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shy is more important and less crazy than people think

by KaraK: 2005-07-01 | 6 out of 10 (4 votes)

Previous Categories: Plans of the Dark One

The majority of the forsaken clearly believe that Ishy was completely insane and on some kind of ego trip (which they probably felt was induced by OD-ing on TP and his in-out periods spent in the bore during the time between AOL and here-and-now).

There are many things that dont quite ring true about this however;

1) The DO heavily restricts use of the TP yet Ishy/Moridin appears to use it almost exclusively.


"Demandred flinched in spite of himself. That had been the True Power; he had felt nothing. A black speck floated across Moridin's blue eyes, then another, in a steady stream. The man must have been using the True Power exclusively since he last saw him to gain so many saa so quickly. He himself had never touched the True Power except at need. Great need. Of course, only Moridin had that privilege now, since his . . . anointing. The man truly was insane to use it so freely. It was a drug more addictive than saidin, more deadly than poison."

2)His elevation (as Moridin) to apparant Nae'blis - we have seen how the DO treats those who fail him, so perhaps Ishy's actions, although a failure on the surface were actually meeting an obscure goal of the shadow known only to himself & Ishy

3)During his periods of freedom in the world there is no real evidence to support the idea that he was in any way crazy or acting on his own devices - everything appeared to be almost gentle nudges towards a more long term goal (for when Rand would be born) and again this would fit with him acting on a fairly direct plan from the DO.

4)There have been hints at various times that Ishy is a greater player in the overall cycle than just one of the Forsaken - apart from the summoned heroes of the horn in TGH he is the only one ever to really refer to the the ongoing cycle of battles between light and dark in a real "I was there" not just a "I read this in a book" way (in fact: "Ten years!, You pitiful fool! This war has not lasted ten years, but since the beginning of time. You and I have fought a thousand battles with the turning of the Wheel, a thousand times a thousand, and we will fight until time dies and the Shadow is triumphant!" He finished in a shout, with a raised fist, and it was Lews Therin's turn to pull back, breath catching at the glow in the Betrayer's eyes.").

5) He also appears to be the only forsaken who's motivations for their various actions are purely those of the shadow, his own greed and goals dont appear to figure much.


" "Do you serve yourself now, Lanfear?" Ba'alzamon's voice was soft, but flame raged continuously in his eyes and mouth. "Have you abandoned your oaths to the Great Lord of the Dark?" For an instant the darkness nearly obliterated him, only the glowing fires showing through. "They are not so easily broken as the oaths to the Light you forsook, proclaiming your new master in the very Hall of the Servants. Your master claims you forever, Lanfear. Will you serve, or do you choose an eternity of pain, of endless dying without release?"

I think that despite what they believed none of the other Forsaken ever had a chance of being Nae'blis - they are merely pawns in the long term plans of the DO, and that Ishy is (and always has been since the beginning of time) his "Champion of the Dark."

In fact I would go so far as to suggest that part of what makes him the Anti-Dragon is that he is never re-born, he merely gets transmigrated upon dying (hence why he is aware of all the various battles over all of time.)
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2005-08-10

I think your last statement is the most important, "they are merely pawns in the long term plans of the DO." I agree with you. As you have laid out, the Dark One consistently used Ishamael to wage his war against the soul of the Dragon. The other Forsaken may have believed they had a chance, but I like your theory that Nae'blis wasn't up for grabs...it was always for Ishamael. In fact, Ishamael's "anointing" was likely all for show. Although, regarding your suggestion concerning Ishamael always having been transmigrated. Lanfear drilled the Bore, and brought the DO into the world. How would you propose Ishamael existed without he Bore? As in, I don't believe the DO can transmigrate a soul without the Bore.

2

Callandor: 2005-08-11

**2)His elevation (as Moridin) to apparant Nae'blis - we have seen how the DO treats those who fail him, so perhaps Ishy's actions, although a failure on the surface were actually meeting an obscure goal of the shadow known only to himself & Ishy**

1. There's nothing apparent about Moridin being Nae'blis ;)

2. More likely than Ishamael's death being a subtle plan by the Dark One (I highly doubt he plans on his Forsaken dying, but never know), it's all the actions that Ishamael did before the rest of the Forsaken were even free were enough to be made Nae'blis. He has done a heck of a lot more than anyone else has.

**3)During his periods of freedom in the world there is no real evidence to support the idea that he was in any way crazy or acting on his own devices - everything appeared to be almost gentle nudges towards a more long term goal (for when Rand would be born) and again this would fit with him acting on a fairly direct plan from the DO.**

Well, there is one reference of one of Hawkwing's advisors (who was undoubtedly Ishamael) being "half-insane."

**TITLE: The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time, CHAPTER: The Reign of the High King

"Very little is known of Moerad, though he appears in several sources, most notably in letters gathered in the Terhana Library in Bandar Eban. In Free Year 973 he appeared in Hawkwing's court, making his first entry into history. Many at the time wondered about his background, and some who inquired too closely into it may have suffered fatal accidents. It is noted that Tamika was icily cold toward Moerad, if always correct, yet although Hawkwing trusted her counsel, by the late summer of Free Year 974 Moerad was one of the High King's closest advisors. He maintained this position until Hawkwing's death despite frequent long absences, a volatile temper, and a temperament that more than one observer recorded as “more than half insane.”"

So, it's likely he was nearly as bad as he was at the time of the main sequence books (or worse), then at the time of Hawkwing.

**4)There have been hints at various times that Ishy is a greater player in the overall cycle than just one of the Forsaken - apart from the summoned heroes of the horn in TGH he is the only one ever to really refer to the the ongoing cycle of battles between light and dark in a real "I was there" not just a "I read this in a book" way**

Well, that very well could be how he is "half-mad" ;) He believes his own lies enough that they are establish truths to him. Or it could very well be that he is one that is always destined to fight the Dragon again and again, and he's only realized it somehow.

**I think that despite what they believed none of the other Forsaken ever had a chance of being Nae'blis - they are merely pawns in the long term plans of the DO, and that Ishy is (and always has been since the beginning of time) his "Champion of the Dark."**

Undoubtedly, hence the title of Nae'blis ;)

**In fact I would go so far as to suggest that part of what makes him the Anti-Dragon is that he is never re-born, he merely gets transmigrated upon dying (hence why he is aware of all the various battles over all of time.)**

I wouldn't go that far. Ishamael is a philosopher. With seeing the actions of Lews Therin first hand, and drawing whatever conclusions off that and the knowledge that rebirth is a natural form of the world, he could've drawn that he always fights Lews Therin purely on his own, but wasn't "there" for all the previous fights. It could be that he was reborn as someone else at those times (as the Champion for the Shadow), but it most likely wasn't Ishamael himself. He's just come to realize that, "Hey! My soul is always the one that fights Lews Therin. Sweet!" That kinda thing.

3

Jalt Varyd: 2005-08-11

I agree that Ishamael could well be a great deal more important than the other Forsaken. He certainly thinks he is, and the Dark One seems to agree with him. If nothing else, he is the only one who doesn't let his one wishes intervere with serving the Dark, and I can believe that he might be the Anti-Dragon. However, he could also just be acting as the voice of the Dark One, who has fought the soul of the Dragon since the beginning of time.

I would need a lot more evidence, though, to believe that the Betrayer has been transmigrated throughout all of time, and never reborn.

4

Dumai Wells: 2005-08-11

I firmly believe that just like in the prologue of TEOTW, it was Ishmael and Lews, and the ending of this series, it will be Moridin and Rand, head to head. Different bodies, same souls. Some of you might say that this is stating the obvious but still you know RJ loves what a wheel represents and he loves the idea of coming full circle. Also, I like what Karak said about long term goals. Ishmael seems so much deeper than the others because of his philisophical roots..Like in the end of a Crown Of Swords, the way he helped Rand. Can you ever see Demandred or Sammael doing that? No way, it has always been about them, their own selfish reasons for wanting Rand dead, but Ishmael always does things for much deeper calculating reasons. The dark one is smart enough to know this and that is why Ishmael is Naeblis, him dying and still being named naeblis is only a testament to his knowledge, loyalty, and overall approach to the shadow and is the reason he is the Dark's Champion. If you have lived as long as he has and seen what he has seen, the things you do might seem insane to even the other Forsaken, but that does not mean they are, it just means that people dont understand you, it's like Rand said one time "the world is a laughing matter"

5

ThunderWalker: 2005-08-12


When Rand became the Dragon, he started hearing "voices" from his past incarnations. Specifically LTT.

Why not the same for Ishamael? That is, Lanfear drilled the bore, and Ishameal began remembering bits of his past role as the Shadow's champion. That could make him a "bit insane". He might have a sort of shadow memory, like Birgette sort of has now. LTT may have had some of this as well, which is why he went his own way for sealing up the DO. He was the champion, he should do it...

What Ishamael says does make sense in the series -- the wheel nature of the world, and heroes of the horn, etc. The shadow champion, and light champion in conflict, time and time again. Who knows, maybe it is alway's Lanfear's soul that bores into the DO's prison too.

The DO may seem to have the advantage that death is no bar to victory, since the DO can transmigrate his champion. But maybe all the "Luck" or ta'varenness in the world is due to the Creator (not just the Pattern fixing things). That is, maybe the Creator still has some control over the "loom".

6

Lauric: 2005-08-12

***In fact I would go so far as to suggest that part of what makes him the Anti-Dragon is that he is never re-born, he merely gets transmigrated upon dying (hence why he is aware of all the various battles over all of time.)***

This can be defeated by merely stating that we know he was Elan Morin Tedronai, a philosipher, before he turned to the shadow.

7

Wompat: 2005-08-12

thunder walker,

it would definately help if we have any perspective from LTT other than the prologue in TEOTW, during which neither LTT or Ishy have voices talking to them. Callandor, in response to another theory, has given some pretty solid proof of the voices in Rand's head being taint related (something Ishy doesnt suffer from), and not actually the voice of LTT, but Rand's mind trying to compensate for everything that has happened to him

8

Jahar Narishma: 2005-08-12

"'In fact I would go so far as to suggest that part of what makes him the Anti-Dragon is that he is never re-born, he merely gets transmigrated upon dying (hence why he is aware of all the various battles over all of time.)'

"This can be defeated by merely stating that we know he was Elan Morin Tedronai, a philosipher, before he turned to the shadow."

Actually, I kinda like the "anti-Dragon" interpretation. It fits neatly into the yin-yang concept of the series, an almost Newtonian idea that for every actor and action, there exists an equal and opposite force. Light and Darkness, Saidin and Saidar, Creator and Destroyer...and Dragon and Nae'blis. Just as the Dragon, by different names, is spun into the pattern to fight the Shadow, a Nae'blis could be respun to fight the Light.

Yes, this particular incarnation of Ishy appears to have simply been transmigrated several times, without a known break since the prior Last Battle, unlike the Dragon, but it is certainly possible that Tedronai was reborn from a previous Nae'blis.

Now, the one problem with this is that the other Forsaken believed that they had a shot at being Nae'blis in this age. This implies that a Nae'blis may not have been named prior to the previous Last Battle...which could also explain why the 2nd and 3rd Ages are so intertwined. It is entirely possible that LTT did [i]not[/i] lead a true Last Battle at the end of the AOL, but rather sealed the Bore without actually battling his counterpart. This could also help explain why the 3rd Age, despite being technologically far behind the AOL, was far more knowledgeable about the Shadow.

This would also explain why all the other Forsaken, except Ishidin, are so...how can I put this...incompetent. I mean, Moghedien manages to get trapped by Nynaeve in Tanchico, then collared by Nynaeve and Elayne in T'A'R/Salidar...and Nynaeve, while strong in the Power, is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, if you get my drift. Lanfear has an apocalyptic case of PMS that completely prevents her from exercising any semblance of judgement. Asmodean manages not only to become trapped into being Rand's teacher, but then has to be killed and balefired back to life in Caemlyn before it hits him that he's no longer immortal, and then he walks right into the arms of a final killer...in fact, maybe the reason why his killer is unknown is because RJ thought it would ruin the mystique of the Forsaken if it turned out that Asmodean had been knifed to death by a drunken servant trying to hide his love of the wine cellars.

And let's not forget that at the Cleansing, the only Forsaken who seems to show any initiative is Dashivangar, who gets toasted by a fellow darkfriend. Lanfear runs in all pumped up on estrogen wanting to kill Rand and can't even stand up against a woman who has spent the last several centuries deprived of any free will. Hell, even Halimangar, who has the ultimate element of surprise in being a female-looking saidin channeler, can't even succeed.

I get the impression that given the choice, these were not the people that the DO would have "chosen" to be stuck in the Bore with.

9

ThunderWalker: 2005-08-12

Wompat,

I was not suggesting Ishamael heard voices. I was just saying that maybe he had memories of a previous incarnation, in a mild way, like Birgitte does now. Maybe not complete memories, just a shadow of them, or hints of past lives.

Rand's voices are just the way he deals with the memories.

Lets suppose the memories are due to a taint-based breakdown of the barrier between the memories of past lives. (A popular belief.) The taint has been speculated to be "essence of True Power". Ishmael uses TP almost exclusively. True power causes a kind of insanity, or at least instablitly, in those who use it too much -- and makes eyes and mouths flame. The taint cause insanity, and physical deteriation.

If Ishamael truely is the same soul that battles the Dragon during every conflict, and he has some vague/mild memories of those previous conflicts, (possibly due to heavy use of the TP) then maybe he knows what he is talking about. No voices, just past recollections.

10

Callandor: 2005-08-13

**When Rand became the Dragon, he started hearing "voices" from his past incarnations. Specifically LTT.**

No. Rand's always been "the Dragon." He proclaimed himself at the end of The Great Hunt, and didn't begin to hear a voice until The Fires of Heaven (for sure then, but earlier accounts are very likely to be the voice as well, in The Shadow Rising).

**Why not the same for Ishamael? That is, Lanfear drilled the bore, and Ishameal began remembering bits of his past role as the Shadow's champion. That could make him a "bit insane". He might have a sort of shadow memory, like Birgette sort of has now. LTT may have had some of this as well, which is why he went his own way for sealing up the DO. He was the champion, he should do it...**

1. Birgitte's memory was only allowed for her in full in tel'aran'rhiod, before she was ripped out by Moghedien. She has quite a lot of memories now, but not nearly what she had before.

2. Rand is a very unique situation, and parallels to Ishamael don't make much sense. For example:

A. Rand suffers from the Taint -- Ishamael didn't before the Dark One tainted it, and more than likely already had the bonds to protect him from it at that time or after his first release from the sealing.

B. Rand does not channel the True Power (doesn't even know of it); Ishamael channels it nearly exclusively (and does channel nothing else now).

C. We know Birgitte and Lews Therin are Heroes of the Horn -- unlikely Ishamael is.

D. It's all very big suppositions all based off relatively nothing ;)

**What Ishamael says does make sense in the series -- the wheel nature of the world, and heroes of the horn, etc. The shadow champion, and light champion in conflict, time and time again. Who knows, maybe it is alway's Lanfear's soul that bores into the DO's prison too.**

It does make sense, and it fits perfectly into line that Ishamael was a philosopher of the greatest sense of the word: he saw insights (all on his own) into how the world worked, and drew conclusions about it that no one else did. This led him to believe (and probably very correctly), that there always was a battle of champions. He decided to be one, and picked the side he saw as the winning one: the Shadow.

**The DO may seem to have the advantage that death is no bar to victory, since the DO can transmigrate his champion.**

Well, not all the time -- balefire is a problem, if he dies from it :)

**But maybe all the "Luck" or ta'varenness in the world is due to the Creator (not just the Pattern fixing things). That is, maybe the Creator still has some control over the "loom".**

Ta'vern are spun out by the Wheel and only become ta'veren to correct the Pattern and put it back into balance. The Creator plays no part in this at all -- what he did is set up the system of doing it, then left.

**Callandor, in response to another theory, has given some pretty solid proof of the voices in Rand's head being taint related (something Ishy doesnt suffer from), and not actually the voice of LTT, but Rand's mind trying to compensate for everything that has happened to him**

Thank you for the comments, and just to let you know I have consolidated most of my ramblings into an actual (finally) theory submitted to Tam. Should be posted soon, so if anyone wishes to discuss it, look for "Barrier Degredation" by Callandor.

**Actually, I kinda like the "anti-Dragon" interpretation. It fits neatly into the yin-yang concept of the series, an almost Newtonian idea that for every actor and action, there exists an equal and opposite force. Light and Darkness, Saidin and Saidar, Creator and Destroyer...and Dragon and Nae'blis. Just as the Dragon, by different names, is spun into the pattern to fight the Shadow, a Nae'blis could be respun to fight the Light.**

I believe Lauric is agreeing with the "anti-Dragon" part of it, and merely pointing out that it does not require Ishamael to be transmigrated all those times to do it. All it requires is that Ishamael was a philosopher, and thought of it on his own, and drew conclusions off of it.

**It is entirely possible that LTT did [i]not[/i] lead a true Last Battle at the end of the AOL, but rather sealed the Bore without actually battling his counterpart.**

But that would seem to imply that the 2nd Age has never ended, when it clearly has.

**This would also explain why all the other Forsaken, except Ishidin, are so...how can I put this...incompetent. I mean, Moghedien manages to get trapped by Nynaeve in Tanchico, then collared by Nynaeve and Elayne in T'A'R/Salidar...and Nynaeve, while strong in the Power, is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, if you get my drift. Lanfear has an apocalyptic case of PMS that completely prevents her from exercising any semblance of judgement. Asmodean manages not only to become trapped into being Rand's teacher, but then has to be killed and balefired back to life in Caemlyn before it hits him that he's no longer immortal, and then he walks right into the arms of a final killer...in fact, maybe the reason why his killer is unknown is because RJ thought it would ruin the mystique of the Forsaken if it turned out that Asmodean had been knifed to death by a drunken servant trying to hide his love of the wine cellars.**

The Forsaken surely are abitious and can be quite stupid (another one that I love is that Graendal was duped by a simple lie of Sammael that he was the Nae'blis).

However, they do suffer from bad circumstances as well.

Moghedien suffered from bad turn of luck twice: once being nailed in the head by a bracelet, the other not knowing about the a'dam and thinking of it. Stupid of her, yes, but also bad circumstances.

Lanfear was very capable of good judgement -- after only a minor attempt at killing Asmodean, she saw that he served better as Rand's teacher; she also concocted the entire concept of the 4 Forsaken plan to capture Rand in Illian, in The Fires of Heaven; she was also able to keep judgement while hiding along with Rand. But she also suffered a fatal flaw, in that she had this crazy idea that Lews Therin always loved her and was hers. Stupid thought, but people aren't always bright (not just Forsaken limited).

You can say the same of Ishamael. He planned the beginnings of all the bad things that happened to humanity throughout the 3rd Age -- yet he suffered 3 defeats at Rand's hands when he shouldn't have. He also suffers from bad luck and bad flaws, not quite incomptent.

**And let's not forget that at the Cleansing, the only Forsaken who seems to show any initiative is Dashivangar, who gets toasted by a fellow darkfriend. Lanfear runs in all pumped up on estrogen wanting to kill Rand and can't even stand up against a woman who has spent the last several centuries deprived of any free will. Hell, even Halimangar, who has the ultimate element of surprise in being a female-looking saidin channeler, can't even succeed.**

Have to look at it from the Forsaken's view of the plan. What could they plan on? They didn't know:

1. Where the Cleansing was going to take place.

2. Who was going to be there (they were thinking it was just going to be Rand and some other woman -- and it was going to be that way, until Cadsuane said she was coming along).

3. They didn't know what the forces would be equiped with.

4. They didn't know how long it was going to take.

All they could plan on was: when it starts, go there and try to stop it. Not the greatest plan, at any account, but what else could they plan on? They planned for the best they knew, were arrogant enough to think it would work out perfectly, and got smacked for it.

**I get the impression that given the choice, these were not the people that the DO would have "chosen" to be stuck in the Bore with.**

Heh, there's an idea that the reason it's these 13 Forsaken that got sealed is because Ishamael (and maybe a few others like Lanfear, Demandred, Graendal and Sammael) were bringing up a "punishment" or some sort to the Dark One for them not being the best. Oh well, work with what you got.

**I was not suggesting Ishamael heard voices. I was just saying that maybe he had memories of a previous incarnation, in a mild way, like Birgitte does now. Maybe not complete memories, just a shadow of them, or hints of past lives.**

Even that is a lot of supposition. We've seen Ishamael's POV (well, as Moridin), and there isn't any indication of this, just of his own thoughts.

**Lets suppose the memories are due to a taint-based breakdown of the barrier between the memories of past lives.**

Alright! ;)

**If Ishamael truely is the same soul that battles the Dragon during every conflict, and he has some vague/mild memories of those previous conflicts, (possibly due to heavy use of the TP) then maybe he knows what he is talking about. No voices, just past recollections.**

I could draw the same conclusion except for one thing: we have no indication of these past recollections or memories in Ishamael/Moridin. With Rand, we're flooded with them (I'm currently tracking how many, and in The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven alone, there are over 40 instances of memories, thoughts, and voice that are not Rand's -- even more if you count weaves he should not know). With Ishamael instead, we have:

**TITLE: Path of Daggers

CHAPTER: Prologue - Deceptive Appearances

Fury boiled suddenly in Moridin's head, and black flecks swam across his eyes as he seized the True Power. Ecstasy that amounted to pain thundered through him. His hand closed around the two mindtraps, and the True Power closed around the Fisher, snatching it into the air, a hair from crushing it to powder, crushing the powder out of existence. The goblet shattered in his hand. His grip bordered on crushing the cour'souvra. The saa were a blizzard of black, but they did not hinder his sight. The Fisher was always worked as a man, a bandage blinding his eyes and one hand pressed to his side, a few drops of blood dripping through his fingers. The reasons, like the source of the name, were lost in the mist of time. That troubled him sometimes, enraged him, what knowledge might be lost in the turnings of the Wheel, knowledge he needed, knowledge he had a right to. A right!**

Not only no evidence of them, but instead a desire of Ishamael to know information from previous Ages, implying he doesn't have any.

11

ThunderWalker: 2005-08-15


Point taken Callandor. Ishamael/Moridin believes he is the reincarnation of the DO's champion, and is frustrated that he does not have any previous memories.

Maybe under hypnosis, a little past life regression... :)

I wonder if Ishamael has his own library of books -- he was a scholar. That would be quite a find.

12

JakOShadows: 2005-08-15

I tend to believe that Ishy/Moridin was not transmigrated before the second age. He acts like he is the champion of the dark, but it could be because he is named Nae'blis. If you think about, that would give him good enough reason. And the fact that he was philopher also gives strong evidence that he would be able to believe where as the other wouldn't. And, yes, the forsaken can be stupid at times, but its not because they are not skilled. It's because they are arrogant. Look at Lanfear or Be'lal. They're plans depended the "knew" to be right, when I wouldn't have even bet a penny on it. And then Moghedien, while she was caught in some bad circumstances, just plain sucks at direct conflict. It is strongly emphasized in the books that she works the best behind the scenes, in T'A'R mostly. Not in a direct fight against her enemy. The best example their pride in my opinion though is, as Callandor mentioned, the cleansing. RJ said in one of his answers to the question at the tor website that the forsaken could have defeated Rand's protection if they had formed a circle, but they didn't could bring themselves to do it out of fear and pride. A bad combination in your minions if you ask me.

13

Laughingman: 2005-08-16

I'll go along with this theory. Ishy certainly has been cruising right along with his plans since he was put in charge. But I have to shoot down that the Forsaken are complete idiots who just happened to get stuck in the bore. There are a lot of references throughout the books to the Forsaken being complete bad*sses during the war of power. Most of them being accomplished Generals in the fight. Except for Moghedian, who is always painted as someone who stabbed others in the back when they were distracted.

My thoughts on why they've been getting whipped like children this time around is that they keep trying to fight the Pattern. The prophecies all state that the Dragon Reborn will meet the Dark One on the rocks of Shayul Ghul. Every time that the Forsaken try to bypass that, they get whipped.

Back in the Eye of the World, and in a couple of the other books, its said that there are many different layers to the bore. Ishy was 'trapped lightly, if at all.' Balthomon and Aginor were 'trapped near the surface'. Lanfear was trapped deeply, deeply enough for the turnings of the wheel to not effect her at all.

So its entirely possible that Ishy was never trapped, or trapped so lightly that he could come and go at least some.

As for Ishy being crazy. The only madness that Ishy ever shows is megalomania and 'believes that he IS the Dark One Himself.' Well, for a philospher that see's Himself as the Dark One's Champion, and see's what an important role he has to play, and that He's been around for several thousand years now, yea, He'd have to be at least a little nuts. But that doesn't stop him from being effective.

He'd definitely have to have been transmigrated several times, bodies do wear out after all.

14

Anubis: 2005-08-16

**Look at Lanfear or Be'lal**

Be'lals plan was pretty freaking good. Things he could have not known about ruined it. Basicly Perrin meeting and faling in love with Failie and Failie triggering the Hedgehog. Be'lal was the only forsaken to even think to neutralize Rands assets before going in for the kill. He had every channeler that could aid Rand out of the picture (except moiraine). In a world where there is no Ta'veren I would bet on Be'lal every time.

15

Callandor: 2005-08-17

**I wonder if Ishamael has his own library of books -- he was a scholar. That would be quite a find.**

Ishamael wrote, I believe, two or three books in the Age of Legends that pretty much equated to his reasonings for eventually joining the Shado. The BWB alludes to them all being destroyed in the Breaking (and the world being better off because of it).

**So its entirely possible that Ishy was never trapped, or trapped so lightly that he could come and go at least some.**

The firm belief is that Ishamael was partially trapped in the Bore, which somehow threw him out into the world on a cycle of 40 years of freedom every 1000 years or so. This is how he is free to face Lews Therin quite soon after the sealing, and how it can line up more easily with Ishamael being free at the periods of when humanity is being united (Trolloc Wars, War of the Hundred Years, now), while making it so even he wouldn't die of old age.

**Be'lals plan was pretty freaking good. Things he could have not known about ruined it.**

Well, his plan was good, and it got people in the right place, but he did have the slight problem of fighting Rand. Granted, he planned on luring him into taking Callandor, but he was clearly getting close to outright killing Rand before being balefired by Moiraine.

16

William Seeker: 2005-08-22

I don't realy have any proof, but I have the strange feeling that Ishy is the DO's physical incarnation. Mark what he says in the prolouge of the Eye of the World: "We have fought in every age."

17

Anubis: 2005-08-23

And Shaidar Haran would be?

18

William Seeker: 2005-08-23

Shaidar Haran is the "hand of the Dark One" not his physical incarnation. He's like an enforcer.

19

Callandor: 2005-08-23

**I don't realy have any proof, but I have the strange feeling that Ishy is the DO's physical incarnation.**

Ishamael is just a man. He's the Dark One's champion -- the Nae'blis, his Reagent on Earth. Shaidar Haran would be the closest thing to a physical incarnation, and he still isn't quite that (he's a superFade), but he's closer than Ishamael.

20

Ozymandias: 2005-08-23

As for Ishy claiming to be the DO; well, that could be construed as an incredibly intelligent and NOT insane ploy on his part. The strength of the Shadow lies in their almost total infiltration of every institution of the Light. They get converts by promising immortality and the like. If the DO, sealed away and unable to communicate, was left in that state with no representative, how could the Shadow win more converts and traitors? No one to promise immortality, no reason to turn. And just waiting for him to be freed again doesn't work either, because building up an effective and debilitating (to the Light) network of spies and traitors isnt done overnight. It takes years of constant work. Therefore Ishy was incredibly shrewd in portraying himself as the DO, because he keeps the DF's honest and manages to appear to others as the DO and convince them to turn. I completely agree with karaK that Ishy wasn't really insane past having an incredibly volatile temper. In fact, every single one of his actions indicates a well thought out, well reasoned scheme. Far from insane

21

Astra-al: 2005-08-28

Ishmael is considered a very good manipulator, right? Every nuance, every word, could be created just for the purpose to make a certain person believe a certain thing. Pretending to be insane could be a ploy to make the other chosen uneasy around him, thus giving him the upper hand. I agree that Ishy was always the Nae'blis, i've never thought it could be anyone else every since i read the world nae'blis for the first time. well, except for the possibility of Rand turning, but even then, he's fresh meant, while Ishy has been around thousands of years doing the DO's work. Through those thousands of years, he probably did a bit of philosophising, and came to the conclusion, that no matter what his personal goals are, he is more likely to get them by doing what the DO wants. That could be why his intentions seem most like what you might imagine the DO's to be.

22

nsondej: 2005-08-29

i posted a theory about the following but unfortunately Tamrylin's hamsters ate it =). Anyway Dumai said somehting about Ishamael being losely bound. Was he bound at all. the prologue of tEotW led me to believe that Ishamael was never bound after he appeared to LTT just before LTT's death. That was much after the strike on shayol ghul.

Also in response to someone's reply, the strike at shayol ghul was NOT the previous last battle. if they can remember something of it in the third age, then it cannot be the same (remember the intro? myth fades to legend and even that is forgotten?) i believe that in any complete turning of the wheel there is a strike at shayol ghul and then in the next age, the last battle with the sealing of the bore. the eventual sealing of the bore in this age could not be the same anyway since there has been no age of legends yet and saidin cannot be corrupted thus. when the last battle comes, saidin will come away unharmed, ready for the next age of legends. sorry i ramble but you get the gist

23

banner general1: 2007-01-14

karak-

I think that despite what they believed none of the other Forsaken ever had a chance of being Nae'blis - they are merely pawns in the long term plans of the DO, and that Ishy is (and always has been since the beginning of time) his "Champion of the Dark."

In fact I would go so far as to suggest that part of what makes him the Anti-Dragon is that he is never re-born, he merely gets transmigrated upon dying (hence why he is aware of all the various battles over all of time.)

i just have 1 question:

if he has been the champion of the dark and fought ltt thousands of times and never won, then why does the DO still have him as Nae'blis and keep reincarnating him. I mean the DO doesnt really like people who fail him.

24

Callandor: 2007-01-17

**In fact I would go so far as to suggest that part of what makes him the Anti-Dragon is that he is never re-born, he merely gets transmigrated upon dying (hence why he is aware of all the various battles over all of time.)**

Ishamael was certainly reborn in the Age of Legends -- he couldn't have been transmigrated because the Dark One had no effect on the world at that time.

**if he has been the champion of the dark and fought ltt thousands of times and never won, then why does the DO still have him as Nae'blis and keep reincarnating him. I mean the DO doesnt really like people who fail him.**

He may hate that they fail (though, Ishamael certainly did far more good with his works even if he did "fail" in getting killed), but he is biased against all 3rd Agers. He feels his Forsaken are superior in all forms, so he uses them. He's limited of Forsaken at the moment, which is why they're transmigrated: conservation of resources.

25

Misain Ye: 2007-01-18

***Be'lals plan was pretty freaking good. Things he could have not known about ruined it. Basicly Perrin meeting and faling in love with Failie and Failie triggering the Hedgehog. Be'lal was the only forsaken to even think to neutralize Rands assets before going in for the kill. He had every channeler that could aid Rand out of the picture (except moiraine). In a world where there is no Ta'veren I would bet on Be'lal every time. ***

Be'lal was the one Forsaken that seemed to actually be more than competent. His plan drew Rand to a place where Rand could easily have been captured or killed; the only true screw-up the plan had was Faile going upstairs before Moiraine. If Be'lal hadn't been greedy for Callandor, Rand could have been captured and turned to the Shadow with little to no effort, or killed if need be. And, of course, Be'lal just didn't even consider the possibility of Moiraine using Balefire on him; I suppose that's another lapse in judgment, though the Aes Sedai of the 3rd Age's lack of knowledge as well as near-ban on its use made it a reasonable assumption on his part.

He probably had his flaws, just as Rahvin did, but we didn't see enough of Be'lal to truly know whether his plan and seeming expertise was more than a fluke.

***Ishamael is just a man. He's the Dark One's champion -- the Nae'blis, his Reagent on Earth. Shaidar Haran would be the closest thing to a physical incarnation, and he still isn't quite that (he's a superFade), but he's closer than Ishamael. ***

Agreed. Ishamael/Moridin is, at most, the Dark One's champion, just as Lews Therin/Rand is and was the Creator's champion. The only difference is, the Creator doesn't cheat and help =).

Shaidar Haran is much closer to being an avatar of the DO. I myself believe that this makes him a likely candidate for the last physical foe that Rand and Co. must overcome, but it may turn out that Ishamael is a better tool on the mortal plane than even the DO's avatar, and thus the "Clash of the Titans" would be between him and Rand.

***He may hate that they fail (though, Ishamael certainly did far more good with his works even if he did "fail" in getting killed), but he is biased against all 3rd Agers. He feels his Forsaken are superior in all forms, so he uses them. He's limited of Forsaken at the moment, which is why they're transmigrated: conservation of resources. ***

Even in the AoL, though, Ishamael seems to have been the top dog among the Shadow's forces, despite apparently not being a field commander. I doubt that it's simply because he was the first to publicly pledge himself to the Dark One (I believe that there was some debate over whether Lanfear pledged herself first in order to survive the Bore drilling); my guess would be that he's simply the best tool that can be found to coordinate the Shadow's forces. Flawed he may be, but unlike pretty much every other Forsaken, Darkfriend, etc., he knows exactly what the Dark One intends for the world and welcomes it, rather than merely going along for the promise of personal power. I don't think it's merely because of the DO's bias against 3rd Agers that he's kept around, although I agree it plays a part in the continued use of the much more flawed lesser Forsaken.