My theory is that Loial’s mother Covril has been subverted to, or perhaps by, the Shadow into pressing for the non-participation of Ogier at the Last Battle, indeed the Ogier’s immediate departure from the main world. The Great Stump is meeting to discuss whether the Ogier should open the Book of Translation and flee the Shadow – or stay and contribute to Tarmon Gai’don. It has been running for over 6 months (Knife of Dreams, Vows).
Covril is an extremely influential speaker:
She had once spoken from sunrise to sunset in favor of a very unpopular position without a single interruption, and the next day, no one had risen to Speak against her.and so would be an obvious target for subversion by the Shadow, just as the Shadow managed to get at least 4 Black Sitters into Elaida’s Hall. (Actually I wonder what this very unpopular decision was and why it was unpopular...For all we know this was as dubious as her call for the Book of Translation to be opened as soon as possible.)
- Knife of Dreams, Vows
In order to show that he was worthy of attending the Great Stump, Loial unfortunately revealed to his mother a substantial part of his argument of why the Ogier must stay and fight. She is probably thinking of what to say to counteract it.
What she hasn’t factored into her speeches is the presence of the Gardeners, the Seanch Ogier, on the mainland. As of Knife of Dreams, Vows, the Seanchan Ogier had been on the mainland for over 6 of our weeks. Loial went to Ebou Dar to arrange a meeting with the Seanchan and Rand (Knife of Dreams, The Golden Crane), where he would have learned of them and probably saw them. During his speech, desperate to delay the vote and to allay the constant interjections of his mother, he will inform the Stump that the Gardeners need to be included in the Great Stump discussion too. Their presence so nearby, or even their very existence, will be a surprsie to many Ogier. Covril’s strident objections to any delay may well help turn the tide of a fair portion of Ogier opinion in Loial’s favour. Most Ogier would see that a decision affecting all Ogier should have representatives of all Ogier groups.
Afer all, whatever the Book of Translation is, it represents a once only opportunity for the Ogier to leave, since those who depart will take the item with them, to ensure they will return to the world in another Age as they believe:
we must leave this world eventually so we can come to it when the Wheel turns…That is written.”I believe that there will be a vote – regarded as unfair by many Ogier and causing great division – and that some will take the Book, open it and leave. But the rest will meet the Seanchan Ogier:
- Knife of Dreams, Vows
Q: So will there ever be a confrontation between the Seanchan Ogier and the other Ogier?The Ogier have a large part to play yet:
RJ: They will meet... (in other words RAFO)
- DragonCon 2005
Q: [Asks something about if RJ has plans of Ogier]and what’s left in the story is basically Tarmon Gai’don and establishing the new Age. An abrupt early departure would not constitute 'lots of plans'.
RJ: The Ogier? I've got lots of plans for the Ogier. So, yes. [crowd laughs]
- Crossroads of Twilight book tour
What would be the attraction of the Shadow to an Ogier? Covril is certainly overly pushy and probably ambitious, but, as with Ingtar, her likely motive would be to save her own group, to join up rather than go under. There were appeasement factions in the War of Shadow (and WWII incidentally), mistaken ones, since there is no truce possible with the Shadow.
None of the prominent Wheel of Time characters so far have had close relatives who are Darkfriends. Such an excellent opportunity for drama and suspense would be a surprising omission. It would be even more unexpected and dramatic, and all the more tragic, if such a one were an Ogier, since they have the reputation for complete probity.
The absence of the Ogier would be a real loss, potentially a disastrous one, due to their formidable fighting ability and their gift for sensing and working with the Land. It would be highly desired by the Shadow, just as the misplaced Borderlander armies are a plot of theirs...