eroes of the Horn and the Dark One
by Ozymandias: 2006-01-05 | 1.25 out of 10 (8 votes)
The Dark Oneâ€™s control over dead souls is absolute. When Ishamael, as Baâ€™alzamon, appears to Rand in the Eye of the World, he claims he has total dominance over the dead.
â€śYou will dance upon Aes Sedai strings until you die. And then you will be mine. The dead belong to me!â€ť (tEotW, The Stag and the Lion)
â€śIt matters little whether I have you alive or dead, except to you, and what power you might have. You will serve me, or your soul willâ€ť (tEotW, Against the Shadow)
Now Ishamael is obviously not the most trustworthy of sources. And of course, Ishamael does go to great lengths to keep Rand alive for no real benefit of his own. I mean, the Dark One wants Rand because he wants his power, but Ishamael must know that turning the Dragon means giving up his own status as most powerful/most favored disciple of the Dark One in favor of the new Naeâ€™blis; Rand. So that would imply that the Dark One has some specific reason for wanting to keep Rand alive, because otherwise you just kill him, get him out of the way, and thatâ€™s that.
But on the other hand, Ishamaelâ€™s madness accounts for this, as the other Chosen seem to think that Ishamael believed he WAS the Dark One by the time he died. And given his weird notions about balance and the struggle between good and evil, there may have been other motives. The point is, I think it is safe to say that the Dark One does have control over dead souls. This is reinforced by and episode with Kari alâ€™ Thor.
TITLE: Eye of the World, CHAPTER: 51 - Against the Shadow
His mother's lips trembled. Tears trickled down her cheeks; each one burned him like acid. "The Lord of the Grave is stronger than he once was, my son," she said. "His reach is longer. The Father of Lies has a honeyed tongue for unwary souls. My son. My only, darling son. I would spare you if I could, but he is my master, now, his whim, the law of my existence. I can but obey him, and grovel for his favor. Only you can free me. Please, my son. Please help me. Help me. Help me! PLEASE!"
We see that the Lord of the Grave can in fact control dead souls. Now, I would say this was all illusion, but Kari alâ€™ Thor spends a great deal of time warning her son not to believe Ishamael, on almost everything but that one point. She denies everything he says except that he controls her. Now, some will say this is also illusion, just well crafted, but at some point we have to abandon skepticism and admit that she must be under his control.
TITLE: Eye of the World CHAPTER: 41 - Old Friends, and New Threats
"What do you think to gain, for yourself or anyone else, by dying?" the Aes Sedai asked. Her voice was level, yet sharp. "If the Lord of the Grave has gained as much freedom to touch the Pattern as I fear, he can reach you dead more easily than alive, now. Dead, you can help no one, not the people who have helped you, not your friends and family back in the Two Rivers. The Shadow is falling over the world, and none of you can stop it dead."
TITLE: Dragon Reborn CHAPTER: 51 - Bait for the Net
"No!" Liandrin's short, honey-colored braids swung as her head snapped around. "Always you kill too quickly, and only the Great Lord can make use of the dead." She smiled at the woman held to the chair by invisible bonds. "You saw the soldiers who came with us, old woman. You know who waits for us in the Stone. The High Lord Samon, he will not be pleased if you speak of what happened inside your house today. If you hold your tongue, you will live, perhaps to serve him again one day. If you speak, you will serve only the Great Lord of the Dark, from beyond the grave. Which do you choose?"
Here we have yet more evidence of the widespread knowledge that the Dark One can control dead souls, and beyond that, that his control of said souls is absolute. He can twist the dead to serve him in whatever capacity he so chooses, even to the point of putting them in new bodies. There are, however, two exceptions to this almost universal rule that need to be explored.
One of course is balefire. The Dark One himself admits he cannot control balefired souls. The other exception is, of course, Heroes of the Horn. The idea that walking in the Light is enough to grant you immunity is obviously superstition meant to reassure people. But being a Hero of the Horn brings up interesting ideas. For one, it shows that the Wheel is more powerful than the Dark One, since the Wheel has the power to withhold souls from the Dark One in order to maintain them as corrective devices. The Dark One has no such similar measures. This lack of control on the part of the Dark One, to me, implies that the Heroes do not only have their souls withheld from death in some way, but that theyâ€™re totally separate from the Pattern in general. Here is the reasoning.
We know that a manâ€™s life has a thread. That thread is woven into the Pattern, and then when he dies, it is cut short and ends. This system, which is, without a doubt, the system, cannot work with Heroes of the Horn. Heroes of the Horn are souls which weâ€™re so dedicated to some ideal (how theyâ€™re chosen is irrelevant for this), that when their life ended, they were saved from the Dark Oneâ€™s influence (thereby keeping such important â€ścorrective devicesâ€ť out of the hands of the Dark One). So now we have one soul, which we know can only have one thread, which is hovering outside the Pattern. In theory, this soul CANNOT re-enter the Pattern, because it already has a thread, and one cannot just take a thread, snip it off, and then start it again a little later. It just doesnâ€™t work like that. Neither can their thread have been continuous throughout; since we know that they DID die at some point. So what, we ask ourselves, is happening with these Heroes of the Horn.
Heroes of the Horn actually possess other bodies, and dislodge the soul held therein. Thereby, the Dark One gets his soul once that thread is over with, and the whole one-soul one-thread principle remains inviolate. Upon death of the body, the soul of the Hero returns to wherever it goes to await its next host. This way the Wheel is free to recycle its Heroes without giving them over to the absolute control the Dark Once exercises over souls.