Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crossroads of Twilight Read-through #5: Visions of Others

By Linda

In A Crown of Swords, Rand was linked with Moridin when their balefires of opposing Powers touched. Ever since then Rand has felt increasingly nauseous and dizzy when he touches saidin or lets go of it, and can see Moridin’s face. It is increasingly incapacitating.

The Dark One’s taint on the male half of the Source was nauseating to anyone who sensed it:

”It will be wonderful, channelling without the taint, my Lord Dragon, he [Eben] said excitedly…:That always makes me want to empty my belly, if I think on it.”

- Winter’s Heart, With the Choedan Kal

But not as badly as Rand ends up feeling.

Dizziness too can come from the Dark One – from attracting his attention:

”Shai'tan is dead," he [Rand] said harshly, and abruptly the room seemed to lurch. He grabbed his head as waves of dizziness sloshed through him.
"You fool! You pure, blind, idiotic fool! Naming the Dark One, bringing his attention down on you! Don't you have enough trouble?"
"He's dead," Rand muttered, rubbing his head. He swallowed. The dizziness was already fading.

- The Great Hunt, Dark Prophecy

at least when the Dragon, the Creator’s champion born to fight the Dark One, does so. The touch of the Dark One being antithetical to Creation revolts the body and deranges the mind.

Some of the Dark One’s taint was inserted into Rand’s body in Falme, yet he had no symptoms of dizziness or nausea associated with channelling until Lord of Chaos when he went to attend to the Shadar Logoth Waygate:

From the first flow he channeled, the taint seemed to pulse inside him, a slowly building vibration. It must have been the evil in Shadar Logoth itself, a resonance of evil to evil. Even in the Void he felt dizzy from those reverberations, as though the world swung beneath his feet in time to them; they made him want to vomit up everything he had ever eaten.

- Lord of Chaos, To Shadar Logoth

These symptoms, while as extreme as those he later felt, did not continue after leaving Shadar Logoth though. They were due to the Dark One’s taint in his side and the evil in Shadar Logoth reacting to each other. Rand was not wounded by Fain until late in A Crown of Swords and Flinn sealed away the two wounds fairly promptly. I think Flinn’s treatment was effective because Rand had no problem channelling during the attack on Sammael and because the wounds, contrary to Flinn’s expectations, did not change after the cleansing of saidin.

When Rand seized saidin prior to linking with Nynaeve he expected to feel nauseous, but did not, instead he saw Moridin’s face:

He placed his hands on the ground beside him against the sickness that would strike when he took hold of the Source again, but a different dizziness suddenly spun his head. For a heartbeat, a vague face filled his eyes, blotting out Nynaeve, a man’s face, almost recognisable.

- Winter’s Heart, With the Choedan Kal

Moridin’s link to Rand was formed at Shadar Logoth at the end of A Crown of Swords. By The Path of Daggers, Floating Like Snow, nine days later, Rand is feeling increasingly dizzy and nauseous when he seizes saidin; a “new sickness” and a “recent problem”:

Reluctantly he let go of the Power, forced himself not to hang on like a man clutching salvation with his fingernails as life and filth drained from him together. For an instant, he saw double; the world seemed to tilt dizzily. That was a recent problem, and he worried it might be part of the sickness that killed men who
channeled, but the dizziness never lasted more than moments.

- The Path of Daggers, Floating Like Snow

He has to be careful when channelling not to be distracted by the nausea or dizziness. When Rand dreams, he sometimes looks like Moridin in the dream, rather than himself, or Lews Therin (The Path of Daggers, Answering the Summons.) In The Path of Daggers, A Time For Iron, he even feels ill when he releases saidin and in Winter’s Heart Prologue he starts to see Moridin’s face and the symptoms appear when he is not touching saidin at all. The latter probably occurs Moridin is channelling.

Since the second side wound attacking the first and the link with Moridin occurred fairly close together it is not certain which is responsible for the extreme nausea and dizziness but the fact that the illness is accompanied by visions of Moridin’s face indicates the link is the more likely culprit, as is the fact that Rand feels ill when Moridin channels and Rand is not touching the Source. Even more indicative is that Moridin is affected in a similar way to Rand:

Yet with saidin came the inevitable violent nausea, the almost overwhelming desire to double over and empty himself of every meal he had ever eaten… The face of the man from Shadar Logoth floated in his head for a moment. He looked furious. And near to sicking up. Without any doubt he was aware of Rand in that moment, and Rand of him. Move a hair in any direction, and they would touch. No more than a hair.

- Knife of Dreams, Within The Stone

Not only can each see the other, but they are aware of each other when this occurs:

Abruptly another image was floating his head, a man's face, and his breath caught. For the first time, it came without any dizziness.
For the first time, he could see it clearly in the moments before it vanished. A blue-eyed man with a square chin, perhaps a few years older than himself. Or rather, he saw it clearly for the first time in a long while. It was the face of the stranger who had saved his life in Shadar Logoth when he fought Sammael. Worse. . . .
He was aware of me, Lews Therin said. He sounded sane for a change. Sometimes he did, but the madness always returned eventually. How can a face appearing in my mind be aware of me?
If you don't know, how do you expect me to? Rand thought. But I was aware of him, as well. It had been a strange sensation, as if he were . . . touching . . . the other man somehow. Only not physically. A residue hung on. It seemed he only had to move a hair's breadth, in any direction to touch him again. I think he saw my face, too.

- Knife of Dreams, Vows

Neither was channelling at the time, either – hence no illness. Rand had just finished seeing both Mat and Perrin through his links to them when this sighting of Moridin occurred. It is as though using the ta’veren links to the max triggers his link to Moridin without the usual channelling.

The ultimate consequences of the link where Rand, desperate to escape Semirhage’s sadism, draws on the True Power through his link to Moridin:

At that moment he grew aware of a strange force. It was like a reservoir of water, boiling and churning just beyond his view. He reached toward it with his mind.
A clouded face flashed before Rand's own, one whose features he couldn't quite make out. It was gone in a moment.
And Rand found himself filled with an alien power. Not saidin, not saidar, but something else.
Something he'd never felt before.
Oh, Light, Lews Therin suddenly screamed. That's impossible! We can't use it! Cast it away! That is death we hold, death and betrayal.
It is HIM.

Rand closed his eyes as he knelt above Min, then he channeled the strange, unknown force. Energy and life surged through him, a torrent of power like saidin, only ten times as sweet and a hundred times as violent. It made him alive, made him realize that he'd never been alive before. It gave him such strength as he'd never imagined. It rivaled, even, the power he'd held when drawing from the Choedan Kal.
He screamed, in both rapture and rage, and wove enormous spears of Fire and Air.

- The Gathering Storm, The Last That Could Be Done

Rand feels ill every time he seizes saidin, but he channelled the True Power “okay” in the sense of not being ill. Actually he felt great, and seriously tempted to use the True Power again. Such is its corruption that only by balancing the lure of the True Power with that of an enormous amount of the Creator’s One Power available through the Choedan Kal could Rand resist the temptation. The Land sure was sickened by its Champion using the True Power though.

We know Moridin is sickened when Rand seizes saidin. It would be interesting to know if Moridin feels the reverse of Rand when channelling: ie okay when channelling saidin, ill channelling the True Power. Or has the Dark One neatly trapped them both and can neither channel saidin without sickness, but only the True Power?

Whatever else, the link certainly incapacitated Rand as a channeller.

While Rand’s link with Moridin is wrong, leading to corruption and death, his link to the other two ta’veren is right, bringing reassurance and…gasp…information with the potential for cooperation. The link allows the three to sense each other and see what each other is doing.

Rand first began to sense a link to Mat and Perrin when he was locked in tne beox by Elaida's Embassy with only pain and LEws Therin for company:

Something flashed in his mind. Not images, just flickers of color and motion. For some reason they made him think of Mat, and Perrin. The flashes had begun inside the chest, them and a thousand more hallucinations. In the chest, where Galina and Brian and Katerine and the rest stuffed him every day after he was beaten.

- A Crown of Swords, Pitfalls and Tripwires.

Perrin senses his link to Mat and Rand before Mat does:

As always of late when he thought of Rand, colors swirled in his head, and as always, he ignored them.

- Winter’s Heart, Prologue

and is the first of the three to see clear visions of the others rather than swirls of colours.

Mat’s first ‘vision’ of colour swirls occurs by Winter’s Heart, In Need of a Bellfounder:

He grimaced and rubbed at his forehead as a faint rush of colors seemed to swirl inside his head. That happened lately whenever he thought about either man.

After his link with Moridin is formed, Rand has trouble with his visions of Mat and Perrin – they make him stumble:

And Mat was not here? Had never been here, apparently. Colors whirled in his head, almost an image he could make out. In a heartbeat it vanished, but he staggered.

- Winter’s Heart, Ideas of Importance

perhaps because the extra link interferes. But he soon is no longer disconcerted by them, and uses them even – unlike his link to Moridin which continues to be a source of discomfort, sickness and corruption until at least The Gathering Storm.

For all three ta’veren it takes time – or practise – for the colours to resolve into precise visions of what the others are doing.

The Really Big Event of Rand cleansing saidin causes colour swirls to form unbidden in Mat’s and Perrin’s minds, in Perrin’s case resolving into his first clear vision of Rand, but both Mat and Perrin knew that Rand was behind the vast usage of the Power. Mat and Perrin will probably sense other Really Big Events that happen to Rand unbidden in this way – unless they have gone questing in another world.

The psychic connection of the three ta’veren by the Pattern is ‘right’ or healthy and will be crucial in the Last Battle not just for planning battles, but because the three will support the world spiritually as well as physically against the Dark One’s onslaught: “the three shall be one”, as prophesied in the Karaethon Cycle; (see Numbers Symbolism essay regarding the significance of Three versus One). The three-way link allows this to happen.

This situation can be likened to that predicted in Zoroastrian end times (and Jordan had quite a number of books in his library on Asian religions according to Maria and Alan at JordanCon). Saoshyans, the final saviour of the world, will be conceived by a virgin, and he will overcome the power of evil at the end of time and resurrect the bodies of the dead. Saoshyans and six helpers will then lead the work in the world, communicating with each other miraculously (Encyclopaedia Britannica). (For Rand’s parallels to Saoshyans see Rand essay.) Likewise the three ta’veren are each able to see what the others are doing by a vision through swirling colours and together will hopefully defeat the Shadow with the important difference of preventing the end of time.


ju said...

really good article. Haven't read it entirely but there's an error. the first of the three ta'veren who aware of the ta'veren technicolor technology is Rand, in Lord of Chaos. I don't remember very well, but it's mentionned in rand's POV in aCoS : when he was in the box on his way to Tar Valon, Rand had what he believes to be hallucinations, swirling colors that for reasons he can't make out, make him think of mat and Perrin

ju said...

here's the exact quote :
a Crown of Swords, chapter 7 :
"Rand muted the voice to an insect's buzz, something he had learned while cramped into that chest.
Alone, in the dark. Just him, and the pain, and the thirst, and the voice of a long-dead madman. The voice had
been a comfort sometimes, his only companion. His friend. Something flashed in his mind. Not images, just
flickers of color and motion. For some reason they made him think of Mat, and Perrin. The flashes had begun
inside the chest, them and a thousand more hallucinations. In the chest, where Galina and Brian and Katerine
and the rest stuffed him every day after he was beaten."

Unknown said...

It is significant, I think, that the balefire crossing happened in Shadar Logoth. Balefire combined with the evil vs. evil factor plays some part in Rand's link with Moridin, I don't think it was the idea of the Dark One.

Dida said...

Good essay write-up, Linda.

Though I question how one can connect a prophecy related to Callandor with Mat, Perrin, Rand's mental linkage.

I suspect you have not considered that prophecy of 'the three who shall become one' as a linked circled of three channelers, being guided by one channeler.

Nynaeve will not be one of three to link in a circle with, Rand al'Thor using Callandor; as she specifically states in the series that she does not want to be a part of a link again using Saidin. Nor is Egwene al'Vere currently trusted by Rand al'Thor as he specifically states in the 'The Gathering Storm' book. Nor has Rand ever fully trusted Cadsuane, let alone enough to desire to link in a circle with her guiding the weaves.

Alivia though is trusted by Rand al'Thor as is stated in Winter's Heart, Knife of Dreams books.

Who might be a third female channeler to join in a linked circle with Rand al'Thor holding and channeling with Callandor?

One clue of many:

Only Moiraine and Siuan are alive, who knows of the Dark Prophecy found in 'the Great Hunt', chapter 7 'Blood Calls Blood'. Verin spoke of it to each of them, except Verin is dead now. Maybe a letter from Verin will tell someone else of this Dark Prophecy?

Verin knows Rand is going to die, and roughly by doing what... she should know that Lanfear is going to 'walk again'. Not to mention the second and third lines of the Dark Prophecy referring directly to Lanfear and the Dragon Reborn:

“Daughter of the Night, she walks again.
The ancient war, she yet fights.
Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.
Who shall stand against her coming?
The Shining Walls shall kneel.
Blood feeds blood.
Blood calls blood.
Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.

Lanfear, Alivia I suspect are the other two female channeling individuals, who are referred to in association with Callandor and 'The three shall become one' prophecy.

Why would they need to link with Rand using Callandor?

1. To reseal the Bore hole, to remove the Dark One's touch on all worlds.
2. To kill every Shadowspawn, everywhere as Rand himself once specifically fears to do, in the Stone. To do so, surely would kill himself he thinks. Yet the Dragon Reborn will not lead this action, according to the Dark Prophecy--The Daughter of the Night will guide the weaves which shall kill Rand, while Alivia is aiding this linked circle.

Mat, Perrin, Rand have no known ties to the prophecy of Callandor and 'the three shall become one' sentence.

Anonymous said...

Wow... Dida, you're fantastic at deducting the craziest things out of nothing. "Daughter of the Night, she walks again" meaning she's on the loose again, after being sealed in the Bore. That should be clear enough. Also, why would Rand link with Cyndane? Does he trust her?? Why would a prophecy comment on three random people in a channeling circle, when there are three closely tied ta'veren living at the same time, one of them being the Dragon Reborn? Especially when these three ta'veren can mentally link already...

There's also the off chance that Callandor will be used for something else... Killing all Shadowspawn in the entire world is probably outside of its capabilities, since Rand drew deep on it to kill all present in the Stone.

Linda said...

Julien - thank you for the correction. I have amended my post. Rand acting in Winter's Heart like the colours were new threw me. I checked The Path of Daggers, but didn't go far enough back.

It looks like my idea that the link to Moridin interferes with the link to the ta'veren has some merit.

Linda said...

Terry: No, I don't think the link was the idea of the Dark One, or Moridin either. It just happened by accident.

And yes, the location might well have made a lot of difference.

Unknown said...

After I posted that I thought, that although the link was an accident, it's entirely possible that the Dark One decided then to try to use it.

Dida said...


What is your impression about all the times, in which the three ta'veren boys left [b]blood on objects in the TAR[/b], during the first book in the series: The Eye of the World?

Mat lost an eye in the TAR, Rand cuts his finger on Moridin's WoT version of a chess piece, and something similar occurred to Perrin in the TAR.

Did the Dark One use this Blood to create a linkage between Moridin and Rand, at a date prior to the Shadar Logoth scenes?

Readers keep on hearing that things in a Dream are real, and that some things are stronger in a Dream.

Could the Dark One for example, create something a kin to a Mindtrap from blood gained in the TAR?

I don't have an hard answer myself, but I have wonder about this question for roughly 10-15 years now.

Dida said...

Dear Anonymous,

If you have been at all following Dragonmount and/or this blog's own forum. You should already know, that I make no assumption that Cyndane ever was Lanfear. I assume based on evidence that Lanfear always was Lanfear, and that Cyndane is Cyndane.

If you really cared for an open dialog or a regular conversation, please use some type of name in the future. Being Anonymous can have its downsides if your attempting to be serious.


Pablo said...

Dida, right after you considered the possibility of Lanfear being the third of the circle, you ask:

"Why would they need to link with Rand using Callandor?"

But you answered what they would link for.
Cyndane is not Lanfear, she doesn't love Rand anymore, so I can't think of a reason why she would help him at some point. Not to mention that Rand actually hates Lanfear, as she is responsible for Moiraine's death.

Anyway, I think your theory has a point, but I also think you crossed out Nynaeve too quickly. Since when any character personal desires are more important than the greater good? Brandon really likes Nynaeve, and both Jordan and him have made her character very reader-friendly, so she is a good candidate for that role to me.

Besides, there is also that last Min's viewing about Nynaeve...

PS: I'm sorry if my English is not perfect. If you guys don't understand anything please say what and I'll try to explain better.

PS2: Great blog! I'm glad I just found it out.

Linda said...

Terry I agree that the link was accidental and was then made use of. But also caused problems of its own.

Anonymous said...

Pablo, Moiraine isn't dead first of all, and secondly, Cyndane is most definitely Lanfear.Her hatred of Lews Therin for spurning her is very evident. She is ordered by Moridin to stay away from Rand because she would most definitely kill Rand. Sorry bud, but Lanfear is Cyndane. However i do agree she is in no way part of the circle. IMpossible.