2 Useful Information (short answers) Part 3

Contents of this section

2.44 What are those chapter Icons? +

Serpent and Wheel: Aes Sedai, Wheel of Time, Ta'veren
Ravens: Darkfriends, other minions of the DO
Dragon's Fang: Darkfriends, other minions of the DO, or Rand
Harp: Thom Merrilin
Leafless tree at night: Traveling through woods?
Heron-mark sword hilt: Rand
Two leaves from the Tree of Life and Moiraine's staff: Moiraine (TEotW only)
Flame of Tar Valon: Aes Sedai, Saidar
Sunburst: Whitecloaks
LeavesA Leaf:/ Ogier, Loial, Waygates, Nynaeve, Wise Women, Tinkers
Horned skull, trident and a paw: Trollocs
Wolf: Wolfbrother, Perrin
Lion Rampant: Andor, Elayne.
Gnarled, Withered Tree: The Blight
Ruby-Hilted Dagger: Shadar Logoth Dagger, Mat, Padan Fain.
Horn: The Horn of Valere
Portal Stone: Portal Stone
Rising Sun: Cairhien
Insect-Like, Horned Helmet: Seanchan
Tree with lots of leaves: stedding, Ogier
A'dam: damane
Female silhouettes (One Black, One White): Black Ajah, the hunt for them
Dice (FIVE): Mat "(Note the five sixes..Yahtzee!!)" - Joe Shaw
Crescent moon and stars: Lanfear, Daughter of the Night. This one is really note worthy. This icon appears when we meet the peddlers (aka Lanfear and Asmodean) in the waste. Had I realized it was Lanfear's icon, I would have realized then that one of them was Lanfear disguised. Also the same when she appears to the girls as Else. - Judy G.
Dream Ring: Tel'aran'rhiod
Waves: A journey over water
Dragon: Rand "Is it just me, or does this 'dragon' look like a jolly, happy-go-lucky salamander?" - Joe Shaw (it's you, Joe - Pam)
8-pointed star and birds: Sea folk
Two spears & a shield: Aiel
Bull: Gareth Byrne
Elephant: Valen Luca's traveling menagerie
Full Aes Sedai symbol of old: Rand, the Dragon Reborn "under this sign will he conquer"
Snakey square: Forsaken

Joe Shaw claims that you can get high by licking the ink from the icons. The rest of us look upon this claim with skepticism, but Tastes Vary!

2.45 Thought and Memory, Take two

Just another thought while re-reading. Our favorite heros all seem to have unusual memories available to them. Meaning :

  1. Rand has memories of the past through the experience at Rhuidean, plus LTT lurking inside his head.
  2. Mat has memories of the past through the past lives he has had, which he can now remember.
  3. Perrin has the memories of the wolves. In TEotW, Elyas tells him that wolves remember from the first wolf on, so I think that means that wolves have the memories of all wolves ever. So conceivably, Perrin would have access to these memories.

2.46 What did Ogier do of old?

Windsor Williams reports:

Basically, I'm wondering about the role of the Ogier in pre-Breaking society. From what we know in general, the stedding did exist during the period, but the Ogier were not bound to them by the Longing as they are at the time of the series. So it seems reasonable to assume that they were fairly common everywhere, although most common in and around the stedding.

We know they were involved with the seed singing (as per the "through the eyes of Coumin" scene [TSR: 26, 432-3, The Dedicated, 302-5]), but what other roles did they have? Some clues exist:

Ogier soldiers - also from the Coumin sequence, right at the beginning [TSR: 26, 431, The Dedicated, 302] "He could see the next field, lined the same way, beyond the soldiers with their shocklances sitting atop armored jo-cars. A hoverfly buzzed overhead in its patrol, a deadly black metal wasp containing two men. He was sixteen, and the women had decided his voice was finally deep enough to join in the seed singing."

"The soldiers fascinated him, men and Ogier, the way a colorful poisonous snake might. They _killed_."

The "men and Ogier" phrase seems to imply that there were Ogier soldiers as well as humans. (At least, it does to me.)

Ogier as police or enforcers - again, from the Coumin sequence

[TSR: 26, 434, The Dedicated, 304] "Abruptly something struck Coumin in the mouth and his legs buckled; he was pushing himself to his knees before he realized he was down. A hand put to his mouth came away bloody. He looked up to find an angry-faced townsman standing over him, nursing a fist. 'Why did you do that?' he asked."
"The townsman spat at him. 'The Forsaken are dead. Dead, do you hear? Lanfear will not protect you anymore. We will root out all of you who served the Forsaken while pretending to be on our side, and treat the lot of you as we treated that crazy old man.'"
"A woman was tugging at the man's arm. 'Come away, Toma. Come away, and hold your foolish tongue! Do you want the Ogier to come for you?' Suddenly wary, the man let her pull him away into the crowd."

"Do you want the Ogier to come for you?"
and the man's response argue that the Ogier were enforcers of peace/police of some sort, and effective ones as well. I'm guessing that they would come for him for the killing of Charn ("that crazy old man"), but maybe it's his statements, instead?

I hadn't thought of Ogier in terms of soldiers or police before, but these passages caught my eye while re-reading the series. We've been told at one point or another that old tales refer to Ogier as bad opponents, who rarely get angry but are very dangerous when they do. (I can't recall the exact place...something about Perrin and some line about Ogier and mountains. Anyone else recall where this is?)

We've seen Loial play an important role a couple of times already (knowing the Ways, closing the Waygate in the Two Rivers), but I'm starting to think we may see quite a bit more of the Ogier before the series ends.

2.47 More of the Fain +

Padan Fain was a Lugard peddler, who moonlighted as a Friend of the Dark. When it came time for the Dragon to be reborn, Fain was taken to Shayol Ghul and made into the Dark One's Hound, to search out TDR. Followed the boys to Shadar Logoth and had a run-in with Mordeth. Mordeth tried to devour Fain's soul, but couldn't, because of the hold the DO had on him. so, Fain became half Mordeth, half minion of the DO. This is basically what the books tell us.

Roy Navarre, and the late Tony Z (no he's not dead, just gone from the Net), came up with a theory that Fain is actually the avatar of the DO. Roy says: First, if you check the glossary, you will see that the DO is described as the source of all evil. Hence Mashadar must flow from the DO or the glossary is wrong. (We had pages and pages of discussion on this in the past). Next, Myself and Tony Z, who doesn't seem to be around anymore presented detailed evidence suggesting that Fain is the avatar of the DO. With each broken seal, Fain gets stronger. Thus, the DO has been in our midst all this time but we just didn't know it. At first only a trace of him in Fain, but growing stronger and stronger until now his presence in Fain seems unmistakable.

Eric Ebinger counters:

Fain no longer exists. Padan Fain was summoned to Shayol Ghul, was broken and reformed into a bloodhound for the DO, as part of which he was imprinted by the DO. This happened twice at Shayol Ghul and once in a dream. Padan Fain/DO bloodhound went to Shadar Logoth and fell prey to Mordeth. Normally, Mordeth would just destroy the existing "soul/personality", but Padan Fain,s having been "remade" by the DO seems to have changed things sufficiently so that there was a slow gradual merging of all of the different personalities (Fain/Mordeth/DO's imprint). The most accurate term for the combination is the name that he took: Ordeith. Over time, the Mordeth portion has gained more and more control over the gestalt.

The DO's imprint has given Ordeith the unreasoning hatred of Rand, Perrin, and Mat. There doesn't seem to be much of anything of Padan Fain left. As the Mordeth fragment has gained more complete control of the gestalt, Ordeith has increased in power. The seeming relationship between the breaking of the Seals and Ordeith's power is due only to the fact that as time passes Ordeith gets stronger and as time passes the Seals break. The same relationship is evident with Rand, Perrin, Mat, Elayne, Egwene, Aviendha and Nynaeve.

Survey Says: Is Fain the DO? Yes: 01, No: 81. You are all alone, Roy!

What is he up to now? Not much, for somebody who is supposedly as dangerous as the Shadow. He went to the Fortress of the Light and the White Tower to sow seeds of dissention, and make sure Pedron Niall and Elaida would never join Rand. He seems to be currently involved in causing Rand trouble, in little instances which could, admittedly, build up. He instigated a failed assassination of Rand by his ex-WCs in Caemlyn. He might also have been responsible for the attack on the Brown AS in Caemlyn which ended up driving a rift between Rand and the Salidar AS, and sending him into the hands of Elaida's AS in Cairhien, but this could just as easily (and more probably) have been part of some Forsaken's plot, or a plot by the Tower AS & the Shaido to alienate the Salidar AS from Rand. He still has his pet myrdraal.

2.48 Jain Farstrider: Where is he now?

Jain seems to have a cult following among the Jordanites on r.a.sf.w. "Jain lives!" they proclaim. So, as promised, here is a list of all the suspects in "who is Jain in disguise" contest.

  1. Elyas Machera
  2. Tam Al'Thor
    (It is very unlikely that Tam==Jain. Malkier fell a little less than 50 years before TEOTW (say 45-50 years), according to Lord Agelmar. [TEotW: 47, 708, More Tales of the Wheel, 595] At the time, Jain was a young man, say between 17 & 20. Thus,at the start of TEOTW, Jain would be 62-70 years old. I would put Tam at 50, tops, probably younger. definitely not older than 60.) Plus, RJ has said that Tam spent his time away from the 2 Rivers in Illian, which precludes his running around the Borderlands and the Blight. At a signing in Atlanta, RJ said that Tam & Rand were originally the same character-a soldier come home to a small town. This pretty much precludes his being Farstrider, no?
  3. Graendal's old man in wrinkled coat. (This is more likely the Domani king she displaced, or that famous general she has working for her.)
  4. Bayle Domon, because he seems to be very well traveled and likes to collect old things, and his talk to Mat about it being "the strangeness you see that pulls you to the next horizon." [TEotW: 24, 356-7, Flight Down the Arinelle, 300].

I cannot think of any more, offhand, although I know there many more.

Survey says:

2.49 Who was Silvie?

by Joe Shaw

[TDR: 27, 316-9, Tel'aran'rhiod, 257-9] Most likely, Lanfear , it was part of her plot to get Rand and/or Mat to go to Tear. Egwene and Nynaeve were to be bait to draw him there, only Rand was already going there to stop their attacks through his dreams. The girls were probably just a backup in case he resisted the dreams or learned to shield them on his own. Egwene and Nynaeve were to be Be'lal and Ish.s bait to draw Rand, while Liandrin and Co. were the bait to draw draw Egwene and Nynaeve. See Perrin's dream about the trap in [TDR: 43, 504, Shadowbrothers, 426] (see section 7.6) which matches Egwene's dreams about "puppets" in [TDR: 37, 423, Fires in Cairhien, 352-3] (see section 7.1). Lanfear was playing along with Ish, but working to her own designs.

There's no doubt (in my mind) that Silvie was Lanfear. And the reason for ripping off the ring ter'angreal to throw her out of T'A'R was just her cruel streak; Lanfear knew she was a dream since she had been haunting the White Tower as Else, and just wanted Egwene to go to the Heart of the Stone in T'A'R to make sure the girls decided to go there. Once she had accomplished that, why not send her out the hard way? After all, Lanfear claimed T'A'R as her domain (even though Mog. was stronger there), so there was no need for Egwene to learn too much about "her domain". Plus, her precious LTT reborn had once loved this girl; I'm sure she couldn't resist inflicting a little pain on her, especially since the fact that Eg was bait to draw Rand to Tear meant that he still cared about her. That must have drove Lanfear bonkers.

2.50 Were there Ajahs in the Age of Legends? +

by Bill Garrett, Pam Korda

RJ said, at a signing, that there were not Ajahs in the AoL. The Ajahs were formed within a few hundred years after the Breaking. The colors of the Ajahs were probably representative of something in the AoL or a previous Age, because the Ajah colors are the colors surrounding the Portal Stones.

A possible, even probable, scenario of the forming of the Ajahs is: Perhaps the AS argued about what was most important... a few said, "we must find and stop all the male channelers who have gone mad!" while others said, "we must fight the Shadowspawn and stay ready to fight them should they return." Others might have placed importance on healing the wounded and stopping the ravage of disease. Then some said, "We must manipulate the governments of the people to make sure they are always ready." A few bookish sorts might have thought it was more important to preserve old knowledge to keep it from getting lost. "What will happen in troubles to come if our descendants forget even the meager things we've learned so far?"

2.51 Who ordered Melindhra, and why?

[TFoH: 34, A Silver Arrow, 390] Nynaeve and Birgitte were in T'A'R eavesdropping on the Forsaken Conference. Third Paragraph, Rahvin said, "He [Rand] will concentrate on you [Sammael], ... If need be, one close to him will die, plainly at your order. He will come for you. And while he is fixed on you alone, the three of us, linked, will take him. What has changed to alter any of that?"

So, It seems Melindhra was ordered to kill Mat with a golden bee dagger if the need arose. Mat let slipped to her that Rand's going to Caemlyn, instead of "concentrating of Sammael", and she attacked Mat right away. [TFoH: 51, 871, News Comes To Caemlyn, 617]

2.52 Why Moiraine is not Black Ajah

I thought this was a dead issue, but apparently it is not. sigh. Okay, why would anybody think Moiraine was BA? well, during TGH, RJ seems to be putting down clues in that direction. namely, she was missing during the time of the DFS. Also, she was wearing her ring on a different finger than she had before (oh no! not that!!!!). Well, this was all a red herring, because since then, we have been privy to Moiraine's thoughts, which show that she walks in the light. Okay, maybe she has multiple personalities, but I doubt it.

2.53 Can Thom channel?

Here are the reasons why some people think Thom can channel:

  1. The mysterious blue flash in Whitebridge/random burns after the Fade fight.
  2. The White Ajah hypothesis that channeling has a genetic link, and that Thom has at least one relative who can channel (Owyn).
  3. His comment that he "could have done something" for Owyn.
  4. [TFoH: 9, A Signal, 145] Nynaeve says Thom "cannot channel any more than she". This is taken to be "ironic foreshadowing."
  1. The blue flash is an artifact of TEOTW, we also see it when Lan battles a Fade. It is probably just something that Jordan dropped after the first book. As for the fires, it seems likely that there was some sort of riot after the fight, which is why people didn't want to talk about it.
  2. The genetic basis for channeling is not a simple matter at all, in the whole series, we've only heard of one channeler who is closely related to another-Elayne (if she's Taringail's kid, she's related to Moiraine, if she's Thom's, she is related to Owyn).
  3. The "something" comment is probably just wishful thinking.
  4. If Thom was a channeler, he would have to have the "spark inborn," since nobody goes around teaching men to channel. Thus, he'd have started channeling at about 20, a la Rand. Even if he had a block, like Ny, he would have channeled quite a bit in the 30 or so years since then, more than enough for him to be showing sign of madness and the rotting disease.
  5. Noting that we have seen of Thom's thoughts gives any indication of him being able to channel.
  6. Rand should probably be able to sense some channeling ability in Thom, a la the AS. Then again, maybe he doesn't know what to look for.

From a signing in Seattle, Edward "potato" Liu tells us:

Now, regarding Thom, RJ said a man will not go mad or sick away if he never channeled. Thus, he agreed that a male channeler who could be taught to channel (as opposed to having the inborn ability) and has never channeled would not die from the taint. BUT, when I asked him if he ever intended to make people think that Thom could channel, he said no. I brought up the hereditary point (i.e. Owen) but he said just because your parents have a particular gene doesn't mean you'll receive that particular gene. Also he made a point that Owen was his nephew so therefore not necessarily very similar gene-wise. When I pressed him again on it, he said (I'm quoting) "There is no way in hell Thom can channel." All he offered for explanations is that Thom is a "mysterious man." Enough said.

2.54 What's the difference between Skimming and Traveling?

Skimming requires knowledge of destination and Traveling requires origin [TFoH: 6, Gateways, 121]. For example, Aviendha Travels to Seanchan which she obviously doesn't know a thing about, but she knew the bathroom real well.

Skimming is like getting somewhere by placing yourself on a highway system. You can take as many people as you can fit in your vehicle, and as long as you know where you are going you can get there. Thus you need to know where your destination well in order to get there.

Traveling is like placing a phone call to somewhere and shifting yourself through the phone lines. Thus if you know how to use a telephone (ie you have knowledge of the place that you are at) you can place a random phone call and hook up with some place that you have never been (what Aviendha did) but if you know the number, you can call wherever you want, and go someplace specific.

2.55 What's up with the male/female A'dam link where they both die screaming?

In [TGH: 40, 573, Damane, 484], Egwene's sul'dam describes how the Empress will sometimes make a man wear the bracelet of the a'dam. Sometimes nothing happens, and sometimes "both die, screaming." We see something similar happen in [TFoH: 32, A Short Spear, 370] when Rand tries to free the damane in Seanchan. What's happening here? Well, it seems as if the men who are affected by the a'dam are those who can channel, or who have the ability to learn. According to Elayne's study of the a'dam, it works by creating an uneven link between channelers, in which the bracelet holder has complete control. So possible explanations for the "die screaming" effect are:

  1. a male & a female are linked, with the man in control. A female must control such a link due to the nature of the OP. So the a'dam link is backwards, which could have a bad effect.
  2. Possibly, they find themselves each touching the wrong half of the Source, and cannot stand to do this, and consequently experience immense pain and have their pitiful lives snuffed out by the overbearing power of the wrong half of the OP pouring through their frail bodies.
  3. Putting a male in the _a'dam_ link somehow creates a "short circuit" in the One Power, frying both participants in the link unless they break it pronto.

2.56 Is Sheriam Black Ajah?

  1. Pro: The scene with the Gray Man in the Tower. Nynaeve points out that Sheriam never once wonders about who killed the Soulless. She acts rather suspicious in general during that whole scene. [TDR: 15, 187-191, The Gray Man, 142-6].
    Con: She was just being brusque with the kids because she wanted them to keep quiet. And why _should_ she wonder who killed him in front of the Accepted?
  2. Pro: Mistress of Novices would be a plum position for a Black Ajah, in terms of recruiting (voluntarily, or through the assistance of a few Fades).
    Con: Just because it would be a good position, doesn't mean the Black Ajah got one of their own into the job.
  3. Pro: Sheriam's also the perfect operative of the Shadow for the tower-in-exile in Salidar. There were many suspicious things about her treatment of Elayne and Nynaeve when they arrived in Salidar. Sheriam seemed to be the most ardent about confiscating the ter'angreal. It won't be too surprising if it's Sheriam who gives Nynaeve the hardest time when Nynaeve claims that she's captured Moggy in Salidar. Sheriam, by her refusal to believe Nynaeve, will be the reason Moggy escapes.
    Con: Again, she's just being Aes Sedai. Why should she let the kids keep the ter'angreal, or approve of them galavanting about the glove, instead of studying like they should be?
  4. Pro: Egwene's Accepted test: she says something like "He said they could turn him to the Shadow, against his will. Can they?" [TDR: 22, 255, The Price of the Ring, 202-3] Sheriam then tells her about the 13 Dreadlords + 13 Fades trick, but she doesn't wonder who "he" was. Could she already know, from the Darkfriend Social?
    Con: Why would a Darkfriend tell Egwene about that trick, so that she'd know to watch out for it?
If Sheriam was a DF, isn't it probable that Halima/Aran'gar would've attached herself to her, the Keeper of the Chronicles, instead of a DF Sitter of the Hall?

2.57 Who is not a Darkfriend?

There are several characters who we know cannot be Darkfriends. We know because jordan has shown us their thoughts when they are thinking about their motivations, their opinions towards the Shadow and the DO, or something similarly indicative. These people are:

Rand, Mat, Perrin, Moiraine, Egwene, Nynaeve, Min, Elayne, Elaida (see Section 1.11 ), Morgase, Thom, Egeanin, Bayle Domon, Pedron Niall, Dain and Geofram Bornhald, Siuan Sanche.

2.58 What are those black threads on the Forsaken?

When Rand battles the male Forsaken , he sees black threads, wires, or cords running off from them. This is seen when Rand battles Ishy in [TEotW: 51, 759-62, Against the Shadow, 637-40], and Asmodean in [TSR: 58, 965-972, The Traps of Rhuidean, 671-675]. So what's the deal with these strings?

The thick black threads are the Forsaken's connection to the DO. The connection with the DO is what keeps the male Forsaken from falling prey to the madness taint of saidin (see Asmodean's statements to Rand in TSR after his black "thread" was severed). Rand's thread in TEotW was silver and thinner because it was from that pure pool of saidin that was the Eye of the World.

We've never seen the threads on a female Forsaken, so it is possible that the threads are themselves the protection from the taint. Perhaps they act as a kind of filter on saidin, or a conduit through which the DO siphons off the taint when the Forsaken draws upon the Source.

2.59 Who are Aran'gar and Osan'gar?

We've been told since TEOTW that the DO is Lord of the Grave. It is about time he started acting it. In [LoC: Prolgoue, The First Message, 59-61], we see Aran'gar and Osan'gar, two minions of the Shadow brought back from the dead and put into new bodies. It is a good first approximation to assume that they are reincarnated Forsaken , and not some random Dreadlords. After all, if the DO is going to bring people back to life, why not Choose the strongest of his servants? So, what Forsaken are available for reincarnation (i.e. are dead)? Aginor and Balthamel, the Terrible Two from the TEOTW finale, Ishamael, Rahvin and Be'lal, and possibly Asmodean and Lanfear. Well, Rahvin and Be'lal died of balefire, and their souls are beyond even the reach of the DO. Asmodean was a traitor, and the DO apparently lumps him in with Rahvin as having "Died the final death" [LoC: Prologue, The First Message, 15], so it probably wasn't him.
Aran'gar is not Lanfear , because of Osan'gar's statement "Lanfear seemed cautious in contrast to Aran'gar." Furthermore, Osan'gar cannot be Lanfear because his Forsaken-name had been "given in scorn and adopted in pride." Lanfear was the only Forsaken to have chosen her own nom de guerre. This leaves us with Aginor, Balthamel, and Ishamael .

Now, Ishamael was not bound like the other Forsaken during the Third Age. He was "partly bound," or maybe not even bound at all. There are references to this throughout the series, starting with the prologue to TEOTW, where Ishamael appears to LTT during the Time of Madness (chronologically after the sealing of the Bore). However, Osan'gar makes reference to "waking from the long sleep" with an aged body. The long sleep is obviously the time spent sealed between the universe and the DO's dungeon dimension. Thus, Osan'gar must be either Aginor or Balthamel. As to which one, all we really have to go on is his comment on having helped make the Trollocs and not liking the Halfmen who were an unexpected effect of that experiment. We know that Aginor was very involved in creating the various Shadowspawn, and that he was unnerved by Fades, spending lots of time trying to discover how they "fade." So if we have to choose one or the other for Osan'gar, I'll say he was Aginor.

Now for Aran'gar. She is extremely upset at being put into a woman's body, and Osan'gar thinks it is a "fine joke." From TEotW, we know that Balthamel enjoyed "the pleasures of the flesh." That is to say, he liked to have his way with the female sex. Thus, it would be a great joke to put him in a female body. Furthermore, it is stated that Aran'gar was always rather rash. I really wouldn't classify Ishamael as "rash," not with his centuries of careful planning. So, it is a good bet that Aran'gar was Balthamel. Still, it is not 100% certain; we don't have enough evidence to narrow it down to which of the two is Aginor and which is Balthamel for certain. And even though Ishamael probably isn't either of the two, I would bet that he has been reincarnated in a similar fashion, we just haven't seen him yet. (Or, maybe we have, but don't know it :).

2.60 Mazrim Taim - Is he really him? +

[reasons nicely compiled by Jared Samet. Contributors Jared Samet, Bill Garrett, William Smit, John Schwegler, John Novak, Pam Korda, OilCan, and lots of other folks.]

So, is the Mazrim Taim in LoC the real Mazrim Taim, the Saldean False Dragon, or is he the Forsaken Demandred in disguise?

Here, MT=the character in LoC, general of the Asha'man. Taim=the False Dragon we heard about, captured after Falme. Demandred=Forsaken.

A Scenario for MT to be Demandred:

The BA , or a Forsaken, or some Trollocs broke Taim free from where he was being held in Saldaea. They took him to Semirhage, or someone else who could extract every bit of information from his skull (a la the AS Cabriana who Semirhage tortures) and drained him dry. Then they killed him. Now, Demandred either

  1. Looks kind of like Taim in the first place, or
  2. Looks very different from Taim and is using a partial illusion to look like the real Taim. This is why Bashere isn't sure that MT is Taim, and why MT says that he shaved his beard. This also explains why it is MT who brings up the things only he and Bashere know - to convince everybody that he is Taim.

Then again, MT may really be the original Mazrim Taim. The reason we think of Demandred when we see him is not because he is Demandred, but because he is similar to Demandred in personality - he wanted to be the Dragon, he doesn't like being second-best, etc. Taim could have the ultimate plan of supporting Rand as much as he can, helping him to win the Last Battle. Since Rand is expected to die in the Last Battle, Taim plans to bide his time and take control in the aftermath. After that, well, as MT says, "...write the histories."

Here are the indications that MT = Demandred, and arguments against:

  1. MT knows too much. The test, how quickly he picks up gateways, how well he teaches the Asha'man, etc.
    Answer: He's supposedly been channeling for 15 years. He had to have learned something in that time. Plus, MT mentions to Bashere that he used compulsion on two people [LoC: 2, A New Arrival, 76]. Since the real Taim did that, the real Taim did know stuff. As for Gateways, maybe MT is just a fast learner, like Rand, or Nynaeve. In fact, one's ease of learning seems to be a direct function of how strong one is in the Power. (examples: Rand, Ny, El, Eg are all fast learners, and even SS and Moiraine, who are stronger than your average bear, er, AS, spent a relatively short time as Novices (3 years?).) This probably has to do with the fact that, the stronger you are, the easier it is for you to see the flows required for a particular action, and thus can more readily duplicate it.
  2. The Seal. The story about finding it in a Saldaean farmer's house is pretty fishy. Could be that Demandred (posing as Taim) gave it to Rand in order to try to gain his trust?
    Answer: If MT is Demandred, why would he, and the DO, give a seal to Rand? If the minions of the Shadow had a seal, wouldn't they break it? Maybe the DO could predict that Rand/LTT would try to break the seal, but Demandred couldn't have. MT was certainly shocked when it looked like Rand was going to smash it [LoC: 2, A New Arrival, 80-1]. As mentioned, it could be that Demandred would want to give it to Rand to get him to trust him, but that failed utterly. Or there could be some mysterious reason why the DO _wants_ to stay sealed up, at least for the time being.(The origin of MT's seal story is somewhat backed by Bashere's story to Perrin about a farmer in Saldaea who claimed to be the ancestor of the kings of a ancient Kingdom. If MT Farmer == Bashere Farmer it would be plausible that the seal was the last item of inheritance. And who better for the farmer to give it to than the Dragon Reborn (MT claim before Rand declared himself)
  3. MT claims to not be affected by the Taint, after 15 years of channeling [LoC: 2, A New Arrival, 76]. This seems pretty unlikely (cf. Owyn, who was going mad after only 3 years of seldom channeling at all). The only Taint protection we know of is linking to the DO.
    Answer: Unless Taim was a raving lunatic when he was leading his armies as a False Dragon, he must have still been somewhat sane, even after 15 years. Plus, Logain, who is not a Forsaken, has been channelling for six years, and isn't going mad. It seems likely that the ease with which one succumbs to the Taint varies widely with the person. Owyn went under in 3 years, MT mentions some other guys who lasted for 2 years, [LoC: 2, A New Arrival, 79] and Logain has lasted for 6. [LOC: 51, The Taking, 647]
  4. MT's reaction to Rand's badges and awards - not pleased to be seen as subservient to Rand [LoC: 42, The Black Tower, 543], just like Demandred [LoC: Prologue, The First Message, 56-7].
    Answer: It is entirely possible that "Taim" is just plain arrogant. Nothing says the Forsaken have a monopoly on over-weening pride.
  5. LTT thinks of Demandred, and killing him, every time MT is around. Is there a method in his madness?
    Answer: Possibly, but again, it could just be that "Taim" is similar to Demandred in many ways, and LTT thinks he will betray him like Demandred did in the AoL. Anyway, LTT is loony. Plus, LTT seems to get this way about all male channellers who are not him/Rand. [LoC:2, A New Arrival, 83],[LoC: 42, The Black Tower, 545]
  6. The epilogue - "Have I not done well, Great Lord?" The DO's orders were to "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule," which seems to refer to Rand/LTT. MT, in building the Asha'man, has certainly helped Rand in gaining control of the world.
    Answer: From Sammael's speech with Graendal [LoC: 6, Threads Woven of Shadow, 135], we know that Demandred may be involved in the Seanchan invasion in Tarabon. Maybe this has something to do with it. (If Demandred is MT and is also involved with the Seanchan, wouldn't it be necessary for him to "disappear" from the farm in order to manage his other project? I don't think anybody mentioned anything about MT vanishing. Maybe some of his recruitment trips were to the west coast?) Or, John Schwegler points out, Remember the intricate setup that occurred on the way to the White Tower ... including the Shaido Aiel. Perhaps Demandred had a major hand in manipulating the Shaido, and orchestrating a scenario that puts Rand at odds with the rest of the Aes Sedai(White Tower & Salidar). Neither Egwene nor Elaida will be pleased to hear that Rand made their Aes Sedai swear allegiance. Or, this could also have been a set up wrt "Let the LOC Rule" - it got the AS to swear allegiance to him, plus it probably helped MT gain some favor in Rand's eyes.
  7. MT kills the Gray Man. If he hadn't, Rand might have gotten information out of it. Alternatively, it could've been a set-up, since "Taim" gates in oh-so-conveniently just in time to wast the Gray man.
    Answer: Doubtful Rand could get much information from a Gray Man. The Gray Men have no souls - they're basicly walking killing machines. They probably have some sort of self- destruct mechanism, too. Jared Samet remarks: "If I were designing a perfect assassin, I'd set him up so that he could never point the finger at me. Remember, the Gray Man who comes after Nynaeve in the Tower has a knife in him the moment they find him. Besides, the gray Man could only tell Rand anything damaging to MT if Demandred had sent him (possible I suppose, but why can't Demandred do it himself if thats what the DO wants?) A Gray Man with a story implicating Sammael or some other Forsaken (easy enough for a channeler to set up) could help MT more than a dead one." As for how conveniently MT showed up, recall that strange and oddly convenient things happen around Rand all the time.
  8. MT's remark on These so-called Aiel. If he hadn't been around in the AoL, why are they "so-called"? [LoC: 11, Lessons and Teachers, 215]
    Answer: Well, if Taim knew the old tongue, he might be simply saying that he doubts the Aiel are truly "dedicated" to Rand. (weak, I know, but I couldn't think of anything better.) William Smit says, "Lanfear, who was in the AoL, never doubts that the Aiel are the same Aiel, she only says "So different than they once were", so I doubt that Demandred would claim the Aiel were only "so-called"" Then again, it could just be a turn of phrase. Another possible explanation is that, if Taim is about 35, which seems reasonable, then he was alive for the Aiel War, although probably too young to go east to fight. He probably heard tales about Aiel--10 feet tall, breathing fire, &c. Here he sees some in Caemlyn peacefully patrolling the streets. Not what an average wetlander would expect of Savages From the Waste.
  9. MT is very strong in the Power. Forsaken-class, even (almost as strong as Rand himself)[LoC: 3, A Woman's Eyes, 92]
    Answer: The real Taim was thought to be very strong. [TSR: 5, Questioners, 85] Just because he's strong doesn't mean he's evil. Nynaeve is Forsaken- class, but she's on the Good Guys' side.
  10. In the prologue, it is said that Demandred never smiles [LoC: Prologue, The First Message, 15], [LoC: Prologue, The First Message, 58]. MT doesn't either - at the end of LoC, before "Kneel, or you will be knelt", Rand says something like "His expression was as close to a smile as he had ever seen it." [LoC: 55, Dumai's Wells, 695]
    Answer: Once again, it could just be that Taim and Demandred have similar personalities.
  11. Min's viewing of an invisible man holding a knife to Rand's throat. This could indicate that Demandred is the "serpent in the bosom," masquerading as Taim.
    Answer: This could be the Gray Man, as Rand thinks. Or, it could still be MT, who is not to be trusted, even if he isn't Demandred.
  12. LTT says to Rand, (approx. wording), "Yes, we should kill Sammael. But Demandred first, then Sammael." [51, The Taking, 635] LTT and Rand know where Sammael is. But how does LTT propose to go about killing Demandred if he doesn't know where he is? Therefore, they do know where Demandred is; i.e., he's MT. (Dash W.)
    Answer: I wouldn't take anything LTT says too seriously. He wants to die forever and end his suffering [LoC: 18, A Taste of Solitude, 299], but he doesn't want to die. [Loc:REF?] He says "trust no one" and "the man who doesn't trust is dead" or words to that effect. LTT could be confusing Taim and Demandred.
  13. Bill Garrett says: Something that should maybe be added as a separate point is MT's whole challenge/submit behavior. He'll argue with Rand about something, telling him it has to be done another way, then suddenly he'll agree and say "As my Lord Dragon commands." I think it's Demandred trying to do things _his_ way, but suddenly remembering the Dark One's orders to do what Rand says. And MT sometimes disobeys Rand and frequently does things Rand doesn't expect, as with the Asha'man.
    Answer: How is this different from the way the Tairen lords behaved? Or the Andoran nobility? Or Davram Bashere? Hell, even the Aiel tend to do this. Everybody tries to convince Rand to do things their way, but when you get right down to it, he's going to do as he damn well pleases, and all you can say is "As my Lord Dragon commands."

Another possibility, which hasn't been debated as fully, is that Demandred was always Taim. I don't know if the time scale is right, and there are other problems wrt his capture by the AS, etc. Yet another question which has been discussed is that Osan'gar is Taim.

2.61 Who is Mesaana?

[Tony Zbaraschuck, Marc Zappala, Pam Korda]

In LOC, we find out that Mesaana is hiding out in the White Tower. [LoC: 6, Threads Woven of Shadow, 138] Naturally, this begs the question of who she is. Some folks think that she has taken the Rahvin/Sammael/Be'lal/Graendal route, and is posing as a high-ranking AS in the Tower. The two most-often-mentioned candidates are Galina (the head of the Red Ajah, and the one involved w/ capturing Rand) and Alviarin (Elaida's Keeper of the Chronicles). The reason for these guesses seem to be, in Alviarin's case, that she is in an important position, and thus ideal for controlling the Tower. This reasoning applies in Galina's place, also, and there is the additional point that she somehow managed to escape capture at Dumai's Wells.[LoC: 55, Dumai's Wells, 690-695] However, there is much evidence against Mesaana being either of these two.

  1. None of the Forsaken (except possibly Demandred) have copied an already- prominent identity. Rather, they take a little-known or unknown-identity and then promote themselves rapidly. This is probably because supplanting someone is not easy, requiring as it does almost a total control of oneself, and the ability to copy the tiniest habits. Especially in the Tower, where Aes Sedai can doubtless read meaning in the tilt of an eyebrow or the tapping of a finger.
    And the head of the Red Ajah would be someone well-known to a lot of Reds, and Alviarin was also an influential White (she convinced her Ajah to side with Elaida). No real easy way to replace either one. (Admittedly, Mesaana could just be a very good actress, but there wasn't really any need for it because of point #4.)
  2. The real clincher: we have a Galina POV episode late in the book, where (among other things) she thinks that Min might be a useful tool to "net Elaida like a swallow"; "caging [Elaida] would surely weaken Alviarin." [LoC: 53, The Feast of Lights, 660]. Mesaana doesn't need any tool to pull down Alviarin; Mesaana can just say, "Call me Great Mistress," and Alviarin would be on her knees rather rapidly (or be taught why doing so was a good idea - compare with Moghedien revealing herself to the Black Ajah in tFoH.)
  3. As for Alviarin, when Fain tried to steal the dagger she caught him and asked him "Did one of the For- Chosen send you?" [TFoH: 19, 368, Memories, 260] No Forsaken would use that term instead of Chosen. And if she were Mesaana, she wouldn't just let him go methinks. The DO wants Fain's hide. (Recall Slayer's original mission in the Two Rivers-to slay Fain.)
  4. From [TSR: 5, 115, Questioners, 82], we know the way the BA is run: "Before we left the Tower, I knew only Liandrin, Chesmal and Rianna. No one knew more than two or three others, I think." [Amico being questioned by Nynaeve and Egwene.] From this huge amount of secrecy, we can see that it is possible for somebody to run the BA from any position within the Tower. Mesaana (who does seem to be pulling strings there, since the capturing-Rand-and-bringing-him- to-the-Tower plot was her plan to get her hands on the Dragon Reborn. [LoC: Prologue, The First Message, 58]) could be anybody, an AS, or an Accepted, or a novice, or a maid. Since it would be much easier to pose as a new student or a servant, instead of impersonating somebody else, and possibly being caught out.
As an additional idea, it has been suggested that Tarna, the Red emissary to Salidar is Mesaana in disguise. Not a lot of evidence for this, except that in the chapter where Tarna talks to Ny & El, [LoC: 13, Under the Dust, 232], the chapter icon is the Forsaken icon, and there is no other obvious candidate in there to be Forsaken. Of course, the chapter icons don't always apply 100%, but every other chapter in LOC with that icon has a Forsaken in [Not exactly: [LoC: 24, Am Embassy, 350] has only Sammael's emissary to Rand]. Tarna is good friends with Galina [LoC: 13, Under the Dust, 237], a known BA and head of the Red Ajah, so this could be an extensive way to control the Tower with a Red Amyrlin. There is evidence against this, too-why would Mesaana run her own errands? The problem of a previous history raises its head, here, too.

2.62 Is LTT for real, or is Rand insane? +

by Carolyn Fusinato, Pam Korda

So, Rand is hearing voices. Is Lews Therin a real entity, or is he a product of Rand's taint-maddened imagination? There are two oprions:

  1. Two minds inhabit Rand's body; Rand and LTT. Implies that Rand is relatively sane still and his problems can be attributed to stress, paranoia, fear and another mind trying to take him over and that Lews is completely insane. However, it doesn't make much sense for LTT to be talking to Rand. If we look at the other people who have lived past lives, we don't see this happenning. Mat's memories of his past life/lives are integrated into his own personality. Same with Birgitte--she doesn't talk to "Marion," she says she was once called Marion. If LTT _is_ a seperate entity, it could imply that Rand is just some poor sod who happened to be born into the same body that LTT was reborn into, and that not Rand, but LTT is the actual Dragon Reborn. OTOH, it was _Rand_ who pulled the Sword that Ain't, not LTT; he hadn't even shown up then. There is only one case in which we definitely know that two entities coexist in one body: Ordeith. However, this wasn't a rebirth. This theory also neglects to explain the fact that there is no manifestation of LTT prior to Rand channeling.
  2. The LTT personality is the manifestation of Rand's encroaching insanity. "...everybody has been telling him he is Lews Therin reborn, so he starts perceiving Lews Therin is in his head. Not only that, but he finds the voice responds to him. Now he's trying to carry on conversations with this voice. It all seems logical to us, but then it seems logical (sort of) to Rand, as well. I found myself thinking he should tell somebody he was hearing a voice in his head. When I thought how absurd this sounded, it struck me that I had been fooled into thinking Rand was still completely sane." (James Beavens, beavenj@holmes.ece.orst.edu) Then, there is also, "He raised the point that Rand's creeping insanity may manifest in much more subtle ways than the people of Randland expect..." (from Emmet O'Brien's account of Jordan's talk at Trinity College in Dublin) This doesn't take into account that "LTT" knows things that Rand could never have known on his own--stuff about the AoL, &c. Possibly, Rand's taint-maddened subconscious could be constructing the LTT voice out of past life memories like Mat's. That is to say, the memories and knowledge expressed by LTT are real effects of being somebody Reborn, but the LTT voice is not, Rand has multiple personality disorder.

2.63 Binding - What's that all about?

[Summarized by Daniel L. Rouk, edited by Pam Korda]

To fully illustrate the argument that binding refers to the Oath Rod, check Graendal and Sammael's conversation. Graendal is showing off her Shara rulers. While discussing the Shara channelers, Sammael asks her if they 'bind themselves like criminals'. [LoC: 6, Threads Woven of Shadow, 136]

Sammael thinks he's revealing something Graendal didn't know, but she thinks about how she found out from Mesaana [LoC: 6, Threads Woven of Shadow, 138]. We find out Mesaana is in the White Tower. The only 'binding' that we know about that occurs in the White Tower is the bonds willingly taken by Aes Sedai via the Oath Rod. [ Not so: it could also refer to the AS/Warder bonding.]

Next scene: [LoC: 6, Threads Woven of Shadow, 139-143>] Semirhage is torturing the Aes Sedai, and thinking on how she was 'wronged' because the Age of Legends Servants didn't understand why she gave a little pain with her healing. After all, nobody complained when they owed their life to her. She recollects that she was given two choices, to be severed, or to accept binding. The actual quote is something like "to accept binding, and with that binding to see the end of life approach". This illustrates that 'binding' is in fact as Sammael said, something done to criminals.

From these two scenes we can pretty well conclude that the Oath Rod was, in fact a tool to restrict criminals. Other aspects of the Oath Rod, such as if it is one of the mythical Nine Rods of Dominion, are not answered. If the Oath Rod is simply a punishment device then my opinion is that it is not a Dominion Rod, and that these are something else.

The second half of Semirhage's comment, "and with that binding be able to see the end of life approach," has been interpreted by some to mean that swearing an oath on the Oath Rod somehow causes one's lifespan to be shortened, and this is why AoL AS lived longer than modern AS. Another thing quoted in support of this theory is the Aiel WO who is said to have died at age 300 of a snakebite, but looked quite young still. [LoC: 15, A Pile of Sand, 262] These two things are not really enough to justify this theory. _Everybody_ in the AoL lived longer - possibly something to do with the Tree of Life, or it could simply be that there was better medical care, etc in the AoL. There has never been any evidence that WOs or Seafolk Windfinders (who haven't sworn the Oaths) live an inordinately long time, or that the BA live longer than non-Black AS, or even that ordinary AS live so much shorter than one would expect. In fact, AS live longer than your average Joe.

2.64 What did Sammael claim he had a truce w/ Rand?

by Carolyn Fusinato:

  1. Andris died in a pool of blood, delivering the message to Sammael that there would be no truce and Sammael lied to Graendal. Why would Sammael lie? All the Forsaken want to be Nae'blis. All the Forsaken think that Rand stands a chance at becoming Nae'blis if he caves to the Dark One. Therefore, all the Forsaken want Rand dead. The Dark One, on the other hand, most explicitly does _not_ want Rand dead. He will punish any Forsaken who kills Rand. Therefore, all the Forsaken want to make the other Forsaken paranoid enough to bump Rand off on their own. This eliminates _two_ contenders to the title of Nae'blis--Rand, and whichever idiot kills him. (John Novak, jsn@concentric.net)
  2. Andris died in a pool of blood, delivering the message to Sammael that there would be a truce because someone else intervened to put Sammael off his guard while Rand readies his counter-stroke from Tear and the Plains of Maredo. Someone who knew that Sammael's emissary was meeting with Rand at that moment. Who was present? Bashere, a Saldaean named Hamad, some Aiel, and -- hiding behind a column -- Aviendha. (Don Harlow, donh@netcom.com) CON-Rand should have been able to feel another man channeling or have experienced goosebumps if Aviendha channeled, and Sammael's thoughts about manipulating Graendal [LOC: 23, To Understand A Message, 349] don't make sense if he isn't lying.

2.65 Did LTT balefire himself? *

Emmet O'Brien, Pam Korda

No. He died by overdrawing on the One Power. RJ said so at the talk he gave in Dublin in November 1993. Plus, if he'd BF'd himself, his soul wouldn't be available for reincarnation, a la Rahvin, I guess.

2.66 How tall is everybody? *

Erica "nonentity" Sadun, booksigning 10/94

Rand 6'5"-6'6". Perrin 6'2". Mat 5'11". Aviendha 5'8"-5'9". Elayne 5'6". Nynaeve 5'4". Egwene 5'2". Moiraine 5'0-5'2".

2.67 Where did Arthur Hawkwing come from? *

Emma Pease, John Novak

Artur Hawkwing might have originated in Tear. (Or at least in the area presently known as Tear.) Why?

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