Jun 4 2013 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread: A Memory of Light, Part 16

Wheel of Time A Memory of Light Robert Jordan Brandon SandersonHoly domesticated South American camelid, Batman, it’s a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 16 of A Memory of Light, in which Rand is baffling, Moiraine is… brief, Loial is unsettling, and Lan WINS ALL THE THINGS. As usual.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general. The index for all things specifically related to the final novel in the series, A Memory of Light, is here.

Also, for maximum coolness, the Wheel of Time Re-read is also now available as e-books, from your preferred e-book retailer!

This re-read post, and all posts henceforth, contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

Before we start: I have a non-spoiler review up of the WOT short story “River of Souls” in the upcoming Unfettered anthology! LOOKIT.

And onward!

Chapter 16: A Silence Like Screaming

What Happens
Loial reflects on his fascination with humans and their hastiness as he moves through Braem Wood with Erith and the other Ogier, heading for the bridge over the Erinin. He thinks that the trees feel wrong.

If he drew close to them, he felt he could hear something. A silence like screaming. It was not a sound, but a feeling.

He and the other Ogier begin their war song as they move to attack, relieving the Whitecloaks, and Loial is glad for the rage that fills him, and for the fear he sees in the Trollocs at the Ogier’s advance. He is furious that the Shadow has made the Ogier into destroyers instead of builders, and he is determined to make them regret that.

Galad exclaims in shock as he watches the Ogier’s ferocious assault. He finds their transformation even more disturbing than the unnaturalness of the Trollocs. Golever and Trom are watching, too, and Golever declares that the Ogier are Shadowspawn. Galad dryly points out that they are slaughtering Trollocs, but Golever opines that they will turn on them. Then they watch as the Ogier hunt down and slaughter the rank of Trollocs that attempt to flee.

“Well?” Trom asked.

“Maybe…” Golever said. “Maybe it’s a scheme of some kind. To gain our trust.”

“Don’t be a fool, Golever,” Trom said.

Galad tells them to shut up and head for the bridge.

Back at Merrilor, Rand tells Nynaeve that he must go to Mat next. He reflects that Aviendha’s deerhorn dagger ter’angreal seems to be working, shielding him from the Shadow, but that he needs to take care of the Seanchan before he can move on. Moiraine approaches and comments that she used to spend hours trying to figure out what Rand was thinking. Rand tells her he was a fool for not trusting her, for being so stubborn. Moiraine replies that it was also a desire to prove himself.

Rand shook his head. He reached up to Callandor, strapped on his back, touching it. The sword’s final secret lay bare to him now. It was a trap, and a clever one, for this weapon was a sa’angreal not just for the One Power, but for the True Power as well.

He had thrown away the access key, but on his back he carried something so very tempting. The True Power, the Dark One’s essence, was the sweetest thing he had ever touched. With Callandor, he could draw it forth in strength such as no man had ever before felt. Because Callandor lacked the safety measures of most other angreal and sa’angreal, there was no telling how much of the Powers it could draw.

Moiraine asks what he is planning now, and he congratulates her on her skill in bringing the conversation around to that before informing her that he intends to not just defeat the Dark One, but kill him. Moiraine replies that the Dark One is “beyond killing,” but Rand does not agree, and says he has more confidence in his ability to kill the Dark One than to seal him back up. Moiraine tells him that the Dark One is part of the Wheel and the Pattern, and cannot be taken out of it, but Rand disagrees with that too. She calls the intention “a fool’s task.”

“I have been a fool before,” Rand said. “And I shall be one again. At times, Moiraine, my entire life — all that I’ve done — feels like a fool’s task. What is one more impossible challenge? I’ve met all the others. Perhaps I can accomplish this one too.”

She tightened her grip on his arm. “You have grown so much, but you are still just a youth, aren’t you?”

He tells her he is four centuries old, one of the oldest people still alive, and she asks if that line worked on the others. He grins and says it worked on Cadsuane; Moiraine is not so sure of that, but counters that memories do not make him ancient, otherwise Mat would be “the patriarch of them all.” Rand asks what that means, but Moiraine skirts the question to say Rand is still “a wide-eyed sheepherder” at heart, and she prefers it that way. They discuss the Seanchan, and Moiraine asks what he will do if they refuse to negotiate.

“I don’t know,” Rand said softly. “If they don’t fight, Moiraine, we will lose. If they don’t join the Dragon’s Peace, then we have nothing.”

“You spent too much time on that pact,” Moiraine said. “It distracted you from your goal. The Dragon is not to bring peace, but destruction. You cannot change that with a piece of paper.”

Rand is not convinced, but thanks her for her advice. She replies that he can thank her by bringing her tea, and he laughs and obeys.

After Rand leaves, Moiraine reflects on how he is such a contradictory combination of humility and arrogance, and wonders if he has finally found the right balance between the two. She thinks he has become a man, despite what she said before, but that that only meant his mistakes would be more dangerous. She remembers her mantra, “The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills,” but wishes that weaving was easier to understand.

Lan’s forces stop their retreat along the banks of the Mora. The ruins of Fal Dara and Fal Moran smolder on the horizon, destroyed by their own people to deny their resources to the Trollocs. They have fourteen channelers now to set against the enemy’s Dreadlords, led by the Asha’man Deepe, and the cavalry charges the Trollocs’ ranks for the first time in four days. The Trollocs concentrate on his banner, and Lan hears them shout Murdru Kar, Murdru Kar, Murdru Kar over and over as they attack. Lan sees his bannerman Andere fall, and he and Kaisel fight to his side. Lan dismounts and engages the Myrrdraal about to kill Andere, but sees a second Fade join in, and realizes it was a trap for him.

The two Fades attacked, one from each side. The void did not shake. A sword could not feel fear, and for that moment, Lan was the sword. The Heron Spreads Its Wings. Slashing all around him, blocking their blades with his own, back and forth. The Myrddraal were like water, flowing, but Lan was the wind itself. He spun between their blades, knocking back the attack to the right, then the one to the left.

Lan kills both Fades nearly simultaneously, taking down the fists of Trollocs linked to them as well, and drags Andere and the banner both to safety. He hears Kaisel exclaim in awe at his feat, but ignores it to order Deepe to signal their retreat and the advance of the next wave. Away from the front line, Deepe Heals Andere’s worst injuries, and Kaisel approaches to complain that Tenobia is riding with the Saldaeans again, and that it is encouraging the other Saldaean women to do the same. Lan cuts him off:

“This war is everything or nothing. If I could round up each woman in the Borderlands and put a sword in her hands, I would. For now, I’ll settle for not doing something stupid— like forbidding some trained and passionate soldiers from fighting. If you, however, decide not to exercise that prudence, you are free to tell them what you think. I promise to give you a good burial once they let me take your head down off the pole.”

“I… Yes, Lord Mandragoran,” Kaisel said.

Lan observes the starving Trollocs scavenging the field for corpses to eat, and waits until they are completely distracted by fighting over the food to signal an all-out attack. Disorganized and out of formation, the Trollocs fall in droves. When the Dreadlords realize what is happening and join back in, Lan signals the retreat. Then Deepe exclaims in horror and points out a figure on the back of a siege engine; it is the M’Hael, and Lan orders everyone to run. Then a bolt of lightning hurls Lan from his horse. Kaisel and his guard rescue Lan, but he sees that Deepe has been blown to pieces.

Aw, bye, Deepe. Your name was kind of funky but I vaguely recall that you were cool in TOM, so.

Meanwhile, in the least shocking news ever, Lan is a badass two-Fade-killin’ muthafucka. This was probably much more impressive the first time around, when I didn’t yet know that Lan would basically be spending the rest of the book serially one-upping his own badassedness. Now I’m just nodding and saying excellent start, old bean, bravo. *golf clap*

Of course, the main reason to love Lan in this chapter is his epic schooling of Kaisel for being stupid about women in combat, which made me want to explode glitter and sparkly hearts everywhere, because THANK YOU, SHEESH. The idea of not allowing half of the human race to help defend against its own extinction… there are not enough *headdesks* in the world, really. But for the official count, let’s round it to a nice three:

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

My only quibbles about this are, naturally, (a) it would be even better if we didn’t have to have an actual apocalypse under way to acknowledge that those who want to fight should be allowed to bloody well do so, gender be damned, and (b) Lan couldn’t have ever mentioned this philosophy to Rand, and maybe reduced Our Hero’s angst saturation by like 2000% over the course of the story? Ah well.

(And for those of you ready to start up the debate again over women in combat in non-apocalyptic situations, all I ask is that you go read this wonderful article first, and then come back here and talk about it. For extra credit, read this one too, which is even more amazing but broader in scope than this particular issue.)

Speaking of schooling, I also got a kick out of Trom finally getting fed up with the standard Whitecloak narrative that everything is a cannibalistic llama (which is something that will make sense when you read that article, read that article) and telling Golever to shut it. Like, thank you, dude, for finally seeing what’s in front of you instead of what you’ve told to see.

That said, like Galad, I found the whole Ogier thing and Loial’s POV in particular in this chapter a tad disturbing, if not necessarily for the same reasons. It’s not that I begrudge them their ferocity — because if you’re going to fight, you know, you might as well commit to the enterprise, especially if that increases your chances of survival — but Loial’s thoughts were, again, an uncomfortable echo of the ones Egwene had had in an earlier chapter:

Swing after swing. Chopping dead wood, that was all this was. Dead, rotting, horrible wood.

[…] He sang and fought and roared and killed, hacking at Trollocs with an axe meant for cutting wood, and never flesh. Working with wood was a reverent business. This… this was killing weeds. Poisonous weeds. Strangling weeds.

And again, I get it. This is the one kind of war (i.e. an imaginary one) in which your enemies really are the faceless nameless inhuman purely evil things we generally have to lie to ourselves to make them be, but again I have that reflexive twitch. I’m not sure this is something I would even have noticed, fifteen years ago.

Moiraine: I could definitely be wrong, but I think this is the only POV we get from her in all of AMOL. And if so, I have to say it was kind of a massive waste of an opportunity to visit with her a little more. I know that, as usual, we are pressed for space here, but man would I have loved to get a little more of her perspective, not just on Rand, but on all the crap she’s missed since TFOH. Not to mention her own state of mind re: Lan and Lanfear and yadda bling bloo. Or hey, a passing thought about her best friend Siuan, even, who she’ll never see again.

I also kind of wished that Rand would have brought up his List to her, considering her position at the very tippy-top of it, and maybe how much her return meant to him on that level, because if Rand were ever going to talk to anyone about that it would have been to her. I dunno, I just felt like there were a lot of things which could have been at least alluded to in this little interlude that weren’t.

Also: wow, way to go, Rand. He acknowledges how stupid he was to never listen to Moiraine, in the exact same breath he is still ignoring all her advice. That’s just special, right there.

(Also, possibly-corrected-later continuity gaffe: Nynaeve has a line right at the beginning of the Rand POV, and then either mysteriously vanishes, or is silently present for the entirety of Rand’s conversation with Moiraine, which seems… odd.)

And then there’s Rand, and the absolute bomb he dropped in this chapter, in his thoughts about Callandor. Which was, of course, the revelation that Callandor amplifies the True Power as well as the One Power. Which I’m pretty sure elicited an actual out loud “Say what?” from me on first reading, because where the hell did that come from?

When did Rand learn this utterly flabbergasting piece of knowledge, and what’s more, how did he learn it? Perhaps I just missed something, which is as usual entirely possible, but I’m pretty sure that from the reader’s point of view, at least, this information came out of literally nowhere.

Seriously, I am at a loss. Rand can’t know about it from Lews Therin’s memories, because Lewsy was dead before Callandor was ever made. And I know Min was researching Callandor, and that there had been allusions made previously about there being “something more” to the mystery of The Sword That Ain’t, but it seems highly unlikely to me that any writings Min would be able to get her hands on would contain this information. Because as far as I can recall, only the Forsaken and Rand even know the True Power exists, so how would random scholars know Callandor can do something with it?

So what, was Rand playing around with the thing off-screen and tried the True Power out on it on a whim? Because that’s even more unlikely, if you ask me, considering how (rightly) terrified Rand was of using it again after the first time.

Not to mention, how does any human-manufactured sa’angreal even have this ability in the first place? I mean, I suppose it could be just a like-substances thing: a chute made to funnel water, after all, will funnel orange juice or tea or alcohol or any other reasonably liquid-like substance just as well. So maybe any One Power-amplifying object can also amplify the True Power, and Rand just logically deduced that fact.

…Except, of course, that Rand’s thoughts in this chapter definitely seem to imply that only Callandor can do that, so the above doesn’t follow. Which leads me back to wondering exactly how Rand figured that out. Thoughts, comments, pointers to the memo I missed? Anyone? Bueller?

Tell me your thoughts, O My Peeps, and in the meantime, have a week! See you next Tuesday!

Sam Mickel
2. Samadai
I love Loial pov's in this book, he is a goodness personified. Leigh, you are right, Lan just keeps going up and up throughout the whole book. I also wish we would have had more from Moiraine, but then I wish that the last three books were 4 or 5 books. ;)
Rich Bennett
3. Neuralnet
thanks for the reread Leigh. Some random musings: I wish Loial had gotten a chance to talk to the seanchan ogier... I always wondered what was up with them. did they have steddings etc?

what does the trolloc yell murdru kar mean? sorry I dont have my book here if it was already explained.

I was a little dissapointed in the Moriane/Rand scene... wish it had been longer. I was hoping Rand would reveal some Lews Therin insights about the nature of the bore and seals and what his plans were. Also, like everyone else I was hoping for a little more of a reunion... just some more talk between them about what Moraine's return meant to Rand.

I love Lan's badassness/wisdom... Lan's character was very well done in the Sanderson books IMHO.

My take on Callandor is that it was a trap meant for Rand/the next dragon... whoever made callandor recieved some instructions from the dark one/forsakken to make it into a true power sa'angreal with the idea that the next Dragon wouldnt know it was a true power sa'angreal and be trapped by it... maybe converted to the dark side or killed during the last battle. In my mind it really demonstrates the long term planning of the Dark One. What a great reveal too, definitely a great twist to add to the last book
William Carter
4. wcarter
My guess, Rand figured it out because he was uniquely in a position to do so thanks to the Dark One. Ever since the sad braclets incident in TGS, he has been able to sense (and presumably channel) the true power.

We know the True Power is hellaciously addictive and it's possible he found out by actually channeling through Callandor and feeling a resonnance of sorts with the TP.

I would hope Rand wouldn't have been stupid enough to try, but when has that ever stopped him before?
5. Teddroe
Much as I love her and appreciate that she got to participate in the Final Showdown at Shayol Ghul, I agree, it does seem like there were a lot of missed opportunities with Moiraine in this book. Her lack of interaction with Lan and Siuan was dissapointing, especially after I re-read New Spring in preparation for AMoL.

Re: Callandor...yeah, I have no idea how he figured that one out. There's a lot of random sa'angreal information revealed in this book--the lack of buffer on Vora's, Callandor being a True Power conduit...the way they used Callandor to trap Moridin might count too, I don't quite remember if that had been totally established earlier.

Sure, it was a little disturbing, but...go Ogier! (Gogier?)
6. neverspeakawordagain
Leigh, you missed that whole Cadsuane POV in Towers of Midnight where Min was talking about the section of the Kareathon Cycle about Callandor and "the Three become One." Min seemed to think that there was something more profound about that than just that Rand would have to link with two women, and Cadsuane agreed. Rand later says that it was Min who had figured out how the whole Moridin / circle endgame thing would have to go down, so it's pretty clear that it was Min who figured out that the "Three become One" thing meant Saidin, Saidar, and the True Power.

And EVERYBODY in the Age of Legends knew about the True Power -- remember, that was how the bore got drilled in the first place, with Lanfear and Beidoman trying to tap into the True Power without actually knowing what it was in the first place. Since the True Power was what drilled the bore in the first place, it makes perfect sense that Rand / Lews Therin would know that it would have to be used to close the bore.
Ron Garrison
7. Man-0-Manetheran
“I have been a fool before,” Rand said. “And I shall be one again. At times, Moiraine, my entire life — all that I’ve done — feels like a fool’s task.”

After Rand leaves, Moiraine reflects on how he is such a contradictory combination of humility and arrogance, and wonders if he has finally found the right balance between the two.
FOOL — At first sight this makes perfect sense as the dictionary definition: “a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person.”
But there's more, I think.

I couldn’t help but muse upon F.D.Graves’ tarot definition of The Fool: “The Fool represents the only pure state of mind, the state of no mind whatever. It is through the eyes of The Fool that one must look if his intention is to observe the truth. For The Fool sees the world with eyes that are not tinted by reflected visions of himself. He sees whatever there is to see, he understands whatever there is to understand because, at the outset, he undertands nothing to bar his his mind from accepting something new and fresh.”*

We followed Rand through his darkness into the Light, but he still never got it quite right until the final moments of the Last Battle. When he opens his mind to something new he sees that the Creator, the Dark One, the Wheel all have their place. To kill one is to destroy it all.

In a chapter where we have Nynaeve, Moraine and the reveal about Callandor, “I have been a fool before, and I shall be one again” takes on added significance.

P.S. - Hope you’re using your new mousepad when you headdesk, Leigh. It could prevent serious in jury!
Adam S.
Doesn't Lan get some kind of special title for killing 2 fades at once? If killing one lets you be called Dreadbane, 2 at once should get you an even cooler name. Except it's Lan, so it should just be called "pulling a Lan", cause that already indicates it's as cool as anything gets.
Noneo Yourbusiness
9. Longtimefan
When I first read the intro I was thinking "Llama or Alpaca?" Then I read the linked article. I feel bad for all the unseen alpacas.

When will it be their time? Have not they too also always have been there?

Oh well, at least we have good stories about bad assed Llamas. :)
Richard Chapling
10. Chappers
Some thoughts on Callandor:

Isn't this the first time we get a Rand PoV (apart from the one at the end of ToM, where he was otherwise occupied since he 1. touched the TP and 2. held Callandor? Since channelers can recognise angreal by touching them, that is probably how Rand knows. Presumably there was (yet another) offscreen discussion, where Rand and Min sorted out the prophecy based on this. And/or made The Plan for Shayol Ghul.
Not to mention, how does any human-manufactured sa’angreal even have this ability in the first place? I mean, I suppose it could be just a like-substances thing: a chute made to funnel water, after all, will funnel orange juice or tea or alcohol or any other reasonably liquid-like substance just as well.
The problem with this metaphor is that angreal not called Callandor are attuned to saidin or saidar only.

How the AoLers made a TP sa'angreal is a different question entirely, and goes with the question of how a TP sa'angreal even works, since the DO limits access. One explanation might be that humans have a TP capacity that works in a similar way to OP capacity we know so well. Although considering how addictive the TP is, the DO would probably be sensible to limit volume to below capacity. One of the many things about the climax that doesn't quite make total sense.
I’m not sure this is something I would even have noticed, fifteen years ago.
I'm not sure whether to take this as an indication of Leigh's maturation or to the motivation for events in that timeframe. (Although I expect it is a combination, the remark is sufficiently elliptical that I didn't find the reference clear.)

@7 MoM That definition of The Fool sounds like a Daoist concept of Wu Hsin, or no-mind (a brief skim of http://taoism.about.com/od/buddhism/a/emptiness.htm seems to explain it, but I read about it in Alan Watts's The Way of Zen).
11. AndrewB
neverspeakawordagain @6 re the trap that is Callandor -- It is possible that Min made the discovery. From what we learn in the Battle at Shayol Ghol, there were accounts of useage of the True Power during the War of Shadow. IIRC, after Avi sees Graendal warp away and is recounting the battle to Amys and Cads, Cads mentions that the way Graendal escaped sounded like accounts describing Traveling via True Power.

Once again, Moiraine proves how good she is at ferreting everybody's secrets. She knows where the basis for Mat's military genious is. I do not think he ever told Thom were he gained his knowledge (Thom, in turn, telling Moiraine).

Thanks for reading my musings,
11. Hammerlock
Remember that female channelers can sense an angreal on touch. Perhaps something similar is true for True Power channelers---Ishy realizes this the second he holds Callandor, after all.

Also, the only forsaken who could have helped make Callandor had no idea it was a True Power angrreal--Ishy was surprised at the revelation--so how they made it is still a total question mark.
12. Hammerlock
Actually, I have A Theory as to how Callandor got made as a dual-angreal:
After the Breaking was underway, no one wanted to make male angreal, because that would be a very stupid thing to do.
For whatever reason, however (Foretelling?) they make Callandor. Rand tells Elayne that angreal are made by a unique process--channeling into a seed and storing potential power or some such. One assumes you use the respective power (saidar/saidin) the angreal will be attuned to.
HOWEVER, all male channelers are now channeling Dark-One-Tainted Saidin at this point. His essence, which is basically what the True Power is. So in the process of creating a saidin sa'angreal, you get a hidden bonus of a True Power sa'angreal.

Still a wild-out-there theory, but considering the angreal creation process and the distinct lack of True-Power wielders able to create that (Ishy was amazed that something like this could even be made, let alone that it existed), its my Best Guess.
13. AndrewB
How did it happen that there are two Number "11" posts? That is something I have not seen before

Thanks for reading my musings,
Chris La Rue
14. laruechr
I really want to say in one of the previous two books, Moridin has a TP sa'angreal or angreal, and may even give one to one of the other Foresakin. Would have to re-read those to be sure though.
Alice Arneson
15. Wetlandernw
Does anyone else want to smack Golever upside the head just as much as they ever have any other character in these books? “Shadowspawn for certain!” indeed. Hmph. Tool.

On a topic that’s really discussion for another day, I find myself wishing that Moiraine had been proved right when she claimed that the Dark One was beyond killing (at least for Rand). Just had to note that in passing…

And once again, that odd balance between Rand and Moiraine; they each are convinced that they’re right and the other can’t know what he/she is talking about on the subject. Here I find myself siding with Rand – probably out of that gut reaction to being told what to do. And again, Moiraine is trying to manipulate Rand into following the path of her choosing. *sigh*

Re: Rand’s deduction about Callandor as a True Power sa’angreal… I don’t have much to offer here, except to note that just because Rand and the Forsaken are the only people alive now who know about the TP, it doesn’t necessarily follow that none of the scholars of the past would know. It had to be known during the War of Power, right? That knowledge might have been passed on for a while and then got lost in the dusty old tomes. And since we know Ishamael was kicking around during the Trolloc Wars and that some of the White Tower defected to him then, it’s possible that there was some awareness of the True Power at that time. No proof, of course, but Min has been digging in some odd books. Perhaps she discovered something that was lost to the WT but was still in the books Herid Fel had acquired? It’s a notion, anyway.

Also, wcarter @4 has a good suggestion with that “resonance” idea. And Chappers @10 might have a good complementary angle, too, with the idea that (only) channelers can recognize angreal by touch, and that by virtue (??) of having used the TP, Rand is able to recognize that Callandor can also use it. That makes a lot of sense. It’s also quite possible that the buffer (missing from both Callandor and Vora’s rod) is what blocks an item’s use with the TP – in which case I’d suggest that it’s probably an inadvertent and previously-unrecognized side effect. Or, as Hammerlock suggests @12, it was an unsuspected side effect of making a saidin sa’angreal after the Taint hit.
Jordan Hibbits
16. rhandric
Hammerlock @12
That was my original theory, but during the AMoL tour, someone (chaplainchris mentioned it, but I forget who told him) asked Brandon about it and was told it was deliberate; I'll leave that for whoever remembers exactly, though.
17. Rinmarin
About Callandor. It was foreshadowed, there were hints. Back in PoD Cadsuane pointed out all three flaws, though it was easy to miss.

"It is flawed," she replied curtly, "lacking the buffer that makes other sa'angreal safe to use. And it apparently magnifies the taint, inducing wildness of the mind. So long as a man is using it, anyway. The only safe way for you to use The Sword That Is Not a Sword, the only way to use it without the risk of killing yourself, or trying to do the Light alone knows what insanity, is linked with two women, and one of them guiding the flows."

1. "lacking the buffer that makes other sa'angreal safe to use" - that one is pretty obvious.
2. "it apparently magnifies the taint" - that one was tricky. Sa'angreal do not supposed to amplify taint, only One Power. Easy to miss. This is where one can research out about Callandor's True Power shit, if one knows about True power at all.
3. "is linked with two women" - that one is tricky too, though Rand himself compares Callandor to Domination Band, later. But we supposed to know about ter'angreal, that can force man into circle and control him, since 4th book, and that ter'angreal needs two women for the deed. And here Cadsuane is talking about two women, and well... that is the hint.
Alice Arneson
18. Wetlandernw
AndrewB @13 - I've seen it happen a few times; it seems that two people hit Post at exactly the same time. Now if no one gets a comment removed by the moderators or kicked out for spam, we'll have one of those (extremely!) rare cases where the comment count is higher than the last numbered comment. :)
lake sidey
19. lakesidey
You don't need to know the existence of the True Power to make a prophecy about it (you just won't call it the TP). Given the number of prophecies made by people in which they had no idea what they actualy meant (come on, someone named Tellindal Tirasso, you can't get more specific than that. After that, well, Min's logical-reasoning-fu probably put two and two together and the three became one.
20. Hammerlock
rhandric @16 - It could still be the same process and be deliberate--maybe the side effect was realized by the (much more) knowledgeable AS, which would be yet another reason to not create male angreal after the Taint appeared. Outside of that, I can't really see how they would have made a True-Power supercharger without someone capable of wielding it.
Nadine L.
21. travyl
Before I read the comments...
I think it fits that we hadn't more POV from Moiraine. As far as I can remeber she always was the mysterious teacher, not sharing her
knowledge with the super-boys. IIRC her only POV in EotW was at the very end when we learn she is secretly listening in on a conversation between Rand and Egwene. - Even if we'd like to see more of her, it fits the Wheel of Time better not to.

With the "list of women vicitms" I again agree with the authors choice to not mention it: Rand accepted the pain, it wouldn't lessen for the ones who did die, even if Moiraine did not.

My two options for how Rand learned about Callandor:
One: if you’re holding Callandor (edit to add: and are able to wield the TP) and draw the One power, you can sense that you could channel the True Power through it.
OR: he very cleverly deduced it from a Prophecy we’re not privy to.
22. tetsu
id say that he has experience with callandor and the fact that the taint was magnified while he used it against the seanchan was a very good indicator if it can magnify the taint why not the true power itself? its basically the same sort of thing even if used for very different things. that plus all of mins research probably led to the answer
23. tetsu
and as for how callandor was made as a true power sa'angreal what if the people who made it had some captured forsaken and somehow forced them to be the spark necessary to make it into that. it would be horrible but if they saw it as necessary im sure that as aes'sedai they would do it
Jordan Hibbits
24. rhandric
Hammerlock @20, that's a good point. When I had been thinking about it I was always considering it as an unintentional side effect.

tetsu@23 The Forsaken were sealed in the Bore at the time Callandor was made, and while a Dreadlord might have been able to channel TP, I doubt they could, as the DO only allows his highest pawns that priviledge.
Dixon Davis
25. KadesSwordElanor
Addressing Moiraine

“Only Perrin grew up,” Rand said. “Mat and I have simply learned to pretend to be grown up.” He hesitated. “Mat did not learn so well.”

I know some have been critical about the lack of a Two River Boy’s reunion (I would like one too), but this exchange, to me, highlights the fact that they are all still good friends who know each other very well.
26. tetsu
we arnt certain as to when callandor was made exactly it could be preseals also it has been revealed that there were more than 13 forsaken at one point but they were either killed off by the light or punished horribly by the dark
Janet Hopkins
27. JanDSedai
Evidently the first post was pulled, (because of "First!"?), so we have as many posts as numbers, now!
Deana Whitney
27. Braid_Tug
Callandor & True Power:
After the War of Power, the Dark one was sealed, but not totally cut off, right?

Could he have granted the right to use the True Power to a high level Black Ahja, who as planted in the group that created Callandor? Or did he not have that sort of freedom?

Otherwise I really like Hammerlock’s idea @12. It was a natural by-product of the taint, much like the Black Wind was in the Ways.

Was this the only Loial POV? Don’t remember.
His “A silence like screaming. It was not a sound, but a feeling.” Line was one the of the more desterbing views on the end of the world as they knew it.

Also I felt his “weeding” comment was not as self-focused as Egwene’s. With Loial, it was like “I’m one of many who could garden away the weeds.” With Egwene it felt more like “I’m the only one who can cleanse the earth.”
I did not want to use the word arrogant. To me her view was more highlighting that she was no longer “her”, but rather “her title.”

What Leigh, no sigh of relief that you are back in the “happy” land of WoT, rather than suffering with the GRRM fans? (no spoilers everyone!)

Also: Sad to see First Post had to be bombed .
Alice Arneson
28. Wetlandernw
Hah! Except that now, along with two 11s, we have two 27s, so we're still up one! :)
Ron Garrison
29. Man-0-Manetheran
Chappers @ 10:
Yes, that is exactly right. The no-mind. The Fool is also the zero card for “nothingness.” I like to refer to Rand as Buddha Rand at the end of the books — he is one with everything.

Hammerlock @ 11a & b:
Excellent explanation. Rand has but to touch it once he has channeled the True Power. He can tell immediately. Also, I like your theory on its creation. The taint gave Rand access to LTT’s memories, and ironically the keys to winning the Last Battle. Why shouldn’t it have been the source in the creation of Callandor?

Wetlander @ 13:
“Does anyone else want to smack Golever upside the head just as much as they ever have any other character in these books?” Yes, but not as much as those who do it in RL!
Richard Chapling
30. Chappers
Much as I like Hammerlock@12's theory, it appears to be contradicted by information we have from interviews with RJ and BWS: http://13depository.blogspot.co.uk/2002/03/angreal-and-saangreal.html

To wit, firstly, Callandor was made during the War of Power. This makes sense: why would we have data on it if it was made during the Breaking? Who would be stupid enough to want to channel mare saidin?

Secondly, it was apparently deliberately made as a trap, possibly with a similar construction to the Domination Band.
Tricia Irish
31. Tektonica
In the Moraine section, besides wishing there were more personal reveals, I would've loved to have heard her talk about what she learned/didn't learn from the Finns!! WTF was the purpose of that bit anyway, other than to remove her from the story for many books, and let Mat be a hero and lose the prophesized eye. ???? Give over!

I do think Rand could probably sense the TP when holding Callandor. Since he acquired his new Darkfriend Radar, it might work on objects too. Besides he's used the TP before, so he knows what to sense. And Yay, Min for figuring out the 3 become 1 is Callandor! I'm going to believe it was her, anyway. Nice contribution!

Lan is the Best. Period. No contest. And he certainly has the right of it about letting the women, or anyone that can, fight. Finally.

Loial is wonderfully fierce here. He has put on his long handle, and isn't giving any quarter! It's sad to see such a peaceful people forced to become so fierce, but children are fighting and dying, and so are the women and men, so why not the Ogier? I, also, would've loved to see some sort of meeting of the Randland Ogier with the Gardners. Could've been very interesting.

ManO@7: Brilliant! Love the Fool explanation and it's added weight having read the ending! Very Zen Rand.
32. Ian b manc
Does Min's viewing of the onyx hand explain the use of the true power's invovlement with Callandor?
33. Faculty Guy
@27Braid_Tug: And only NOW do I get the allusion to the Seanchan Ogier calling themselves "Gardeners!" Duh!
34. SCM of 2814
On the Callandor-True Power thing: it's not surprising. Moridin realized it was a True Power Sa'Angreal when he touched it, although it took him a few moments to realize, and we have scnes all through the series of characters getting a 'tingle/warmth' when they touch an angreal their gneder can use. It's entirely possible that, with him holding it close to him so much recently, he felt a similar True Power 'tingle'.

And aparently, knowledge of the TP isn't limited to Rand the Foolsaken, since Cadsuane exposited it to Aviendha later, and it WAS the publically stated reason for knocing on the Dark One's door. A reason like that would survive, if not actually be made common knowledge. After all, what do they say when young Aes Sedai asked why an idiot would try to free the Dark One? That they were ding-dong-ditching?

I agree with @12 on how it became a True Power Sa'Angreal, since it is implied in TSR that it was crafted post-Sealing, by tainted men, just before they made the Eye Of The World , else the Aiel POV in that meeting scene should have recognized it as an iconic weapon.
35. Freelancer
neverspeakawordagain @6

A nitpick:
Since the True Power was what drilled the bore in the first place, it makes perfect sense that Rand / Lews Therin would know that it would have to be used to close the bore.
The True Power was not accessible prior to the Bore being created. This was a project of joint saidar/saidin use. As for what Lews Therin knew, we have information which is at odds with your comment. Rand, speaking in the text of the chapter under discussion, says that he is more confident in the plan to destroy the dark one, rather than fix the Bore. It was after he was exposed to "outside" information about Life, the Universe, and Everything™ that he finalized the method of re-making, not re-patching, the prison. It was Rand, not Lews Therin, who figured out how to use the "trap" of Callandor's construction against the Dark One. We even see that when Rand is arguing with Egwene, he isn't completely sure how he's going to complete the task, only that the seals will have to be broken before he does.

I prefer the theory that Min unlocked the answer to Callandor as the more significant meaning of "the three shall be one" representing the three Powers. Aside from being Rand's companion for much of the last year, it is her primary raison d'etre in the last two books. It is a direct commission from Rand that she discover the answer to the riddle inadvertently left by Herid Fel, and the previously unknown secret held by Callandor.
36. Freelancer
Ian b manc @32

It could be that the onyx hand vision was simply a representation of Moridin, whose colors are black and red. The interpretation by Min suggests that the hand itself was artificial. On a stretch, we could say that Moridin, once he was wielding Callandor and was subsequently siezed into Rand's circle, was Rand's artificial hand for re-making the prison.
Ryan Reich
37. ryanreich
Like @30, I remember RJ's statement that Callandor was made in the War of the Shadow. And if what BS says is correct (and why shouldn't it be; he has the notes) it was made intentionally, so this makes sense, as it would be a lot more useful as a True Power conduit during the war than afterwards, when everyone who could reach it would have been imprisoned.

I don't remember the state of our knowledge about how sa'angreals function; is it true that they provide a fixed, large pool of power, or act as multipliers? Moiraine's experience with her "very powerful" angreal suggests the former, since she is now very weak without it but comparable in strength to a very strong normal channeler with it. So should it be used by someone very strong already (like, say Lanfear) and were it multiplicative, then she would have been unstoppable, whereas Rand had a limited ability to counter her during their fight. This is obviously a weak point.

Anyway, if they provide a fixed amount of power, then it suggests an obvious way that such a thing could be made for the True Power: simply, using a seed, imbue it with a pool of TP that is then available, like a well, to whomever is able. The permission of the Dark One might be necessary for the latter, but if the power is available separately, not the former. This actually is similar to the way we've seen wells work in the absence of a normal connection to the Source, in Far Madding, which you could interpret as being similar to a lack of "permission" to get the power from the normal place but still able to get it if you have some on hand.

Just to be clear: in this model of an angreal, one needs to be actively channeling a small amount of power "naturally" that is somehow matched by the larger "pool" that isn't depleted.

That may be unrealistic, however, since we don't know of a way to crack open an angreal and get the power that's in it. We do, however, know from (I think) one of the Sammael/Graendal scenes in aCoS where they demonstrate the communication ter'angreal that it is possible for a device to draw Power on its own. This is a fascinating feature that is never explored anywhere else, but as it's not like a piece of stone can normally channel but is "given" the ability, it may be possible by the same method to get the True Power. (Note that the ter'angreal actually channeled saidin while only saidar was put into it, an even more autonomous behavior suggesting that one can make a direct connection to the Power with an object that isn't using a human conduit in the first place.)

Finally, one thought about the Dark One's "permission" in this connection: we don't know how he gives it. It may be that, like the mindtrap, you have to go to Shayol Ghul and submit to physical or spiritual alteration to receive the ability up to a certain capacity. I don't know if it's ever said directly, rather than being inferred by us, that you need to beg permission of the Dark One as you use it.

I got the feeling from Rand's thoughts in the final confrontation that the Dark One is sort of a "god of the gaps" in the Pattern, sort of a Mashadar that grows on the free energy between its threads. This means that one may be able to reach into the energy without his permission; in fact, that may be what Mierin was doing in her research, and in so doing, allowed the Dark One that sat on the energy to reach back. Now that the Bore is quite open presumably her same method would not have such a catastrophic effect.

If this is true then a True Power angreal would not be such a stretch.
38. gadget
I must say that I was not as excited by Lan's philosophical musings about using all the soldiers available; not because I am in disagreement with the notion, but because it seemed a bit too much like fan service designed to elicit just the reaction that Leigh displayed. That may sound a little strange, since most of the highlights of the series (or most fantasy books we read and enjoy) are moments that make us stand up and say “Oh Yeah!” in our best imitation of the Cool-aid commercial guy (see: Awesome, moment of). Yet there seems to be a fine line between crafting a story as a work of art to please yourself (or your muse, as I've heard it put by writers before) that may indeed please a lot other people as well, and pandering to your audience. I suppose that makes me a little naïve, with the publishing world what it is and all, but I am always excited by reading the former, and feel a little patronized by the latter. Too much of MoL came across that way when I read it, especially Lan's plot line after a certain point. But that is just me, and I am not a writer, nor do I play one on TV.

As for Callandor, I can't say that I was really surprised by the True Power Sa'Angrel revelation: it had been speculated on quite a bit by many theories before hand, though I can't say I gave it much credence to them. Put that together with the Cadsuane's previous comments about it 'magnifying the taint', and it makes sense. Though I'm not clear on if this was an intentional feature on the part of the designers, or a 'happy accident' instigated by the Pattern and made important to the Aes Sedai of the day by Foretellings.
Gary Singer
39. AhoyMatey
@12's theory *is* interesting, but Brandon told me on the tour that the ability for Callandor to channel the TP was deliberate. And Callandor was designed as a trap. When I asked how it was created, (paraphrasing): "Did someone channel the TP through the seed (as has to be done for Saidin and Saidar) to give Callandor that ability?" He said he had to MAFO me. I did ask Maria at Jordancon, and she said there were MAFOs she hadn't had time to research yet. Maybe we'll find out in the encyclopedia.
Terry McNamee
40. macster
I have to agree, the scene with Loial (both from his POV and Galad's) is deeply disturbing and upsetting, even as it is also badass and necessary. (Although his bit about "always secretly wanting to be hasty" got a laugh out of me.) I have to say I think the parallel between him and Egwene is deliberate, and that this may also be intended to show that rather than Egwene specifically being arrogant, the Last Battle is about characters doing whatever they have to do to stop Ultimate Evil...even if on some level it horrifies us to see them doing it. Instead of hating on Egwene, people should be as saddened she (and the rest of humanity) has been driven to this as they are at the change in Loial.

I also had to laugh at Golever's idiocy, and Galad and Trom putting him in his place. Too bad Trom dies at Merrilor...

Deepe was one of the Asha'man who helped defend Maradon, so yes he was cool and badass. Ah well.

Loved Lan's speech about women in combat (I don't care what some people say, I think it was completely in character and appropriate for the series--Jordan himself acknowledged the same thing after Moiraine's "death", even if he was more ambivalent about it). As to why he didn't mention it to Rand: a) I don't think he ever knew how badly Rand's "not wanting women to be hurt" thing was tearing him apart and b) he was too busy angsting over Nynaeve to notice. This is why the chivlaric romance idea of the angsting hero, as nice as it may sound on the surface, is bad.

Side note: I get the impression that Lan's badassery here, and how he continues to just keep topping himself in every subsequent scene, was a concerted effort on Sanderson's part. I'm sure at least some of what Lan did in AMoL was planned by Jordan but I bet a lot wasn't (Sanderson said some of the biggest holes in the notes were the middle portion, which this still falls under). So I wouldn't be surprised if he included more scenes like this because Lan is such a fan favorite so everyone wanted to see him being badass--but also specifically because he's been off-screen or in the background at least since Moiraine's "death", if not since marrying Nynaeve in ACoS. So this is the chance to have him actually do stuff, to shine and show why he's such a respected warrior that even the Aiel call him "One Man". Not that I am at all against this, just pointing out what may have been the impetus behind it.

Re: Moiraine and Rand. On the one hand I absolutely love this scene between them, because even as they continue to misunderstand and mistrust each other, at the same time there's clear respect, caring, and strong bonds between them. I laughed so hard at her refusing to buy the "I am the oldest man alive" blustering and at her manipulating him into fetching tea for her. And I loved that even as she acknowledged he had flaws and that as a man rather than a boy that would make his mistakes more dangerous, she still is proud of him and wants to believe he will achieve the right balance. It turns out also that as usual they're both right: the Dark One can be killed, but he shouldn't be and the solution is what Moiraine says it is, albeit done in a way unique to Rand.

But I also have to admit that there are indeed things we didn't get to see in this scene, namely a discussion of the list, Rand telling Moiraine how much she meant to him, references to Lan and Siuan, reactions to all that has happened... At least some of this must have been cut for space, and the list may have been left out so that Rand could deal with it when facing the Dark One instead, but...eh. I am left saying that the scene we got is very good, but I wish there had been more.

Also: yes, it was a continuity gaffe, my copy of AMoL has Moiraine's name where Nynaeve's was, she's not in the scene at all.

The revelation about Callandor. Yeah, this was something that made me go "WTF?!" as well. Not that it hadn't been properly set up and foreshadowed, but as to how it was figured out in-story. Even taking into account the explanations people have given in the comments, I have to wonder if there was a scene from ToM or AMoL which got cut which dealt with this revelation, or at least alluded to it. I know that it was one of the biggest secrets in the series, so prior to this Jordan was playing his cards close to his chest, but now that the time came to reveal it, it should have been addressed in more detail and openly, I think, rather than just dropped on us like this. Clunky writing, IMO. Again, I am not saying the fact it is a True Power sa'angreal itself is wrong, or wasn't foreshadowed, just that the reveal was handled sloppily. There either should have been something hinted at or outright spelled out before this scene, or a retrospective back on it later in the book to explain how it was figured out.

At the time I immediately concluded that Moiraine was the one that revealed it to him, that this was something she learned either from one of her requests from the Eelfinn or in answer to a question to the Aelfinn, and that this was one of the reasons Rand had to have her with him in order to win. (The fact she thinks nothing about this in her thoughts isn't really proof either way, since as you pointed out the section is very short and doesn't reveal a lot of things--just because she doesn't think them doesn't mean they aren't true--and she generally has obscure, mysterious thought processses anyway. And it would explain why she was so upset about Rand leaving Callandor behind in Tear, if she knew it then.)

But it seems that Min is the one who figured it out from that prophecy, with help from Cadsuane and Fel's books. (Because yes, people in the Age of Legends at least knew the Dark One had a power of his own, it's what Lanfear and Beidomon were drilling for, and they must have seen it used in action--even Lews Therin, as unstable as he was, didn't seem surprised at what Ishamael did to him in the prologue of TEotW, i.e. the fact he had a non-One Power way to do things--and Cadsuane does mention to Aviendha later about Traveling by the True Power being witnessed during the War of the Shadow.) Which I am fine with that being the explanation, more props to Min...but even with attempting to keep it secret until now, I still think Sanderson could have hinted at it more and revealed it better.

Though personally, I also think the truth is a combination of the theories posited below. That Min may have guessed or figured it out, but Rand was able to confirm it by touching Callandor and feeling a True Power resonance/identifying its nature via being a (True Power) channeler, and that simple logic about its flaw magnifying the taint which essentially was the True Power made it all come together. Though the fact Rand figured this out should still have been explained and revealed better. As to how it became such a sa'angreal...I am rather disappointed Jordan said it was made this way on purpose, but then didn't bother to explain how that could be possible, but the theories below again, I think, cover all the bases. Namely, yes, it's probably an unintended side effect of either not having a buffer or of being a saidin-attuned sa'angreal made post-taint, or both, but that once this side-effect was discovered it was then implemented deliberately.

If as Jordan said it was made during the war, not after, it could still have been the taint that later made it attuned to the True Power--they probably didn't have time to make lots of sa'angreal, let alone male ones, during the fighting, and with so many high-level male Aes Sedai going over to the Shadow it was probably considered too dangerous. I wouldn't be surprised if the only one made other than Callandor was the Choedan Kal, and that would have been because they were desperate to seal the Dark One away so they could win. (And Sakarnen? Though other than Lanfear knowing about it we have no idea when it was made--it could have been before the Bore was drilled for all we know.) The fact they were made pre-taint but the male one never became a True Power sa'angreal after could just be because they never got to be used until the Third Age, and then Rand didn't use them enough to make a difference until he performed the Cleansing. And they were also destroyed before they could be tested, perhaps. Also, I believe they did have a buffer.

However, if we go by what Jordan said, that the flaw was deliberate, then we are left with two possibilities. Either a Forsaken/Dreadlord did make it into the Aes Sedai's councils and tweaked Callandor during its forging process, perhaps getting found out and killed/forced to flee before they could claim it (or a Black Ajah or the equivalent did so after the war ended--even sealed the Dark One could still allow use of the Power, since crazy Ishamael was free right after the sealing and could still use it to heal Lews Therin)...or the Aes Sedai who made it knew or figured out that the Dark One's own power would be needed to seal him up again, so they put it into the sword. The question of course is how they did that...barring captured Forsaken/Dreadlords/Black Ajah, or an insane male Aes Sedai whose taint they took advantage of, I really think Jordan screwed up in saying it was deliberate, as it would make more sense for it to simply be due to the lack of buffer and the taint magnification.
Terry McNamee
41. macster
@3 Neuralnet: That is particularly troublesome since Rand had previously thought about using Loial as a go-between with the Seanchan Gardeners. Maybe this is something that, like the segment with Perrin and the Ways, got cut out?

@5 Teddroe: the bit with trapping Moridin was foreshadowed actually, through the point that Callandor was safe for a man to use only if he was linked with two women and they led the circle (implying they could take control of said man in the process, which was why Rand didn't want to do it during his "I distrust all Aes Sedai" phase), and the prophecy Min found in ToM about "he shall hold a blade of light and all that he is can be seized". When that was first revealed plenty of people theorized it could mean Moridin/the Dark One just as easily as Rand.

@7 Man-o-Manetheren: Very intriguing and insightful! And it fits well indeed with what I know about the Fool card in Tarot.

@11 AndrewB: Actually Mat told Thom (and Olver and Noal) all about his journey through the doorways back in KoD, after the revelation of Moiraine's letter. We don't know if he specifically told them about what his memories contained but he did at least tell them the Finn put something in his mind as a way of warning them the Finn could still be watching him. So Thom may have known they were battle-leaders' memories and told Moiraine. Or she may have just figured it out from knowing he saw the Finn, then watching him throughout TSR and TFoH (and hearing from Lan about Mat's little spiel during the planning for the Battle of Cairhien).

@12 Hammerlock: Love this theory. Even if the sword was made before the sealing, and deliberately with a flaw per Jordan, there's no reason that flaw couldn't just be the lack of a buffer, which when combined with tainted saidin post-sealing could have turned it into a True Power sa'angreal. (The Choedan Kal did have a buffer.)

@15 Wetlander: While I think I see what you're getting at, I have to say that to me the fact the Dark One could be killed, but Rand chose not to, is almost as meaningful as him not being able to be killed at all. Namely, it isn't the Dark One's immortality that is important, it's his role in the Pattern. Even though he technically can be killed, he shouldn't be and Rand realizes this, so in the end he might as well still be immortal--because anyone who understands his true nature and that of the Pattern will know he can't be killed, not that he literally and physically can't be but that morally and philosophically he can't be.

@21 travyl: Moiraine got a few other POVs--her visit to Vandene and Adeleas in book two, her scene in TSR where she witnessed Rand driving Callandor into the Heart of the Stone, and one in TFoH when she and the others were departing Rhuidean. But in all of those scenes she was still pretty mysterious and didn't reveal all she knew or what her motivations were, so your point still stands. Also, good point about the list.

@26 tetsu: Good point.

@27 Braid_Tug: We get several more POVs from Loial during the fighting, including his witnessing of Lan riding to take out Demandred, and of course at the very end when he's looking for Mat to help him finish his book.

@30 Chappers: So does that mean the Aes Sedai we saw with it in Rand's Aiel ancestor memories hadn't made it but were just sealing it away (as well as the banner, Horn, and seal) because of prophecy saying it would be needed, and some other bad group had made it? Or was one of them Black? Or did they use a captured True Power user to make it? Also why would anyone make a trap pre-tainting? Were they, again, Black and intended it for Lews Therin? Or were they hoping to use it against one of the male Forsaken? It could have been made post-Breaking, Jordan's word notwithstanding, if prophecy told them it had to be in order for the Dragon to stop the Dark One.

@31 Tektonica: I wonder myself if we'll ever find out what Moiraine asked/learned, and how it was relevant to her part of the Last Battle. I am betting at least some of this won't ever be explained, but hopefully at least some will be in the encyclopedia. We can guess the bits about the Dragon's Peace and about Rand letting Egwene break the seals was in there, but aside from that... I also mentioned above that yeah, Rand intended to have Loial and the Gardeners interact but apparently it never happened.

@34 SCM: That scene with the Aiel doesn't make much sense to me either, if we are to believe Jordan that the sword was made pre-Breaking. In the scene itself it's implied they made the sword, but they also mention crazy male Aes Sedai they know who are on their way there, so the tainting has already happened. So unless it was a matter of very close timing (they did make Callandor before the Breaking, but only barely), it must be that they or some other group had made it some time before that. And that either one of them was of the Shadow, or they captured a Dreadlord/Forsaken to use to make it. As to why the Aiel wouldn't recognize it if had been made before then: because knowledge of the sword had been kept a very close secret (makes sense, if it was to either be a trap or a secret means to seal the Dark One), because nobody wanted it known they'd failed and made a tainted weapon, or because it was a sword and thus the Aiel would have nothing to do with it.

@37 ryanreich: Very interesting thoughts indeed...you could well be right.

@39 AhoyMatey: Ooooo, it sounds like it will be in the encyclopedia then! Good to know that at least will be explained. Knowing just how it was made into such a sa'angreal would go a long way toward explaining both what the source of the True Power was in this instance (a captured bad guy, a mole, a whole group of bad guys who made it as a trap, a Well-like pool) and how/why it could happen before the taint and the Breaking.
Terry McNamee
42. macster
Also I just had a thought: since we know the group in Rand's ancestor memories was preparing to make the Eye of the World, and per Jordan Callandor had been created before then and deliberately, could it be that the sword was used to make the Eye and that's why the Aes Sedai had it there? What I am getting at is, even if it was made as a trap (whether by good guys for the male Forsaken or bad guys for Lews Therin) and later appropriated for Rand thanks to prophecy, could it have been Callandor's magnification of the taint/being a sa'angreal of the True Power that later enabled the maddened male Aes Sedai to purify enough saidin to make the Eye? Its lack of a buffer could explain why the men died to make it pure, and it being used for this purpose could be another reason the Aes Sedai knew the sword would be needed by the Dragon. (If it could be used to make the True Power draw the taint out of a pool of saidin, maybe it could be used against the Dark One himself while sealing him...)

EDIT: And a further thought! Lanfear was seeking a power usable by both men and women, and found the True Power. What if men and women blending saidin and saidar in one item can also access the True Power? I know the True Power and the One Power are two different things, but perhaps any fully blended form of the One Power is similar enough to the True Power (since it is described as also opposite yet comparable to the One Power) that it can draw it into the Seed and thus make it attuned to the True Power? This could also explain why a circle of a man and two women was needed to control it even though there was no taint yet (because they wanted women in charge of the male True Power user) and why such an item would be created at all--it was a trap for a True Power user which they intended to use to re-seal the Dark One. But it never got used because of the sealing away of the Forsaken and the taint, so it was saved for the Dragon Reborn.

Side note: as far as we know, normally a sa'angreal attuned to one half of the Power is made by that half's users--Vora's was presumably made by women, Sakarnen by men, and the Choedan Kal by men and women working on each statue separately. If Callandor is the only one made by men and women working together, post-Bore, this would explain why it's the only True Power sa'angreal in existence.
43. JimF
Leigh: "...Also: wow, way to go, Rand. He acknowledges how stupid he was to never listen to Moiraine, in the exact same breath he is still ignoring all her advice. That’s just special, right there...." He's just this guy, ya' know? (And not a scaled, cannabalistic llama; that is some pretty lame commentary that doesn't accord itself to my excursion through SFF). But then of course, I really cut my teeth on "A Boy and His Dog".
Gary Singer
44. AhoyMatey
Macster, I should have been clearer - it's my hope that it will be in the encyclopedia. Maria just didn't have an answer at that time.
45. JimF
@42: Macster: "...Side note: as far as we know, normally a sa'angreal attuned to one half of the Power is made by that half's users--Vora's was presumably made by women, Sakarnen by men, and the Choedan Kal by men and women working on each statue separately. If Callandor is the only one made by men and women working together, post-Bore, this would explain why it's the only True Power sa'angreal in existence...." That is an interesting concept. And it makes me think about the True Power. Who created it: the Dark One or the Creator (we don't really have a Genesis account in this tale)? If it is of the Creator, then it is available to all, one would think, if they can figure how to access it (the Creator - seemingly extant - doesn't have much to do with his creation, and he has no minions like angels to act as change agents). The Dark One can access it, and he doles out access very frugally. Maybe the True Power is accessible through either an intermediary (tDO) or through a "joint venture" s'angreal.
Roger Powell
46. forkroot
Moridin has various objects of the power, including ter'angreals but he does not have anything identified as a TP angreal. There may be no such thing (other than Callandor.)

Interview statements in 2004 appear to imply that RJ did not allow (initially) for TP angreals to exist at all, and Callandor being a TP angreal is likely a retcon. (See http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/02/the-wheel-of-time-re-read-a-memory-of-light-part-2#322063)

we arnt certain as to when callandor was made exactly it could be preseals
Chappers@30 references a page from the 13th depository that claims to have an RJ quote stating that Callandor was made during the War of Power (pre-seals.) That's a bit surprising, since we would then expect LTT to know all about it -- yet he doesn't. Our only other clue is we see Callandor "post-seals" from Rand's way-back vision; however it's just sitting there (with the Dragon Banner.)

After the War of Power, the Dark one was sealed, but not totally cut off, right?
You are correct. We know this because we see Ishy channeling the TP when he shows up to taunt LTT in TEOTW Prologue. Of course, if the 13th depository quote is accurate, Callandor was made before the sealing. In either case the DO could grant TP access to any dark side mole involved in the Callandor project.

Since BWS claims the whole thing was deliberate, perhaps a lightsider with foretelling realized that Callandor needed to be a TP angreal and actually "played" the DO by letting a known mole into the project precisely so the mole could "corrupt" the angreal as foretelling required.

What if men and women blending saidin and saidar in one item can also access the True Power?
That doesn't make sense, IMO. The TP is the essence of the DO, it's not the One Power nor is it related. You have to be granted permission from the DO to even access it.
Alice Arneson
47. Wetlandernw
macster @41 – No, I don’t think you see what I’m getting at, but I don’t really want to argue about it yet. I would like it better if Rand had been unable to kill the DO, because then the remaking of the prison would have been necessary. I disagree with the core idea that the existence of the Dark One is in any way necessary for the existence of free will; that said, if Rand was able to destroy such a malign influence he should by all means have done so, and the doing would not have resulted in the scenario he feared. But we’ll debate it later, when we get to that part of the book.

JimF @45 – The True Power is the essence of the Dark One. He doesn’t access it, he is it.
Thomas Keith
48. insectoid
Pretty late to the party, was really busy today. Thank goodness for notes!
Great post as usual, Leigh.

Is awesome; though, that "silence like screaming" thing is pretty creepy. Creepy like Machin Shin creepy—Silent screams, singing screams, sing your screams...

...Sorry. Won't do it again. ;)

True Power sa'angreal:
*eyes pop* *gasps* This bit of info, of course, had me thinking "Nothing good can possibly come from this". Good thing that not-good stuff was actually part of the plan! And you're right, in that this revelation came somewhere outta left field: how did he find out? Surely not by using the TP again.

Is, of course, still totally nutso thinking he can kill the DO.
Amusing that Moiraine knows about Mat's memories.

Moiraine POV:
Add this to the list of Things Not Seen in Like Nine Books. And it's ridiculously short!

Murdru Kar:
Aside from sounding sinister... translation please! *ducks ax swing* No, I said translation, not behead! Anyone? Narg? Bueller? (Sorry Leigh, took this bit almost verbatim from my notes; don't assume I'm just parroting you.)

Continued badass. His line to Kaisel re: Saldaean women (that you quoted) was hilarious. XD

How many AMoL headdesks is that now? Four?

Off to read comments.

Birgit F
49. birgit
We do, however, know from (I think) one of the Sammael/Graendal scenes in aCoS where they demonstrate the communication ter'angreal that it is possible for a device to draw Power on its own. This is a fascinating feature that is never explored anywhere else

The Bowl of the Winds channels both saidin and saidar although it is used by a circle of women.

Can a OP channeler shield a TP channeler? If not it would be difficult for Light-channelers to chapture a TP channeler. If creating Callandor requires the cooperation of a TP channeler it is difficult to force a prisoner to channel but not attack the captors (unless you have TP a'dam/Dominion Bands).
Shane Carter
50. BankstownBoy
Others have posted before me even though I had this prepared but I still want to say...
When Hartha and the Gardeners joined Furyk in his search for the kidnapped Tuon, I thought “bewdy, here is our chance for confrontation between “our” Ogier and the Seanchan version”. Talk about the Lost Tribe of Israel. Here is a unique group separated from their kin for hundreds of years, and obviously transformed or twisted by the perverse nature of the society in which they live where everything and everyone is conscripted to the service of this militaristic extremely hierarchical society. (I know our Ogier can be and have been in the past warlike when eventually roused, but they are usually pacific).
But we got nothing. Such a shame, I believe it would have been so interesting to see Loial or Elder Haman meeting Hartha and his Gardeners. Perhaps we will see this in the Seanchan sequels. :-(.
I wonder what would happen to the Seanchan Ogier if the Book of Translation had been activated.
Shane Carter
51. BankstownBoy
MAFO? The only thing I can find is the Muslim Americans for Obama and that does not appear to fit.
Shane Carter
52. BankstownBoy
As Kades @25 says, Rand's remark about Mat shows they are still good friends and also implies a level of knowledge about each of his friends activities to make we wonder if there may have been some off screen tet e tet between them.
Shane Carter
53. BankstownBoy
" the Dragon is not to bring peace but destruction''. Ultimately this is Rand's great desire, he knows he will die but he wants to leave something positive rather than be just the destroyer.
Gary Singer
54. AhoyMatey
MAFO = Maria And Find Out, as opposed to RAFO (Read And Find Out).
Deana Whitney
55. Braid_Tug
@ 33.Faculty Guy, glad I could help! I’ve had several moments like that in the re-read thanks to comments.

@ macster, those are some serious wall of text! Like your idea that Callandor was used to create the Eye of the World. It would make sense “in world” as to why it was created when it was. Maybe there was a vague hope it could be used to fight the Dark One, but it was made during the fight to create a clean resource.
But someone from Team Dark One, needed to be in on the creation processes. Otherwise, how was that access imbedded?

Hope Maria / Encyclopedia will answer that !
56. moar
Can we maybe speed up the pace a little bit here? with 1 chapter a week, we'll finish re-reading AMOL in about 2020
57. Freelancer
A question of mine during the TGS release tour was among the first to receive from Brandon a response of MAFO. Basically, he either had no idea of the answer and may have been willing to give it if he did, or else he wasn't sure if it was an answer that ought to be given, but he would need to check with Maria Simons first, as she was the Keeper of the Chronicles as far as Robert Jordan's notes were concerned.
Dixon Davis
58. KadesSwordElanor
Moar @ 56

I hesitate to speak for the majority but I think you are in the minority. Most of us are not ready to let go yet. We want to put off empty nest syndrome as long a possible.
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
Just a couple more tidbits on the Seanchan Ogier. First, it's pretty obvious that not every Ogier is in the Deathwatch Guard, right? Some of them are living normal, probably peaceful lives, going in and out of the stedding, tending the trees and whatnot. Second, the possibility of the Ogier becoming a military force is directly related to one critical difference between those from Seanchan and those from Randland: the Seanchan Ogier don't suffer from the Longing. That makes it possible for them to pursue vocations that may take them outside the stedding for greatly extended periods; they can live their whole lives out doing other things, and leave the stedding to be a popular Ogier vacation destination.
60. Freelancer

Callandor, while acting as a sa'angreal to magnify the True Power, does not confer access. Only someone already able to access it may use it so.
Glen V
61. Ways
RJ stated (10/28/2005 KoD signing, paraphrased) that Callandor was constructed during the War of Power, in a period of mass production of all types of *angreal. Also, that Callandor was used during the war and that's when the flaw (lack of buffer) was discovered. The flaw was a manufacturing error due to mass production.

Brandon (2/20/2013 aMoL signing) dodged the question when asked how Callandor was given TP capability. When questioned further about the Taint being responsible, Brandon replied "I believe it was made intentionally to do what it did for a specific use. Not what it ended up being used for. I don't think it was used for that. I think it was built—you're going to have to clear it with Maria—I think it was built to be a trap for one of the male Forsaken." So he dodged again. (I think it was chaplainchris asking those questions??)

If the Taint is responsible for Callandor's ability to channel the TP, then why aren't there other *angreal floating around still, made in the same time frame, that can also channel the TP? I expect that point could be argued pro/con from several different directions, and maybe we will.

It seems unlikely to me that Callandor's TP ability was anything other than deliberate (ETA and not a direct result of the Taint), however it came about.

Wet @59
I thought (don't have a reference at my fingertips, maybe an RJ interview) that Seanchan Ogier do not suffer from the Longing because there are so many Stedding in that part of the world.

Here's the link: theoryland.com/intvsresults(DOT)php?kw=stedding
RJ doesn't say Seanchan Ogier don't suffer from the Longing, only that they have more Stedding available on that side of the Aryth ocean. So what happens when they hang out in Ebou Dar for an extended period?
Ron Garrison
62. Man-0-Manetheran
macster @ 41:
"to me the fact the Dark One could be killed, but Rand chose not to, is almost as meaningful as him not being able to be killed at all. Namely, it isn't the Dark One's immortality that is important, it's his role in the Pattern. Even though he technically can be killed, he shouldn't be and Rand realizes this, so in the end he might as well still be immortal--because anyone who understands his true nature and that of the Pattern will know he can't be killed, not that he literally and physically can't be but that morally and philosophically he can't be."
Very well said, and I agree totally, though I would say "more meaningful." This is the very essence of Rand's Last Battle and as such, I think RJ's whole point of the books.
Don Barkauskas
63. bad_platypus
Ways @61: Ummm... the very first quote from the link you provide says
There are many more stedding in Seanchan than there are in the part of the world where the story is taking place, and that is why the Seanchan Ogier don't suffer from the Longing. Because there are so many more stedding, they were able to find them more easily even during the Breaking and therefore never had the very extended separation that Ogier on this side of the Aryth Ocean had, though they seldom were able to settle in one for very long until the Breaking ended.
Glen V
64. Ways
bad_platypus @63
Which I took as meaning: ...don't suffer from the Longing on that side of the ocean because they were able to find Stedding more easily there. He doesn't specifically address what happens when Seanchan Ogier have a very extended separation from their homeland.

So - your point is taken, apologies for not being clearer, but I still think it's an open question on what happens when the Seanchan Ogier are away from home for a long time.
Anthony Pero
65. anthonypero
Leigh, as you say, it could be that any angreal or sa'angreal could be used to channel the TP if the user has access to it. As far as why, specifically, Rand specifies it as Callendor's secret... perhaps the buffer that other angreal and sa'angreal have that prevents the user from drawing too much also prevents access in some way to the TP?
Roger Powell
66. forkroot
it could be that any angreal or sa'angreal could be used to channel the TP if the user has access to it
No. The 2004 RJ quote:
Q: Can Moridin use a male angreal if he channels the True Power?

I'm with you. No rush to complete this!
Ty Myrick
67. tymyrick
Sorry for the Wall o'Text. Bear with me, please. :)

The Breaking was a long time period, several hundred years or more, and did not start immediately after the War of Power. Some of Lews Therin's surviving strike force were caught in the backlash and went immediately insane, but most male channelers would have gone insane over a much longer period of time.

According to The Shadow Rising, the timeline runs like this:

* Charn,who is a young man at the time, works for Mierin when she bores through the Dark One's prison trying to access the True Power.

* Charn's great-grandson, Coumin is 16 the day Lews Therin leads a strike on Shayol Ghul and the Bore is sealed.

* Coumin's son, Jonai, is 63 when he reports to the Aes Sedai in Paaren Disen before leading the Aiel wagon trains away with the ter'angreal and chora trees.

At that meeting, Coumin sees Callandor, the Banner of the Dragon, Someshta, and the Aes Sedai discussing Deindre's Foretelling. We do not know what Deindre Foretells, but we know it has something to do with saving the world some time in the future.

Osell Sedai says, "The sword must wait. Someshta, we have a task for the last of the Nym..." At this point, the Aes Sedai are preparing to create the Eye of the World. After that the Aes Sedai build the Stone of Tear and ward Callandor.

At some point prophecy claims the Dragon Reborn will claim Callandor from the Stone of Tear, but that prophecy may not have been first Foretold until well after the end of the Age of Legends. So here is one theory about Callandor's creation:

* Close to end of the War of Power, an unnamed male Forsaken makes Callandor as a True Power sa'angreal. This is partially successful, but leaves Callandor flawed.

* Before Callandor's existence is revealed to the other Forsaken, the unnamed Forsaken is captured or killed by Team Light and Callandor is taken by the Aes Sedai. This follows from the fact that creating a sa'angreal leaves the creator severely weaken for some time afterward, so the Forsaken would have still been vulnerable to attack despite having access to the True Power and a powerful OP/TP sa'angreal.

* After the War of Power, the surviving Aes Sedai leadership know Callandor is a True Power sa'angreal, but they certainly aren't telling because they don't want the information to get out, especially if any Dreadlords who might have access to the True Power are still alive. They cannot destroy it because it is made of cuendillar so they decide to build the Stone of Tear and trap Callandor inside it forever.

* The Aes Sedai receive Deindre's Foretelling regarding the saving of the world, so they set out to make the Eye of the World and hide the Dragon Banner along with one of the Dark One's Seals.

* After creating the Eye of the World, the remaining Aes Sedai build the Stone of Tear and leave Callandor warded inside.

* At some later time, during the Breaking, prophecy first tells of the Dragon Reborn claiming Callandor from within the Stone.

* Min does find one prophecy that she thinks references Callandor in regards to three becoming one, but again, they prophecy could have been first Foretold well after the Aes Sedai sealed Callandor inside the Stone.

This also sort of makes sense of why the Aes Sedai would send all their precious toys out in wagons when they could just build a Power-wrought fortress that would keep them safe forever. The Aes Sedai know they can build a Stone that will stand the test of time, but they don't know it won't be swallowed up by shifting landmasses. And the point is not to have a super fortress where Callandor can be safe. The point is to prevent any of the Dark One's minions from ever getting their hands on a True Power sa'angreal. If it gets swallowed up by an earthquake in addition to all their hard work, so much the better.

In regards to when/where Rand discovers the truth about Callandor: In Knife of Dreams, Rand tells Nynaeve, "I would like you by my side as I go to Shayol Ghul. I cannot defeat with saidin alone, and if we are going to use Callandor, I will need two women I trust in the circle with me." Is this an early reference to Rand knowing Callandor's secret? It is well after Rand crosses the streams with Moridin during A Crown of Swords and first receives access to the True Power.
Roger Powell
68. forkroot
Good points and good summary - no apologies needed and it wasn't that much of a "wall". A quibble or two:
The Breaking was a long time period, several hundred years or more, and did not start immediately after the War of Power.
The breaking started immediately. The Strike at Shayol Ghul ended the War of Power and LTT and the companions were all instantly insane. When we see the insane LTT bumping off his family, Ishamael arrives and taunts him saying "Even now the Hundred Companions are tearing the world apart."
Some of Lews Therin's surviving strike force were caught in the backlash and went immediately insane, but most male channelers would have gone insane over a much longer period of time.
Actually, all of the strike force went insane instantly, but you are right to highlight that the remaining male channelers varied in when it happened to them.

Thanks for presenting the relevant portions of the Wayback machine sequence. The fact that a foreteller was actually mentioned by name (Deindre) strengthens the argument that however Callandor was made to channel the TP, it was by deliberate design (even if the light side had to trick the dark side into doing it.)

I disagree that the AS would not care if Callandor was lost. If they are going by the presumed foretelling, then they know it is necessary in the future. You do raise an interesting question though: If they could make the Stone of Tear, why put so many objects of power on the Aiel wagons?

Perhaps it was less about the objects and more about giving the Aiel their duty. Foretelling may also have been involved there.
Glen V
69. Ways
tymyrick @67
I like it. Let's play with it for a while. I have to finish the yard work before getting distracted, though.

But first - Osan'gar/Dashiva really wanted to get his hands on Callandor when Saidin was being cleansed. He thought it would earn him favor with the DO and maybe get him named Nae'blis (or otherwise get a leg up on Moridin). Did he know Callandor was a TP sa'angreal?
Karen Fox
70. thepupxpert
@67 tymyrick - great points and succinct timeline. Question for the group, do we have confirmation that Callandor was indeed cuendillar? I think it is always referred to as 'crystal' when described.
Roger Powell
71. forkroot
Did he know Callandor was a TP sa'angreal?
Unlikely. If Ishydin didn't know, I don't know why Aginor/Osangar would know.

We all used to think that Callandor was made of cuendillar because it appeared to be immune to balefire when Rand fought Ishy at the end of TDR. But that battle was fought in T'AR and as Perrin showed in ToM, as long as you believe you are immune to balefire in T'AR, then you are. In fact, Rand channels saidin into Callandor as part of the balefire defense. He then splits the incoming balefire beam, which is not what balefire does when it hits cuendillar.

So I now suspect that Callandor is not made of cuendillar.
Glen V
72. Ways
forkroot @71
Here comes the Looney Theory of the day (Well, what else would you expect from one of Leigh's Loonies?) -
Aginor was somehow involved in manufacturing Callandor and knew it could channel TP. I don't have much of anything in the way of evidence to support that theory, other than Agarshiva seemed much more interested in obtaining the crystal sword than any of the other Chosen. Why? Was it only becasue he thought it would help him become Nae'blis and one-up Moridin, or was there an ulterior motive?

That deal about Callandor=cuendillar always bothered me. I believe, perhaps incorrectly, that cuendillar is not transparent crystal.
Roger Powell
73. forkroot
When Dashivagar is preparing to strike Rand with balefire (at the cleansing) he feels badly that he will be destroying the access key to the Choedan Kal - but it can't be helped. He consoles himself that Callandor is a great prize and expects to get that once he's killed Rand. It's clear that he would rather have had the access key if things had worked out differently - so that argues against any specific desire for Callandor other than it would be the strongest sa'angreal he could get given that he couldn't get the access key.

Rand was some distance apart from Jahar (who was cradling Callandor while Elza patrolled the hilltop). There's no way Osan'gar could get them both with one balefire shot (he has no angreal and has a little less capability than Rand/LTT anyway.) So it appears that Osan'gar figured he could defeat Jahar once he'd removed Rand. It's unknown whether he thought he would also use balefire on Jahar (trusting Callandor to not be vaporized) or whether he planned something else.

Given what happened next, it's clear that Osan'gar seriously misjudged how dangerous the circle (Jahar, Merise, and Elza) was to him!
74. Freelancer
The scene in the Stone did indeed result in the widespread presumption that Callandor was made of cuendillar. Widespread, but not universal. It was always a point of contention that there were no examples of cuendillar objects which were transparent, which made sense once we learned that cuendillar was composed of iron acted upon by a weave of Air, Earth, and Fire. Plus, some readers couldn't imagine that even cuendillar would cause a stream of balefire to split.

However, I don't recall reading of anyone putting it all together until Towers of Midnight, were the true mutability of tel'aran'rhiod was proven when Perrin schooled Egwene during the White Tower battle.

It really does all fit properly, though. Callandor isn't cuendillar, and it didn't really split the balefire stream. Rand's will to not be killed, applied as a superceding reality in tel'aran'rhiod, did that. To think that Jordan would have crafted that scene based on information that wouldn't be solidly confirmed until so much later, is amazing. How many times did he smile smugly to himself, considering how many lightbulbs would pop on during the later parts of the series?

Well played, sir, well played.
Richard Chapling
75. Chappers
Re: cuendillar. All the cuendillar we see being made is made with saidar. However, the Seals are half black, and the Domination Band is also black, which suggests that saidin cuendillar is black. Since the Seals are also half white, doesn't this mean LTT had some female AS on his side? Or were the Seals a preexisting set of objects that he appropriated?

Egwene learned the weave to turn iron into cuendillar; could other materials be turned into cuendillar-esque material with different weaves?

Further, can the TP make cuendillar, and if so, what colour would it be? My guess would be not, since it has the balanced effect of being able to breake cuendillar. (One wonders if LTT knew this, if he had the Seals made. Not that he had much choice, since cuendillar was the best material to hand for toughness.)

Freelancer@70 And that is why Leigh will be doing the Re-Re-Read in a couple of years. ;)
76. Lord Foul's Bane
(Oh, look, it's a lurker with a question! :) )
Why can't Callandor be made from the same crystal that results from the anti-Balefire weave? Was the weave discovered or rediscovered by Ewgene?
Shane Carter
77. BankstownBoy
@75 Chappers The original domination band may have been made with Saidin but not the seanchan copies as they should not have access to Saidin. Do we know what colour the copies are?
Shane Carter
78. BankstownBoy
@61 Ways. So Seanchan Ogier may still suffer from longing and we are not sure how they will get by in Randland. In fact we don't know if they do pursue other vocations do we? In view of the Seanchan utilization of all available "off-world" resources for the military effort (grolm,raken,corlm,torm) would it be reasonable to think that the Ogier as potentially much more potent a fighting force than people, are in fact totally devoted to the military.
Adrian Roberts
79. Adrian1794
A couple of things occurred to me white reading this chapter.

Firstly Rand listened to Moriraine's advice he just didn't necessarily agree with it. He certainly considered it in his thinking, I believe.

Secondly I would say the Borderlanders concern with Women in battle is more concerned with their constant battle of survival against the blight. In the survival of the specices race, excepting apocalyptic last stands, women are more valuable than men. A man in a year can have as many children as there are women available, a woman could only have 1 child.

In our modern society and even in the Southern WOT races it would be wrong to try and prevent women from fighting but for the borderlanders I would say it is understandable.
80. Sylvia McIvers
Hi, Leigh,
Why have I never met your re-reads before?

Love them.
Ty Myrick
81. tymyrick
@68 forkroot

If the Aes Sedai were privy to a Foretelling that mentioned Callandor, then you are correct. I couldn't find anything. I think we just don't know much about what the Age of Legends AS knew about the future.

It is possible they had a Foretelling about the Stone of Tear. Those are the only two reasons I can think of to build a fortress that they knew may not survive the Breaking.

@70 thepupxpert

You are right about Callandor being referred to as crystal. I forgot about the differing descriptions between it and cuendillar while I was running off half-cocked to weave crazy ideas. :)

@71 forkroot

After your explanation about Callandor splitting the balefire beam in TAR, I am convinced. I suppose my theory could still be mostly correct if the AoL Aes Sedai had a Foretelling about Callandor being vital to the Last Battle.

@74 Freelancer

I think you and forkroot are right about Callandor not being cuendillar, so presumably the Aes Sedai could have destroyed it if they wanted to, rather than leaving it hanging around for the true king to pull out of the stone.

@75 Chappers

The only cuendillar I could find described were the Seals (black and white), the Domination Band (black), and items made by Egwene's weave (white). There were several mentions of cuendillar figurines and one cuendillar wine glass. Smiths can heat and temper steel to tint it specific colors. It is possible AoL Aes Sedai could make cuendillar into whatever color they wanted. Until we found out about it being made from iron, I always assumed it looked like glazed pottery or stone. I never imagined all those trinkets and flatware were made of iron before being turned to cuendillar. Maybe it is possible to make cuendillar out of other materials.

Anyway, it's fun to speculate.
Roger Powell
82. forkroot
If you are indeed a lurker I would expect to find you in the Sarangrave (given your screen name.)

You have a very interesting idea - my only concern would be that Callandor appears to be very tough (and not brittle) - it's described as being able to cut as well as the finest steel. At least some of the crystals that came from Egwene's weave were capable of being shattered (the text describes them shattering when the earth rumbled.)

Interestingly enough, the crystal right around Taim appears to be tougher stuff as Logain has difficulty breaking it to get to Sakarnen. So it appears that there can be variation in the crystal material.

Perhaps Callandor started as some variation of this "Flame of Tar Valon" crystal and was further forged via the OP to whatever it became. As tymyrick@81 says, it's indeed fun to speculate.
83. Teddroe
Macter @ 40: Very well put regarding the revelation. I too have no problem with it at all (and thanks for reminding me about the foreshadowing for the trap part), and I think the idea was foreshadowed adaquately, but I agree the revelation itself was a little underwhelming. Many people here are theorizing that Min is the one who cracked the secret, which is probably true at least to some extent, but I wish we would have gotten a moment to give her credit, especially because that research is basically what she's doing for the entire second half of the series. Well, that and giving Rand some sweet, sweet lovin'.

Tymyrick @ 67: Very interesting indeed, thanks for putting that together. I don't know that we really have any evidence for it, but I like the idea of Callandor originally being made by the Shadow. It certainly helps explain where the TP conduit came from. Do we ever see any other Angreal that are in the shape of weapons? Maybe that was a Shadow thing.
Karen Fox
84. thepupxpert
Great comments on the Callandor cuendillar vs. crystal issue. I myself think it is crystal but have no empirical evidence to back that up. I'm going through another re-read of the series and so the early books are fresh in my mind. It's been great reading those first trio of books and then referring to this re-read and drawing major comparisons!

EDIT for obvious misspellings.
Ty Myrick
85. tymyrick
@83 Teddroe

Rand's angreal was a fat man with a sword and Graendal had a knife, but I can't think of any others. Prior to the War of Power, swords were just toys, not weapons. So, presumably the Age of Legend Aes Sedai would not have thought of making angreal or sa'angreal in the shape of weapons. Even the ter'angreal I can find aren't shaped like weapons except the knife the hides the wielder from Shadowspawn. And that would not have been created until after the Bore was drilled.
86. Lord Foul's Bane
@82. forkroot
Well, like Chappers @75, I world expect that OP tech would have the knowledge to strengthen any number of unique materials for specialized uses. Do you happen to know if anyone has brought this up w/ BS? (BTW, I didn't actually die; I left to read WOT because TC & Linden were boring me to actual tears ;) )
Glen V
87. Ways
fork @73
I have to admit I didn't re-read the entire chapter before proposing my Loonie Theory. As we well know, not doing that, or not having perfect recall, can blow up any theory pretty quickly in this forum. It is fun to speculate, though, even if we never do learn the origin of Callandor. Here's hoping the Encyclopedia answers some of those types of questions. Now, did we ever find out who had placed the additional wards on Callandor when Jahar went to retrieve it?

Free @74
I always imagined RJ must have had huge quantities of notes (plus his very capable sidekick, Maria) to keep his story straight. Or else he was something approaching superhuman. Perhaps both. And then the notes question was settled by Brandon. What was it, 30,000 pages? RJ and Co. did an outstanding job of keeping it all together, not often creating discontinuities in something like 10,000 pages of story, and in setting up scenes that wouldn't happen until many books down the road. Well played indeed! I wonder if Team Jordan/Tor will ever allow the notes to be published, as Brandon proposed doing at one point.

Chappers @75
The Guide tells us only that 7 seals were prepared of cuendillar, not by whom, for LTT's resealing plan. We do know that Latra Posae convinced all female AS of sufficient strength to help LTT precisely place the seals that they should not assist (instead to help with her Choedan Kal alternative plan). And, yeah, the rest is history. tymyric @81 confirms what I couldn't find in a quick search - that saidar cuendillar is white, at least when made by the "Egwene method". I don't think we have evidence that this has always been the case or that saidin cuendillar is black, but it's a reasonable working supposition. What seems a bit wanky, to me anyway, is transparent, crystalline cuendillar.

BBoy @78
That's certainly my take on the Longing. But I'm not sure we can say Randland Ogier are devoted to the military. After all, they are pretty peaceful tree-singers until aggravated by Trollocs.

Teddroe @83
Callandor is the only sa'angreal known to be made in the shape of a weapon (The Guide again).
Shane Carter
88. BankstownBoy
ways @87 you may have misunderstood my @78. I am suggesting it is the seanchan Ogier that may be totally militarised.
James Kendall
89. JKsilver
"Swing after swing. Chopping dead wood, that was all this was. Dead, rotting, horrible wood.

He sang and fought and roared and killed, hacking at Trollocs with an axe meant for cutting wood, and never flesh. Working with wood was a reverent business. This… this was killing weeds. Poisonous weeds. Strangling weeds.
And again, I get it. This is the one kind of war (i.e. an imaginary one) in which your enemies really are the faceless nameless inhuman purely evil things we generally have to lie to ourselves to make them be, but again I have that reflexive twitch. I’m not sure this is something I would even have noticed, fifteen years ago."

This is one of the those odd fantasy tropes, isn't it? A species or race which is entirely, irredeemably evil and thus are okay to slaughter in their entirety. I remember reading somewhere that Tolkein was always bothered by the idea that the Orcs in his books were such a race, as it clashed with this Catholic beliefs that every sentient creature could be saved, or not, depending on their choices.

Of course, its a fictional idea which serves an important narrative purpose, so its hard to get too upset about the mass slaughter of Trollocs, or Orcs, or Daleks, or whatever they happen to be. And it's fictional, so no real group is being harmed or defamed, and it's escapism, and, to a certain degree, it's enjoyable to read.

And yet because it's entirely fictional, it's also a little disturbing because of that: the idea is one that we've invented to make killing okay. No group of people - hell, no person, I'd say - in history has ever been entirely evil or without the possibily of redemption. The idea that they such a group could exist is utilised in fiction to, essentially, make it alright, even laudable, to kill them in a number of nasty ways which would otherwise turn our stomachs.

This isn't a criticism of WOT as such, as it's a fairly common fantasy idea, and WOT averts the myth as much as it adheres to it. The Seanchan, the Shaido and, to a lesser extent, the Darkfriends are all groups with varying moralities, and even evil characters usually have some logical reason for what they believe. But the fact that the Shadowspawn are presented as entirely without any good, or hope of rejecting evil, is an uneasy idea, and I'm glad you drew attention to it Leigh.
William Carter
90. wcarter
On the Saidar/Saidin cuendillar color thing: a'dam are made of cuendillar. They are silver.
My guess is it's more a combination of the method used and the make up of the base material that affects what color cuendillar eventually becomes than what half of the One Power.
Roger Powell
91. forkroot
a'dam are not of cuendillar - in fact, Elayne makes one from the metal in Birgitte's silver arrow. You might have been thinking about the sad bracelets, which do appear to be made of cuendillar.
Glen V
92. Ways
BBoy @88
Ahhh. Perhaps they are. That's another topic which may have been explored further in the not-gonna-happen outriggers.

JKsilver @89
Food for thought.

wcarter @90
Are we certain that a'dam are cuendillar? Didn't Elayne make the one used to hold Moghedien well before Egwene re-discovered the art of making cuendillar. Don't have time to chase this at the moment.

Here comes da hunny.

ETA - and I see fork had the same thought.
William Carter
93. wcarter
@Forkroot and Ways

In TGH the sul'dam in charge of Egwene tells her that the a'dam are "a form of cuendillar" which leads me to believe there are multiple kinds.

We also see Nyneave attempt to destroy one later on in the same book. It didn't work. She did however, figure out how to open one remotely with a weave of air.

The sul'dam could have been wrong of course, but they and the sad braclets are hard to destroy, so it certainly lends credence to the possibility.
Glen V
94. Ways
I'm liking the idea of multiple varieties of cuendillar. Could explain a lot of things.
95. L13
About how Callandor was made: I happened to be reviewing summaries of The Shadow Rising in which Rand makes his trip through the columns of Rhuidean. In Chapter 26, he sees Callandor in the possession of some Aes Sedai who are preparing the Eye of the World. Can we surmise that Callandor was created to fulfill Deindre Sedai's Foretelling, the same as the Dragon banner and the well of saidin were? We know that some ter'angreal were created that did not required channeling at all to use. It seems possible that someone very gifted in creating items of power might be able to create a True Power sa'angreal through talent alone. I mean, an Aes Sedai in the Third Age created the a'dam out of whole cloth. Lews Therin had enough knowledge to seal the Bore, which means that high-level Aes Sedai had a working knowledge of how the Dark One interacted with their world. This knowledge must have been sufficient to create Callandor.

And Miss Butler is right: we do not see "on screen" where Rand discovers that Callandor is a True Power sa'angreal.
96. Freelancer
I find no text where an a'dam is described as made from cuendillar. The only references in the second half of TGH to cuendillar come when Turak is conversing with Bayle Domon, after acquiring the Seal from him.

Neither was I able to find Nynaeve attempting to destroy an a'dam. Elayne attempts to destroy the Domination Band in Tanchico, and Nynaeve is in a huge hurry to get the a'dam off of her wrist when they first capture Seta.

In Turak's dialogue, he does say that cuendillar is even more rare in what we call Randland, than in Seanchan. But it is still an extremely valuable material, and Turak knows that his personal collection is unique. Were damane able to make cuendillar in order to create a'dam, they could easily make other objects of it, resulting in the substance being of reduced value, as is suggested by Janya(?) in the SAS camp outside of Tar Valon.

L13 @95

The War of Power effectively ends with the Strike at Shayol Ghul, the Breaking beginning in the wake of the same event. It has been stated (and referenced earlier in this thread) that Callandor was made during the War of Power, so it was already in existence well prior to the preparation of the Eye of the World.

This reminds me to bring up a question raised by the chronology submitted by tymyrick @67. We know that the creation of the Eye killed all those channelers involved. We know that Aes Sedai built the Stone. We know that Callandor was placed and warded in the Heart of the Stone. How, when, and by whom, was it warded so that only the Dragon Reborn could grasp it?
Jeff Schweer
97. JeffS.
Hi all,
Just a quick note on the Gardener vs Ogier longing issue.
While I agree that the Seanchan Ogier had better access to Steddings during the breaking and as such did not have trouble with the longing, I don't think we can make anything of the fact that Hartha and friends seem to be immune. Since the entire series of books only last a bit over two years, they haven't been gone long enough. It's not long enough to succumb or even have traces of longing in my mind.
Loial himself had been gone for quite awhile and wasn't really having any trouble but he is inclined to be hasty compared to most Ogier and probably could have been gone for a couple of more years if he hadn't gotten married and returned to the Stump to speak.

Wetlander check your shout box
I am just an egg
Ty Myrick
98. tymyrick
@96 Freelancer

It must have been the same original group of Aes Sedai who split into two parties. Isn't there an upper limit on the size of a circle, even with male channelers? Presumably they would have used a circle to cleanse enough saidin to create the Eye. The remaining Aes Sedai who were involved would have been planning on doing something with Callandor afterwards, but I don't think the text actually said what their plan was. And I can't remember any specifics about the creation of the Stone. Maybe somebody can find a reference.
Glen V
99. Ways
The Eye was made by 100 male and female AS "working together" who all died afterward. We don't know if circles were used somehow. The largest possible size for a circle is 72, with a min. of 6 men and a max. of 35.

I'd love to grab the hunny, but it wouldn't quite be cricket to set yourself up, now would it? So I'll take the 100th comment even though it isn't post #100.
Shane Carter
100. BankstownBoy
It is interesting that the Seanchan channelers have retained the knowledge/ability to make *angreal, whereas in Randland this has been lost completely until the arrival of "our" girls. There maybe no great significance to this, except it perhaps points to yet another failing of the WT.
Alice Arneson
101. Wetlandernw
BankstownBoy @100 - (congrats!) The Seanchan didn't really retain the knowledge/ability to make *angreal in general, though. They only know how to make one: the a'dam. Whether that's a failure of imagination, or something the captured Aes Sedai were able to keep from their captors, or what, I don't know. I suspect both, actually: if the captured ones still knew the making, they were able to hide it; and the sul'dam, not having any channeling background or training, simply never realized that something more could be made. Since damane aren't exactly encouraged to have initiative... you can see how invention would be minimal.
102. Freelancer
The a'dam is the only ter'angreal produced in Seanchan, and that by the design of an Aes Sedai perhaps not long away from the Tower, since it was during the first generation since crossing the Aryth Ocean. They have no knowledge for the creation of any other, nor of angreal or sa'angreal.
103. Crusader75
@101: I suspect the Empire also originally supressed the knowledge of making any artifacts for fear a damane might figure out how make one to defeat the a'dam control. The rest is the tremendous Seanchan cultural inertia. About the Saldean women: Is Lan correct to describe them as "trained soldiers" or they just knowledgable in personal combat? Those are somewhat different skill sets and it makes some sense to be worried about how they might be liability if the latter.
Shane Carter
104. BankstownBoy
Wet @101 Thanks (hehehe). Wet @101, Free @ 102 and Crus @103 TheSeanchan also produce the bloodknives ring which we are told is a ter'angreal and in a very short space of time churned out copies of the Domination Band. That must have been them alone as the Forsaken would have had the knowledge and would have been able to make them anytime they wanted.
Shane Carter
105. BankstownBoy
Crus @103 Unfortunately according to WOT wiki saldaean girls are "not trained with the sword, Saldaean girls are quite skilled both with knives and in hand-to-hand combat". That does sound a bit terminal in battle with Shadowspawn.
106. Freelancer
The Seanchan did not produce the Bloodknife rings. They "found" them. From my own report on The Gathering Storm tour:
Freelancer: Mr. Jordan stated that the Seanchan only know how to make one kind of ter'angreal. Then there are the Bloodknives' rings. Is this a departure from Jordan's notes, or a discrepancy in a past answer?

Brandon Sanderson: Neither. The Seanchan only know how to make a'dam.
Later expansions on this indicated that Ishamael provided the Seanchan empire with a cache of the rings. Nobody is producing them in the Third Age.

The Seanchan did not make copies of the Domination Band. Semirhage did.
Ty Myrick
107. tymyrick
@102 Freelancer

I don't think any of the original damane or Aes Sedai in Seanchan came from the White Tower. Since Artur Hawkwing was rabidly anti-Aes Sedai, it is doubtful any sailed with his sons. I think the books talk about Aes Sedai, or at least descendants of the AoL Aes Sedai, already being in Seanchan lands when Hawkwing's armies arrive. If I remember correctly, I think the books mention channelers ruling some of the lands that Hawkwing's armies eventually conquered. It was one of those Aes Sedai that created the original a'dam as a gift to help Hawkwing's armies conquer some of the other factions.

@106 Freelancer

It is good to know that the Seanchan did not create the Bloodknives' rings. I assumed they did. Presumably, some Seanchan-land Aes Sedai created the Crystal Throne ter'angreal after Hawkwing's armies arrived, or they, and the other warring factions, would have been susceptible to its influence when they arrived. I wonder if Ishamael played a part in suppressing knowledge of ter'angreal creation, perhaps through his influence over the Seanchan rulers.
Shane Carter
108. BankstownBoy
@106 Free, yes thankyou for the Bloodknife correction. Disappointed though, I was on a roll. Are we sure about Semi? The last confirmed possession we heard was with Lady Suroth.
Birgit F
109. birgit
I thought Semi taught damane with the Talent to make a'dam how to make the Dominion Band copies, like Dashiva taught Flinn about Healing.
Shane Carter
110. BankstownBoy
@89 JKs. Getting back to JKs’s point about a completely killable group of beings, we never get a Trolloc POV. We are told that Trollocs although constructed from human DNA have the DO’s taint built into them. This makes them “unredeemable”.
We do get darkfriend POV which is/are interesting. I thought the gradual reveal of Hadnan Kadere’s relationship with his sister as being particularly upsetting. The build-up made me sympathetic to him in that even though he was a darkfriend, he had normal family ties and loves. Only to be told he still killed her in the end.
I don’t remember, did we get Forsaken POV? If we do were they at all revealing about motivation/thoughts?
111. Freelancer
There are a few forsaken POVs. The earliest are all in the same sequence, outside of Aridhol during the Cleansing of saidin: Cyndane, Demandred, Aginor/Osan'gar/Dashiva, Moghedien.

Overall, however, Graendal seems to be the favorite for POVs among the forsaken.
Sam Mickel
112. Samadai
Graendal has a pov in Crown of Swords, when her and Sammael are talking to the Shaido.
Sam Mickel
113. Samadai
Moghedian has a pov near the end of Lord of Chaos
Sam Mickel
114. Samadai
And Asmodean at the end of Fires of Heaven
Sam Mickel
115. Samadai
and of course Moridin with an uncredited appearance after Graendal and Sammael leave the Shaido
116. Crusader75
@110: The perfect world Rand calls up where he killed the Dark One had the Shadowspawn drop dead when the DO was destroyed, so they are all powered by evil, as it were and hence irredeemable. Which does suggest it is morally acceptable for our heroes to slaughter them without mercy, but I, like Tolkien, find such creatures to be a discomforting notion.
117. AndrewB
Demandred has two POVs in LOC: in the Prologue and the last scene in the epilogue.

Mesaana has a POV in the Chosen social in the Prologue in LOC

IIRC one of the Forsaken have a POV at a social in TFoH (where Lanfear, Graendal, Sammel & Rahvin plot against Rand).

Osan'gar has a POV in the LOC prologue as well

Thanks for reading my musings.
Sam Mickel
118. Samadai
It is Rahvin with the pov at the social in FoH
119. Faculty Guy
Question inspired by Crusader75@116: So can anyone (Wetlander? Freelancer? JohnathonLevy?) definitively clarify the various categories of bad guys? For example, have the Forsaken already had a form of immortality/agelessness bestowed on them, and is that what makes them more than just Darkfriends-with-strong-channeling ability (such as the Black Ajah)? Many darkfriends (BA and other) dream of immortality and refer to it as a future reward for their vows, but clearly they have not yet been given it. Then there are "Dreadlords" such as the "turned" Ashaman, and references to earlier Dreadlords in earlier times. All these are, I believe, humans, in contrast to Myrdraal, trollochs, etc. which are "shadowspawn." Just how many categories of human servants of the DO are there, and how do they get that way? Has this been discussed in earlier threads and I just don't remember?
Alice Arneson
120. Wetlandernw
Faculty Guy @119 - I don't think it's been discussed per se. Basically, you have channeler humans, non-channeler humans, and Shadowspawn. (RJ also indicated it was possible for an Ogier to be a Darkfriend, but I don't think we ever saw one.)

As far as we know, no one has really had immortality bestowed on them, in spite of their claims. The Forsaken, the Dreadlords, and the Turned have, just like any other channeler, a long life expectancy (400-600 years, barring unnatural causes). The Forsaken are a little different than other channelers in that, by going to Shayol Ghul to swear themselves to the Dark One, he has... special access to them. We're not exactly sure what that does for him or them, IIRC, but it puts them in an elevated position compared to the rest of the channelers, who in turn generally have a higher standing than non-channelers. The Shadowspawn have their own parallel heirarchy, of a sort, but how the two line up is pretty shifty and depends on a lot of other factors. The only unalterable is that the Forsaken have authority over everyone else.

That's off the top of my head; others may have refinements or arguments with that. :)
Dixon Davis
121. KadesSwordElanor
Wetlander, Faculty Guy, et. al.

Question as much as statement. Would one be wrong in understanding that the Foresaken have immortality of a sort (if not balefired) in that the DO has chosen, though they willingly gave and because of their power, their soul,essence, etc. from the wheel and places it in a new body whenever it is convenient for the DO? Where as “run-of-the-mill” darkfriend, shadowspawn, BA, ect. might still serve the DO when reincarnated, but are spit out at random. Therein lays the hierarchy.
122. Freelancer
KadesSwordelanor @121

A very grey, murky, slippery-slope sort of semi-immortality at best. Consider the very nature of the dark one, and of those who serve him.

~ Remaining in his favor demands behavior which isn't good for one's health.
~ Making a decision on the purely selfish basis for which he is likely to have "chosen" a channeler is hazardous to that favor.
~ One big oops wipes out a thousand atta-boys.

And another hundred platitudinous thoughts which all point at one's life being in the hands of a cruel, vindictive, immoral, unmerciful, uncaring, pure concentrated evil. The output of the math says that sooner or later, you're going to be toast, and he's not going to want you back. If that's an illusion of immortality with which one is satisfied in exchange for a sense of power and authority over others, welcome to it.
123. Faculty Guy
But, but . . . is there not a logical problem if, once a human makes the (really bad) decision to take DF vows, he/she is then under the control of the DO in all future incarnations? Would that not imply that, over an infinite number of cycles, EVERYONE (or almost everyone) would end up as a DF, since anyone who ever, even once, gave in to the temptation to join the DO would forever be bound to him, and pretty much everyone would have some non-zero liklihood of eventually giving in during a moment of weakness?

And didn't Ishey at one point say to Rand (maybe in one of the early dream confrontations) that LT had, in some past incarnations, served the DO? Of course, Ishey might well be lying.

I guess my question is whether all servants of the DO are bound to him forever, or if they get another chance to decide in each incarnation. It seems to me that the bound-forever case is implied in several places, and strongly with various Forsaken as they are re-bodied, and the DO is repeatedly said to be "Lord of the grave" yet this seems to lead to a logical problem.
Deana Whitney
124. Braid_Tug
@123: I think Ishey was lying to Rand when he said that.
Remember when Rand first traveled the Portals? He lived a thousand lives and never served the DO. Yet he always died not doing the "right thing" to contain the DO, hence the DO always said "I win again." (or something like that, don't have book with me.)

Re: Souls, I’m going to go with the more Eastern philosophy of reincarnation. Do good in your current life, your next one will be better. Do bad / evil in your current life, you come back as a “lesser” form (i.e. Human to worm).
So you can always change an evolve. The average soul would not be on a continuous loop of born always to serve the DO after one life of doing so.

But the souls “Tied to the Wheel”, like Rand and the Heroes, are born to serve a set purpose. So while the details of their lives will change, the primary outcome remains the same. They will serve the Wheel’s purpose and do “good” for the most part.
William Carter
125. wcarter
My guess--and it is a guess--is that no soul is truly permenant.
Wolfs and other fauna killed in TAR die forever. Eventually (unless completely new souls are formed by the Pattern from time to time), there will be none left.

The same may be true for humans.

As for benig stuck as a dark friend, there is also the chance of redemption for souls i.e. Ingtar. I doubt he's still tied to the Dark One.
So if/when he is reborn he'll have a chance to make his choices anew.

But these people swear by their hope of salvation and rebirth. That leads me to believe even they don't think it's garunteed to last forever.

Entrophy always wins in the end.
126. Freelancer
Anyone choosing to link themselves to the shadow is so only for the duration of the current incarnation. That the dark one can re-insert a soul into another body remains the same incarnation, caught during departure, as it were. A new life, once reborn, is unconnected with the previous in any way. In ANY way, meaning the karmic concept doesn't apply either.
Sam Mickel
127. Samadai
Interesting philosophy, The pattern is neutral and pulls everything back to balance...... so perhaps the Age of Legends was too good and influenced the research team to look for that other source of power to bring the balance back to the pattern. its opened, there is war and evil to balance the good. then when balance is achieved LT was suppose to do as he does and seal the prison back up, but he does it wrong and the world goes out of balance the other way. A thousand years later the world is getting off balance again and the Trolloc wars happen. 1 thousand years later it happens again and Hawkwings empire falls apart. Ishamael is the counter balance to the Dragon? interesting

Not saying I necesarily believe that, as I dont follow a balance is necesary lifestyle, but it is interesting
Terry McNamee
128. macster
@46 forkroot: I already acknowledged the True Power is not the One Power. However, we were told by Jordan that everything that can be done with the One Power can be done with the True Power. This implies there is some commonality between the two powers, otherwise why can they do all the same things? And since the True Power is the essence of the Dark One, but he is the equal and opposite of the Creator, then it follows that the One Power is the essence of the Creator, and this is the commonality between the Powers--they can do the same things because they are created by/the essences of two dueling but equal cosmic beings. The difference being that the Creator split his power into two halves so as to turn the Wheel (and make it so men and women had to cooperate) while the Dark One kept his whole as a form of temptation (and because he doesn't like sharing or cooperation). So because the Powers are similar in that fashion, a sa'angreal which blended both saidar and saidin could in a sense create a back door to the True Power due to it being similar to the full One Power.

However, I don't really believe this is the case, since I think the reason it's a True Power sa'angreal is because a True Power user was part of the production team. I was just offering this other explanation as a thought experiment.

@47 Wetlander: Ah I see. You do have a point. However I will say (and may go into this more later) that since it seems Jordan's point (or one of his big themes anyway) was the power of free will and choice, that that is why he made the denouement with the Dark One turn out as he did. If it were not possible to destroy the Dark One so that Rand was forced to re-imprison him, that would take away the power of Rand's freely choosing to do it, particularly since the reason he did so was because he knew killing the Dark One would get rid of free will. Without getting into certain religious and philosophical thoughts, it seems Jordan was trying to say that, even in a world where everything is woven by the Pattern of creation, it is paramount that every life be able to make choices, and that losing that ability is the worst thing that can happen. Also, that the real danger lies in mankind and the choices we make, not in some Ultimate Evil. Regardless of whether one believes in such an evil, the fact of the matter is it's what we choose to do that determines our good or evil, and what happens in life. If an Ultimate Evil could be killed, that wouldn't change the fact that people can still make wrong choices and do evil themselves without it--but at the same time, the ability to be able to choose must never be taken away from us. We can debate whether this is true, but it seems to me Jordan was trying to say, in the context of his world, that the fact Rand could have killed him, had the ability to do so in terms of free will as well as actual power, but chose not to precisely because he understood what would happen to free will if he did, is proof of why free will is needed...and would lose its meaning if he couldn't choose, because the ability to kill the Dark One was never even a viable option.

And I see Man-o-Manetheren gets it too. Note again I am not saying I believe the Dark One should be the source of free will; just that I understand why Jordan made him so, and pointing out that as far as the context of the series goes, it fits what he'd written and therefore is obviously his intent. We can argue whether or not such a view is right or satisfactory, but it's at least consistent.

@67 tymyrick: I like that explanation. It makes sense with what we know, fits the timeline, and explains better how the sword could have been made, since any other explanation requires the True Power user to be forced to help make the sword when we don't know of any way to do that (a TP a'dam or Domination Band). The only other option is the one that's been raised already, a Shadow mole who either snuck into the production team, or was allowed to do so because of a Foretelling.

@68 forkroot: The Aes Sedai actually said as much, if I recall correctly. That they were sending the Aiel away to save them, not the objects, and the quest was just a pretext. I got the impression though that was simply because they were trying to spare a people they loved who had been dedicated to peace, not because they knew Lews Therin's reborn self would be raised by the descendants of the very people who once served him (ah, irony) and so they needed to be preserved. Of course there could also have been a prophecy saying Rhuidean and its One Power treasures would be needed.

@71 forkroot: And it isn't that all angreal/sa'angreal are made of cuendillar either. Rand was able to destroy the male Choedan Kal with the One Power, and the female one melted just from using too much saidar (or cleansing all of saidin), and the access key in the Panarch's Palace somehow got broken.

@75 Chappers: I doubt LTT knew, but even if he did, he may have thought/hoped that once the Dark One was sealed, there'd be no way for anybody to use the True Power anyway. And if all the Forsaken had been fully sealed, he'd have probably been right. Of course various lower-level One Power users of the Shadow might still have been granted access, but then the seals were lost anyway.

@81 Chappers: I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to alter other substances, if you alter the cuendillar weave. Also the way the seals are described I have a hard time imagining them being iron before the change. As for why they were both white and black, the seals themselves may have been made before women started joining Latra Posae's Fateful Concord, so he had assistance from women in that process; they just didn't get placed until later when he had only men. On a side note it seems odd, if the theory is right that black cuendillar is made by saidin, that men would be involved in making a device that could be used to collar and control them. On the one hand yes, from what we've seen it seems anything related to one half of the Power (barring the Healing of severing) must come from users of the same half; but on the other hand, why would a saidin-user want to make something which could be used to control his fellows? This seems to imply they were made during the Breaking too...

@83 Teddroe: You're welcome. And no, we don't--in fact the Guide explicitly mentions Callandor as the only One Power object made to resemble a weapon. (The fat man angreal has a sword, but it itself is not a weapon. And the knife was made post-Bore, as tymyrick points out, not to mention its power is clearly not meant to be used in a combative manner. Perhaps this does mean the Shadow or at least a Forsaken made Callandor. Or else the Aes Sedai knew this sa'angreal would need to be used as a weapon?) I wonder if that means it originally was a regular sword changed into crystal, the way other items can be changed into cuendillar?

@89 JKSilver: And as corollary to your idea: not only does Rand worry in Chapter 18 about whether Shadowspawn have souls because they were made from men, whether some people are doomed to be spun out as Shadowspawn, but recall that it is true in-story that the Shadowspawn were created by Aginor to be soulless, evil, irredeemable monsters, what he thought would be the perfect soldiers. So the point is, not only do we not know if they truly are evil, soulless, and irredeemable, but even if they are, they were made to be that way, and this is treated in-story as the horrible act that it is. So as you say, Jordan played with the trope--he gives us creatures we can feel okay about killing, but doesn't make it clear it really is okay. And even if it is okay, he reminds us that the only reason it's okay is because some sick person created them to be such, and goes out of his way to point out to us that what Aginor did was wrong. It's Jordan reminding us "people want to have bad guys who are all evil and horrible so it's okay to kill them; someone here literally made creatures to fit that mold; but isn't it sick that someone did that?"

@95 L13: That's an interesting idea! A Talent to make something attuned to the True Power even if you couldn't use it yourself. I never even thought of that...and why not? Androl can do amazing things with gateways despite having so little of the Power to work with, same with that one Kin and her shields, so maybe something like that is possible with the True Power. Particularly since, unlike with saidin and saidar, the True Power can be used by anyone, so the fact it was a woman would not have been a bar to her having the Talent.

@96 Freelancer: And for that matter, how were they able to attune those wards to one person/thread in the Pattern, regardless whom he was reincarnated as? Maybe it's related to Ishamael and Lanfear being able to find Rand through his ta'veren effect--if he's the most powerful ta'veren ever, maybe that is what the wards were made to detect and come down for?

@99 Ways: Hmmm. So what did those other 28 Aes Sedai do? Make another circle that somehow worked on the Eye as well? But yeah if they all died, a different group must have made the Stone and the wards on Callandor.

@102 Freelancer: Are you suggesting the Aes Sedai in Seanchan came from the Tower? That is certainly possible, but I got the impression they were Aes Sedai separated from those of Randland by the Breaking and who started doing their own thing. Setting themselves up as tyrants and constantly at war with each other doesn't exactly sound like something the Aes Sedai of the Tower would do, even taking into account what we're told or has been implied about the early days of the Tower and Ajahs. If the Seanchan Aes Sedai were separate, that must mean they just happened to be Aes Sedai who didn't know how or didn't have the Talent for making angreal and sa'angreal. Or maybe they lost any Seeds, and by the time new Aes Sedai had been born, the knowledge of how to use the Seeds had been lost.

@107 tymyrick: Since we've been told the Seanchan only know how to make a'dam, that would seem to imply the Crystal Throne is from the Age of Legends. Perhaps Ishamael made it, or found it, and gave it to them from his stash along with the Bloodknife rings? (Could it be the seat Lews Therin sat on in the Hall of the Servants? That was razed by Be'lal and could have been captured...)

@111 Freelancer, 110 BankstownBoy: Demandred, Graendal, Mesaana, Semi, Moghedien, and Sammael all get POVs in LoC and ACoS, well before the Cleansing. And Aran'gar gets a POV in KoD. None of them really bring any possibility of sympathy or redemption, except possibly Graendal.

@123 FacultyGuy: I would say that despite the implication, it must be the case that each person would get a chance to choose again in each incarnation. Some might always make the same choice (see Lanfear, or Ishy who has decided the Dark One will win and it's better to join him and get an end to this pointless existence), but others might choose better ("no one so long in the Shadow..."). As I stated above, free will seems to be at the heart of Jordan's cosmos despite the whole weave of the Wheel/Pattern, so I can't see him as saying once you've given yourself to the Dark One in one lifetime, you're always bound to him. Or maybe when someone fails enough times and he doesn't bring them back, that frees them so they're able to choose again? Freelancer also makes a good point about it only being the current incarnation that the Dark One is resurrecting.
Anthony Pero
129. anthonypero
forkroot@66: How does that quote negate what I'm saying? I was saying that a normal angreal would not be able to channel the TP because the buffer would stop it. That doesn't contradict what RJ said.

I'm not saying I think that's the real reason, I was positing it as a possible solution to the problem of someone creating a TP sa'angreal. They weren't. They created a sa'angreal without a buffer, making it different from every other *angreal we know about it. It seems reasonable to suggest that both of its unique properties come from the same source.

As far as RJs quote contradicting the theory, it simply doesn't. Moridin would not be able to pick up an angreal or sa'angreal, other than Callendor, and channel the TP if its the buffer to prevent overdrawing on the OP that also prevents the user from drawing on the TP. In this scenario, the buffer is like a broad-spectrum frequency jammer, or a white-list internet filter. It only allows the user to use the *angreal in the proper manner.

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