Tuesday, July 31, 2001

A Perspective on AMOL



By Sign

At this point in the story, I feel confident that AMOL can be unravelled more so than any other book in the past. So this will be my one and only post on my feelings, or theory on how AMOL is going to play out. I don't claim to know everything, just enough to have a general layout of how our favorite main characters plotlines will unfold now that the story is so near a close, most of the characters at least (Lanfear and Alivia are left out for instance). If I leave a character out, it means I'm not sure enough to postulate on what they will do and/or I don't consider them important enough to the plot to mention, or I just simply forgot them. There are a few important events that are left out, but that's simply because I don't feel confident enough to speculate on them here. I'm also aware that I'm putting my neck on the block, and most won't believe even ten percent of what's written here - I refer you to the title of this post - but c'est la vie. Without further ado, here goes, just read at your own risk.

Outside of the filler stuff, the story will basically start off centered around the Field of Merrilor meeting. Due to the overwhelming majority of the Light's leaders attending this meeting, it's going to be one of the most important scenes in the book and big impact at that. Just so, Robert Jordan gave us a spreadsheet on how it will play out. It's too important a scene to not foreshadow in some form or another. Thus, Robert Jordan gave it to us in the form of a true dream Egwene has in CoT, "In the Night." It reads:

"She was struggling up a narrow, rocky path along the face of a towering cliff. Clouds surrounds her, hiding the ground below and the crest above, yet she knew that the ground below and the crest above, yet she knew that both were very far away. She had to place her feet very carefully. The path was a cracked ledge barely wide enough for her to stand on with one shoulder pressed against the cliff, a ledge littered with stones as large as her fist that could turn under a misplaced step and send her hurtling over the edge. It almost seemed this was like the dreams of pushing millstones and pulling carts, yet she knew it was a true dream.
Abruptly, the ledge dropped away from under her with the crack of crumbling stone, and she caught frantically at the cliff, fingers scrabbling to find a hold. Her fingertips slid into a tiny crevice and her fall stopped with a jolt that wrenched her arms. Feet dangling into the clouds, she listened to the falling stone crash against the cliff until the sound faded to nothing without the stone ever hitting the ground. Dimly, she could see the broken ledge to her left. Ten feet away, it might as well been a mile off for all the chance she had of reaching it. In the other direction, the mists hid whatever remained of the path, but she thought it had to be farther away still. There was no strength in her arms. She could not pull herself up, only hang there by her fingertips until she fell. The edge of the crevice seemed as sharp as a knife under fingers.
Suddenly a woman appeared, clambering down the sheer side of the cliff out of the clouds, making her way as deftly as if she were walking down stairs. There was a sword strapped to her back. Her face wavered, never settling clearly, but the sword seemed as solid as the stone. The woman reached Egwene's level and held out one hand. "We can reach the top together," she said in a familiar drawling accent.

The first paragraph of the dream is outlining the start of the meeting. Egwene is struggling up a towering cliff tells us how difficult this meeting will be for her to convince the worlds' leaders to not break the seals, but most importantly, Rand, since he's the towering cliff. The debate with Rand has started and everyone didn't instantly fall at her feet with her compelling speech of, "Breaking the seals is madness." Everyone’s mistrust of the Tower over the past three thousand years will do her no good either. Rand will make his presentation on why it must be so with evidence from the Prophecies, through his political acuity and knowledge of the AOL gained from Lews Therin, and the fact that it's apparent that he's clearly sane. Still, Egwene will have her supporters, and Rand will have his (the clouds above and below). His ta’veren nature combined with Perrin supporting him will be a bugbear that Egwene never accounted for as well. At this point, she will become aware that this is going to be a lot more difficult then she assumed it would be. Both sides have presented their reasoning on why it must be so. The ones left undecided at this point, various Kings, Queens, the Wise Ones, Sea Folk etc., are represented by all the stones on the ledge that can knock her out of the clouds she's been taking refuge in lately. It is here that we move unto the second paragraph of the dream, squee!

Suddenly, in the middle of the stalemate, Moiraine arrives and declares for Rand (stone crashing against the cliff). Pause here for everyone to catch their breath and take in the impact of what just happened. Continue on and Egwene listens as nobody, not even Aes Sedai, makes voice to oppose Moiraine's declaration. Only Moiraine can make a move like this (insert legendary status here) and not make a sound, or in other words, meet no opposition. Moiraine could even go on to say why it must be so, either through her trust in Rand and the Prophecies, and/or using knowledge she gained from the Eelfinn. As the chaos ensues and readers pick up their pace of reading, other Aes Sedai split from Egwene; Aes Sedai such as Nynaeve and Cadsuane, for example. What's left of Egwene’s supporters, the mist or more appropriately, Aes Sedai, aren't so confident anymore in their practiced manipulation, and Egwene watches as their feigned appearance of aloofness fades into panic on their face as they deflate like a popped balloon. It is at this point that everyone declares for Rand, outside of Egwene's most devout followers, and the strength leaves her arms. She has failed to lead the world to the 'right path' and can only wait for the end to come. The meeting ends with Egwene tasting the bitter vile in her mouth of betrayal by Moiraine and Nynaeve. Most importantly though, for the sake of the story and the Light, she leaves the meeting in desperate straits. We'll pick up the third paragraph of the dream in a moment.

To signify what's left of Egwene's following, we're given this dream Egwene has in ToM:

She saw an enormous sphere made of the finest crystal. It sparkled in the light of twenty three enormous stars, shining down on it where it sat on a dark hilltop. There were cracks in it, and it was being held together by ropes.
There was Rand, walking up the hillside, holding a woodsman's axe. He reached the top and hefted the axe, then swung at the ropes one at a time, chopping them free. The last one parted, and the sphere began to break apart, the beautiful globe falling in pieces. Rand shook his head.

The 23 stars are the Sitters, keeper and Amyrlin that claim they watch and are the authority over the seals. It's hard to watch over something when you have no idea where they are, impossible even. Anyways, Rand’s shaking his head at the futility of the White Tower trying to keep the seals intact, as if they're not already crumbling and breaking on their own. The axe could mean that Perrin will be the one actually breaking the seals, per Rands instruction, with his newly made Hammer. What must be done, will be. Rand from "And After" in ToM, his only viewpoint:

On the morrow, they'd hear his demands. Not what he would demand to keep him from breaking the seals - he was going to do that, regardless of what Egwene said.

Another piece of evidence we're given on Rand’s decision to smash the seals and his surety in facing the Dark One, is in a dream Egwene has of him in A Lord of Chaos, "A Pile of Sand":

Him walking toward a burning mountain, something crunching beneath his boots. She stirred and whimpered; the crunching things were the seals on the Dark One's prison, shattering with his every step.

At this point in the story, it's time for Matrims' light to shine through and fulfill his fate as the center of all. Whether he goes to the meeting beside Moiraine and then the White Tower, or travels with Moiraine to Merrilor and decides to skip off to snag the Horn real quick, isn't real important. It's only important for timeline purposes, if that need be the case. What's important for us, is his next step is to get the Horn from the Tower. His being with Moiraine, a quote in ToM from Moiraine, and a viewing of Min's verify this is his next step. So let’s present those.

First, when Matrim claims he has responsibilities in Caemlyn and must go there, Moiraine replies with, We Shall see.

The second piece of evidence, and most damning, is Min's viewing of Elayne she has way back in TGH:

“One of the things she said she saw looking at me [Elayne] was a severed hand. Not mine, she says."

This is an important viewing for a few reasons. The first is, it tells us that the Band in Caemlyn with Talmanes will fall (severed). Most likely, succeeding in securing the most important Dragon's; yet, nonetheless they will fall. The second, and most important for the Light, is without this incident, Matrim will refuse to lead the Light's forces in the Last Battle, claiming his responsibilities lie with the Band. This removes his natural instinct to deny his greater responsibilities in the Last Battle.

Onward he trudges to the White Tower and finds the Horn, with his luck if need be. At this moment or around this time while he's at the White Tower, he encounters Seanchan and realizes they're assaulting the Tower. Confused and outraged at the stupidity of such a thing on the eve of the Last Battle, he demands to be taken to his wife, Tuon. Matrim is taken to Tuon and proceeds to tell her that the attack has to be called off. Tuon responds with it must be done, if they're to defeat Sightblinder, as per the Prophecies. Matrim responds with telling her that the Last Battle has already started, scoffs at her and her Prophecies nonsense, and tells her Rand's going to break the seals regardless of what she thinks of how it's suppose to happen.

The two keys to Matrim coming out on top in this confrontation are this: Tuon is going to realize that all is lost and have her epiphany. The combination of her skewed version of the Karaethon cycle Prophecies and false conclusions of the Essanik cycle ensures this.

The second and most important key in Matrim's pocket is the Horn of Valere. Tuon tells us in KoD that, securing whoever blew the Horn, man or woman, may be as important as securing the Dragon Reborn. There must be Prophecies involving the Horn in the Essanik cycle that we're unaware of for Tuon to make such a claim. In light of the onslaught of information Matrim gives Tuon, she comes to the realization that her path must be changed. Matrim and Tuon proceed to come to a resolution. She calls off the attack on the White Tower and comes to the conclusion that she must ally with Egwene in opposition to the breaking of the seals. After all is said and done, and they make their promises to each other, Matrim, being that lovable rogue that he is, softens Tuon up further with his presentation of a foxhead medallion that he plans to give to Tuon as a gift. Certain in her purpose now, Tuon proceeds to have a Gateway made to stand with Egwene in opposition to Rand. Strike one in the books for the center of all.

The final piece of information to seal the deal, thanks to Robert Jordan and his love of witty foreshadowing, is Matrim's last words to Tuon in KoD "Under An Oak" on when he will see Seanchan next. He has this to say, "The next time I see Seanchan, I expect it will be on the field somewhere, Tuon." Burn him, it would be. His life seemed to run that way no matter what he did.

The last piece of information that we have confirming Tuon's change of mind comes from her certainty in her conclusion of the Prophecies she's privy to due to the Karaethon cycle; yet this version she's basing her beliefs on is predicated on Ishamael corrupting them to serve the Shadow's ends.

"I must find a way to make contact with the Dragon Reborn as soon as possible. He must kneel before the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai'don, or all is lost.” The Prophecies of the Dragon said so, clearly.

We also have Tuon and her surety in deciphering the Prophecies here with:

”For one thing, he [the Dragon Reborn] must kneel to the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai'don. The Prophecies are clear on that…”

He must bow before the Crystal Throne before the Last Battle can begin.

The next piece of information we have on how events unfold falls back unto the third paragraph of Egwene's true dream from CoT, "In The Night". Taken down from the clouds thanks to Matrim, Tuon approaches Egwene, albeit uncertainly despite everything. She is approaching a marath'damane, after all. Matrim, Prince of the Ravens, the Empress' sword arm in true now, strapped to her back - I'm going to use this joke on men in couples henceforth, instead of the common day lingo of tied around her finger, *laughs inside at the image of it* - has no such compunctions and quibbles in approaching his friend Egwene. Despite everything, Egwene is his friend and he won't leave a friends' neck in the noose without doing what he can to cut the rope. Discussion ensues between Egwene and Tuon with the result being they reach the consensus of an alliance in opposition to Rand breaking the seals. United and together, they can reach the Light together. Strike two in the books for the center of all. The last thing I'll say on the sword and it being Matrim is, you don't strap a sword to your back. Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not), but doesn't Egeanin keep her shortsword in a sheath on her hip? It's not really important because the sword is symbolic and not literal since it's a dream, but it would help others have a clearer picture of the dream. Matrim is also referred to as a sword in the Fourth Age Prophecy at the end of TGH, more on that later though.

Egwene's dream from A Crown of Swords, "Unseen Eyes", highlights this alliance even further.

A golden hawk stretched out its wing and touched her, and she and the hawk were tied together somehow; all she knew was that the hawk was female.

The final piece of the puzzle in Matrim's arsenal as God of Grey is culminated here in another of Egwene's dreams, albeit a short one from The Dragon Reborn, "Following the Craft".

Rand confronting her, and the women with her, and one of them was a Seanchan.

This is the final moment on the breaking of the seals, the last stand of the women. Egwene, Tuon, and the sitters or what's left of Egwene's following, confront Rand about the seals. I'll leave speculation on how this conversation proceeds out, except to say that this confrontation will not involve Rand standing alone against them. The women will finally fall under the weight of the three ta'veren tripod standing together. The Prophecies will be fulfilled; he will break what must be broken. Strike three down for the center of all. The reason Matrim is the center of all, is because he's the string that ties the three factions we have together; that would be Rand, Egwene, and Tuon.

This Prophecy from the Karaethon cycle in A Crown of Swords, "Ta’veren" confirms this alliance:

"The Prophecies said he would bind together the people of every land--"The north shall he tie to the east, and the west shall be bound to the south."

The agreement between Rand and Tuon is sealed when he gives Tuon Hawkwing's sword in honor of their alliance. This is shown to us in Mins' viewing in TOM, "A Return to Bandar Eban":

Rand reached out, touching the weapon. She glanced at him, and a viewing sprang to life above him. A glowing sword, Callandor, being gripped in a black hand. She gasped.
"What did you see?" Rand asked softly.
"Callandor, held in a fist. The hand looks to be made of onyx."…

Min assumes it is Callandor, which is funny because it's Min herself that tells us that Callandor is referred to as the blade of ruin, or the fearful blade and is not referred to as simply a sword in the Prophecies. She has no idea Hawkwing's sword Justice would be important. One should also take note that she refers to it as a sword and Callandor is always the "The sword that is not a sword."

Around this time is the moment Tuon will bond Matrim I would guess; if not here then after the Last Battle, but somewhere. The moment of triumph for the Light standing together, finally, will be a short lived climax however. It's time for Demandred to enter center stage and reveal himself in all his glory. The reports of the Light’s cities under assault by the Shadow start trickling in. Caemlyn under attack, Tear being assaulted, Cairhen lost, and even possibly Ebou Dar being dust will be the match on the haystack that sends them all through the roof. The Borderlands falling and Nynaeve's knowledge that Lan has charged, coincides with all this. Queue Loial's arrival with the Ogier and their axes to stand with mankind in existences darkest hour. Logain has arrived as well, with news of the Black Tower, possibly with Pevara and Androl, possibly not. Depends on if they escape in time, but next time we see that pair they will be bonded! Time for Logain to earn his glory that Min's seen numerous times:

“Logain’s aura still speaks of glory, stronger than ever. Maybe he thinks he’s the real Dragon Reborn."

Logain is pronounced the first male Aes Sedai of the Third Age. This is where Nicola's Foretelling comes to fruition in

the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade.

This has a complication however, since male Aes Sedai aren't going to swear on a criminal binder, as well as Aes Sedai being useless against Dreadlords due to the Three Oaths. Matrim once again though, comes through and provides the solution to this; the absolvement of the Three Oaths on the binder.

This is given to us in CoT, in the chapter "A Chat With Siuan". Before I even begin, I would ask you to open your mind to the possibility of allusion. Good writers are often thought of as magicians to a degree, and allusion is part of the magician's magic. The first thing you should think to follow my reasoning is, that’s a pretty bland chapter name. It's also a completely boring chapter if it solely consists of Egwene and Siuan having a conversation. So, a chat with Siuan, eh? Well, for the most part it is. Although Robert Jordan inserted an allusion in the chapter to make it interesting, thank the Light. The allusion begins with” concentrating on the business at hand, she picked up the next sheet” and ends with” Egwene's head came up as she read to the bottom of the page, and she hurriedly set that page down and picked up the next”. There are a few gems to take note of here in this passage.

The first is this I believe. Notice the word usage to introduce the allusion. I feel Robert Jordan knew this would be difficult to see, so he stressed it with the word "concentrate". The most important part to me though, is Egwene's first words and immediate thoughts following them, which are this:

"At least they don't suggest sending anyone to Caemlyn". Egwene blinked, the pain behind her eyes sharpened by following the tight letters.

Sounds a lot like Egwene's mental condition following the three ta’veren, or 'tight letters' eh? First of all, she's not reading tight letters, plural. We're specifically told she picks up the next sheet (1). Just to counter the arguments here, I'm aware that a report can have multiple letters on it, but such is not the case here. Take note of 'Siuan's' mannerisms during this conversation. The only character that scoffs, scowls, hems and haws towards Egwene is Matrim. Siuan is generally meek as a mouse with Egwene, especially the further into the story we get; and we're at book ten here. So we swap the name Siuan with Matrim and you have the real of it. Also take note of the last thing Egwene says to Matrim and I quote:

With luck, I'll convince the sisters to accept being freed of the Three Oaths so they can retire into the Kin before they ever learn there's a bargain with the Atha'an Miere. And once they accept any sister being freed of the Oaths, it won't be nearly as hard to convince them to let the Sea Fold sisters go. Beside that, the rest of that agreement is small turnips. As you keep saying, skill and a deft hand are necessary to get anything done in the Hall, but luck is absolutely required. Well, I'll be as skillful and deft as I can be, and as for luck, the odds seem to be in my favor for once." Suian (Matrim) grimaced and hemmed and hawed, but she (he) had to agree in the end. She (he) even agreed that Egwene might pull it off, with luck, and timing.

I would say, for those that see it, that it's obvious at this point. All the references to luck make it so. We have Egwene finally succumbing to follow the three ta’veren and now she's telling Matrim that luck is on her side. Well, at this point in the story it is, as Egwene sees it. Matrim would argue that he's always been on her side though. If I were a gambling man, I would even go so far as to say that this conversation will take place from Egwene's PoV, the same as the Field of Merrilor meeting will.

Business done dealing with those mule-headed (Egwene), fool women (Tuon), fates fulfilled for Matrim in full as he accepts the responsibility of being the Lights Supreme General. It's time for Matrim to organize the armies of the Light and put them to use, united as one. Gareth Bryne for sure is sent to defend the Borderlands in the north, along with Bashere and Ituralde. And now the true work is laid before him, that of taking Demandred down on the field of battle in the south. Matrim's business with Demandred is personal now. The Bands fall at Caemlyn will raise his ire and Demandred is going to be one sorry individual for it. So, Matrim and Tuon with the Seanchan military will lead the assault on the south, mainly the taking of Caemlyn.

He will be unable to Travel directly to Caemlyn though, due to Demandred extending the Dreamspike to prevent it. He's going to need Perrin, Egwene and the Wise One Dreamwalkers to deal with that problem. Chances are their battle in Tel'aran'rhiod will be met with Slayer, Moghedien, and various other servants of the Shadow. Logain will be the hammer that leads the channelers assault on the Black Tower. We have a Foretelling and some more witty Foreshadowing by Robert Jordan for this. First, the Foretelling given to us by none other than Suffa, a good damane, in A Crown of Swords Prologue: "Lightnings":

"The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds. This I Foretell."

The second piece, the Foreshadowing, is more an idea of what to expect the attack to look like. That is, circles of men and women leading the assault on the Black Tower; most likely circles of thirteen due to the "thirteen noonday suns" part. Although they could be larger depending on their numbers, and how many channelers they decide to risk putting in circles together. In A Golden Crane in KoD, Nynaeve sees this as she watches Logain’s men and women work together to clean up after the Trollocs attack the manor:

Suddenly fires bloomed below, six enveloping dead Trollocs in front of Malevin and Aisling, seven in front of Sandomere and Ayako, and she squinted against the blinding glare. It was like trying to look at thirteen noonday suns blazing in a cloudless sky. They were linked. She could tell from the way the flows of saidar moved, stiffly, as though they were being forced into place rather than guided. Or rather, the men were trying to force them. That never worked with the female half of the Power. It was pure Fire, and the blazes were ferocious, fiercer than she would have expected from Fire alone. But of course they would be using saidin as well, and who could say what they were adding from that murderous chaos? The little she could recall of being linked with Rand left her with no desire ever again to go near that. In just a few minutes the fires vanished, leaving only low heaps of grayish ash lying on seared earth that looked hard and cracked. That could not do the soil much good.

Before the Lights assault on the Black Tower however, while they're still all at Merrilor, we'll have short scenes trickled in involving Rand and Moiraine, and their reunion in true I would imagine. Along with the assault on the Black Tower will Lan’s storyline be coinciding. So we'll tackle him next.

Lan's fall will be mirroring the Battle of Thermopylae when the Greeks held out against the Persians for days, despite being heavily outnumbered. This viewing of Min's can mean one of two things:

[Lan] "has seven ruined towers around his head, and a babe in a cradle holding a sword . . ."

Nynaeve is pregnant, and just isn't aware of it yet. If this is the case, Lan will fall. If not, Lan will live. The babe cradling the sword doesn't lead to very pleasing thoughts though. This viewing of Nynaeve that Min has in TGS, "Reading the Commentary" doesn't sit too well either for Lan:

And . . . what was that vision that was suddenly hovering above Nynaeve's head? She was kneeling over someone's corpse in a posture of grief.

As for Perrin, I don't foresee much of importance, compared to Matrim, on his plate outside of his battle in Tel'aran'rhiod to capture the Dreamspike and the Song. His importance will be, as the Prince of the Morning (title given to him in the Fourth Age Prophecy that's at the end of TGH), to take the Tinkers, along with Aviendha and the Aiel that throw down the spear in peace, to sing the Song and this will be Perrin's battle. The battle to create and bring nourishment to the land while the Dark One is trying to destroy it. To restore or keep the world in place, and make the green things grow to combat the Dark one's touch. The wolves will fight Slayer's darkhounds as well.

Additionally, this type of action makes a lot of sense that his title in the Fourth Age is Prince of the Morning. Basically, it's associating the rising of the sun with the growth of the land and such. The reason we're using Prince here is explained a little more at the end, but Perrin is the Wolf King as we know it. In the context of the Creator though, he's only a Prince, because there can be no King where the Creator's concerned.

Aviendha's visions of the future we saw in ToM, along with the Aiel Prophecy, leads to the only conclusion that her path is going to be one of throwing down the spear, leading other Aiel as a Wise One to do the same, and join the Tinkers and embrace their history as Jenn Aiel and following the Way of the Leaf. This clumps Aviendha with Perrin in doing the deed of the Song. The Aiel who don't do so are those that die. Here is what we're told about the Aiel that cements Aviendha's purpose, from a Shadow Rising, "He Who Comes With The Dawn":

"In this case, the whole truth, the truth known only to Wise Ones and clan chiefs before this, is that you are our doom. Our doom, and our salvation. Without you, no one of our people will live beyond the Last Battle., Perhaps not even until the Last Battle. That is prophecy, and truth. With you...'He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live.’”

This would make sense in that "those that call themselves Aiel", aren't truly Aiel. Aviendha needs the whole truth, or rather a true Aiel's purpose laid out to her by Rand via his knowledge of the AoL from Lews Therin of the Aiel. Rand will tell her that Aiel were those with the greatest honor for their service sworn in peace.

Onward to Rand though. Before Rand can confront the Dark One however, it appears he will be going to the Black Tower for battle. Another Egwene dream from A Crown of Swords, "Unseen Eyes":

Logain, laughing, stepped across something on the ground and mounted a black stone; when she looked down, she thought it was Rand’s body he had stepped over…

Along with this we have Nicola's Foretelling:

"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle.

Telling us that Rand will suffer some type of wound and be assumed dead by the general populace, yet be alive. Min, Aviendha, and Elayne being at his side during this would lead us to believe that it's due to their bond to him that he was taken for dead, yet lives. The great battle, or the battle against the Black Tower is done. But Rand’s job, the battle for the world, isn't finished yet.

The Shadow Prophecy at the end of ToM would seem to indicate he dies shortly after making peace with Egwene and Tuon though, perhaps on the same day; amidst all the incoming dire news of the Shadow's full out assault from the north and south. But let’s take a look at it first:

Lo, it shall come upon the world that the prison of the Greatest One shall grow weak, like the limbs of those who crafted it. Once again, His glorious cloak shall smother the Pattern of all things, and the Great Lord shall stretch forth His hand to claim what is His. The rebellious nations shall be laid barren, their children caused to weep. There shall be none but Him, and those who have turned their eyes to His majesty. In that day, when the One-Eyed Fool travels the halls of mourning, and the First Among Vermin lifts his hand to bring freedom to Him who will Destroy, the last days of the Fallen Blacksmith's pride shall come. Yea, and the Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers. And his destruction shall bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, and shall shake their very will itself.
And then, shall the Lord of the Evening come. And He shall take our eyes, for our souls shall bow before Him, and He shall take our skin, for our flesh shall serve Him, and He shall take our lips, for only Him will we praise. And the Lord of the Evening shall face the Broken Champion, and shall spill his blood and bring us the Darkness so beautiful. Let the screams begin, O followers of the Shadow. Beg for your destruction!

All the Broken Wolf says to me though, is Rand will fall to a Forsaken (Demandred makes the most sense, maybe Lanfear though), or appear to fall to one; fall doesn't necessarily have to mean his death though. Egwene's dream, and Nicola's Foretelling, quoted a few paragraphs up would agree with this. Rand's death will appear to be death to the majority of the population, yet not. Moridin will know he yet lives through his link with him. Nonetheless, it's time for Moridin to use the peoples despair and lose of hope to his advantage and strike. For Rand, it's nigh time to make the trip and enter the Pit of Doom and face Moridin, the Shadow's Champion. I'm inclined to believe that this Prophecy is true, with a catch; more on the catch in a moment. Next though, we have this Prophecy:

Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed.
Once for mourning, once for birth.
Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow.

The mourning part confirms the Shadow Prophecy from the end of ToM, Egwene's dream of Logain, and Nicola's Foretelling of he who is dead, yet lives. More specifically for the Shadow Prophecy though, if you combine "Once for mourning" and the line from the Shadow Prophecy about "his destruction", leads it all to make sense when you read the next line. The second time the day dawns, for birth, however, the Light will shine in celebration of victory over the Shadow. The last lines of the Karaethon cycle confirm this for us here:

And it shall come to pass that what men made shall be shattered, and the Shadow shall lie across the Pattern of the Age, and the Dark One shall once more lay his hand upon the world of man. Women shall weep and men quail as the nations of the earth are rent like rotting cloth. Neither shall anything stand nor abide... Yet one shall be born to face the Shadow...and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes shall he clothe the people, and he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind. Like the unfettered dawn shall he blind us, and burn us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood shall give us the Light. Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation.

So, we have one saying Rand's blood will bring the Light. The Shadow Prophecy directly opposes this view and tells us Rand's blood will bring the Darkness though. So which is true? Enter the catch, or rather the wildcard, Fain; the one who is outside the Pattern and can't be divined in any manner, will turn the spilling of Rand's blood into something that isn't so beautiful. At least, not if you put your chips in for the Dark One. If I were the Dark One, I would be wary, nay terrified, of Rand's blood, due to Fain's wound, touching him in any manner. The Prophecies all agree that it is Rand’s blood that is important, after all.

A few last lines, Prophecies and Viewings that give us the fall of Moridin, The Lord of the Evening, to Rand. First, the Prophecy of Rand having a battle of wills with Moridin from the Karaethon cycle:

"Into the heart he thrusts his sword,
Into the heart, to hold their hearts.
Who draws it out shall follow after,
What hand can grasp that fearful blade?"

It's into the heart because Rands battle with Moridin is going to be one for their very souls. The hand that can grasp Callandor and follows after, will be Rand who crushes Moridin in a battle of willpower, thank the Light! The nature of Rand’s battle with Moridin is also indicated to us by Min in her Viewing of him that says this:

”I saw you and another man. I couldn’t make out either face, but I knew one was you. You touched, and seemed to merge into one another, and…” Her mouth tightened worriedly, and she went on in a very small voice.” I don’t know what it means, Rand, except one of you dies, and one doesn’t. I – Why are you grinning? This isn’t a joke, Rand. I do not know which of you dies.”

Finally, we come to the penultimate conclusion of the series, Rand's confrontation with the Dark One, but he isn't going to be alone. Fortunate for us and the Light, we have Prophecies detailing this confrontation and how Rand can possibly face a God. So let’s take another look at the Prophecy from the Karaethon cycle given to us in TGS, "Reading the Commentary":

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

In the time he forms his circle with two women, Callandor in hand, the three ta’veren shall become one through their swirl visions of each other as per Zoroastrianism. The Three ta’veren holding their visions of each other, along with Nynaeve and Moiraine (most likely, if not Moiraine it's Egwene), will give Rand the strength and stability he will need to face the Dark One and perfectly reseal his prison to allow the Wheel of Time to continue. The other possibility though, is Rand will completely destroy the Dark One. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case, as a Fourth Age Prophecy states at the end of TGH:

And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the promised one be born of the mountain, according to the Prophecies, as he was in Ages past and will be in Ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that greens will grow and the valley give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of Justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time."

-from Charal Drianaan te Calamon,
The Cyle of the Dragon,
Author Unknown, the Fourth Age

If you don't get it (I never did until I decided to write this. Partly because I didn't read it line by line with an analytical mindset. I also just assumed all the titles referred to Rand without thinking for myself), Prince of the Morning is Perrin and the Song. Lord of the Dawn sheltering them from the Dark would be Rand. The great sword of Justice in defence is Matrim. I imagine it’s just assumed that the titles all refer to Rand, but this is not the case. First, to understand you have to look at this Prophecy in its' context. Its context is the people praying to the highest power, the Creator. In that light, all things outside of the Creator are below the Creator and are his servants. Rand, Matrim, and Perrin are the ultimate servants of the Creator. This Prophecy verifies it, in my eyes, and through time people will misinterpret it, and assume all those titles refer to only one person - The Dragon Reborn. Through time and the spinning of the Wheel through the ages, this knowledge of the ta'veren tripod will be lost. By the time the Wheel comes back around to the Third Age, Moiraine's going to have to figure out that there is really three born to combat the Dark One, and not just one, the Dragon Reborn, all over again...poor Moiraine.

One last thought regarding the Wheel of Time and the message Robert Jordan was sending, is re-sealing the Dark Ones prison doesn't lead to time not being seen as circular, as it is in the Wheel of Time universe. Rather, it’s that in certain ages, take your pick, time will be seen as linear through 'advances' in Philosophy, as it is today; and in other ages, such as the second and third, time will be seen as circular.

Queue the end of the Third Age and the beginning of the Fourth Age. The birth of the city states and a federal government in likeness to something resembling modern day U.S.

11 comments:

JKeisfeld said...

This was so fun!

Leyla said...

Hmm, just finished re-reading the great hunt and Rand mentions at one point that Ingtar wears his sword on his back, and Lan too, sometimes. But you might be right. "The edge of the crevice seemed as sharp as a knife under her fingers", btw, could be a subtle reference to climbing the heights, climbing a path of daggers, which she certainly is, here. The only thing I'm wondering about is this -- a "familiar" drawling voice. Familiar bc she recognizes the accent? Or familiar bc she recognizes the accent AND the voice? Last I heard, I thought Egeanin was on her way to the White Tower. But your theory is well-thought-out :)

TrueCrew said...

Good theory. But I had a different take on the glittering sphere.

I don't think they represent Aes Sedai, though that is certainly plausible, but the 11 remaining clans of the Aiel (a chief and Wise One from each clan + the blood of the Dragon = 23).

comradeplatypus said...

I do agree with the three titles referring to the three ta'veren. In AoL Lews Therin seemed to be all three and ultimately failed, and if ta'veren correct errors in the pattern, it would make since that three would be created to fulfill the three roles that would be needed for victory.

rich said...

I enjoyed reading this, not sure if I agree with everything you wrote, but you did do a nice job of supporting your theories with material from the books.
The last prophecy you quoted though, I definitley think it is referring only to Rand. Prince of the Morning and Lord of the Dawn sound like they are too similar of titles to give to two people who while they are linked together are definitley seperate entities; and Rand literally has Hawkwing's sword, named Justice. Also the first sentence in the prophecy is referring to Rand, the last sentence is referring to the Dragon- the whole thing is therefore centered on Rand, not the Two Rivers boys as a whole. At least that is my take on it.

Swordcrowned said...

WOW. Extremely well thought out. Very Impressed, and definitely an enjoyable read. The only comment I would like to make is this; the prophecies thru out the series, have all been relatively simple, and while not always literal, they are usually pretty easy to place into the story once they have happened. With that said, I think some of these theories go WAY too far in depth into the final chapter of this great story.

I am expecting something much simpler in AMoL. And i expect the great meeting to take place about half way thru the novel. Rand still has quite a few ends to tie up prior to heading to shayol ghul. And I think they will head straight from the meeting to the the last battle.

I believe that the seals need to be broken, but I think the only reason that Rand told Egwene is because he knew the news would bring all the world together. It is the only way to bypass all the issues going on. Everyone feels they must stand together to prevent the release of the Dark One. With the world gathered to support or contend the dragons ideas, it will be a short step to the last batte from there. Remember, the Dragon did what he wanted in the age of legends, without regards to the Aes Sedai of the day. Of course he is going to do so again. But this time he has enough female Aes Sedai tied to him that he doesnt need the white tower.

Terez said...

It's interesting how you and I come up with such totally different interpretations of the same prophecies....but the one prophecy I thought was counterintuitive - that is, the interpretation of Rand as the Broken Wolf - you seem to take for granted. So I'm glad we agree on that much at least. :D I think that 'consumed by the Midnight Towers' refers to the merge with Moridin, though. The fall is less clear; it could be as simple as Rand being stupid enough to go after Lanfear in the dream - Brandon sort of left it hanging. And that, of course, is why he has to die. I don't think Moiraine will show up to declare for Rand at all - I think she will show up to kill him. (I still think Gawyn will be involved - at Egwene's orders, of course - and I think he will almost ruin it, because Rand must be balefired to save his soul from the Shadow.) And his destruction shall bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men - quite different from the consumption.

I definitely think that Min is misinterpreting some prophecies as referring to Callandor when they in fact refer to Justice, but I don't think that her viewing you quoted is one of them, because Min insists that the words come with the viewing, much like a Foretelling. She can still misinterpret them, but she saw it as being definitely Callandor, and I don't think she is capable of misinterpreting in that fashion. Much like a Dreamer, when she knows, she knows. The distinction was significant when she told Rand that Alivia would help him die, and later she decided that meant Alivia would kill him. But the words come with the viewing, so Rand argued the point. She uses uncertain wording when she's unsure - like the fact that the fist seems to be made of onyx. I am guessing that this refers to Rand holding Callandor after Moridin has consumed him.

I think the sword on Tuon's back in Egwene's dream is just plain old Justice, though Mat is certainly an important part of the symbolism there. The sword is the most solid part of the dream because it is iconic in its representation of Hawkwing's Empire, much more so than the Empress herself (who was, at the time, Tuon's mother, unless she'd already been killed). But I suppose your interpretation requires that it be something other than Justice, since you think that the dream will take place before Tuon acquires Justice. I think that, if the woman who confronts Rand with Egwene is Tuon, then the confrontation won't happen until after Rand's resurrection. If it happens before, then the Seanchan woman in that dream is more likely to be someone other than Tuon.

I think Aviendha's visions of the future mislead us toward assuming that an agreement will be reached before the Battle of Caemlyn. The way things are going, that seems unlikely. One important difference might well be Mat; his survival was by no means guaranteed when Aviendha went to Rhuidean. I have a feeling he is going to help distract the folks at Merrilor toward Caemlyn, and it seems impossible that they could reach a truce with Tuon before then. Or at least, it seems anticlimactic. So I think Merrilor and the Peace of the Dragon are gigantic red herrings to distract from the fact that Rand is going to die very early in AMOL - a cliffhanger too risky to end TOM with. (As you know, Brandon has indicated that the end of TOM was shifted to the beginning of AMOL, and that this bit focused on the Black Tower).

The prophecies say that he shall bind the north to the east, but they do not say that he will bind the south to the west (Tuon did that), and the Aelfinn did not say that Rand must be the one to bind the two as one. I believe that Rand will probably be dead for at least half the book, and that much of the story will revolve on his friends figuring out how the hell to fight the Last Battle without him. Of course, Rand's three women won't accept that, and neither will Nynaeve, but I doubt their plan will be widely known. Even Mat might be ignorant of it.

Vicki said...

I don't think a godlike figure like the Dark One can be defeated by a bunch of channellers, no matter how powerful - if they do, it will be a Pyrrhic victory like LTT's. I also don't believe he can be destroyed: the DO is a constant like the Creator, according to Verin in TDR. I suspect that Min will find a \]
crucial clue of how to seal away DO in Herid Fel's works; she seemed pretty close to finding the solution there at one point but it eluded her. The solution may involve other (parallel) worlds, as suggested by Verin's comment to Egwene in TDR that if the DO is imprisoned in just one world he's imprisoned in all, and if he's free in one he's free in all.
My theory RE Isam/Slayer is that he'll be confronted and killed by either Perrin or Lan.
RE Lan, my understanding was always that Min's viewing of seven broken towers and a baby with a sword referred to Lan's past history and role as the king of the dead Malkier (seven broken towers) who was given a sword in his cradle before being saved from Malkier's destruction. As for Min's viewing of Nynaeve grieving over a corpse, things look bleak for Lan (Min had that viewing after she mentally wished Nynaeve happiness with Lan), but I take heart from the fact that Min didn't understand what she'd seen. Perhaps Nynaeve will see Isam's corpse and mistake him for Lan before learning the truth?

Manetheren said...

I disagree on the Aiel. I think they are destined to fall. I think that the future Aviendha's vision is likely to happen. The Aiel's violent ways will lead to their downfall and the rise of the Raven (Seanchan) Empire. The Seanchan will end up capturing all female channelers and killing the males. Since suldam and damane don't breed, the One Power will eventually be bred out of humanity. Technology will eventually take its place and be the domimant lifestyle, hence the train system being built in one of the future visions.

The Aiel will lose their way and become a savage and murderously violent race at the hands of the Seanchan who have destroyed their society and kept their word to do so. Somehow the Aiel will survive, but as the aforementioned savages.

Sometime in the far off future the Raven empire would eventually fall. With no One Power users anymore, the a'dam go into disuse and forgotten/destroyed and no new ones produced because their is no need from them without damane. Knowledge of them forgotten (as suggested by the cyclical nature of the Pattern).

Even farther in the future, per the Pattern, the ability to use the One Power will arise and eventually lead to great and wonderful things being used in conjunction with technology, we will eventually return in a New Age of Legends so to speak and the fascination with more and useful power and hence the Dark One's return.

Returning to the Aiel, (the point of my disagreement) the rise of male and female channelers will see the Aiel, and in their peaceful ways will bring the Aiel back from their dark, violent ways and rebuild them, or raise them up, if you will. The Aiel will return to their peaceful ways in remembrance or penance for their violent past. They will serve the Aes Sedai as a debt of gratitude for their salvation and gain great prestige and renown, eventually forgetting the past from which they came. Finally, picking up their violent ways after a future breaking and become the weapons they need to be for the new Dragon Reborn. Cyclical. The specifics will be different, but the general idea would continue.

Anonymous said...

FYI Karede sees Egeanin when he walks into Mat's camp and comments that she wears her sword on her back with the strap across her chest like a sailor. And maybe Rand will kneel to the Crystal Throne since he's become super Jesus and decide his own pride isn't as important than having the Seanchan. Moridin could be holding Callandor. The Dark Prophecies may not be true due to the Pattern being distorted around Shayol Ghul or will only be true if Rand fails, if Rand fails the Pattern becomes obsolete so prophecies about the Fourth Age may never come true because it might never happen. Also Lews Therin and Moridin are part of Rand, so that could be the 3 becoming 1.

Anonymous said...

Since Alivia is so strong in the one power and can learn with just watching a weave, do you think she may be able to "mask" Rand as Logain and vice versa? That Rand knows that he has to deal with the forsaken and Taim very quickly, maybe Logain offers to masquerade as Rand and try to destroy Taim, failing to do so. This would have the world think that Rand has died, allowing the real Rand, masqueraded as Logain, to surprise everyone. Thoughts?