Apr 10 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 27

Happy honorary June 17th, WOTers! This here is a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 47 and 48 of The Gathering Storm, in which we have fathers, sons, rage, sorrow, thoughts on bullying, and the worst parent-teacher conference ever.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general, including the newest release, Towers of Midnight.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 13, Towers of Midnight. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

Once again, scheduling note: JordanCon 2012 is almost here! I will be in attendance, and speaking on some panels, and meeting people, and generally having the blast I always have whenever I go to this shindig. I hope to see some of you there!

Also, I will be polishing off TGS in the Re-read next week, hooray! Therefore, your Auntie Leigh will be taking her traditional between-book break starting the last week of April, before starting Towers of Midnight. How long that hiatus will be, I ain’t for sure yet, but I will let you know by next post. And in the meantime, I will have some fun JordanCon-related blogging for you!



Chapter 47: The One He Lost

What Happens
Feeling unsettled from his failed meeting with the Borderlanders, Rand sets out to wander around the Stone in no particular direction. He compares himself to the unnaturalness of the Power-created fortress, and feels as unnatural. He thinks that just as the Tairens try to camouflage the Stone with tapestries and decoration, so did people with Rand by giving him crowns and finery.

Never mind his much more alien nature, hidden beneath the crown. Never mind his heart of a man long dead, his shoulders created to bear the weight of prophecy, his soul crushed by the needs, wants and hopes of a million people.

Two hands. One to destroy, the other to save. Which had he lost?

He wonders why, when he has finally accepted what he must be, that there is a voice in his heart that disagrees, whispering that something is wrong. He realizes it is his encounter with Hurin that is bothering him, and Hurin’s connection to what Rand now thinks was a simpler life; Lews Therin comments that it is better to run from the past than to face it. He enters the Heart of the Stone, which reminds him that Cadsuane has Callandor hidden somewhere. He tells himself that Callandor is inferior to the power the Choedan Kal can give him, and a trap besides, but he is bothered by the fact that while Callandor is explicitly mentioned in the Prophecies, the Choedan Kal are not.

I told them... Lews Therin whispered.

Told them what? Rand demanded.

That the plan would not work, Lews Therin said, voice very soft. That brute force would not contain him. They called my plan brash, but these weapons they created, they were too dangerous. Too frightening. No man should hold such Power...

Rand wonders if that was the answer, that Lews Therin had made the wrong choice, but he remains uncertain. He wonders if he should cast Cadsuane out from the Stone, and grows angry again as he thinks of all those who are trying to tie strings to him or defying him or both. He wonders if it is not time to ensure the Seanchan cannot harry his rear when he goes to fight the Last Battle.

He had given them their chance. Several chances. He had warned Cadsuane, told her that he’d bind the Daughter of the Nine Moons to him. One way... or another.

It would not take long.

He looks around and finds the corridor he is in familiar, but can’t place it until Lews Therin tells him their first failure wasn’t fighting the Seanchan, but right here, where they had tried to resurrect the corpse of a little girl. He thinks that Moiraine had been right then, and wishes she were here. He tells his Maiden guards to gather their sisters, as they are going to battle, shouting at them when they do not go quickly enough. He returns to his rooms, and sees there is someone inside.

“What—” Rand began.

The man turned. It was not a stranger. Not a stranger at all.

It was Tam. His father.

Rand reels, his immediate sense of comfort at seeing Tam clashing with everything that had happened to him since Rand had seen him last. Tam seems hesitant, and Rand assumes it is because he knows that they are not related by blood.

Just the man who had raised him. Just the man who had taught him everything he knew. Just the man Rand loved and revered, and always would, no matter what their blood connection.

He asks Tam to sit, and they do. He sees that Tam glances at the stump of his hand, but says nothing. He is overwhelmed with nostalgia for a moment, and asks how Tam found him. Tam explains that he was with Perrin’s army, and Rand assumes that Nynaeve must have contacted them. Rand feels awkward, yet reassured that unlike everyone else, Tam seemed just the same. Rand starts asking questions about Perrin’s movements, but then stops himself, saying he can get a report from Perrin later. Tam chuckles.

“Ah, son,” he said, shaking his head, broad hardworking hands clasped before him, “they’ve really done it. They’ve gone and made a king out of you. What happened to the gangly boy, so wide-eyed at Bel Tine? Where’s the uncertain lad I raised all those years?”

“He’s dead,” Rand said immediately.

Tam nodded slowly. “I can see that.”

Rand tells him he knows that Tam is not his real father. Tam awkwardly asks if he should not call him “son” anymore; Rand wants him to, but thinks to himself that the Dragon Reborn cannot afford to have a father, or be seen to rely on the strength of a mere shepherd, and keeps silent, ignoring the screaming of the voice in his heart. He says instead that Tam’s failure to tell him of his real parentage probably saved his life as a child, and promises him somewhat pompously that he will be rewarded for his great service to the world by raising Rand. Tam says that it seems so funny to think of Rand as the Dragon Reborn, but Rand says it is not funny at all.

“My life isn’t my own. I’m a puppet for the Pattern and the prophecies, made to dance for the world before having my strings cut.”

Tam frowned. “That’s not true, son. Er, my Lord.”

“I can’t see it any other way.”

Tam says that a simple soldier doesn’t have much choice over what happens to them either. Rand points out that a soldier can always desert, but he cannot. Tam wonders if it matters that you can’t run when you know you won’t do it anyway. He insists that Rand does have a choice: he may not be able to choose what he has to do, but he can choose why he does it.

“When I was a soldier, there were some men who fought simply for the money. There were others who fought for loyalty—loyalty to their comrades, or to the crown, or to whatever. The soldier who dies for money and the soldier who dies for loyalty are both dead, but there’s a difference between them. One death meant something. The other didn’t.”

[…] “Why do you go to battle, Rand?“

”Because I must.“

”That’s not good enough,“ Tam said. ”To the crows with that woman! I wish she’d come to me sooner. If I’d known—“

”What woman?“

”Cadsuane Sedai,“ Tam said.

Rand is nearly overwhelmed with rage at learning that Tam had been sent by Cadsuane, and demands to know what else Cadsuane had said. Uncertainly, Tam says that she said Tam should remind Rand of his youth, of better times, and Rand hisses that she manipulates him again. He seizes saidin, and screams at the nausea that hits him. Tam tries to say something, but Rand roars at him to be silent, throwing him to the ground with Air. He shouts that he is the Dragon Reborn, and not Tam’s pawn, and accuses him of faking his affection, of colluding with Cadsuane to tie strings to him.

He had lost control. But he didn’t care. They wanted him to feel. He would feel, then! They wanted him to laugh? He would laugh as they burned!

Screaming at them all, he wove threads of Air and Fire. Lews Therin howled in his head, saidin tried to destroy both of them, and the quiet voice inside Rand’s heart vanished.

He weaves balefire, but then sees Tam’s face, terrified, and begins to shake.

What am I DOING? Rand thought again.

No more than I’ve done before, Lews Therin whispered.

Tam continued to stare at him, face shadowed by the night.

Oh, Light, Rand thought with terror, shock and rage. I am doing it again. I am a monster.

Still holding tenuously to saidin, Rand wove a gateway to Ebou Dar, then ducked through, fleeing from the horror in Tam’s eyes.

Oh, poor darling.

That was pretty much my thought at reaching the end of this chapter. It’s kind of completely inadequate to express everything I was feeling about this meeting, but it was the primary response at the end.

And at the beginning, well. I think many others were wildly excited to see Tam and Rand in the same room again after, um, twenty-plus YEARS in reader time, and I don’t blame them, but I won’t lie: my immediate reaction was nothing but dread.

Because oh, you just knew this was going to go straight to hell, the moment Rand walked in and saw Tam, even as I was absolutely agog at finally seeing them together again. I read the whole scene, with Tam being the sensible and kind and common sensical über-father figure he is, and I was just cringing in wait for the inevitable mistake he would make, the wrong word or sentiment he would express that would trip Rand’s Crazy and make it all go to shit.

And of course he did. The ironic thing is, Cadsuane’s involvement is what made it go to hell, but if Tam had just actually listened to Cadsuane and not mentioned her, it wouldn’t have happened.

Well, no, I take that back. It still would have happened. If it hadn’t been Cadsuane, it would have been something else. There are several ways to set off a landmine, but the end result is still the same.

The other ironic thing is, for the first half of the chapter I was having some hope that things were getting better. Yes, Rand was mentally yelling about going back and smashing the Borderlanders and the Seanchan and lots of other psychotic crap, but I didn’t miss the first mention of that “quiet voice” that was finally beginning to be like, Uh, wait, maybe this is kind of completely insane?

So, I had hope that things were turning around. But, it turns out, we weren’t quite done with our Hero’s downward spiral to absolute rock bottom. This is because Team Jordan have evidently taken the proverb “it is always darkest before dawn” about as literally as humanly possible. I don’t think it gets much darker than almost killing your own (completely innocent) father.

Well, except maybe committing genocide. But that’s next week’s chapter, whee!

I hope it is clear how painfully insincere that “whee” is, by the way. I winced just to type it.

Anyway. Other more meta things:

With all the fraught drama going on here I’m pretty sure I missed it the first time, but this time around I definitely blinked at Tam’s passing comment to Rand that he knew who Morgase really was (which I left out of the summary). I was like, wait, what? Doesn’t that happen later?

And then I remembered, of course, that we spend most of ToM catching Perrin’s timeline up to everyone else, so we the reader are way behind where Perrin’s story arc actually is at this point. So, okay, but I’m really glad I didn’t notice that pre-ToM, because otherwise I would have spent quite a chunk of time being pissed, thinking that it meant that whole reveal had taken place off-screen. I like reveals, and I want to see reveals, dammit. No skipsies!

I was gratified, in a grim way, that Rand singled out his treatment of Hurin as the main thing that was bugging him about the Borderlander fiasco – mostly, I admit, because that’s what also bugged me the worst about that scene. I’m, like, all validated now. Go me!

Of course, we won’t mention that Rand had a far more logical reason for that to have gotten to him than my rather pouty reaction of “You stop being mean to poor Hurin, Mr. Meanie!” We’ll just skim right by that, shall we?

I remember, when first reading Rand’s thoughts wondering why the “inferior” Callandor was mentioned in the Prophecies but the Choedan Kal were not, that it was kind of a big light going on, like, “Ohhh.” Because, of course: Half-Crazed Rand thinks of Callandor as a box, a trap, but what it really is, is balance. It’s always been a central theme of WOT that things never work right, in the Power or otherwise, unless men and women are working together – in concert, instead of at cross-purposes.

Which is something Callandor requires, and the Choedan Kal do not – especially not now that the female access key has been destroyed, but even before then it was perfectly possible to use one without the other. So perhaps the meaning is not so much that no man or woman should wield such power, as that no man or woman should wield it alone.

Very clever, that.

And there is no mention of the Choedan Kal in the Prophecies – which, as Min has established a few chapters ago, only apply if the result of the Last Battle is either a win for the Light or a draw. So the obvious implication here is that if the Choedan Kal are used instead of Callandor, the Light will lose and the Wheel will be broken.

And that, I think we can all agree, would be bad. Insert obvious Ghostbusters quote here.


Chapter 48: Reading the Commentary

What Happens
Min sits in Cadsuane’s room with Cadsuane, Nynaeve, Corele, Merise and Beldeine, reading a book called Commentary on the Dragon while waiting to hear how Tam’s meeting with Rand went. She thinks to herself that she had regretted allying with Cadsuane at first, what with Cadsuane’s relentless interrogation of her re: her viewings of Rand, and also her unwillingness to share information in return, but Min is resigned to it now. She is intrigued by one particular sentence in her book:

He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one.

[…] A blade of light almost certainly meant Callandor. But what of the ”three shall be one“?

The speculation in the book is that it refers to uniting three great kingdoms, but Min is not so sure. She feels a surge of pain and anger through the bond, and tries to ignore her worries. She comments to Cadsuane that she thinks the interpretation of the phrase in the book is wrong. Beldeine remarks that she finds Min’s attempts to imitate a scholar “amusing”. Cadsuane invites Min to explain why she thinks she knows more than the author. Bristling, Min replies that Rand only holds one crown, and it makes even less sense now that he has given away both Andor and Tear. She thinks it refers to something concerning how to use Callandor. Cadsuane then casually remarks that Min is actually quite right, and that passage is how Cadsuane came to discover that Callandor can only be used safely in a circle of three.

“But that would imply that Rand had to use Callandor in a circle sometime,” Min said, looking at the passage again. He’d never done so, as far as she knew.

“It would,” Cadsuane said.

Cadsuane then broadly implies that Beldeine owes Min an apology, but Beldeine instead stands and leaves; Cadsuane sniffs. Min notes that Nynaeve is obviously irritated that no one else seems as visibly anxious as she, and sees a viewing of Nynaeve “kneeling over someone’s corpse in grief.” She can’t interpret it any more than she can the black knife that spins around Beldeine’s head lately. She goes back to the book, and reflects that she doesn’t think it makes sense to suppose that Rand is going to fight the Dark One while in a circle that someone else will have to control. She says that she thinks there is something more to Callandor than they have discovered, and to her surprise Cadsuane agrees with her. Before they can discuss it further, though, the door slams open to admit a furious Tam al’Thor. He demands to know what Cadsuane has done to Rand; Cadsuane replies that she did nothing but “encourage him toward civility.”

“Something, it seems, other members of the family could learn as well.”

“Watch your tongue, Aes Sedai,” Tam snarled. “Have you seen him? The entire room seemed to grow darker when he entered. And that face—I’ve seen more emotion in the eyes of a corpse! What has happened to my son?”

“I take it,” Cadsuane said, “that the reunion did not go as hoped?”

Tam seems to abruptly swallow down his anger, and tells them levelly that Rand, once such a “gentle and faithful” son, just tried to kill him with the One Power. Min is almost panicked by the news, but Cadsuane asks Tam coldly if he had used the words she prepared for him. Tam replies that he abandoned her “Aes Sedai script” once he realized it wasn’t working, and demands to know what she did to make Rand hate her so. Cadsuane picks him up with Air and reminds him about civility. Nynaeve protests, but Tam tells her it is all right.

Tam stared [Cadsuane] in the eyes. “I’ve known men who, when challenged, always turn to their fists for answers. I’ve never liked Aes Sedai; I was happy to be rid of them when I returned to my farm. A bully is a bully, whether she uses the strength of her arm or other means.”

Cadsuane snorted, but the words had irked her, for she set Tam down.

Nynaeve points out they had warned him that Rand was unstable, but Tam retorts that he is closer to insane, and asks what has happened to him. Cadsuane says this is irrelevant.

“You realize, child, that might have been our last opportunity to save your son?”

“If you’d explained to me how he regarded you,” Tam said, “it might have gone differently. Burn me! This is what I get for listening to Aes Sedai.”

“This is what you get for being wool-headed and ignoring what you are told!” Nynaeve interjected.

“This is what we all get,” Min said, “for assuming we can make him do what we want.”

The room fell still.

Min suddenly realizes through the bond that Rand is far away, to the west, and Tam confirms that he had left through a gateway. He adds that he would have sworn that Rand meant to kill him, from the look in his eyes, but something seemed to distract him, and he’d grabbed “that little statue” and left. Cadsuane asks if Tam could see where the gateway led, but Tam isn’t sure.

“Ebou Dar,” Min said, surprising them all. “He’s gone to destroy the Seanchan. Just as he told the Maidens he would.”

“I don’t know about that last part,” Tam said. “But it did look like Ebou Dar.”

“Light preserve us,” Corele whispered.

Indeed, Corele. Indeed.

So, I have been trying (with, I think, at least some success) not to be a total hater when it comes to Cadsuane, but I’m sorry, when Tam called her out for being a big old bully I about stood up and did three snaps in a circle AND the cabbage patch, because EXACTLY, YES, THANK YOU, SOMEONE FINALLY SAID IT, PRAISE TO BUDDHA.

The problem with people (she observes, grandiosely) is that ultimately they need to be led, and someone (or group of someones) needs to be the leader and the others the followers. A hierarchy, in other words. The problem, though, isn’t that there needs to be some kind of hierarchy; the problem is that everyone has a different idea of what that hierarchy ought to be, and where everyone’s place is in it and why, and how it is to be enforced, and, you know, just about every other aspect of the bloody issue that could possibly be thought of.

And this disagreement, in the end, is where bullies come from, because regardless of the ethical validity of violence as a means of establishing a hierarchy (political, social, or otherwise), it’s pretty hard to deny that violence (or the threat of it) is definitely the easiest way to do it.

This ties into a thought Min has in this chapter, which – well, here, I’ll just quote it:

Nobody could humiliate one more soundly than an Aes Sedai, for they did it without malice. Moiraine had explained it to Min once in simple terms: Most Aes Sedai felt it was important to establish control when there was no great conflict, so that if a crisis did happen, people would know where to look.

This philosophy has the remarkable quality of being sensible from one point of view and contemptible from another. The difference between the two being dependent, of course, on whether you agree that Aes Sedai are automatically the best people to be in charge of a crisis situation. If they are, then the sentiment is kind of sucky but logically sound; if they aren’t, then it is tyranny. DISCUSS.

Getting back to Cadsuane, I think it’s been said before that she is kind of the quintessential Aes Sedai, in all the negative ways that implies as well as the positive ones. That may not be completely true, but it’s true enough. I think, therefore, that the impulse to judge her the most harshly of all Aes Sedai for her bullying ways makes a lot of sense.

And regardless of whether you buy any of the above, I seriously doubt anyone out there does not applaud the awesomeness of Tam al’Thor for having the balls to say it to her. You go, girl. Dude, guy, whatever.

Although, and this is not at all to impugn the basic awesomeness of Tam here, I’m pretty sure just about any parent would have been ready to tear someone a new asshole after having a reunion like that one. Hell’s bells.

Other things!

“The three shall be one”: Well, this one seems pretty obvious to me – which, granted, might be a sign that it is definitely the wrong answer, but shaddup, I’m talking here. The first thing I thought of is that it means that the three in the circle have to be Rand, Aviendha, and Elayne. After, all they sort of already are “one”, from a certain point of view, because of the bond.

The only reason this bothers me is that it leaves Min out entirely. And yes, she can’t channel, but she is part of Rand’s three women deal, and without her involved it just ain’t symmetrical and shit. I dunno. Maybe the thing they haven’t discovered about Callandor is that it can jigger the circle thing so Rand can lead instead of one of the women… but that doesn’t seem right, and it still leaves Min out. Bah, I don’t know.

Min’s other two viewings in this chapter are pretty well useless to try and interpret, in my opinion. We’re obviously supposed to dread that the corpse Nynaeve is kneeling over will be Lan’s, but there is a whole slew of other people who Nynaeve would be genuinely grieved to see die, so blah. And as for Beldeine’s black knife, I don’t know what that would be referring to (I don’t think the Seanchan Bloodknives use black blades, but I could be wrong), and as far as I know we don’t see Beldeine in ToM, so that’s a *shrug* too.

And of course it suddenly occurs to me to wonder if any or all of these prophecies get answered in ToM and I just made myself a big idiot for not remembering. If so, in my defense it’s been quite a while since I read ToM, and that only the once-or-twice-ish, so there. I will Read And Find Out!

And, yeah. All that aside, we’ve pretty much reached the darkest hour here, haven’t we? And yet. And yet.

And yet, that’s about what I got for this one, kids. Join me next week when we see this through to The End For Now! 

Sam Mickel
1. Samadai
Wow, what great chapters. A moment we have been waiting for for a long time, yet very bittersweet because Rand flips over the edge. Min is so smart, she knows (and so does everyone else now) that Rand doesn't needed guided, he needs help
Louis Theodore Tellman
2. Louis Theodore Tellman
The tension is palpable. I've deliberately not read ToM a second time so I can do so again and feel the excitement of resolutions I don't remember right before the re-read (originally, it would have been right before the publication of the last book, but, eh... I'll take what I can get after all these years).
Louis Theodore Tellman
3. AhoyMatey
Is Padan Fain's dagger black? Can't remember...
Neil Sood
5. RanchoUnicorno
Two thoughts:

1) I wonder if the three become one has to do with Rand taking on the strengths of the three women that support him - that the bond is something more than the AS understand it to be - in order to wield Callendor. That is, he will be able to wield it alone, but it won't be him alone - it will be Min, Elayne, and Aviendha wielding it though Rand. I don't know if that makes any sense. Besides, there has to be more meaning to Min's viewing ability than "how convenient that she has this ability." I suspect it somehow will come into play as her own form of tapping into the OP. Besides, she's already been brought into a channeling group with the whole bonding thing, so what's to say it can't happen again?

2) What's June 17th?
Matthew B
6. MatthewB
Three shall be one - Saidin, Saidar, TP. All used together to bind the DO.
Mike Giroux
7. RMGiroux
Any chance that "the 3 shall be one" refers to Saidin/Saidar/The True Power? @MatthewB beat me to it :)
Louis Theodore Tellman
8. itsjustme
Personally, I was all on Rand's side for the whole genocide thing. By this point, I figure the Seanchan deserve what they get, particularly Tuon. (And just like I'm sure Mat will, I refuse to call her anything else just because she now says she has a different name.) Besides Tuon getting wacked would free Mat to marry Jolene, because wouldn't that just be hilarious to read!!!
Keith Buttram
9. Wookster125
@5 RanchoUnicorno

I think it is Father's Day this year.

I enjoyed seeing Tam in both of these chapters, especially when it seemed like he controlled his anger with the Flame and the Void trick.
Cameron Tucker
10. Loialson
Pretty sure the Shadar Logoth blade was made of steel or some sort. Only thing on encyclopedia-wot is this:
"A curved dagger with a gold scabbard worked in strange symbols. Fine gold wire wraps the hilt, which is capped by a ruby as big as Rand's thumbnail, and the quillions are golden-scaled serpents baring their fangs." -tEotW
I don't see any black in there, though description of the blade in that description is lacking. In the chapter with Mili Skane, though it mentions light glinting off of the dagger, which I take to mean it has a Steel-ish look.

So while the viewing may be metaphorical the the SL dagger, there is no evidence to show it has black anywhere on it... I figure it is just symbolic of Beldeine dying, perhaps by a Thakan'dar dagger.

Weapons used by Myrdraal are black, are they not? If swords can be made so, why not daggers?
Louis Theodore Tellman
11. wcarter4
@3 No its got a gold curved handle with a ruby in the hilt. The blade is a bright steel.

I'm not a total fan of the Aes Sedi either. Cadsuane included.

They're all "I know better than anyone else so do what I say" to a greater or lesser extent (including Edgwene, Elayne and Nyneave). However, the thing about Rand's feelings towards Aes Sedi and particularly Cadsuane are at the end of the day Moraine.
Moraine is the one who manipulated him the most harshly. First she pretends to ignore him when he actually wants her help, then she was always interperting the prophesies (incorrectly--she assuemd a prophesy about Rand's going to Rhuidean meant he should attack Sammael in Illian) and trying to bully him into doing what she wanted while simulateniously haranging his own interpertations.

I'm not saying Moraine is a bad person, but if Cadsuane had found him first, she would have tried to build him up as assertive but respectful not as paranoid and part of the same political games he hates. Instead she found him already half mad and with a deep and somewhat deserved hatred for all Aes Sedi.

RJ himself talked on his blog and in some Q&A sessions about the dangers of a group of people holding too much power, especially a group who thought that they philisophical views were the only correct ones.

At the core of what they are supposed to stand for, the Aes Sedi and the White Cloaks both hold the potential to be tremendously positive forces in the world, but because of the inherently selfish nature of human beings, they end up causing just as much destruction if not more.
Roger Powell
12. forkroot
First off ... Who doesn't love Tam? Anyone?

{:: pauses - sound of crickets chirping ::}

OK, that's settled. Tam rocks, and no matter how you feel about Cadsuane, the "bully" putdown was priceless.

As for the TP being part of "Three shall be one" - can we please take the idea of binding the DO with the TP out behind the shed and put a bullet through it?

As has been discussed here before (dare I say ad nauseum?) the TP is the essence of the DO. You don't bind the DO with himself.
Louis Theodore Tellman
13. Dennis_H
Important safety tip. Thanks, Leigh.
Chris Chaplain
14. chaplainchris1
FWIW, I've just posted a Wall o' Text on last week's post, re: how Siuan almost proved Egwene was a Darkfriend. (Ok, not really...but sorta!)

Worst parent-teacher conference ever - LOLz.

Good quotation on Rand's feeling alien, Auntie Leigh. That's never jumped out at me quite so strongly as it does here. Poor guy...so incredibly isolated and alone. I remember, from my own brush with depression (happily not also including bouts of homocidal rage), feeling that same sense of isolation. I *also* remember how ashamed I was of how I felt, and how urgently I didn't want people who knew me well, like my parents, to see me that way. Gives me a new insight into how horrified Rand must be to have lost it in front of Tam. It's not just that he almost killed his father; it's that he'll have to live, now, with knowing that his father sees how deeply messed up he is. The one guy he most wants to make proud now, in Rand's depressed mind, has reason to fear him, or even be repulsed by him. That...exposure...is, as Rand says, a terrifying place to be.

Re: Tam vs. Cadsuane...I appreciate Cadsuane's contributions more than most, but yes. Tam. Is Awesome. The End.

Oh, except Min's line "This is what we all get, for assuming we can make him do what we want." Min. Is Also Awesome. The End Again.

Great commentary and post, as per normal, Leigh. Really good thoughts on the Choedan Kal, Callandor, and the nature and philsophy of leadership. Nothing to add, but I was intrigued and am in agreement.

I agree about the general fruitlessness of speculating on Min's viewings, too. The TP/saidin/saidar reference has been speculated by many fans as resolving the "three become one" thing, but I'm (like Leigh) in the camp that would have great problems if that is the case. There Can Be No Good from using the Dark One's power...even if you're trying to use it against him. Shadar Logoth should teach us that using the Shadow's tools against the Shadow just creates new horrors.

Like Leigh, my first thought on the three-in-one thing was Elayne and Aviendha, and like Leigh, I discarded that b/c of Min. Zen Rand does ask Nynaeve, in TOM, to be part of the circle...so it seems that she'll be one of the three, along with Rand. For the third, my money's on Moiraine. That would be emotionally fitting, and would make sense of Min's viewings that indicate the battle can't be won without Moiraine.

Much thanks!
Ty Margheim
15. alSeen

That's what I came to say.

I think it makes more sense than any of the other interpretations do.
Louis Theodore Tellman
16. desertpaladin
Three shall be one...this makes me think that we're talking about Min, Avi, and Elayne (like others have mentioned). Min's visions have to play a part after all she is basically glimpsing the pattern as it ought to be right? With the pattern breaking apart around them maybe her specific gift will be needed to mend things? I can't see her specific ability NOT having a major influence in the outcome of the series. But that could just be me being crazy.
Louis Theodore Tellman
17. zackattack
@6 MatthewB That was my first read of the three shall be one as well, but I decided I didn’t like it. I really don't like the idea of our Hero channeling the TP again. It also feels a bit off to have the DO defeated with his own power. It's not quite in line with this series. Or something.

So my new theory is that the DO was able to taint Saidin because it is male and He is male. If they use Saidar he won't be able to taint it. And no icky TP necessary. And the three becoming one could perhaps refer to Avi, Elayne and Min somehow combining their strengths into one Superchick and doing…something. Possibly bringing Rand back from Avalon the dead. I don't see them being in the circle wielding Callandor, because in my mind that is totally going to be Moraine and Nynaeve.
Roger Powell
18. forkroot
And now a tepid defense of Cadsuane:

It really wasn't a bad idea to go get Tam. If she had just settled for doing that, and not tried to "script" the encounter, perhaps things might have been better.

Notice how Rand assumes that Nynaeve had fetched Tam and didn't have a problem with it. If Cadsuane had just asked Nynaeve to go get Tam, and then stayed in the background (without putting her fingerprints on the whole thing), it's possible the reunion could have turned out differently.

Or not. Maybe Leigh was right and Rand was poised to go off regardless. In which case it was a damn good thing that Tam had a chance to tell Rand it was just as important why he was doing something. For sure that idea was essential in Rand's eventually epiphany.

So the scorecard for Cadsuane reads: Fetching Tam - good idea. Trying to control everything - disastrous idea. She gets a C-, which is still a (barely) passing grade IMO.
Sanctume Spiritstone
19. Sanctume
when Tam called her out for being a big old bully I about stood up and did three snaps in a circle AND the cabbage patch, because EXACTLY, YES, THANK YOU, SOMEONE FINALLY SAID IT, PRAISE TO BUDDHA
LOL! three snaps in a Z formation!
Stan Kinderknecht
20. sdkinder
I have a sneaking suspicion that the two women linked with Rand to use Callandar night be neither Elayne nor Aviendha. I've got this theory running around the back of my mind (it's OK; there's plenty of room for it there, where it can't get out to hurt anyone) that it could be Nynaeve and Taalan. These two have been portrayed as the most powerful female channelers in an Age. Nynaeve's power was already demonstrated when she helped cleanse saidin. And Talaan is supposed to be even stronger in the Power than Nynaeve.

I've always felt that there is a reason that such a strong channeler was introduced -- that this would be key at some point. When I first learned that two women were needed (along with Rand) to handle the awesome power that is Callandor, I immediately thought it might be that pair. Of course, we haven't seen much of Taalan in quite a while, so...maybe not?
Sanctume Spiritstone
21. Sanctume
Re; 3 will be 1.

Could it be as simple as the three taverens: Rand + Mat + Perrin being in the same area in the last battle and somehow just correct the Pattern?
Jeremy Vanneman
22. Jeribai
I absolutely loved Tam here. I truly think he couldn't have handled the whole situation any better than he had ... with Rand, and Cads. I almost laughed when Rand was all, "The world thanks you for raising me ... you will be rewarded handsomely." Trying to be formal and distant with the man he wanted to run up and hug, and maybe cry on his chest for a few hours if he wasn't semi-evil Rand. Up until now, Rand has grown more and more dark, and sure of the dark conclusions he's made about the world ... I think it needed to be Tam that set him off-balance enough to jump off the edge of darkness into rock bottom madness so quickly that he recoiled all the way to ... well, that's next week's reread. Then with Cads, he's probably the only person with the strength of character to call her down so hard she actually backed down ... I mean Cadsuane ... backing down?! ... that'd never happen.

Another almost laughable moment was with Beldeine and Min. I mean Beldeine is a green; it's not like she's quite aligned herself with the thinkers. She basically went with the "spartans" of the ajahs. And she tries calling down Min, who has been reading since we met her; specifically books about philosophy, prophecy, and history written by those on a scale with Herid Fel. It amused me.

One thing surpised me in there though, which was Nynaeve siding so strongly with Cadsuane. Tam is a man she knows to be solid, smart, and kind. Tam is from her village, which she was a semi-leader of, and held dearly in her heart. Apparently she has become so strongly Aes Sedai that she doesn't realize that handing an intelligent man that hasn't seen his son in years a script to read is a bad idea.

As for Leigh's comment on leadership in a crisis situation, I think it depends on a few things. The leader has to have the intent of helping those around them, rather than taking control of those around them. The leader has to be qualified for the position, whether that need be through intelligence, physical ability, communication skills, or other things. Finally, the leader has to be available. I think part of why Perrin fought so hard against being Lord of the Two Rivers is because he knew he would have to leave to help Rand, and he didn't feel qualified. Aes Sedai are known for taking control then ditching their constituents; Tarwin's Gap in EotW, the entire borderlands lacking the help of a strong force of Greens over the years, Manetheren, the city of Tar Valon during Elaida's reign, and the most grievous offense: the Aiel. AS seem to feel that they have power because of the way they have set up their personal heirarchy, but as the Wise Ones have demonstrated, true leadership doesn't come from the OP but from character.
Louis Theodore Tellman
23. Jeff R.
I'm strongly with the Siadin/Saidar/TP theory here. It's already been established that the DO can touch whatever is on the inside of his prison, so the only way to avoid him being able to taint half of the OP is to make the insides out of TP.

(The True Power, that is. Toilet Paper would be a very, very poor choice.)
S Cooper
24. SPC
Don't forget we have Alivia in the strong-female-channelers pool as well, directly opposing the Dark One could definitely lead to helping him die, and being in a circle with him would definitely give her access. Plus he sort of seems to trust her, at least more than an Aes Sedai or someone he doesn't know.
Roger Powell
25. forkroot
Which is something Callandor requires, and the Choedan Kal do not – especially not now that the female access key has been destroyed, but even before then it was perfectly possible to use one without the other
Just a technical note here. There were several access keys made for each of the Choedan Kal. We saw another female access key in the museum in Tanchico (although it was broken.)

The loss of one of the female access keys would not remove the possibility of using the female Choedan Kal again. What was more relevant was that the female Choedan Kal itself was melted down during the Cleansing. (In KoD, we get word of the grisly "Jonestown"-like consequences on Tremalking.)
So perhaps the meaning is not so much that no man or woman should wield such power, as that no man or woman should wield it alone.
Totally agree. In retrospect, I believe that RJ was quite deliberate, writing the story so that the male Choedan Kal was "unopposed" during Rand's downward spiral. The destruction of the female one was a gentle clue to us, much easier to see retrospectively.

I have to admit that the first time I read TGS and saw Rand/LTT destroy the male Choedan Kal I felt like Gimli in the 3rd LoTR movie when Aragorn released the Dead by declaring their vows fulfilled. (You did what? They were awful handy in a fight and we're about to march on Mordor!)

Of course Aragorn did the "right thing" and so did zen Rand.
Jeremy Vanneman
26. Jeribai
@17 The DO wasn't able to taint Saidin because he's male. He was able to taint Saidin and not Saidar because the female AS didn't join the male AS in trying to seal him. RJ talked about this in one of his interviews, saying that if the female AS had joined the male, then both halves would have been tainted and the world would've been completely destroyed.
Jennifer McBride
27. vegetathalas

Hmm, I'm not sure if the Dark One is actually male or if he's just perceived to be male both because 1) males tended to be stronger in power during the Age of Legends and 2) the Dark One also was associated with Saidin post-taint. I always figured he was sort of an amorphous, sexless blob of destructive rage who got the "He" tagged onto him by his followers.

It's kind of odd that RJ didn't extend his whole duology theme to the godhead, though. If the DO is literally male, then the Creator should be female, eh? Or maybe the DO has no sex and the Creator should be a hermaphrodite? Just random thoughts after pulling an all nighter...
Don Barkauskas
28. bad_platypus
Jerabi @22:
Another almost laughable moment was with Beldeine and Min. I mean Beldeine is a green; it's not like she's quite aligned herself with the thinkers. She basically went with the "spartans" of the ajahs. And she tries calling down Min, who has been reading since we met her; specifically books about philosophy, prophecy, and history written by those on a scale with Herid Fel. It amused me.
I think this attitude is a product of the fact that the writing of the series has stretched out over 20+ years. Actually, the first time we ever see Min reading anything serious is in LoC, Ch. 50, when she picks up one of Herid Fel's books at random when Faile comes in just so Faile doesn't catch Min snuggling with Rand. According to Steven Cooper's WoT timeline, this happens on approximately day 626 from the start of TEotW. The conversation with Beldeine occurs on day 801, so in reality Min has been studying these matters for less than 6 months in-story! And she certainly has no scholarly training or background. We know that Min is awesome and has great intuition, but Beldeine's attitude is completely reasonable given the circumstances.
Louis Theodore Tellman
29. Blood_Drunk
@ 5. RanchoUnicorno Interesting idea. At first I actually thought that collander was just a piece of a whole. In this book we were introduced to another power wrought sword that Rand was just given. Originally I thought that maybe there was one more out there and the three swords became one. But that doesn’t really fit with the fact that it would have had to have come from the AoL and Rand specifically told us that it came from his own memories not Lews Therons. Then I thought it just referred to Rand working with 2 other women and the three working as one. Your idea, however is interesting because I thought originally that as leaders of their respective peoples that they would be at Tarmon Gaidon . . . you know, leading. I think Min does have more to offer with her ability. If for no other reason than she can, in some ways, see the threads of the pattern and where they lead. If she can link with Rand and tell him that in real time during battle, then how invaluable would that be?
Scott Silver
30. hihosilver28
True Power. It stems from the Dark One. He alone decides who gets to use it. If it lines his prison he can choose to revoke it. WILL NOT WORK.
Deana Whitney
31. Braid_Tug
I remember crying at this point, shaking my head at how dark it got.

My thoughts:
3 into 1 - Rand / LTT/ and the connection to Ishy will be severed.
Like Harry Potter, the dark side of the soul will be killed so the good guy can live. And I'm sure RJ had that plan long before JKR.

Circle wielding the sword, it will be Rand with Nynaeve and Moraine. The only two AS he trust. Otherwise why would Min have had the
viewing that without Moraine, Rand could not win? And we had the whole plotline of saving her. She has to be necessary for something pretty important, otherwise it was a waste of a great plot twist.
32. brentodd
For Saidin+Saidar+TP being the three, and specifically the counter argument that you can't seal the DO with his own power, I have a couple of thoughts.

First - who says? We don't make the rules up for this fictional world. If women can be shielded by women, and men can be shielded by men, who's to say the DO can't be shield by his own power? (Weak argument, I know - but worth saying)

Second - it doesn't say "the three will be used", it says "the three shall be one". If Rand + whoever + Callandor allows him to control the circle and combine all 3 powers into a 4th unknown power, then the prophecy fits, and the DO isn't bound by his own power. Perhaps all 3 combined is the force that created the universe.

They say the One Power drives the turning of the wheel of time, but the Dark One himself seems to do much of the driving from age-to-age, so it makes sense that his power is also part of driving The Wheel, just as death is a part of life. Combining all 3 into the ACTUAL True Power that the Creator used to create universe with... seems a reasonable conclusion.
Kimani Rogers
33. KiManiak
Thanks, Leigh.

Yeah, the Rand reunion with Tam chapter. I was not looking forward to this one, either. I think I say it each time a chapter/section focuses upon him in TGS, but reading about Rand in this book is really difficult. I couldn’t help but feel a combination of pain, sadness and powerlessness for our main man.

And after reading this chapter for the first time, well, I didn’t know what more to think; I didn’t know how much more I could take. Fortunately, I could tell that the book was almost over, but I dreaded how it would end. (Actually, it still really hurts to read Leigh’s recap now. I usually skip over this part in my rereads).

A part of me believed (hoped?) that TGS would have to end on some type of positive note, but the knowledge that 2 more books were yet to come had me fearing that would not be the case. Fortunately, Veins of Gold comes up in the next few chapters.

(I’m going to gloss over Rand’s treatment of Tam. If the reader hasn’t grasped by now that Rand is not in his right mind and has gone completely out of character, then they’ve clearly gotten something else out of this story then I had. Trying to discuss or debate the point is kind of pointless. If another reader does not believe (at this point) that Rand is seriously sick, full of despair and delusional, then I can’t think of anything to say that would make them think otherwise. To me, Rand’s treatment of Tam is the ultimate example of how unlike himself Rand currently is.)

Tam’s advice is top notch (just like a Dad’s advice tends to be), but Rand is in no state of mind to hear it. As for his encounter with Cadsuane, well I loved reading his, “A bully is a bully…” observation. So true.
(Btw Leigh, loved the Men on Film reference; In Living Color FTW)

Min: As always, she continues to impress. As always, she is often underestimated by Aes Sedai. Props to Cadsuane (the only ones I will give her for this chapter) for positively reinforcing Min’s reading and analysis of the Commentary on the Dragon. Props for Min to actually be studying about the Dragon, instead of just telling him what to do based upon what she feels at that particular moment.

And as for Min’s final observation regarding their actions towards Rand: yes, maybe trying to make the Savior do what you want isn’t the best course of action in this situation. Assuming you know best is often human nature; doesn’t mean that you’re right.

Cadsuane: You know, I’m (obviously) not a fan of hers. Nothing she did here in relation to Tam (and her attempted manipulation of Rand) has changed my opinion. That’s the nicest thing I can say about her (barring my Min comments) right now.

As for Leigh’s (well, Min’s) observation about Cadsuane being the ultimate AS, and how AS try to be controlling (bossy) all the time so that folks will listen to them in times of crisis that kind of fits. Lord knows, that’s what most AS have been shown to attempt. This may also feed into Egwene’s actions and attitudes in ToM, but we’ll get there shortly (about 4 weeks or so, I would guess).

Anyway, bring on Veins of Gold!
Louis Theodore Tellman
34. Blood_Drunk
I don’t really agree. The Creator made 2 halves of the one power. Either by themselves would never be enough to stop the True Power. However combined they are stronger and can accomplish feats of true wonder. It gets back to the whole idea of life. We are not asexual beings;it takes both a man and a woman to create a life. A man by himself cannot create a life nor could he hope to defeat the Dark One/ Death by himself. However, a man with a woman can defeat death in some semblanceby coming together and creating a life. In addition, the Dark One has control over who is allowed to use the TP, I think that the only reason Rand was able to use it was b/c he was doing it through Moridin thus the Dark One did not know. If he tried to use the TP against the dark one, I feel like the result would be quite impotent.
Louis Theodore Tellman
35. MostlyAnthony
And as always, Min is the ONLY one who truly understands Rand. Don't try to be clever, AS, you know nothing!
Louis Theodore Tellman
36. Blood_Drunk
@ 26.Jeribai Ok if RJ actually said that if men and women were working together to seal the prison would have caused them all to be tainted, then I think the missing link is Padin Fain. Mordeth said that he and Aridhol would be instrumental in ridding the world of the dark one. Now maybe that has already happened with the cleansing of saidin. If not, then I think Fain will be the buffer between the dark one and the combo of saidin and saidar prison-made-whole.

27.vegetathalas I agree that if the DO is male then the creator must be female, for you truly need both. You can’t have life with no end, b/c we have to eat to survive, as the old adage goes, death is a part of life. For one to exist they both must exist.
j p
37. sps49
Was Tam really supposed to use an Aes Sedai's talking points in his reunion with his son? And start the post-Dragon relationship with his son by keeping this a secret from him?

I was sort of looking forward to seeing a lot of sul'damane getting toasted in Ebou Dar. Oh, well.

Doesn't Zen Rand Sedai say that the problem with last time was not using girl channelers? When did RJ say both halves would be tainted? Are we headed for double trouble?

Beldeine's attitude is completely snotty. The Person From Out Of Town generally has fresh eyes and a fresh perspective on problems you don't even see anymore. Plus being dismissive of others' contributions in a catty way rather than respectfully or informatively often says a lot about the, um, dismisser.
Kimani Rogers
38. KiManiak
Ahoy@3 and RobM@4 – I hadn’t really thought of Fain until you guys brought it up. I think the first time I read that section I guessed that the knife represented Black Ajah (either Beldeine was one or would be killed by one) or the Shadow. Although the blade may be steel, the “blackness” could represent Mashadar, which the blade seems to embody.

Rancho@5 – I like your speculation. It would be nice for Min to have some purpose other than just being a “Cassandra.” Also, did you just recently “go black?” Congratulations and welcome!

itsjustme@8 – Mat and Joline?!? I wouldn’t wish that union on either of them! Or us!

Wcarter4@11 – Hmm. Do you truly believe that Cadsuane would have tried to build Rand up, without attempting to tear him down in the process? What textual support do you have for that speculation? When has Cadsuane actively worked to build someone up, without tearing them down (with the exception of Sorilea, maybe, who Cads was in no position to antagonize as she needed things from Sorilea)?

forkroot@18 – I applaud the attempt to try to defend Cadsuane. I would amend your grade to also factor in her treatment of Tam post-Rand-eruption. Taking that into account, I would give her a D. She Shall Not Pass!

sdkinder@20 – Interesting point about Talaan. She has dropped off the radar for the last few books. But, it would have been an interesting tactic for RJ to introduce her, hide her for awhile, and then bring her back during a crucial period to save the world.

The problem that I would have with that, is that Talaan and Rand have absolutely no relationship (unlike Rand and Alivia, as SPC@24 reminds us), and Talaan has shown no extraordinary ability that could help Rand. If Team Light needed another powerful channeler to shield and capture a Forsaken, then Talaan did show exceptional aptitude in that area…
Jared Farish
39. jfarish102
Long-time lurker here.

I agree that it is two women who need to be in the circle with Rand and Callandor, but I think it will be Nynaeve and the Woman Who Will Help Rand Die (don't remember her name right off the bat).

- Rand has already asked Nynaeve to be at Shayol Gul with him.
- Nynaeve's healing powers are ever-increasing. First stilling, then she's a participant in cleansing the male half of the source, then madness. It makes sense that in some way she needs to "heal" the bore, since it has had a hole poked in it, especially if a woman has to direct the circle.
- Avienda's newfound talent of knowing what a ter'angreal does seems just right for her to understand what Callandor is and how it should be used just before the last battle (She had better show up just in the nick of time!)

As for the other woman, we know that she needs to be there, and it seems right that she should take part. I guess we'll see!
Jared Farish
40. jfarish102
Just want to reference that SPC@24 and KiManiak@38 already talked about Nynaeve and Alivia in the circle. Glad someone else is thinking along the same lines!
Cameron Tucker
41. Loialson
@39 jfarish102

I've never considered that Aviendha would be the one to hold the key to figuring out what to do next with Callandor via her talent! It fits so well, and as an I love you/thank you Rand will give her babies 4 ;) . Now I'm even more stoked for aMoL.
Louis Theodore Tellman
42. Wotman
This is where the gettin is good.

Death to Cadsuane.

Mordeth blade is black and he tweaked it a bit so it is even more potent. I have been rereading the LoC in the scene with him and the little boy and his mom plus his fade prisoner.
My problem is, if Rand cleansed saidin, shouldn't Mordeth be at least a tad bit weakened? he is the one who does not quite fit into anything other than a diversion (so far).

Alivia could take one for the gipper. However; with Min seeing it over Beldeine, looks like Beldeine will die a horrible death.

I like the idea that Moraiane could be one of three musketeers, but we have forgotten about Allana, she is still bonded and to me a critical weak link. Anything happens to her, directly affects Rand. So far Allana has been pretty much a wasted character, but I feel she is getting ready to do her thing.
Moraine must have still more to playout because I would hate for Matt to give up an eyball just so she can dally with Thom.

Min, awesome as ever and just shows these snooty AS don't know everything.

Tam, I want him to be my Dad, well maybe he could be my Uncle Tam.
Tricia Irish
43. Tektonica
As for the three become one: Elayne is pregnant and can't channel worth a damn. If it's going to be women, I see Nynaeve/Moraine, his only TRUSTED AS advisors.

Could it mean: Rand/LTT/Moridan??

How about: Rand/Mat/Perrin for some kick ass fighting?

I think the 3 wives have a different role with bringing Rand back/ the funeral boat, etc.

Anyway....I loved Tam here, absolutely. Cheers for standing up to the class bully!!

Heartaches for Rand in his speech about bein "alien". So sad. That wee small voice in his heart was so hopeful to see. The need he had for Tam, and his denial of it, so sad. He is soooo confused. Poor lad.

Glad Min got some props too. Still my favorite "wife". So not full of herself, and she really does understand Rand the best, having spent the most time with him. He is her only purpose in life. Avi has the Aiel, Elayne a couple of countries to run, but Min is focused on Rand, and what he needs to win at Tarmin Gaidon.

Can't wait for next week!
Louis Theodore Tellman
44. Barrison
Re: 3 as 1

I have always thought that it meant Rand, Elayne, and Aviendha and the 3 as 1 was about how Rand is bonded to both Elayne and Aviendha with Elayne and Aviendha "bonded" through the first-sister ritual. Bonded triangle = 3 as 1?
45. gadget
You know, if it wasn't for Cad's need to put her own stamp on everything and establish herself at the top of the 'above it all' Aes Sedai hierarchy, her plan could have actually worked. If she had been willing to work with Nyn. a little and share some information, how much better would the meeting have gone if it had been Nyn. that spoke with Tam and 'preped' hime for his meeting, even if it was scripted. Rand still trusts Nyn. to a certain extent, and knows she has his best interests at heart. I don't see Rand fliping out if this were the case.

This is why I don't see Cads as the quintesential AS. She does not know how to use subtlety to manipulate people(not that this is an all around 'good' quality, but seems to be a desired one among AS): she merely bulldozes and bullies. She doesn't know how to establish a relationship of trust with someone, real or feigned, except as some sort of supplicant/master relationship where she will take care of you if you come begging and do your job like a good boy/girl. Moir. has Cads beat by mile, she at least knows when to change tactics when her go to method isn't working.
Louis Theodore Tellman
46. Wotman
This is where the gettin is good.

Death to Cadsuane.

Mordeth blade is black and he tweaked it a bit so it is even more potent. I have been rereading the LoC in the scene with him and the little boy and his mom plus his fade prisoner.
My problem is, if Rand cleansed saidin, shouldn't Mordeth be at least a tad bit weakened? he is the one who does not quite fit into anything other than a diversion (so far).

Alivia could take one for the gipper. However; with Min seeing it over Beldeine, looks like Beldeine will die a horrible death.

I like the idea that Moraiane could be one of three musketeers, but we have forgotten about Allana, she is still bonded and to me a critical weak link. Anything happens to her, directly affects Rand. So far Allana has been pretty much a wasted character, but I feel she is getting ready to do her thing.
Moraine must have still more to playout because I would hate for Matt to give up an eyball just so she can dally with Thom.

Min, awesome as ever and just shows these snooty AS don't know everything.

Tam, I want him to be my Dad, well maybe he could be my Uncle Tam.
Louis Theodore Tellman
47. Wotman
What I wanted to comment was: that I like the idea of the trinity being Saidar, Saidin and the True Power, I think that was whatCallandar ws built for, still has to be weilded by a manWEILDERI also like the idea of the taveren trio since I believe somewhere it was mentioned they all had to be there to be able to defeat the DO.

I do believe that Mordeth will get in the way and ultimately bite the big one, but not without causing a lot of undue harm.

Taim, Hmmn, I think that Logain will take him out.
Ron Garrison
48. Man-0-Manetheran
LLT: “... brute force would not contain him.” DUN!

The ironic thing is, Cadsuane’s involvement is what made it go to hell, but if Tam had just actually listened to Cadsuane and not mentioned her, it wouldn’t have happened.”
Some people go crazy whenever the Cads is mentioned. Just don’t understand it...

In hindsight, we know that Cad’s plan to bring Tam to Rand was a good one. What we don’t know is exactly what the script was. I have always wondered what would have happened if Tam had followed the script - and not mentioned her name!

All in all, I agree with Leigh, the landmine (Rand) was primed to explode no matter what, but it was that near catastrophe that later brings him to his senses. “Oh, Light, Rand thought with terror, shock and rage. I am doing it again. I am a monster.” He needed to see that becoming harder, becoming a monster was something he shouldn’t do.

Callandor represents Balance.
I totally agree. But Callandor being “used safely in a circle of three?” I can’t see it as a circle of three people. I don’t recall it ever being said explicitly that there are three people. How is one part male and two parts female balanced? Maybe a Male, a Female, and a Tranny? No, don’t think so. I can, however, see Male-Female-Sword as a triangle. The holders? I vote for Rand and Egwene. Why? Simply because we've just recently seen them set up in a confrontational mode. In fact, a confrontational mode that strongly echoes the conflict between LTT and the female AS in the last Era. The Wheel of Time goes 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round...
Sam Mickel
49. Samadai
I just had an interesting thought ( to me at least) I don't really have a horse in the 3 become 1 theory, but, what if it is Aviendha and Elayne with Rand wielding Callandor, but wielding it through Mins vision.
What I am getting at is, Mins vision are a part of the pattern, so she is actually seeing the pattern, or portions of it. What if, at Shayol Ghul, she can see the portion of the pattern that was drilled through, and can see how it needs to be fixed. The Three become "one" with her vision and are able to close the hole in the pattern.

I know it is far fetched, but it was a cool idea when it popped into my head. :D
Skip Ives
50. Skip
Blades forged in Thakan'dar are black. Just a thought.

If Calandor has to be wielded in a circle of three than the three that make the most sense are Rand, Nynaeve, and Alivia. Rand can trust them, and they have the power to control and help him. Also, Nynaeve and Rand already did what I expect may end up happening to heal the bore, using the One Power to pull all the True Power out of the world and keep it beyond the bore.

That way you have three becoming one in multiple ways; a circle is many becoming one and the three powers used as one. It is also likely that drawing out all of the True Power would open Rand's wound, killing him so that Nynaeve can heal him, preferably three days after his "death".
Louis Theodore Tellman
51. Syllabus
Re: Three shall be one:

There are two possibilities in my mind:

1) Rand+Mat+Perrin. This seems to me the most likely one, as throughout the series there has been great emphasis on all of them surviving and being together at The End Of All Things. Some sort of uber-Ta'veren correcting influence to fix teh worldz, methinks.

2). Rand+First Female Channeler (almost certainly Moiraine)+Second Female Channeler (likely Nyaneve) using Callandor. On the plus side, the phrase appears next to what is almost certainly an instance of Rand using Callandor. On the con side, it seems to be a minor, rather superfluous point to put in a Prophecy, and that doesn't seem to happen a whole lot.
Joel Salomon
52. JCSalomon
The difference between the two being dependent, of course, on whether you agree that Aes Sedai are automatically the best people to be in charge of a crisis situation. If they are, then the sentiment is kind of sucky but logically sound; if they aren’t, then it is tyranny.
It’s tyranny either way, but that might not be a bad thing per se; recall the original usage of the word—the tyrannos was appointed by the people to make necessary but politically unpopular decisions.
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
Saidin, Saidar and the True Power” again. No, and no, and no. First, Saidin and Saidar are not separate powers – they are the two sides of the One Power. Second, the True Power isn’t just the power wielded by the DO, it is the essence of the DO. You can’t use it against him that way. It simply won’t work. Third, a One Power ter’angreal can’t be used with the True Power. Fourth, it’s talking about Callandor, which we already know has to be wielded in a circle of three. Need I continue?

FWIW, I don’t have a settled theory on the three=one. It could be Rand plus two women (most likely Nynaeve and Moiraine, although it could be Alivia instead); Min, Aviendha and Elayne somehow “as one” – possibly of the two women; it could be Jahar, Merise and Cadsuane wielding Callandor. It’s even possible that part of this prophecy has already happened, when Elayne, Aviendha and Min became “one” in the bonding process with Rand, and all that remains is for the effect on wielding Callandor to be shown us. Over all, I lean toward the “three” being those who wield Callandor.

wcarter4 @11 – Not that I dislike Moiraine, but I totally agree with you. She did all manner of overt manipulation in the first three books, including (along with your examples) deliberately alienating Rand from his friends and trying to force him to rely on her alone. She went some way toward recovering when she finally changed her tactics shortly before she disappeared into ‘Finnland, but even then it was just trying to control him by another means. Combine that with all the other AS treatment he got: the girls playing AS and telling him what to do in the brattiest way possible; the SAS embassy trying to intimidate him; and the TAS kidnapping, beating and torturing him - all before Cadsuane ever came on the scene. Rand simply turned all his hatred and mistrust of AS on the one (aside from Nynaeve) Aes Sedai who treated him like a normal human being and actually expected him to act like one.

No, (everyone else), I’m not saying Cadsuane was above reproach in all ways – she’s only human, too – but Rand had far less actual cause to hate her than he realizes. The strings and boxes he attributes to her are his paranoia, not her plans. But I’m not going there right now. I’m sure I will later.

For now, I have to throw in that Tam is not entirely faultless either. Much as I love the man, Cadsuane (and Nynaeve) did tell him that mention of her would probably make Rand angry (and therefore, he shouldn’t do it), and he himself said that he should have known better than to follow someone else’s script. In hindsight, Cadsuane could have told Nynaeve what to do and had her actually do it all, so that if Tam slipped, he’d only mention what Nynaeve said instead of Cadsuane, or they could have just not given him any suggestions at all and trusted him to figure it out. Wait, what? No, that would have been too far out of character – for either Cadsuane or Nynaeve.

Still and all, Leigh is right – if Tam hadn’t mentioned Cadsuane, something else would have set off the landmine that was Dark Rand’s Hair-Trigger Uncontrollable Temper. Bringing Tam to him was one of the very, very few things that would have given Rand a reason to return to humanity; the only other one I can imagine would be bringing Elayne, pregnant with his children, to meet him. Elayne would not, however, have been able to give him the man-to-man talk about why you choose to fight, and Elayne lying on the floor like Ilyena might have tipped him straight over the edge.

zackattack @17 – So my new theory is that the DO was able to taint Saidin because it is male and He is male. If they use Saidar he won't be able to taint it. – It makes a good theory, but it’s not true. RJ made it quite clear (but not in the books) that if the women had been with LTT at the Strike, both halves of the One Power would have been tainted.
The result of this was that Lews Therin carried out his plan with only male Aes Sedai, so there were only male Aes Sedai channeling there, which was a lucky thing, because if there’d been women as well, then both saidin and saidar would have been tainted. And his plan worked, except for that one side effect of the backblast which tainted saidin and caused him and the men there with him to go mad there and then, and other male Aes Sedai to go mad slowly as they touched the Source and began to absorb bits of the taint. But that’s why saidar was not tainted, because there were only men there channeling during this act of sealing up the Dark One’s prison.
(Budapest Q&A, verbatim, April 2003)
FWIW, my theory is that the power of Shadar Logoth (a.k.a. Mordeth-cum-Fain) will be the insulating layer between the TP and the OP. It’s been rather well foreshadowed, IMO.
Roger Powell
54. forkroot
He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one.
I dunno ... this doesn't really sound like it pertains to the number of people in a circle wielding Callandor. Seems more like Rand wields Callandor (surely with female help) and then somehow merges three things.

Three people? Three nations? Three "peoples"??

Thinking WAY out of the box, how about the Tuatha'an, Aiel, and Jenn Aiel (Hello Nakomi?) re-merging?
55. MasterAlThor
Oh baby. These are the chapters where I wanted to spike the book and do a touchdown dance. Woot Woot oh yeah oh yeah!!!

Mad props goes to Tam for the simple verbal beatdwon of SWMNBN. SecondandjustslightlylowerpropsgotoMin.

I don't like her. She is almost next to useless. My opinion, you don't have to share it. But outside of her visions she is a liability. Again my opinion.

That said I do have to point out that I liked what she said because it was so true. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Nynaeve.

Aes Sedai

It has been set up from around TSR that the Aes Sedai are about the drop dead last people you want in control of anything. Yes even with the most effectual leader in about a century sitting on the throne I still woundn't want them in charge of building an outhouse. Funny I feel the same way about the government. Wonder if RJ made that intentional?

To wrap it all up these were great chapters and it will lead us to the greatest chapter in the book. VoG. Can't wait see you all there.

Louis Theodore Tellman
56. Lurking Canadian
Third, a One Power ter’angreal can’t be used with the True Power.

Says who? It is known that Callandor "magnifies the taint". That sounds to me like it's a True Power angreal, along with whatever else it is.

I will leave my thoughts on Rand's plans for Ebou Dar to next week, except to say Seanchan delenda est.
Louis Theodore Tellman
57. Blood_Drunk
@ 54.forkroot Another interesting idea. You’re right, it just says that he holds a blade of light and the 3 shall be as one. That does not mean that it has anything to do with collandar. Just that he is holding collandar when three ‘things’ become one. For the longest time I thought that Demandred was in control of the Borderlanders, because what they were doing was fishy and because they were the last great army that had gathered without the influence of a forsaken. We know that Demandred has an army just not which one. My money is on it being the Sharans. He will lead the people of Shara against Rand, then Rand will defeat Demandred and then the 3 peoples can be as one against the DO (Randlandians, Seanchan, and Sharans).
Rob Munnelly
58. RobMRobM
@56 Isn't it Seanchani delenda est? LOL.

Wet - Am now picturing a Fain sandwich. Please make it stop.

I have a vague memory of the original post-book spoiler thread where I expressed disappointment with how Cads was written here - too much Snideley Whiplash where, in RJ's writing, she's tough and difficult but does things for a purpose with an overall strategy. I still feel the same way. Pushed too firmly into the black hat category for an artificially induced Woo hoo. Here is an instance where a bit more subtlety would have been appreciated. (Ditto with the writing of Elaida earlier in TGS, but I've already covered that opinion.)

Note - Tam remains awesome. That is all.
Justin Levitt
59. TyranAmiros
@56: I'd been thinking along the same lines re: Callandor and the True Power.

If it simply magnified the taint, it would be ok for Rand to use it on his own now that saidin's been cleansed. However, it still seems he'll need a circle of 3, that it's still tainted. I'm pretty convinced that the TP will be involved with the sealing and that Callandor will help somehow on this front.

Here's my speculation: Cadsuane's not quite right about the "one man-two women". Rather, it's about uniting the three powers: a woman to draw upon saidar, a man to draw on saidin and open the channel to the True Power, and a female channeler touched by the Dark One and thereby connected to the Dark One (i.e. a Darkfriend or former Darkfriend) to lead the circle.

Further speculation: Lanfear leads the circle. Seriously, she's the one who opened the bore, and knows how it was done and where and with what. Since she was a researcher in the AoL in this very area, I'm certain she would have the most educated guess about how to seal it (unless there's a last-minute prophesy interpretation). And at a meta level, she must have been kept around for a reason.
Louis Theodore Tellman
60. CraigVal
I had to skip over the whole Tam-Rand interview. When I read it the first time it was so painfull I couldn't stand to revisit it.
Alice Arneson
61. Wetlandernw
I had to laugh just a little at Min's thoughts re: Cadsuane not sharing much, even though she had clearly studied the same materials. (Okay, I probably laughed a bit more today than I did the first time, because now I know what's coming.) It's so clearly respect for what Min is working out, and a desire not to influence her findings. Remember the way Cadsuane treated Daigian? Even though she was incredibly weak in the OP, Cadsuane relied on "that fine mind of yours" to puzzle things out on more than one occasion. It seems to me totally obvious that she sees Min, both her viewings and her insights, in much the same way: something to be valued, appreciated and utilized - without contamination by someone else's (even her own) interpretations. It might, in part, be the validation of her own reading, but I think it's far more a matter of hoping that Min, with a fresh perspective and a unique relationship with Rand himself, will see something that everyone else has missed. Which I think is correct - I firmly believe that Min will find a significant detail that will be the difference between success and failure in Sealing the Bore.

And I loved the put-down on Beldeine. Bad manners are not to be tolerated, after all, whether you're the Dragon Reborn or a Green Aes Sedai. FWIW, my theory on the “black knife” is that she will be active in the fighting of the Last Battle, though whether the knife is opposing her or whether it belongs to her as a Dreadlord remains to be seen.

The viewing of Nynaeve “kneeling over someone’s corpse in a posture of grief” which was “gone a moment later”… I wonder if this is a flash of what might be, almost was, and then gone because of a decision made. Specifically, I wonder if she saw this in the instant that Rand approached killing Tam, and then it was gone because Rand chose to run away rather than kill his father. If the Pattern is as uncertain as it seems, could she be seeing things that might be? The biggest argument against this, of course, is that Rand was going to use balefire, in which case there would be no corpse to kneel over. But I think it highly probable that Nynaeve would have the same posture of grief for Tam, Perrin, Mat… any of a dozen or so people who mean a lot to her. I don’t think it’s going to be Lan, even if it wasn’t a might-be viewing.

Lurking Canadian @56 – I’m extrapolating a little from an RJ quote:
WOTMANIA: Can Moridin use a male angreal if he channels the True Power?
Blood_Drunk @57 – Stop it already!! I keep seeing Rand reach down and pull out a bowl with holes all in it, and go “Hey, wait, what happened to my sword? I could have sworn I had Callandor right here…”

RobMRobM @58 – No can do. It’s what I see, myself. Bit of a gruesome thought, though, isn’t it? Maybe he’ll revert to something Mashadar-like at the end; it’s creepy, but pretty in a creepy way… or at any rate prettier than Fain.

Hey, maybe they’ll open a Waygate right next to Shayol Ghul and let Machin Shin go make happy with Mashadar all over the fiery toilet, and when everyone is all distracted they can slam the OP seals shut on the whole mess. No more Mordeth, the Ways are clean again, the DO has more than enough to keep him occupied for an Age or three, and Randland is safe once more.

Or maybe I’m sleep-deprived.

Also… I’ve been trying very hard to avoid saying anything about the way Cadsuane was written, especially here, but if there were a single “continuity error” that I really notice, it would be this. We’ve only rarely seen her use the OP at all, and then only at real need (except for the time she gave Rand a towel-snap of Air); wrapping someone up in Air isn’t consistent, nor is speaking coldly. I firmly tell myself that she was under great stress here and so some oddity in her behavior is understandable. Obviously Team Jordan didn’t feel it needed to be changed.
Terry McNamee
62. macster
Sorry I didn't post last week. Aside from a lot going on that kept me busy, I didn't really feel a need to chime in yet again and say "Egwene is awesome, Silviana is awesome", or debate yet again with the Egwene-haters. I will say I loved her final speech about being legendary though. Now if only that can come true...

Anyway...as I said before, I wasn't surprised things went bad between Rand and Tam, both because things were spiraling downward so badly it was pretty much a foregone conclusion--after Natrin's Barrow, Bandar Eban, and the Borderlanders, it's fairly predictable--and because Rand was in such an inhuman state that when being faced with his father and needing to feel and act like a human again, he was bound to lose control of his emotions. I just...didn't expect how bad it was going to go. In retrospect of course it was absolutely necessary, as well as thematically appropriate--he had to come close to repeating his Kinslayer act, but while still sane enough to realize he was doing it, before he could come back from the brink and have his epiphany. That didn't stop this from being shocking, powerful, emotional stuff. Props to Sanderson and Team Jordan.

I do have to note that I giggled quite a bit at some parts of their conversation though--first, Rand acting all pompous and Tam being amused by that; and secondly Rand starts whining, Tam calls him on it, he petulantly says "I'm not whining," and Tam retorts, "I know, kings don't whine, they deliberate." Hah!

I did notice the reference to Morgase the first time around, but only because I'd already been paying attention when Rand saw Perrin in his Ta'veren Technicolor Telepathy meeting with Galad; this was already suggesting Perrin's plot was progressing in ways we hadn't yet seen that had to be resolved in ToM, so it didn't bother me so much--I knew we'd have to go back to him in the next book, wherein we'd see both how Perrin and Galad met up (no-brainer as it turned out, with Perrin leaving Malden at the same time Galad and his Whitecloaks went into Ghealdan after he killed Valda) and how Morgase was revealed, so I didn't mind waiting. Also, the simple fact Perrin was seen with Galad made me suspect Morgase would be discovered, so I was prepared for it happening (finally!).

Wonderful synopsis on the difference between the Choedan Kal and Callandor, Leigh. I never really thought about it in detail, or put it all into words, but it always sort of made sense to me that it was another example of Jordan showing men and women need to work together. I just didn't quite put it together till now. It was also obfuscated by the fact Rand and Nynaeve did exactly that when they cleansed saidin, but then the fact the female Choedan Kal was destroyed made it unbalanced again, thereby underscoring the theme. Both sa'angreal could be used to bring balance, but only one did so by its very nature, and could still do so by the end of the series. Very well done.

(Side note: I wonder if the encyclopedia will tell us what "Choedan Kal" and "Callandor" mean in the Old Tongue?)

I have come to admire and respect Cadsuane a lot more than I used to--some of this due to this very re-read, as well as re-reading the books myself and thinking about her more but also, ironically enough, due to how Sanderson wrote her in certain scenes in this book (her visit to that eyes-and-ears innkeeper in Bandar Eban, her immediate reaction to Darth Rand and the exile, her humiliation of Semirhage, and her visit to the Wise Ones after she failed) and especially how he writes her in ToM. But I think even Wetlander would agree (and in fact, she did) that however much Cadsuane's heart is in the right place, and that it's understandable why she used the method she did with Rand, it didn't work and she made some major mistakes. That said, so did Nynaeve, Moiraine, and just about every other Aes Sedai who's been involved with Rand--the only one I can think of offhand who never messed up with him was Verin (because the bit with the Salidar embassy in Caemlyn was actually intentional on her part, as far as I can tell). So, Cadsuane did deserve telling off here, but so did everybody else, and so awesome to have it come from Min. (The fact Cadsuane respects her and acknowledges her worth is also a good sign--she keeps Min around and treats her well so as to have a link to Rand, but that doesn't require her to be as open-minded and accepting of Min as she is. It seems since Min respects her even as she dislikes her, Cadsuane is able to give her respect in return even as she uses her.)

As to how this all fell out...I agree Rand probably would have blown up over something else eventually. As he put it himself, bringing someone from his old life into his new one was like dunking steel in a quenching barrel (okay, he actually said water on a hot stone, but I like the Perrin-type analogy, So There)--he was having far too much trouble trying to be human with his father while still holding onto his cuendillar nature. Something had to give, and eventually he would have snapped anyway. But since Min had foreseen Cadsuane would teach him something he wouldn't like (that he couldn't hide from his responsibilty to be a good leader and a force for Light behind his prophesied death and "I did what I had to do", that he had to feel and care no matter how much it hurt), it may be that things had to happen this way, that she had to bring Tam but screw up in what she told him to say and not say, so that Rand would be pushed to the edge. And that's all I'll say on that.

On leadership: the simplest answer is, it's a very good thing indeed to get people in the habit of looking in the right direction when a crisis comes, so they will follow along and do what needs to be done to resolve the crisis instead of resisting or arguing and resulting in more suffering and confusion. The key is that it actually be the right direction, at the right people. The technique and the line of thinking are valid; but for it to work the premise (that this particular person or group of people is the one to do the job) has to be true too. And as we've seen, very few Aes Sedai (or leaders in Randland at all) fit that definition.

The "three shall be one"...I've thought for some time that as usual, this prophecy doesn't mean what we think or want it to mean. The problem, I think, is that not only are we trying to piece things together and interpret them without all the information, we're doing so without knowing what, if any, relation there is between the pieces. In other words, as Blood_Drunk said, just because the three become one follows after a line about Callandor doesn't mean the two have anything to do with each other, or at least that there isn't necessarily a direct line of cause and effect between them. Personally I think this and Rand's three women are unrelated. The circle with Callandor, assuming he uses it, will clearly include Nynaeve unless Rand changes his mind. It's possible Alivia will be the other woman, and her being there has something to do with how she will "help him die", while Moiraine has some other key role in the Last Battle, but I think it's more likely the other way around, that some information Moiraine has or some aspect of her power makes it key she be part of the circle, and Alivia, on her own, will be there and do something to help him die. (Speculation: Alanna turns out to be Black, or she gets turned by the 13+13 trick, and Alivia kills her, thus making Rand go crazy and get himself killed?)

But whichever way that goes, Rand's three women seems to be separate. It may be that the connection is something about their triple bond with him will enable him to use Callandor without a circle of women, or with Rand in control instead, or that the bond will help provide the missing buffer, or any number of other things. But like zackattack and Tektonica, I think it has something to do with Rand's death and resurrection (which makes a nice segue into Min's vision about Nynaeve--the next likely person for her to be crying over their body after Lan is Rand). It was stressed how unusual the bond was--not only did Elayne weave it in such a way as to include a non-channeler in it, but the whole idea came from the sister-bonding ceremony and it has been established that the Aiel have weaves the Aes Sedai don't (like Caressing the Child). So perhaps something in what Elayne and Aviendha did to make that bond has made it unique...loony theory, it anchors Rand's soul the same way the Dark One can do to a Forsaken who wasn't balefired, and thus keep it around and not reborn until Nynaeve can Heal him? Or, if people are right about Rand's soul going to TAR when he dies, the bond will allow them to track him even though he's dead (sailing on a Skimming platform with his body) until they can find him in TAR and then Nynaeve restores him? Anyway, point is...I suspect the three becoming one has something to do with that bond, and thus explains why it was so important for Rand to have three women who loved him.

I do like the possibility of the three ta'veren, and also the Rand/LTT/Moridin link, although since Rand and LTT became one in Veins of Gold I can't see that being the answer to the prophecy.

Beldeine: Cannon fodder. Not because I don't like her (though I don't, really) but because that black blade really makes me think of Thakan'dar weapons. And since she ended up not becoming Egwene's Keeper as was foretold in the Acceptatron, it seems she could easily be slated for death. Not to mention she's a Green; if they're going to finally step up to the plate and prove their worth, they'll likely be on the front lines at Tarmon Gai'don. Elayne would be if she weren't pregnant and could channel properly, Adelorna surely wants to make up for their failure in the Seanchan raid, Cadsuane won't let anyone in her coterie be a coward, Joline surely wants to sink her teeth into the Shadow, and even Alanna might throw herself at the enemy once her Warder Rand dies. So why not Beldeine?

@5 Rancho, 16 desertpaladin, 29 Blood_Drunk, 49 Samadai: Interesting ideas about how Min's ability could be used. I like it a lot.

@14 chaplainchris re: Shadar Logoth/Fain/Mordeth: No good comes from using the Dark One's power against him, but what about using the ones who tried to use it against him? Namely, the theory that Fain will be involved in sealing the Bore somehow. Sanderson did say in an interview that Mordeth searched for all kinds of powers and things to try and bring down the Dark One, and he found them, but they were not what he bargained for. Whatever he found, and how it enabled him to corrupt Aridhol and become what he did, this may also be a way the "three become one" prophecy comes about (One Power, True Power, Mashadar) or it may just be that Fain is the one that will "touch the Dark One" and thus keep any part of the True Source from being corrupted again. See also Blood_Drunk @36, Wetlander @53.

@20 sdkinder, 38 KiManiak: Interesting. I do wonder if Talaan and Merilille will show up again. I can't see Talaan being involved in the Callandor circle either, since I am pretty sure the other woman will be Moiraine or Alivia, but the fact she can shield Forsaken could be a reason for her to show up again. We don't know what direction they fled in, but what if they went to Murandy, and Demandred really is there, disguised as Roedran? Or perhaps when the attack on Caemlyn happens, they hear of it and come back, so Talaan is on hand if Demandred shows up there?

Since Jordan said we hadn't seen his alter ego on-screen as of COT, that means he could have shown up in KOD...which makes me very suspicious of and worried about Charlz Guybon. If he were Demandred this would explain Demandred earlier appearing in TAR and stepping from it into the Royal Palace, and him saying he had armies under his control. It would also explain how the Waygate was opened, and would certainly be disaster for the Light. It could even explain the similarity between his name and Mordred, considering the Caemlyn/Camlaan parallel...and allow for a showdown between him and Mat as many have been wanting and would be thematically appropriate (Lord of Chaos vs. Lord of Luck), especially if one of the men lying dead on the field of Trollocs is Talmanes (recall the pipe Talmanes got--from Roedran no less!)...

@27 vegetathalas: Now I did a spit-take. Thanks! Though I do like the idea of the Creator as female...Dogma, anyone?

@32 brentodd: Very interesting theory, but see my reply to chaplainchris: it could be One Power, True Power, and Mashadar.

@39 jfarish: Aviendha figuring out how to use Callandor--I never thought of that, brilliant! And how ironic that she helps them figure out how to use a sa'angreal...shaped like a sword. If this isn't what happens, Jordan somehow missed a wonderful opportunity.

@42 Wotman: Why would cleansing saidin affect Mordeth? The taint on saidin beat counterpoint to Mashadar, the two weren't the same thing. And it seems pretty clear that despite the destruction of Shadar Logoth, Fain and the dagger are getting stronger than ever. Whatever power Mordeth discovered, it may have settled into every part of Aridhol, but it's also separate from it.

@53 Wetlander: Gah, I didn't even think of what would have happened if it had been Elayne confronting Rand. Good thing Cadsuane thought of Daddy instead of his pregnant lover... *shivers*

@54 forkroot: Oooo, that's a neat idea too.

@56 LurkingCanadian: The problem with your theory is that it would have required one of the Aes Sedai who made Callandor to have been a Friend of the Dark, otherwise there's no way the True Power could have been used in its making. And even assuming the Dark One granted her the usage (because he foresaw Callandor being key in defeating Rand, the "onyx hand" perhaps), why would the other Aes Sedai have allowed her to use it, or even worked with her at all, or let her live? It's not like they could not know she was using something other than the One Power. Unless you're suggesting all the Aes Sedai who made Callandor were of the Shadow...

@58 RobM: Odd...not only did I consider Elaida properly written because her megalomania had been increasing ever since she encountered Fain and was written as becoming more unhinged by Jordan himself, but I also thought Cadsuane was believable too--not only in her reaction to the exile and her visits to that innkeeper and the Wise Ones, but to how she treated Rand in ToM, where clearly she had learned her lesson from breaking Semirhage, being exiled, and being reprimanded here by Tam. YMMV I guess.

@59 TyranAmiros: That's...certainly a possibility. Since I am still not sure how the True Power could be used (unless it was being combined with the One Power and Mashadar, a la Brentodd's theory) or how Callandor could use it, I will only say that I agree Lanfear must still have a role to play and it is even possible it could be helping the Light (whether through deliberate defection or something inadvertent). But I think if anyone will change sides it's more likely to be Moridin. This doesn't mean Lanfear's knowledge won't come to good use, however; she may reveal something about the Bore in order to try and sway Rand to her side again, something which later proves to be the Dark One's undoing; or if Moridin does change sides, he could compel her assistance either through knowledge or physically via the mindtrap.
Louis Theodore Tellman
63. JustMo
Upon first reading the "Three become one" passage, my first thought was Nyneave, Moiraine, and Rand forming a circle. But then I remembered Alivia "helping Rand die" (which is why Rand trusts her more than most AS). SO I believe it will be Rand, Moiraine, and Alivia in a circle. Moiraine to guide and Alivia and Rand as the two strongest channelers of Saidin and Saidar to seal/remake the prison the way it should have been to start with.
John Massey
64. subwoofer
@Sanctume- exactly! The Mat + Perrin + Rand angle. The three will be as one... IIRC when this whole idea was being written the Power Rangers were at the peak of their popularity and RJ did always like that idea. So here we have on paper a ta'veren megazord coming to kill the DO!

... Wheel of Time Megazord something something something...

... would be cool if this actually happened, then I'd actually get the spectacular ending I have always wanted. It wouldn't be realistic at all, but cool none the less;)

John Massey
65. subwoofer
I also had a sneaking suspicion that our fearless leader is a Buddist. When it comes time to cussin' she cusses out God, praising time comes around and the little guy gets a pat on the head... ;)

John Massey
66. subwoofer
Here's the thing about Cadsuane for me, I have been a Cadsuane hater, and I am not a liker, more of a moderate or tolerist if you will.

For me Cadsuane represents the ultimate woman. RJ created a culture where women are on top, they have all the power, when men have any power they go loopy and women put them down.

Cadsuane comes from a place where this is amplified to an alarming degree and men carry their testosterone around in their wife's purse. Cadsuane has made a career and built up her status among other great women( Aes Sedai) as a hunter of men( male channelers). Cadsuane is even to the point where she does not rely on a man for anything... she has no Warder and has not entertained the thought of a replacement... yeah, yeah, she is old...

Along comes Rand, a guy, a powerful guy, the Dragon Reborn, who is bound to upset the apple cart and topple a woman centric world. What is a woman to do? Control him.


We see how well that works.

Enlist another guy to manipulate him.


We see how well that works.

Let him be and figure stuff out on his own?

Crazy talk. Guys need guidance.

::goes off to examine inside of bunker::

Louis Theodore Tellman
67. jackjack
Hi, there.

I'm a long time reader, rereader, etc.

I just wanted to point out the the "second prison (that mad by man) is the one that broke. The seals were slowly rotting because they were exposed to the True Power.

Think about Cuendillar. It's strength increases with the application of the One Power.

If a seal was made by the One Power and the True Source, the prison would strengthen by application of either. By sealing the Dark One in such a prison, you could contain its taint by applying it to its prison.

It's simple to me.

BTW, hello everyone. I'm new to posting, but certainly not to the series.
Jonathan Levy
68. JonathanLevy
Re: The One he Lost

From a literary perspective, I found this chapter to be a bit uneven. The first part is really good, where Rand is walking the halls while thinking to himself and chatting with Lews Therin. The conversation with Tam, I found to be stilted and awkward. I know it's supposed to be awkward, but I found it unconvincing ("Er, My Lord?"). The climax of the scene, however, is also brilliant.

What makes the good parts shine, in my opinion, is the way Rand's madness is revealed to the reader (as opposed to having people say "He's batsh*t insane", like Tam does in the next chapter). Rand walks the halls for hours without noticing the time, barks out unexpected orders with no warning ("Stop guarding that! Marshal troops to attack Ebou Dar - 5 minutes' notice!) and goes from calm-sonny-boy to rabid-slavering-wolf in the space of a few seconds.
Jack Jack
69. JackJack
By the way, I should point out that my favorite sff stories include epic redemption. Ishamael completing the seal would be my favorite thing ever.

He wants to die. With the DO, he doesn't. He wants the damn merry-go-round to stop. Rand giving him the chance to go Forever Into That Goodnight would be one of the best redemptive (a real word!) tales in sff.
Birgit F
70. birgit
Good thing Cadsuane thought of Daddy instead of his pregnant lover...

I don't think she knows about that.
john mullen
71. johntheirishmongol
Sometimes I think a lot of this stuff is overthought. Min had it pretty much right. It's got to be the 3 SG, combined to balance Rand's power, using Callandor.

Props to Tam for putting down Cadsuane.

Rand is definately hitting bottom here, which is good because this part is almost over!
Ron Garrison
72. Man-0-Manetheran
JackJack @ 69 (welcome!)
"He wants to die. With the DO, he doesn't. He wants the damn merry-go-round to stop. Rand giving him the chance to go Forever Into That Goodnight would be one of the best redemptive (a real word!) tales in sff."
Yup. My gut strongly tells me that a redemptive ending is the way it's going to go. The link between Rand and Moridin is crucial, and Moridin (being a philosopher) must realize he has made the wrong choice. Eternal life has become eternal damnation. He wants it to end.
73. Freelancer
Not meaning to throw water on any discussions, but several of these have been had to great depths in the release threads. The meaning of "the three shall be one" was batted about then as it is now. Personally, I cannot accept the idea that the True Power plays into it in any way. The whole business of Mierin finding the source of the True Power is what cracked the dark one's prison. Going there again is bad juju.

No, the need of Callandor to be wielded in a circle of three is the connection, but the question remains: Of whom is the circle composed? I don't believe it's Elayne and Aviendha, precisely because the symmetry would be out of whack with Min unable to be included. Rand, even after finding the narrow path, will not have Cadsuane in such a trusted position. But there is someone for whom a reunion will mean nearly as much to him as that with Tam.

I think that Moiraine will be one. The other could be either Nynaeve or Egwene. I know most folks would say Nynaeve in a heartbeat, given the elevated trust she enjoys from Rand. But there is a symmetry of another sort to have Moiraine and Egwene be the two with whom he links.

The Blue who gave her life to finding, preparing, and protecting the Dragon Reborn, returned from the strange Beyond just in the nick of time to help finish healing his spirit (and break the litany of female victim's names). And his former presumptive betrothed, now Amyrlin of the restored Tower. I believe that Moiraine will be brought to Rand at Merrilor, and that she will convince Egwene to stop trying to oppose the Dragon. There is no reason to suppose that Rand would have more success there than he did in the Hall of the Tower. No, it will have to be a woman to show Egwene once and for all that Rand has a clue, and is not to be defied.

Then, in pure Jordan form, there may be a second meaning to the three. It has been put forth as fact since very early in the series that Rand would fail if Mat and Perrin are not with him. The combined effect of the Ta'veren Trio is the largest Checkov's Gun which remains to be fired.

RE: Tam al'Thor. Dude is half a step above Lan on my favorites list, and always has been. He is the closest analog to Samwise Gamgee that the story permits. Until Perrin's choice to forsake all else to recover Faile, he would have been in that mold as well, but Sam never failed, and neither does Tam. As with Frodo, Rand could never have come to his moment of ultimate testing without Tam, both because he raised Rand and because his presence in this scene triggers Rand's most insane episode, with the world in the balance. Had he harmed Tam in any way, the Dragon would indeed have been the world's worst nightmare, there would have been no coming back.

It is beyond fitting that Tam is the one to hold a mirror to Cadsuane, fearless while helpless in her grasp, the one time she loses her cool and approaches a physical threat on someone. Too cool for school. I would have wanted him to have some words with Nynaeve about taking part in Cadsuane's plan to manipulate Rand using his own father. No question that Tam and Min will get along famously.

Interesting that some comments consider the appearance of being "alien" as something deserving of compassion. Hypocrites. Along comes someone into this arena, with a delivery and a format which to many feels alien, and he is hounded out as too different to belong. And all the while, more could be gained through reading that unfamiliar flow of words than most of the rest of us produce combined. Fools. Reside well in your ignorance. And if this shoe doesn't fit, don't force it on. If it does, don't whine about it, you cobbled it yourself.
Ron Garrison
74. Man-0-Manetheran
Freelancer: Thanks for that caveat at the end there.
I absolutely love it how because some in the the past agreed that a certain theory isn't likely that no other should have the temerity to discuss theory. Especially since they have absolutely no proof either way. They have no confirmations from Team Jordan because to do so would reveal too much. They mistakenly believe that because they agree on a version of reality that any deviations, especially ones counter to their own beliefs should be blasphemous. Sounds like the White Cloaks hey? Sounds like certain religious beliefs in our own reality too!

Rob Munnelly
77. RobMRobM
Free (and Man-o) - I'm not understanding the final caveat. What am I missing?
Sam Mickel
78. Samadai
They are talking about Caveatar leaving because he doesn't feel welcome here.
Rob Munnelly
79. RobMRobM
Sam - Thanks. I hadn't realized that. I'm supportive of his return.

Alice Arneson
80. Wetlandernw
macster @62 – Rats. You just reminded me of what I inadvertently left out of my comment @61 – that the only black blades we’ve seen are Thakandar make. (Or at least the only ones I could find without a week's worth of research or a $100+ investment in the ebooks overnight.) Hence the “Beldeine serving as either a Lightlord or a Dreadlord” notion.

On a slight tangent, why do we all assume that Nynaeve (in the vision) is grieving over the body of a man? Are we being chauvinistic in assuming that only a man’s death would get that reaction from her? Everyone keeps talking about “it must be Lan” or “it must be Rand, if it’s not Lan” – but why couldn’t it be Egwene? Or Moiraine? If Egwene and Nynaeve were to wield Callandor with Rand and Egwene died in the process, what do you think Nynaeve’s reaction would be? In last week’s chapters, during the Raising ceremony, Egwene told Saerin that she would bear the weight of the Amyrlin’s stole “until I die.” Is that foreshadowing?

(Just having fun with the monkey wrenches. Y’all really should keep them out of my toolbox.)

Freelancer @73 –I’m right there with you. Once again, you hit the nail squarely on the head. Especially the ending. Thank you.

Balescream @75 – So you’re saying that if I have a strong opinion, I shouldn’t oppose anyone who disagrees with me because I’ve been around too long. OTOH, since you’re relatively new here, it’s okay if you oppose my opinion as strongly as you wish, and I can’t argue the point. Is that about right?
Alice Arneson
81. Wetlandernw
RobM @79 et al - I doubt he'll be back, although we can hope. Right now he's going through some fairly severe physical issues, which don't stop him from reading but (reading between the lines) don't leave him with enough emotional reserve to cope with the antagonism he too often gets here. I'll be keeping in touch with him as much as I can via email - and if you see an insight in my posts that seems beyond my usual, you can credit it to him! (Okay, I'll credit it to him when he'll let me. There were some good bits from him in my previous post.)
Louis Theodore Tellman
82. Louis Theodore Tellman
Ok, so, a relative neophyte here in terms of putting forth theories or ideas, but here goes: "He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one."
So, obviously, "The blade of light" = Callandor. I think almost everyone's agreed on that. Where things get divisive is once we start picking apart the whole 1+1+1=1 thing, so why don't we start with some basics:
1) What are the naturally occurring triumvirates in the story?
a) The three wives, however, chances are, we're not talking about Elayne, Aviendha and Elmindreda melting into a single, superhuman fighting force.
ii) The boys- Mat, Perrin and Rand (did I mention, I actually know a guy named Rand? Too old for his parents to have copied from the series, so... cool!)- for them to merge as one, we'd have to assume that there's nothing all that mystical or One Powery about it and that, if indeed the prophecy was referring to them, then it just means that the three of them will be in the same geographical location.
- Saidin, Saidar and the TP... hmm... ok, so initially, I was, like, "No way, like. There's not a chance that Shai-guy would allow Rand/the Dragon/LTT/Prince of the Morning/Bearer of the Weight of the World/General Hero to use his own mojo against him. But then I started thinking... okay, so what if it's all like Jiu Jitsu'd on him and, like if I were to bend my opponents finger backwards, I'd be using his own... assets (I suppose)... against him? And guess what! Rand is already using the TP for his own purposes through Moridin.
IV) Whi-i-i-ich brings us to the next point: LTT/Moridin/Rand- you want to talk about three identities occuppying the same space! So, with Rand taking the lead and being guided by LTT and also using the link with Moridin to pull on the TP, we have a threesome, in one case unwilling, that is a force to be reckoned with. What if, like with the Cleansing thing, Rand weaves Saidar and Saidin (through Callandor and his two besties) and uses the TP, not so much to directly affect the DO, but as a channel through which Saidar and Saidin can do all the important work. The TP as a conduit or a lever. I mean, it works in Aikido and all sorts of other martial arts- the whole using your strength against you thing...
5) One thing I can't remember and this could actually unravel what little logic I used up above is what context, exactly, was that quote from the prophecies surrounded by? The Karaethon Cycle does, of course, talk about the Last Battle and the Dragon's role in it, but it also mentions a number of other prophecies that have to occur either prior to or concurrent with the LB. What if this was just a small precursor prophecy?

Just a few thoughts from a guy who's normally just a wallflower.

Lynn McDonald
83. meal6225
Gardner Cavetar I send you strength and hope of better days. Be well
Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
Looking back into previous ideas and foreshadowings… “Belief and order give strength.” What characters most symbolize belief and order? Not necessarily in the ways we might like, just characters who in some way personally represent Belief and Order – either, or both. I’m going somewhere with this, but I want to see what y’all come up with first. (If you choose to respond, make sure you think of characters you hate as well as those you love.)
Louis Theodore Tellman
85. NotInventedHere
@72: I agree that it is possible we will see some sort of redemption for Ishydin, but I think you have the reasoning backwards. He wants the world to end. He, alone among the Forsaken, realizes that this is what it means to be fighting for the DO. He isn't one of them because he sought eternal life, he is one of them because he sought to end the eternal struggle - the only way he thought it could be ended. Any redemption for him would involve not giving up eternal life (or lives, anyway), but accepting a part in the ongoing struggle.

IMO, of course, but I think we have plenty of clues that Ishydin has no real interest in living forever and ruling over everyone, and realizes that helping the DO win means an end to everything.
Ben Frey
86. BenPatient
Off topic, but with purpose: I just wanted to express my frustration that the John Sargent post stuck on the front page has comments disabled, and we are asked to visit another website to make our comments. If tor.com is trying to avoid controversy, then just don't post Sargent's message in the first place, and certainly don't sticky it. Oh wait. You were probably required to do it this way. At the very least, you guys need to open up a new comment thread on this site for us to discuss this topic, since it's apparently important enough to justify a sticky.
Louis Theodore Tellman
87. zackattack
@ 69 JackJack I do LOVE the theory of Ishidin’s and or Landane’s redemption playing a role in sealing the Bore.

On a somewhat larger note, one of the great things about these posts (which I have been following since about TFOH though I have only recently started participating in the conversation) is that I gain a different perspective than my own on one of my all-time favorite works of fiction. And in fact through the comments, I gain even more perspectives, which have reinforced or strengthened certain of my own views and made me change or rethink other views. This has really given me an even greater appreciation than I already had for WoT and I thank all of you for that. If we dismiss others’ comments, either because they contain theories that have already been discussed, or because they are written in an unusual style, we diminish the experience. Here endeth the rant. Please do not trip over my soapbox on your way out.
Nadine L.
88. travyl
Nothing new from me, but a comment to chaplainchris1 @14:
your comment made me chuckle (though I agree with you):
I agree about the general fruitlessness of speculating on Min's viewings
Zen Rand does ask Nynaeve, in TOM, to be part of the circle For the third, my money's on Moiraine. That would be emotionally fitting, and would make sense of Min's viewings that indicate the battle can't be won without Moiraine.
Bill Bácsi
89. billbacsi
Hi there all.

Just adding my guess about the black knife. This could be the ter'angreal that Elayne has, identified by Avi as hiding the bearer from evil.

Isn't she also the one who was Egwene's Keeper wayyyyy back in her visit to the Acceptatron?
Roger Powell
90. forkroot
Louis Theodore Tellman@82
What are the naturally occurring triumvirates in the story?
Probably the most notable triumvirate is the tripartite belief system:

1) Taim is Demandred
2) Olver is Gaidal Cain
3) The True Power (the essence of the Dark One) can be used to contain the Dark One
Sam Mickel
91. Samadai
Forkroot @ 90

ROFL. that's funny.

on a separate note, It is hard not to be a double edged sword sometimes. A lot of us have been here for a long time and we have discussed most things many times. That doesn't give any of us the right to tell anyone else what they can discuss, but it does give us the opportunity to let others know it has been discussed before and where. There is nothing wrong with that, just like there is nothing wrong with someone bringing up one of those subjects. On that note, I have never seen one person tell another person here what is and is not acceptable to talk about (with the recent Caveat being the exception, ;) ). If someone brings up their pov on a bit of prophecy, and no one else agrees, is it better to just ignore that person, or let them know that has been talked about before and where? Kind of obvious isn't it.

And in no way am I starting a I have been here longer than most and my conversation matters more than anyone else thread. ;)
nor am I telling anyone they are wrong, or right, or looney, or sane, or right handed or right handed, ;). I am not telling people to not post, or post, to whine or not whine. to treat people fairly or not. this is not an attempt to prove I am superior to you, or you are superior to me. This is only a test of the emergency BS system, if it had been an actual post it might have been coherent or at least made some kind of sense. O_o
Louis Theodore Tellman
92. Jeff R.
The other possibilty is that the current DO will be dead, and it will be Padan Fain that goes into the new prison. In that case, the previous officeholder's True Power might be something that the new guy can't easily escape from...
Thomas Keith
93. insectoid
Early Father's Day, huh? How appropriate.

Great post as always, Leigh; you're the best at making even the most depressing of chapters entertaining.

Rand + Tam: Worst. Reunion. EVER. Thank the Light Rand had a moment of (relative) sanity in the midst of his bugshit craziness to realize what he was about to do and stop himself. I'm sure that Rand would have slid off the edge of the precipice he's on and gone completely mad had he not been able to stop himself here.

"Three shall be one" I tend to side with Min's and Cadsuane's interpretation; i.e., that Callandor must be used in a circle with two women. As others have already noted, one would definitely be Nynaeve, and the other is probably Moiraine, though it could just as easily be Alivia.

I don't buy the saidin/saidar/TP theory; it doesn't make sense to seal up the DO with himself. I also don't buy the "three ta'veren become one" theory; while it is entertaining to visualize, it doesn't seem likely.

Tam: Gets a Moment of Awesome in calling Cads a bully. She totally deserved that. It takes a lot of balls to say something like that to an AS—and he said it to one of the most respected AS in recent times.

Following an AS script? Bah! That would be like a guy following a script out on a date. (Not that I have any experience whatsoever in such matters.)
“This is what we all get,” Min said, “for assuming we can make him do what we want.”
I heart Min. She's becoming such a wonderful scholar and philosopher, and she may understand Rand better than anyone else.

Can't stay around for the hunny; got a rainy ballgame to go to.

Alice Arneson
94. Wetlandernw
zackattack @87 - Just a quick point... Not saying you were saying this, but I had to borrow the soapbox while it was out. May I?

Arguing a position (whether or not it's based on the fact that you've had a lot of previous discussion about the subject in question) is not the same as dismissing someone else's comment. Sometimes an idea is just loosely tossed out, and sometimes an opinion is firmly held. Which it is affects the way we express ourselves, and opinions based on a lengthy discussion have a tendency to be extra-firm. I think we all need to be mature enough to realize that expressed opinions are just that - opinions - without the need to constantly insert "IMO" or equivalent disclaimers. For some reason, there are several folks who take any disagreement with them as "You're trying to step on me!" rather than a statement of differing opinion.

Using myself as an example, I sometimes toss out semi-random suggestions. The response I get may cause me to either argue for it or drop it: sometimes a lot of people affirm it and I realize it's better than I thought; sometimes it gets promptly poked so full of holes there's nothing left to hold; sometimes it gets attacked in such a way as to make me support it and thereby realize that it's actually pretty good. And the entire spectra between.

On the other hand, I have real opinions about some things - for example, the possibility of using the True Power against the DO. It’s informed in part by my own understanding, in part by my understanding of Robert Jordan, and in part by the discussion we’ve been having for nearly 2.5 years. It’s only an opinion, but it is an opinion. Of course I think I’m right, or I wouldn’t hold it as an opinion. Really, do we hold “opinions” that we think are wrong? Therefore, when I state my opinion, I state it (with whatever supporting data I choose) as if it were right. Those who disagree with me are, of course, welcome to their own opinions on whatever basis they choose, but don’t expect me to agree that they are right – because I think I’m right, and we can’t (usually) both be right.

One more factor: all ideas are not created equal. We each have a right to our own opinion, but when one is supported by logical readings of the text and author statements, and another is supported by nothing but the reader’s wishful thinking, it would be foolishness to say that one is as probable as the other. That doesn’t mean the second is impossible, but it does make it less likely to be true. For some reason, there are people who have a problem with this, and are offended when others don’t seem to take their opinion very seriously. And really, if that person proves to be right, they can do a happy dance all over everyone, and if they were wrong... oh well. Most of these differing viewpoints will be resolved next January; some will have to wait until the Encyclopedia comes out, and some will never be resolved. In the last case, some readers will spend the rest of their lives arguing, and some... won't.

billbacsi @89 – Dude, where have you been? Haven’t seen you comment here in ages! About that dagger… well, the blade is described as looking like iron, but that doesn’t really tell us whether it’s black or slivery. Either would fit. I sort of assumed it would be carried by someone Rand – and Aviendha! – trusts; someone who will go with Rand to Shayol Ghul, but be unseen by any of Team Dark, to do something incredibly clever and moment-saving. Still, it needn’t be. Or it could be Beldeine.

forkroot @90 – Ah, yes! There are those who come in shaking their heads and saying, “What is wrong with you (stupid) people? You’re still debating who Demandred is?? I figured it out years ago! It’s Taim!!” I must confess, after the five hundred thirty-seventh of those, I tend to be a little sharp in my response…

Samadai @91 – LOL! “This is a test. This is only a test.”
Paul Long
95. Caveatar
@165 Part 26


Latest post.

Paul Long
Skip Ives
96. Skip
The answer is obvious. The “He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one.” was said by a prior age’s King Arthur; who, as we all know from watching the Monty Python documentary, mixes up his fives and threes. So, the quote should read “the five shall be one.” I expect that Rand will find five lions accessed through the ruins of a castle in Manetheran. Piloted in the last battle by Perrin, Mat, Nyneave, Egwene, and Rand will form the head; and the universe will once again be safe.

(Click the link if you are too young to get the reference, click it if you do get it and want to see that sword-wielding goodness.)

((Also, yes, this is a joke.))
Anthony Pero
97. anthonypero
I still want to know if the SAD bracelets effect circles the same way the a'dam do. If they don't, then it's possible that the SAD bracelets could be used by Tuon on Rand, eventually allowing Rand to gain mastery over her (thereby fulfilling both the "binding of the nine moons" and the "dragon kneeling before the crystal throne" prophecies in one fell swoop). Rand could then safely use Tuon as a "buffer" and force Tuon to control Rand's flows the way Rand wishes. As far as who the third person in that circle might be, Alivia seems pretty obvious.

The three becoming one... I don't think that refers to the three who are linking Callendor. If reveals are usually not that... direct, in the WoT. Cadsuane may have come by her knowledge that Callendor can only safely be used through that verse, but that doesn't mean the verse has anything to do with Callendor. But we'll see. I still think if has more to do with his three ladies. But I have no idea how.
Alice Arneson
98. Wetlandernw
Having gotten no bites at all, I'll proceed... I had a conversation with Caveatar earlier, and we put 2 and 2 together and came up with.... oh, 17 or so, I think. :)

Still. "Belief and Order give Strength." If by some chance this is related to the new sealing of the Bore as well as the destruction of the failing seals, could Belief and Order be represented as one, or possibly two of the women involved in wielding Callandor? I assume that one of the two will be Nynaeve, since Rand already asked her to go with him, though it won't necessarily work out that way, of course. Could Tuon represent "belief and order"? She seems a good candidate, all things considered, although we don't necessarily agree with the things she believes in/represents. On the other hand, Egwene might be a good candidate as well, as she represents the White Tower.

Another thought is that Belief, Order and Strength are each represented by on person in the triad, in which case I'd nominate Nynaeve (still), Egwene and Rand in that order.

Are we totally OTL? or is there some merit in this notion? We haven't revisited the discussion of belief and order for a while.
Anthony Pero
99. anthonypero

I'm totally with you on Fain/Mordeth/Shadar Logoth Evil being a crucial factor in resealing the DO's prison.


Unfortunately, if Cadsuane's information is correct, the sword can ONLY be used safely in a circle in which the female is in control, because the buffer on Callandor is faulty. Since only a man can lead a circle of two...

EDIT: Unlike SOME people who have not yet returned to our little reread, my sterling integrity prevents me from double posting to get the hunny...
Tess Laird
100. thewindrose
Nabbed! More to follow.... One hunnilicous;)

Not much fun being in Rand's head here - is it? Rand is humming the One way, or another, I'm gonna getcha song. Almost takes is Dad out, and is on his way to level a whole city. DO almost won here, terrifying!

So many 3 in this series, it is no wonder we cast a wide net for answers.

Interesting thought about Min only seeing the view of Nynaeve kneeling over a corpse for a minute- and gone a moment later - being related to what happens with Rand going to Ebou Dar.

Alice Arneson
101. Wetlandernw
Curses. Foiled again.
Anthony Pero
102. anthonypero

I do like the possibility of the three ta'veren, and also the Rand/LTT/Moridin link, although since Rand and LTT became one in Veins of Gold I can't see that being the answer to the prophecy.

Point of Order: Rand and LTT did not "become one" in Veins of Gold. The text makes it explicitly clear that they always were one. Constructionist theory FTW. LTT was a constructed personality based on Rand's previous life memories. The personality was deconstructed in Veins of Gold and the memories were reintegrated into Rand's.

***Bunker time!***
Tess Laird
103. thewindrose
Scratching head with confused look about me - AP - sub is back;

Work has been busy - so I am not able to be here as much lately, but I got here just in time today:D

Anthony Pero
104. anthonypero

Wouldn't that be a rub on the tummy?

And welcome back! I took a shot at you at 99, in case you missed it ;)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
105. tnh
Seconded. Subwoofer, it's nice to have you back.
Anthony Pero
106. anthonypero

I noticed that Sub was back AFTER I posted... hadn't gotten to his posts yet. Still. Shot taken. ;)
Sam Mickel
107. Samadai
Forkroot, I think you are onto something,

Taim is not Demandred, but Demandred is Taim. I'll tell you how.
Verin in her research was led to the choice of becoming black or dying. She made her choice because she found a never before seen book. It was Demandreds diary. It explained how early on in the war after Demandred had become the "bad guy" Lews Therin sent in Mazrim Taim as a spy to get close to Demandred and kill him. It all worked according to plan, nobody suspected a thing, not even the dark one. This is how Lews knew their was a big meeting going on in Shayol Ghul that day.. Unfortunately, Taim was trapped into the bore with all of the Forsaken. Due to the craziness from the others he began to believe he was really Demandred, and when he was finally released he acted just like the real one. Until one day he heard rumors of somebody using his real name. he took issue with this because this imposter was killing people in his name. so he traveled up there and during a middle of a battle between the imposters force and the Aes Sedais he balefired the imposter.
But at that same moment he was knocked out by that vision of Rand in the sky. When he wakes up he feels the connection to the Dark One has been cut, Next thing you know he is captured and escapes, he runs to Rand looking for help, looking for some clue that Rand is Lews Therin and he can fill him in on all that has happened to him over the last 3100 hundred years. but alas it just looks like young Rand is just a little looney. He decides to help however because he really is a good guy, however, since he is cut off from the Dark One he has no protection from the Taint anymore. So His insanity is to slip back and forth from his Mazrim Taim identity to his Demandred alter ego. So this goes on for a little while, and his alter ego Demandred is more or less in charge. He leads his army on an attack against Caemlyn to destroy it and Rand. Just as he is about to release Balefire on Rand, Olver Cain stabs him from behind, in that brief moment he remembers who he actually is and Balefires Moridin with the True Power. The Dark ONe is stunned because Moridin was the door stop to the hole in the bore all this time. The bore begins to close and Rand Moiraine and Nynaeve return it to its pre bore condition using Callandor.
Anthony Pero
108. anthonypero
I don't think we understand enough about the TP to know for certain that it can't be used directly against the DO. We have also heard that using the OP in SG can have tragic consequences. We've also seen SH take the ability to channel away from people, and we've seen weaves simply disappear when he is around, like he is walking around in his own personal stedding.

There is a whole lot we don't understand about the OP and the TP. It's folly to assume too much.
Roger Powell
109. forkroot
Re "Belief and Order"

Throughout the series, the importance of Tel'aran'rhiod seems to be hinted at repeatedly. Obviously, Egwene and Perrin's talents there are of crucial importance during the events of ToM, and it's quite possible there will be more about that in AMoL.

There's the whole issue of "Need" which is closely wrapped up with T'A'R. Quite a few people have suggested that the Eye of the World was actually in T'A'R (or something akin) since it wasn't in a fixed location and would respond to Need.

In addition there's all of Verin's musing about if the DO prevails, he prevails in all worlds, yet she muses also about the LB not being what everyone expects.

Where am I going with this? Well "Belief" is essential in T'A'R ... as Perrin taught Egwene and she subsequently taught Mesaana. So my belief (sic) is that T'A'R, "belief", and "need" is somehow important to the victory of the Light.

Where "Order" fits in - no clue yet. Anyone else?

P.S. Been posting on this reread for several years and I believe that's the first time I've actually spelled out "Tel'aran'rhiod".
John Massey
110. subwoofer
@Wet- interesting theory, and I have been talking with Cav too. Pity that. Through it all he is a gentle guy and has a poet soul. Time will tell.

As far as the possible "three", we can swing a cat at all the potential theories. I feel that what will be has little to do with power, linking or channeling. I'm on the fringe of it but will have to revisit the books to get a better grasp of the players.

... But as has been mentioned, it may be something as obvious as having the three most powerful ta'veren in the same room at the same time...

Sam Mickel
111. Samadai
Hmmmm. "order"

The proper 'order' according to what is believed in the series is that People are born, they die, then their souls are reborn again and again. What if by The DarkOne able to hold onto souls to keep them from being reborn he is messing with the proper order. So in order to win all of the souls that he has kept from being reborn, The Forsaken, need to die. they die and the order of the system gets to continue on.
Lannis .
112. Lannis
Hiya guys! Just caught up again--been lurking.

Wetlander @ 94: Good use of that soapbox, lady. :)

forkroot @ 109: re: Tel’aran’rhoid... ::gigglesnort::

Thanks for the post, Leigh. See you at JordanCon.
113. Freelancer
balescream @75

Just in case your comments were regarding my inputs @73, I wasn't suggesting that ANYTHING was settled, proven, or otherwise done with. I pointed out that the discussion wasn't a new one. Then I offered my opinion. That is all. Did you happen to read the very first words of the post, "Not meaning to throw water on any discussions..."? I don't say things like that if I don't mean it. If my purpose had been to end a discussion, I would only attempt such if I had conclusive textual or authorial information to do so. And I notice that both Samadai and Wetlandernw (two long-standing and respected members of this esteemed conclave) have had things to say on the same topic.


I'm not certain that the Rand al'Thor/Lews Therin/Moridin set is a viable option for the "three become as one" event. I think it is reasonably well accepted that Rand won't be hearing Lews Therin's voice any longer, as he has now fully integrated the former Dragon's memories as his own. Recall Semirhage's words, intended to frighten Rand and those around him. The voice was real, and the only way out of that spiral of insanity would be a re-integration of the two personalities. Post-Dragonmount, there is only Rand, so he and Moridin would be a hand short for that cutthroat match.

macster @63
On leadership: the simplest answer is, it's a very good thing indeed to get people in the habit of looking in the right direction when a crisis comes, so they will follow along and do what needs to be done to resolve the crisis instead of resisting or arguing and resulting in more suffering and confusion. The key is that it actually be the right direction, at the right people.
You don't get people to look to you in that way by the methods the Aes Sedai have chosen. Let's go back to Winternight. Once the folks realized that Moiraine was Aes Sedai, did they suddenly expect her to assert leadership and deal with everything? No, they avoided her for the most part, only grudgingly allowing her to do things that only she was able to do, because of the regional reputation of "the witches". Even Tam, the most travelled of them, knows to be less than eager about getting their help.

Leadership doesn't get people to see them in that way by pushing and prodding them, or by treating them as puppets. It is by going out front and showing the way. Patton was the quintessential leader in this regard. He issued orders, but those orders were heartily accepted because he didn't just tell them what to do, he showed them how, without fear. His men trusted him because he showed himself trustworthy. Tam is such a leader, or he would not have attained the XO role with the Illian Companions at a young age. And being a quality leader, he could instantly recognize one abusing an authoritarian style.
Charles Gaston
114. parrothead
Cadsuane does something that makes me not hate her for about five seconds, when she sticks up for Min. Of course, the rest of the time she's uber-Sedai and Far Madding wrapt up in one. Odd that one insignificant city-state (and one of the last nations we get to "see") can produce three very different characters. Cadsuane, who on a hundred point scale is something like an 8, down there with Tuon and Berelaine. Romanda, who, while arrogant and ambitious, is still pretty sharp and more or less on Egwene's side. And Verin, who...well, you all know.

What I don't quite get is why everyone's so against him bringing the rain against the Seanchan. It doesn't have to be balefire; the ordinary kind would be quite effective. Then again, given his mental state right now, they're not exactly wrong.
John Massey
115. subwoofer
@Wet94- I am holding fast to my WoT Megazord theory then. It is a tried and proven formula.

The problem with Rand raining on Seanchan... rust. heh. JK. Seriously though, at heart, the Seanchan are against the DO, the difference is that they have not had the same light bulb moment that Galad has had in regards to working with forces previously viewed as "the enemy".... that and some seriously entrenched dogma. Does Rand want to do harm to a formidable force that could help fight in the Borderlands? For me, the Seanchan represent the same ships that pull up to Gondor with reinforcements... the question becomes- "which side are they on?"

The other thing is that by bullying and intimidating the Seanchan, from past experience we see that just sets them off... perhaps another tack...

Rob Munnelly
116. RobMRobM
Anyone want a real whacky 3 theory? Rand, Moridin and Lanfear combine to seal the DO's prison. Moiraine learned secret places in Mori's and Lanfear's hearts while in Finnland, and passes knowledge over to Rand. Memory of Light indeed.

(Unlikely but fun).

If one has any opinion feel free to oppose. But no opinion should shunned simply because you feel it should be. No theory that has not been disproved should be shunned simply because it's the one thousandth time you have heard it. No theory that has been put forth should be shunned simply because you, myself or any groups within the forum decide its debunked, without actually having proof that it is however unlikely. Oppose away please... But please, if you will so, refrain from intimidating people off their opinion all because you disagree with it and have no desire to hear about it again.

By the way, I have been here since almost the beginning. My original account was closed from a lack of use, or I simply forgot the password. I was Terrorbyte back then. And followed before and after unLogged numerous times. I have more time now to enjoy a setting such as this and I am so very grateful for it. I still follow a good amount unLogged and even follow the newer re- reads, though I don't comment anywhere but here.

Peace and love friend, everyone has a right to an opinion and not be trampled when one disagrees. Though I must be fair to others here and note that you were the only juggernaut active at the time.

John Massey
118. subwoofer
@Rob- not a bad idea actually. We know that men cannot link without the aid of a woman, so why not? This of course may mean that Rand does not come out of this one alive however.

About the sharing of opinions.... here's the thing, popular or not, shot down or not, whether or not people agree with what I have to say, I have always shared my thoughts. Over the years I have developed thick fur and poor hearing so I tend to be more "choosy" in terms of what I do see and reply to.

Bottom line- I don't let anyone hold me back from saying what I feel -respectfully (err... repectfully for me that is, I am aware that I am somewhat of a cavewoof)- but I still say it as I see it because that is what blogging is about, sharing what you think. If others shoot you down, big deal, its not like a job lost, a relationship breakup or being shot at- real life stuff IOW. That being said, if you do shoot someone down, you are a douche.... unless the person expousing the theories is a douche then we are all just douching it up, douche for douche, if you will.

Edit- and just to be clear, there is a difference between discussing a theory and shooting it down.

Where was I going with this... oh yeah, so people, especially new folk, don't feel intimidated to share your thoughts here. Sure we may have hashed some ideas out, but there is nothing like a fresh perspective and new blood to shed light on any given topic. None of us are WoT scholars and this is not our field of expertise... and its not like we're curing cancer over here, so please feel welcome to share. Everyone else- what the hey is going on? The Iron Curtain fell, we don't burn books anymore and China is buying up everything in sight. Let's all get along, dang it.

Jonathan Levy
119. JonathanLevy
14. chaplainchris151. Syllabus
And others
Re: Moiraine and Callandor

Why would Rand choose Moiraine?

Option 1) Because he trusts her. But why should that matter at this point? In a circle, one person melds the flows, and he has Nynaeve. Other people cannot even leave the circle without her permission. If Nynaeve is melding the flows, the trustworthiness of the other woman is irrelevant. Even her skill is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is her raw strength. Just use Alivia or Talaan or make do with Egwene. Moiraine is pretty weak after her ordeal.

Also, Rand doesn't have that many people he can rely on implicitly, and hundreds of tasks which need to be done. Why waste Moiraine on something Alivia can do?

Option 2) Min's vision that Moiraine is crucial to the Last Battle. But Moiraine can be crucial in any number of ways. Her knowledge, for one, perhaps gotten from the Aiel Rings ter'angreal or the Aelfinn or the Eelfinn. Her leadership might save the day, perhaps after Rand dies but before he is resurrected. Or if he does the Moridin/Rand body/soul switcharoo, she might establish his identity. Or she might convince Egwene and everyone else to follow Rand's plan to break the seals.

These ideas are just off the top of my head. There are dozens of ways she might prove critical - why should it be one in which she could be replaced by any other channeler?

Sadly, it's not a triumvirate. You forgot:
4) Bela is the Creator.


I can just see Padan Fain sitting in front of the entrance to Shayol Ghul asking Gawyn: "What ... is the capital of Assyria?"

Lol. Definitely original!
Valentin M
120. ValMar
Wetlander @ 98

Tuon could represent order. Though I tend to agree with JL @ 119 and think that two of the people involved in the proposed Callandor triumvirate are just batteries. Only the one leading the cirlce has to be more carefully considered (inbook)- Nyn could do.
Stefan Mitev
121. Bergmaniac
It doesn't make sense to me to put the pregnant Elayne in the Callandor circle. First, she can't channel reliably, and second, Rand would totally freak out and get overprotective and distracted, which is the last thing you want at such crucial moment.

Anyway, Rand's chapter is really good, of course. Really good job on presenting how close to the precipice of madness he is at this point. Except the part about Morgase, which is both a spoiler for the next book and written pretty poorly. Why would Tam call Morgase "Elayne's mother"? Chances are he probably haven't even heard of Elayne at this point, given how isolated and far from Caemlyn Two Rivers is, and he certainly had no idea Rand had a personal connection to Elayne.

But that's minor nitpicking.

Of course I loved the way Tam confronted Cadsuane, I've been wishing for such a scene for a long time.
Ron Garrison
122. Man-0-Manetheran
forkroot @ 109 re. Belief and Order:
That’s what I was thinking as well. “Belief” is essential in TAR. As for “Where "Order" fits in - no clue yet. Anyone else?” - Here's my two pence:

In order to proceed in TAR and to keep a grasp on “reality”, one needs a plan, an Ordering of ideas, how to proceed and a goal. Otherwise you are reduced to just reacting. What we’ve seen of other battles in TAR, things change rapidly and what is “real” is always questionable. Therefore, in order to be victorious, one must remember the goal (Order) and Believe in it. That gives the Strength to succeed.
Sam Mickel
123. Samadai
Bergamaniac, I know it is in the next book, but Tam was at the parley with Perrin and Galad. I am sure he heard Perrin tell Galad that Elayne had secured her claim to the throne and was probably looking to marry Rand, assuming she could get his attention away from whatever realm he was conquering. So Tam at knew who they all were by the time he meets Rand, and would know that Rand and Elayne are together( of course later finding out about Min must have been quite the shock to his ticker, ;) )
Stefan Mitev
124. Bergmaniac
Good point, Samadai.

BTW, Perrin was such a doofus in this scene. What made him think that telling a Whitecloak that his sister wants to marry the Dragon Reborn was a good idea? But that's a topic for another day...
Roger Powell
125. forkroot
BWS had some tough choices once it was realized that AMoL was about three books worth of material. If he'd kept everything close to synchronized in time, the first book would have been the first 1/2 of TGS and the first 1/2 of ToM. Yuck - we'd have had almost none of the really good stuff and have had to wait another year with Rand as a total a**%$%le.

So, I suspect we can all agree that he made the right decision to accelerate Rand and Eg's timelines and let Perrin, Mat, and Elayne catch up in ToM. This leads to occasional difficulties (e.g. Tam in two places in ToM.)

You can certainly argue whether it was necessary for Tam to reveal (in TGS) that Morgase was found. It didn't bother me, since the details were not covered. I enjoyed the Galad/Perrin/Morgase storyline in ToM just as much. A matter of opinion, of course.
Anthony Pero
126. anthonypero
BenPatient@86 RE: Comment thread on John Sargent

I didn't bother me at all. It was obvious to me that what Tor.com has done is repost John's blog post. Probably all of Macmillian's subsidiaries have done the same thing at the request of the parent company. They want to keep all discussion on the original post, which is Macmillan's official blog.

If they allowed us to comment on each individual site's reposting of this blog post, then each comment section on each blog would be need to be moderated and responded to by each site moderator--all of whom are Macmillian employees. They are embroiled in a lawsuit with both the DoJ and a couple of class action suits. It's totally understandable that they only want one person speaking for the company at this time. Anything moderators say on any of these Macmillian-owned forums regarding the suit can and will be used as evidence in the legal proceedings. Its totally understandable to me that Macmillian wants these comments on that blog post in a single, easily moderated place.

I find it amazing and incredibly open that they are allowing comments on Macmillian's blog regarding this at all.
Heidi Byrd
127. sweetlilflower
I have been thinking about the AS leadership thingy. It has occured to me that part of why they want to be feared and "seen as different flesh" is that they prefer people are afraid of them instead of resentful or angry. I mean, if 2% of the population got to live 2-3 times as long as everyone else, wouldn't you feel cheated in you were the 98%? So, it started right after Hawkwing forced almost all of the AS to flee back to Tar Valon. They decided that noone was ever going to even think about attacking them again. They start acting as if they are above everyone else, and the general populace strectches stories and exaggerates the abilities of the AS, who never bother to correct anyone because they are ultimately safer if everyone is afraid to cross them.
Heidi Byrd
128. sweetlilflower
Also, there is a passage where Min tells Rand that she thinks Callandor can be used against him somehow. So, what if it is Moridin, Moghedan, and Cyndane who use Callandor? Moridin would have no fear of trickery b/c of their mindtraps.
Sam Mickel
129. Samadai
I like Perrin and he has/will become a great leader, but politics is not his thing for certain. All he knows at that point is Galad is the leader of the whitecloaks, and Elayne is his sister. Maybe he felt by telling Galad that info, that Galad might feel more inclined to side with him. I only say this because not a little while longer he suggests using one of the AS to be a judge during his trial. A person with any political grasp would know how to use these bits and pieces.
Louis Theodore Tellman
130. KingMagaw
I think Callandors circle will include Nynaeve and Morraine now that she has returned :) I am waiting to see Gawyn pop on those 3 ter'angrel rings and go beserk in Memory Of Light lol

Solid books, well thought out and Brandon has done a decent job keeping pace with Jordan i think.
Skip Ives
131. Skip
@119. JonathanLevy - that would make the DO a bunny with very sharp teeth.

@116. RobMRobM - I actually like that idea, but then I also suggested that Voltron would save the day, so take it for what it's worth.

Just wondering how many True Power users there are currently? No idea if Fain's powers are anyway related to TP, but all I can think of that are "allowed" to use it are Mordin, SH, and Rand (through Mordin). Not suggesting anything there, but it is worth considering. Also, though Lanfear can't teach Rand the OP, she can teach him how to use TP. Gee, I'm full of warm fuzzy thoughts this morning.
Chris Chaplain
132. chaplainchris1
Replying to a few things:

@62 Macster - yes, I'm not really metaphysically opposed to the idea that Fain is the thing that touches the Dark One and allows the sealing of the Bore. I've seen the theory and it's sensible enough (though Fain's touch is itself contagious and worrisome). My main problem about it is that it's just a little too, er, Gollum-y for my taste. Or maybe it's an elegant solution, and my complaint is that we've been able to predict it. I'd like RJ to surprise us. It's a good theory, though. Using Mashadar, TP, and OP for the 'three become one' prophecy, though, gives me the metaphysical heebie-jeebies.

@88 Travyl - *giggle snort*. Ok, yes, you got me! What I meant, of course, is that I don't think there's any way we can resolve the question until we see what it means! There are plenty of plausible interpretations, and it's fun to play with them...but I can't see any of it as anything but educated guesses while we wait for the reveal. (And I'm suddenly flashing on the image of the White Ajah guards outside Leane's cell uselessly debating fine points of logic and predictive models of the rate of food decay as the DO touches the world!)

To be fair, I was commenting on the inscrutability of Min's viewings *in this section*, not on earlier viewings...like the one about Moiraine.

To be fair on the other hand, I generally find Min's viewings fairly inscrutable anyway. And I find the confidence in them - "Min's viewings are ALWAYS right" to be non-sensical. I accept that RJ wants us to accept that, and therefore it's true - but if I were a character in the story I'd be arguing that there's no way to know the viewings are true, given how many viewings have a) no interpretation hat we, or Min, understand, and b) how many that we think we understand have yet to be fulfilled. To say that none have been proven false yet is a long way from saying that all are always true. We believe they're always true...why? Because Min says so? See a and b above. Because Moiraine says so? Moiraine's been wrong about things before (like how it was a terrible idea for Rand to go visit the Aiel!). Because the Aes Sedai say so? Aren't they just repeating what Moiraine said? Aes Sedai have *certainly* been wrong before. Siuan was actively trying to prevent some of Min's visions, showing a different understanding of them than the one Min has. But that's another topic...

@119 Jonathan Levy - why would Rand choose Moiraine? As I've already intimated, I think it'd be a matter of emotional resonance. He started with her, he'll finish with her. And I wouldn't dismiss the idea of trust so easily - I'd much rather have people I trust and draw strength from when I'm facing the Lord of All Evil (-Fain), you know?

I think that's a more important factor than raw strength, esp. in a circle - otherwise he could grab Alivia and Sharina. Though Moiraine's new weakness doesn't disqualify her - with her angreal she's stronger than she was before, which puts her at least in near-Supergirl territory. We already know that one can use an angreal in conjunction with a sa'angreal and in conjunction with a circle.

I grant that Nynaeve and Alivia are a plausible pair, as he does seem to trust Alivia somehow and she is supposed to help him die. It doesn't have the emotional resonance, though.

Still, I'm certainly not suggesting that Moiraine being in the circle is the only way, or a necessary way, for her to fulfill Min's viewing. As you suggest, I'm sure Moiraine (if she gets there in time) will be critical at the Fields of Merrilor, and that her survival will affect Rand's emotional issues (and list-making issues) profoundly. I'm only suggesting her in the Callandor circle as a *possible* fulfillment.

I have more thoughts on the potential Callandor-circle candidates, and the interpretations of "three become one", but I'll post those separately.
Stefan Mitev
133. Bergmaniac
Forkroot - I agree that the split was necessary and done the right way and it don't bother me in general. As I said, my comment was a minor nitpick, probably wouldn't have remembered it at all if not for the Leigh's comment.
Birgit F
134. birgit
“Belief and order give strength.” What characters most symbolize belief and order?

Belief: Whitecloaks, order: Seanchan
Will Tuon tame Asunawa or are Galad's whitecloaks the belief part?

Why do we have to choose one trinity? Maybe there are three threes.

If Rand and two women use the Dominion Band with Callandor, could that reverse who controls the circle? The Forsaken believe that who is in control with the Dominion Bands can be reversed. If the women allow it, it might happen sooner than usual.

If Callandor is used against Rand and Alivia helps Rand die Alivia could be the leader of the Callandor circle.
Ron Garrison
135. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. 3 in 1:

Many nominations for those who wield the sword with Rand frequently use "she's the strongest" as justification. I think it noteworthy that also in this chapter LTT reminds us that “... brute force would not contain him.”

We readers (and Egwene) have also been warned by Verin that the Last Battle will not be fought the way we think it will be. Given these hints, I think that those who end up wielding Callandor could be quite surprising. I'm leaning toward Rand and Marie Callender with a colander. It could be quite the pie throwing affair. ...but that's a bit strained.
Anthony Pero
136. anthonypero
@birgit: This is what I have been asking for a while now, see my post @97. The issue is that in order to safely use Callandor, you have to be linked. People have said this means you can't use the dominion bands with Callandor because you can't be part of two links. Being in an a'dam prevents linking. HOWEVER, if the SAD bracelets work the way I think they do, then you can be in a 3 person MFF circle while wearing them. I think this will allow Rand to "bind the nine moons" to him, while still allowing Tuon to force him to "kneel before the Crystal Throne"--assuming that the Crystal Throne is a metaphor for the Empress herself.

I also believe that the nature of the sad bracelets will allow Rand to eventually force Tuon to weave whatever he wants woven.
Marcus W
137. toryx
sub @ 118:

That was (IMHO) an awesome post. Way to offer a compassionate viewpoint, dude.
Chris Chaplain
138. chaplainchris1
@134 Birgit Why do we have to choose one trinity? Maybe there are three threes.

Way to steal my thunder! ::pouts, gets over it:: No, seriously, I've been thinking along those lines too. There's an idea in theological circles that prophecies often have more than one fulfillment. (One could argue that this is wish fulfillment, magical thinking, seeing what you want to see i.e. self-fulfilling, etc. All valid critiques, not the point.) (I'm thinking here of doctrines like typology - not a theory I necessarily subscribe too, but one of interest here.) There's often a surface level (a fairly quick temporal/literal fulfillment) and a deeper/spiritual fulfillment. Bummer, it's a complex idea, and I'm not doing it justice.
Anyway, the point is, some of these prophecies could well refer to more than one event.

I'm gonna leave that there since I'm explicating it so poorly.

Anyway, the three becoming one could mean, at once, wielding Callandor in a circle of three, the three taveren, three powers, three nations/people groups (Randland, Aiel, Seanchan?), etc.

On the belief and order giving strength - I don't think that has anything to do with Callandor, it's just the inverse of "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule". But fun game, so I'll play.

My immediate thought about belief and order was Egwene - she seems to have concluded that the core of being Aes Sedai is never losing control of yourself. Maintain control of yourself and you can give strength and order to those around you. (Rand and Nynaeve in TOM seem to posit a different, perhaps deeper, view of ways to be Aes Sedai and to be strong.)

Tuon, who I hadn't thought of, is an even better candidate, of course. Her thoughts about how the world needs an empress are interesting...she seems to believe some variant of "the land is one with the Empress," when we know that it's one with the Dragon. Rand, of course, is the core of "belief and order give strength." Order in the land gives him strength; likewise, when he's strong, ordered, whole, the land becomes stronger and healthier.

Re: the wielding of Callandor, although I mentioned my bent toward expecting it to be Rand with Nynaeve and Moiraine, I'm open to other ideas. The suggestion of Nynaeve and Egwene, as the other two uber-channelers from Emond's Field, would be fun.

The suggestion of Moiraine and Egwene, as the two who start the journey with him (Nynave not joining them until Baerlon), would have an emotional fit.

The suggestion of Egwene and Tuon is interesting. That would certainly be a union to be reckoned with - the Seanchan Empress, the Amyrlin Seat, the Dragon Reborn. How it would come about I can't imagine, but several things occur to me. Some have already mentioned a domination-band reversal as a way of having Rand submit to Tuon AND Tuon submit to Rand. Have we (I’m sure we have) talked about a possible link between Callandor (the crystal sword) and the Crystal Throne? Perhaps the crystal sword reverses the effect of the throne (or magnifies it), or perhaps Ishamael replaced the word “sword” with “throne” in the Essanik Cycle, to make it seem Rand had to swear fealty to the Empress when really he’s supposed to link with her.
We don’t, of course, know how strong Tuon could be in the Power, but I suspect she’s due for an upgrade to Supergirl status. Any bets on whether she’ll be forced/convinced to channel, or at least link (would she see being a part of a link as being no worse than using an a’dam?), during Tarmon Gaidon. I’m thinking, too, of Egwene’s Dream about a Seanchan woman – ‘together we can reach the top’? A Seanchan woman *with a sword*? Linked (especially via Callandor) we can win the Battle?

Mind you, I’m just throwing out possibilities. I don’t consider Rand/Tuon/Egwene to be all that likely. I have other pet theories re: Egwene. Namely, that she’ll end up paired (for the Last Battle, I mean) with Logain. That’s because I expect Logain to be the one to deal with Taim and to replace him as the M’Hael, and to remain as M’Hael after the Last Battle (when Rand’s believed dead, gets resurrected, and goes off to live in obscurity, happily ever after), gaining the glory Min sees. Having him as new M’Hael working with Egwene as new Amyrlin would be nice symmetry.

I could easily see the case for Rand linking with any combination of Alivia, Moiraine, Nynaeve, Egwene, Aviendha, Elayne, Tuon, even Lanfear. I still lean towards Moiraine and Nynaeve, but I won’t be surprised by any of those combos.

What would be interesting is if Rand’s not part of the circle at all. More on that next post!
Tess Laird
139. thewindrose
The shout boxes appear to be up - I have all my old ones - I haven't tried sending one yet.


(Back to your regular programming.)
Louis Theodore Tellman
140. alreadymadwithbelief
Wetlandernw @84
The Belief and Order quote if I'm not mistaken referred to the Dark One's prison and its seals. It is out of context if taken to mean the final circle that will use Callandor.
Roger Powell
141. forkroot
FWIW, I didn't see Wetlandernw's post @84 as suggesting that the "Belief and Order" quotation pertained to the use of Callandor. She didn't mention Callandor at all.

If Callandor is used against Rand and Alivia helps Rand die Alivia could be the leader of the Callandor circle.
Hmmm...interesting. What if the use of Callandor is after Rand's projected demise? At point, they would need another male channeler, right? Perhaps it would be Jahar Narishma.

From the Karaethon Cycle:
Into the heart he thrusts his sword,
into the heart, to hold their hearts.
Who draws it out shall follow after,
What hand can grasp that fearful blade?
We know that Narishma was the one who drew it (Callandor) out.
Roger Powell
142. forkroot
Hmmm - got my shoutboxes back, but some disgusting spammer left a shout and I can't figure out how to delete it.
Nadine L.
143. travyl
tor / tnh / irene: thanks for getting our shoutboxes back.

- I left directions to delete a / my shout in your shoutbox.
- @141. re 140. In Wetlander's post @84 she didn't mention Callandor, but in her post at 98 she did, to give us more to discuss.
Louis Theodore Tellman
144. alreadymadwithcallandor
Forkroot @141
NO, Wetlander was only leading at that point. She doesn't really tie Belief and Order in with the potential wielders of Callandor until post 98. Which eventually led to Birgit @134 making suggestions.
Chris Chaplain
145. chaplainchris1
Re: the wielding of Callandor. We know three things about Callandor from the prophecies - the prophecy that the Dragon Reborn grasping Callandor would signal his identity, that he'd put it back into the Heart of the Stone to claim Tear's loyalty, and that he'd send someone else "who shall follow after" to fetch/grasp it after thrusting it into the heart.

From Cadsuane we know about the flaw. We think we know that even without the taint it still, for some reason, needs to be wielded in a circle with 1 man and 2 women.

We don't actually know Rand needs to be the 1 man. Verin tells us the Last Battle will be fought in a different way than we think. Brute force won't help. Perhaps Rand wielding a powerful sa'angreal would be irrelevant to binding the Dark One again. More on *that* in the next post.

But assume for a minute Rand's doing...something else...to battle the Dark One, and so it falls to someone else to wield Callandor, smashing Shadowspawn and Dreadlords in the way you'd expect at Tarmon Gaidon, while Rand's doing the unexpected thing somewhere else. Who might it be?

Random aside that isn't random: Callandor's mentioned in the Prophecies and the Choedan Kal aren't. Apparently the Prophecies of the Dragon didn't consider the Cleansing of the Dark One's Taint from the male half of the True Source of the One Power all that noteworthy. But the Prophecy did see fit to tell us that random Asha'man Jahar Narishma would be sent to go fetch Rand's sword for him before a meaningless skirmish against the Seanchan?

Um. That's weird. So what if Narishma fulfilled a surface reading of that prophecy, but not the full, deeper meaning of it? What if there's someone else who's supposed to wield Callandor during the Last Battle, someone who "shall follow after" the Dragon. Who, indeed, could grasp that fearful blade?

I again bring up the Logain as M'Hael presumptive theory. Logain's bound for glory; he almost certainly will lead the Asha'man and be the Amyrlin's opposite number after Tarmon Gaidon assuming, you know, the world doesn't end. Perhaps he will be wielding Callandor and gaining glory during the Last Battle. He's bound to two Aes Sedai who could be in circle with him. Or, he could fittingly wield it alongside, say, the Amyrlin (Egwene), perhaps with Tuon, more likely with Nynaeve. It'd be interesting to pair them up, as Nynaeve's the one who Healed him.

But why would anyone - Logain, Narishma, etc. - be wielding Callandor in place of Rand? What would he be doing? Maybe he'll be in Tel'aran'rhiod. (Next post! And yes, I'm trying to keep my posts from being too ridiculously long, so I'm breaking them up.)
Chris Chaplain
146. chaplainchris1
Ok, one more Looney Theory, then I'm out for the night.

Forkroot @109 mentions the importance of Tel’aran’rhiod and reminded me of some thoughts I had following my last reread of the Great Hunt. I don’t *think* I’ve posted them.

I’ll present the wild theory first, then list some of the things leading to the notion. Apologize if this is repeat stuff. Here’s the theory: What if Rand’s battle with the Dark One takes place in T’A’R? What if all the Trolloc/Myrdraal/Worm/Dark Hound/Draghkar/Dreadlord/Forsaken stuff is all just window dressing, a distraction, while the real battle happens in the Unseen World, or something like it?

1. If the Dark One prevails, he prevails in all worlds.
2. T’A’R touches on all worlds.
3. Shayol Ghul, where the Bore touches most closely, is a place where reality is thin, strangely…mutable…in ways somewhat similar to T’A’R.
4. Could the DO then actually be bound IN T’A’R? Scary thought – whose ARE those unseen eyes?
4a. Is it coincidence that the two Forsaken arguably closest to the Dark One – Lanfear and Ishamael – are intimately familiar with T’A’R? Lanfear’s known for familiarity with T’A’R…and she’s the one who found the DO’s prison in the first place.
5. Dead wolves inhabit T’A’R. Wolves will be part of the Last Hunt/Battle. Wolves are gathering not just in the waking world but in the World of Dreams.
6. The Horn of Valere summons Heroes – not, actually, from the Grave (except as a figure of speech), but from T’A’R.
7. The summoned heroes aren’t…normal. They defy gravity, Birgitte’s arrows are energy bolts, they can ignore weaves of the One Power just as Perrin did when dreamwalking, they have apparently all their memories of past lives…almost as if they are still in T’A’R. Or as if an…enclave…of T’A’R appeared in the waking world.
8. When the Horn was blown, a fog appeared. The fog somehow seemed to lift them in the sky. Rand can see the whole battle, all of Falme, and all of Falme can see Rand battle Ba’alzamon in the sky. Rather like the visions in the sky that Perrin sometimes sees in the Dream World, now that I think on it. Rand is somehow pulled away, separated from the others, but all can see him in the sky.
9. There’s a strange link between Rand and Ishamael’s sky battle and the battle on the ground. When Rand does well, one side is winning; when Ishamael does well, the other side is winning. It’s far from conclusive, but it almost seems to me that when Rand’s doing well – when his belief is strong – then the Light side forces (if we can call Whitecloaks that, bah) do well. Much like a battle in T’A’R, belief and confidence plays a role in how well you do. And in T’A’R, strength in the Power isn’t all that important, as we keep getting told. Rand probably doesn’t need any sa’angreal there.
10. The Horn will be blown for Tarmon Gaidon and Heroes will appear. Will strange fog come from nowhere? Will Rand again get pulled into a strange “other” place? Will he battle the DO in T’A’R while the Forces of Light battle Shadowspawn et. al. on the ground?

Portions of this seem more likely than others, to me, but I’ve never really tried to figure out what the heck happened when the Horn was blown, and some sort of enclave of T’A’R in our world would explain things. We’ve seen similar things. The Eye of the World, as Forkroot reminds us, that moves in response to need. The mutability of reality in Shayol Ghul. Shaidar Haran’s strange ability to alter reality in his presence – making it seem as if the Source doesn’t exist, for example. Is this a more advanced form of Perrin dreaming away weaves of the Power? Shaidar Haran can grow and cause other oddities…almost like a Dreamwalker in the waking world. Rand’s epiphany on Dragonmount could be observed from T’A’R even though he was awake, and the cloud cover breaks in T’A’R even as it does in the real world. Some weird seepage is happening between T’A’R and the waking world at times…making me think T’A’R is important to the Battle. It may, in fact, be the central battleground.
Roger Powell
147. forkroot
The prophecy says: Who draws it out shall follow after. So that was definitely Narishma. Of course this could all just mean that Narishma "follows after" Rand, since he's one of the uncorrupted Asha'man. I agree with you that Jahar is a somewhat minor character, although he's pretty cool.

Thanks! I don't normally delete my shouts, so I had forgotten how that worked.

OK, I understand now.

We're all just speculating, of course. Actually what I really hope for is that the ending is cool, surprising, and makes us slap our collective foreheads saying "Darn! I should have thought of that!" (Kinda like Verin's reveal.)

There are so many loose ends (at the moment) that pertain to the last battle and/or Rand's confrontation with the DO. Here's some I can think of right away:

1) Aelfinn to Rand: "The north and the east must be as one. The west and the south must be as one. The two must be as one. If you would live, you must die."

2) The role that Callandor must play

3) What role does Fain play? He'll be there at SG with 10,000 of his closest Trolloc Zombie friends.

4) What role will Slayer play? We know that Gita Moroso sent Luc to the blight because a Light victory required it.

5) What about the Tinkers and their song?

6) The various prophecies - and Nicola's foretelling. (BTW - Nicola, it was nice to know you. You beat out Aram in the abrupt light-side "snuff it peremptorily" category.)

I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch of other loose ends.

One more thing ... Will Rand and Shaidar Haran ever meet up? Maybe at Shayol Ghul?

Naeff: "Milord Dragon! There's an 8 foot tall Myrddraal behind you!"

Rand: "I thought Nynaeve cured you from seeing imaginary Halfmen!?"

Naeff: "Right about now, I'm hoping she didn't"
Ron Garrison
148. Man-0-Manetheran
chaplainchris @ 146
Your “Looney Theory” resonates with me, strongly. But then, I’m prone to Looney Theories myself. I think you are spot on.

forkroot @ 147
“If you would live, you must die.” - Might that advice be directed at Moridin as well? He hates his eternal damnation, er, life. Ending it all is NOT the best option, Mo.

The Tinkers and their song. Yeah. That’s just been lying quietly, huh? And there is Egwene’s recent and mysterious visit...
John Massey
149. subwoofer
@Man-0135- your theory seems full of holes;)

Why can't Rand give the flawed sword that isn't to Moridin and let him suffer the consequences, maybe do the channeling thing through him?

And I agree with whomever suggested that the linking is not about Power. Rand has said as much himself. The fight with the DO is not going to be about whom is stronger. How can a man stand up to a demi-god, no matter the power of the man? Nope this is all going to be on some thoeretical plane.... more later...

ana liese
150. analiese
I see no reason to doubt that Nynaeve will be one of the two. Rand already asked her, she agreed and told the Sitters she would do it... What would be the point of those scenes if someone else ended up taking her place?

Also, it makes the most sense thematically since WoT--particularly the finale--has focused on a great deal on opposites and pitched them against each other. In ToM (actually part two of AMoL), Egwene battled Mesaana who was referred to as "the Shadow's Amyrlin," and it was emphasized how Perrin's adversary Slayer was "not a wolf" but rather a hunter of wolves in T'A'R.

Moridin has Moghedien and Lanfear as his servants, so it stands to reason that Rand's two women will be their opposites/adversaries. Nynaeve is Moghedien's for obvious reasons. Both Moiraine and Alivia have fought Lanfear before and have reason to want a rematch, but Alivia's the only one who has a chance of beating Lanfear. Moiraine could still contribute in other ways such as providing knowledge from the Eelfinn.

Although Egwene would complete the al'Circle (al'Thor, al'Meara, al'Vere) and could also be said to be Lanfear's opposite in that both have T'A'R as their domain, she will probably need to deal with the Seanchan after the meeting at Merrilor, which leaves her little time to follow Rand to Shayol Ghul. Egwene's dream about hanging off a cliff and being offered help by a Seanchan woman suggests as much. She will undoubtedly do other things as well in AMoL, but at least initially she'll probably have her hands full with the Seanchan invasion.
Don Barkauskas
151. bad_platypus
JonathanLevy @119:
There are dozens of ways she might prove critical - why should it be one in which she could be replaced by any other channeler?
Although I agree with you that it's more likely that Moiraine will be crucial for some other reason, there is one possible reason that she would need to be in the circle. While it's true that all people in a circle contribute to its strength, only the leader of the circle can use his/her Talents and skills at weaving. For example, if Rand and Nynaeve were in a circle of two with Rand leading, he'd be no more skillful at Healing than normal (i.e., not much at all).

So if (and it's a big if) there's some weave that only Moiraine can perform, then she would need to be leading the circle. It might very well be the case that skill is more important than raw strength in Callandor's use in the Last Battle.

Like I said, I don't believe that will be Moiraine's role, but it's at least a possibility.
Paul Long
152. Caveatar
Deleted Post made when intoxicated. Cav
Anthony Pero
153. anthonypero

Nynaeve said she would be at the Last Battle with Rand. That doesn't mean she will be part of a circle wielding Callandor. In my opinion it is most likely that she will battle Moghedian specifically, and other Forsaken generally, protecting Rand while he does... whatever it is he needs to do. Just like she's done at the end of almost every book in the first half of the series. Even when he doesn't know she's protecting him, like in tFoH.
Louis Theodore Tellman
154. AndrewB
I will admit that I have no idea what the three will be one will play itself out. Nevertheless, somethinh occurred to me reading these posts. Some have opined that it means the Three Two Rivers boys will come togther and fight the good fight. Others have said that it cannot mean that. That would be too simple and we all now that the prophecy is never that obvious.

However, we the readers, have been told from the beginning that Rand, Perrin and Mat are stronger when they are together. Yet most of Randland may not have made that connection. Recall early in the series, Moraine remarks that she was so focuaed on finding and protecting the DR (whoever he was), that she overlooked the signifigance of the other two boys. It is possible that other scholars (including Cads) have not thought that the three will be one could be the DR and two other taver'n who are associated with Rand.

Do not get me wrong. I hope this is not what the three will be one will mean. While it will be obvious to us readers, it will not be obvious to Randlanders.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, "Against the Wind"
Gerd K
158. Kah-thurak
I dont exactly know what these posts are about but they are simply unreadable. It is nearly impossible to discern which parts are quotes from other peoples posts and which are from you. Additionally, from the appearance of this incomprehensible bulk of text it seems to be some sort of personal vendetta of yours against someone else, which surely has no place here.
Louis Theodore Tellman
165. danhar
Howdy people. First time poster, long time lurker.

Just thought I'd butt in and add my 2c on the whole "three shall be one" and Callandor mystery. I've thought for a long time that the whole point of The Sword That Is Not is to provide the means for the DR to rebuild the DO's prison. Herid Fel (LoC I think) noted that Rand isn't the Creator, he can't re-do what the Creator did. But that's from the viewpoint of only utilising saidin. Now, we know that the whole series has been about balance, ying and yang, male and female, light and dark etc. We've got the DO and the Creator, the 2 halves of the OP, fine, but then we've got the TP, drawn straight from Shai'tan himself. So where's the balance to that? Remember, the OP comes from the Wheel, not the Creator, so there needs to be a counter for the TP. I just assumed that Callandor would allow the DR, along with the 2 ladies, to merge the 2 halves of the OP, or something to that effect, and as the Creators champion actually channel Power from the Creator (the balance to the TP). In that scenario Rand could possibly rebuild the Sharom (?) as the Creators avatar. And maybe as a consequence saidin and saidar are no longer seperated, or at least people can access a unified version. Might explain Avi's kids and the strangeness of Elaine's.

Just my idle thoughts that have been churning around for quite a while now. Discuss or destroy, either way be my guest.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
166. tnh
Caveatar, sometimes we have other demands on our attention. Sometimes they're not negotiable -- for instance, I caught some damnfool virus the week before Easter and was off the planet for a while. Sometimes they're visible right there on the page if you keep an eye on the "recent comments" scroll.

There is no vendetta against you. I do read what you write. I don't always respond, or respond promptly. Are you aware that you're a much faster writer than I am?

Just so you know: I consider incivility to me personally a relatively minor offense. Contumaciousness about the site and its rules is the serious one. That does tend to manifest itself in conversations where I'm involved, but what gets penalized is the refusal to follow guidelines about how they treat others.

Finally, if you want to send a message to me, try the "private message" function over on the forums. Don't make everyone here read it.

Now: back to talking about WoT?
Melissa Spray
168. meowwl
I've thought since Min, Elayne, and Aviendha appeared and formed their relationship with Rand, that they were all re-incarnations of Ilyena, and that they are the three who must become one. I think Ilyena's soul was split, either by some new weave created by LTT in his insanity, by Ishamael (and who else thinks he was distorting facts, messing with LTT's head, or just outright lying in that flashback?) or by the DO out of spite when LTH refused Ishi's offer to bring her back...Or, possibly by herself, to keep her from being used to turn LTT.

After all, if two can be fused into one, ala Luc/Isam, then one could be shattered into pieces too.

@ Leigh, I think Aes Sedai are first and foremost, human...and being human, are prone to thinking they know what's best, and thinking that they're always right, even when they're not. They're also prone to willingly forgetting that fact.
Irene Gallo
169. Irene
Regrettably, Cav is currently banned from the site. I don’t think discussing it further is helpful or necessary — this is a tight group and, more than any other on Tor.com, you guys are a community in the truest sense. You guys know the history of the matter . Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns. Irene.gallo@tor.com
Louis Theodore Tellman
170. al'Kohol
@135 Man-o-Manetheren: Brilliant, sir. Well played. :)

Speaking to what Chaplain and Sub said, I agree! (Though I don't mean to put words in your mouths, so, I agree with what I think you're saying!)

I think belief and order are just that: belief and order. Whether this is because things are happening in TAR or not, I don't know. But the connection between Rand's state of mind and physical reality has apparently been strong, and getting stronger, ever since the grain stores in Ebou Dar started rotting. (But only the open bags!) It doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility that Rand could just think the DO back into his prison. Maybe by uniting everyone, Aes Sedai to Seanchan, in a "hands across Randland" gesture of love and fellowship.

Silliness aside, it does make some thematic sense. Lord of Chaos, etc. And the DO's efforts in the Tower and elsewhere to spread chaos, distrust, dissention... Even Verin doesn't know what the Dark One wants, but it's clearly more than just killing people. He wants to corrupt them, and make them sad, and angry, and nervous, and possibly suffer from indigestion.

Working theory: The Dark One will voluntarily seal himself after a hug and a heart-to-heart with his heretofore mortal enemy, the Dragon.
Jared Farish
171. jfarish102
@165 danhar

"Now, we know that the whole series has been about balance, ying and yang, male and female, light and dark etc. We've got the DO and the Creator, the 2 halves of the OP, fine, but then we've got the TP, drawn straight from Shai'tan himself. So where's the balance to that? Remember, the OP comes from the Wheel, not the Creator, so there needs to be a counter for the TP."

I've often wondered about the other side of the TP. Does anyone know if RJ ever mentioned it?
Sam Mickel
172. Samadai
Hmmm, kind of slowed down around here. I think we need another round of who would you boink, who would you kill, and who would you marry. ;D
Louis Theodore Tellman
173. alreadymadwithfinns
If you would live, you must die.
Could this be some hint to delegate? It's obviously not a literal death. What if the Finns meant he should slowly move away from center stage and let others take on some of the load? Hence "dieing" in the sense of having less of an impact on events.
Louis Theodore Tellman
174. fragrantelephant
Skip@96: Thank you for making me guffaw.
Roger Powell
175. forkroot
Very nice point about seeking to be the opposite of the "Lord of Chaos". What's especially interesting is that Harid Fel appears in one (and only one) book - LoC!

A long time back in this reread I had posited the question: Who is the most important character that only appears in one book? -- Then I turned around and suggested that Harid Fel might be that character.

Hmmm - I like your points a lot. I especially like how you summarized all of the places/situations where ordinary physical laws can be bent, and relate them back to T'A'R.

I would just add that there are also ter'angreal that are able to tap into the same reality twisting. For example there are the two ter'angreal used for raising Novice->Accepted and Accepted->Aes Sedai in the White Tower. Then there is also the ter'angreal in Rhuidean.
Alice Arneson
176. Wetlandernw
Man-o-Manetheran @135 – LOL!! Well done, my friend.

alreadymad @140 – I’m perfectly aware of the context of “belief and order.”
Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build. Will explain when see you next. Do not bring girl. Too pretty.
It was in a general context of questions about Tarmon Gai'don, with a random question (from Rand) about breaking the seals. (Incidentally, Herid Fel had exactly the same reaction Egwene did at the suggestion: "Why would anyone but a madman want to do that?") We know no more than that; the idea that it refers exclusively to destroying the seals is only an assumption, and actually not a very good one in context. The initial question Rand had Fel pursuing was about Tarmon Gai'don, how to win, how to seal the DO. The idea of breaking the seals was a last-minute question Rand asked in their last conversation. Which question was Fel answering? It seems not entirely far-fetched that his first statement had to do with remaking the seal, while the second may have been a confirmation that Rand's idea of breaking the old seals was actually moving in the right direction. In any case, it’s fairly reasonable to assume that there’s not going to be a long lapse between destroying all the old seals and creating the new one, so it seems likely that the same people may be involved in the two efforts.

danhar @165 – FWIW, the Sharom was not the Dark One’s prison. It was a floating research facility built in the AOL where some of their more… esoteric… research was carried on. Mieren and Beidomon may have been working from there when they created the Bore; in any case it bore the worst of the backlash. There’s some evidence that the Collam Daan and the Sharom where located at or near what is now Shayol Ghul; it was a very pleasant place during the AOL.

@several – The idea that Rand’s portion of the Last Battle would take place in TAR is not entirely new, and I think it has a lot of merit. This is one of the reasons that Egwene would be a logical person to be helping Rand, given that she has more control in TAR than any other Light-siders except the Wise Ones. Perrin’s location is a big question mark, but I suspect that he, too will be in TAR – or possibly, both at once somehow. He’s got too much functionality in TAR not to be there, and he may lead the wolves in their portion of the TAR battle. It’s quite possible that Elyas will work with the Randland wolves as Perrin’s counterpart; I wonder if they can figure out a way to “wolf-talk” between Randland and TAR? Mat will probably be the Randland general-in-chief; anyone want to bet that he’ll be a big part of the help Rand sends to Lan?

My working theory, at least for the moment, is that the biggest “real world” battle will be at Tarwin’s Gap, followed by the battle for Caemlyn – both of which seem to be heating up NOW. (So maybe I'm wrong about Mat going to help Lan; if the two are happening at the same time, Mat will probably lead the battle at Caemlyn, not Tarwin's Gap.) There will probably be plenty of other battles, primarily along the BlightBorder but also throughout Randland. (I’m really, really wondering how the Seanchan get to the playing fields. Having them take care of the main continent while everyone else deals with the Border seems like a bad idea; it might give them notions of “having protected it from the Shadow, it belongs to us now.” Barring extensive use of Traveling, though, I’m not sure how else they get to be an effective fighting force for Team Light.) Anyway, while Mat, most of the armies, most of the Aes Sedai and most of the (remaining, after Logain purges the joint) Asha’man are busy fighting Dreadlords and Darkfriends and Shadowspawn, oh my, Rand and a very few others will go to Shayol Ghul, probably in TAR, and deal with the source. Those others, in my current guessing, would likely include some subset of the following: Nynaeve, Egwene, Alivia, Aviendha, Perrin, Moiraine, Jahar & his AS, Amys, Bair, Sorilea, Cadsuane.

Incidentally, I’m more and more fond of the idea that Min’s viewing re: Nynaeve actually won’t happen; that it was Tam in the viewing, the Pattern showing her a future that was very, very likely but turned aside at the last second when Rand fled instead of killing. An artifact of the tearing Pattern, if you will, with the Wheel frantically trying to piece together a whole cloth taking into account the unpredictability of Rand’s current state. This implies, of course, that Rand’s plunge to the depths was NOT part of the original Pattern…

And I think this will take more thought. Anyone care to join me?
Cameron Tucker
177. Loialson
While I hope Min's viewing of Nynaeve is...not what it appears to be, I really do believe someone dear to Ny will perish in the Last Battle. I think it is unavoidable, and not due to a fraying Pattern.

I would be perfectly happy to eat crow on that though :).

The only candadites for death close to Ny that I can think of is:

>Lan-the obvious one (though somehow I don't think he will, would be very Jordanesqe irony for him to survive)

>Thom or Moiraine (though they're not all that dear to her...)

>Egwene (she is my primary candidate, but I really don't see how the WT could survive without her honestly.) So Egs gets a "maybe" on the Ny deathlist.

>Birgitte: This I think is VERY likely to happen, and remember all the time and history Ny and her have had over the course of the middle books. And it gives her the ability to be spun out younger than Gaidal, like she usually is (although Min's viewing of Birgitte being with Gaidal when he was older AND younger than Birgitte may circumvent this, even though B cannot recall Gaidal ever being younger than her IIRC).

>Maybe Tam, I think Ny would shed a tear for him, but a posture of grief? I'm not so sure.

>Perrin possibly, but he and Faile just have so much more to DO, so I don't know if they will die or not.

>Rand, and this is also quite likely.

Any other ideas for Nynaeve's Deathlist anyone?
Roger Powell
178. forkroot
And I think this will take more thought. Anyone care to join me?
Sure. Hand me that nasty looking pot with the stuff baked on the bottom - I can work on it a while.

So ... {::Thinks while scrubbing::} My biggest question revolves around Mat. Seems like he has so many roles to play:

1) You'd think he really ought to be with the Band at the battle of Caemlyn but ...

2) You'd think he would be essential in reconciling the Seanchan with the rest of Team Light but ...

3) Mat has to blow the Horn. Assuming the effects are similar to what we saw at the end of TGH, it seems like Mat should be close to Rand when he does this (chaplainchris@146 did a nice job of summarizing this.)

Now, given that AMoL will be another meaty volume, there's certainly time for all of this. It would imply though, that there will still be some days (weeks) between the events at the very start of AMoL and the showdown at Shayol Ghul.

One more thought about the Battle of Caemlyn: If word comes to the Fields of Merrilor, for sure Elayne is going to head back there tout de suite. I know Rand has disavowed a repeat of what he did at Maradon, but if his pregger lady love books out for Caemlyn would he really stay behind? Especially not the post-VoG Rand?

Maybe in that scenario he convinces Mat to go lend a hand to Lan. Or maybe Perrin, since you'd think Mat would want to command the Band. This is, of course, assuming Mat made it to Merrilor. It's quite possible that once Mat/Thom/Moiraine are fetched by Grady, Mat will insist on Grady taking them to the Band first (to drop off Mat) before taking Mo/Thom to Merrilor.
Thomas Keith
179. insectoid
Still lurking about. Was shocked speechless by this morning's drama, or I'd've commented then.

Skip @96, Man-O @135: ROFL!

Yay shoutboxes! Thanks to TPTB!

chaplainchris @146: Interesting and well-thought out theory!

Sam @172: Again?? Though I didn't participate in the first one, so... hmm. This may take some thought. ;)

Wetlander/Loialson: I'm thinking that Min's viewing of Nynaeve in "a posture of grief" is not Lan, but Rand. Makes sense; she's going to be with him at Shayol Ghul, and why wouldn't she shed a tear for the savior of the world if he died? (That is, before attempting to Heal him three days dead.)

Chris R
180. up2stuff
You know, a rather large distinction just occured to me regarding Min's visions. It may be relevant, maybe not.
We have been assuming that Min's visions ALWAYS come true, no matter what. But have we ever distinguished between ALL of her visions coming true, or just the ones she can interpret?

All the auras around AS for example, some she can interpret, others not so much. Who is to say that the un-interpretable ones actually happen or not. I dont know if there is anything here, but it was an interesting thought.

Rob Munnelly
181. RobMRobM
Fork -

You raise interesting questions on timing. Has to get Moiraine to the Fields to see Rand. Has to get Horn out of TV. Precious will attack TV again, so maybe that's where they meet up and reach accommodation re going forward. Mat is going to be Lord of Battles, so he'll likely command all Lightside forces during TG, not just the Band.

Maybe Rand will break the seals, and while Mat is busy jump back to try to save Camelyn, fail and almost get turned 13 x 13, be killed by Alivia, three women crying over grave and Nyn separately crying over him, becomes Hero of Horn, comes back with Horn of Valere and defeats Dark One with Moridin's eventual help, Rand comes back permanently in flesh by being pulled out of TAR by Nyn, makes 4 babies with Avi. Whew.
Sam Mickel
182. Samadai

I like that line of thought, it is more or less the way I feel it is going to happen.

It would be interesting to have a Moridin pov early in the next book, though I would suspect it would give away too much. Assuming that A Memory of Light refers to Moridin, maybe though Rands death Moridin realizes that the wheel should keep on turning, and because of the flow of positive (thoughts, energy, stuff, whatever) back through their bond.
Louis Theodore Tellman
183. alreadymadwithfel'sadvice
On the Taint:
Lews Therin rambled at length at least once why and how it was that Saidin only was tainted. It was because something had to touch the Dark One in order to create the prison and seal him in. Lews Therin used Saidin to do it, hence Saidin was tainted. If Lews Therin had been in a circle wielding both Saidin and Saidar, then both would have been tainted.

On Belief and Order:
The only context Rand was using this in was in winning the Last Battle. Unfortunately we are getting foreshadowings that the Last Battle is as much metaphorical as it will be physical. Rand of course has focused on the physical preparations, but Verin is of the opinion it will not be fought in the same way Rand envisions. Does Herid Fel agree with Verin? Possibly. He is a philosopher and whatever context he will make his comments in, it is not likely to be in what sort of channeling or outright fighting will be used to win. It also is not likely to be particular on the type of people to make the final moves.

Belief and Order give strength. More important than the obvious benefits of believing in your cause and maintaining order and whom the best personifications of these two is that these two are also polar opposites of the Dark One's typical modus operandi. This alone is enough for Herid to point it out as the way to go.
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
Perhaps "belief and order" already did their job (or in terms of the reread, will do it next week) on Dragonmount. Maybe what was needed was for Rand to believe that life was worth living, and that the order of the Pattern made that belief possible, and because of that, he now has the strength needed to do the job. Likewise, because of his strength, the land now has the strength to fight back against the chaos and unbelief the Dark One seeks to spread.
Nadine L.
185. travyl
posture of grief:
I can't help but think of the viewing Min has, when first seeing Rand Sedai in ToM: An open cavern, gaping like a mouth. Bloodstained rocks. Two dead men on the ground, surrounded by ranks and ranks of Trollocs - so while I don't know whom the bodies will be (maybe Rand and Moridin/Fain), I thinks there will be plenty of bodies for Nynaeve to grief over. Though until next january, I will firmly believe in a happy ending, with every of my beloved charactes living happily ever after.

@forkroot: LoL for the DishDiva comment.
John Massey
186. subwoofer
I actually made the mistake of doing the dishes, a lot, trying to garner some of Wet's wisdom, silly me, now it is my lot in life. What was I thinking??

Tom Sawyer would be proud though.

I shared this idea with a friend recently, and thought I might just put it out there on this thread...

What has been hammered into us is the Wheel. Everything turns and comes around again.

"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass"...

The significance of this for me works when we apply it to the story itself. The story starts out with Rand and Mat, and then Perrin. We get Egwene and Nynaeve and then Moiraine and Lan come on the scene. That was how the story began. For me, to bring the whole saga around full circle, the story has to end with these people, so any likely solution should involve -to whatever degree- the people that started the whole thing in the first place.

Nynaeve because she was asked, Moiraine because she is the guide and Egwene to pick up the pieces.

Alice Arneson
187. Wetlandernw
forkroot - Now I get why the favorite penance for novices is scrubbing pots... Wonder why it took me so long to make the connection? I've just been using the wrong term all this time!

subwoofer, maybe that's the problem. Not enough burnt-on pots in your dish duty. :)

FWIW, though, I'm of a mind with you on bringing it full circle.

forkroot @178 - You hit on one of my many "how is this going to work??" issues. Seems like Mat has to be in too many places at once.

For that matter, so do a few other people! It feels so much like the final book can't cover more than a few days (except in "aftermath" content). We've already seen the beginnings of the battles at Tarwin's Gap and Caemlyn, it doesn't seem like Rand can put off going to Shayol Ghul much longer, and everyone is gathered at the Fields of Merrilor. End game must be starting tomorrow, but we still have to account for another attack on the White Tower, the resolution of the Seanchan issues, those two battles, plus retrieving the Horn, blowing it at the right place, etc. etc. etc.

In other words, it's going to be quite a ride when that book finally hits our hands.
John Massey
188. subwoofer
@Wet- yes, well I do the cooking too, so I'll be danged if I burn stuff.

The dog licks the pans clean tho' if any accidents happen.

IMHO I don't think the Mat thing is really an issue. Mat would facilitate thinks better for the Seanchan but I am not sure he is essential. Same for Caemlyn, it would be nice to have Mat's luck and battle tactics, but there be Dragons there. Trollocs become canon fodder. And the thing is, the Band and Mat need to be on the Plains of whatever to use the Dragons against the baddies.

Maybe this is another one of those "timeline not in sync" issues, like Tam. Anyone keeping track of Mat's timeline?

The only place Mat really needs to be is at Rand's side, and I'm sure he can blow the Horn from there.

I also cannot see Egwene meeting for the Last Battle without the Horn being around. Makes for a simple exchange with Mat around.

Easy peasy:)

Of course this is all theorizing until the first arrow leaves the bow...

Jay Dauro
189. J.Dauro
Those of you who have read Brandon's early stuff, and his annotations on the process of writing them, will be familiar with the term "Brandon Avalanche". His reading groups used this term to refer to his endings, because when they started, they were unstoppable, and would bowl you over like tons of earth/snow rolling down a mountain.

He has tried to back off of these some. But I don't see how he can slow down at all in AMOL. I am expecting it to start moving very early, and to continuously gain speed until the end.

As we fade in TOM we have:

The Battle of Camelyn starting. Olver ready to fight.
The battle at Tarwin's Gap starting.
The Borderlands under attack.
Lanfear/Cyndane inside Rand's Dreams.
Egwene preparing to core Rand in the morning. She has much support.
Perrin ready to defend Rand's plan.
The Borderland Rulers with Rand, probably believing that Rand is correct in his plans (I think.)
The Borderland armies going somewhere. At least they do not appear to be at Merrilor.
Rand preparing to set terms for going to fight the DO.
Mat headed back with Moiraine.

Should be a busy first few chapters. And I do not see any way it can throttle back.
Ron Garrison
190. Man-0-Manetheran
sub @ 188:
"but there be Dragons there." I see what you did. LoL. So nice to have you back. Around here it was like giving up subwoofer for lent.

fork @ 178:
DishDiva. ROFLMAO!

wetlandernw @ 176:
Great thought provoking WoT as always! Followed by great thoughts and theories. I love it. This is why I joined the re-read. Great minds offering up great ideas about a Great Story. Here we are 9 months out from the release and we can't wait. Brandon has finished the Avalanche, and no wonder it will take Team Light nine months more just to sift through it and make sure everything is right. And sifting through an avalanche is no easy task! Right, sub?
Ron Garrison
191. Man-0-Manetheran
wetlandernw @ 187 re. subwoofer @ 186:
"FWIW, though, I'm of a mind with you on bringing it full circle."

Everytime I read the Prologue to EotW I feel that will be true. Time to go read it again....
Louis Theodore Tellman
192. AndrewB
As quite a few of us are starting to play the game "what will happen in the next book" (and I include myself as a player in this game), I propose the following worst ending to the series.

Rand, as the champion of Team Light, and Moridin and SH, as co-champions of Team Dark, battle. Rand is slowly dying from a mortal wound. Just before Rand blacks out, Moridin whispers "I win again, LTT". The next chapter begins with Rand, Mat, Perrin, Verin et al getting their wits together on Toman's Head after another harrowing vision as a result of the travel via Portal Stone.

On a different subject. I understand the policy of deleting posts that Irene and tnh deem not within the spirit of this re-read. Nevertheless, from what I can gleam from the posts that are still present, I wish that no posts were deleted. In the same way that I feel compelled to look at an accident on the other side of the hiway. But alas, some things (like me winning the Mega Millions or the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl while Andy Reid is the head coach) are apparently not meant to be. Irene and tnh - I know it is sometimes a thankless job acting as referee - but thank you. Somebody has make sure the inmates do not overun the joint.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, "Against the Wind"
(Sent from my smartphone)
Roger Powell
193. forkroot
LOL! OMG, all the way back to Toman Head. Now that is funny!

By the way, I vote for a return to "Thank you for reading my musings" if you really feel you need to have a trailer on your messages. Lots of people put song quotes at the end of their E-mail - that's cliche. The "musings" bit was so ... you.

For real extra credit, how about finishing instead with:


Yours in kind spirit,
Louis Theodore Tellman
194. AndrewB
Here are some other possible series endongs that I do not want to occur.

1) Rand gets hit in the head with a shard from an exploding Dragon. He then wakes up in bed next to Lanfear. He tells her that he just had this really weird dream. (Yes, I am dating myself)

2) In the midst of the LB, there is chaos everywhere. The scene fades to a tall redheaded boy looking into a snowglobe which depicts a large mountain and a tall white tower (once again, I am showing my age)

3) The Last Battle is done. Most of the world thinks that Rand has sacrificied himself to save the world. However, a few know the truth. Rand is still alive. He is secretly meeting his 3 wives in some remote village inn. Avi is running late. Rand, Elayne and Min are quietly talking at a table. As Avi enters the common room and the three others see her, Paidan Fain inches closer to Rand. The story ends. (Bet you did not know that RJ was a secret writer for a certain TV series.)

Thanks for reading my musings (for Fork).
(Sent from my smartphone)
Rob Munnelly
195. RobMRobM
Re full circle - that's one of the reasons Tam needs to get hitched. Tam being one of the most marriageable men in the TR is a feature of the early chapters.
John Massey
196. subwoofer
We will all know that things truly have come around when Bela enters the picture again...

Lannis .
197. Lannis
Subwoofer @ 186: re: the initial players being the concluding players/full circle.

I completely agree with this. Jordan had an impressive capacity for orchestrating grand scopes, and then having it all fall into place in such a way it seems pretty obvious for an outcome (and yet I usually don’t see it coming). That the very first characters on screen are the ones who are vital to the conclusion is only fitting.

Suddenly Lan’s presence in the Borderlands holds more tension for me... everyone else is accounted for and needs to be assembled, but Lan? He stands to be overrun any minute... Eep! :S
Valentin M
198. ValMar
RobM, still beating on this drum ;) We can only hope, it beats a heroic death at the end...

sub, when did Bela leave the picture? Tho only more present character in the series would've been the mole on Egwene's bum, if it's there...
Ron Garrison
199. Man-0-Manetheran
Skipping the Prologue, the first three characters introduced in The Eye of the World are:
John Massey
200. subwoofer
@Andrew, Philly will always have problems as long as they have to make it past the Giants;)

@Man-O(edit)190 … it depends on the size of the colander you use... for the sifting, that is:D

Also, IMHO I don’t think it will be a good idea for Rand to live … maybe live again, but right now the guy is suffering. I liken it to Frodo, after his ordeal there was no place for him in the Shire. The marks of Rand’s identity cause him pain. The missing hand I am sure give Rand phantom symptoms. The two warring wounds in Rand’s side that constantly reopen. I am not sure it would be a bad thing for Rand to die at the end of the book, it may be a mercy.

Edit- whoot! Got the two hunny! I posted and ran so I didn't see where I wound up. I think it was meant to be.

It was a good pounce... patience pays off:)

Ron Garrison
201. Man-0-Manetheran
Here I thought I was doing an easy setup for sub to snag the Two Hunny, and he did, but the answer is not colander.
Sam Mickel
202. Samadai
M-o-M @ 199

That would be Wit Congar and his wife Daisy, Wit first of course
Jonathan Levy
205. JonathanLevy
151. bad_platypus
I agree that the possibility you suggested exists, and also agree with your assessment of its unlikelihood.

154. AndrewB
Re: Importance of the three Ta'veren being together.

Actually, the point you are making fits will with what bad_platypus and I were discussing.

It's quite possible that what makes Moiraine crucial to the last battle is precisely her understanding that all three ta'veren are crucial, whereas everyone else is focused only on Rand.
Sam Mickel
206. Samadai
I guess if we are counting Bela as a character she would be the third, otherwise it is Wit.
Ron Garrison
207. Man-0-Manetheran
"Bela, of course." And the bottle of Joy goes to the DishDiva!
Roger Powell
208. forkroot
Skipping the Prologue, the first three characters introduced in The Eye of the World are:
A Myrddraal. It was probably Fraasti ...
Ron Garrison
209. Man-0-Manetheran
I didn't count "a man in a black cloak, on a black horse" "the man who had apparantly vanished into thin air wore a cloak the wind did not touch." Rand is spooked by him, but it might be a Myrddraal, fork, or maybe.... Lan?

And Sam, I definitely count Bela as a beloved character - not human, but a character nevertheless.
John Massey
210. subwoofer
@Sam203 was that 5th 6th and 7th or...

clomp clomp clomp clomp clomp

clomp clomp clomp clomp clomp clomp

clomp clomp clomp clomp clomp clomp clomp?

ahhh... I keed, just horsing around... ahem, anyways as folks have mentioned, all the key players were in the begining of the first book and will be at the end of the last, including the black rider and including Fain. The Wheel has to come around full circle and balance has to be maintained for both sides.

Alice Arneson
211. Wetlandernw
Rand, Tam and Bela. Followed by a Myrddraal, Mat, Perrin, and Egwene. That's if you're looking at references. If you want "on screen" the next character (after Fraasti) is Wit and then Daise Congar, then Bran al'Vere.

Edit: to capitalize Fraasti. I might not like him, but a proper name is a proper name, after all.
Jonathan Levy
212. JonathanLevy
136. anthonypero
Very original idea (SAD bracelets + 3 will be one + Callandor). Not necessarily the most likely, but not impossible.

145. chaplainchris1
Another very original idea (Logain + 2 bonded Aes Sedai).

147. forkroot

150. analiese
Moridin has Moghedien and Lanfear as his servants, so it stands to reason that Rand's two women will be their opposites/adversaries.
That's a nice idea. I agree that Nynaeve is set up as Moghedien's adversary, but if there exists an adversary to Lanfear it would have to be either Elayne (an Ilyena parallel) or Aviendha (as in "WHICH OF YOU IS AVIENDHA!?!?!?!")

177. Loialson
I really do believe someone dear to Ny will perish in the Last Battle
Very interesting list. I had not thought about Birgitte beforehand. Can we add Gawyn to the list? Just to please us hopefuls? :)

180. up2stuff
But have we ever distinguished between ALL of her visions coming true, or just the ones she can interpret?
Well, if we don't have the interpretation ahead of time, it's very difficult to prove that it didn't come true, isn't it?

181. RobMRobM
You forgot Rand soul-switching with Moridin while the latter is in a conference with Taim, who receives an unexpected instruction to seal Slayer in a Grand Piano and drop him on Fain.

192. AndrewB
Absolutely brilliant!

194. AndrewB

Here's another one:

The Last Battle is in full swing. The Trollocs are charging, the Horn has been blown, Rand has broken the seals. Aludra fires a salvo of Dragons, one of which misfires and crashes straight into the pit of doom. Funnily enough, the explosive inside consists of a watery red paste, which starts leaking out. The Dark One, not being a fan of bad puns, suffers a conniption and dies. Cut to the epilogue.
ana liese
213. analiese
JonathanLevy @ 212

Well, I think Elayne's too pregnant (and will mostly be occupied with saving Caemlyn) to fight anyone, but I like the idea of Aviendha going up against Cyndane or Graendal. From her future daughter Padra, we know that Aviendha "gained great ji in battle," so odds are we'll see her do something impressive in AMoL.

Aviendha also received an angreal from Elayne in KoD that allowed the user to handle twice as much of the Power as Nynaeve, which should be enough to match any female Forsaken, Graendal being a more uncertain case since she has an angreal of her own.
Louis Theodore Tellman
214. AndrewB
I acknowledge the subject of this post will not be on topic to any of the prior posts or the chapters recapped in this re-read. However, it is WoT related so I figured it will be ok to bring up.

In TDR (during Egwene's Accepted Testing), Egwene asks if the scenes in the arches are real. Sheriam replies that nobody knows. She also adds that if they are, she hopes that the novices who did not return live a miserable life. In light of Sheriam's reasons for joining the Black Ajah, I think this statement has a meaning that I have not yet seen addressed.

Sheriam regretts having made the initial inquiries that led her to join the Black Ajah. She wishes that instead of having attained a level of power in the Tower (due, in part, if not because of her membership into the Black), she chose the Brown and became one of those Brown Sisters who keeps herself hidden in the back of the library. If somebody else made a choice to stay and live a "better" life than that of a Tower initiate, Sheriam hopes that woman's "choice" turns out to be as miserable as Sheriam's choice.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, Against the Wind
Alice Arneson
215. Wetlandernw
If they've got any sense at all, every single *angreal in the Tower, the Stone, Caemlyn and Cairhien will be in use in the next book.

FWIW, the amber turtle that Aviendha holds would allow her to handle twice as much Power as Nynaeve can unaided; the bracelet-and-rings Nynaeve wears all the time is significantly stronger than the amber turtle. During the Cleansing fighting, Alivia was using the bracelet-and-rings plus the jewelry set, and was still only a match for Cyndane, not an over-match, and they are supposed to be near equals when unaided. Apparently Cyndane also has a pretty potent angreal.

It's a fair bet that every one of the Forsaken will be equipped with whatever *angreal they can find during any upcoming confrontations, so I don't see Aviendha with her amber turtle necessarily being a match for anyone of higher strength than her - which includes all the remaining female Forsaken.

However, I'd like to include a quote from Patrick Rothfuss's blog here:
But vastly more irritating to me is the odd opinion that strength/power is the key factor when two people come into conflict.

The truth is, I find that sentiment more than irritating, I find it troubling. It means a lot of you haven’t been paying attention to the books I know you must have read.

If power is the only important thing, then Frodo loses against Sauron. Hell, if power’s the only important thing then Gandalf loses against Sauron. If magic is the deciding factor of a fight, then four plucky kids from England get their asses turned to stone by the White Which.
So yeah, Rake can turn into a dragon, but the point of fairy tales is that they teach us that dragons can be beaten.

I see too much fatalism these days, folks. The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.
That was written wrt the suvudu cage matches, but I think it clearly applies to any fantasy novel, and especially this one. It's not just about power levels; it's about skill, and wit, and luck, and accident, and Good vs. Evil, and all sorts of things that have nothing to do with simple power levels.
Sam Mickel
216. Samadai
That quote is so true, It is the reason why I read this type of books
Lannis .
217. Lannis
Wetlander @ 215: Great quote! And re: "It's not just about power levels; it's about skill, and wit, and luck, and accident, and Good vs. Evil, and all sorts of things..."

Obviously your list was meant to trail off, but I'd like to add that free will and selflessness usually plays a big part in these stories...

And of course that ties into Verin's observation that the Forsaken, Dark One's chosen, tend to be incredibly selfish in their agendas... hence Team Light need be the exact opposite.
Anthony Pero
218. anthonypero

We call that the Dallas ending.
Alice Arneson
219. Wetlandernw
Lannis @217 - Totally agree. There are a lot of factors that play into an ending like this, and I think it's right that they should. Per your example - someone who is ultimately selfish has a limitation that can be surpassed by someone who is perfectly willing to die for a greater good - especially, for the good of a loved one. Dark side, you get Asmodean, who stilled his own mother for personal advancement. Light side, you get Rand, who is (or will be next week) willing to pay whatever price is required so that Ilyena, Elayne, Aviendha and Min (and everyone else, by the way) can have another chance to live and be happy again.

It is, I think rightly, a characteristic of the very best Stories, that we see the one who is apparently less powerful win out over those who seem more powerful due to exactly this kind of willing and purposeful selflessness.

It should have been at the head of my list.
The Ways will play a part somehow. I'm wondering if the Ways are a part of TR. I've wondered what went on within the Sharom and how it was constructed. From what I understand the Ways were constructed after the Bore. I've wondered if Bore was originally created within the Sharom by bringing one plane of reality together with ours using TR as a buffer, so to speak. I wonder if that plane is the same one used for the Ways. Making Machin Shin a corrupting construct of the DO. I don't know. I'm having trouble ignoring the Ways being left out of the ending. No one knows where Maichin Shin came from. Was it some purposeful corruption or an after effect of being created with Saidin. Or maybe it was a side effect of the Bore. Don't know, but I believe the Ways and Maichin Shin will play a part.
Anthony Pero
221. anthonypero

The ways were created well after the Bore. The Bore was created 10 years before the strike at Shayol Ghul. The Ways were created by Male Aes Sedai at some point after the stedding had been found again. Which was hundreds and hundreds of years after the Breaking. The whole point of the Ways was to allow the Ogier to travel to cities and back without being effected by the Longing. So, it was after the Longing set in, which meant after the stedding had been rediscovered. So, many hundreds of years after the Breaking, maybe almost a thousand. Apparently the Aes Sedai spent a very long time trying to find a cure for the madness before they started severing men from the source.

I think they said the ajahs didn't form until after the Trolloc Wars. So, no Red Ajah for at least 1300 years after the strike at Shayol Ghul.
Anthony Pero
222. anthonypero
Also, apparently it was a long time in human years before the Black Wind came into existence. Many generations for Ogier, so at least 8-900 years. All told, that means the corruption of the ways developed at least 2110 years after the opening of the Bore.
ana liese
223. analiese
Wetlandernw @ 215

During the Cleansing fighting, Alivia was using the bracelet-and-rings plus the jewelry set, and was still only a match for Cyndane, not an over-match, and they are supposed to be near equals when unaided. Apparently Cyndane also has a pretty potent angreal.

Cyndane had no angreal at the Cleansing; only her superior knowledge of channeling made it an equal match despite Alivia being significantly stronger thanks to the angreal. RJ mentioned that once on his Dragonmount blog.
When Alivia faced Cyndane, Alivia was by far the stronger because of her angreal, and had various tools (ter'angreal) to work with besides, but Cyndane was much, much more knowledgeable about channeling. Alivia, after all, knew relatively little except how to be a weapon. That was very useful in the situation, but in this case, knowledge versus strength made it an even match. --RJ, 2005
We'll probably see a number of David vs. Goliath type of matches in AMoL, but it would be a tad anticlimactic if a formidable fighter like Lanfear was once again defeated by a surprise attack from behind or something else along that line. That's why I figure Alivia's a more likely candidate than Moiraine to deal with Cyndane--she's the only Third Ager with enough battle experience (400 years as damane) to handle a direct confrontation.

However, since Aviendha used to be a Maiden, it only makes sense for her to use those skills against a stronger opponent. So I wouldn't mind a scenario similar to Moiraine and Merean's fight in NS where Aviendha faces a stronger opponent like Graendal but manages to cut her throat instead. That's more Aviendha's style than fighting with the Power. Her skill at "unweaving" is also something that was unheard of even in the Age of Legends; she might find some way of using that in combat.

If they've got any sense at all, every single *angreal in the Tower, the Stone, Caemlyn and Cairhien will be in use in the next book.

Well, that could also make things a little too easy for Team Light... The same goes for Rand and Callandor--it wouldn't be much of a fight if Rand had Callandor the entire time and Moridin just a regular sa'angreal. So, from Min's viewing about Callandor held in a fist made of onyx, I think we'll see it either become unusable/unstable somehow or taken by the other side.

If the Seanchan attack the Tower, that might prevent the Aes Sedai from accessing their *angreal stash unless Egwene brought them to Merrilor. If she believes there's a chance the confrontation with Rand will turn ugly ("She didn't want to think of what would happen if he forced her hand."), she probably did bring a few. Mind you, I'm not suggesting that Egwene would do anything to hurt Rand, but I can see plan B being trying to shield and restrain him from breaking the seals. I don't think this is an unfair assumption given that fans of Egwene have also speculated that this will be her last resort if negotiations fail. And I think that's actually a fairly reasonable reaction--if I thought a friend was about to do something that would put the entire world at risk, I'd do the same.

As for Caemlyn, I don't think there were that many angreal in the Ebou Dar stash (three or four that were used with the Bowl, two of which are now with Nynaeve and Aviendha), but they do have the Black Ajah's ter'angreal that could be used against Trollocs. The question is if anyone remembers that--or would know how to use them--in the panic over a burning city and Trollocs everywhere.
Louis Theodore Tellman
224. alreadymadwithchaos
Wetlandernw @184
Not only has it done its job. It continues to do its job as Rand regains his focus and moves from strength to strength. In hindsight, it should have been obvious. Where those aligned with the Dark One would "Let the Lord of Chaos rule", the direct antithesis of this is belief and order.
The reason everything went so bad so quickly is because the Dark One's servants lost no time in sowing Chaos wherever they went. Thus eventually causing Rand to lose faith in his own cause. And as we saw there are dire consequences if the Dragon who is one with the land should lose belief.
Even now, the Dark One sets up his endgame again by sowing chaos.
Lannis .
225. Lannis
Wetlander @ 217: Gah! I'd totally forgotten that Asmodean stilled his mother. Ugh. ::shudder::

And re: "It should have been at the head of my list." I'm sure it would have been, were you concerned with listing off factors in order of importance, but you were just citing some off the top of your head. Had you been writing an essay on repetitive themes in fiction, I'm sure it would have been the main concept. But nobody's grading us here, thank the Light. ;)

Unless Auntie Leigh's handing out report cards at JordanCon? Eep! :|
Jonathan Levy
226. JonathanLevy
221. anthonypero
Yeah, that's a pretty convincing argument against the Ways being critical to the Last Battle. I hope you won't consider it nitpicking to suggest two emendations - the Bore was created 100 or so years before the Strike, and according to the BBoBA the Ajahs pre-existed the White Tower, which was formed by fusing them.

223. analiese
In ToM we see Moridin with a roomful of ter'angreal and other trinkets when he gives Graendal the dreamspike. So even if Team Light used all the angreal available, it might still be an even battle.
Louis Theodore Tellman
227. Jonellin Stonebreaker

Another example is Ryne vs. Lan in NS. Ryne was the better swordsman, but Lan knew that you only stop when you're dead.

Add me to the contingent that seriously doubts Rand's survival in his current body.
Louis Theodore Tellman
228. Faculty Guy
In the spirit of J.Dauro@189: there are SO MANY threads to wrap up, and we've been told that some will not be, but I think it reasonable to think that some of the early themes will be re-introduced.

I'm wondering about the Green Man, or a new generation of Nym. And the Creator's voice. There are just several things that were important in TEOTW that have not been seen since and are crying out for resolution. I'm a little "scared" that some of these will simply be ignored and lead to complaining by the fans. On the one hand, I have confidence that RJ envisioned an ending even when he began the saga, on the other hand there are SO MANY loose ends . . .
Anthony Pero
229. anthonypero
Many of those elements may have been added in to tEotW to make it a complete novel in and of itself.
Louis Theodore Tellman
230. thehiso
3 will be 1... Randlanders, Aiel, and Seanchan?
Roger Powell
231. forkroot
Actually the 3 will be 1 was Ishamael's corruption of the prophecy. The correct prophecy was "the one shall be three" and it referred to the number of books that BWS had to write to finish the series.
Anthony Pero
232. anthonypero


Keep that on TTTSNBN where it belongs! :D
Anthony Pero
233. anthonypero
I still like the Ta'veren Voltron theory myself. Recently started watching through Voltron again. It has aged well. Much, MUCH better than Thundercats or MOTU.
Thomas Keith
234. insectoid
Oh you guys have gotten so silly! Gotten awful quiet around here, though. Good thing there's a new post tomorrow, eh?

"DishDiva": LOL, how about "DishGuru"?

Man-O @199, et al: The Creator, natch. :P

Fork @231: LOL!!! That's so bad of you. XD

APero @233: I haven't watched that series in 15 years; I don't even remember really what it's about, except that there are giant robots. Thank heavens for Wikipedia...

edit: Tor.com is insane... it thinks I posted my comment 3 hours in the future because it's on Eastern Time, and so it doesn't show up in Recent Comments. And this edit isn't even showing up... XD

Alice Arneson
235. Wetlandernw
insectoid @234 - I've been noticing that... when I look at my conversations to see if there's anything new to check out, it gives me date stamps like "1 hour 24 minutes away" for something posted about an hour and a half ago. Then for something posted 4 hours ago, it will say "1 hour ago." Like it's subtracting Eastern from Pacific all the time. Weird. I didn't notice that they aren't showing up in the recent comments list, though. Weirder.
Anthony Pero
236. anthonypero
I've already filed a bug report on the time issue. Its not an EST issue. All comments are dated at 3 hours in the future when they are new. Even mine, and I'm in the EST.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
238. tnh
BZZZZZZT We are experiencing technical difficulties BZZZZZZTCRACKLEBZZZZZZT please stand by FZZZZZAP BANGCRASH SHOWERS OF SPARKS your patience is appreciated BZZZZZZT AIEEEEEEE! ...
Thomas Keith
239. insectoid
Teresa @238: *LOL*. We all appreciate your efforts. :)

Jay Dauro
240. J.Dauro

Well what do you expect, trying to work in the future? I know the prospect of receiving posts 3 hours before they are made, so that you can improve performance is enticing, but think of all the issues it causes.

Leave that to the Doctor.
Tess Laird
242. thewindrose
J.Dauro at 240/1 - Are you the Doctor?

Deana Whitney
244. Braid_Tug
@189, J.Dauro:
"Brandon Avalanche" indeed. The whole last book will be warp speed, with viewpoints bouncing every chapter or half chapter. At one point I wanted to criticize him for doing that in the WoT, but this re-read made me realize that RJ did the same thing during some of the books.

Part of me would really like to see him put his annotations of the 3 books he finished up. Then we would really know who did what.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
246. tnh
Wow, new glitch. I tried to post a new comment (#245), and "preview" showed my new comment, but when I posted, it turned into my comment from last night. When I edited it from the front end, the old comment reappeared again here, but the re-edited version is what's showing in the back-end interface.

Crossing my fingers, hoping this message posts correctly ...
247. Freelancer
Peace, people of the past. I have travelled back to right wrongs. But they must be accomplished in the correct order to prevent global madness.

I only stop here to tell you this, to limit your paranoia during the rift-induced static while on my way back to the first R.Fife rickroll. Once that has been erased, order will begin to be restored. Fear not, I have concocted a new reason to induce the building of the Cuendillar Bunker, for you will have great need of it in the recent past your near future, but if R.Fife isn't wasn't threatened for his youtube shenanigans it might not be never have been created, or staffed by the former Amyrlin. Apologies, surfing the temporal stream makes me double tense.

Anthony Pero
248. anthonypero
@tnh, I believe that is an old bug. It has happened to others at various times throughout the last year and a half. It is reported on the Bug Thread.

@WouldBeBrownAjah and @j.Dauro.

I propose that in the spirit of 2000's pop culture when Brandon Sanderson first came to prominence that the effect previously known as the "Brandon Avalanche" hereby be referred to as The Bravalanche.

All in favor say "Aye!"


Teresa Nielsen Hayden
249. tnh
Anthony: Okay, so that's what that one looks like in live action. Very startling bug.

I shall always think of Brandon Sanderson as "Toebreaker" -- and I've got the x-rays to prove it.
Anthony Pero
250. anthonypero
I have to admit, tnh, watching you travel to the future to post your wisdom is my favorite bug in the history of Tor.com. I propose telling the developer that the bug should stay. It is quite appropriate for the site.
Alice Arneson
251. Wetlandernw
@247 - Thanks, Doc!

@248 - Aye!

@249 - Ouch! But I can believe it. Which book was it? Or did you trip on a stack? Please tell me you didn't try to punt one...
Irene Gallo
252. Irene
Updated with spell-check on this time. (See comments below. Sorry, it took a while to make convince spell-check I was not trying to type "apricot" instead of "appreciate".)


Hey guys,

Shoutboxes are back. Sorry that it took so long to get them up and running again.

Also, I think we nailed the commenting glitch.

And, we added another server to take on more traffic so, cross fingers, things should run a little more smoothly.

If you see any more problems, feel free to drop me a line: irene.gallo@tor.com

You guys are our power users, you've been a great hlep in letting us know how the site is functioning. We really appreciate it.
Jonathan Levy
253. JonathanLevy
244. WouldbeBrownAjah

An annotated version of the last 3 books is an excellent idea. Hopefully, it would come in addition to any encyclopedia, and not instead of it.

It would also be a great way for tor to squeeze just a few more drops from the cash cow, without having to resort to prequels/outriggers. I wouldn't begrudge them - I'd buy all 3.

252. Irene
You guys are our power users, you've been a great hlep in letting us know how teh site is finctioning. We realy apreacite it.
I'm glad to report the spellchecker functionality is working perfectly.

Anthony Pero
254. anthonypero
Hey, JL, back off! She's an art director, not a copy editor! (I hope you can hear the McCoy in my voice ;)
Irene Gallo
256. Irene
Erggg.....I swearz, I spelted-it and then copy/pasted the wrong version.

But even on my best of days, I’m terrible at spelling and typing. The team literally has a wall of shame for me. (It's much bigger at this point.)
Thomas Keith
257. insectoid
Free @247: LOL!! Thanks Doctor!

Irene @256: ::eyeroll::

Moving on to the new post...

Anthony Pero
258. anthonypero
Irene, tnh, if Stubby has not seen this... This must be shared with the world!

Louis Theodore Tellman
259. dwarf74
Myself, I'm thinking "the three shall be one" refers to Saidin, Saidar, and the True Power. All three will need to be one in order to bind the Dark One.
Louis Theodore Tellman
260. MRCHalifax
My own favorite interpretation of the "three shall become one" is that Elayne, Aviendha and Min have done to them what happened to Luc and Isam, multiple people in one body with the ability to switch off as the situation demands.
Alice Arneson
261. Wetlandernw
MRCHalifax @260 - Now that would be epic!
Louis Theodore Tellman
262. therealanthonypero
Hmmmm... That would be interesting, and kinda crappy for them... and a bit hard on Elayne... and Avhenda would need to get pregnant and have babies first...
Louis Theodore Tellman
263. Zabulus
From the moment I read about it, I always thought "3 as 1" was referring to integrating Rand/Lews Therin/Moridin into one person.
I sorta have an, I think, already voiced opinion that Moridin will be turned to the light and together they will do... Something? I don't know if that could involve Callandor since there needs to be two females channeling with one male. But there is no conclusive evidence that holds true if the True Power is in use.

Matthew B
265. MatthewB
I was just looking back at my post history and noticed this: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/04/the-wheel-of-time-re-read-the-gathering-storm-part-27#252653

This is me being smug. ;)
Louis Theodore Tellman
266. essay writer
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Louis Theodore Tellman
267. Johabiswas
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