Jan 23 2013 7:00pm

Brandon Sanderson’s Wheel of Time Answers From #TorChat

Brandon Sanderson's Wheel of Time Answers From #TorChatEvery month, Tor Books hosts a #TorChat on Twitter, connecting authors with their fans. This month, Brandon Sanderson sat down with excited fans to discuss the events of A Memory of Light, the conclusion to The Wheel of Time.

Was everything revealed? Not quite, but a few dangling questions were addressed, and Brandon did reveal which Wheel of Time character we will find out more about this coming April! Take a look at the summary below.

Oh, and full spoilers for A Memory of Light, of course.

First, the big questions!

“River of Souls,” the forthcoming Wheel of Time short story featured in Unfettered is a collection of scenes that illustrate Demandred/Bao the Wyld’s story leading up to A Memory of Light.

There are three questions Brandon is not allowed to answer about the Wheel of Time:

  1. Who Nakomi was.
  2. How Rand lit the pipe at the end of the series.
  3. How Rand and Moridin swapped bodies.

Not even Brandon knows what’s going with Rand’s pipe-lighting at the end of A Memory of Light. “I put it in as RJ instructed, and I know nothing more about it than fandom does, I’m afraid.”

The very final scene, where Rand lights his pipe and heads off into the world was the ending scene that Robert Jordan wrote when it became clear that he would not finish the series on his own. The entire epilogue is Jordan’s, barring a few small Loial inserts and Perrin’s scenes, and was written and not dictated.

There are far more reasons to believe that Rand’s body-switch at the end is real and not an illusion.

Rand’s bond with Min, Elayne, and Nynaeve transferred with Rand when he took possession of Moridin’s body, although Brandon didn’t know how or why.

Regarding Nakomi: “With all of the homages to global myths/legends in WoT is it fair to consider Nakomi as a Wandering Jew/Jenn?” Brandon’s response: “That’s a very clever question that nobody has yet asked me. I’m not going to say more, however.”

Rand’s body is definitely burning in the pyre at the end.

Cadsuane does end up being the next Amyrlin.

Rand doesn’t know the Song and the Tinkers wouldn’t accept anything he taught them anyhow.

Robert Jordan specifically noted that the Tinkers would not find their Song by the end of the series and that the Ogier song of growing is not the Tinkers’ Song. The Song is “a much more deep and philosophical concept, perhaps unattainable.”


Other tidbits:

The Oath Rod is still used by the Aes Sedai as their organization heads into the Fourth Age. The male channelers do not use it and should not be considered Aes Sedai, as per Jordan’s notes, but a gender-united Aes Sedai will come again someday.

The Last Battle took “weeks stretching to months” for the world, but only took hours for Rand.

In Shayol Ghul, Rand deliberately ommitted Elan/Moridin’s honorary Age of Legends-era third name. This was specified in Jordan’s notes, although it’s up to interpretation as to whether Rand meant to insult Moridin was whether he was merely being familiar.

On knowing who killed Asmodean: “Fun, but also annoying, since I couldn’t tell anyone.”

There were no substantial notes left about doing a new series focused in Seanchan, and Brandon further feels that to do such a series would be exploiting RJ’s legacy.

Brandon could have gone three more books writing about everything that happened in the final book. A piece of him also wishes there been more time with Fain in the final book.

The deaths that hit Brandon the hardest? “Egwene. After that, Bela. I’d promised she would live, but Harriet decided that I was cheating to keep her alive.”

Some things, like the characters that Demandred kills, were supposed to be abrupt to convey the emotion of sudden loss and because often that’s the way things are in war.

In response to “What would’ve happened had Elayne not bonded Birgitte, given how Birgitte’s death went in aMoL?” Brandon: “I believe she’d still have come when the Horn was blown.”

Dobraine made it out of The Last Battle alive and was present at the Fields of Merrilor when Rand and Egwene met. Jordan had no further notes on Dobraine.

As far as Brandon knows, the in-the-works Encyclopedia will have information that didn’t make it into A Memory of Light.

Moiraine and Nynaeve knew some of Rand’s plan concerning Callandor before they arrived at Shayol Ghul.

The Wheel of Time is NOT a part of Brandon’s larger interconnected universe of books, although you are free to imagine “that most possibilities of worlds are mirror worlds to the WoT…”

Perrin was the easiest character to write and Mat was the hardest, followed by Aviendha and Tuon.

Jordan was uncertain if he wanted Elayne to have rule over Cairhien before the conference at the Fields of Merrilor and the Last Battle.

Not everything that Min foresaw was supposed to be significant in the series, according to Jordan’s notes.

Jordan deliberately played up elements, foreseeings, and prophecies in the series that he knew were going to be minor.

Verin’s Black Ajah identity was the most shocking revelation that Brandon learned while going through Jordan’s notes on the series.

On whether Elayne’s kids could be Heroes of the Horn. “It could happen.”

Brandon wanted to have a scene with Rand, Perrin, and Mat reunited, but just couldn’t fit it in logistically.

Jordan did not intend for the readers to see the discussion between Rand and Alivia regarding how she would “help him die.”

To Jordan, RAFO didn’t always mean he was going to give the readers an answer. Rather, that he wanted readers to consider it on their own.

On the offscreen conversation between Tuon and Hawkwing: “It was interesting, I’ll tell you that much.”

Everything in the Shadow Prophecy did indeed happen.

Demandred took control of multiple factions of Sharans, but not all of them by a longshot.

Jordan left some notes on how Callandor was initially created.

Lan’s sequence near the end of A Memory of Light is the scene from that book that moves Brandon the most. For Towers of Midnight, it’s Perrin’s forging of his hammer.

All of the cracks from balefire use are still present in the world, but will eventually heal themselves. In addition, Egwene’s anti-balefire weave was witnessed.

Setalle Anan survived The Last Battle.

Taim was recruited by the Forsaken, so his becoming a Darkfriend happened after the Forsaken were freed from the Bore.

Almost all of the major deaths in A Memory of Light were planned by Jordan, although a few were left open to be decided on.

The Broken Wolf was Perrin’s spirit guide.

Rand’s third question to the Aelfinn involved Rand asking how to kill the Dark One. More detail on these will most likely be put in the Encyclopedia.

Moiraine’s prophecied purpose during the Last Battle was to stop Egwene and Rand from going to The Last Battle separately instead of together.

There is a deeper meaning to the “remnant of a remnant” Aiel prophecy, but it’s meaning is philosophical more than anything else and references, in part, their changing purpose.

What does Brandon see if he imagines Rand five years from now? “I see him happy.”

This article is part of A Memory of Light: ‹ previous | index | next ›
3. rhandric
Thanks for both the Chat, and the summary of the Chat. The encyclopaedia should be interesting when it comes out.
Stefan Mitev
4. Bergmaniac
"Androl is indeed Jain Fairstrider's son" Is this correct? Because Androl had a whole story in AMOL how his father was a channeller who committed suicide.
5. rhandric
@4 Some stories are just stories, remember.
Chris Lough
6. TorChris
Good catch, Bergmaniac. We took another look and the affirmative given by Brandon for Androl might have been for another question from that Twitter user, so we've struck it from the list. Plenty of time to ask him later!
Chris Lough
7. TorChris
Also, bummer that it's still up in the air, as I was really excited about getting confirmation on that one.
Rich Bennett
8. Neuralnet
@4Bergmaniac - that was the most surprising revelation to me too.. did anyone find ANY clues in the book to support this?
9. Linnea14
Thank you so much for the list! Much better than trying to sift through Twitter!
10. AndrewB
I wonder which Forsaken(s) recruited Taim. Given the way Taim acted towards Demandred, I would guess that Demandred was involved. In connection with this recruitment, would Team Dark have turned Taim if he did not accept recruitment? This gives credence to the plan that one of the Black Sisters said in TSR in Tear.

Thanks for reading my musings,
11. Melarsa
@Neuralnet - Not proof of the exact nature of his relationship, but Androl did mention that fresh spring water "reminded him of Jain" (paraphrasing, I don't have the exact quote handy) so I think he was close in some way.
Antoni Ivanov
12. tonka
@10 AndrewB

Demandred recruited Taim. He said (thought) as much in his own POV
13. Herb000
I caught the use of only "Elan." I figured it was meant as an insult. I'm glad it was deliberately included.
Ron Garrison
14. Man-0-Manetheran
Harriet killed Bela ?!?!?!?!?! N-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O!
William Carter
15. wcarter could you? She was the character most deserving to live in the entire series. She never complained. She never ran away or skirted her duty. The Pattern never commanded her to take up some role. She was just...Bela...the best damned fictional mare ever penned.
16. aland
Bela will return the next time the Horn is blown.
18. Malim
I think you missed one tidbit--that going into TAR in the flesh is only evil depending on your point of view.
Bonnie Andrews
19. misfortuona
"Setalle Anan survived The Last Battle."
This makes me happy. There is still hope that someone can Heal her.

Mis-let the twitching for the encyclopedia begin
Ken England Jr
20. Vambram
Thank you, Tor and thank you, Brandon Sanderson for this great chat on Twitter. Like most fans, I would have liked getting answers to the three big questions. However, I understand why RJ would want those answers to remain mysteries. After all, now that the series is over, we still need to have something good to theorize about, ... right?
21. Nakomi
Thanks Brandon! One more tough question: why did Moriden stab his own hand and how did Rand feel it?
22. Freelancer
Rand and Moridin became linked at Shadar Logoth when they both attacked Sammael, and their balefire streams met, saidin touching the True Power. After that, more and more hints occured that they shared a "Corsican" bond. Moridin was very angry with Semirhage for destroying Rand's hand, since he felt the injury as well.

Moridin used that knowledge to take Callandor from Rand by stabbing his own hand, but Rand was a step ahead of him.
23. rsmith
Who was the original owner of the sword Rand gives Tam? Lew Therin? I remember he found it somewhere but cant remember where
24. Freelancer
Hawkwing. It was unearthed by archaeologists in Arad Doman.
Jonah Feldman
25. relogical
Really great answers.

I'm intrigued by that one about Rand's three questions. I like the idea that he was dwelling on those answers for books and books, and yet we have to piece them together slowly instead of just hearing them. I guess they were 1. Should I go to the Two Rivers or Illian? "No." 2. How can I survive the Last Battle? "To live, you must die." (and that finally makes sense!) and 3. How can I kill the Dark One? "???"

He clearly got an answer that made him think it was possible. If I had to guess, the answer was something like "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills," and Rand chose to interpret it favorably.
Theresa Gray
26. Terez27
Verbatim transcript here. Goes from #22 to #73.
Jonathan Levy
27. JonathanLevy
Thanks Terez, your interview database is invaluable.

I liked this quote in particular:

SIFADFOE (Scream In Frustration And Don't Find Out, Ever) :-)
28. Ender's Ghost
My theory is that Androl traveled with Jain at some point, like as a sidekick. Given all of his life experiences and how many different "careers" he had over and how many places he'd been, that seems totally plausible. He could have just been a young boy that Jain took under his wing, kind of like he had begun to do with Olver.
Valentin M
29. ValMar
Very intersting bunch of extra info. Brandon kept answering the same questions as if for the first time, very polite. I hope he daoes it again. Can't wait for the Encyclopedia. It'll be hilarious, and brilliant, if it makes it to number 1 spot in the book charts!
Nice to hear about the fate of a few characters, during the book and after- Setalle alive, Dobraine there, Cadsuane definitely becoming the new Amyrlin...
Thanks for the transcript Terez.
Matthew Smith
30. Blocksmith1
What a treat! Thanks for the added information and explanations. Brandon, if you are reading these comments, a few added questions (since I don't twitter or whatever)...

1. Do Thom and Moiraine become the Bonnie and Clyde of the new a good way?
2. How many braid-tugging girls do Nynaeve and Lan have?
3. Do Rand and Elayne get away together for weekends or is it more a Pirates of the Caribbean thing?
4. Does Olver become the James Bond of the new age?
5. Does Loial's book get published first in hardcover and then everyone has to wait a few decades for the e-book? (and yes that is intended as tongue stick to all the cry babies on the internet)

On a serious note...

I would be interested in finding out a bit about Elaida and Moghedien's they whither away the next 400 years as slaves or do they escape/get freed?

How does Aviendha continue her efforts to guide the Aiel away from her visions from Rhuidean or has her actions so far been enough to thwart that (possible?) future?

Does Min play a part in rebuilding Seanchan or does she stay? I think it's likely Mat is going where Tuon goes.

Do Perrin and Faile become King and Queen of Saldaea? If so, what becomes of the Two Rivers? Tam as Lord Regent or something?

JonathanLevy @ 27 Isn't that just a long way of saying HD?
Matthew Smith
31. Blocksmith1
And just read the full transcript and found out Faile does become queen...but no mention of Perrin? Interesting. Maybe he stays as Lord/King of the Two Rivers and consort to the Queen?
32. Kibs
"Yea, and the Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers. And his destruction shall bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, and shall shake their very will itself."

The Broken Wolf was Perrin’s spirit guide and everything in the Shadow Prophecy did indeed happen? How so? The destruction of Perrin's spirit guide brought fear/sorrow to the hearts of men and shook their will?
Damon Garner
33. IrishOmalley
I agree with the Bela thing. Just seems kind of cruel.

- Greatly looking forward to the Encyclopedia Randlandia -

- I'm hoping the Encyclopedia contains a good heaping of 4th age goodness. The history of the Dragon's Peace and the 13th - 15th amendments to the Seanchan constitution.... (One can hope) :)
34. Alex Richardson
River of Souls is about Demandred, eh? Fair enough, should be good. I'm somewhat disappointed that it's not going to have deleted scenes featuring various Moiraine reunions and conversations with other characters; those were sorely needed.
Nadine L.
35. travyl
Some great answers there. Thanks Tor for that.
Did Robert Jordan say, that B. Sanderson isn't allowed to answer these questions?
- if so, why? (and it means, Nakomi was an "idea" of RJ)
- do we at least know if the woman waiting for Rand after the fight is Nakomi (or Alivia)?
36. brainy435
So, I don't follow these chats closely, has anyone asked whether Rand is the Creator? Well, not actually THE Creator, but has a part of the Creator inside of him, kind of like in the Raymond Feist books? Most stories have the ultimate bad and the ultimate good: God vs Devil, Creator vs. Destroyer who always battle but both are needed. The Dark One is the ultimate bad, but Rand/Lews Therin was never the ultimate good. There has to be the Creator and Rand would be like his Nae'blis.

That's why he could light his pipe: If he had a part of the Creator in him, he wouldn't need the True Power or sadin, it would be just because he wanted it to be. Only by defeating the Dark One could he be so sure of himself he wouldn't need the other powers. My rambling thoughts on it, anyway.
37. MauricXe
Kibs question #34:

The "he" in the next section is not the same as Hopper. The article left that part of BS's answer off.
38. JeanGaryDiablo
TorChris, are there any other deleted scenes besides River of Souls?
39. billybob
I think Rand no longer needed Saidar or the True Power because he is now master of the pattern. So to make things happen, he can just will it, and the pattern shapes to his will, knowing that he is of the Light.
40. Eyeless621
It's cheating to keep Bela alive, when nearly everyone else survived the biggest battle in the history of the entire wheel?..... Alright.
41. SkaRn Landar
I agree with #39
On how Rand lighted the pipes - Knowledge is Power.. he perceived the Thread and how it was woven.. and also wove reality itself during his fight with the Dark One.. once he has the knowledge, he tests it by lighting his pipe to see that he can still touch and wove the pattern as he will.. it will also allow him to transfer his consciousness to Elan's body, whose mind has been burned out by the Light, and let his real body die..
42. TamIam
Does anyone think Egwene could be a hero of the horn now?
Logain sure does want a sa'angreal. I'm thinking he would use his power to get the one Taim had. All he has to do is dig deep.
How about Thom and Moraine becoming the most popular entertainer's of the 4th age.His theatric's her power,what a show that would be.
When Elaida escapes captivity is she amyrlin?
So much to think about.
43. bigalosu
'On the offscreen conversation between Tuon and Hawkwing: “It was interesting, I’ll tell you that much.”'

Why tease us so? WWWHHHHHHYYYYY???????????
Richard Hunt
44. WOTman
Great thanks to brandon, and lots of good comments from everyone! One question I was wondering about, why there were no action figures ever made? I could use a good stuffed Bela.
I like the idea that Androl is Jain Farstriders son, there was too much information about his past to be anecdotal.
If Faile is Queen, there doesn't seem to be room for King, unless they change the rules. I can't see Perrin being away from her, so I'm betting that Tam would be regent in the Two Rivers
Richard Hunt
45. WOTman
Man this gets me pumped up, I think I am going to reread the entire series for the first time. I have re read every book except the last at least four times already.
46. Firemandan
I get it now. This is the StarWars universe and Rand is the first Force user. He can use the Force to light his pipe!
47. Malkierian
@TamIAm #42: Logain wanted the sa'angreal because the thought power was the only way to make people fear him, which he thought was the only way to get people to respect him and leave him alone. I believe the woman's reaction, and his words, changed him in the end to realize that goodness earned true respect.
48. Faculty Guy
Rand's lighting the pipe just seems identical to the way that focused thoughts manipulate "reality" inside TAR. So I think maybe RJ is implying that the REAL world is ALSO ultimately a dream, but maybe on a higher level. The Aiel saying about dying as " waking from the dream" seems to echo this. And it works a little bit with some of the more far-out interpretations of quantum theory: a consciousness raised to a sufficiently high level of "awakening" could perhaps choose which path to follow from among the infinity of constantly unfolding random possibilities. And, with that, my speculation has gone as far as I want it to go for now.
49. Downunder Perrin
In towers of midnight shader Haran accuses Graendel of killing 3 chosen
halima mesaana and who's the third ?
it has to be asmodean
lake sidey
50. lakesidey
I thought Nalaam was Jain's son. Of course his wild stories might just be fiction. (I mean, fiction within the universe of Randland of course!)

Finally got through the book. Glad to see my favourite character Lan still rocking (and still looking like a rock, too :( )

Martin Cohn
51. arixan
Did Hurin return as a Hero of the Horn as was mentioed as a possibility waaaauy back in TGH?
Sorcha O
52. sushisushi
Ha, Cadsuane, one of your worst nightmares (post Last Battle edition) has indeed come true. Enjoy!

Good to know about Dobraine and Setalle Anan. They were both great characters and it's a shame that there wasn't space in the book to note their survival.

And, oh Harriet, what about Bela? Although I suppose with Egwene and Siuan dead (and Rand, technically), there is a symmetry that Bela went, too.
Ryan R
53. CorDarei
Does no one read the glossaries anymore?

@49 Re: Asmodean's death..

it's stated in the glossary that she killed him.
Karen Fox
54. thepupxpert
I keep reading that Ilyena will be reborn. Do we know if she was in fact reborn and if so, who is she?
55. fragrantelephant
Correction: Rand is bonded to Elayne, Min, and Aviendha. Not Nynaeve.

See: Rand’s bond with Min, Elayne, and Nynaeve transferred with Rand when he took possession of Moridin’s body, although Brandon didn’t know how or why.
56. ChrisW
I'm pretty sure that, if his story about his father was true, Androl could not be Jain Farstrider's son. I may be mis-reading what has been said on that topic, but when Mat and Thom are leaving Noal in the Tower of Ghenji Noal tells Mat to tell a Malkeri that "Jain Charin died clean". Jain Charin was the name of Jain Farstrider, which is Noal.
57. badass mcnasty
Concerning which of the forsaken brought taim to the shadow, in the scene where demandred gives him his staff sa'angreal, he definitely said something along the lines of "I brought you to the shadow, and I can destroy you". Anyway, I'm surprised I still haven't seen anyone comment anywhere on the fact that it was pretty much confirmed that shadar haran was the dark one walking around in superfade form.
58. pim12
Not really a satisfying ending, because:
- What happens to Elaida, Moghedien and the Seanchan in general?
- What about the Shaido and Galina?
- Leane's whereabouts.
- Demandred's scepter and Vora's angreal.
- People of Hinderstap are normal again?
- Tinker song (although apparently it is never to be found).
- Graendal lives under her own Compulsion?
59. rhandric
@58 Some things are meant to be open-ended. One series of events (ie, from Rand leaving TR to the Last Battle) doesn't bracket everything that happens in the world, even if it does drive the narrative and influences most events and goings-on in the world/continent.
60. Lurking Canadian
I think Rand is the Creator. Which is another way of saying there is no Creator. As I posted on the spoiler thread, the only things we know for a fact about the Creator are that he talks in ALL CAPS and imprisoned the Dark One. Well, Rand did both of those things right in front of us, and since there are no beginnings or endings...Rand has ALWAYS been the one who imprisoned the DO and always will be.

I grant that there's a Wheel, and it weaves the Pattern, but there's no room in the cosmology for the Creator.

Also, what's the point of being coy now about Nakomi, or the pipe, or whatever, if they're not going to write any more books?
Alice Arneson
61. Wetlandernw
In some cases (e.g. the pipe) it's pretty clear they aren't so much being coy as that they really don't know. That's the way RJ wrote it, but he didn't tell anyone "why." IIRC, Brandon had mentioned in the past that there were certain things that RJ had in the notes but had tagged "don't tell." There were some things that he simply didn't want to answer definitively; I suspect the pipe-lighting might have been one of those even had he lived to complete the series. If anyone knows, it's Harriet, and she's not telling - but I get the impression that she's not quite sure either.
62. Freelancer
Lurking Canadian

Well, this is the real issue with a cyclical cosmology. One can examine the idea that time repeats, and come to the conclusion that there's no Maker. Everything which is just sprang into being the "first time" Rand met and imprisoned the Dark One.

Mm-hmm, no.

Before there can be repeating historical events, there must be a first case. No amount of mental gymnastics can get around the idea that time must have begun somewhere and somehow.

There is a Creator, demonstrated by the two times he communicates with Rand. And much more can be inferred about him than that to which you limit Him. Clearly he doesn't favor evil, since he wanted humanity protected from the source of evil. That humanity overran its own boundaries isn't a new story. He also believes in free will, or he would not permit humanity to make the mistakes from which they learn, and grow, and discover things like love and forgiveness.

On the other topic, the very simplest and wisest reason for not divulging the conclusion of all remaining aspects of the story is that it would end. Some enterprising person with the passion that Leigh once had for the FAQ would create a comprehensive summary of all WoT topics, their meanings and conclusions, and that would be that. No reason to come here and discuss what would no longer need be discussed. Little reason for some folks to consider reading over 10,000 pages of text yet again.

This way, speculation continues, theories continue to be raised/debated/accepted/discarded, the possibilities of what comes next for the characters, the organizations, the nations of the world, remain viable in our minds. It's the reason why Jordan never did answer some questions, even though he never planned to answer them in the story. RAFO didn't only mean Read And Find Out. To him it was shorthand which also equated to "consider for yourselves what may have happened, or what it may have meant".
63. mcarthur252
thoughts on Olver being Gaidal?
Craig Jarvis
64. hawkido
@23 rsmith

Here's my kooky theory on the sword...

The Sword was Justice, but before that it was Guire Amalasen's (a False Dragon that Hawkwing took down in a Sword Dual), that herealded his rise to power. Hawkwing wouldn't commission a scabbard and hilt with Dragon's on it. Both the Scabbard and Hilt were also power forged (or had some form of "Keeping" on them) as the sword was submerged for hundreds, if not a thousand years. The Sword may have even been Lews Therin's from the AoL as no power forged weapons were created post the Breaking (that we know of).

Rand's statement that it belonged to a "Kindred Spirit" could mean another False Dragon, or it could mean LTT's, as a stretch it could mean Artur Hawkwing's.

When Rand thought that he recognized not from LTT's memories but HIS memories, he was referring to the fact that he sow the sword on Hawkwing's hip. This does not preclude that he recognized it with LTT's memories, just that he didn't need LTT's memories to ID the sword, which had more fame as Hawkwing's sword then it did as LTT's.
Craig Jarvis
65. hawkido
@36 brainy435

The Diachotomy of Power you see in most fantasies is not here.
There is the Illusion of such a theme but it is dispelled at the end.

"The Dark One is not the enemy, and he never had been."

Choice was the enemy, and the necessity of this (and all Universes), with lack of choice being the only evil (at both ends of the spectrum). Only in (willfully) surrendering choice being the only way to lose this battle.

Alot of this goes to the Scientific fact of there being no such thing as cold, darkness, and deceleration. There is just a lack of heat, lack of Light, or acceleration in the opposing direction. There is just a form of energy, or a lack there of.
Craig Jarvis
66. hawkido
@63 mcarthur252

That was debunked by Jordan... or are you just looking for a bridge to sit under and charge tolls?
Roger Powell
67. forkroot
hawkido and others... re @63

This has been going on in a lot of the AMOL-related threads. There's a childish troll, posting under various names (always in red), that keeps bringing up the whole Olver/Gaidal thing.

Rather than react to it or repeat the debunking, I suggest that we flag the comments and ask the moderators to remove the comments.
68. brainy435
@hawkido I disagree. As Rand found out, the world would be horrible if the Dark One had complete control, but be another kind of horrible if the Dark One didn't exist. The pattern needs the Dark One and the Creator, but in balance. What is known as evil is in seeking to disrupt that blance to "your side." In that sense, Rand would have been just as evil to kill the Dark One as the Chosen would have been to free him. In that sense the Dark One really wasn't the enemy, but you still have the Diachotomy of Power.

It would be interresting to see how it would play out if a "hero" was so bent on killing the Dark One, that the Darkfriends would have to fight a sort of anti-last battle and actually save the world from the heroes.
69. qwerty123
Memory of light was fantastic, and I think the authors did incredible job because wrapping up a series like this, would have been a herculeus task.

On the positive: great to see Lan again, I have been missing him. Rand's battle was really good as well, although a few more pages devoted to him would have been nice. But that tendency has been going on for a while now! Mat, Perrin, Avi, Elayne, segments were all good.

On the negative: Egwene's section was frustrating. It was glorious, but Egwene's perfection, is too unreal. Throughout the series, Rand did amazing things, but his flaws his failures were always glaring. Egwene, always the female counterpart was somehow... without all of it. She was as stubborn, and always seeing negatives, but managed to free white tower, managed to kill Mesaana, managed to even find counter for balefire, and never did any of her flaws cause any issue. Hardly any lost battles. Elayne, whose power was always compared to her, seemed to do fewer thigns with power,it would have been really good had, they done the flame of tar valon thing... togehter, or something similar. I think what killed this part for me was the ending where Egwene gives grandmotherly advice. Great advice yes, but somehow it never really became clear, where does she get so much wisdom. Such perfect know-it-all characters sort of frustrate readers, we want more human. Older person giving such advice, we can understand... Min and moiraine's insignificance were not that fun either.

On Nakomi: its hardly of interest if we never get to know who she is. If she is Tigraine, will be nice. If she is not, well, it was just unnecessary. Not revealing it, is not creating mystery, it is creating a futile discussion.
70. Freelancer
Tigraine? She died in childbirth, on the slope of Dragonmount. If you're then suggesting that she lives on in tel'aran'rhiod, she'd have to be a Hero of the Horn. And if she wasn't aged when she died, why should she appear as old and grey-haired? No, not Tigraine.

I know that Brandon isn't answering any more direct questions about Nakomi, partially just to keep speculation alive. Maybe we aren't asking the right question.
Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
Freelancer - if Brandon says anything about Nakomi at your signing, let me know so I can follow up... :) Obviously I'll try to badger him into telling me something about Nakomi, the Jenn, or both.
72. Seamus1602
Freelancer @ 62

While I agree with you re: the Creator bc of the dialogue the Creator does have in the series, I also disagreed with your initial point:

"Well, this is the real issue with a cyclical cosmology. One can examine the idea that time repeats, and come to the conclusion that there's no Maker. Everything which is just sprang into being the "first time" Rand met and imprisoned the Dark One.

Mm-hmm, no.

Before there can be repeating historical events, there must be a first case. No amount of mental gymnastics can get around the idea that time must have begun somewhere and somehow."

A 'first case' is not a necessary element in creating historical events. The 'idea that time must have begun somewhere and somehow' is an assumption based in one understanding of the world. The very idea of 'beginning' is an assumption. Why must anything 'spring into being' when it is unproven whether existence is or is not infinite? There is no way to prove one way or another that our existence ever had a beginning. Even the Big Bang - what, if anything, preexisted the BB? So I have no problem with a fantasy world that purports to show an existence that has no beginnings, for there are no beginnings...

I think Mat said it best, " have to be consistent, but they don't have to follow our logic. Why should they?"
73. Lurking Canadian
@62, I know about the Creator talking in Rand's head on two occasions. I think that was Rand, too.

During the conflict with the Dark One, he was outside of time. He witnessed the *entire* story we got to read. Notice the bit about all the things he watched the Dark One do to demoralize men. I think all of them were previously identified as "bubbles of evil". He perceived the story as a *story* (witness him analyzing the development of all the characters we know and love) from start to finish. We also know he was able to speak from a cloud on high, because he did it at Merrilor. There is nothing preventing him from giving *himself* advice, though since his reality weaving powers were limited to possibility, he COULD NOT INTERVENE.

I mean, I'm not going to arm wrestle you over it, but I think it holds together. I don't agree that there has to be a first cause. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turnings of the wheel of time, as we are repeatedly told.
74. MereChristian55
I wish we had some questions on whether Tam had a happy ending eventually, or if he mourns still. Or if Rand and the other two ta'veren talk eventually. Or what happens when Mat wants his sis to see the kids someday? Tuon won't let that happen, as she wouldn't want her child "polluted" or corrupted by a marath'damane (sp?), so how does their marriage surive? Cadsuane bound to the Oath Rod means she won't live long much longer, as she's pushing the limits of her age before death. That's three Amyrlins in about fifty years. Great Tower stability that. *Sarcasm* Above all, I'll say that unless Tam and Mat get to be happy, I can't like the series. It was a waste of my time and a load of crap if they aren't happy.
75. MereChristian55
By the by, citing the Rand as a Creator reference. It could be that the Creator (or a part of him) becomes human whenever the Dragon is born, until said Dragon's death. And for those who say that that's referencing Christianity, I would say two thing. A) Not really, as there is so much different between Christianity and this in the WoT universe, as RJ well knew as a practicing Episcopalian. And for that matter, even if it DOES reference Christian archetypes somewhat, so what? Does it really matter? I'm not the one that played the symbolism up the wazoo with the CROWN OF SWORDS, and the WOUNDS IN HIS SIDES, hands, etc. Or with Mat's HANGING FROM A TREE, or Perrin's HAMMER, etc. That was all RJ. The series has basically made Mat a combo of Odin, Loki and Ghandi, and Perrin into Thor, all distorted by legend over the ages and turnings of the Wheel. Why not Rand be "Jesus Rand"?

For those who object to the DO being necessary, I agree with your frustration, but think it can work. I view it this way. The DO is necessary to the choices of sentient people. He is the inevitable consequent of creating folks with free will in the WOT universe, and came into existence when the Creator made people and endowed them with free will. He then had to trap the DO in order to prevent it from destroying that universe. I also think that there is more than one DO. I think that every universe or "parallel dimension" if you will, has it's own DO. Had Rand killed the DO in "our" universe, he would have destroyed that which the DO came into being as a consequence of, i.e., free will.

That said, RJ does a HORRIFIC job of explaining this. And you can't say that he just "wanted us to figure it out ourselves". Sanderson doesn't spoon-feed folks thing, but in his own books (those not written on RJ's notes), he makes clear enough his cosmology in a brief but clear manner. Also, the "DO was never the enemy" line is bull-shit. He is, in the cosmology of the WoT, the enemy, he's just a necessary one. Despite the evils committed by men and women, when the DO was freed, the evils intensified, and had he won, he would have, as Rand screams at him, destroyed and enslaved everyone. Those most certainly ARE the actions of an "enemy". Again, just a necessary one in the WoT universe. So, yes, I think the dualism of this fictional universe makes sense, but that Jordan stunk to high heaven at philosophy. He was like the Chris Nolan of writing, in that he thought he knew more than he did, and when he had a brilliant idea (which Jordan had MANY of, don't mistake his talent for anything but), he sucked at communicating it.
76. holyevil
Question - WHY couldn't Rand channel at the end of the book, moridin was a Forsaken who could channel both powers.. i
If Rand swapped bodies, he could still channel saidin isn't it?
77. MereChristian55
I think it's because he burned either both himself and Moridin out, or just burned out Moridin. Anything channeling that is strong enough to burn out the Dragon would easily burn out any other channeler.
78. jamazine
THANKS TO EVERYONE AND BRANDON +HARRIOT FOR A GREAT FINISH. I like to think on the possabilitiesthat it left open. I think that Rand has to disapear until his face is nolonger associated with the forsaken. He will have to travel around for a while healing the land to help save as many people frome starvation as possible, because he is able to weave the pattern directly now. This will take him the rest of his life and elane, min , and avienda know this.They will still have a father for their children but they will have to share him with this greater work. I also think that moraine and nynaeve know that rand was still alive. i dont rember the older damane that was going to help rand and lews therin die but she was the one to make thatevent possible. and only those 5 women aware ove this. i think that rand , his wives and his children will help to create a more lasting peace during their lives. THANKS AGAIN AND MAY YOU FIND WATER AND SHADE
Kimani Rogers
79. KiManiak
MereChristian55@74 – re: 3 Amyrlins in 50 years – Actually, by the end of AMoL, the Tower would have already had 3 Amyrlins in 2 years, and be moving on to its 4th. Siuan > Elaida> Egwene and soon to be Cadsuane (once she goes through the ceremony to make it all official).

To go even further, Siuan was only Amyrlin for about 10 years or so before events in TEotW, so you can say there were 4 Amyrlins in about a 13 year span (with Cadsuane soon to be the 5th). Events in New Spring show us that there were at least 2 Amyrlins before Siuan since the birth of Rand (and I'm a little rusty in my Amyrlin history, but I think we find out that there may have even been one or two more during that time period).

So, at least 5 Amyrlins were in power during Rand's lifespan of... approximately 23 years? With 3 different Amyrlins "ruling" since he leaves the 2 Rivers. Just sayin...

Re: your post @75 – Are you accusing RJ of doing a “HORRIFIC” job of explaining your interpretation on the nature and cosmology of his WoTverse? Isn’t it more likely that your perspective may not be exactly what RJ intended (him being the Creator, and all)? Yes, Brandon likes to explain certain things (while also leaving a number of things unexplained; or at least, not yet explained); RJ chooses to leave certain things up to interpretation. Either approach an author takes to their work is their choice. That doesn’t mean the author should be accused of stinking “to high heaven at philosophy,” because you didn't approve of their approach.
Craig Jarvis
80. hawkido
Is it just me or do other's see the Egwene is Queen Eldrene reborn. She lived out the almost EXACT sequence.

Became AS Ruler (Egwene of the WT, Eldrene of Manetherin)
Had a Warder Husband
Both husbands died holding off an un-winnable war against the DO's forces.
Both go Nuclear, devastating the enemy forces, forcing the enemy off that battlefield.

Humorous note:
Egwene's theme song: Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
Craig Jarvis
81. hawkido
LOL it is also reference to a very risky chess move that only a very skilled player could pull off - The Queen Sacrafice.
82. Bub
Hmm I wonder would Rand's future children be Elayne's kids half-siblings? Wonder if Aviendha is already pregnant seeing as how her children in the future seemed to be full-Aiel.
Craig Jarvis
83. hawkido
I believe if you look at the way forward machine's vision you will see Avi's kids were concieved post-LB... 2 are dark headed, so they are from moridin's body.
Craig Jarvis
84. hawkido
A question I would like definitively anwered is are channelers ever bound to the horn? None of the listed Heroes are channelers.
Craig Jarvis
86. hawkido
Rand isn't a hero of the horn... he is the one to which the horn is bound... not the other way around.
87. Lurking Canadian
@75, I think it's clear that Rand *is* Jesus, or at least that they are both incarnations of the Dragon, or something. There are too many Christ-like bits of Rand for the link (wounds in hands, wounds in side, dying for your salvation and others I forget right now).

What I don't know is if Jordan's intention was that there was *never* a Jesus *except* Rand (in the sense that there was never an Odin except Mat), or if Jesus was another incarnation of the Dragon, or if Jesus was an actual person onto whom the cultural memories of Rand are projected, or...Of course, this is just part of the larger question of how, exactly, does the wheel bit work? If this is all in our past AND our future, why do archaeologists not dig up pieces of cuendillar periodically? Why do paleontologists find dinosaur (to'raken?) bones that are 100 million years old, but no hominid bones older than a few million?

I'm sure Jordan knew the answer. I don't think he put it into the story, more's the pity.
88. MereChristian55
@79. Sir, I was not rude to you. Maybe you feel passionately enough about Jordan where you take criticism of him to be a direct attack worthy of taking a rude tone to me. I don't think any author is worth that, but that is my opinion.

Secondly, I said quite clearly that it was MY opinion. If I came across as suggesting it was definitively RJ's opinion. I will say that if RJ thinks that the DO in-universe was not the enemy, then he obviously forgot all he learned in the Army. I was in the Army too, and everything that the DO wants to do, you know, torture, kill, maim, UNMAKE REALITY FOR FLIPPING SAKES, is kind of the actions of an enemy. That is the worst explanation of cosomology. And please spare me the claptrap of how he wanted us to figure it out ourselves. The book do not explain anything of the cosmology well. If he wants folks to decide for themselves, so be it. But you can't have it be where the cosmology is completely consistent and grounded, yet be up for debate where anyone's opinion is right, at the same time. If you want to say he fudged it so we can decide, fine. But the arguments from many are trying to state that he had a consistent cosmology, which he factually didn't.

And no, it isn't too much to expect him to explain things more clearly. You don't build up a big bad for (since he started in 1984) TWENTY-THREE YEARS by the time of his death, and have it be, oops, the guy isn't really bad or the enemy after all. There is no real-world philosophy quite like that one, and his didn't have consistency.

Again, your ears probably steaming as you think that taking on RJ means an attack on you somehow, but it doesn't. So, to dismiss that untrue idea of yours, other than now as I'm addressing you, you have little importance or relevance to me, and I couldn't care less if you think it's an attack on you to criticize RJ. Other than to pity you that you find it so personal if someone criticizes a person you DON'T PERSONALLY KNOW.
Craig Jarvis
89. hawkido
sorry dude, Satan, the DO, etc... can't MAKE you do anything, unless you let him. Only by surrendering your autonomy to him willingly can he use you as a tool to accomplish his wishes.

I say "willingly" which includes giving in to extortion, bribery, coersion, and threats, etc... because we all have a choice, you can choose to let them kill you, instead of letting them control you.

If someone puts a gun to your head and says you have to kill your daughter and eat her face, and you do it... YOU are responsible for that act, granted you were forced. But DEATH would have been a better choice, even if you knew that the next person in line was going to give in and your daughter would die HORRIBLY anyway... At least you would not be held accountable for being the one that gave in to the threat and surrendered your will and became the tool of the DO.

You and only you are responsible for your actions/inactions. No one can make you do it. They can make you fear not doing it, but if you keep your head on, you can retain the FEAR of being to one to do horrible acts in your mind enough to make the ultimate move and make sure you die before they can break your mind. There comes a point that you have to bite your tongue and suck the blood out of your lingual artery, rather than allow someone to shatter your mind and do far worse to your fellows.

I really don't care what the DO did to Padan Fain, the dude was evil. Mat didn't loose a night's worth of sleep over killing him. If you turned under presure I wouldn't loose a second for killing you either. The offer, threat, or force to turn is not the enemy... those who turn ARE.
Craig Jarvis
90. hawkido
Life is like GOLF... The other players aren't your enemy, you are. You are the only person you have to beat. No one else makes you lose, only you.
Unless you take ex-lax before you go playing.

(edit for typo, and gagline so Fork's catch would still make somekind of sense.)

I snort-sneeze-chuckle-sharted at that.
Roger Powell
91. forkroot
Ex-lax makes you "loose" ... what makes you "lose" could be a variety of things.

Edit: And props to hawkido for being a good sport!
92. MereChristian55
You are forgetting the fact that after the Bore opened, man's evil in the AoL went from mostly unheard of with few exceptions controlled by the Oath Rod, to something that would make Hitler and Stalin flinch. I'm actually agreeing that the DO in the WoT cosmology is a necessary evil. But to say that something that desires to torture, kill, and unmake reality, and ENJOYS DOING SO, is not evil or an enemy, is patently a ridiculous assumption. Though don't get me started on ethics of war. We each deal with traumas from war in different ways. My way is that I view any fighting done when not absolutely necessary as automatically evil, and any enjoyment of others' suffering, no matter how bad they are, as evil. No one will convince me how one can see fear in others peoples' eyes, and not be horrified by it, or how one can be anything but the Devil-incarnate if they enjoy it. Those are my responses and the morality I've developed to cope with my experiences in the sandbox.

@87. I agree with you that it's kinda clear who Rand resembles in the WoT universe. I'm just saying that you are likely to get nothing but agreement about whom Perrin and Mat are like, but anger or mockery if you point out who Rand is like. Ironically, those that are Christians like myself take the least offense to this suggestion, because it's just a modern mythical story.
Craig Jarvis
93. hawkido

One of my Arabic teachers while I was in the Air Force, was the top ranking general in Saddam's Iraq. He defected when he was ordered to gas the Kurds. The urge to do evil isn't evil, it is ever present, the third person killed the fourth person, without any provocation nor encouragement form the first two nor the fourth person. The urge to strike out in Jealousy, rage greed lust, etc... is there in all of us to different degrees. It isn't the enemy, and that is what the DO represents, both in the WoT and in our world.

Cake is not the enemy... giving in to eating too much cake is.
Money is not evil... the love of money over your neighbor's life/welbeing is.

remember the dark one is just a pitiful mite sized worm, harmless unless you let him dwell in your heart or mind.
94. NickInNC
@72 - So you're saying it's turtles all the way down? :)

Excellent stuff. Huge thanks to Brandon for sharing.
Roger Powell
95. forkroot
Something else to wonder about since Brandon has confirmed that Cadsuane will be the next Amyrlin.

The Aes Sedai now understand about the life-shortening effects of the Oath Rod. Furthermore, they've discovered that the Oath Rod can be subverted (by Mesaana.) Perhaps the time has come to forgo the oaths.

I wonder what the effect would be on Cadsuane - who is reportedly close to the end of her expected lifetime (given the three Oaths she has sworn). If she were to unswear, would she get a couple hundred more years, or is it more like a proportional thing where should would get another 30 years instead of another 10 or so?
Kimani Rogers
96. KiManiak
MereChristian55@88 – I find it interesting when individuals interpret questions (or criticism) about their analysis/argument as a personal attack. It’s even more interesting when their original post’s analysis/argument itself was rather critical to begin with.

Let’s start from the beginning: My post@79 never suggested that your post@74 or 75 had been rude to anyone, let alone me (someone who, up until that point, had yet to even post on this thread).

The first part of the post was reacting to your (sarcastic) attempt to challenge the stability of the position of Amyrlin (where you presented what appeared to be an incredulous scenario in which 3 Amyrlins were to appear in 50 years), by clarifying that in Rand’s lifetime (or, for the time from the beginning of New Spring until the end of AMoL if you prefer) there had already been at least 5 Amyrlins. That was in an approximately 23-25 year span. So 3 Amyrlins in 50 years would not be that shocking.

The second part of the post was discussing your interpretation, analysis and finally criticism of RJ’s presentation of his creation (The Dark One) in his fictional universe (the WoTverse, if you will). You speculate that for the WoT “every universe or ‘parallel dimension’ if you will has it’s own DO,” and you go on to express the consequences of Rand eliminating the DO would “…have destroyed that which the DO came into being as a consequence of, i.e., free will.”

(That is your interpretation of RJ’s writings and you are most certainly welcome to them. I don’t share those interpretations, but I have no problem with you interpreting RJ’s work as such for yourself, if that works for just you. What’s more, based upon how Brandon expands on Jordan’s RAFO above (that Jordan wanted readers to consider things on their own), it’s likely that Jordan would be comfortable with folks interpretations and projections of his universe to go in all types of possible and exciting directions. As long as they don’t treat it as canon.)

What the second part of my post questions is your next line, in which you appear to accuse Jordan of doing a “HORRIFIC job” (the caps are yours, btw) of explaining your theory, your interpretation. My following line suggests the (likely) possibility that your perspective may differ from RJ’s vision. The remainder of the paragraph states quite clearly (the obvious fact) that the author’s work is presented to their readers in a manner and detail of the author’s choosing. I close my comment by stating that the author’s chosen delivery of their material not reconciling with how you would have delivered your interpretation of their material, is not a valid (in my opinion) reason to accuse them of stinking “to high heaven at philosophy.”

Let me be clear: challenging someone’s criticism (since they chose to offer it) by merely asking them to clarify their points (or even countering those points) is not being rude.

If you choose to infer a certain tone to written questions and/or criticism of your unsupported opinions and criticism, that is your choice. Please do not ascribe any motivation or feelings to me based upon your erroneous attempt to read subtext in my comments. If you would like to know how I feel about something, feel free to ask. Assumptions often lead to misunderstandings and the inaccurate attributing of motivation and feelings.

On a similar note, I would ask you to please not make assumptions as to the state of my ears (or the rest of my body, for that matter) or my state of mind/feelings regarding any post you make; nor make assumptions regarding the impact such comments may have on me, whether those comments are directed to RJ or any other author.

If you do choose to make such assumptions, let me assure you that you would most likely be wrong, as you don’t know me. I acknowledge your statement of the relevance/importance I hold for you; please be assured that your relevance/importance to me is even less than that. Also, your pity is neither sought after nor required.

I have no desire to make this discussion personal; I don’t know you and -based upon your posts to date- I have no wish to change that fact.

This space is to discuss our various WoT theories and interpretations, and question or discuss others. I stand behind my original comments, which were 1) pointing out that you were accusing an author of doing a “HORRIFIC” job of explaining your interpretation of the author’s work, and 2) proposing the (likely) possibility that your interpretation of said author’s work may not be exactly what they intended.

Your responses to date still haven’t addressed that. Which is fine, and most assuredly within your rights on this forum. But please do not accuse me of attacking you, or accuse me of having certain feelings that are not evident at all in my post, just because you can’t defend your weak assertions and unsupported claims.

The moderators (rightfully so) do not allow those type of personal discussions on this space, and I have no desire to engage you in one.
99. MereChristian55
Sir, as for the "ears steaming" remark. I had the phrasing of whatever I said wrong. The idea here is that I meant to say "tingling" or some such to indicate that I doubt you'd like what I said.
100. MereChristian55
Sir, I agree that the urge to do evil isn't evil, IF that urge is stifled. But if one let's themselves enjoy it, and doesn't realize how horrible such sadism is, then, yes, they are evil. If I feel a desire to hurt someone, I purposely concentrate on how I must only do what is necessary in any situation, and if I can not make myself not enjoy their suffering, or restrain myself from going overboard, then I don't act, or carefully act while repeating somehow to keep myself from reacting.

I've seen real fear in peoples' eyes before, and anyone who can see that and ever again think that's okay to enjoy or not be horrified by, is a sick, evil monster.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
MC55 @many - Dude. Chill.

Share opinions on the content, by all means; try to be courteous about it. (Especially re: the authors; we wouldn't be here if it weren't for them. You don't have to like everything, but... be courteous.) Don't try too hard to read tone into other people's comments; until you know them from multiple conversations over time, you'll usually be wrong. (Trust me on this. Really.) In any case, it's better to refrain from accusations, whether they are correct or not; it inevitably devolves into... well, something like this.

When it comes to the content - as I said, share your opinion. If others disagree, they have the right to challenge it, though. It happens a lot around here, and many times the end result is a stalemate, with all parties agreeing to disagree. 'Tis the nature of opinions, after all. Just try to avoid making a personal issue out of it.

103. Freelancer
MereChristian55 @TooMany

I applaud Robert Jordan's work on the Wheel of Time from beginning to end. I do this in spite of the recognition that several aspects of the story are personally jarring against what I hold as unqualified and eternal truths. I have never, and fully expect that I will never, discover a fictional story which isn't predicated on an analog of my belief system (Such as those from Lewis, Peretti, or LaHaye), that presents a cosmos satisfactorily recognizable as that of my own faith. That said, the morals of this story are, with only the most minor exceptions, perfectly sound and adequate to bring a strong understanding of how and why to choose honorably in one's life. That is a feat most admirable in comparison to the vast majority of fantasy literature which either fails badly at the attempt, refuses the attempt, or suggests a far more relativistic structure, which I would refuse to read.

I would also caution you about purporting to employ your service as a brickbat of authority regarding conflict. Ascribing a generalized lack to any who have not worn a uniform is a singularly unwise and bigoted position. I can agree that there are visceral understandings which those who have not witnessed combat firsthand may not know, and I say that I am glad for them to be spared such, rather than pigeonhole them as something less than myself in any regard. I am indeed proud of having served, and believe that I am aware of certain facts regarding certain specific conflicts to which some are not privy. That gives me no standing to accuse them of not knowing evil, or me of the authority to teach them who is vile and who is not.

Humans are the amalgam of nature and nurture, and the intangibles of their own spirit. But to their own God they stand or fall. Not to me, not to Robert Jordan, and not to you. People do wrong. And people can be redeemed.

Jordan's world is filled with every manner of unpleasantness which man can do to man. It is more true for that, for that is reality. Whether a reader chooses to cheer for Galina's comeuppance is between them and their own conscience. The author didn't tell them to be happy about it. If you pay close attention, he constantly guides the reader toward more empathetic recognitions of one another. We first meet the Seanchan as monsters who enslave channelers and wear insectoid helmets. After some time we've "met" several individual Seanchan who turn out to be completely normal people with a strong sense of right and wrong, of duty, and of compassion. This sort of behavior is repeated throughout the series in regards many issues of life which commonly foment conflicts, both great and small. Nobody in the story is free of fault, nobody is able to stand in eternal judgement of another.
To me, this is genius.

That it failed to satisfy an expectation on your part does not make it one iota less so.

On the presumption that you draw your nick from Lewis, I would simply say that he would be displeased.

hawkido @89

104. MereChristian55
Sir, about what CSL would and would not favor. I am pretty sure he would be far more displeased at an author and audience feeling pleasure in someone's suffering. That is evil. No one will convince me otherwise. To all of you who think that suffering and enjoyment thereof is great. I'm done with you all.

Or maybe it's just me. After all, I am a worthless son of a bitch who was worthless enough to engage in causing others fear and feeling nothing at the time. Someday I will be judged. And I will deserve it.
105. tkThompson
Re: How Rand lit his pipe. I have a theory, but I don't think it's because that he has a part of the Creator in him or that he is the Creator as some have suggested above, because if he was, then it would mean that he had the ability all along, but that doesn't appear to be the case, even after the merging of Lews Therin's memories with Rand's own. It's only after he fought the Last Battle that he was able to do this. And how did he gain this ability? My theory is that it's an effect of him channelling the True Power along with the One Power, and not only saidin, but saidar. The Forsaken can channel both the One Power and the True Power, but they can only channel one of these at a time, and I think it's safe to assume they never formed a circle with some members channelling one and some the other. I think channelling all three, and actually weaving with all three had a side effect of changing something of his nature as the Dragon and how that affects the Pattern. Another side effect of channelling all three together might be it burned out his ability to channel saidin. Somewhere in ToM (at least I think it was ToM), we were told that the Dragon and the land are one, or something to that effect, I don't know where to find the exact quote, but this is what allowed the land to be healthy when Rand was around while everywhere else things were dying due to the Dark One's influence. I think this is what was changed by Rand channelling all three powers, and now, Rand is able to control that link between his Dragon nature and the Pattern, allowing him to essentially change reality just by thinking it.

As for how Rand and Moridin switched bodies, the only clue we have is on p.872 of AMoL, where Moridin stabs his own hand, but Rand feels the pain and drops Callandor. My theory on this is less detailed, but I think something happened to link the two of them together while they touched the darkness when Rand went outside of reality where he could see the threads of the Pattern. Moridin always said they were connected in some way. Rand was the champion of the Light just as Moridin/Ishmael was the champion of the Dark One. And while Rand was talking with the Dark One and playing with possible futures, Moridin might have gained some knowledge that allowed him to do the trick with the knife, because that action on Moridin's part seemed very deliberate, like he knew that if he stabbed himself, Rand would feel the pain. That's about as far as I got on this theory, so I'm not sure how the switch itself might have happened, but it probably has something to do with this connection.
Janet Hopkins
107. JanDSedai
tkThompson @105
I had some unformed thoughts along those lines, also. But after all, Rand has done seven impossible things before breakfast all along, so explaining how he does what he does based on just one case is guess-work. It is not science until you can repeat the phenomenon at will.

You can sign in to the thread-- i.e., get your name to show up in gray rather than red-- by going to the tool bar under the logo.(next to 'settings' and 'log-out') Look for us on the spoiler review, and next week on the re-read of AMoL.

@106 No
108. Freelancer

Rand did not channel the True Power (or saidar for that matter) at Shayol Ghul. Moridin did. Rand wove the flows, but he did not touch it himself. That was the entire point of the trick, to have Moridin be the source for the True Power, and keep himself separated from it, lest saidin become tainted again. Moridin obliged, and played into Rand's hand. (Pardon the pun)

As for that, Moridin and Rand became "linked" at Shadar Logoth, when Rand was chasing down Sammael (ACoS, ch41). Both wove balefire at Mashadar, and their streams collided, Rand using saidin, Moridin using the True Power. Moridin knew the extent of their link when Semirhage meets Rand disguised as Tuon, in northern Altara (KoD, ch27), and ends up blowing Rand's hand off with a fireball. Moridin felt the pain of the injury, and cursed Semirhage for it. There are other examples of Moridin continuing to be aware of phantom damage to his left hand.

There's not enough information (intentionally) to determine the mechanics of the switch, but there is little doubt that it couldn't have been done other than in tel'aran'rhiod, and we know that there is almost no distinction between the two worlds near the Pit of Doom.

We should keep a running c0unt on how many times "Olver is Gaidal" pops up. No, he isn't.
Don Barkauskas
109. bad_platypus
Freelancer @108:
We should keep a running c0unt on how many times "Olver is Gaidal" pops up. No, he isn't.
As someone pointed out on another thread, it's a good possibility that the "people" who keep posting that are in fact one person switching usernames. It's probably best not to feed the troll(s).
110. Jack Harrison
While I'm sure some of the "Olver is Gaidal Cain" crowd are trolls, I suspect that at least some aren't the rabid fans we are.

We will be dealing with this until the end of the next age.
Rob Munnelly
111. RobMRobM
Looks like people are having fun here in the comments - maybe we should just call him Gaidalver and be done with it.

I'm holding off on a full re-read of the book until Leigh gets hers cranking this week. I find that if I pick it up to read a particular passage, I tend to head in the direction of Mat chapters. I guess that's the way I roll.
Robert Crawley
112. Alphaleonis
MereChristian55: I am with you in most of your postings above. But I wonder if your target is correct. Perhaps it was Brandon and not RJ that is responible for the line about the Dark One not being the enemy? That line was jarring for me as well, but having read much of BS and seeing similar lines in some of his other works, I just assumed it was his. Especially his line at the end of Mistborn where he said that the Lord Ruler hadn't really been evil after all, but had just been influenced by Ruin (the Mistborn equivalent of Satan). I wrote Brandon at the time that you could make the same rationalizations about Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Never got a reply back from him. I would never say that Hitler, Stalin and Mao were not evil, but were only influenced by Satan. I believe that anyone who allows himself to be influenced by Satan to that extent is evil. And Satan IS "the enemy".

Also, don't be so hard on yourself. As in post 104 - I assume the actions you mentioned were under orders. I also take it from your comments that you may not have felt anything at the time, but that you now do feel it. The reason that you felt nothing at the time, was that your situation wouldn't allow it. You will not deserve comdemnation for doing what had to be done at the time.
Bridget McGovern
113. BMcGovern
@MereChristian55: Stepping in as moderator here, I appreciate that your opinions on this topic are deeply held, and that you have an emotional investment in the matter at hand, but in the interest of having a calm, reasonable, and useful discussion of the books--which is the purpose of this forum--I think we need to move away from the personal and back to a more objective discussion, moving forward. Thank you.
Ryan Jackson
114. KakitaOCU
@ Alphaleonis, I think you may be mixing up the logic and reasoning there in your attempt to push credit to one author or another.

The idea that the DO is not the enemy is that the DO is a force. Human action lead to every problem the series faced.

It's akin to seeing the massive destruction of a storm or earthquake or other natural disaster and then accepting that said Disaster was not an "enemy", that any enemies to be had were people, either for failure to prepare, or for being opportunistic and selfish, or what have you.

@ Mere, to risk this dragging more than it needs to. While I personally have issues with anyone real suffering for any reason, that's not the same with fiction. In fiction I LIKE seeing the villain fall and be punished, not out of some desire to see suffering, but because far too often in real life the bad guy wins, so it's nice to escape and see them lose.

Beyond that, what about the very real and genuine enjoyment of ending a threat, not because the threat is suffering or being hurt but because now said threat can't harm anyone else?
Nadine L.
115. travyl
112. Alphaleonis
Not that we're discussing Mistborn here, but there are quite a few reasons why you can't compare the Lord Ruler to a real dictator. I don't want to spoil the book though, so I won't discuss it further.
I just could not let such a statement as yours stand unopposed.
116. Freelancer

In many people's philosophy, Satan is not the enemy. I do not refer to those who consider him more worthy of serving than the Creator, of them I have nothing to say. I mean that some take the view that he is no more than a "balancing" force found within ourselves, the temptation to balance the conscience. A sadly simplistic and self-serving worldview in my opinion, but not without adherents. A Creator whom anyone would consider benevolent and worthy of honor does not permit nor support a universe where evil and good are of equivalent power or value. The potential for evil must always exist, or else free will must be removed. That risk was considered acceptable to the Creator, in order to have beings who could willingly choose to love Him. While I know that Satan is my adversary, the larger enemy I must face is my own failure to accept and follow God's will day by day.

Regarding Ruin of Mistborn, this is yet a different analog. Ruin, in the final view, is not presented as inherently evil, though much of what it uses to accomplish its aims could easily be called evil by its victims. It is merely Chaos applied, with a narrow goal to push "evolution" via forced change.

I think that none of those find a proper parallel with the Dark One in the Wheel of Time structure. If it is no more than a force, from whence comes a clearly intelligent and emotion-laden personality? A Force can have no more than one source of energy, and one direction of application, with no ability to adapt or control the results. The Dark one has a mind to change; is capable of anger, rage, appreciation, disappointment; is capable of designs, of discrimination, of communication, of choice. It surely wishes to be considered an enemy. Killing the Dark One would not have discontinued free will. But in the cosmos designed for the story, it would have removed a force which demands response and action from those in the world capable of such, and would leave the world's inhabitants less, for not being pushed to be their best. It is not in agreement with what I believe, but it is consistent within itself, meriting the story and its author a better commendation by far than "he sucked at communicating it".
Deborah Kay-Morgan
117. moondivatx
Oh the topic of Rand's pipe. Remember he and Aviendha standing side by side after she looked at the forges of Shayol Ghul.

She said "Well, the greatest victory would be to take your enemy gai'shain."

At the end, he could not channel the One Power saidin or the True Power.

"He inspected it for a moment in the darkness, then thought of the pipe being lit. And it was."

I believe he holds the Dark One gai'shain. Cannot explain it..don't want to..that is just what I believe.
Roger Powell
118. forkroot
Moderators .. The troll is back at 106. Please do what you do so well ;-)
119. chh110
Did Mandarb really die? I keep re-reading the passages of the Lan/Demandred fight, but he never explicitly refers to Mandarb's death (okay, I read the book straight through while taking care of 2 babies and haven't slept in days, so perhaps I missed it again). Maybe this sounds weird, but of all the characters who died, I'm actually the saddest about Mandarb (if indeed he did die). I REALLY wanted him to finally have that chance to "retire" and give rides to Lan and Nynaeve's future kids.
Craig Jarvis
120. hawkido
@119 chh110 re: mandarb
Lan abandonded Mandarb to prevent his horse from being a target of channelers. It is fairly assumed that his mount survived. It would not have been a threat if un-approached, and be deemed as an asset if Lan were killed (they wouldn't know that Mandarb would try to kill any that approached it). Plus all eyes were on the third challenger to Demandred who immediately demonstrated that he was on a different tier than the first two challengers.
121. Freelancer
Lan is the best, there is no doubt. But it is too easy to sell Galad and Gawyn short in that regard. I think that they are on the same tier as Lan in raw skill. The difference here was that they went to win, Lan went to finish Demandred. You can fight differently when you give yourself nothing to lose, and choose to Sheath the Sword.

Remember who the other two have beaten over the course of the story. Each has defeated at least one blademaster; Gawyn beat three Bloodknives (the principle reason he felt confident in going against Demandred using the rings); Galad mowed down dozens in Samara.
Jay Dauro
122. J.Dauro
If you haven't seen Brandon's torchat, you do need to go read it. But from the beginning we are told:
There are three questions Brandon is not allowed to answer about the Wheel of Time:
1. Who Nakomi was.
2. How Rand lit the pipe at the end of the series.
3. How Rand and Moridin swapped bodies.

Not even Brandon knows what’s going with Rand’s pipe-lighting at the end of A Memory of Light. “I put it in as RJ instructed, and I know nothing more about it than fandom does, I’m afraid.”
So we can speculate all we want on the pipe. A definitive answer is not going to happen.
Deborah Kay-Morgan
123. moondivatx
@122 J Dauro
Thanks, yes I remember what Brandon said. It was just an idea I'd been toying with. After furthur thought, Rand has sealed the DO away, so he is not touching the world...probably!?!?
Jay Dauro
124. J.Dauro

I believe that is exactly what RJ wanted. We are to speculate, discuss, and continue pretty much as we have before. If everything was tied up, we would be out of fun.
125. oblivious_muse
Lastly, I think RJ based a lot of the strategies and battle plans on the game of Go, otherwise known as baduk and weiqi. It's a board game where players have to make concessions to gain an advantage and is frequently featured in his books, though in the WOT, it's referred to as stones.

BTW, did Morgase ever rally the troops when it seemed that Elayne had fallen in battle? I'm not sure if I dreamt that part or it was really in the book.
126. oblivious_muse
I'm oblivious to the happenings in the Wheel of Time, can someone clarify please? Is the Aiel woman some sort of diety or embodiment of mother nature? She seemed in a hurry to "see to nature".

Then again, maybe she just really needed to hide from Aviendha and find an outhouse? Also, somehow she's able to weave whatever it was that Rand was weaving while fighting the Dark One in those alternate realities. At least, heating up the pot to make it cook faster and finding such good ingredients suggests something preternatural is going on, right? Or maybe the Dark One's touch doesn't reach the Aiel Waste?

And another thing, what was the plan with Matrim Cauthon? Did RJ write anything related to Matt in the final book or was this all BS changing up his personality? I'm struggling to understand the way he was portrayed when making tough decisions during the climax of the series.

I thought that this series was RJ take on the 'coming of age' topic he takes his readers through since Book 1, hence all those numerous acknowledgments by the Wise Ones, the Aes Sedai, that old lady - I forgot her name, and most importantly, the return of Moraine. I'd surmise that Matt was to come to accept the memories of the dead as being a part of himself by making tough decisions and becoming a man. That is, making those costly sacrifices in the Final Battle when all seemed lost after the betrayal. And another thing.

The plot for Tarmon Gai'don seemed like another book altogether. I thought Demandred was supposed to appear when it seemed like the forces of the Light would be victorious, thus turning the tide and adding suspense. One more thing, did the Aes Sedai and Wise One's drop their marbles during Tarmon Gai'don or what? Ah well, nevermind. A job well done, I think.
127. Freelancer

One answer which Brandon provided regarding Nakomi, prior to the release of AMoL, was that she was an expert of tel'aran'rhiod. The suggestion then, is that the scene with Aviendha is not taking place in the waking world. If that is true, the "magical" cooking means nothing, since one can make what one imagines in the World of Dreams. And yet, it remains to wonder who and/or what she truly is.
Regarding Rand's fight with the dark one, there was no weaving going on in relation to the "possibilities" each showed to the other. That was pure will against will, in a place "outside" of normal reality. I half expected a philotically-created clone of Egwene to appear just after her death...
128. portal_stone
New here, but not new to the series. I started reading the very first book when I was 19 so that tells you how old I am! I appreciate many of the comments here. I have not participated in any online conversations or really researched/read the information that has been put out in the past. I just read the books and enjoyed them in my own little world. However, with the last book, I found that I had many unanswered questions so I started poking around to see if anyone had any answers. That's how I found this page.

I will say that I sort of wondered if Olver was Gaidal, and no I'm not a troll. I can see where folks would wonder that if they had not gotten online and kept up with the information that apparently somewhere it was debunked. That's okay with me. I still think it would have been a neat connection. I won't harp on it.

I'm really glad to know that Setalle Anan survived.

Does anyone know anything about Sulin? I did a quick reading AMOL, so maybe I skimmed over that part. Yes, I am guilty of skimming through some of the battle scenes. I desperately wanted to know how it ended. I am faithfully re-reading all of that now, so maybe I will come across it. Sulin was a character I really liked, and it would be great to know her fate.

I think some of theories being shared about the ending are great. I think that part of RJ's exploration was the idea of light/dark and good/evil throughout the entire series. It was an inherent part of character development; each character had to face their own inner darkness and make choices. In the end, Rand becomes aware that there must be balance. Part of the problem was that the world had fallen out of balance. I get some of this idea also from his potential Pattern where he visits Camelyn and sees Elayne and realizes that in his perfect world, there is still darkness. Without light and dark, humans cannot truly be, well, human. We have to have free will. Anyway, that is just some rambling to add to the conversation.

About the end. Wow, well, I was a little disappointed at first to think that Rand would not look like Rand anymore. But at the same time, he was restored to health - no missing hand, no wounds in his side. He also would be free to just exist and not have to lead everyone. After all, Rand was about 21, right? He deserves to have a regular life after all he sacrificed. I am curious about how his different appearance would impact how the three women see him. Will he know his children? How would they explain him to the children? (As a mother, I have to admit that I have been really wondering about this. They should get to know their father and he, them.....)

I had some theories about how the book would end, and none of them came true. haha! For instance, I thought perhaps Min would die. I don't have a reason why, I just thought it would fit. I also thought that Perrin was going to die and that Nynaeve would finally figure out how to Heal death. Throughout the series, she would say several times that even death should be able to be Healed. And there was that viewing by Min of Nynaeve kneeling over someone in a posture of grief..... But as I said, I was way off. It was interesting to speculate....

I was surprised and saddened by the death of Egwene. She was one of my favorite characters, and I could see a very long life ahead of her, helping the land to heal, and leading the White Tower to a better future, but alas......

I love this series. I feel a loss that there is no book to look forward to. This has been a part of my life all these years through many trials and tribulations on my own life's "wheel of time journey" so to speak. I don't know that I will find another series that will captivate my imagination or my heart such as this.

Having said that, I did feel - like many of you - that there were many things that seemed short-changed or not fully resolved, and questions that would be nice to have the answers to. I also felt that some of my favorite characters - Mat and Avienda - were......changed....... by the change in author's voice. That made me a little sad. At the same time, I am deeply grateful that BS took on this epic task and allowed us to have an ending.

So, thanks for letting me share some thoughts.
Alice Arneson
129. Wetlandernw
portal_stone @128 – Welcome to the craziness that is online fandom. :)

Well, wondering about Olver was pretty obvious, but a closer read should make it fairly clear that time can’t run backwards, even in the Dream World. Since Olver was running around the “real world” while Gaidal Cain was running around Tel’aran’rhiod, they can’t be the same person, right? It’s easier to be confident saying this when you know the author said it right out loud, but it is there in the text. Incidentally, the same logic applies to Jur Grady’s ugly son Gadren. FWIW, my long-standing theory is that Gadren now has a little brother… probably not named Gaidal, but Gaidal nonetheless.

Sulin: as near as I can tell, she is not mentioned in AMoL. One can only assume that she’d be there at Shayol Ghul, doing her bit.

Re: Nynaeve healing death… you aren’t the only one to expect that! Many of us did – it seemed so thoroughly foreshadowed, right? Oh well.

I think we all feel a bit sad that it’s over, even though we’re grateful to finally read the end. Brandon and Harriet are probably the two people most in the forefront of wishing RJ had been able to finish it instead of Brandon, but most of us have learned to live with it. On the bright side, I might never have heard of this Sanderson character if it hadn’t been for him finishing the WoT, and he’s now my favorite living author, so there’s that…
130. Freelancer
Nynaeve not Healing death was, by far, the largest unrequited expectation of the series for me. So very many things whose foreshadowing was carefully veiled came to fruition, it seemed inconceivable (yes, I said it!) that this one, which was quite plain for all to see, would not.
131. portal_stone
Wetlandernw@129: Thanks for the welcome!

When I read what you wrote about Olver, I was like "DUH!" Well that is obvious. I feel pretty dense-headed. haha. But then again, there is so much in these books that I will be gentle with myself on this one. But, yeah, well...... a closer read would make that clear.

Perhaps a future encylopedia will provide some information on Sulin. She was a minor character, surely, and yet she was around quite a bit until the more recent books. She viewed Rand as a first-brother, and she was just always there. To me, not knowing how she fared would be like not knowing how Rhuarc fared.

Yes, it is very sad that RJ did not live to see the end of this amazing creation. How wonderful that he cared enough to leave notes and material enough for the series to be ended! I have not read anything of Sanderson's books yet (mostly because I have been busy with WOT) but I am planning to pick up one next. Is there one of his series that you would recommend I start with?

Wetlandernw@129 and Freelancer@130: Well, at least I'm not the only one who thought the Nynaeve Healing death thing was going to happen. That really would have been cool, and yet it would have probably not fit in the overall philosophy. When I start to think about it, I am reminded of when Rand tried to bring the little girl back to life in the Stone and how Moraine told him that death could not be reversed. There are other times during the series when this idea is mentioned. If she could Heal death then it opens up a bag of worms about so many things..... But still, it did seem to be so clearly foreshadowed.

I have often thought that a college course on the Wheel of Time series would be phenomenal. It could incorporate so much: discussion of literature, writing, the fantasy genre, philosophy, ethics, meaning of life, discussion about what the author meant/intended, and more.......

I was also wondering what the general idea was on the online community about the movie rights being sold, to Universal, right? I have such mixed feelings. If it could be done true to the books, more or less along the lines of LOTRs, then perhaps..... But I don't think any studio will take on 14 books. But perhaps if it was done in a TV series along the lines of Game of Thrones.... Anyway, I would rather them not do it if it cannot be done to the very best that does service to the books.
Alice Arneson
132. Wetlandernw
portal_stone @131 – Yeah, I know – once someone points it out, it’s glaringly obvious. But until then… not so much. I suspect most of us had to have a little help to see it the first time.

As far as digging in to Sanderson’s worlds, I would suggest Elantris or Warbreaker. They’re both stand-alone books, so you’re not diving into another big series until you’re already sold on his work. :) I suspect many would recommend the Mistborn books first; it’s currently a trilogy with one additional book set 300 years later. Depends on whether you like longer series or solo books more. I’m absolutely loving his Stormlight Archive epic – only one book out yet, The Way of Kings; the second hopefully coming this fall/winter – but it’s a giant bite to start on. He throws you straight into the world-building, and many people find that it takes them about 10 chapters to feel like they have their feet under them. I didn’t find it so, but many do. It depends on what you enjoy and how readily you adapt to slightly bizarre worlds. (If you decide to read Way of Kings, and you read fast, tordotcom has just started a reread of it in preparation for the arrival of book 2. It might be a fun way to get involved; it's one of those books in which you learn much, much more the second time through, because you recognize significant things that you didn't know you'd care about the first time through.)

I can’t speak to the desires of the general fandom re: movies, but personally I’m not super big on it. Mostly, I don’t think movies ever quite do justice to the original. If it were to be done as a series of TV mini-series, it would have potential, I think, but I’d dread seeing the casting and the ways they’d visualize things so differently than I do. That’s just me: I have mental images of everything, and if the movie doesn’t match I find it difficult to enjoy. I’d just as soon they didn’t, even though there are some scenes that have enormous cinematographic potential.
Genhi Whitmer
134. portal_stone
Wetlandernw@132: Thanks for the recommendations! I will check them out.

I know this sounds odd, but I have actually had dreams of WOT, as if I were an Aes Sedai and had a Warder. I could feel the bond and see the weaves. Crazy, I know. But it was so real! I think a movie or TV series would ruin how I see that world....
135. GuanYu79
Hey guys I'm big into updating the WoT wiki and came across Carlyna's entry. Could someone help me with the viewing part of her. She is seen with a raven tatoo and when asked Brandon says RARO. Is there any update to this.
I to was a bit gutted with Sulin and Dobraine absent from the last book as both had consistently appeared through the book.
Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
Carlinya was killed in the battle against the Black Ajah in Tel'aran'rhiod. As far as I know, it's never been clearly explained by Team Jordan. Go back to the details of Min's viewing:
"an image of a raven floating beside her dark hair; more a drawing of the bird than the bird itself. She thought it was a tattoo, but she did not know its meaning."
Many people jumped to the conclusion that it meant Carlinya would be made property of the Seanchan, since they were tattooed with a raven. If you read carefully, it only says Min thought it was a tattoo, and she didn't know what it meant. I take it to mean her death a) at the hands of the shadow and b) in the Dream World rather than the waking world.
137. Freelancer
portal_stone @131

Elantris is a wonderful single-volume epic, and an excellent introduction to Brandon's enveloping cosmere. His first professionally published novel, the characters and events are captivating.

Warbreaker, I would hesitate to recommend as easily for a first read of Brandon's works. Not that it is a lesser story, by any means. I love the magic system, the intrigue, the surprises and twists along the way. The hardcover first edition retained an unfortunate number of errors from the draft document version of the novel (which remains available as a free download from Brandon's website). Cursed with proofreader's eyes, each typo or duplicated word snapped my reading to a halt, and diminished my enjoyment of the book. Hopefully, later printings have removed most or all of the errors.

If one looks carefully, there are two quite enjoyable short stories floating around as well. Firstborn, and Defending Elysium, both closer to classic futuristic sci-fi tales, are well worth the time to read.
138. Notgivenafark
@14 I really expected her to live. ESPECIALLY, through everything she encountered. I mean, she faced more dangerous, potentially fatal situations than most of the major characters in the series. How could she make it that far and then get taken out so easily??!! I almost chunked my book through the cab window when I read that! I felt the need to beat the cabbie over the head, smash the windshield, rip my clothes off and jump into oncoming traffic! I was just that MAD!
139. Dern
I've been reading and rereading these books for over half my life, but it's just so much information. So I have a question, if anyone could help me out. I've looked over a lot of the thread and still have it.

1. When is the other time the Creator talks to Rand in all caps, besides when he is standing right outside the hole in AMoL?

Also, thanks to everyone posting. The main thing I struggled with in the final book (besides the series being over!) was a lot of unanswered questions. Disappointed to not know who Nakomi is, but that makes sense. However, a lot of my other questions have been answered here, or at least discussed.
Alice Arneson
140. Wetlandernw
Dern @139 - It's in the very first book, near the end (Chapter 51), when Rand is at Tarwin's Gap. "IT IS NOT HERE" etc. There was a lot of debate over the years as to whether this was the Dark One or the Creator; I think the "conversation" outside the Pit was written partly to confirm for us that the one in TEotW really was the Creator, and that the time and place he referred to in that case was the one here in AMoL. Tarwin's Gap was not the place for the great battle against the DO: it wasn't the place for Rand to give his all.
141. Hopper
Hi all,

First of all my favorite character was hopper. Him dying without even having the chance of being reborn was devastating. Then they killed bela... Really, just shoot me in the knees then the head.

Questions: how did faile get all the way from near shayol ghul to merillor. It's half a continent away?

How did perin smell her under a pile of dead things. What soap was she using which's fragrance lasted a two mile ride and being covered in trolloc guts?

First time I read the part where perin goes zipping through the wolf dream I skipped the page and thought she had actually died. It was sad but gave some depth, then I realzed that I had flipped two pages by mistake and saw that she was saved(the hawk signaling where she was.... How exactly did she enter the wolf dream?)..... Happy ending. Too happy.
Alice Arneson
142. Wetlandernw
Faile got from the Blight to Merrilor the same way Olver did - through a gateway. Team Dark was using gateways to send stuff to their armies at Merrilor, same way as Team Light. As for Perrin's sense of smell - he's got wolf senses. You know how dogs can smell exactly the scent they're searching for in amongst all the other weird smells? Yeah, me neither.
143. LOLoial
Regarding Nakomi being a former Dragon...
Jordan ruled that the Dragon Reborn is always born from the male half, which seemingly eliminates the possibility of Nakomi being a former Dragon Reborn.
It is still possible however that Nakomi was a previous dragon that sealed up the bore in a previous age, and did a body switch with a woman instead of a man at the end instead. Nakomi and Rand now have the same impossible pipe powers (Nakomi did it with the coals), and the food both tasted better when they were near.
Aginor / Aran'gar was resurrected as a woman, while still tied to the male half. So it is possible that Nakomi was a former Dragon and would be tied to the male half if she could still channel (why bother if you could just wish things). In addition, Nakomi could have channeled the male half in front of Avi to warm the coals, and Avi wouldn't have known (as she didn't know how to detect male channeling at that point). But I prefer to believe she was doing the Rand impossible pipe trick rather than using the male half.
144. Isaac lumzzie
i think rand became the creator
ill explain;

1) as we all know the wheel DEMANDS balance, the dark one to destroy the creator to create.if we were to put them on a scale, the dread lords would be equal to the Aes' sadia and Ashaman, the chosen would be equal to the chosen of the light which would be Egwene ( the first dream walker in centuries), Elayne (Firsrt Angrial maker in centuries), Aviendha ( First person to be able to tell what an angrial does maybe ever in history), Nynaeve ( the first person ever to be able to heal compulsion, the madness and being severed from the source). you will also note that all these people manifested those abilities after an encounter with Rand.

2) the dark one never refered to rand as "the dragon reborn" or "Lews Therin" or any other names but only ADVERSARY. It is unrealistic to say the adversary of such a being is a human on the same level of the chosen.

3) i bielive the plan of the wheel was to create a creator which rand completed when he recieved the secrets of the universe, a being on equal knowledge with the dark one to complete the balance. and knowing this thats why rand knew he must not kill the dark one because it is his other half lest the wheel create another dark one.
145. Erik Pierce
Too many comments to read through. If it's already been addressed i'm sorry, but is there any knowledge on whether the deals made with the seafolk and kin are kept? I don't remember reading anything about it and as far as I know it was still undecided since Elayne had made promises in Caemlyn.
146. mayukh
in the fire of heaven rand learns of mat's memory of past but in a memory of light he appears clueless and moiraine says he doesn't need to know of mat's memory. why?
147. Aaron Uhrlaub
If the Forsaken/Chosen lived during the Age of Legends when they were able to make ter'angreal, angreal, and sa'angreal, why were they so worked up over finding stores of them in stasis boxes and what not? Could they not have simply made more themselves since they lived in an age where that knowledge was thought to be common?
Alice Arneson
148. Wetlandernw
Not everyone has the ability to make *greal. Given the number of channelers during the AOL, it's no surprise if someone with a particular specialty didn't choose to make an effort to learn another skill for which they had no real talent - there were plenty of others to do it.
149. Luxiur
Merechristian55@75: I think it's important to remember that the WoT universe is completely seperate from our own. It may include references to Jesus, but that doesn't mean that Rand is Jesus or that Jesus is another Dragon. Same goes for Mat/Odin and Perrin/Thor.
150. Luxiur
Also, any chance that Nakomi is Hoid in disguise? (Jk but it's a funny thought)
151. Donaldo
This is way off topic... but just as the "Dark One" is imprissoned... what if there was a section in the ever turning of the wheel that the "Creator" kinda went a little nutso and tried to take the evil out?

Then you have some anti-heros running around trying to seal him up just to get things back to normal because in the end... isnt that all we really want? A 9-5 job with 2.3 kids and a nice cell phone?
152. bones
One question i have and haven't seen anyone ask: we know that if a channeller is stilled/gentled the person is freed from effects of the oath rod. Now what happens if the channeller was turned then severed? Does the person still remain turned or is the person free from the effect?

One other question about AMOL: the darkhounds, how did they die? I know Perrin killed one with his hammer and there were wolves bound to the horn and all but I don't remember reading about any of other darkhound being killed
153. nidias1110
Regarding the cyclical timeline, IIRC when the human-wolf connection is being explained at one point, sorry I don't remember where, there was mention of it being common and stronger during the early or first turnings of the wheel.

As for the ending, I followed it pretty well, but I had wished that the following weeks to month of the immediate aftermath would have been covered for the main characters, excluding Rand, of course, as that was obviously to remain mysterious.
Drew McCaffrey
154. PallonianFire
@84 hawkido

I asked that very question at the aMoL midnight release. Specifically, "Is it possible for channelers to be tied to the Horn?"

The response was, verbatim: "I don't see why not."
155. hesuchia
I personally think Rand wasn't insulting Moridin by calling him Elan. I listened to the audiobook so I can't look it up readily, but at some point during the escape from the cave or in that area, he mentioned something about his "friend". Perhaps that he couldn't leave him in there, but I can't remember for sure. I think through his conversations with Moridin, he learned why Moridin served the shadow -- because he hated what he'd become and done so much that he wanted to end everything so as not to suffer it anymore. Rand went through the same thing right before his epiphany in TGS, so far as to say "maybe he's right". I think their "bond" with one another led to Moridin not wanting to hurt Rand because he would be hurt too, and thus they got to discuss things more calmly and Rand began to sympathize with him. He kept trying to convince him to come back to the light. Overall I think LTT wanted to bring his old friend back and save him from his suffering.

Also, regarding the pipe, I believe it did have something to do with his stepping outside of the pattern and learning to weave "possibile" worlds and break the DO's. Also when he reached into the Bore, the book said he now knew "all secrets" and something like "space, time, and size were meaningless". That last part was about the DO, but he said it generally/vaguely. Anyway, after the battle, he probably remembered at least some of the secrets of the universe and was able to manipulate the pattern from inside it. Maybe he even could jump into a parallel, "possible" universe where the pipe was lit. I'm more shaky on that theory but it's an interesting thought.

Though I still wonder why, when he couldn't detect saidin anymore, he said he was very "relieved". Most people suffer after burning out -- they lose the magnified senses and amazing feeling of the power. Even if he has a greater power now, those heightened feelings are gone. All the vibrant colors, etc that they constantly describe are highly pleasurable. It doesn't seem like he'll have that again. Though I do hope that he still lives an elongated life even though he's not a "channeler" anymore. He deserves it.

I also hated Cadsuane at the end, how when she realized Rand was alive in Moridin, her first thought was how she could "use" that information. He saved the fricking world and she constantly said through the books that she didn't care what happened to him as long as he beat the DO in the end. Wanting to use him and tie strings to him after he saved her existence is pretty darn bitchy.
156. squall lionheart
I think Nakomi could be the Creator's real-world form, similar to how Shaidar Haran is the DO's. They apparently both are able to do things using a power channelers cannot detect. Also, all of the dark's forces have a light counterpart, even balefire, so why not Haran, too?
John Q
157. jtquinn
Does everyone agree that Olver is Gaidal Cain reborn? I may have missed this in all the reponses but just wanted to throw that out. If I missed it my apologies.
Alice Arneson
158. Wetlandernw
jtquinn @157 - Just in case you're serious, it is firmly established that Olver is, in fact, NOT Gaidal Cain.
159. jtquinn
Wetlandernw@158- thank you but can you tell me how you came to that conclusion? I only ask becaus of Mins viewing of Birgitte when she sees an older Gaidal and a younger one. We all know Birgitte loves ugly men and Olver apparently is very ugly.
Alice Arneson
160. Wetlandernw
jtquinn @159 - Gladly! I just wasn't sure if you were serious or not.

The primary proof is that Olver is simply too old. He was already running around with Mat, about age 9 or 10, when we saw Gaidal in Tel'Aran'Rhiod. While time sometimes runs differently there, it never runs backwards, so the fact that Cain was still in the dream world means that he couldn't be spun out already.

Since we last saw him in the dream world along about the end of June 999 NE (in TSR Ch. 52), we know he can't possibly be more than about a year old in AMoL. Depending on when one spins out to be reborn (somewhere between conception and birth) he could have been born right about June or July 999 NE, or perhaps not until as late as March or April 1000 NE.

In the "esoterica" department, RJ had indicated that the spinning out happened as soon as the fetus became viable (though he refrained from specifying his opinion on when that happens). In the end of AMoL, however, Birgitte says that "Somewhere, a woman is preparing to give birth, and I will go to that body," implying that the spinning out happens at birth.

In either case, though, Olver is eliminated - he was born long before Gaidal Cain was spun out. FWIW, the same applies to Gadren Grady, Jur Grady's ugly son; Rand thinks of him as "about four years old" when he first appears on the page in Lord of Chaos (Ch. 3), only a few months after Cain disappeared from the dream world.

There's also the fact that RJ point-blank denied that Olver = Cain in a Q&A somewhere along the line, but unless you read all the transcripts, there's no way to know that.

My theory, which will have to remain officially unconfirmed at least until the Encyclopedia comes out, is that Sora Grady bore another son while Jur was off with Rand, and that boy is Gaidal Cain reborn.
161. archeotech
Regarding Nakomi I really believe she was either a time traveler from the future or a spirit with knowledge of the future. If Aviendra hadn't met her then she probably wouldn't have gone through the pillars again to see the future. But when Nakomi changed the future by talking to Aviendra she disappeared.

I also thought Olver was Cain but damn that's annoying as it would've fit perfectly if Birgitte was reborn as Tuon's child.
162. JaimieR
Maybe Nynaeve aided in the switching of Rand/Elan's bodies, and that is how the foreshadowing of her curing death was fulfilled?
163. test123
Sooo not sure if anyone will reply to this, but I hope so.
I just finished reading/rereading the entire series & wrapped up a memory of light last night/this morning & I had so many questions. I tried googling as much as I could, I did find some answers but I have at least a couple of unanswered concerns/questions.
Is there anything documented or in an interview with either Brandon or Harriet in regards to:
1. Is Aviendha physically challenged now, can she/will she be able to walk again(I may have to reread that again).
Will she be having Rand's babies, is she pregnant? I think her 3rd viewing in Rhuidean might be different depending on events that happened?
2. *why* is Rand being anonymous? I must have totally missed out on the reason. I just can't fathom how that's gonna work especially with the trinity knows he is still alive. I mean other people are going to figure it out no?
Thanks for listening or if you can point me in the right direction(website/link/another forum whatever). Cheers!
Alice Arneson
164. Wetlandernw
test123 @163 - Well, this is kind of off the top of my head, but...

1. As far as I know, there's been no comment on whether Aviendha is permanently disabled, but given access to the best Healers around, it should be minimal (my opinion). Also, IIRC she is definitely pregnant, and will actually have those quadruplets who can channel from birth. Her "way-forward" vision has been prevented by some of the actions already taken (e.g., the involvement of the Aiel in the treaty at Merrilor), and differences have already been seen (e.g. Rhuarc's death in the battle at Thakan'dar), but some things will remain the same.

2. There are a lot of possible reasons for Rand going off anonymously. One is to avoid the weird situation of being himself in someone else's body - just try to explain that and make everyone happy! Another is that he's simply exhausted and needs to rest without the weight of the world on his shoulders. Yet another is that the world needs to work out how to function without turning to him for every answer and solution. IMO, this last is the key, and the first is what makes it possible.

As you say, Min/Avi/Elayne know perfectly well that he's alive, and so does Cadsuane. At this point, none of them have any interest in letting the rest of the world know. It's possible that others will eventually figure it out, or that he'll simply reveal himself to those he wants - Tam, Mat, Perrin, Nynaeve, maybe others? But for now, the only way for him to let the world get on with getting on is to just go away; dissociate his current form from anything to do with the Last Battle and particularly Thakan'dar, wander with a new name and develop a new history. Eventually he'll reconnect with The Three, but that's another story - one that we won't be told.

There will be some information in the forthcoming Companion book, but I honestly doubt that there will be anything about what happens to Rand. I think that will intentionally be left open.

If you want a black hole to suck you in with questions and answers, try the Theoryland interview database... :D

Hope that helps a little!
165. test123
Wetlandernw, 1st off thanks for taking the time & effort in replying, I really appreciate it! Wow that link is crazy! Might take me years to go through all of that, hah!
Yeah, I hope I can find something official from Harriet/Brandon or um Maria in regards to Aviendha's health, it would really break my heart if she won't be able to walk again and if she is pregnant for sure or not.
I still am flabbergasted Rand wouldn't tell his close friends & family he is still alive, but you make some very good points on that.
Now I've been trying to figure out is Galad dead?(I am also surprised Berelin didn't jump his bones haha!)
Last minor point/question: Who knows/knew that Mat rescued Moirane? Rand & Perrin, what about Egwene/Nynaeve/Lan/Elayne/Aviendha/Loial? I hope they knew that Mat rescued Moirane, anyone know if Brandon or Harriet or Maria answered that question ever?
Thanks again for the discussion! Cheers!
166. Eric27
I would like to think that during the battle in shadow waiting when rand and mordin balefire touched something hapened that linked them.
167. Carlucci
As to Rand taking Moridin's body in the end, I believe it is as simple as him transmigrating his soul as the Dark One could do when he was sealing the bore with Callandor :)
168. portal_stone
Doing yet another re-read of the series. I am really taking my time this time around, and it is interesting how much I pick up on.

I still really miss the series (as in, knowing there was more to come). I also still find the end does not feel quite right to me. Perhaps it is just because I hoped for a better ending for Rand, one where he could be with all those he loved and be at peace. He deserved that, really.

I also think that it has been difficult to let go of the unanswered questions or dropped characters/stories.

Also, does anyone know if there is another forum still going on to discuss the series, or is this the best place to discuss it?

Alice Arneson
169. Wetlandernw
Leigh Butler is doing a rereread right here on tordotcom. Tuesdays, IIRC, and it goes up about 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.
170. portal_stone
@Wetlandernw 169. Thanks!

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