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he Stick and Ocean Analogy

by Tigraine: 2003-02-05 | Not yet rated

Previous Categories: Plans of the Dark One

Okay, bear with me for a moment while I try to explain how this works.

Imagine that each person's life is like a drop of water. It changes as time goes by. Sometimes we are alive (as water), then we die (evaporate), and are reborn (rain) either in this age or another. Each droplet is inconsequential by itself, but when you unite thousands, millions, billions of these drops, you get rivers, ponds, lakes, oceans of water.

So, we can say in this analogy that if each drop of water is the living soul of a person, then the ocean would be the entire world full of souls. (Meanwhile, clouds would seem to mirror Tel'Aran'Rhiod, where life waits to be reborn).

Now, onto the second part of the analogy. The stick.

We know from various sources, especially Moiraine, that ta'veren are the Wheel of Time's way of correcting itself when the Pattern begins to diverge from the Age Lace's original intent. Ta'veren mingle all of the surrounding threads of life together and often produce odd happenings: impressive luck, a village full of marriages, ect. If we tie this in with the previous analogy, we can say that ta'veren are devices that can change the natural flow of a current or create whirls in the ocean to change it slightly.

If you swirl a stick in water, you get a nice whirlpool that does just that. It changes the structure of the pool slightly, and it draws water into the heart of the whirlpool where the stick lies. So, we can say that if the world is an ocean, then ta'veren are sticks that shift currents just enough to correct the ocean.

Now... the Dark One has long ago promised the Forsaken that they will be immortal and the most prominent people in the universe should he take control of the world. He yearns to break free of his prison and "recreate the Pattern in his own image" or something to that effect. Now, let's envision the Dark One as a person suspended above the ocean (odd, huh?) He is trapped outside of the Pattern and cannot directly influence events, so he uses the Forsaken to do his bidding.

However, his primary concern is the Last Battle. Why? Because it determines the ultimate fate of one thing: the alignment of the Dragon Reborn. Now, if we put the Dragon Reborn into this collage of analogies, he would be the largest stick in the ocean.

With the Dark One suspended above the ocean, would he not want to reach out for that largest stick so that he can begin to twirl the ocean to his own plans? If he controlled the Dragon Reborn, he could use the Dragon's ta'veren ability to shift the outcome of the Pattern - change it, in reality. Once he controlled the Dragon, he could begin to subjugate the other ta'veren to his will over time and control more of that ocean. Eventually, he would be the one controlling the tides with his myriad of sticks, and thusly... the ocean (Pattern) will have been remade.

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing to follow. It seems to make the Dark One's goal more rational, however. Once he controls the strongest ta'veren, that ta'veren's fate-twisting ability can be used to gain control of others until he controls the entire world.
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Tamyrlin: 2003-02-06

I can see what you mean...but by your own analogy, one stick doesn't do much to an entire ocean, even ten thousand sticks would be pretty inconsequential to the thing (Pattern) that controls the ocean. So, while I think you are correct as that being a plan, I think the Bore is his primary means of "draining" the ocean of what he doesn't control, and refilling it with his own water." Which I guess he can do simply by converting all of the water, but the Pattern actively works against that conversion (freak accidents, heroes of the horn, calling more ta'veren.) Cool analogy.


Callandor: 2003-02-06

Very nice analogy. One problem is that Rand can't defeat the DO by himself, he needs Mat and Perrin to win the Last Battle, so like Tam said he himself isn't that big of an effect on the entire pattern as the DO would need to corrupt the Pattern into his own image.

Remember other times the Lights champion, the Dragon, has been converted to the dark, at least according to Ishy (I think he said that but I could be wrong), and the DO HASNT broken free yet.

So just the Dragon himself isn't grand enough for it.


Anubis: 2003-02-06

Tam, think much larger stick, or much smaller ocean. also remember that rand, unlike a stick, is not a direct cause. he influences chance and things just "happen" to go his way.


Dedicated: 2003-02-06

I also think this a very good analogy for how the DO is affecting events. I don't think that controlling Rand would necessarily win it for the DO, however. The Creator's champion's been turned before, (I think Tam mentioned this on another theory I read today) according to both The Creator (R.J.) and Ishamael/Moridin. Going along with this analogy, who do you think the DO's biggest "stick" is?

I personally think it's Shaidar Haran as it appears to be the DO's avatar. That thing is simply the DO's way of directly infuencing certain events. Moridin might also be as big a "stick" as SH, but we'll have to see how that whole saga plays out. It will be interesting to see how many "sticks" the DO can use as the seals weaken and break.


Captain Cauthon: 2003-02-07

We don't know for sure that the Dragon's been turned to serve the DO before as Ishy could very well have been lying. The DO is also known as the Father of Lies afterall. When Rand confronts him at Falme, he yells back something along the lines of "In a thousand lives I've never served you."