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and and the True Power

by Zombie Sammael: 2011-12-17 | 9 out of 10 (1 votes)

Previous Categories: The Dark One's Touch

As of chapter 22 of TGS, Rand al'Thor appears to be capable of channeling the True Power, a feat previously only performed to our knowledge by Ishamael/Moridin in the current age, and by around 30 channelers in the AOL. It stands to reason to think that among these 30 were the 12 other Forsaken we know of in the current age, but as of the current end of the series, other than Moridin the only other Forsaken to have access to the TP is Graendal , and even then only a sliver. We don't know if she's used it, but if you put the power of darkness on a mantle piece in act 2, it stands to reason it'll go off in act 3, so if she hasn't she probably will in AMOL.

Most of what we know about the True Power comes from a couple of chapters of ACOS, and the prologue to TPOD where Moridin uses it whilst playing Sha'rah. In fact, he uses it to almost crush the Fisher piece, which represents Rand, before setting it back on the board. Apart from this, he also uses it in the infamous balefire incident in Shadar Logoth during ACOS. That incident is partly the subject of this theory. It is assumed by many that Ishamael channeled the True Power almost exclusively from a certain point onwards, and that the eyes and mouth of flame he exhibited are an extremely advanced form of the Saa. The apparently quick disintegration of Ishy's corpse in TDR might also be an effect of this, as we know from ACOS that there is a physical price to using the TP.

However, there is also one other time when we can know the True Power definitely is used. This example is most often neglected by readers, mainly because of where it takes place: right at the start of the series. In the prologue to TEOTW, Ishy heals LTT of Madness using the True Power. Here's the relevant passage:

TEOTW, Prologue
"I was never very skilled at Healing, and I follow a different power now. But even one of them could only give you a few lucid minutes, if you did not destroy her first. What I can do will serve as well, for my purposes." His sudden smile was cruel. "But I fear Shai'tan's healing is different from the sort you know. Be healed, Lews Therin!" He extended his hands, and the light dimmed as if a shadow had been laid across the sun.

Pain blazed in Lews Therin, and he screamed, a scream that came from his depths, a scream he could not stop. Fire seared his marrow; acid rushed along his veins. He toppled backwards, crashing to the marble floor; his head struck the stone and rebounded. His heart pounded, trying to beat its way out of his chest, and every pulse gushed new flame through him. Helplessly he convulsed, thrashing, his skull a sphere of purest agony on the point of bursting. His hoarse screams reverberated through the palace.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the pain receded. The outflowing seemed to take a thousand years and left him twitching weakly, sucking breath through a raw throat. Another thousand years seemed to pass before he could manage to heave himself over, muscles like jellyfish, and shakily push himself up on hands and knees."

Note that Ishamael as much as tells LTT he's going to use the TP to heal him, and also the shadow effect, believed to be associated with TP use from examples of both Moridin and Rand using it (and also arguably Mazrim Taim).

It's generally assumed that Rand's ability in TGS to use the TP is because of the "crossing the streams" of Balefire he and Moridin experienced in ACOS. For reasons I will go into below, I do not think this is the case.

I believe Rand is able to use the True Power because he was healed by it in the quoted scene in the prologue of TEOTW.

[Note that I am assuming that LTT and Rand are one and the same, and ignoring any arguments about one soul or two, or real or construct, as they are totally irrelevant to this theory]

There are numerous reasons why I believe this to be the case. I'll start with a quote from RJ:

Robert Jordan, A Crown of Swords book tour 9 October 1996, Dunwoody, GA - Erica Sadun reporting
Access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. NOT black cords. In Prologue to The Eye of the World, we saw Ishamael use the True Power to Heal insanity. The One Power cannot be used to Heal insanity.

Contrast that with this quote from Brandon:

Brandon Sanderson, Driving Mr. Sanderson (from Half Moon Bay to San Jose), 21 November 2009 - Matt Hatch reporting
Matt: There was some confusion about Rand and the Dark One's permission, so for clarification's sake, did Rand have the Dark One's permission to use the True Power?

Brandon: I have not answered that. If anyone says that I have, I have not. What I have said specifically is, this is recording: generally one must have the Dark One's permission to use the True Power. Semirhage believed that the Dark One had betrayed her by letting Rand use it. It is good that you have asked this so I can make sure on the record that is the answer I have given.

So what does this tell us? Well, there is an unasked question here, ignoring whether or not Rand had the DO's permission for the moment. The first quote might seem to say something it doesn't: that anyone who desires it can have access to the True Power if the DO would but let it. Obviously, that isn't the case: if the DO could just make an instant army of True Power-ed Darkfriends he'd do so, and would have conquered the world centuries ago, if not secured his release. It would appear that you have to at least be a channeler to use it, but again, if he could just give permission to everyone in the Black Ajah, why not do it?

There is an additional characteristic possessed by everyone except Rand who can channel the True Power: they're all Forsaken. There appear to be a couple of contradictory statements about whether Forsaken immortality is an effect of the True Power or not, but we can ignore that for the minute, because the one characteristic shared by everyone who's a Forsaken, can channel the TP, and isn't Rand al'Thor, is that they've all been to Shayol Ghul, and been in the presence of the Dark One.

TSR, 9, Decisions

"It is possible to talk with [the Dark One]. Go to Shayol Ghul, into the Pit of Doom, and you can...hear him. You can...bathe in his presence." A different light shone on her face, now. Ecstasy.

Becoming a Forsaken isn't just a matter of being the best Darkfriend. You have to go to SG and do this. I suggest that this is a prerequisite for using the True Power as well, and hence is the reason why we've (so far) only seen the Forsaken confirmed using it (Taim is, at the moment, unconfirmed).

So how can Rand use it? There are two possibilities, and what it actually comes down to is whether he has permission or not. The first is the widely held view that it has to do with the link with Moridin, and that the Dark One was essentially confused as to who was drawing the TP, and so let Rand get away with it and destroy Semirhage.

My problem with this is that everything channeling the TP allows Rand to do benefits the Dark One. For reasons unknown, the DO seems to need Rand to turn to his side in order to win, and simply having him as a captive of the male a'dam doesn't seem to be enough. For a start, there's the ultimate weakness of the male a'dam that it allows the male as much control as the female(s), and since Rand is so willful, it's possible that what happened with the a'dam was simply that timetable getting accelerated. Then there's the fact that as a result of what Semirhage did, we got Dark Rand, and also the various negative effects use of the True Power has on individuals, including insanity. Making Rand more insane was definitely something the Dark One was out to do, and allowing him access to the True Power in this situation definitely benefits him.

So it's probably not the case that the Dark One was confused about who was using his power at the time. Therefore Rand's True Power usage is not necessarily a function of the blurring between him and Moridin, which definitely is taking place. The problem regarding that merging is that it appears to be more of a physical phenomenon rather than metaphysical. It involves Moridin experiencing pain from Rand's stump, and both men experiencing physical sickness when the other embraces the source. Both also experience visions of the other.

So if Rand had the DO's permission to use the TP, how does he fulfil the second apparent prerequisite of needing to visit SG to get access? Apparently, he doesn't, but again, if it's via the link with Moridin, it could be confusion on the Dark One's part, or that he's somehow drawing it through the link. However, this would suggest that Rand and Moridin are far more linked than they appear to be. As I stated above, there are many physical symptoms of the link, but few that appear related to the soul. One major argument in favour of this line of thinking is Rand's experience atop Dragonmount; he's able to overcome and protect against the darkness in his mind and soul somehow, and yet still seems to be linked to Moridin through TOM. This suggests the link isn't soul-related, yet.

There is, then, one other possibility: Rand has touched the Dark One in some other way. Now, the quotes I've already posted imply that channeling tainted Saidin isn't enough, coupled with the fact that if it was, why not an army of tainted male dreadlords years ago? So is there another circumstance which would allow Rand to fulfil that requirement?

Brandon Sanderson, Driving Mr. Sanderson (from Half Moon Bay to San Jose), 21 November 2009 - Matt Hatch reporting
Matt: Ok, so, what is then the nature of the Dark One's relationship with the True Power? In other he the Power or it is separate like the One Power?

Brandon: When people bored into his prison they were searching for a new source of power, they found him. Alright? Now, that leaves a strong implication that the True Power is the essence of the Dark One. The True Power when it is used rips apart the Pattern to rebuild it as it desires. The True Power is very destructive to the Pattern. It leaves scars on the Pattern. Robert Jordan said in an interview or maybe it was actually in the books, when you make a gateway with the True Power you are actually ripping a hole in the Pattern and going somewhere else. When you are using the True Power that is what you are doing, it is contrary to the Pattern. That is not a direct answer to your question but I think there are enough implications in there that certain things can be discussed.

[I realize now, after listening to Brandon's answer that I was making an assumption about the One Power too, that it is separate from the Creator because of what we have been given in the books and the BWB, but I should have asked if instead the One Power is the essence of the Creator...]

I suggest that there is: being healed by it in TEOTW. Brandon says in the quote above that the TP is the essence of the DO. Plus, there is Lanfear's quote about the ecstasy of bathing in the Dark One's presence; compare that with LTT's experience when being healed by the True Power. Agony and ecstasy are like two sides of the same coin, especially when you contrast someone as far in the dark as Lanfear with someone as far in the light as The Dragon.

Thus, the healing in TEOTW appears to fulfil the second requirement of being touched by the Dark One, and Rand apparently fulfils both requirements for using the TP without the link between himself and Moridin being necessary to it. The next big question, of course, is so what?

I'd say knowing this tells us a little bit more about the link with Moridin, which is likely to be pivotal to AMOL. It suggests that perhaps the link isn't quite as strong or as deep as we thought, and lends weight to some of the theories about killing Rand prior to TG being necessary for some reason, by giving us a reason for that to happen: given the physical nature of the link, killing Rand might also kill Moridin, perhaps just as he's about to do something dastardly. It lends a bit more strength to the idea of Rand's death being necessary despite his salvation atop Dragonmount; a return of Dark Rand would be very disappointing given that it would diminish the power of that scene. This is probably the main benefit, aside from metaphysical knowledge of how things work.

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Tamyrlin: 2012-04-17

So, why not consider the tainting of Saidin as the moment when LTT touched the DO and created a connection that would enable TP channeling? Also, isn't there a distinct possibility that the madness...hmm, never thought of this before...I wonder if some of the male Aes Sedai that went insane, I wonder if they were capable of accessing the True Power and did at times when they were tearing apart the World. But back to the other thought I had. I wonder if LTT channeled the True Power after his encounter with the DO and if it is that memory of access coupled with the connection to Moridin which enabled it. Hell, maybe he used the True Power to kill all of his kin and we see it's aftermath. By the way, Zombie, I believe the other instance, if I'm not mistaken, of TP usage at the beginning of the book is when Ishamael travels to Dragonmount in the prologue.

Fun stuff to kick around for sure. Thanks Zombie.


WinespringBrother: 2012-04-17

Graendal also used the True Power, when she linked with the dove to spy on Ramshalan (TofM, Prologue).

Not sure if Lews Therin ever used the True Power, but it would certainly explain his frantic reaction to Rand's usage of it when he killed Semirhage, if LTT had killed his kin with it.

Also, Brandon answered a question regarding Ishamael's healing of LTT that may be related to your theory, though it may be too specific to directly support or contradict it, since it refers to a link between Ishy and LTT, not the Dark One and LTT:

Interview: Sep 21st, 2010
Orem Library Signing Report - Matt Hatch
Matt Hatch (for WSB): The next question is from a Theorylander. Did Ishamael’s healing of Lews Therin back in the prologue of The Eye of the World create the same doctor-patient bond as when Nynaeve healed Egwene?

Brandon Sanderson : No, not that I know. I think that I would know, but no.


Kinslayerdc: 2012-04-17

This is a very interesting Theory. I like where this makes you think. Beyond permission, and if the Lord of Chaos is to rule. Why not create Shai`dar Haran? He is supposed to be an "extension" of the DO. Isn't the Taint an extension of the DO also by nature?

I think Haran is tied to the TS some how. He can produce a Stedding effect, and in one book he has a spear smoldering with darkness. And then Touches Alviarin? The Dot on her foerhead that she frets over.

I need to research a bit more or theorize more.

Might be a hint of need? Given by the dark one in need regardless of the damage to the pattern? I can see the pattern accepting some damage if it's best for everyone. That is consistant with the Daoist nature of the book.

Great reading folks, can't believe I didn't come to this website eons ago.


wantfear: 2012-04-18

I think that whether or not Male Aes Sedai who went mad channeled the TP would depend on how much TP got mixed in with Saidin. they had 110ish male channelers weilding enormous ammounts of power, although they didnt have the choedan kal sa'angreal.

I've always imagined Saidin and Saidar as . . . oceans or something; using the choedan kal you could move that ocean hella lot faster that with even 100 of the strongest channelers, and given the time it took for rand to cleanse it Saidin, it must've taken the taint awhile to settle over the "ocean". The taint has always been described as almost . . . oil on top of water, which i wouldnt consider enough of contact to enable TP channeling. So it's possible the first guys to snap and lose it wouldve channeled the TP for stints of their destruction, but that would be a small portion given that it was over a hundred years til the last insane channeler died.

Using that same train of thought; Lews Therin WAS superchaged with the TP by Ishy as shown by Zombie in his theoey and that contact would be . . . more than sufficient.

What is the doctor-patient bond between egwene and nynaeve


I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and i don't want to be laughed at. Everyone got to the end of ToM and nearly pissed themselves on the same page when some "red veiled aiel" disembowel this (kandori?) merchant. There was a lot of speculation about what they could at the time, but that conversation died down . . . . well. Pointed Teeth(Fangs.) in the passage in ToM i know they are quoted as moving faster than what would be "normal"(superspeed). Lets not forget, they EAT our merchant friend. But Perhaps eat is the wrong word, because that isnt the word RJ(or sanderson) used he used an ambiguous word that i cant remember. I THINK that they SUCKED his BLOOD!!! I think we have Vampires on our hands people! (the things definitely had blood on them too)

Imagine if you will, a new breed of shadowspawn, the taint and corruption of the dark one touched upon a person, much like a wolf to a darkhound. Darkhounds devour the souls of other wolves . . . but thats because they live in the world of dreams(sometimes) and we(humans) dont. Vampires would be just as deadly on the battlefield as a Fade, maybe even more so, you don't know what could kill them . . . well balefire probably. Even if they arent vampires those things need to be taken into account in battles.

P.S. I just watched daybreaker and a vampire in that movie at one point had an eerie resembalance to the description at the end of ToM. imagination playing tricks maybe, but it makes sense to me


Zombie Sammael: 2012-04-18

Tam: I'm of the opinion that the link needs to be specific. If the Dark One could just give everyone in the world permission to channel the True Power, he would do, because it would then tear the world to pieces. Now, it's certainly the case that the male AS who went mad were destructive. Maybe they were given permission, as they're certainly touched by the DO, but presumably the DO would limit that to only the craziest. Of course, that doesn't eliminate LTT or any of the other Hundred Companions who went mad on the spot, especially since we know from Ishy's behaviour that it was possible to channel the TP whilst the bore was at its strongest. Nevertheless, a clarification to bear in mind. Also note that the DO was specifically protecting male Forsaken from the taint, and may be or have been offering protection from the taint to male Dreadlords/Black Asha'man during the Trolloc Wars or at present. Why would he do this if the taint is the means by which the True Power is accessed? To use the analogy of a living body, I personally would tend to think of the taint as a waste product of the DO, while the True Power is his blood or essence.

WSB: Thanks for the clarification regarding Graendal. I agree that the question you posted is rather more specific; it seems to be getting at the nature of the link between Moridin and Rand, and seems to at least indicate it was created in SL rather than at the moment of healing. This stands to reason, as both men have died since. (note that I certainly agree the link exists, I just don't think it's the means of the TP channelling)


Tamyrlin: 2012-04-18

@wantfear and @zombie - It's less that I'm thinking the Taint is the channeling mechanism, and more that through the poisoning of the channeler, the Taint being a substance of similar make to the True Power, embeds itself in the mind (Mind Poison), becoming Dark One Compulsion. And through the channeler becoming "Mad", loses control, and can be compelled by the DO. And in the end can be compelled to use the True Power, which the Channeler wouldn't normally do; consider the way Male Channelers react to the Taint. In the same way, I'd imagine they'd react to touching the True Power, initially. For those that were part of the Backlash, they went Mad instantly, or in other words in the way that I'm thinking, the ability for the Dark One to compel them was instantaneous.

@zombie - I'd imagine giving just anyone access to the True Power would not be something he'd want to do, but to give it to channelers that he controls, I don't see why he'd have a problem doing that. I didn't mean to suggest that the Taint was a conduit like a cord through which power is transferred.


nonobadog: 2012-04-19

This makes me wonder if the wound Rand has is what has touched the dark one, whether it is direct or indirect, meaning that the dark one touched him directly or indirectly it just happened. To me is seems he is the only one to have a wound and it been said that there is evil in it, if this is the reason he touched the True Power the wound works both ways in that Rand can use it against the dark one. I may be wrong but that my thoughts on Rand and the True Power.


wantfear: 2012-04-20

Tam i was under the impression that the TP is the essence of the DO? i remember reading it somewhere i thought in the interview database or something.

also any thoughts on the vampires? it might sound a little ridiculous thats why im not sure exactly where to post it.


Hundred and First Companion: 2012-04-20

I've always thought that the only prerequisits for a channeler to be able to use the True Power were that he/she had to have access/permission to use it through the Dark One and had been touched directly by the Dark One so that there was a connection between the two.

Rand/Lews Therin have been in direct contact with the DO on many occasions, most notably at the Sealing of the Bore by Lews Therin and the Companions. All the rest, including the wound in his side etc, are irrelevant. I think even the link with Moridin is only indirectly responsible in that Rand's personality changed so much due to Moridins influence and his constant use of the TP - coupled with Rand's own desperation - all factored in his awareness that the TP was there for him to use.

The DO would have Rand/Lews Therin use his TP constantly if he could. It is my opinion that only the accidental crossing of the streams at Shadar Logoth, and his own desperation at having to kill Min (which I think was actually planned, Semirhage being the sacrifice) created the circumstances in which he would have no choice but to use the TP. This was the cunningly crafted plan by the Shadow - to get Rand/Lews Therin to use the TP, it was never to capture him with the male a'dam, and the only links necessary were those I mentioned above.


Kamaul: 2012-04-22

In addition to the side effects of channeling the True Power, there are other mental reasons to allow the Dark One to give Rand control. To channel the True Power consciously, you need to accept the Dark One's dominance over you. At least, that was what we had seen the one time a person consciously embraced the One Power.

Towers of Midnight: Distinctions "Graendal opened herself and accepted the Great Lord's dominance of her, feeling the thrilling ecstasy of his power, his passion, his very substance."

So, every time Rand touches the True Power, he gets closer and closer to giving himself to the Dark One.


Boli: 2012-04-23

I always thought Rand's ability to channel the TP was to do with the band of domination.

The Domination Bands were made during the Breaking and allow a woman or two women to control a man who can channel. Prior to the Cleansing of saidin, the Domination Bands were dangerous to use because they did not prevent the man from going mad. They are also imperfect because, given time, he will eventually be able to control the woman as well as she controlling him. While saidin was tainted, this had extremely dangerous repercussions. Two women in the bracelets reduces this back seepage, but it also makes it harder to control the male channeler.

Since he is linked to Semirhage it stands to reason that with enough willpower he would both feel and be able to control the TP *through* her initialy... but afterwards will be able to touch/feel the TP himself. This also makes sense as the DO one is sacrificing her in order to force the DR into using the TP.


Zombie Sammael: 2012-04-23

@Kamaul - I completely agree, but again, if that's a side-effect, surely an army of DF TP wielders submitting to the DO is great news for the Shadow?

@Boli - that seems like a very interesting idea, and is certainly a little simpler than either my theory or the Moridin-link theory! However, the fact remains that Rand has fulfilled the second requirement I proposed, as have all the other known TP channellers. It's possible that a non-Shadow-touched channeller might have felt nothing, or been unable to reach or do anything with the TP had they sensed it. Without the DO's blessing, it may even have destroyed them.

Regarding that second requirement, I felt I ought to post a response LupusDeusEst kindly got for me from Brandon over the weekend:

"Q: We know access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. Are there any other conditions?

A: Well… (This is not quite verbatim.) You have to be human of course, and all the other things as with the OP. I don't believe so, but I am not sure. (Don't take this last sentence as gospel as I may not recall it correctly.)"

So it appears Brandon wasn't sure himself. The fact that all of the known TP channellers have DO-contact of one kind or another may just be coincidence, hence why Brandon wasn't aware of it as a condition, or it might simply be something he overlooked. If there's an opportunity, we could follow it up with a more direct question. My main objection to these being the only conditions still stands, however: if that's all there is to it, why not simply create an army of True Power wielding Dreadlords?


keelan86: 2012-04-24

Q.why not simply create an army of True Power wielding Dreadlords?

A. An additional requirement maybe that the channeler has to be above a certain ability/power threshold.


Zombie Sammael: 2012-04-25

@keelan - where did you get that from? I can't seem to find it in the interview database, and it contradicts the quote Brandon gave where he said he's not aware of any other requirements. I agree that all of the TP channellers we've seen so far are above a certain strength level, just as all have touched the DO.


keelan86: 2012-04-25

@zombie Sam-

from myself. turns out I was horribly wrong, oh well


Kamaul: 2012-04-26

For reasons I won't explain here, I believe that the Dark One doesn't just want servants, he wants servants who follow him of their own free will. He could mindtrap every Forsaken, but hasn't. He must believe that they are of more use to him acting independently and to their own designs. He appears - yes, I said appears; it's not a certainty - that controlling Rand through the male a'dam is not enough for him.

He had had an army in the Age of Legends. He probably could have retained that army indefinitely throughout the entirety of the Breaking by simply granting them immunity to the taint - and preferably immortality as well. There doesn't seem to have been any intention of doing so. The Dark One definitely could help the army continue fighting simply by telling the remaining Chosen, after the Bore was sealed, what to do.

Lastly, in the Mirror World that Rand, Hurin, and Loial went to, the Dark One had absolutely won. He had destroyed all resistance. He had removed everything that was preventing his escape. However, he seemed to be no closer to breaking free.

For those reasons, I believe the idea that he would want to force an army, or even just Rand, to submit to him using the True Power's side effects and psychological acceptance is incorrect. He wants people to willingly turn to him.


First-Selector: 2012-04-30

I think that the biggest issue regarding the True Power is not that we don't understand how it is accessed, but why the Dark One lets people access it to begin with. We don't, by and large, understand the true design of the Dark One's plans. I agree with Kamaul in that the failure of the Dark One to be released in worlds where the forces of darkness have won indicates that there is something we are missing. Indeed, Verin indicates that the Dark One is weaving a much more subtle plot than simple military superiority.

Zombie, I feel, is correct that the Dark One is not mistaken who is drawing the power. It seems far more likely that Rand is being granted the ability to further some end. Recall that in the Fisher analogy, the Dark One must maneuver Rand into some sort of "winning" situation (from the Dark One's point of view). If this involves some sort of corruption of Rand (as evidenced by the black aura he makes, for example), then it seems that drawing the True Power could indeed have this effect.

It might also be that by corrupting Rand's influence, the Dark One hopes to extend his sway over the world. Since we know that "the land is one with the Dragon...", we might reasonably assume that injecting the True Power into this connection would be beneficial to the Dark One. We do not fully understand the nature of the True Power, and we do not know what sort of control its use allows the Dark One to exert over the user.

Finally, I would agree that the whole Semirhage events were set up so that Rand, having previously "touched" the Dark One in some way, would desire the True Power to save Min. Thus, the Dark One could exert his influence on Rand without Rand having to actually convert. I believe that this was a sort of last-ditch attempt, since it was clear that Rand would not convert on his own free will. (Whether the circle of thirteen Dreadlords and Myrddraal will be attempted remains to be seen.)

In conclusion, it appears to me that Rand using the True Power could be a very useful tool for whatever scheme the Dark One is weaving. Once we understand his true motives (dominion over the world, the end of time, the unmaking of reason, etc), we will be able to identify what purpose Rand wielding the True Power serves. It is my opinion that Zombie has identified good reasons for Rand's intentional access to the True Power, and this reinforces that there is more that we do not understand.


The Angry Druid: 2012-05-03

Interesting theory, and well done. I must confess I haven't delved deeply into the metaphysical stuff, but I'm reluctant to agree.

A couple tidbits. Firsts, I'd be hesitant to use a quote from RJ that is not actually true anymore. The OP HAS been used to heal insanity, that is fact. Note that RJ didn't say in hasn't been used to heal insanity, but that it cannot be. So, right there, there is some shaky footing.

Second, as to why there aren't armies of DF TP channelers ripping the pattern apart. We have multiple views from Forsaken when Moridin's saa are visible saying the price is too high, personally. They know it's highly addictive and has drawbacks. Furthermore, the DF's want to be immortal and rule forever, they don't want to rip the pattern apart. It's the same reason they stopped using balefire. What is there to rule if everything is torn asunder? Ishy/Moridin is unique in that he is a nihilist, none of that worries him in the slightest. But nearly everyone else isn't so crazy. Even Graendal is very cautious and limited in her usage. Or at least so far.

Third, as to the Moridin/Rand link, I do not think the carryover has been purely physical. Though the evidence is a bit weak, as is my recollection. If one buys the Moridin/Taiim theory, Taim starts to stand like a Warder and mimics their deadly grace, after being disdainful of swords earlier. And doesn't Taim (or was it Moridin?) start standing with his left hand behind his back like Rand does after losing the hand? Plus, I thought Rand's rages and temper were not only affected by his growing insanity, but by his link to Moridin as well. Again, no direct evidence here, and I hope someone with more knowledge of the specifics can comment.

Regardless, it leads to the last point, which is why the DO would let Rand have access. One possibility (already discussed) is the because of the link, and granting the power to Moridin, the DO is unable to withhold the TP from Rand. And, the other possibility is that the DO did not want to (at least for long stretches). The DO almost won with Dark Rand turning into his champion. He sacrificed Semirhage to try to push Rand over the top and into Darkness, and it almost worked. Worth a try, certainly. Of course, having failed in the gambit, it seems the DO would abandon that line now, so that puts us back with the idea that he cannot: either via the link or some other phenomena that the OP proposes.


keelan86: 2012-05-04

Doesn't Graendal(?) say that regardless of the Taint being removed any damage before hand remains. She says specifically in Rand's case but don't we have that Asha'man who keeps thinking assassins are hiding in shadows or something similar. So DO letting Rand use True Power should enhance any damage done & possibly quicken its progression.


Zombie Sammael: 2012-05-05

@The Angry Druid - It's interesting that you point out that this is one of the few examples that I know of where RJ outright says something that is later disproved in the books. Perhaps he changed his mind afterwards, or perhaps he was talking from a strictly literal perspective, i.e. the OP couldn't be used to heal insanity at that time in the books, therefore it couldn't. Still, the method Nynaeve used was very different to what Ishamael did. Is it possible Rand's taint-insulation during TOM isn't the result of what happened on Dragonmount, but rather is an effect of the True Power, perhaps reawakened by his TP channelling in TGS?

The bigger question about why no army of TP Dreadlords, then, seems to be what the price is. We know there's the saa, and we know there's insanity - Ishamael/Moridin, the biggest TP user in the series, is crazy enough to think that he is the Dark One himself for the early part of the series, and even after his resurrection is prone to temper tantrums and erratic behaviour. This goes some way towards what I think Keelan86 is getting at in his comment; perhaps the ultimate price of channelling the TP is insanity, much as it is with channelling tainted saidin. But just as insane saidin channellers was something that, if not helpful, was at least pleasing to the Dark One, then I don't see why insane TP channellers would be any less beneficial to his cause - especially as the TP damages the pattern with use. Are there are other physical effects, like the wasting sickness of the taint? Did Ishamael's body burn up so quickly in TDR because there was very little except a malevolent will, the True Power, and the saa, left alive?

As for the Moridin link, those are still symptoms I would classify as physical as opposed to metaphysical. A metaphysical effect would be if, say, Moridin began to exhibit ta'veren-like traits. The physical symptoms are to do with bodies and experiencing one another's sensations; in my opinion, shared characteristics fall into this category.

The trouble with the idea that Rand can't channel the TP anymore is that he at least thinks he does. Now, of late, I've become interested by another section of Karaethon prophecy which suggests Rand might still be heading for a fall, and this might be a symptom of that; I should mention it in all fairness. However, setting that aside for a moment and sticking with my earlier instincts on Rand post-Dragonmount, I'd be inclined to trust his thoughts on his own abilities. That is also problematic because it presents us - as the Moridin link theory does - with the problem of Rand channelling the TP without the Dark One's permission. The darker possibility is that the DO actually hasn't given up on the idea of turning Rand, and he may still have permission. Thinking over what I said earlier about the price and insanity, is it possible that whatever protection Rand has achieved is actually fragile enough that it would fly from him if he were to touch the shadow? The result being that if the DO can just tempt him with the TP there's still every chance of victory.

What a lot of this seems to come down to is a question of how important the ending of TGS actually was.


edubz1987: 2012-05-06

Can anyone channel the true power, or do you have to be able channel saidin or saidar?


LewFox: 2012-05-07

well could it be that backlash of Shaitan from the attack of LTT and his hundred companions is like "bathing in his presence"? just a thought!!


Zombie Sammael: 2012-05-07

@EDubz Afraid I can't find it right now, but I believe it's been stated that you do have to be able to channel to use the TP.

@Lewfox - Not quite the same thing; the taint is an emanation of the DO (as is the TP) rather than actually the essence or source of the power itself. The idea that a tainted channeller might be able to use the TP is interesting but (personally) I think it's going in the wrong direction.


Dragon Tamer: 2012-05-07

Robert Jordan, A Crown of Swords book tour 9 October 1996, Dunwoody, GA - Erica Sadun reporting

Access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. NOT black cords. In Prologue to The Eye of the World, we saw Ishamael use the True Power to Heal insanity. The One Power cannot be used to Heal insanity.

I have to disagree with what is said. Obviously as seen by Nynaeve's healing an Ashaman called Naeff in TOM The One Power can be used to heal insanity.


incomplicit: 2012-07-29

"Desperately [Lews Therin] reached out to the True Source, to tainted Saidin, and he Traveled." The Eye of the World, Prologue, xiii: 4-5 (Hardback).

This is right after Elan Morin Tedronai heals his insanity with the True Power. Is this a typo? Could Lews Therin channel the True Power because he had just been touched by it? And why does he reach out to the True Source through Saidin if it is separate from the One Power? Is the taint an access point for the True Power?


codetoast: 2012-07-31

True Source is where the One Power comes from. The True Power comes from the dark one himself (not the True Source presumably). The naming is confusing.


Nocterequiem: 2012-08-30

@Tamyrlin It says in the BWB that LTT and the Companions went insane immediately upon sealing the Bore. The backstroke affected them immensely. LTT using the True Power to kill his family makes a lot more sense to me than saidin. Given Rand's mention that the TP rivaled the CK in power, LTT using the TP to kill his family is much more credible than him using saidin. LTT is probably the most powerful channeler ever, but surely there were several people there who could channel as well. Surely a few people working together could have matched or overpowered LTT? But if he wielded immense power such as the Choedan Kal or if the TP is equivalent... then they stood no chance.

Giving a madman the power to kill his entire family when that is power derived from evil itself seems to me like something the DO would do.


Yosarian: 2012-10-23

There could be other reasons as to why the Dark One isn't creating an instant army of dreadlords with the True Power. For one thing, with the bore still partly sealed, that may be a limiting factor.

But beyond that; the Dark One himself either does not have infinite power or else can not project infinite power into the world through the Bore. We don't know which one of those is true, but at least one of them must be, or else the Shadow War would have been over before it began. Also, the Hundred Companions wouldn't have been able to seal him away if he had infinite power. And the True Power seems to draw power directly from the Dark One himself. Perhaps if too many people drew on the True Power at once, it would weaken the Dark One.

Considering that the Dark One's power is vast but finite, I'm sure he can grant power to one person or to a dozen without weakening himself significantly, but if he gave it to hundreds and hundreds of channelers, it might weaken him. Maybe not a huge amount, but perhaps enough to hurt him in the Last Battle.