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he Chosen and the Herring

by AnotherAlThor: 2005-05-12 | 3.45 out of 10 (20 votes)

Previous Categories: Plans of the Dark One

This Theory is proposing that the Chosen are a Red Herring that seem a lot more important than they actually are. I don't think that they have any real impact upon things and are not key to the Dark One's plans. I propose that the Dark One has new servants that are doing the important things and that the Chosen are only a minor thing to the shadow (not that they know that) and that more important figures have risen to assume command and places of power. There is no great disturbance when any of the Chosen die and the Shadow is not getting any weaker from these deaths. I think that the Chosen are there to occupy Rand while the Dark One pursues his real plans.

All we've seen the Chosen do is going to positions of power and stirred up trouble and there is a bit in a Crown of Swords i think that makes a reference to Sammael serving chaos. That was it. It's all we've seen them do (aside from die) and all they ever do is try to advance their own plans and almost resent having to do something for the Dark One. We have seen that the Chosen do not aid each other in any way and constantly fight amongst themselves. There does not appear to be much in the way of instructions from Shayol Ghul, to the extent that when one of them is summoned it excites comment.

We have also seen the rise of some mysterious figures that seem to work very closely with the Dark One. The Chosen know nothing about them and when they appear the Chosen know fear. I am of course referring to Moridin and Shadar Haran. The Chosen have also been absent for thousands of years whereas all of the evil present within the Blight and elsewhere has been active all this time and it is hard to believe that during this time they have done nothing. An example of this is Slayer, not a Chosen, but clearly connected with Shayol Ghul.

What I am proposing here is that the Chosen were only chosen during the age of Legends because the Dark One was on his own and had nothing to work with. He had them create Trollocs, Myrddraal, etc and had them fight and lead his war, as the opposition was also headed by similar figures (those strong in the power) and he needed to counter them. However, time has passed and things have changed. The Chosen have been absent for a very long time and once free they were not concerned in the slightest with defeating the Dragon Reborn and the forces of Light, but rather with defeating each other and becoming Naeblis. Rand is slowly exterminating them, even Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve have been having a crack at them without that much difficulty, or so it seems, and there is never any major repercussion as you'd expect if a world leader went missing in a time of crisis. Yet we see if anything a rise in the power of the Shadow, not a decline. The disappearance of the Chosen has not sown chaos and disarray in the Shadow at all. Nobody seems to care apart from the Chosen themselves, who see the death of their companions as to their benefit. What we do see is new figures appearing who seem to be taking control. Shadar Haran is giving commands straight from the Dark One and Moridin seems to be significant as well, separate from the Chosen and directly connected with the Dark One, essentially enslaving any Chosen that disappoint him. Therefore it seems to me that the Dark One just sent the Chosen out to sow chaos within the world however they may, with false promises of power if they succeed, meanwhile he creates his own servants that do HIS wishes and sets his plans in motion. Rand is off trying to kill every last Chosen in sight and isn't even aware what's going on.

Let's bear in mind that the Dark One hasn't been idle all this time and there have been references to him touching the world in minor ways during the past, even though he is still trapped. Therefore it is safe to assume that he's been planning this for a while and he's not going to make many mistakes if he can help it. I personally wouldn't put any faith in the Chosen doing what I wanted them to do and I don't think the Dark One would either. The rise of the Shadar Haran and Moridin provide evidence for new figures arising that are separate from the Chosen.

There has been a lot of posts about Shadar Haran and Moridin, which I will quickly address to support my idea that they are the new leaders in this Age. I don't think Shadar Haran is a gholam. He's a Myrddraal, it says so in the books. I also don't think he's the dark one, ‘cos otherwise it would mean the Dark One is free and I think we'd see a little more evidence for this than a strange looking Myrddraal. However, I do think he is clearly receiving instructions straight from the Dark One and seeing as Myrddraal are far more trustworthy (from the Dark One's view that is) than the Chosen are I'd say it makes sense to bump up one of these into a Super Fade, who even makes the Chosen nervous. We've seen that Fain was transformed at Shayol Ghul. So why not a Myrddraal?

I'm not sure who Moridin is and of the posts concerning him I haven't found any that convince me of who he really is. However, I don't think he's a Chosen, resurrected or not, unless he's gone through some severe change and from what we've seen of Aran'gar and Osan'gar, that just doesn't happen. Moridin seems different to me and unique and he acts very differently than the other Chosen.

So finally I'd like to make two final points. The appearance of Death and the Hand of the Shadow, as their names mean, who are acting above the Chosen and work from Shayol Ghul itself suggest that the Chosen are no longer top dogs. still handy to have around but a little too independant - Moghedien, etc who have been brought under control after failing. Lets also bear in mind that the Dark One already tried to defeat the forces of Light during the War of Power with the Chosen leading and they failed. As we've seen he doesn't reward failure, so why should this be different?

I apologise if its not too clear and that there are no quotes to support my theory, but I don't have my books present with me and this is going from memory. Enjoy.
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2005-05-27

Okay. I agree with most of what you are suggesting. The Dark One appears to be consolidating the Forsaken into obedient servants, forced to obey by his two pets, Moridin and Shaidar Haran. However, Moridin is Ishamael. I know you suggest you don't believe it...but it's true...trust me. The Dark One will use anything he can get his hands on, such as willing, powerful servants. But, as you suggest, he isn't really pushing any useful plans through them, besides Ishamael, who set up Semirhage with the Seanchan. Otherwise, they had free rein to do whatever, until now. The Dark One is putting them in their place, and the mindtraps have made a few of them unwilling, yet useful players. What is the DO's true plan then? Sowing chaos, surely. However, I have always seen his real plan as turning the Dragon Reborn, because otherwise, he will be sealed up again, end of story. He wants out. His Forsaken proved unworthy of the task early on after escaping, so surely he wasn't directing his plans through them to a large extent. However, he has transmigrated a few, and Ishamael is running the show, so I think Ishamael remains the key, and Shaidar Haran is the backup. Good first theory.

2

Callandor: 2005-05-27

**There is no great disturbance when any of the Chosen die and the Shadow is not getting any weaker from these deaths.**

Define "desterbance" first. And the Shadow has definately been getting weaker -- they're losing leadership. The Black Ajah that were working directly for Moghedien, were for months stranded in Altara awaiting her return -- but she was captured by Nynaeve. On their own, they have moved to Caemlyn, and without any true leadership.

**We have seen that the Chosen do not aid each other in any way and constantly fight amongst themselves.**

False, they do meet together and Graendal and Sammael did share information -- clearly aid. Plus, Aginor and Bathamel came to defeat Rand together -- clearly aid.

Oh, and I'd hate to bring out the clear contradiction to this, which is Ishamael's actions during the Trolloc Wars, and Artur Hawkwing's time.

**Rand is slowly exterminating them, even Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve have been having a crack at them without that much difficulty, or so it seems, and there is never any major repercussion as you'd expect if a world leader went missing in a time of crisis.**

Because Rand usually takes that Forsaken's place, like with Be'lal in Tear, Rahvin in Andor, and Sammael in Illian.

**The disappearance of the Chosen has not sown chaos and disarray in the Shadow at all.**

False. As I already mentioned, the Black Ajah alone has suffered from it, and it will eventually effect other Shadow plans. As well as Ishamael's actions earlier.

**Shadar Haran is giving commands straight from the Dark One and Moridin seems to be significant as well, separate from the Chosen and directly connected with the Dark One, essentially enslaving any Chosen that disappoint him.**

And Moridin happens to be Ishamael transmigrated -- one of the Forsaken made Nae'blis.

**Let's bear in mind that the Dark One hasn't been idle all this time and there have been references to him touching the world in minor ways during the past, even though he is still trapped.**

Please quote those references.

**The rise of the Shadar Haran and Moridin provide evidence for new figures arising that are separate from the Chosen.**

Once again -- false. Moridin is Ishamael, who is a Forsaken.

**I'm not sure who Moridin is and of the posts concerning him I haven't found any that convince me of who he really is. However, I don't think he's a Chosen, resurrected or not, unless he's gone through some severe change and from what we've seen of Aran'gar and Osan'gar, that just doesn't happen. Moridin seems different to me and unique and he acts very differently than the other Chosen.**

No, he acts exactly as Ishamael did before.

WoT FAQ:

**Why are we sure that Moridin is Ishamael returned from the grave? [John Novak]

Evidence from ACOS:

It is fairly obvious from multiple references that Moridin is a reincarnated Forsaken. He makes many references to the Age of Legends as though he were there. He has personal knowledge of the other Forsaken. His sobriquet translates to 'Death.'

Aginor and Balthamel, though reincarnated, are accounted for as Osan'gar and Aran'gar respectively. Be'lal and Rahvin were balefired, and as such are beyond the Dark One's ability to restore. Asmodean, in Robert Jordan's own words, is roadkill. Sammael, though apparently dead, did not die until well after the introduction of Moridin in the narrative. No other male Forsaken have been killed in action. (And from [TPOD: 2, Unweaving, 81], we know that Moridin is and was male, since he remarks that he would be able to use an angreal tuned to saidin.)

The Toxic Twins (Aginor and Balthamel) were recycled, and all they did to merit it was getting killed at the Eye of the World. Ishy kept the faith alive for 3000+ years, AND kept the other Forsaken somewhat in line before he died. Surely, that merits some consideration in the "bring back from the dead" competition; Ishy was overdue for a reappearance. Ishamael had been a particularly loyal servant of the Dark One, as well as the most effective. If any of the thirteen would deserve reincarnation, it would be Ishamael, for he seemed not only to serve the Dark One, but to serve him faithfully. It is likely that Ishamael knew that the Dark One's plans were not for conquest but for total destruction, and still he served. (In the AOL, he "called for the complete destruction of the old order-- indeed, the complete destruction of everything" [Guide: 5, The Dark One and the Male Forsaken, 51].)

Moridin uses the True Power to the exclusion of the One Power. In fact, he uses it for "routine" things for which the OP would be fine: like picking up chess pieces, balefire, and Traveling. The True Power, according to Moghedien, is used only extremely rarely, even by the Forsaken. Of the original Forsaken, Ishamael is the only one who we've seen use the TP.

Both Moridin and Ishamael display strange visual effects about their eyes. Moridin has the saa, while Ishamael had those odd bursts of flame. It has been speculated that the flames are an advanced version of the saa, or that the flames were a method to disguise the saa.

Evidence from TPOD:

The Prologue of TPOD is particularly revealing.

1. Moridin's blank-faced servants are identical to Ishamael's servants from the prologue of TGH. Similarly, the chamber in which he sits contains a fire that gives no heat and consumes no logs. It has no physical means of egress. This is identical in tone to the description given of Ishamael's chambers through TEOTW and TGH.

2. (Also in the Prologue) while Moridin is musing over his re-creation of an historical game of sha'rah, it becomes extremely clear that the game is a metaphor for the struggle between the Dark One and the rest of the world, with Rand (or the Dragon) embodied in the Fisher piece. One can win either by controlling and moving the Fisher piece to a particular location, or by allowing your opponent to hold the Fisher and leaving him only legal moves which similarly result in victory for you. The style of the game parallels Ishamael's actions through the first three volumes very well, always manipulating Rand even though he was in the hands of other powers. The final method of victory is simply to be the last man standing. Moridin muses that he had only attempted that strategy once, with very painful results. This is almost certainly a metaphorical reference to his desperate assault on Rand at the end of TDR, the painful results being his own physical death.

3. The final observation from the prologue of TPOD is that Moridin becomes angry as he muses over the fact that he does not understand the origins of the name or the traditional shape of the Fisher piece on the game board. He becomes angry because he regards that knowledge, likely lost from some previous turning of the Wheel, as his right. Ishamael is the only other villain to worry seriously over events from other cycles, as he asserts in the prologue of TEOTW that he and Lews Therin have fought again and again since the beginning of time. According to [Guide: 5, The Dark One and the Male Forsaken, 50], Ishamael believed "the war between the Shadow and the soul of Lews Therin had gone on since the Creation, an endless war between the Great Lord of the Dark and the Creator using human surrogates."

4. In [TPOD: 2, Unweaving, 81], Moridin notes several modern developments of the Aes Sedai and other channelers which had been unknown and/or considered impossible in the Age of Legends. Among them, he lists the Warder bond and notes that he had known about that for a long, long time. Of all the Forsaken, only Ishamael could possibly have known about the Warder bonds for more than a few years, since only Ishamael had been active at all since the Strike at Shayol Ghul. ~This piece of evidence alone proves that Moridin is Ishamael.~

Objections to the Moridin/Ishamael theory from before TPOD included the suggestion that Ishamael did not work well behind the scenes and that Ishamael might be expected to exert more influence on the remaining Forsaken. However, since we now know the general shape of Ishamael's activities during his rare periods of activity (as hinted at throughout the series and almost spelled out in the Guide) as well as his care in creating a cell structure for the Black Ajah, it is clear that Ishamael excels at behind the scenes manipulations.

Furthermore, in TPOD, it becomes clear that Moridin is indeed exerting more direct control over the remaining Forsaken. In ACOS, he takes direct control of Moghedien through one mindtrap, and is known to control another. In TPOD, it is revealed that 'Cyndane' (Lanfear reincarnated) is the other mindtrap victim.

It is also clear that Moridin and Shaidar Haran are cooperating. In [ACOS: 25, Mindtrap, 417], it is Shaidar Haran who delivers Moghedien to Moridin, and Moridin who controls her mindtrap. In [TPOD: 12, New Alliances], it is Moghedien and Cyndane (both under Moridin's control) who visit Graendal to tell her to accept Moridin as Nae'blis. Shaidar Haran later appears to convince her.

So we have three Forsaken under Moridin's control, which alone is significant. Extrapolating this pattern, we also note that when Aginor and Balthamel return as Osan'gar and Aran'gar in LOC, it is Shaidar Haran who first greets them. It is not at all unlikely that they also encountered Moridin offstage sometime thereafter. If true, this would place five Forsaken directly under his control.

Evidence from WH:

By WH, Moridin appears to have most or all of the remaining Forsaken leashed. Though Mesaana and Semirhage were not present at the Coffee Hour, it's clear that Mesaana, at least, has seen Cyndane. Moridin also expected Mesaana to be present, all of which implies that Mesaana was "gathered in" much the same way Graendal and, we presume, Demandred and the 'gars were. (Mesaana's encounter with Shaidar Haran in COT confirms this.)

Demandred certainly seems to think Moridin is Ishamael:

"'The Great Lord is sure you are all faithful,' Moridin announced, striding in as though he were the Great Lord himself. He had often seemed to believe he was, and the boy's face he wore now had not changed that." [13, Wonderful News, 316]

Who played at being Ba'alzamon for the first three books? That's right, Ishy did.

Moridin also likes to torture rats. Who else liked to kill rats? That's right, Ishy did. [Billy Todd]

Demandred also wonders about how to make sure Moridin doesn't get a new body the ~next time around.~**

Be convinced: Moridin is Ishamael.

3

JakOShadows: 2005-05-27

AnotherAlThor: I like your idea too. And it also makes since with Alvarin having a lot of control in the white tower. And the sudden growth of black ajah members in the Aes Sedai (and Taim and friends for the Ashaman). So the forsaken are only going to hang around until the others are "christened." Maybe be used to train them or something like that. And it would also fall in line with him naming someone Naeblis. If Moridin is Ishy and he is named Naeblis, then the DO could be planning for him to be the only one to keep around for his future plans. Good insight.

4

MatCauthon: 2005-05-28

Moridin = Ishamael

True story. If you don't believe it go back and read the first few books paying attention to him then read the books with him as Moridin. Same person.

As for the rest, I think that Shadar Haran is the way for the DO to most easily do things in the world. I think he is the DO or at very least directly controlled by the DO, like a puppet.

The forsaken are doing what the DO order, spreading chaos.

I think he's satisfied to let the forsaken do their own thing as long as they're also carrying out his orders. When they're plans make take them away from this, they're punished. Thats why Moghedien (went after Nynaeve and got captured) and Cyndane/Lanfear (wanted Rand, got jealous and got killed) are now controlled by Moridin with mind traps. The others who are spreading chaos and following any other orders from the DO are allowed to carry on and have their own plans at the same time.

While Moridin and Shadar Haran are clearly at the top, I don't think by any means has the DO disreguarded and dismissed the forsaken from his plans.

5

alivia: 2005-05-29

The Dark one has been shown to "Touch" the world in (at least) terms of the weather before the bowl of winds (?) was found and used. There has never been any mention of the forsaken being involved in the weather changes (a searing, endless summer and increase of storms at sea - as told by the sea folk). Also - we are still not sure if the 'ghosts' are the Dark Ones' work. I'm sure alot of things can be attributed to shi'tan touching the world - and not to the forsaken - alot of important things!

6

padanfain: 2005-05-30

I agree with most of your theory, the chosen are not really all that important - except Moridin(which by the way IS Ishmael) because he is the only one of the chosen who has served faithfully and acted for the Dark One and not for his own purposes.

I also believe Shaidar Haran is a myrdraal and he acts under the direct command of the Dark One but he is not the Dark One (although he may take direct control over him later and not just give him orders).

But I agree that the old forsaken are being kicked out from the leadership and are going to be used as ordinary channeling darkfriends(excpet Ishy).

7

JakOShadows: 2005-05-30

And another thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that he may not trust as much as the newer members. If you think about, the more the forsaken operate, the more the greed tempts them to follow their own designs rather than the DO's. Whereas the newer members of the BA are more easily coerced into helping the DO with his plans. The only exception to this would be Ishy/Moridin and Shadar Haran which he obviously trust a lot since he's made them the leader of his operations.

8

: 2005-05-31

Thanks for reading my theory and responding to it. Firstly I'd like to say that after posting this theory I read a little more around the site and am now a little more persuaded by the Moridin = Ishamael thing (even though I feel as though this part may have been leapt upon a little enthusiastically), but even if I'm not totally convinced I will concede that it is highly likely and so withdraw that part of my theory until I can support it better.

In response to Callandors most...informative reply I'd like to say that I had read that post you put in and although I'd argue that much of the evidence is more circumstantial than definitive proof, it does mount up and makes a very convincing case. However, I don't think that this detracts from the general argument that the dreaded Chosen aren't that important. Although again, I'm not stating any of my theory as fact, but purely as hypothesis, so please don't contradict an opinion with an unwarranted assertion. That aside (and I do mean aside as its missing the point), the rest of this will be largely replying to Callandor's volatile reply.

Right, I'd define ‘disturbance' as anything that suggested that someone, somewhere was seriously affected when one of the forsaken died. No one appears to. I get no feeling that the dark one's plans have been thrown into disarray by these deaths (the deaths of the supposed leaders of the Shadow), only that the other forsaken are pretty happy about it, as is Rand. You mention the Black Ajah were in disarray...but who cares? I got the feeling that those who left the tower were the losers of the group and since they declared themselves they've done very little to strike fear into anyone. Nobodies bothered about them, so I'd say they don't really count that much.
Hypothetically if back in the day Cadsuance, Siuan and Elaida had all teamed up and declared themselves of the Black Ajah and then gone on a killing spree, then I think that people would have taken a little more notice, whereas it almost seems as if everyone's forgotten about those who actually did do it. Those of the Black Ajah who left also don't really seem to be crucial to anyone's plans or that important. For example, if Bush died tomorrow I'd expect more than a handful of incompetent minor players to be affected by it, the same goes for the forsaken (I'm not trying to equate bush with one of the forsaken on any other level, it was just a handy example).

Now then, I'm also going to define the word ‘aid', as I can see how it could get confusing. Helping or assisting one another – not meeting. What happened when Rand attacked Sammael in Illian? Did Graendal leap to his aid or did she wait until he was dead and then loot his stuff? What happened when Rand attacked Rhavin? Or any of the others for that matter? Meeting together does not constitute aid, especially when the only reason seems to be to see what the other one is up to and essentially play a game of one-upmanship. I personally don't get the feeling that the forsaken have a close, supportive relationship, where they share their plans and resources to achieve victory for their lord. Do you? They are all out for themselves, it is very clear and I have no idea how you've come to any other conclusion. Just about every time the story is told from the perspective of the forsaken it's about how they want to be Nae'blis, how they're worried about the others and how they are trying to screw each other over. And I really don't get what you're referring to with this so could you please enlighten me,

**Oh, and I'd hate to bring out the clear contradiction to this, which is Ishamael's actions during the Trolloc Wars, and Artur Hawkwing's time.**

You also don't seem to get what I mean about their disappearance not causing problems. Rand takes their place, yes, right enough. Takes their place where though? In the tiny little country they took over using the power to control people. The shadow lost nothing. Everytime one of the forsaken die the shadow never loses, as they are not losing anything that they ever really had, only things that the forsaken managed to control for a little bit. Granted they are missing out on sowing a bit more chaos, but that's hardly what you'd expect the shadow to lose when one of the infamous forsaken died. It's just not enough as I get no sense that Rand is winning by killing the forsaken, but rather just treading water. If they were really that important then I would expect some major crisis to develop when they died and some sign of the shadow weakening, so if you can actually provide some evidence of this then please tell me.

I'm afraid I don't have my books with me at the moment so I can't give you anything specific, but if you'll agree that the Dark One is still trapped, and I'm pretty sure he still is, then just remember the odd weather that has been happening throughout the entire series, as said by alivia.

Much as I'm tempted to explain my reasons for not thinking Moridin was Ishamael (or at least try anyway) I won't as I think it will just detract from the theory and miss the point of it entirely, which is (to quote padanfain who sums my argument up better than I did) ‘that the old forsaken are being kicked out from the leadership' and that they ‘are not really all that important', this being the main thrust of my theory.

Finally, in response to MatCauthon,

‘I think he's satisfied to let the forsaken do their own thing as long as they're also carrying out his orders...'

Fair point and quite possibly true, but I don't think they are really carrying out his orders, or if they are its only in the most broad, general sense of them. It seems to me more that they're just trying to compete with each other and the Dark One is just letting them do that while he does his own thing, letting them occupy Rand, etc, while he plots and plans. I think that he only interferes when they truly screw up and embarrass him, then he steps in and lays down the law.

Again, thanks for reading and replying, especially (or perhaps except) Tamyrlin, your reply gives me the distinct impression I may be barking up the wrong tree – you make a fine point, I always forget the ‘turning the Dragon Reborn' bit, I think I'll have to ponder this a bit more...

9

Callandor: 2005-05-31

**However, I don't think that this detracts from the general argument that the dreaded Chosen aren't that important.**

Sure they are -- Ishamael/Moridin is more than proof of that.

**Right, I'd define ‘disturbance' as anything that suggested that someone, somewhere was seriously affected when one of the forsaken died. No one appears to.**

Rand after losing Asmodean? He lost his teacher.

Illian after losing Sammael? They lost their leader -- just so happens they had Rand to fall back on.

Andor after losing Rahvin? Hardly so, because most of the people did not like what Rahvin was doing, and those that did -- magically had Rand to fall back on.

**You mention the Black Ajah were in disarray...but who cares?**

The Dark One? The Forsaken? The Black Ajah? They might.

**I got the feeling that those who left the tower were the losers of the group and since they declared themselves they've done very little to strike fear into anyone. Nobodies bothered about them, so I'd say they don't really count that much.**

I distinctly mentioned that Moghedien's capture put a severe loss on the Black Ajah that left the Tower. Why? Because guess what -- she dealt with them.

She sent them to do her errands, and that affected things up to A Crown of Swords directly, and is still going ot affect things up into Knife of Dreams. Why? Because she told them orders, she got captured, and when freed, she really hasn't gone back to all of them anymore -- because she can't find most of them I'm willing to bet (Note: she has gotten in contact with at least one Black Ajah: Marillin Gemalphin who is now in Caemlyn working under Mili Skane).

And not only Moghedien has worked with the Black Ajah: Be'lal, Graendal, Lanfear, and lets not forget Ishamael of course (you know the one that started the Black Ajah), have all had dealings with them.

**Those of the Black Ajah who left also don't really seem to be crucial to anyone's plans or that important.**

Alivarin is quite crucial to Mesaana's control of the White Tower. Moghedien's orders to the Black Ajah who fled were very crucial in the plot events (Tanchico, Bowl of the Winds, and there are now two circles independant of each other in Caemlyn who will have major impact in Knife of Dreams).

**What happened when Rand attacked Sammael in Illian? Did Graendal leap to his aid or did she wait until he was dead and then loot his stuff?**

Neither, she went after he was dead to remove all trace that she was there out of fear from retribution from Rand (the one she fears the most to not meet Rahvin's fate) -- her taking the angreal was a sidestep more than likely an accident and hardly the plan to loot at all.

** I personally don't get the feeling that the forsaken have a close, supportive relationship, where they share their plans and resources to achieve victory for their lord. Do you?**

They do now that Moridin is in control, as clearly proved by the Cleansing of saidin.

**Just about every time the story is told from the perspective of the forsaken it's about how they want to be Nae'blis, how they're worried about the others and how they are trying to screw each other over.**

Of course they want to be Nae'blis -- but they will work together, as seen by the Cleansing, Lanfear and Ishameal working on guiding Rand, Lanfear and Asmodean in the Waste, Sammael and Graendal meetings with the Aiel, and the great Caemlyn meeting between Graendal, Sammael, Lanfear, and Rahvin.

**You also don't seem to get what I mean about their disappearance not causing problems. Rand takes their place, yes, right enough. Takes their place where though? In the tiny little country they took over using the power to control people. The shadow lost nothing.**

Please, explain why the Dark One is so pissed at not being able to transmigrate Rahvin then -- if the Shadow lost nothing.

**If they were really that important then I would expect some major crisis to develop when they died and some sign of the shadow weakening, so if you can actually provide some evidence of this then please tell me.**

How about Forsaken assurance in their positions then?

**TITLE: Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 6 - Threads Woven of Shadow

"Disbelief and scorn twisted Graendal's face. "I serve the Great Lord and obey, Sammael." "As do I. As well as any." "So good of you to deign to kneel to our Master." Her voice was as wintry as her smile, and his face darkened. "All I say is that Lews Therin is as dangerous now as he ever was in our own time. Frightened? Yes, I am frightened. I intend to live forever, not meet Rahvin's fate!"

Hmm, never seen that part of Graendal before -- guess what? Because Rand is a dangerous channeler that could mess up all the Forsaken and Shadow's plans.

TITLE: Fires of Heaven, CHAPTER: Prologue - The First Sparks Fall

"Is he really so strong?" Rahvin asked quietly. "This Rand al'Thor. Could he have overwhelmed you, face-to-face?" Not that he himself could not, if it came to it, or Sammael, though Graendal would likely link with Lanfear if either of the men tried. For that matter, both women were probably filled to bursting with the Power right that moment, ready to strike at the slightest suspicion of either man. Or of each other. But this farmboy. An untrained shepherd! Untrained unless Asmodean was trying."

**I'm afraid I don't have my books with me at the moment so I can't give you anything specific, but if you'll agree that the Dark One is still trapped, and I'm pretty sure he still is, then just remember the odd weather that has been happening throughout the entire series, as said by alivia.**

That's hardly what you were implying before -- that he was touching events in the past (not during the books).

**‘that the old forsaken are being kicked out from the leadership' and that they ‘are not really all that important', this being the main thrust of my theory.**

Which is inheritantly wrong because they are still being brought back to life. If they were so unimportant, why would the Dark One care if they died off? But he brings them back.

**Fair point and quite possibly true, but I don't think they are really carrying out his orders, or if they are its only in the most broad, general sense of them.**

The Cleansing attack was pretty specific.

10

Anubis: 2005-06-01

I disagree.... somewhat.

The chosen who in my mind have worked closest with the Dark One, meaning have taken direct orders and met with some regularity are Demandred and Semirhage. To a lesser extent Gerendal and Messana. Demandred and Semirhage are are the only two not satisfying their own lust for personal power, and are actually fighting the (not so) good fight. Semirhage seems to have been put directly in place by Ishmael, who is Morridin, and Demandred... "Have I not done well Great Lord?". These two are key. While the others.... oooh the others. Oh almost forgot, the Garrs. Dashiva was a double, apparently Demandred was watching Rand as well, no great disturbance there and he was a weak forsaken anyways, and Halima has only recently lost her charge, no telling whats gonna happen there.

Most of the chosen took over countries. Moggy and Lanfear went on personal rampages, Gerendal seems to have found balance, and Messana got too full of herself controlling the Aes Sedai.

It makes sense that the forsaken not willing to go along with the grand plan, the ones who go out and satisfy personal desires or vandettas would be the ones that the Dark One and Ishmael would use as decoys.

So Im gonna say your half right. Most of the forsaken were Red Herrings, but it was by their own choice, the rest are valuable players in the game, at least in the Dark Ones opinion.

11

Aendur: 2005-06-04

**Of course they want to be Nae'blis -- but they will work together, as seen by the Cleansing, Lanfear and Ishameal working on guiding Rand, Lanfear and Asmodean in the Waste, Sammael and Graendal meetings with the Aiel, and the great Caemlyn meeting between Graendal, Sammael, Lanfear, and Rahvin.**

The Cleansing is your big example of Forsaken unity, Callandor? It was a pathetic display of just how bad they are at working together. It was like seeing their actions for the entire rest of the series in miniature. None of them linked, they came out essentially at random, more than one of them hid with their tails between their legs. The only action they took together was the one they were forced into by Moridin, the act of SHOWING UP, which Semi and Mesaan didn't even manage.

No, the Forsaken, excluding Moridin, haven't done much good at all. They mess up each other's plans better than Al'thor. Look at the assassination attempt at the end of PoD, if you will.

The Asha'man were instructed by Taim and Demandred seperately (and Moridin too? Not sure) to kill Rand. Osan'gar (Dashiva) joins at the last moment, and is no extra help, really. However, Rand trusts him (enough). Had he been competent, he could've COORDINATED with the other Asha'man to kill Rand (by keeping him in one place, feigning another weave, etc. At the very least, they could've arranged for him to "take one for the team" and die with Al'thor). Instead, he just went along for the ride and got killed off at the Cleansing for his trouble. Well, we were told he was never a battle-leader anyway, right? So that excuses his lack of a head for it, sort-of.

How about Sammael then, or Rahvin, the former one of the best, and the latter not too shoddy either, if I recall. Both monumentally moronic. Rahvin depends on the team spirit and altruism of his fellow Forsaken to keep himself alive. Always a good policy, yes? The Chosen are known for those traits, no? Sammael, on the other hand, is blinded by personal vendettas (has to beat him at a place he marked? What is he, a dog at a fire hydrant?) and has the worst self-defense policies. "Hmm... I'm one channeler against a potential hundred-or-so Asha'man (at the time). If I just put enough detection BOXES around myself, I'll know immediately that I'm about to die." How was that plan even supposed to work? When every box in the city went off, if he had any brains, he would've RUN. But he doesn't. Because the Forsaken are, on the whole and with about one exception (Ishy) idiots. And that is why the DO wised up and realized he needed better servents (though I question his choices in the forms of Taim and Alviarin, but that's another rant).

12

Callandor: 2005-06-06

**The Cleansing is your big example of Forsaken unity, Callandor? It was a pathetic display of just how bad they are at working together.**

Excuse me. Did they work together? Yes. Was it horribly planned and badly orchistrated? Duh. But they worked together -- why? One reason: Moridin is the Nae'blis.

**None of them linked, they came out essentially at random, more than one of them hid with their tails between their legs. The only action they took together was the one they were forced into by Moridin, the act of SHOWING UP, which Semi and Mesaan didn't even manage.**

1. Semirhage did show up (as per RJ) -- we simply didn't see her.

2. Look at what the Forsaken were going on before you judge too harshly. They were planning on Rand going and doing the Cleansing all on his own, with simply a female channeler to link with him -- and they would have had it EXACTLY right. You know what stopped that? Cadsuane found Rand and followed him to the Cleansing.

The Forsaken linking? And you criticise ~my~ examples? The Forsaken linking together would've been over powered most likely by Callandor alone, without adding in multiple attackers in roving links with ter'angreal for detection purposes, and added in angreal.

A pitiful attempt? No. Simply bad assumptions on the Forsakens part and bad planning -- but that can only be said in retrospect. What other plan could the Forsaken have done, given their task? They were simply commanded to stop Rand.

**No, the Forsaken, excluding Moridin, haven't done much good at all. They mess up each other's plans better than Al'thor. Look at the assassination attempt at the end of PoD, if you will.**

What about it? It was done with orders from Taim, 4 rouge Asha'man, and a Forsaken who was not in on the plan.

**The Asha'man were instructed by Taim and Demandred seperately (and Moridin too? Not sure) to kill Rand.**

You are thinking about the incident in Far Madding with Kisman remembering orders from Taim, Demandred, and Moridin. Demandred definately knew about the attack on Rand in The Path of Daggers -- but him ordering it was most likely a chain of command one ---> Demandred ordered Taim, Taim ordered the Asha'man, Dashiva came of his own choice.

**Rahvin depends on the team spirit and altruism of his fellow Forsaken to keep himself alive.**

How is that exactly? Rahvin wasn't the brain child behind the Caemlyn meeting in the Prologue of The Fires of Heaven, and he did not have a Forsaken hiding in the wings of Caemlyn to help him in his battle with Rand. So, where are you getting this idea?

**When every box in the city went off, if he had any brains, he would've RUN. But he doesn't. Because the Forsaken are, on the whole and with about one exception (Ishy) idiots.**

Yeah, what's your point? They may be idiots, but so are a lot of people and they still get things done.

**And that is why the DO wised up and realized he needed better servents (though I question his choices in the forms of Taim and Alviarin, but that's another rant).**

See, that is exactly the point though. I'm sure you would rave and rant about Aginor and Bathamel coming after Rand in The Eye of the World and dying so pitifully.

~YET THE DARK ONE BROUGHT THEM BACK~

Why? Because he knows the value of the Forsaken.

13

Anubis: 2005-06-06

Callandor your missing the point. He is not saying there was no disturbance in national polotics. Thats just stupid. What hes trying to say is that there was no disturbance to the Dark Ones plans. You dont see Ishmael saying "well crap, Sammael is dead", or, "I could really use Rahvin right now". 1 because that would be out of character, and 2 because he doesnt care. Hell Ishmael HELPED Rand kill Sammael. Does this reak of importance to you? Maybe the Dark One would have brought him back, No harm no foul right? But he doesnt seem upset. He was a touch miffed about Rahvin, saying he served well and all but thats about the extent of ANYONES caring about the departed Forsaken. And furthermore do we see Ishmael complaining that carefull plans had been laid that were now ruined because of sammael or rahvin or belals deaths? No. He cares more about where Elayne and Nynaeve are headed then he does about losing one of what is supposedly his most valuable tool.

14

Callandor: 2005-06-06

**But he doesnt seem upset.**

Funny that we haven't gotten a glance at the Dark One in a while.

**And furthermore do we see Ishmael complaining that carefull plans had been laid that were now ruined because of sammael or rahvin or belals deaths? No. He cares more about where Elayne and Nynaeve are headed then he does about losing one of what is supposedly his most valuable tool.**

1. The Forsaken up until Winter's Heart were the Dark One's tool. They still are, just that the intermediary of Moridin is used.

2. As for not complaining about losing Rahvin -- Ishamael was dead at the time (hard to complain then). And as you so pointed out before, Moridin helped take down Sammael -- that was the plan. Why? Maybe we'll get something soon.

15

Narianna: 2005-06-07

The forsaken have swore away their souls to the DO. That is why they have been brought back.

Now, I may be mistaken but after reading the series my impression is that the forsaken are just tools for the DO.tools of power that are not available to him in this age.

That is why he has brought them back.

But as with tools you don't really much care if they break once in awhile.

Sure you are pissed off if you loose them but oh what the hell! life goes on! makes a newer version of Shaidar Haran:)

btw Callandor can you please give me the quote from RJ where he says that Semi was also at the cleansing.

16

Davian93: 2005-06-07

****, Moridin helped take down Sammael -- that was the plan. Why? Maybe we'll get something soon****

Because he was a loose cannon and was trying to kill Rand despite the "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" decree given by the DO. Sammael wasnt playing by the rules, so he had to go.

17

Callandor: 2005-06-07

**btw Callandor can you please give me the quote from RJ where he says that Semi was also at the cleansing.**

Need to read the Tor Q & A more then ;)

**Question:

At the risk of being RAFO'd: Mesaana was punished for ignoring her orders to go to stop Rand from cleansing Saidin. Was Semirhage also punished for ignoring orders, or did she have special exemption? (If you're going to RAFO us, consider giving us some other little tidbit instead?)

Robert Jordan Answers:

Semirhage was present at Shadar Logoth, though not seen. You didn't see Graendal, either, though admittedly Moghedien thought of her, thinking it would be good if she or Cyndane died. If I always tried to show everyone who was present at a battle or the like, the books would be a LOT longer than they are now. And those battles would get rather boring, a list of names. Go down the checklist and make sure everyone gets mentioned. Boring. Anyway, Mesaana was the only one who tried to sit it out. By the way, Moridin also was not present, for reasons that will become self-evident as you read on.

By the by, Rand and his companions very likely would have been killed or captured if the Forsaken were not who they are, if they had been willing to form links and coordinate their attacks. But they suffer from a combination of arrogance toward the "ignorant peasants"of the current Age and distrust of one another. Forming a link is all very well, but who leads? Which of them would be willing to give up control over their own ability and put it completely under the control of another of them? Who are you willing to let get behind your back in a fight? Moghedien? Semirhage? I didn't think so.**

18

lucky with dice: 2005-06-09

usually i don't spend much time looking over theories unless i am trying to figure out something specific or if the title sounds like something i've thought about myself.

i agree completely that the forsaken are not as important as we are led to believe, with at least 1, perhaps 2 or 3 exceptions, moridin/ishy is obviously one of those exceptions, being the most powerful of the forsaken and pound for pound as close a match for Rand as there is, this level of power, in such a loyal servant is worth holding onto.

the reason i say perhaps 2 or 3 is that there are still a couple of the original forsaken who have been smart enough to not get themselves captured or killed and who's actions we still know very little about, i am talking primarily about demandred but also semirhage, these 2 could still become fairly big players towards the end, we know that demandred was very close in terms of power to LTT and he has kept himself out of the way thus far.

anyway the point i am making is that i agree, the forsaken, on the whole, are not as big a deal as rand et al think. they are pieces in a game that are being positioned in an attempt to draw rands forces away and spread them as thinly as possible.

on the whole, good theory, maybe not as well researched as it could have been, but a damn good job working from memory.

19

Aiel Finn: 2005-06-15

Not all the Forsaken are useless. Most are because they only joined to satisfy thier own lust for power or to save their rears. Ishy (Moridin), Semhiridge, and Demandred are exceptions. Ishy joined as a philosophical gesture and serves the DO just because he believes that it is right. Semhidridge joined because she agrees with the DO's methods (torture and retribution). Demandred joined because he had a personal hatred (my enemy's enemy is my friend). These three are the only ones that seem to be doing much good. The others all joined either for a lust for power like Rhavin, Lanfear, and Sammeal; or because the Dark seemed to be winning such as Asmodean, Grenedahl, and Moggy. These have been rather innefectual and have actually helped the Light more than the Dark in the 3rd Age.

20

Narianna: 2005-06-16

i disagree.all the forsaken wanted power and influence.

semi went over to the DO to save herself.her POV in LoC proves this.

graendal went over to the shadow very early.

asmo went over to 'create endless music'

lanfear actually went over after the marriage of LTT.

so u see the idea of 'purity of faith' is not a good one except perhaps for ishamael.he appeared to have truely went ovewr because he believed himself to be the champion of shadow(i wonder if the DO can choose his champion or the pattern chooses it for him).

21

silverwolf: 2005-06-21

I agree that the forsaken are not a major part of the chain of command in the Dark One's forces--they will take control of Black Ajah members, darkfriends, trollocs, etc., but the regular chain of command set up in the absense of the forsaken--all 3000 years of it--still exists, so their leadership is not crucial. They are merely pieces in a game--the Dark One is the player, the forsaken are power pieces, and the rest of the darkfriends , black ajah, etc. are minor pieces. I don't know about you, but when I play chess, I move my pawns--my queen has no control over them. And, yes, sometimes you have to sacrifice power pieces--you don't cry about it, but sometimes it pisses you off. In the same way, the forsaken are each powerful in their own rights--not because they are important leaders, but because they are skilled and knowledgeable channelers. When they are killed, it doesn't have a huge impact on the dark chain of command since they rarely assumed direct control. And yes, the Dark One does get pissed at their deaths and betrayals (Rahvin, Asmodean), but he doesn't view it as a crippling loss.

22

Coramoor: 2005-09-25

I think this a good theory. However about Shadar Haran. I think that he is a top dog but that he also has his own plans that he has yet to make known. Just a though.

23

Anubis: 2005-09-26

**lanfear actually went over after the marriage of LTT. **

quote please.

24

JakOShadows: 2005-09-26

Coramoor: Since Shadar Haran is the avator of the DO, and RJ did say this, it seems like that would be the DO's plans that he's carrying out. And I don't imagine they would conflict too much with Moridin's plans. They would just take of problems that the DO sees need to be corrected.

25

Astra-al: 2005-09-26

The shadow has had losses when the forsaken die. I will mention a few, but I haven't read the books recently so they may be a bit off.

The first two to die:

Aginor & Ba'althamel - They die and the DO's hold on the world is weakened that winter ceases and spring comes. Not to mention the blight moves back. I would consider that a loss for the DO.

Be'lal & Ishmael - First of all, the shadow lost a pack of Darkhounds. Not something that would be good, but that has nothing to do with these two. I would see this as a pretty big loss for the DO, one of the chosen is killed beyond the DO's reach. The DO's main chosen is destroyed making it a lot more difficult to control Rand the way he might want. Also, Rand gains the aiel here, which has got to suck for the DO.

Lanfear & Rahvin - Again another chosen is lost beyond reach. However these forsaken have had less of an effect because it was around this time that the Gars first appear, evening it out, two down, two up kind of thing.

The Chosen lost at Cleansing (Don't remember all the names) - We haven't yet had sufficient time (except those lucky people who have already read KoD) to see all the effects from these losses as CoT does not cover much time, and does not focus as much on the forsaken as on Mat/Seanchan; Rand/Ashaman; and the Tower struggle.

I'm 97% sure all thats correct, but I may be off on some of the details.

I may be missing points, but I think that this debunks your theory. The loss of chosen has affected the shadow.

26

silverwolf: 2005-09-27

Astra-al: Your arguments about losses of the chosen essentially boiled down to "The chosen died and that's bad for the shadow." This argument really doesn't go anywhere, or state anything but that the Forsaken are getting picked off (duh!). The only loss for the shadow that you mentioned (loss that was not simply the death of a Forsaken) was that the DO's eternal winter was ended. In truth, we don't really know why that happened--Rand's actions don't seem to account for it, and the deaths of the two forsaken don't account for it (Lanfear,Rahvin and Asmo died during the "eternal summer," but that didn't right the seasons). Stating that the "The shadow has had losses when the forsaken die." and backing that statement up only with the deaths of the forsaken (not any lasting effects that their deaths had) doesn't debunk any theory that the loss of the chosen hasn't affected the shadow.

I maintain that the chosen are important as power players for the shadow, but their existance has little lasting effect on the hierarchy of the shadow. See my post--way above this--for a full explanation.

27

Darkshadow: 2005-09-28

I think that perhaps people fail to realize that the Forsaken are just the end result of all the new players the DO is using since he no longer feels that the Forsaken will get the job done.

Consider this, in the War of Power, the Forsaken were the power players, they were the ones winning battles, creating shadowspawn, and directly fighting the Light's leaders. Upon this happening, the DO rewards his faithful servants and it is said he liked to pit two Forsaken against one another (like a dogfight). This then seeds discourse into the hearts of the Forsaken, for now if they plot against one another, it can further gain them rewards from the DO. The War of Power did not take place in a year, so this seed had time to fester and grow, and the result is what the Forsaken are today, squabbling like dogs over the dribble the DO is willing to give them.

Now that that is establilshed, realize that the good guys (Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Elayne, etc.) are major power players for the Light, but they aren't trying to overthrow one another and instead are beginning to perhaps coordinate their actions.....something that will better benefit the Light in this neverending Battle.

The Forsaken were like this once, but now all they wish is to be the "king of the Hill" kind of figure and this causes them to be easy picking for the Light power players (especially Rand). The new players, Slayer and Shadar Haran (Moridin is Ishamael reincarnate) start out just like the Forsaken did, they constantly obeyed the DO's orders and weren't that involved with subplots between themselves, but as we can see, Shadar Haran looks as if he has some ideas of his own, ideas to break free of the DO and hold power of his own. THE VERY THING THE FORSAKEN STARTED DOING,

28

Anubis: 2005-09-28

**I'm 97% sure all thats correct, but I may be off on some of the details.

I may be missing points, but I think that this debunks your theory. The loss of chosen has affected the shadow.**

Only one chosen died at the clensing, Dashiva. However, Halima was revealed, now people know there is a woman channeling saidin. The thing is, the loss of the Forsaken is significant to the Dark One. It does have an affect. But it doesnt seem to be a perminant affect. The Dark Ones long term plans are not disrupted.

29

El Bogarto: 2005-09-30

"but as we can see, Shadar Haran looks as if he has some ideas of his own"

Er, i thought that SH was the DO's avatar, and that his thoughts about breaking free of Shayol Ghul represented his wish to be 100% free of the Bore?

I got the feeling that the DO can only be out and about as Shaidar Haran for a small period of time before he is forced to return to Shayol Ghul for a "recharge" - like astral projection or something.

30

Traveller: 2005-10-01

OK, I think that 1st of all, the Chosen are becoming almost obsolete in that Moridin now rules some and they must obey Shaidar Haran etc, but they definitely were important- I mean they basically sorted out everything that happened to end the AoL- mesaana's 'children' destroying everything, Aginor creating hordes of Trollocs and Myrdraal to overwhelm armies. How can anyone say they were unimportant!

I don't think the DO planned for them to be red herrings at all, it just turned out that each alone was not strong enough to defeat rand/do what the DO wanted, because they got too obsessed with their own little games, so he had to sort them out.

31

JakOShadows: 2005-10-01

Reading the last reply go me wondering, what if he was trying to lure Rand into a trap that way. Rand is thinking that they're competing right now, but really they are all working on a single plan now. Maybe the DO planned the naming of Nae'blis to be when they all start working together. Rand has to know that something like this is happening anyways because of what happened at the cleansing.

32

haertchen: 2005-10-02

The chosen aren't a red herring. They're among the best pawns the Dark One has. I think one of the main themes of the book is that the Dark's real weakness, the one that allows the Light to win despite the creator's non-interference policy, is its disunity.

This idea hearkens back to an incident in TEOTW, which occurs while our band of heroes is trying to find the Eye. While going through the blight, they are attacked by both the trees and horrible mishaped monsters. Near the end of the battle, Rand remarks:

(TEOTW p. 737) "If the trees had not struck into the mass of attacking flesh as much as at the humans, if the creatures, no two alike, had not fought the trees and one another to reach them, Rand was sure they would have been overwhelmed."

The story continues with the attack being broken off because some Worms (whatever *they* are) decide to take part in the action---scaring off all the others. Again, the lack of trust of any sort is the only reason our heroes survive. In contrast, the heroes work together and only attack the assailants.

Another bit of evidence for this view, as well as a bit of evidence against the original poster, is the Forsaken's behavior at the cleansing. Note that even with Shadar Haran and Moridin calling all the shots, the Forsaken still aren't good enough to effectively take out a few half-trained channelers. Admittedly, they weren't expecting the resistance they did get, but RJ specifically went out of his way to emphasize even with the change in plans on Rand's side, the Forsaken could have overcome what there was---if they had linked, or entered the battle together, for instance. Disunity was deadly, again, for the shadow, despite being driven by the new leadership. This just highlights how poorly the dark can do even with all the new toys.

Now before people object, I bring up what I see as the biggest argument against this point. Basically, I see people saying "Surely disunity is part of the light's problem as well. The Cairheinin don't like the Tairens, the Illianers don't think much of Tear, Mayene has it's own problems, and the Aeil (sp?) and the Seafolk hate everybody else." To this, I respond: Yes, but even they they are *capable* of coming together. Cadsuane managed, despite all the difficulties involved, to get people to cooperate at the cleansing. We may not think much of some of her techniques, but the absolute disunity the forsaken showed was a far cry from the problems which afflicted the light. I personally think the disunity is endemic to the dark, while unity is an option humans can take, but don't have to. (I also think that's why Rand's increasing paranoia might be deadly, and why his love life is so important---love requires trust.)

Note that this also explains, in some sense, why the Dark One needs humans to help him get out. All the shadowspawn we have seen are flawed in some critical way: Trollocs are lazy and lack discipline, Drackar are easily distracted. The only really effective Shadowspawn are Mydrall (sp?), and they are the ones closest to humans. Humans seem to be the only agents that are capable of really organizing, and even they are corrupted by the nature of the shadow.

Anyway, I'd love feedback on this response. If anyone wants it, I think this is a theme that could be developed much more thoroughly.

33

Astra-al: 2005-10-02

The Chosen were definitely important in the AoL... however back then they were respected members of society (before turning to the shadow) In fact, some of the top people, also they had access to all the contraptions and creations of the AoLs of which most they probably could not create themselves and thus cannot be as constructive as they once were.

For Example:

Aginor & Balthamel - They created Trollocs and Myrdrall. But in this Age, they most likely don't have the right equipment/influence to make new creatures.

Asmodean - I don't know, Asmodean is just pathetic. He seems like the lowest one of the group. You know, the one who is always joked about. The one who will do more things just to try to be ‘cooler' in the group. He was brought down through Lanfear's plan to try to turn Rand. And by his need to feel like more of a part of the Chosen. (IMO)

Be'lal - Be'lal was a blademaster. He was distracted by Rand when Moiraine comes up and balefires him. He fell because of his pride in his skills.

Demandred, Rahvin, & Sammael - These were the great generals of the shadow. Now think though... Back in the AoL before the shadow, they were respected people. Then when they turned, I'm sure that many came with them helping to bolster their armies. Also warfare is different now than it was in the AoL. Plus all they have to rely on is Trollocs/Myrdrall and some DFs

Graendal - I don't remember what she did in the AoLs... but she's not doing all that bad this age. She's got a nice holding in Arad Doman, spreading chaos like the DO commanded. She seems more interested in getting “pretties” than anything else though.

Ishamael - He's the only one who's been competent in this Age.

Lanfear - Her love for Lews Therin was her downfall in this age. She had plenty of chances to give victory to the shadow, but because she was trying to turn Rand into a living Lews Therin that loved her, she was very ineffective.

Mesaana - She had a school of the Dark. This was made possible because of the “new-ness” of the shadow. Think of it as if a new religion popped up, people would wonder about it and be interested in it. Then be caught in it before they realized what it truly was. But now, the shadow has been around for millennia, and there are less that might follow that path.

Moghedien - She was brought down in this age because of her pride. If she hadn't had as much pride she could have just slunk back into the shadows after her face off with Nynaeve, but no, she had to go chase her down. It was only her pride in her strength that brought her down.

Semirhage - She was a sadistic healer in the AoLs, so far it appears that she's been able to keep up with that with the Aes Sedai and Warder she captured. She seems like the Questioners for the Shadow.

I hope I've got all that info right, it's been a while since I've read the books. I'm pretty sure its all right though.

Anyways, my point is that the Chosen were definitely great warriors of the DO in the AoL, and they still are, they just aren't as useful now because of all the changes. They've had to adapt to being “asleep” for 3,000 years and finding the whole world different. Now they're the only ones left from the AoL. They're best bet now is to work together to bring back the strength they had in the AoL. But because of they're mistrust for each other they can't, thus making it seem like they're not important because they're fumbling in they're attempts to adapt before the rest of the Chosen.

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silverwolf: 2005-10-02

Disunity is definitely the Shadow's failing--each Forsaken considers himself/herself capable of acting independently no matter what the odds. I agree that if they had coordinated, they might have won the battle at Shadar Logoth; instead, they competed over who could kill Rand and came with no organization. Maybe even if Moridin had joined them they could have won--one TP channeler might have made the difference, especially if Cadsuane's ter'angreal only worked for saidin and saidar. Linking would have been a bad idea, though, since the leaders of circles can still only sense their half of the power (ie: a male leader of a mixed circle can still only sense saidin, and a female leader of a mixed circle can only sense saidar--in WH, Eben Hopwil had to warn the female leader of his circle that Halima was holding saidin). Since both saidin and saidar were being used against the Forsaken, linking would have invariably made the whole group more vulnerable to one half of the power. Simply coordinating efforts (attacking at the same time, using complimentary attacks on the same area or from multiple sides, etc) would have been more effective.

As for humanity, we've seen where suspicion and disunity lead (Shadar Logoth, anyone?), so some of the leaders of humanity (Rand, Cadsuane, Egwene, etc) know the price of disunity (Egwene wants to unify the Tower, Rand wants to unify the world, Cadsuane just takes command and forces unity ;) ). Their struggle in the time leading up to TG has been and will continue to be unify humanity to oppose the shadow--the only way for the light to achieve victory.

Who doesn't like Cadsuane's methods? I think she's great, partly because she treats Rand like a little kid. She and Verin (who is, IMHO, the most enigmatic character in the series with the possible exception of Padan Fain) are probably my two favorite characters simply because Cadsuane keeps Rand on his toes and Verin keeps Casuane on hers. They each are mysterious and knowing--like the Aes Sedai are presented as in the first books. To me, that mystery and adventure are what makes the series most enjoyable (probably why TEOTW is still one of my favorite books in the series).

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JakOShadows: 2005-10-03

silverwolf: I agree with everything you said, and the other thing I like about Cadsuane and Verin is that they never do what is expected. Verin is brown ajah, but she is more involved in the world than most. She is the one brown who seems the least like a scholar. And then Cadsuane just doesn't give a crap about traditions and anything like that, which really helps a lot when dealing with the changing world. I think Rand would have done good to chose Verin as his new Aes Sedai advisor in LoC, but Alanna ruined that for her.

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haertchen: 2005-10-03

silverwolf:

The methods I didn't like with Cadsuane were the blackmail. I felt that might actually drive a wedge between the Sea Folk and the others. Only time will tell whether that's true or not. In any case, even with that, Cadsuane's group coordinated better than the shadow did.

Your points about striving for unity are well taken. The Light is trying; the Shadow cannot. As regards Ishamael: He may have possibly tipped the balance. The Shadow does have its own set of advantages (not least of which is the active interference by the Dark One), and might win if humanity doesn't unify to some degree.

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Callandor: 2005-10-04

**Linking would have been a bad idea, though, since the leaders of circles can still only sense their half of the power (ie: a male leader of a mixed circle can still only sense saidin, and a female leader of a mixed circle can only sense saidar--in WH, Eben Hopwil had to warn the female leader of his circle that Halima was holding saidin).**

But Rand saw how saidar was woven:

**TITLE: Winter's Heart, CHAPTER: 35 - With the Choedan Kal

"Awkwardly, forcing himself to work gently, to use the unfamiliar saidar's own immense strength to guide it as he wanted, he wove a conduit that touched the male half of the Source at one end and the distantly seen city at the other. The conduit had to be of untainted saidar. If this worked as he hoped, a tube of saidin might shatter when the taint began to leech out of it. He thought of it as a tube, at least, though it was not. The weave did not form at all as he expected it to. As if saidar had a mind of its own, the weave took on convolutions and spirals that made him think of a flower. There was nothing to see, no grand weaves sweeping down from the sky. The Source lay at the heart of creation. The Source was everywhere, even in Shadar Logoth. The conduit covered distance beyond his imagining, and had no length at all. It had to be a conduit, no matter its appearance. If it was not. . . ."

True, there really aren't any "weaves" to see -- yet at the same time, Rand knows distinctly the shapes that saidar takes meaning he at least can see and recognize it.

**Since both saidin and saidar were being used against the Forsaken, linking would have invariably made the whole group more vulnerable to one half of the power. Simply coordinating efforts (attacking at the same time, using complimentary attacks on the same area or from multiple sides, etc) would have been more effective.**

Well, Jordan at least thinks that if the Forsaken linked together, they would've been able to win the battle -- might be simple arrogance or overestimating Callandor as a sa'angreal, but I would say that one use of Callandor at full potential would've killed them even in a link ;)

**Who doesn't like Cadsuane's methods? I think she's great, partly because she treats Rand like a little kid.**

A little kid who knows absolutely nothing, while the great Cadsuane knows absolutely everything? I'll stick with Vandene's description of her:

TITLE: Crossroads of Twilight, CHAPTER: 12 - A Bargain

"Recently one of her watchers at the Swan had overheard a disturbing name, murmured and quickly shushed, as if in fear of eavesdroppers. Cadsuane. Not a common name, that. And Cadsuane Melaidhrin had meshed herself closely with Rand while he was in Cairhien. Vandene did not think much of the woman, calling her opinionated and muleheaded, but Careane had almost fainted in awe at hearing her name. It seemed the stories surrounding Cadsuane amounted to legends. Trying to deal with the Dragon Reborn single-handed was just the sort of thing Cadsuane Melaidhrin might do. Not that Elayne had concerns about Rand and any Aes Sedai, except that he might outrage her beyond her control - the man was too pigheaded himself sometimes to see where his own good lay! - but why would a sister in Caemlyn mention her name? And why had another hushed her?"

**The methods I didn't like with Cadsuane were the blackmail. I felt that might actually drive a wedge between the Sea Folk and the others.**

Well, Cadsuane's control of the Sea Folk is really the only scene I enjoy with her -- only because the Sea Folk are basically little Cadsuane's all over the place.