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akomi's Soul Is Brown

by terez: 2010-11-09 | 7 out of 10 (5 votes)

Recent Categories: All About Nakomi

WARNING: THIS THEORY HAS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT.

When I read the Nakomi scene, Verin came to mind immediately. I still read it skeptically, but it was like every time she spoke, I was more convinced it was Verin. I am pretty sure that this one will end up on the 'unrevealed' list, so I'm not really interested in arguing it much on the internet, but I figured I would lay out the evidence.

As to how she learned that Aviendha would be going to Rhuidean...there are a number of possible ways. She might have gone through the Rings of Rhuidean herself. If Sorilea really is a Darkfriend, she could have easily learned of it through her; Verin conferred with the Blacks in the Tower before she visited Egwene, so it's probably safe to assume that she was not avoiding her compatriots between the time that she left Rand and the time that she met with Egwene. There was no reason to - her actions were circumspect - and it would have been suspicious if she'd dropped off their radar entirely. She might have even been ordered to kill Aviendha.

Aviendha thinks that Nakomi cannot channel, but I think there is at least one rather large clue that she could:

TITLE - Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 39 - In the Three-fold Land

A sound came from outside her camp.

Aviendha opened her eyes and jumped up, embracing the Source. A piece of her was pleased that she now instinctively looked to the One Power, rather than spears that were not there. She wove a globe of light.

...

"Greetings, Wise One," the woman said, bowing her head. "Might I share water with you? I am traveling far, and saw your fire." The woman had furrowed skin, and she could not channel - Aviendha could sense that easily.

"I am not yet a Wise One," Aviendha said, wary. "I currently take my second path into Rhuidean."

"Then you will soon find much honor," the woman said. "I am Nakomi. I promise that I mean you no harm, child."

Suddenly, Aviendha felt foolish. The woman had approached without weapons drawn. Aviendha had been distracted by her thoughts; that was why she hadn't heard Nakomi approach. "Of course, please."

This scene is a nice reminder of the first time that Egwene met Aviendha:

TITLE - The Dragon Reborn
CHAPTER: 38 - Maidens of the Spear

Egwene sighed. And colored when she met Elayne's eye. Well, I am not a Daughter-Heir, to know all these things. I will learn them, though. As she looked around at the Aiel women, she realized that far from soothing them, she had put them even more on edge. If they try anything, I will hold them with Air. She had no idea whether she could seize four people at once, but she opened herself to saidar, wove the flows in Air and held them ready. The Power pulsed in her with eagerness to be used. No glow surrounded Elayne, and she wondered why. Elayne looked right at her and shook her head.

"I would never harm an Aes Sedai," Aviendha said abruptly. "I would have you know that. Whether Dailin lives or dies, it makes no difference in that. I would never use this" – she lifted one short spear a trifle – "against any woman. And you are Aes Sedai." Egwene had the sudden feeling that the woman was trying to soothe them.

"I knew that," Elayne said, as if talking to Aviendha, but her eyes told Egwene the words were for her. "No one knows much of your people, but I was taught that Aiel never harm women unless they are – what did you call it? – wedded to the spear."

Bain seemed to think Elayne was failing to see truth clearly again. "That is not exactly the way of it, Elayne. If a woman not wedded came at me with weapons, I would drub her until she knew better of it. A man... A man might think a woman of your lands was wedded if she bore weapons; I do not know. Men can be strange."

Egwene embraces the Source, and immediately, Aviendha tells her that she means her no harm. Egwene has no idea that this is because Aviendha could (most likely) see the glow around her, or sense her holding the Power, so she keeps holding it, thinking Aviendha can't know the difference. This would explain why the Wise ones thought Aviendha was long overdue to start her training. In the passage with Nakomi, Aviendha embraces the Source, and Nakomi tells her that she means no harm, and Aviendha feels foolish, despite knowing that the woman cannot channel and therefore would not know the difference. The woman 'had approached without weapons drawn'. Which seems to be a direct reference to what Bain said, about an unwedded woman coming at her with weapons.

Verin has known of hiding one's ability to channel since she faced Graendal at the Cleansing, at the latest, and since Egwene had lifted the restriction on teaching that particular weave in ACOS, it's not unreasonable to assume that Nynaeve taught it to them. Both Nynaeve and Cadsuane used the weave when they went against Semirhage in KOD. Inverted weaves and Illusion explain every odd thing that occurred in the scene. Leanne from Theoryland asked Brandon if Verin knew the weaves, and he gave her a MAFO, which would seem to indicate that if Verin was Nakomi, whe wasn't using Illusion or hiding her ability to channel. Unless, of course, he was just trying to be sneaky. Then Tam asked Maria on Twitter:

Matt Hatch on Twitter 8 November 2010
Did Verin know the weave to hide her channeling ability from being detected by another female channeler?

Maria Simons
Sneaky sneaky Verin knew a lot. And that's all I have to say at the moment.

But Maria likes loony theories. And Verin. So we're not much more enlightened than we were in the first place.

But let's assume that the simplest explanation is true. Brandon has learned how to give Aes Sedai answers, but the truth of the matter is that it is easy to see him not having a clue (despite the Theoryland tshirt) what Leanne was getting at (Tam would have made him more suspicious) because he never had to write Verin using the weave. I think it unlikely he would be clueless, and I also think it unlikely he would knowingly kill a good Verin theory so soon after the release, but assuming he was clueless, there is still also a possibility that Aviendha fell asleep, and was pulled into Tel'aran'rhiod, or that maybe Verin entered her dream and controlled it. Tam thinks that this is what happened, but that it was the Wise Ones, rather than Verin. There is at least some evidence against that:

TITLE - The Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 52 - Need

"Elayne thinks you know all sorts of tricks with dreams. Is there any way I could get into Amathera's dreams to see if she is a Darkfriend?"

"Foolish girl." Bair's long hair swung as she shook her head. "If Aes Sedai, a foolish girl still. To step into another's dream is very dangerous unless she knows you and expects you. It is her dream, not as here. There, this Amathera will control all. Even you."

...

"If I cannot enter her dream, can I bring her into the World of Dreams? I need some way to talk to her."

"We would not teach you that if we knew how," Amys said, hitching her shawl angrily. "It is an evil thing you ask, Nynaeve Sedai."

"She would be as helpless here as you in her dream." Bair's thin voice sounded like an iron rod. "It has been handed down among dreamwalkers since the first that no one must ever be brought into the dream. It is said that that was the way of the Shadow in the last days of the Age of Legends."

And of course, Verin is rather well-positioned to have been instructed in these ways of the Shadow; she has probably been pulled into Tel'aran'rhiod herself at some point or another. She studied all of Corianin Nedeal's notes, and she entered Tel'aran'rhiod at least once, probably. She claimed to have been there once, but there is nothing to say she was being truthful, really. She told Egwene that she was not supposed to give her the ter'angreal, but by her own thoughts, the Black Ajah did not know of it:

TITLE - The Dragon Reborn
CHAPTER: 21 - A World of Dreams

Page upon page, covered with a precise hand, the black ink barely faded after nearly five hundred years. Corianin Nedeal's notes, everything she had learned in fifty years of studying that peculiar ter'angreal. A secretive woman, Corianin. She had kept by far the greater part of her knowledge from everyone, trusting it only to these pages. Only chance and a habit of rummaging through old papers in the library had led Verin to them. As far as she could discover, no Aes Sedai besides herself knew of the ter'angreal; Corianin had managed to erase its existence from the records.

Once again she considered burning the manuscript, just as she had considered giving it to Egwene. But destroying knowledge, any knowledge, was anathema to her. And for the other... No. It is best by far to leave things as they are. What will happen, will happen.

In retrospect, we have to wonder why exactly Verin didn't give the notes to Egwene. If the Black did not know of them, and they contained helpful knowledge...we know that Verin's motives were pure. What was in those notes that was dangerous? Was Corianin a Darkfriend? She she use Tel'aran'rhiod for evil purposes? Or did the notes simply contain dangerous clues?

If Verin was still alive at the time, it is not outside reason that she could have used Tel'aran'rhiod in this way. And if she was already dead...well, it's also not so hard to believe that she became a Hero of the Horn. Some are sure that she is suffering eternal torment - she certainly did not seem to think she deserved redemption - but I tend to think that those who take great risks to do great deeds with no expectation of redemption are those most likely to receieve not only redemption, but honor. Verin may have singlehandedly saved the world from destruction with her last acts. It may seem a bit strange that her first act as a dead Hero would be to break the prescripts...but, who knows? Maybe she has been a Hero for several Turnings of the Wheel already, and she of all people knows a risk that is worth the cost when she sees it (though she, in true Far Madding style, perhaps, badly misjudged Mat Cauthon...we have to admit it is an easy thing to do, especially considering that Mat was dagger-sick the entire time Verin knew him, and only a shadow of the awesome character that he eventually became).

But with establishing how it is possible for Nakomi to have been Verin, I have gotten rather far afield from the main point.

Part of the reason I suspected Verin when reading the Nakomi scene is that there is reason to suspect from the beginning that Nakomi is not actually Aiel. She gives neither clan nor sept, refuses to reveal where her roof is, and speaks of Aiel concepts almost as if they are foreign to her, though she of course pretends that they are not. But more to the point, nearly everything she said might be traced back to the first time Verin ever encountered an Aiel, not long after we first met her in TGH. This is a pretty long quote, but it has a number of important things in it:

TITLE - The Great Hunt
CHAPTER: 28 - A New Thread in the Pattern

Urien turned to Verin, just getting down off her horse, and made an odd bow, digging the points of his spears into the ground and extending his right hand, palm up. His voice became respectful. "Wise One, my water is yours."

Verin handed her reins to one of the soldiers. She studied the Aiel as she came closer. "Why do you call me that? Do you take me for an Aiel?"

"No, Wise One. But you have the look of those who have made the journey to Rhuidean and survived. The years do not touch the Wise Ones in the same way as other women, or as they touch men."

An excited look appeared on the Aes Sedai's face, but Ingtar spoke impatiently. "We are following Darkfriends and Trollocs, Urien. Have you seen any sign of them?"

"Trollocs? Here?" Urien's eyes brightened. "It is one of the signs the prophecies speak of. When the Trollocs come out of the Blight again, we will leave the Three-fold Land and take back our places of old." There was muttering from the mounted Shienarans. Urien eyed them with a pride that made him seem to be looking down from a height.

"The Three-fold Land?" Mat said. Perrin thought he looked still paler; not sick, exactly, but as if he had been out of the sun too long.

"You call it the Waste," Urien said. "To us it is the Three-fold Land. A shaping stone, to make, us; a testing ground, to prove our worth; and a punishment for the sin."

"What sin?" Mat asked. Perrin caught his breath, waiting for the spears in Urien's hand to flash.

The Aiel shrugged. "So long ago it was, that none remember. Except the Wise Ones and the clan chiefs, and they will not speak of it. It must have been a very great sin if they cannot bring themselves to tell us, but the Creator punishes us well."

"Trollocs," Ingtar persisted. "Have you seen Trollocs?"

Urien shook his head. "I would have killed them if I had, but I have seen nothing but the rocks and the sky."

Ingtar shook his head, losing interest, but Verin spoke, sharp concentration in her voice. "This Rhuidean. What is it? Where is it? How are the girls chosen to go?"

Urien's face went flat, his eyes hooded. "I cannot speak of it, Wise One."

In spite of himself Perrin's hand gripped his axe. There was that in Urien's voice. Ingtar had also set himself, ready to reach for his sword, and there was a stir among the mounted men. But Verin stepped up to the Aiel, until she was almost touching his chest, and looked up into his face.

"I am not a Wise One as you know them, Urien," she said insistently. "I am Aes Sedai. Tell me what you can say of Rhuidean."

The man who had been ready to face twenty men now looked as if he wished for an escape from this one plump woman with graying hair. "I ... can tell you only what is known to all. Rhuidean lies in the lands of the Jenn Aiel, the thirteenth clan. I cannot speak of them except to name them. None may go there save women who wish to become Wise Ones, or men who wish to be clan chiefs. Perhaps the Jenn Aiel choose among them; I do not know. Many go; few return, and those are marked as what they are ­ Wise Ones, or clan chiefs. No more can I say, Aes Sedai. No more."

Verin continued to look up at him, pursing her lips.

Urien looked at the sky as though he was trying to remember it. "Will you slay me now, Aes Sedai?"

She blinked. "What?"

"Will you slay me now? One of the old prophecies says that if ever we fail the Aes Sedai again, they will slay us. I know your power is greater than that of the Wise Ones." The Aiel laughed suddenly, mirthlessly. There was a wild light in his eyes. "Bring your lightnings, Aes Sedai. I will dance with them." The Aiel thought he was going to die, and he was not afraid. Perrin realized his mouth was open and closed it with a snap.

"What would I not give," Verin murmured, gazing up at Urien, "to have you in the White Tower. Or just willing to talk. Oh, be still, man. I won't harm you. Unless you mean to harm me, with your talk of dancing."

Urien seemed astounded. He looked at the Shienarans, sitting their horses all around, as if he suspected some trick. "You are not a Maiden of the Spear," he said slowly. "How could I strike at a woman who has not wedded the spear? It is forbidden except to save life, and then I would take wounds to avoid it."

"Why are you here, so far from your own lands?" she asked. "Why did you come to us? You could have remained in the rocks, and we would never have known you were there." The Aiel hesitated, and she added, "Tell only what you are willing to say. I do not know what your Wise Ones do, but I'll not harm you, or try to force you."

"So the Wise Ones say," Urien said dryly, "yet even a clan chief must have a strong belly to avoid doing as they want." He seemed to be picking his words carefully. "I search for ... someone. A man." His eye ran across Perrin, Mat, the Shienarans, dismissing them all. "He Who Comes With the Dawn. It is said there will be great signs and portents of his coming. I saw that you were from Shienar by your escort's armor, and you had the look of a Wise One, so I thought you might have word of great events, the events that might herald him."

"A man?" Verin's voice was soft, but her eyes were as sharp as daggers. "What are these signs?"

Urien shook his head. "It is said we will know them when we hear of them, as we will know him when we see him, for he will be marked. He will come from the west, beyond the Spine of the World, but be of our blood. He will go to Rhuidean, and lead us out of the Three-fold Land." He took a spear in his right hand. Leather and metal creaked as soldiers reached for their swords, and Perrin realized he had taken hold of his axe again, but Verin waved them all to stillness with an irritated look. In the dirt Urien scraped a circle with his spearpoint, then drew across it a sinuous line. "It is said that under this sign, he will conquer."

Ingtar frowned at the symbol, no recognition on his face, but Mat muttered something coarsely under his breath, and Perrin felt his mouth go dry. The ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai.

Verin scraped the marking away with her foot. "I cannot tell you where he is, Urien," she said, "and I have heard of no signs or portents to guide you to him."

"Then I will continue my search." It was not a question, yet Urien waited until she nodded before he eyed the Shienarans proudly, challengingly, then turned his back on them. He walked away smoothly, and vanished into the rocks without looking back.

Urien tells her of the fact that Wise Ones go to Rhuidean to be raised, and that they come back marked. This likely gave Verin a suspicion that there were ter'angreal in Rhuidean. He told her about the sin-punishment aspect of the Three-fold Land, and the prophecies indicating they should leave the Three-fold Land to take back their places of old, and these are the very things that Nakomi addressed with Aviendha.

TITLE - Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 39 - In the Three-fold Land

"It is an unexpected pleasure," Nakomi said, rifling through her pack, "to cross the path of one on her way to Rhuidean. Tell me, was your apprenticeship long?"

"Too long," Aviendha said. "Though primarily because of my own stubbornness."

"Ah," Nakomi said. "You have the air of a warrior about you, child. Tell me, are you from among those who went west? The ones who joined the one named the Car'a'carn?

"He is the Car'a'carn," Aviendha said.

"I did not say that he was not," Nakomi said, sounding amused. She got out some tea leaves and herbs.

...

"The wetlands are not glorious," Aviendha said. "They are dangerous. They make us weak."

Nakomi frowned.

Who is this woman? It was not unusual to find Aiel traveling the Waste; even children learned to protect themselves. But should Nakomi not be traveling with friends, family? She did not wear the clothing of a Wise One, but there was something about her...

...

"You seem troubled," Nakomi said. "Far be it from me to question an apprentice Wise One. But I do see worry in your eyes."

Aviendha stifled a grimace. She would have preferred to be left alone. And yet, she had invited this woman to share her water and shade. "I am worried about our people. Dangerous times come."

"The Last Battle," Nakomi said softly. "The thing the wetlanders speak of."

"Yes. I worry about something beyond that. The wetlands, corrupting our people. Making them soft."

"But the wetlands are part of our destiny, are they not? The things the Car'a'carn is said to have revealed . . . they link us to the wetlands in curious ways. Assuming what he said was true."

"He would not lie about this," Aviendha said.

Also interesting is that Nakomi says 'Far be it from me to question an apprentice Wise One...' And Verin has done exactly that, with the Aes Sedai 'apprentices' outside Cairhien. In this POV, there is one of many indications that Verin had a special interest in the Aiel:

TITLE - The Path of Daggers
PROLOGUE - Deceptive Appearances

Verin saw a black-robed woman plodding away not fifty paces off, struggling to pull a waist-high pile of rocks behind her on a cowhide. The deep cowl hid her face, but no one in the camp except the captive sisters wore those black robes. A Wise One strolled along close to the hide, glowing with the Power as she shielded the prisoner, while a pair of Maidens flanked the sister, using switches to urge her on whenever she faltered. Verin wondered whether she had been meant to see. That very morning she had passed a wild-eyed Coiren Saeldain, sweat streaming down her face, with a Wise One and two tall Aielmen for escort and a large basket heaped with sand bending her back as she staggered up a slope. Yesterday it had been Sarene Nemdahl. They had set her moving handfuls of water from one hide bucket to another beside it, switched her to move faster, then switched her for every drop spilled when the water spilled because they were switching her to move faster. Sarene had stolen a moment to ask Verin why, though not as if she expected any answer. Verin certainly had not been able to supply one before the Maidens drove Sarene back to her useless labor.

She suppressed a sigh. For one thing, she could not truly like seeing sisters treated so, whatever the reasons or need, and for another, it was obvious that a fair number of the Wise Ones wanted... What? For her to know that being Aes Sedai counted for nothing here? Ridiculous. That had been made abundantly clear days ago. Perhaps that she could be put into a black robe, too? For the time she thought she was safe from that, at least, but the Wise Ones hid a number of secrets she had yet to puzzle out, the smallest of them how their hierarchy worked. Very much the smallest, yet life and a whole skin lay wrapped inside that one. Women who gave commands sometimes took them from the very women they had been commanding earlier, and then later it was turned about again, all without rhyme or reason that she could see.

...

Gaining permission to be alone with the prisoners had required nearly as much effort as getting Sorilea and Amys to decide they needed to be questioned, and by someone intimate with the White Tower. If they ever learned they had been guided to that decision... It was a worry for another day. She seemed to be piling up a great many of those.

Here is another quote showing her interest in the Aiel, from shortly after they met Urien:

TITLE - The Great Hunt
CHAPTER: 35 - Stedding Tsofu

The Ogier turned to Verin and bowed. "Aes Sedai, I am Juin, son of Lacel son of Laud. I have come to take you to the Elders. They would know why an Aes Sedai comes among us, with armed men and one of our own youths." Loial hunched his shoulders as if trying to disappear.

Verin gave the Aiel a regretful look, as if she wanted to talk with them, then motioned Juin to lead, and he took her away without another word or even the first look at Loial.

And another, in the Two Rivers:

TITLE - The Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 31 - Assurances

"It is quite all right, Mistress al'Vere," Verin interrupted in a soothing tone. "You did exactly the correct thing. Perrin is in the right hands, now. Also I will enjoy the chance to learn more about the Aiel, and it is always a pleasure to talk with an Ogier. I will pick your brain, Loial. I have found some fascinating things in Ogier books."

Loial gave her a pleased smile; anything to do with books seemed to please him. Gaul, on the other hand, exchanged guarded looks with Bain and Chiad.

The evidence is, of course, fairly tenuous....but I feel like it is far less tenuous for Verin than it is for other candidates. We know that she has a special interest in the Aiel, and a closer relationship with them than most Aes Sedai. We know that she has been aware from the beginning of the philosophical questions that Nakomi raised with Aviendha. And while I felt that Nakomi was Verin not far into the passage where she appears, I felt like her comment at the end was a dead giveaway:

TITLE - Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 39 - In the Three-fold Land

"And so," Nakomi said softly, "once Sightblinder is defeated, what is left for us? Perhaps this is why so many refused to follow the Car'a'carn. Because they worried what it meant. Why continue the old ways? How do we find honor in raiding, in killing one another, if we are no longer preparing for such an important task? Why grow harder? For the sake of being hard itself?"

"I..."

"I'm sorry," Nakomi said. "I've let myself ramble again. I am prone to it, I fear. Here, let us eat."

This is Verin to a T. In fact...

TITLE - The Path of Daggers
PROLOGUE - Deceptive Appearances

Verin put on a warm smile. A fellow had once told her that her smile made him think of his dear mother. She hoped he had not been lying about that, at least. He had tried to slide a dagger between her ribs a little later, and her smile had been the last thing he ever saw. "I can't think of the reason you would. No, I fear what you have to look forward to is useless labor. That's shaming, to them. Bone shaming. Of course, if they realize you don't see it that way... Oh, my. I'll wager you didn't like digging without any clothes on, even with Maidens for guards, but think of, say, standing in a tent full of men that way?" Beldeine flinched. Verin prattled on; she had developed prattling to something of a Talent. "They'd only make you stand there, of course. Da'tsang aren't allowed to do anything useful unless there's great need, and an Aielman would as soon put his arm around a rotting carcass as... Well, that's not a pleasant thought, is it? In any case, that's what you have to look forward to. I know you'll resist as long as you can, though I'm not sure what there is to resist. They won't try to get information out of you, or anything that people usually do with prisoners. But they won't let you go, not ever, until they're sure the shame is so deep in you there's nothing else left. Not if it takes the rest of your life."

This is the most compelling evidence to me, because it was very much Verin's MO to prattle as if she had no real point that she was getting to. Just idle talk. But it was never just idle talk with Verin - she was probably more accomplished than any other Aes Sedai at guiding and prodding people to certain decisions or thought processes by prattling like a brainless girl. The reason it works so well is that she gives you the impression that she is babbling all of her thoughts to you without taking care to hold anything back. It gives her the impression of being open and honest. There are other things that detract from the mask - she can't really hide her cunning - but her way of going about it is distracting even to the astute observer. Those who know her - or those who know she is Aes Sedai - usually know that she is being manipulative, but they usually are left wondering exactly what she was getting at, anyway.

This is why I don't find it particularly useful to harp on the fact that, in this instance, Verin-as-Nakomi's motives are not entirely clear. She has always been a mysterious character; we only got four points of view from her in the entire series, and none of them were full chapters. Obviously this was mainly because RJ was trying to hide the fact that she was studying the Black Ajah from the inside, but as a consequence, we know very little of her thoughts on anything. However, it is well-established that she had an interest in the Aiel, and it was also well-established that she wanted to help save the world.

And while Verin's number one motive was obviously to betray the Shadow, I don't find it to be a leap to assume that she had thoughts on how to save the Aiel, as well. And it may be that she simply wanted to make some provision for the wetlands to be protected against the Seanchan. What would happen if Rand died at the Last Battle, and all of the Aiel returned to the Waste, leaving Randland with no chance against the Seanchan other than the Asha'man? Verin knows the Aes Sedai well enough to know that the Oaths will not disappear overnight.

Also interesting is that Brandon has at least confirmed that some of us are on the right track:

Towers of Midnight book tour 6 November 2010, Bailey's Crossroads, VA - Robert Mee reporting

Someone else (two different people, actually) asked about Nakomi. Brandon RAFO’d, but then said that there were some very interesting theories out there, and that some hard core fan freaks may have had some that were more accurate than others he’d seen. I don’t know if he’s referring to Theoryland specifically or just the OCD fan community in general.

If you are interested, you can check out the early discussions on the subject at Theoryland and at Dragonmount, or a slightly later discussion at Dragonmount, and a later discussion at Theoryland.. Brandon might have been differentiating between the more hardcore fans (such as Tamyrlin and myself) and the casual drive-by fans, or he might have been talking about Theorylanders in particular. He indicated at that he might possibly address the issue in AMOL:

Towers of Midnight book tour 6 November 2010, Bailey's Crossroads, VA - Mr. Black reporting

I had the chance to ask Brandon about [Nakomi] at a book signing in Northern Virginia. I specifically asked him if the scene is something he plans to address in the next book. To paraphrase, he stated that he wants to keep the specifics of what happened close to the chest for now, and that he has not decided whether he will address it in the next book.

(later) I asked Brandon about the chapter with Aviendha and Nakomi. I stated that it was a very striking encounter, and it reminded me thematically of the meeting with Tom Bombadil in Lord of the Rings, i.e., something mysterious an unexplained. I asked him if he would develop the encounter any further. He stated that he did not want to discuss the character any further at the moment, because he might explore the encounter in A Memory of Light.

But later on Twitter, he might have indicated that he will be leaving it open permanently:

Ashiya Kapadi on Twitter 8 November 2010
Who on earth is Nakomi?

Brandon
RAFO. :) I'm leaving that one open to interpretation.

In any case, he's on to the Verin theory now!

Towers of Midnight book tour 8 November 2010 Lincoln Triangle Barnes and Noble NY, NY - WinespringBrother reporting

Q: Was Verin in Towers of Midnight?
A: I know what you're looking for - is Nakomi really Verin? - and that's going to be a RAFO.

So, maybe we will find out one day. :) This is only a casual gathering of evidence, and I won't be all that surprised to discover more, but IMO it is intuitively obvious that Nakomi=Verin.

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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2010-11-10

I loved the Urien additions as to how, within the books, it can be demonstrated that Verin would be familiar with Aiel concepts, but in a detached kind of way. Plus, it does connect her interests to Rhuidean. Also, I think the rambling thing is a great point, and I'd like to say it was too obvious...however, I didn't catch it when you initially posed her as a suspect, so maybe it was just the right touch. I blame the timeline for deadening my suspicions.

Concerning my Wise One theory, I won't be approaching it as they pulled her into the dream; I don't think they'd go that route simply to introduce new concepts/thoughts to Aviendha prior to entering Rhuidean. Although, I do appreciate that Verin wouldn't necessarily feel that pulling her into the dream was out-of-bounds if she thought it important enough...and I admit I'd love it if Verin did pull her into the dream. Sneaky sneaky Verin.

However, I'm sticking to my guns on it being a Wise One related incident, but I don't feel like arguing that here. :)

2

Myth: 2010-11-10

I like that it could be Verin and agree with Tam that the best argument is the prattling on. With the time line it is possible Aviendha would be one of the tasks, or "loose ends" she tied up. Although it begs the question of if Verin has ever met Aviendha? If not why, aside from the fact that she would have heard the rumors of her and Rand(and lets assume she believes them), she would seek out Aviendha and lead her in this way.

3

FelixPax: 2010-11-10

I appreciate your efforts in creating a theory about who or what Nakomi background is. Trouble is this Verin is Nakomi theory based on a bunch of loose facts, and it ignores multiple aspects of what Nakomi states and does which are unique. Secondly, the your quotations about 'prattled', 'rambling' as a tie are weak, as even Graendal has 'prattled' in the story (LoC, Ch.6 'Threads Woven of Shadow' - Sammael pov). That's just conjecture. And did Verin ever consider herself an Aiel or become a Wise One? Nope. Verin is an outsider looking in, on the Aiel Clans. Verin never got to the point of becoming apart of the Aiel Clans which Sashalle Anderly has, as a Wise One.

Chuckles, unlike Tamyrlin who believes Nakomi to be a creation of "a Wise Ones related incident" which I seriously doubt for other reasons... it feels like Nakomi's character is a person who has broken Clan and Sept to live with Tuatha'an traveling in Three-Folds Land after the events at Al’cair Dal. In particular, Tuatha'an travelers who know of the same stew recipes as Soldier Arlen Nalaam claims to have tasted in TofM book.

I believe Nakomi's character is the first Aiel character who's broken Clan & Sept not to join the Shaido Aiel which has been placed in the Wheel of Time, who has spoken. Before Nakomi chararcter various individuals have spoken about those who have broken Clan & Sept. Yet there has not been one example, in their own words why they broken from Aiel & Clan to join up with the Tuatha'an in Three-Folds Land, until Nakomi. Nakomi is a foreshadowing of what is to come.

4

AK: 2010-11-10

I can't tell from this theory whether the time-line issue is still open or not: could Verin already be dead?

If so, and perhaps even if not, if Verin is a Hero of the Horn, she may have been an Aiel in previous lives and thus have both the knowledge and concern to address Avienda's problem.

Another thought, WRT Verin, is that she knows at least some of the dark prophecies, and may be trying to prevent (or twist) some prophecy about the Aiel in the last battle that we know nothing about.

Another possibility is that it was a regular dream... Aviendha is already concerned about this, and a dream character representing an everyday Aiel is perfectly feasible. She's closely linked to Rand, and thus subject to his Ta'verin manipulation of probabilities.

WRT the Wise Ones theory, I'll point out that (a) dreamwalker(s) may have received all sorts of warnings what must happen to prevent what, and their warning may have nothing to do with the long-term future of the Aiel, but rather with the need for Aviendha to perform specific action in order to guarantee the immediate survival of (maximum numbers of) the "remnant of a remnant". The results of her actions trying to prevent the future she's worried about may have nothing to do with the concerns that motivated those actions.

5

wotfreak222: 2010-11-10

I hadn't thought about who Nakomi was at all when I read the book the first time through....but after reading through a few more times, the more I thought the encounter was very strange, yet so typical of the WoT. This theory made me think, which I like. I don't think timeline is an issue - Verin is very clearly dead when Rand visits Egwene in the White Tower, however events with Perrin clearly occur before, during, and after the unification of the Tower. Aviendha travels to the Waste some time before the Seanchan attack - therfore it's plausible that Verin learned where she was somehow, traveled to the Waste, had her conversation with her, and then traveled to the Tower. We have already learned that Verin either gave a note or left one of her notes for Alanna in Tear. She clearly travelled around a lot. Kudos to this theory....and I'm so happy that the embargo on TofM theories appears to have been lifted! Onwards, friends! :)

6

terez: 2010-11-10

@Felix - I love that you pointed out how weak the prattling-rambling connection was. I figured that someone was going to do it, which is why I went into the whole MO aspect of it. This is not just a random mention of Verin rambling, or prattling. She says she has developed it into a Talent because it is her favored tactic. And yes, Graendal has developed a very similar Talent, so good call on using her as a comparison. But if Graendal had found Aviendha alone in the Waste, she would have killed her. I can definitely see Verin having gotten an order from Graendal to kill her, though.

The point is, this is not a random connection, like your cape theory, for example. Verin uses prattling to achieve what she is after indirectly, so that the victim will not suspect what she was really getting at. Or perhaps, they'll know exactly what she was getting at, but they won't see it as a concentrated effort on her part, but rather a random idea that just so happened to come to mind.

@Tamyrlin - I figured you only had two options: pulling her into Tel'aran'rhiod, or invading her dream. The quote I gave covers both options. Even Egwene does not try to enter her friends' dreams; she simply hangs out at the edge and shouts in at them.

7

terez: 2010-11-11

Also, I forgot to fix the bit where I say Verin only has four points of view in the series. I realized as I was writing the bit about the Cleansing that I'd missed that POV on the POV index. I hope I didn't miss any others; I can't think of any at the moment. But there are five at least (all of them partial).

8

Lupusdeusest: 2010-11-11

I was suspicious myself at the start of the POV, but the cincher for me - if it were needed - was how she ended; it was almost identical to how she nudges Eggy towards speaking to Laras. It's after midnight here and I'm away from home, so can't get the quotes to put out for comparison. But it was exactly the same method...

9

Maji: 2010-11-11

well thought out theory Terez. There's a lot more evidence to support this than I originally thought! I thinking that Nakomi was Verin but you added a few more reasons why she probably is than I realized. Thanks :D

10

telephonesnow: 2010-11-11

I think this is a great theory! As soon as I read the Nakomi bit I was sure she wasn't who she said she was.

11

Ann Kalagon: 2010-11-11

When I read the chapter I was immediately reminded of both Verin and Graendal. But yeah, Graendal would have compelled her to do more than share a mysterious meal and listen to the Ramble On. And the rambling IS the only real key. (And there was something going on in the neighborhood of compulsion, that's clear from Avienda's blurred awareness of the meal.

As the time line may indeed allow for this to be Verin before she dies, I agree that it must be she. And therefore, it follows that Verin must have been planting the seeds of Avienda working on the problems of what the future of the Aiel will be, even before she experiences the frightening potential future revealed in Rhuidean.

Bravo, Terez!

12

FanoLan: 2010-11-11

Hi all - well done Terez. I am not a regular poster, but do lurk some. Agree with the N=V theory and wanted to suggest potential motivation. Again, well done with the presentation.

Everyone seems to assume that Verin's target is somehow related directly to the Aiel or Aviendha. I disagree. In my opinion, the true motivation for Verin to arrange this interaction with Aviendha is the same as her motivation during the Aiel tent scene - ensure the Dragon Reborn survives until TG and defeats the DO.

Varying the points of view in the two scenes was a crafty move. The readers are left with Avi's impressions of the encounter with Nokomi and to her it was all about the Aiel and the future. To me, the conversation here served the same purpose as Verin's conversation with the captive AS while in her tent - distract her subject and put them at ease so Verin could then weave her pseudo-Compulsion.

Lots of possibilities for what was specifically planted deep in the brain of one who has bonded the DR (hope it really was Verin and not someone darker).

I'm getting more and more fond of this theory every time I think about it.

13

Joar Addam Ness0sin: 2010-11-12

A nice theory but I find it highly unlikely for many reasons.

1) Many of you try and create a reason for Verin to have interest in the aiel. I believe her interest towards the aiel is ancillary at best. From the Great Hunt and her encounter with Urien to the Path of Daggers and her work "questioning" the Aes Sedai many of you perceive interest in the Aiel as Aiel, but that is never Verin's inclination. Her interest in the Aiel are twofold, the first being Aes Sedai interest in channeler culture outside their control. Also Verin is well aware of the Prophecies of the Dragon and is in all probabilty begining to link Rand's "ancient blood" to that of the Aiel. And the Second their usefulness to Rand, her motivation is to get Rand to the last battle not the age after, that is her gift to Egwene, not Aviendha.

2) Perhaps Verin can mask her ability, and invert her weaves . . . these are inconsequencial, because there is absolutely no evidence that she knows how to use a mask of mirrors to create a different face for herself. She is not exposed to Nynaeve, Elayne, or Aviendha after they discover this ability. When she meets Masaana, Masaana hides her face in shadow, Verin does not note to Egwene the possibility that Masaana can be using the Mask to hide in the Tower. Why? Verin is not even aware of the Talent, something essential for her to meet Aviendha, a person who would recognize her.

If there exist any Aes Sedai who have a reason to help shape the Aiel in the future it would be Egwene, or Cadsuane, due to the great respect they both have for them.

And finally my theory, Nakomi presents the very issues that Aviendha is about to face in her passage through the ter'angreal. Who have the access to the future visions brought on by the bloodlines of the Aiel? Why the Aiel do, you forgot where Aviendha is and where she is going. During Rand's passage he sees AoL Aes Sedai with the prescient knowledge to give the Green man the horn, banner . . .the same Aes Sedai who eventually travel with the Jenn Aiel into the waste, build Rhuidean, and force the Pact that bring every wise one and clan chief to take the walk through this ter'angreal. Is it not conceivable that the AoL creatures knew how to work the ter'angreal better and saw the entire path to the next age, set the columns up so the future generations would only see the past to forge them. Upon Rand's "three-fold breaking" of Rhuidean he started the chain of events the the Jenn Aiel put in place to allow the "remnant of a remnant" would have a chance to usher in a new age and avoid the mistakes Aviendha saw, Recall the mists protecting Rhuidean in Tel aran rhiod, this three fold breaking would allow a soul tied to Rhuidean in Tel aran rhiod to venture a few miles out to allow for this encounter

The most solid facts i would like to point to is this, 1)She is dressed in neither cadin'sor nor as a wise one, not a belt knife to be seen, reeks of Jenn Aiel and the way of the leaf.

2) She provides food indigenous to the waste, using Aiel terminology "Leafblighter" has an understanding of ji'e'toh that no wetlander has shown, not even Egwene or Rand. TofM p. 606 "once we have fought, we will have met that toh. And therefore will have no reason to be punished further. If that is the case, why would we return to this land? would that not be like seeking more punishment, once toh is met" This statement shows that she has an understanding of ji'e'toh that none but aiel have, that once toh is met it is as if it never happened, not mentioned, and thinking that more punishment would be them being "too prideful" as Melaine points out to Aviendha frequently. Verin would never ever grasp that concept for it is one of the most difficult ji'e'toh concepts to get ahold of.

3)Finally, TofM p.606 "I am far from my roof, yet not far at all. Perhaps it is far from me. I cannot answer your question, apprentice, for it is not my place to give this truth."

This statement has several interesting parts to analyze. She is close to her roof but has traveled a great distance in time, not physical distance. "I cannot answer your question, for it is not my place to give this truth" How many times has Moiraine said this after her trip through the glass columns? She has to be Jenn Aiel.

14

Lan: 2010-11-12

I'm not sure if I can agree with either this thread or the wise one idea. It seems clear to me that, according to Verin's letter to Mat, that she would have been long dead. Granted, we haven't seen her death, or anything about what she was actually doing. I find this Verin is Nakoni theory quite a bit more plausible than any wise one pulling Aviendha into a dream, mostly because (and I don't remember exactly where) I recall Egwene raising that possibility with them and they being dead set against using Telaranrhiod in that manner.

15

WG: 2010-11-12

Let's say the DO brought her back in much the same way Lanfear, Ishy, and the 'gars came back. Given her reasons for killing herself, why would he do that? But if Nakomi is Verin, this is really the only way.

The DO had to know what Verin did after Egwene went after the BA full force, so it doesn't make sense. Everything else does, though, and we know Verin is dead because of the BA oath she quoted.

But at the same time, it's too late to introduce new characters like Nakomi, so she must be someone we've seen before, and Verin is the only one who really fits.

This, ironically, is essentially the same problem we had trying to figure out Verin before tGS. It looks like there's one more piece of her puzzle we don't yet know, and we'll have to wait for aMoL to find out what we've overlooked.

16

TomDL: 2010-11-14

As to Nakomi knowing Avi can channel, you answered your own question in the passage you posted..."She wove a globe of light." Also, Avi is wearing wise one garb by now. And Brandon indicates that Avi answers warily.

17

terez: 2010-11-15

@Tom - go back and read what I actually wrote again.

@Asmodean - the Jenn are extinct. If their ghosts can speak to people going to Rhuidean...well, seems like some incredibly lame deus ex machina to me.

@Lan - Aviendha left for Rhuidean about 20 days before Verin died, so there's no reason at all to think Verin was already dead, but even if she was, there's still a chance it was her.

18

Flinn Sedai: 2010-11-15

What I got from reading that section was that Aviendha essentially changed the settings on the columns.

I think it is obvious that the Aes Sedai who set up Rhuidean used the columns to determine what needed to be done. Presumably, they wouldn't have to keep checking the past each time they wanted to check the future.

In addition, the odds of no Wise One ever going through the columns a second time, only to find the future is pretty low. Even more odd to think that if one did, they would go back and start telling everybody that they'd die if they went a second time. Even MORE odd to think that it was programmed to work one way for everybody except Aviendha.

It is POSSIBLE that it is Verin, to the same extent that it's possible it's Cadsuane, Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, Masuri, or pretty much any Aes Sedai who came in contact with the Aiel at all. Which is to say that it could have occurred, but there is no particularly compelling reason for them to do it, or even know that she was going (except some of those Aes Sedai I mentioned and didn't, who could have known that she was going).

It doesn't explain the Aiel perspective the person seems to have, the fact that the person NOTICEABLY has no weapon, or the fact that they know the Waste and what she's about to see. While we haven't had much experience with this individual, we do know the following:

1. This person knows that Aviendha is about to see the future of the Aiel, and will be profoundly affected by what she sees.
2. This person grew up/spent many years with the Aiel and in the Waste.
3. This person does not use weapons.
4. This person has viewed the future that Aviendha will have seen as well.
5. This person is put into context that we have previously dealt with (we know her, or know from where they come).
6. This person can channel.
7. This person has a vested interest in the future of the Aiel.

Now, those are some very hard criteria to meet. A couple of them, people can meet. One or two, almost anybody can meet. All of them, though?

Verin fits many. She doesn't use weapons most of the time. Could possibly know the future of the Aiel (she's a secretive and sneaky person). We have met her before. She can channel.

However, she does not have a vested interest in the future of the Aiel, she has not spent much time with the Aiel (yes, she spent some time, but not enough to view things from an Aiel perspective). Effectively, she has no reason for doing it, and doesn't fit the way in which Nakomi acted.

The only way that I can see all of these being fit, is if Nakomi is from the future. The first things to think of are: as far as we know, people can't do that, Aiel of the future fight, and we have no context in which to place her.

The latter can be addressed by her being a descendant of Aviendha's, and thus one of the individuals we've seen, or placed around one of those time frames (most likely just after the Seanchan drove them back to the Waste).

Aiel of the future fight, from what we've seen. However, if they rediscovered Rhuidean and saw how they used to be, I would suspect that they'd be just as horrified as Aviendha was. I would suspect they'd have the same reaction many Aiel had. Throw down their weapons, and try to repent. Give up on fighting.

This leaves the most significant obstacle. As far as we can tell, it's impossible to communicate with the past.

I can't say that I have an answer to that right now. I don't. Perhaps there is a Ter'angreal that allows one to project oneself to the past. Perhaps they discover a new trick, like the 3rd Agers figured out how to Heal Severing.

I will say that this is the only answer I can see that makes sense.

19

Flinn Sedai: 2010-11-15

Sorry for the double post, but I gave it some more thought, and it occurs to me that we have seen people interact with possible futures.

The rings, for example, in both Rhuidean and the White Tower.

I suppose it is possible that people MIGHT be able to adapt them to a greater scale, similar to how the Bowl of Winds did more than it was intended by having people with a strong Talent.

20

Lorcin: 2010-11-19

@Flynn Sedai, we don't actualy have any evidence to suggest that Nakomi can channel. The distortion of the dinner may be that Anv. may have been moved into someone else's dream or the world of dreams. Also I personaly think it was a Jen Aiel. Maybe a ghost or a stasis box like Taim. the wheel does keep balance so if it brought someone from the light back it would also have to bring a darkfriend back to.

21

Flinn Sedai: 2010-11-19

That's true. I think that actually makes the point stronger.

Cannot channel, appeared and disappeared suddenly, etc.... Reeks of a ter'angreal, to me.

In any event, I was re-reading it, and something struck me (finally re-reading the book).

"Interesting thoughts you raise, apprentice," Nakomi said, pouring the tea. "Our land here is called the Three-fold Land. Three-fold, for the three things it did to us. It punished us for sin. It tested our courage. It formed an anvil to shape us."

All of that is past tense. In addition, she refers to it as, "our land". She doesn't say, "This land". It's ownership. That sounds like an Aiel.

In addition, there is this portion.

"Tell me, are you from among those who went west? The ones who joined the one named the Car'a'carn?"

She is an apprentice Wise One. Every Wise One went west. Some came back later, but they all left.

"And so," Nakomi said softly, "once Sightblinder is defeated, what is left for us? Perhaps this is why so many refused to follow the Car'a'carn. Because they worried what it meant. Why continue the old ways? How do we find honor in raiding, in killing one another, if we are no longer preparing for such an important task? Why grow harder? For the sake of being hard itself?"

"The things the Car'a'carn is said to have revealed ..."

Again, everything is past tense. It isn't even questioned if Sightblinder will be defeated. It is once Sightblinder is defeated, then, switches to present tense. She is in present tense when discussing the actions after the Last Battle. She calls them the "old ways", fighting and living by ji'e'toh. When she talks about following the Car'a'carn, and the Bleakness, she is speaking in the past tense.

Compare this to Aviendha's phrasing.

"The Three-fold land makes us strong. So, by leaving it, we become weak."

Present tense.

"I am far from my roof," the woman said, wistful, "yet not far at all. Perhaps it is far from me. I cannot answer your question, apprentice, for it is not my place to give this truth."

Nakomi is far from her roof, but not far at all. Maybe she's close to where it would be, but many years from it existing. She can talk to her about anything, except where she came from. When it is asked again, she deflects the topic. Verin came from Far Madding. That's nothing impressive or causing a need for secrecy there. However she traveled to the past, though, probably has rules on it.

22

lslattimer: 2010-11-20

Just a thought, but didn't brandon say that a lot of the events in TOM would occur in between the events of TGS? is it possible that Nakomi could actually be Verin using an inverted mirror of mists to meet Aviendha BEFORE she went to the tower to reveal her information to Egwene?

23

Bond: 2010-11-21

Some additional things to consider: Aviendha eats food proffered by Nakomi and thinks it tastes delicious. Aviendha could have been drugged. Her impression of it as tasting delicious could have been implanted by compulsion. Nakomi uses the term "child" to an apprentice Wise One. Is it not unusual for an Aiel not to carry a weapon when traveling alone? Is it not unusual for an Aiel to approach someone making the journey to Rhuidean? I thought they weren't supposed to receive succor and aid? Verin traveled with Rand during that episode with the portal stone in The Great Hunt. Maybe Verin went to Rhuidean for the same reason Moiraine went to Rhuidean—to seek wisdom from the rings and find answers ahead of the dramatic step she was planning to take. Meeting Aviendha there may not have been her primary purpose but an opportunistic or suggested course from her vision in Rhuidean. Maybe the speculated suggestion implanted by Verin Nakomi is not yet known.

24

Boundless: 2010-11-24

Ok, ive gotta confess I was confused by Nakomi for all of about ten minutes, but then i though about it a bit and thought it was pretty clear, and i'm amazed that this seems to be such a huge mystery.....but maybe i'm just being cocky. So:

1) Despite the fact that most food in the world tastes rotten, avi's tastes amazing and grows from nothing to an amazing feast in seconds. We saw this a few more times during the book when a certain zen filled person is nearby.

2) The clouds break above avi, which is a clear sign of a certain zen filled person dropping by the neighbourhood.

3) we know that a certain zen filled character drops spends a lot of time with min, and defintitely stops by to visit Elayne too. Does NO ONE not wonder why he hasn't searched for Avi yet???? Zenboy KNOWS that Avi is on her way to Rhuidean, but that doesnt mean he'd skip the chance for a nice candlelit dinner with her.

4) Avi says she cant sense anyone channeling.....this line has been using rather frequently in the books to indicate that the person in question either cannot channel, or much more frequently, is in fact for example a man who can channel disguised as a woman....

5) A certain zen filled person has deep knowledge of the aiel and aiel ways, and has in the past suffered much pain over the concept that he will destroy the aiel, and therefore has reasons to try to minimize that damage by helping them to change quicker.

6) A certain zen filled person suddenly has a much wider perspective on life since his transformation. Its probably not too unreasonable to expect that he has also seen some glimpses of waht may come, and wnats to chane them.

So, in summary, Nakomi simply MUST be BELA........

:-)

25

yasiru89: 2010-11-27

Hello everyone! Haven't posted here before, but the theories have always been interesting.

Nakomi's appearance, leading in to that brilliantly done, but tragic sequence with Aviendha, was one of the most curious points in Towers of Midnight for me.

I doubt Nakomi was Verin as well, for the simple reason that she lacked both motivation and an Aiel perspective, not to mention Aviendha as the person to approach would not have been clear to her. She did of course have knowledge of the Aiel as well as knowledge of the weaves to disguise her ability and invert weaves (she was with Cadsuane until just before the Trolloc attack in Knife of Dreams if I recall correctly- and Nakomi's disappearing act hints to her being able to channel), but these are circumstantial at best. The 'rambling' manner we see from Nakomi, as was discounted by others in the course of this thread as a telling similarity that she was Verin in disguise, must also be considered with respect to what Aviendha came to think. It seemed to me that the remarks were directed solely to make Aviendha question things, whereas Verin often was prone to actually go on tangents even when she wasn't putting on a placid appearance.

As for the contending theories presented- if Nakomi was Jenn Aiel from the past, then perhaps they managed to work the glass columns ter'angreal the way Aviendha did to see coming the decay of the Aiel and note Aviendha as a tipping point. A dream/ghost explanation is again unnecessary if they knew the working of Portal Stones (the Aiel had some weaves like the first sister weave that were lost to Aes Sedai, so it stands to reason that the Jenn had their own secrets, or maybe the working of Portal Stones wasn't lost to Aes Sedai right at the Breaking), since they'd be able to pick a world where time moves much faster (a possibility noted in The Great Hunt) and have one of their number (Nakomi) appear to Aviendha at the appointed hour.

I think this possibility is a little far-fetched however, whatever method Nakomi would have used.

Then we come to the Nakomi is from the future scenario (perhaps a descendent of Aviendha's)- which is what I would have immediately subscribed to had this been any other series. But there has always been a sense of finality in the turning of the Wheel (the exception being balefire, but even then memories endure) so travelling back in time is difficult to countenance.

What's most disturbing is Aviendha's impression that the future she saw was set. Would her having seen what she did not mean anything then? Would she somehow be stopped from attempting to change things? Perhaps Nicola's Foretelling about the 'future teetering on the edge of a blade' as well as what Min implied about the Last Battle not being a set event given the possibility that the Pattern may be undone if the Shadow prevails means that there's a possibility things will turn out well after all. But now I'm curious about what will happen after the Tar'mon Gaidon more than the thing itself.

26

Glen: 2010-11-28

@Boundless

"The clouds break above avi, which is a clear sign of a certain zen filled person dropping by the neighbourhood."

Sorry, but you're wrong on this point. Pay close attention to what happens in various scenes of the book. For instance, when we first see Min's POV, she observes that Rand isn't back yet (although he's turned 'warm' - Min makes clear that she feels the bond somewhere in the vicinity of Andor or perhaps the Borderlands - I'm assuming he was in Tar Valon at the time), but that there's an odd circle of clear sky above Tear already. Then Rand gets back. There's also a circle of clear sky above Caemlyn, noted multiple times. And when Elayne turns up in the Fields of Merrilor at the end of the book, Egwene observes that the sky has started to clear above the field.

What's common between Min and Elayne? The bond, of course. They both hold Rand's bond. And who else holds Rand's bond? Aviendha, of course. It stands to reason that Rand's ability to repel the Dark One's influence is somewhat passed on by the bond (although it's not yet clear whether Alanna also gained the ability - the blended bond the three used may be unique in some way). As extra evidence, consider that Cadsuane remarks in her POV that the tea tastes wonderful... just BEFORE Rand returns. Min reacts at the moment that he returns, so he hadn't returned, at that moment, even though it was just moments earlier.

Obviously, your post was in jest, but I thought I'd point out this effect that we saw with the trio.

27

Elanor: 2010-12-05

I like this theory very much, the more because it seems to me that Verin being Nakomi would be only one more aspect of Verin’s influence in TOM. Whether Verin is still alive when Aviendha goes to Rhuidean or not is, IMO, of little importance: in many ways Verin proves that she can still manipulate people beyond death, and influencing Aviendha would only be consistent with her ‘legacy’ shown in TOM. To me, the trail of the red-blood sealed letters of hers is essential to follow. When she gives Mat his in TGS (Chapter 36 – The Death of Tuon), the letter is described as:

“a small folded piece of paper […]. It was sealed with a drop of blood-red wax.” Then a bit later Mat noticed: “She folded up the picture of him, then took a small leather-bound satchel from her pocket. She opened it, sliding the picture inside, and as she did, he noticed that she had a small stack of folded, sealed pieces of paper inside just like the one he was holding. What was the purpose of those?”

As far as I can tell, in TOM we can track three of these letters, other than Mat’s, very important in itself of course:

* The first one is given to Rand in Chapter 3, ‘The Amyrlin’s Anger’ (p.81). When Rand speaks with Siuan, she:

“was cut off as an Aes Sedai pushed though the group. Tiana?

The woman pulled something out of her sleeve and proffered it to Rand. A small letter with a red seal. “This is for you,” she said. Her voice sounded tense, and her fingers trembled, though the tremble was so faint that most would have missed it. Siuan had learned to look for signs of emotion in Aes Sedai, however.

Al’Thor raised an eyebrow, then reached over and took it. “What is it?”

“I promised to deliver it,” Tiana said. “I would have said no, but I never thought you’d actually come to… I mean…” She cut herself off, closing her mouth. Then she withdrew into the crowd. Al’Thor slipped the note into his pocket without reading it.”

Manipulating an Aes Sedai into promising to do something in the perspective of an event the Aes Sedai thinks will never happen sure sounds to me like something Verin would do.

* The second one is Alanna’s. In chapter 12, ‘An Empty Ink Bottle” (p.190), Cadsuane is:

“holding up a sheet of paper that they’d found in the room. It had been folded with a blood-red seal of wax on one side.”

It seems clear that Verin has sent Alanna on a mission. The two women have spent much time together and Verin actually manipulated her before, as proved by her thoughts in LOC, Chapter 11, “Lessons and Teachers” (p.291): “In her raveled condition, Alanna was bound to be more amenable to guidance, and Verin knew exactly how some of those questions had to be answered. She did not think Alanna would like some of those answers. Best not to let her learn them until it was too late to change them.”

When Rand arrives in Tear in the following chapter and Min tells him about Alanna being gone, Rand says she is “Northward somewhere. The Borderlands, perhaps Arafel.” He is not worried about her going, telling Min “The Shadow does not need her to find me” adding “It’s all right, Min.” I can’t help wondering if part of Verin’s letter to Rand mentioned Alanna’s mission.

* The last letter is seen in Galad’s hands in Chapter 44, “A Backhanded Request” (p.659):

“Galad was tucking something into his pocket. A small letter, it appeared, with a red seal. Where had he gotten that? He looked troubled, though his expression lightened as he arrived.”

This strikes me as a very important clue and, as of the content of the letter, my money is on family ties revelations (Slayer knows Rand is his nephew and Jordan has said “The Shadow knows a lot about Rand.” To explain how he knew it (DragonCon 4 September 2005 - Emma reporting) so there is no reason why Verin should not know about their blood ties as well). I believe Galad being Rand’s half-brother will have a very important role in the Last Battle. Literally, Galad is ‘of the Dragon’s blood’. What if the ‘Dragon’s blood staining the rock of Shayol Ghul’ was Galad’s? That would be a very nice twist on the prophecy’s meaning.

“Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed. Once for mourning, once for birth.
Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow.”

I do not doubt that Rand’s blood will be shed but his may be not the only “Dragon’s blood” shed on that day – hence the “mourning” aspect of the prophecy. To me, the prophecy of the Shadow that ends TOM suggests as much: “And the Lord of the Evening shall face the Broken Champion, and shall spill his blood and bring us the Darkness so beautiful.”

‘Broken Champion’ seems to me to fit Galad much better than Rand (who is the “First Among Vermin” of the prophecy) since Galad’s world in black and white has shattered in TOM. It seems to me that his death might be the event triggering Rand’s final actions in the Last Battle.

Anyways, sorry for the rambling, I must have thought too much of a certain Brown sister lately…

28

Matt79: 2010-12-05

I don't agree with this theory. It appears to be based initially on the "clue" that Nakomi sensed Aviendha's ability to channel. But if you read the passage more closely you'll see that Nakomi did not need to be a channeler at all to know that Aviendha was channeling: "She wove a globe of light."

This is a very significant difference between the Aviendha/Nakomi encounter and the Egwene/Aviendha encounter cited as supporting the theory. Egewene only *embraced* saidar and *prepared* weaves, while Aviendha actually "wove a globe of light," a physical manifestation easily observed by ANY non-channeler.

>> In the passage with Nakomi, Aviendha embraces the Source, and Nakomi tells her that she means no harm

That's not entirely accurate. Again, Nakomi's statement was made *after* Aviendha wove the globe of light.

29

terez: 2010-12-10

@Matt - 'I don't agree with this theory. It appears to be based initially on the "clue" that Nakomi sensed Aviendha's ability to channel.'

It's not. That's just the first thing I talked about in the theory.

30

Lorcin: 2010-12-10

it is possiby that this was all because of Verin (she is a manipltive bitch) as she could have given the letter to Gael or one of the many Ael Rand traveled with. maybe Sorliea

31

Winleigh: 2011-01-05

The theory that Nakomi is actually Verin is an interesting one, although I just don't get that "vibe" when I read the scene. It seems like more of an internal Aiel thing to me. I am more inclined to go with the Jenn Aiel theory. But when reading Terez's theory, this quote really stood out for me, even though she didn't bold and underline it.

"Urien looked at the sky as though he was trying to remember it. "Will you slay me now, Aes Sedai?"

She blinked. "What?"

"Will you slay me now? One of the old prophecies says that if ever we fail the Aes Sedai again, they will slay us. I know your power is greater than that of the Wise Ones." The Aiel laughed suddenly, mirthlessly. There was a wild light in his eyes. "Bring your lightnings, Aes Sedai. I will dance with them." The Aiel thought he was going to die, and he was not afraid. Perrin realized his mouth was open and closed it with a snap.

"What would I not give," Verin murmured, gazing up at Urien, "to have you in the White Tower. Or just willing to talk. Oh, be still, man. I won't harm you. Unless you mean to harm me, with your talk of dancing.""

Specifically:
"One of the old prophecies says that if ever we fail the Aes Sedai again, they will slay us."

I think this refers to Aviendha's visions, when the white tower finally falls to the Seanchan it will be the fault of the Aiel, and the Aes Sedai taken by the Seanchan will in turn be used as weapons against te Aiel.

32

purpleque: 2011-01-06

Isn't Verin dead?

33

Glen: 2011-01-07

Winleigh - interesting idea. It certainly makes sense, that if the Aiel allow the White Tower to fall into the hands of the Seanchan, it will lead to the death of the Aiel. I'm not sure what we get from that, though.

Purpleque - Verin is dead by the time that Egwene is raised Amyrlin... but we don't know at what point in the timeline it is that Aviendha meets Nakomi. The timelines in the book don't all line up - indeed, for a fair amount of time, Perrin's timeline was something like a month behind most of the others. Last we saw Aviendha in a known timeline, she was with Rand's group, and that was well before the sequence of events that began in Arad Doman and ended with Rand upon Dragonmount. Rand was on Dragonmount, as I understand it, not long after Egwene was raised Amyrlin.

34

Winleigh: 2011-01-07

Glen - LOL, I'm not sure what we get from it either! But I like finding connections between prophesies. Could what Aviendha saw in the ter'angreal be considered a prophecy? Or do you think THAT future could be changed?

35

Lorcin: 2011-01-08

has anyone noticed that it seems to be the children of the dragon that keep causing all the wars. maybe this has something to do with the last battle i.e the dragons blood being shead. Maybe its the children to stop these future wars.

36

ChubbyAiel: 2011-01-10

I think this mention of the "rambling"/"prattling" is a bit tenuous, to be honest. If there was a direct literary parallel in the speech or narration, I would give this more credence but the phrasing and vocabulary doesn't appear to be the same at all. To draw this conclusion would imply that every character who has ever gone off on one could possibly be Verin in disguise. Coming to your conclusion as you have done reminds me of when Lost was huge and in every episode you had people seeing "the numbers" when they weren't really there: first you had to add 4 and 8, and lo and behold you got 12 which was on the screen but wasn't actually one of the numbers itself.

Also, I agree with others that Nakomi speaks like an Aiel, while Verin would not. Even if she were making an effort to deceive Aviendha, I think she wouldn't have been able to do such a good job. I also agree with whoever it was above that says her interest in the Aiel, which you demonstrate, is a combination of a Brown's scholarly interest and an Aes Sedai's interest in what another culture does with its channellers. Maybe she somehow knows that if the Aiel follow the course of events that Aviendha sees it will eventually lead to the fall of the White Tower, but even that's a bit unlikely, with no previous allusion.

Lastly, consider the overall feel of the books. Isn't it better that Verin has her moment of glory and gives her life to eradicate the Black Ajah? Or is it better that her last appearance in the series is in a weird encounter in which she talks about something completely unrelated to her recent, all-important work? If I were an author, I know I'd rather go with the former - it just makes more sense and, I think, gives the character her definite moment of glory.

37

seasnake: 2011-01-21

Honestly, still think Nakomi was the last Jenn Aiel still, one who's been hiding among the Tinkers. But this was certainly fun read.

My only problem with the theory is this: Why? What does Verin gain from disguising herself as an Aiel, waiting for Aviendha in the Waste, and having a rambling conversation with Aviendha about the future of the Aiel? That does she think Aviendha will do in response to her rambling conversation, and why does she think Aviendha must be the one to do it?

I just don't think Verin, who's time was so short, would have gone through this elaborate charade when there is so little that she could conceivable gain. Unless a LOT is revealed in AMOL about Verin it just doesn't make sense.

38

Ashand4rei: 2011-01-26

A couple things: For the entrance, I think the actuality is a lot simpler than Verin doing such complex things as pulling Avi into a dream or jumping into her dream. That sound at the beginning is the key. It's the same thing that happens when Mat got attacked by DF Aiel sent by Sammael(IIRC) way back when when he was leading the Band to the Plains of Maredo(IIRC) as part of the "hammer" to crush Illian and sleeping in his tent. He hears "a sound" that actually ends up being a gateway from the sliced grass and tent ropes he later finds. I'm positive that this is the same sound, that of a gateway opening that Avi hears. What do you think?

Secondly, you probably already have seen/found this but I recently found a provisional ToM calendar courtesy of moratcolm on the dragonmount boards that shows Verin to be quite alive when Nakomi visits Avi in the Waste, I figured it might help with your evidence for the theory.

39

Ashand4rei: 2011-01-26

Forgot to put the actual ToM calendar link!

40

Lorcin: 2011-01-29

@Seasnake your forgetting that Verin chose her time of death, she could have left it to later if she had a good enough reason, but i think your dead on with the whole gateway thing and ty for posting it.

41

terez: 2011-01-29

Yeah, I already pointed out the evidence that Verin was still alive then. Morat'corlm's timeline is based on that evidence.

42

ChubbyAiel: 2011-01-31

I suppose I'm repeating myself but the issue of timeline and opportunity is surely secondary to "Why would she?" from the character's point of view and the author's point of view.

43

Lorcin: 2011-02-05

Verin is at heart a god person we can see that by the way she sarifices herself to tell edwind everything she knows about the black ade (sorry for the spelling mistakes) and I think from her point of view saving an entire nation would be worth the small delay. Also for her it may have been another chance for redemtion for the unknown things she did as a darkfriend

44

ChubbyAiel: 2011-02-07

Lorcin,
If she had that information, she wouldn't keep it to herself because she is a good person - I can agree with you there. My problem with it is that we have absolutely no reason to believe that she has been mulling over the possible future problems for the Aiel, nor has she had any access to visions of the future concerning them, as far as we are aware. For Verin to pop up in such a strange scene to give advice in this manner about something for which she doesn't seem to have had any special concern in the past strikes me as strange.

That is what I meant by "Why would she" - not a moral question, but why would she have any information or special interest in the matter. The points made in the original article strike me as incidental and not strong enough to make such a connection between Verin and Nakomi.

45

matisodin: 2011-02-24

i like Boundless's take. Those things ARE all representative of Rand's presence.

46

wantfear: 2011-02-27

I've been reading on this site for close to three years and i've only just now decided to make an account.

Well, i've noticed several people make an argument saying that verin wouldn't have known where and when aviendha would be on her trip to the waste, or wondering why she would take any interest in the aiel.

the second argument has a simple answer, "[her] soul is as white as the light itself"<-Quote from TGS. if she can do anything to fight the shadow, i have a feeling that the woman will do it.

As to how she would have knowledge abou the aiel or aviendhas location, i think back to TGH when rand takes hiself, matt, perrin, VERIN, and the shienarians through a portal stone, and they see all of their alternate lives and the different ways that things could go.

Now, lets assume that she did come across this information in one of the alternate lives, lets think about how likely that is. We know that a soul that has the ability to channel in one life will have the ability to channel in another, but just for kicks lets say that she only discovers how to channel 5 out of every 10 lives. she only becomes aes sedai and lives until the days of when the dragon should be around half of those times, the rest of the time she is killed early by the black ajah or joins the kin or something else ridiculous happens.

still, about a quarter of the time she would've become an aes sedai. we known that everything didnt necessarily have to end happily, rand could've gone bat shit crazy instead of having his awesome epiphany, and the aiel could go to war with the seanchan. now im not going to go out on a limb nd say that the seanchan are evil( even though their prophecies might've been partially written by ishidin, but in the future that we saw through aviendhas PoV the white tower still existed after the last battle, so verin could've very well been one of the aes sedai who survived in that future. if she was, then she would know all about what the aiel would go through without reverting to the way of the leaf.

47

Davo: 2011-03-30

I reckon Nakomi is Rand. Boundless makes some good points.

48

Oden: 2011-03-31

@Davo
But has Rand learned how to mask his bond so that Aviendha wouldn't feel him beeing near? Is it even possible for him to do that? IIRC the theory that Warders can mask their bond from his Aes Sedai hasn't been confirmed.

49

NeverEndingLurker: 2011-04-03

When I first read the passage, I initially just thought Nakomi was a wandering spirit due to the fact that one of the major signs of the weakening seals was to see the "Dead Walk Again". No one said that all the dead had to be evil and so I thought it was just that and a good moment for "spiritual reflection". But these theories are so much more fun. :-)

50

FROMTHEFARMADDINGCROWD: 2011-08-20

I think a big clue in the scene is that Aviendha clearly lost some time while Nakomi "rambled". She is shocked that the roots could be finished cooking so quickly. As far as we know, Verin is the only character to plant suggestions while rambling on about matters that may or may not be connected to these suggestions and in her own POV she thinks that she developed this method herself by piecing together bits that she picked up over the years. Therefore, while someone else could be doing the same thing, it seems unlikely.

I also think her reason for doing this is the trip through the Portal Stones. She learned a number of things about possible futures and her letters and errands are her way of saving the world not only up to the Last Battle but for as long afterward as she can. Certainly she would see a world dominated by the Seanchan as a bad thing for both the Aes Sedai and the Aiel.

51

AshamanFromTV: 2011-10-31

So, when I was reading this section of the book, my first thoughts was that Nakomi is a Jenn Aiel. Have to agree with Joar Addam Ness0sin. I mean, let's face it, they're the "true" Aiel and yet we haven't seen them anywhere except in flashbacks, and the rest of the Aiel are all hush-hush about them. As far as Nakomi sneaking up and disappearing on Aviendha, it has been referenced several times about how people have been sneaking up on her lately (especially Amys). So why not an Aiel who has remained in the Three-fold Land. What better way to prepare a Wise One to go into the glass columns, than to have a "true" Aiel show the way. Also agree with Glen about the sky clearing around Rand's girls. Anyways, that's my two cents, and now that I'm finally caught up (because I'm lame and wait for paperback editions), I'm greatly enjoying all the theories everyone has for this masterpiece of epicness.

52

Kamaul: 2011-11-02

How can she be Jenn Aiel if the Jenn Aiel don't exist anymore. They had ceased to exist.

The Shadow Rising: The Road to the Spear: "`Our days dwindle,` Mordaine said. `A day will come when the Jenn are no more, and only you will remain to remember the Aiel. You must remain, or all is for nothing, and lost.`"

So, we have Mordaine, a Jenn Aiel, pronouncing the Jenn Aiel's doom, at the time that Rhuidean was half finished. Why would Rhuidean stay half finished for three thousand years if people were there to work on it?

53

AshamanFromTV: 2011-11-04

You got me there. I had forgotten about that passage as the one stating that the Jenn are the thirteenth clan, and that they are but are not, always comes to mind first when I think about them (I think that's mentioned when Rhuarc is telling about Rhuidean the first time in TDR, but someone else is borrowing my books). This lead me to the view of the Jenn as a group of Aiel that are still around, but you never see them, only rumor (kind of like the Jedi in Star Wars 4 and 5 before Obi-Wan and Yoda show up). Thus, when Amys kept saying that, even though Aviendha could Travel right to Rhuidean to save time with the Last Battle coming up, she should still travel through the Waste, my mind placed the label of Jenn Aiel on Nakomi when she did appear. But with this comment from TSR, it could all be wishful thinking or a really cool "Surprise, still some of the originals around!" :)

54

Tomp: 2011-11-05

Just wanted to throw something out there.

Nakomi could be Avienda from the future.

Let me explain. After the last battle everything goes turdwise. Avienda learns that the only way to get it right is to subtly influence events in the past. We know from earlier that a channeler can mask the ability to channel. Who knows what they learn in the future concerning using the power to travel through time. Maybe they through a portal stone ends up in a world where time flows backwards or something.

Just a thought.

55

NKD: 2011-11-07

Hey guys.. im kinda new here.. but then again has anyone considered the option of time travelling? The portal stones are something that has been known to do just that. Rand did it in the second book if im not wrong. Now considering Aviendha who can channel will live upto 500 or 600 years. Thats 5 centuries for some smart channeler to discover the Talent of time travelling. What im tryin to tell is why cant Nakomi be Aviendha herself..but from the future!!!

Future Aviendha knows that Present Aviendha has to come to terms with the purpose of Aiel by Rand thingy for the Aiel to survive. What better way to make sure Aviendha thinks of that than by going back to the past herself. One last thing to do before she dies or something.The future Aviendha seeing the gradual destruction and strife of the Aeil realise that something has to be done and decides to go back in the past, Terminator style.

Aviendha was on a completely desolate area in the Waste when she meets Nakomi. And being an Aeil she must have hidden her fire and camp very well. In spite of that an old woman finds her camp. I feel Nakomi could do that cause Nakomi(future Aviendha) knew exactly where her past self was camping.

Im gonna stick to this theory until proven wrong. Have always loved the time travellings

56

Nona: 2011-11-11

The lines between truth and reality are thinning. Dead are walking among the living. Nakomi might well be Jenn.

Aviendha would have felt her channeling, had she Traveled away. The only two possibilities are, that she isn't real, or that she wields the OP (which seems unrealistic).

57

FarDareisMaiGrandma: 2012-05-11

I think that maybe Nakomi was a DF wise one who was simply trying to get information from Avienda. The blackouts that Avi experience during their conversation are not quite typical of the ones that Nynaeve and Elaine experienced when Moghedien questioned them in Tanchico but they are similar. None of them realized that they had been questioned, they just remembered that they had had a conversation with a woman unknown to them before the encounter. I would imagine that there are many things that the DF's would like to learn about Rand's plans. Where better to get them than from Avi? And they definitly would not want to kill her and possibly alert Rand that they were aware of what they might have learned from her.

58

Nocterequiem: 2012-08-31

Several things about Nakomi are strange which I don't think people are picking up on.

First is her name. Lots of names are important in WoT. Nokomis is a motherly figure, or a grandmother figure. Nakomi uses deeproot herbs on the shellback, the same as Aviendha's mother. This is important.

The way she dresses and the fact that she has no weapons are important. Not a warrior, not a Wise One.

The way that time sneaks up on Aviendha is important. T'A'R? Bubble of Good? Compulsion?

The way that Nakomi addresses Aviendha is important. She starts off calling her Wise One, then child, then apprentice Wise One. This is important.

This is fitting considering the purpose of Aviendha's journey to Rhuidean and the first page and a half of the chapter. She is so SURE of the Aiel's purpose after the Last Battle in the beginning of the chapter. The Aiel would return to the Three Fold Land. After her trip later in the book she is profoundly troubled and is unsure of what path to take. The future is awful for the Aiel. She needs to change it.

Nakomi is trying to affect the way that Aviendha thinks about the future of the Aiel. She apparently has intimate knowledge of who Aviendha is and what she thinks. The question is then, who is Nakomi?

The trolly Rand theory is awesome but doesn't hold any weight. About the same weight as a bubble of evil theory or an agent of the creator theory. All possible, but no evidence.

I don't think it's Verin. I admit that it's possible. She's apparently the Creator's agent in this the hour of need. Her letter to Mat to attempt to save Caemlyn, her books for Egwene, her letter for Rand to tell him where the king of Arad Doman is, and her letter to Alanna. Her impassioned speech to Egwene about caring for the future, not the future of a specific people, but THE future. Maybe one of those letters in her 'small stack' was to a Wise One or someone else who would go to meet Aviendha and convince her to rethink how she thought of the Aiel. That doesn't explain the Aiel mannerisms and the mother aspects or the time effects though.

Hell, maybe Nakomi is one the red veiled Aiel we see in the prologue of ToM. (Highly doubt that though)

59

Ukomba: 2012-11-08

Just thought I'd point out that Nakomi can be rearranged into almost perfectly into Okami, Japanese meaning "great god" or "great spirit".

Keeping the N, a better fit would actually be No-Kami. Kami being the word for divinity, No-Kami is often added to the end of the names of Names for divine beings or positions. As in, Ôhiru-Menomuchi-No-kami, "Great Goddess" or "Great Spirit Who Shines in the Heavens". Perhaps more fitting for Verin, Daigaku-No Kami, a Japanese Imperial court position and the title of the chief education expert.

So Verin, if dead, wouldn't have had to visited her in the world of dreams. If she were an agent of the Creator, a divine educator, she could be sent to the waking world. If the Horn of Valere could do it, so could the creator. Verin earned a position as hero.

60

Macster: 2012-11-18

@Kamaul: Just thought it worth mentioning (since others who believe in the Jenn theory have brought it up) that that quote from Mordaine doesn't necessarily mean what it seems to on the surface. She doesn't say the Jenn are dying or will die, but that "a day will come when the Jenn are no more"--as in, no longer Jenn. Such as when the Aiel all know there true past and return to the Way of the Leaf, so there will no longer need to be a distinction between them and the Jenn. And she says "our days dwindle" which could just as easily mean their days in Randland, not their days alive--as in, that they were planning to leave Randland either through the Portal Stones or TAR.

And of course none of this addresses the fact the Jenn could be dead yet still be around, if their souls are bound to Rhuidean through a ter'angreal, TAR, or a Portal Stone world. Their memory could even be preserved through the glass columns, explaining why they feel alive to Aviendha and how the change from past to future events happened. Plenty of options which still allow for Nakomi to be Jenn, whether alive or not.

61

Waxer: 2013-09-18

In the epilogue as rand is carrying Moridins body out of the tunnel a figure kneeling down beside him. "yes" a woman whispered. I think she is Nakomi. Maybe she is form the age of legions.