Monday, July 30, 2001

Rand's Third Question

By Linda

We know two of the three questions that Rand asked the Aelfinn when he went through the redstone doorway in Tear. This theory speculates on what Rand’s third question was.

Oneof his questions was how to cleanse saidin, to which the Aelfinn replied with a riddle that according to Herid Fel, stated

sound principles, in both high philosophy and natural philosophy.

- The Path of Daggers, Message From the M’Hael

The second question was a two-parter (Knife of Dreams, News For the Dragon). Rand asked how he could win and survive the Last Battle (despite knowing the dangers of asking questions touching the Shadow) and was cryptically told “If you would live, you must die” (Lord of Chaos, Connecting Lines) to survive and “The north and east must be as one. The west and south must be as one. The two must be as one” (Knife of Dreams, News For the Dragon) to win. (For Rand’s solutions to these answers see The Aelfinn's Answers article)

Rand’s third question is unknown, as is the answer he received. However, we do know that the Aelfinn didn’t mention Rhuidean to Rand (The Shadow Rising, Rhuidean).

Let’s approach the problem from another angle.

The Aelfinn answered each of Rand’s questions cryptically so that it took him a while to figure them out. (In contrast, Mat’s answers were straightforward.) In the meantime Rand was reassured by their replies that there is a possible solution.

There is another great long-term worry of Rand’s which he also thinks could be resolved favourably:

Prophecy said he would Break the World again. The idea horrified him. Perhaps he could escape that part, at least

- The Shadow Rising, He Who Comes With he Dawn

I think he expresses the same reassurance here that he did for his questions about winning and surviving the Last Battle and cleansing saidin while he worked out how to do so from the Aelfinn’s answers. Therefore I think the third question Rand asked the Aelfinn was how to avoid Breaking the World as he is prophesied to do.


Lambada said...

I've always thought that it was along the lines of "How can I learn to control saidin?"

Rand knew controlling saidin would be key, and when Asmo, Lanfear and the DF Peddlers turned up Rand knew from the start that Asmodean (and Lanfear) was with him . He also planned to capture Asmodean and had planned it out fairly thoroughly.

To me this all indicates that the third question was about controlling saidin.

Linda said...

It was Lanfear who told Rand to use Asmo. Moiraine had indirectly suggested it too when she said in TGH that only a man from the Age of Legends could teach him.

Lambada said...

Hmm... I may be mistaken, but although Moiraine suggested it, she never actually said "Asmodean will be joining you in Rhuidean for that exact purpose".

Lanfear offered to get Asmodean to teach him. Rand refused. Lanfear never mentioned that she would next see him at Rhuidean with Asmodean.

Yet Rand knew from the moment the Wagons came into sight that Asmodean was there - his attitude to the peddlers shows that.

As far as I can see there is no way Rand could have known that Forsaken were with that Peddler right from the start; yet he did.

luvtheedragon said...

what would be even more interesting is knowing moraine's Q-A or even just the Q.
Because, I want to know why is it that Min considers Moraine is so fundamentally crucial for the last battle,
1. She is a moderately strong in the power but not powerful as compared the caddy/ nyn/avi/elyane/egey/alivia/etc

2. Others are equally dedicated to him if not more so.

She ( her survival) would provide a sort of moral redemption for him, wrt to the whole lanfear-terangral business, and his not being strong enough to stand up to lanfear.

But that is not it all in all, because we see back even in tEotW, in the berelon, min sees that moraine as well as thom is more a part of the pack than say elyane or avi is.
she won't be sacrificed again as well, cos that would defeat the whole melodramatic episode with Lan/ thom/ mat/ rand/ ...

so what exactly is her purpose ??
I think the answer lies in what she knows as a part of her multiple entries into all the ter'angrals + dedicated research for 20+ years ...

Funny that I just noticed : Moraine is the only person who has been into all the ter'angrals that we know : accepted test, shawl test, tear, rudy - 3 door, and finally the snakes portal where she went in with lanfear.

Anonymous said...

As to the Forsaken issue. I think it is just Rand's intepretion of the prophecy.

Remember Moiraine intepret the word "chains the Shadowsworn to his will, from the city, lost and forsaken," as chainning Sammael from Illian?

Rand intepret that to mean capture a Forsaken in Rhuidean. As soon as Lanfear mentioned Asmodean, Rand knows what he must do, and a Forsaken(Asmodean) must appear soon.

Ewan said...

This theory makes alot of sense as we see Rand clearly focus on the other two answers he gets, going on to cleanse saidin and often thinking about how to survive.

The other thing he has focused on alot is building instead of destroying, for example the schools.

It is quite possible that his third question pertained to this.

Linda said...

Lambada: and I didn't suggest that Moiraine said anything like that. It was from her original comment that he got the idea of using one of the male Forsaken as a teacher. he had to trap one though.

Rand expected the Forsaken to follow him to the Waste and said so. He knew Lanfear wouldn't give up on stalking him.

Rand said later to Lanfear that he wanted Asmo as teach on Rand's terms. Not Lanfear's. That'w why he cut Asmo off.

Gilbetron said...

Yeah, I'm with you, luvtheedragon.

I've always been surprised more people haven't spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it is that Moiraine knows that's so critical to the Last Battle.

As far as I can tell, Robert Jordan wrote to the point where he HAD to get rid of her, because her accumulated knowledge was enough to end the story prematurely, and there were fewer and fewer reasons for her to keep that knowledge to herself.

Anyway, yeah, I think this deserves a much more detailed discussion.

Gilbetron said...

Also, I should add that I think what Moiraine is going to come out and reveal to Rand is going to be more than a big surprise... I think it will be the tipping point of the entire series, the crucial reason that necessitated her abrupt exit 7 books ago. I think it's going to be a cataclysmic, shocking reveal.

I guess I could be wrong... but I really feel we've been building to this particular moment more than any other.

Shoot, is it November yet?

Anonymous said...

Moraine knows Balefire! And she's one of the few light-siders to know it. (Where did she learn it?)
Others who know it are Nynave, but I doubt she remembers how to form it and also Rand and Narishma.

It sounds a bit lame, but what if Alivia mercy-kills rand and then gets Balefired by Moiraine to bring back Rand?


luvtheedragon said...

I do believe she has a role to play in a big way, apart from the emotional relief that she might give him. I started a thread on the 13-forum for the same.
Nov? amazon is all about oct-26; better yet, get a kindle version. you get the book as the clock strikes midnight!

@ano - landro
rand has to die for the sake of the wound on his side, and his to some extend may be his stubby left hand.
being one with the land, improvement in his personal health only can bring back balance. If things continue on, he will be dominated "by the dark side" cos of the wound that he has.

Devin said...

I think that because of this knowledge that Moraine has and because Rand trusts her more than any other Aes Sedai, save Nynaeve or maybe Elayne, she will be one of the two female channelers when Rand wields Callandor at Tarmon Gaidon. Just throwing that out there.

Anonymous said...

I really think the two female channelers will be Elayne and Avienda. He certainly trusts them.

(Merrill here.)

Anonymous said...

...and I wonder about their answer to Mat, to save the world, you must give up half the light of the world, or something to that effect. I take that to mean that since saidin had had to be touched to the Dark One himself in order to seal the Bore, the only way to avoid the Dark One's counterstroke of the taint is to cut off the male half of the Source forever.

Anonymous said...

that's for mat, isn't there predictions of him loosing an eye? if he loses one eye, he will see only half the light a normal person would, its a very literal translation. or Mat can't Channel anyway so Saidin is irreleveant to him.

Linda said...

Merrill - In TGS Rand pretty much decided that one of the women would be Nynaeve. He trusts her and she's stronger than Aviendha and Elayne.

Anonymouses - I think that Mat will lose an eye in fulfilling this prophecy.

Anonymous said...

This post has been resolved. Rand's third question was whether he should go home to the Two Rivers or not. The Aelfin told him not to. That's it.

Therefore this needs to be changed.

Linda said...

Anonymous: that was the questions Mat asked and the reply he received.