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he Price He Must Pay

by Shaltilyena: 2010-06-07 | Not yet rated

Previous Categories: Looking for the Song

Sorry if it's not as detailed as I'd like it to be, but it's my first one :p

Okay, I've been thinking for a while about that damn prophecy I found so cool I learned it :p

Twice and twice shall he be marked.
Twice to live, and twice to die.
Once the heron, to set his path.
Twice the hero, to mark him true.
Once the dragon, for rememberance lost.
Twice the dragon, for the price he must pay.

Even though I never really understood how the first heron set his path, the 2nd and 3rd part are mostly explicit. But there comes the price he must pay.

The most interesting part is that the hand Rand lost is on his left arm, which is the arm other clan chiefs are marked on. Which led me to believe that the price he must pay would be taking away a part of what the Aiel once were. I mean, for a while, I assumed the price to pay (Aiel point of view) was the Bleakness. But the Bleakness is going back to the memory, not losing a part of it.

I came to the assumption that even though the Aiel would go back to the way of the Leaf, in the end, as the "other" aiel will mostly die, the only possibility is that they have lost something. Beyond the memory of who they were.

And there's the "remnant of a remnant." The Tuatha'an are mostly the remnant of the Da'Shain who split up (see The Shadow Rising again), the only "true" Aiel, considering they never picked up a spear. Will the "remnant of a remnant" he will save be the Tuatha'an, the remnant of the Da'Shain Aiel?

Only Da'Shain Sang. What made them different from others? I can't believe it was only custom, and that other people could have Sung if they had wanted to. I believe that the absence of violence in one's life - following the Way of the Leaf - kept some sort of latent power alive in them.

Why do I also believe that?

The Shadow Rising

"Keep the Covenant, Jonai. If the Da'Shain lose everything, see they keep the Way of the Leaf. Promise me." "Of course, Aes Sedai," he said, shocked. The Covenant was the Aiel, and the Aiel were the Covenant; to abandon the Way would be to abandon what they were."

It led me to believe that it was not simply custom, that there was something deeper about it. Something that set the Da'Shain apart from the other people.

There were two such things: the fact that they were dedicated to serving the Aes Sedai, and the fact that they had the Song. Notice that there is no mention of Da'Shain having the Voice; they just can Sing. IMO, the Voice is something associated with the OP, that can be found only in people who can channel, whereas the ability to Sing (for humans) would be something derived from it, but slightly different.

Plus, we know that not all Da'Shain have the spark, but there is no mention of them not having the ability to learn... so maybe it is some sort of latent Talent only they have. I still doubt that part though, lacking enough material to back it up.

The Shadow Rising
The Dedicated

He did not regret the fact that the Aes Sedai had passed him over at ten, saying he lacked the spark. To have been trained as Aes Sedai would have been wondrous, but surely no more so than this moment.

One might object that the Ogier did NOT follow the Way of the Leaf. But now, did they not?

The Shadow Rising
The Dedicated

The soldiers fascinated him, men and Ogier, the way a colorful poisonous snake might. They killed.


One of the Ogier, Tomada, came over, tufted ears slanted forward inquisitively. "Do you have news, warman? I saw excitement among the jo-cars while we sang"

What's important there? The Ogier who were soldiers did NOT sing. It might seem like happenstance, but I actually think it is relevant here.

But then how DID they learn to sing? It could be argued that they simply learned the song. But...

The Shadow Rising
The Dedicated

The Ogier began it, as was fitting , standing to sing, great bass rumbles like the earth singing. The Aiel rose, men's voices lifting in their own song, even the deepest at a higher pitch than the Ogier's.

Yet the songs braided together, and Someshta took those threads and wove them into his dance


The song caught him up, and and he almost felt that it was himself, not the sounds he made, that Someshta wove into the soil and around the seeds

At first I dismissed it as simply stylistic but, in the end, it sounded like some kind of complicated circle in which the Aiel were "used" as some kind of OP battery. I still don't understand the mechanics of Singing, but, I think a channeler who has the Voice could in some way "unlock" the latent power in a Da'Shain, allowing him to Sing. I'm still reflecting on that part, though.

So, where does that leave us? Well, for one thing, it changes what some thought about Aviendha finding the Song. I mean, she may find it, but does she have the Voice? And then, if she has the Voice, would she forget her loathing of the Lost (a.k.a. Tuatha'An) and teach them anything?

And that would be the price Rand would pay. He would lose what they call the People of the Dragon, and destroy the Aiel as he knows them. The remnant of a remnant he would save would be the Tuatha'an, the Da'Shain Aiel. He would destroy the people of the Three-Fold Land, to save the Da'Shain Aiel, the Dedicated.

The dragon on his left arm was for rememberance lost. That dragon lost its head.

The price he must pay would be the destruction of the ones who lost the rememberance, and, to those who kept a remnant of it (the Way of the Leaf being that remnant), the gift of the part of them they have forgotten - both the Song, and the fact that THEY are Aiel.

Thanks for reading ; I know it's kinda short but as I said, it's my first one, so I'm not yet used making them :p

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Tamyrlin: 2010-10-22

I like the concept (is this right?) that there is some genetic connection that can be touched by the OP within the Tinkers. Considering all of the blood related concepts in the books, it is interesting to consider that in some way the song will be called forth.

Also, I appreciate the symbolism you have suggested exists with Rand's lost hand and tying that to the meaning of the prophecy. A unique twist to this discussion, well done.


Lironah: 2010-10-22

I always thought that the price he must pay was the hand itself. As you said, he lost the hand that the Clan Chiefs are normally marked on. Part of the Dragon is still visible, but you'd have to look at his other hand - the second mark - to tell what it was supposed to be.

There are other lines of prophecy which would better support this theory, though. The prophecy of Rhuidean states "He will take you back, and he will destroy you," and there is another which states "we will be changed, and find again what was ours, and what was lost." The last one I can't find exactly but it's something about how only a remnant of a remnant will be left of what the Aiel were before the Stone of Tear fell.


brother of Battles: 2010-10-22

I thought Perrin would find the song, not Aviendha. Wasn't there a Viewing by Min about Perrin and Seeing Trees sprout up all around him?


Lupusdeusest: 2010-10-23

Ever since the end of the Perrin Plotline of Doom, I've always thought the "remnant of a remnant" would be the Shaido (I love the irony!) - but can the TFL really be considered safe? And how would it be "saving" them?


WG: 2010-10-23

I always thought the price was his death on the steps of Shayol Ghul. It was plainly obvious to me.

The viewing by Min early on, still at that town past Taren Ferry in TEotW, where she sees plants growing all around Perrin, which indicates he will find the song.