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eed Singing the Pattern Shut

by Anonymous: 2009-12-30 | 8.88 out of 10 (8 votes)

Recent Categories: How Will It End?

Hello all - First time poster. Maybe someone has already suggested the following theory, but if so, I haven't come across it.

Also: *SPOILER ALERT* This theory draws on facts revealed in the Gathering Storm.

This theory is very long, so I will provide quick synopsis so you can decide if you want to keep reading:

In a nutshell, my theory about how the books will end is this: Rand will gather the Aiel, the Tinkers and the Ogier around Shayol Ghul. After breaking the remaining seals, he will lead these groups in a giant Seed Singing (as seen in tSR) that will begin regrowing the Pattern over the Bore. His armies, the Asha'man, the Aes Sedai and the Seanchan will defend the Singers from the Trolloc hordes. When the Bore is nearly shut, Rand himself will walk into the Pit of Doom (possibly with Mat and Perrin). Following some kind of struggle between Rand and the DO, possibly involving Callandor, the combined ta'veren effect caused by having the tree of them present directly over the Bore will provide the necessary force to snap the Pattern into place and close the Bore once and for all.

That's the gist of it. However, the theory is built on a number of different elements that require a fair amount of explanation.

The first step is to develop a theory of how the DO's prison works. Here is what we know:

1. We know that the Pattern itself is the Dark One's prison.

2. We also know that, even when a hole has been created in the Pattern, the Dark One still only has a limited ability to act or influence events.

By the end of the War of Power, the Bore had been open for over 100 years, yet the DO still had to use human proxies. The Bore had expanded somewhat, but the DO was not free and could not simply remake reality at will. The DO's direct power over the Pattern is therefore limited.

To my mind, elements (1) and (2) necessarily imply the following:

3. There is something in the nature of the Pattern itself that counteracts the DO's power.

However, we also know that:

4. The Pattern's "canceling effect" on the DO's power is not perfect.

This is evident because during the War of Power the DO was able, over time, to expand the size of the Bore.

Point (4) makes sense if you think of the Pattern as a piece of cloth. Poking a hole in cloth with your finger, or making a hole in it by pulling on the cloth from opposite sides, is basically impossible. However, if there already exists a small tear, or a flaw in the weave, then your finger might be able to eventually poke through, if you push hard enough. Similarly, you might, with a great deal of effort, but able to expand the tear by pulling at the cloth on either side of it. (The only other way to tear a piece of cloth would be to take it by the edge and jerk on it in opposite directions. However, this method is not possible with the Pattern, which consists of an endless cycle; "there is neither beginning nor end," i.e. *is* no edge). If you put a patch on the hole, it may slow you down. But if you keep yanking on the edges of the hole, eventually they will reach the seams of the patch, which are weaker than the cloth itself and can be torn apart.

This lead us to point (5):

5. The threads of the Pattern are made up of some material that, when placed in a sound and regular weave, can resist pressure from the force emanating from the DO.

However, if there is a flaw in the weave (i.e. a hole), the force emanating from the DO can widen it. After enough time, the cloth (i.e. the Pattern) could, theoretically, be torn asunder, and whatever is enclosed could escape.

The cloth analogy also reveals another fact about the DO:

6. The DO is in some sense cohesive.

The DO is not able simply to "pour" himself out of the Bore like a liquid. Although part of him can poke through the hole created in the Pattern, this does not allow him to escape. This means that his essence is somehow "stuck" together. The DO is like someone who's been tied up in a sack and has managed to poke a hole in it with his finger. He can touch the outside of the sack, but he can't actually get out without making the hole much, much bigger.

Points 1-6 also reveal the following:

7. The DO can only directly kill someone under very limited circumstances; that is, when they are directly over the Bore.

Each person is a thread in the cloth/Pattern. If the cloth is whole, no matter how hard I push, I can't snap an individual thread. However, if the thread lies across an opening in the cloth and isn't reinforced by other threads, I can snap it easily. I might even snap more than one, depending on how big the opening was.

This limitation is why the DO must use human proxies to affect events beyond Shayol Ghul. If he were not limited in this way, there would be no reason why he doesn't simply kill large numbers of people himself, thereby weakening the Pattern.

So: we know that the threads of the Pattern, i.e. human souls, have some inherent property that makes them resistant to the DO's power. When enough of them are arranged in a tight, well-ordered weave, they can hold him back entirely.

This, to me, reveals the central problem in WOT metaphysics: the problem of choice. Human beings have free will. They cannot flout the entire Pattern (a beggar can't become a king, for instance), but they can affect the course of their lives within certain parameters. Human beings therefore have the potential to become agents for the DO.

We know that the DO can snap threads that lie directly over the Bore. That also implies that he can influence them in other ways. If a person comes to the Bore (i.e. Shayol Ghul) and swears their soul to the Shadow, the DO can create a link to their soul (the black threads seen around Asmodean and Ishamael). It's been said (although I can't remember where) that when a person has sworn to the Shadow, they lose some of the protections that normal people have against the DO. This makes sense if you think that, by swearing to him, they allowed him to create a link with their soul. He would be able to touch them in ways that he can't for other people, even when they are away from the Bore. (As an aside, my belief is that Shaidar Haran can only 'block' the Source from channelers who have sworn to the Shadow, although we haven't had direct proof of this. It would explain why we've never seen him take an overt role in dealing with non-Darkfriends).

Anyway, having sworn to the Shadow, Darkfriends can carry his influence beyond the Bore. Even if they merely take instructions from him, they have given him a tool with which to affect the broader weave of the Pattern beyond Shayol Ghul.

At this point, I need to bring up two things that were revealed in Lord of Chaos. The first is the famous Herid Fel quote: "Belief and order give strength". The second is the DO's orders to Demandred, Semirhage, and probably everyone else: "Let the Lord of Chaos rule". I think it's important, from a literary standpoint, that both of these concepts were introduced in the same book.

The Fel quote stands for the basic principle that I've been explaining. Human souls, arranged in a tight pattern, and who believe in the necessity and goodness of that pattern (i.e. who choose not to resist it and not to swear fealty to the Shadow) are stronger, more able to resist the strength of the DO. Conversely, human souls that don't fully accept the order of things, who struggle against the pattern, and who head in every which way, resisting coordination, are weaker.

The DO's purpose, clearly, is to sow chaos. It is not simply to kill large numbers of people, although that is a side-effect of chaos. He wishes to break down the social order, the political systems and the economic structures that are at the heart of the Pattern. These are the forces that truly guide people's lives. They are the warp and woof of the Pattern. When they are gone, all that is left is a tangle of human lives, in no particular order. So unwoven, their threads can easily be snapped or pushed aside.

In order to win the Last Battle, Rand must not only create (or restore) order in the Westlands (one reason why it is essential he make peace with the Seanchan); he must also bring "belief and order" to the Bore.

How does he do that?

Well, I think the series has provided a number of hints about how that might be done. The first clue is the Blight.

The Blight is always described as corrupted life. On the outer edges, the plants simply look mottled and slightly diseased. As one progresses further inward, they become progressively sicker, until the ecosystem has been warped beyond all recognition. So corrupt are the life forms in the Blight that even otherwise passive plants will kill any person who touches them. When one reaches Thakandar, virtually no life exists. It is a wasteland.

The Blight is obviously a side-effect of the DO's greater influence in the area surrounding the Bore. This suggests a link between the health and well-being of living things and the strength of the Pattern. Near the Bore, where the Pattern is weak, living things grow sick or twisted. Away from the Bore, life proceeds normally (at least until recent events).

The books have so far revealed two things that can counteract the effects of the Blight: the Nym (the Green Man), and Ogier treesinging.

The Green Man was able to preserve his enclave for over three thousand years. This suggests that, whatever power it is the Nym possess, it is connected to the Pattern. Somehow, the Green Man was able to reinforce the Pattern enough to prevent the seepage of DO power out of Shayol Ghul from corrupting the life in his "place".

The same can be said of Loial's treesinging, although to a lesser extent. Loial manages to restore health to the great oak that grew out of the Green Man's body. He also believes that the Blight will not take that one tree. Even if we are skeptical that he has permanently put the tree out of the Blight's reach, it is clear that his singing has reinforced its life force against whatever the Blight was doing to undermine it. Given that the Blight draws its power from a weakening of the Pattern, this suggests that Ogier treesinging somehow reinforces the Pattern where it occurs.

These two things point the way to the final answer. We know that in the Age of Legends, Nym, Ogier and Aiel together would sing to crops to make them grow faster and healthier. There does not appear to be any channeling involved in this; some other power is at work. At first glance, the Aiel seem to stand out; they are rather mundane. The Nym are a OP construct, a kind of living ter'angreal. The Ogier can treesing and live on stedding, a strange netherworld where the Power cannot be sensed and yet where all feel a sense of peace and tranquility. What do the Aiel bring to the table? Their supreme dedication to the Way of the Leaf. They lived lives of almost complete resignation, refusing to kill animals or harm human beings in any way. They followed where the Pattern lead, like a leaf falling from a tree. Somehow, their inner fortitude could be channeled into the plants around them by the Seed Singing.

There have been too many references to the Tinkers and their song not to think it would play a key role in resolving the WOT story. Likewise, the Aiel are far too prominent not to think that they have some key role to play. Let's not forget the fact that the Pattern went to a great deal of trouble to ensure that the Dragon would be reborn as an Aiel. There must be some significance to that.

The Aiel have, it seems, changed dramatically over the 3000 years since the Breaking. They are now the seeming opposite of what they once were. Or are they?

The Aiel retain their extreme fortitude and their strong sense of order. They are stronger-willed than any other people in the WOT universe, and they hold to ji'e'toh fanatically. They still accept the will of the Pattern and go to their deaths unflinchingly. In other words, they are still quite "dedicated". It is simply that the object of their dedication has changed.

Let's keep one thing in mind. The Way of the Leaf suited the Pattern during the AoL. Dedication to peace in a time of peace makes sense. But what happens if the needs of the Pattern change. Could one not be just as "dedicated" to this new purpose?

The Dragon Reborn would need followers who would be utterly devoted to him in order to assert control over and restore order to the Westlands. The Shadow would be constantly nipping at his heels and undermining his support, which would come only grudgingly at best in any case. Only a people as fatalistic as the Aiel, who could accept the coming of the Dragon with equanimity and poise, could do the job.

Moreover, the Dragon's task would be made easier if they were also superior fighters. Jordan would not have constantly had the Aiel referring to the Three-Fold Land as a place to "forge" them if their time there were not actually intended to serve some purpose. The Pattern *wanted* the Aiel to abandon the Way and become the marathon-running super-ninjas they are today.

So: the belief and order of the Aiel continue to give strength to the Pattern by aiding the Dragon. They are still the servants of the Pattern. Ergo, they still retain their ability to take part in the Seed Singing.

The final clues to the puzzle come from the tGS. The clues come a) when all the food in Ebou Dar spoils after the arrival of Darth Rand; and b) when Rand destroys the CK.

We already knew that Rand was a super-ta'veren. He can amplify random events over an area large enough to cover a city, and he can yank people across continents when he needs their help. What we learned in tGS is that Rand's effect on the Pattern is connected to the state of his soul. After he has touched the TP and become cuendillar-Rand, the random events stop being random and become all bad. When he comes to Ebou Dar, only death and destruction is amplified, and no positive events occur. This is probably happening for one (or both) of two reasons: a) Rand has allowed the DO to touch his soul somewhat like a Darkfriend, and so is now spreading the DO's influence through the network created by his ta'verenness, and/or b) Rand's increasing despair and lack of any real conviction that what he is doing is worth doing are weakening the Pattern around him, undermining the balance of good and bad that is the hallmark of a healthy weave.

In any case, what is key here is that the wonky Pattern stuff happens at the same time as something else: a dramatic spike in the amount of food going bad. This supports my earlier point about the Blight being the symptom of a weakened Pattern. Darth Rand weakens the Pattern wherever he goes and this causes the food to spoil. And this, I think, is the true nature and importance of the Fisher King/King Arthur parallels. The health of the land is connected to Rand/the Fisher King through his influence on the Pattern. When his soul is ailing, the Pattern frays, and living things fail. When his soul is strong, the Pattern is reinforced, and living things grow strong.

The final clue is Rand's destruction of the CK. Simply as a literary point, it is clear that this is intended to signify that raw power alone cannot defeat the DO. This also makes sense in terms of WOT metaphysics. Lews Therin explained that the taint was created because they had to touch the DO with saidin to push him back under the Pattern. Wielding the OP directly against the DO is therefore not an option. This is pretty logical if you think about the structure of the WOT universe. If the Creator could imprison the DO simply by applying his own power, there would be no need for Wheel and Pattern. But instead, the Power is used to drive the Wheel which weaves the Pattern out of (mostly) free human lives. For some reason (perhaps because the Creator and DO are simply equal opposites?), a weave of human souls must be used to hold the DO back.

In fact, the CK may have been a disaster if they'd been used directly against the DO. Both saidin and saidar would have been tainted. And, if the taint was in any way proportional to the amount of the OP used, it would have been enormous and impossible to remove.

So, put all that together and what do you have: the only way to defeat the DO is to somehow re-weave the Pattern over the Bore. The series has shown us how the characters can strengthen and/or manipulate the Pattern directly: through the Seed Singing and the power created by the dedication of the Aiel.

This theory is already long enough, so I'll be brief on the actual battle itself. I think what will happen is that after Ogier and Aiel have close up most of the Bore (perhaps with new Nym created by Rand, who now has all the knowledge from his past life), the DO will still have sort of "lump" of himself sticking out and blocking the Pattern from closing completely. Something will have to push him back all the way in. This, I think, will be the battle between Rand and the DO. Perhaps his ta'veren thread, supported by Mat and Perrin and the Heroes of the Horn will be strong enough to fight the DO down without being snapped as an ordinary thread would. Perhaps there will have to be some battle of wills. I don't really know.

Anyway, this is my theory. Some of the details are a bit fuzzy, but I'm fairly certain I'm right on the major points. Let me know what you think!
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2010-04-23

I love the theory (and I promise to figure out who you are, not sure why we lost your username when it was submitted, sorry!). Your thorough examination of the Bore and the Dark One was refreshing, well done. I like how you have tied everything back to Treesinging but have you wondered why the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends didn't come to this same conclusion? With the amount of knowledge they possessed of the One Power, the Pattern and access to Treesigning, why would the CK and the Seals after more than one hundred years have won out as the answers to the problem of the Bore instead of simply re-weaving the Pattern?

2

terez: 2010-04-23

I have a theory that Linda wrote this theory.

3

Basel Gill: 2010-04-23

I like it. Hasn't been enough focus on the Song and the Aiel/Nym/Ogier as far as TG goes. Has to be more to it than a nice jingle to play during the credits.

4

messengeroflight: 2010-04-23

I like your theory except for the aiel having anything to do with the sealing of the bore. I actually wrote a prediction the ogier and the tinkers would sing together but I never knew why until now. The bushing back of the blight was a great eye opener. I have to comment on a theory that I have been working on that you touched. You mentioned the pattern as the prison for the bore and that the DO is touching through the weakness and it is the souls that act as the barrier. What I want to add to that is that it is commonly stated throughout the books that Tavern have the pattern weave around them and people's "strings" can get caught up with theirs. Well what if the three strongest taverns get together right at the bore and they entangle everyone into their pattern right where the pattern was weakest? Its like sewing over a hole...

5

Ozymandias: 2010-04-25

For my money, a brilliant, refreshing take on TG and the nature of the Pattern. I've also thought about the effects of order on the strength of the Pattern, but you put it into words really well. My only issues with the theory: I think that while you are right in saying the Dark One is not a "liquid" entity, your mistaking his innate nature. Its not a matter of him forcing a metaphysical body through the hole in the Pattern, nor is it a matter of him slipping through in like an oil slick. His purpose is to destroy the Pattern, utterly and completely. It doesn't matter which side of the Pattern he's on, as long as there is a break in it that he can escape through its all fine. You might even posit that his influence is directly proportional to the size of the break. As in, he's not seeping through or pushing out to the other side of the Pattern, but rather his influence expands as the radius of the break expands. This has nothing to do with the concept of some physical entity breaking out from under the Pattern. Perhaps its better to picture it not as the DO's influence expanding the Bore, but the Bore's expansion leading to an increase in the Dark One's power. This ties into my second objection of the theory, which deals with what you call "pushing back the bulge of the Dark One left behind." If we accept that the initial Tainting was due to the Power touching the essence of the Dark One, and that raw power cannot defeat him for this reason, it makes no sense at all that Rand can somehow utilize Callandor to defeat the remnants of the Dark One; it would merely lead to another Tainting. If we accept that the mere closure of the Bore through Treesinging would lead to the elimination of the Dark One's influence, then this eliminates the need to touch His essence with the Power. It also doesn't invalidate the Tainting during the Strike, as in that case the Dark One wasn't pushed back through the Bore, but a Power-wrought covering was put on it, which of necessity had to touch the Bore. Finally, the Bore isn't a place. Shayol Ghul is not "on" the Bore. It is merely the random place from which the Bore can be most intensely felt. But overall an excellent theory which I agree with almost totally. Good to see an intelligent new theory on here, been a long time,

6

PillowFriends: 2010-04-26

Great theory, it left me wanting more!!! I have one issue, however. If you, or anyone else, has information to back up your first point: 1. We know that the Pattern itself is the Dark One's prison. I'd love to see it. How do we KNOW this to be true?

7

Basel Gill: 2010-04-26

I would assume he meant the several references to "the Dark One is imprisoned outside of the Pattern". That always implied to me that maybe the Pattern was not his "prison" but that there was nothing outside of the Pattern so it might as well be, and that everything inside the Pattern was protected from him.

8

Marquis0: 2010-04-28

I like this theory, however, I see the tree singing which I think may or may not include the Aiel as curing the blight. For the Bore, think of the pattern as more of a living thing. Throughout the books it is spoken of as if it were sentient. There have been 2 people who have done the impossible with regard to healing Nynaeve heals Logain, Siuane and Leanne. Damer Flinn similarly healing Irgain. We know that those from the AOL don't know everything, since they were not able to heal being severed, or cleanse the taint. These two, or maybe Rand with their help will "Heal" the pattern, and seal the bore. Essentially re-growing the prison over the DO.

9

nam4lwl: 2010-04-30

I like this theory mostly. I never posted before and don't know what all was brought up but now that rand can use the true power( the power the bore was made for) I believe he will use that to seal it and a remnant of a remnant of aiel will remain so all aeil that accept the way of the leaf will live and those that don't will fight and die.

10

Dashain: 2010-04-30

Thanks for all the nice comments!

Tamyrlin - My username (as you can see) is Dashain. Although, come to think of it, you have no reason to believe me... :P

To be honest, I hadn't thought about why it was the AoL AS didn't think of this. Off the top of my head, the following ideas come to mind:

- They had been living with the DO for a relatively short time and may not have understood his relationship to the world and the Pattern. One fact that supports this explanation is that Strike at Shaol Ghul explains that the whole point of the CK strategy was to wall the DO up in some kind of OP-created enclave to give them time to figure out how to deal with him. That suggests that they simply weren't sure how to solve the problem. I suspect that Lews Therin must have had some sense of what I am proposing; he was, after all, able to fashion some kind of patch on the Bore that effectively blocked the DO from entering the Pattern any further. The fact that the patch worked (for a while) suggests that Lews Therin understood *something*, but the fact that it was an imperfect solution shows that he didn't understand everything.

- It's also possible that such a strategy simply was unavailable to them. In order for the seed-singing approach to work, one would have to build new layers of "order" inwards toward the Bore from the healthy bits of the Pattern. It may be that the AoL AS didn't have the means to do this. From what I recall from Strike at Shayol Ghul, more than 50% of the Earth was controlled by the DO's forces, and society everywhere was reeling. There may not have been enough "order" left to grow a new patch in any one person's lifetime. Recall that the civilization of the AoL was extremely sophisticated and complex. That means: interdependence. Imagine what would happen to our world if suddenly Europe and China were sucked out into space. Sure, North America would still exist, but its economic structures, which are dependent on trade, would collapse, leading to a slow unraveling of social order.

Given the amount of damage the DO had managed to do in the AoL, it may be that the only solution the Pattern could devise was to have LT put in place a temporary patch while the Pattern healed itself for an Age or two and put itself in a better position to fight the DO. In some ways the current Age is actually better placed to fight the DO than the AoL: because society is more primitive and the level of international interdependence is less great, it is less susceptible to total disruption by external shocks the way the AoL civilization was. In other words, its easier to keep the wagon trains running on time and maintain a sense of "order", from which to regrow the Pattern and close up the Bore.

Terez - I am not Linda. My name is Erik ;)

Messengeroflight - I agree. I think that's what I was trying to get at with my theory. Sorry if I didn't explain it clearly enough. Ozymandias - 1. Cool name. 2. You're right, Callandor doesn't really fit. I didn't have any real reason to include it, except for that bit about "and he shall hold a blade of light and three shall be as one" that Min and Cadsuane talked about at the end of tGS. I'm not really sure what role the OP or Callandor would play in my scenario, but the Karaeathon (sp?) Cycle quote seems to imply it has a role to play in binding the "three" together. Given that, it may sense to think it might be connected with the final stage of the battle, where the combined Taveren strength of Rand, Mat and Perrin will probably be needed.

PillowFriends - I'm not sure where I got that from. I just have the sense that it's a widely accepted fact on the discussion boards, and it makes perfect sense. Every time the books discuss breaking into the DO's prison, some mention is made of having to punch a hole through the Pattern. Plus, the DO seems hell-bent (no pun intended) on destroying the Pattern and the Wheel. Why would he care about all that, and spend endless turnings of the Wheel trying to do it, unless it were necessary to break the Wheel in order to escape from his prison.

Marquis0 - you may be right. I hadn't considered that angle. But it's not clear to me how Healing relates to the Pattern, whereas a good case can be made that Seed Singing is connected to the Pattern.

11

PopNLocknessMonster: 2010-05-05

Not sure if this relevant, but in EoTW, in the prologue when Elan Morin (Ishmael/Moridin) first Travels into Lews Therin's palace, the first thing LT says to him is "Ah, a guest. Have you the Voice, stranger? It will soon be time for the Singing, and here all are welcome to take part." Does that mean that LT was Aiel himself or that those with "the Voice" didn't have to be Aiel?

12

MarcusOptimus: 2010-05-17

Please excuse me if this is a stupid question, but how is the hole someone makes in the pattern when travelling with the TP different from the Bore?

13

Tamyrlin: 2010-05-17

@MarcusOptimus

Many people believe that the Pattern is the prison wall, but I use that specific example to point out that as far as it is described, one can use the TP to travel outside of the Pattern, without entering the DO's prison. Otherwise, there would be thousands of Bores every time Ishamael or any other channeler used the TP to travel.

14

MarcusOptimus: 2010-05-18

I guess I've mistaken the metaphysics to be dualistic in nature, i.e. the DO being a sentient entity as well as being the unravelling of the pattern which would mean that any hole is a point to grow on, a sink as it were.

15

Chang: 2010-05-19

Really nice theory. I particularly like Darth Rand. But coming back to it, I have one or two points. The first is that, as you said, the dark one wants to destroy the pattern because the pattern has rules and systems that bring order (from gravity to the OP itself). He wants a world without rules, with himself as the Lord of Chaos, and order is his prison. But we often wonder why this is the Last Battle; perhaps it is because the preceding conflicts have weakened the pattern to the point that it is thin enough for him to completely destroy it. If that is the case then this might be Rand's last chance to succeed as the Dragon.

As you mentioned the Choedan Kal as a literary symbol we can use that. Now we know Rand can touch the OP, drawn from the DO; the ideal way to destroy the DO would be to use his own power to draw him into the pattern and then seal him inside the pattern itself, thus making him subject to its rules. Rand is a powerful channeler so he can draw enough of the TP to bring the DO fully into the pattern before sealing the bore as you said and then using the OP as a way to imprison him, using Callandor in a circle.

The remnant of a remnant seems pretty sure to be what's left of the Shaido, with the rest of the Aiel (maybe the siswai aman or maybe the non-siswai aman) reverting back to the way of the leaf and becoming the new Tuathan.

16

PillowFriends: 2010-05-19

Chang said: " ... the ideal way to destroy the DO would be to use his own power to draw him into the pattern and then seal him inside the pattern itself, thus making him subject to its rules."

I really like this line of thinking. To me, the Pattern never was the DO's prison, but maybe it could become just that. Conversely, sometimes I see the Pattern as a prison to humanity. What if the Pattern were unraveled and Rand was no longer "restricted" by it? Maybe he then could fight the DO on equal footing.

17

Dashain: 2010-05-25

Tamyrlin -

I take your point about TP Travelling; I struggled with that a bit myself at first. But I eventually came to the conclusion that it isn't a problem. The fact that one is stepping outside the Pattern does not necessarily imply that one is stepping into the DO's prison. For example, vacuoles constitute (as I understand it) gaps in the Pattern. A person inside a vacuole has essentially left the Pattern. Moreover, if the Pattern were a "wall" (I'm not sure that a three-dimensional physical representation is really the best way to imagine the structure of the Pattern, but we're limited by a) the way our minds operate, and b) the absence of a suitable mathematical language to describe the physics of WOTland), a wall has two sides. It could simply be that TP Travelling takes you to a kind of meta-space surrounding the Pattern (similar to Skimming), one that allows you to move freely from one point to another, but that is located on the opposite side of the barrier from the DO.

Alternatively, TP Travelling might operate by creating artificial vacuoles, or using some other means to enter the interstices between threads in the Pattern. In either case, one could be said to be tearing a hole in the Pattern, but one that does not lead to the space in which the DO is imprisoned.

Another alternative would be that there is a difference in degree. If you think of the Pattern as a thick, multi-layered tangle of threads, any hole or "space" created by channeling would have to be pretty substantial in order to afford the DO any real freedom of movement. Thus, it could be that there is no difference in kind between TP Travelling and drilling the Bore, merely a difference in the scale of the hole being created. This makes sense if you think about the actual process of creating the Bore itself. It seems to have been quite a complex operation. It was planned well in advance (Charn knew of the experiment), and appears to have required multiple channelers. Drilling a Bore would HAVE to be a difficult thing to do, otherwise Darkfriends who could channel (or Ishamael himself, during one of this periodical releases) could simply, at any time since the Breaking, drilled another Bore that wasn't covered by LTT's patch.

Personally, I think the primary reason TP Travelling is described as it is, is to emphasize that it does violence to the Pattern (which "screams" a little whenever Ishy Travels), in contrast to OP Travelling, which does not appear to harm the Pattern. It's a literary trope, used to point up the differences between OP and TP channeling.

Chang -

My personal theory for why it's called the Last Battle is this: it's the Last Battle with the DO for this turning of the Wheel. The AoL, despite having very advanced science, didn't even suspect the existence of the DO, and took several decades to understand what was happening after the Bore was created. In order for that to be possible, the last encounter with the DO must have been so long ago that any remnants of knowledge about him, in the form of myths, would have been discounted as being completely meaningless literary creations (like the Epic of Gilgamesh, only even older, and not written down). That wouldn't be possible if the DO kept appearing every age to do battle with humankind. So my guess is that, in every turning of the Wheel, the DO gets released in the Second Age, re-imprisoned permanently at the end of the Third Age, and then over time is essentially forgotten, until the Second Age comes around again. In my vewi, this interpretation is the one that is most consistent with the overarching themes of the WOT series.

PoPNLocknessMonster -

I noticed that as well, which is one of the things that made me think that the Seed Singing would play a role in the resolution of the series. Jordan was always a big fan of foreshadowing. My feeling is that there's no reason why the Voice should be limited to Aiel; other people could have the necessary state of mind to perform the act of Singing. The Aiel are special only in that they constitute an entire culture whose purpose is to cultivate the Voice. I would guess that any given individual, whether "genetically" Aiel or not, could perform the Seed Singing if they had been raised among the Aiel. If that's the case, then there's no reason why other non-Aiel people who have arrived at some stage of spiritual enlightment couldn't also perform the Song.

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Chang: 2010-05-29

I also had the idea that this was the last battle for this turning of the wheel; but then I thought what if this is the last battle for this world. We know that Rand is the only man known to have been born specifically according to prophecy (though obviously no one would have heard of it before given the structure of ages, myths and legends) but this does raise the point of this battle being special. What if the creator made infinite worlds and the Dragon is supposed to defeat the dark one in every world and eventually end the cycle in that world, being then reborn in another world to continue the fight until the DO is destroyed there too, and so on. Sort of like a battle between the pattern and the DO across infinity. I dunno, it just seemed possible.

19

Zerospase: 2010-06-06

Hi All, (newbie here) I just wanted to say that this is a really good theory! Ever since Rand touched the TP, I figured that's what he would use to seal the Bore. This just totally blew my mind. Simply great! I figured I'd throw this in too:

Has anyone ever considered that at some point humans lose the ability to channel? I've read that it is believed that the 1st age is actually us at present. We obviously can't channel, and it is stated that channeling will be invented near the end of the 1st age by RJ. So I was thinking, maybe all of the channelers (both male and female) do use the OP to help Rand seal the bore. This time though instead of becoming tainted, it just erases it from humankind. As stated by Fel in the books, Rand has to seal the Bore well enough so that no one has any DO issues until the 2nd age comes again. This would also account for no channelers in the first age and us having no idea that the DO really even exists, except for legends of Satan, Bhaal, book of revelations, etc... Of course, we don't know if happens here or later, as all of this could be forgotten by say age #5, where the battle takes place again and it happens there. But it has to happen at some point. Not sure if someone else has mentioned this before or not. Just thought I'd throw it into the mix.

20

Dashain: 2010-06-07

Chang -

That's an interesting thought, but I don't think that your theory is correct. There is (as far as I'm aware) nothing in the books supporting that idea, and there are at least a few things that contradict it. For instance, in tGH, Verin (or Selene--can't remember which offhand) tells Rand that if the DO is freed in one world he is freed in all worlds, and that if he is trapped in one world he is trapped in all worlds. Now, this is a paradox, the meaning of which is far from completely clear, but what it shows, at the very least, is that there are linkages of some kind between the various worlds. What happens in one has consequences in the others. As I recall, Verin speculates that there is only one DO and one Creator, but multiple worlds (she also speculates that there may only be one T'A'R--more on that in a minute). If this is correct, the DO himself may be the linkage between the various worlds. That means that, if the DO were actually killed or destroyed, he would cease to exist in all worlds simultaneously. So, the theory that there is an endless series of Rands killing in the DO in parallel world after parallel world would be impossible.

On T'A'R: I've long believed (although I never developed the theory in detail) that TAR is the very grist from which all of the parallel universes are made. There is only one TAR, just as there is only one Wheel, one Pattern, one Creator and one DO. It is the "material", i.e. the substance, that is used by the Wheel to constitute (i.e. to bring into being) the various worlds.

As it's portrayed in the books, TAR consists of, in some sense, raw potentiality. A character who enters TAR can make essentially anything happen. There are no (apparent) limits. You can fly (Egwene), turn someone into an animal (Moghedien to Nynaeve (threat), Rahvin to Rand (actual)), conjure 3-D maps out of thin air (Egwene), give life and substance to nightmares/dreams/imagined scenarios (happens multiple times, but at least one instance is Moghedien to Egwene in tFoH in the Two Rivers). In TAR, anything with agency can cause (virtually) anything to come into being.

The state of TAR at any given moment reflects what is the most probable state across all parallel universes. Small details that are highly contingent (the location of personal objects, for example) are highly fluid and constantly changing. Witness the way that the letters from the box on Elaida's desk change while they're being read. A small object like a letter is more likely to change places than a large one like a castle, and this higher probability is reflected in a greater instability of the object in TAR. Extrapolating from this, it stands to reason that the physical configuration of TAR at any given time (i.e. where buildings are, where cities are, and, in the extreme, where rivers and mountains are) is an instatiation of the most probable state of affairs across all possible states of affairs (i.e. across all parallel universes).

If this inference is correct, it reveals a few very interesting things about Randland. First, the fact that the basic physical layout of TAR is so stable (buildings usually don't flicker, cities don't change places) reveals that this layout is substantially more probable than any of the alternatives. We know that there ARE alternatives. For exmaple, in tGH, Rand et al. enter an alternate world via Portal Stone in which the history of the last 1000 years was radically different. Artur Hawkwing lost against the Trollocs, and civilization in the Westlands was destroyed. No buildings, no villages, no farms, no people. BUT--this world felt very "thin" or "weak", meaning that it was very unlikely to occur. As one would expect, TAR does not reflect that world (at least not in its outward manifestations; obviously the *possibility* of that world exists in TAR and is factored into the "computations" that determine what TAR actually looks like).

The inference also reveals something else. Notice that whenever anyone from the books enters TAR, it LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THEIR WORLD, minus the absence/instability of small and highly contingent personal objects. This is true right down to some fairly minor details, like who happens to be Amyrlin, or which novice quarters belong to whom etc. This perfect alignment between the appearance of TAR and the world in which the books take place suggests that (in a nice Paglossian turn) the latter is, like its mirror in TAR, the most probable of all possible worlds.

(There is a caveat to this, namely that it is possible that there is a "mirror" for each world an a person only ever enters the mirror for *their* world. But if that were true, why do we observe an instability in small contingent objects? The only way to account for that phenomenon is to postulate that there is only one TAR, which exists as a kind of wave function representing all possible realities simultaneously. Two closely related states can easily flip with one another or be mistaken for one another(letter A about Tanchico becomes letter B about Ebou Dar), but the overall distribution of probabilities can easily be made out.)

The third thing this inference reveals is a possible explanation for why it is that entering TAR "in the flesh" causes one to lose part of one's humanity. The very nature of humanity in the WOT is to be a thread in the Pattern, i.e. to be bound in some sense by a higher (or at least larger) purpose. The shape of one's life is to a large extent determined by one's position in the overall weave, and the range of possible actions is limited by the rules of the physical universe (i.e. only one possibility ever occurs at a time). However, TAR provides individuals (i.e. possessors of agency) who consciously enter TAR with the ability to manipulate the range of possibilities and cause unlikely things to occur (e.g. making your clothes spontaneously change while you're still wearing them). Thyus, while in TAR, one is, to a certain extent, free of the Pattern. Now, if one enters through dreaming, this is not that big a deal; one's soul retains a link to "its" world and thus its place in the Pattern. Part of the soul in fact always remains in the body (this is why channelers can't channel as strongly as they can in the real world). This why a person who enters TAR too deeply (like Perrin and Faile did at the end of the tDR), run the risk of death; the link to one's body could be severed or dissolve, causing one to die. However, a person entering in the flesh is still inside their body. They are both as fully in TAR as it is possible to be (and thus completely free of the Pattern), and do not run the risk of killing their bodies in the process. This means that a person entering TAR in the flesh has essentially completely left the Pattern. Since one's very humanity is defined by (or flows from) the confines and restrictions of the Pattern, this state of total freedom is destructive. It's basically like a real-life version of nihilism + solipsism, which, as we know, are not particularly conducive to having a well-adjusted personality (because, well, there's nothing to adjust TO).

I've kind of drifted off topic here, and I'm not really sure how to tie this back into my theory in a clean and succinct way, so I'll just leave it at that and hope that people found my speculations interesting.

Zerospace -

You're probably right that it will happen at some point, but I don't think it will happen within the time-span of the WOT series. Channelling appears to be an inherent ability of humankind. The pre-AOL world was not one in which humans didn't have the ability to channel; rather, it was merely one in which they didn't know how. Thus, between now (i.e. the Third Age) and the First Age, there has to be some catclysmic event that will cause humans to lose all knowledge of channelling and the OP. I don't see an event on this scale occuring at this point, not least because there are a bunch of quotes from Fourth Age histories scattered throughout the books that refer to events surrounding the Last Battle. This suggests that there is some degree of continuity between the Third and Fourth Ages (knowledge is somehow passed on and preserved), so I doubt that the requisite cataclysmic event will occur at this point in time.

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Mazrim: 2010-08-08

Dashain-
That is an excellent theory. I have to agree that it is a very good possibility that the Bore will be sealed that way.

Zerospace-
I don't think our Age is the first Age for the following reason. I recently posed this question to Brandon Sanderson through e-mail:

I have a question about a small paragraph in The Shadow Rising. I know you got all of Mr. Jordan's notes on the Wheel of Time so maybe you can help me. It's in the chapter "What Lies Hidden" and is on page 209 of my paperback copy. Egwene is in the Panarch's Palace and she sees "A silvery thing in another cabinet, like a three pointed star inside a circle, was made of no substance she knew; it was softer than metal, scratched and gouged, yet even older than any of the ancient bones. From ten paces she could sense pride and vanity." I was just wondering if that could be a Mercedes-Benz symbol from our Age. It seems to fit the description pretty well. Sorry for taking up your time for such an insignificant question.

I got this reply from Mr. Sanderson: In answer to your question...You got it! It's a silver-plated, plastic Mercedes-Benz hood ornament!

So...Our Age is so far in the past in relation to the Third Age that a plastic hood ornament is sensed by Egwene to be much older than fossilized bones. I think that our Age has to at least be the fifth or sixth Age.

22

terez: 2010-08-09

@Mazrim - it might have been from a previous Turning of the Wheel. Also, for future reference, you don't really have to ask Brandon about these things; we picked up on most of them years ago, and we've gotten many of them confirmed by RJ.

23

Mazrim: 2010-08-11

Terez-

I am new to this site (I think it a very fun site by the way) and while you say that you've got most of this info confirmed by Mr. Jordan, I have not. Mr. Jordan passed away before I ever thought to ask that question and instead of searching through a lot of interviews for the answer to a question I didn't know had been asked before, I decided to e-mail the person I knew had his notes and who I thought might have the answer.

24

terez: 2010-08-12

@Mazrim - I understand. Just saying, we have a lot of resources to offer if you are interested in this sort of thing.

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Zarquan: 2010-09-15

@Ozymandias (very, very cool name - fits with the WOT theme perfectly). Re Callandor: Don't forget that it is "flawed." Perhaps when the time comes to seal the DO away the OP can be channeled through Callandor. I'm envisioning a backflash when the OP touches the DO, which shatters Callandor - like a fuse blowing - so the strike-back never touches the OP. Hence, no taint.

It seems to me that RJ wouldn't have created a super-powerful object like Callandor and then rendered it pretty much useless unless he had something in mind. If he'd wanted to have it used once or twice and then retired, he could have had it melt or explode or something (c.f. the Choedan Kal). Having it hanging around in the background being studied, and having it mentioned from time to time, suggests to me that we'll see it turn up later in some surprising way, or in some predictable way but with a twist.

So, the OP may very well be used on the DO directly. I have a suspicion that we will see most everything in the entire series thrown at the DO - over the course of several chapters when the Last Battle finally happens. Fain, the Aiel, the Malkieris, Callandor, secret things from the vaults of Tar Valon, renegade and turncoat Forsaken and Darkfriends, the gholam, the Whitecloaks, the 'finns, collared Forsaken used as weapons against the DO... just everything.

I'm expecting something like the Battle at Helm's Deep combined with the Burning of Atlanta, the Crossing of the Red Sea, Butch & Sundance vs. the Colombian Army, the final battle in Avatar, and the climactic catastrophe scene at the end of 2012, all rolled in together, only better. For good measure, throw in the battle scenes in "300", the Black Knight from Holy Grail, and all the gee-whiz magic-flinging of the Harry Potter movies. Then bump it up by an order of magnitude or two.

Hope I'm not setting the bar too low.

26

AutomatedTeller: 2010-09-28

I joined just to react to this.

I really like the theory - it's very interesting that the Aiel only sing during battle, and what could be a greater battle than sealing the hole in the pattern?

27

PerrinMcBeardy: 2010-10-01

@Dashain I love the theory. This is very creative and I love that the song is tied in with health, growth, and sealing the dark one's prison. I'm sure that the song will be important before the end, but I always thought it ended with being the solution for the current lack of food. It would be found in the 11th hour to save everyone from starvation. I like your added twist. I also like the idea that Callendor will be used again by a man and a woman in unison to touch the dark one, but it's built in flaw would prevent the counter stroke.

I feel like you might be getting a few things wrong in your subsequent comments.

On killing the dark one ... I'm pretty sure that the dark one cannot be killed (and Moridin agrees with me) any more than the force of entropy could be killed. The Dark One is the force of death or of destruction, and it is sentient, but I don't believe that such a force could be killed by any power. However, if it could, then in my opinion the pattern would cease to exist as well. How can life exist without death? The process of death and decay is what feeds most all life.

On T'A'R, I like your idea that it is the substance used by the wheel to create the pattern, cool idea! However, I think that your idea that T'A'R could be showing those inside it things from other universes is incorrect. The flickering of less substantial things like papers and the shoes in the cobblers shop (in the Gathering Storm) has been explained in the text. Anything that moves frequently in the real world is ephemeral in T'A'R, papers being the least substantial. Also it's not the size of the object that makes it more or less ephemeral, it just happens to be that large things like castles are around and unchanging for very long periods of time, so their representations in TAR don't shift. But if there was, for example, a camp that was using huge logs in piles to build houses, then in TAR those stacks of logs would be constantly changing despite the large size of the individual logs. Doors are sometimes closed and sometimes open, because in the real world their state changes frequently not because of their size. I believe that TAR is not a "[reflection of] what is the most probable state across all parallel universes" at a specific point in time, it is a representation of their world at around their time. If that were not the case, even with your idea that it shows the most likely state of all possible worlds, then we should have seen some evidence at some point of the characters stumbling across something from another possible word while in TAR, such as a paper stating that this or that character was killed, when we know it is not true. In any case, whether it could be true or not, it will not be touched on in the series. It's just too complicated and isn't a concept who's explanation would help further the story. Maybe someone could ask Mr. Sanderson, it's definitely interesting.

On entering TAR in the flesh. There isn't any actual evidence that entering TAR in the flesh is in of itself destructive to a person. The wise ones state that it is evil and that you lose something of yourself by doing it, but I suspect that this is not a statement of fact, more what they have come to believe is fact. Now, we know that it is MUCH more dangerous to enter in the flesh, and we know that while in TAR in the flesh, it is possible to lose your humanity, as almost happened to Rand in tFoH against Raven. While in TAR in the flesh, someone strong their could remake you and as long as you remained trapped in TAR, you would remain that way. Brandon Sanderson very nearly answered this question by stating that if Rand were to enter TAR and make himself a hand, that when he left TAR, his TAR hand would not follow. That means that if you were turned into a horse while physically in TAR, you would become yourself again if you were lead by someone else out of TAR. Constructs of TAR are not real outside of TAR.

On the pattern. I agree with you that when travelling using the TP, you are not entering the Dark One's prison, nor are you creating another bore. As you said that is far to easy. Moridin could accomplish his goals just by traveling constantly, thus poking thousands of bore holes through which the DO could come. Plus we have seen no evidence when Moridin travels that he is in the presence of the DO the way you do when people are standing at SG. However, I disagree with your assumption that when you enter TAR or when you are skimming, you have completely left the pattern. I think in both cases you are still within the pattern, time still flows (if slightly differently). Vacuoles are likely something different, since time does not pass for things closed inside a vacuole. My guess is that a vacuole is a space constructed using the Power to be locked outside the pattern, but I don't understand how that would work.

In any case, I love the theory and I can't wait to see what happens!

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Dashain: 2010-10-05

Perrinmcbeardy -
Thanks for your comments. A couple of points in reply:

1. I don't think I ever suggested (or intended to suggest) that the DO could or would be killed. I was simply explaining why Chang's theory that the Dragon is killing the DO in a series of one parallel world after another wasn't possible, according to what we know about the relationship between the DO and parallel worlds. I don't know whether killing the DO would destabilize reality in the way you suggest (though it's an interesting possibility), but I do agree that there is no force in Randland that can literally "kill" him.

2. As for TAR: you're right that the books "explain" the flickering by saying that this only occurs to objects that move frequently in the real world (this is what I meant by "highly contingent" states of affairs). But this is more of an observation than it is an explanation. It doesn't really elucidate the underlying mechanism that causes the flickering to occur.

There are two questions that immediately arise from the observation you made: a. why do only "ephemeral" or "impermanent" things flicker? and b. what, precisely, is this "flickering"? I think my theory can provide an answer to both of those questions. But I may need to get a little more detailed in my explanation to convince you.

We know from the books that almost anything is possible in TAR. A Dreamer can change their clothes, conjure physical objects (like an a'dam) into being, fly, or transform other Dreamers into animals. So, if ANYTHING is possible, why is it that TAR looks exactly like the Randland from the books? Why A rather than not-A, or B, or C, or D? The fact that we consistently see A rather than not-A indicates that there must be some powerful agency, or a law of TAR, that causes TAR to assume the form that it does. If there were no such law or agency, and the appearance of TAR was truly arbitrary, then the shape of TAR should change every time a person enters it.

You could postulate a number of different theories as to what this "law" is. One possible hypothesis is that the nature of TAR is to "mirror" the real world. However, this theory, if left unmodified in its simplest form, has some problems. For instance, we know for a fact that there are multiple parallel worlds. So which world is being "mirrored"? You could, in theory, postulate that there is one TAR for every parallel world. But Verin tells us in tGH that there is only one TAR for all parallel worlds. She may be wrong about that, but since the info came from a fragment of an Age of Legends text, I find it to be fairly credible, and will assume that Verin is correct.

So - if TAR is a mirror, and there is only one TAR for all possible worlds, why does it reflect "our" version of Randland, and not some other one? Why, for instance, does it not mirror the Grolm-infested version that Rand visited through the portal stone with Selene? Furthermore, why does it show only a single, stable reflection? I.e., why does it not shift from one reality to another?

In order to account for these questions, the theory that TAR is a "mirror" has to be modified somewhat. There has to be some way of explaining why "our" Randland is the one being represented.

My view is that the simple version of the mirror theory is mistaken about what is being "reflected" by TAR. It doesn't reflect any single one of the various parallel worlds. Instead, it reflects all of them at the same time.

The parallel worlds are all as "real" as one another. They all "exist", and many are interconnected by portal stones. Thus, there is no single "real" world. Rather, reality consists of all possible parallel worlds. The WOT universe is a form of multiverse, branching out at every single point where a decision is made.

However, we know that not all parallel worlds are equally "substantial". The grolm-infested world that Rand visited felt "thin" to him, and it seemed to fade away entirely in his peripheral vision. The reason, Loial theorized, was that this was a very "unlikely" world; i.e. that it depended, for its existence, on a very unlikely event (the defeat of Hawkwing by the Trollocs). This tells us that not all worlds are equally probable, and that the probability of a given world is correlated with its "solidity". The more probable a world is (or rather, the more probable the events on which that world depends), the more solid it will feel.

My theory is that TAR reflects all possible worlds at the same time, and that, in that process, the worlds that are most "solid", i.e most probable, have a greater impact on its overall appearance than those that are less probable. The end result is a TAR that looks like the subset of the most likely possible worlds.

These worlds will all look very alike. Indeed, many of them will be virtually identical, except for minor variances (Mr. So and So has brown shoes and black shoes; he could wear either one today; there is a parallel world for each possibility, but those worlds are otherwise identical). So their combined "impression" on TAR will be very strong indeed.

In my view, this theory is perfectly consistent with (indeed, allows to explain) the way that TAR is seen to behave. The appearance of TAR is a representation of the most likely set of events across all possible parallel worlds. When event A is 99.9999% likely, and event B is 0.0001% likely, TAR will represent event A and event B will be imperceptible. However, if event A is 48% likely and event B is 52% likely, then TAR will appear to shift between one and the other.

The probability that Mr. So and So left his door open is, say, 45%. So if you visit his house in TAR, the door may shift from being open to being closed. However, the probability that he burned his house down in a fit of rage because he stubbed his toe on the staircase is only 0.0000000001%. So the house will not shift between existence and non-existence. It will simply appear solid.

Now if I'm correct, this means that "our" Randland lies within the subset of parallel worlds that are Extremely Likely to Occur, because TAR looks and feels very much like "our" Randland. This is true not only in terms of the overall physical landscape (which cities are where, etc.), but also right down to fairly small decisions. Certain events in Randland that one would tend to think are fairly "ephemeral", like whether Elayne gets Novice Quarters A or Novice Quarters B, appear very solid in TAR. So it may be that "our" Randland is, in fact, the Most Likely World.

It's interesting to consider all of this in conjunction with ta'veren effects and the relationship between probabilities and the Pattern more generally. For instance, the insides of the Tower have been totally rearranged several times. This indicates that the influence of the DO scrambles the "normal" distribution of probabilities in some way. In a similar way, it appears that the Wheel manipulates probabilities as a means of weaving the Pattern into its desired shape. Ta'veren have the effect of scrambling probabilities, but in a direction desired by the Wheel. They make very unlikely, but highly desirable, events occur.

I'm not sure exactly what all of this implies, but it suggests to me that the war between the DO and the Wheel is being waged on the level of probabilities. The Wheel needs to ensure that Weave X (i.e. the parallel world or subset of parallel worlds in which certain key events take place) is sufficiently likely. Weave X is, I would imagine, the weave needed to keep the DO imprisoned. To that end, the Wheel spins out ta'veren to nudge the probability distribution in the right direction. Similarly, the DO uses his agency, which is outside the Pattern, to nudge the distribution of probabilities in the direction of Weave Y, which is a weave that is unable to contain him. Thus, in times when the Shadow is especially strong, the Wheel spins out its Super Duper Most Powerfullest Ta'veren, the Dragon, because the probability distribution needs an extra large nudge.

In fact, it may be that the actual locus of the struggle between the DO and the Wheel is TAR, rather than any one particular parallel world. TAR is, in a sense, "reality", or the sum total of all real things. Any given parallel world is nothing but a fragment. This would explain why all the ta'veren exist in TAR between lives. Ta'veren are a destabilizing force, and need to be kept out of the Pattern (i.e. need to be kept from affecting the distribution of probabilities), except in those cases where the probability distribution needs to be pushed in one direction or another.

Anyway, that was fairly longwinded, but hopefully it does a better job of explaining why I think my theory is correct.

29

Homeschool: 2010-10-06

@PERRINMCBEARDY and @DASHAIN - I usually think of T'A'R as being a manifestation of the design of the pattern. Whether there are many T'A'R (one for each world), or one (the master design), or one which incorporates all (keeping people apart based on which reality they belong to) or whatever... My belief is that the place that dreamwalkers visit is essentially a viewing room, where they can see the design of the pattern.

If this is the case, none of it exists except when someone is there to observe it (Schroedinger, anyone?) The probabilities are less-defined sections of the pattern, or optional points - things where one of a few states is needed in order for the pattern to weave appropriately, but it doesn't matter which.

There's an interesting situation, in that wild animals can exist there, as well as the heroes who are tied to the pattern. Wolves exist there, though only those who've died (and possibly those who sleep?) People can touch it on accident, though it seems to be uncontrolled for most. I suspect this is because most people (and domesticated animals) are not designed in - their presence in the world has little bearing on the flow of the pattern.

Min's visions, suspected to be "reading the pattern" also lend some weight to this. Most people rarely have anything to read, with the occasional situation like a death, marriage, etc. People with a significant role to play in the pattern generally have many things to read, suggesting either that they're filling a needed role, or that they are specifically tied to the pattern. Example: Leya, the Tuatha'an who visited Moiraine in the camp of the Dragon, held the role of saving Perrin with her sacrifice. Anyone, could have filled this role, but her position and decisions placed her in the path on the pattern which pushed her into that role. Perrin's ta'veren nature may even have drawn her in to fill an empty position in the pattern.

This would support how Birgitte being pushed out of T'A'R was both possible and also nearly deadly - she arrived in the pattern at a point where she wasn't intended, with no ties to her thread - her near-death was a result of this odd isolation and misplacement. Elayne's bonding her probably had a very different effect than intended - not saving her by giving her special strength and gifts, but by tying Birgitte's thread to Elayne's, giving her an anchor to keep her in the pattern until the pattern was ready for Birgitte to be in it.

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AK: 2010-10-06

@Dashain:
A well-crafted theory, but IMO the explanation is somewhat different:

First, I think we can assume a multi-world tree pretty much in line with current quantum theory (implicit in everybody's arguments, AFAIK). But for reasons I'm not going to go into (right now), I suspect the actual number of various alternate worlds is aleph-naught, whereas the number of possible describable worlds is aleph-one (see the foregoing links for a discussion of Cantorian infinities).

Now, IMO T'A'R actually contains a mirror of each actual alternate world, laid out in a fractional dimensional pattern where the "distance" between any two worlds is (roughly) equivalent to the "impact" of the qualitative differences. When dreamwalkers enter T'A'R they are loosely tethered to the actual world they came from, however that doesn't prevent a sort of "wobble" slipping around from one "nearby" world to another. Presumably this could be minimized by firmly concentrating the will on staying in the world of origin, however this would presumably require a good (fractal/quantum dynamical) image of what's being concentrated on, and the wise ones appear to lack this, instead taking the shift of minor items for granted. (This may well have also been true of dreamwalkers in the AoL, assuming some loss of understanding of quantum and fractal theory in the time since our age.)

Note that there's a (probable) difference between the "impact" mentioned above, and probability. Low impact differences could easily combine their probabilities, producing a higher-probability "merged" world, where, for instance, differences between a blue vase and a red bowl on a peasant's table are irrelevant to the actions of an Amyrlin. The same might easily be true of which papers happen to be in the Amyrlin's box (much less in what order), compared to the huge impact of whether or not she had (for instance) demoted a sister to Accepted.

In this regard, consider that each "soul" exists in a sort of Schrodinger box created by the brain and nervous system, which limit the ability to experience differences between similar alternate worlds. It may well be that each soul exists across multiple worlds, linking them together. It's interesting to speculate what happens (in this scenario) when that soul enters T'A'R. (For that matter, could it be that the different versions of the world experienced represent different "slivers" of the broad band or worlds the observing soul occupies (when awake)?)

I'd also like to bring up the fact that when somebody's channeling, their senses are much sharper than normal (especially eyesight). If we assume that normal eyesight is roughly at the limit of what's possible with the existing structure of rods, cones, and neurons (highly likely in the real world, and I'd guess RJ knew it), the enormously improved eyesight when channeling could result from some sort of improved "integration" of various differing alternate worlds that the single soul inhabits. The same soul would inhabit many worlds differing only in tiny details of how the rods, cones, and neurons are placed in the eye, and channeling "entangles" these worlds, allowing an integrated eyesight that's been improved by several orders of magnitude by a sort of "quantum computing" effect making use of this entanglement. This would probably qualify as a by-product of the actual process, which could, however, be based on quantum entanglement of the entire nervous system (and not just the peripheral senses). If this is the case, we might expect channeling and dreamwalking to have some odd and unexpected interactions.

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Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-07-07

To get back to the subject, I like this theory very much, and I think it will happen this way. And if it doesn't, it should have. By the way, I once read (here or on the Wheel of Time Wikia) RJ composed songs himself. It would be an extra reason. O, and maybe some people think the Blight is too large to sing whole. But you don't need to sing in every piece. You only need to sing at Shayol Ghul. With the DO "singed" away, the Blight will disappear. But this also mean you can't use Nym. Artificial creatures can't pass trough a gateway and survive. Or the Nym should be made at SG, but I don't think they have time.

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Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-07-08

Ok. I was reading on the Wheel of Time Wikia, and then I saw a quote:

“Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit into Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day.”

It's about the last part: "to spit into Sightblinder's eye on the last day." I think this means they directly will do something against the DO. Not by fighting Trollocs, but by attacking (and defeating) the DO directly. Most likely something like this.

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JOS: 2011-07-11

I like this theory for the sole reason that the Aiel are referred to as "marathon-running super-ninjas." I want to be one of those.

Okay, not entirely truthful, I like the "Darth Rand" line and the theory in general. There are some great ideas here, I think the Ogier will play a major role in TG, and it hopefully it won't be by "putting long handles on their axes."

On a tangent (like those before) . . .

@PerrinMcBeardy: What if the pattern would allow for the DO to be destroyed? In this case, I think the pattern would take another source of evil (Fain) and replace the DO, effectively removing Fain from the pattern at the moment the DO was killed (I am still formulating how this would happen, but it is related to Rand's wounds etc). A similar balance would be maintained between light and dark, though tipped much stronger to the light than before. A weaker and less experienced DO would need ages to build up the "Power" and dank nastiness that the current DO has. When the age comes again that the pattern allows for his release, the new DO will be indistingishable from the old, despite past malice between the two (at least to the new age they wouldn't care or know any better).

So far as Ishy's opinion: What would the DO have to gain by revealing he is not a "god" but just a disgusting, twisted reject of the pattern? If true, it is not a secret he would let Ishy and co. in on. I know this is a stretch, but we have seen Fain descend further into darkness and madness and ascend in power, all while slipping free of the pattern. If Rand and co. could chuck that sucker in a vacuole (or into the current DO's prison), there would again be an imprisoned bad dude held outside the pattern, conviently available in ages to come, to be released when people again seek forbidden power.

This also supports my suspicion that the Creator and DO are not of equal or comparable origin (or non-origin as it may be) but that the Creator is infinite, omnipotent, etc and limits his hand and power in Randland by choice and by the wheel (which is of his own making), while the DO uses all the power that he can find in any way that he can, but is restricted (imprisoned) by the wheel. The Creater is then comparable to an author (hmm, RJ?) that can turn a story any way he wants, but is limited by the rules with which the world is built.

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Oden: 2011-07-12

I see a strong connection between this theory and the loony winner. The differnce beeing that this one has a more serious feeling to it whilst Wheel of Time: The Musical is jestful.

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Dedicated21: 2011-07-12

Your theory just helped me with another problem. Aviendha's visions in the Rhuidean Ter'angreal! If she want's to avoid the destruction of the Aiel people, she needs to be conviced by the Tinkers that the Aiel need to return to the way of the leaf in order to re-weave the pattern over the bore in the DO's prison. This actually makes a lot of sense. Without the Aiel serving in a peaceful way, all Rand can do is re-seal the bore and shut the DO away for another 3000 years allowing people to remember him. No new AOL! Only Aviendha's vision of the animalistic Aiel people. This means that the Aiel have to allow the Seanchan to conquer the world after TG and not take offense at the Seanchan's chaining of Wise One channelers.

There is much ji in them reclaiming their oaths by re-swearing to the Way. Especially since the only other peoples who could fulfil that role, the Ayamar peoples have committed genocide. If we're thinking why can't the Tinkers do it, it's because they're human and Aram's rejection of the way of the leave shows that it isn't an entire people group. the Aiel are the only ones left who can commit and entire people group to the Way of the Leaf.

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Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-07-13

@Dedicated21: I don't think the WO must be chained, but I do think the greatest chance for a new AoL is in letting the Seanchan rule. They do it well.

Maybe Mat is able to convince them channelers are not evil. I think it will be the only way. But you're right, it could be a piece to solve this problem.

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cyribis: 2012-08-15

I really enjoyed this theory - it's along the same lines that I've been considering for the past couple of years. To me, it makes the most sense of anything on how to seal the DO without using the OP.

Well done.