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he Last Battle: A Battle of Swords

by Despiser: 2005-10-20 | 2.46 out of 10 (13 votes)

Recent Categories: How Will It End?

I've looked through all/most of the Last Battle theories, and it seems to me that very few of them address what, exactly, the last battle itself will be like. The ones that do, all seem to revolve around balefire or the One Power in general.

Anubis, in his Let the Lord of Chaos Rule post, has already, I think, sufficiently answered the reasons why Balefire really doesn't make sense; ie, the DO being outside the pattern, having no thread to burn, etc. etc. But still, just from reading posts, there seems to me, at least, to be a general belief that the Last Battle will be a battle of armies, and of the One Power.

While I don't dispute that both will probably be involved, what with the impending march to Shayol Gul (The Golden Crane, etc. etc.), and the Ashaman/Aes Sedai/Dreadlords/Forsaken, but it seems to me that it's very unlikely that the 'last part', I suppose one could say, or the penultimate part of the Last Battle, could possibly be heavily related to the One Power (and even less armies).

Here's why. For the armies, it's somewhat self-explanatory; you aren't going to win the Last Battle with Aiel and Borderlanders, no matter how skilled in battle they are. I think most people will accept that as a given. For the One Power as well, there's a major reasons why I don't believe the final part will have a Power battle play the biggest role. Literary reasons.

Simply put, the Last Battle has been hyped to all hell and back. The One Power, and anything/everything combat-related with it, is flashy as hell. From rolling rings of fire and earth, to Deathgates, to Arrows of Fire, its become flashier and flashier, to the point where the expecations for the flashiness of the Last Battle is going to be HUGE. The expectations of the description of the last part of the Last Battle is so high, that in terms of sheer flashiness with the Power, it's simply impossible to meet such expectations with an attempt to make the Last Battle flashy enough. If Robert Jordan tries, it'll be so gaudy as to be obscene (in a literary sense), and I don't believe Robert Jordan to be that poor of a writer not to know it.

Furthermore, from a stylistic point of view, the entire series has had a very philosophical aura about it, from the concept of the Wheel of Time, to Moridin's theories of history, to the concepts of the Pattern and fate, etc. etc. etc. To make the Last Battle a flat out OP/TP battle; to make it into any sort of 'conventional' magical struggle between good and evil, would demean the series itself, turning this heavily awaited for Last Battle into nothing more than a magical Last Man Standing slugfest. Again, I don't think that would be at all keeping in touch with the style in which the series has been written.

So an immense duel with the One Power/True Power is probably out. What's the Last Battle going to be like then?

I would argue that it is going to be, fundamentally, a battle of swordsmanship. How that point is reached, I do not know, although I have several theories/guesses (which we don't need to go into at this time). Why? Simply because, for no real good reason, swords have played such a HUGE, major role in Randland, despite the OP/TP being way, way above it in lethality.

Throughout the series, Robert Jordan foreshadows this, with Rand's continued diligence in practicing and training with the sword. As Lewis Therin, along with Be'lal, he was the first person to use the 'game called swords' and take it to kill people with. At Falme, it is with a sword that he defeats Ba'alzamon. At Tear, it is with the sword sa'angreal Callandor which he once more defeats Ba'alzamon. Throughout the novels, people repeatedly ask him why he's training the sword when he has the OP. Lan asks him about it, when he girds a sword to try and take down Couladin himself. Lanfear mocks him and his usage of the power-made firesword at the Stone of Tear when the shadowspawn were brought in. Bashere questions him when he's fighting with several elite swordsmen at once, even going so far as to chuck a dagger at him. When his hand gets blown off at KoD, what's one of the first things that comes to his mind? Not, "Crap, I lost my hand!" Not, "Hm, I can't write any more!" Not even, "Hm, I wonder how this will affect my channeling." It's, "Aww, man, now I have to relearn the sword!"

So many people keep on questioning him on his usage of the sword, when he has the One Power, and it keeps on playing such a significant role in his thoughts, that it seems to me at least that Robert Jordan is all but screaming in our faces that the sword really has a HUGE freaking significance; it's not like RJ to produce a deus ex machina device for Rand winning the Last Battle, everything he does, he foreshadows in some way.

The amount of foreshadowing and hinting given about swords almost demands that it play a major role somehow, eventually, and what more major a role than the Last Battle? And, stylistically, what better way for Robert Jordan to cleverly sidestep the gaudiness of a OP/TP battle between Rand and Moridin, than replace it with the simplicity of a sword fight? After all, Rand is clearly the champion of the Creator, and Moridin the champion of the Dark One.

One plausible scenario may be like this. Rand, filled with the One Power and perhaps filled with power by the Creator himself, goes to Shayol Gul, where he meets Moridin, who's been similarly empowered by the Dark One. Seeing as how the Dark One and the Creator are equal, it's unreasonable to believe that he'll beat Moridin with the One Power, or vice versa. Perhaps they try, and tear the continents apart a bit, and perhaps not. Eventually, they will recognize that they are equals, and that any more fighting will not gain victory for either side, but rather, destruction for both.

Thus, they decide to settle it through a sword fight, as with Falme; it's the type of thing Rand would do, and Moridin as well, seeing as how Rand now lacks a hand. Naturally, having lost a hand, Rand is now at a disadvantage, and is getting his ass beat by Moridin (his blood on the rocks of Shayol Gul; doesn't a sword fight create much more blood than, say, a OP battle?). But he can and does win in the end, because unlike Moridin, he doesn't desire eternal life; he's willing to give everything up. Moridin doesn't, and isn't, unlike Rand, willing to Sheath the Sword. Rand once more uses the Sheathing the Sword technique on Moridin, who once more, just like at Falme, goes for it. Rand kills Moridin, and is himself fatally wounded as well. Yet, at that point in time, what he's done is enough. The Dark One's Champion has been defeated, and thus the Dark One as well, in a metaphorical sense; the Creator comes, and seals the Prison, or perhaps the Prison itself, without the seals of Lewis Therin and the boring of Mierin/Lanfear, naturally seals then.

That's just one of many possible scenarios, of course; its merely the one that I see playing out. But regardless of the details of the actual Last Battle itself, it seems clear to me, at least, due to RJ's writing style and all the hints he's given across all these novels, that it will be swords, and not Power, which will decide the Last Battle.
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2005-10-21

I must admit, I wouldn't mind a gaudy battle, considering the tease of a battle Jordan provided for Perrin's supposed rescue of Faile. If anything was gaudy, it was the build up to the very lacking conclusion. However, to your theory, I have to disagree. Any battle between Rand and Moridin that simply involves a sword, doesn't present a solid conclusion to the series, considering Rand has killed this man quite a few times. Considering Rand's hand is gone, his vision sucks, and his inability to really pull on the OP at will, I would suggest the Last Battle isn't about swordmanship or the one power, but about the connection Rand now has with Moridin, and his connection to Mat and Perrin. Without all three, Rand will fail. Something Mat and Perrin will bring to the table, combined with Rand, will in my mind, be the decisive factor. In fact, I would prefer any "sword battle" to occur between Mat and Rand. Mat's skills, if anything, have increased, his luck and gambler personality, and the staff itself, present Mat as a stronger warrior. Tie in his medallion, and it is a much more fair fight. Finally, I do agree there has been a significant amount of information regarding sword fights. Rand went through heavy training with Lan, Tam's sword, Rand's previous victories involving the sword of light, etc. But none of those things has resolved the problem. Any Moridin death by sword seems somewhat lacking at this point, if by Rand's hands. By the way, thank you for coming up with a plausible, detailed idea.

2

Ozymandias: 2005-10-21

A few other points. As Tam mentioned, Rand really can't draw on the Source at will anymore, and in that second-long period, Moridin will kill him. Also, consider that Rand has no knowledge of when Moridin is holding the TP, other than the saa (which he may not know the meaning of), while Moridin knows exactly when Rand embraces the Source, and how he intends to use it. Smells like the set up for a betrayal of their little oath. Just two minor points

3

Tristin: 2005-10-21

I think it was lucky with dice (sorry if I get the handle wrong) who pointed out on the message board that there is also another severed hand which must be taken into account. I.e., the one from Min's vision and from Rand's dreams. A burned off hand is nothing like a severed hand and Min's visions are usually specific. It is quite possible he will loose the other and if that case a sword battle is almost assuredly out.

4

Tristin: 2005-10-21

Also on a side note... My view is that Moridin and Rand have to combine or fully switch bodies...or at the very least one has to eliminate the other in order for the "live by dying" thing to happen...also explains Alivia killing Rand etc. If Rand does get access to Moridin's body I wonder if he will have access to the TP for sealing the Bore? I'm already highly suspicious of the "black flecks" in Rand's vision after the fireball attack. To me it seems like a fireball would have killed him, if one of the others were going to stop it they would have done it before it burned his hand off (at least I would hope!), so I've been wondering if Rand somehow seized the TP to defend himself as a last resort via his connection with Moridin....I'm not sure about this...just thinking outloud.

5

Hammar: 2005-10-21

You had me going at first with this theory, about how if RJ makes the Last Battle strictly about the OP/TP that it will be too flashy and would not fit in with the type of stlye that he has generated within these books.

However, your solution is just as flashy. You're proposing a champion of the light and a champion of the dark facing off in a classic swordfight and the winner claims victory over the entire world and perhaps the entire pattern of ages? Even with that sounding simple, I think that is more radical to RJ's style then an all out OP/TP battle. Moridin is Nae'blis, the first among those who follow the dark one. So in a sense I would believe that he is the dark one's champion, however, if he dies, the dark one will just name another Nae'Blis, so that doesn't make him a "champion." And Rand, yes he is the Dragon Reborn, but he really doesn't receive any instructions from the Creator on what to do, and he never talks to the Creator (unless you think Lews Therin is the creator, which means ur an idiot). So, besides the prophecies, the Creator hasn't really chosen Rand as his "champion."

I believe that Rand's part in the last battle will not be to just unleash the OP/TP at the dark one, however, I believe that EVERYONE will have a role to play in defeating the dark one, and that means all the Aes Sedai and Asha'man. So what are they to do besides general the armies for the Last Battle? Will they be the spectators in Rand's swordfight? What about Mat and Aludra and their inventing of the cannon, you don't think that will have a role to play in the last battle? You had me going really well at the beginning, but perhaps I think there may be another alternative then just a swordfight.

6

Despiser: 2005-10-21

To elaborate a bit, I definitely believe the Aes Sedai, Ashaman, and Aiel will play a major part in the Last Battle; I just don't think they'll be in the "Last Stroke" of the last battle. IE, they'll be integral in getting him to the battlefield, but I think we all will probably agree that the Last Stroke really is going to be more or less a one on one thing (maybe with a few MAJOR allies like Mat or Perrin, but that's another topic of discussion). The Aes Sedai/Ashaman have Taim's Tower and the Forsaken to deal with; the armies and the Aiel have the Shadowspawn to play with. Regarding Mat's cannons in specific though, I think that's much more of a mere precursor to what the next age might be like, rather than a major part of the Last Battle (definitely not the Last Stroke), but that's just me.

The actual scenario I gave was just a random one I tossed out as to what the Last Stroke might look like, or how it might play out. Perhaps they'll be matched because, like one poster suggested, Rand will have access to the True Power. Perhaps the victory will be when Rand sheathes the sword in himself, somehow killing Moridin, since he's linked to him. Maybe Rand beats Moridin in a sword duel, and Moridin possesses/merges with him, and that's why Alivia needs to kill him.

The actual event, I can't possibly predict. But it must have something to do with swords and swordsmanship; the sword motif throughout the novel, from Callandor to all the training he's done with it, is simply too strong to be a mere red herring. Why else would RJ consistently have EVERY single person Rand meets with degrade the sword, from people on his side like Warders (Lan) to Aes Sedai (Moirane) to his general (Bashere), to his enemies like Lanfear et. all. If we know anything about RJ's writing style, it is that he delights in irony and foreshadowing, and nothing would be more ironical, or better foreshadowed, than it ending in a classical sword fight in some way.

And Robert Jordan really IS a classical fantasy writer; much of the plot elements are themselves borrowed from classical fantasy or mythology (this is something else which has been discussed to death). A somewhat classical ending would be quite in keeping with his literary formula for this book. For anyone who remembers the Arthur-esque viewing of Min of Rand on a boat with three people, keep in mind; Arthur himself recieved that wound in a last battle swordfight with Mortred (which, incidentally, doesn't sound too far from Moridin). Ending it in a classical swordfight would definitely be classical (hah!), but I don't think classicalness (is that a word?) can be equated with gaudiness.

A few last ends. Rand is indeed the champion of the creator, if we look way back at the Eye of the World (and if we accept that voice as the voice of the creator). Furthermore, Rand's described variously as the 'shepherd' of the people in poems, and we all know who the shepherd is in Christian beliefs (which Jordan also draws heavily from). And other things, but we don't need to go there. The severed hand could easily come after the sword duel, or as a result of it; there's no timeline given, I believe.

In essence, I suppose, the heart of my argument for the sword is that there is simply too much foreshadowing for it to all be a red herring. Everything RJ puts in these books, especially the last one or two, is conscientuous; if swords weren't on his mind, he wouldn't have had Rand think, "Doh! I gotta learn new sword forms!" as his main thought after losing a hand. The abundance of foreshadowing, symbolism, and simply classical legendary myths (the Arthurian Sword in the Stone vs Callandor?) for there to be anything short of a major role for the sword to play, and considering the Last Battle is so near, anything besides it will be minor; the Last Stroke really is the only 'major' enough thing coming up, to do justice to something RJ's hinted at and foreshadowed from the first book onwards.

Oh, and incidentally, I have a good feeling the sword Rand uses will be Callandor. Once again, simply because of both storyline issues (Callandor was much too central to the Prophecies to simply be discarded when the Choedan Kal comes around), and mythology wise; Callandor, aka Excalibur, needs to be cast into the lake (or whatever Randland's equivalent is going to be), after all!

7

lurk: 2005-10-22

Usually in fantasy the battle is first fought with common soldiers facing impossible odds, they succeed in keeping the forces ay bay but have to give in inch by inch until the point that they cannot see any hope of victory. On a sideline the heroes fight a different battle which will most likely include excessive use of the OP and TP (by the way I believe Rand will be able to see Moridins use of the TP, or at least sense it through the connection).

so I see a lot of borderlanders, andorians, aiel etc fighting millions of trollocs and fades while light and dark channlers face each other around that battle. Meanwhile Rand and a few others will try to beat he DO facing the forsaken, and SH (and fain).

Maybe Lan and the malkieri and the borderlanders left behind will have the first stand at Tarwins Gap (similar to the spartans fighting the persians at Thermopylae). And so buying time for the rest of Randland to rally behind the banner of light. That would be a worthy battle.

8

Anubis: 2005-10-22

someone... read one of my theories and used it to build a theory of their own....

*snif*

im so proud that im just going to blindly agree with you

9

Anubis: 2005-10-22

oh i actually read it and I want to make a point.

Take a thousand channelers on either side of the field. They fight. Then give one side a couple million trollocs. The side with the trollocs wins, no contest. Even LTT took soldiers with him to seal the bore in the AOL, and the last battle is going to be that on a much grander scale.

Unless you think Rand and every light side channeler can

1. Seal the Dark One

2. Counter the Forsaken and all the dredlords.

3. Counter the Gholam.

4. Counter the Darkhounds

5. Counter Trollocs. And considering the size of the armies we have seen I would say a million trollocs is a VERY conservative estimate.

all at once.

10

Davian93: 2005-10-22

Armies might not be the central part of the Last Battle, but they'll be there. Rand and Co (most likely the original group from the Two Rivers) will have the key role in the Last Battle. Remember Min's visions from tEotW with the fireflies surrounded by Darkness. That is a visible represenation of the Battle with the Shadow and it surrounded everyone that left the Two Rivers, not just Rand. So I would say that that group will be central to the victory and the armies will be on the edges of it at best. The armies will neutralize the Fades/Trolloc hordes and even things out so Rand and Co can get the job done.

11

drz1649: 2005-10-22

your theory does explain the strange reliance on swords, but it makes no mention of Mat & Perrin (the three Taveren) and Padan Fain (the wild card). those three will certainly play central roles in TG.

12

JamieK: 2005-10-23

as has been touched upon, we know mat and perrin have to be there. egwene had a dream of perrin leading millions of wolves (takes care of the darkhounds and a hefty number of trollocs/fades). mat will probably take on the gholam. there's only a few forskaen left now, and strong people such as alivia nynaeve will probably have a big part to play for that. i think the last battle is going to involve just about everyone that can pick up a sword or channel at all. the whole 'champion' theory is far too eddings-ish and un-RJ to be likely.

13

Callandor: 2005-10-23

**If Robert Jordan tries, it'll be so gaudy as to be obscene (in a literary sense), and I don't believe Robert Jordan to be that poor of a writer not to know it.**

1. He has been saving his best cards for last.

2. If he can pull off a scene like the Cleansing -- yeah, he can pull off the Last Battle.

**make the Last Battle a flat out OP/TP battle; to make it into any sort of 'conventional' magical struggle between good and evil, would demean the series itself, turning this heavily awaited for Last Battle into nothing more than a magical Last Man Standing slugfest.**

It's not going to be all the One Power killing Shadowspawn. Yes, there will be lots of that -- but the One Power will be used in dealing with the Dark One and his sealing. That's how you win.

**Simply because, for no real good reason, swords have played such a HUGE, major role in Randland, despite the OP/TP being way, way above it in lethality.**

Swords played a large part in this world too. And you can't say swords played a larger role than the One Power in this series. That's false. Swords play a large role, yes, if you look at it so general. They're a basis of the military and weaponry. Take that out and name other important swords? Callandor (that one I would argue in any case), Aram's, the Aiel view on swords.... you run out fast. Might as well have said the Last Battle is going to be a battle of spears since they've been so prevelent.

**Throughout the novels, people repeatedly ask him why he's training the sword when he has the OP.**

It's not like Rand has completely ignored the One Power here....

**When his hand gets blown off at KoD, what's one of the first things that comes to his mind? Not, "Crap, I lost my hand!" Not, "Hm, I can't write any more!" Not even, "Hm, I wonder how this will affect my channeling." It's, "Aww, man, now I have to relearn the sword!"**

It's an obviously bitter moment, too. (Plus, Rand is right handed so his writing would be fine ;)).

**One plausible scenario may be like this. Rand, filled with the One Power and perhaps filled with power by the Creator himself, goes to Shayol Gul, where he meets Moridin, who's been similarly empowered by the Dark One.**

There isn't a third Power. The One Power and the True Power balance each other.

**(his blood on the rocks of Shayol Gul; doesn't a sword fight create much more blood than, say, a OP battle?)**

No. Semirhage in the Seanchan throne room? The Shaido Wise One's killing Desaine? Need Dumai's Wells be mentioned?

**Yet, at that point in time, what he's done is enough. The Dark One's Champion has been defeated, and thus the Dark One as well, in a metaphorical sense; the Creator comes, and seals the Prison, or perhaps the Prison itself, without the seals of Lewis Therin and the boring of Mierin/Lanfear, naturally seals then.**

You refer to a One Power fought Last Battle as guady but not this??

We know the Creator doesn't intervene. Ever. Humanity has to fix it's own mistakes and save itself -- not the Creator.

**I'm already highly suspicious of the "black flecks" in Rand's vision after the fireball attack. To me it seems like a fireball would have killed him, if one of the others were going to stop it they would have done it before it burned his hand off (at least I would hope!)**

It explodes on contact -- it contacted the Seanchan spear and Rand's hand. It's not balefire to just keep going.

And black flecks happen when people are hit in the head, which Rand was when he fell from his horse.

**So, besides the prophecies, the Creator hasn't really chosen Rand as his "champion."**

Well, he won't ever. He doesn't do anything. But the Dragon is clearly the Champion of the Light, Balance, Creator, whatever you want to call it. Champion for the good guys. That's Rand.

14

Despiser: 2005-10-24

"It's not going to be all the One Power killing Shadowspawn. Yes, there will be lots of that -- but the One Power will be used in dealing with the Dark One and his sealing. That's how you win."

Straight outpower the Dark One? I really don't think so. And, realistically, since despite everything LTT 'teaches' Rand, Rand still doesn't know a quarter of what was known in the Age of Legends. Prologue, EOtW.

"Because in his pride he had believed that men could match the Creator, could mend what the Creator had made and they had broken. In his pride he had believed."

That's LTT talking, but more importantly, maybe it's just me, but I'm getting a distinct sense that it's Robert Jordan talking as well, through LTT. Rand doing what LTT did, simply because he has "more power" vis a vis the Choedan Kal? How absolutely unimaginative!

"Swords played a large part in this world too. And you can't say swords played a larger role than the One Power in this series. That's false. Swords play a large role, yes, if you look at it so general. They're a basis of the military and weaponry. Take that out and name other important swords? Callandor (that one I would argue in any case), Aram's, the Aiel view on swords.... you run out fast. Might as well have said the Last Battle is going to be a battle of spears since they've been so prevelent."

Not really. Swords have played a major part metaphorically throughout EVERY book, from 1-11. Not for everyone; for Rand in particular. That's the primary point; it's not about what's "important" in Randland, it's about what's important to Rand. Robert Jordan continuously reinforces its importance to Rand by bringing it up again and again. Why? The sword, no matter how useful to everyone else, has virtually NO use to Rand, compared to his abilities in the OP. That's the crux of it. It's not about how important things are to other people. It's about how things are important to Rand, vis a vis their usefulness. No one is arguing that swords have played a greater role than the OP. I am arguing, however, that swords proportionally play a far more important role throughout every single book with regards to their usefulness to Rand, as opposed to the OP.

"There isn't a third Power. The One Power and the True Power balance each other."

Eh? If the True Power comes from the DO, and the True Power balances with the OP, then obviously (I had thought at least), the One Power stems from the Creator, or at least the framework the Creator created. Empowered by Creator=Empowered by One Power, except a really friggin' lot of it, is what I meant.

"You refer to a One Power fought Last Battle as guady but not this??"

I define just people blowing stuff up with bigger and bigger weaves, no matter how prettily they are described, as gaudy, yes. Metaphors and parallels and the like are the foodstuff of WoT. Where's the metaphor in tossing a nuke with the Choedan Kal?

It's impossible for Rand to 'outpower' the Dark One, no matter what.

It's equally implausible that he will "reseal" the Bore; he isn't the Creator, and has been noted by several people (most notably LTT), mere mortals cannot hope to truly 'fix' what the Creator made.

Placing a patchwork seal, like LTT did, is even less likely, because the Time of Illusions is now over. Placing a non-permanent seal would just be the start of yet a new Time of Illusions.

He doesn't have the power to defeat the DO, he doesn't have the ability to seal the Bore (although I suppose this, in itself, could be another major argument), and he certainly isn't going to just slap a patch on it for another few centuries and yet another "Last Battle." In other words, there is nothing with the One Power that he can do, which can possibly win the Last Battle, IMHO. The only way he can win is in a transcendental, metaphorical way, which transcends the mere physical actions he performs which occur, and affects the universe itself on a cosmic, transcendental level. The more mundane the action, the more its transcendental nature is emphasized, and I still say, based on all the repeated emphasize RJ places on the sword's (illogically existing) PERSONAL influence on Rand, that it will probably be a sword fight of some sort :)

15

Anubis: 2005-10-24

Actually I'm starting to sorta favor the idea of a third power and here is why...

Shai Tan taints the One Power. Now, if I were the Creator, and I used the One power, and some asshole tainted it, I would be pissed enough to do something about it. Sure, the Creator may not interefere, but if the DO walks up to him and slaps him in the face then you can be sure he is going to do something about it.

so there are two options

1. The Creator doesnt mind the Dark Ones Taint. (admittedly possible)

2. The Creator has his own Power, that is exclusive to him.

I think that number two is likely, but the idea that Rand will suddenly channel the third power is rediculous. It is simplly not going to happen. Rand will channel the One Power and only the One Power.

16

Callandor: 2005-10-24

**Straight outpower the Dark One? I really don't think so. And, realistically, since despite everything LTT 'teaches' Rand, Rand still doesn't know a quarter of what was known in the Age of Legends. Prologue, EOtW.**

You missed the key word: sealing. This isn't about killing the Dark One -- you can't do that. He's immortal. "Outpowering him," sure if you wish to term it so. Rand's going to seal him away from the world just like Lews Therin did. If you call that outpowering, so be it.

And, Rand himself may not know all that the people of the Age of Legends knew -- but he has sources. Lews Therin, as you so blatantly tried to reduce, Moridin, Semirhage, and you can toss in the things even they don't know that the 3rd Agers have figured out (Herid Fel and Min come in handy here). Rand has the pieces -- he has to put it together.

**Swords have played a major part metaphorically throughout EVERY book, from 1-11.**

I'd disagree.

**That's the primary point; it's not about what's "important" in Randland, it's about what's important to Rand. Robert Jordan continuously reinforces its importance to Rand by bringing it up again and again. Why? The sword, no matter how useful to everyone else, has virtually NO use to Rand, compared to his abilities in the OP.**

And he knows that. What you fail to see is that he knows it.

Yes, Rand first says "I have to relearn the sword." when he loses his hand -- you will be able to figure out the context and know that Rand is being the most extreme form of bitterness and sarcasm in that statement. Rand is a hard, cold son of a b**** right now. What does a sword have to do with it?

The important lesson of realizing the One Power is greater than the sword was learned back in book 2 and 3. Once Rand loses Tam's sword, he relies on the One Power, even if it is to make a sword. The point is made perfectly clear once he acquires Asmodean for a teacher, and even before in The Shadow Rising.

**Eh? If the True Power comes from the DO, and the True Power balances with the OP, then obviously (I had thought at least), the One Power stems from the Creator, or at least the framework the Creator created. Empowered by Creator=Empowered by One Power, except a really friggin' lot of it, is what I meant.**

Yes, except it's not the "Creator's Power." That's reserved for ideas about a mystical out of nowhere Power that is neither True Power nor One Power. It's the One Power.

**I define just people blowing stuff up with bigger and bigger weaves, no matter how prettily they are described, as gaudy, yes. Metaphors and parallels and the like are the foodstuff of WoT. Where's the metaphor in tossing a nuke with the Choedan Kal?**

Ah, yes, because it's more gaudy for there to be a clearly implied and alternate way of sealing the Dark One by a mortal -- than for two mortals to fight sword to sword (even though Ishamael/Moridin is a staff user), and then the entire sealing aspect to just be ignored completely and sealed up by an intervening Creator, when we know he doesn't intervene.

**It's impossible for Rand to 'outpower' the Dark One, no matter what.**

When did I ever say he would?

Again, you missed the key word: sealing.

**It's equally implausible that he will "reseal" the Bore; he isn't the Creator, and has been noted by several people (most notably LTT), mere mortals cannot hope to truly 'fix' what the Creator made.**

Like Lews Therin didn't seal the Dark One

**Placing a patchwork seal, like LTT did, is even less likely, because the Time of Illusions is now over. Placing a non-permanent seal would just be the start of yet a new Time of Illusions.**

Well, here's the thing. You talk of a love of parallels and themes, yet the keystone concept of this series: that time is circular.

The Ages repeat. No matter what Rand does, it will not last forever. It will not be a "perfect" sealing. It will be temperary, for people will either destroy it of their own doing, or it will eventually fail or break down.

**He doesn't have the power to defeat the DO, he doesn't have the ability to seal the Bore (although I suppose this, in itself, could be another major argument), and he certainly isn't going to just slap a patch on it for another few centuries and yet another "Last Battle."**

Yes, he is. Again -- time is circular. Time repeats. Ages repeat. Events repeat.

War isn't going to be ended by this battle. It is not the "Last Battle." It will happen again. "The great battle done, but the world not done with battle." "The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again."

**Shai Tan taints the One Power. Now, if I were the Creator, and I used the One power, and some asshole tainted it, I would be pissed enough to do something about it. Sure, the Creator may not interefere, but if the DO walks up to him and slaps him in the face then you can be sure he is going to do something about it.**

1. It's very likely the tainting of saidin or of either side of the One Power, happens every turning.

2. No. The Creator does not intervene. He does not care. He built the world, set up the systems that run it, then left. He won't do anything anymore. Humanity is on it's own. It has to fix its own mistakes.

17

Despiser: 2005-10-24

"And he knows that. What you fail to see is that he knows it."

You are missing the point. Why does Robert Jordan put it in the book repeatedly? Rand isn't an actual person, he's a literary figure. Why does Robert Jordan constantly, repeatedly, have him focus on the sword, despite knowing that it's 'useless', and everyone telling him that it's useless? You are coming at this from a story perspective as if the story were real, and from a story perspective, sure, there's no particular reason he needs to. But from a LITERARY storyline perspective, I feel fairly confident that RJ is repeatedly emphasizing the sword's (unreasonable) importance to Rand for a pretty darn good reason.

"You missed the key word: sealing."

No, I didn't. I addressed that later, as you saw. Sealing isn't the only theory about the last battle, you get all the whacko balefire theories et. all. I preempted any further discussion of that by bringing it up before someone else did.

"The important lesson of realizing the One Power is greater than the sword was learned back in book 2 and 3."

Again, from a LITERARY perspective, why does RJ again, and again, and again write about Rand practicing the sword, about how important the sword is to Rand, when Rand 'knows' its useless, and when everyone tells him such? Why does Robert Jordan, NOT Rand Al'thor, do it? Pure character flavoring? After all the obvious important placed on sword motifs vis a vis Callandor et. all? I don't think so.

"Yes, except it's not the "Creator's Power." That's reserved for ideas about a mystical out of nowhere Power that is neither True Power nor One Power. It's the One Power."

Semantics. Does it matter what name we call it, if you know, and I know, that we're talking about the same thing? The only thing that's even marginally arguable here is whether or not the One Power stems from the Creator.

"Ah, yes, because it's more gaudy for there to be a clearly implied and alternate way of sealing the Dark One by a mortal -- than for two mortals to fight sword to sword (even though Ishamael/Moridin is a staff user), and then the entire sealing aspect to just be ignored completely and sealed up by an intervening Creator, when we know he doesn't intervene."

These mortals are the avatars, the Chosen, if you will, of their respective Gods. On a symbolic level, there's a hell of a lot of stuff going on beneath the surface. Someone earlier mentioned the idea of just naming another Naeblis, and with all respect, that's pretty ridiculous. From the words of Ishamael in the first few books, it's clear that the him vs LTT battle has been going on a loooooong time. In each lifetime, I'm fairly sure, LTT is always the Chosen of the Creator, and Ishamael always the Naeblis of the DO. I'm pretty sure the DO doesn't play slots with Naeblis's. Beating Ishamael for 'good' (as much as that can happen within the WoT) certainly is more than just a 'dinky swordfight' as you seem to view it.

Oh, that, and you are ignoring, completely, the idea I brought up of the Bore being able to heal naturally if the Chosen one of the DO is defeated in some way.

"Well, here's the thing. You talk of a love of parallels and themes, yet the keystone concept of this series: that time is circular.

The Ages repeat. No matter what Rand does, it will not last forever. It will not be a "perfect" sealing. It will be temperary, for people will either destroy it of their own doing, or it will eventually fail or break down."

Wrong. Ages repeat in a CYCLE. They don't repeat THEMSELVES. You have the first age, then the second age, then the third, then the fourth, then who knows how many. What you are proposing is that the third repeats over...and over...and over...

That's not the Wheel turning. That's just a single age repeating itself. Whatever happens, sword or not, I can guarantee that Rand certainly won't "seal" the DO back in any way similar to LTT did it.

"Like Lews Therin didn't seal the Dark One."

"Because in his pride he had believed that men could match the Creator, could mend what the Creator had made and they had broken. In his pride he had believed."

Do you seriously think that's going to happen again?

The Cycle, so far as we can see in the story, is perfect=>bored open=>sealed with cuendillar=>seals break

Now, what makes more sense. This?

perfect=>bored open=>sealed with cuendillar=>seals break=>sealed with cuendillar=>seals break=>sealed with cuendillar=>seals break

OR

perfect=>bored open=>sealed with cuendillar=>seals break=>perfected=>bored open=>sealed with cuendillar=>seals break=>perfected?

To have a Cycle, you MUST go back to the original point at some point in time. That means the Bore, somehow, MUST be 'healed'. Not sealed, healed to perfection. Now, unless you think that's going to happen in a later age (maybe after 4 or 5 patches are placed and broken? six? seven?), chances are much more likely that it's going to happen now.

How?

Rand certainly can't do it.

No one else can.

That leaves either the Wheel itself, after Rand wins however it does, or the Creator.

No matter what, Rand himself is NOT going to seal the Dark One, or heal the Bore. It becomes a question of what he can do in order to win, so the Bore heals 'naturally' or whatever.

18

Tristin: 2005-10-25

as far as Rand getting knowledge about how to seal the bore...if he goes to see Elayne any time soon and she hands over that library terangreal we aren't going to see him till after the last battle is over cause he's going to be too busy reading...at any rate he might figure out how to win.

19

Callandor: 2005-10-25

**You are missing the point. Why does Robert Jordan put it in the book repeatedly? Rand isn't an actual person, he's a literary figure. Why does Robert Jordan constantly, repeatedly, have him focus on the sword, despite knowing that it's 'useless', and everyone telling him that it's useless? You are coming at this from a story perspective as if the story were real, and from a story perspective, sure, there's no particular reason he needs to. But from a LITERARY storyline perspective, I feel fairly confident that RJ is repeatedly emphasizing the sword's (unreasonable) importance to Rand for a pretty darn good reason.**

Look as if the story were real... Maybe, you know, because Jordan intends that? Just a little bit?

He puts influence on the sword for many reasons:

1. It's a primary weapon of the world.

2. It's an early precursor to his concentration for the One Power.

3. Rand -- is good with it. He is a natural swordsman.

4. Throughout the early novels Rand does not want to channel the One Power.

5. Even when he does accept he is a channeler, he still does not see the key ways that the One Power is better. This has been completely changed though, since as early as the attack on the Stone in The Shadow Rising, and if you're a pessimist, at least by the time he gets Asmodean as his teacher (for the obvious reason that if he was so concerned over using the sword and keeping to it, he wouldn't even focus on having a person teach him to channel).

6. Again, it's a concentration technique. It helps Rand focus his mind and keep it off certain things, and is something he enjoys.

7. He is not Mazrim Taim, and can see the obvious benefits of being a good swordsman as well as being a powerful channeler for in instances where he cannot channel.

**No, I didn't. I addressed that later, as you saw. Sealing isn't the only theory about the last battle, you get all the whacko balefire theories et. all. I preempted any further discussion of that by bringing it up before someone else did.**

What wacko balefire theories? You cannot balefire the Dark One. He doesn't have a body. He's not part of the Pattern or bound by the Wheel. He doesn't have a thread. It's debatable to all hell if he has a "soul." He doesn't have a body to target.

He's an immortal being beyond the Wheel and the Pattern.

How is balefire supposed to be used at all in the sealing? Again, you're missing the key word here, and think that you're actually addressing it.

The One Power is the only thing that can be used to truely seal the Dark One.

The Creator is not going to pop out of nowhere and save everyone and everything. He does not intervene. Humanity makes its own mistakes (obviously the drilling of the Bore or you're completely removed from this series) and has to correct them on its own.

**Semantics. Does it matter what name we call it, if you know, and I know, that we're talking about the same thing? The only thing that's even marginally arguable here is whether or not the One Power stems from the Creator.**

Yes, because it has a name. It's called the One Power or True Source if you so wish.

You weren't suggesting a "natural healing of the Bore;" you were saying, Rand and Moridin duke it out, Moridin dies and that's enough so that the Creator pops out and finishes Rand's job. That's not natural. That's deus ex machina, and we know it will not happen.

Furthermore, Ishamael has already been defeated three times by Rand. Not enough? How is it that Ishamael is so linked to the Bore, besides just for a useful construct that you made up out of nowhere? Where is any of your evidence you support any such link at all?

**Wrong. Ages repeat in a CYCLE. They don't repeat THEMSELVES. You have the first age, then the second age, then the third, then the fourth, then who knows how many. What you are proposing is that the third repeats over...and over...and over...**

You're completely missing the interpretation. Otherwise, I wouldn't have said Ages.

**That's not the Wheel turning. That's just a single age repeating itself. Whatever happens, sword or not, I can guarantee that Rand certainly won't "seal" the DO back in any way similar to LTT did it.**

And how is that, other than you're opinion?

Look, you're still missing this.

Time is circular. The Third Age will repeat, just like the Second Age will repeat, just like the First Age will repeat, just like all the Ages will repeat.

What you fail to recognize is there must be a time when humanity does not remember the Dark One (doesn't have to be this Age), then when they do, then when he's about to break free, then when he's partially sealed, etc.

You're suggestion: the Creator will fix everything. Doesn't happen. There isn't going to be a "god saves you" moment in this series.

Rand has to do this on his own. A sword fight doesn't address the entire issue of sealing the Dark One away again. Sure, Rand and Moridin are going to have their personal battle in the Last Battle -- it will more than likely being with the One Power, regardless of what you might think -- but it will be a side issue compared to sealing away the Dark One.

**Do you seriously think that's going to happen again?**

Uh, yeah. What the do you think is the point of telling Rand about the seals, the prison, and the entire point of the Wheel repeating?

**To have a Cycle, you MUST go back to the original point at some point in time. That means the Bore, somehow, MUST be 'healed'. Not sealed, healed to perfection. Now, unless you think that's going to happen in a later age (maybe after 4 or 5 patches are placed and broken? six? seven?), chances are much more likely that it's going to happen now.**

There's two problems with that.

1. You've already address -- it could happen in a later Age. It has to be perfect in the Second Age, not the Fourth as far as we know. We have a lot more time in this world to experience than for it to start repeating already.

2. That the prison sealed does NOT mean it is perfectly healed. That whatever Rand does, it will be imperfect.

Granted, we know it will fail eventually -- whether Rand seals the Dark One so the world doesn't remember him or not, it will eventually be rendered ineffective -- but it doesn't mean that what Rand does will not be considered a "perfect" sealing, until humanity eventually screws it up down the road.

**How?**

Read the BWB. There's clear foreshadowing in the fact that there was debate amongst the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends regarding Lews Therin's plan. They thought it was rash and wasn't going to work. So, they decided to create the largest sa'angreals they could, hence why the Choedan Kal were made, and seal the Bore off from the rest of the world. This was given into complications due to Forsaken attacks, and Lews Therin went ahead with his plan with men only.

**Rand certainly can't do it.

No one else can.**

And why is that?

**That leaves either the Wheel itself, after Rand wins however it does, or the Creator.

No matter what, Rand himself is NOT going to seal the Dark One, or heal the Bore. It becomes a question of what he can do in order to win, so the Bore heals 'naturally' or whatever.**

1. What you fail to realize is that it actually IS the Wheel doing the sealing -- but it's using Rand to do so. Hence, why he was reborn, is ta'veren, and all those great things that make this story possible.

2. Again, stop with the creator save you line. It will not happen. Jordan himself has said it will not happen.

20

Tristin: 2005-10-25

i agree with callandor completely. rand doesn't have all the knowledge needed to do what he needs to do but as i already pointed out we just learned of a vast terangreal suppository...if he can get the knowledge as to what needs to be done he's pretty much got it made. Remember he does have the choedan kal. They were designed to be used at the sealing but were lost and it is possible that the seals simply weren't tied tight enough which gave the DO the ability to counterattack or whatever.

21

Despiser: 2005-10-25

I actually had a HUGE response typed up to most of the points, when power died. Bah. But then, a bigger thought struck me, and I’ll post it.

To respond simply, though, on a non-point for point basis, with yet another reason why the One Power is not going to be used to heal the Bore (I had clarified and expanded on that in my original post :(), the DO has had many, many, MANY opportunities to have Rand terminated. With Rand dead, and the seals inevitably broken, it seems only natural that the Dark One would then break free, and thus be able to break the Wheel, right? Once the Dragon Reborn is dead, what’s to stop him? Obviously, since he’s repeatedly refused the opportunity to have his servants kill Rand, there’s something he wants from Rand that he can’t get from Rand dead. His sole concern is with breaking free from the Wheel, therefore, what he needs from Rand is related to it. What is it? Rand’s skill in the One Power? Of course not. Thus I must conclude, that there is, fundamentally, that there is something intrinsic in Rand’s nature, some sort of Power that cannot be seen or used ‘normally’, just as there is in Ishamael’s (as Rand’s opposite), that must be used by the Dark One in order to break free. The One Power, or rotting the seals away, or even the Bore itself cannot be used to break the Dark One free, else there’s no need for the Dark One to risk so much and to expend so much effort not to have Rand killed, and to turn him. It -must- be a third sort of power, intrinsically tied to Rand’s nature. And since the One Power cannot be used to truly, wholly release the Dark One, it therefore cannot be used to perfectly bind him either. Its something intrinsically Rand. Not about what he can do, but what he is.

Oh, a quick short direct response, the ‘whacko balefire theories’ are the many theories I’ve seen regarding balefiring the Dark One et al, which I label ‘whacko’ precisely for the reasons you’ve given.

Here is the thing I am thinking.

We know that the Creator created the Seal, and bound the Dark One within the Wheel of Time.

Was the seal created before Time, with the creation of Time, or after the creation of Time?

This makes all the difference in the world

If the Seal was created after Time was created, then the Creator MUST touch the Pattern at some point to fix it, or create a new seal, simply because the act of creation is already part of the Wheel of Time. But this would imply that the Creator itself is bound by the Wheel of Time. The same goes for the Creator creating it before Time was created, then inserting it/weaving it into the Wheel of Time; if the Creator inserted it in the Wheel of Time once, then he must do it again when the Wheel finishes turning. Thus, he MUST repeatedly insert a new seal, simply because he did so before. Also, how could something which is part of Time, trap the Dark One, who by nature, transcends Time? Therefore, it’s impossible that the Seal is part of Time.

The other possibility is that the Creator must have created it before he created the Wheel, and it must be apart from the Wheel of Time. Furthermore, it only makes sense that something outside of Time, can trap the Dark One, whose own nature, as we assume, is not forged by Time. But, if it is aside from the Wheel of Time, then the Seal itself is not subjected to it, and therefore, sealing and patching and boring of the seal cannot be part of the Wheel of Time, and that makes the Wheel of Time itself be impossible to turn, as its obvious we can affect something which is outside of Time, and which could affect us. Therefore, it’s impossible that the Seal isn’t part of time.

Paradox. These two are the only possibilities, yet neither seems possible (although the first more possible than the second. Any thoughts?

22

Jalyn: 2005-10-26

Is it possible to agree with two people that have completely opposing opinions?

1. Rand will not "patch" the seal on the DO - the prison will be whole and perfect. (Per Harid Fel, I believe.) In some way, the prison has to be absolutely perfect so that the bore can be created in the next second age. This simple is the pattern of the ages and will not be altered.

2. The creator is not coming down and fixing the prison. (If this should happen, I'll have to hope for a much smaller book than Jordan is suggesting 12 might be - breaking my shoulder and the wall when I flung it would be bad.)

As for the pattern spontaneously "healing" the prison... Well, it's not what I expect.

Somewhere in Harid Fel's books, Min is going to find the answer. She knows to clear away the rubble already, she just needs the next part - not that I have any idea what that might be.

23

Stilicho: 2005-10-26

The sword is important to Rand in part because he realizes that the OP is not always reliable (especially for him). Further, battles are messy things and the ultimate result often comes down to who can slug it ought in the trenches better than the other guy. It's not that the OP isn't going to play a large, important role (you can't seal the Bore with swords), it's just that Rand's ability with the sword will have an important role as well. Exactly what that will be, I don't know. But for those that think that only the OP will be important to Rand, please remember his previous head-to-head with Ishy at/above Falme: in the end he used his sword. Coming full circle of his personal journey, he will use the sword again.

24

Despiser: 2005-10-26

Since Falme was brought up, another excellent point was raised. Remember this?

"Rand wanted to howl aloud. Suddenly he knew that the two battles were linked. When he advanced, the heroes called by the Horn drove the Seanchan back; when he fell back, the Seanchan rose up."

Want to try and explain that in terms of purely the One Power?

Rand al'Thor possesses much more 'power' than simply the One Power, and obviously, so does Ishamael. At the Last Battle, when each face each other for the final time, as they always do, the battles will most likely be linked as well.

"The Dragon is one with the land."

Much like the Fisher King, Rand is connected to the land and the Wheel, and the universe the Creator made, and Ishamael in a similar way to the Dark One, as the Dragon's opposite. Thus, at a momentous time where the Pattern surely focuses, such as the Last Battle, between the champions of the Creator and the Dark One, the simplest of actions have more power and more repercussions than the mightiest usages of the One Power, and a single sword thrust by the Dragon can carry more weight than all the rolling rings of fire and earth the Ashaman can conjure, just like at Falme.

I have never argued that Rand is going to 'seal' the Bore with a sword; I am arguing that Rand will WIN the Last Battle with it. The Sealing, I believe, if it is to be done, must be either a natural healing of the Bore, the Creator himself coming (no, I don't believe it will happen, but within the STORYLINE ITSELF, the Creator has that power and ability, if he chooses to exercise it), or something intrinsic in Rand's nature which lets him seal it.

Not the One Power.

25

Sharom: 2005-10-26

I like your theory and agree about the hype about OP/TP building up to an impossible-to-achieve expectation.

Yet there are problems:

*TG is coming soon (only one more book) and this leaves very little time for Rand to re-learn the sword. Remember the first time it took him two books to get good enough to beat Ishamael and even then he had to take a serious wound to do it. And that was with two hands.

*The Creator has so far taken no interest whatsoever in the world (he didn't step in the the DO was freed to begin with) so why would he step in to seal the bore now?

*In the AoL every battle in the War of the Shadow contained channelers, on each side. Same with the Trolloc Wars. Why would it be any different now? The Asha'man do Rand no good if they won't be there to help him in TG, that's why he wanted them to begin with.

"When you have eliminated the impossible,

whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

So Rand (with help) must seal the Bore himself, the Creator will not do it for him, and he will not have the strength or skill to fight Moridin one-on-one with swords. TG will be a battle of swords, but between the armies of the Light (from all the nations of the world) and the Trollocs and Myrdraal. Rand WILL have to face Moridin but it must be a battle with the Power because that is the only way for him to still match Moridin.

But Moridin also says "It was very hard to lose a game when you played both sides of the board." (PoD, Prologue) It is possible he has plans in place we do not know about yet that would see him safe even if Rand wins. We may find that Moridin is strangely absent from TG and leaves the other Forsaken to fight without him.

26

Callandor: 2005-10-26

**What is it? Rand’s skill in the One Power? Of course not.**

Ah, it's Rand's skill with the sword, instead?

**Thus I must conclude, that there is, fundamentally, that there is something intrinsic in Rand’s nature, some sort of Power that cannot be seen or used ‘normally’, just as there is in Ishamael’s (as Rand’s opposite), that must be used by the Dark One in order to break free.**

So, now it's no longer a sword battle -- but a Third Power situation that Rand uses.

**The One Power, or rotting the seals away, or even the Bore itself cannot be used to break the Dark One free, else there’s no need for the Dark One to risk so much and to expend so much effort not to have Rand killed, and to turn him. It -must- be a third sort of power, intrinsically tied to Rand’s nature.**

Right.... Because it can't be the Dark One prefering to have the Dragon soul to turn to the Shadow of his own will (or forcibly for that matter) and to be used for the Shadow's benefit?

It MUST be an unknown, unreferenced, unhinted at third Power that is not needed.

**And since the One Power cannot be used to truly, wholly release the Dark One, it therefore cannot be used to perfectly bind him either. Its something intrinsically Rand. Not about what he can do, but what he is.**

But you haven't given one reason why the One Power cannot be used. It's just because you say it cannot be used.

**Oh, a quick short direct response, the ‘whacko balefire theories’ are the many theories I’ve seen regarding balefiring the Dark One et al, which I label ‘whacko’ precisely for the reasons you’ve given.**

So, why on earth would you say I am proposing them, when I didn't mention them?

**We know that the Creator created the Seal, and bound the Dark One within the Wheel of Time.**

What seal? The seals were made by man in the Age of Legends.

And, no, the Dark One is NOT bound within the Wheel of Time. He's outside both the Wheel and the Pattern, the same as the Creator:

**BWB: The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, CHAPTER: 1 - The Wheel and the Pattern

The only known forces outside the Wheel and the Pattern are the Creator, who shaped the Wheel, the One Power that drives it--as well as the plan for the Great Pattern--and the Dark One, who was imprisoned outside the pattern by the Creator at the moment of creation. No one inside and of the Pattern can destroy the Wheel or change the destiny of the Great Pattern. Even those who are ta'veren can only alter, but not completely change, the weave. It is believed that if he escapes his prison, the Dark One, being a creature or force beyond creation, has the ability to remake the Wheel and all of creation in his own dark image. Thus each person, especially each of those born ta'veren, must struggle to achieve his or her own best destiny to assure the balance and continuation of the Great Pattern.**

The Dark One was imprisoned, then the Wheel and the Pattern were created.

**Thus, he MUST repeatedly insert a new seal, simply because he did so before. Also, how could something which is part of Time, trap the Dark One, who by nature, transcends Time? Therefore, it’s impossible that the Seal is part of Time.**

Uh, I agree -- the Dark One is not bound by time, neither is the Creator, and the seals are not part of time.

**Paradox. These two are the only possibilities, yet neither seems possible (although the first more possible than the second. Any thoughts?**

Dark One -- beyond the Wheel and the Pattern; imprisoned by Creator.

Creator -- beyond the Wheel and the Patter; does not intervene, ever.

Seals -- man-made devices from the Age of Legends.

They're not the only possiblities.

**Want to try and explain that in terms of purely the One Power?

Rand al'Thor possesses much more 'power' than simply the One Power, and obviously, so does Ishamael. At the Last Battle, when each face each other for the final time, as they always do, the battles will most likely be linked as well.**

You do realize this is a battle that utilized the Horn of Valere?

Rand didn't even use the One Power.

**Thus, at a momentous time where the Pattern surely focuses, such as the Last Battle, between the champions of the Creator and the Dark One, the simplest of actions have more power and more repercussions than the mightiest usages of the One Power, and a single sword thrust by the Dragon can carry more weight than all the rolling rings of fire and earth the Ashaman can conjure, just like at Falme.**

And, why is that?

Falme, again, was the actions of the Horn of Valere -- not Rand. Where are you getting this "simplest of actions have more power and more repercussions than the mightiest usages of the One Power" from besides making it right up on the spot?

I have yet to see you quote the books.

**I have never argued that Rand is going to 'seal' the Bore with a sword; I am arguing that Rand will WIN the Last Battle with it.**

Right -- the thing you don't realize is that the victory of the Last Battle IS the sealing of the Bore. This is a battle of champions between Rand and Ishamael, yes, but you're completely ignoring the Dark One needing to be sealed and just saying "the Creator will fix it."

**We may find that Moridin is strangely absent from TG and leaves the other Forsaken to fight without him.**

I don't think so. After the Last Battle Rand isn't needed, and it's obvious he is going to die there. Aside from this, it would be the Day of the Return in the Forsaken's eyes, and the Nae'blis not being there to take part is purely silly (if not treason...).

27

Despiser: 2005-10-27

"Ah, it's Rand's skill with the sword, instead?"

Have you even read my post? I'm saying that the sword will play a major, possibly primary, role in the Last Battle, which is NOT the same thing as sealing the Dark One.

"So, now it's no longer a sword battle -- but a Third Power situation that Rand uses."

It's a sword battle that, on a deeper, more SYMBOLIC level, represents a cosmic struggle.

"Right.... Because it can't be the Dark One prefering to have the Dragon soul to turn to the Shadow of his own will (or forcibly for that matter) and to be used for the Shadow's benefit?"

Um, if the Dark One is free, what would he need the Dragon for? He's putting capturing the Dragon above his own freedom. You telling me he is just doing that for 'prestige points'?

"It MUST be an unknown, unreferenced, unhinted at third Power that is not needed."

"But you haven't given one reason why the One Power cannot be used. It's just because you say it cannot be used."

If the DO could be released simply by defeating the Dragon, Rand would be dead long ago. The fact that he isn't, signifies that he needs Rand to break free, because NOTHING is more important to the DO than breaking out of that damn seal. The DO already HAS people who can use the OP, male and female both. Yet he needs Rand.

"So, why on earth would you say I am proposing them, when I didn't mention them?"

When did I EVER say you made that claim that? I said the opposite. Please, please, PLEASE read my posts before responding.

"What seal? The seals were made by man in the Age of Legends."

I refer to the original seal, the un-bored one.

"Seals -- man-made devices from the Age of Legends."

I'm referring, again, to the original seal the Creator created, the prison. Sorry for lack of clarity.

"You do realize this is a battle that utilized the Horn of Valere?

Rand didn't even use the One Power."

Exactly. Are you arguing that the Horn of Valere, blown by MAT, tied RAND and Ishamael together?

"Falme, again, was the actions of the Horn of Valere -- not Rand. Where are you getting this "simplest of actions have more power and more repercussions than the mightiest usages of the One Power" from besides making it right up on the spot?"

No, Falme wasn't the Horn of Valere. The Horn of Valere summons dead Heroes. What evidence do you have whatsoever that the sky-battle was the Horn? And, once again, Rand didn't blow the Horn. Or are you suggesting the Horn fixates on Rand and Ishamael no matter who blows it?

"from besides making it right up on the spot?"

It's called parallelism. It happened at Falme. Therefore, it's entirely possible it can happen elsewhere, unless you can conclusively prove that Mat blowing the Horn ties Ishamael and Rand to the Heroes and the Seanchan. Which I don't think you can. And even if you did (which I don't think you can), the Horn's most likely going to be at the Last Battle too.

"Right -- the thing you don't realize is that the victory of the Last Battle IS the sealing of the Bore. This is a battle of champions between Rand and Ishamael, yes, but you're completely ignoring the Dark One needing to be sealed and just saying "the Creator will fix it." "

Please, stop playing semantical games. I've stated, and restated, and RESTATED, that I do not believe the Creator will heal the Bore, and clarified that I mention it as a possibility ONLY because the Creator is the only single ENTITY who has the ABILITY to do that, aside from the Wheel of Time/Prison itself, or maybe something intrinsically Rand. Unless you believe that Rand is just going to slap a series of patchwork seals and repeat Lewis Therin's mistake (and thereby repeat the Age of Illusions again), the Bore will be healed somehow. And NOTHING mortal has the ability to do that, because the prison is the work of the Creator.

Rand CAN'T seal the Dark One 'permanently'. Not with the One Power. The only 'sealing' he could do with the One Power is a temporary one that will be rotted away by the DO like has already happened in the book, and I, for one, do not believe it will happen like that. I'm not ignoring it; I'm stating my disbelief that Rand will do it at all, with the One Power. Either the bore will heal naturally somehow with Moridin defeated and the last battle won, or something intrinsic in Rand's nature, intrinsic to his Dragon-ness, like the situation at Falme, or the DO's obssession with taking him alive rather than killing him and breaking free (and subsequently having a free hand to rule the world). Rand. Is. Special. Not because he can wield the One Power; many can do that, and some almost as strongly. Why, then, does the Pattern choose him to be the counter to the Dark One? Because of something inherently special about him. It's the only thing that makes sense, quote or no quotes. And it'll be that something which, assuming Rand is the one 'healing' the Bore, will have to do with the sealing. Because that's the only thing Rand has got that makes him different, in any way, power-wise, from Mazrim Taim or any of the Forsaken, or any other Ashaman.

28

Tristin: 2005-10-27

great horn of valere point callandor. btw if mat does blow the horn at the last battle how cool would it be to see him lead the charge and have a staff to staff battle with moridin. :-)

29

Traveller: 2005-10-27

I think swords and battle fighting will play a big role, but the Power as well. I think you have put across your point really well, because at first I thought, yeah OF COURSE swords play a big role through the books!!!!! they are used to FIGHT each other with!!! but now I think- yeah...! this makes sense!

But I still kinda think that it wasn't purposeful, because I always took it for granted that there would be sword-fighting and lots of it, because otherwise other major characters and peoples don't get to take part (Ogier, Mat, perrin, Aiel, etc, etc)

However , I disagree that:

"The Dark One's Champion has been defeated, and thus the Dark One as well, in a metaphorical sense; the Creator comes, and seals the Prison, or perhaps the Prison itself, without the seals of Lewis Therin and the boring of Mierin/Lanfear, naturally seals then."

because I think that if the DO's champion was defeated, the DO would just go "Oh well! I'll just send the rest of my enormous army at him!" rather than give up.

However, all the swords and fighting part will be called The Last Battle, but I believe that the importantest last battle will be between Rand and himself. Before, I wondered whether this personal fight would come before or after the big battle... Any thoughts, anyone?

30

Tamyrlin: 2005-10-27

Actually, Despiser is correct that the Horn of Valere had nothing to do with Rand and Ishamael fighting in the sky. At Dragon Con, Jordan said that was an effect of the Wheel that created that specific phenonmenon. Here is the full quote:

Jordan: An effect of the Wheel, really. It wasn’t the Creator. The Wheel is more than a simple mechanism. Remember the Wheel can spit out ta’veren, can spit out Heroes as a self correcting device because the Pattern is drifting from what it is supposed to be. We are not talking about something as simple as a spinning wheel at all, we are talking something more along the lines of the most complex computer you could possibly imagine. There were at that time, two, there were false dragons that had a chance to create a lot of disruption. By the appearance in the sky at that battle, not just in Falme but in other places, those false dragons were taken off the board because there was only room now for one, for one dragon.

31

Daekyras: 2005-10-27

Just on a point that callandor made and a few others in other topics. It concerns the cyclical nature of randland.

It was pointed out that Rand will probably seal the bore this time just as LTT had done because the series is called the WHEEL OF TIME and everything repeats itself.

How can this be?

When LTT sealed the bore it was after the age of legends, a long time of male and female aes sedai working together.

After the bore was sealed saidin was tainted and has been ever since. that did not happen before LTT sealed the bore. This battle is not just a re-turning of LTT fight with the dark one. I am not disagreeing that time is cyclical but I want to point out that this is not going to be THAT same battle again.

I don't think that the last battle will be with swords. I feel that, as Tamyrlin said, it will be a sort of internal struggle within Rand for contol. Moridin against Rand but rand with steadying influence of Mat and Perrin. The winner of this battle will be the winner of the last battle. As for how the DO is defeated, RAFO!!

32

Callandor: 2005-10-28

** Actually, Despiser is correct that the Horn of Valere had nothing to do with Rand and Ishamael fighting in the sky. At Dragon Con, Jordan said that was an effect of the Wheel that created that specific phenonmenon.**

I thought that was in response to a question about what happened to Taim and the other false Dragon? The question would help.

**Have you even read my post? I'm saying that the sword will play a major, possibly primary, role in the Last Battle, which is NOT the same thing as sealing the Dark One.**

Yes, I have read your posts. And my point is still valid:

You're saying it's not the One Power that will win the Last Battle (failing to see that the sealing is the key part of the Last Battle), but Rand fighting Ishamael with a sword. Then, you just completely write off the sealing of the Dark One.

**It's a sword battle that, on a deeper, more SYMBOLIC level, represents a cosmic struggle.**

Where is that said? Here's what you said:

**Thus I must conclude, that there is, fundamentally, that there is something intrinsic in Rand’s nature, some sort of Power that cannot be seen or used ‘normally’, just as there is in Ishamael’s (as Rand’s opposite), that must be used by the Dark One in order to break free.**

So, there must be something, some POWER in Rand, that has never been made mention of, just comes right out of the blue, that cannot be used "normally", and only Rand can use.

You're saying there's a third Power without saying it (instead saying Power). You're not saying it; you're doing everything but say it and trying to make it sound like something new.

**Um, if the Dark One is free, what would he need the Dragon for? He's putting capturing the Dragon above his own freedom. You telling me he is just doing that for 'prestige points'?**

Because the Dark One wouldn't be free then. That's the entire point of why Ishamael was trying to convert Rand in the first three books, and somewhat Lanfear in book four.

**If the DO could be released simply by defeating the Dragon, Rand would be dead long ago.**

Really? And, why is that?

**The fact that he isn't, signifies that he needs Rand to break free, because NOTHING is more important to the DO than breaking out of that damn seal.**

It's a prison, not a seal.

**I refer to the original seal, the un-bored one.**

Again, it's a prison; not a seal.

**Exactly. Are you arguing that the Horn of Valere, blown by MAT, tied RAND and Ishamael together?**

You're the one bringing up "examples" from Falme, which was an event under extremely special conditons because the Horn of Valere had been sounded, and then ask me to explain it in terms of the One Power??

What are you even saying here?

You're basically saying that because Rand and Ishamael met when the Horn was sounded, that Rand has some other "power". Where are you getting these conclusions?

**No, Falme wasn't the Horn of Valere. The Horn of Valere summons dead Heroes. What evidence do you have whatsoever that the sky-battle was the Horn? And, once again, Rand didn't blow the Horn. Or are you suggesting the Horn fixates on Rand and Ishamael no matter who blows it?**

You need to completely re-read the entire chapter of Falme. The Horn was sounded, a battle commensed, and the events that surrounded it were due to the Horn.

**It's called parallelism. It happened at Falme. Therefore, it's entirely possible it can happen elsewhere, unless you can conclusively prove that Mat blowing the Horn ties Ishamael and Rand to the Heroes and the Seanchan. Which I don't think you can. And even if you did (which I don't think you can), the Horn's most likely going to be at the Last Battle too.**

Again, you're saying that for some random reason, simple actions are going to suddenly become the biggest most important events in the history of the world?

And of course the Horn ties Rand to the Heroes -- they can only follow the banner and the Dragon. Hawkwing said this right out.

**TITLE: Great Hunt, CHAPTER: 47 - The Grave Is No Bar to My Call

"The Pattern weaves itself around our necks like halters," Artur Hawkwing said. "You are here. The banner is here. The weave of this moment is set. We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon." Hurin made a faint sound as if his throat had seized.**

Again, this isn't a magical mystical unknown and unrefered to "Power" of Rand's -- it's the Horn doing it.

**Please, stop playing semantical games. I've stated, and restated, and RESTATED, that I do not believe the Creator will heal the Bore, and clarified that I mention it as a possibility ONLY because the Creator is the only single ENTITY who has the ABILITY to do that, aside from the Wheel of Time/Prison itself, or maybe something intrinsically Rand.**

And that is the entire point of those "semantical games" that you so hate.

You do not understand the relationship between the creator, the dark one, and the wheel of the pattern.

**Unless you believe that Rand is just going to slap a series of patchwork seals and repeat Lewis Therin's mistake (and thereby repeat the Age of Illusions again), the Bore will be healed somehow.**

And you say I don't read your posts?

I have never said Rand would just put more seals on -- I specifically said: "Read the BWB. There's clear foreshadowing in the fact that there was debate amongst the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends regarding Lews Therin's plan. They thought it was rash and wasn't going to work. So, they decided to create the largest sa'angreals they could, hence why the Choedan Kal were made, and seal the Bore off from the rest of the world. This was given into complications due to Forsaken attacks, and Lews Therin went ahead with his plan with men only."

**Rand CAN'T seal the Dark One 'permanently'.**

No, he can't. The point you are missing: is that no one said he WOULD. I've specifically done the exact opposite on several occasions in explaining that TIME IS CIRCULAR. Nothing is permanent, except that the Wheel will keep turning as long as the Dark One hasn't broken free. Everything will repeat (though the details will change). Hence, of course Rand will not seal the Dark One's prison "permanently." Either the Dark One will work through it eventually (as seems to be happening now) -- of humanity will screw up and destroy the sealing on it's own (like in the Age of Legends).

**The only 'sealing' he could do with the One Power is a temporary one that will be rotted away by the DO like has already happened in the book, and I, for one, do not believe it will happen like that.**

For which, you have not given one single reason WHY it will not happen.

The only thing you've said is "Nope, don't like it. It will be through the sword."

**Why, then, does the Pattern choose him to be the counter to the Dark One? Because of something inherently special about him.**

He's a Hero of the Horn. You do realize, that if the a "female Dragon" is needed, the Wheel will spin out another Hero of the Horn to do the same job that Rand would do, right?

Quotes are the key here, for you're completely misunderstanding terminology here.

**After the bore was sealed saidin was tainted and has been ever since. that did not happen before LTT sealed the bore. This battle is not just a re-turning of LTT fight with the dark one. I am not disagreeing that time is cyclical but I want to point out that this is not going to be THAT same battle again.**

Of course it won't -- but the sealing is still the main focus of the "Last Battle" the same way it was in the Age of Legends.

33

Tristin: 2005-10-28

I've never seen that quote before Tam nice find. It seems like such a big cop-out to me though...if the pattern can just do stuff like that we're going to end up with a matrix moment or something at the end of wheel of time, eh? whose to say that rand isn't going to switch sides, absorb the dark one and explode the dark one...die in the trying, etc. lol. what a cop out.

34

Despiser: 2005-10-29

"So, there must be something, some POWER in Rand, that has never been made mention of, just comes right out of the blue, that cannot be used "normally", and only Rand can use."

Absolutely, and Robert Jordan has given a HUGE amount of hints to that effect. Not necessarily through quotes in the novel itself, but through the motifs and other mythologies he borrows so heavily from.

Rand is the Fisher King. Now, I'm assuming you know about the legend of the Fisher King? Combine that with statements such as "The Dragon is one with the land," and what does that tell you? That on a deeper-than-surface level, says there's a lot more to Rand than simply a guy who can channel the One Power who's picked by the Wheel to be the new Dragon. There's something intrinsic about Rand, and no, that's not from any specific 'quote'. That's from logic, and from derivations of many other motifs and mythologies Robert Jordan employs.

"**If the DO could be released simply by defeating the Dragon, Rand would be dead long ago.**

Really? And, why is that? "

Come on. As if even in just the first few books, Ishamael didn't have enough chances to kill him? Hell, Ishamael could've killed all three of them easily, instead of bothering to find out which is the Dragon.

"You're the one bringing up "examples" from Falme, which was an event under extremely special conditons because the Horn of Valere had been sounded, and then ask me to explain it in terms of the One Power??"

"You need to completely re-read the entire chapter of Falme. The Horn was sounded, a battle commensed, and the events that surrounded it were due to the Horn."

You are assuming everything at Falme was due to the Horn. The legends of the Horn of Valere only had to do with calling the dead to battle; everything else is stated nowhere, and is your extrapolation (which is at odds with what RJ said in the quote Tamyrlin so kindly provided). MY extrapolation, is that, aside from the summoning of the Hero's of the Horn, the Horn did NOT cause Rand/Ishamael to show up at Falme, or Mazrim Taim/the other false dragon to see Rand in the sky.

"Again, you're saying that for some random reason, simple actions are going to suddenly become the biggest most important events in the history of the world?

And of course the Horn ties Rand to the Heroes"

Horn ties Rand to Heroes, yes. Horn ties Rand to Ishamael in a sky battle which links Ishamael's prowess to the Seanchean, and Rand's to the Heroes? Sorry, but you will need better quotes than what you've provided.

And the legends of the Fisher King, as well as the linked battle of Falme (which, once again, you have NO proof beyond your own extrapolations) certainly seem to indicate more than a "random reason".

"I have never said Rand would just put more seals on -- I specifically said: "Read the BWB. There's clear foreshadowing in the fact that there was debate amongst the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends regarding Lews Therin's plan. They thought it was rash and wasn't going to work. So, they decided to create the largest sa'angreals they could, hence why the Choedan Kal were made, and seal the Bore off from the rest of the world. This was given into complications due to Forsaken attacks, and Lews Therin went ahead with his plan with men only.""

And based on that one 'foreshadowing' (although it seems to me to be simply background story) you are saying that the culmination of these twelve books is going to be that?

"No, he can't. The point you are missing: is that no one said he WOULD. I've specifically done the exact opposite on several occasions in explaining that TIME IS CIRCULAR. Nothing is permanent, except that the Wheel will keep turning as long as the Dark One hasn't broken free. Everything will repeat (though the details will change). Hence, of course Rand will not seal the Dark One's prison "permanently." Either the Dark One will work through it eventually (as seems to be happening now) -- of humanity will screw up and destroy the sealing on it's own (like in the Age of Legends)."

A "permanent seal", as I define it, is a seal that the Dark One himself would not be able to corrupt, or break; in effect, healing the Bore and fixing the prison.

"For which, you have not given one single reason WHY it will not happen."

Because fundamentally, this is not the story of the Wheel of Time. This is not the story of the One Power. This is RAND's story, the story of the Dragon Reborn, and ending such a momentous series with a stopgap measure, like slapping a bandaid on it, wouldn't do justice to the series.

"The only thing you've said is "Nope, don't like it. It will be through the sword.""

Nope. The sword's barely been a major issue here in ages, that's how off-topic this has gotten; what has been under debate is the sealing itself.

"He's a Hero of the Horn. You do realize, that if the a "female Dragon" is needed, the Wheel will spin out another Hero of the Horn to do the same job that Rand would do, right?"

Um, no and no.

For one, I'm pretty sure there was an interview where Robert Jordan specifically stated Rand isn't a Hero of the Horn.

And for another, the Dragon isn't just some random shmuck who the Pattern picks and says, "Tag, you are it." Rand al'Thor is the Dragon's SOUL reborn. No other soul can be the Dragon, because the Dragon isn't a title that can be juggled. No Hero of the Horn can replace Rand, because none of their souls, is the soul of the Dragon.

"Of course it won't -- but the sealing is still the main focus of the "Last Battle" the same way it was in the Age of Legends."

That's a perspective difference between you and me. I see the Last Battle as defeating the minions of the Dark One, and sealing him as icing on the cake; the finishing touches, if you will. We KNOW that the Dark One will eventually be bound away somehow, be it by seals, the Choedan Kal (especially unlikely now, due to the destruction of the female sa'angreal), whatever. That doesn't matter; that's a foregone conclusion. What does matter and what is in flux, in my opinion, is the Last Battle between the Chosen of the Light and the Nae'blis of the DO itself, and how plays out.

My theory was never meant to address the Sealing; the scenario I gave was just that a scenario. I specifically spoke of it as "just one of many possible scenarios, of course"; it was never a main thrust of my argument. My argument is, and has always been, that Rand will win the Last Battle with the sword. A secondary argument is that Rand will not seal or imprison the Dark One with the One Power, but those two arguments are completely separate; you are trying to juxtapose them together.

35

Tristin: 2005-10-29

If Rand is tied to the land then depending on the nature of that tie everytime "the land" gets worse or is touched by the DO Rand should be injured, and everytime Rand is injured things should get worse in the land.

36

Callandor: 2005-10-30

**Absolutely, and Robert Jordan has given a HUGE amount of hints to that effect. Not necessarily through quotes in the novel itself, but through the motifs and other mythologies he borrows so heavily from.**

Please. Use quotes.

**That on a deeper-than-surface level, says there's a lot more to Rand than simply a guy who can channel the One Power who's picked by the Wheel to be the new Dragon.**

New Dragon?? Rand is the Dragon Reborn. He is the Dragon soul reborn. There's nothing new here.

**There's something intrinsic about Rand, and no, that's not from any specific 'quote'. That's from logic, and from derivations of many other motifs and mythologies Robert Jordan employs.**

No, it's from you saying there is something "intrinsic" about Rand. You haven't done anything to show it. You just claim it's there.

**The legends of the Horn of Valere only had to do with calling the dead to battle; everything else is stated nowhere, and is your extrapolation (which is at odds with what RJ said in the quote Tamyrlin so kindly provided). MY extrapolation, is that, aside from the summoning of the Hero's of the Horn, the Horn did NOT cause Rand/Ishamael to show up at Falme, or Mazrim Taim/the other false dragon to see Rand in the sky.**

1. Stated no where? It's stated in the books. The Horn is sounded and for no reason at all these strange events happen. Jee, what could be the source of these events? You know Heroes that reside in tel'aran'rhiod appearing, and then contexts of events happening that seem paradoxical, except if you think of them in a tel'aran'rhiod-like enviroment.

2. Jordan said that the Wheel took care of the lights with Taim and the other false Dragon -- not anything else at Falme (or is the actual question going to be quoted in full?).

**And based on that one 'foreshadowing' (although it seems to me to be simply background story) you are saying that the culmination of these twelve books is going to be that?**

Yes, that "one foreshadowing" is more than you have ever given.

**A "permanent seal", as I define it, is a seal that the Dark One himself would not be able to corrupt, or break; in effect, healing the Bore and fixing the prison.**

Such a seal is impossible due to the nature of Randland.

The Dark One will always be able to break free. There might be seals that would be permanent, if people did not screw with them and ruin them. But people always will. Time is circular. The Ages repeat.

**Because fundamentally, this is not the story of the Wheel of Time. This is not the story of the One Power. This is RAND's story, the story of the Dragon Reborn, and ending such a momentous series with a stopgap measure, like slapping a bandaid on it, wouldn't do justice to the series.**

Still not one single quote of evidence.

**Nope. The sword's barely been a major issue here in ages, that's how off-topic this has gotten; what has been under debate is the sealing itself.**

Rand fights Ishamael in a sword duel. Ishamael dies. Rand has done good. Rand dies. Creator seals the Bore. The End.

You completely fail to realize that the entire drive of the Last Battle is the sealing of the Dark One.

**Um, no and no.

For one, I'm pretty sure there was an interview where Robert Jordan specifically stated Rand isn't a Hero of the Horn.**

**Q: "Is this soul born in any other age, or only at the advent and the closing of the Third Age, as The Dragon/TDR?"

A: This soul is one of the Heroes, and bound to the Wheel, spun out as the Pattern wills. "It" is born in other ages, but in a non-Dragon incarnation, to suit the pattern of that Age.**

The Dragon is a Hero of the Horn.

**And for another, the Dragon isn't just some random shmuck who the Pattern picks and says, "Tag, you are it." Rand al'Thor is the Dragon's SOUL reborn. No other soul can be the Dragon, because the Dragon isn't a title that can be juggled. No Hero of the Horn can replace Rand, because none of their souls, is the soul of the Dragon.**

Yes, Rand is the Dragon soul reborn.

But, there is another soul that can fulfill the same role:

**Q: In this same Age, in a different Turning of the Wheel of time, could it be possible that it wouldn't be Rand's soul that was spun out as the Dragon, but for a different, female soul to take on this role?

A: Yes,it would have to be. Err, in the differences between the same Age in different turnings of the Wheel, are that.. as for an analogy: imagine two tapestries hanging on a wall, and you look at them from the back of the room to the front of the store. And to look at them, they look identical to you. But as you get closer, you begin to see differences. And if you get close enough, they don't look anything at all alike. That is the difference between the Ages. Between the Age in one Turning and the Age in another. So it's quite possible that someone other than Rand could be the reborn soul of the Dragon Reborn.

Q: It would be the same soul, or it would be a different soul?

A: It would be the same soul. That is, that is the belief of the world that I've set up, that it's the same soul. It's a soul of someone bound to the Wheel, which is spun out for the purposes, for the Wheel's purposes really, to attempt to rebalance the Weaving of the Pattern.

Q: But the soul would always be male. Souls don't change gender, so ...

A: ...so the soul of the Dragon Reborn is always going to be male, just as Birgitte's soul is always born as a woman, just as Ameresu's soul is always born as a woman. There are divisions here, and they are not interchangable.**

**RJ said that, no, it is not possible to have a female dragon. If the wheel needs a female dragon, then it would weave in *insert female dragon name here*. Probably because of the blank faces he was getting he then added, you can find her in the scene where Mat blows the horn...(Me: He was refering to Ameresu).

He also said that a soul ready to be reborn cannot change gender, therefor the dragon is ALWAYS male.**

**My theory was never meant to address the Sealing; the scenario I gave was just that a scenario.**

**My argument is, and has always been, that Rand will win the Last Battle with the sword.**

Which is why your theory fails -- the sealing is the key point of the Last Battle.

**A secondary argument is that Rand will not seal or imprison the Dark One with the One Power, but those two arguments are completely separate; you are trying to juxtapose them together.**

Because they are linked.

37

JakOShadows: 2005-11-01

I had written a theory before finishing KoD, but wanted to wait to post it. It covers a lot of the things ya'll are talking about. So just refer to it. It does bring up some new ideas I want commented on separately though, so that's why.

But I will discuss some small things. As far as the sealing of the prison, we don't know how to do it, but it can't be ignored. And as to fighting with swords, you can't say either way that their amount of importance to Rand means a sword duel between Moridin and Rand. It just speaks to his character, that he wants to have all his basis covered. As to how exactly the Horn of Valere will fit in, I think it is more of a thing like in LotR, where the massive Orc army is besieging Gondor's army. So at the last minute, the heroes come and save the army, same as the ghosts in the LotR. And all the channelers most likely will be linked so as to protect the people or help in any way Rand sealing the bore. The army will have its own battle to fight. Anyways, I'll go send my theory in now, so if you want my opinion on this topic more, go there.

38

Aeolus: 2006-02-08

Actually Callandor, there might be an argument to suggest that this could be a "Last" Battle and not just another sealing. Think of this: if Time is cyclical then the Forsaken will know that either the Dark One is always re-sealed and never breaks free - or that in some Ages he DOES break free. Following this line of logical reasoning, the latter MUST be true - otherwise why do they bother? If time is predictable then they will know the "Last" Battle always ends up with them being imprisoned, failing. Plus, in EoTW Ish tells Rand that this has happened many times before, that they have won many times before. So there is more at stake here - it's not a given that Rand will simply reseal the DO like Lews did. At some point in the turning of the Wheel the DO must actually break free, otherwise he and the Forsaken would know it is futile, there would be nothing at stake and no story.

39

New Forsaken: 2006-02-08

My whole problem with this theory is the "Last Battle" problem. Due to the way Jordan has set up the cosmology in this series with a Wheel as its foundation how can you ever have a last of anything. I agree that physical fighting (with swords and spears)will be a major part of Tarmon Gai'don. But I still have this horrible feeling we are heading for a Matrix ending and will be very unsatisfied to know that nothing has ended and things are just going to go around again.

40

Eek: 2006-02-09

"Actually Callandor, there might be an argument to suggest that this could be a "Last" Battle and not just another sealing. Think of this: if Time is cyclical then the Forsaken will know that either the Dark One is always re-sealed and never breaks free - or that in some Ages he DOES break free. Following this line of logical reasoning, the latter MUST be true - otherwise why do they bother? If time is predictable then they will know the "Last" Battle always ends up with them being imprisoned, failing. Plus, in EoTW Ish tells Rand that this has happened many times before, that they have won many times before. So there is more at stake here - it's not a given that Rand will simply reseal the DO like Lews did. At some point in the turning of the Wheel the DO must actually break free, otherwise he and the Forsaken would know it is futile, there would be nothing at stake and no story."

You believed Ishamael?

A quote from Jordan I believe...

41

lurk: 2006-02-10

This discussion has been going around and around and IMHO we have two possible endings

- one the wheel breaks due to TG and time becomes linear (not likely but it would end the story) with the DO unable to touch the wheel ever again. "Go to some other universe you scoundrel :)"

- two time remains circular and the DO is sealed once again but now better, maybe for several ages so all memory of him is lost until the next turning of the wheel and the next AOL comes again. Giving the DO yet another chance to change the pattern and break the wheel in his favor.

just my 2 cts

42

BrainFireBob: 2006-08-08

I always considered any fighting cover for the "real" battle- the battle for Rand's soul.

More specifically, he's cut off almost completely any connection he feels for other people. He's becoming that which he's fighting. Soul of the fire remembering tears, heart of stone, love ring any bells?

It will come down to Rand's choice of who he is and what he will be. It's easy to forget, with all the focus and power and politics, that the series- that the central conflict, anyway- and the war raged by Ishamael, has ALWAYS been about Rand.

43

Fear: 2006-10-19

We are talking about recurring themes throughout the series, and what exactly will happen to the bore after the battle. Hows this. the wheel needs ta'veren, so it spits out ta' veren. why spit out 3 "incredibly powerful" ta'veren at once. The circular theme I think requires the bore to the dark ones prison to be gone. What affects the pattern? one power, no. true source, no. only ta'veren can affect the pattern. RJ wouldn't bring in something new so late in the series, it wouldn't be fair to us or himself pulling a cheap cop out like that. What happens when 3 immensely powerful ta'veren get together and do whatever hocus pocus RJ thinks up to fix the bore, not seal it. RJ doesnt intend for his world to be all better after tLB, there will still be problems, life will go on. The wheel will continue to turn.

Rands frequent use of the sword, ever since book 3 or 4 has been more of a meditation than a real defense. As his insanity grows, the more he practices the sword. We talk about the mystical undertones of RJ's writing, but forget about the eastern views on martial art and meditation. Too summarize my poorly written theory:

1: The frequent mention of the sword is related to Rands sanity until he and LTT can join together hence mins viewing. He will soon do so and so doesnt really need the sword anymore (why he didnt just balefire semirrhage right away i dont know. if it was important to use the sword, that would be a more effective fix than relearning the forms.)

2: Rand Perrin and Mat are all needed at tLB. Mat as a general alone isnt a strong enough reason to NEED to be there. there are other generals that could do the job. Perrin doesnt NEED to bring the wolves, darkhounds can still be killed with the one power. What else do the three have in common? Ta'veren. RJ has mentioned it enough that it must mean something more than just warping events here and there.

3. to fix the pattern you have to have something that can affect the pattern, so far balefire and ta'veren are the only things that can. Unless they figure out how the bore was formed to begin with, possibly somewhere in herrid fels books. probably has to do with male and female working together, hence all the asha man, aes sedai bonding going on. Min will probably find it somewhere hopefully with Mat around to protect her from the gholem.

RJ is beginning to close the circle of the story, to find answers, I think we need to look into what happened in the first age and reverse it.

I dont know if i repeated anybody, but there was so much arguing going on that I kinda skipped some of it. After reading the same quote 5 times my eyeballs start to cross.

44

Legend: 2007-01-07

Here's a couple possibilities to consider in the discussion of the relevance of swords and sealing of the D.O.

What if the actions Rand takes to defeat the D.O. at TG have a "stilling" effect on the world...maybe making the seal whole again requires the sealing of every drop of the OP/TP that exist, heck maybe that IS what the prison as a "whole" consists of. Somehow, those that channel the power are actually siphoning from the source of the D.O.'s prison, which causes the weakening of the prison, which ultimately is bored through in an age. It does seem consistent with the storyline, as saidar and saidin are used more excessively and in greater quantity we have seal's weakening, a thinning of the pattern, ect.(this could also speak to why D.O. doesnt want to kill Rand). If you hold to the precept that we live in the same world as randland, just a different age that will be, and has been. Then there is a time where the D.O. is wholly imprisoned(as Fel stated),and there aren't those with the knowledge or ability to channel the OP in our age. The end of the series, may represent the beginning of that age. And likewise, it would be mankinds re-discovery of the OP and how to channel that begins the age that ultimately brings us full circle to the bore.

The sword comes into play after TG ("...world not done w/ war...") when OP/TP no longer accessable to anyone. AS to the how? I couldn't exactly say. On a semi related side note: in the Great Hunt, during Nynaeve's Accepted initiation in the "what will be" ter'angreal...Lan mention's them visiting the 2 river's and Morgase being upset if they did not allow her to provide them and honor escort for the journey. Now, here's my thought, why would one need all of that if one had the power to "travel". Granted, this scene was played out before the concept of "traveling" was formally introduced. Although, i'm not sure if any of the meetings between the forsaken where they used traveling had been mentioned yet.

I acknowledge that there's some straw grasping going on here, as it is quite a leap to suppose the use of the OP will be eliminated based on my extrapilation from that scene, but it provides a little circumstantial evidence of the possibility.

It seem's even after TG, Rand has some work to do, first and foremost to "live again"...Rand's soul is tied to the pattern so in death he can still be found in the world of dreams, and forcibally spun out again ala brigitte. I suspect The World of Dreams may also be where Lanfears hidden agenda comes to light(with the defeat of Moridin and D.O., she is free again to pursue her ambition...fights the ancient war); where elayne,min,and avienda will search for him; where Perrin will come to the rescue via the wolf dream (ala faile rescue in DR) I think this hunt for Rand/Shadow killer, may be the destined role of the wolves...they know they have to be at the last battle, but not why). Once Rand is spun back out into the world of the living sans the OP, any number of possibilities could require the sword.

As you can see, this is a theory that isn't fully flushed out. And while it may not speak to the "how" the sword is pivotal, it may provide another angle to examine the "why" the sword may play a pivotal role to Rand in the end.

45

Legend: 2007-01-09

...And there is also Nicola's fortelling (not sure if already mentioned):

"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance out the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."

just seems a little too intentional that her after TG fortelling mentions everything teetering on the "edge of a blade"...metaphorical blade? symbol of all the warring factions? or Rand's blade? maybe all of the above? But strange how it doesn't teeter on an outpouring of the One Power (although one could include the OP if you do interpret "blade" as just a metaphor for war)

46

Myrelle Sedai: 2007-01-10

I think that the Last Battle will not just be a Rand vs. Morridin power struggle. I think it will be a sort of War of the Shadow-Trollock Wars mixed. The war of the Shadow was 10 yrs long, and I can't remember how long the Trollok wars were, but they weren't short. I think Tarmon Gai'don will take years.

47

Catalyst: 2007-01-13

The Last BATTLE is a BATTLE, not a WAR.

48

banner general1: 2007-01-13

why does everybody want to make everything so complicated?

the questions i have heard are,

1. what about mat and perrin?

2. how will rand seal the bore?

3. will rand die?

and

4. what part will the aes sedai, asha'man, Aiel, soldiers, and the seanchan play?

answers:

1. Mat was given the memories of battles, so why would anyone want to believe that he will not be the general controlling all of the forces in the field? i for one see 2 reasons he will command ALL of the forces, A. Rand will appoint him as General of his armies, B. He IS the prince of Ravens.

Perrin will play his role in his ability to talk to wolves. The wolves will fight in the last battle, and they will fight with perrin. Perrin is mentioned in the prophecies, and has shown that once he sets his mind on something he finishes it, no matter the odds- he rescued faile.-He will bring the wolves and the will to win.

2. Why does rand have to seal the bore? Lanfear said that with the Choedan Kal, the dark one could be DEFEATED. if he only seals the bore, what makes this age any more spectacular than all the others, and who is to say it won't happen again? if so this wouldn't be called the LAST BATTLE!

3. Rand will die, and i dont care who stands against it. In the prophecies it says, he will be marked twice to live and TWICE TO DIE!the 2 herons mark him to live by him naming himself-and accepting that he is- the dragon reborn. The dragons mark him twice to die. By becoming the caracarn he has the power of spears to grant him the ability to bind the world and make the world as one.This gives him a chance to win at the last battle, BY DIEING!!!

4. Aes Sedai, Ashaman, wiseones, damane, and windfinders will be the counter to the dreadlords and the forsaken. The Aiel and other soldiers will be the counter to the trollocs and fades. The Seanchan will participate to see that they can reclaim their lost lands and will gice Rand the time he need to propare for the last battle.

any more questions???

49

Myrelle Sedai: 2007-01-14

*The Last BATTLE is a BATTLE, not a WAR.*

I think it will be a war and the Last Battle will come at the end of it.

Rand will seal the Bore, NOT defeat the DO. If he defeats the DO compleatly, then how will Lanfear drill the Bore again when the Age of Legends comes again?

50

Misain Ye: 2007-01-17

The Last Battle almost certainly won't be a protracted war. Simply because the next book is supposed to be thelast, and even a 2000 page book, which is apparently what Robert Jordan thinks it may be, can't tell the story of an entire war without skipping around a whole lot, skimping on the details in order to reach the resolution. This would be a marked change in writing style from the last, oh, 11 books.

That said, I agree that the Last Battle will be about sealing the Bore, NOT defeating the Dark One for all time or anything of that sort. The cyclical nature of time has been emphasized many many times over the course of the books, with reincarnation, the creation of ta'veren for order, and Heroes held in reserve in Tel'aran'rhiod to keep it that way. The Dark One's goal is to break the Wheel of Time for all time so that he can remake the world; the Dragon Reborn is spun out to stop this, not to break the Wheel himself.

"The Last Battle" is not, at all, the battle to end all battles. It is merely the battle fought to bind the Dark One completely outside of the Wheel once more, [b]until the Wheel turns to another Age and humans once more accidentally free him.[/b] Whether this happens in the 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th Ages, or the Dark One is truly bound for good until the Second Age (Age of Legends) comes around again, is debatable. I personally believe that the Bore will be completely undone in Tarmon Gai'don and the DO's prison remade so that it is once more bound completely outside of time; after all, the DO is supposed to be completely unknown in the Second Age, and it would take a loooooong time for the memory of the supreme evil being to fade entirely, even in myth.

I agree with the original idea, in that Rand's focus on swords will likely come into play in the Last Battle. However, I do not think that it will be the deciding factor by a longshot. The chances of it being something so simple as "Rand and Moridin duke it out, Rand wins, Bore is sealed automatically" seem remote to me.

And why is it always Moridin touted as the Dark One's supreme champion? I myself would rank Shaidar Haran as a much more likely candidate for the final proxy to be faced. Moridin/Ishamael, as awesome as he is, is still just a human, and I think a more personal confrontation with the Dark One or its avatar is in the works.

51

Davian93: 2007-01-22

****And why is it always Moridin touted as the Dark One's supreme champion? I myself would rank Shaidar Haran as a much more likely candidate for the final proxy to be faced. Moridin/Ishamael, as awesome as he is, is still just a human, and I think a more personal confrontation with the Dark One or its avatar is in the works.****

I think it would be ironic if Rand meets Moridin in the Last Battle, defeats him and thinks "yes, I've won, go Light!!!" ...and then Shadar Haran walks up. Now that would be funny.

52

Eharoni Prince: 2010-09-19

Thinking over the significance of swords and the people who disdain the use of them, I actually would hope for Logain to defeat Taim during the BT showdown with a sword. Taim has always sneered at swords and has his entourage of Asha'man that are like-minded. And since we now know that Rand must use Callandor in a circle with two women it seems unlikely that he and Moridin will be dueling with swords unhindered. I don't downplay your theory, I agree with most points and definitely hope that it's not just a OP/TP orgasm.