when compared to Tar Valon. There is no way this argument is logical.


This is like saying "New York City is small compared to North Dakota? Not even! Fargo, Bismark, and Grand Forks are, together, miniscule when compared with New York." If a person is thinking about square miles, then North Dakota is larger than New York City. If one is thinking in terms of population, New York City wins. But since a recruiter is much more likely to be thinking in terms of population than area, this argument of yours does have some weight.

On thorniness - I'm repeating myself - but Tar Valon isn't thorny, it's suicidal. Rand is concerned enough when thirteen Aes Sedai arrive in Caemlyn to flee the country, pausing barely long enough to send Taim a warning and reiterate that he's to stay away from AS. Going to Tar Valon alone = looney.

Thorns, by the way, are an inconvenience, not a life-threatening hindrance. The arguments you give about why TRs stubborness wouldn't be a serious hindrance while AS power in Tar Valon would, to my mind, proves that the TRs is thorny whereas TV is death. And gentling.


Remember that this is Taim speaking. This is not the narrator. The "BB=TV" theory assumes that Taim is being cheeky here. That he took a huge risk out of arrogance, and is tweaking Rand's nose by describing it as a minor annoyance. Why are you treating his description as if it were an objective statement of fact by an undisputed authority?


"Now, finally, we simply look at the quote itself. The subject is TV."

No. The subject is recruiting, and how soon their numbers will match Tar Valon's numbers. The White Tower's numbers. The AS's numbers.


The last place-name mentioned is Tar Valon. It is quite reasonable to interpret "That Blackberry Bush" as referring to it. The geographical context is TV. Now it's quite possible that Taim starts talking about something completely different in the next paragraph, but if so, he did it in a very confusing way.


"TR is never mentioned."

What is mentioned is 'that place you told me to recruit from in ACOS'. Whether or not the TR is mentioned is exactly what's at issue...


No. What is mentioned is "That Blackberry Bush". Whether this is that place Rand told him to recruit from in aCoS is what is actually in dispute.


That's enough for now, I think. I will summarize my opinion in case my arguments have given the wrong impression:
1) The text of the letter strongly suggests TV.
2) The circumstantial evidence strongly suggests TR.
3) Either Jordan screwed up (having TR so strongly in his mind that he didn't realize the text implies TV), or Taim was being doubly cunning by referring the The Blackberry Bush in a context which deliberately suggested TV, whereas only Rand would know he meant TR.

I think the first step forward here (unless both factions actually enjoy talking past each other) is to admit (1) and (2) and then start thinking. If people keep insisting that the text clearly and unambiguously refers to TR just because they think it has to (because of the circumstantial evidence), then we'll get nowhere. Similarly, ignoring the circumstantial evidence just because the text seems clear doesn't help either.
Sydo Zandstra
151. Fiddler
I am behind, as usual. I just can't spend much time online. I'll live. I read about 100 posts in this thread (and will continue for the rest tomorrow)

But what I just can't understand is why some people think The Blackberry Bush that Taim 'plucked' was not the Two Rivers. Tar Valon? Come on and think again. Would any Asha'man gate in there?

This was so obvious to every reader (including Leigh) from when PoD came out and not even a point of discussion back on Usenet, so I am surprised this is even discussed as a real plot option here. As has been stated, we see men from the TR as Asha'man in later books. Case closed.

Good night :)
Bonnie Andrews
152. misfortuona
Just cause
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddQoU9x7Azs&feature=fvsr

Mis-behavin
Jack Diamond
153. violetdancer
Apologies for posting without reading any comments, but Leigh, you triggered a thought on the swirling colors and LTT's absence/return.

We now know that the separate voice was never in Rand's head. What if when he can't hear the voice and thinks LTT is hiding, that's when he and LTT are integrated as one person, a precursor to the big joining in TGS. I can't go back and read, but perhaps some people who are more behind in reading than I am can check this out. Since LTT disappeared, has Rand been crazier than usual?
D R
154. Ouroboros
Leigh didn’t quote this but I think it’s great so I will.

Absently, Hopwil touched his left sleeve, where the black color disguised fire-scarred wool. The Seanchan had not died easily or fast. “I piled the bodies in a hollow,” he said in a flat voice. “The horses, everything. I burned it all to ash. White ash that floated in the wind like snow. It didn’t bother me at all.


I'm wondering if that's the hook for the chapter title. Either way, it's creepy... and great.

JennB @ 93: Happy times! Congrats and good luck.

subwoofer @ 125: Maybe the Black Ajah were all sent on HR courses. Can you're manager channel?

Freelancer @ 127: 8-bit WoT. Why not, it's a lot shorter. CoT was four memos long.

misfortuona @ 144: I would like to think that some of that Two Rivers stubbornness will kick in and they'll be on Rand's side. That said, if there are any Congas and Coplins in there we could be in trouble. Taim also has the hostage option. We also don't know how many of the men at the Black Tower are now on Taim's side, regardless of where they came from. The number with him at the end of KoD was pretty big.

BTW, my neighbours cat disagrees with my dog and thinks that the blackberry bush is Tar Valon, but she's a cat and biased. And I've now stopped caring.

I still have plenty of brownies but the ale is almost gone. *looks meaningfully at toryx*
Noneo Yourbusiness
155. Longtimefan
Just to clarify my stance on this bushel of blackberries. I do not care where Taim went, I do not like the use of "That" instead of "The". That is just me picking nits(which are not as tasty as blackberries).

All of this debate over one little word.

Next thing you know Asmodean will not have said "You? NO!" but "UNO?!" Phonetic red herring is the least delicious kind but it makes the killer so obvious because he was named at the time Asmodean died.
It was Uno. How he did it? It is even more obvious that he is Demandred gathering the army of the rebel Aes Sedai behind Gareth Byrne as his unwitting proxy.

Uno was the one visiting Masema's dreams to make him crazy. Uno was the one who led Nynaeve and Elayne to Salidar. Uno was the gathering and training an army using Gareth Byrne as a figurehead. It is so clear! Uno is Demandred who channeled to Camelyn, killed Asmodean and has been setting the stage for chaos and betrayal from all sides.

What other words were poorly used or incorrectly substituted? When Perrin said he had no sisters did he mean no sisters with him at that moment? Did he know what that having no sisters meant since he did have sisters who were killed. Is the word sisters suspect in all cases? Do the Aes Sedai who are refered to as sisters even exist? Are they dead? Are they powerful ghosts walking the land? Are the Seanchan really uptight ghostbusters using collars instead of proton packs?

OH MY GOD! What story have I been reading for the last 20 years? What is going on!

Everything is a lie, A LIE! oh the horror of it all.

(sobbing)

Seriously, one word and there are probably 100 comments not talking about how the word is questionable at best but how the blackberry bush must be one location or another.

I am fine with the blackberry bush being the Two Rivers I am just irritated at Taim (a fictional character) using "that" instead of "the".

It is my nit and I will pick at it. I do not care if it gets infected. I have some very excellent nit cream that should soothe the irritation in 3-4 days.

(and yes I know what a nit is and no I do not have any nor have I ever had any. I do not share hats or combs with others. My life is exactly like a 1950s film strip.)

On the whole "Men from Two Rivers who can channel and what will happen to them now that the big battle is approaching" topic.

I think that many of the younger ones may be ignored in the first go round of warder bonding by the Aes Sedai currently at the Black Tower but with Egwene's contingent also allowed to bond Ashaman it may be possible that the 47(?) men bonded may be comprised mostly if not entirely from the Two Rivers group.

This would not only put them firmly on the side of Team Light but would also place them in the majority of men who will work with Egwene to bring the two towers together.
Alice Arneson
157. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan @155 - You express my sentiments excellently. Who knew "that" could be such a point of contention? Wow!! Uno... LOL.

Ouroboros - I think you're right on the origin of the title. I usually read the chapters before the new post comes out, just in case they shed more light than the recap in certain areas. I didn't get to this time. The quote you gave makes me shiver every time; he should just be a kid, but you can almost see the taint growing...

(Oh, yeah, I was helping toryx "move" the ale earlier... sorry...)
D R
158. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 157. : he should just be a kid, but you can almost see the taint growing...

Seeing all the other stuff the Asha’men do can't help with the sanity either. The meet grinder at the end of LoC would have given me nightmares. Talk about shell shock. I wonder if we'll ever find out how much of Rand's behaviour is taint induced or just good old fashioned "I can't take much more of this". The one that really gives me the creeps is in TDR.

The Power still filled him, the flow from saidin sweeter than honey, ranker than rotted meat. Abruptly he channeled—not really understanding what it was he did, or how, only that it seemed right; and it worked, lifting the corpses. He set them in a line, facing him, kneeling, faces in the dirt. For those who had faces left. Kneeling to him.

“If I am the Dragon Reborn,” he told them, “that is the way it is supposed to be, isn’t it?” Letting go of saidin was hard, but he did it. If I hold it too much, how will I keep the madness away? He laughed bitterly. Or is it too late for that?


(At least the ale is going to a good cause. You mentioned ginger ale in the last thread. I know it's not the same thing, but you sometimes get real ginger beer in pubs over here. It's properly brewed with alcohol and everything. Good stuff!)
Alice Arneson
159. Wetlandernw
Okay, I wasn't going to beat poor Bela any more, but I have to refute a point made by Jonathan Levy @150:
1) The text of the letter strongly suggests TV.
2) The circumstantial evidence strongly suggests TR.
3) Either Jordan screwed up (having TR so strongly in his mind that he didn't realize the text implies TV), or Taim was being doubly cunning by referring the The Blackberry Bush in a context which deliberately suggested TV, whereas only Rand would know he meant TR.

1) The text of the letter may suggest Tar Valon, but not strongly. It can be interpreted that way, but the case would actually come much closer to "strong" if the paragraph hadn't broken there.
2) Agreed.
3) There is no need to assume this is a mistake, whether Taim was being devious or not. Using "that" to refer Rand to a previous conversation, to which only they two were privy, is not only an acceptable but common and often needful usage. For what it's worth (more to some than others, I'd guess), if I were writing this letter, I would most certainly say "that blackberry bush" rather than "the blackberry bush" to refer to the Two Rivers. If Rand created the "blackberry" code, I would say "that" to remind him of the particular bush we had discussed. If Rand did not create it, I would use "that" (even more!) to make sure he understood that I was referring to a previous conversation, relying on the context of recruiting to make sure he knew which conversation.

Frankly, the only reason anyone could possibly assume that he meant Tar Valon is that it was mentioned in the previous paragraph. To insist that it therefore must mean Tar Valon based on the text is to put indefensible restrictions on the scope and craftsmanship of language.

Ouroboros - that scene was totally creepy. At that point I was seriously worried that our boy had lost it. Fortunately, following events (Tear and the Waste) convinced me that it was more a matter of too much time alone, brooding over his fate and still in the process of coming to terms with it. All those things make me like Boreane in this chapter - I, too, feel sorry for these poor guys, particularly in this pre-cleansing state. They are so badly needed to fight the DO, but doing so guarantees them only horror and death. Poor kids.
T C
160. Freelancer
As usual, Wetlandernw has the grammar duties well in hand. When referencing a previously established subject, object, or objective as Taim was, employing "that" is the most correct thing to do.

In the conversation which precipitated this part of Taim's message to Rand, he was reminded about a certain trip Rand expects to be made, and Taim had previously stated that he would handle it himself. Now, when speaking of the same subject, he says, in effect, "I took care of that." This also strongly indicates that they had established the code of blackberry bush in advance, so that nobody else would realize the location being discussed. (Which also only fits the Two Rivers. Rand and Taim wouldn't feel the need to hide, after the fact, that they did a recruiting trip in Tar Valon)

OK, Bela, RIP.
John Massey
161. subwoofer
One thing- okay there are many things- but for this reread, what is bugging me is the whole Taim thing. What in the name of Poseidon is going through Rand's noggin if he is ignoring disaster in the making? As we find out later when various Asha'man come hunting Rand, things are not as they seem.

What is more, Logain of all the guys out there, actually has Rand's back. I dunno if that was on purpose, or if Logain is just diametrically opposed to Taim. In either case, a douche is on the loose and Rand is worried about the political intrigues of a bunch of nobles. Geeze, buddy, you have bigger fish to fry, get the pan and get goin' already.

OTOH, the impact of Rand's musing makes me think, if the Asha'man are floored by Rand's idea of cleansing Sadin, what would be the impact of those musings posed aloud at the Black Tower. Instant loyalty, close to worship? This is jumping ahead, but do the dudes in black coats know it was Rand who did what he did?

For that matter, and on a completely different track, do Ny and Elayne et al. get credit for healing the weather? There are many good deeds going unpunished around here.

Woof™.
John Massey
162. subwoofer
Incidentally, has anybody noticed- A LIE jumbled around spells AIEL?

Woof™.
Noneo Yourbusiness
163. Longtimefan
Bela gets no rest. She is a hearty little pony who carries on under the greatest duress.

As I have stated I really do not care where the blackberries grow, however....

The Gathering Storm, Chapter 13 page 219.

"Gawyn shook his head as he approached the Mayor's house. (in Dorlan a remote village just outside of Tar Valon) The main body of the Younglings was camped...behind the building. Once that patch had grown blackberries..."

Dun, dun DUN!

This proves conclusively, definitively, and irrefutably that blackberries grow in Dorlan.

Well, had grown since the wacky weather and the Younglings have seen to their demise.

"-the men were constantly grumping about picking blackberry thorns out of their skin-"

Does this mean Taim went to Dorlan and recruited Ashaman from the Younglings?

Totally!

Ha-HA, first the bait, then the switch, then the flimmity flam!

This horse is singing with the bleeding choir invisible!
Noneo Yourbusiness
164. Longtimefan
@ 161 Subwoofer

Min had a viewing of Taim as the Condor and Logain as the Penguin.

She told this to Rand and he told them to build a tower out of stone. He is not too swift because of the whole head talky madness thingy of being reborn and Sadin usey and the king no one takes seriously to many, many, many different peoples.

This plan however will not cleanse Sadin of the taint as much at it will purge the Sadin wielding darkfriends from the Black Tower.
Tricia Irish
165. Tektonica
Longtimefan@155: Loved it! I don't care either. There are bigger nits to pick and I don't have any either. LOL

**Longtimefan has killed the Horse.**

Mis, I sincerely hope that the TR boys in the BT are recruited to Team Light or there's going to be loyalty issues for Rand when it comes time for the show down at the Black Tower corral. As LTF pointed out @155, Egwene's crew may be helpful in rounding up the TR Boys.

PS: Just got back from The Blue Anchor, ( our authentic reconstructed English pub), where Smithwicks is on tap! Shepherd's Pie and peas....ah to be in England, even if for an hour......
John Massey
166. subwoofer
So is Taim the one responsible for the current batch of Dreadlords?

Woof™.
John Massey
167. subwoofer
PPS- I left a pint of raspberry gelato out for a little and mmmmmmmmm... slightly melted gelato- soooooooo good:)

Woof™.
Megaduck
168. AndrewB
JennB -- Best of luck. With any luck, your bundle of joy will be sleeping through the night when ToM comes out.

AndrewB
Alice Arneson
169. Wetlandernw
And then you can pretend that the baby woke you, and that's why you were up most of the night... Just don't let anyone see how far your bookmark moved overnight. :)
Megaduck
170. Jonathan Levy
Longtimefan@155

Just to clarify my stance on this bushel of blackberries. I do not care where Taim went, I do not like the use of "That" instead of "The". That is just me picking nits(which are not as tasty as blackberries).

All of this debate over one little word.

Next thing you know Asmodean will not have said "You? NO!" but "UNO?!"


Your nit is my nit. The whole misunderstanding hinges on a poorly chosen word.

LOL on the UNO theory. :)
Mikey Bennett
171. EvilMonkey
Sub @166

Taim took care of the Dreadlords, Ishy and Alvarin took care of the Dreadladies.

N e ways, hard to believe so many walls o text are dedicated to Taim's letter, but good discussion nonetheless.

I am definetely more worried about the sickness in the Black Tower. I can understand why Rand leaves Taim alone to make of the tower what he will. Taim is a super bad guy and he is gonna cause hell for Rand bfore the Last Battle, but the truth of the matter is that Rand needs him. Super bad guy aside, if Taim has proven anything he has shown that he is an effective teacher with a gift for organization. I cannot think of another male channeler that could have come up with the BT campus idea and the lesson plan that makes such effective weapons that they can stand toe to toe with damane who have made killing with the power into art form after 1000 years of practice. Rand neither has the time nor the skills to build the BT to the size it is or train the hundreds of men who go there. I think Rand is trusting the pattern not to turn up too many DFs or Taim converts for him to deal with before crunch time. Or maybe the pattern sent him Logain.

Apology for some of the run on sentences. All I can say is Serenity Now, Serenity Now, Serenity Now. Insanity Later.

Shadowkiller
Theresa Gray
172. Terez27
Hey Leigh,

I haven't read everyone's comments (I will probably have time for that later), but after a good deal of thought on the situation, I think it's pretty clear what the re-appearance of Lews Therin means, in this chapter. The concept was touched on in the FAQ article on the subject, but I think the idea evolved just a little bit as time went on.

Rand always used Lews Therin as a way to express his paranoia and mistrust of male channelers, particularly Taim. I think Rand has good instincts when it comes to Bad People, but it was made clear enough in Lord of Chaos that Rand felt he couldn't afford to pay those instincts any mind. He needed Taim to run the Black Tower for him; therefore, Rand's mistrust for Taim had to be suppressed.

In this chapter, it's Torval rather than Taim, but it might as well be Taim, as it's one of his minions, and a representative of the Bad Guys of the Black Tower. I thought it interesting that Rand denied Lews Therin three times, like Peter; he denied that he needed Lews Therin's voice to tell him not to trust Torval. In the end, he came agonizingly close to actually stabbing Torval in the heart with the Dragon Scepter.

I think that at that point, on a subconscious level, he realized that he did need Lews Therin's voice to express that mistrust; without the alternate personality to express it, he became more dangerous. He was no longer able to separate himself from the madman lurking beneath the surface. And I don't think that his wanting to kill Torval was a sign of madness at all, any more than his desire to kill Taim was. But Rand has for various reasons come to see it that way, and in order for him to see it any differently, he has to confront his mistrust of Taim, which he is not ready for at this point. So instead, Lews Therin returns.

Before, Lews Therin had 'gone away' because Cadsuane brought it to Rand's attention that hearing voices is common among men going mad from the taint. So Rand pushed the 'voice' away, thinking to deny that which appears to make him a madman; he seems to have pushed away completely the part of himself that is Lews Therin, and as a preface to Lews Therin's 'return', Rand began to dream of the Age of Legends...because Lews Therin was a part of him, no matter how he tried to suppress the fact.

When he encountered Torval, the scales shifted, and the implications of the 'voice' were less dangerous than the implications of Rand's own paranoia. Better, safer, to allow Lews Therin, the 'madman', to express that paranoia.

I like your comments on Rand being alone. Of course, that's prefaced in the previous book, in the chapter 'To Be Alone' (in Perrin's point of view), where Loial comments on Rand sending all of his friends away (and it's also just after he 'sends' Lews Therin away). I will have to go back and look at your entry on that chapter to see what you wrote about it. :D

Rand notes in A Crown of Swords that the first time he saw the colors was when he was in the box, at Dumai's Wells. Since it connects him to Mat and Perrin, I'd say it came about because of his need for them, and his need to be connected to them. I don't think it has anything to do with Lews Therin, though it often makes Rand think of Lews Therin, because he lumps all of his head-phenomenon in together sometimes - Lews Therin, the colors, the bonds, and the Other One. And in TGS, the proverbial 'small voice'. :D

Anyway, when Rand was in the box, everyone thought of him, including Mat, Egwene, and Logain (on top of everyone who chased after him). I love Logain's speech to Egwene, about how he wished he could be with Rand, rather than holed up in Salidar with nothing but his 'revenge' against the Reds.

Rand's chapters in this book are actually some of my favorites in the whole series. But the first book I had to wait for was Crossroads of Twilight, so that might have something to do with it. My obsession with Lews Therin might also have something to do with it. I have a thing for psychologically unbalanced heroes, and though I'm happy Rand finally got his healing on Dragonmount, I'm also happy he's still got Moridin to deal with. He'll be in better shape to deal with that after Dragonmount, but that will be enough to keep it interesting until he dies.
Megaduck
173. OwMasha
Not to overstep here, everyone, but I am very disappointed in you.

Seriously. Not ONE BlackBerry joke?

Do you even realise what it would have meant for the series if Taim had found a way to provide a smartphone to every single Asha'man? We would have had characters communicating with one another in the WoT-verse.

Come to think of it, are we sure they don't have BlackBerries? If they're all busy texting each other and playing Civilization, it's no wonder we haven't heard anything ...
Megaduck
174. KinoSupremo
Yet another point in favor of blackberry being TR (sorry bela, i heart u ) :
its stated that a standard recruiting trip brings back about 4 people. 10 times as many brought out of TR. nuff said.

re: dashiva; i dont remember my exact conclusion from the first read but i do remember thinking something was fishy. i also remember hoping that it would turn out to be a more surprising plot twist than him being forsaken. so i guess what i'm saying is that i suspected him, but was hoping it would be something more awesome than what was starting to get obvious.

and now to a random thought i just had: we see tons of sword duels and OP duels in the series. we also see lots of practice sword duels. where are the practice or non-lethal OP duels? i wanna see a couple of OP users duke it out without the purpose of killing each other, just the purpose of seeing who is more of a badass. perhaps we'll get to see one when rand and egwene finally appear on-screen together again. that would be friggen sweet. on like...so many levels.
John Massey
175. subwoofer
@OwMasha- C'mon now, I know it was lame but I did make a comment in passing at 109 so nyahhhh:P

I dunno, I think Taim is using a Motorola running Droid, Blackberry's days are getting numbered.

Woof™.
Megaduck
176. Gorbag
Just to butt in - I trust we're all singing from the same choir-book, and the scattered references I keep finding about TV refer to Toilet Ventilation?

Now I, a retired plumber, have to worry about why anyone would ever recruit male channellers from the toilet ventilation ... I do trust Taim is by now thoroughly mad?
Theresa Gray
177. Terez27
As for the confusion about why Rand gets the colors when he's talking to Berelain...I have brought this up at Theoryland before. I think it has something to do with the fact that Berelain's act is to cover Perrin's departure. Rand probably had Perrin on his mind during that scene, but he didn't consciously make the connection because he didn't really have it figured out yet at the time..
R B
178. MasterAlThor
JennB,

Congrats, on your baby. Hopefully he gets a cool name like Lan or maybe Mat. If she is a girl then you got a slew of names to pick from. She may hate you for it, but still you got plenty. Avi is the best in my opinion.

By the way, my wife's name is Jenn and our last initial is B. Could have caused some confusion for those not paying attention. We are done with the baby producing part of our lives.

Our,

You got eM'Hael. That has to be the best inside joke ever. My family still is looking at me weird. You get the gold for that my friend.

Bunker,

Ok, I know I am late, but I am bringing in goodies made by my very own personal JennB. (not to be confused with the soon to be new mom) I personally have made BBQ Ribs (slow cooked over a coal grill, not boiled and no gas grill) and my wife made Broccoli Salad. (it's good it's got bacon in it) We also made Sloppy Joe Dimaggio's (thank you Rachel Ray)

MegaDuck,

Your Ren & Stimpy quote was

I picked them myself


That just happens to be what Stimpy says when he is talking about his magic nose goblins. Figure it out.

DragonofthebackyardbbqSeptofthegladsummerishereAiel
R B
179. MasterAlThor
Terez,

If I am correct you are saying that LTT is a construct?

Huge argument about htis a few post back. Leigh's camp believes that LTT is a construct, others think that he is a real voice in Rand's head.

I count myself in the second group. My point is this, I can't buy your theory about Rand using LTT as a way to distrust male channelers.

You make valid points and I follow you logic, but I disagree with the premise that LTT is a figment of Rand's imagination.

DragonoftheLTTisrealSeptoftheIamnotcrazyAiel
Tricia Irish
180. Tektonica
MAT@178 &9:

Rand as a construct: I think both camps are correct. Why? Because, I think Rand has these random insights and thoughts and he doesn't know where they come from, so he "assumes" it is the "character of LTT" in his head.

He has now, post Dragonmount, figured out that they are, in fact, his memories from when he was LTT. He understands now that he has lived many lives and they are past thoughts of his own in a different Turn of the Wheel. Does that make sense?

Now that he fully accepts who he is and was, he hopefully will have access to more of LTT's valuble information.....what went wrong at the Bore, what should've happened, how to do certain things, etc.

As for BBQ ribs....I can't wait to taste yours! (I would actually LOVE to). I've never tasted any done over coal. ( Coal fired pizza is the rage here in my home town.) But ribs...yum. My husband has a wood smoker he uses for them and they are terrific. You're right, no stinking "boiling" and "gas". Meh. Your salad sounds great....hope there's some left.

TekoftheSamandtheSpearSistersSeptoftheGabblyAiel
Megaduck
181. chaplainchris
@155 longtime fan - re: Uno/Demandred - I've heard crazier! Oh, and ROFLMAO.

Re: blackberries - lah lah lah lah lah! I'll be good, I promise!
Theresa Gray
182. Terez27
MAT@179 - haha, you aren't the first. But that's okay; it doesn't change the fact. ;) The theory is internally consistent; every single instance of the voice in Rand's head can be explained by a psychological phenomenon, and Rand even admitted the fact at the end of TGS, when he said that they were not two men, and never had been. Read what Min says in ch. 15 - she's got the right of it, but Rand is fixated on the idea of Lews Therin being another man because it allows him to pretend that he is not the Kinslayer.

I think the 'Lews Therin is real!' reaction is sort of a knee-jerk reaction, and it's mostly tied up in the way that Rand interpreted the surfacing of Lews Therin's memories. Because Rand perceived Lews Therin as a separate person, so did we. And now, even after Rand has realized that they were never actually separate, some fans still cling to Rand's erroneous interpretation.

Another reason for the knee-jerk reaction might be the erroneous belief that the construct faction thinks that Lews Therin is fabricated. We don't believe he's fabricated at all; we just believe that he died and was reborn as Rand. We don't just believe that; we know that. Lews Therin is Rand; therefore anything that makes him appear to be otherwise has to be illusory. It just so happens that with Rand, there is a perfectly logical explanation as to why that illusion was created, and it begins with the simple fact that Rand was raised to believe that Lews Therin was not only another man - a figure out of legends - but 'the most hated, the most feared man in the history of the world'.

For what it's worth, Theoryland was just about the only message board where this theory was argued after Leigh's generation of fandom dispersed, and the believers in the construct theory were relatively few before TGS came out even at Theoryland. After TGS, it's exactly the opposite: there are very few Theorylanders left that deny the construct theory; nearly every fence-sitter jumped on the construct bandwagon, mostly because the events in TGS, even the wording that Brandon used to write it, reiterated the arguments that the construct faction has been making for all these years. Only those who were die-hard supporters of the 'real' theory continue to believe it.

It's easy to show how the construct developed because of Rand's interpretation of events.

Consider, for instance, the fact that Lews Therin's voice disappears in the dream with Moridin, in TGS. Rand says that the 'pieces of himself' fit together better there, in the dream.

Brandon was asked on the TGS tour why Lews Therin disappeared in the dream, and Brandon wouldn't answer, because he said it would give away too much about the nature of the voice, and he had agreed as per RJ not to ever reveal the truth about Lews Therin.

Go back to TFOH, when Rand goes to Tel'aran'rhiod to fight Rahvin. When he goes there, Lews Therin's voice disappears.

As soon as Rand realizes that Lews Therin's voice has disappeared, he thinks to himself that maybe he has chased Lews Therin away for good. Rand is quite happy about that.

Then, all of a sudden he feels odd. Insubstantial. He begins to fade away.

Rand assumed that he had fallen into some trap of Rahvin's devising, but we know something about Tel'aran'rhiod that Rand does not: stray thoughts can easily become reality in the Dream. We know from Rand later in TGS that the pieces of himself fit together better in Tel'aran'rhiod. It makes sense then that Rand became insubstantial, when he essentially denied himself.

What followed was simply Rand's usual identity crisis - the same thing that has been happening to him all through the book as Lews Therin's memories begin to surface more frequently - but this time, he's in Tel'aran'rhiod, and what he believes actually shapes his reality.

He says to himself 'I am me!', and this echoes in the Void, because he and Lews Therin are not two separate people, and never were: this is confirmed as of TGS. It is only natural that it is difficult to use Rand's features, because the knowledge of how to manipulate Tel'aran'rhiod comes from Lews Therin's memories, not Rand's.

Rand assumes that Lews Therin tried to take over. But we know that Lews Therin's voice disappears in the dream, because the pieces of Rand fit together better there. It only makes sense that Rand misinterpreted what happened because he is predisposed to disassociate himself from Lews Therin.

Furthermore, if Lews Therin really was trying to take over, then we are left with a contradiction. Why would Lews Therin's voice disappear in the Dream in TGS, but somehow be capable of taking over in the Dream in TFOH, back when Lews Therin is supposedly not yet fully aware (which is supposed to explain why he and Rand don't have a 'conversation' until LOC)? It makes no sense.

And so on. Every Lews Therin scene in the books makes more sense when it is considered that Rand and Lews Therin are the same person.

ETA: Also, consider the Seanchan prophecy at the end of TGS. In what way was Rand blind? How was that healed on Dragonmount? The construct theory explains everything; even the fact that he 'stood on his own grave' confirms that he and Lews Therin are one and the same (as if we didn't know that already). Rand was blind because he continued to believe that Lews Therin was a separate person; he is no longer blind because he's realized that is not true, and never was. He finally faced the guilt of the Kinslaying - which is exactly what he has been avoiding all this time, ever since he first realized where the memories came from - and he finally forgave himself, which he was not able to do in his past life (hence the creation of Dragonmount in the first place).
John Massey
183. subwoofer
Hmmmmmmmmmmm... interesting. Did RJ dispel any of the ambiguity of the theories? I have not really thought this through myself, heck I do this, read WoT and everything else just for fun, beyond that it feels like a job, and I work hard enough.

I am about to cross over to the Dark Side. So there is this person named Cranky Pants. Beyond the "Phawing" and calling grown men "boy", and everything else that is annoying about her- and by calling her annoying I know I am giving folks who are annoying a complex- she does mention to Rand about hearing voices.

I am assuming some of the False Dragons she has been playing around with have heard similar voices. Were they crazy or was LTT reborn as them too? And was this what Sammy and Demandred were referring to as facing LTT thousands of times in the past?

Inquiring dogs want to know.

M A T- ribs? Now?! Buddy, that is like showing up to a New Years party January second. But, I suppose as I theoretically live within Traveling distance, I can pop in for a quick bite...

Edited for question marks.

Woof™.
Megaduck
184. Hrothgordo
I will only touch upon the “blackberry” briefly as it was never the point of my original post (the swirling colors were).

The issues I had were in context of the letter and the description of thorny, and honestly I thought the TV, Far Madding or Seanchan would all equally fit that “thorny” title. And each has some reason for Rand to suspect a solid amount of channelers in their midst.

No one is disputing that Taim went to the TR. And with all the evidence the TR camp has shown it is most likely the “bush”. But I cannot consider it proven because it seems like a classic Jordan red herring.

This is especially since the most damning evidence is Taim personally making the trip. Personally, I see that as Taim being an a-hole who would have thoroughly enjoyed being the one to tell Rand’s friends and family the news all while recruiting men directly whom he might use against Rand (as weapons or hostages).

Short Version

Blackberry = TR (most probably, but not going to fall out of my chair if/when another shoe drops).


As to the colors, you can read my post back @31 for my full interpretation. But it basically boils down to this:

1. Colors = Rand “seeing the Pattern”. I saw it as Neo sees the Matrrix as code.
2. LTT persona = translator of the colors as the persona acts as a buffer between Rand and various amounts of “TMI”.
3. Mat/Perrin are able to be “viewed” as Rand is so familiar with them as to translate completely.
T C
185. Freelancer
Don't forget that Mat and Perrin have the same abilities to view each other via the swirling colors, whenever they think of one another. So for that to be a manifestation generated from Rand's own mind means he can project it so well as to induce the same condition into the minds of two people scattered across the land from him. Not plausible. This is an effect which the Pattern itself has determined to be a necessary adjunct to having three critically important ta'veren be close friends from the same village.
Megaduck
186. Hrothgordo
No, the color swirls are a product of being such an extreme ta'averen. They definitely are not an effect of being LTT reborn or a male channeler.

Rand is able to better interpret these flashes, if only subconciously, from his past lives (during most of which we can assume he was probably a ta'averen.)

Rand does not project anything to Mat or Perrin, we can assume as much since at least one viewing by Perrin occurs while Rand is asleep.
Thomas Keith
187. insectoid
Gorbag @176: BAHAHAhahaha!! It all makes sense now... ;)

Bzzz™.
Vincent Lane
188. Aegnor
Haven't finished catching up on the comments, but I just had to comment on the blackberry bush thing. I immediately knew, and felt it was self evident, that he was referring to the Two Rivers.

I harvested that blackberry bush myself. A small bush, and thorny, but a surprising number of berries for the size.


Note he says a small bush, an thorny? How in the world does Tar Valon fit with that? It is certainly not small. And thorny fits very well with Two Rivers, as the Orcs and Whitecloaks both found out.

Rand grimaced, putting the… the blackberry bush… out of his mind. What had to be done, had to be done. The whole world paid a price for his existence. He would die for it, but the whole world paid.


Why would Rand grimace if the blackberry bush was Tar Valon? And the whole thing about what had to be done, had to be done; and the whole world paying a price? It makes little sense if he were referring to Tar Valon, but it perfectly fits with the Two Rivers. It sucks that the TR had to be recruited, but it had to be done. Also, I could have sworn that we saw where he first implied that the two rivers would be a good spot to recruit (sometime after the event in LoC where he meets the girls from the TR in Camelyn).

Honestly there is absolutely no doubt in my mind, whatsoever, that they are talking about the TR. There never has been since I first read it.

But I can't brag too much, as I totally missed the whole Dashiva thing, even with how obvious it is upon re-reads.
diane heath
189. jadelollipop
I am still reading LOC and have meant to comment a number of times re: Rand and his being isolated from the Maidens,Nynaeve,Elayne, and his "wives to be". being a reason for his increased mean streak. I don't count Egwene as one who would keep him on the straight and narrow. IMO,Egwene has done more to abandon Rand than Mat,Perrin,Nynaeve etc. She may be the Hermione Granger of the WOT world but she is far to judgmental. (Rand hid her from the Tower embassy sisters and she was freaking out that she was surrounded by the taint in Saidin.) Maybe it is because she is so quick to become Aiel,Aes Sedai, Wise One, etc that her holding on to the fear of a man who channels etc annoys me. I recognize that RL is full of people afraid of male channelers (and for the most part with good reason) but if one of the reasons that the Maidens,wives etc are good for Rand is because they treat him as normal than Egwene is definitely not in that group. She has assumed he is mad or nearly so since Tear. She doesn't like that he is changing. That he is arrogant etc. When that is not always the case but her view of Rand. She doesn't really learn new things but applies these "new things" to rationalize her own previously held ideas...
Not sure how clear this post is but every time I think to mention it I read new comments about blackberries etc and forget.
T C
190. Freelancer
Aegnor@188

For starters, I agree with you. To answer your question, the Tar Valon proponents are saying that it must be small, since it's an island. Well, Australia's an island too. So is Japan. Ok,let's say a place that is just one city, and is an island. Hong Kong? A city doesn't have to be small to be an island. Tar Valon isn't. It's every bit as large a city as Cairhien, almost as large as Caemlyn.

Again, you are right that Rand would neither grimace or be reluctant about seeking for men who could channel at Tar Valon. About "using" the people of his home, he is not sanguine, and never has been. But, he does what must be done.

As to the argument that since it immediately followed comments about Tar Valon it must be connected, it's in the same message. The main body of the message is completed. Then, with a new paragraph, something like a PS, the comments about the blackberry bush. If it were an additional thought about Tar Valon, it would be included in the same paragraph.
R B
191. MasterAlThor
Terez,

That is the most complete argument I have heard for LTT being a construct. Kudos.

Now for my rebuttle.

RJ said that LTT and Rand were 2 bodies with one soul.(I am pretty sure that is the way of it) The key here is 2 bodies making them two seperate beings. It is of no real matter that Rand is LTT reborn.

My arguement against the construct theory is that it does not match up with classic psychosis. Granted it is a story and so RJ could change it to match what ever he wanted.

Let's look at some of the things that say that he is a seperate entity.

1. LTT starts bleeding memories through to Rand.
From weaves to how things in the Age of Legends looked.

2. Semi says that Rand was hearing LTT's voice.
You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives...It makes no differece that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse.


3. When Rand was on Dragonmount he had a moment of clarity. He finally remembered all of his past lives. This is where the reintergration takes place, fusing all of the past Dragons on to the current one. This might seem like a point for your arguement but I say that the reintergration makes sense only if there was something else to reintergrate. Thus LTT was a seperate entity that needed to be set right.

Also I think that the...unfitting...was a direct result of the DO's counterstroke. The taint made it possible that when the Dragon was reborn there would not be the complete intergration. In short the template slipped when the press came down.

In short I think that we are just arguing two sides of the same coin. You believe that LTT is real because he is Rand. I believe he is real because he exsisted and his life was different from Rand's. We all know and believe that Rand and LTT are one in the same.

Sub,

Hey slow cooking ribs takes an increadibly long time if you are doing it right. Sorry I got to the party late but looky here, I brought more goodies.

*hands out Boston Cream Cheesecake*

Shoryuken
John Massey
192. subwoofer
@M A T-gesundheit.

Not to be a party pooper, cause I am still on the fence myself, but I have my own thoughts on the matter.

On the one hand Rand hears voices, Cranky Pants knows about this and suddenly Rand can do all sorts of funky channeling that a guy with fuzzy face hair should not know how to do. Yay.

OTOH a construct more or less works too. Hence the term "Dragon Reborn", same guy, same soul. "Rand" is just the mental shelter created as the soul of the Dragon is going through the formative years. It would be a serious bummer Merlin or Benjamin Button-like to be fully aware at 18 months old. Unless you are born fully grown. As the personality is coming into its own, growing up, gaining it's full mental faculties, the Channeling begins, and that is the trigger for the old soul of LTT to awaken- Dune-like. Hence why Rand seems to be re-hashing the past.

I think that it is a huge eye opener for LTT to walk through the thingys in Rhuidean. I also think that it was LTT smacking Cranky Pants down when she calls him "boy" and Rand responds to CP appropriately. It will be interesting to see if LTT totally leaves the Rand personality behind or how the integration occurs or if Rand leaves LTT behind for the new personality. I dunno. After a few beers I cease making sense to me. Suffa! Another round!

Woof™.
Vincent Lane
193. Aegnor
Ok, now I'm caught up on all the comments. I was only up to about 40 when I made my post @188. I have to say I'm flummoxed. After I made my post I felt silly, as I figured that the argument would certainly have been long dead by now, with the couple people that put forth blackbery bush = TV saying something like "Oh of course, I don't know why I didn't see that before." Instead I read with incredulity as multiple people come forward supporting the ridicu... puzzling notion.

I don't believe RJ meant this to be a book spanning mystery, or even a chapter spanning mystery. I think he meant it to be read as "Blackberry bush? What the heck is he ta...Oh! Oh *sadface*".


There are tons of real mysteries in this series, that for some reason I find it aggravating that this false one is under discussion.

chaplainchris1@98 echos my thoughts perfectly when he said
So - let me apologize in advance if I offend anyone. You people are intelligent, engaging, and entertaining - otherwise I wouldn't be spending so much time here. I find it hard to believe that the TV camp is real, and I will not be sugar-coating my incredulity - sorry, and I don't mean it rudely.


It is difficult not being insulting, when it is like people are insisting that the sky is actually green. I know that the idea that Taim is referring to TV isn't quite as ridiculous as that, but its in the same ballpark. That obviously literate and intelligent people would make such a clearly stupid claim, and then insist on it even in the face of such overwhelming evidence, is baffling to me. I don't get it.

Edit: The LTT voice real vs not-real being a great example of one of those REAL mysteries I was talking about above.
Julian Augustus
194. Alisonwonderland
M-A-T @192:
Let's look at some of the things that say that he is a seperate entity.

Okay, let us please define terms. What do you mean by "entity"?

I am genuinely puzzled by those who claim that they understand Rand IS Lews Therin reborn, and yet insist that Lews Therin is a separate or real "person" coexisting with Rand in his head. I honestly fail to grasp the logic that allows one to believe that Lews Therin has been reborn and is walking around in his new life as Rand, and yet believe that Lews Therin is at the same time a different real "person" who "talks" to Rand. How is that possible?

I remember 12 years or so ago on Rasfw-rj arguing with someone about this after I published on my web-site a theory about Rand finally regaining his memories as LTT. This person insisted in all seriousness that a part of the LTT's "soul" has been used to create Rand and the other part was still LTT. I asked him what fraction of the "soul" had gone into Rand - half, a quarter, an eigth, three-quarters, .... and what did he think a "soul" was if parts of it can be in two persons simultaneously? That still puzzles me.

So, back to you, M-A-T. What two 'entities' are you talking about if you say that Rand is a separate 'entity' from Lews Therin?
Sharon E.
195. Sulin
Man, I missed all the discussion and the potluck! Did all my quesadillas and flautas get eaten that I dropped off at the bunker? ;)

I don't have a whole lot to say, I'm still processing Terez's incredible posts regarding LTT/Rand.

JennB@93- Good luck with the delivery and juggling two young kiddos! :)

Jek@107- Well said!

Ouroboros@114- I laughed so hard, my family thought I'd finally lost my last marble! "You've got eM'Hael" *giggle snort cough* @158- That scene was really creepy, it gives me chills each time I read it


Terez@172- "I have a thing for psychologically unbalanced heroes..." Ditto! :D Amazing, insightful posts here, as always. I bow to your powers of deduction!

Jade@189- I agree with you regarding Egwene. She may be smart/brainy, but she's too shifty for me. I began the series liking her the most out of the main women, but now I come a complete 180 degrees. When I read the part you referenced, where Rand hides her from the Tower embassy, I just wanted to slap her until her ears rang. Grrrrrr. I am, however, looking forward to she and Rand's reunion. (heheheheh) I hope he puts her in her place!

BTW, I spent yesterday as a Maiden of the Spear at a Renaissance Faire. Pics of my costume are on my profile if y'all want to check them out. The cool thing was, some people recognized us! :D

....okay, so I had more to say than I thought :P

SulinoftheShoufasReallyDoKeepOuttheHeatAiel
R B
196. MasterAlThor
Alisonwonderland,

Here is how I rationalize it.

How is it that Rand is answering himself as LTT?

How is Rand having a real conversation with himself if LTT is not a seperate entity?

Rand's psychosis is not what causes him to be able to make weaves or remember how things looked in the AoL.

Rand is not insane nor is he crazy. If you accept that, then you should accept that Rand is talking to his past life. And his past life is talking to him. He is not answering himself.

It is my theory that LTT is seperate in the way that his life and experiences are seperate from Rand.

I am not saying that Rand isn't LTT. I am saying that since they lived very different lives, even though one is the other reborn, that makes them seperate entities. But since they have been reintergrated they are now completely one.

Think of it like this, Sub said in his post that Rand's personality is what makes him different. When Rand starts to channel, he flips on the Dragon Reborn switch. But becauae of the taint, the imprint of the DR soul slips and so we get LTT.

LTT is not a construct or a coping mechanism. He is a part of Rand's soul. So now you say how does that make LTT a seperate entity?

Because they were not intergrated. Until they become truly one soul, they are seperate.

Those are my thoughts.

I see Terez's point and I applaud her well thought out and researched thesis, but I am not convinced.

The strongest part to my counter-arguement is the intergration on Dragonmount. If they were just all the same, there would be no need to intergrate. Which by the way is taking two seperate things and making them one.

You guys figure out that and I will cede my arguement.

Shoryuken
Julian Augustus
197. Alisonwonderland
Hey Sulin,

Great costume! Must have been a hoot of a party. I do say, though, that in a real fight any maiden trying to protect herself with that minuscule little shield would be toast!
R B
198. MasterAlThor
Sulin,

Love the pics! And I can't believe that you named your cat after the sound Wolverine's claws make when they pop out.

That's great.

DragonoftheIamimpressedAiel
Thomas Keith
199. insectoid
Sulin @195: Great costumes! By the way, your orange cat could be our Milo's twin (lots of Maine Coons out there apparently)! ;)

I'm tempted to grab 200...someone stop me!

EDIT: for spelling of all things!

Bzzz™.
Sharon E.
200. Sulin
Alison/M-A-T/Insectoid- Thanks! We made most of them ourselves. We had a blast yesterday, and a few people even knew who we were. The shields were smaller than a real buckler would be, but not by a whole lot. The practical translation: we were running out of plywood and leather ;)

MAT, Re SNIKT, you should've been around the little beastie when he was a kitten! He more than lives up to his name. I have the scars to prove it!:)

Insectoid RE- Maine Coons: we love them! They have the best personalities, IMO. Is yours a 20 pounder like our Cheddar? (yes, his name is Cheddar...*shudder*)
T C
201. Freelancer
Taking MasterAlThor's side, but making a small correction,

RJ said that Rand and LTT were two personalities, one soul. Not two bodies. Any scenario which provides for reincarnation must allow for this contingency, each life is a distinct person, a distinct personality, while being the same soul. Where Rand is special is that a previous live's personality becomes able to communicate directly with him.

I won't bother going on with all of the clear evidences that they are distinct and separate, since the construct proponents will just shrug their shoulders and claim those evidences are varieties of different psychoses, and explain them away.

The only thing more I have is to ask for proof, aside from the supposed schizophrenia necessitating LTT, that Rand is insane. Each time that someone wonders if he's lost it, there is clear evidence that he's making a decision which is founded on rational sense given the situation he's in. If he was imbalanced at all, there would be more. The only times when Rand is truly out of control is when he is trying to wield Callandor, which contains its own source of madness.
Alice Arneson
202. Wetlandernw
Re: the LTT/Rand construct/separate-entity debate:
Mato: There have been rumors that you have said that Mr. Jordan did not have anything in his notes about the voice of Lews Therin, whether it was a construct or not. That or that you had sai--
Sanderson: I would like to clarify this, thanks for asking. I will NOT say that it was not in the notes. However, Mr. Jordan did NOT want to reveal this information, and therefore I shall not ever either. Mr. Jordan did not want to reveal it.
Harriet: What Brandon said.
Another person reported that BWS said that "Jordan was intentionally vague about the issue of Rand and Lews Therin’s one soul and what part madness played in the two identities." And another, "Robert Jordan never really intended to clarify on whether Rand is hearing Lews Therin because he’s insane or if he’s really there."

So you can argue it to your hearts content, but you will not ever get an authoritative answer. Somewhere (probably in a StormLeader report) I remember reading that BWS said RJ enjoyed all the discussion and debate about the question, that he had notes about it, but intended never to clarify for the readers how he thought of it himself.
Thomas Keith
203. insectoid
Sorry to continue off-topic, but...

Sulin @200: Thanks for stopping me;) And Cheddar is actually more creative a name than I could think of.

To answer your question... Milo's never been more than around 15lbs or so. (Our theory is that's because we raised him from kittenhood; all but one of our other cats have been strays, and all of those (except Two Socks) have gotten fat! Three cats over or near 20lbs in 20 years...) M was a very nice cat, until we took in another adult male cat... M is now a mostly outdoor kitty, since the renovations are finished (and we'd like it to stay nice for more than 5 minutes).

*twitch*

Bzzz™.
Theresa Gray
204. Terez27
Wetlandernw@202 - Yes, I mentioned in a previous post that Brandon agreed as per RJ not to reveal the truth about Lews Therin.

I've argued Lews Therin on Theoryland for years, and I never really believed that RJ would reveal the answer unless it was necessary for the plot. The champion of the 'real' faction at Theoryland was obsessed with asking RJ questions about it, to the point of harassing me to ask him about it while he was sick and no longer even blogging about WoT (I refused...and she is still obsessed with asking questions of Brandon about it). TGS was a lot more of a confirmation of the construct theory than I ever expected to get in the books; I expected the integration to be a great deal more vague than that when it happened, though I knew it would have something to do with Rand facing what he did in his past life.

The reason I never expected RJ to confirm it so easily is because he was never only aiming at us, as a readership. I think he realized that he was doing something that has never been done before, in the popular idiom, and I think he knew that some years down the line, his work would be appreciated by the academia, and that scholars would make their livings analyzing his work.

Just as Gawain's honor is one of the most discussed questions of Malory scholarship, Lews Therin will probably be one of the most discussed questions of RJ scholarship, and that is absolutely the way it should be. The reason why it's always been my favorite theory to debate is that the evidence for it spans the entire series, and it touches on some of RJ's most overarching themes (at least, it does from the construct perspective; from the 'real' perspective, it's just a supernatural phenomenon that makes little sense).

So, I'm glad RJ didn't want to confirm the theory so easily outside the books; that would have cheapened the effort he put into making the truth so counter-intuitively clear in the books, and it would have ended discussion completely. It was confirmed well enough in the books, in a way that the construct faction more or less predicted, but RJ's refusal to confirm or deny means that we won't have to stop pontificating on the subject any time soon.

Freelancer@201 - Don't make the mistake of ignoring Rand's revelation on Dragonmount - that he and Lews Therin were not two men, and never had been - in favor of continuing to accept the blind man's interpretation of events. All of the 'clear' evidence that they were separate is in fact quite ambiguous.

As for Rand's mental health...the only thing that was really making Rand crazy was the implications of Lews Therin's memories. Rand had a hard enough time accepting the responsibility of being the Dragon Reborn; accepting responsibility for the Kinslaying was another thing altogether. This is what caused him to disassociate himself from Lews Therin. Now that he has finally faced his past and allowed his memories to integrate with Lews Therin's, he'll be in much better shape mentally.

Rand was never insane - far from it. But there is a big difference between having mental issues, as Rand did, and insanity. The term is actually a legal term, rather than a psychological one: it implies only that the patient is incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong (and is therefore inculpable of crimes committed while insane). Lews Therin was insane, before Ishamael Healed him, and therefore inculpable; yet, he accepted responsibility for those actions, which led to his suicide. When Rand began to remember, he was in a similar predicament, but he at least acknowledged at the end of TGS that Lews Therin had the excuse of being insane when he killed everyone he loved. When Rand nearly killed Tam, he did not have that excuse. Rand may have been going a little crazy, but he was far from insane at that point, and still quite capable of distinguishing between right and wrong.

MAT@196 - The reason there was a need for integration is simple: Rand has been actively suppressing the part of him that is Lews Therin since he realized where the memories were coming from in TFOH. Rand had to accept those memories as his own before they could be properly integrated with his current incarnation's memories. The reason he has been suppressing them was that he could not accept the guilt of the Kinslaying (any more than he could when he made Dragonmount in the first place), and that is exactly why his acceptance led to the integration.

As to how he is answering himself as Lews Therin...how does he answer himself as Rand in TGS?

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 49 - Just Another Man

Here, the world spread before him.

Why have we come here? Rand thought.

Because, Rand replied. Because we made this. This is where we died.

He stood on the very point of Dragonmount, the lone peak that had erupted where Lews Therin had killed himself three thousand years before.

How does Nynaeve have a conversation with herself?
TITLE - The Great Hunt
CHAPTER: 8 - The Dragon Reborn

Nynaeve was not sure what she answered. Something that made them let her go on. She hurried away from the women's apartments, head swiveling at every crossing corridor to look for him, fists clenched. Light, what have they done to him? I should have gotten him away from Moiraine somehow, the Light blind her. I'm his Wisdom.

Are you?
a small voice taunted. You've abandoned Emond's Field to fend for itself. Can you still call yourself their Wisdom?

I did not abandon them
, she told herself fiercely. I brought Mavra Mallen up from Deven Ride to look after matters till I get back. She can deal well enough with the Mayor and the Village Council, and she gets on well with the Women's Circle.

Mavra will have to get back to her own village. No village can do without its Wisdom for long.
Nynaeve cringed inside. She had been gone months from Emond's Field.

"I am the Wisdom of Emond's Field!" she said aloud.

A liveried servant carrying a bolt of cloth blinked at her, then bowed low before scurrying off. By his face he was eager to be anywhere else.

Blushing, Nynaeve looked around to see if anyone had noticed. There were only a few men in the hall, engrossed in their own conversations, and some women in black-and-gold going about their business, giving her a bow or curtsy as she passed. She had had that argument with herself a hundred times before, but this was the first time it had come to talking to herself out loud. She muttered under her breath, then pressed her lips firmly together when she realized what she was doing.

Psychological constructs are fairly common, precisely because of the 'small voice' phenomenon. We can talk to ourselves in our head all day long.

Rand isn't actually hearing anything - if he was, he wouldn't so often have such a hard time differentiating between his own voice and Lews Therin's - he's just having internal head-conversations.

It actually took a great deal of effort for Rand to be able to have anything resembling a 'conversation' with Lews Therin, just as it takes some time for schizophrenics to construct the voices that they share their heads with. Rand's effort spanned two whole books - TFOH and LOC.

Yes, there was some separation before the integration, thanks to Rand's active suppression, but since the suppression happened on a subconscious level, then it was never quite as simple and straighforward as a separation between 'Rand' and 'Lews Therin'. Rand most often remembered Lews Therin's memories directly; the voice almost never shared useful information. He actually recognized the Forsaken, and he actually remembered his dealings with them in his past life. He actually feels the pain of Ilyena's death personally:
TITLE - The Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 43 - This Place, This Day

A memory slid across the emptiness. Not his; Lews Therin's. For once he did not care. In an instant he channeled, and a ball of fire enveloped the top of a hill nearly five miles away, a churning mass of pale yellow flame. When it faded, he could see without the looking glass that the hill was lower now, and black at the crest, seemingly melted. Between the three of them, there might be no need for the clans to fight Couladin at all.

Ilyena, my love, forgive me!

The Void trembled; for an instant Rand teetered on the brink of destruction. Waves of the One Power crashed through him in a froth of fear; the taint seemed to solidify around his heart, a reeking stone.

Clutching the rail until his knuckles ached, he forced himself back to calmness, forced the emptiness to hold. Thereafter he refused to listen to the thoughts in his head. Instead he concentrated everything on channeling, on methodically searing one hill after another.

This quote is particularly interesting because it shows exactly why Rand actively suppresses Lews Therin's memories. When the first memory surfaces, Rand has no problem with it because it is useful information. But the acceptance of that memory leads to Lews Therin's sharpest memory: the pain of Ilyena's death. Rand essentially shuts his brain off and goes on autopilot in order to avoid those memories.

Along the same lines, he also refused to acknowledge his mistrust of Taim and Torval. He also refused to acknowledge his fear:

TITLE - The Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: 24 - A Time for Iron

Rand reined Tai’daishar around near the crest of the bare, stony hill to watch most of his small army spilling out of other holes in the air. He held hard to the True Source, so hard it seemed to tremble in his grasp. With the Power in him, the sharp points of the Crown of Swords pricking his temples felt at once keener than ever and utterly removed, the midmorning chill both colder and beneath notice. The never-healing wounds in his side were a dull and distant ache. Lews Therin seemed to be panting in uncertainty. Or perhaps fear. Maybe after coming so close to death the day before, he did not want so much to die anymore. But then, he did not always want to die. The only constant in the man was the desire to kill. Which just happened to include killing himself, often enough.

There’ll be killing enough for anybody, soon, Rand thought. Light, the last six days were enough to sicken a vulture. Had it only been six days? The disgust did not touch him, though. He would not let it. Lews Therin did not answer. Yes. It was a time for iron hearts. And iron stomachs, too. He bent a moment to touch the long cloth-wrapped package under his stirrup leather. No. Not time, yet. Maybe not at all. Uncertainty shimmered across the Void, and maybe something else. Not at all, he hoped. Uncertainty, yes, but the other had not been fear. It had not!

See how it works? :) Lews Therin is Rand. 'Lews Therin', the 'voice' in Rand's head, expresses all of Rand's undesirable thoughts and emotions. It will be interesting to see how Rand deals with his mistrust of Taim in the next book.

Sulin@195 - I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks balanced heroes are boring. :D

Alisonwonderland@194 - You remind me of the 'two and a half souls' people at Theoryland. Though in their defense, I think it was always intended to be a joke.

@various - The Tar Valon blackberry bush theory is ridiculous. Hang it up people! I mean, it would be different if it hadn't been confirmed shortly thereafter by Tam that Taim had personally gone there recruiting, something that Taim rarely does these days. Tam said that Taim took 40 men - 40! - and that he might have had ten times as much (!) if he hadn't put their backs up.
Megaduck
205. Jonathan Levy
Aegnor@193

It is difficult not being insulting, when it is like people are insisting that the sky is actually green. I know that the idea that Taim is referring to TV isn't quite as ridiculous as that, but its in the same ballpark. That obviously literate and intelligent people would make such a clearly stupid claim, and then insist on it even in the face of such overwhelming evidence, is baffling to me. I don't get it.


I'm not sure to what extent I represent "the TV camp", but if you will read my posts carefully, you will see that I am not, in fact, "insisting on it even in the face of such overwhelming evidence". I am quite willing to accept this conclusion, while still maintaining that the letter out of context leans more to the TV interpretation. The main reason this argument lasted so long is that some people in the TR camp not only claimed that their interpretation makes more sense overall (which I am willing to grant), but that no other interpretation was remotely conceivable. If you are of this opinion, and want to understand where I'm coming from, let me suggest the following exercise:

Pretend you are reading the book for the first time. You don't know yet that Rand sent Taim to recruit from the two rivers. The meaning and significance of the conversation with Taim (in aCoS) is still unclear, so it's not in your mind when you get to this point. Now read Taim's letter, and try to understand what he's talking about.

Do you get a completely inconsistent mishmash of words that makes no sense? Would you conclude just from the letter that the Blackberry Bush absolutely, positively has to be a place other than Tar Valon? Or do you say "I suppose the Blackberry Bush means Tar Valon, though it's a strange way of referring to it? TV is thorny. 'Small' is not the first description I'd choose, but Taim is being arrogant as usual. Rand grimacing is because of Taim's arrogance, and the big risk he took". It fits. Not perfectly, by any means, but it fits. Besides, there isn't any clear alternative at hand.

Now years later, when you read a blog where people bring all the other evidence, would you be convinced that TR fits better than TV? I'm sure you would, and so, in fact, was I. But if someone said that the TV interpretation was ludicrous, and that it was logically inconsistent, and adduced weak arguments and straw men to prove this (e.g that TV must mean Rand ordered Taim there), would you sit quietly? Well, perhaps you would, but I did not. Perhaps I should have.

Personally, I think that the TV/TR division depends on how aware of the TR recruiting drive the reader was when he fixed the meaning of this passage in his mind. I suppose that speaks better of the TR camp than of the TV camp, for having more mastery of small details in this instance, but I have never been too proud to concede that.

As you say you are a newcomer to this argument, I would refer you to the last two paragraphs in post 150, where I state my opinion as clearly as I can, in case you wish to dispute it. :)
Megaduck
206. Jonathan Levy
Wetlandernw@159


1) The text of the letter may suggest Tar Valon, but not strongly. It can be interpreted that way, but the case would actually come much closer to "strong" if the paragraph hadn't broken there.
2) Agreed.


I'm glad we found some common ground, even if we don't agree perfectly. Progress!


3) There is no need to assume this is a mistake, whether Taim was being devious or not. Using "that" to refer Rand to a previous conversation, to which only they two were privy, is not only an acceptable but common and often needful usage. For what it's worth (more to some than others, I'd guess), if I were writing this letter, I would most certainly say "that blackberry bush" rather than "the blackberry bush" to refer to the Two Rivers. If Rand created the "blackberry" code, I would say "that" to remind him of the particular bush we had discussed. If Rand did not create it, I would use "that" (even more!) to make sure he understood that I was referring to a previous conversation, relying on the context of recruiting to make sure he knew which conversation.


With this, I must disagree.
"The Blackberry Bush" - the definite article (the) means I am referring to an established BB. Since no BB was mentioned until this point in the letter, I *must* be referring to something we discussed earlier.

"That Blackberry Bush" - Two interpretations:
1) Just like with "The Blackberry Bush".
2) I am referring to a previously mentioned place-name, and am now calling it a Blackberry Bush as a metaphor. The most recently mentioned place-name is Tar Valon, so this is probably what he means.

Because of the ambiguity inherent in "that BB", if Taim is referring to a previously established code, he ought to use "the". This is why I believe the letter is poorly phrased.

In addition, people normally use "the" to refer to an established code. Examples:
"THE sling has been used. THE shepherd holds the sword." (Moiraine's note to Siuan)
"THE ring has been placed in THE bull’s nose. I expect a pleasant journey to market." (Galina's note to Elaida)
"THE eagle has landed" (Well...)

In all these cases, the writer refers to an established code word using "The". Not "That".
Theresa Gray
207. Terez27
I went backward in my responses in my last post, and I realized I didn't go back quite far enough.

MAT@191:
My arguement against the construct theory is that it does not match up with classic psychosis. Granted it is a story and so RJ could change it to match what ever he wanted.

Rand's psychological problems are caused by past life memories, which is a strictly-fantasy situation (unless you happen to believe in reincarnation). However, RJ used several characteristics of real-world psychological disorders, such as MPD and PTSD and schizophrenia, to make Rand's mental state as realistic as possible. Because what would you expect? I'm sort of forced to break Godwin's Law here, because there is really nothing else in this world that would compare to Rand's feelings about Lews Therin: how would you feel if you were found out you were Adolf Hitler reborn?

Of course, it's still not the same - Hitler did not have the excuse of insanity - but the world did not accept Lews Therin's excuse in their remembrance of him, which is why Rand said this in book 1:
TITLE - The Eye of the World
CHAPTER: 3 - The Peddler

"What kind of need would be great enough that we'd want the Dragon to save us from it?" Rand mused. "As well ask for help from the Dark One."

Lews Therin did not accept that 'excuse' either, even though he had every right, which is why he killed himself. He was reborn as Rand, and he was forced to remember. It has not been a pleasant experience for Rand.
Let's look at some of the things that say that he is a seperate entity.

1. LTT starts bleeding memories through to Rand.
From weaves to how things in the Age of Legends looked.

Rand starts remembering these things. The first example that is clearly an example of Rand remembering is here:
TITLE - The Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 9 - Decisions

His stomach lurched. "Do you mean to kill me, then? The Light burn you, I —"

"Kill you?" she spat incredulously. "Kill you! I mean to have you, forever. You were mine long before that pale-haired milksop stole you. Before she ever saw you. You loved me!"

"And you loved power!" For a moment he felt dazed. The words sounded true – he knew they were true – but where had they come from?

Rand remembers - to the point of knowing that the words were true - but he doesn't yet understand. There is no evidence here of a voice in Rand's head. This is the first appearance of 'Lews Therin's voice':
TITLE - The Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 2 - Rhuidean

"There is no need you scowling like that, Rand al'Thor." Egwene's voice was low, her eyes irate; she held on to her shawl as if she wanted to strangle him with it. "Lord Dragon, indeed! Whatever you are, you're a rude, ill-mannered lout. You deserve more than you got. It would not kill you to be civil!"

"So it was you," he snapped, but to his surprise she half-shook her head before catching herself. It had been Moiraine after all. If the Aes Sedai was showing that much temper, something must be wearing at her terribly. Him, no doubt. Perhaps he should apologize. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to be civil. Though he could not see why he was supposed to be mannerly to the Aes Sedai while she tried to lead him on a leash.

But if he was thinking of trying to be polite, Egwene was not. If glowing coals were dark brown, they would have been exactly like her eyes. "You are a wool-headed fool, Rand al'Thor, and I should never have told Elayne you were good enough for her. You aren't good enough for a weasel! Bring your nose down. I remember you sweating, trying to talk your way out of some trouble Mat had gotten you into. I can remember Nynaeve switching you till you howled, and you needing a cushion to sit on the rest of the day. Not that many years gone, either. I ought to tell Elayne to forget you. If she knew half what you've turned into..."

He gaped at her as the tirade went on, with her more furious than at any time since first coming through the bead curtain. Then it hit him. That little near shake of her head that she had not meant to give, letting him know it had been Moiraine who struck him with the Power. Egwene worked very hard at doing what she was about in proper fashion. Studying with the Wise Ones, she wore Aiel clothes; she might even be trying to adopt Aiel customs, for all he knew. It would be like her. But she worked hard at being a proper Aes Sedai all the time, even if she was only one of the Accepted. Aes Sedai usually kept a rein on their tempers, but they never ever gave anything away that they wanted to hide.

Ilyena never flashed her temper at me when she was angry with herself. When she gave me the rough side of her tongue, it was because she... His mind froze for an instant. He had never met a woman named Ilyena in his life. But he could summon up a face for the name, dimly; a pretty face, skin like cream, golden hair exactly the shade of Elayne's. This had to be the madness. Remembering an imaginary woman. Perhaps one day he would find himself having conversations with people who were not there.

Egwene's harangue shut off with a concerned look. "Are you all right, Rand?" The anger was gone from her voice as if it had never been. "Is something wrong? Should I fetch Moiraine back to —"

"No!" he said, and just as quickly softened his own tone. "She can't Heal..." Even an Aes Sedai could not Heal madness; none of them could Heal any of what ailed him.

This chapter has three instances of Lews Therin's memories, and this is the first we've seen of them since the bit I quoted above, from early in the previous book (the earlier appearance was obviously inspired by his having seen Lanfear, whom he recognized from his past life). The memories are getting stronger now, and Rand is starting to notice them.

In this instance, he has a pretty benign memory of Ilyena - he makes the comparison between Ilyena and Egwene - but he has no idea who Ilyena is, even though he can vaguely remember her face. He doesn't even classify it as a 'voice' yet - he just wonders where the hell the thought had come from, and assumes that he must be going mad.

But he's not going mad at all. He's just remembering his past life. A few chapters later, he sees Lanfear again, and then he understands where those memories are coming from:
TITLE - The Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 6 - Gateways

"You have two of them," she said finally. "I thought I glimpsed... One is a woman, isn't it?" Her smile could have halted a man's heart and made him grateful. "You are beginning to consider my plan, aren't you? With those, together, the other Chosen will kneel at our feet. We can supplant the Great Lord himself, challenge the Creator. We —"

"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.

And thus begins the identity crisis. Thereafter, all thoughts that Rand doesn't like are attributed to Lews Therin, whether or not they have anything to do with Lews Therin at all. It's actually quite similar to Rand's first identity crisis, which was admittedly minor in comparison:
TITLE - The Eye of the World
CHAPTER: 6 - The Westwood

"... battles are always hot, even in the snow. Sweat heat. Blood heat. Only death is cool. Slope of the mountain ... only place didn't stink of death. Had to get away from smell of it ... sight of it ... heard a baby cry. Their women fight alongside the men, sometimes, but why they had let her come, I don't ... gave birth there alone, before she died of her wounds ... covered the child with her cloak, but the wind ... blown the cloak away ... child, blue with the cold. Should have been dead, too ... crying there. Crying in the snow. I couldn't just leave a child ... no children of our own ... always knew you wanted children. I knew you'd take it to your heart, Kari. Yes, lass. Rand is a good name. A good name."
Suddenly Rand's legs lost the little strength they had. Stumbling, he fell to his knees. Tam moaned with the jolt, and the strip of blanket cut into Rand's shoulders, but he was not aware of either. If a Trolloc had leaped up in front of him right then, he would just have stared at it. He looked over his shoulder at Tam, who had sunk back into wordless murmur. Fever-dreams, he thought dully. Fevers always brought bad dreams, and this was a night for nightmares even without a fever.

"You are my father," he said aloud, stretching back a hand to touch Tam, "and I am – " The fever was worse. Much worse.

Grimly he struggled to his feet. Tam murmured something, but Rand refused to listen to any more. Throwing his weight against the improvised harness he tried to put all of his mind into taking one leaden step after another, into reaching the safety of Emond's Field. But he could not stop the echo in the back of his mind. He's my father. It was just a fever-dream. He's my father. It was just a fever-dream. Light, who am I?

This is rather similar to the scene at the Battle of Cairhien that I quoted in the previous post. Rand is very practiced at denial.
2. Semi says that Rand was hearing LTT's voice.

You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives...It makes no differece that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse.

The real'ers quote this bit a lot, as if it means anything. All Semirhage is doing is distinguishing between voices that are fabricated out of thin air and voices that are the result of actual past life memories. She's not an expert on the subject, and apparently Graendal wasn't either. But we have the advantage over the average psychiatrist in that we can actually get inside Rand's head and see what is going on there.
3. When Rand was on Dragonmount he had a moment of clarity. He finally remembered all of his past lives. This is where the reintergration takes place, fusing all of the past Dragons on to the current one. This might seem like a point for your arguement but I say that the reintergration makes sense only if there was something else to reintergrate. Thus LTT was a seperate entity that needed to be set right.

I've already addressed this somewhat, but one point that should be made is that Rand probably won't remember all of those other lives. It seems to have only been a momentary epiphany, in that sense; he finally realized that he and Lews Therin were one and the same, and that he had always been the same person, in all those countless lives he's lived before (just like Birgitte is only one person; she remembers her lives as if they were 'well-read books'...or she did, in Tel'aran'rhiod). The human brain can apparently only handle so many memories; that would explain why Birgitte is losing hers.

In short I think that we are just arguing two sides of the same coin. You believe that LTT is real because he is Rand. I believe he is real because he exsisted and his life was different from Rand's. We all know and believe that Rand and LTT are one in the same.

Of course their lives were different. What matters is that they are the same person, and that Rand didn't admit that until his epiphany on Dragonmount. Before then, he actively disassociated himself from Lews Therin, and refused to believe that they were the same. Once he accepted it, his memories were integrated. The fact that the solution was entirely psychological should be a clue to the correctness of the construct theory. Otherwise, the integration was rather random.

Again, the Seanchan prophecy:

TITLE - The Gathering Storm

At the end of time,
when the many become one,
the last storm shall gather its angry winds
to destroy a land already dying.
And at its center, the blind man shall stand
upon his own grave.
There he shall see again,
and weep for what has been wrought.

—from The Prophecies of the Dragon, Essanik Cycle.
Malhavish's Official Translation,
Imperial Record House of Seandar,
Fourth Circle of Elevation.

Why was Rand blind? What did he see?
Maiane Bakroeva
208. Isilel
Jadelollipop @189:

IMO,Egwene has done more to abandon Rand than Mat,Perrin,Nynaeve etc.

How so? Egwene was the one who took it best when Rand being a channeler was revealed. She stood by him and helped him without any hesitation.

By contrast Mat's friendship with Rand _ceased_ when he learned about it. He was only in Rand's company after that when the Pattern forced him to and he spent all that time wondering how mad Rand was and wanting to get away from him. He didn't even need for Rand to use saidin on him to freak out!

Yes, Egwene didn't like how Rand was changing, but it was just the ubiquitous lack of communication/ basic mutual understanding between sexes, heightened by Rand's paranoia versus female channelers.
Egwene always stood by Rand and never even considered betraying him, whatever his fears.

Subwoofer @192:

As the personality is coming into its own, growing up, gaining it's full mental faculties, the Channeling begins, and that is the trigger for the old soul of LTT to awaken- Dune-like.

IMHO, using the Eye was the trigger for LTT's memories to awaken.
Before that, Rand was doing things that a wilder might do, channeling-wise, but after that he was doing some really funky stuff.
Also, he had that telling moment of not knowing who he was and who his companions were...

Which is why the Eye's creation was so crucial and worth sacrificing so many lives for.
The Dragon of the Third Age couldn't learn all that he needed naturally due to tainted saidin, hence the necessity of the "Dragon Reborn", who had channeling knowledge of his previous incarnation. IMHO, YMMV.
John Massey
210. subwoofer
Gawsh! I go on a minor bender and it is like napalm went off when I come home. Hi folks:) waves

Sooooooo...

@chaplainchris1- I have toh to you. Terez has just dominated the whole post and takes the title. Literally. The Wheel of Time Reread: The Path of Daggers, Part 9- is now the Wheel of Time Reread: Terez's proof that Rand is not Rand and is Rand. Rand is Luke Skywalker or Anakin. I dunno. Had to replace the scroll wheel in my mouse.

@Isilel- sure why not, it was around there anyways. LTT surfaced book one. I did say I dunno. Thank you. You complete me;)



Woof™.
John Massey
211. subwoofer
Geeze! Fat cats? Dang- put the lazy buggers on a diet and get them a personal trainer!

Woof™.
John Massey
212. subwoofer
I talk to myself all day long too. I'm the only person that answers and understands me sometimes.

@Terez- interesting stuff. Don't forget the bit with Rand's list for self-flagellation. Somehow of all the names of dead women Ilyena landed on there too and Rand did not question or remove it. Heck that name should be toppers as it was probably the first name of the fallen.

If you want to take it further, maybe the list that Rand beats himself with is for all the fallen, including the whole of his family that died at his hands. Hence the guilt, crazy or not.

It is pretty hard- from going to where he is the only son of a widower, to being adopted and mom and dad dead to being the douche that has killed his whole family- gah! I'm going bonkers just typing about it.

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
213. Tektonica
Good morning Peeps....nothing like a little Rand with my java.

Terez: Awesome and thank you. Wonderful read. It couldn't be clearer.

Sulin: Loved your costume.....perfect for the SATSS Band!
(Love the name Cheddar!)
John Massey
214. subwoofer
Morning Tek! 06:32 here. Just walked the dogs. Good times:)

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
215. Tektonica
Good morning Sub and thanks for the greeting.

It's 8:35 AM here and I'm wasting time on the computer instead of going to the gym. Well, I do have to eat something, after all.

A dog walk sounds nicer than a gym, but it's already 80+ and humid here, so I'm inside now. Sigh. (And I don't have a dog at the moment...maybe I could borrow one....)
Marcus W
216. toryx
Oh boy, it's the two personalities argument. Again. I cannot restrain my joy.

Wetlandernw @ 202:

Somewhere (probably in a StormLeader report) I remember reading that BWS said RJ enjoyed all the discussion and debate about the question, that he had notes about it, but intended never to clarify for the readers how he thought of it himself.

So essentially, it is (and will forever be) Schrodinger's cat. We're all correct! Except, of course, for those who don't agree with me. :)

I'm astonished that the Blackberry Bush discussion is STILL going on. PoD is clearly driving us all insane.

Edit to Add: Wait, what happened to all the ale?
Rob Munnelly
217. RobMRobM
I stopped reading this thread at 4 p.m. EST on Friday and we have entered Wally World (short for Wall-o-text). I'm speechless, not at the 150 comments since that time but the extreme length of so many of them. Wow.

One point - don't have books with me but isn't this the chapter where Marcolin acknowledges serving under Tam, and makes a comment about how strange it is to serve under Tam's son? I've been hoping for a clarification of that perspective ever since I heard it. I'm sure there's story there (probably that would have come out in the Tam prequel novel RJ had planned). My theory is that Marcolin was ticked that Tam abandoned them after Dragonmount.


Rob
Tricia Irish
218. Tektonica
Toryx:

Hopefully the TV vs.TR is now dead.

Long live the Personality Conundrum!

We're obviously climbing the cliffs of insanity here.


PS: I can't find any ale and it smells like sour old socks in the Bunker. Suffa!
Get the PineSol.
Sydo Zandstra
219. Fiddler
subwoofer@161:

What in the name of Poseidon is going through Rand's noggin if he is ignoring disaster in the making? As we find out later when various Asha'man come hunting Rand, things are not as they seem.

He may have underestimated the situation at the BT. But he had to make choices on where to put his attention. At this time he escaped from an AS plot to capture him (and got saved by Asha'man), finished Sammael in Shadar Logoth and is suffering from results of the balefire crossing with Moridin.

One could ask the same for the whole Masema situation. If Rand had taken 15 minutes to gate in and set that straight, WoT would have been finished by now.


For that matter, and on a completely different track, do Ny and Elayne et al. get credit for healing the weather? There are many good deeds going unpunished around here.

No, not yet. The only person in authority who knew about that is Egwene. And since both Elayne and Nynaeve aren't around I doubt there will be a 'Yay for the Saviours of our Weather from the DO influence' ceremony. Knowing AS, they'll probably start blaming them for all of the rain and mud they had to plough through.


As for good deeds going unpunished, Nynaeve is the main contender for the title of most cool AS. Healing stilling, being involved in cleaning Saidin and having faced Moghedien and win should be enough to make her legendary among AS.
Theresa Gray
220. Terez27
Rob@209 and Tek@213 - thanks guys. :)

Woof@212 - Trust me, I didn't forget. Like I said, there's tons upon tons of evidence in the books for the construct theory, but I figured my posts were already long enough. I have always figured that the list of women is Rand's way of trying to assure himself that he's not like Lews Therin. But when Ilyena's name appears on the list, he's not about to complain because he really does feel the guilt of her death keenly - he just won't admit it to himself as such. Self-flagellation is actually a term I've used before to describe the list; I like to compare Rand to Dimmesdale from The Scarlet Letter.

toryx@216 - I've always said that arguing the construct theory was more about getting people to consider the possibility that all is not as it seems with Lews Therin than anything else, and there's an RJ quote that I always liked to use to make the point:

Sci Fi Weekly Interview March 29, 2004

Q: How did you go from nuclear engineer to writing fantasy for a living?

Jordan: Are you familiar with Schrödinger's cat?

Q: Yes—that's quantum physics. That's the theory that if a cat were put into a steel chamber with radiation, the feline would be alive and dead at the same time. This is because of the superposition of possible outcomes that exist simultaneously.

Jordan: Schrödinger's Cat is really a test in a way. If you can wrap your mind around Schrödinger's cat and accept that, than you are ready to take on quantum physics. I also think, if you can wrap your mind around Schrödinger's cat and accept that, than you are ready to write fantasy.


Sorry guys; didn't mean to dominate the thread. I get a little passionate about Lews Therin. :D Also, I have a thing for using quotes. That tends to make posts a lot longer. I'm glad a few people enjoyed it though.
Marcus W
221. toryx
Terez27 @ 220:

For what it's worth, I'm a large supporter of the Construct theory and have written many long posts about it in the past. But from our discussions here, I've also come to the conclusion that there's no way to convince those who disagree.

Awesome RJ quotes there. He did it on purpose! :)
Theresa Gray
222. Terez27
@Leigh again - So I went back to see what you wrote for 'To Be Alone'
Speaking of Rand, yikes.

…But that’s really all I have to say about him, since we will be dealing with his massive issues in future episodes.

LOL!
Tricia Irish
223. Tektonica
Terez:

No apologies....I'm always happy to read a well thought out and documented argument. I'm just a student here. Cue the cat.....

Good stuff over on the Open thread too. Thanks. It's nice having you around here!
Lucas Vollmer
224. aspeo
Wow people, I guess this is what I get for having a busy weekend! Let me just say that you all have done a fine job of beating a blackberry bush to death ;)
Since everybody has pretty much said everything I would have, I’ve only got a few thoughts to offer.

subwoofer@162
Incidentally, has anybody noticed- A LIE jumbled around spells AIEL?

Well technically they are a lie when you look at their history. They were a peaceful, pacifistic people. So all the honor they think they are fighting for is really a lie that is continually being perpetuated by the WO and clan chiefs, who were the only ones that knew the truth before Rand told it to everyone. The lie is so deeply ingrained in some of the Aiel that they couldn’t except it and became the brotherless (mera’din).

EvilMonkey@171
If you go with the theory that Ishydin is behind Taim then it makes sense that the black tower was set up so quickly and efficiently. Taim would have been told how to set it up, and what to teach the recruits that would turn them into the most effective killing machines.

Terez27@207
:applauds: That was an amazing bit of research! For what it’s worth, I agree that LTT is not a real person inside Rands head. It is the same soul and Rand is remembering stuff from LTT, but Rand’s mind made the voice; it was not another person.
Theresa Gray
225. Terez27
@toryx (since you snuck in on me) - good to know I'm not the first to pontificate on the subject here. I know what you mean about the real'ers being impossible to convince, but I have convinced quite a few over the years, so that might be why I persist in spite of the odds.

@Tek (sneaky, sneaky people!); thanks for the encouragement! It's nice to have a fresh place to post after all these years; the same old crowds of folks get boring after a while.

@aspeo - glad you liked it. :D
James Hogan
226. Sonofthunder
Terez@all,

Just wanted to say that I've finally fully converted to the construct side - I always wanted to believe that there was a "real separate personality/being" just because I liked that idea better. After TGS, I halfway converted, still not really liking the whole construct idea, but ceding the point because of the Dragonmount experience. With your posts here though, I think I've fully understood what the construct really means and how it relates to Rand's grasp on sanity despite the intrusions of old lives. And I finally "like" the construct theory because it really just makes logical sense now. So thanks. :)
Theresa Gray
227. Terez27
@Sonofthunder - YAY! Thanks so much for sharing; this is why I love arguing Lews Therin - IT ALL MAKES MORE SENSE THIS WAY. :D

See toryx? This is why I persist!
Marcus W
228. toryx
Terez27 @ 227:

Clearly, I need to take lessons from you on building an argument. But I'll really be impressed if you can convince Freelancer. Now that would be the day when I'd just write in all my posts, "Go talk to Terez."
:)
Karen Jacobs
229. KJacobs
Insectoid & Sulin: Hooray for Maine Coons! My Hunter & Selina are the definition of Joy :) They are both hovering around the 13-14 pound mark, but our vet would be happier if they stayed closer to 12 :(
R B
230. MasterAlThor
Morning Guys/Gals,

Terez,

I am enjoying this because you are making me dance a merry jig in defending my position. So let's dance.

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 49 - Just Another Man

Here, the world spread before him.

Why have we come here? Rand thought.

Because, Rand replied. Because we made this. This is where we died.

He stood on the very point of Dragonmount, the lone peak that had erupted where Lews Therin had killed himself three thousand years before.


You answered my question with a question. Well here is my answer. Rand is talking to himself and unless it is a misprint, he responds to himself. The important part, IMO, is that he asked the question to LTT.

I think that the response should have said that LTT replied, but it doesn't really matter because this is the beginning of fusing the 2 seperate personalities.

You quoted the passage with Nynaeve when she argued with herself. I don't think that is important because she is not trying to convince herself that the voice in her head is one of her past lives that she doesn't accept.

Yes you used that as a point-counterpoint thing. I get that. Everyone in WoT argues with their own choices, but who other than Rand and Birgitte, are remembering their own past lives?

You said that Rand uses LTT to cope with things that he doesn't want to face. Well Rand does not corner the market on denial. Look at Nynaeve. She is forever in a state of denial.

Ok, let's look at something else.

Rand isn't actually hearing anything - if he was, he wouldn't so often have such a hard time differentiating between his own voice and Lews Therin's - he's just having internal head-conversations.


There are numerous passages where Rand goes rigid at hearing LTT voice in his head. He doesn't have a problem there.

Ilyena never flashed her temper at me when she was angry with herself. When she gave me the rough side of her tongue, it was because she... His mind froze for an instant.


RJ said that LTT and Rand are 2 seperate personalities (Thanks Free). Those personalities have to be fused into one in order for Rand to reach his potential.

When I said that LTT memories were bleeding through to Rand, you pointed this out.

Rand starts remembering these things. The first example that is clearly an example of Rand remembering is here:

TITLE - The Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 9 - Decisions

His stomach lurched. "Do you mean to kill me, then? The Light burn you, I —"

"Kill you?" she spat incredulously. "Kill you! I mean to have you, forever. You were mine long before that pale-haired milksop stole you. Before she ever saw you. You loved me!"

"And you loved power!" For a moment he felt dazed. The words sounded true – he knew they were true – but where had they come from?


Actually this is one of the examples of LTT's memories bleeding through. I can think of an earlier one. Here is is.

The Dragon Reborn
Chapter 55

The tall archway leading out of the Heart collapsed as he reachedit, the entire wall falling in clouds of dust and rock as if to bury him, but he threw the power at it, and all became dust floating in the air. He ran on. He was not sure what he had done, or how, but he had no time to think on it.


Here is the key to this. NO ONE ELSE ever figures out how to do something without a previous memory of it. Before anyone goes and says Egwene figured out Travelling, let me just say that she had something to work with. A model if you will.

Forgive me for jumping around, but I am trying to deconstruct your arguements here. Ask around, people will tell you I find this fun. I really do appreaciate your arguements.

So let's talk about the intergration.

MAT@196 - The reason there was a need for integration is simple: Rand has been actively suppressing the part of him that is Lews Therin since he realized where the memories were coming from in TFOH. Rand had to accept those memories as his own before they could be properly integrated with his current incarnation's memories. The reason he has been suppressing them was that he could not accept the guilt of the Kinslaying (any more than he could when he made Dragonmount in the first place), and that is exactly why his acceptance led to the integration.


So what you are saying is that if anyone denies themself they will go through the same thing that Rand is going through? Why aren't Mat, Perrin, or Nynaeve going through this? How many times have each of them question themselves?

The intergration is needed because the personalities are seperate.

Here is something else to think on.

2. Semi says that Rand was hearing LTT's voice.

You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives...It makes no differece that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse.

The real'ers quote this bit a lot, as if it means anything. All Semirhage is doing is distinguishing between voices that are fabricated out of thin air and voices that are the result of actual past life memories. She's not an expert on the subject, and apparently Graendal wasn't either. But we have the advantage over the average psychiatrist in that we can actually get inside Rand's head and see what is going on there


We quote this a lot because it means this. That LTT's voice is real, not imagined. Not a result of some type of psychosis. Not the result of Rand suppresing his own memories or not accepting them.

What matters is that they are the same person, and that Rand didn't admit that until his epiphany on Dragonmount. Before then, he actively disassociated himself from Lews Therin, and refused to believe that they were the same. Once he accepted it, his memories were integrated. The fact that the solution was entirely psychological should be a clue to the correctness of the construct theory. Otherwise, the integration was rather random.


I have always agreed that LTT and Rand are the same person. Where I differ from you is your last statement. That the solution was entirely psychological and that otherwise intergration was rather random. Ok, so I have a lot that I disagree with you on but we have covered that. Let's talk about this last bit that I mentioned.

I am one of the people who gives Perrin a bad rap for being all emo-ey (ok that isn't even a word but you understand what I am saying). Perrin is going through some really mental stuff. He could lose his humanity, his wife has been kidnapped and his best friend is someone who is destined to break the world again.

Why isn't he needing to reintergrate?

Follow me here. Rand is being viewed as a mental case. Well he isn't the only one, but why is he the only one suffering like this? It is the taint on the One Power. The taint is what caused Rand and LTT to seperate. Personalities.

Ok, I'm done. I am not trying to be dense. I just don't see it as you do.

I thank you for making me smarter, by challenging my postion. This might actually help me get accepted to the Wetlandernw School of Law. I am still waiting for my acceptance/denial letter. Wonder if they got my transcripts???

DragonoftheLTTisrealSeptoftheI'mstillnotcrazyAiel
Barry T
231. blindillusion
~ Meh.

Coping mechanism says I.

~ Free.

Hmm. I caught the R. “Verbal” K. reference. So, if there were a swing I wouldn’t say there was a miss. I simply chose to comment on the base thought apparent behind the comment, not its reference point.

~ Jee.

Talk about beating around the bush.

~ Ouro.

Keyboard problems. *Chuckle*

~ Terez –

Once again, you are awesome in your awesomeness.

~~ Though I will say it’s a little disparaging that eventually Mr Jordan’s works will be given the same treatment in a classroom setting that other worthy works are given.

Just think, in 10 years a College Junior is going to get docked on his/er midterm essay in SF/Fantasy 3101 because s/he believes LTT is a construct (and presents valid evidence justifying the opinion), but his/er Prof. thinks differently. Blah.

~~~ Sigh. If it is not in the text, stated without doubt by the author, then it is an opinion. (A Doctorate Degree in Literature from an Ivy League school does not mean you were standing over Chaucer’s shoulder, DR. RILEY!!)

BLAH!! I cannot count the number of times I had to bite my tongue when a Professor gave this little gem: “But Barry, that’s not what was trying to say.” Gah. And just how do you know what was trying to say? died 200 years before you were born.

Loved my major. Loved it to pieces. But sheesh it was full of some pompous jerks.

Head, desk. Desk, head. Just thought you two should meet. /tangent.

- Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays.

=)
Sharon E.
232. Sulin
I've loved all the Rand/LTT discussion. Great work Terez! Though, admittedly I am biased since Rand is second to the Creator in my book, crazy or no. :D

SulinoftheRandistheBestThingSinceSlicedBreadAiel
R B
233. MasterAlThor
Darn you Terez you are winning friends and influencing people.

LOL.

I really have to step my game up now.

DragonoftheIreallygottadosomemoreresearchAiel
Vincent Lane
234. Aegnor
Pretend you are reading the book for the first time. You don't know yet that Rand sent Taim to recruit from the two rivers. The meaning and significance of the conversation with Taim (in aCoS) is still unclear, so it's not in your mind when you get to this point. Now read Taim's letter, and try to understand what he's talking about.


When I first read that letter, I had no doubt he was referring to the Two Rivers. The blackberry bush being Tar Valon never crossed my mind. But it could be because when I read about all the girls from the TR in Camelyn that could channel, I thought to myself, "I bet there are a lot of men that can channel there too." And then when Rand and Taim were talking about him taking that recruiting trip personally, I thought "I bet they were talking about TR". That quote is what I was thinking of in my first post in this thread, thanks to WinespringBrother for posting that quote. That was pure speculation at that point(though it made perfect sense that Rand would see what I saw and also that he would be so concerned about it being handled carefully), which was then confirmed in the letter in this chapter.

When Tam made his comment much later, it wasn't so much confirmation, as it was seeing the event from a different perspective. I that point I didn't need confirmation. I had already received that from the letter which, in context, can only be interpreted as referring to the Two Rivers.
diane heath
235. jadelollipop
@208 The reason that I think Egwene is less help to Rand than the others and does/did more to betray him is her attitude toward him. She is so wrapped up in being Aes Sedai or Wise One that she wants to guide him or leash him. And because of her fear of men who channel she would gentle him...her accepted tests not withstanding. (She herself asked if that was all her life was to abandon him over and over.) I hope that her time in the Tower in TGS makes her more aware of being boxed. If she was more on his side then in her position as Amyrlin Seat would be a good thing. Her attitude toward Rand while a sight better than Elaida's is not as supportive as it could/should be. She thinks of him as Rand from Two Rivers not Dragon Reborn.
Rand does a good job of pretending insanity when needed. (going into Aiel Waste to trick Forsaken--he knew Lanfear etc would follow.) I have always thought that the LTT voice was the voice of his past life but not separate from Rand in the same way that Mat has all of the memories of the adventurers/soldiers etc in his head that are no longer raisins on a cake but require concentration to distinguish from his own. (of course the memories don't come as voices but Rand only hears LTT (the original...or is that the Fisher King in Moridin's game???)

Back to Egwene, it seems that Elayne,Aviendha, Maidens,Min, Nynaeve, even Cadsuane and Sorilea all want Rand to remain human...and keep him in touch with his human side. Egwene sees someone who is a danger to her and what she wants.
James Jones
236. jamesedjones
Re: LTT *sigh* again

The question, for me, comes down to whether Rand is insane or not. Both sides (for the most part) agree that Rand and Lews Therin are the same person.

RJ stated, somewhere in the myriad of quotes that everyone has posted, that LTT and Rand are the same soul, but two different personalities. Split personality, or dissociative identity disorder (the correct name for what most people recognize as schizophrenia), is a classic example of insanity. Rand's situation does not fit most of the characteristics, however. The fact that this is a fantasy allows both sides to play this card.

What matters is whether you believe Rand is Captain Nutzo. I choose to believe Rand is still sane - stressed to the limit - but holding on.

It may also matter how you believe LTT died. A lot of folks have come out saying that RJ definitely stated that LTT did not balefire himself. If anyone has that quote (from RJ), please share. Otherwise, I'm going to assume that he did, and that all the denial is just misdirection from a very large key (I never declared myself sane, just Rand).

But this is simply an optional caveat. It all comes down to Rand, and his sanity. If you believe that Rand is sane, then LTT is real. If you believe that Rand has lost it, then LTT is a construct.

If Rand is humming "Dueling Banjos" when he's looking at an attractive woman, then I might change my perspective. :P
Megaduck
237. chaplainchris
La la la la...aw, shoot.

@205 Levy - if you're determined to be upset by my incredulity, I can't blame you...but I did apologize in advance. Part of my post noted that this incredulity with differing points of view is human nature - some things are so clear to us that it's shocking to find out others see it differently - and that this is a ubiquitous phenomenon in WOT.

In other words, try not to be offended by it. (And likewise, I'm sure.)

For the rest, you've explained yourself well and I understand better where you're coming from. However, for the record, my experience was different from yours. You offer the thought experiment of imagining reading POD for the first time, apart from forums and fandom. When I did read it for the first time, not yet having discovered on-line forums, I never read the blackberry portion of the letter as referring to Tar Valon. I didn't consider the possibility and reject it; that interpretation never occurred to me. Hence, the incredulity with an entrenched belief that I'd never even considered. (I'm sure the implication that the blackberry bush was small had a lot to do with this - _in context_ it precluded me thinking of Tar Valon as the bush, since Tar Valon is a large city with a huge population.) I did wonder about the blackberry bush, and conclude while reading that scene that it probably referred to the Two Rivers. I'm sure that impression was based on two things - small, lot of channelers. Where else could it be? Later scenes in other books referring to Taim recruiting a lot of channelers from the TR therefore served to reinforce that impression.

IOW, it is not strictly true that the first, clearest reading of the letter is that it implies Tar Valon, and that thoughts of the TR can only come from looking at other evidence. For *some people* that was the most clear and obvious reading of the letter, but for some people it was not.

Finally, in regard to your "straw man" statements, two things. First, that's exactly how *I* view the that/the discussion - as it rests on the assumption that RJ the writer and Taim the character share your view of the grammar involved *and* bothered to think about it. (For the record, I agree with Wetlander that, in terms of grammar, it is not definitively incorrect either way.) I certainly don't see it as a reason to disregard the most convincing context of the letter - that Taim is speaking of a small and thorny place which produced a surprising crop of channelers. The repitition is also part of the context - in aCOS "I will handle that personally" in TPOD "I handled that personally." That repitition is what had me talking about Rand's orders - I didn't realize until after I'd posted that some of you were positing the idea that Taim had recruited in *both* the Two Rivers *and* Tar Valon. If you re-read the first 50 posts or so, the discussion centered around whether he'd gone to one or the other, not both.

Second, I *do* see that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and Taim could potentially have recruited somewhere off-screen. Heck, he could've gone to some tiny village in Shara. But given that we've *nothing* else in the books indicating a trip to Tar Valon (and if the letter meant Tar Valon, why would such an important event never be referenced again?), and an abundance of material indicating a trip to the TR (indicating that such an event is important enough to remember)...well, I do still have the general impression of "grasping at straw(men)...er, straws" from some folks, by imagining a scenario not attested to so that they can keep from changing their minds. I don't fully see you in that way, since you acknowledge that the bulk of evidence apart from letter points to the Two Rivers, by the way.

It seems the remaining point under dispute is which way the letter points. You originally read it as indicating Tar Valon, and are still inclined that way. I originally read it as indicating the Two Rivers, and after these posts pushing me to analyze that impression, I'm now convinced of it.

I'm content to leave it there.

Terez27 - still enjoying the LTT/Rand posts, thanks.
Marcus W
238. toryx
jamesedjones @ 236:

Dang it, every time I try to get out, they drag me back in!

What matters is whether you believe Rand is Captain Nutzo. I choose to believe Rand is still sane - stressed to the limit - but holding on.

I've always believed that the construction of LTT was Rand's method of maintaining his sanity. See, the problem is that everyone assumes that you have to be insane to have multiple personalities. That's not necessarily true. Of course, a lot depends on what your definition of insanity is, and that's an argument I'm NOT getting into.

As for the balefire thing: If LTT had balefired himself, there would not be a Dragonmount. It's as simple as that.
Theresa Gray
239. Terez27
Sulin@232 - thanks again!

blindillusion@231 - Thanks for the appreciation. I would tell that professor that it is clearly stated in the text of TGS that Rand and Lews Therin were not two men and never had been. Just the same as I tell all stubborn real'ers!

toryx@228 - Freelancer doesn't seem like the convince-able type. I might be wrong, but that is my impression.

MAT@230:

You answered my question with a question. Well here is my answer. Rand is talking to himself and unless it is a misprint, he responds to himself. The important part, IMO, is that he asked the question to LTT.

The reason why I answered your question that way is because it's not all that difficult to have a conversation with yourself as if you are talking to someone else. Nynaeve did it. It's only a slight step further to pretend give a name and a face to the imaginary person in your head. Nynaeve doesn't have past life memories, so she doesn't have a convenient name and face to give to those memories. Perrin also does not have past life memories. Mat has other people's memories, but he knows where they came from, and they don't cause him any psychological anguish like Lews Therin's memories cause Rand. Yes, Nynaeve has problems with denial. But again, no past life memories. Rand's case is unique, even if you consider that Graendal had patients with a similar problem - none of their past lives were infamous. None of those people were reborn according to prophecy.

RJ said that LTT and Rand are 2 seperate personalities (Thanks Free). Those personalities have to be fused into one in order for Rand to reach his potential.


It's a simple matter of Rand accepting the memories as his own, which he has done. Birgitte has several different personalities in her head, but she's never had a hard time accepting that all of those memories are hers, because she was ripped out of Tel'aran'rhiod

Here is the key to this. NO ONE ELSE ever figures out how to do something without a previous memory of it. Before anyone goes and says Egwene figured out Travelling, let me just say that she had something to work with. A model if you will.


Aviendha did not have a model when she figured it out; all she had was a need. Nynaeve did not have a model from which to learn Healing. Who taught Logain how to destroy stuff with the Power? Every novice who comes to the Tower has a trick or two, something she came up with all on her own.

So what you are saying is that if anyone denies themself they will go through the same thing that Rand is going through? Why aren't Mat, Perrin, or Nynaeve going through this? How many times have each of them question themselves?


Forgive me, but I get the impression that you haven't really been paying attention to anything that I have been saying. Rand constructed the 'voice' as a means of dealing with his past life memories. When he started remembering Lews Therin's life, he needed a way to pretend to himself that those were not his memories. Therefore, he pretended that Lews Therin was another man, inside his head, in order to avoid the obvious truth: that those memories were his own.

We quote this a lot because it means this. That LTT's voice is real, not imagined. Not a result of some type of psychosis. Not the result of Rand suppresing his own memories or not accepting them.


1. When Cadsuane asks Rand how he recognized Semirhage, Semirhage said 'because he is insane'. I love how the real'ers avoid that quote like the plague, but use the other one.

2. Again, Semirhage is not an expert on the subject, so even if her words could be taken to mean that Lews Therin is actually a separate entity (which they can not), then there would be no reason to accept her word on the subject as being anything approaching authoritative. She assumed that Lews Therin told Rand who she was, but she was wrong: Rand recognized her. Lews Therin's voice was not needed at all.

jamesdjones@236:

The question, for me, comes down to whether Rand is insane or not. Both sides (for the most part) agree that Rand and Lews Therin are the same person.


As I stated before, no one believes that Rand is insane (except perhaps Semirhage, but I don't think she knows the meaning of the word). And also as I stated before, Rand's mental issues mostly came from the fact that he could not accept his past life memories. Now that he has accepted them, his mental health should be looking up. Just because people in the real world who hear voices are considered insane doesn't mean that your false dichotomy for Rand holds water. People in the real world don't all of a sudden start remembering past lives.

chaplainchris@237 - thanks for the support!
Sydo Zandstra
240. Fiddler
Off Topic.

I guess I should post this to the general thread, but I don't go there since I will never catch up.

I'm in a reread of CoT, KoD (now) and tGS (soon). So in a short order I have read Perrin's adventures in So Habour, and read about Mat seeing a village dissolving. Let alone the village he will visit in tGS.

I happened to note that all the real manifestations of the DO's influence getting stronger we saw were in the Altara/Ghealdan area (where both Mat and Perrin are).

Yes, there were some ghosts running around, but didn't match the scariness Mat met.

I think the main thrust of the Shadow will be in that area. I read about a scene of Mat today where he recognized the site of a huge old city was today. His memories said that Ogier masonry was at its height there, even better then Tar Valon and Caemlyn. To me that suggests that there is a Waygate there. I am not sure about this, but I think both Rand and Perrin have been there too. There were descriptions in both POV's of seeing an old city's placements.

Back to the point. Most Waygates have been closed by Elder Haman, but not this one. ALL armies of Team Light are situated around it now in order to deal with it (including the Borderland Armies), except for Lan's. I'd consider Tarwin's Gap to be a second front in this line of thinking.

The Shadow influence we have seen in that area is just too big when compared to other areas, where it was just about weevils.

So basically, I say that the grunt part of the Last Battle will happen there. Maybe even up until Caemlyn.
Theresa Gray
241. Terez27
Also, again @jamesdjones (since I missed this bit somehow):

Letter to Tom McCormick from RJ - November/December 1993

Tom McCormick: Please find out if Lews Therin balefired himself in the prologue in The Eye of the World, or if he just drew too much of the One Power. If it isn't critical to the continuing plot, I'm sure he'll say.

RJ: Lews Therin did not use balefire on himself; he simply drew as much of the One Power as he could, then kept on pulling it in.


And again:

Trinity College, Dublin - November 1993

Lews Therin Telamon's suicide was emphatically not balefire, but an overload of the Power.
Noneo Yourbusiness
242. Longtimefan
@ 130 MasterAlThor,

This was very interesting when you mentioned it.

"Everyone in WoT argues with their own choices, but who other than Rand and Birgitte, are remembering their own past lives?"

and I really hoped you were going to go somewhere with the parallel of them both being living Heroes of the Horn.

You did not but it made me think that maybe there is a small point to be made that one was Spun out and one was Torn out. As Brigitte lives she loses some of the memories of her previous lives and believes that at some point she will only know her current life since Heroes of the Horn live and die not knowing the past. Because of her new start in the pattern being as an adult fresh from T'A'R she is everyone she has been yet she is only herself. Her intergration in some ways mirrors Rand's situation.

Granted he only has to intergate one personality but as he pulls the pattern towards himself the previous threads are made of the same cloth but from a different time causeing some confusion because it is all the same 6 ply nylon but Rand has the pattern tugging a snag 3000 years past all the way up the thread on just one of the strands and that is not part of the same dyelot but is stil part of the same thread creating an inconsistency that is needed but not part of what the Rand section of thread expected to be.

Sorry it is rambly moring time.

short point

Rand and Brigitte are acending and decending parallels of intergration. Maybe.
Megaduck
243. chaplainchris
On Rand/LTT - I originally read the books with the naive assumption that all that talk of saidin driving people mad as a sort of red herring. I'd been reading fantasy since kindergarten - the heroes always do things nobody else could, or survive things nobody else ever has. So I was never worried about Rand and the taint.

As I've gotten older, and as the last few books came out - probably WH on - it started to be undeniable that Rand *was* unbalanced. Not completely, and still clever and (until parts of TGS) ethical and likeable - but continually losing his temper, shutting himself off, becoming more paranoid, and, oh yeah...hearing voices.

Now, like I say, when I first read the early books, I was making lots of allowances for Rand - he's under stress, this is hard, etc. Likewise, I was making allowances for Rand talking to LTT - I figured that it was something beyond a psychological problem and that "it's the magic, stupid" was in play. I figured it was something like Feist's Tomas/Ashen-Shugar cross-time mind-link. I speculated as to whether, in the AOL, LTT had been having conversations with Rand - whether he'd done so while killing Ilyena and the others, for example. Perhaps he'd been seeing one of Rand's experiences - being caught in the box, maybe, or battling a Forsaken - instead of seeing his own time, and realizing he was striking at his own kin.

I probably didn't completely come over to the "construct" side until just before TGS, largely due to Leigh's influence on the re-reads. Since it's pretty recent, I haven't re-read all the books with that perspective. However, some bits of the middle books - tFOH stands out - strike me as much more powerful and filled with much more pathos, now that I'm taking seriously the idea that Rand might have real, serious psychological issues and that the voice in his head is not some magical cross-time link but evidence of a pyschological struggle.

It makes the opening chapters of tFOH so much sadder. Suddenly I'm much more aware of how much Rand and is struggling, and that he's actually *terrified* of Moiraine, before her promise to help and not manipulate him. (Somehow I glossed over that - la la la fantasy novel we're all on the same side Moiraine is nice ooh pretty flowers Rand's just cranky today.)

So what I'm saying is that this viewpoint doesn't just shed light on instances where the voice speaks; for me it sheds light on *everything* going on with Rand, in a way that makes me enjoy the books more and grieve for Rand. As per Leigh - being the Dragon really, really sux.
Megaduck
244. chaplainchris
@ 238 toryx - agreed that a lot depends on our definition of insanity. In Rand's case, for me, it's a matter of degrees. Is there any such thing as *completely* sane? Rand's never completely crazy, but he's definitely stressed, paranoid, has manic episodes, depressive episodes, has bouts of nearly uncontrollable rage, and nearly killed his dad, the planet, and himself.

Crazy? No. Smart? Yep. Unbalanced? Sometimes. Healed, post TGS? Sure hope so.
James Jones
245. jamesedjones
238 toryx
I've always believed that the construction of LTT was Rand's method of maintaining his sanity.
&

239 Terez27
And also as I stated before, Rand's mental issues mostly came from the fact that he could not accept his past life memories.

Coping measures = insanity. You might be able to deal with reality, but you're not 100%. I'm going to respectfully disagree with your assesment and say that Rand is still sane, and a voice talking to him and giving him pointers is just another example of the fun I have reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

And...
People in the real world don't all of a sudden start remembering past lives.
What real world are you talking about? People in real life don't go about flinging the elements about with their minds.

Also, 241 Terez27, gracias. But you did shut the door on a big batch of fun. :(
Andrew Belmont
246. rosetintdworld
I avoided posting on this thread because honestly, I never had any interest in debating the bush. But I've caught up with the comments now, and wanted to log my vote as a convert thanks to Terez's eloquent, persuasive commentary. So many of the comments here are extraordinarily well written, and I don't mean to call Terez out as an insult to anyone else. I just must say that the care with which Terez has build close readings of Jordan's foreshadowing and the plot's ambiguities is really impressive.

I'd also like to weigh in on the debate surrounding "A Plain Wooden Box," and say that there are many ways you can interpret Semirhage's "It makes no difference that his voice is real, however." LTT can be the voice of a real, (as in historical) figure without being "real" as in a totally independent being suddenly alive after 3000 years. And for all her expertise, how could Graendal (and through her, Semirhage), know the difference? If dredged-up past-life memories coalesce into a displaced persona, it seems to me there's no way anyone, even Rand himself, would ever be in a position to debate real-or-not-real. As readers, we're the only ones with the privilege.

And again, what a privilege it has been to read this the debate. :)
Theresa Gray
247. Terez27
Longtimefan@242 - I have often argued that what Birgitte is going through is just the reverse of what Rand is going though. She's losing her memories and weeping over the fact, because she fears she will forget Gaidal; Rand is gaining his past life memories, and it traumatizes him, because he does NOT want to remember what he did to Ilyena.

chaplainchris@243 - Your last paragraph is exactly why the phenomenon fascinates me; it adds an entirely new dimension to Rand's character.

jamesdjones@245 - As I mentioned before, the definition of 'insane' is a legal one, and it means that the patient is incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong. Coping mechanisms do not make one insane. There are degrees of mental health, and Rand was definitely unbalanced until he finally accepted his memories.

rosetintdworld@246 (sneaky!) - Thank you so much!
Sharon E.
248. Sulin
chaplainchris@243-
So what I'm saying is that this viewpoint doesn't just shed light on instances where the voice speaks; for me it sheds light on *everything* going on with Rand, in a way that makes me enjoy the books more and grieve for Rand. As per Leigh - being the Dragon really, really sux.
This is *exactly* why I love this series so much. It's goes so far beyond "fantasy," and Rand's situation so incredibly sad. Sigh...I love it :)

jamesdjones@245- Are you saying that anyone with a coping mechanism is insane? :/ Everyone has a coping mechanism of some sort. We eat, smoke, drink, exercise, etc to deal with stress.
Julian Augustus
249. Alisonwonderland
I think Terez has said just about everything there needs to be said on the Rand/LTT case, but I want to make a small point to M-A-T @196:
LTT is not a construct or a coping mechanism. He is a part of Rand's soul.

See, this is a watered down version of what I was arguing about 12 years ago. LTT, which you claim is a real fully formed person/consciousness is now a part of Rand's soul? What part, a half, a third ? So you are saying a part of the soul is a fully formed real Lews Therin, and another part of the soul is a fully-formed real Rand? A single soul that forms two real persons simultaneously? You have to recognize the incongruity of such a belief.
Megaduck
250. BenM
Harai and others:

Ok, thinking more about it, I agree that the blackberry bush was the Two Rivers. The two best arguments against it being TV are that it isn't small, and that Taim wouldn't want to peronally appear anywhere near there.

What was confusing was RJ's use of the word "that" in Taim's letter. If he just out of the blue said "the" blackberry bush, it would more clearly be a mysterious code and not just an analogy.

The word "that" makes it sound like something he just talked about, or mentioned, such as TV.
James Jones
251. jamesedjones
248 Sulin

YES!!! Everyone is insane. It's all a matter of amount. We all draw our own lines about where it begins. Check out Jack L Chalker's Well of Souls series. It offers a very simple (childlike?) examination of how life deals with reality through insanity or denial.

I've brought this thing up in like 3 different comment sections. But you're the first one to nail it. Or... everyone else might have just tried to avoid adressing it with me. *shug*

That's what I love most about fiction. You're dealing with an internal perspective of characters on a very limited scale. The author is the only one who can settle these debates, and IMHO he enjoyed them at least as much as we do. I've always thought this was why he never came down, definitively, on one side or another.
D R
252. Ouroboros
Okay, Rand is sane because Lews Therin is a blackberry bush. DUN!

Seriously though, there’s a lot of certainty in the air today, someone should tell the met office.

Regarding LTT, my turn to help build the castle – and apologies if some of this has already been said before.

The subject of integration; I don't like that word, even if Graendal does; acceptance or individuation, is a recurring theme. All three boys have to deal with it.

Perrin, in true Jungian fashion, has a wolf as his alter ego which was strong even in TEotW; look at his killing of the White Cloaks in the stedding. He tries to resist it, and because of this, can't control it when it comes to the surface. In TGS, he resolves to find a "balance" between the two, but he won't be able to do this unless he can accept the wolf as a part of himself.

Mat has two dispirit aspects: Mordeth and the collection of memories. He had to resist Mordeth but it was the Aes Sedai who apparently put an end to that problem. Mat has accepted the memories as part of himself now, albeit reluctantly. The point is, that it was only by embracing those memories that he was able to become what he needed to be. It will be interesting to see if the Fynn change the status quo.

Rand had LTT to contend with. It doesn't matter what the exact nature of this persona was, what matters is that Rand had to accept it as a part of himself.

Within that moment, suddenly something amazing occurred to him. If I live again, then she might as well!

That's why he fought. That's why he lived again, and that was the answer to Tam's question. I fight because last time, I failed. I fight because I want
to fix what I did wrong.


He's now referring to Lews Therin's memories as though they were his own. Compare that with this.

Handling two weaves at once should have been easy—he could handle ten or more—but not when one was a desperate defense against something he could not know was there until it was almost too late. Not when another man’s thoughts kept trying to surface inside the Void, trying to tell him how to defeat her. If he listened, it might be Lews Therin Telamon who walked away, with Rand al’Thor a voice sometimes floating in his head if that.


This was the lesson that Rand needed to learn; he really is the Dragon.

The emotional journey is important as well. Rand was suppressing any emotion which he views as a weakness. Whether he was injecting these into the LTT persona, or whether they were simply banking up somewhere is again beside the point. What is important is that he remembers that he his human. A third voice is described in TGS. However, this voice does not need to be a persona since we often here of "small voices" telling other characters things they don't want to here. It is this third voice which is exposing Rand's true weakness, of not being able to accept his humanity, something which can never be said of Lews Therin: "you are far harder than I ever was." In this sense, accepting LTT also means accepting the emotions he is trying to reject.

As for what the Lews Therin persona really is, as I said, I don't think it matters in the long run but this might give you food for thought. Lews Therin and Rand are two projections of the same soul and it is the journey of that soul which is important, not the aspect of that soul. Remember that the first PoV in the entire epic is Lews Therin's. The Dragon went insane and killed Ilyena. Ishamael cured him out of spite, making him behold his actions and kill himself out of guilt. Three-thousand years later the Dragon was spun out again to continue the fight. At first he was living out the life of a farm boy, but once he rejoins the fight, the Dragon begins to resurface. The farm boy accepts that he must fight, but not that he is the Dragon in truth.

In short, LTT started the journey and Rand has to finish it. But he can't do this without coming to terms with everything that the Dragon has done. Rand killed Ilyena, though not deliberately, and he had to release that guilt. He also had to understand that there was still a reason to go on fighting.

I don’t set much store by the so called "psychological" evidence since it can be read in different ways, supporting both the construct and the psyche, besides, Jung and Freud didn’t have to deal with reincarnations. For that reason I look at this from an allegorical perspective. I.E. The shift between LTT and Rand is interesting, but it's the Dragons journey that is important.

BTW, I find it interesting that no one has brought up this quote yet.

“Rand?” The other man walked on with his encircling escort. “Rand?” Rand was not even ten paces away, but he did not waver. Some of the Maidens looked back, but not Rand. Mat felt cold suddenly, and it had nothing to do with the onset of night. He wet his lips and spoke again, not a shout. “Lews Therin.” And Rand turned around. Mat almost wished he had not.
Theresa Gray
253. Terez27
Ouroboros@252:

Rand had LTT to contend with. It doesn't matter what the exact nature of this persona was, what matters is that Rand had to accept it as a part of himself.


It does matter to a certain extent, apparently. Before TGS, hose who believed that Lews Therin was a psychological construct always argued that the resolution of the plotline would center around Rand accepting Lews Therin's memories as his own (which would involve him facing the guilt of the Kinslaying). The real'ers for the most part assumed that, as per Min's viewing (which was actually about Moridin), that Lews Therin would 'die' and go away, or that Semirhage would Heal him, or something.

But of course, debating the nature of the persona can get rather murky, as it involves certain terms the definitions of which are ambiguous in the WoT world, such as 'personality', 'consciousness', 'real', etc.

As for the quote from 'Pale Shadows'...that's always been a favorite. I think in the earlier days, it was much more common for Rand to be immersed completely in self-identification as Lews Therin. He became more adept at the disassociation over time.
R B
254. MasterAlThor
Terez,

I am starting to get the impression that you are starting to believe that you are arguing with an idiot.

I don't take things personally, unless it is intended to be that way.

We diagree and I respect all of your arguements. I see and comprehend everything that you say. If I don't I will ask you to clarify.

Just so that we are clear, I enjoy this debate. I have my convictions just like you do.

Moving on,

Nynaeve doesn't have past life memories, so she doesn't have a convenient name and face to give to those memories. Perrin also does not have past life memories.


In WoT everyone is reborn. Nynaeve and Perrin have past life memories. Think of this like a mold press. The press comes down and shapes the mold, but what happens if the the press is off? This is what happend to Rand. It didn't happen to Nynaeve or Perrin. I think that the taint is what made the press slip.

You are right when you say that Nynaeve doesn't give names to the voice in her head. If she did wouldn't she be called crazy? I think she is crazy but that is a discussion for another day. We are talking about Nynaeve and that voice that she hears. She is not crazy for purposes of this conversation. Rand isn't crazy.

Aviendha did not have a model when she figured it out; all she had was a need. Nynaeve did not have a model from which to learn Healing. Who taught Logain how to destroy stuff with the Power? Every novice who comes to the Tower has a trick or two, something she came up with all on her own.


Ok you got me there. Darn you. I'll get you next time Gadget! Next time!


1. When Cadsuane asks Rand how he recognized Semirhage, Semirhage said 'because he is insane'. I love how the real'ers avoid that quote like the plague, but use the other one.


We all accept that Rand is not insane, so why use the quote? I note that constructionist don't use it either.

I apologize if you get the impression that I am being dense.

Here are my points on this whole thing.

1. There are 2 personalities. They are seperate and needed to be fused into one. It is LTT's personality that is speaking to Rand.

2. The seperation has occured because of the taint.

3. Rand's psychosis is a direct result of the taint and LTT's memories bleeding through. The fact that LTT all of a sudden decided to start talking to him doesn't help.


Ok, now I have to end this here.

Dragon
Sharon E.
255. Sulin
james@251- Yay for my being the first to acknowledge your point! Do I get a cookie, or an oosquai? I will admit that I am, to a degree, unbalanced/insane. Yippee! ;)

SulinoftheWOTManiaisMyCopingMechanismSeptoftheInsaneAiel
Noneo Yourbusiness
256. Longtimefan
My apologies Terez27. I did not realize you had mentioned this before.

It is interesting.

So Tel'aran'rhiod is the box and the threads are the cat. Hmmm.

Or maybe the letter is the box and the blackberry bush is the cat.
(Hello BenM. Welcome to the party)

or maybe if you put bela in Tel'aran'rhiod you can only pick wild blackberries because she is no longer a domesticated horse except that she is a construct and therefore a part of the dreamer who drempt her and the blackberries are just men who are asleep but can channel which would allow them to open gateways so they could be in either the Two Rivers or Tar Valon and since this is Tel'aran'rhiod they could forgo Traveling and just step from one street infront of the Winespring Inn to another street in front of the White Tower unless ofcourse they are previous Heroes of the Horn wherein they would know all of their previous lives because that is who they are when they are not home in the waking world.


It is so simple.


Rand is because Robert Jordan wants him to be.

It is the finest logic.
James Jones
257. jamesedjones
255 Sulin

Just my undying appreciation for helping me say this argument is very silly (and a whole bunch of fun). I still like to be on the side that says LTT is real.

Edit: But I also love all the folks that say he's fake. :D
Tricia Irish
259. Tektonica
Rand is the Dragon.
The Dragon is the Personna/soul.
The Dragon has lived many lives on the Turnings of the Wheel.
LTT was one life of the Dragon.
Rand Al'Thor is another life of the Dragon.
They are the same person/soul.....The Dragon.

Right?

ChaplainChris: You are so right. Understanding of the above lends such compassion and pathos to Rand's journey on this turning. It was a difficult realization for him, but I believe (hope) he achieved it on Dragonmount.
Theresa Gray
260. Terez27
Now I have been flagged as a spammer. :(
R B
261. MasterAlThor
Alisonwonderland,

Not fair you guys are ganging up on me!

Seriously, I believe that there are 2 seperate personalities.

Answer this question for me.

If LTT is a coping mechanism, how is it that Rand reaches for the source twice? Or he has to battle for control of the source? If LTT isn't there what is he struggling against? Moridin?

Ooooh that's a scary thought.

Dragon
James Jones
262. jamesedjones
261 MasterAlThor
If LTT is a coping mechanism, how is it that Rand reaches for the source twice?
Ooooohhh. Interesting.
Theresa Gray
263. Terez27
MAT@261 - Rand is struggling against himself. He knows that he needs Lews Therin's memories, but he's becoming more aware of the fact that those memories are indeed his, which makes the psychological trauma more acute. If Lews Therin had actually 'taken over', then he shouldn't have had to ask for Rand's hands. The whole scene in 'Vows' exemplary of how Rand is divided against himself. If Lews Therin was really trying to kill himself, then why did he wait for Rand to talk him out of it?

By the way, I responded to your other post, but it got flagged as spam, pending moderator approval. I'm assuming that the post will actually show up later?
Jennifer McBride
264. vegetathalas
Thoughts about the Minion Taim theory-- one problem I have with it is that only Ishy was around when Taim started channeling, right? The rest were stuck in Boresville. And Ishy doesn't strike me as a teacher. He seems to be passive, using what tools present themselves, (note all that sneaking around), rather than creating them, except where DESTINY is concerned. And Taim's probably too small fry to be on his whole Light vs. Dark theology.
Theresa Gray
265. Terez27
vegetahalas@264 - Ishamael offered to teach Rand, remember? And it's hard to consider Taim as 'small fry' when he is nearly as strong as Rand.

PS - Vegeta is awesome. That is all.
Megaduck
266. BenM
LTF @ 163: Monty Python FTW!

This horse is no more, she has ceased to be, she's expired, and gone to meet the Creator! THIS is an ex horse!
Tricia Irish
268. Tektonica
Terez@263:

Don't hold your breath on your "Spam" ever showing up. I don't think anybody else's has. It's just a comforting line of BS.
R B
269. MasterAlThor
See Terez why do we always gotta be on the opposite side of the fence?

Gokuu is the the best.

As for your response. I don't think that it will ever see the light of day.

If you could just give the abridged version, maybe it will get through.

BTW, it should be impossible to reach for the source twice. Rand senses the other man reach for it.

Oh, I see what you are doing. Very well played Terez. I would hate to play you in a game of stones.

I bow in defeat.

Dragon
Theresa Gray
270. Terez27
Goku is awesome too. I don't discriminate.
Rob Munnelly
271. RobMRobM
Ben@266. Yes! And there's a parrot somewhere here too.

I continue to be impressed -- and overwhelmed --by the raw quantity of thoughtful comments on this particular thread. All I can say is:

Two Rivers

Two personalities being integrated.

Marcolin knows something about Tam.


Rob
Barry T
272. blindillusion
So if Bela is a blackberry bush in T’A’R and Taim is a schmuck regardless of circumstance then Rand is dressing up as LTT for Halloween and Moridin will be his chaperon while Mat has his memories taken from him in ‘Finnland as Perrin chases Egwene around the White Tower with an axe handle in his mouth and Nynaeve has an argument with Birgitte in her head about just who’s red dress looks better while Mother Grubb tells Min just how to make the tea which will help Rand/LTT/small voice “integrate” but elsewhere in Randland Cadsuane asks Tam for help because she has no idea what she is doing and Narg ran away with the spoon.

Oh..wait…did that make any sense? =)

So, the “small voice”: Anyone else think this is the Rand we first met back in tEotW making an appearance for the first time in quite awhile? Perhaps the character we’ve been reading about for the last several books is nothing more than Coping Mechanism dealing with LTT, while Rand has been shunted to the smallest part of the Dragon’s mind.

After all, at the end of tGS, Rand “opened his eyes for the first time in a long time.” (Misquote? I’m afraid I cannot give the exact words as I do not have my books in front of me.)

Am I alone in thinking this is Rand, whole as he has not been since the beginning of the series, emerging from everything that has happened to him?

Meh. I suppose I’m a constructionist. LTT was “Rand” talking to himself/his memories. I’m also of the opinion that we haven’t seen Rand in quite some time. I suppose one could say we’ve been reading about the Dragon dealing with LTT.

Of course, that would mean the main character of this series is the Dragon, not Rand al’Thor, which somewhat sucks. Am I not amazing? Putting forth a theory only to give solid reason it should be disavowed. Are you not entertained?

But, anyway, /stream-of-consciousness.

Oh, and MAT ~ as to how Rand can reach for the One Power twice? Who’s to say what is possible/not possible with the One Power.

Mwahahah.heh. Sorry.

edit: *writing words in air with finger* I'll never tell.
James Jones
273. jamesedjones
265 & 269

Oh... I thought you were talking about something else. Was a bit confused by the enthusiasm. lol
Birgit
274. birgit
One point - don't have books with me but isn't this the chapter where Marcolin acknowledges serving under Tam, and makes a comment about how strange it is to serve under Tam's son?

Lantern-jawed Marcolin, clean-shaven, studied Rand with dark, deep-set eyes, giving no hint what lay behind his impassive face. The Companions' loyalty was to the crown of Illian, and Marcolin was old enough to remember when Tam al'Thor had been Second Captain over him, but only he knew what he thought of Rand al'Thor as King.

TPoD ch. 13

Here is the key to this. NO ONE ELSE ever figures out how to do something without a previous memory of it.

She felt a lightening bolt form, or the potential for one, and nearly stumbled. She had never before channeled two flows at once; it did not seem difficult at all.
"I think I did something to the chain," Egwene said. And I wish I knew what.
She moved her ball of light to the wall and fastened it there; she was not certain how she did it, but when she took her hand away, the light remained. I keep learning how to do things without knowing what they are, she thought nervously.
Elayne frowned at her as if considering, then hung her light on the wall, too. Watching, Egwene thought she saw what it was she had done. She learned it from me, but I just learned it from her. She shivered.

TDR ch. 26

Their screams dug at Egwene's spine, and something shot out from Nynaeve's hands - a thin bar of white light that made noonday sun seem dark, a bar of fire that made molten metal seem cold, connecting her hands to the Myrddraal. And they ceased to exist as if they had never been. Nynaeve gave a startled jump, and the glow around her vanished.
"What ... what was that?" Elayne asked.
Nynaeve shook her head; she looked as stunned as Elayne sounded. "I don't know. I ... I was so angry, so afraid, at what they wanted to ... I do not know what it was."
Balefire, Egwene thought. She did not know how she knew, but she was certain of it.

TDR ch. 39
Theresa Gray
275. Terez27
blindillusion@272:

So, the “small voice”: Anyone else think this is the Rand we first met back in tEotW making an appearance for the first time in quite awhile? Perhaps the character we’ve been reading about for the last several books is nothing more than Coping Mechanism dealing with LTT, while Rand has been shunted to the smallest part of the Dragon’s mind.


I think that the 'small voice' was primarily the result of the state of mind that came from Rand using the True Power. But of course, the Rand we know and love has been hiding since about book 4:

TITLE - The Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 2 - Whirlpools of the Pattern

would as soon be in a room with a Myrddraal, now, or the Dark One himself, but she's no milksop. "Thank you," he said quietly, "but no. I would appreciate it if you told no one what happened here. Not yet. I will do what needs to be done." It had to be the Forsaken.

"As my Lord Dragon commands." She gave him a tight curtsy and hurried out, perhaps afraid he might change his mind about letting her go.

"As soon the Dark One himself," he murmured as the door closed behind her.

Limping to the foot of the bed, he lowered himself into the chest there and laid Callandor across his knees, bloody hands resting on the glowing blade. With that in his hands, even one of the Forsaken would fear him. In a moment he would send for Moiraine to Heal his wounds. In a moment he would speak to the Aiel outside, and become the Dragon Reborn again. But for now, he only wanted to sit, and remember a shepherd named Rand al'Thor.
j p
276. sps49
Terez27 @265-

Ishamael offered to teach Rand because he wanted to suborn the Dragon Reborn. On this scale, yes, Taim is "small fry".
Tina Pierce
277. scissorrunner
Blindillusion @ 272
....and Narg ran away with the spoon


I think I need a new keyboard....
the Dr Pepper will be hard to get out of the keys
Tricia Irish
278. Tektonica
Blind:

::waves:: long time no hear.....

I am entertained, Maximus.

I'd like to think the "old" Rand is back. He had a good upbringing this go-round on the ferris wheel....it should serve the Dragon well.

The Dragon learns and evolves each turning, no? His upbringing in the TR's has provided him with the ability to stay sane and face his reality. He has a good moral compass....hopefully we'll see more of that in the next two books.
Sharon E.
279. Sulin
Blind@272- O_o mwahahahahaha! (re first paragraph) Re the "small voice" I always interpreted that to be what was left of Rand's conscience.

Stream-of-consciousness FTW!

Edit for:

Terez@275- That quote from TSR is one of the saddest and most poignant scenes in the series. I love that scene.
Maiane Bakroeva
280. Isilel
MAT @254:

I think that the taint is what made the press slip.

Why would you think this? The DR is the only person other than those ripped out from T'AR that we _know_ has memories of his previous incarnation. Semirhage may have been saying the truth or not, but her info had nothing to do with the taint either. IMHO, nothing "slipped" with Rand, but worked exactly as intended - for the DR.

I am not sure what comparisons with other people bring here - they don't recall their past existences and even if they did, nothing says that those would have contained such traumatic experiences. They just aren't valid points of comparison.
Brigitte did recall hers and her no past personalities talking back to her, but her case was again very different from Rand's.

As to Rand being or not being crazy - didn't Sanderson say in one of his interviews that he was? At least until the end of TGS, that is.

Jadelollopop @235:

Egwene is less help to Rand than the others and does/did more to betray him

Huh? What did Egwene ever do to betray Rand? Oh, that's right, nothing. She was always willing to confront her current authority figures to help Rand. Moiraine, AS, WOs, etc. Rand didn't know it, but it doesn't change the facts.

She is so wrapped up in being Aes Sedai or Wise One that she wants to guide him

Never understood the whole furore over "guiding" Rand. Everybody needs that from time to time. And it was crystal clear in TGS that Rand badly needed some guidance. Egs could have given him a few pointers on how to deal with pain without going the "hard and brittle" way, for instance. And I'd say that Rand needed Tam's guidance, too. Too bad that he went all psycho in the middle of it.

or leash him.

How? When?

And again, why is it bad that Egwene saw Rand as Rand and not the DR? Didn't TGS show what nearly everybody seeing him as _only_ the DR did to Rand?

I am honestly baffled.
Megaduck
281. chaplainchris
Terez @ 275 - dang it! Didn't I just say that Rand's story was really making me sad? And now you post that tragic piece of pathos from tSR? And on a Monday!??! How am I supposed to get through the week starting with such downers!

;)

@ everybody re: LTT/Rand - are y'all even actually disagreeing with each other? I don't think anybody's disagreeing that Rand had two personalities that needed integration. And nobody's arguing that Rand's not experiencing real memories and facts from LTT. MAT, your "2 personalities" talk doesn't mean one personality isn't a construction. That is, if you accept the need for reintegration, doesn't that assume that what was once integrated has now split and needs to be reintegrated?

Rand more or less split in two. I suppose we're mostly discussing whether he split as a coping mechanism to deal with the Kinslayer memories, or he split due to the taint. At which point I say "peanut butter, meet jelly." (Some of both, I mean.)

When *I* hear that we're discussing "LTT is real" vs. "he's a construction", I think we're discussing "there's some kinda cross-time telepathy thing going on" vs. "internal conflict and struggle". But y'all seem to be defining the two sides differently.
R B
282. MasterAlThor
Isilel,

Oh no. Not you too! Is everyone against me?

It is a theory of mine as to why the two personalities need to be intergrated.

Brigitte was ripped out of the pattern. She was fully intergrated when she came out. Thus no madness.

Only men who channel end up hearing the voices. The taint has something to do with that.

Dragon
R B
283. MasterAlThor
chaplinchris,

YES, yes that is exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you.

Rand more or less split in two. I suppose we're mostly discussing whether he split as a coping mechanism to deal with the Kinslayer memories, or he split due to the taint. At which point I say "peanut butter, meet jelly." (Some of both, I mean.)


my view is/was that the taint is the cause of the splitting of the 2 personalities. Thus making LTT "real".

Intergration needed to happen so that way we could have a better savior at the end of the story. Terez says that it is the stress that created LTT, I say it's the taint. We both agree that the reintergration needed to happen.

Dragon

Edit: because I had more to say
Sharon E.
284. Sulin
Chris@281- Have a chocolate chip cookie and some oosquai. They're great coping mechanisms! ;)

SulinoftheExcessiveAmountsofCookiesandOosquaiareGreatCopingMechanismsAiel
Maiane Bakroeva
285. Isilel
MAT @282:

Only men who channel end up hearing the voices.

Well, mad people end up hearing voices, MAT ;). Sometimes the taint can be cause of the madness, sometimes not. Semirhage mentioned the pre-taint cases, for instance.
But there is zero evidence that any other male channeler ever had any memories of their previous incarnation - whether complete with a previous personality or not.

I am not even touching on the whole construct/real thing, I just don't see that taint has anything to do with it either way.

IIRC the theory about _all_ may channelers having memories of previous lives appeared back when people argued against Dashiva being a FS and Taim being of the Shadow ;). Folks explained away the suspiciously extensive knowledge these 2 seemed to have that way :)
Barry T
286. blindillusion
~ Terez – Yep. And he took a semi-permanent leave of absence in book six.

~ Scissorrunner, I’ll refer you to whichever keyboard manufacture Ouroboros mentions in 114. (And by the way…14-1 is 13. =))

~ Tek – Tsk, I’ve been around on this thread all day. =| This is my third post today. Oh well. *wave* =)

~ Sulin – I tend to flip-flop on the issue of the “small voice”. When I first read tGS I thought along the lines you are. But after reflection, I began to think about what I posted above.

Meh. Each, meet Own.
R B
287. MasterAlThor
Isilel,

Well, mad people end up hearing voices, MAT ;).


Just what are you saying??? I know you are saying somethng cause the voices in my head are telling me so. So what are you saying???

The theory I put forth is that the taint being the DO's counterstroke had the unintended/intended result of messing up the mold press.

Other male channelers have heard the voices. But since we don't get a pov from them, we can't say with certainty that it is or isn't their past life talking to them.

What we can say is that since everyone is reborn that there is mold and that when it comes to Rand the mold press failed to do it's job correctly.

I say that this is because of the taint.

Dragon
Sharon E.
288. Sulin
Blind@286- I guess I can't see how Rand could be shunted anywhere, since he is(to my mind) the Dragon. Rand/LTT/Dragon are one and the same. In regards to when Rand "opened his eyes for the first time in a long time," I thought of that as more metaphorical than literal.

I dunno. *shrugs* This whole Rand/LTT/Dragon discussion is very intriguing, but it often makes me want to reach for my oosquai and cookies. ;)

SulinoftheImJustReadyforRandtoKickSomeDarkOneButtComeTarmonGaidonAiel
Tess Laird
289. thewindrose
tFoH - Choices:
The thought was suddenly there in the emptiness. Spirit woven so, with Fire and Earth. There. Rand felt something being cut, something he could not see, and Egwene collapsed in a motionless heap, Aviendha to hands and knees, head down and swaying.
Lanfear staggered, her eyes going from the women to him, dark pools of black fire. "You are mine, Lews Therin! Mine!"
"No." Rand's voice seemed to come to his ears down a mile-long tunnel. Distract her from the girls. He kept moving forward, and did not look back. "I was never yours, Mierin. I will always belong to Ilyena." The Void quivered with sorrow and loss. And with desperation, as he fought something besides the scouring of saidin. For a moment he hung balanced. I am Rand al'Thor. And, Ilyena, ever and always my heart. Balanced on a razor edge. I am Rand al'Thor! Other thoughts tried to well up, a fountain of them, of Ilyena, of Mierin, of what he could do to defeat her. He forced them down, even the last. If he came down on the wrong side....I am Rand al'Thor! "Your name is Lanfear, and I'll die before I love one of the Forsaken." {...}A golden-haired woman lying in a ruined hallway where, it seemed, the very walls had melted and flowed. Ilyena, forgive me! It was a despairing cry.
He could end it. Only, he could not. He was going to die, perhaps the world would die, but he could not make himself kill another woman. Somehow it seemed the richest joke the world have ever seen.



tFoH - Fading Words:

These words will fade within moments after this leaves your hands - a warding attuned to you - so be careful of it. That you are reading this means that events have fallen out at the docks as I hoped...

He stopped, staring, and then read on quickly.

Since the first day I reached Rhuidean, I have known - it need not trouble you how; some secrets belong to others, and I will not betray them - that a day would come in Cairhien when news would arrive of Morgase. I did not know what it would be - if what we heard is true, the Light have mercy on her soul; she was willful and stubborn, with a temper of a lioness at times, but for all that a true, good and gracious queen - but each time that news led to the docks on the following day. There were three branches from the docks, but if you are reading this, I am gone, and so is Lanfear....

Rand's hands thightened on the pages. She had known. Known, and still she brought him here. Hurriedly he smoothed out the crumpled paper.

The other two paths were much worse. Down one, Lanfear killed you. Down the other, she carried you away, and when next time we saw you, you called youself Lews Therin Telamon and were her devoted lover.


...Food for thought...

tempest™
Ron Garrison
290. Man-0-Manetheran
Just popping in for a moment to wave hello. We're going through our seasonal changeover to new hours, new duties, etc. Therefore I won't be able to hang out here that much for awhile. But since you're all still discussing whether LTT is real or not, I guess I haven't missed much. ::joking, you sillies, joking::

Tek re. advice to Terez: "Don't hold your breath on your 'Spam' ever showing up. I don't think anybody else's has. It's just a comforting line of BS."

Kinda like, "Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold."
Chris Chaplain
291. chaplainchris1
MAT @283 - um...which part is what you were saying?
Barry T
292. blindillusion
Sulin – Agreed.

BlindoftheICompletelyAgreeWithBeingReadyForRandToKick
SomeDarkOneButtComeTarmonGaidonWhetherItBeInT’A’R’
RandlandProperTheBasementOfTheAlamoOr54thStreetAnd
WhereDidNargGoWithThatSpoonAiel.
Ron Garrison
293. Man-0-Manetheran
MasterAlThor @ 287: I've long agreed with that theory, and you've stated it well. The Dragon has been reborn many, many times. But this time he remembers his previous life. What was different this time? Well, the Taint is the only one we know about.
How perfect that the DO's counterstroke will end up being the source of his defeat. This time the Dragon can get it right. (paraphrasing TGS)
Sharon E.
294. Sulin
Blind@292-LOL! The basement of the Alamo would be cool. I could actually make it to that one! :P
Thomas Keith
295. insectoid
Wowsers... almost 100 comments since I last looked! ::head is spinning reading all the LTT theories:: Now we know why we need a TAFO;) Thanks Terez!

Sub @211: LOL!! We've tried about everything except a personal trainer!

Sulin @248:
Everyone has a coping mechanism of some sort. We eat, smoke, drink, exercise, etc to deal with stress.
Agreed! I myself have music, SF/fantasy novels, and video games as my retreat. :)

Ouro @252:
Okay, Rand is sane because Lews Therin is a blackberry bush. DUN!
::chuckles::

LTF @256, Blind @272: BAHAHAhahaha!!

Terez @265/270: Agree that both are awesome, though V is a bit of an ass sometimes;)

Bzzz™.
Noneo Yourbusiness
296. Longtimefan
So this comment section is going to 300 based entirely on whether or not the blackberries in Rand's head are real or just a construct of LTT when he thought he was Traveling to Tar Valon and ended up in the Two rivers?

Man that is confusing.

What did that have to do with the chapters again?

:)

Maybe if Loail would write it all down in a book it would make more sense.
Noneo Yourbusiness
297. Longtimefan
and I know I am not helping.

(The debate: totally helping the comments get to 300).
Ron Garrison
298. Man-0-Manetheran
Terez@182: this is just about the most perfect and thorough explanation of the Rand/LTT relationship I've seen. Thank you.

Regarding the "madness": I think that hearing voices is not necessarily what drives male channelers mad, per se. Like Rand, most of the current crop are also hearing voices. It would seem logical that they are also hearing their memories of a previous life. And what was that life? LTT remembers killing his wife and children and countless other horrible acts during the Breaking. I postulate that many of the current crop are also remembering their lives from this period and the dreadful acts they committed. Murdering your wife and children is the act of a madman. Remembering those acts of madness is the thing. Denying those memories is madness. And forgiving oneself and embracing those memories is what the A'men need to do as well as Rand.
Marcus W
299. toryx
Longtimefan @ 196:

That was quite succinctly put. I'm impressed.
Roger Powell
300. forkroot
Ouroboros@252
Remember that the first PoV in the entire epic is Lews Therin's.
Not to be persnickety but the first PoV in the entire epic is Omni.
Matthew Smith
302. blocksmith
Is it wrong if I just don't care about the blackberry bush? Really, I don't care if it means TV or TR.

I am now swearing off Blackberry Brandy, Ice Cream, and Preserve.

And my post at 301 fell of the platform while skimming apparently.
Megaduck
304. Hrothgordo
Isilel@280

Egwene would not be able to teach Rand much in the way to dealing with his suffering.

Don’t get me wrong, the girl is a rock in tGS, but Rand’s levels of suffering are just on a different planet then everyone else. Any other character would be catatonic or howling at the moon.

And Egwene all but admits that when she is finally imprisoned in a cell in the Tower. First because she chose to accept the punishments (she could have fled) and because there is a point to accepting them.

I would also disagree on your thoughts for Egwene’s guidance of Rand. She is still not ready to see him as someone with which to partner for the LB. Until he is approached at that level it is still just another word for someone to control them.




MoM@298

I was never given the impression that everyone is reborn like Rand. I thought the heroes of the Horn were the only ones to have their last lives sort of “appended” to their Dream World version

My impression was that everyone else got their hard drive reformatted when they died.

Not an expert though.
diane heath
305. jadelollipop
I figured my original post re: Egwene would not be clear and my explanations are not much better. Could blame it on the LOC book...Perrin just now meeting Davram Bashere.
I realize that Rand cannot be allowed to "run loose" esp after Semirhage took his hand and then leashed him with the Domination Bands and he walks by and food rots...Dragon one with the land etc. but instead of having Rand do what the Aes Sedai think (Elaida wanted him held in tower shielded until time to fight ...we all agree that was wrong...don't we?)
The Aes Sedai should be doing what they can to help him do what needs to be done. Maybe Egwene's attitude when Rand met Elaida's AS and her attitude toward Mat when he arrived in Salidar just rub me the wrong way. I just think the respect should go both ways and they could ask Rand how they could assist instead of trying to tie strings (ie leash) him to them....
Julian Augustus
306. Alisonwonderland
Terez, your awesome post makes more or less the same points I made 12 years ago in my debate with the 'realers' on the rasfw-rj newsgroup. Since there's some time before the next installment by Leigh, I can't resist adding to your post by quoting a selection from the post on my website 12-years ago. This piece starts after I had previously quoted some of the same things you quoted above, and was concluding the first part of my argument. Here goes:

QUOTE
It is important to note two things from the text we have quoted so far. First, as the flashbacks increase Rand is remembering more clearly events and personalities in the AoL. The memories are even coming with pictures! Second, the frequency of the flashbacks is increasing as Rand's use of the OP increases. We see the culmination of both these trends in the battle of Cairhien. In , Rand is riding around in a daze. Earlier, Sammael had blasted his watchtower, toppling him, Egwene, and Aviendha to the ground, and killing scores of maidens. He has spent the rest of the day trying to counter Sammael's other actions, and is completely exhausted from channelling all day. He is almost out on his feet, figuratively speaking. Thoughts keep popping in and out of his head:

Are you so jealous of me, Tel Janin? When did I ever slight you, or give you one finger less than your due?
Swaying, Rand scrubbed a hand through his hair. There had been something odd about that thought, but he could not recall what.


Well, we know. Rand is back in the time warp. He is thinking of himself again as Lews Therin. While still wandering around, he has more flashbacks (page 504):


He recalled countering Sammael's last move with something particularly nasty, but he could not pull the memory to the surface. Not balefire. Mustn't use that. Threatens the fabric of the Pattern. Not even for Ilyena? I would burn the world and use my soul for tinder to hear her laugh again. He was drifting again, away from what was important.


The reference to balefire is inconclusive, because we know Moiraine told him of its dangers. But the last part of his thoughts are unequivocal: he is remembering being Lews Therin, and wishes he could hear his Ilyena again.

Later in the same chapter the maidens drag him into the Aiel camp, telling him the battle is over. Asmodean asks him what happened (page 506):

"Sammael," Rand said, but not in answer. He was just speaking the thoughts that drifted through the void. "I remember when he was first named Destroyer of Hope. After he betrayed the gates Hevan and carried the shadow down into the Rorn M'doi and the heart of Satelle. Hope did seem to die that day. Culan Cuhan wept. What is wrong?" Asmodean's face had gone as white as Sulin's hair; he only shook his head mutely.


Here, RJ uses Asmodean's reaction to point out what should be obvious to us by now, that Rand is referring to himself personally while describing events that happened in the AoL. But, more important, RJ is telling us the mechanism at work here with his reference to thoughts drifting across the void. The connection is easy to follow. As Rand channels more and more, the barriers that separate his conscious mind from his AoL memories break down more and more, so that he can recall AoL events as thoughts popping across "the void" into his conscious mind.

The final passage we shall examine in this section shows clearly that Rand recognizes his memories for what they are: his memories. He hasn't yet started attributing his memories to a separate Lews Therin entity. It occurs in . Rand is chasing Rahvin through the corridors of Caemlyn palace. They have not yet entered TAR. As Rand searches for Rahvin, he thinks to himself:

I walked this way with Elayne and Gawyn the day I met Morgase. And another thought like a stab. She lay on a floor like this, her golden hair spread as though sleeping. Ilyena sunhair. My Ilyena.


Here we have Rand thinking one thought as Rand and the next as Lews Therin. He goes on in this vein for a while, thinking of Elaida, then Ilyena, then some of his friends and Morgase's family, then Ilyena. We see him mixing AoL and current events in one long stream of thought. If we needed any further proof that it is Rand himself who is having the Lews Therin thoughts and not a separate Lews Therin entity, we find it here. Also, for the first time, we find Rand lamenting his lost Ilyena, asking for forgiveness, and thinking he deserves torment and death; themes we shall become very familiar with (and which some of us ascribe to a separate LTT entity) in the succeeding books.

In summary, it is pretty clear up to this point, that Rand is only tapping into his Lews Therin memories. He has occasional flashbacks where he thinks and speaks as if he was still Lews Therin and back 3000 years or more in time. But that is a far cry from having a separate Lews Therin in his head in addition to his own soul (which was Lews Therin's to begin with! ... how anybody can believe this piece of illogic is completely beyond me). In the next section we show how the nature of the memory taps change as Rand's channelling increases.
Quote
Alice Arneson
307. Wetlandernw
"Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art."

We're an artful bunch, most of the time. I'm not going to weigh in on the LTT debate. I do not personally believe the "construct" theory as I understand it, but I'm totally not interested in the arguments. I just don't think it matters that much. So, amazing as it is for The Compulsive Reader, I'm actually mostly skipping those posts today. I've heard all the arguments on both sides, and as I pointed out before, RJ clearly did not want it definitively answered. You can't prove either opinion with factoids from either the books or the external quotations; the best you can hope for is good rhetoric. I'm firmly convinced that it's an unwinnable argument, because the same passages are quoted on both sides, but they are always interpreted in light of the reader's own prejudice. Including the Big Moment on Dragonmount from TGS, which only proves whatever you already believed.
Tricia Irish
308. Tektonica
Blind@286:

I know you've been around all day.....I just decided to wave. Hi.

Man-O: We've missed you! Sorry you're so busy these days....we missed you weighing in on the micro brewery discussion on the last post....I tried to do Colorado proud, but needed your input. Hope all goes well and you return soon!
Tricia Irish
310. Tektonica
Looks like 301-02-and 03 were balefired.???
Matthew Smith
311. blocksmith
Posts being flagged as spam...what gives oh powerfeul moderator?
Barry T
312. blindillusion
Tek.

You know me. What would you of thought if I'd just waved back? I always feel the need to throw a few extra words out there. =) *tip of the hat* Hope you had a wonderful Monday. Mine was...rather blah.

One more thing...I just have to ask...umm...Sulin...you do know where that Alamo reference comes from, I hope.

In other news...anyone know all the movies I referenced today? What can I say. Dull day. and I'm here for the duration. Yay! NOT!
T C
314. Freelancer
blindillusion@272

Gladiator quote?

Actually, to answer your first question, yes, compared to the construct theories.

About your latter paragraphs, Rand is Rand. He is never "the voice in the back of the head". We have always only seen Rand. His soul is that of the Dragon. LTT was the most recent previous personality of the Dragon's soul. It just so happens that they are on live internal chat. Which is weird, unique, but not insane.

When Graendal calls Rand insane, she is just trying to get everyone around him to be afraid and run away. What she doesn't know is that for most of them, they have already passed through that stage and are still with him, so it doesn't work as well as she'd like.


Terez27@204
Don't make the mistake of ignoring Rand's revelation on Dragonmount - that he and Lews Therin were not two men, and never had been...
I wouldn't forget that for a moment. When applied with previous statements by both authors specifically defining the situation as two personalities for one soul, Rand's thought on Dragonmount advances neither theory more than the other, except in the eyes of proponents of each, so it's a dead-end debate wise.

I completely agree with you that Rand is never "insane" from a clinical position, but that he has myriad mental/emotional strains. However, I wonder how one holds to the contstruct theory, that Lews Therin is a product of Rand's subconcious and not a manifestation of the prior incarnation of the Dragon, and insists that he is sane. For any such dissociative separation into multiple personalities does indeed fall into the category of mental illness that is considered insanity.

As to how Nynaeve, or anybody else anywhere, can have a "conversation" with themselves, it is a completely different event. Each "person" includes three segments: Mind, soul, spirit. The mind is the physical portion of our cognitive self, which includes reasoning, and also our awareness of our "appetites". The spirit is our contact with the divine, and includes what is commonly referred to as the conscience. Everyone has times when their appetites demand attention. However, there are times when it is appropriate that the conscience steps in and overrules them. If a person succeeds in entirely suppressing the conscience in favor of appetites, the result is often called psychosis. If the reason completely supercedes the conscience, it commonly results in sociopathic behavior. It is normal and necessary for the internal system of checks and balances to exist, and that is all that is in play with the Nynaeve POV you quoted. Rand's situation is not even remotely similar when LTT is involved.


Isilel@208

We agree about a male v female topic? Amazing. Yes, Egwene has always been concerned about Rand, even if she has her instilled Two Rivers "men are all woolheads" mentality to filter it through. Mat wanted out of dodge when he learned who/what Rand was.


Tek@218

Ahh, the PB newbie makes a reference! All your base are ours!


toryx@228

Aww, shucks, I'm flattered.


jej@236

Hmm, neither toryx, nor Terez27, nor Leigh herself can convince me of the construct theory. But you being in the "real" camp? That might make me think twice... ;-)


Terez27@239

I most certianly am convinceable. I've adjusted or reversed my position on numerous issues of this saga over the years. I also deeply appreciated the depth and extent to which you've investigated this and many other topics in development of your theories. You claimed (paraphrasing) in a previous comment that the "real" consideration was no more than a simple metaphysical anomaly of fantasy, and wasn't interesting. I don't have any real reason to differ with that judgement, you can have it. But that also doesn't confer upon it the stamp of IMPOSSIBLE.

I'm actually most intrigued by the Schrodinger's cat implication from Jordan himself. If that "test" is then to be faithfully applied to this situation, neither of us is correct, and the only valid answer is that both of two divergent realities exist simultaneously. How's that for throwing the MOOT card?


blind@312

But of course.
Sharon E.
315. Sulin
Hi Tek! *waves to Tek*

Blind@- Er...no. I don't. :/ I don't watch very many movies
Barry T
316. blindillusion
Free,

Well, I'd expect you to be able to name all of them.

Sulin, I'd not recommend watching the movie, but needless to say, the Alamo is lacking in the basement department. =)

BlindofthePeewee'sBigAdventureIsNotForThoseWhoAppreciateTheirBrainCellsAiel.

Thankfully, I saw it as a young child before my brain knew better.
Ron Garrison
317. Man-0-Manetheran
Hrothgordo@304: "I was never given the impression that everyone is reborn like Rand." I can't provide you quotes as I'm at the office, but it is a basic premise in RJ's world that souls are reborn as a matter of course. Consider the oath of fealty where a consequence of failing their oath is to not be reborn.

BEER HERE!
Tek@308: ::hugz:: Colorado has been declared the microbrewery capital of the universe. So now, faithful friends, I shall do a quick Command-F of that thread and see what I can add.
Grand Junction? Don't have any firsthand experience, but no doubt there is one --- or two! Tommyknocker's in Idaho Springs brews a couple of my favorites. One is Butt Head Ale. It is a dopple bock, and if you know German, the two rams butting heads on the labels makes perfect sense.
Fat Tire from New Belgium brewers (Ft. Collins & the only true Belgian style brewery in the U.S.) is exceptional as are the Odell brews. The Left Hand Brewery (source of my avatar) does some mighty fine brews as does the Breckenridge Brewery (in Denver, not Breck.)
From Durango to Greeley, you will find at least one micro brewery in every city of any size. Colorado grows the barley and some of the hops, so it's only natural we make beer. I think CSU, the ag school, is now teaching courses, but I'm not positive about that.
Lastly there is the Great American Beer Festival in September: 100's of breweries from all over America compete for medals, and you can taste as much as you want-one sip at a time. A sip here, a sip there, and before you know it, you are totally wasted!
D R
318. Ouroboros
TO: lews_therin@thor.com
FROM: rand@thor.com
SENT: Jumara 2nd, 1000
SUBJECT: Asha'man

Lews Therin, we need to talk about the Asha'man.
Rand
P.S. who's the new guy?
---
TO: rand@thor.com
FROM: lews.therin@thor.com
SENT: Jumara, 2nd, 1000
SUBJECT: Out of office reply

I will next be at my desk on Jumara 13th; my horoscope predicts a psychotic episode.

Lews Therin

Tar Valon needs your votes.
visit www.blackberriesforall.com
Barry T
319. blindillusion
Free, In reference to 314:

You defined the "mind" and the "spirit", but you seem to have neglected the "soul".

And wouldn't the "soul" be the contact with the divine?

Were this a different forum, I might be inclined to debate you on this, but as it what it is, I'll not take it any further.

Still, curious as to where the "soul" went.
Sharon E.
320. Sulin
Blind- You were referring to PeeWee's Big Adventure? ROTFL! My brain is leaking from my ears just typing the name. Also, I know the Alamo doesn't have a basement. I was imagining...oh nevemind... ;)
Maiane Bakroeva
321. Isilel
MoM @293:

What was different this time? Well, the Taint is the only one we know about.

Prophecies of the Dragon tightly mapping tDR's actions and mapping his way are the difference, IMHO. LTT wasn't prophecized and announced in advance - Rand was. Because Rand couldn't learn and rise naturally, like LTT did. Is it not logical that people who made wards around Callandor, which recognized the Dragon's soul, could have also done something to ensure that he recalled his previous life?

@298:

Like Rand, most of the current crop are also hearing voices.

I don't recall any textual evidence to that end. Mad people sometimes hear voices. Mad male channelers sometimes hear voices. It is unclear whether any of it has anything to do with previous lives.
Karen Fox
322. thepupxpert
I'm a little behind on the posts but I wanted to put in my two cents on Taim:

1. When Taim is first introduced to Rand, Bashere doesn’t recognize him. Taim make a comment that he shaved his beard but Bashere looks confused and Rand is even more confused. I’m thinking – is this guy even Mazrim Taim? And if not, who is he?

2. How could Taim run the Black Tower and not know that Dashiva was a Forsaken? It would’ve been great to see a POV from either or even a scene between them, but that probably would have given away more than RJ wanted to at this point. Still it really bugs me that Dashiva is there taking orders from Taim, you would think it'd be the other way around.

3. Do we ever find out why Taim was so enraged when Rand gave him the first pins?

Re Sevanna - I know a lot of people didn't like going backwards in ACOS to view Dumai's Wells from Sevanna's point of view, but I just read that prologue last night and actually really enjoyed it.

Re Dumai's Wells and Rand's capture by the AS - now that I've re-read the series more than a few times and am now reading it along with the re-reads, the scene where Rand is captured is the scariest and most nauseating scene in the whole series for me. I had to skip it this time. But I did read through the entire battle.

And lastly – My copy of LOC has the spine upside down, does anyone else’s? The sleeve is correct and the book is correct, the spine is just flipped. And a TON of typos. How funny is that?
Tricia Irish
323. Tektonica
Blind@312:

I see you Blind ;-)

Free@314: Thanks. ::blushes::

Sulin@315: **waves back**

Man-O@317: Thank you for weighing in on the great Colorado breweries...I knew you'd be an expert! ;-)) Perhaps we'll get that beer this summer.....

Ouroboros@318: Another good eM'hael!
D R
324. Ouroboros
Hey, Sulin,
this just occured to me. Oosquai = uisge-beatha (Gaelic for water of life) or aqua vitae in Latin. Don't drink to much of it or your eyes will turn blue and your children become giant sand worms. Oops - wrong series.
Karen Fox
326. thepupxpert
KinoSupremmo @ 174 - I know this isn't OP-related but Sulin and Merana (sp?) duke it out after she met her toh for ordering Gaishin like Far Daris Mae (sorry if I murdered the spelling on those). Sulin beats her into unconsciousness and then Sulin picks her up and carries her off. That was a pretty wild scene.
Sharon E.
327. Sulin
@thePup-my copy of LoC (a HC bookclub edition) has a lot of typos in it. One of them has Rand embracing saidar!

Ouro@324- LOL and here I thought it was something akin to whiskey. ;)

SulinoftheKickinButtandTakinNoNamesSeptoftheSandwormsMakeGreatOffspringAiel
D R
328. Ouroboros
thepupxpert @ 326Sulin and Merana?

Merana is the Aes Sedai who heads the embassy to Caemlyn. I'd love to see her and Sulin slug it out, 'cause, ROTFL.

I think you mean Nandera. *smile
Karen Fox
329. thepupxpert
Our @ 328 - I KNEW I got the name wrong on that one. What you said!
Sam Mickel
330. Samadai
Brandon just posted that they fixed all the errors on the cover for the Towers of Midnight.
Hugh Arai
331. HArai
Freelancer@314:

We agree about a male v female topic? Amazing. Yes, Egwene has always been concerned about Rand, even if she has her instilled Two Rivers "men are all woolheads" mentality to filter it through. Mat wanted out of dodge when he learned who/what Rand was.


Agreed that Egwene has always been concerned about Rand. As influential as her Two Rivers upbringing may have been though, what worries me about Egwene is she seems to be drinking the "White Tower is always right" kool aid. Even Moiraine fell for that one, for the longest time.
Mikey Bennett
332. EvilMonkey
Ok got a quick dip in the pool comment.

Caddy Sue already told us when she was first introduced that male channellers hear voices in the advanced stages of taint sickness. What has not been established is whether the voices everyone else hears is a past life like Rand's is. My question is, if they are hearing a past life what's the chance that Rand-as-LTT actually knows them? I mean, he already knows the Forsaken on site, but those guys are his enemies. The Pattern dictates that he has to know them in order to fight for Team Light effectively. He rarely recognizes his past life friends though. Just for example, Elaine is Illenya reborn but aside from a little ear flicking, LTT doesn't acknowledge her as such.
Back to the male channellers, can anybody think of a reason why the Pattern let Rand pick out Narishma and Hopwil and the rest of his chosen group? Can it be that they are the reincarnated souls of some of Lews' 100 Companions?(minus Dashiva of course, but we all know the pattern picked him so that the Darkfriend chica could fireball his ass off a hilltop)

BTW, I always thought that there would have been a perfect seal on the dark one's prison had the women joined the men in sealing the Bore. After all, the greatest works of the Age were wrought when Men and Women worked together.

ShadowkilleroftheIcannotbelievewegot300+postsonthisthingitstakingmeforevertoreademallAiel
Sharon E.
333. Sulin
@Harai-
Agreed that Egwene has always been concerned about Rand. As influential as her Two Rivers upbringing may have been though, what worries me about Egwene is she seems to be drinking the "White Tower is always right" kool aid. Even Moiraine fell for that one, for the longest time.
That's what worries me about their next meeting. Like everyone else, I think she is going to want to control Rand, rather than work with him to achieve his goals.
Megaduck
334. Rand Al'Todd
EvilMonkey@332

Good comment: Why would the Pattern not recycle at least some of the Companions?

But you said:
"I always thought that there would have been a perfect seal on the dark one's prison had the women joined the men in sealing the Bore. After all, the greatest works of the Age were wrought when Men and Women worked together."

I agree in general,but others have quoted a statement from RJ that if they both had worked together, both parts of the one power would have been tainted.

(Quoted in trying to shoot down my Looney Theory that Caddy's wilder Norla was the surviving leader of the female opposition to the STRIKE - the one that effectively prevented any women AS from participating. I said she went to the 'Finn and asked to live long enough to "correct her mistake." Folks pointed out (among other things) that it could not have been a "mistake" if participation would have just gotten both sexes in the tainted nut bin. But I haven't given up, I still expect Norla to make an actual appearance - maybe just in flashback. - But I am not holding my breath.)

Some of the comments/theories on the Open thread say that now that we know more (but not enough) about Rand's True Power connection, maybe this time it needs to be both halves of the One Power, with the True Power used as a buffer to isolate the Dark One so that he can't touch the others to taint them. (One of the interpretations of "the three become one" prophecy.)
James Jones
335. jamesedjones
332 EvilMonkey
Caddy Sue
Thank you! My new, favorite nickname for Cranky Pants. :)
Noneo Yourbusiness
336. Longtimefan
Just a random observation from the re-read. Leigh was observing that Rand was alone because he did not have any of the people with him...

"who don’t always make him feel like he has GIANT SCARY FREAK tattooed on his forehead."

Well, the thing is he has that tattooed on his forearms.

It is more of a pictograph than an inscription.

Also just pushing the comments toward 350.
Tricia Irish
337. Tektonica
Sulin & Harai and others:

I think Egwene has been in the AS kool aid too...it's making me not like her, and I used to.

I'm just hoping that Rand becomes calm and clear and precise (now that he's whole) about what he wants and needs and knows for the coming battles. If Egwene and even Fortuona see him in a different light, ie: not a young angry wildcard, they might be sufficiently awed to listen and not try to control him.

Egwene must be convinced that the taint has been removed, and I think she needs to see Rand as a changed man. As a Man. As someone she does NOT know totally. Not just her old woolhead BF from the TR. She needs assurances of his humanity and respect for what he has become. What the scenario for that to happen is, I have no clue.

Perhaps Terez is correct, and Rand will have to die for the other powers that be to realize their last best hope has left the field. Then they might be behind him when he returns to fight the last battle. Thoughts?
Megaduck
338. chaplainchris
@ Egwene
I wouldn't put it so. Egwene emphatically does not drink the "White Tower is always right" kool-aid. The end of TGS is her rubbing both rebel and Tower AS's collective noses in the fact that they did wrong, and made huge mistakes, and failed their tasks, and should be ashamed.

She does drink the kool-aid of "my way is always right" a bit...but so does every Randlander. She defends Rand to the White Ajah - saying he's bull-headed but rational and good at heart.

Per Elaida's Foretelling, I'm sure Egwene will yell at Rand a bit so he can "know her anger" - but I'm hoping that'll be a good thing, part of Leigh's thing about Rand's ladies keeping him grounded.

And it's not like Egwene fresh from the Two Rivers never scolded Rand!
T C
339. Freelancer
Egwene is likely to try and get in Rand's face about Compelling the Sisters from Dumai's Wells. Nobody has been in a position to correct her about that. Well, actually, Verin could have said something, but she had bigger fish to fry in her final hour, and likely wouldn't have supposed that Egwene thought as she did about the matter.

Anyway, the Elaida Foretelling that Rand would face the Amyrlin and know her anger, is probably nothing more than that, with a smattering of "How could you allow those monsters of yours to bond sisters against their will?" for seasoning. They'll have a face-to-face (maybe more of a nose-to-nose, given how stubborn they each are), and then all will be fine for grouping together to face the Last Battle.
Megaduck
340. Hrothgordo
MoM - I don't need the quotations from you on being reborn. As I stated I am definitely no expert in that area.

But please note that I did understand that everyone is churned out over again but was under the impression that Horn-bound heroes are teh nly one tied to their past lives.


Chaplain@338 et al on Egwene

She didn't fully drink the Kool-Aid but has bought into some of the misperceptions of the Tower. She still thinks they are the authority. They aren't.

They need to work with Rand and I look forward to Egwene trying to vent on Rand for his treatment of AS and his attempts/success at working with the Seanchan.

I think Rand is willing to work with Egwene and the AS now. They can provide the support and knowledge he needs or try to control him.
Valentin M
341. ValMar
Damn, you've been posting like mad guys! So far I'm up to comment 200.
Just want to make one point re the size of Tar Valon (relevant to the unfortunate discussion of the Blackberrie).
As per the scale of the city's map in tDR, Tar Valon is 12 (twelve) miles long and up to 4 miles wide. It is several times bigger than Ancient Rome. Or any other unusually large city of the past. I assume hygiene is/was kept only thanks to the AS.
We don't have a scale for the map of Caemlyn, but I'm sure it is significantly smaller than TV, though still enormous for 16-18 century Europe. Tanchico is massive, 6 by 5 miles (but with with lots of sea in there). Ebou Dar is comparatively small, about the size of Constantinople at its largest.

Anyway, in terms of people TV is huge, TR very, very tiny.
T C
342. Freelancer
blindillusion@319

The soul is the eternal existence of a person, that which is immutable across all time. It is the other two aspects which form the definable nature of the person, which cause the aim to be upward or downward, in agreement or at odds with God at any given time.


ValMar@341

Yep, Tar Valon is approximately the size of Manhattan. A small town by any measure, right?
Sharon E.
343. Sulin
Tek@337- Very well put! I'm also hoping that Rand will be cool, calm and collected now after his epiphany, a bit like the scene in tGS where he banishes Caddy Sue, but without the darkness/hardness/evil or whatever. That commanding presence, is what he needs to project to win over Eg and Fortuona, IMO.

Anyway, I'm feeling loopy now, so I'll quit rambling :P
Alice Arneson
344. Wetlandernw
Just to throw in an unrelated comment, yes, I have had a post appear in the thread after getting the "flagged for spam pending review by the moderator" notice. I think I've only gotten that flag once, but when I did, the post showed up in the thread about 1/2 hour later (or so). Just so you know - nothing is impossible.

Except proving the "construct or real person" argument one way or the other...
T C
345. Freelancer
I only get posts flagged when I try to link something. Since the first time it has happened, no comment of mine passes if a link is included. I noticed an item in subwoofer's shoutbox from the staff saying they would look into it, but that's all I know.

A link to this comment, which works fine in preview mode...
T C
346. Freelancer
I only get posts flagged when I try to link something. Since the first time it has happened, no comment of mine passes if a link is included. I noticed an item in subwoofer's shoutbox from the staff saying they would look into it, but that's all I know.

And the reason for the skipped comment number is that I tried to include a link to Wetlandernw's comment above mine. It failed. I've never seen one of my "flagged" comments show up later.
Alice Arneson
347. Wetlandernw
Wow - I wonder how I get the honor of apparently being the only one to get a flagged comment to show? I can't really be the only one... FWIW, the comment I referred to was #303 on PoD Part 8; I posted it after most folks had gone to the new thread and got The Notice, but next time I looked it was there. It did include a link, to Big Sky Brewing... Maybe Torie or Pablo is partial to Moose Drool? :) If I were feeling brave - and also like staying up for a while to see if it failed and then posted - I'd make that a link to see if it worked this time. Not that brave, and definitely not willing to stay up that long; I've got to get myself & two kids to school by 7:50, and I need my beauty sleep. Or sleep, anyway; some mornings the beauty is definitely debatable...

Gee, I think I need to go to bed. I'm rambling worse than usual, and that's saying something!
Thomas Keith
348. insectoid
WetNW @344 et al: Hmm, I've never had a problem with links. Come to think of it, I've never gotten a double-post or spam flag either. Where is it... aha!
You know, given all the wackiness going on here at Tor.com, I'm wondering... why is it I (and many others) haven't been bitten by the double-post or spam-filter bugs? (No pun intended!) Is it really just a random occurrence? Should I feel left out?
Maybe I just have Mat Cauthon's luck. ;)

Oh, and congratulations Wetlander... that is a rare honor! I guess the comment was only Mostly Dead;)

Gotta find some more things to ramble about...

Bzzz™.
Theresa Gray
349. Terez27
Wow, this thread is hoppin! I'm going to try to respond with another tab open so I don't have to scroll back and forth, and hopefully I won't get flagged as spam this time (I'm going to copy before posting to be sure I don't lose it). A couple of friends from Theoryland have been following this discussion, and they both find it amusing that you guys think that these arguments are anything close to 'complete'. At Theoryland, 'Lews Therin' and 'longpost' are virtually synonymous in WoT discussion. I have personally written more on this subject than any other subject by far. A retired Theoryland guru named Callandor wrote just about as much on the subject, and there was never a shortage of people to discuss it with. Unfortunately, the format here makes posts seem a lot longer than they are, if you're used to regular message boards. It is rather bad on your scroll wheel.

Anyway, let me just say that I'm very pleased with the interest in the subject, even from those who disagree. All of you are targets for conversion (even @freelancer, now that you've offered yourself up for convincing). I said to someone recently (I think on rafo.com) that I'm not trying to start a religion with the Gawyn theory. I'm not trying to start one with Lews Therin either, but the theories are fundamentally different in that we are guaranteed an answer to one, and guaranteed not to have an official answer on the other. Even before that last was confirmed, I always assumed that the popularity of the theory would depend on our arguments alone.

To me, that's what makes it fun to debate. I get frustrated more easily arguing Gawyn because we're going to find out soon enough one way or the other. I have encountered a good number of people over the years like @wetlandernw who have a very active disinterest in Lews Therin, and did even before Brandon and Harriet said that we'll never get an easy answer from them on the subject.

What is interesting to me is that the vast majority of these people do have an opinion on the subject, and they are almost without exception in the 'real' faction. Some of them will say that they can see both theories being correct, but in my purely anecdotal and therefore probably worthless experience, most of them add a footnote that they lean toward 'real' and think that the construct theory is an unnecessary complication.

On that point, the real'ers love to bring up Occam's Razor; I am of the opinion that the construct itself was an unnecessary complication, and that Rand rid himself of that unnecessary complication on Dragonmount.

I think that it is a testament to RJ's artistry that he was able to present the illusion of Lews Therin as a separate entity so convincingly that the readership has adopted Rand's own technique of denial, and holds to it even after Rand has let it go. That's not meant to be derogatory toward the real'ers, because RJ really did make it convincing. But on the other hand, he also dedicated more words to meticulously planting that ambiguity than he dedicated to any other mystery in the series.

Just the continuity of Rand's denial issues over the matter of his past life is amazing writing.

In 1.P ('Dragonmount'), Lews Therin received Ishamael's gift of sanity that gave no comfort, and the grief was so great that he saw no other option but to take his own life...but he was sane enough to do it in a place with no people. And thus, Dragonmount was created, the place where he would symbolically be born again over 3000 years later - symbolically because the world still needed him to save it, after all this time, and also because he deserved another chance to save it, and to find love again.

Rand chanted to himself in 1.6 ('The Westwood') to convince himself that Tam's story about finding him on Dragonmount was just a fever dream. At the time, he didn't even realize the implications, but he was rather adamant about believing that Tam was his father, because he had always believed it, and because he loved his father.

He chanted to himself again in 2.8 ('The Dragon Reborn' - the same chapter where Nynaeve has a conversation with herself, incidentally) when Siuan and Moiraine told him that he was the Dragon Reborn. Moiraine told the story of Tam's service with the Companions, and the Blood Snow, and Rand could hear his father's voice in his head, telling the story about finding him on Dragonmount. And that was the only reason why he knew that it was true - at least, the bit about Tam being his father; he didn't finally admit that he really was the Dragon Reborn until he took Callandor; even Falme wasn't quite enough - but Moiraine's story about where he was born, who he was, fit with what his father said when he was feverish, and he trusted his father. He knew from several other sources that he could pass for Aiel, so the truth about his father became more or less clear then.

When Rand finally realized the source of the memories in 5.6 ('Gateways'), he denied them because he could not accept that he was the Kinslayer. In 5.43 ('This Place, This Day'), we see that Rand has no problem with Lews Therin's memories in general because they are useful, but the memories of Ilyena in particular are agonizingly painful for Rand. So Rand refuses to listen to the thoughts in his head to avoid the pain; he continues to see Lews Therin as separate from himself because he cannot accept that pain.

Skip to TGS where Rand finally sees Tam again. He tells Tam that he tried to deny for a long time that he was not Tam's son, but that in the end, he had no choice but to accept the truth. But Rand's encounter with the True Power, and the psychological damage that came from what Semirhage forced him to do to Min, manifested itself in this instance by sharpening Rand's paranoia about Aes Sedai, and Cadsuane in particular; the paranoia went so far that he suspected even his own father of trying to manipulate him. This is a nice reference back to Moiraine's story, corroborating Tam's story, and the way that their relationship progressed until Moiraine's battle with Lanfear. Rand almost killed his father, and it was in that moment that he finally faced the truth: that it was really him whose hand slew Ilyena, and that what he had almost done was not just as bad, but worse. He thinks to himself, 'I'm doing it again.' He briefly contemplates destroying the Seanchan, destroying everything, and then he ends up on Dragonmount, where he finally faces the truth and finds a reason to live.

Both the inception of the Lews Therin phenomenon and its resolution are bound together by two important details: Tam al'Thor and Dragonmount. It could have been almost anyone to cause Rand to finally reach the breaking point, but it was Tam. Rand could have gone anywhere to work out his mental issues, but he went to Dragonmount.

One of the reasons I favor the construct theory is that I think it tells a more compelling story about Rand's journey than the assumption that Lews Therin is a separate entity with a mind of its own, essentially sitting in the back of Rand's head, listening to Rand's thoughts, and occasionally commenting on them. The most important bit is that the pain of Lews Therin's loss was not something that Rand could entirely disassociate himself from. It was his pain - his responsibility no matter how he tried to deny the fact, and it was this inconsistency that led to Rand reciting the litany of dead women to harden himself.

chaplainchris@281:

@ everybody re: LTT/Rand - are y'all even actually disagreeing with each other?


This is always a problem in Lews Therin debates; it's never really clear which side believes what, and it's often easy to come to the conclusion that both sides are actually arguing the same thing. I think I summed up the main difference above: the real'ers by definition believe that Lews Therin was separate from Rand to the point that he had his own thoughts, and that if RJ wanted, he could have given us Lews Therin's POV, and we'd have seen Lews Therin riding around in the back of Rand's head, thinking mad thoughts about how he wants to take over Rand's body and die. Via the construct theory, this is an impossible situation; we already have Lews Therin's POV because Lews Therin was reborn as Rand.

But indeed, it takes only a very small paradigm shift for most people to jump on the construct bandwagon. When I was a noob, I argued against Callandor at Theoryland about this until I realized that we actually agreed. I had the same knee-jerk reaction as most people to the idea that Lews Therin was in any way not 'real', but eventually I was able to separate the veracity of Lews Therin's memories and emotions from the idea that Lews Therin was an independent consciousness.

And also indeed, the debate about the mechanism by which Rand started getting the memories is separate, but the real'ers have a tendency to see them as being the same debate, because for them, it's all about how and why Lews Therin 'became aware' in Rand's head. For the construct'ors, the how and why is one thing, but the illusion of awareness is another thing altogether.

thewindrose@289 - I started an in-depth character analysis of Lews Therin on Theoryland some years ago. I'd link it, but I'm away from my laptop so I don't have any bookmarks handy. I made it to Lord of Chaos and then gave up because it was time-consuming and I was starting school again.

Anyway, I find it interesting that none of the paths that Moiraine saw for Rand included Rand killing Lanfear. In that scene on the docks, Rand's brain was telling him that he needed to kill Lanfear, that she was dangerous, that she deserved to die, that letting her live would cause harm to others, etc. But he convinced himself that this desire to kill Lanfear came from Lews Therin, the murdering madman. In a sense, he equated killing Lanfear to killing Ilyena, and the cost of that misapprehension was Moiraine's 'death'. And he stubbornly tells Moiraine as he's reading her letter that it was his choice (a throwback to the title of the chapter where he makes the choice - 'Choices').

I assume that it would have required some Compulsion on Lanfear's part to make Rand her lover, and for him to call himself Lews Therin. If her Compulsion could have forced Rand to accept those memories, then the integration would have followed, if not in the best possible way. I doubt he would have forgotten Rand completely in that situation, but he most likely would have chosen to ignore the part of himself that was Rand in favor of the part of himself that Lanfear was obsessed with: Lews Therin. Lanfear has shown reluctance before to stoop to Compulsion with Rand - she wanted him to come to her freely - so in a sense, Rand had no real choice among those that Moiraine listed. One path was about Moiraine's choice. The other two paths were about Lanfear's choice, should Moiraine fail to intervene: either Lanfear would Compel Rand, or she would kill him.

insectoid@295 - lol@TAFO. Also, V is definitely an ass sometimes. Most of the time. But that's what makes him so sexy. All that insecurity just makes me want to hug him, even knowing he might well kill me for it.

LTF@296 - The chapter of Lews Therin's return is one of the best places in the series to have this debate, IMO. There are other places where it could be had, but this is a good one.

M'o'M@298 - As others have said, there's no real evidence that other male channelers have past life memories. The taint barrier degradation theory that I linked earlier discusses the fact that Rand has taken in far more of the taint than any other channeler by virtue of having used Callandor and the Choedan Kal while the taint still fouled saidin. Other madmen hear voices in their heads, but in the same way that madmen in the real world hear voices. I think Rand is a special case.

Alisonwonderland@308 - Thanks for quoting that! I wish I had been around back in the rasfw-rj days. I would have backed you up! Later I will link to the character analysis I did; we said some very similar things. I of course addressed every single instance of Lews Therin up to the point in LOC where I gave up; I found his delirium at the Battle of Cairhien to be particularly interesting, especially since it immediately followed him shutting off his brain to ignore the memories about Ilyena. When he is so delirious that he can no longer even channel, he doesn't have the strength to fight the memories any more, and they flow freely.

Freelancer@3.14

When applied with previous statements by both authors specifically defining the situation as two personalities for one soul, Rand's thought on Dragonmount advances neither theory more than the other, except in the eyes of proponents of each, so it's a dead-end debate wise.


I'm not so sure. We could debate all day long about what, exactly, 'personality' represents in this context. I don't believe that the word necessitates an independent consciousness. Rather, Rand sees the world from two different perspectives. This is similar to what those who suffer from schizophrenia experience, but Rand's mind is decidedly dualistic until the 'small voice' belies the false dichotomy, and the memories (which cause the mental issue in the first place) provide a name and a face for Rand's alternate personality.

However, the lines between 'Rand' and 'Lews Therin' are not so easily drawn as that, because they are in truth one and the same. The alternate personality seldom shares useful information with Rand; the alternate personality merely expresses the bits of Lews Therin's memories that Rand finds the most painful.

Furthermore, the alternate personality remembers things about Rand's past that Rand is trying to forget. It notices things that Rand is trying to ignore, things that Rand is aware of only on a subconscious level, such as the flashing arrows pointing to Taim being the kind of person that you don't just trust blindly. The alternate personality sensed the Gray Man that Taim showed up in the nick of time to kill; Rand was aware of the sensation of filth, but he confused it with Lews Therin, because the memories of the Kinslaying repulse him that much. The alternate personality knew something was wrong in the Bowl fallout territory. The alternate personality noticed the Other One, and even appears to have recognized him for who he was. 'We are not builders, not you, or I, or the other one. We are destroyers.' The alternate personality equates itself to its eternal enemy, because those memories - that face and name that Rand has assigned to his alternate personality - disgust him that much.

In the same vein, the alternate personality expresses Rand's everyday suppressed thoughts and emotions. In the beginning of Lord of Chaos, Lews Therin babbles off the names of random Forsaken, because Rand has the monumental task of killing all of them, but he has so many other things to do that he doesn't have time to think about them. But when Rand needs knowledge of the Forsaken, he doesn't need to consult the alternate personality; Rand tells Taim about their various misdeeds in 6.2 ('A New Arrival') and confidently insists that he can list a hundred crimes as bad for each of the thirteen.

The point of all this is that the line between Rand and Lews Therin - whatever that line might be - and the line between Rand's conscious personality and his alternate personality are demonstrably two completely different things.

That is the essence of why I believe that the matter of consciousness, sentience, awareness - whatever you want to call it - is an aspect of the soul, while personality is an aspect of the mind. That brings me to your next point:

I completely agree with you that Rand is never "insane" from a clinical position, but that he has myriad mental/emotional strains. However, I wonder how one holds to the contstruct theory, that Lews Therin is a product of Rand's subconcious and not a manifestation of the prior incarnation of the Dragon, and insists that he is sane. For any such dissociative separation into multiple personalities does indeed fall into the category of mental illness that is considered insanity.


That is actually one of the more intriguing things that RJ has done here. Someone mentioned earlier that the creation of the alternate personality is actually a coping mechanism. It's what keeps Rand sane...but at the same time, it's what is making him unbalanced.

If Rand had somehow been forced to accept that Lews Therin was actually him back when he was first told that he was the Dragon Reborn - if he's simply remembered being Lews Therin all at once, for example - he'd have probably gone insane on the instant. He had to have some time to get used to the idea before he could accept it, and this hiatus from reality prevented him from going insane.

At the same time, the disassociation from that part of himself that is Lews Therin was making Rand unbalanced. Rand doesn't noticeably get any more memories after about LOC, but he does get progressively more unbalanced in the next several books, and RJ also pulls us away gradually from Rand's point of view, to the point that we only get one full Rand chapter in Crossroads, and a short bit in the epilogue, where the omens clearly speak that Rand's perspective is getting darker. All of this leads to Rand's suicidal tendencies in the next book, and the link with Moridin (particularly the use of the True Power) brings everything to a head in TGS.

In this way, you could say that RJ has reverse-engineered Rand's psychological disorder in a similar way to his reverse-engineering of the myths and legends of our world. But really, it's not all that different from what real world psychotics experience; they create their alternate personalities as a way of dealing with some sort of life trauma. As with Graendal's patients - who share Rand's type of trauma, if neither quite in the same way nor nearly to the same degree - few have the inner strength to face that trauma and deal with it in a more healthy way.

The issues of alternate personalities and voices are some of the most often-explored in pop culture, and the question of legal insanity is often tied into it. I'm speaking off the cuff here, but from what I gather of RJ's politics, I think he would probably be a great skeptic when it comes to the matter of letting someone get off easy for a crime because they claim to be insane.

As to how Nynaeve, or anybody else anywhere, can have a "conversation" with themselves, it is a completely different event.


I agree that Nynaeve is a different sort of thing. The only reason I mentioned it in the first place is because M-A-T asked how it was possible for Rand to have a conversation with 'Lews Therin' if Lews Therin is not actually there, and separate. I used Nynaeve to show that it is quite easy to have conversations with yourself; it took some (subconscious) effort for Rand to have a 'conversation' with Lews Therin, because he first had to convince himself that Lews Therin was actually there in his head. That was hard for him to believe at first, and at the same time a very disturbing thing for him to contemplate, but after two books' worth of effort on Rand's part and the stress of Dumai's Wells, Rand finally managed it. At that time, his sanity depended on Lews Therin being there. When Cadsuane told him about the voices, the balance shifted, and his sanity depended on the absence of Lews Therin's voice. With the Torval episode, the balance shifted again, and his sanity once again depended on Lews Therin being 'real'. When Rand almost killed Tam in TGS, the balance shifted one last time. At that point, his sanity depended on his acceptance.

Each "person" includes three segments: Mind, soul, spirit.


I don't think that there is really anything in the books to suggest this division. I think that the evidence in Rand's point of view indicates what I proposed earlier: that sentience is an aspect of the soul. Typically, even reborn Heroes do not remember anything about their past lives, from birth to death, so Rand's problem is not anything approaching common.

I think that the mind is shaped by two things: the great 'nature and nurture' of classical psychology. The soul provides the nature, and the experiences of the incarnation provide the nurture. In this way, each incarnation is shaped differently, but the nature of the person is always the same. This is why Birgitte is cohesive as a singular personality in Tel'aran'rhiod, and after she is ripped out for that matter. I think we can agree on this.

Rand lived the first twenty years of his life not remembering anything at all about his past life as Lews Therin, and he was in fact raised with the sure knowledge that Lews Therin Kinslayer was 'the most hated, the most feared man in the history of the world', and no better than the Dark One himself.

RJ has approached the situation in a realistic fashion. If you were Rand, and you all of a sudden started rememering your past life - vague at first, like memories from early childhood - how would you react? Rand's mind is at this time shaped only by his nature and his experienced as Rand. Because his mind was already shaped, Lews Therin's memories seemed alien to him, despite the fact that they were as much his memories as those from the current incarnation. The infamous nature of Lews Therin's deeds along with the implications of those deeds for Rand only added to the mental trauma. It would have been rather strange indeed if Rand did not suffer mentally from the experience.

You claimed (paraphrasing) in a previous comment that the "real" consideration was no more than a simple metaphysical anomaly of fantasy, and wasn't interesting. I don't have any real reason to differ with that judgement, you can have it. But that also doesn't confer upon it the stamp of IMPOSSIBLE.


I wasn't trying to imply that it was impossible at all. Just that anything is possible in fantasy, really. I always took RJ's point with Schroedinger to mean this: you can write anything you like in a fantasy world, but if you want to keep your readers interested, you have to also make it realistic. If you lose sight of the fact that it has to be both, at the same time, then you get these farmboys that don't crack under pressure.

If that "test" is then to be faithfully applied to this situation, neither of us is correct, and the only valid answer is that both of two divergent realities exist simultaneously. How's that for throwing the MOOT card?


Insufficient, I think, since Brandon indicated that there is a real answer to the question in the notes. However, I do think that the Lews Therin phenomenon is both supernatural and psychological, in the sense that the past life memories are supernatural no matter how you slice it. Whether or not the 'voice' of Lews Therin is supernatural or psychological is another issue altogether.

I think this was my longest post so far, and I don't even have my ebooks handy for quotes! That's what happens when there are close to 100 comments made while I'm asleep!
Noneo Yourbusiness
350. Longtimefan
Do they have Spam mail in the Westlands? Maybe some bored merchant with some very healthy pigeons looking to increase business.

"Floors stone cold? Rooms dull and lackluster? Try Tarabon Carpets! Popular with the White Tower. Every Sister samples our carpets!"

"Feeling lost in the crowd? Not getting enough pull on your plow? Try Tairen Stallions! It's the big horse that gets a man noticed!"

"What happens in Saldea stays in Saldea! Farmgirls! Harvest! Knives!"

Unlike today's spam problem instead of clicking delete the innkeeper's just end up with a lot more pigeon pie on the menu.
lin mei
352. twicemarked
Terez,

I think the debate about Real versus construct goes deep, much deeper, as deep as any debate about what exactly is human, which is why you will not convert many people.

Let me use an analog with something very controversial, like human cloning. You see, you starts out with some cells, which is clearly a construct. Thus along the way, something happened, and it begin to develop. At the end of the development, we have a person, which is clearly real.

So somewhere along the line, a construct turned real, and we currently do not have a clear idea how and when that turning point is.

If you frame your mind around it, the "pro-life" "pro-choice" debate is also about when we are still talking about a constuct of flesh and blood, thus it is not "real", and we are not dealing with "murder"; and when it becomes "real" and terminating it becomes "murder". That debate is also about the demarcation between a construct and "being real".

As you can see, if something starts out as a construct, it could well end up being real. The point that it originated as a construct makes little difference toward it "being real" in the end. At what point does it turn real, is up to debate, and there is no clear agreement on that.

To say something is real, really means it passed the "duck test". "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

Toward a "realer", LTT passed the duck test. It was constructed somehow in the past. It could very well be constructed by the Pattern just like how every other soul is constructed by the Pattern. How it comes to being is not very important. That it "acts real" is.

Looking at it another way. We all know that computers are just a construct of some hardwares and programming. And humans have continiously wondered if and when a computer can develop sentience. In Sci-fi novels, it is often taken for granted some computers can develop sentience. At what point is that computer still a construct, and at what point it becomes real? What test does a computer need to pass to be considered "real"?

"Turning Test" proposed that if a computer can converse with humans and fool them into thinking it is a human instead of a machine, it passed.

Passing the "Turning test" itself is nowhere near in declaring a computer sentient. Yet it did show how humans answer these type of questions.

Look at this from a legal point of view. A company is clearly a construct. Yet it is a "legal person" and capable of having a life of its own. The same with a governemnt and a nation. At what point do we consider these entities "real", instead of a construct of some making?
Jacy Clark
353. Amalisa
@everyone re Rand and LTT...

And this is what I meant when I said back on PoD, Part 8 that I just get caught up in the story and then am completely blown away when y'all pull out the intellectual big guns... *lol*

To me, it was always a simple case of reincarnation gone somewhat awry because a) Rand is the Dragon Reborn and, therefore, something of a Big Deal and b) LTT's psyche had been majorly scrambled before finding his way back to the Carousel.

I mean, reincarnation is pretty central to the Wheel of Time. People living their lives "in this turn of the Wheel" before going back after they die and waiting to be spun out again. And way back when I first read TEotW, I was pretty sure - after reading the prologue, the two snippets of prophecy after, and then chapter one, that young Rand was going to be the Dragon or descended from the Dragon. It just never occured to me (until I found this blog) that Rand was anything but LTT recycled, and I'll confess that the whole real vs construct debate makes me want to retreat to the kitchen and start whipping up some goodies. :D

As for the spam thing... Most of the time, when a post that was flagged for spam reveiw is reviewed, it will show up in an hour or a day or two. Until it does, there will be a number (or numbers, depending on how many times the poster tried) skipped.

Occasionally, it seems that the review does not take place or something is actually deemed "spam".

Double fudge chocolate chip cookies anyone? Fresh from the oven...
Megaduck
354. Kreeble
@Terez: I believe the mind/soul/spirit is a direct lift from Plato's philosophy rather than the WoT universe.
D R
355. Ouroboros
Okay, I've just been going back through the thread carefully; I skimmed through it last night.

Terez @ 182

Rand assumed that he had fallen into some trap of Rahvin's devising, but we know something about Tel'aran'rhiod that Rand does not: stray thoughts can easily become reality in the Dream. We know from Rand later in TGS that the pieces of himself fit together better in Tel'aran'rhiod. It makes sense then that Rand became insubstantial, when he essentially denied himself.


I don't agree with this.

Why had Lews Therin tried to take him over? To make him into Lews Therin. He was sure that was who that dark-eyed man with the suffering face had been. Why now? Because he could in this place, whatever it was? Wait. It had been Lews Therin who shouted that adamant “no.” Not an attack by Lews Therin. By Rahvin, and not using the Power. If the man had been able to do this back in Caemlyn, the real Caemlyn, he would have. It had to be some ability he had gained here. And if Rahvin had gained it, perhaps he had too. The image of himself had been what held him, brought him back.

He focused on the nearest rosebush, a thing a span high, and imagined it growing thin, foggy. Obediently, it melted away to nothing, but as soon as the picture in his mind was nothing, the rosebush was suddenly back, just as it had been.


What happens is this. Rahvin tries to kill Rand by willing him into non-existence and Rand, not understanding, begins to fade. Lews Therin, however, understands the rules and fights back by concentrating on himself, and so begins to gain substance. Rand incorrectly believes that Lews Therin is trying to take over and so fights back by insisting that he is himself, which is actually the same thing that Lews Therin is doing, although he came to it through a different impetus. Lews Therin's actions provoke Rand into defending himself from Rahvin's attack but it is only after the attack that he understands how.

It doesn't matter what the Lews Therin persona is at this point. The construct will be acting out Lews Therin's memories, which include his appearance, and the personality from the past will be trying to assert itself. Either way, the result is the same and the event can be taken both ways.

Consider, for instance, the fact that Lews Therin's voice disappears in the dream with Moridin, in TGS. Rand says that the 'pieces of himself' fit together better there, in the dream.


If those bound to the wheel live in T'A'R when not needed, it stands to reason that their immortal souls will be strongest in that place. So, when Rand goes there he is becoming the Dragon that the pattern decrees, not the man that he wants to be. In other words, the mechanism that exists between heroes and T'A'R forces Rand to be "complete".

MAT @ 191

3. When Rand was on Dragonmount he had a moment of clarity. He finally remembered all of his past lives. This is where the reintergration takes place, fusing all of the past Dragons on to the current one. This might seem like a point for your arguement but I say that the reintergration makes sense only if there was something else to reintergrate. Thus LTT was a seperate entity that needed to be set right.


Look at this from a cosmological point of view. The Dragon is about to choose between destroying the world forever or accepting what he is and what he has done. This is such an important moment that it has almost certainly happened before. Now we're talking about a wheel, which means that this event is actually taking place at the same time in every turning. This is, in a sense, a collective moment, in which all the Dragons in all the turnings are thinking the same thoughts, with the pattern being threatened in the same way in all of them. The net affect is to create a kind of resonance. If they were thinking these thoughts at different times then it probably wouldn't happen. Nor would it happen if this was not such a crucial moment. However, the magnitude of the decision and its synchronicity with the other turnings gives it a weight of sorts. For this one moment the structure bends a little and allows all of the Dragons to see each others lives. In other words, this is not a fusing of all the Dragons, but a temporary sharing of consciousness.

Terez @ 204

"How does Nynaeve have a conversation with herself?"

Not in the same way as Rand does. The "small voice" is just the devil on the shoulder. For one thing, Nynaeve is talking to Nynaeve, and she identifies that fact: "she told herself fiercely." This is what I think the small voice Rand hears in TGS is. Rand, on the other hand, is definitely holding a conversation with another "person".

Again, you could use this in both arguments, but you can't say that Rand is talking to himself because Nynaeve talks to herself, the circumstances are very different. Consider this more interesting passage.

We don't know the names of the women who were in Graendal's palace, Lews Therin said. We can't add them to the list.

Rand tried to ignore the madman. That proved impossible.

Lews Therin continued.

How can we continue the list if we don't know the names! In war, we sought out the Maidens who had fallen, We found every one! The list is flawed! I can't
continue!

It's not your list! Rand growled. It's mine, Lews Therin. MINE!

No! the madman sputtered. Who are you? It's mine! I made it. I can't continue now that they're dead. Oh, Light! Balefire? Why did we use balefire! I promised
that I would never do that again. . . .


This is very definitely an argument between the two personalities and nothing like Nynaeve’s self doubt. Of course, it also shows that the two personalities are beginning to merge.

It actually took a great deal of effort for Rand to be able to have anything resembling a 'conversation' with Lews Therin, just as it takes some time for schizophrenics to construct the voices that they share their heads with. Rand's effort spanned two whole books - TFOH and LOC.


And yet, Rand is answering to Lews Therin at the beginning of TFoH. If it takes time to build the construct, why is the construct able to become the dominant personality so early on in the procedure? In fact, Rand's ignoring his own name implies that he is suffering from a full blown dissociative disorder at this point in the book.

Terez27 @ 207:

"And thus begins the identity crisis. Thereafter, all thoughts that Rand doesn't like are attributed to Lews Therin, whether or not they have anything to do with Lews Therin at all."

You're stating that the identity crisis begins in chapter 6, but as I've already said, he's responding to Lews Therin's name in chapter 3 of this same book. You need to rethink the progression of the disorder.

... we have the advantage over the average psychiatrist in that we can actually get inside Rand's head and see what is going on there.


I'd be more confident in this advantage if we saw what Rand was thinking when the Lews Therin persona was dominant.

MasterAlThor @ 230:

So what you are saying is that if anyone denies themself they will go through the same thing that Rand is going through? Why aren't Mat, Perrin, or Nynaeve going through this? How many times have each of them question themselves?


There is a whole world of difference between self-denial and dealing with another mans memories in your head. But this is beside the point.

I am one of the people who gives Perrin a bad rap for being all emo-ey (ok that isn't even a word but you understand what I am saying). Perrin is going through some really mental stuff. He could lose his humanity, his wife has been kidnapped and his best friend is someone who is destined to break the world again.

Why isn't he needing to reintergrate?


Perrin needs to integrate with the wolf, that's been a major aspect of his plot since the first book. In any case, it's not relevant to this discussion because Rand is a unique and completely different case. There is a connection between Rand and Lews Therin (the corporeal one) that goes beyond the soul. Consider Birgitte. She has lived many lives, but those lives are not linked by actual events in the same way that Rand and Lews Therin are.

Lews Therin had a relationship with Lanfear and Lanfear chases Rand. Lews Therin thought against Ishamael and Ishamael fights against Rand. Lews Therin leads the forces of light against the Shadow and Rand leads them 3000 years later. Lews Therin sealed the DO's prison and Rand must reseal it again.

With all those parallels, is it any wonder that the pattern is making Rand a special case? Rand is finishing what Lews Therin begun so it makes perfect sense for Rand to be a continuation of Lews Therin. This is not so for the other souls whose lives are less strongly linked.

Alisonwonderland @ 249: Why is that an incongruous belief? The heroes in T'A'R are amalgamations of *every* life that a soul lives. Why is two at once such a big leap?

MasterAlThor @ 261: "If LTT is a coping mechanism, how is it that Rand reaches for the source twice? Or he has to battle for control of the source? If LTT isn't there what is he struggling against? Moridin?"

The point is that the construct is a personality through which Rand can act. Remember that he is answering to Lews Therin as well as Rand. When he embraces saidin, the part of him which wants to end it all (Lews Therin) reaches for the source to use it suicidally, whereas Rand reaches for it for some other purpose. The fight is just Rand's minds way of interpreting the struggle.

twicemarked @ 352: This is what I said at 252. It's the Dragons journey that counts and RJ has left plenty of wiggle room for those who want to see what they want to see.
Birgit
356. birgit
Do we ever find out why Taim was so enraged when Rand gave him the first pins?

Taim doesn't like being the second Ashaman after Rand.

"Turning Test" proposed that if a computer can converse with humans and fool them into thinking it is a human instead of a machine, it passed.

It's called Turing Test, after Alan Turing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test
Barry T
357. blindillusion
Ah. Nice and quiet with my coffee. Just how I like it. *props up feet and enjoys*

Meh.

Suffa. Where is everyone?
John Massey
358. subwoofer
Well- we may as well all move to Russia as it seems we have adopted that country's way of writing really really epically long fraggin' posts!

Erm... on the flagged posts... it happens to me so often I wish I could choose the type of flag. Baby blue is a challenge sometimes. I got this:
Apologies for having so many of your posts stuck in our spam filter. I'm looking into it but, please feel free to email me the next time it happens: irene.gallo@tor.com


So give that a whirl.

I try to keep my stuff as PG as possible, despite my... colorful imagination. That being said, I drop a link or something and my posts are 50/50 for going sideways.

Woof™.
John Massey
359. subwoofer
@Ouro-

conversations between two people/personalities. It can happen as a construct. Do not make me invoke the conversation of the Precious.

I am honestly trying to read some of these mini-novels, but when it goes beyond two scrolls of my mouse- dang! My eyes tend to glaze over and it is like- get to the point already. Cameron- James Cameron has a similar problem in his movies- he can't edit to save his life and as a result we get these 3+ hour monsters that had he been restrained a little, would have been a manageable 2.

Woof™.
Matthew Smith
360. blocksmith
So trying this again...had four posts flagged as spam yesterday and they didn't even include a link to anything!!!

Basically, I don't care whether blackberry bush refers to TV or TR. IMHO, it does not appear to have any real bearing on any plotline.

This was probably more topical yesterday.
D R
361. Ouroboros
sub @ 359: Didn't say LTT not construct. Only that Terez Nyn example insuffitient proof. Wondered when precious would come into it. They did long posts first, lots to answer. Fire with fire. (Ed. for brevity.)
Marcus W
362. toryx
Ouroboros @ 361:
Didn't say LTT not construct. Only that Terez Nyn example insuffitient proof.

Wow, that is unusually brief for you. Impressive. Anyway, the point is there can be no proof either way. RJ and now Sanderson are doing it that way on purpose. They're stringing the carrot in front of y'all.

Personally, I'm not going to chase after it anymore. Frankly, I'm kind of annoyed that something like this has been intentionally left vague to fuck with us all (and I'm irritated enough not to censor myself, sorry) but that's how it is.

As for the spam block, I've never encountered it. But that's probably because I don't believe in hard linking to other sites.
James Jones
363. jamesedjones
362 toryx
RJ and now Sanderson are doing it that way on purpose. They're stringing the carrot in front of y'all.
LOL. Personally, I'm not annoyed at the authors. I mean, what if they settled the argument, and it turned out that LTT was a construct. I'd be a little peeved at the series for turning its back on the supernatural to fall back on some half-assed excuse for reality.

I'm more annoyed at getting halfway through a wall of text, only to realize that I'd read it all before in another post (and hadn't appreciated it then, either). :P
John Massey
364. subwoofer
@Ouro-

sorry, some eye glazing happened. Had to bring up buddy as there were some mirrors of the series that IMHO set the benchmark for all fantasy novels to follow.

Thanks for simplifying for this old dog:)

Cussin' aside, some ambiguity is called for here. That's what makes it sorta fun y'all. It would be like, what's the point of reading a whodunit if we knew who dun it?

Woof™.
Megaduck
365. boquaz
did any of you read A Beautiful Mind (book is better than the movie, obviously)? I actually worried about being schizophrenic after reading that. How would I know? Nash went through his whole life thinking he had a college roomate (who had his own life and family), when he never had one.

Rand is crazy. How would he know whether the voice in his head is real? Like other schizophrenics, you can't trust that he knows what's real. You can't trust his thoughts or experiences on the matter. This is complicated by the reincarnation thing. LTT was real once, and Rand has his memories. Magic, you know?

That doesn't change that Rand is crazy.

(Really, read that biography. The epiphany that Nash has which allows him to separate the real and crazy parts of his reality is very similar to what happens to Rand.)
Tricia Irish
366. Tektonica
Terez@349:

Incredible. I bow in your general direction. Thank you. At least I'm enjoying this!
Chin Bawambi
367. bawambi
Meh re: Lews Therin - but my highlights from the posts

Enemies with Benefits

What happens in Saldea stays in Saldea

Both FTW!

I do have a problem with Egs viewpoint of Rand which will come as a big discussion point in a chapter or two but I am pleasantly surprised that my re-read has softened my stance re: Elayne. I am really enjoying this book and I really didn't the first time through.

I see you Sulin

BawambiofthecouldcarelesswhetherLewsTherinisrealAiel
Sharon E.
368. Sulin
@boquaz- I will have to pick up A Beautiful Mind. I saw the movie, of course, which was amazing.

@Terez- I for one am super glad you weighed in here with your research and insight. Even though it's been discussed before, I always find it very interesting reading. But then, like you, I have a think for psychologically unbalanced heroes. Sigh...bring on the craziness ;)

SulinoftheCrazyorNotConstructorRealRand/LTTisMadeofAwesomeAiel
R B
369. MasterAlThor
Morning Terez,

I see it is time for my morning mental exercises.

Ok, here we go. I have a problem with this...

Anyway, I find it interesting that none of the paths that Moiraine saw for Rand included Rand killing Lanfear. In that scene on the docks, Rand's brain was telling him that he needed to kill Lanfear, that she was dangerous, that she deserved to die, that letting her live would cause harm to others, etc. But he convinced himself that this desire to kill Lanfear came from Lews Therin, the murdering madman. In a sense, he equated killing Lanfear to killing Ilyena, and the cost of that misapprehension was Moiraine's 'death'. And he stubbornly tells Moiraine as he's reading her letter that it was his choice (a throwback to the title of the chapter where he makes the choice - 'Choices').


Now where I have the problem is that you are saying that Rand's brain is telling him that Lanfear is dangerous and needs to be killed. Rand and in fact all the TR boys have issues with killing women. They actively go out of their way not to.

Maybe I need to go back and read that chapter again because I always thought that LTT was just telling Rand a way to sever Lanfear from the source.

Anyway, what I am saying is that it has never been in Rand's personality to kill a woman. I don't count what he did in TGS as I don't really count that as being Rand.

If not harming a woman is in hardwired into your upbringing, why would you have a thought about killing a woman?

I also have an issue with him equating Lanfear with Ilyena. I mean really? How do you do that? Killing someone you don't really care for on the level of killing the love of your life. How does that work?

I'm sorry I am not trying to be a smartass. And I apologize if I am offending.

Dragon
Marcus W
370. toryx
Off topic:

Light, it's becoming the blight out here in my corner of New England. Supposed to hit 93 this afternoon, and I'm stuck in the office without air conditioning. So as a general forewarning (and late) I'm a mite more irritable than usual.

It's only compounded by the knowledge that I get to go on vacation as soon as the day ends. Consequently, the day is taking forever.

Ugh.
Sharon E.
371. Sulin
@Toryx- Sorry to hear that you'll be suffering in the heat. :( That's definitely not a way to spend your last day before vacation.

Amalisa@353- I'll take some cookies now, and I brought along some Mocha Lattes to go with. :)
Marcus W
372. toryx
Back on topic:

MAT @ 369:
If not harming a woman is in hardwired into your upbringing, why would you have a thought about killing a woman?

It's one thing to know that you can never raise your hand to harm a woman. It's another thing to know that the woman deserves to be killed. Lanfear is a Forsaken and the Forsaken are evil through and through. Rand knows that, and he knows she deserves to die. But he also knows that he can't cause her harm. So he's stuck in this purgatory of what needs to be done and what can't be done. That's what is described in the chapter as well.

I'm sure someone will post the quotes soon.
R B
373. MasterAlThor
toryx,

Dont worry it will all happen soon enough.

Enjoy you vaca.

Dragon

BTW it is hot as a mug out here on the thumb of Michigan
Valentin M
374. ValMar
Wetlander@307

Amen to that! Spot on, IMO.
Tina Pierce
375. scissorrunner
Toryx -
wrap a shoufa around your head, it'll help w/the heat!
hot & sticky w/no A/C here too.
happy vacation!!
D R
376. Ouroboros
There are lots of "alter egos" in fiction. Jekyl and Hyde are the obvious ones, and probably the oldest, but Golumn and Smeagol in LotR, Agnes and Perdita in Disk World, the Creeping Man in Holmes, Jo and Tyler in Fight Club, Bourne and Webb in the Bourne series, Odetta and Detta in The Dark Tower, and A Scanner Darkly and We Can Remember It For You Wholesale are the others I can think of.

Rand's definitley suffering from a bad case of PTSD after the box. Victims sometimes construct an alter ego in which to hide the traumatic event and Rand only starts talkking to LTT whilst Rand is being tortured by the AS, so that might fit. He certainly suffers from most of the other symptems. Just search for PTSD if your interested, it's all there.

Chin Bawambi
377. bawambi
As a followup to Ourboros - that would make Verin the only one as the compelled have no free will and Cadsuane doesn't understand Rand at all IMO - funny how both are Far Madding folks though...
D R
378. Ouroboros
bawambi @ 377: Verin wasn't there during the torture.

The other sisters certainly do *not* have *no* free will. They have been forced into keeping Rand alive but they can interpret what that means. Take Elsa for example.

Cadsuane. *sighs* Why do I bother. You might not like her methods but that doesn't mean that she doesn't understand some of what he's going through. There's more enough evidence to the contrary.

@many on the heat. It's a global thing then. *mumbles about needed air con*

Oh, and about RJ and BWS not explaining Rand. It's fantasy. Rand could turn into a blackberry bush if the pattern decreed it. Now, if Asimov was writing the series...
R B
379. MasterAlThor
Our,

As it is morning over here, I will say good afternoon to you across the pond.

I like that cosmological pov. That was cool to imagine it going down like that.

I now have to clarify some of my thoughts from yesterday.

When I was refering to the others my point was why don't they have constructs in their heads. Perrin is the strongest arguement for this.

All of the emotional trauma that he is going through would make him the perfect choice to experience this psychosis.

It was also to illustrate that Rand is somewhat of an anomoly. He (Rand) is slipping because of the taint. IMO the taint is the key and always has been. Making what was one, two.

Dragon
Marcus W
380. toryx
MAT @ 379:

I actually think the taint has a lot to do with it. My theory is that the taint breaks down this wall that is erected between lives, that keeps the memories from seeping through. The stronger the effect of the taint, the more old memories break free.

My argument for the construct is that Rand is unable to deal with the memories of another life that he doesn't want to accept. Those memories are his, not someone else's but he refuses (prior to the end of TGS) to accept that so he shunted all the memories over to "Lews Therin." This largely occurred during the battle for Cairhien when he exhausted himself so much that he couldn't remember who he was anymore. His own memories and the memories of the former life were so mixed up that he couldn't make any sense of them. So he forced the old memories into a form he could (subconsciously) handle.

People do that kind of thing all the time with tramatic events in their lives. The difference is that Rand assigned a voice to the memories because he needed access to them and on an unconscious level he knew that. Thus, the LTT construct was born.

And see? You went and got me talking about it again. *sigh*

Well, you ask good questions.
Megaduck
381. alreadymadwithconstruct
Ouroboros @376
I think Rand talking to Lews Therin in the box was more about the isolation and desperately needing a way out. He was in way over his head. Outnumbered, bound and boxed. He was desperate and if getting out meant throwing away his aversion to input from Lews Therin's memories then so be it.

toryx @380
I think that as the Dragon Reborn Rand was meant to have Lews Therin's memories. Taint or no Taint.
D.I. Rock
382. FeatherDancer
Another comment on Rand & LTT

I apologize if this has been mentioned but I just scanned through about 200 posts & ...

The final thing that convinced me that Rand is an incarnation of LTT with "the voice" being a part of them both is that Min told him it was so. I don't have my book with me but as I recall in TGS when Rand tells Min he hears LTT in his head Min tells him it's not just a voice and says "He's you Rand."

Later Rand acquiesces and says something accepting of LTT being him or him being LTT.

It is telling to me because:

1) Min groks the metaphysics of Randland & The Pattern more than anyone. It's animated to her through her viewings and she has an intuitive grasp of the written philosophies and prophesies.

2) Rand is accepting of it. It is the first time he's ever talked to anyone about the voice or the things that he seems to know. He's talking to someone he trusts completely. He's able to share what's happening in his head. When Min is totally accepting of what's going on he relaxes and concedes maybe LTT is him.
T C
383. Freelancer
Kreeble@354

It suits Plato's philosophy, but it is taken from a distinctly more authoritative source, albeit not verbatim.


Ouroboros@355 RE: Nynaeve conversing with herself:
Not in the same way as Rand does. The "small voice" is just the devil on the shoulder.
Humans are so resistant to accepting blame for their own actions. We take comfort in that imaginary concept of devil on one shoulder, angel on the other. Bad news, folks. That naughty personage in the debate is ourselves, the pride and appetites demanding to be fed. The "angel" is our conscience, that awareness of a concrete good that impedes us from doing anything we please, no matter how foolish or harmful (to ourselves or others). Nynaeve's pride tries to maintain a self-image as something that her conscience knows she is not. That she sustains this battle so consistently is what makes her self-awareness so far off the mark. Aviendha is a distant second with this particular problem. Conversely, Elayne is the quickest of our Supergirls to recognize the honest differences between what she wants to think of herself, and what is true. And yet she gets the most grief about arrogance.


jej@363

Eesh, throttle back there, my friend. You nearly lit the afterburner.


bawambi@367

I'm happier that someone is backing off the Elayne-bashing than whether Terez27 will ever come around to the truth that Lews Therin is real.


toryx & MasterAlThor

Ahh, so that's where SoCal's warmth has gone. It's unseasonable chilly here. Not enough for a true complaint, just uncommon.
Karen Fox
384. thepupxpert
twicemarked @ 352 - there is a great Star Trek Next Generation episode where Data believes that some machines have become sentient, because they would not allow themsevles to be destroyed. At the end of the episode, two of the three machines agree to save the Enterprise, allowing the third machine to offer itself as a sacrifice. Your post made me think of that. The concensus at the end of the episode was that the "constructed" machines were indeed sentient life forms.
Karen Fox
385. thepupxpert
toryx @ 370 - we're unseasonably cold over here in SoCal, mid 60's only today and rain forecasted for tomorrow!
Megaduck
386. alreadymadwiththegrok
FeatherDancer @382
By the Light and all that is holy, you grok?!
D.I. Rock
387. FeatherDancer
alreadymadwiththegrok @ 386
Under the light and by my hope of rebirth and salvation, I try.
Megaduck
388. dannyant
I heard a theory on Taim that I liked.

He has completely succumbed to the taint, and his alternate personality is in charge.

That would explain the "So called Aiel" comment, and a few other things.

The person with this theory originally suggested it may be "Bedimon" The guy that broke the bore open with lanfear.

He may have important knowledge to help rand reseal the bore.
Alice Arneson
389. Wetlandernw
dannyant @388 - Well, that assumes that the taint definitively causes a connection between two lives; i.e., every man affected by the taint has an alternate personality who is actually a previous persona for that particular soul. Some would say it's a bit of a stretch; some would say you can't prove it; some would say you can't disprove it. It's a fun theory; I'm personally skeptical, but it's certainly not impossible given what we've been given.

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