Friday, July 23, 2010

The Looming Towers #2: 13 Predictions for Towers of Midnight

Linda’s top 13 – with explanations.

1. Mat, Thom and Noal will have a thoroughly nasty time in the ‘Finns’ world and Moiraine will turn out to be the woman in shadow in Egwene's dream beckoning Mat to great, monstrous danger.

Perrin’s vision of Mat bound and naked will be fulfilled in the Finns’ world. The Finns will consider Mat cheated the agreement (which Moiraine hinted would be necessary to win against the Aelfinn and Eelfinn) and bind him and threaten to skin him, just as Mat threatened to skin a Finn for cheating in the Rhuidean ter’angreal. Mat is bound naked, just as in Perrin’s vision, everything having been removed except the very items the Eelfinn gave him as part of their bargain in The Shadow Rising. (If the Aelfinn or Eelfinn break the agreement they can hardly object to Mat and co. doing the same).

Shortly after being bound Mat will lose his eye – blood is the fourth item (along with their courage, Thom’s singing voice, and Aludra’s matches) which will be used to cheat against the ‘Finns. Because the Finn's world has radically different natural laws (Letter to Paul Ward from RJ - March 2000), and is a separate world, Noal will remember a certain amount of knowledge that has been unavailable due to a Forsaken tampering with him (probably Graendal). Mat is mistaken in thinking that the ‘Finns are linked to him – the link was broken when Mat was unbalefired in Caemlyn. Thus the ‘Finns won’t know about Aludra’s matches.

Before he goes to the Tower of Ghenjei, Mat dices with Elayne for funds to build the dragons. He makes a rousing speech to his troops tht he will return and departs for the Tower of Ghenjei. The Murandian who designed his crossbow crank also makes the new device Mat has in mind.

2. Berelain is shaved bald by Faile as punishment for trying to poach Perrin and letting everyone think she is Perrin’s lover, and she is "recognised" as one of the Seanchan royal family as a consequence. She is smitten when she meets Galad, but he isn’t much by her.

3. Tuon is revealed to the Seanchan as able to learn to channel like all sul’dam and the worst possible interpretation is put on this thanks to the Shadow. Many Seanchan declare preference for Berelain again thanks to the Shadow. (Theory on this newly published.)

4. The Seanchan make a second attack on the Aes Sedai using Travelling this time and AS damane are forced to call lightning against the White Tower just as Egwene dreamt (see First Strike by Aes Sedai Damane theory). Tuon flaunts Elaida the damane Amyrlin while declaring Egwene merely an escaped damane and not Amyrlin.

Egwene herself is rescued from the headsman by a Seanchan woman. One of the Bloodknives’ victims is Beldeine.

5. Caemlyn will be the site of one of the main battles of TG since it is a parallel of Camlann where King Arthur fought Mordred (or Modred) and they killed each other. Rand will apparently die at Caemlyn and will be taken to Tar Valon by Skimming (since they don't know the area well) fulfilling Nicola's "three in the boat and he who is dead yet lives" Foretelling. Logain takes command. Rand survives to father Aviendha's children.

Kennit arrives at Caemlyn looking for Eldrith.

6. Lan and those forces still in the Borderlands fight great battles at Maradon (a parallel of Marathon, where the Greeks repulsed the Persians in battle in 490 BC) and Shol Arbela (Shol being similar to Sheol (Hades), and Arbela referring to the Battle of Arbela between the forces of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia in October 331BC. Darius had collected an enormous army, including Iranian heavy cavalry and many chariots with knives protruding from the wheels. The Persians cleared a level plain near Arbela, east of the Tigris River. The Persian cavalry outflanked Alexander's left and captured his camp. But, with a charge which he led himself, Alexander routed Darius, and the Persian Army retreated to the east. It is considered one of the most decisive battles in history.)

Sidona (Sidon) and Tyr (Tyre) will be destroyed in horrific sieges as they were in the real world.

Note that Lan landed at World’s End when the world’s end is in the offing.

7. Halima’s little group encounters the Seanchan and she is tested for the collar with fatal effects as discussed in this theory.

8. Dark People:

Annoura is Black Ajah. Vayelle Kamsa is also Black and was involved in the illegal gentling of men.

Elder Haman is forced by events to violence.

9. The strength and smith motifs around Perrin become more important as he undergoes trials. Perrin is wounded in the leg.

10. Aviendha realises the Aiel need to readopt the Way of the Leaf before the Last Battle from what she sees in the glass columns ter'angreal. She has a hard time getting to Rhuidean and back due to Darkfriend Aiel including Wise Ones. (Theory on this next week.)

11. There is huge division among the Ogier. Ogier subverted by the Shadow, Covril foremost among them, try to force a vote to open the book of Translation. They may even try to take the book after Loial reveals the presence of Seanchan Ogier on the mainland in a desperate attempt to stall the decision.

12. Egwene will fulfill Verin's deathbed suggestion and thank Laras. Laras will follow the letter she received from Verin and give Egwene information, including that which leads to where the Horn is hidden.

13. (appropriate number) The Black Tower has quite a few Black Ajah visiting. There is at least one Black Red now visiting the Black Tower: Javindhra and perhaps Desala. Of those in the rebel expedition to the Black Tower Malind, Escaralde and Salita are Black. Some Black Ajah on the run stop by the Black Tower. Ample Black sisters for linking with 13 Myrddraal to turn channellers to the Shadow.

There are more hints that Taim is Moridin and the climax of the book is when the Black Tower is rent in fire and blood. Cadsuane is among the group that attack it. Her weave-breaking ter’angreal breaks Taim's disguise.

Feel free to post your own predictions for Towers of Midnight on the 13th Depository predictions forum or in the comments below.


Anonymous said...

Interesting, very interesting.

I like the sound of 2 (and its consequences), and Avi's path is an awesome idea. I never realised mat was disconnected to the 'finns :o :D
The boat is skimming? awesome!. The Black Tower is brimming full of darkfriends :D

Ashaman Eric said...

Isn't it more likely that Ishamael caused the damage to Jain Farstrider and not Graendal?

In the very first book:

"Jain Farstrider, a hero," he twisted the word to a sneer, "whom I painted like a fool and sent to the Ogier thinking he was free of me."

Which you can corroborate with Loial's Ogier tale when the gang learned of the threat to the Eye of the World.

"There was a man came to Stedding Shaingtai a little time back... He was at the point of death, though there was no wound or mark on him. The Elders thought it might be something Aes Sedai had done since as soon as he was within the stedding he quickly got well."

Jain Farstrider's memory has been messed up for longer than Graendal's escape from her prison. The timelines don't match. But we already know Ishy was occasionally able to make appearances.

Mason said...

@Eric: Also might want to take into consideration the Fires of Heaven Prologue pg. 31 "Rahvin had not even noticed the opening of a third gateway showing a large room full of pools and fluted columns, nearly nude acrobats and attendants wearing less. Oddly, a lean old man in a wrinkled coat sat disconsolantely among the performers." Then Graendal steps into the room. Seeing as Graendal only takes on servants that are of high status and are pretty/handsome, why would an old man be in there unless he was a really important guy?

It may be that Ishy/Moridin had Jain/Noal under a compulsion and sent him to spy on Graendal and Graendal made him her own spy when she found out Ishy died. Or that's what I think anyways. =)

Ishmayl said...

Hmmm, though I think there are a lot of fun theories in there, the only two I find particularly plausible are Mat's and Perrin's theories. The rest (especially Moridin = Taim), I don't see very realistic. But a fun read nonetheless.

TWW said...

'The boat = skimming' has been around for awhile, bred by Egwene's POV when she is skimming, where she muses about how she always imagines her skimming platform as a boat, with the rails helping her feel safer about th neverending darkness around her.

Any thoughts about Avi's alternate weave for Traveling?

luvtheedragon said...

Taim not knowing who osang'ar was, and his suprise at him having attacked Rand, proves
1. he was working under some other forsaken
2. he is obviously not moridin cos, moridin knws the game of all the forsaken and their plans.

Anonymous said...

We did not know for sure, if Taim didn't know.
Sure, he did want Rand to pick another Asha'man at Dumai Wells, but that could have had different reasons - eg (if Taim was Moridin and knowing who was Osan'gar) that he wanted Osan'gar to train the Asha'man, to have more time for other things.

And his surprise about Osan'gar contributing at the Cairhien attack:
Maybe he didn't know, but we know also that Osan'gar (and other forsaken, too) sometimes had his own plans (at the eotw eg) - and maybe he thought, this was a good chance to get the ck access keys - when I rememember correctly, he wanted them at the Cleansing, too. No reason to tell anyone.

Nice post - as always. I just wanted to say, that I really appreciate your work (and that of everyone else here) on this blog, it's always a good place to hang around and browse.

I was a bit surprised by some of your predictions. Especially the Berelain/Tuon points make me eager to read your theory. For now both are a bit far-fetched to me, but maybe your theory will be convincing.

And there's a little misspelling in 5.
I think it was Mordread, who fought King Arthur and not Mordeth ;)- Mordeth is in a way also legend, too, but that was another story I think.


Frank said...

Tuon and the other sul'dam being able to channel is a very big conundrum for the Seanchan, and one I think could go two ways: either they decide to ignore it and go with Tuon's "I can murder, but I chose not to" or, really radically, they can get their hands on an Oath Rod or something and make all damane and sul'dam swear on it and then remove the a'dam. Really, they don't have much choice: in order to use channelers as they've come to depend on, they're going to have to let other channelers handle them, if they keep the a'dam. There's really no way around it.

What, if anything, Berelain will have to do with the Seanchan, who knows. While Shadow influence and political opportunism are always to be considered, I really can't see the Seanchan en masse going to her if they decided Tuon was unsuitable. I'd think someone like Galgan, who Suroth thought might make a play for the throne if Tuon was really dead, would be more logical. We know that Berelain is a good ruler (well, actually, we know she's a good politician; we don't know what Mayene is actually like or how she governs, especially since she's been away for years now), but she's totally alien to the Seanchan; she knows nothing about their culture, and I can't see them putting her on their throne, assuming she'd even want to. It's also assuming they'd take her claims at face-value, which I somehow don't see. She claims descent from the youngest son of Hawkwing's daughter (the one who invaded Shara), I think, a claim that no one is terribly sure about even in Randland.

Plus, you know, I don't see Tuon going down without a fight. She is Lady Luck, now, with Mat by her side. She also seems to engender very fierce loyalty and seems a good ruler.

Linda said...

Thanks for your responses all.

@Eric: Both Ishamael and Graendal have had a go at poor Jain. Ishamael years before the series started, but it wore off once he went into a stedding.

Graendal more recently. As Mason said, Rahvin saw an old guy at Graendal's lair that matches Noal's description. She always Compels those that approach her unless she doesn't dare.

@TWW: It's true that the Skimming boat is an old theory - one I suggested back over at Wotmania when I wrote the Prophecies articles.

Aviendha's Travelling weave is similar enough to the usual Travellng weave that she has trouble making that weave. Partly that's a problem of the gestures she used when making the original. Cadsuane says that the gestures you make with a weave are effectively part of the weave since they imprint. The gestures are passed down when the weave is taguht to others. When Aviendha made Elayne's weave for Travelling she used the gestures she used for her own Travelling weave. That's another reason why the usual Travelling didn't work for her.

@luvtheedragon: All we know is that Taim was surprised and then annoyed at first when Rand chose Da'shiva. The surprise could be because he knew who Da'shiva was (but Da'shiva didn't know who Taim is), and annoyed because he didn't trust Da'shiva and had other plans for him.

Some Seanchan will want Berelain, some Tuon, and yes, maybe others someone else. Division is the name of the Shadow's game.

Anonymous said...

I think its more likely that at some point Tuon's life is in danger and she reaches out to saidar to save herself. When Rand and company next meet, they discover that she can channel and threaten to reveal that she can now be held by the a'dam. They use this to blackmail her into signing a treaty. I think this is more likely because the Damane are so integral to the Seanchan culture and military that even if they were told about the sul'dam they would just deny it. The only way for Rand to "bind the nine moons to serve him" would be to deal with Tuon. Changing the entire Seanchan culture would likely have to wait until after Tarmon Gai'don.

Linda said...

Anon: I suggest here in Post #4 of the Winter's Heart read-through that Tuon channels to save herself or someone important to her. She has to do this in front of the Seanchan - not Rand, otherwise it can be passed off as Aes Sedai trickery or Rand's trickery.

But more in my theory next week.

luvtheedragon said...

two things

1. Rand has been expecting betrayals from those close to him, like LTT did in AoLs. esp those who have power.

2. More importantly RJ has been very very clear about individual characters having their own nemesis. Here is a list over the top of my head:

Lan/Perrin: Isam/Luc
Moraine: Lanfear
Rand: ishy/Moridin
Cady: Sorilia
Egey : Messy
Bashere: Rodel
Galad : Gawyn { not entirely sure ..but feels like it to me.}
Wolfs: Darkhounds.
Mat : Golum as well as
Mat: fins
Mat : Demmy. { this has been in the making in the background, behind the veil so to speak}
Logain: Tiam..they have tons of things in common.

So Tiam is exactly who he is. a new dreadlord of the new age.

Thats my take on things ... lets toss the dice and see wat RJ had to say ...

Anonymous said...

It is funny that nearly every
prediction people make ignore Fain. Is he such a slippery bastard that he is totaly unpredictible? And who is he going to face of with in this book? Brandon mentioned that we would at least see him...

Any thoughts?

TWW said...

lol, I know. What I meant to ask was whether u had any thoughts on how Avi's different weave will play a role in TOM, if I does at all.

Anonymous said...

I won't repeat other people's predictions, but here's three of my own

Galad will declare for the throne of Cairhien. This will annoy Elaine but Galad has a stronger claim so there isn't much she can do about it. The rising sun of Cairhien and the sunburst of the children are very similar and I predict that the children will become part of the army of Cairhien.

The BA who fled the tower after Eggy cleansed the rebels scoop up the AS in Dorlan and bring them to the black tower. There the non-black sisters will be turned to the shadow. As a result Gawyn will find himself face-to-face with Sleete. This will tear Gawyn up inside, but Sleete won't resist and Gawyn kils him.

Eggy will find out why there is so little cuendillar from the AoL. It's not that hard to make and it's also (near) indistructable. Maybe she'll find out it's not as indestructable as everybody thinks or maybe there are negative side effect to making it.


Anonymous said...

The problem with Fain is that he is a wildcard. He could appear everywhere, but we can keep in mind, that motives are especially to kill Rand and the DO, too.

Fain could be Perrin's unseen foe. He can sidestep the pattern, so he is unseen.
He is also still able to track Perrin with his abilities as the (ex) DO's hound.

And Fain is also responsible for the murder of Perrin's family; with Byar and Bornhald around Perrin could get this knowledge, so he has a serious reason to deal with Perrin.
Fain on the other hand wants to kill Rand, what he could have accomplished, if Rand did not have the help of Lan in Far Madding. So it's possible that Fain tries to track down Rand's allies first, to kill them and deal with Rand afterwards. While he is still able to track Mat and Perrin, Perrin is a reasonable target.

Anonymous said...

Also Padan Fain had his last appeareance about one week before Perrin found the signs of the big pack of Darkhounds surrounding his camp - and some people suggested, that the pack was hunting Fain - so this could be some kind of foreshadowing, that Fain and Perrin will meet again.

And while the pack is maybe hunting Fain, the pack is expected to be lead/send by Slayer, who still has the order to kill Fain and also has some beaf with Perrin.
So this three could have kind of a threesome meeting.

TyranAmiros said...

On Tuon and channelling:
I agree that Tuon/sul'dam will be openly revealed when Tuon has to channel to save her life. I think this will tie into another unresolved plot with the Seanchan--the theme of "superstitions" turning out to be real. My bet is the threat that forces Tuon to channel is an attack by some kind of shadowspawn.

Mat and the Tower of Ghenjei:
Cuendillar is the "Iron to bind". Mat gets a chain of cuendillar when he first visits Elayne in Caemlyn. In exchange, he agrees to allow the Band to help protect Andor while away at the Tower.

The Battle of Caemlyn:
This will be the climax of the book. It will be a perfect storm: a Seanchan attack (after finding out that one of the marath'damane holds the throne) and a shadowspawn attack (possibly led by Demandred/the Black Tower).
These groups will unknowingly be working together against the good guys--the Band of the Red Hand, Elayne's Queen's Guard, Logain's faction, and Perrin's army.
Mat (with Moiraine) will show up just when it looks like all is lost and convince the Seanchan they're working for the Bad Guys, which leads to the tide turning. It's too late for Rand, who is wounded and dying--and then mercy-killed by Alivia so he cannot be turned (similar to what Egwene's second test suggested).

The Borderlands:
1. It will turn out that Rand did the right thing not following Hurin into Far Madding. The Borderlander army is being manipulated by Darkfriends who wanted to capture Rand.
2. We will finally visit Arafel and Kandor--the only countries we haven't seen. Both Lan's army as well as the Domani Rand sent under Ituralde will fight major battles in the cities you mention. I also think there may be an earthquake in Sheinar (or in AMOL).
3. Nynaeve will convince Egwene to send a massive force of Aes Sedai as well as part of Bryne's army to support Lan and the Borderlands, thus righting the wrong when the Tower did not act fast enough when Malkier fell.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this wonderful blog--I think fain is such a gollum parallel that he must be integral to the final moments of the last battle. Also...that thing brandon sanderson said we all missed in book 4-6, I think it is about Alanna bonding Rand. Alanna is black ajah, she will be executed for it, causing Rand to "die", or nearly die. Maybe Alivia will kill Alanna

Shadar said...

"Tuon flaunts Elaida the damane Amyrlin while declaring Egwene merely an escaped damane and not Amyrlin."
I'm not sure I can see the Seanchan accepting or recognizing a damane as having held any form legitimate authority.

Have you got any thoughts about Demandred? We're 2 books from the end - and we still don't know where he is.

I feel the Oath Rod is likely the answer to the damane issue.. When it comes out that the oath rod is a criminal binder - it will become more palatable to the seanchan.

Frank said...

I think Elayne will gladly give up her claim to Cairhien to Galad. His is stronger, and, really, she doesn't seem at all enthused about it. She has enough on her plate with Andor. Galad is also a good fit for the public face of Cairhienians: proper, prim, even prudish. Perhaps Berelain will be his consort to reflect the private face of Cairhienians: more... free. RJ really liked all that yin/yang stuff. Also, Galad would be the perfect redemption for the Damodreds, who were known for their cruelty. He would be a just (maybe too just, but after the few decades Cairhien's had...) king.

I'm also predicting that Noal will remain in Finnland in exchange for Moiraine. There, with its different physical laws and the Finn's talents with memory, he will finally be free of all his Compulsion and consider the sacrifice payment for all he's done under the Shadow's control. The Finns will be delighted with the exchange, because of the variety and vividness of his experiences. His stories will keep them fed/high/whatever for many years.

I also predict that the rescue will not be quite as violent as it's expected. Blood and eyes and matches will figure into things, but I suspect the Finns don't really want the Shadow to win in Randworld. If that happened, they could be next, and I suspect they will bargain hard (they may not be able to do anything BUT bargain according to their nature), but I think they'll send Mat and Moiraine and Thom home with lots of ter'angreal goodies from their stores to help in The Last Battle and perhaps some cryptic, but helpful, advice.

Linda said...

Nice predictions! keep them coming!

Frank: I like the idea of Noal mesmerising the Finns with his stories. I agree that he will sacrifice himself for the others so that Mat can return to his wife Tuon. I had in mind them killing him though.

No, the Finns don't want the Shadow to win. But I also think they don't like to lose on a bargain either. They're like Sea Folk in that.

Shadar: Demandred? No I don't. I thought his touch was on the Whitecloaks.

Anonymous said...

I have another theory that hasn't been mentioned afaik.

After Avienda goes through the glass columns, she will arrange for tinkers to go through them and learn that the song they've been looking for these last 3000 years was the one used in the seed singing in the AoL.

It's possible that the Finns will give Mat a (small) collection of ter'angreal. I think the Finns received those items as gifts during the AoL in return for their services.


Frank said...

I don't know, at this point I think Demandred is either with the Borderlanders or with Roedran (or both!). The Whitecloaks I think were a whole pot of fail of their own making, as tempting as it is to revel in the irony of the "good guys" getting suckered by the ultimate Baddies. I just don't think, after the Seanchan and Galad's defection, there are enough of them for Demandred's purposes. And allies they may have been, but I don't see Demandred appreciating Semirhage's Seanchan coming in and stomping on his turf. Valda and Asunawa seem horrible enough on their own to have screwed everything up without a Forsaken pulling the strings.

At this point, given Demandred's incredible "no one knows where I am and no one knows what I'm doing" act, I'm almost certain he's with Roedran and his new army. It's something no one in Randland has thought more than twice about because their opinion of Roedran is so low and an army in Murandy is just far down the list of priorities, even for Elayne, who only gives a bit of "that may be a problem later" to it.

Anonymous said...

Mat was struck by lightning at Caemlyn, did you mean unbalefired?

Linda said...

Yes, I meant unbalefired. Thanks for the corrections.

Jack said...

The best theories are ones with no proof or actual logic involved, so here's mine.

Perhaps Demandred doesn't have a home base, but rather he's a far-striding rabble rouser. We've seen several groups rebel against Rand's power or start wreaking general havok. You've got the Tairen High Lords, the Caemlyn bunch, the Dragonsworn over to the west, etc.

Perhaps, instead of tying himself to a single nation and turning himself into a sitting duck, Demandred has been doing a bit here and a bit there, building up the nobles and putting some spine into them.

It was his jealousy of Lews Therin that turned him to the Shadow, so this is in line with his personality. What better revenge than to undermine the Dragon's forces, weaken his allies, and encourage a bunch of supporters to commit atrocities in his name?

Anonymous said...

Okay so my predictions are aviendha upon returning from Ruidan is the first to make a move towards Happiness, joy, and order (everything the DO isn't). Her first move being dragging Elayne and Min into wifehood (not that Elayne will complain, i think min might a bit, but i think she's over that too). So Avi gets her quadruplets fathered before TG. oh and elaynes happen in the middle of TG on an attack to Caemlyn, which is why when Rand goes to fight the DO he uses callandor linked with Alivia and Nyneave instead of Avi and Elayne. though he might chose them just because they are stronger. Alivia helps Rand Die here because she stops Nyneave from trying to heal him in the heart of the DO's power, which is probably a bad idea healing there. She also might go "Rand you have a festering wound in your side of untamable evilness." she then takes a knife and cuts out the wound that then bleeds generously on the rock....though if he were healed now no more festering wound (always wondered on this, why not cut the infection out of Rand and then heal him up good as new. or for that matter what kept Moiraine from fully healing it, she kept running into other channelers and angreal until she got kidnapped by the Finns, so her not being so amazing in power is not an issue)

The idea of Perrin being the one to face Fain I like. I could see Perrin and Mat being Rand's guards while he does whatever it is he does to beat the DO or seal him. This would be the second time Rand needs Perrin.

@TyranAmiros: technically we have been to Arafel, one of those tiny Moiraine chapters. the two aes sedia sisters lived there writing the history of the world. Later they join Elayne and the others in Ebou Dar.
anyway Moiraine went to them looking for answers and a Dagkar attacks. Not that eventful all things considered, but that's Arafel for you.

The comment on Eggy finding Cuendillar not so indestructible. that might be true, but she even thinks of limiting it so its value stays high, although i think there is actually a lot of it, but most lost to the sea and the breaking imagine how much could be burried, part of rands taverenness has been people finding stuff in the dirt randomly gold, swords, springs, rivers.
there is another reason not to make it though. it is the reverse of balefire, keeping with RJ's balance of everything balefire being complete destruction and cuendillar indestructible. Balefire destroys body mind and soul forever doesn't it? Cuendillar is inert, unchangeable. So you have to be careful making it because once you do it can never be taken back or undone. whatever you make it into will eventually be wasted matter, a pretty bowl, but useless if you want to melt it down and make a kitchen knife (bad example i know). Point is its useless on a universal scale, most matter can be converted even on the atomic scale, it can even become energy, but as Cuedillar it looses almost all its properties other than it cannot be broken and a seal can be made in it.

@Jack I agree on Demandred no home base idea. though i think he may be doing stuff outside the continent, getting people for him in shara, i think that was mentioned once.

Ross said...

Wow, Anon's theory about Alanna was amazing. The only thing with that is how would Rand and Lan not find out that Alanna is Darkfriend? I thought the warders could tell easily. If they can't though, this theory seems really convincing.
Also Landro's theory about Aviendha sending the Tinkers to Rhuidean was pretty cool. Maybe Mat will give the Finns some ter'angreal instead.

Anonymous said...

Good theories all. I'd just like to point something out. Rand has already died.

"To live, you must die" (paraphrasing) is what the 'finns told him. IMO, Rand's "death" has already happened in the form of him "falling to the dark side" when Semirhage almost succeeded in forcing him to kill Min. Eerily similar to Anakin Skywalker's fall in Star Wars when he fears for Padmé and I think the similarity is more than mere coincidence. It's not until he climbs to the top of Dragonmount and is finally able to, "laugh and cry again" that he has died and lived again.

Another part of this would relate to Rand's "madness". When people lose touch with their feelings or reality, they are said to be "dead inside". Rand was dead inside on both accounts (madness and lack of emotion). So, it could be said that it wasn't until Rand freed himself from the chains he had created on his own and reconciled the two sides of his personality, that the Dragon is truly Reborn. Hence, he lives again.

Only thing missing is Alivia "helping him to die". In this case, it could also apply to a metaphoric death, since "Alivio" is Spanish for "relief", thus it could mean that Alivia's intervention is supposed to bring some kind of relief to Rand and, since death can be seen as "relief from the burdens of life", that could very well be the key.

Kent said...

My prediction:
"his blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul"

I'm guessing this has nothing to do with Rand dying. I bet his children end up in Shayol Ghul somehow, or Elayne gives birth to his children on the rocks of Shayol Ghul for some reason.