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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Last ten comments at Theoryland.
The Bore is in Tel’aran’rhiodIf DO was able to alter reality with power...by Amaentes
Callandor's PurposeJust wanted to comment on something in reg...by Joram
Mat's luck is caused by the daggerSorry to necro this thread, but I was just...by Joram
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Verin Compelled AlannaThis was alluded to early on, but let me s...by jimbop79
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Last ten theories at Theoryland.
Padan Fain, Roommates With the Dark Oneby aNewAge
The Real Slayerby Cabadrin
How the Bore Will Be Sealedby Tremalking
The Bore is in Tel’aran’rhiodby Great Lord of the Dark
Callandor's Purposeby RealAshaman
Rand and the True Powerby Zombie Sammael
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Moghedien Raises the Deadby Truthless
Breaking the Sealsby Kamaul
Let me die forever!by Kamaul
(Frenzy for Tamyrlin)
First off, I have to say that I hold the opposite view of this, and you can find it here: http://www.theoryland.com/theories.php?func=5&rec=77&theo=1084
1) Ishamael's territory? i seriously doubt Ishamael has claimed a territory the same way Rahvin, Sammael, etc. have. His actions don't indicate a base of operations, unless you want to count Tel'aran'rhiod. And we've seen that little confrontation between him and Lanfear.
One of the first times we see Semirhage she's "working for" Shaidar Haran. So even if collaboration with Isahamel is necessary (and i don't think it is), it isn't beyond the realm of possibility.
2) You're assuming Semirhage wants to control the Seanchan. She may, but I doubt that's her primary goal. What use is controlling the largest nation in the world if it's all the way on the other side of the world? The real action is happening in the Westlands, and that's where Anath has placed herself.
The arguements FOR Anath being Semirhage are circumstantial, but the arguements AGAINST it are even more tenuous.
I would just point out that the circumstantial evidence linking Anath and Semirhage is probably the best we've received for any of the Chosen. Granted, we don't know yet that she actually is Semirhage, but in one chapter there are at least three (probably more) points where parallels can be drawn. I don't need to elucidate here, but I will argue that it couldn't get much more obvious.
**Ishamael had to have ordered the Seanchan fleet launch during EotW, BEFORE Semirhage was freed (sometime during tGH). So he's been the one pulling the Seanchan strings. For Semirhage to get close enough to the Empress to force the choice of Anath on Tuon, she would be in Ishamael's territory. That's a big risk to take.**
Why does Ishamael have to do it? They can think for themselves.
A big risk? For what? Again, why does Ishamael have to send the Seanchan? All he has to do is make sure they will set sail at an appointed time. And even then, the Seanchan can think for themselves.
**Semirhage has not been working with Ishamael in the early books, by any evidence we've seen. So collaboration regarding the Seanchan is out.**
Well that is very easy to say, since we didn't see her till after Ishamael's death.
**If Semirhage did want to get control over the Seanchan, she'd have arranged to be the Empress' advisor, not Tuon's. Or she would have killed the current Empress so Tuon could gain the Crystal Throne and thus control the nation.**
Why? The Empress controls practically everything. Tuon is her heir, and by her own right, is probably the second most powerful noble in the entire land. Who ever controls Tuon, controls all those lands.
Also, look as Mesaana. She controls Elaida. But how? By controlling Alviarin, who is second in command.
**Becoming Tuon's advisor gains her nothing, unless she has inside info on Tuon's destiny, which she has not shown to be the case.**
She DOESN'T gain anything by being in command of the leader of Randland conquered territory? That's wrong.
**Lack of Motive, and questionable timing makes this whole Semirhage = Anath thing doubtful.**
1. She supposedly wouldn't go into Ishamael's supposed area.
2. She supposedly gains absolutely nothing by controlling Tuon.
Aside from strongly disagreeing with both, there is a LOT more to Anath then simply those two.
1. Physical looks -- both Anath and Semirhage are described almost the exact same.
2. Funny how Anath just happens to have the pure black fashion sense of one the Forsaken; and look! The Forsaken in mind, too!
3. Anath hardly, HARDLY, has a Seanchan accent. Anyone born from Seanchan, would have that accent.
4. Anath does not show discomfort to the cold on the ship. I've been on a ship, in good weather, moving only at moderate speed; it's dang cold. Avoidence to temperature ranges, is a very tell-tale sign of channelers (Aes Sedai, Asha'man, Forsaken, etc.). Anath in no way at all, should be able to channel. Interesting.
5. Funny how Anath seemed to enjoy punishing Tuon. Even more interesting how that is explained if she is the Forsaken who is a sadist.
6. Semirhage has one willful charge; translation -- she's immensely stubborn. Sounds like Tuon - Anath situation alright!
7. Seems pretty difficult to come to a Forsaken meeting while you were coming across the ocean on a boat, surrounded by channelers. I guess that explains what Demandred meant by Semirhage had difficulty coming to meetings. Just maybe.
GLotD, you totally ignored 7 key points to the entire propsal that Anath IS Semirhage. Flat out ignored them.
Who do you think IS Semirhage then? Why? What makes their case better then Anath? What is so stand out about that person over Anath? What is the lands of control here? What other person explains all 7 other reasons I gave?
Join the faction.
Ok Callandor, here we go!
Ishamael gave the order to launch the Seanchan fleet during EotW. He tells Rand about the Senachan in one of their earliest meetings, and the Seanchan have already landed by the prologue of TGH, since Ishy tells Bors to leave alone "those who have landed at Toman Head". Ishy has been at the very least fully aware of everything happening in Seanchan for a while. Further evidence is how he arranges for Suroth and Liandrin to meet and capture the girls. The lines of communication between Darkfriends in Seanchan and the mainland are open, meaning Ishamael was involved. Finally, EVERY major event in the series can somehow be traced back to Rand's involvement or ta'veren. What was the sign that made the Seanchan decide to launch their fleet, when it's been sitting at anchor for the last 100 years? Either there was a comet or other omen, there are unknown prophecies involved, or Ishamael arranged for them to set sail the day he was sure he had found the Dragon.
I'll throw in that the Forsaken all know that the real action takes place on the mainland, not on other continents. It's possible Ishamael's influence with the Seanchan kept other Forsaken from setting up base with them. Or if they did, they did so with his permission. As Graendal said, "Ishamael managed to keep us from each others throats, for a time." Knowing he made Lanfear reaffirm her vows to follow the Dark One in TDR, it seems entirely plausible that the Forsaken either worked under Ishamael's direction in Books 2 and 3, or at the least, chose not to interfere in any of Ishamael's plans.
Tuon's orginal truth-speaker died during Books 1-3, if you work back through the timeline. When Ishamael was still active.
In conclusion, Seanchan was Ishamael's territory, and Semirhage would not have impersonated anyone there, without Ishamael's permission or direction.
Once we've addressed this point, we can move on to some of your other arguments.
**Ishamael gave the order to launch the Seanchan fleet during EotW. He tells Rand about the Senachan in one of their earliest meetings, and the Seanchan have already landed by the prologue of TGH, since Ishy tells Bors to leave alone "those who have landed at Toman Head". Ishy has been at the very least fully aware of everything happening in Seanchan for a while.**
Yes, all very well and good, but he does not have to order them to leave. He can have set up times or events to take place signalling their departure when the left originally for Seanchan in the time of Hawkwing.
**Either there was a comet or other omen, there are unknown prophecies involved, or Ishamael arranged for them to set sail the day he was sure he had found the Dragon.**
There you go! He made sure while in Hawkwing's time. We agree.
**It's possible Ishamael's influence with the Seanchan kept other Forsaken from setting up base with them.**
Ha, he died; their open territory after that, and even before.
**Or if they did, they did so with his permission.**
One heck of a supposition. No other Forsaken set up any base of opperations by asking permission of Ishamael.
**As Graendal said, "Ishamael managed to keep us from each others throats, for a time."**
And what better example then in the AoL, when they are winning?
**One in TDR, it seems entirely plausible that the Forsaken either worked under Ishamael's direction in Books 2 and 3, or at the least, chose not to interfere in any of Ishamael's plans.**
Uhhh, ALL the Forsaken were hunting Rand. How does that NOT conflict with Ishamael's plans?
Lanfear was trying to make Rand hers the entirty of TGH, and beyond, which I can only say goes against Ishamael's orders.
Be'lal tried to kill Rand outright -- big conflict of orders there.
**Tuon's orginal truth-speaker died during Books 1-3, if you work back through the timeline. When Ishamael was still active.**
Yes, again, very good, but Ishamael being active does not mean he was active in Seanchan.
**In conclusion, Seanchan was Ishamael's territory, and Semirhage would not have impersonated anyone there, without Ishamael's permission or direction.**
Again, ONE HECK OF A SUPPOSITION. No other Forsaken in the books, not a dang one of them, goes and ask permission to take control of territory -- they go and do it.
**Once we've addressed this point, we can move on to some of your other arguments.**
Ah, so we continue to debate your points, but totally ignore others? You can multitask GL, I have seen you do it.
All the points you so graciously decide to ignore for the time being, are important to why Semirhage was in Seanchan at the time you debate. Can't prove one totally, without the other evidence. I brought it forward, you ignored it. Stand up and argue.
We have one hell of a case for Anath due to all these little ticks and tricks from her, and if she is, then it doesn't matter whatever the timeline you think it is -- Anath was apppointed, mysteriously (yes, even TUON remarked upon in), 2 years ago.
Interesting that 2 years ago -- is first off:
1. When Ishamael was ACTIVE, as you love to put it.
2. When the rest of the Forsaken were freed.
What a co-inky-dink ain't it?
****"As Graendal said, "Ishamael managed to keep us from each others throats, for a time." Knowing he made Lanfear reaffirm her vows to follow the Dark One in TDR, it seems entirely plausible that the Forsaken either worked under Ishamael's direction in Books 2 and 3, or at the least, chose not to interfere in any of Ishamael's plans...
...In conclusion, Seanchan was Ishamael's territory, and Semirhage would not have impersonated anyone there, without Ishamael's permission or direction."****
I don't see a good argument suggesting she wasn't working with Isha'mael. You said yourself that most of them could have been under his control--why not her?
Besides that, Demandred's comments in LoC about where they have placed themselves suggests that the DO may have a heavier hand in this. And we know that Ishy is going to do whatever the GL says.
Hey there, first post, etc.
Anyway, let's assume for now that it isn't incredibly silly to dismiss out of hand all the evidence Callandor just listed and focus on your first major question: Why would Semirhage meddle with the Seanchan when the whole Return seems to be Ishamael's baby?
Well, I think you answered it yourself with the Graendal quote in your last post. Ishy is the closest thing the Shadow has to a team player. That's why the Dark One set him over all his other minions. He's more interested in keeping the troops in line than getting caught in petty territorial squabbles. So if Ishamael thought that Semirhage could accomplish something useful with the Seanchan, he'd probably say "More power to you."
You could also argue that the only reason Ishy was minding the Seanchan himself in the first place was because he didn't have another Forsaken in place to do it for him. I mean, his primary concerns since the other Forsaken were freed have been A) trying to turn Rand and B) keeping the other Forsaken from killing each other. That takes a lot of time, and if I were Ishy, I would have no problem with Semmy picking up some of the slack by taking over the Seanchan end of things.
Finally, all concerns about turf are moot if it was the Dark One himself who sent Semmy to Seanchan--and Demandred at least believes that this was the case:
"When I think where you two [Mesaana and Semirhage] have placed yourselves, I wonder. How much has the Great Lord known, for how long?" [LoC, Prologue, pg. 58]
The above quote strongly implies that the Dark One personally instructed Semmy to do whatever it is that she's doing now, and that means that even if Ishy did feel impinged upon, he wouldn't be able to do anything about it.
Alright, we got a discussion here!
I think the context of whether Semirhage was ordered to Seanchan is very relevant to what her motive for being there is. I'm sorry you think I was blowing off your other questions, but my theory dealt with motives, so that's where I wanted to start.
First, I have to agree that Ishamael could have set up or left some instructions telling the Senachan fleet when to sail back in Hawkwing's time. But back then, Seanchan was a mish-mash of factions. More likely he introduced a corrupted version of the Karaethon Cycle, with omens listed that he would provide at a later date, and then hope like heck that he would be free to make them happen when the Dragon got reborn. It could have happened this way.
Now he could give that signal himself, or he could assign someone to do it. Now we have to get to the matter I was aiming at: Did the Forsaken all go where they chose, or was there a plan?
It could have been dangerous for two Forsaken to end up fighting for the same territory, so I propose that the ones who liked to become Nation leaders said, "Illian is mine, don't come near" and added no further detail. That would mean Sammael, Rahvin, and Be'lal may have been somewhat open about where they were going. Demandred, Mesaana, and Semirhage shared their plans with each other, but not with the other Forsaken, as evidenced by Sammael and Graendal's lack of knowledge. We also know that Asmodean, Moghedien, Lanfear all floated around where they liked, dabbling on the edges. There are a few different conclusions we could draw:
The Dark One or Ishamael distributed territories to the Forsaken, or they all loosely agreed not to interfere with one another for a short time while they set up, or by random chance none of them set up in exactly the same place.
Considering that Be'lal, Mesaana, Lanfear and Ishamael seem to have cooperated to get Rand to the Stone of Tear, the idea that the Forsaken were deliberately placed in certain areas makes sense. Whether that was by the Dark one or Ishamael is a different matter.
I just can't believe she would choose to operate in Seanchan, as Anath, away from the action, without Ishamael's or the Dark One's permission or orders.
But hell, even if she did... does having a Forsaken with Tuon make sense? There are two far better figures to be associated with to control the Seanchan and the Return: The Empress and High Lord Turak. Why control the heir to the throne, if you can control the one who sits on it? Why wait two years to cross to the mainland with Tuon, when you can get involved at the beginning with High Lord Turak? Why not kill the Empress to make Tuon Empress? Why not kill Tuon and put your substitute in her place, as appears to be happening? Why spend two years doing little but play mouthpiece to Tuon when there's so much else going on?
Now on to some of your other points:
1. Physical looks. Mask of Mirrors, Mesaana's disguise, hiding channeling ability, Taim is Demandred. Any of these factors alone can prove that looks don't matter.
2. Black dress code. Even Graendal can look old as Lady Basene, Lanfear fat as Keille. Semirhage can bear other clothes as well, for a time. Coincidence, but not proof.
3. Accent. A truthspeaker could get placed with anyone. It might be critical to their job to have a slittle accent as possible, to serve the widest range of possible masters. Accents can be overcome by educated people.
4. Temperature comfort zones. A trick of the mind, not the Power.
5. Doling out punishment. Anath felt satisfaction at spanking Tuon, who is a willful, spoiled brat. Semirhage would have made her beg for mercy. No comparison.
6. Willful charge. Tuon is willful and stubborn. So is every other female in the series. No proof.
7. Any disguise requiring interaction with a large number of people would make coming and going difficult. Locking yourself in your rooms for days would make it easier.
Coincidences and half-truths.
I await your response.
i'll assume you forgot to sign your name to that last post, GLotD.
Answering your points...
1. True, but I haven't used looks alone to substantiate Anath as Semirhage.
2. Given Jordan's propencity for describing clothing, a person's clothing selections go far beyond the norm. In t'a'r, the characters' clothing is an extension of themselves. The stole appearing & disappearing around Egwene whenever she's being Amyrlin-like, the cadin'sor on Aviendha when she feels threatened or angry, etc. Even as Keille Lanfear wore white. Semirhage is ALWAYS in black. So this bit of evidence goes beyong mere coincidence.
3. This has got to be the weakest arguement i've ever seen out of you, GLotD. What purpose would a Seanchan truthspeaker have for toning down her accent? All of her employers would be Seanchan, right?
4. And yet only those who use the Power use this trick. Or is that just coincidence again?
5. There's a difference between a spanking and not being able to don a shift for days. One is punishment, the other is torture.
6. Yes, every other female in this series is willful. So pointing out that one is willful means that she is especially willful.
7. That is why Semirhage isn't really in disguise, other than masking her channeling ability. And she DOES lock herself in her room, so to speak. she goes on retreat constantly. Or is that yet another coincidence?
Okay, GLotD, this is all well and good, but you still haven't addressed the following points:
1) Demandred seems to think that the Dark One sent Semirhage wherever she is, in which case what she or Ishamael may have wanted is irrelevant. (For further support of this point, look at Semmy's PoV in LoC. It's pretty clear that she doesn't enjoy her current assignment.)
2) Ishamael has never shown any signs that he cares about territory anyway. He's a big picture type of guy and spends most of his time hanging around Shayol Ghul.
3) What's the point of trying to kill or control the Empress when all of the real action is in the Westlands?
Now, to elaborate on that last point:
If Semirhage were to take control of the Empress or kill the Empress and replace her with Tuon, she would have control of the Empire, but her power base would be thousands of miles away from Rand, Shayol Ghul, and all of the other Forsaken. The Empress will die eventually no matter what, and then Tuon will have the Throne--so why not leave the Empress alone for the time being and accompany Tuon to the Westlands, where you're within striking distance of Rand? Sure, it would mean showing up a little late in the game, but so what? All of the Forsaken who rushed to carve out their own spheres of influence (Sammael, Be'lal, Rahvin) or hastened to confront Rand openly (Aginor, Balthamel, Ishamael, Lanfear) have been killed, while the more patient schemers (Mesaana, Moghedien, Demandred, Graendal) are still alive. What's so far-fetched about Semirhage spending a year on the side-lines, gradually cementing her control over her "charge," while her colleagues get picked off one by one? Sounds pretty smart to me.
Oh, and finally, your assertion that no one but Demmy and Messy would know Semmy's location is invalid. The only stipulation of the agreement between the Three Musketeers is that they leave each other alone until the others are dead. They never promised not to share info or pool their resources with the others--and anyway, the agreement would be superseded by any orders from the Dark One, so if he told Semmy that she had to coordinate with Ishamael on Seanchan affairs, that's exactly what she would do.
**But hell, even if she did... does having a Forsaken with Tuon make sense?**
**There are two far better figures to be associated with to control the Seanchan and the Return: The Empress and High Lord Turak. Why control the heir to the throne, if you can control the one who sits on it? Why wait two years to cross to the mainland with Tuon, when you can get involved at the beginning with High Lord Turak? Why not kill the Empress to make Tuon Empress? Why not kill Tuon and put your substitute in her place, as appears to be happening? Why spend two years doing little but play mouthpiece to Tuon when there's so much else going on?**
1. The Empress is in Seanchan. As you have pointed out, the action is in Randland.
2. Turak? Why go to Turak, when the Heir is going to be coming over?
**1. Physical looks. Mask of Mirrors, Mesaana's disguise, hiding channeling ability, Taim is Demandred. Any of these factors alone can prove that looks don't matter.**
Doesn't address the issue GL.
Anath is described in the exact same way as Semirhage. That is one big coincidence.
**2. Black dress code. Even Graendal can look old as Lady Basene, Lanfear fat as Keille. Semirhage can bear other clothes as well, for a time. Coincidence, but not proof.**
Coupled with other evidence, its sealing.
**3. Accent. A truthspeaker could get placed with anyone. It might be critical to their job to have a slittle accent as possible, to serve the widest range of possible masters. Accents can be overcome by educated people.**
GL, the place you are born in and raised, is imprinted on your voice. An American born in California, then moves to Australia for the first 8 years of their lives, will have an Australian accent. It's how you learned to talk, and is learned.
Why would it be necessary to hide a Truthspeakers accent? I can't think of any Seanchan that chides people for their accent (all they say is, "You talk too fast."; they don't whip people for it, or supplant them).
Plus, educated people overcoming accents? The nobles are by class the most educated people in Seanchan; they still have accents.
**4. Temperature comfort zones. A trick of the mind, not the Power.**
Once again, coupled with other evidence, its sealing. Whole picture not one thing.
**5. Doling out punishment. Anath felt satisfaction at spanking Tuon, who is a willful, spoiled brat. Semirhage would have made her beg for mercy. No comparison.**
Beg for mercy? Maybe if she was torturing her to death. Mercy for reacting the way she did? No.
**6. Willful charge. Tuon is willful and stubborn. So is every other female in the series. No proof.**
Uh huh... How is that disproving anything?
**7. Any disguise requiring interaction with a large number of people would make coming and going difficult. Locking yourself in your rooms for days would make it easier.**
Once again, Semirhage doesn't have to desguise herself, if she is Anath; she just has to invert a weave to hide her channeling strength, as many other female channelers have done.
**4. And yet only those who use the Power use this trick. Or is that just coincidence again?**
It MUST be. ;)
**2) Ishamael has never shown any signs that he cares about territory anyway. He's a big picture type of guy and spends most of his time hanging around Shayol Ghul.**
He cared about two things:
1. The killing of Hawkwing's dream of uniting one land.
2. The Return.
***"I just can't believe she would choose to operate in Seanchan, as Anath, away from the action, without Ishamael's or the Dark One's permission or orders."***
Yeah, that's because she probably has the DO's orders. I'm not sure why that's hard to grasp.
Tuon is the most logical candidate with whom a Chosen should work, because she is the one in charge of the Return. I don't remember any indication of the Empress ever planning to come to the Westlands. Most likely, Tuon is going to be her regent there.
Moreover, it would make sense to latch on to the Return (instead of the Empress directly), because the Shadow needs to coordinate activities in the Westlands. Other Chosen have set up bases, and they don't need to have their own armies fighting one another.
Regarding Ishy...seems to me that he has been almost exclusively active in the Westlands. For all we know, he only pops into Seanchan once in a while. This makes perfect sense if he has someone there he can trust to oversee the Return (his baby, if you will).
Lastly, you can argue against individual similarities and explain them all away. But it's hard to argue against the occurrence of all of them at once, which is what we have. In my mind, this is far, far more obvious than Taimandred ever was (which is probably why I was never a supporter).
**In my mind, this is far, far more obvious than Taimandred ever was (which is probably why I was never a supporter).**
This is on the level of Selene = Lanfear obvious.
See the message board for my pick on who Semirhage is: Therava.
Even if you believe that all of the circumstantial evidence is not enough to convince you, RJ has left enough hints to completely close this loophole.
When Mat fights the gholam, gets mud all over himself, is saved by Jain Farstrider (I mean the old man), and returns to the palace he barges in on a meeting with Tylin, Suroth, Tuon and Anath. The first thing that Mat thinks to himself is "...the dice were rolling so hard in his head that he was surprised one of the Forsaken didn't jump out of the fireplace" (paraphrase).
There you go. Not so subtle reference to one of the Forsaken in the room.
Go RJ! Way to hit us over the head with obvious hints that no one notices.
Two things are very telling in why Semirhage would want to be Anath.
1. First, I may be wrong about this, but I think that the Emperess is very much like the old Chineese Emperor in that none can look upon him and such. Because of this, getting close enough to the Emperess to do anything would be very hard.
2. Second, Tuon is the probably the second most powerful person in the westlands right now. Rand is first. Who else would a Forsaken want to be the close advisor to?
I think it is alot more likely that Semirhage is Anath based on all obvious evidence, and i would imagine that although therava and Semirhage have many sadistic and power-level similarities, the Wise Ones know and recognize Therava, when and how would one of the Forsaken penetrate the Wise Ones, seems impossible in my opinion. I think Therava is just a powerful and slightly evil new willful leader of the Shaido.
Callandor, I would like to add that Anath was described as being almost gentle in her punishment of Tuon, yet it left Tuon weeping (something like that) to me this indicates one with a familiarity to torture.... sound like anyone?
**2. Second, Tuon is the probably the second most powerful person in the westlands right now. Rand is first. Who else would a Forsaken want to be the close advisor to?**
The two other people they already are looking after ;). Egwene and Elaida.
I am torn about who Semirhage is. I agree with the evidence provided that she can be Anath. This is an obvious conclusion. I can see that Semirhage really hasn't been a prominent character in the first 5 or 6 books. But everybody does remember that she was the one ordered by the Dark One to send the Trollocs to save Rand in the Stone. How was she to organize and execute this order while she was in Seachan? I also have a problem about her going on “retreat”. The position of Truth-Speaker I believe is one of property, yes it is a high position with influence, but she is still property. That being said I cannot accept that she can dictate when and where she can be seen or not seen. She would be required to be around Tuon whenever Tuon wanted her around (I understand she has a vile mouth and Tuon would most likely prefer her not to be around). But she has an important position and most likely would have to be with in a calling distance so she could be around for meetings and such. Anath is an advisor of sorts and given that responsibility would need to be around to gather the information at the same time Tuon is getting the information. Does this assumption make sense? I haven't made up my mind, but the logistics seems difficult to maintain for an extended period of time.
I am to believe that Semmy got a message (via Tel'aran'rhiod or something else), told Tuon “I've got a headache and need time to think and recuperate, and I'll be back the day after tomorrow”. Then she creates a way gate in the middle of Seachan back to the westlands. Remember the Sul'Dame and the Daman that were searching when Aviendha make her mad dash to get away from Rand? She does her thing with Demodred & Messy, sends trollocs to the Stone, tortures the AS & Warder, and then just pops back to Seachan a couple of days later. “hey Tuon I'm back, whats been happening while I was in retreat?” “Dame your stubborn, why can you not do it like your suppose to? You need to get your head out of your ass”. Two days later...”Oh, I got another headache”. Does this sound a little far fetched? Like I said I haven't made up my mind, but there is more to look at than she is a mean bitch who is tall and likes to wear black cloths.
**I also have a problem about her going on “retreat”. The position of Truth-Speaker I believe is one of property, yes it is a high position with influence, but she is still property. That being said I cannot accept that she can dictate when and where she can be seen or not seen.**
That's the point of a Soe'fia; they keep high nobles humble. Their entire purpose is to tell the truth as they see it, no matter what it is, how embarassing it is, or how painful it is, and very, very bluntly. Tuon made a specific mention to a Soe'fia not being punished for slapping the Emporer in the middle of the noble court.
Plus, Anath goes on leave while Tuon is kiddnapped; her need isn't too great at the moment. The reason Semirhage hasn't been too active in Randland, is ~because~ she can't just get up and leave for the time she needs. That's an added reason to why the circumstances are difficult.
**Like I said I haven't made up my mind, but there is more to look at than she is a mean bitch who is tall and likes to wear black cloths.**
Yes, and if those are the three facts you are going on alone, you can re-read the entire thread; there are a lot more things to Anath then those.
Callandor, I am not arguing against your proof. All I am saying is what has been presented is not enough to convince me.
Semirhage didn't torture the AS and send the Trollocs to the Stone while Tuon was kidnapped. That is a recent development. Prior to the kidnapping/ marriage proposal she would have had to bounce back and forth to attend meetings and accomplish some tasks personally. We all know that if the DO said come she would have to leave on the double. She would also have to spend allot of time in Seachan to know how a Soe'fia should behave, what she could get away with and what she couldn't. I agree it is a possibility that Semirhage is Anath. I just cannot understand the logistics. Everybody who has agreed with the theory has not done a good job in explaining how Semirhage could have pulled it off before Tuon and all the rest reached the westlands. Not to mention I do not think it is possible to travel from a ship while in transit.
Semirhage was summoned away by SH. So when she came back she used compulsion on the whole boat?
**Semirhage didn't torture the AS and send the Trollocs to the Stone while Tuon was kidnapped.**
Yes, I know this. But why do you think those are the only things she has really done in Randland, if the circumstances were not difficult, as they are with Anath?
**Not to mention I do not think it is possible to travel from a ship while in transit.**
Ships do stop you know. Cantorin is a lovely save-way (especially that all the events Semirhage has had a hand in, have been after 1 year of the Forsaken being freed. I can see her setting up in that time and Tuon being sent to Randland, with a stop over at Cantorin.)
Going back to an earlier point:
** 1. Physical looks. Mask of Mirrors, Mesaana's disguise, hiding channeling ability, Taim is Demandred. Any of these factors alone can prove that looks don't matter. **
All this demonstrates is that the only time looks don't matter is when you have a channeler involved. So if you dismiss the unusual physical similarities between Anath and Semihrage, you conclude that Anath is a channeler. And since she has gone undetected by the hordes of damane on board, she must be able to mask her ability, something known only to a few. That is a point in favor of them being one and the same.
First, thanks to all who are helping me achieve the lowest rated theory on the board. I take a special pride in this, and with a current rating of 1.47, I feel certain to lock it up. Or maybe it'll be one of my other theories rated less than 2.0. Ah, the possibilities!
I have a new point to debate, and I trust you'll easily explain it away.
Quote from LoC (Semirhage):The Chosen were no more than pieces on the board; they might be Counselors and Spires, but they were still pieces. If the Great Lord moved her here secretly, might he not be moving Moghedien or Lanfear, or even Asmodean? Might Shaidar Haran not be sent to deliver covert commands to Graendal or Sammael? Or for that matter, to Demandred or Mesaana? Their uneasy alliance—if it could be called by so strong a name—had lasted a long time, but neither would tell her if they received secret orders from the Great Lord, any more than she would ever let them learn of the orders that had brought her here, or those that had had her send Myrddraal and Trollocs to the Stone of Tear to battle those sent by Sammael.
She's referring to events in early book 4 (tSR). Sammael's trollocs came from:Lan was the one who answered. "Eight large grain barges tied up at the Stone's docks late this afternoon. Apparently no one thought to question why laden grain barges would be coming downriver"-his voice was heavy with contempt-"or why they'd dock at the Stone, or why the crews left the hatches shut until nearly sunfall. Also, a train of wagons arrived about two hours ago, now-thirty of them, supposedly bringing some lord or other's things from the country for his return to the Stone. When the canvas was thrown back, they were packed with Halfmen and Trollocs, too. If they came in any other way, I don't know of it, yet."
Sammael probably Traveled the Trollocs to a place a day or less upriver, then loaded them in the boats and sent them back to Tear. I can't imagine them staying quiet for too long under the canvas.
Allowing for the possibility that Sammael's plan was discovered when he took the Trollocs from the Blight, in all likelihood less than a day earlier, there is little time for the Dark One to give Semirhage orders to send her own Trollocs.
The DO would only be able to give her orders is by sending a Fade to find Semirhage (was it Shaidar Haran already? Doubtful...) or if she happened to be visiting the Pit of Doom at that time.
We also know at the time of this attack that Tuon has not yet reached the Sea Folk islands, from Suroth's POV in the prologue of Book 4. So Anath is either on a ship, or hasn't left Seanchan yet.
If she's on a ship, it is purely illogical for the Dark One to send a message to her asking for immediate action to counter Sammael's attack. Many other Forsaken would serve that purpose better and are far less restricted in ablity to move/Travel quickly.
And it seems evident to me that at best, Semirhage was standing nearby anticipating the attack so ahe could unleash her own forces, or at worst, found out after the attack had begun, and had minutes to gather her own Trollocs and Gateway/Skim them to Tear.
This still leaves out the manner in which the Dark One learned of this attack! Who was watching Sammael or Rand, and had time to report back to the Dark One, so that he could give secret orders to Semirhage in this short time span? Moridin could, but most of you doubt he could be around so early after his first death. Any Forsaken could, but they would have to be right on the spot with Rand! Even Semirhage herself, if she was in the Stone beforehand would just have enough time to do all of this stuff to meet the time in which it occurs ion the story.
So I see a discontinuity. Semirhage had to be readily available to receive communictaions and take action in Tear during Sammael's attack. Semirhage has been shown to not be in that situation later on, largely explained by most of you by her presence on a boat as Anath. So why shouldn't this apply here? If Semirhage is on a boat, or tied up in public with Tuon, how can she carry out the actions we know she carried out in the Stone of Tear?
You're forgetting that Be'lal and Sammael have a LOT in common. They both were generals on the Light Side before going over. They were both leading attacks against Lews Therin's forces in the War of Power. And they both took control of nations in the south; neighbors that usually are at each others' throats. You're discounting the possibility that Be'lal and Sammael had an "alliance," or at the very least had each other watched very closely. Sammael had enough notice to get Trollocs into the Stone so soon after it fell, after all.
Lan say, "If they came in any other way, I don't know of it, yet." Traveling, obviously, is one way. Another is that they were already there before the Stone fell.
Why would Semirhage be doing nothing, waiting for an order to come to send Trollocs to Tear, or anywhere else for that matter? Why have Semirhage specifically send forces to counter Sammael's, why not Lanfear, or Graendal? Could it be because Semirhage was part of an alliance that excluded Sammael? The fact that the Shadow knew enough of events to act on them points more to Weiramon being a darkfriend than to Semirhage waiting in the wings.
Hazy memories of books read long ago tell me that the Trollocs came in boats. Through the docks.
I had to read that twice to understand your point Frenzy. It must be late. I accept that Weiramon is a likely source of info coming out of Tear for the Shadow. He probably knew of the attack ahead of time and opened a door or something.
But you'll still have to explain Semirahge's availability to Travel her Trollocs to the Stone on short notice, because the Trollocs were not already there, as evidenced by the quote I provided, which I shall repeat here: "Their uneasy alliance—if it could be called by so strong a name—had lasted a long time, but neither would tell her if they received SECRET orders from the Great Lord, any more than she would ever let them learn of the orders that had brought her here, or those that had had her SEND Myrddraal and Trollocs to the Stone of Tear to battle those sent by Sammael."
Her orders from the Great Lord were to her alone, no alliances with Sammael or Be'lal or anyone else, no Trollocs camped out in the basement of the Stone.
Im sure that Callandor will correct me if im wrong, but I believe that Sammaels trollocs came in through the docks on grain barges, while I presume that Semerages were brought in via gateway.
You're assuming that Semirhage herself did the actual gruntwork to get the Shadowspawn into Tear. That doesn't HAVE to be the case.
But for the sake of arguement, you say she couldn't've done the Gating from onboard the Victory of Kidron. Well, according to the handy dandy WoT Timeline, that took place in Saven (June). Tuon arrives in Ebou Dar in Saban, or February of the next year. That's eight months. I doubt it takes eight months to sail from the Sea Folk isles to Ebou Dar, let alone from Seanchan to Ebou Dar. The Timeline postulates that Semirhage tortures Cabriana in Nesan, or October of the same year the Tear attacks take place. That leaves four months before docking in Ebou Dar, and i doubt it takes 4 months to cross the ocean.
You raise an interesting point, GL. I'm not sure I have a solid answer for it, other than the fact that Traveling allows the Chosen to get things done in a hurry.
It's possible that the DO didn't want any other Chosen to know he was so unhappy with Sammael, so he picked her. The fact that she was overseas could lend credence to this point, because she wouldn't be jockeying for position after Sammael's loss of face. Does that make sense? The fact that she is on a different continent could make her the perfect person to do this deed, because the DO knows the other Chosen are territorial.
But as for being available and able to send in Trollocs short notice, I think the logistics are troubling. With Gateways, you can do just about anything instantly.
Sdog, I like your logic about Semirhage being an unbiased agent sent to rectify Samamel's errors without favoring any of the local powers. Though Rahvin would appear to be the closest local Power, with Be'lal dead, so maybe it's not that relevant.
Frenzy, SEmirahge said she wouldn't even share her orders with an equal ranking member of the Sahdow cabinet, she's not going to pass this task off to someone else. She DID have to do it herself.
Anyway, let's look even closer at the timeline for better discussion.
The trip is less than 6 months, because in the prologue of tSR Suroth says a ship carrying the other Aes Sedai (Mylen) could have left after Falme (Nov 30, 998 NE) and made it back and had Mylen on display at the Court of the Nine Moons by then (May 22, 999 NE). The attack on the Stone by Sammael is on Jun 7, 999 NE. On Aug. 15 999 NE, the girls escape Ronde Macura, who eventually travels to Tanchico (a 45-day trip when the girls did it, meaning she arrives by Sep. 30 999 NE)and is picked up by Tuon. Demandred delivers his message to Semirhage on Oct 9, 999 NE. Semirhage tortures Cabriana on Oct. 31, 999 NE. On Feb. 17, 1000 NE, Demandred comments that it was difficult for Semirhage to attend these meetings. On that same day, Tuon lands in Ebou Dar. So it's likely her stop in Tanchico was within the previous month or so (after Jan 1, 1000 NE, let's say)
According to the map in the BWB, Tear to Tanchico is 3000 miles, give or take, a trip the girls made in 10 days aboard a Sea Folk Ship. "Jorin has been teaching me to work the weather-you, would not believe the size of the flows of Air she can weave!-and between us, we've had Wavedancer moving as fast as he ever has, and that is fast. We should be in Tanchico in another three days, maybe two, according to Coine. She's the Sailmistress, the captain. Ten days from Tear to Tanchico, perhaps. That is with stopping to talk with every Atha'an Miere ship we see."
"Ten days?" Elayne gasped. "It cannot be possible." She had seen maps, after all. The other woman's smile was half pride, half indulgence. "As you yourself said, the fastest ships in the world. The next quickest take half again as long over any stretch, and most more than twice as long. Coasting craft that hug the shore and anchor in the shallows each night. . ." She sniffed contemptu-ously. "... require ten times as much." and finally: "Wavedancer outran the Seanchan vessel easily at first-"
With all that we can estimate that the Seanchan are 1 1/2 to 2 times slower than a Sea Folk Raker. The BWB map puts Ebou Dar about 13500 miles from Shon Kifar. 10 days times 1.5 for a slower ship times 4.5 for the greater distance makes 67.5 days, or somewhere between 2 to 2 1/2 months. Unsurprisingly, this works out in your favour, since if Semirhage left the day after she tortured Cabriana, the trip would be 3 1/2 months. I figured this would be the answer when I asked the question, I just hoped not to have to do the work myself.
Not a total loss though, since I have a new theory out of all this...
**With all that we can estimate that the Seanchan are 1 1/2 to 2 times slower than a Sea Folk Raker. The BWB map puts Ebou Dar about 13500 miles from Shon Kifar. 10 days times 1.5 for a slower ship times 4.5 for the greater distance makes 67.5 days, or somewhere between 2 to 2 1/2 months. Unsurprisingly, this works out in your favour, since if Semirhage left the day after she tortured Cabriana, the trip would be 3 1/2 months. I figured this would be the answer when I asked the question, I just hoped not to have to do the work myself.**
Is everyone else forgetting that the Seanchan had a stay at Cantorin? That could easily be a stop over, and I've always thought Semirhage tortured Cabriana there (though by timing I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong).
And, an aside, yes anubis, Sammael's Trollocs came via grain barges to the Stone of Tear.
**Is everyone else forgetting that the Seanchan had a stay at Cantorin? That could easily be a stop over, and I've always thought Semirhage tortured Cabriana there (though by timing I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong). **
It didnt have to be AT Cantorin, but your point is well taken. Im sure Traveling to and from an island is much easier then traveling to and from a moving ship (which I doubt is even possible).