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eo-centric threat?

by Morganwg: 2004-09-08 | Not yet rated

Previous Categories: Plans of the Dark One

When discussing the Dark One's reach I have not read much about the geographical boundaries of his threat but they seem to be implied through the lack of insight into how Shara in particular forsees the future and how it interprets and deals with the Dark One threat.

The element i am particularly interested in to what degree the Dark One is a threat to "humanity" or if the threat is isolated to the geographical area bounded to the East by the Waste and Shara, to the South and West by sea and the North by the blight.

Recently there seems to be a mooted move to bring the Seanchan on board. Now this can be interpreted as a political manouvre to reduce the number of opponents to Rand. But also it can be seen as joining the opposition to the Dark Forces that will come with the Dark One's return.

I appreciate this is jumping ahead massively but go with it!

If we look at the world of Jordan as a globe can we assume that the Seanchan Continent, Randland, the Waste and Shara form the significant land units? If so to be a truly omnipotent threat to humanity then the Dark One and his minions would have to pose an equal threat to these land masses also.

On this basis i think we can theorize that the land that is the blight is a polar region, from where the hordes will pour down into the respective continents!?!?

In my opinion the series will be weaker if the threat from the Dark One is not globally shared. In order for this to be true we need to know something of Shara and we need some interaction between Rand and the ruling classes there.

Aware that this is supposed to be a theoretical post (although this is pribably more of a prediction)i will conclude by theorising that the geo-centric focus on the land to the West of the Waste will be extended to focus on Shara as well.

Seanchan and its forces have been included and are now beginning to be co-opted (potentially) in the approaching war with the Dark One. Shara needs to as well.
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2004-11-19

(Frenzy for Tamyrlin)
Given that the Bore isn't closer or farther away from any one point in the Pattern (the thinness at Shayol Ghul allows it to be sensed more strongly there, and allows its influence to radiate out into what is the Blight), the threat of the Shadow should be global.
We know that the Blight in the westlands and in the Waste are the same. So the Blight in Shara, since it's the same continent, is probably the same. We know that the Blight in Seanchan is less than what it is in the Westlands. So geography should play a role in the threat posed by the Shadow.
Unless, of course, there's something particular in the Westlands that the Shadow has keen interest in. Absolutely no idea what that might be....

2

fistandantilus: 2004-11-19

I would have to disagree with the need for a global threat at this time. Right now the Dark One is more concerned with the threat of the Dragon Reborn with gaining enough knowledge and power to thwart his plans and reseal him in his prison. So of course his main focus would be the Westlands, as that is the biggest threat. If the Dragon fails, then it seems that, this time, the Dark One will be free.

3

Callandor: 2004-11-19

**If we look at the world of Jordan as a globe can we assume that the Seanchan Continent, Randland, the Waste and Shara form the significant land units? If so to be a truly omnipotent threat to humanity then the Dark One and his minions would have to pose an equal threat to these land masses also.**

Argh, I can't find the quote, but it was either in the books, or an interview, where it was said that the main continent is the place of contention. It's the important piece. Once that is in control, the rest of the world falls anyway; in the mean time, they get after effects (heat, cold, petilence, etc.).

4

Aendur: 2004-11-20

As I recall, in either WH or CoT, it was mentioned that though his (the DO's) REACH could extend to the any continent, the area of relevent conflict was west of the Waste. Mostly, I'm betting, because Rand, Mat, and Perrin are there (which explains the focus on those areas)

5

WinespringBrother: 2004-11-21

Callandor, I believe this is the quote you are referring to:

"Lord of Chaos CHAPTER: 6 - Threads Woven of Shadow

Sammael kept his eyes on the people below. Graendal prattled like a fool, but only a true fool took her for one. What she seemed to let slip among her babbling was often planted as carefully as a conje needle. The key was picking out why, and what she meant to gain. Why would she suddenly have snatched pets from so far away? She seldom went out of her way. Was she trying to divert him toward the lands beyond the Waste by making him think she had an interest there? The battlefield was here. The Great Lord's first touch when he broke free would land here. The rest of the world would be whipped by the fringes of storms, even racked by storms, but those storms would generate here."

6

udernation: 2004-11-21

Aside, it also somewhere says that war has broken out in shara, which means he has a slightly more global influence than would expect. Although i think that was graendal's fault, not DO. And what about the land of the madmen? Isn't that important? :P

7

snakes-n-foxes: 2004-11-22

I've always wondered something about this. It's possible that the bore is in the polar regions of randworld - given that is seems located in the very far north of the world. So Shara may well face its own blight...but Seanchan ?

I think it was High Lord Turak in TGH mentioned that the seanchan face shadowspawn as well. Yet they seem to be from the southern part of the world, well away from the Blight.

Shadowspawn in randland always originate from the blight, so where does Seachan shadowspawn originate from?

The blight seems to be a single geographic area, and in reality, it hardly seems credible that there would be 2, or 3 or even more blights located in different parts of the world.

As for whether there is a global threat or a randland threat, I believe it was a discussion between the forsaken (sorry for no quotes) where it was mentioned that the deciding factor in the dark one getting free would occur in the randland area.

8

Callandor: 2004-11-24

**I've always wondered something about this. It's possible that the bore is in the polar regions of randworld - given that is seems located in the very far north of the world. So Shara may well face its own blight...but Seanchan?**

The Mountains of Dhoom circumnavigate the world entirely at roughly the same latitude. There is the Blight above Seanchan, but it is far weaker and far smaller. Most Seanchan, Tuon included, think Shadowspawn to be fables.

So the Seanchan conflicts with the Shadow are nowhere near what Randland faces.

9

Morganwg: 2004-11-24

I can see from your quotes that this has been discussed among the forsaken and that the threat to the Dark One is the Dragon Reborn which therfore means that Randland is the place where attention will focus.

Two follow up points to make, one story wise one a question about the impact this will have on the series as a whole;

1) If indeed there is a finite amount of Dark Forces the bringing of teh Seanchan forces under the banner of the Dragon is a tactical coup for Rand. It allows greater forces to contend with the Dark One, it means that the Dark Forces have to spread themselves thinner. The same applied to the unification of the Aiel. Wht should this not also apply to the Sharans?

Would this not be as much of a masterpiece as the other two alliances (i use the term loosely obviously). If a sharan force joined/threated the Dark One by being focussed on the last battle then would it not also "thin out" the Dark Forces" advances. Is there not something in Rand's psyche that would wish them to submit to him and join the scrapping?

2) I hesitate to say this as i am a great admirer of Jordan, but is the use of "the battle will be won in Randland" line a little too convenient, is it a device of an author who wants to get to the end of this series and cannot afford to focus on another aspect of the world he has created. In short the world he has created is too big to include in its entirety and he needs to lessen its reach. If we were going to be really pinickerty we could even say that the fighting with swords is irrelevant anyway as the battle will hinge on the fight between Rand and the Dark One. In this sense any land mass will be irrelevant, it is Rand that is the key.

Therefore i would think that you either go the whole hog or not at all, by limiting the fighting to the Randland area i think Jordan misses a chance for his series to become colossal (in a good way). In my imagination a threat that impacted on "humanity" in an immediate way not in a dominoe theory way is more dramatic and compelling and the deeds undertaken to prevent this emminently more heroic!

Anyway enough of my rambling on!

10

Dorindha: 2004-11-24

snakes-n-foxes - whether or not the Blights link up is possibly up for discussion, but it has been stated in the BWB (and possibly elsewhere) that Seanchan DOES have a version of the Blight, though somewhat lesser. Additionally, if you look at the maps in the BWB, you can see it.

11

Sampson: 2004-11-24

I agree with your post. Strategically speaking the Dark One can not over look anything or any resource that he can use to his advantage. Basically the DO is the under dog, he is the one who is trying to escape. Of course he is going to concentrate on his biggest adversary that has the potential of resealing him up.

But as we have already seen, there is NOT one society so far that doesn't have a dark friend (I forgot, have we seen a Seafolk DF?). So it is a plausible assumption that Shara would have their own dark friends. We know all societies have their channelers which are part of the power base and the DO has infiltrated these societies with his follwers. The DO would not over look the opportunity to sway any people that he could use now or in the future for his own gains. I believe in the last book there was reference of war in Shara, so I assume we will have to contend with them sooner or later.

Dame that means we have more than a couple of books to go through, or the next books are going to be a thousand pages. RJ is going to keep us all waiting until the mini-series on Scifi has been produced and offered on DVD (just being facetious).

12

Callandor: 2004-11-26

**Wht should this not also apply to the Sharans?**

Who said it doesn't? Shara is obviously being changed (Forsaken taking their rulers, civil in fighting, etc.), and strained just like Randland; it's the degree that counts.

**Is there not something in Rand's psyche that would wish them to submit to him and join the scrapping?**

Sure, if Rand had the entire world to help him, he would take it, and he definately wants as many allies as possible. However, what does anyone know about Shara? Practically nothing. It's a place over ~points in vague direction~ there. Rand simply does not know enough about them to concider them allies or even to try to make them allies. Heck, we knew more about the Aiel by the end of book 1 then the characters do about Shara.

You're perscribing Rand go exploring for allies in a place he has not even a hint of finding. He simply doesn't have the time, and has more on his plate then he can safely handle now.

**2) I hesitate to say this as i am a great admirer of Jordan, but is the use of "the battle will be won in Randland" line a little too convenient, is it a device of an author who wants to get to the end of this series and cannot afford to focus on another aspect of the world he has created. In short the world he has created is too big to include in its entirety and he needs to lessen its reach. If we were going to be really pinickerty we could even say that the fighting with swords is irrelevant anyway as the battle will hinge on the fight between Rand and the Dark One. In this sense any land mass will be irrelevant, it is Rand that is the key.**

I don't know what you mean by irrelevant. If Rand battles the Dark One, a battle which I personally believe to be impossible (Rand battling Ishamael/Moridin -- now there we go), might depend on Rand (it ~could~ depend on other things; not bloody likely though), but his safety or time allowed to have said battle is very important. Those swords will gain the time.

**Therefore i would think that you either go the whole hog or not at all, by limiting the fighting to the Randland area i think Jordan misses a chance for his series to become colossal (in a good way).**

It already is, and like I've said, even though Shara does not ally with the Dragon Reborn physically, they are taking part.

**Basically the DO is the under dog, he is the one who is trying to escape.**

I wouldn't put it like that.

He's a super-dog, having to go through intermediaries. The Dark One on his own is second (or possible equal) to only the Creator. He just has to work under the constraints of having to use humans.

**But as we have already seen, there is NOT one society so far that doesn't have a dark friend (I forgot, have we seen a Seafolk DF?).**

1. Ogier

2. Just to be funny, Shadowspawn ;)

3. I would concider Wolfbrothers a society, but many wouldn't.

**I believe in the last book there was reference of war in Shara, so I assume we will have to contend with them sooner or later.**

I doubt it. We know that RJ won't take a character to Seanchan or Shara other then they already have. The Sharans coming to Rand is possible, but the books can be centered on more then this, and can deal without involving them anyway.

Plus, they are still serving their part without being needed to come forward en masse.

**Dame that means we have more than a couple of books to go through, or the next books are going to be a thousand pages.**

There are two books left people. Just 2. No more, no less. If they are 1000+ pages, all the more welcome.

13

Elan Morin Tedronai 21: 2004-11-28

Sampson--yes there are sea folk darkfriends. Jaichim Carridin (Bors) notices at least one in the df social in the prologue of the great hunt.

14

monkey: 2004-11-29

i've no problem with the idea that the main threat is to RandLand, it is the area of most wealth and people, and as such most likely to be more easily swayed to the lure of the dark one, preying upon greed and so forth.

As to where the final battle will be fought is another matter. Obviously war is intended to cover all the lands, there are several quotes along this line, (sorry no books to hand at moment) but has anyone considered whether it can be concluded in TAR? In the passage where Verin gives egwene the dream ring, she tells her about some of the rules that govern the different worlds. Apologies again for not having the direct qoute, but if i remember rightly it's along the lines that, whilst different rules and histories occur on the different worlds one thing remains constant, the status of the dark one's captivity. If he is freed in one of the worlds he is free in all. If he is imprisoned in one, he is imprisoned on all.

Could this be a method of resealing the bore, away for the major confilcts, a suprise attack?

15

Morganwg: 2004-12-03

You guys have made a number of good points, howevert from a strategic point of view i really think that a series that ignores Shara or leaves it in a state of insular neutrality is missing a trick.

From a dark point of view it would make massive sense to manipulate an entire civilization into declaring war on Randland as yet another method of diluting Rand's power base. In the way that the Seanchan have been a drain on his resources, would the sharans not also pose an equal pain in the ass for someone who is trying to organise himself ready for the final battle. Would Rand bereft of his Aiel armies (who would have to go home to defend their Clan holds)be able to withstand the might of rejuvinated Dark Forces?

I think the answer would definately be "maybe".

I honestly think that the characters involved in this epic would not leave an untapped resource like the Sharan Empire out of their calculations and machinations.

They are the ultimate x factor in these stories, unknown armies, unknown powers, unknown potehtial impact. If they were a disorganised chaotic rabble i could understand their dismissal as a pawn in the chess game that leads to the final battle. However they are not, they have a power structure, a political caste system which could be infiltrated, could be manipulated.

The only hindrance to this isn't really narrative based (the stories woudl be all the more impressive for this aspect i feel) it is the will and energy of the author.