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he Last* Battle (* maybe)

by Homeschool: 2010-10-27 | 3 out of 10 (1 votes)

Previous Categories: The Last Battle

For this, we'll begin with some basic points which are known to be true, and stretch beyond into some murky waters. There are patterns that are odd, which suggest that things are not as they seem, and that the Last Battle may not truly be the end.

Point: Ishamael and Lews Therin have been the champions through numerous turnings of the wheel.

Point: Ishamael changes his approach - sometimes keeping Lews Therin alive, sometimes trying to kill.

Point: The Dark One breaks free and is resealed with each turning of the wheel.

Point: During the failure of the Portal Stone, Rand witnesses many possible ways his life could have gone.

Point: Ishamael is an expert at playing sha'rah and plays against himself, implying a similarity between the game and the pattern.

Point: Given the naming pattern of the Ages, wherein there are seven, we must assume that the First Age is preceded by some event such that it is considered 'the beginning'.

This is where we start making assumptions.

Theory: The many lives lived by Rand in the failure of the Portal Stone are past lives.

If we take this as fact, then Rand has lived and died numerous times. Each time, the Dark One says "I win again, Lews Therin." Yet, the Dark One has not won, and is somehow resealed.

There are three possible ways that this can end.
a) The bore is resealed, and the pattern repeats.
b) The Dark One breaks free, and remakes the pattern in his image.
c) The Dark One is defeated (slain?) and never breaks free again.

Ishamael claims that the third is foolishness, but what if it is not? If the Creator can be defeated and the pattern turned to the Shadow, then why not the opposite?

Let us assume the following, then.

1) Ishamael was a philosopher, and sought to understand the inherent mechanisms behind the abstractions that defined reality. He chose to follow the Shadow, we must assume, because he reasoned through all the possibilities and determined that - given enough cycles of the wheel - there was a chance that the Dark One could break free, and that even an infinitely small chance would occur at some point across infinite rotations of the Wheel. Logically, it was inevitable.

2) Over the turnings of the Wheel, Ishamael was born again and again, eventually unlocking his past memories with the aid of the Dark One, and can recall the chain of events. Being a powerful mind, and a skilled player of sha'rah, he sees the world as his game board, and is methodically attempting variation after variation in order to discover the one which will end the struggle by releasing the Dark One.

3) There are three ways to win sha'rah - the easiest being to move the Fisher past the defenses of your opponent while in your control; the most dangerous being the attempted annihilation of all your opponent's pieces. One path is not defined clearly, but is hinted at in suggesting:

"When your opponent held the Fisher, you attempted to leave him no choice for the Fisher but to move onto your color. Anywhere at all along the goal-row would do; holding the Fisher could be more dangerous than not."

These three goals suggest three ways the war can end - controlling the Fisher when it moves to a place that it can touch the opponent; forcing the Fisher off the playing field while in your opponent's control; wiping out all the other pieces.

4) If we take this as relating to Rand and his death, and the goal row being Rand's death (or possibly the end of Tar'mon Gaidon) we have: Rand assaulting a key location, Rand dying while in your opponent's control, and complete annihilation. Clearly the second would apply to the previous lives, as Rand (fighting for the light) dies before fulfilling his purpose. This is in line with "I win again, Lews Therin." We can assume that Ishamael has also ended the war by wiping out everyone (perhaps this was even the world Rand, Loial, and Hurin traveled through, where the Trollocs won the Trolloc Wars, and it appeared nothing survived,) at least once. A barren, empty world would explain the "Painfully." comment about his failure. It is even possible that Lews Therin has sometimes been turned to the Shadow, and killed by the forces of Light, resulting in a win for the Light.

5) If we take the positioning of the sha'rah board literally, then victory by controlling the Fisher while moving behind the enemy's field is also victory while in a position closest to the enemy player, and may possibly be a specific event whereby the Dragon assaults the opponent directly. Should the final move be successful, then this would be the source of both (b) and (c) above, dependent on who wins.

6) Let us then consider history in the light of this game. The forces of Light and Shadow battle against each other and amidst the struggle lies the Dragon (Fisher). Either side can win by wiping out the enemy's forces, but this is both risky (who can say what will survive) and also not a true end. If the Shadow wins, the forces of the Shadow will then turn upon themselves, until nothing remains. If the Light wins, who knows? Now, if the Fisher is killed by the opponent (forced onto the goal row while under your control), you win - hence, if the Shadow kills the Dragon while he is a champion of Light, the Shadow wins, and vice versa. This is also not a true end. In either case, at the end of the Seventh Age, all things end, and the world begins again, fresh. Hence the First Age (of man). If these cover those possibilities, then there is some means in which the Dragon can make a decision or perform an act which consists of the victory.

7) The Dark One believes the remaking of the pattern to be possible, therefore we must assume that it is. If it is, then only the victory while controlling the Fisher is a true victory, as neither annihilation nor killing the Dragon have succeeded at it. If so, then either we assume that each time the Dragon strikes the true victory, the pattern is remade in the Creator's image (restored to a Shadow-free state) or that it has not happened.

8) We must assume that the Creator and the Dark One understand this, and possibly Ishamael as well. In playing the game, they would attempt to control the Fisher (Dragon) as he proceeds through his destined path. Many possibilities exist, but to truly win, it must happen in a certain way, which is both limited and difficult. If the other side appears to be in a position where success is inevitable, the Dragon is killed off to prevent the win - it doesn't end the cycle, but it prevents a permanent loss. Complete annihilation is a possibility as well, but even though considered a win, it is not that final victory. The world will end and be reborn, and the game begins again.

There's an issue with this theory... Why is the Last Battle occurring at the end of the 3rd of 7 Ages? What of the following 4? Why is the Dark One only loose for one age, from beginning to end? If the Light wipes out the forces of the Shadow, then there is Shadow for one age, and not the other 6?

I believe there is another answer, though it may not be a pleasant one for us fans of the series.

Robert Jordan drew from numerous mythologies to create this world. In Christo-Judaic records, the world is broken up into millennial periods. (The first going from the Fall of Adam through the City of Enoch; from there to the Flood; to the Mosaic era; to the Christian period; the Dark Ages to the Renaissance; and from there through to a Second Coming of Christ.) There are parallels that can be drawn, but what I'd like to focus on is the concept of periods, with a crowning event ending the previous age and beginning the next. In each case, we have long periods of relatively slow progression, with a sudden burst of activity and a world-altering event marking the transition to a new age.

Now, consider this concept in light of Ages and the Wheel of Time. We know relatively little, starting from the end of the 2nd Age (the Age of Legends) and going almost to the end of the 3rd Age (the Age of Illusions). The Age of Legends was amazing, but only in light of the technology and power wielded. Generally, it was a relatively static time... until the Bore. In the ~100 years from the opening of the Bore until its sealing, we have great calamitous events. (The War of the Shadow, the Tainting of Saidin, the Breaking of the World.) It is safe to say that the 2nd and 3rd Ages were drastically different, and that the War of the Shadow marks the transition.

At the end of the 3rd Age, we now have similar events. A long period of wars, conquests, collapses, and struggles is escalating. In a few years, kingdoms have risen and fallen and been conquered, Saidin has been cleansed, the Shadow is acting openly for the first time in millennia, and we're approaching Tar'mon Gaidon. We understand that this transition will mark the end of the 3rd Age and the beginning of the 4th.

If we compare these, we can see a strong pattern. An Age, followed by a short period of upheaval, and then a new Age. If this holds true, then the 1st Age ended with a cataclysmic event, and so will the 4th, 5th, 6th, and likely the 7th.

Theory: What if this is not, in fact, the Last Battle, but the last battle of the Age? Perhaps the Shadow rises at the end of each Age, and there is a conflict which results in the setting of a new Age, with either Light or Shadow as the victor.

Let us then compare again to sha'rah, but now instead of considering the Third Age as the battlefield, let us consider each Age as the battlefield. Each time, there are struggles, conquests, advances, and reflections of the previous winner. At the end of the Age, the Dragon is reborn for the transition period, and the conflict escalates until the Dragon dies, with his alignment and manner of death defining the victor and the pattern of the next Age. Was the 2nd Age the Age of Legends because the Dragon at the end of the 1st Age bought a victory for the Light? Did Lews Therin fail when he created the Bore - not by failing to seal out the Dark One, but by dying while in the service of the Light?

If this holds true, then the alignment of the Dragon is the most dangerous part of this game. Should the Dragon be turned to the Shadow and killed, the Light wins; but as long as he follows the Light, the only victory comes in a very specific strike against the Shadow or complete annihilation of the forces of the Shadow. Rand wavers between which he intends (or believes them to be one and the same), but until it happens, his death at the hands of the Shadow spells another dark age to come.

This reasoning then explains Ishamael's seeming wavering among a desire for Rand to live or die. At times, he can see a strategy whereby the Dragon can be turned and strike the victory against the Light, but when it seems the Shadow is about to lose, he strikes out to end the conflict with the lesser victory. Throughout the first three books, he manipulated Rand to go where he wished, attempting to press him into a trap. Since then, he has primarily attempted to manipulate other pieces, to organize the pieces to gain the advantage. Semirhage was clearly sacrificed to capture the Dragon to the side of the Shadow, and it worked, but the Light recaptured his alignment fairly quickly. Each of these things are in line with the moves of a master strategist.

All things considered, I dearly wish to know what Robert Jordan would have said, if asked whether matches of sha'rah consisted of 7 rounds.

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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2010-10-28

Ok, so I'm still trying to understand exactly what you are saying. :) But in essence, Ishamael and the Dark One are slowly chipping away at the Wheel/Pattern attempting different strategies throughout the ages to attempt to destroy the Wheel and remake the Pattern. So, you are theorizing that it is possible for the Light to destroy the Dark One, but that such an event would require something more than just settling for a typical win to end the Age?

The Dark One is scripted into each of the Ages, so would the destruction of the Dark One be the same as the Dark One winning, as such an event would radically change the entire Age Lace, for which there would be no Pattern?

2

Homeschool: 2010-10-29

I hadn't gone that far, Tam, but I think you've summed up what I was getting at... After all, we've seen that good and evil make up the pattern; all the trouble comes from the Dark One trying to break free, with the Creator "absent".

If the Creator isn't really absent, but is trying to maintain balance between the two so the choice is left to people, then the final victory of either Dark OR Light would undo the pattern - like cloth where all the threads only go one direction.

It's fitting with the opposing forces concept that seems to be so prevalent in Robert Jordan's writing.

The big point I'm trying to make is that I don't think this will be the end. If each Age ends with a Dragon Reborn and a conflict with the Shadow, then this Last Battle is neither the first nor the last.

3

Homeschool: 2010-10-29

AND... I think Ishamael knows it. ;)

4

Clyve: 2010-10-29

So then would you count the tainting of Saidin as a victory for the DO, or does he need to break free for a win? Does the Dragon need to finish the DO off to win, or is sealing ok? Not really clear on the conclusions of this theory, either.

5

Homeschool: 2010-10-29

@CLYVE - If sha'rah is patterned after the nature of the contest, then what matters is the manner in which the Dragon ends. In the case of Lews Therin, everyone viewed the sealing of the Bore and the tainting of Saidin as the end, but it wasn't - Lews Therin and Ishamael were both free to continue. The Dark One's influence was lessened and many of his leaders captured, but the real end of the conflict was when the Shadow arranged for the Dragon to die without completing his mission. According to sha'rah, forcing the Dragon (Fisher) off the field while under the control of the opponent (Light) counts as a victory, so the Shadow won the contest.

Essentially, breaking free or being sealed is not the nature of the contest - it's whether the Dragon can choose his end at an appointed time, or not.

As Tam suggested above, breaking free could be a result, but if the Light or the Dark is ever removed entirely, the pattern would eventually unravel and nothing would remain.

6

vyskol: 2010-10-29

We are warned at the beginning of every book, "There are no beginnings or endings..."

This will not be the ending, but rather a ending.

Bring on the 4th age.

7

thomwoosley: 2010-10-29

I've been thinking for a long time that the Dark One won the Last Battle of the Second Age. Now, he had to be sealed away to begin the next age, but considering the manner of his sealing; a patch over the bore instead of remaking the prison, and tainting the One Power as well.

Had the Dark One been resealed properly (not that we currently know how that can be done), the Third Age would not have been a 'Dark Age', as I believe it actually was.

So, Last Battle is coming, Light and Dark are somewhat evenly matched, and the result of this battle determines the tone of the coming Age.

8

WG: 2010-10-30

I'm working on a theory as to the nature of the struggle, and my theory requires the struggle to happen again and again until a certain point. I'm wondering if this story is about that "certain point" and this is, indeed, the last battle, and either the DO is freed or forever sealed up. I should have the theory done in a couple weeks.

9

Brutus: 2010-10-31

I can't really imagine RJ killing everyone and everything that he so clearly loved. There are also hints like "the great battle done but the world not done with battle". So sealing the DO up again seems the more likely version to me. A pointer to this is the comment by Herid Fel, describing the circle in which the bore is drilled and eventually has to be resealed perfectly (presumably by the dragon) in order to allow the ages to repeat over and over. Perhaps this allows for a longer time of piece than just a mere 3000 years?

In TGS, Rand attempts to find our more from LLT how the bore can be closed. As the use of the one power failed before, it may well be that Rand will have to use the True Power. That is clearly a move to the dark side, but may well be the only option. It is also said that victory may hollow, meaning that Rand will be turned to the dark? Did anyone ever suggest that Rand's children by Elayne will be born on Shayol Ghul? This may well be the way Rand returns to the light after sealing the bore with the true power(similar to Tam initiating Rand's return to feeling in TGS).

10

Lupusdeusest: 2010-10-31

I can't find the exact quote, but didn't RJ say at a reading that this turning is not special in any way? (Mind you, he did say Fain was a "wild card"/"overlooked by the Pattern", or something of that sort...)

11

Dragon Tamer: 2010-10-31

We have a quote at the end of the end of The Fires of Heaven which comes from the fourth age meaning that the world cannot end in this age. It talks about how the Dragon's peace was the peace of the sword so obviously there is some kind of peace brought on by Rand after the last battle so he has to win and the pattern has to exist.

12

vyskol: 2010-11-01

@11.Dragon Tamer
Unless the DO wins and breaks the wheel, cancelling all prophecies and visions/dreams. (As explained by Min and Cadsuane in TGS)

13

Grig: 2010-11-01

@Vyskol
You miss the point. The writings from the Fourth Age are histories, not prophecies from the Third Age about things to come in the Fourth Age. So we, outside the WoT cosmology, know that the Fourth Age will happen (unless your position is that the histories must be from the Fourth Age during previous turnings of the Wheel?). This is not valid knowledge for people in-universe, because the DO would tear the Age Lace asunder etc etc. But we have meta-knowledge based on what has appeared outside the actual chapter content that the Dark One will not win on this turning of the Wheel (big surprise).

14

brother of Battles: 2010-11-05

Wasn't the failed portal stone encounters just Rand seeing different versions of himself in alternate worlds? The DO exists in all realites and at the same time none of them. So, everytime a Rand would die in a Different reality, it would bring the DO closer and Closer to breaking free. Since if the DO breaks free in one world, he breaks free in all.

And I do not think Rand could "Destroy" the DO. That would be the equivalent of Destroying every evil thought, action, or deed in every single person. The Dark One can not be destroyed. He can however be trapt and forgotten. That is what the patterns are setting up. In this age, Rand will reseal the bore and the DO will be trapt again, so it will be the "Last battle" with him. However, the evil, hate, lack of caring for your fellow man, these things will still be here because Men will remember them. And it will take a LONG time for something like these to be forgotten... Like maybe 5 ages worth of time. If someone has hate, they will teach that hate to thier sons, those sons will teach it to their sons and so on and so on. That is why the Foretellings "The last battle done, but the world not done with battle" comes into play. People will still crave power and riches and to be that extra inch better then everyone else.

15

Homeschool: 2010-11-08

Thanks to Twitter user tritlo for asking about the number of rounds in a sha'rah game. :) I'm excited for Brandon to reveal the answer!

16

tritlo: 2010-11-09

No problem :). Can't wait myself!

17

Lorcin: 2010-11-09

I remember a character saying that the event of each age are woven into the Lace of Ages (or something along those line) that would suggest that their is an even greater pattern to the differences in the way that the ages play out

Or

that eventualy they will reach a poin that the lace is completed and the pattern ends (maybe the creator returning?? I personnly hope so!!) what happens then is anyones guess. Judgement day maybe.

Also if i recall the more important someone is the less free will. This seems contraditory to the whole the creator is preserving free will thing.

18

GusE: 2010-11-09

The concept of 7 ages does bring about some questions. If the shadow and light battle it out at the end of each of them, then there is no point for Rand to theorize about having to make the bore whole for the next age of legends, that would have to be done during age 1. Is there a TG and the end of each age? Was the end of age 2 a TG? Why is the setting of the story in the 3rd age at all, and not any other?

Btw evil would still exist without the dark one, just look at shadar'logoth.

19

purgatory: 2010-11-15

To me this seems less of a "theory" and more of "exactly correct." :b

20

Mattismyfavorite: 2010-11-15

Homeschool - don't know if I follow you exactly...

A couple of thoughts...
1-"...failure of the Portal Stones" - I always felt that the "vision shifts" that everyone experienced with the Portal Stones, was not a "failure". Difficult for everyone involved...but not a failure. It seemed to me that the journey that Rand took them all on in the Portal Stones wasn't a failure but a necessary eye-opener. Everyone saw variations on what road their lives would have taken had different decisions been made in their lives. Each different road that Rand took ended with the DO saying "I win again Lews Therin"...but did that mean that the DO actually won anything? No, it dosen't mean that at all. What it meant was that if those decisions and that road had been taken then yes the DO would win that round. Those visions gave each person the opportunity to see what ill their decisions would've brought without actually having to endure them in "real life". You know that there were at least 4 people who came out of those vistions and made different decisions for themselves to prevent what they had experienced in the Portal Stone. It's sorta like what happened with Perrin in TofM with the White Cloaks - Perrin needed to resolve that particular situation in order to move forward...Perrin came to understand that they were put in his path by the pattern to help him resolve it so that he could move forward.

2-I agree with Grig, those writings were written as histories, telling a portion of what has been. So RJ has been telling us that the next age comes, the 3rd age ends, he just isn't telling us how everything ends. We can assume that Rand wins I think. But we don't have any indication as to whether he lives or not. From Avienda's visions of what "could be" from Rhudien and from Min's viewings we know that Rand and Avienda will have 4 children. Min had said that there would be something strange about that, the children would be healthy but there would be something odd. I had thought that perhaps if she had sons, they would be born with the dragons on their arms. But now after what she saw...I'm not sure what the "Odd" will be.

3-I don't believe that the Dragon has ever been turned to the DO. I don't remember which book it was in, but I seem to remember Rand saying exactly that...it may even have been in conjuction with the Portal Stones incident...I'll have to go look...but I know he said that he's never been turned.

21

Flinn Sedai: 2010-11-15

RJ: Yes, the Champion of the Light has gone over in the past. This is a game you have to win every time. Or rather, that you can only lose once--you can stay in if you get a draw. Think of a tournament with single elimination. If you lose once, that's it. In the past, when the Champion of the Light has gone over to the Shadow, the result has been a draw.

Q: Was Ishamael lying when he told Rand that the hero of the Light had turned to Shadow in other lifetimes?
RJ: No, he was not. Even those who lie sometimes tell the truth when it serves their purposes.

RJ disagrees.

22

Mattismyfavorite: 2010-11-16

Maybe...the Champion of the Light wasn't the Dragon in those instances...that's the only thing I can think of that would both things true.

But I'll find what Rand said and post it here.

23

Jared: 2010-11-28

Flinn Sedai, where did you find that interview?

24

Mattismyfavorite: 2010-11-30

Yeah...I'd like to know where that quote came from as well. I was going to post what Rand had said here on this thread, but found a couple of other occurances of related material and decided to create my own theory about this particular subject. But I would really like to address what Flinn Sedai said above, so I need to know EXACTLY what was asked and in what context this question came up.

I still don't believe that The Dragon has ever turned to the shadow...(to be addressed more fully later)...so I'm trying to research anything that RJ was questioned about this...EXACTLY and EXACTLY what his (and Brandon's) responses are. Because RJ and BS are well versed in Aes Sedai speak...I'd like to see those questions and answers for myself.

25

wotfreak222: 2010-12-01

I think that the Dragon is some sort of super-Champion. I've seen the comments somewhere that the Creator's Champion had turned to the Shadow in previous turnings of the Wheel, however in TGH Rand tells Ishmael that he knew that he had never turned to the Shadow in any of his previous lies. This was after his trip through the Portal Stone. So my thoughts on this is that when the Wheel needs a Champion of the Light that won't be turned to the Shadow, it turns out the Dragon. In my mind this seems to be at the end of an Age, when the outcome is so important that it is critical that the Light and Dark each have their own Champion.

26

Mattismyfavorite: 2010-12-01

Yeah, that's why I said that maybe the Champion of the light wasn't the Dragon in the instance where he went over to the Shadow.

I just find it suspect...or maybe it's just Aes Sedia double speak...Rand can say he's never turned and RJ or whoever can say "The Champion of the Light" turned in the past...and both statements are true.

27

GusE: 2010-12-01

You'll find the quotes here. 2nd quote is a few rows below.

We learn from the sha'rah game Moridin plays that simply controlling the Fisher King does not mean you win. From RJ's quotes I tend to believe that every single battle so far has resulted in a draw. But this time I believe the light may have a chance to actually win.

28

rhino2129: 2011-01-02

I believe that you have hit the nail on the head, homeschool. My nephew and I have had many conversations along these lines in regard to what can/could/will happen with the "last" battle. We had surmised that there were so many different possiblilities that they were too numerous to list. But, we did agree on the point that this had all happened before, and that it will continue long after, simply because of the pattern of the wheel. I believe that the sealing of the bore, the taint on the male half of the power, and the battle to free the dark one had happened before, and that the resulting "final" battle nearly wiped out everything, so that all knowledge of the previous encounters were lost. Alas, only time and the final book will tell the tale.

29

Daekar: 2011-01-07

A few musings: In Ishy's game, there is one Fisher and the outcome of the contest is contingent on its fate and who controls it at the time. The key being, there is one entity being controlled. However, it would seem implied by RJ's talk of the Champion of the Light there are two entities, one Championing the Light and one the Shadow. I always assumed that the soul of Rand/LTT was the Light Champion and the soul of Ishy was the Shadow Champion. But... if the Age Lace is to parallel the game, that means that we have to dispense with the eternal battle introduced in the prologue of the very first book, when Elan and Lews Therin speak together in the ruined palace. Elan was very explicit, and spoke as if the battle was between the two of them, not a battle to turn or redeem Rand's or his soul. The focus was not one, but both, and the conflict between them. It is for this reason that I feel we are taking the parallelism of the Pattern and the game too far... it simply doesn't match up. However, I think that it does offer insight into how Ishy/Moridin views the conflict and plans his strategy, at least when he has his old memories. Since he had 3000 years and the knowledge of the AoL, he has the luxury and ability to approach the matter with a wide view. At other turnings of the Wheel, it is likely that he would approach things differently, not knowing the game and having the memories of just one man. One possibility occurs to me that might incorporate some of the strategy of the game: there are two Fishers on the game board of the Pattern. This makes the strategy more delicate, since both players are faced with both the power and the weakness of the Fisher. However, this viewpoint offers possibilities not found in a game where Rand is the only Fisher whose fate determines the dominant force in the next Age: Ishy would also be a Fisher. This might mean a draw is weighted to one side or the other: if Rand dies in the service of the Light before Ishy dies serving the Shadow then we have another dark age. If Ishy dies then we get a light age. Of course this begs the question: if, as RJ says, we've seen nothing but draws so far... how is final victory for either side achieved? How does everybody feel about that?

30

Taveren x Sedai: 2011-01-17

Has anyone thought about who the "Creator" is? What if the "Creator" is actually he-who-created-this epic story, Robert Jordan, himself?

31

Lorcin: 2011-01-18

Has anyone noticed that with the visions of the future from the Pillars it was always the Rands descendents that caused all the trouble. Maybe it's them who will die not Rand or he will survive as "a remainder of a remainder" of Ael will survive but in the visions none did they were completly wiped out. this means that the lives of the first generation of Rands children will have to change and i think this will happen by rand being their to raise them.

32

ChubbyAiel: 2011-01-20

I wonder if saving Rand could somehow save Aviendha, and then the quads will have plenty of guidance. The implication of the visions is that Aviendha doesn't survive long herself, possibly dying in childbirth. If she did survive she would be able to raise them with one lesson being repeated daily: "Don't, whatever you do, go picking fights with the Seanchan!"

33

Kiagh88: 2011-01-24

I believe you're all missing the point, and over complicating things. This has happened many times before and never has the dark one been killed, but just the same.. obviously the pattern has never been unravelled. So by that simple fact, the only way either side can win is if the DO is killed or if he is released and Rand does not defeat him. So surely that means that in all previous attempts the DO has been sealed up. Though it is clear to me there is not a last battle in each age such as tarmon gai'don. it is not necessary for the DO to be sealed in every age. There are ages of peace and ages of evil like the current age, and every so often when dark threatens to overwhelm the pattern the creator spits out his champion and they do battle. Evidently every time coming up equal, until now. I am unsure what to believe with regards to Rand dying, but I believe something to do with the wounds in his side fighting one another will be the death of him, be that figuratively or literally. He will however, live and like LORCIN said, the simple fact he survives changes everything and his children and the Aiel go on to make peace with the Seanchan (with Mat giving a helping hand)

34

Eharoni Prince: 2011-02-15

@ Brother of Battles
Interesting, so you believe that the dark one resides in every evil thought or deed and every sin that humans commit? I can see why you'd think that and it makes sense in our world, but in WoT world I must point to the example of Shadar Logoth, where evil existed that was just as aggressive against the Shadow as it was against the Light.

Also, I agree with KIAGH88, this theory has been over complicated way too much. Personally, I think that Ishamael puts too much faith in his game of sha'rah and that will be his downfall. You can manipulate all you want, but with Rand's newfound wisdom and inner peace you cannot expect him to play the game the same way he has in the past.

35

brother of Battles: 2011-02-21

@Eharoni Prince:
Yes, you could say that I believe the Dark One is behind all the evil in the WoT. Think about it, if it were not for the DO, then Shadar Logoth would not have had to use those tactics. Also, IIRC didn't it not point out in the series that when the War of Power broke out, men had to relearn how to wage war, fight and everything else. It was because the DO could not touch the world so there for it had no understanding of evil. It was a Paradise.

36

Wheel Philosoph: 2011-02-21

The man who opened the Bore, his name began with a B, (Biedomon?) used Balefire on himself (I have not confirmed past what I have read here unfortunately.) Displaying that this IS possible.

The True Power is a part/the essence of the DO himself.

Could it be that Rand, in order to achieve a final victory for the light, use the TP to Balefire the DO? I feel it may be the same as using Balefire upon yourself.

Also, on a different note, if the DO desires the Pattern to unravel, why did he not continue to urge the forces of the Shadow to CONTINUE using Balefire in the War of the Shadow? Just curious.

Please feel free to disprove my points here if you can.

37

Moruitelda: 2011-02-23

I don't even really see this as a theory - I think it's explicitly stated. The Wheel turns, ages come and go - the Ages repeat, and if events to repeat precisely in the same way, the pattern of each Age fits its own mold.

Of course this isn't the LAST Battle. It doesn't end with the death of the Dark One, or his permanent sealing away from the pattern. Think about Herid Fel and Rand's interactions. Rand reasoned that it must be possible to cleanse Saidin so that it could be clean when the Age of Legends came again, and be corrupted again at that point. He also reasoned that it must be possible to perfectly seal the Bore, so that it would be whole when the Second Age came again and the Bore was drilled again. He was searching for the HOW - that's why Herid Fel came to the conclusion that the rubble must be swept away, and that's why he was killed.

It seems to me, reading your theory, that you believe that Robert Jordan was referring to Tarmon Gai'don as the literal Last Battle, where the Dark One would be sealed away and the Shadow would be defeated forever. Your response is that this is only true until the Second Age comes again. Right? If so, that's exactly what Robert Jordan explicitly wrote.

Now, if we're talking theories - this is how I've interpreted the Wheel.

First Age - our age. Mankind emerges from primitivism, remembering nothing of the previous turnings, ignorant of the One Power, develops technology. The First Age ends when man discovers the One Power, and how to wield it. In this First Age, Tamyrlin is the name of that individual.

Second Age - the Age of Legends. Technology and the One Power coexist, having emerged from an age of Technology alone. The Dark One is freed.

Third Age - the Age of Illusion. Technology is eradicated during the Breaking, but knowledge of the One Power remains. The Dark One is sealed.

Fourth Age - another Age of Legends. Technology and the One Power coexist, but this age differs in that people are relearning (and reinventing) Technology from a basis in the One Power.

What happens in the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Ages is not clear. Perhaps the Dark One is freed again, but then, perhaps that only happens during the Second Age. What's clear though is that at the end of the Seventh Age, humanity is shattered, left in primitivism, and remembers neither the One Power, nor the use of Technology. A clean slate for when the First Age comes again.

38

lslattimer: 2011-03-05

think of the wrench thrown into the gears if Morishy turns out to not be a bad guy? Maybe a little Taveren can make him flip sides hahaha its bogus i know but i want to hear everyone tell me how stupid it sounds.

39

Belcyrlis: 2011-03-08

So the Light ultimately winning would be the end of the Pattern, right? So unless we want the world to end, the last page of AMoL has to end with, "I win again, Lews Therin."

40

Moruitelda: 2011-03-08

The Dark winning ends the Pattern. The Light winning does not...

41

Oden: 2011-03-14

tGH ch.15 A place to begin (Rand POV, talking to Moridin in T'A'R)

"It is not time for us to fight," Moridin said, waving a hand at Rand. "Go. Leave me in peace. I do not know what would happen to us if we killed one another. The Great Lord will have you soon enough. His victory is assured."

"He has failed before and will fail again," Rand said. "I will defeat him."

Moridin laughed again, the same heartless laugh as before. "Perhaps you will," he said. "But do you think that matters? Consider it. The Wheel turns, time and time again. Over and over the Ages turn, men fight the Great Lord. But someday, he will win, and when he does, the Wheel will stop.

"That is why his victory is assured. I think it will be this Age, but if not, then in another. When you are victorious, it only leads to another battle. When he is victorious, all things will end. Can you not see that there is no hope for you?"

"Is that what made you turn to his side?" Rand asked. "You were always so full of thoughts, Elan. Your logic destroyed you, didn't it?"

"There is no path to victory," Moridin said. "The only path is to follow the Great Lord and rule for a time before all things end. The others are fools. They look for grand rewards in the eternities, but there will be no eternities. Only the now, the last days.""

This says quite clearly that Elan believes as Moruitelda, and so does Rand (even though Rand says that he intends to kill the DO, in a few sentences). If we assume that the Nae'blis is right, then a victory for the DO does make this the true LB, but if the DO loses, then the Wheel continues to turn and man will fight him again. (There are other clues in this quote but I'm not sure how to argue about them right now)

About the cataclysmic event that turns the Wheel to the next Spoke, here's the turning from 1st to 2nd:

RJ: "The first people to discover the ability to channel learned through trial and error, with fairly high casualty rates until they learned enough not to kill themselves accidentally. Their appearance marked the beginning of the previous Age to that of the books, or at least the end of the Age before that one."

42

NeverEndingLurker: 2011-03-16

Can I throw a wrench into the logic pool?

How about this: the DO does not exist, it is just a legend created by Ishi, not a being to be killed, at most it is the essence of humanity. kill it and you kill everything because it's conflict is what gives life meaning.

The DO that everyone believes is talking to them is actually Ishi / Moridin himself. I always wondered about how Ishi was partially trapped; was Moridin trapped, but the body of Ishi free to walk about as an avatar for Moridin, thus being "partially" trapped?

Off-topic, but Moridin's contemplative interactions with Rand remind me of the Comedian from the Watchmen.

43

Macster: 2011-03-18

@42: That is...certainly a unique theory. I am not sure I can subscribe to it, since it seems difficult to swallow that, for example, it is Moridin Demandred actually talked to in the Pit of Doom, yet he also talks to him later at the various Forsaken meetings. Not to mention, we see the scene in Towers of Midnight where Moridin seems to be listening to the Dark One giving him orders re: Graendal. He was listening to himself? Or are you implying that is part of Ishamael's madness, akin to taint madness? How would that work though...if there is no Dark One, how could someone like Ishamael have created the taint? If there is no Dark One, how was Ishamael/Moridin protecting the other male Forsaken from the taint? If there is no Dark One, whom was Rand cutting Ishamael off from when he cut the black threads at the end of TDR? Why were there two of him? Even if you say Ishamael's madness came from too much True Power usage, where did it come from if not the Dark One? Neither does that explain how all the male channelers went mad, unless you want to say Ishamael somehow blasted them all with the True Power, thus creating the taint. And that seems...rather too much power for a mere mortal to have.

Then again, Rand and Nynaeve managed to cleanse the taint, and they are mortals. Of course Rand is hardly "ordinary", and Nynaeve's incredible strength is also considered special. Ishamael is supposed to be the strongest of the male Forsaken, though I don't think it was ever said he was the strongest male channeler ever as Lanfear was the strongest female. If he is the Shadow's champion (Lord of the Evening) as Rand is the Light's, I suppose he could be strong enough to create the taint himself. Still...something feels off.

One thing which would support that idea is that if Moridin is the 'real' Dark One, Rand's bond with him would explain even better how he got to use the True Power than just the fact Moridin can also use it--he was bonded with the Dark One himself. In that case, though, I hope your theory is wrong, because that makes it even more impossible for Rand to win (how can he seal or destroy the Dark One if he is linked to him?), or at least win and survive. I still hold out hope that is possible. Your theory would make it impossible, unless the link can somehow be severed before killing/sealing Moridin. Then again if there is no Dark One, switching bodies with Moridin (if that is what is going to happen) and then killing him would be less problematic. I don't know.

44

NeverEndingLurker: 2011-03-31

Whom does everyone talk to in the pit of doom? A dark face with fire for eyes and a mouth full of flames (or something along that description). That's been the description for Ishi from the beginning. It's has also been the description for anyone who uses the TP for too long, but that's where the idea started.

Moridin and Rand are two sides to the same coin, one dark and one light. So it's easy to surmise that they might mirror each other in more ways than we realize. If Rand hears voices in his head (supposedly from LTT) then perhaps Moridin also hears voices in his head, to which Gendael believes is the DO. It may even go further, that they are in fact the same person. Why does Rand only have memories from LTT? If ages come and go, who were the Dragons before LTT and why doesn't he remember those?

As for taint, the DO did not consciously taint the One Power, if he did then there would be nothing stopping him from tainting the female half as well. And that's kind of the point, I don't think the DO is a conscious being but rather an opposing force and it takes a person to use that force to become the embodiment of the DO.

The bore was created in an attempt to harness this *other* power source; when it was released it said to have released the DO, but that's just myth talk humanizing the catastrophic events. It was probably more a reference to enabling anyone access to this new addictive and destructive power source. Great power leads to great corruption, no supernatural beings needed, it's just human nature.The black threads where TP filters that removed the taint from the one power. Again, two sides of the same coin: The One Power and The True Power. The true power is the taint that touched the One Power when the bore was sealed.

Now it is also said that the use of TP can only be granted by the DO, but Rand acquires it by himself (after losing everything in life that he cares about) he achieves a certain state of enlighten. But more importantly, Nynaeve may now have access to TP since she can now heal insanity caused by it which RJ stated many times that the One Power can NOT be used to cure it. Both of these instances were not granted by an external conscious being.

But in the end, when Rand wins the LB, life goes on just as before; it's only when he loses that things change... for the worse.

This is fun to think about before the final book comes out.

45

Oden: 2011-04-02

I couldn't find a quote from RJ or BS that says that insanity can't be healed. All I found was quotes saying that when/if (the if is no longer necessary) the taint is cleansed, the insanity will not be healed as a result of the cleansing. The madness would remain at attained level, it will neither increase nor decrease. It is therefore a possibiliy that Nynaeve heals madness with Saidar. BTW, didn't Elan imply that it was possible to heal madness with Saidin in the prologue of tEotW, saying that the weave was different with his new power?

46

NeverEndingLurker: 2011-04-03

I stumbled upon the quote in the archives and now I too can't find it. :-(

As for Elan, I thought he was referring to himself now being able to heal the madness because of his new 'TP' powers.

Now, this could be its own theory, but too quickly sum it up and stop my slight thread derailing: OP users can not see TP, like Saidin and Saidar users can't see each other's weaves. I postulate that the taint is TP which is why Nyneave never saw it beforeas an OP user. Now that she can see it, implies that she can see TP and so should have access to it. It's a wild idea nd a bit of a leap, but it's fun.

47

Oden: 2011-04-04

This quote might be relevant @NeverendingLurker:

Monkeyman: "Nobody who can channel saidin or saidar can sense the True Power. And, since the Forsaken don't seem to notice Moridin channeling the True Power, is it detectable at all (besides by a gholam)? That is, can someone already holding the True Power sense another using it?"
RJ: "No. Not by any method we've seen yet."

I would think that this quote might stop that theory but not necessarily. the Taint and the True power has the same origin but are different and the madness is a product of the Taint. Maybe channelers of the True power can see the madness or maybe Nynaeve found it like she found the way of healing stilling/gentling, which probably is done with the One power since she taught others.

48

Macster: 2011-04-06

@Neverendinglurker
Hmmm...you may be on to something. I still find it hard to swallow that the taint could have been created by a mere mortal (and no one ever said the Dark One consciously created it, just that the fact Lews Therin and the Hundred Companions touched the Bore with the seals and saidin is why it was tainted). But I can see how touching the seals/saidin to the True Power could have the same effect as touching them to an actual Dark One.

I would point out that the similarity between Ishamael's Ba'alzamon look and what those in the Pit of Doom see does not necessarily mean they are one and the same--we never see any of the Forsaken think the two looks are identical, and we know that Lanfear, Sammael, and Be'lal got to see Ishamael before he died (in the World of Dreams). I'd think at least one of them would have remarked on that similarity, either in their thoughts or to Demandred. And it could well be that Ishamael, in his True Power madness, could have changed himself (either physically or with the Mask of Mirrors) to look like the Dark One's manifestation, or that using the True Power that much simply causes one to take on the Dark One's appearance, as it were.

I also think that Nynaeve being able to see the taint madness on Rand proves nothing, and certainly isn't a sign she can access the True Power. Being able to see it could be a result of Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount--once he called on the Light (or whatever he did) to heal his mind, this forced the taint madness out of it, thus making it visible. Or it could have been there all along, Nynaeve just never bothered to examine a male channeler's mind, or got the chance to (Logain doesn't count since he seems to have staved off the madness), or she's gotten stronger and can thus see it now when she couldn't before. There's too many variables to know for sure.

I would think if Nynaeve could channel the True Power she'd be showing signs of being like Rand or the Forsaken--especially if healing gentling/stilling were also something TP-related, since she could do that since Lord of Chaos. For that matter, the other Aes Sedai in Salidar were able to learn Nynaeve's weave which shows it was One Power-related, and even if she only used the True Power to detect what was wrong and how to fix it, the other Aes Sedai had to be able to see that too. And Flinn can also heal severing, and teach other Asha'man, and they surely can't all be True Power users. As for Rand, we don't know for sure he wasn't granted access by the Dark One--Ishamael said all along that Rand would be rewarded if he joined the Dark One. It could be that as soon as Rand was pushed over the edge by Semirhage and became twisted and hard enough, the Dark One instantly granted access.

I don't recall Jordan ever saying taint madness can't be healed by the One Power. I think he just said it couldn't be healed, period, but since Nynaeve has been making it a career to do things people thought couldn't be done, that doesn't mean she had to use the True Power to do it. And while it's possible that, being a wilder, she could similarly have blocked off knowledge of how she did what she did, I'd think if she had used the True Power she would recognize it in Rand. All of that said, however, your idea that Moridin may be even closer to the Dark One than we think is starting to sway me. Whether or not the Dark One is a real entity, it is very clear more of 'his' power is in Moridin than it has ever been in any other channeler. Which means that as long as Rand can find a way to sever his link to Moridin, killing him very well might be the way to seal/destroy the Dark One. If he's not real, then it's all Moridin. If he is real, but has been pouring his essence into Moridin through the True Power, then this might offer the mortal vessel the Dark One needs to be in for Rand to physically fight and kill him.

Either one, it also explains Moridin's comment that Rand has no idea how stupid he is for thinking he can kill the Dark One. Whether there is a Dark One or not, Moridin thinks he/the True Power is essential to the Pattern. If it's just the True Power, it can be sealed away and Moridin killed without endangering the Pattern. If there is a Dark One, Moridin may not realize him being filled by his power and essence makes the Dark One vulnerable to Rand in a way he never has been before--or he does realize this, and is trying to stop Rand from following through by making him think the idea is folly. And of course in his madness, Moridin would think it stupid for Rand to believe he could either kill something which doesn't actually exist, could succeed in killing someone as powerful as Moridin, or could kill one and take out the other with him.

49

Gaidal Cain: 2011-04-07

After Rand's thoughts about the feeling of channeling the TP and the Forsaken's comments on it too, do you really think Nynaeve would channel it so nonchalantly ? Without giving us any remarks or thoughts on it.

50

NeverEndingLurker: 2011-04-10

Found the Quote:
Crown of Swords Book Tour 9 Oktober 1996
Q:  New Dreadlords? Via True Power? What are limits of True Power? When did we see it used before?
RJ:  Access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. NOT black cords. In Prologue to The Eye of the World, we saw Ishamael use the True Power to Heal insanity. The One Power can not be used to Heal insanity. True Power used at Shayol Ghul will fry you instantly.

See the archives under The Forsaken.

51

ChubbyAiel: 2011-04-12

"Why does Rand only have memories from LTT? If ages come and go, who were the Dragons before LTT and why doesn't he remember those?"

I don't think that is the case. I thought that when Rand had his revelation on Dragonmount, he remembered his lives stretching back through history. We haven't had much from his POV since to show whether or not he has retained those far distant memories, but they may well be there, or may be fading like Birgitte's have.

Pre-revelation, Rand had access to certain memories as they popped up into his mind as he needed them, but you could argue that in his rising insanity he ascribed all of these to LTT because he didn't know where they were coming from. Bearing in mind he thought these memories were coming from another personality in his head that was talking to him, and he was wrong about that, it could well be that many of the things he remembered pre-revelation actually came from other lives before LTT as well.

I agree with Gaidal Cain that Nynaeve would know if she were channelling the True Power and we would see some comment from her POV. It could be that Jordan changed his mind on the healing of insanity since that comment from the Crown of Swords tour. I've said before on other threads that personally I don't consider anything outside the books to be canon, even what Jordan himself said in interviews, so I don't see it as a contradiction that Jordan could have changed his mind before going to print. He could also have meant that no one at that time knew how to heal insanity with the One Power.

52

Oden: 2011-04-13

As my sociology teacher has stated, just because RJ said that it wasn't possible to heal insanity with the OP several books ago doesn't mean that it is still impossible (but I don't think that RJ are using loopholes like that).

I do not think that Nynaeve is using anything but the OP, I think that the facts have changed. A change of facts has happened before.

53

GB: 2011-05-02

You are stretching the substance of the metaphor way to far to assume that its rule's give us the rule's for RJ's world. Think of the game like chess, it is and interesting mental exercise, and based on real warfare, but it reality knight's didn't have to move in L-shapes. Given that the piece is called The Fisher, not the Dragon, that the game exists from before the AoL, and Mordin himself is unsure of whether it is supposed to be Rand points to the idea that he enjoyed the game on an intellectual level, and is just beginning to think of it as a metaphor for their struggle, and not some pillar of his world view. I think that the points to take away here are that the Dragon would be a very useful weapon to the DO, that the Dragon is less useful as a weapon to the Light, but is very strong defense against the DO, control of the Dragon does not ensure victory to either side, and, you could always try to hack your way to victory. By calling the piece the Fisher, RJ is also tying his story to our real world legend of Arthur - look up the Fisher King.

Regardless, we know about a small part of the Third Age, and tiny part of the Second Age, so speculating on what happens in them is useless. There could be Last Battles in every age, or every couple of Ages, only every time the Third Age comes back around. We can assume that Robert Jordan picked the Third Age as his setting because it has the distinction of being a time where the DO MAY achieve victory, but he has not so far. His victory would mean the end of creation. The creator has also never won, nor does he desire to, because destruction of the DO would also mean an end to creation. Ishmael serves the DO because he sees that the Light is not playing for victory, the DO is, and deduces that given all of time to keep reliving this struggle, the DO will be victorious.

Any Last Battle could be the Last Battle if the DO wins, and it is very possible for him to win, but until that happens they have a draw and start again. To replay the game the board must be reset. The DO has to be re-sealed, and forgotten by the world. The Aiel have to take up the Way of the Leaf. The Traveling people have to fade out of existence. The Oiger have to be cured of the Longing. The Green Man has to come back from extinction.

Also, numbering the Ages is just a device to help us reference them. Date systems come and go, both in our world, and in RJ's world. I believe that we refer to the Ages as Second and Third only because human memory has lost all trace of the Zeroth and Negative Oneth Age. In our Western World we refer to our two remembered Ages as BC and AD, or BCE and CE if you wish to be more politically correct. I am not sure the Eastern World uses the same demarcation, but of course don't use the same calendar that we do.

Lastly, the parallel realities are very interesting, but they are clearly not past lives. They represent all the possible outcomes of all the possible choices made by all possible people. This is stated pretty clearly, I believe in TGH.

54

Macster: 2011-05-03

Okay, so the quote does exist. But I have to agree with the others, just because Jordan said it doesn't make it true or means it has to remain true. Many things which were believed impossible have turned out to be quite possible, and not even all of them are attributable to Nynaeve (example: the Warder bond and the a'dam did not exist in the Age of Legends). Since I don't think Sanderson would have been able to contradict Jordan's statement about healing insanity, then we have to assume that Jordan either changed his mind or was being cagey. Heck, look at what he said about the True Power: there's no known way of sensing it *at this time*. Which implies a way to sense it may be discovered. So it may be that Jordan only meant to make us think insanity couldn't be healed, when all along he intended it to happen. Clearly the fact Rand healed himself somehow, and that Nynaeve can see this in his mind, is going to be very important in Memory of Light, but I don't see how this being due to the True Power would be useful or relevant at all. Unless you buy the "three must be one" prophecy to have to do with the True Power, and believe Rand can still channel it. But I guess you do, since you don't think the Dark One exists to get permission from.

All I can say is, though, that aside from the fact I just can't believe Jordan would pull a fast one on us by having the Dark One not actually be real, just Moridin and the True Power, the others are right: we have no indication whatsoever in Nynaeve's POV scenes that she can feel the True Power, that she is bathing in ecstasy in it the way Graendal did, that her personality is changing like Ishydin's did, or that she is drawing a different power to make things happen--nobody hears reality screaming when she Travels, nobody sees darkness around her (yes Rand is ta'veren but Ishamael isn't and Rand and Lews Therin both saw it), she doesn't describe anything different about what she's using to Heal the Asha'man or examine Rand...unless you can find quotes to prove that, or something turns up in Memory of Light, I have to call that theory loony just for that bit alone.

55

Kamaul: 2011-05-05

If you think that Moridin is the DO in respects, then who is Shaidar Haran?

Also, you misunderstand the Last Battle. This battle isn't between the Creator and Dark One. It is between the Pattern and the Dark One. The Dark One never stated any intention to slay the Creator. He only says,

Soon the Wheel of Time will be broken. Soon the Great Serpent will die, and with the power of that death, the death of Time itself, I shall remake the world in my image for this Age and all Ages to come.

The subject of the Great Serpent seems the most confusing. RJ never says anything about it. Is it like a guard for the Wheel? Or an extension of the Pattern?

56

CuteOlver: 2011-05-12

@Neverendinglurker #46
Concerning "I postulate that the taint is TP", you might be interested in the following:

Azral Hanan on Twitter - 29 July 2010 4:15 am: Are the taint and the True Power the same?

Brandon - 3:51 pm: No, they are different.

57

NeverEndingLurker: 2011-05-24

@56 Cuteolver: Your quote has deflated my looney theory. But you have to admit, as we get closer to the Last Battle something interesting is at work here with Nynaeve and the whole perception of the taint. The taint can not be cured by the One Power and we have seen Ishi uses TP to cure LTT in the intro to the series. Nynaeve for the first time can "see" it and even "heal" it, or at least remove it. So something is afoot here that inspires me to come up with wacky theories of my own. :-)

58

DarkHound: 2011-10-12

*Sorry for the length, appreciate feedback*

I couldn't find the reference (help would be appreciated) but RJ definitely stated that there have been last battles before but this one is THE last battle and different from all of the rest. I will also try and support this by referring to the book, previous comments, common sense and logic.

The idea of this last battle being THE last battle simply makes sense since it is the series of events that we are reading about. This last battle is unique and the exception to the rule that the pattern continues as normal. If this is not THE last battle and assuming the dark one has a chance to win (which I also believe RJ confirmed though I’m sure he plans on a victory for the light) then Morishy is right and the Dark One will eventually prevail. I doubt that this would be RJ’s conclusion to the series. And if there IS a true last battle and this isn’t it then that is fairly anti-climactic as well.

I like the parallel of Rand and the fisher king and the rules of the game so I will look to add to that. There is only one way to truly win and several scenarios that result in a draw. Previous wins by either the dark or the light have ended in draws. This Last Battle is when someone wins. A fairly obvious “rule” of the game governing the creator is that he cannot interfere directly (as he is more powerful than the DO) but has to name a champion. The DO is allowed to directly effect all worlds but more on rules at the end of this post.

Here is where I make a few additional claims based on some book references (I don't have the book on hand).

As mentioned above in other comments RJ says that the champion of light has fallen to the dark before but Rand says he as the Dragon never has. Here are a couple possibilities:

1. Rand is mistaken because he is still a little crazy and the evil half (Moridin) has the knowledge of the past lives where the dragon has given in.

2. The champion of the light is not always the Dragon (or the true dragon). The dragon or true weave of the dragon may not be necessary when it is not THE one world where the DO can succeed. In this instance a false weave of the dragon or some other champion of the light will suffice.

Addressing #1:

It is very possible (though not necessary) that Rand and Moridin are the same person essentially two sides to the same coin as others have suggested (it helps clear some things up as far as how certain things are possible). This would make it possible for "Rand" the good half to not recall ever falling to the shadow and "Moridin" the bad half to recall times when the champion has fallen to the shadow. The reason that Rand doesn't realize that Moridin is part of him is because of the lingering madness.

Support for lingering madness:

When Rand shows up in ToM with his taint "cured" we find that the damage that has already been done is still there. I don't have the exact page reference but Nynaeve delves him and can feel the taints presence but also notes that there are light barriers (or something) protecting Rand from further damage from the taint. So it is not "cured" in the same way that she cured the other Asha'man. So it is possible that he is still a little crazy. This also explains why he has been granted access to the TP; he is also Moridin and has access through that half (I admit that this could just be because of a strong connection and time will tell).

Addressing #2:

As far as the reference to Sha’rah and THE one world:

There is also the mention that all possible realities make up a larger "pattern of patterns". In that case I believe that this is THE one pattern/world with THE one true dragon and THE one true prison that decides the fate of all of the others. And because of these criteria this is THE one last battle where the dragon as the champion of the light finally figures out how to win the game. I am all in with parts of what was proposed in the theory “The Importance of Tel'aran'rhiod” where it is proposed that there is really only ONE world where the DO can truly break free (text reference):

"There is one Creator, who exists everywhere at once for all of these worlds. In the same way, there is only one Dark One, who also exists in all of these worlds at once. If he is freed from the prison the Creator made in one world, he is freed on all. So long as he is kept prisoner in one, he remains imprisoned on all. [...] There is a world that lies within each of these others, inside all of them at the same time. Or perhaps surrounding them. Writers in the Age of Legends called it Tel'aran'rhiod."

It is pretty clear from the context that this is intended to be illogical. Verin calls it a paradox, and calls the DO "the embodiment of paradox."

And:

"If he is freed from the prison the Creator made in one world, he is freed on all." When taken away from everything else, this says it pretty baldly.

The Creator made the prison IN ONE WORLD. That would seem to be a prime candidate for that one, special, unique world that everything depends on, doesn't it?

*See that theory for more info and debate on the subject*

I believe that the Dragon was sent to this world because it is THE one world that would release the DO in all worlds if he escapes, Rand’s soul is THE one true fisher king/champion of the light that if defeated will free the DO, and this is THE one weaving of the pattern that results in a victory for one of the sides (where all others ended in a draw). It is important to note as well that based on my theory Rand’s presence in THE world could be a random inevitable occurrence that is necessary to give the DO the opportunity to escape (see rules below).

It may also be true (as the above mentioned theory suggests) that THE one true prison resides in tel’aran’riod, but I am not going to debate or defend this point.

These criteria are why it is so hard for the DO to win:

He needs to defeat the true champion of the light in THE one world where his true prison is located (possibly also in Tel’aran’riod). If any of the prerequisites of THE last battle are not met then he is not truly freed or defeated. If he defeats a false champion in THE one world then he remains imprisoned but alive (a draw), if he defeats the true champion in the wrong world he remains imprisoned but alive (a draw), if he defeats or is defeated by the true champion of the light in the THE one world where his prison actually is then the “match” is decided.

The dark one tries to be released in all worlds because he doesn’t know when and where these requirements will be met. This just happens to be THE last battle by meeting all the necessary criteria.

So as far as the creator and the DO are concerned here are the rules of their game of Sha’Rah:

1. The creator cannot take direct action on the events of the pattern but must work indirectly through a champion and supporting cast of lightside characters.

2. The DO can take direct action in all possible worlds when his prison is weak enough.

3. There is only one true prison in one true world.

4. There is only one true champion of the light side.

4. All "One true" criteria must be met to be the deciding game.

5. The DO does not know when and where all criteria will be met.

6. There are an infinite number of possible outcomes of the pattern for the 7 ages most of which are least probable or important and have false prisons and false champions and many with varying degrees of possibility to be the one true world with the true prison.

7. If the DO defeats the true champion in the true world then he will gain his freedom and control of the pattern.

8. The creator must allow for the true champion to undertake the last battle in the true world where the DO’s prison resides (at some point).

9. If the DO is defeated by the true champion in the one true world then he is either killed, permanently defeated and imprisoned, Or removed from the “Game board” of Randland reality and a new gameboard/reality is created for the gods to play the game of fates again.

10. If the DO wins then he gains control of the pattern.

Some Possible THE one requirements: The world/particular weaving of the pattern The prison (separate from the world/particular pattern weaving)

The Light Side Champion

Thoughts?

59

Kamaul: 2011-10-14

"I couldn't find the reference (help would be appreciated) but RJ definitely stated that there have been last battles before but this one is THE last battle and different from all of the rest. I will also try and support this by referring to the book, previous comments, common sense and logic."

Do you really want to claim that? He actually discourages that there will be an end to the cycle. Also, he states that this turning is no different from any other, except that this time, Fain is here.

"I believe that the Dragon was sent to this world because it is THE one world that would release the DO in all worlds if he escapes, Rand’s soul is THE one true fisher king/champion of the light that if defeated will free the DO, and this is THE one weaving of the pattern that results in a victory for one of the sides, where all others ended in a draw. It is important to note as well that based on my theory Rand’s presence in THE world could be a random inevitable occurrence that is necessary to give the DO the opportunity to escape."

I might agree that Randland is more important than the Mirror Worlds. Since we have no indication that Mirror Worlds can affect any other world, it seems that Mirror Worlds are merely simulations. They are most likely discarded possible futures.

But, you are forgetting something. There are worlds in the Pattern even farther than Mirror Worlds. They are called Parallel Worlds. Finnland is a Parallel World. The world that the Ogier will go when they open the Book of Translations is a Parallel World. Randland itself is a Parallel World.

The same Dark One is present in all of them. Mirror Worlds, Parallel Worlds, and the all encompassing Tel'aran'rhiod.

Why should Randland's prison differ, or be more important, than the prison in any other Parallel World?

60

DarkHound: 2011-10-18

@Kamaul:

I'll retract my claim from what I thought RJ said since I don't have anything to back it up (It was 5 years ago or more when I read it on this site, though it could have been the musings of someone else and not a direct RJ quote like I thought).

BUT, I believe RJ says the same thing in his own way (which you helped me find). In fact, RJ's cryptic nature (in my belief) turns what he "said" around (I'm just using your paraphrase though I did find the direct quote the other day):

"He actually discourages that there will be an end to the cycle. Also, he states that this turning is no different from any other, except that this time, Fain is here. "

He discourages it by saying that this age "is no different" then any other turning of the wheel. This does not conflict with what I proposed. Every turning of the wheel has the chance of being THE last battle. He goes on to say that the wheel of time is endless (which precludes the inevitable light side win) but in addition to being endless he also says that the Dark One does have a very real chance of winning (BS confirms this).

So I ask you; why would we be told this story without a resolution? If the Dark One CAN win and has infinite chances then he will win eventually as Morishy claims. If this does not turn out to be THE last battle then we as readers are left with the conclusion that the DO cannot be defeated but has an infinite number of chances to win (and will eventually through simple logic). Do you think that RJ's goal is for the light side to pull draws until the DO wins? Is Morishy right and that's the moral of the story?

I truly doubt that.

RJ's loophole? Fain. An unpredictable Wild Card that has "unwittingly side stepped the pattern". The one difference that I believe is significant enough to make this truly the last battle.

Here are some references to support this claim:

1. Fain is a Wildcard.

The Path of Daggers book tour 15 November 1998, Dayton, OH - Scott Cantor reporting

He also mentioned the fact that Fain is essentially his wild card, a character that is outside the structure of the work and can therefore act totally unpredictably.

2. Fain is Unique to this particular Age and turning of the wheel.

Q: Has the Padan Fain/Mordeth character been present in previous Ages, or is he unique to this particular Age?

RJ: He is unique to this particular Age. A very unique fellow, indeed. In some ways, you might say he has unwittingly side-stepped the Pattern.

3. He has the motivation to destroy the DO.

TOR Questions of the Week, August 2004-January 2005

The destruction of Shadar Logoth has not driven Fain any more insane. I'm not certain he'd be able to function at all if he were any madder than he already is. But being insane doesn't make him any less dangerous, only less predictable. He no longer responds to situations or events in any sort of sane, logical manner. His abiding concerns are hatred of Rand al'Thor (and to a lesser degree Mat and Perrin) because he blames them for what the Dark One did to him in order to turn him into the Shadow's Hound, and hatred for the Dark One because of what the Dark One did to him. He goes after Rand because Rand is the easiest target in his mind, but if he can take a swipe at the Dark One or the Dark One's minions in some way that he felt would cause real harm, he'd leap at it.

"Why should Randland's prison differ, or be more important, than the prison in any other Parallel World?"

I didn't say that the prison itself had to differ (necessarily) it may or may not. Throw as many of "THE one true prisons" into as many mirror or parallel worlds as you want, it makes no difference. What I was proposing made the difference is that all true versions of each unique element must be present in order for THE last battle to be possible. And even though all of the elements are there it does not mean that the last battle will be decisive, it still may end in a draw.

There was also a quote from RJ about the big picture of the game that The Creator and the DO are playing that I think is relevant (paraphrase):

-It is a game that you only have to win once, or rather that you can only lose once-

This implies to me that the "loser" is directly involved in their loss as apposed to being defeated outright. Fain would fit nicely into this category of a "mistake" since he was only made possible by the DO's intervention.

Fain is the key indicator that this is THE last battle.

61

Kamaul: 2011-10-19

"BUT, I believe RJ says the same thing in his own way. In fact, RJ's cryptic nature turns what he "said" around."

To cut this short, I will simply say that I disagree. He rarely says OR implies something when really it's the opposite, like what you are saying he does.

#60@Darkhound

"He discourages it by saying that this age "is no different" then any other turning of the wheel. This does not conflict with what I proposed. Every turning of the wheel has the chance of being THE last battle."

That is not what you said in your previous post. Read what you wrote in #58.

"I believe that the Dragon was sent to this world because it is THE one world that would release the DO in all worlds if he escapes, Rand’s soul is THE one true fisher king/champion of the light that if defeated will free the DO, and this is THE one weaving of the pattern that results in a victory for one of the sides. It is important to note as well that based on my theory Rand’s presence in THE world could be a random inevitable occurrence that is necessary to give the DO the opportunity to escape"

To your theory, there doesn't sound like much chance that there is another turning that can be THE last battle if THE prison and THE Dragon are not on the same world.

"So I ask you; why would we be told this story without a resolution? If the Dark One CAN win and has infinite chances then he will win eventually as Morishy claims. If this does not turn out to be THE last battle then we as readers are left with the conclusion that the DO cannot be defeated but has an infinite number of chances to win and will eventually through simple logic. Do you think that RJ's goal is for the light side to pull draws until the DO wins? Is Morishy right and that's the moral of the story?"

If you were to go farther with logic, you would see that it is simply impossible for the Dark One to win. Use what we know that Moridin doesn't know; there have already been infinite chances for the Dark One to win. So, tell me, why hasn't he won? We know that he can. To satisfy both statements, we must say that he CAN win but never will.

"1. Fain is a Wildcard."

Correct!

2. Fain is Unique to this particular Age and turning of the wheel.

Correct!

3. He has the motivation to destroy the DO."

Also correct, although it does have a problem. He wants to destroy the DO; though, do you really believe he can? Let's see what he is:

Fain = Original Padan Fain + Dark One's Influence + Mordeth + Black Wind + Dagger's Influence

From what origin does destroying the Dark One come from? Fain definitely couldn't do it before his changes. The Dark One's influence might be able to do it, but it seems like the Dark One did not put much of his essence into Fain. Mordeth couldn't remove the Dark One any more than Fain originally could. The Black Wind only eats souls, and the Dark One has no soul. As for the Dagger, that is only a tiny bit of Mashadar. It took the entirety of Mashadar to destroy the Taint so how could the tiny Dagger destroy Him?

"I didn't say that the prison itself had to differ (necessarily) it may or may not. Throw as many of "THE one true prisons" into as many mirror or parallel worlds as you want, it makes no difference. What I was proposing made the difference is that all true versions of each unique element must be present in order for THE last battle to be possible. And even though all of the elements are there it does not mean that the last battle will be decisive, it still may end in a draw."

Thank you for being able to change your proposal. Most people cannot simply take an error and move on.

"There was also a quote from RJ about the big picture of the game that The Creator and the DO are playing that I think is relevant:

-It is a game that you only have to win once, or rather that you can only lose once-

This implies to me that the `loser` is directly involved in their loss as apposed to being defeated outright. Fain would fit nicely into this category of a 'mistake' since he was only made possible by the DO's intervention."

To me, it implies that RJ is talking about the Pattern instead of the DO.

"Fain is the key indicator that this is THE last battle."

Write a theory on this if you want, but you then will need to write it better than you have done for me.

62

DarkHound: 2011-10-21

@Kamaul
One should always be willing to adapt their opinions. My first comment was developed in a span of about 20 minutes, hence the lack of relevant references. With a true theory I agree that I would need to be much more thorough.

I will however have to strongly disagree with the following point:

#61@Kamaul:

"If you were to go farther with logic, you would see that it is simply impossible for the Dark One to win. Use what we know that Moridin doesn't know; there have already been infinite chances for the Dark One to win. So, tell me, why hasn't he won? We know that he can. To satisfy both statements, we must say that he CAN win but never will. "

You are making a serious error in your grasp of what infinity IS and how probability works. Infinity goes on forever in BOTH directions. By saying that something can happen but hasn't happened therefor it WILL NOT is a grievous error in logic. If something has a probability of happening even though incalculably small it will eventually happen over an infinite number of tests.

Lets say you have an infinite number of black stones and 1 white stone in an infinitely large bag. The white stone will represent the chances of the DO winning. Pull out a stone and if it's not white put it back in and play again. If you do this in a truly infinite fashion you will eventually pull out the white stone. But when you pull out the white stone you do not play again, the game is over. This is simple probability.

My proposition in this game of probability is that when you pull the white stone out it is not the DO winning, but a CHANCE that the DO could win, a chance that the light side could win, but could also result in a draw. This expands even more on the idea of infinity.

If every "drawing of a stone" is a Last Battle only the drawing of a white stone has the Potential to be THE Last Battle, though it may end in a Draw.

#61@Kamual

"To your theory, there doesn't sound like much chance that there is another turning that can be THE last battle if THE prison and THE Dragon are not on the same world. "

My theory is that there is a chance that this is THE Last Battle but it is true that I believe that it is in fact the turning that will result in THE Last Battle. This is for the aforementioned reason that if there is a chance for the DO to win (which there is) then given an infinite number of possibilities he will win (probability/logic/murphy's law).

Given your opinion that this is not going to be a decisive victory for the light then we the readers are left with the inevitability of the DO winning EVENTUALLY. If the turning of the wheel that the author chose to focus on is not THE turning with THE Last Battle then the point of the story is that there is no hope of defeating the DO a la Morishy's Theory. I simply see the logic of the opportunity of the DO winning and deny it as being the end result of the series. When the light wins the final victory the wheel will continue sans DO (evil could be replaced with Fain's type of evil) i.e the bag still exists but there is no longer a white stone. The DO could even continue in existence with the belief that he could win but the opportunity is no longer there... this would be the last THE last Battle and a decisive victory.

#61@Kamaul

"BUT, I believe RJ says the same thing in his own way. In fact, RJ's cryptic nature turns what he "said" around."

To cut this short, I will simply say that I disagree. He rarely says OR implies something when really it's the opposite, like what you are saying he does.

#60@Darkhound

"He discourages it by saying that this age "is no different" then any other turning of the wheel. This does not conflict with what I proposed. Every turning of the wheel has the chance of being THE last battle.""

I put "said" in quotation marks to make a point that you were inferring that he "said" anything in the first place. I was merely saying that he didn't confirm anything and by this dodging of the question in a very RJ like way he led people like yourself to believe that there was more to what he was saying than there really was (I agree that I could also be guilty of the same in the opposite direction).

He did not come out and say that this turning's Last Battle would have the same type of result (draw) as all of the others, he said that it was "no different". To you it meant that the result would be the same. To me it meant that the opportunity for the DO or the Light to have a decisive victory had the same probability as any other turning. How often does RJ/BA come out and give a straight answer for something of that magnitude? I just happen to believe that it will result in an actual decision rather than another draw.

On Fain:

#61@Kamaul

"From what origin does destroying the Dark One come from? Fain definitely couldn't do it before his changes. The Dark One's influence might be able to do it, but it seems like the Dark One did not put much of his essence into Fain. Mordeth couldn't remove the Dark One any more than Fain originally could. The Black Wind only eats souls, and the Dark One has no soul. As for the Dagger, that is only a tiny bit of Mashadar. It took the entirety of Mashadar to destroy the Taint so how could the tiny Dagger destroy Him?"

I never said that Fain would kill the DO. I'm sorry if I led you to believe that I thought Fain would take on the DO on his own. That would be a looney theory... and it would also be ridiculous to think that stabbing him with the Shadar Logoth knife would be the end of it. We can both agree that is ridiculous.

I merely believe that his presence in some way will be the pebble that tips the scales and I won't try and speculate as to how that would come about, I'm content to just wait and see. It just seems that his "unique" nature and prominence throughout the story from the very beginning makes sense that he will play a large (decisive) role. And I believe that RJ's comments reinforce this.

#61@Kamaul

"-It is a game that you only have to win once, or rather that you can only lose once-

This implies to me that the 'loser' is directly involved in their loss as apposed to being defeated outright. Fain would fit nicely into this category of a 'mistake' since he was only made possible by the DO's intervention."

To me, it implies that RJ is talking about the Pattern instead of the DO.

I was applying it to the DO because I think Fain will be the deciding factor and Fain's existence in his current state was the DO's (Fatal?) error. The RJ quote above could apply to either the pattern or the DO (even any key player that could truly effect the outcome as far as I'm concerned) because either could make the error or positive move that would Win the game.

63

Lorcin: 2011-10-22

Its just occured to me that they might no be refering to Randland as the true prision. what if it was the world of Dreams (sorry can't pronounce the real name let alone spell it)it exists in all worlds and contains (at least part) of the Dark one and the Creator. what if the last battle will not be fought in rand land but in there (it makes sense we see a lot of character training in there). Rand dies so he can get there. maybe does something with the horn of Valour (has anyone ever blown it in the world of Dreams before and who made it and why does it only summon champions of the light also what would happen to Briget)

Damn it need to write a theory on this one but I don't have a premium account. any takers?

Note: Lorcin, you can submit a theory without a premium account. - Tamyrlin

64

wantfear: 2011-10-23

I agree with what Kamaul said about this age being no different, the fact that Tarmon Gai'don is called The last battle doesnt mean much and i dont think that this will be the "last" battle regardless of who wins, there will always be another. I also agree about what you said about RJ "rarely say[ing] OR imply[ing] something when really it's the opposite", and bearing that in mind i have to disagree with your interpretation of RJ's quote on the game that the DO and the creator are playing. Although i do partially agree with what darkhound said, in the regard that i believe the outcome of this particular battle to be dependant on fain. He is after all the wild card unique to this age, for awhile ive been thinking that the DO could have purposely tried to break the wheel by introducing fain.

65

Kamaul: 2011-10-25

"You are making a serious error in your grasp of what infinity IS and how probability works. Infinity goes on forever in BOTH directions. By saying that something can happen but hasn't happened therefore it WILL NOT is a grievous error in logic. If something has a probability of happening even though incalculably small it will eventually happen over an infinite number of tests."

Am I making an error? I am also stating that infinity goes on in both directions. I know that if there is a possibility of something happening, it will inevitably happen in an infinite set of trials. However, what I was saying is that if there is no chance of it happening at all, it cannot happen. I hope I was clear this time.

"Lets say you have an infinite number of black stones and 1 white stone in an infinitely large bag. The white stone will represent the chances of the DO winning. Pull out a stone and if it's not white put it back in and play again. If you do this in a truly infinite fashion you will eventually pull out the white stone. But when you pull out the white stone you do not play again, the game is over. This is simple probability."

An infinitely small chance! I have never heard of anyone speaking of an infinitely improbable outcome. The reason for this, is that an infinitely small chance is normally equated to no chance at all. But with infinite trials to the infinitely small chance...that is not discussed in probability at all. We will need a totally new postulate to explain what would happen. Now it is you who is assuming properties of probability.

If you want to get rid of your indefinite expression, you would have to change one of your infinities to a finite number. The one that you would have to change for your point to remain the same would be the infinite number of black stones. Now it is an infinite number over a finite number that is hopefully not zero. Now, probability would dictate that the occurrence of the white stone would be inevitable.

"My proposition in this game of probability is that when you pull the white stone out it is not the DO winning, but a CHANCE that the DO could win, a chance that the light side could win, but could also result in a draw. This expands even more on the idea of infinity."

And my counter proposal is that the white stone doesn't exist at all.

"Given your opinion that this is not going to be a decisive victory for the light then we the readers are left with the inevitability of the DO winning EVENTUALLY. If the turning of the wheel that the author chose to focus on is not THE turning with THE Last Battle then the point of the story is that there is no hope of defeating the DO a la Morishy's Theory. I simply see the logic of the opportunity of the DO winning and deny it as being the end result of the series. When the light wins the final victory the wheel will continue sans DO - evil could be replaced with Fain's type of evil - i.e the bag still exists but there is no longer a white stone. The DO could even continue in existence with the belief that he could win but the opportunity is no longer there... this would be the last THE last Battle and a decisive victory."

My opinion is not that this is not a decisive victory, but that there is no such thing as a decisive victory. My opinion is that the outcome has been determine at the moment of creation. My opinion is there is no white stone, and never was. My opinion is that Moridin's theory has one fundamental flaw - there have already been infinite chances for the Dark One to win, and since he hasn't in infinite trials, he won't ever. I actually submitted a theory about this; it hasn't been released yet.

"I put `said` in quotation marks to make a point that you were inferring that he `said` anything in the first place. I was merely saying that he didn't confirm anything and by this dodging of the question in a very RJ like way he led people like yourself to believe that there was more to what he was saying than there really was (I agree that I could also be guilty of the same in the opposite direction).

He did not come out and say that this turning's Last Battle would have the same type of result (draw) as all of the others, he said that it was `no different`. To you it meant that the result would be the same. To me it meant that the opportunity for the DO or the Light to have a decisive victory had the same probability as any other turning. How often does RJ/BA come out and give a straight answer for something of that magnitude? I just happen to believe that it will result in an actual decision rather than another draw."

I recall that he also added, `and with luck, that should stop some of the linear time theorists,` or something along those lines. That is nothing decisive on its own, especially with your philosophy regarding his answers. Although, it does imply that nothing decisive will occur.

Also, Robert Jordan specifically stated that the age is no different, if I remember correctly. That would include everything: the chance, the choices, and the effects within the time limit of the age.

66

DarkHound: 2011-10-26

#65@Kamaul:

I'm putting this first though what comes next is more important:

"Also, Robert Jordan specifically stated that the age is no different, if I remember correctly. That would include everything: the chance, the choices, and the effects within the time limit of the age."

Jordan has already said that things change with every turning (though slightly), which makes it intuitively obvious that he did not mean what you said he meant above, you took your interpretation way too far.

May main rebuttal:

I'm glad that you pinned down repeatedly that you believe there is zero chance that the DO has the possibility of winning:

"However, what I was saying is that if there is no chance of it happening at all, it cannot happen."

"And my counter proposal is that the white stone doesn't exist at all."

"My opinion is not that this is not a decisive victory, but that there is no such thing as a decisive victory. My opinion is that the outcome has been determine at the moment of creation. My opinion is there is no white stone, and never was. My opinion is that Moridin's theory has one fundamental flaw - there have already been infinite chances for the Dark One to win, and since he hasn't in infinite trials, he won't ever. I actually submitted a theory about this; it hasn't been released yet."

Unfortunately Brandon Sanderson came out and cleared that up for everyone, something that I had read previously and was basing this entire opinion on:

Brandon's blog 12 June 2009 "Reader Mail"

Don: I wanted to comment on the general impression that nothing BIG changes with each turning of the Wheel, i.e., history repeats itself. It's mentioned in the books and has been confirmed by RJ in interviews. I take issue with this, however. The DO can influence the world AND he is outside the Pattern and the turning of the Wheel. History doesn't repeat for the DO. In his quest to break the Wheel, why would he repeat the same steps over and over again, knowing they don't work? He remembers and learns with each turning of the Wheel. Because of this, I feel that the possibility exists that something "different" could happen, and that perhaps this something "different" might happen at the end of this series. No one really agrees with me, though. : (

Brandon: I wanted to answer this one, since there has been a lot of talk about Warbreaker on the blog lately, and I wanted to do something for the Wheel of Time readers. Don, you're actually quite right. The Dark One CAN stop the Wheel from turning. Indeed, this is his goal. So far, history has repeated for the Dark One—but only because he has failed at his attempts to unravel the Pattern.

So I guess this means since you agree that if it was possible for the DO to win (the white stone exists) that he would eventually win. This quote from Brandon Sanderson shows that it is a clear possibility, therefore the DO CAN win.

It makes perfect literary sense that out of the infinite number of turnings the author could of wrote about that the one he WOULD write about would be the turning which resulted in a decisive victory. But now the question is, CAN the light win? I believe so.

You praised me for repealing a statement I had earlier in this argument when I clearly didn't have a leg to stand on. Care to do the same?

67

Kamaul: 2011-10-28

I am totally fine with changing what I had believed earlier. I am not that stubborn whatever you may think. Wow, so far I have never been proven wrong.

Although, I would like you to tell me what you think Brandon's definition of `can stop the Wheel from turning` is. Brandon says that he has failed because the Pattern did not unravel. Could it be that the Pattern will not unravel and so the Wheel will never be broken? Could it be that since the Pattern determines whether the circumstances necessary for the Dark One to break free are in place or not, that he will not.

It all depends on what `can stop the Wheel` means. If Brandon means that the Dark One can stop the Wheel - if he is free, then the quote doesn't exclude the impossibility of it at all.

68

DarkHound: 2011-10-31

Thanks for recanting.

I think the one part that causes confusion is that the DO is outside the pattern, and maybe the prison is the pattern? Someone brought up this idea before maybe in this thread, I'm not sure about the possibility of the pattern = prison or even if I like the idea, I would have to see more on it.

But in any case the DO is known to be outside the pattern which is why he is able to influence events outside the will of the pattern.

I see it as the pattern recognizing the anomalies of the DO's actions and trying to take corrective actions with Ta'veren, the heroes and most importantly The Dragon. The pattern can also do its auto-correct on the actions of normal people who take the pattern too far in the wrong direction.

Then the question is "why would the pattern will the threads into releasing an outside threat?" i.e. the opening of the bore/DO prison. I think that this plays into the idea that the game between the creator and the DO requires that the DO have the opportunity to escape. Maybe the creator is more powerful than the DO but not powerful enough to destroy him outright. This would allow for the creation of the wheel/pattern as a game of power between the DO and creator (see possible rules to the game in my comment above #58). The victor obviously gets at least the control of the pattern anything else would be beyond the scope of our knowledge of the series.

I just find it hard to believe from a literary/logical/textual standpoint that the point of the story is that there is no meaning to actions, there is no "real" (only perceived) danger, and there will be and can be no decisive victory for either side.

Lastly, I don't think that a decisive victory for the light means that the wheel will not continue time without end through the 7 ages. I just think that the anomaly of the DO influence will be removed. It is apparent/likely that the DO is only directly influential during the second and third ages (as he needs to be completely forgotten come the second age and there's only the one last battle each turning). This means that the age altering events in the other 5 ages have nothing to do with the DO at all. Two of these seem to fairly obviously be the loss of and (re)discovery of the one power as we know that it is not present in "our" age. The end of our age could be any number of things like nuclear warfare or global climate change or even an asteroid, who knows? But there can be plenty of Events that can signal the change of an age without the need of the DO. Shadar logoth and fain are also examples of a "lesser" evil that does not come from the DO so his defeat does not mean the defeat of all evil in the world either.

There is nothing to say that the DO has to be the age altering event for the end of the second and third ages (going forward), so if his influence is removed/destroyed the pattern can continue on it's seven age cycle infinitely without the DO trying to break the wheel. This is what I believe is the reason that this particular age happens to be the topic of discussion, a decisive victory against the DO.

I appreciate the input you have given me on some of the obvious holes in my proposal earlier, hopefully this argument will be truly laid to rest in one way or another when the last book finally comes out!

69

Kamaul: 2011-10-31

Can I still argue against your theory when I have no standpoint myself?

If so, I believe there are still problems with it. The Dark One is scripted into the Age Lace, and probably more than that too, in accordance with Verin's paradox theory. Not only does the Pattern need the Dark One to survive, but also the Pattern was created, if you believe in the Pattern=Prison idea, which seems to be a majority, for the very purpose of the Dark One. I mean, how can the Third Age of later turnings exist without the Dark One?

Also, based on your standpoint, which side is the Pattern on? If it is on the Creator's side and it was possible for a decisive ending in the Creator's favor, why not force the decisive ending immediately? If it is on the Dark One's side and it was possible for a decisive ending in the Dark One's favor, why not force the decisive ending immediately? Of course, since the Pattern is commonly portrayed as being of balance, being of neither side, it wouldn't want such a decisive ending to happen going either way. But, then why would it allow for the ending now?

Lastly, [I'll say this even though it has been pretty much torn to pieces unless Sanderson can't do math] there have been infinite turnings of the Wheel in the past. I think we can be pretty sure of this since we are told this in the first paragraph of the first chapter of every book. If a decisive ending did not happen in infinite turnings of the Wheel, I doubt it would.

70

eht slat meit: 2011-11-01

I can't find the in-text citation for it, but it has been my understanding (as well as what I'm seeing on google searches between various theoryland, enc-wot and other sites) that the Dark One exists outside of the Pattern, and is therefore not constrained by it. This is what makes him a real threat.

As far as this theory goes, I speculate that it's not the Last Battle between Light and Shadow because these are immortal concepts. Substitute "Dragon" and "Dark One" for them, and I'd agree. The two are finite, and small representations of a greater ideal.

Perhaps the next Turn of the Wheel will be Fain against whatever champion is spun out to counter him.

71

DarkHound: 2011-11-01

You can argue whatever you wish. That's the beauty of an open thread of theories and ideas isn't it?

Let me see if I can address the problems you proposed.

First let me address this as it will be shorter than the rest:

@Kamaul #69:

“Not only does the Pattern need the Dark One to survive, but also the Pattern was created, if you believe in the Pattern=Prison idea, which seems to be a majority, for the very purpose of the Dark One. I mean, how can the Third Age of later turnings exist without the Dark One?... “

That’s the paradox isn’t it? I can’t create a real theory as to how the world will work after the defeat of the DO but it could be any number of things. Defeat could be: imprisoned without a chance to break free, removal from physical existence, replacement, death or anything in-between. Maybe a prison needs to be filled, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe he needs to exist until his victory or defeat but not after. There would be nothing to support this “Gods” level of thinking. Though for no particular reason than personal preference I lean towards removal or destruction with the wheel continuing to turn DO free. I just think we’ll have to RAFO on this if possible.

“… Lastly, [I'll say this even though it has been pretty much torn to pieces unless Sanderson can't do math] there have been infinite turnings of the Wheel in the past. I think we can be pretty sure of this since we are told this in the first paragraph of the first chapter of every book. If a decisive ending did not happen in infinite turnings of the Wheel, I doubt it would.”

No point in beating a dead horse since we obviously just disagree on this, but a chance is a chance and in infinity if it can happen, it will. And as RJ has said just because things move in a circle doesn’t mean that they never change. With every turning there is change… so the previous infinity isn’t as important as the future infinity. Time moves forward, but is not linear. I like the helix idea of time flow, though maybe all realities are happening in conjunction with each-other at the same time as well as having a definitive history of some being in the past and others being in the future. The science is a little more than I can wrap my head around at this point.

Second let me reiterate my stance:

The DO has a chance to win. With an infinite number of chances (in both directions) he will eventually win, unless the light side also has a chance to win as well. Then one side will eventually win (RAFO lol).

@Kamaul #69

“Also, based on your standpoint, which side is the Pattern on?...”

I would have to say that the pattern is Neutral and it keeps both sides (creator/DO) honest in the rules of the game (whatever they may be or see my opinion in an earlier comment). Though being neutral it can also have "self" interest (though not self awareness) or the inherent ability to protect itself from destruction. Though since the wheel weaves the pattern we would probably have to say that the Wheel is neutral and weaves the pattern to protect itself and imprison the DO, it is not a light side dark side question for the Wheel, rather, a question of survival or destruction. The Wheel would also be bound by the rules of the game and must eventually weave patterns that allow both sides a chance at true victory.

“…If it is on the Creator's side and it was possible for a decisive ending in the Creator's favor, why not force the decisive ending immediately? If it is on the Dark One's side and it was possible for a decisive ending in the Dark One's favor, why not force the decisive ending immediately? Of course, since the Pattern is commonly portrayed as being of balance, being of neither side, it wouldn't want such a decisive ending to happen going either way…”

I agree with you that it is balanced, I disagree that the Wheel/Pattern has the free will to take its own actions outside the function for which it was created for i.e possibly defending itself, serving as the DO’s prison and also the setting for the game that the DO and Creator agreed to play (using term “agreed” loosely since we do not have any incite as to why the DO and creator are playing the game or how it came about). The Wheel/Pattern has laws governing its actions otherwise there would be thousands of Dragon souls fighting the DO at once or some other such nonsense.

“…But, then why would it allow for the ending now?”

The Why:

The DO has a chance to win and so does the light (because of balance IMO) therefore it is not the "will" of the pattern to bring about a decisive victory for either side; it is merely a part of its function to bring about the opportunity for victory however unlikely. This opportunity could happen in an incalculable number of times before it is actually won or lost by either side and the opportunity likely only happens on a very small scale in the span of infinity, but it is inevitable that it will happen eventually due to what “infinity” is. The cycle can continue as normal an infinite number of times but it only takes once to change and that opportunity is there for the DO and intuitively for the light as well.

The Now: There are two parts to why I believe that the wheel of time has hit this decisive moment now:

1. Within the world of the wheel of time story it is mostly chance and inevitability and partially related to the DO's mistake of helping to create Padan Fain (a unique feature from all previous turnings which I've noted before). For this argument I will assume (in fairness) that because of the balance of the pattern that each side has an equal chance of winning (I'm picturing a balanced scale).

2. In our world, not our world from RJ's wheel of time, but our Real world removed from RJ's story; it makes literary sense that if the DO can win so can the light. We however have not been told from RJ, BS or the Books (as far as I am aware) that the light side CAN win a decisive victory, but we know that the DO can from those same sources. If this Last Battle is not THE Last battle then it is intuitively obvious that given an infinite number of trials regardless of how small of a chance an event has of occurring it WILL occur if given an infinite number of trials. Therefore if there is not a decisive victory then readers must assume that the DO is victorious eventually (Morishy's Theory + authors statements on possibility that the DO can win).

I however believe that the dramatic Irony of it all for Morishy is that he has overlooked the balance. He went to the DO's side because he believed that it was inevitable that the DO would win. However due to the balance there would be an infinite number of chances for the light side to win as well. The problem is that each side is fairly evenly matched (which is where a "mistake", Padan Fain, becomes relevant. I believe that neither side made a winning move but one side made a wrong move that will tip the scales. Padan fain as the wild card will affect the course of events in a way to tip the scales to the light. His actions could be anywhere from "stabbing the DO with the shadar logoth Dagger" (which we both agreed would be a laughable and unlikely scenario) to something very small and indirect. He could be a boulder or a pebble, but either way his addition will tilt the scale which has previously remained balanced. I won't claim to know how it happens, but the clues point to him IMO.

It is believed and has been supported by many that Fain will play an incremental role in the LB regardless of whether one believes that this is THE last battle or not. However I take it a step further by posing this question: Why is he important? He doesn't need to be. We can come to this conclusion by noting that he is truly unique to this particular turning of this age but wasn't needed to defeat the DO or the light in any of the previous last battles. So why now? Why the emphasis on his importance throughout the series? He has been there from the beginning along with all of the other major role players. This is curious to me. Does it not seem strange? Why is he the one truly unique aspect of this story AND he has an inherent evil within him that has been shown to oppose the DO’s own type of evil?

Fain is somehow apart from the will of the wheel and affects the world outside of the will of either the DO or the pattern (this is confirmed by my quote in a previous comment). He has a boiling hatred of both The Dragon reborn and the DO. He could tilt the scale EITHER WAY. That is balance. I may have to (like you suggested) create a thorough theory on this with all relevant points, but you have to admit that if things continue as they always have that the build-up of this character becomes rather irrelevant. I just think RJ writes more purposefully than that.

72

Oden: 2011-11-02

I agree with your last paragraph, Kamaul. I have wanted to write something like that every time I have read about the LB, here at Theoryland, but knowing that I'm not much for words I have also considered it a good way to make enemies with hardcore believers of a true Tarmon Gai'don.

Your second paragraph has a very valid point. I thnnk that is the reason there never has been and never will be a victory, neither the Light nor for the DO.

73

wantfear: 2011-11-03

In LoC chapter 14 there is a a bit of aporphecy . . . the short of it says "The great battle done, but the world not done with battle (LoC, Ch. 14)." We know that interpretations of the old tongue are "not exact" in fact just about an aes sedai comes near the old tongue they take note of the fact. What is if Tarmon means "great" rather than "last". Kinda makes more sense to me, With infinite turnings og the wheel there can be no last, just as there was never a first.

74

DarkHound: 2011-11-03

@Oden

"I agree with your last paragraph, Kamaul. I have wanted to write something like that every time I have read about the LB, here at Theoryland, but knowing that I'm not much for words I have also considered it a good way to make enemies with hardcore believers of a true Tarmon Gai'don."

I understand both of your points that The Wheel of time has no beginning or endings. But it seems to me that the logic is pretty sound given that the DO has the chance to win. See my explanation above. And although all of the characters of this third age seem to have quite a bit of knowledge about how their world works, the people of our age (in the story) do not have this knowledge. So apparently at some point it is lost, but then rediscovered. This knowledge does not come from the Creator since he does not interfere, so where does it come from? All of the philosophical theories from Varin or any of the other characters have to be taken with a grain of salt because they are limited in their knowledge by being within their own world. We do not have the same constraints because we are outside of their world and can look in. We can use information that they do not have.

We do know however that there is a Creator. Creator of what? If the wheel of time has always existed and will always exist outside of the creators actions then what did the creator create?

My conclusion: There are no beginnings or endings within the wheel of time itself because it is not linear. There was a beginning on the level of the Creator and DO however. Everything was created at the same time and does not operate in a traditional timeline. But the Creator and the DO are not parts of the wheel of time, they operate outside of it. If the wheel of time is a prison think of it as the DO is inside but not a part of the wheel (which fits nicely with the pattern = prison theory) and the creator is outside. The DO wants out. His destruction or removal doesn't have to mean the end of the wheel.

@Oden

"Your second paragraph has a very valid point. I thnnk that is the reason there never has been and never will be a victory, neither the Light nor for the DO."

The Wheel serves a function, has a "will" but that doesn't mean it has the ability to decide events on the level that the Creator could if he wanted to. I think it is quite a ridiculous leap to come to the conclusion that the wheel can do whatever it wants just because an event has the chance of happening, there is nothing that gives us this notion whatsoever, in fact quite the opposite I think (I mention weaving out 1,000 Dragons above). Anyways, see my argument in comment #71. I Don't see the point arguing this yet since I think we posted around the same time. ;-)

75

Kamaul: 2011-11-04

Note: Kamaul's previous post was accidentally deleted...sorry Kamaul! - Tamyrlin

Wait, I did forget a point. The Dark One is outside of time. So his destruction should be throughout all of time and not just into the future. From the fact that the Dark One does exist, he will not be destroyed.

76

NKD: 2011-11-07

My addition to the confusion --- I remember reading somewhere - Dark one will be improsoned as long as he is improsoned in at least one universe\world. Taking the multiple universe, multiple worlds idea presented by the portal stones it is safe to assume that the battle is going on in each and every one of these worlds. And that Dark One(not part of the pattern as such. not even in the same world as normal Rand Land people) cannot escape from his prison unless he is free from each and everyone of these worlds. Or else a simple escape from one of the worlds would have set him free long before and making the wheel in his image and that thingamy would have long happened. IT has not happened till now because Dark One is still imprisoned in the current Rand Land. And the Dark One has won in every other world but one. That one being - The current Rand Land. Now it all depends on if Rand, Perrin, Mat etc can keep the Dark One imprisoned in this world. Or else Dark One will surely win and he will break the Wheel of time( breaking of which is a bad thing i suppose) and make the wheel in his own image( wat ever that means).So the heroes must some how keep the Dark One imprisoned in this one Last Battle or all is lost.They have to do it for some time period or age so that more Dark-One-Imprisoned worlds exist again( Right now there is just the one - Rand Land). Though even with victory the Light side has to start all over again trying to keep Dark One imprisoned. At the same time Dark One has to start winning all over again in all the worlds.

This is the wierdest theory i could think of. I don exactly agree with the Last Battle in each and every theory - if that was the case the Age of legends people wud have called the War for Power as Last battle itself, which they didnt. And they are smarter than 3rd age ppl.

77

Kamaul: 2011-11-08

Since my last post seems to be lost, I guess I'll post this.

#74@Darkhound

"I understand both of your points that The Wheel of time has no beginning or endings. But it seems to me that the logic is pretty sound given that the DO has the chance to win. See my explanation above. And although all of the characters of this third age seem to have quite a bit of knowledge about how their world works, the people of our age (in the story) do not have this knowledge. So apparently at some point it is lost, but then rediscovered. This knowledge does not come from the Creator since he does not interfere, so where does it come from? All of the philosophical theories from Varin or any of the other characters have to be taken with a grain of salt because they are limited in their knowledge by being within their own world. We do not have the same constraints because we are outside of their world and can look in. We can use information that they do not have."

I distinctly remember Robert Jordan, when asked whether his world is the religion of this world, he said something like, "No, it is not a religion. Religion is faith in a higher power that you have no evidence to exist. The Randlanders have evidence." Obviously there is some evidence they have that we know nothing of. So, we might be able to say that actually the Randlanders have a better understanding of the world, because they have evidence whereas we are following a blind belief. Yes, we can use information that they don't have, such as the Wheel of Time has had no beginning within time.

#71@Darkhound

"but a chance is a chance and in infinity if it can happen, it will. And as RJ has said just because things move in a circle doesn’t mean that they never change. With every turning there is change… so the previous infinity isn’t as important as the future infinity. "

How is the previous infinity less important the the future infinity? As you say, "a chance is a chance and in infinity if it can happen, it will." or in this case it has. If you were to use logic, the Dark One has already won infinite times over. There is only one possible answer to explain the fact that he hasn't: He was given the ability to win a finite number of turnings ago. That seems pretty convenient for the Dark One, although it could also mean that in another finite turnings, he will lose the chance.

#74@Darkhound

"We do know however that there is a Creator. Creator of what? If the wheel of time has always existed and will always exist outside of the creators actions then what did the creator create?"

Yes, there is a Creator, but you are misunderstanding the fact that the Creator is outside time. The Creation of the Wheel was an event outside of time so it had no correlation with time.

"My conclusion: There are no beginnings or endings within the wheel of time itself because it is not linear. There was a beginning on the level of the Creator and DO however. Everything was created at the same time and does not operate in a traditional timeline. But the Creator and the DO are not parts of the wheel of time, they operate outside of it. If the wheel of time is a prison think of it as the DO is inside but not a part of the wheel (which fits nicely with the pattern = prison theory) and the creator is outside. The DO wants out. His destruction or removal doesn't have to mean the end of the wheel."

Then how does the Wheel exist? And by your logic how can the Dark One be destroyed, seeing as he is outside of time and so his destruction should reflect to all of time, both past and future?

#71@Darkhound

"I however believe that the dramatic Irony of it all for Morishy is that he has overlooked the balance. He went to the DO's side because he believed that it was inevitable that the DO would win. However due to the balance there would be an infinite number of chances for the light side to win as well."

A philosopher overlooking balance - that would be ironic indeed. I would say too ironic for Robert Jordan's style.

"The Wheel serves a function, has a "will" but that doesn't mean it has the ability to decide events on the level that the Creator could if he wanted to. I think it is quite a ridiculous leap to come to the conclusion that the wheel can do whatever it wants just because an event has the chance of happening, there is nothing that gives us this notion whatsoever, in fact quite the opposite I think (I mention weaving out 1,000 Dragons above). Anyways, see my argument in comment #71. I Don't see the point arguing this yet since I think we posted around the same time. ;-)"

Actually there is evidence, as long as its likely enough. 1000 Dragons is almost clearly impossible. Seeing as there are Mirror Worlds everywhere, and each has the potential of being, it is reasonable to assume that the Wheel can do anything as long as its likely - and with ta'veren, as long as its possible.

#66@Darkhound

"Unfortunately Brandon Sanderson came out and cleared that up for everyone, something that I had read previously and was basing this entire opinion on:"

I have been pondering how that is possible, because the evidence doesn't fit together. I think I have finally figured out the answer. The Chance is irrelevant.

It has been stated several times that there are some things that just simply cannot happen, no matter how hard you try. For example, the portal stone world that Rand, Hurin, and Loial went to was possible. It was a Mirror World, so it was definitely possible. However, it would not have happened. The Pattern did not have room for it, so it would not have happened.

That World that Might Be could happen. It never will, even in infinity.

I believe the Dark One escaping to be the same thing. The Wheel in self-protection would not want the Dark One to escape, because he would break the Wheel, slay the Great Serpent etc. That which chooses whether the circumstances necessary for the Dark One to win is not chance, but the Great Pattern. Since it will never allow for the Dark One to win, he won't.

The Dark One can break free. He never will, even in infinity.

78

Macster: 2011-11-08

@57 Again though, you are assuming that Jordan saying "madness cannot be cured by the One Power" is the definitive statement on the subject. When other things which were thought to be impossible (like healing gentling/stilling) are accomplished, and he makes statements like "no one can sense the True Power at this time", it practically screams "this is going to be proven false later". I merely see it as a combination of Nynaeve's incredible awesomeness at Healing (and determination not to be proven wrong) and the current Aes Sedai's lack of knowledge about what is and isn't possible with the Power.

Note in ToM Rand says that the most Talented of Healers in the Age of Legends had "difficulty" healing madness, not that it was impossible, and in fact he follows this up saying "many" (not "all") [i]believed[/i] Healing it was impossible. From what Graendal and Semirhage said and thought, Healing madness and working with the mind was indeed difficult but not impossible. And I would think that if Rand had any inkling that Nynaeve might have healed madness with the True Power, he would have been worried and upset instead of jubilant. So I think this needs to be chalked up to "Aes Sedai don't know as much as they think" and "Nynaeve=awesome".

@Darkhound: One point which I think you may be missing--you are basing a large part of your analysis entirely on your interpretation of Verin's words re: the Dark One's prison. However, the syntax of her statement is not logically sound. If the sentence is reordered, you get this: "If he is freed in one world from the prison the Creator made, he is freed on all." Or to put it another way, "If he is freed from the prison the Creator made in a/any world, he is freed on all/every world."

In other words, I don't think she is saying that his prison exists in only one world, which would therefore make that world (and its Last Battle) the most critical and decisive, but that the prison was made--outside the Pattern, which I would think would mean that even though it intersects with every world (in Randland, at Shayol Ghul) it is not truly part of or in any of them--and then if he is freed from it in any one world, he will then be freed in all. So that doesn't really support your argument.

That said, though, I do agree with you in principle that there is indeed something special and decisive about this particular Last Battle, and that the Light has a chance of winning this time--and will. The question is how it happens, and what the fallout will be, both in terms of "not being done with battle" and exactly who or what must be sacrificed to achieve it.

On Fain: I've never given him much thought, but off the top of my head I would say he has already done or caused some very important things thanks to his presence. If he had not stolen the dagger and Horn and led Rand off to Falme, that battle would not have happened--which would have meant the Seanchan gaining a foothold much sooner in Randland than they did, Ituralde possibly getting killed in earlier battles on the plain or in Arad Doman, the Seanchan getting hold of the sad bracelets sooner from Tanchico, and the fall of Amador coming sooner. And that would have led to Morgase not going there, so she didn't end up with Perrin and help him with the Whitecloaks or Elayne, the Whitecloaks would have been scattered sooner so that Galad didn't meet up with Perrin, the Prophet would have joined up with the Seanchan sooner which could have led Elayne and Nynaeve into Seanchan hands when they met up with him in Ghealdan...

Heck, if the Seanchan took Tanchico Nynaeve and Elayne might not have gone there and met Moghedien to earn her enmity, which in turn led to the encounters in T'a'R, Birgitte being ripped out, Nynaeve capturing Moghedien, and the fight with Rahvin--so then he would have killed Rand! Not to mention of course that no battle at Falme would have meant Rand not declaring himself, which was what brought Taim out of power... And it was Fain's actions in the Two Rivers that caused everything--Slayer brought the Trollocs to deal with him, they wouldn't have been there otherwise, it was Fain's influence helping to turn Bornhald against Perrin, and of course Perrin never would have come home and become a lord or any of the rest if not for Fain.

Then on the good side there's the fact Fain killed all but one of Taim's four Darkfriend Asha'man--who knows what trouble they might have caused?--that the wound he gave Rand in his side may help lead to Rand's blood being spilled on the rocks, and that it was the way this wound worked against the one Ishamael gave him that gave Rand the idea on how to cleanse the taint!

All of that said, I do agree though that he has a reason for being here and a larger role still to play in AMoL, and I wouldn't be surprised if that role is indeed what turns out to be the key in defeating the Dark One--evil often is hoist by its own petard. Just as long as it isn't like Gollum. :P

79

Oden: 2011-11-15

@Kamaul
You say that the destruction of the Dark One should effect all of time. I think you are right, but he exists until his destruction. You could compare it to balefire. It happens until it's destroyed, then it has not happened at all. We are looking at the time before someone has destroyed the Dark One or the Dark One's victory. Since both the Dark One and the Wheel of Time still exist, no one has won. Everything is as it is until someone has destroyed the DO or the WoT. When the destruction has occurred, all else has not. Avi, Mat and Asmo were dead until Rahvin was balefired. When he had gotten balefired, then the others had never died.

How the Age lace fits into it all, I don't know. It might be that the DO can't destroy the Age lace and, therefore, what was will still have been, the future will be the only thing affected by the destruction of the Wheel.

80

DarkHound: 2011-11-21

All @Kamaul:
I'll keep this as short as possible (unfortunately not very):

#75@Kamaul:

"Wait, I did forget a point. The Dark One is outside of time. So his destruction should be throughout all of time and not just into the future. From the fact that the Dark One does exist, he will not be destroyed."

False. See Balefired and everything it means. The DO even states that he cannot step outside of time. Thanks for the reminder #79@Oden.

#77@Kamaul:

"I distinctly remember Robert Jordan, when asked whether his world is the religion of this world, he said something like, "No, it is not a religion. Religion is faith in a higher power that you have no evidence to exist. The Randlanders have evidence." Obviously there is some evidence they have that we know nothing of. So, we might be able to say that actually the Randlanders have a better understanding of the world, because they have evidence whereas we are following a blind belief. Yes, we can use information that they don't have, such as the Wheel of Time has had no beginning within time."

I agree partially and I know where you are getting this from as I have read the same thing. My point is that they (IMO quite obviously) know that the creator exists, that he is good, that the DO exists, that he is bad and that the creator imprisoned him and that is what RJ meant. There is a lot of philosophy however on the details (Again obviously seen in differing opinions on major questions concerning the Creator/DO). The creator does not interfere directly which means that we know nobody is a profit with the direct words of the creator to pass on (with the exception of EOTW depending on your interpretation). It's the details that I was questioning, not the basics. Do you think that the creator sent down an emissary with a book written with all the knowledge of the creator and everyone just has it there to read and knows it's true? That would be a laugh. Plus if that was true then by your opinion everyone would know that the DO could not really win.

#77@Kamaul:

"Yes, there is a Creator, but you are misunderstanding the fact that the Creator is outside time. The Creation of the Wheel was an event outside of time so it had no correlation with time. "

I was being facetious. My point was that there was "a beginning" just not within the wheel of time (which essentially was the beginning of time as we/they know it). The whole creator outside of time thing. It's his position outside of time that shows that the wheel can be started and ended or existent and non-existent. There was a "time" before the wheels' creation that it did not exist. Therefore "existence" itself in the creators sense of existing is not dependent on the wheel and those within. Maybe "existence" is a better word than "beginning" since we seem to constantly get those confused...

#77@Kamaul:

"Then how does the Wheel exist? And by your logic how can the Dark One be destroyed, seeing as he is outside of time and so his destruction should reflect to all of time, both past and future?"

Not sure where I questioned the Wheels existence? (unless my above "before the creator created the wheel" counts) Could you elaborate on this? It exists because the creator created it and the Creator or the DO has not destroyed it... yet. Not sure where the confusion is here. AND the DO does not exist outside of time see *balefire* references again. Where is your support for him being outside of time? If he WAS outside of time he would know that he will never succeed... so why does he pretend he has a chance? Or even better: Why does he seem not to recognize that he knows he doesn't have a chance?

Crazy theory to support your Opinion: The DO knows he cannot break free EVER. So he "touches" the wheel to forget what he knows and attempts his machinations for eternal entertainment. Hmmmm... interesting. This would actually be kind of a cool idea from a philosophical stand point *see Friedrich Nietzsche's basic philosophical premises* but I don't think there is any evidence that this is the case.

#77@Kamaul:

"A philosopher overlooking balance - that would be ironic indeed. I would say too ironic for Robert Jordan's style."

An evil philosopher. A Forsaken being overconfident in their knowledge and superiority and failing because of it? Robert Jordan's style.

#77@Kamaul:

"Actually there is evidence, as long as its likely enough. 1000 Dragons is almost clearly impossible. Seeing as there are Mirror Worlds everywhere, and each has the potential of being, it is reasonable to assume that the Wheel can do anything as long as its likely - and with ta'veren, as long as its possible."

1,000 Dragons is impossible, *see RJ on 1 Dragon soul*. Being facetious again. The wheel can do anything that is likely and in infinity it will, eventually. My argument was against the idea that the wheel has a conscious will like the Creator or DO and could "decide" to bring about a decisive LAST battle if it was possible and CHOOSE which side was going to win. I thought this was a ridiculous argument but it was something you supported. Can you provide evidence for that?

#77@Kamaul:

"I have been pondering how that is possible, because the evidence doesn't fit together. I think I have finally figured out the answer. The Chance is irrelevant.

It has been stated several times that there are some things that just simply cannot happen, no matter how hard you try. For example, the portal stone world that Rand, Hurin, and Loial went to was possible. It was a Mirror World, so it was definitely possible. However, it would not have happened. The Pattern did not have room for it, so it would not have happened."

I guess this is true if Brandon Sanderson is wrong about the DO having "a very real chance of winning" (paraphrase). Where BS is talking about a real chance you are talking about a possible chance or a world variation, these are two different things.

Besides that point you are again talking about a will of the pattern on a level that you haven't provided evidence for. "Pattern doesn't have room for it"? The pattern lets the DO touch the world (has to by design), but does not have control over the DO. The DO can influence the pattern outside of the Wheels' "Will", I hope you are not arguing against this as there is ample evidence in support of this concept. the DO's ability to influence events outside the Wheels' "will" is where his real chance (however small) comes from.

#77@Kamaul:

"I believe the Dark One escaping to be the same thing. The Wheel in self-protection would not want the Dark One to escape, because he would break the Wheel, slay the Great Serpent etc. That which chooses whether the circumstances necessary for the Dark One to win is not chance, but the Great Pattern. Since it will never allow for the Dark One to win, he won't."

It seems that you continually make the following error on the relation between the wheel and the DO. The wheel does not "allow" or "not allow" the DO to do anything. The wheel MUST allow for the DO's prison to be opened (or else why would the wheel put itself at risk) and the wheel weaves to try and correct this inherent flaw in its "self-preservation". The DO is outside of the control of the wheel and works against being re-imprisoned (*see DO's influence*). The wheel does not know how the DO will effect the pattern and cannot account for all actions of the DO. The DO is outside of the control of the pattern because the DO is not part of the pattern.

Are you arguing against the premise that the wheel weaves the pattern and the DO autonomously effects the weave of the pattern? I hope not as it is pretty apparent throughout the books that the DO is not part of the pattern which is what makes him such a danger. The wheel does not know what the DO is going to do or how his will may change events. Think of it as a game of Battleship. It's easy to control the game when your opponents hands are tied and they can't make any moves... but if you have to let them play... once they are free it gets quite a bit tougher to control the outcome of the game.

#77@Kamaul:

"How is the previous infinity less important the the future infinity? As you say, "a chance is a chance and in infinity if it can happen, it will." or in this case it has. If you were to use logic, the Dark One has already won infinite times over. There is only one possible answer to explain the fact that he hasn't: He was given the ability to win a finite number of turnings ago. That seems pretty convenient for the Dark One, although it could also mean that in another finite turnings, he will lose the chance."

Just because it could happen does not mean that it has happened. I proposed that because it could happen it will (eventually). Although "there are no beginnings or endings" that does not mean that time is non-existent. There is a flow of time it is just circular in nature rather than linear. This is not to say that things do not move forward however. Within the wheel there is a past and a future and things change which shows that there is a progression through time, I hope we can agree on this. The reason that the past infinity is less important than the future is because of progression of time within each turning of the wheel. The past has happened, the future has not.

Picture the wheel of time as a clock. The hand denotes the passing of time and where the current "now" is. As the hand moves through the seven ages numerous times things change slightly. And every time it passes the ages where the DO is released then the "chance" for him to break free is there.

"Dovie'andi se tovya sagain!"
- "It's time to roll the dice!”
― Mat Cauthon

IMO where the No beginnings or endings becomes is an understanding on the creators level where the Wheel and all of its infinite turnings are comprehended all at once and in their entirety, which is beyond the scope of any character within the wheel or in our reality. They know things that we don't as we both agree, and the infinite nature of the wheel is one of them, the comprehension of that however is beyond their understanding.

The argument may then be that all variations and all times are happening at once. My counter argument to this comes from RJ: In one of his discussions about the link between Lews Therin and Rand RJ dismisses the idea that Rand is talking to Lews Therin while Lews is still alive in the AOL. He says something like "Lews is dead and rand is alive but they share the same soul" (paraphrase). This supports the idea of progression of time, as well as, a past and future timline. I think this progression is lost on many readers who cling to the idea of a circle meaning there cannot be progress or change. Just because something is circular it does not mean that it repeats.

You base your "one possible answer" on some very faulty logic. In addition to the above, within infinity nothing is finite... that doesn't even make any sense if you actually think about it. Nothing that is possible regardless of how often it could happen would happen a certain number of times, everything that is possible would have a probability in relation to infinity. Even the thing that is the least likely to happen would happen an infinite number of times within the concept of infinity just less often than other possibilities. But again, the progression of time is the key factor. There is only one "Now".

81

DarkHound: 2011-11-21

#78@Macster

"@Darkhound: One point which I think you may be missing--you are basing a large part of your analysis entirely on your interpretation of Verin's words re: the Dark One's prison. However, the syntax of her statement is not logically sound. If the sentence is reordered, you get this: "If he is freed in one world from the prison the Creator made, he is freed on all." Or to put it another way, "If he is freed from the prison the Creator made in a/any world, he is freed on all/every world."

In other words, I don't think she is saying that his prison exists in only one world, which would therefore make that world (and its Last Battle) the most critical and decisive, but that the prison was made--outside the Pattern, which I would think would mean that even though it intersects with every world (in Randland, at Shayol Ghul) it is not truly part of or in any of them--and then if he is freed from it in any one world, he will then be freed in all. So that doesn't really support your argument."

I think I mentioned in an early comment that I was just pulling this from a recent theory, but that it wasn't integral to my argument. There may be ONE true world and ONE true prison where the DO has to be released from but it is not necessary, just an interesting play on Verin's words. Though if the ONE true world is T'A'R that would actually make a lot of sense since it is present in all worlds and possible variations (the other constant). Plus there's some evidence for things being "more real" there then they are in the "real" world. I've been thinking about developing a theory based on this premise of T'A'R being the ONE true world. A couple of the things that lead me in that direction was wolfbrothers dying a final death if they die in the wolf dream this concept is very disturbing and I think indicative of the high level of importance that T'A'R will be in the FINAL last battle. ;-)

#78@Macster:

"All of that said, I do agree though that he has a reason for being here and a larger role still to play in AMoL, and I wouldn't be surprised if that role is indeed what turns out to be the key in defeating the Dark One--evil often is hoist by its own petard. Just as long as it isn't like Gollum. :P"

Agreed, not like Gollum. I have a gut feeling that Fain's influence might have something to do with Rand's double wound. It seems apparent by the fisher piece and by prophecy that Rand's unhealing wound is likely to be what kills him. But what if Fain's evil taint creates some kind of backfire on the DO? Some kind of nullification maybe? Then the DO would kind of be the architect of his own destruction at the hands of the Dragon. Just a thought and not sure exactly how that would come about.

82

Macster: 2011-11-24

@Darkhound: Ah, thanks for explaining. I'm glad your argument wasn't predicated on it, because it's a good argument and I happen to agree with it. I just wanted to make sure you weren't basing too much on a false assumption made from a misinterpretation of a statement. And see your explanation. Which is a good one, since even if you were right about their being only one true prison and one true world, having it be T'A'R instead of Rand's world would keep Verin's statement true and explain why this Last Battle is the critical one without having to make Rand's world itself singled out or special. (Other than Fain, but he is a product of a unique action by the Dark One, not anything intrinsic to this world, I don't think.)

I also agree, all this emphasis on T'A'R has to mean something...it will likely play a role in some way. I'd forgotten about things being "more real" there. Interesting. Does that act as proof that Aviendha's vision in the Way Forward Machine is connected to T'A'R, since she thought it felt "more real" than what she saw in the rings? And for that matter what novices see in the Acceptatron and what Accepted see in the Aes Sedai final test is also described as feeling real, and they are stated as being connected to T'A'R too...

83

Datura: 2011-11-25

#81 @Darkhound: "But what if Fain's evil taint creates some kind of backfire on the DO? Some kind of nullification maybe?"

We've already seen that it does - Rand used this very thing when cleaning saidin. The evil of Shadar Logoth (which also lives in Fain) mixed with the evil of the taint (the power of DO) created an annihilation so that they were both destroyed.

Suddenly, I am pretty sure fain is going to have a really decisive role in the end. Why else would he have been carried around through the whole series? Just to be killed by some random guy? :D

84

Oden: 2011-11-25

I see more similarities between Fain and Rand than with Moridin and Rand.

Here are some:
-The DO used Fain in the beginning, hunting the 3 ta'veren. Ba'alzamon tried turning Rand to the DO's side.
-In tEotW Rand killed someone who tried using the same power (Aginor, EotW). In GH Fain killed someone who tried controlling the same force (Fade on door, Trollocs and DF)
-They have both had trollocs fighting for them and against Rand at the simultaneously, in Tear. Graendal's help in the Stone for Rand, in DR, and the assault at Lord Algarin's manor for Fain (if it indeed was Fain who stole the trollocs and launched the attack), in CoT.
-Both have a major grudge with the DO.
-Both have another man, from a great many years ago, in their mind.
-Both have gotten better at killing and have been trying again and again to destroy their enemies until they suddenly stopped and made a realisation (Rand on Dragonmount and Fain before he went to the blight)

If such similarities are just coincidences, then I have misunderstood RJ's way of writing. A character who A) has a lot in common with the main character, B) has been in the story from the beginning and C) gets POVs tp describe his feelings (and actions), needs to be more than a nuisance. He needs to have a role to play.

85

DarkHound: 2011-11-28

#82@Macster:

"(Other than Fain, but he is a product of a unique action by the Dark One, not anything intrinsic to this world, I don't think.)

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this? But this might help; I noted earlier that RJ has specifically stated that Fain is a Truly Unique element to this world, not this Age, but this specific turning of the wheel. The Fain character has never happened before and is a true "Wild Card" as RJ puts it. I think what makes him so important is the "other evil" taint which wasn't a part of the DO's plan for him but was a result of the DO's action (this is what I think is the "losing move" in the great game).

#83@Datura:

"We've already seen that it does..."

Yeah that was pretty much the reference point for the basis of the "Fain's Important" Theory. But we haven't exactly seen the HOW he will be important or at least it is not obvious how things will come about (I was just musing). But I think that the "destruction" of the DO will be directly or indirectly attributable to something that Fain has done or will do.

#84@Oden:

"I see more similarities between Fain and Rand than with Moridin and Rand."

I see where you are going with this. Interesting...

I would probably have to say that there are similarities from Rand to both of these characters but from different angles. Where Moridin becomes the more big picture antagonist parallel Fain is more the real world opposite. I guess I'm seeing it like this: Moridin is the champion of the Dark destined to battle the champion of the light (or so he styles himself) and Fain hates Rand personally for who he is to Fain but also shares the hate for the dark so follows a similar path in an opposing way... Does that make sense?

I had not noticed some of the parallels before. Thanks for the info.

86

Kamaul: 2011-11-28

#79@Oden
I disagree. I don't believe the Dark One's death will affect time the way balefire does, but then again, I could be wrong. As for the Age Lace, if he could destroy it, he would. That fact alone should be enough to disprove a final win for the Dark One.

#80@Darkhound
You don't seem to have read the Big White Book. Either way, if you can read the first chapter, do it. That should counter any arguments you gave. I know it is treated with skepticism, but most of the mistakes are about the Age of Legends. If you cannot, take my word for it that my quotes are correct.

"False. See Balefired and everything it means. The DO even states that he cannot step outside of time. Thanks for the reminder #79@Oden."

Here is one of the places you will have to believe my quotes.

The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time: The Wheel and the Pattern
"The only known forces outside the Wheel and the Pattern are the Creator, who shaped the Wheel, the One Power that drives it – as well as the plan for the Great Pattern – and the Dark One, who was imprisoned outside the pattern by the Creator at the moment of creation. No one inside and of the pattern can destroy the Wheel or change the destiny of the Great Pattern. Even those who are ta’veren can only alter, but not complete change, the weave. It is believed that if he escapes his prison, the Dark One, being a creature or force beyond creation, has the ability to remake the Wheel and all of creation in his own dark image. Thus each person, especially each of those born ta’veren, must struggle to achieve his or her own best destiny to assure the balance and continuation of the Great Pattern."

The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time: The Seven Seals
"When the bore was drilled into a place outside the Pattern, a dark presence used the opening to touch the world. This presence, which named itself Shai'tan, had been imprisoned outside of time and creation by the Creator of the universe. Since its touch was first felt, it has been called by many names: Father of Lies, Sightblinder, Lord of the Grave, Shepherd of the Night, Heartsbane, Soulsbane, Heartfang, Old Grim, Grassburner, Leafblighter, and most commonly, the Dark One. Even today, few use its true name, fearing that to do so will call the Dark One’s attention to them. Naming the Dark One is considered an evil curse."

The Creator and the Dark One are outside of time. Done. Unless of course you are questioning the reliability of the Big White Book.

"I agree partially and I know where you are getting this from as I have read the same thing. My point is that they (IMO quite obviously) know that the creator exists, that he is good, that the DO exists, that he is bad and that the creator imprisoned him and that is what RJ meant. There is a lot of philosophy however on the details (Again obviously seen in differing opinions on major questions concerning the Creator/DO). The creator does not interfere directly which means that we know nobody is a profit with the direct words of the creator to pass on (with the exception of EOTW depending on your interpretation). It's the details that I was questioning, not the basics. Do you think that the creator sent down an emissary with a book written with all the knowledge of the creator and everyone just has it there to read and knows it's true? That would be a laugh. Plus if that was true then by your opinion everyone would know that the DO could not really win."

The only people I remember giving any philosophical theory about the nature of the universe are Verin and Ishmael. Both had studied the One Power and the Dark One. I would say the details came from a combination of the two.

"I was being facetious. My point was that there was "a beginning" just not within the wheel of time (which essentially was the beginning of time as we/they know it). The whole creator outside of time thing. It's his position outside of time that shows that the wheel can be started and ended or existent and non-existent. There was a "time" before the wheels' creation that it did not exist. Therefore "existence" itself in the creators sense of existing is not dependent on the wheel and those within. Maybe "existence" is a better word than "beginning" since we seem to constantly get those confused... "

There can't be a beginning without the Wheel. The Wheel is Time. Hence, the Wheel of Time. You seem to put a form of time on the Creator that is not coinciding with the Wheel of Time.

"Not sure where I questioned the Wheels existence? (unless my above "before the creator created the wheel" counts) Could you elaborate on this? It exists because the creator created it and the Creator or the DO has not destroyed it... yet. Not sure where the confusion is here. AND the DO does not exist outside of time see *balefire* references again. Where is your support for him being outside of time? If he WAS outside of time he would know that he will never succeed... so why does he pretend he has a chance? Or even better: Why does he seem not to recognize that he knows he doesn't have a chance?"

The Dark One does exist outside of time -see above references- and my support is that the Wheel is time. Since the Dark One is outside of the Wheel, the Dark One is outside of Time. As for why he doesn't know that he can't win, even though he is outside of the Wheel, he is still bound by it. Likewise, he is outside of Time yet still bound by it. [By the way, that would fit neatly into the Pattern = Prison part.]

"1,000 Dragons is impossible, *see RJ on 1 Dragon soul*. Being facetious again. The wheel can do anything that is likely and in infinity it will, eventually. My argument was against the idea that the wheel has a conscious will like the Creator or DO and could "decide" to bring about a decisive LAST battle if it was possible and CHOOSE which side was going to win. I thought this was a ridiculous argument but it was something you supported. Can you provide evidence for that?"

DragonCon 5 September 2005

Question: "At the end of The Great Hunt when Rand and Ishamael were fighting in the air above Falme, they appeared in the sky over many places and my question is whether this is something done by the One Power or something done by the Creator, how did they appear in the sky?"

Answer: "An effect of the Wheel, really. It wasn't the Creator. The Wheel is more than a simple mechanism. Remember the Wheel can spit out ta'veren, can spit out Heroes as a self correcting device because the Pattern is drifting from what it is supposed to be. We are not talking about something as simple as a spinning wheel at all, we are talking something more along the lines of the most complex computer you could possibly imagine. There were at that time, two, there were false Dragons that had a chance to create a lot of disruption. By the appearance in the sky at that battle, not just in Falme but in other places, those false Dragons were taken off the board because there was only room now for one, for one Dragon."

Is that enough evidence for you? The Wheel is more than just a simple spinning wheel.

"I guess this is true if Brandon Sanderson is wrong about the DO having "a very real chance of winning" (paraphrase). Where BS is talking about a real chance you are talking about a possible chance or a world variation, these are two different things."

It does matter what Brandon Sanderson meant. However, I have found a loophole in his statement. Perhaps you can try and find another quote from him saying it without this loophole.

"It seems that you continually make the following error on the relation between the wheel and the DO. The wheel does not "allow" or "not allow" the DO to do anything. The wheel MUST allow for the DO's prison to be opened (or else why would the wheel put itself at risk) and the wheel weaves to try and correct this inherent flaw in its "self-preservation". The DO is outside of the control of the wheel and works against being re-imprisoned (*see DO's influence*). The wheel does not know how the DO will effect the pattern and cannot account for all actions of the DO. The DO is outside of the control of the pattern because the DO is not part of the pattern."

I'm not arguing with that. Every statement you said was true, except for the wheel allowing or not allowing the Dark One. The Wheel opens the Dark One's prison, provides the Dark One with his servants, kill his servants, and later closes the Bore. Can this not be called allowing and not allowing?

"Are you arguing against the premise that the wheel weaves the pattern and the DO autonomously effects the weave of the pattern? I hope not as it is pretty apparent throughout the books that the DO is not part of the pattern which is what makes him such a danger. The wheel does not know what the DO is going to do or how his will may change events. Think of it as a game of Battleship. It's easy to control the game when your opponents hands are tied and they can't make any moves... but if you have to let them play... once they are free it gets quite a bit tougher to control the outcome of the game."

Taking from your Battleship analogy, if the Wheel knows exactly where the Dark One would place his pieces and exactly where the Dark One will strike, which I believe is what is happening, the game is rather easy to win.

Since I'm getting tired, I'll get to the rest later.

87

Kamaul: 2011-11-29

#80@Darkhound (continued)

"Just because it could happen does not mean that it has happened. I proposed that because it could happen it will (eventually). Although 'there are no beginnings or endings' that does not mean that time is non-existent. There is a flow of time it is just circular in nature rather than linear. This is not to say that things do not move forward however. Within the wheel there is a past and a future and things change which shows that there is a progression through time, I hope we can agree on this. The reason that the past infinity is less important than the future is because of progression of time within each turning of the wheel. The past has happened, the future has not."

I don't understand what you are trying to say. Time does not change a certain probability [certain because of infinity] into a uncertain possibility [obviously not certain if it hasn't happened].

#81@Darkhound

"I think I mentioned in an early comment that I was just pulling this from a recent theory, but that it wasn't integral to my argument. There may be ONE true world and ONE true prison where the DO has to be released from but it is not necessary, just an interesting play on Verin's words. Though if the ONE true world is T'A'R that would actually make a lot of sense since it is present in all worlds and possible variations (the other constant). Plus there's some evidence for things being "more real" there then they are in the "real" world. I've been thinking about developing a theory based on this premise of T'A'R being the ONE true world. A couple of the things that lead me in that direction was wolfbrothers dying a final death if they die in the wolf dream this concept is very disturbing and I think indicative of the high level of importance that T'A'R will be in the FINAL last battle."

Thanks for giving that point away. [Though I should also thank Macster for unravelling it.] Since Fain has no equivalent [because he was a unique case by the Dark One's actions], the Dragon's equivalent in other worlds cannot win the battle, even if Randlanders were to.

"Agreed, not like Gollum. I have a gut feeling that Fain's influence might have something to do with Rand's double wound. It seems apparent by the fisher piece and by prophecy that Rand's unhealing wound is likely to be what kills him. But what if Fain's evil taint creates some kind of backfire on the DO? Some kind of nullification maybe? Then the DO would kind of be the architect of his own destruction at the hands of the Dragon. Just a thought and not sure exactly how that would come about."

As I believe I asked before, would Fain's evil be enough to create even a nullification? We both agreed that stabbing him with the dagger would not be enough to do anything.

#82@Macster

"I also agree, all this emphasis on T'A'R has to mean something...it will likely play a role in some way. I'd forgotten about things being "more real" there. Interesting. Does that act as proof that Aviendha's vision in the Way Forward Machine is connected to T'A'R, since she thought it felt "more real" than what she saw in the rings? And for that matter what novices see in the Acceptatron and what Accepted see in the Aes Sedai final test is also described as feeling real, and they are stated as being connected to T'A'R too..."

I would say that all ter'angreal and Talents that show the future connect to TAR, simply because it is the only place other than Mirror Worlds which show the future, and Mirror Worlds only show great events.

#83@Datura

"We've already seen that it does - Rand used this very thing when cleaning saidin. The evil of Shadar Logoth (which also lives in Fain) mixed with the evil of the taint (the power of DO) created an annihilation so that they were both destroyed."

Does no one else try to calculate the quantity of Mashadar to Fain and of Taint to Dark One? We know that Mashadar and Taint are about equal. [Some claim that the Taint might be more, but no longer bound to saidin.] I'll leave the ratios to you.

88

DarkHound: 2011-11-30

@Kamaul#87:

"I don't understand what you are trying to say. Time does not change a certain probability [certain because of infinity] into a uncertain possibility [obviously not certain if it hasn't happened]."

IMO if something has a probability of happening in a truly infinite number of trials then it will happen. Your argument was that it has not happened in infinity therefore it will not happen in infinity. My argument against this point is that there is a "now" and a progression of time in RJ's world of The Wheel of Time (as I offered evidence for). This progression of time and allowance for change throughout the ages defines a past and future that comes about in a circular pattern of the ages (Think of time flowing in the fashion of a Helix). My point was that the past infinity is less important than the future infinity and that your argument that "it hasn't happened therefore it won't" was moot because past events are flawed predictors of future events. I'm not sure I can explain it more simply then that.

Going further:

Since the past will not predict the future; if this is not a Decisive Last Battle and the DO still has the real chance to win then we as readers are left with the idea that the DO could still win and break the wheel at some point... this just seems like a poor ending. The argument that "because they prevented the DO from breaking free just like they always do therefore they will keep doing so ad infinitum" is a VERY weak theory... I have more respect for RJ's intelligence than that...

"Thanks for giving that point away. [Though I should also thank Macster for unravelling it.] Since Fain has no equivalent [because he was a unique case by the Dark One's actions], the Dragon's equivalent in other worlds cannot win the battle, even if Randlanders were to."

I don't recall ever saying that T'A'R had to be the ONE true world for this to be a Decisive Last Battle... I just liked the idea based on another persons theory.

I'm confused about how you came to your conclusion from the quoted text? Fain IS NOT integral to winning any other Last Battle since other Last Battles have been won (resulted in a draw) before and Fain has never before been present. Every other Dragons kept the DO imprisoned without him. That's why his presence is most peculiar... Why is he here NOW? He's unique... yet according to your opinion that this is "just another" Last Battle, he is also completely unnecessary... Something doesn't fit IMO... (Which is why I believe Fain is a KEY indicator that this is going to be a Decisive LAST Battle).

"As I believe I asked before, would Fain's evil be enough to create even a nullification? We both agreed that stabbing him with the dagger would not be enough to do anything."

Remember before Nynaeve healed Severing? She didn't know how, but felt that it was likely based on the evidence, that's my feeling on Fain. There's really no point in throwing out guesses as to how or what level of influence Fain will have over the Last Battle. IMO the evidence around Fain's existence and links to the Opposing evil of Shadar Logoth clearly point to his importance to a Decisive Last Battle. Additionally, I agreed that "stabbing the DO" with the Shadar Logoth Dagger would be "ridiculous" as I recall... not that any level of opposing evil would be insufficient. I also think a debate about how much opposing evil would be sufficient is also besides the point because if that is how the DO's demise comes about whatever is used will be enough.

"I would say that all ter'angreal and Talents that show the future connect to TAR, simply because it is the only place other than Mirror Worlds which show the future, and Mirror Worlds only show great events."

Do you think Min's talent and foretelling are connected to T'A'R? What about the Finns? They can all "see" the future... Not sure if I agree with your proposal. Besides the point that we weren't really discussing seeing the future. Any opinions on the Realness of T'A'R and its role in The Last Battle?

"Does no one else try to calculate the quantity of Mashadar to Fain and of Taint to Dark One? We know that Mashadar and Taint are about equal. [Some claim that the Taint might be more, but no longer bound to saidin.] I'll leave the ratios to you."

Really not sure what quantity has to do with anything... is the ratio even important? If so, why? Care to elaborate? (I'm just curious if this is part of a bigger argument or something)

89

DarkHound: 2011-11-30

#86@Kamaul:

To your Big White Book References:

I see your point, however it is very apparent that the DO believes he cannot step outside of time and his inability to retrieve souls that are burned back in time by Balefire is evidence of this (also if he was not bound by time even when he was touching the pattern then he could influence all of time at once and would not be limited by a "now"). I will not debate the accuracy of the big white book, but neither should you debate the accuracy of the evidence in the series.

So this leaves us in a position where we would need to define that BOTH proposals of the DO being imprisoned outside of time and being unable to step outside of time are true.

This is my take on things, which I have (in part) touched on before:

The DO was imprisoned outside of time. When his prison is weakened and he can touch the pattern he becomes bound by time and its limitations. This seems like a fair conclusion.

Since the pattern is ever progressing through time and events change the DO can remember all the other times he has touched the world (maybe) and can attempt to break free every time he is free to touch the pattern. As you can see this does not effect my argument at all and fits with both explanations so I see no reason to rehash prior points.

Do you have a counter proposal that fits as well with ALL of the texts?

"The only people I remember giving any philosophical theory about the nature of the universe are Verin and Ishmael. Both had studied the One Power and the Dark One. I would say the details came from a combination of the two."

Details came from the DO and the Creator? How so? How does everyone know them? Are they born with an inherent connection to either that we are unaware of? On the point of Ishamael, what exactly would be the point of a famous philosopher if there was nothing to question? And this before knowledge of the DO... Don't you think the Creator since he has obviously imparted this "all encompassing" knowledge on Randland might have mentioned the DO to those in the AOL? Seems like they LACKED a little key knowledge then... but I guess now they have it ALL figured out...

Additionally, Different nations and people have differing opinions on the Creators motives and actions. One simple reference is the Aiel, they believe that they had to stay in the threefold Land as a punishment for "sin". The Creator does not make them stay but they believe that they need to. This is not religion per say, but it is kind of Dogmatic.

"There can't be a beginning without the Wheel. The Wheel is Time. Hence, the Wheel of Time. You seem to put a form of time on the Creator that is not coinciding with the Wheel of Time."

There cannot be a beginning *within the Wheel* without the Wheel.

If by "form of time on the creator that is not coinciding with the Wheel of Time." you mean that I believe the creator existed BEFORE the wheel of time, then yes I do. I think there's ample evidence that the Creator actually created something...

Let's say the Creator is outside of time (true) and time does not exist before the wheel (true). Let's say the Creator is a watch maker. He creates a watch that will work forever and cannot destroy itself and will never breakdown naturally and lets call this watch The Wheel of Time. The Creator then places this watch on the wrist of an Evil being (DO) that cannot be free as long as he wears the watch (for this example I am simplifying the argument by assuming the pattern/wheel is the DO prison which we kind of agree on). The Watch however has an inherent flaw, it encompasses free will (seems like you side with determinism). With this free will the watch will always cycle to a time where it gives the Evil being a chance to take off the watch and destroy it (or create a new watch he likes better). If the Evil being gets control of the watch it CAN be destroyed. The Watch maker however stands and watches the event never interfering, though not bound by a prison or time he can destroy the watch whenever he wants if he so chose. Does that make sense? This is how I see the relationship between these major forces.

I tried to make this simpler by talking existence and non-existence. Time doesn't have to exist for something to be created... obviously. But time can also cease to exist by being destroyed. Do you agree that the Creator created the wheel of time? Do you agree that it could be destroyed? Those are beginnings and endings... to doubt those facts is just picking and choosing rather than looking at the whole picture. I can't make it simpler and I'd rather not beat a dead horse if this is too complex...

"The Dark One does exist outside of time -see above references- and my support is that the Wheel is time. Since the Dark One is outside of the Wheel, the Dark One is outside of Time. As for why he doesn't know that he can't win, even though he is outside of the Wheel, he is still bound by it. Likewise, he is outside of Time yet still bound by it. [By the way, that would fit neatly into the Pattern = Prison part.]"

See my references above to the "outside of time" argument from the Whitebook references and the Watchmaker. Could you elaborate on your reasoning as to why the DO doesn't know he can't win? You seem to say that he is outside of time yet effected by it anyways... I would agree with that if it is your point since it fits with my addition to your "outside of time" argument. I think we both agree with the pattern being a prison in some part... which is good at least. Haha.

"DragonCon 5 September 2005
"An effect of the Wheel, really. It wasn't the Creator. The Wheel is more than a simple mechanism. Remember the Wheel can spit out ta'veren, can spit out Heroes as a self correcting device because the Pattern is drifting from what it is supposed to be. We are not talking about something as simple as a spinning wheel at all, we are talking something more along the lines of the most complex computer you could possibly imagine. There were at that time, two, there were false Dragons that had a chance to create a lot of disruption. By the appearance in the sky at that battle, not just in Falme but in other places, those false Dragons were taken off the board because there was only room now for one, for one Dragon."

Is that enough evidence for you? The Wheel is more than just a simple spinning wheel."

Wow, definitely not enough "evidence" for me. Some of your responses are really confusing in that I think you are looking for your answer rather than looking at what is actually there... How does this argue for the wheel having conscious choice or knowing what the DO's plans are? It seems more like calculated reaction to me... and RJ compared it to a complex computer... a computer with a vary complex Anti-Virus software most likely (heroes and such). I never said the wheel was simple... in fact quite the opposite, I said that the wheel would make anything that could possibly happen come about eventually... unless your point was that RJ thinks that computers make real free will choices (not supported in the quote) then I don't see the point of your counter argument here...?

"It does matter what Brandon Sanderson meant. However, I have found a loophole in his statement. Perhaps you can try and find another quote from him saying it without this loophole."

Can I get a clear encompassing argument for your "Loophole"? Please be clear on your points. And If possible I will develop a counter argument. Please keep in mind the progression of time as I feel that your "it hasn't happened therefore it won't happen" counter argument has been thoroughly debunked.

"I'm not arguing with that. Every statement you said was true, except for the wheel allowing or not allowing the Dark One. The Wheel opens the Dark One's prison, provides the Dark One with his servants, kill his servants, and later closes the Bore. Can this not be called allowing and not allowing?"

I see where you are coming from but it seems that you are still ignoring the DO influence, which is REAL and the free will of weaves aka people. If the pattern was always in control of everything than BS saying that the DO has a REAL chance of winning would be a lie. The pattern weaves threads out in a certain way and when the DO touches the world they become altered. It is this Free Will that frees the DO in the first place and puts the Wheel in a position to defend itself. These people are never "meant" to serve the shadow and RJ is pretty clear that people have free will, and even the ones that the DO influences still have free will (ie returning to the light). The pattern weaves out people that have certain attributes, but they choose what to do in the world. The pattern is very complex and can send out altering weaves as well, like ta'veren and visions in the sky.

"Taking from your Battleship analogy, if the Wheel knows exactly where the Dark One would place his pieces and exactly where the Dark One will strike, which I believe is what is happening, the game is rather easy to win."

Hmmm... last time I played Battleship (albeit a long time ago) there was a wall in the middle so you couldn't see how the other sides pieces were arranged... maybe you have a different version than I do? Do you have any support for the "Wheel knows all theory" because there is an overpowering amount of evidence from the texts that the DO has influence over the pattern and that people can effect the course of events with free will... I also think you are arguing for Determinism which would directly conflict with my Free Will argument... Is it determinism that you are arguing for? It seems like the underlying basis for your opinion on this argument.

90

DarkHound: 2011-12-01

@Kamaul:

On probability, here is evidence for the probability of an improbable event happening over an infinite number of trials.

"The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely (in probability this is the same as saying surely) type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

Direct proof:

There is a straightforward proof of this theorem. If two events are *statistically independent*, then the probability of both happening equals the product of the probabilities of each one happening independently. For example, if the chance of rain in Montreal on a particular day is 0.3 and the chance of an earthquake in San Francisco on that day is 0.008, then the chance of both happening on that same day is 0.3 × 0.008 = 0.0024.

Suppose the typewriter has 50 keys, and the word to be typed is banana. If we assume that the keys are pressed randomly (i.e., with equal probability) and independently, then the chance that the first letter typed is 'b' is 1/50, and the chance that the second letter typed is a is also 1/50, and so on, because events are independent. Therefore, the chance of the first six letters matching banana is

(1/50) × (1/50) × (1/50) × (1/50) × (1/50) × (1/50) = (1/50)6 = 1/15 625 000 000 ,

less than one in 15 billion. For the same reason, the chance that the next 6 letters match banana is also (1/50)6, and so on.

From the above, the chance of not typing banana in a given block of 6 letters is 1 − (1/50)6. Because each block is typed independently, the chance Xn of not typing banana in any of the first n blocks of 6 letters is

X_n=(1-{1}/{50^6})^n.

As n grows, Xn gets smaller. For an n of a million, Xn is roughly 0.9999, but for an n of 10 billion Xn is roughly 0.53 and for an n of 100 billion it is roughly 0.0017. As n approaches infinity, the probability Xn approaches zero; that is, by making n large enough, Xn can be made as small as is desired,[1][note 1] and the chance of typing banana approaches 100%."

This shows that however improbable an event is that it will happen given an infinite number of trials. Obviously the scenario surrounding this is far more complex with far greater variables, but in infinity the result is the same.

Furthermore, if the DO's winning was finite then it would happen a finite number of times, lets say once. But that's all that is needed. If his winning was proportional and infinite than in infinity it would happen an infinite number of times, but it only needs to happen once. If he only has one chance than I believe that THIS turning is it and hence different from the rest and there will be a definitive difference compared to other turnings of the wheel and that will be apparent to the readers. Which makes this THE Last Battle regardless of if there are future "last battles" or not because the wheel is infinite and this would be the only one that was truly meaningful. How things progress from here is moot, whether it is the same or different. There has to be a definitive Last Battle and it would be pointless for us to read about any Last Battle other than the definitive one since THE Last Battle is a finite figure while the rest (the draws) are infinite.

There are some differing points however in our "real world" DO winning scenario. One is that events may not be "statistically independent". If the DO remembers what he has done in the past then his winning likely becomes less improbable. But it also becomes more improbable considering that there is only one DO. But it will still happen.

This can be nullified however by an equally improbable event. Let's say that the DO and the light have an equal chance of winning a Decisive Last Battle. However, if one happens than the other cannot because they are in direct opposition of one another.

P = probability.
A = Light side victory.
B = DO victory.
P of A > 0 therefore, A.
P of B > 0 therefore, B.

If A than not B, If B than not A, therefore A or B.

I'm a little rusty on my Logical equations but this is at least close and shows my point. I had also originally theorized that the conditions for A or B were likely very similar which serves for a more interesting story since we "wouldn't be sure" who would win until the end.

If you are still going to debate this point please provide EMPIRICAL evidence to the contrary.

91

Kamaul: 2011-12-04

#88@Darkhound

"IMO if something has a probability of happening in a truly infinite number of trials then it will happen. Your argument was that it has not happened in infinity therefore it will not happen in infinity. My argument against this point is that there is a "now" and a progression of time in RJ's world of The Wheel of Time (as I offered evidence for). This progression of time and allowance for change throughout the ages defines a past and future that comes about in a circular pattern of the ages (Think of time flowing in the fashion of a Helix). My point was that the past infinity is less important than the future infinity and that your argument that "it hasn't happened therefore it won't" was moot because past events are flawed predictors of future events. I'm not sure I can explain it more simply then that."

Actually, in that statement I was not talking about the future infinity at all. I was specifically addressing the chance of the Dark One's win.

"I'm confused about how you came to your conclusion from the quoted text? Fain IS NOT integral to winning any other Last Battle since other Last Battles have been won (resulted in a draw) before and Fain has never before been present. Every other Dragons kept the DO imprisoned without him. That's why his presence is most peculiar... Why is he here NOW? He's unique... yet according to your opinion that this is "just another" Last Battle, he is also completely unnecessary... Something doesn't fit IMO... (Which is why I believe Fain is a KEY indicator that this is going to be a Decisive LAST Battle)."

I was not talking about previous turnings, I was talking about other worlds. You do agree that the battle is being fought in all worlds at the same time, right? (Unless you've gone back to your "Randland is the one true prison.") And you do agree that there is no equivalent of Fain in any other world, right? So how do you believe the battle can be won (not a draw) in other worlds (not Randland) without a Fain?

"Do you think Min's talent and foretelling are connected to T'A'R? What about the Finns? They can all "see" the future... Not sure if I agree with your proposal. Besides the point that we weren't really discussing seeing the future. Any opinions on the Realness of T'A'R and its role in The Last Battle?"

I don't remember it ever being said that Tel'aran'rhiod was more real than reality. All I remember about it is that actions done in Tel'aran'rhiod carry over to the real world. Care to elaborate on where you heard this? My opinion on its role in the Last Battle is simple: it will have none; reasons to support this is that nothing done in there ever affects the real world and that the Blasted Lands have no reflection in there.

#89@Darkhound

"I see your point, however it is very apparent that the DO believes he cannot step outside of time and his inability to retrieve souls that are burned back in time by Balefire is evidence of this (also if he was not bound by time even when he was touching the pattern then he could influence all of time at once and would not be limited by a "now"). I will not debate the accuracy of the big white book, but neither should you debate the accuracy of the evidence in the series.

So this leaves us in a position where we would need to define that BOTH proposals of the DO being imprisoned outside of time and being unable to step outside of time are true.

This is my take on things, which I have (in part) touched on before:

The DO was imprisoned outside of time. When his prison is weakened and he can touch the pattern he becomes bound by time and its limitations. This seems like a fair conclusion.

Since the pattern is ever progressing through time and events change the DO can remember all the other times he has touched the world (maybe) and can attempt to break free every time he is free to touch the pattern. As you can see this does not effect my argument at all and fits with both explanations so I see no reason to rehash prior points.

Do you have a counter proposal that fits as well with ALL of the texts?"

I have three counter proposals, none of which I came up with:
=One of them states that the reason the Dark One cannot resurrect balefired Chosen has nothing to do with time, but rather that balefire burns the Black Cord, which breaks the connection and makes the Dark One unable to pull them back into the Pattern.
=Another states that the reason is that the Dark One, although he is outside of time, must work through time to resurrect those who are not outside time.
=The last states that because the Pattern is his prison, the Dark One is bound by time, yet still outside. This one is my favorite.

"Details came from the DO and the Creator? How so? How does everyone know them? Are they born with an inherent connection to either that we are unaware of? On the point of Ishamael, what exactly would be the point of a famous philosopher if there was nothing to question? And this before knowledge of the DO... Don't you think the Creator since he has obviously imparted this "all encompassing" knowledge on Randland might have mentioned the DO to those in the AOL? Seems like they LACKED a little key knowledge then... but I guess now they have it ALL figured out..."

Not everyone knows the details. Ishmael was able to figure it all out, but he was the only one. And, it just so happens that he had 3000 years to study the Dark One and about 300 years to study the One Power and an unknown amount to study Tel'aran'rhiod and vacuoles, and about 50 years to study ta'veren. Verin was also able to figure a few things out, such as the nature of Portal Stones and Mirror Worlds. One of the people who did not know the details is Rand himself in Eye of the World. Loial had to explain how the Pattern is woven. Another person is Tuon. She does not believe in ta'veren, even after Thom's explanation. Not everyone knows the details.

"I tried to make this simpler by talking existence and non-existence. Time doesn't have to exist for something to be created... obviously. But time can also cease to exist by being destroyed. Do you agree that the Creator created the wheel of time? Do you agree that it could be destroyed? Those are beginnings and endings... to doubt those facts is just picking and choosing rather than looking at the whole picture. I can't make it simpler and I'd rather not beat a dead horse if this is too complex..."

I understand. Now since both of us agree that there can't be a beginning or an end within the wheel, without the wheel; how can the wheel be broken at a specific time (The turning where the Dark One breaks free)?

"See my references above to the "outside of time" argument from the Whitebook references and the Watchmaker. Could you elaborate on your reasoning as to why the DO doesn't know he can't win? You seem to say that he is outside of time yet effected by it anyways... I would agree with that if it is your point since it fits with my addition to your "outside of time" argument. I think we both agree with the pattern being a prison in some part... which is good at least. Haha."

Three possible reasons the Dark One still fights: he doesn't know, he doesn't care, or he is unable to stop.

"Wow, definitely not enough "evidence" for me. Some of your responses are really confusing in that I think you are looking for your answer rather than looking at what is actually there..."

Does it matter what I look for? I still get the same result.

"I see where you are coming from but it seems that you are still ignoring the DO influence, which is REAL and the free will of weaves aka people. If the pattern was always in control of everything than BS saying that the DO has a REAL chance of winning would be a lie. The pattern weaves threads out in a certain way and when the DO touches the world they become altered. It is this Free Will that frees the DO in the first place and puts the Wheel in a position to defend itself. These people are never "meant" to serve the shadow and RJ is pretty clear that people have free will, and even the ones that the DO influences still have free will (ie returning to the light). The pattern weaves out people that have certain attributes, but they choose what to do in the world. The pattern is very complex and can send out altering weaves as well, like ta'veren and visions in the sky."

Where is your evidence that free will exists? I don't care whether you pull it from the Wheel of Time world or the real world.

"Hmmm... last time I played Battleship (albeit a long time ago) there was a wall in the middle so you couldn't see how the other sides pieces were arranged... maybe you have a different version than I do? Do you have any support for the "Wheel knows all theory" because there is an overpowering amount of evidence from the texts that the DO has influence over the pattern and that people can effect the course of events with free will... I also think you are arguing for Determinism which would directly conflict with my Free Will argument... Is it determinism that you are arguing for? It seems like the underlying basis for your opinion on this argument.

Yes, it is determinism I am arguing for. If you know the mind of your opponent (easy to learn if you have him trapped with you), you can easily figure out where your opponent has put his pieces. You don't have to see them to know where they are.

#90@Darkhound

"On probability, here is evidence for the probability of an improbable event happening over an infinite number of trials."

I never denied that theorem (isn't it actually a postulate?); I know even the most improbable events will happen in infinity. It is you who are speculating that it is possible.

92

Macster: 2011-12-06

@85 Darkhound: I was referring to the fact that Fain being what he is is not due to some special trait this particular Randland has (thus making it not a special world) and instead being due to a special set of circumstances woven by the Wheel (making Fain go into Shadar Logoth and get eaten by Mordeth) + a special set of circumstances created by the Dark One (his imprinting his essence onto Fain as his hound). In other words, Fain's thread had to exist in previous turnings of the Wheel, every thread does; it's just that it never became imprinted by the Dark One and/or joined with Mordeth's before. That is what Jordan meant by him being a wild card who was unique to this turning, I think. Not that his existence and what he has become is something intrinsic to this particular Randland, but that he came about due to a unique set of circumstances that had never happened before. That being, the Dark One imprinting him, since if he had not done so Fain could not have been driven into Shadar Logoth for his meeting with Mordeth and the "other evils" he had discovered in his quest to bring down the Dark One by any means.

Why the Dark One chose to do this and never had before, I can't begin to guess (and it seems clear that if Fain will be key to defeating him for good, then this decision of the Dark One's was the wrong one for his victory), but it's this that will make this particular Last Battle different and means the Dark One can be destroyed or otherwise made irrelevant to the Pattern, not anything special about this particular world or turning; it just happened to be the one within which the Dark One made his decision to imprint a hound for finding the Dragon's soul.

@86 Kamaul: Darkhound already addressed this, but you seem to be misunderstanding what Jordan has said. He has said the only constants are the Dark One, the Creator, and TAR. Not the Wheel of Time. The Creator created it, implying there was a time in which it did not exist. This is the same belief held by Christian Creationists, that God pre-exists creation because He was the one who created it. Nothing in the series or the Guide states that the Wheel and the Creator came into being at the same time as each other--if they had, how would he be its creator? When Jordan speaks of there being no beginnings and endings in the Wheel of Time, he is referring to it being circular time, the same Ages coming back again and again, rotating endlessly but with variations. Time still passes within the Wheel (there is day and night, past and future), and time passes for both the Creator and the Dark One--there was a time before the Wheel was made, and a time when the Dark One was free, but at the moment of creation of the former, the latter was imprisoned by the Creator within the Pattern the Wheel wove. But inside the Wheel, because it is a circle always turning, there are no beginnings or endings since an Age will just come back again, threads will be reborn, events like the Dark One almost being freed and then sealed up again will recur, and so on.

I also think Darkhound is right. It doesn't make sense for the Dark One to be outside of Time, yet also unable to step outside Time to grab a soul of one killed by balefire. Not unless it is the Pattern, as his prison, that prevents him from doing so--as long as he is still held by it, he can't go outside the Pattern, and it is outside it where a balefired soul goes until it is rewoven by the Pattern.

He also has a good point about how do people know about the Creator and the Dark One if there are no prophets or religious books. After the Bore, of course Ishamael knew the truth and could make sure it was disseminated, but before it no one knew of the Dark One or had access to him, so how could Elan Morin (or anyone) know of the Creator either? It seems to me that Jordan goofed, and either the Creator did send down knowledge of his existence in the form of some text (now long lost during the Breaking), with everyone who knows of him now having gotten their info from people who had read the book in the Age of Legends or before, or the Creator did make himself known in some way to people, albeit perhaps not through actual prophets. Without touching too much on real-world religion and how people know of God, I will just say that, since we are operating under the assumption the Creator is actually real and not just something believed in but never proven, he must have done something to reveal his existence at some point, and this is how people in the Age of Legends (or in our world, interpreting stories of him through the lens of the Bible and other religious texts) knew of him. As to why he didn't tell anyone of the Dark One, well aside from trying to protect them from his evil for as long as possible (he likely knew people would be tempted or curious and eventually try to free him), because they had to learn of him and face him on their own.

He's also right about free will vs. determinism, and about something about this turning having to be special. What Jordan said, there is nothing different or special about this turning, can only be true if the Dark One is defeated at every Last Battle, because whatever is sacrificed and whatever fallout there is, I find it very hard to believe the series could have a "Dark One wins" ending. If it doesn't, then that means he's never won...but if that's the case, why bother showing us this particular Last Battle, or any at all? There must be something worthwhile and special about it, and it has to do with free will. The Pattern may weave the threads, but they do have some latitude in how they direct their lives, especially with the Dark One's influence mucking about with the Pattern. If this were not the case there would be no need for ta'veren to steer things back on course, because it would never go off-course. However, the Dark One's influence can also be his own undoing. Not only can he personally make choices which do change the Pattern (because he is outside it) like what he did to Fain, but because his influence messes up the Pattern, threads within it can make different choices than the Wheel originally called for. And while some of these choices are bad (joining the Dark One) others are good. And if enough of these good choices are made, not only can the Pattern get back on the right course, the Dark One can be defeated or even destroyed. The Pattern forces threads into place, but it is still their will to choose that determines if things are repaired or not.

@87 Kamaul: Darkhound has made a good point about the examples of reading the future which are not connected to TAR, but setting that aside for the moment, if all readings of the future were connected to TAR, this only emphasizes even more how important TAR is to the Last Battle: because it is the source of future knowledge, knowledge which we know can and will come true if the right (wrong) choices are made, if not in the way we think or expect. And it is because TAR is "more real" that these divinations are so likely to come true.

The Finn tell the future by reading the thread of a life; Foretellings for the most part seem to be about events, not people (save for the Foretelling of the Rebirth, which is an exception because as the Champion of the Light and the strongest ta'veren ever Rand's birth affects all other events after it and so he counts as an event himself). This also suggests a reading of threads, in this case the Pattern itself. Min's visions, we don't know how they work, but it does seem to be related to reading threads as well--she sees more of them around people who channel, channeling draws on the One Power that is created by the turning of the Wheel, and it's the Wheel which also weaves the Pattern in the process, so she must in some way be reading where the Wheel is weaving the threads to go. All threads are woven by the Wheel, but ones which can draw on the power it creates have a stronger resonance with whatever it is weaving. Or something like that.

So all of this thread-reading is different than Dreaming, dreamwalking, the visions in the Acceptatron and rings, and wolfbrother dreams because those all draw on TAR instead. But what confuses me is why we are told that Foretellings and Min's visions always come true, and the Finn's answers are always right, when things like Perrin's visions also always come true, as do visions in the rings, and things in the Acceptatron feel "more real" and also sometimes come true. I would guess the reason these visions feel "more real" is meant to clue us in to them being connected to TAR, but this does not mean they have to come true (note we are told Egwene's Dreams are possibilities, not inevitabilities like Foretellings and Min's visions). The ones that have to come true come from thread-reading. TAR is outside the Pattern, outside the threads, so that is why divinations related to it don't always come true, but sometimes do--TAR is outside the Pattern, but like the Dark One and the Creator it still has connections to things within the Pattern, as it is where the threads of the Heroes of the Horn wait to be reborn.

Which makes me wonder, since this is where those threads wait to be reborn, is this where balefired souls go? Is that why the Dark One can't bring them back, because TAR is outside the Pattern while he is trapped within it as his prison? Or do only Heroes go there, and other threads go elsewhere to await rebirth--if so, what makes the Heroes' threads special, and why TAR? Is TAR connected to the Horn? Is that why the Heroes when called cannot be harmed by the Power (it's something of the Pattern/Wheel, but they being from TAR are outside the Pattern), but can be harmed within TAR by TAR effects (like what Moghedien did to Birgitte)? Which suggests for the Dark One to win the Last Battle must have some part of it take place in TAR, in order to avoid his forces having to face the Power-immune Heroes...

Anyway, long story short, I think Darkhound is right, and his most recent discussion of probability clinches it for me. It IS possible for the Dark One to win, but he won't this time because there is something special or different. Jordan saying there wasn't anything different was...I don't want to call it a lie, so I'll say it's an Aes Sedai truth. There's something he wasn't telling us, which I think is the fact that while this Age and turning are not special compared to any previous one in most respects, Fain is the difference that does make it unique. There may be others as well (such as Rand's point about his being raised in the Two Rivers this time around making him better than Lews Therin was), and it is the small accumulation of these details, and choices made because of them, which will make this battle special, definitive, and worth reading about. I mean, if Jordan outright says Fain is a wild card and unique to this Age and turning, that right there proves something about this Age is different already. Even if this counts as just a "variation", something makes this variation worth reading about compared to others. And that something, I think, is related to a definitive defeat or destruction of the Dark One--or something which is different from previous Last Battles, anyway.

93

Kamaul: 2011-12-12

#92@Macster

"@86 Kamaul: Darkhound already addressed this, but you seem to be misunderstanding what Jordan has said. He has said the only constants are the Dark One, the Creator, and TAR. Not the Wheel of Time. The Creator created it, implying there was a time in which it did not exist. This is the same belief held by Christian Creationists, that God pre-exists creation because He was the one who created it. Nothing in the series or the Guide states that the Wheel and the Creator came into being at the same time as each other--if they had, how would he be its creator? When Jordan speaks of there being no beginnings and endings in the Wheel of Time, he is referring to it being circular time, the same Ages coming back again and again, rotating endlessly but with variations. Time still passes within the Wheel (there is day and night, past and future), and time passes for both the Creator and the Dark One--there was a time before the Wheel was made, and a time when the Dark One was free, but at the moment of creation of the former, the latter was imprisoned by the Creator within the Pattern the Wheel wove. But inside the Wheel, because it is a circle always turning, there are no beginnings or endings since an Age will just come back again, threads will be reborn, events like the Dark One almost being freed and then sealed up again will recur, and so on."

I don't understand what you are saying. I never said that I don't believe the Creator created the Wheel of Time. I stated that the Wheel is eternal, which means has existed infinitely back into the past and will exist infinitely into the future. Can we agree on that?

"I also think Darkhound is right. It doesn't make sense for the Dark One to be outside of Time, yet also unable to step outside Time to grab a soul of one killed by balefire. Not unless it is the Pattern, as his prison, that prevents him from doing so--as long as he is still held by it, he can't go outside the Pattern, and it is outside it where a balefired soul goes until it is rewoven by the Pattern."

I never said the Pattern wasn't his prison. I actually believe it is.

"He also has a good point about how do people know about the Creator and the Dark One if there are no prophets or religious books. After the Bore, of course Ishamael knew the truth and could make sure it was disseminated, but before it no one knew of the Dark One or had access to him, so how could Elan Morin (or anyone) know of the Creator either? It seems to me that Jordan goofed, and either the Creator did send down knowledge of his existence in the form of some text (now long lost during the Breaking), with everyone who knows of him now having gotten their info from people who had read the book in the Age of Legends or before, or the Creator did make himself known in some way to people, albeit perhaps not through actual prophets. Without touching too much on real-world religion and how people know of God, I will just say that, since we are operating under the assumption the Creator is actually real and not just something believed in but never proven, he must have done something to reveal his existence at some point, and this is how people in the Age of Legends (or in our world, interpreting stories of him through the lens of the Bible and other religious texts) knew of him. As to why he didn't tell anyone of the Dark One, well aside from trying to protect them from his evil for as long as possible (he likely knew people would be tempted or curious and eventually try to free him), because they had to learn of him and face him on their own."

Or simply finding the True Source, the force that drives the universe, allowed people to figure out how the universe works.

"He's also right about free will vs. determinism, and about something about this turning having to be special. What Jordan said, there is nothing different or special about this turning, can only be true if the Dark One is defeated at every Last Battle, because whatever is sacrificed and whatever fallout there is, I find it very hard to believe the series could have a "Dark One wins" ending. If it doesn't, then that means he's never won...but if that's the case, why bother showing us this particular Last Battle, or any at all? There must be something worthwhile and special about it, and it has to do with free will. The Pattern may weave the threads, but they do have some latitude in how they direct their lives, especially with the Dark One's influence mucking about with the Pattern. If this were not the case there would be no need for ta'veren to steer things back on course, because it would never go off-course. However, the Dark One's influence can also be his own undoing. Not only can he personally make choices which do change the Pattern (because he is outside it) like what he did to Fain, but because his influence messes up the Pattern, threads within it can make different choices than the Wheel originally called for. And while some of these choices are bad (joining the Dark One) others are good. And if enough of these good choices are made, not only can the Pattern get back on the right course, the Dark One can be defeated or even destroyed. The Pattern forces threads into place, but it is still their will to choose that determines if things are repaired or not."

Why does everyone want to believe in something different this time? Moridin's statement in The Gathering Storm should have killed that theory.

"So all of this thread-reading is different than Dreaming, dreamwalking, the visions in the Acceptatron and rings, and wolfbrother dreams because those all draw on TAR instead. But what confuses me is why we are told that Foretellings and Min's visions always come true, and the Finn's answers are always right, when things like Perrin's visions also always come true, as do visions in the rings, and things in the Acceptatron feel "more real" and also sometimes come true. I would guess the reason these visions feel "more real" is meant to clue us in to them being connected to TAR, but this does not mean they have to come true (note we are told Egwene's Dreams are possibilities, not inevitabilities like Foretellings and Min's visions). The ones that have to come true come from thread-reading. TAR is outside the Pattern, outside the threads, so that is why divinations related to it don't always come true, but sometimes do--TAR is outside the Pattern, but like the Dark One and the Creator it still has connections to things within the Pattern, as it is where the threads of the Heroes of the Horn wait to be reborn."

"Min's visions, we don't know how they work, but it does seem to be related to reading threads as well--she sees more of them around people who channel, channeling draws on the One Power that is created by the turning of the Wheel, and it's the Wheel which also weaves the Pattern in the process, so she must in some way be reading where the Wheel is weaving the threads to go. All threads are woven by the Wheel, but ones which can draw on the power it creates have a stronger resonance with whatever it is weaving. Or something like that."

I always thought that the reason Aes Sedai almost always have images around them was because they do so much with their lives, and so have a greater impact on the Pattern. Her always seeing them around Warders as well and Ogier almost never having them support this.

"TAR is outside the Pattern, outside the threads, so that is why divinations related to it don't always come true, but sometimes do--TAR is outside the Pattern, but like the Dark One and the Creator it still has connections to things within the Pattern, as it is where the threads of the Heroes of the Horn wait to be reborn."

Where did you get "TAR is outside the Pattern," from? I have seen no evidence of that. The Pattern almost clearly controls the happenings there.

"Anyway, long story short, I think Darkhound is right, and his most recent discussion of probability clinches it for me. It IS possible for the Dark One to win, but he won't this time because there is something special or different. Jordan saying there wasn't anything different was...I don't want to call it a lie, so I'll say it's an Aes Sedai truth. There's something he wasn't telling us, which I think is the fact that while this Age and turning are not special compared to any previous one in most respects, Fain is the difference that does make it unique. There may be others as well (such as Rand's point about his being raised in the Two Rivers this time around making him better than Lews Therin was), and it is the small accumulation of these details, and choices made because of them, which will make this battle special, definitive, and worth reading about. I mean, if Jordan outright says Fain is a wild card and unique to this Age and turning, that right there proves something about this Age is different already. Even if this counts as just a "variation", something makes this variation worth reading about compared to others. And that something, I think, is related to a definitive defeat or destruction of the Dark One--or something which is different from previous Last Battles, anyway."

Didn't Jordan say several times that you could decipher what would happen in the end from only the books? He outright states that Fain is unique to this Age in interviews, but not in the series.

94

DarkHound: 2011-12-19

#91@Kamaul:

"Actually, in that statement I was not talking about the future infinity at all. I was specifically addressing the chance of the Dark One's win."

The chance of the DO winning and the fact that there is an infinite time to do so are directly correlated to one another. If you’re talking about the DO’s chance to win infinity must be addressed.

"I was not talking about previous turnings, I was talking about other worlds. You do agree that the battle is being fought in all worlds at the same time, right? (Unless you've gone back to your "Randland is the one true prison.") And you do agree that there is no equivalent of Fain in any other world, right? So how do you believe the battle can be won (not a draw) in other worlds (not Randland) without a Fain?"

As far as other worlds go you’re talking mirrors not parallels, right? I agree that it is going on for mirrors, but not necessarily for parallels (besides indirectly). But that is beside the point... I’m not saying that a decisive battle cannot be won without Fain, I’m saying that IMO Fain looks like he will be the factor to tip the scales because of his uniqueness (maybe I dropped the ball on this and it is something else). A "tipping factor" Fain or otherwise must be present to win a decisive battle, but just like the DO only needing to win in ONE world to win in them all I believe the same is true for the light. Fain is not present anywhere else (True uniqueness) and he doesn’t need to be (win in one win in all).

"I don't remember it ever being said that Tel'aran'rhiod was more real than reality. All I remember about it is that actions done in Tel'aran'rhiod carry over to the real world. Care to elaborate on where you heard this? My opinion on its role in the Last Battle is simple: it will have none; reasons to support this is that nothing done in there ever affects the real world and that the Blasted Lands have no reflection in there."

It wasn’t said... I was saying it was possible. Your opinion is fair, though I disagree. I was mostly musing on the idea of "final deaths" for wolves, T’A’R’ being one of the major constants, the obvious importance placed on T’A’R throughout the entirety of the books. I think that the claim that it will have no effect whatsoever on the Last Battle is rather Bold considering its prominence, though I understand your reasoning. But whether it plays a major factor in being a decisive last battle or not as I have claimed remains to be seen.

"=One of them states that the reason the Dark One cannot resurrect balefired Chosen has nothing to do with time, but rather that balefire burns the Black Cord, which breaks the connection and makes the Dark One unable to pull them back into the Pattern.

=Another states that the reason is that the Dark One, although he is outside of time, must work through time to resurrect those who are not outside time.

=The last states that because the Pattern is his prison, the Dark One is bound by time, yet still outside. This one is my favorite."

To 1: This is unlikely since the DO is said to be able to resurrect anyone from death, not just those connected to the dark. And I am fairly certain that RJ said the black cords were not a connection to the DO, more likely a connection to the TP.

To 2: This one concerns being bound by time in some way as I supposed as an earlier (rather disappointing) theory to prove your point, though again you ignore why the DO would try if he still knew he couldn’t win. Which leads me to believe that this theory is the same as the one I proposed about him entering time to forget that he couldn’t win... You would have to agree that this would be disappointing. I have more respect for RJ’s intelligence than that...

To 3: I see why this is your favorite. There is not a defendable standpoint because it is a paradox. Much like a Christian would say that God can create a boulder that he can’t lift and still lift it. Having your cake and eating it too without justifiable reason. If you can elaborate on how this would actually work and take a position to defend based on evidence then I will debate you... but if you’re taking the religious standpoint that it’s that way just because it is then I won’t waste my time.

If you are going to debate the point provide evidence besides just stating your opinion (sorry if that was not clear before).

"Not everyone knows the details. Ishmael was able to figure it all out, but he was the only one. And, it just so happens that he had 3000 years to study the Dark One and about 300 years to study the One Power and an unknown amount to study Tel'aran'rhiod and vacuoles, and about 50 years to study ta'veren. Verin was also able to figure a few things out, such as the nature of Portal Stones and Mirror Worlds. One of the people who did not know the details is Rand himself in Eye of the World. Loial had to explain how the Pattern is woven. Another person is Tuon. She does not believe in ta'veren, even after Thom's explanation. Not everyone knows the details."

You had claimed that all the characters had the same knowledge about the Creator and the DO. I’m glad you’re recanting on that. I agree that Ishamael especially has about as much info and insight as anyone could. And he knows that the DO has a chance to win... I just think that he overlooked the chance for the light to win. Balance. Or maybe he thinks the light has a chance but thinks the DO was the better bet... of course he wouldn’t tell anyone else that... but that is just speculation.

"I understand. Now since both of us agree that there can't be a beginning or an end within the wheel, without the wheel; how can the wheel be broken at a specific time (The turning where the Dark One breaks free)?"

I think where our problem lies is with the progression of time. There is a "Now". I have related to this before in RJ saying that Lews Therin and Rand do not share a connection across time, Lews is dead, rand is Alive, they share one soul with two personalities. This is one thing that shows there is a now. Since there is a now we can conclude that everything in all possible times is not happening simultaneously and that there is an infinite progression within the wheel of time. Macster made an interesting point earlier; it is like balefire. Something exists until it is touched by balefire then it ceases to exist (backwards in time even) but the memories prevail. The wheel exists as an infinite entity until it is destroyed. The DO upon winning would likely have the power to undo all of time; past, present and future. If he undid the past then only memories would remain for those left alive.

If the DO breaks free he can either destroy the wheel (and time) thus creating an end to the wheel, or re-shape it to his liking, thus time continues but under the DO’s control. This matches up pretty well with what everyone in the series believes to be possible if the DO wins. My understanding is that the Wheel is an infinite mechanism with an internal flaw; that it continually must allow for an evil outside presence to plot its destruction. It is built to go on forever but if a malevolent autonomous force outside of the wheels direct control destroys it than it can’t keep going.

"Three possible reasons the Dark One still fights: he doesn't know, he doesn't care, or he is unable to stop."

Any evidence for this or just speculation? I don’t think that anything in the series supports this. Feel free to prove me wrong. But still, IMO if it was the case the series is kind of pointless. And again it dismisses the "Real Chance to win" that BS stated... he has more information than us and I am inclined to follow his lead on this one.

"Does it matter what I look for? I still get the same result."

It does matter, if you ignore the possibility of other evidence and shy away from it.

If you were a mechanic and someone’s car wasn’t running and all you did was check to see if it had gas in the tank that wouldn’t be a proper evaluation of the situation... or do you disagree?

Tell the customer "but there’s" gas in the tank. Customer will say "but it still doesn’t run". Then you just go and check the tank again... gas still in the tank. I can’t agree with this form of reasoning... take a look under the hood.

"Where is your evidence that free will exists? I don't care whether you pull it from the Wheel of Time world or the real world."

If I had definitive proof of Free Will then I probably wouldn’t be wasting my time here. I won’t claim to be able to prove something that no one has definitive proof of... and I think it’s rather ridiculous that you would think that I needed to. Should you have to prove relativism and determinism before I listen to you? Take a shot at it. My basis for believing there is free will in the series is that people can make choices. One example is in the shadow rising where Moraine could have come to the waste or could of not... and lan could of come or not... and if they hadn’t both of come disaster would have ensued. The presence of Ta’veren is a signal of free will. If the wheel weaved in a deterministic fashion then why would there be need for corrective measures? If the DO didn’t have influence outside of the will of the pattern why the need for ta’veren? Let me know if that isn’t clear enough. If you disagree I would appreciate evidence to the contrary.

"Yes, it is determinism I am arguing for. If you know the mind of your opponent (easy to learn if you have him trapped with you), you can easily figure out where your opponent has put his pieces. You don't have to see them to know where they are."

Ok. Now that we’re clear... I won’t ask you to prove determinism. Feel free to do so if you can (in our world or the books). But do you care to offer evidence for this claim outside of stating that it’s your opinion and if it’s true it proves that you are right... which in itself is no proof at all.

95

DarkHound: 2011-12-19

#91@Kamaul:
"I never denied that theorem (isn't it actually a postulate?); I know even the most improbable events will happen in infinity. It is you who are speculating that it is possible."

Dang. I was trying to avoid going back through all of your comments to find the relevant quote in this one…

#69Kamaul:
"Lastly, [I'll say this even though it has been pretty much torn to pieces unless Sanderson can't do math] there have been infinite turnings of the Wheel in the past. I think we can be pretty sure of this since we are told this in the first paragraph of the first chapter of every book. If a decisive ending did not happen in infinite turnings of the Wheel, I doubt it would."

#75Kamaul:
"Wait, I did forget a point. The Dark One is outside of time. So his destruction should be throughout all of time and not just into the future. From the fact that the Dark One does exist, he will not be destroyed."

#77Kamaul:
"How is the previous infinity less important the the future infinity? As you say, "a chance is a chance and in infinity if it can happen, it will." or in this case it has. If you were to use logic, the Dark One has already won infinite times over. There is only one possible answer to explain the fact that he hasn't: He was given the ability to win a finite number of turnings ago. That seems pretty convenient for the Dark One, although it could also mean that in another finite turnings, he will lose the chance."

Again my answer to this is the progression of time. Which I have provided evidence for. Would you like to provide evidence that time is not progressing?

It seems like the first quote goes against what you have been saying. Given enough turnings the DO will win just like Ishamael said. Unless there is a chance for the light to win. But someone will win. Though I am only speculating on the light having a real opportunity at victory.

96

DarkHound: 2011-12-19

@Macster92:

On Fain:

Agreed. I don't think that his soul is unique, but the circumstances around his development are and the essence of Fain is the key factor. Though I would have to say that the imprinting if the DO is part of it and the Shadar Logoth portion is the key. Fain was able to survive SL to become something more because of the DO's imprint.

But for the most part we agree on this. The rest is just speculation.

"He also has a good point about how do people know about the Creator and the Dark One if there are no prophets or religious books. After the Bore, of course Ishamael knew the truth and could make sure it was disseminated, but before it no one knew of the Dark One or had access to him, so how could Elan Morin (or anyone) know of the Creator either? It seems to me that Jordan goofed, and either the Creator did send down knowledge of his existence in the form of some text (now long lost during the Breaking), with everyone who knows of him now having gotten their info from people who had read the book in the Age of Legends or before, or the Creator did make himself known in some way to people, albeit perhaps not through actual prophets. Without touching too much on real-world religion and how people know of God, I will just say that, since we are operating under the assumption the Creator is actually real and not just something believed in but never proven, he must have done something to reveal his existence at some point, and this is how people in the Age of Legends (or in our world, interpreting stories of him through the lens of the Bible and other religious texts) knew of him. As to why he didn't tell anyone of the Dark One, well aside from trying to protect them from his evil for as long as possible (he likely knew people would be tempted or curious and eventually try to free him), because they had to learn of him and face him on their own."

My take on the knowledge of the creator comes mostly from the power itself and thus the understanding of how the wheel works... as well as the connections with T'A'R mirror and parallel worlds made accessible by the OP.

Besides that thanks for some validation that my examples (though not always agreed with) make sense.

97

DarkHound: 2011-12-19

@Kamaul#93:
"I don't understand what you are saying. I never said that I don't believe the Creator created the Wheel of Time. I stated that the Wheel is eternal, which means has existed infinitely back into the past and will exist infinitely into the future. Can we agree on that? "

Yes. Can we agree that the three constants existed before the wheel and that the wheel is time? If so the fact that there was a "time" (not time in the sense of the wheel, but period of existence in the sense of the three constants) that it did not exist means that there could be a "time" where it no longer exists. You're skirting the point that Macster and I have made pretty clear.

"Or simply finding the True Source, the force that drives the universe, allowed people to figure out how the universe works."

Since we so commonly disagree I'd just like to point out that I agree with this (and pattern = prison idea)... though T'A'R may have played a factor in that as well... along with foretellings and various other unknown talents. Speculation of course. But the One Power seems an undeniable source of this knowledge.

"Why does everyone want to believe in something different this time? Moridin's statement in The Gathering Storm should have killed that theory."

Personally, I don't "Want" to believe any particular thing... but as far as I have seen from evidence in the book, literary evidence, quotes from the authors, logic and common sense this LB will be different. Care to provide the quote from Ishamael that you are referencing and discuss why it proves your point?

You rarely provide evidence to the contrary besides your personal belief stated as fact... why do you want to believe so badly that it's not different? Maybe you should of stopped reading after the first paragraph in chapter one... since that gives you all the answers you need.

"Where did you get "TAR is outside the Pattern," from? I have seen no evidence of that. The Pattern almost clearly controls the happenings there."

The pattern is part of the Wheel. T'A'R is one of the 3 constants. Think about how no one who goes there can effect what T'A'R is, nothing can be changed. T'A'R cannot be influenced by the pattern (outside of reflecting the pattern)... but threads can be influenced when they are in T'A'R. Challenge: name one example of something in T'A'R being permanently effected by anything woven by the pattern (outside if T'A'R reflecting physical places and things).

Speculation: Maybe T'A'R is the plain of existence on which the Wheel was built? It exists outside of the creators creation... kind of like a canvas to an artist. And when people of the wheel go there they go to where there particular time and world is reflecting. Hmmm... just a random thought.

"Didn't Jordan say several times that you could decipher what would happen in the end from only the books? He outright states that Fain is unique to this Age in interviews, but not in the series."

I don't think that you need to know that he is unique to come to the conclusion that he will be integral to the decisive turning point. His prominence, hate for light and dark (balance), his power, his presence from the beginning, his (essence) being created by the DO and imprinted, the game of Sha'rah and its relevant rule system and how that relates to the creator and DO (making a losing move). I concluded that Fain was the DO's mistake in the big game before I knew that Jordan said he was truly unique.

I didn't even think about the idea that he needed to be truly unique until I read that Jordan had brought it up. I agree with Macster that Fain (soul) has been wove before but that Fain (essence) in his current state has not. But knowing of his uniqueness is not integral to figuring out his importance. It just makes it irrefutable.

Jordan knew how he wanted the book to end and in interviews said that it was one of the first scenes he thought of when he had the idea for the series. Knowing this I put a lot of emphasis on the things that happen and the elements that are present in the first 3 books since he had originally intended for the series to be a trilogy. Most (maybe all) of the main evidence, characters, prophesies etc. for the main factors relevant to the final outcome are present in those first few books.

IMO The evidence points to Fain's importance without the RJ "uniqueness" quote, but he said you could figure it out... not that you would. Would you like to point out a likely reason for Fains prominence and uniqueness that draws the conclusion that you want?

98

Kamaul: 2011-12-21

#94@Darkhound

"As far as other worlds go you’re talking mirrors not parallels, right? I agree that it is going on for mirrors, but not necessarily for parallels (besides indirectly)."

I am talking about Parallels. Since the Dark One is present in all worlds, including Parallels, the battle needs to be fought in all worlds, including Parallels.

"But that is beside the point... I’m not saying that a decisive battle cannot be won without Fain, I’m saying that IMO Fain looks like he will be the factor to tip the scales because of his uniqueness (maybe I dropped the ball on this and it is something else). A "tipping factor" Fain or otherwise must be present to win a decisive battle, but just like the DO only needing to win in ONE world to win in them all I believe the same is true for the light. Fain is not present anywhere else (True uniqueness) and he doesn’t need to be (win in one win in all). "

Okay, that's better. You thoroughly destroyed that argument.

"To 3: I see why this is your favorite. There is not a defendable standpoint because it is a paradox. Much like a Christian would say that God can create a boulder that he can’t lift and still lift it. Having your cake and eating it too without justifiable reason. If you can elaborate on how this would actually work and take a position to defend based on evidence then I will debate you... but if you’re taking the religious standpoint that it’s that way just because it is then I won’t waste my time."

It's not paradoxical at all. What I meant is that he is bound by Time, because that's his prison. However, his nature, being a creature against the Wheel, is outside it. So, although he is mainly bound, an event changing his very nature should be outside of Time.

"You had claimed that all the characters had the same knowledge about the Creator and the DO. I’m glad you’re recanting on that. I agree that Ishamael especially has about as much info and insight as anyone could. And he knows that the DO has a chance to win... I just think that he overlooked the chance for the light to win. Balance. Or maybe he thinks the light has a chance but thinks the DO was the better bet... of course he wouldn’t tell anyone else that... but that is just speculation."

Or maybe he is right, and there is no chance for the light to win.

"I think where our problem lies is with the progression of time. There is a "Now". I have related to this before in RJ saying that Lews Therin and Rand do not share a connection across time, Lews is dead, rand is Alive, they share one soul with two personalities. This is one thing that shows there is a now. Since there is a now we can conclude that everything in all possible times is not happening simultaneously and that there is an infinite progression within the wheel of time. Macster made an interesting point earlier; it is like balefire. Something exists until it is touched by balefire then it ceases to exist (backwards in time even) but the memories prevail. The wheel exists as an infinite entity until it is destroyed. The DO upon winning would likely have the power to undo all of time; past, present and future. If he undid the past then only memories would remain for those left alive."

Perhaps...But, as I told Oden earlier, in my opinion it is not like balefire. But, that is pure speculation.

"If the DO breaks free he can either destroy the wheel (and time) thus creating an end to the wheel, or re-shape it to his liking, thus time continues but under the DO’s control. This matches up pretty well with what everyone in the series believes to be possible if the DO wins. My understanding is that the Wheel is an infinite mechanism with an internal flaw; that it continually must allow for an evil outside presence to plot its destruction. It is built to go on forever but if a malevolent autonomous force outside of the wheels direct control destroys it than it can’t keep going."

I don't know why, but I always have this feeling that the Bore was necessary for the Dark One's continued imprisonment. Perhaps it is because the True Power was felt emanating from the Dark One's Prison before the Bore was created.

"Any evidence for this or just speculation? I don’t think that anything in the series supports this. Feel free to prove me wrong."

Just speculation.

"But still, IMO if it was the case the series is kind of pointless."

That's the point, it is just your opinion that the series is pointless.

"And again it dismisses the "Real Chance to win" that BS stated... he has more information than us and I am inclined to follow his lead on this one."

And Jordan has more information than even Sanderson does. I am inclined to follow his lead. Remember that your standpoint is based upon your assumption of Sanderson's definition of Real Chance, while it requires that Jordan be intentionally misleading.

"It does matter, if you ignore the possibility of other evidence and shy away from it.

If you were a mechanic and someone’s car wasn’t running and all you did was check to see if it had gas in the tank that wouldn’t be a proper evaluation of the situation... or do you disagree?

Tell the customer "but there’s" gas in the tank. Customer will say "but it still doesn’t run". Then you just go and check the tank again... gas still in the tank. I can’t agree with this form of reasoning... take a look under the hood."

I don't ignore the possibility of other factors. I simply counter them.

"If I had definitive proof of Free Will then I probably wouldn’t be wasting my time here. I won’t claim to be able to prove something that no one has definitive proof of... and I think it’s rather ridiculous that you would think that I needed to. Should you have to prove relativism and determinism before I listen to you? Take a shot at it. My basis for believing there is free will in the series is that people can make choices. One example is in the shadow rising where Moraine could have come to the waste or could of not... and lan could of come or not... and if they hadn’t both of come disaster would have ensued. The presence of Ta’veren is a signal of free will. If the wheel weaved in a deterministic fashion then why would there be need for corrective measures? If the DO didn’t have influence outside of the will of the pattern why the need for ta’veren? Let me know if that isn’t clear enough. If you disagree I would appreciate evidence to the contrary."

Finally you admit that you can't prove something. I was actually expecting you to try.

#95@Darkhound

"Again my answer to this is the progression of time. Which I have provided evidence for. Would you like to provide evidence that time is not progressing?"

I have been wondering, Since when has a progression of time changed the possibility of an event happening? It never has.

#97@Darkhound

"Yes. Can we agree that the three constants existed before the wheel and that the wheel is time? If so the fact that there was a "time" (not time in the sense of the wheel, but period of existence in the sense of the three constants) that it did not exist means that there could be a "time" where it no longer exists. You're skirting the point that Macster and I have made pretty clear."

I'm not sure about TAR existing without the Wheel, but The Creator and The Dark One definitely did. As for there being a `time` where the Wheel no longer exists...I will reluctantly say yes, but it cannot happen until another infinite turnings have passed.

"Personally, I don't "Want" to believe any particular thing... but as far as I have seen from evidence in the book, literary evidence, quotes from the authors, logic and common sense this LB will be different. Care to provide the quote from Ishamael that you are referencing and discuss why it proves your point?"

You do 'want' to believe this. Otherwise, you wouldn't have ignored a direct quote from Jordan stating the opposite. As for the quote from Moridin ~not Ishamael, try to get it right~ here it is:

The Gathering Storm: A Place to Begin "Moridin gave no reaction. He was still staring at the flames. "We are connected," Moridin finally said. "That is how you came here, I suspect, though I do not understand our bond myself. I doubt you can understand the magnitude of the stupidity in your statement."

This was in response to Rand saying he intended to slay the Dark One. Apparently, it is incredibly stupid to say that you want to kill the Dark One.

99

Kamaul: 2011-12-22

#97@Darkhound

You seem to dislike me. There is no reason why you should dislike a person just because he has a differing opinion than yours. There has never been a person that I disliked just because of a differing opinion. I suggest you do the same.

"You rarely provide evidence to the contrary besides your personal belief stated as fact..."

You're lying to yourself. I have provided irrefutable evidence. You have simply ignored it.

"why do you want to believe so badly that it's not different? Maybe you should of stopped reading after the first paragraph in chapter one... since that gives you all the answers you need."

There are several reasons:

[1] That would kill RJ's creation. I don't want that. I doubt he does either.
[2] That would make Ishamael totally wrong. And that would degrade philosophers.
[3] Towers of Midnight and The Gathering Storm tried to lead away from a decisive ending.
[4] A quote from RJ stating my opinion.
[5] I, myself, have a complex idea about the nature of the Wheel of Time world that fits all of the facts. So far, it has never been wrong.

"The pattern is part of the Wheel. T'A'R is one of the 3 constants. Think about how no one who goes there can effect what T'A'R is, nothing can be changed. T'A'R cannot be influenced by the pattern (outside of reflecting the pattern)... but threads can be influenced when they are in T'A'R. Challenge: name one example of something in T'A'R being permanently effected by anything woven by the pattern (outside if T'A'R reflecting physical places and things)."

Nightmares. They are created by threads, but storm through TAR until removed.

If TAR were outside the Pattern, that would mean that the Wheel has no control over the events there. If that were true, all Ishamael would have to do to win is enter TAR.

"I didn't even think about the idea that he needed to be truly unique until I read that Jordan had brought it up. I agree with Macster that Fain (soul) has been wove before but that Fain (essence) in his current state has not. But knowing of his uniqueness is not integral to figuring out his importance. It just makes it irrefutable."

At that time you also thought that Jordan had outright stated that this was the LAST Battle.

"IMO The evidence points to Fain's importance without the RJ "uniqueness" quote, but he said you could figure it out... not that you would. Would you like to point out a likely reason for Fains prominence and uniqueness that draws the conclusion that you want?"

As you said, Fain's soul has been present in Ages past, even though his current state is not. Perhaps his soul (or Mordeth's) is required, but his current state was not intentional.

100

Macster: 2012-01-05

@Darkhound: The reason I emphasized the imprinting of the Dark One on Fain as important is that a) I don't think Fain could have been made to go into Shadar Logoth if the Dark One, through that imprinting, hadn't had such control over him and b) as you said, because it was this imprinting which saved him from being completely consumed by Mordeth. I do agree, though, that while the cause was important (or else it probably wouldn't have happened), the effect (having Shadar Logoth's taint in him) will indeed be the key.

@Kamaul: To answer each of your points (which I will note you ignored a number of mine--I'm not sure if it was because you agreed, had no rebuttal, or simply didn't consider them worth answering):

"I never said that I don't believe the Creator created the Wheel of Time. I stated that the Wheel is eternal, which means has existed infinitely back into the past and will exist infinitely into the future. Can we agree on that?"

No, we cannot. Because as Darkhound has already stated, and you yourself admitted, there was/will be a time when the Wheel did not/might not exist. Let me use your strategy of quoting Jordan: via Verin he says there are only three constants, the Creator, the Dark One, and TAR. The Wheel and the Pattern was not named as a constant. Therefore by definition they cannot be constants. To put it another way: the term Creator implies you created something else. If this something else actually always existed, then...how could it ever have been created? It makes no sense to call someone a Creator unless they actually created something. Since he is eternal, so is the Dark One, and so is TAR, then the only thing he could have created is the Wheel/Pattern (and the world, but that is where the Pattern plays out). If the Wheel/Pattern is eternal, then that means it was never actually created, and the Creator only created the world itself. Which is consistent with real-world philosophy/religion (the world itself is finite but there has always been time), but doesn't seem consistent with the statements Jordan/various Randlanders have made about the relationship between the Wheel/Pattern and the Creator.

"Why does everyone want to believe in something different this time? Moridin's statement in The Gathering Storm should have killed that theory."

Because if there were not anything different about this particular turning, why bother telling it as opposed to a different turning? Or why tell the story at all? You seem to believe that even though this turning is not special or different, there is a point in Jordan telling us about it. I'd like to know what you think this point is.

"Where did you get "TAR is outside the Pattern," from? I have seen no evidence of that. The Pattern almost clearly controls the happenings there."

From the same place Darkhound referred to when he answered this point: the fact that it is listed as the third constant besides the Dark One and the Creator. They are both outside the Pattern, which implies so is TAR. If it is not outside the Pattern, why then is it a constant? Also, if it is part of the Pattern, then why do divinations drawn from it sometimes fail (Egwene's dreams are only possibilities, not everything in the rings or the Acceptatron comes true) while other things which draw on thread-reading (the Finn's answers, Foretellings, Min's viewings) always come true unless the Pattern is destroyed by the Dark One? There must be something that causes TAR-related divinations to not always come true, and it seems if TAR is part of the Pattern they shouldn't have this fallibility. And if you say the reason is because the Pattern can change its weaving in ways TAR or TAR-related devices can't predict, why doesn't this also happen to Min's viewings, Foretellings, and the Finn? What causes them to be beyond failure, while things like dreams and wolfbrother viewings and the rings can fail?

"Nightmares. They are created by threads, but storm through TAR until removed."

Wrong. They do not storm through until removed. While the nightmare which engulfs Carlinya and the other Salidar Aes Sedai does not fade until they stop believing in its reality, the one which engulfs Perrin and Slayer fades all on its own, and while it could be that the destruction of the dreamspike finished it off, it was already fading before that--and as far as we can see nothing Slayer or Perrin was doing was causing it to fade. Just as importantly, in both cases after the nightmare disappears, TAR returns to normal--the Tower corridors in both examples reappear exactly as they were before the nightmares formed. The only things left damaged are the Aes Sedai in the first example and the dreamspike in the second--and all of those are things which are not part of TAR, people with threads and an object, respectively.

This would suggest, then, that something created by a thread (the nightmares) can only permanently affect other threads or things not native to TAR, but not TAR itself. If this were not the case, TAR would not return to normal after a nightmare fades/is disbelieved. The exception seems to be balefire, which causes the parts of TAR it touches to flicker in and out of existence. Why is TAR returning to normal (or trying to, in the balefire example)? Because the reality of things in the real world is trying to restore its reflection in TAR.

But the key is, why is TAR a reflection of the real world? If it were because the real world is woven from the threads of the Pattern, that would imply the real world and the Pattern are constants, which we were told by Verin is not the case. Ergo, it must be because TAR is the constant, and thus when part of it is disturbed or destroyed, it reasserts the reflection (or tries to) as part of its constancy.

This also does not support your idea that Moridin only has to win by entering TAR, since anything he did there would not be reflected in the real world. He can't free the Dark One there (because he is bound in the real world, and outside of Time, not in a reflection), or destroy the world itself, or a city, or the Pattern. As for anything else he might do, like killing a dreaming person, someone there in the flesh, or using balefire, that would stick--but that is why TAR could be so important in the Last Battle, because he could cause deaths there which would carry over to the real world. In which case part of Rand's strategy should be to try and prevent Moridin from entering TAR...or not following him there, or being very careful if he does.

"I always thought that the reason Aes Sedai almost always have images around them was because they do so much with their lives, and so have a greater impact on the Pattern. Her always seeing them around Warders as well and Ogier almost never having them support this."

Then why do the images disappear whenever an Aes Sedai is stilled? Because they lose the will to live and thus won't do anything meaningful with their lives? Possible, but Siuan decides pretty quickly that she wants to bring down Elaida and the Red Ajah, while Leane decides she wants to pursue men...but they still don't get the images back until after their stilling is Healed by Nynaeve.

"This was in response to Rand saying he intended to slay the Dark One. Apparently, it is incredibly stupid to say that you want to kill the Dark One."

Just because Moridin thinks it is stupid doesn't mean it is impossible, or even the wrong thing to do. It could be stupid because it would threaten all of existence (but that still doesn't make it impossible), or it could just be his belief that it is stupid because he thinks the Dark One can't be destroyed or is tied to all of existence...which we don't really have any proof of, one way or the other.

Besides, in this same conversation Moridin makes it very clear he has given in to despair, and that he just wants the Dark One to win so existence can end. That's likely why he tells Rand how to kill Forsaken permanently (since removing their threads also weakens the Pattern, the Dark One's prison, in addition to the effect balefire has on the Pattern). Anything which interfered with this scenario he'd call stupid, pointless, a waste, because he has already given up and decided the Dark One can neither be defeated permanently nor destroyed. That doesn't mean it actually is. And since I believe Moridin can come back to the Light (it may be his "memory" the last book's title refers to), he too may eventually see there is hope, and a way for the Light to decisively win.

I did not consider, however, what you and Darkhound both agree could be the source of knowledge about the Creator: the True Source itself. Interesting. This does still suggest my initial point however, that the Creator had to do something to make himself known. What that something was was to either create the True Source and/or start it turning the Wheel of Time. Indirect, but still something he did which enabled the knowledge to be discovered.

I would also submit that you rather seem to be the one who dislikes Darkhound...but in any event, with you believing so strongly in determinism while Darkhound believes in free will, I don't see there being any point in you two continuing the debate. Both of you are too entrenched in your beliefs, it seems...you may admit individual points as having merit, but your overall worldviews will not change and are too opposed to be compatible. The fact you overlook his points about proofs of free will existing in Wheel of Time (Moiraine et al.'s choices in going to Rhuidean, the need for ta'veren, the Dark One enforcing his will on the Pattern) makes this even more clear. So perhaps you both should let it rest.

101

Kamaul: 2012-01-09

"@Kamaul: To answer each of your points (which I will note you ignored a number of mine--I'm not sure if it was because you agreed, had no rebuttal, or simply didn't consider them worth answering):"

I actually agreed with them, unless I happened to answer them before. I'll try to tell you I agree with them this time.

"No, we cannot. Because as Darkhound has already stated, and you yourself admitted, there was/will be a time when the Wheel did not/might not exist. Let me use your strategy of quoting Jordan: via Verin he says there are only three constants, the Creator, the Dark One, and TAR. The Wheel and the Pattern was not named as a constant. Therefore by definition they cannot be constants. To put it another way: the term Creator implies you created something else. If this something else actually always existed, then...how could it ever have been created? It makes no sense to call someone a Creator unless they actually created something. Since he is eternal, so is the Dark One, and so is TAR, then the only thing he could have created is the Wheel/Pattern (and the world, but that is where the Pattern plays out). If the Wheel/Pattern is eternal, then that means it was never actually created, and the Creator only created the world itself. Which is consistent with real-world philosophy/religion (the world itself is finite but there has always been time), but doesn't seem consistent with the statements Jordan/various Randlanders have made about the relationship between the Wheel/Pattern and the Creator."

I see what you are saying. To answer it, there are two definitions of eternal. One means that you exist infinitely in both directions of Time, like you think the Creator exists in and I think the Wheel exists in. The other means that you are outside of Time altogether which I think the Creator exists in.

With that said, since Creator is outside Time, it is very possible, perhaps even likely, that the moment of Creation is also outside Time. When Creation is Time itself, that possibly or likely becomes almost certainly. That does not make Creation a constant.

Also, you are misquoting Verin. She says that the Creator, Dark One, and Tel'aran'rhiod are constants among worlds. Not among Time. There might be a fourth constant among Time. If you want to keep ignoring what she says, here's the quote making it indisputable:

The Dragon Reborn: The World of Dreams:
"Well that is neither here nor there. In all of these worlds, whatever their other variations, a few things remain constant. One is that the Dark One is imprisoned in all of them."

...

"Nothing? Of course it has something to do with it, child. The point is that there is a third constant besides the Creator and the Dark One. There is a world that lies within each of these others, inside all of them at the same time. Or perhaps surrounding them. Writers in the Age of Legends called it Tel'aran'rhiod, `the Unseen World.`"

There, so the constants are throughout different Worlds, not Time and that Tel'aran'rhiod lies within each of the others or surrounding it. If Tel'aran'rhiod is outside the Pattern how can this be?

"From the same place Darkhound referred to when he answered this point: the fact that it is listed as the third constant besides the Dark One and the Creator. They are both outside the Pattern, which implies so is TAR. If it is not outside the Pattern, why then is it a constant? Also, if it is part of the Pattern, then why do divinations drawn from it sometimes fail (Egwene's dreams are only possibilities, not everything in the rings or the Acceptatron comes true) while other things which draw on thread-reading (the Finn's answers, Foretellings, Min's viewings) always come true unless the Pattern is destroyed by the Dark One? There must be something that causes TAR-related divinations to not always come true, and it seems if TAR is part of the Pattern they shouldn't have this fallibility. And if you say the reason is because the Pattern can change its weaving in ways TAR or TAR-related devices can't predict, why doesn't this also happen to Min's viewings, Foretellings, and the Finn? What causes them to be beyond failure, while things like dreams and wolfbrother viewings and the rings can fail?"

I can guess, but I can't prove anything; at least, not a proof that Theorylanders will accept. Taking from what has been said before, the clearer the showing, the less likely it is to happen. Foretellings are almost never clear, so it will definitely happen. Min's viewings are sometimes clearer than Foretellings, - when Min knows what it means - and sometimes less clear. They will also always happen. Dreams are the clearest so far. That's why they are only possibilities. The Acceptatron is the most clear. There is no reason to believe that they will happen. They simply show the novice her greatest fears. As for the rings...Well, they show all possibilities, so it's extremely difficult for none to be wrong.

"This would suggest, then, that something created by a thread (the nightmares) can only permanently affect other threads or things not native to TAR, but not TAR itself. If this were not the case, TAR would not return to normal after a nightmare fades/is disbelieved. The exception seems to be balefire, which causes the parts of TAR it touches to flicker in and out of existence. Why is TAR returning to normal (or trying to, in the balefire example)? Because the reality of things in the real world is trying to restore its reflection in TAR.

"But the key is, why is TAR a reflection of the real world? If it were because the real world is woven from the threads of the Pattern, that would imply the real world and the Pattern are constants, which we were told by Verin is not the case. Ergo, it must be because TAR is the constant, and thus when part of it is disturbed or destroyed, it reasserts the reflection (or tries to) as part of its constancy."

Tell me more...

"Wrong. They do not storm through until removed. While the nightmare which engulfs Carlinya and the other Salidar Aes Sedai does not fade until they stop believing in its reality, the one which engulfs Perrin and Slayer fades all on its own, and while it could be that the destruction of the dreamspike finished it off, it was already fading before that--and as far as we can see nothing Slayer or Perrin was doing was causing it to fade. Just as importantly, in both cases after the nightmare disappears, TAR returns to normal--the Tower corridors in both examples reappear exactly as they were before the nightmares formed. The only things left damaged are the Aes Sedai in the first example and the dreamspike in the second--and all of those are things which are not part of TAR, people with threads and an object, respectively."

Okay, you manage to convince me that TAR cannot be changed in any way by a thread inside TAR. To continue with my argument, if that is the case with all constants, how can the Dark One be destroyed? That would be changing the nature of a constant, you know.

"This also does not support your idea that Moridin only has to win by entering TAR, since anything he did there would not be reflected in the real world. He can't free the Dark One there (because he is bound in the real world, and outside of Time, not in a reflection), or destroy the world itself, or a city, or the Pattern. As for anything else he might do, like killing a dreaming person, someone there in the flesh, or using balefire, that would stick--but that is why TAR could be so important in the Last Battle, because he could cause deaths there which would carry over to the real world. In which case part of Rand's strategy should be to try and prevent Moridin from entering TAR...or not following him there, or being very careful if he does."

Good Point!

"Then why do the images disappear whenever an Aes Sedai is stilled? Because they lose the will to live and thus won't do anything meaningful with their lives? Possible, but Siuan decides pretty quickly that she wants to bring down Elaida and the Red Ajah, while Leane decides she wants to pursue men...but they still don't get the images back until after their stilling is Healed by Nynaeve."

Can you reference Min saying this?

"Just because Moridin thinks it is stupid doesn't mean it is impossible, or even the wrong thing to do. It could be stupid because it would threaten all of existence (but that still doesn't make it impossible), or it could just be his belief that it is stupid because he thinks the Dark One can't be destroyed or is tied to all of existence...which we don't really have any proof of, one way or the other.

I was just using this because Moridin seems to be the most knowledgeable character in the Wheel of Time world. I was not using this as indisputable proof.

"Besides, in this same conversation Moridin makes it very clear he has given in to despair, and that he just wants the Dark One to win so existence can end. That's likely why he tells Rand how to kill Forsaken permanently (since removing their threads also weakens the Pattern, the Dark One's prison, in addition to the effect balefire has on the Pattern). Anything which interfered with this scenario he'd call stupid, pointless, a waste, because he has already given up and decided the Dark One can neither be defeated permanently nor destroyed."

You're claiming that he is a different man from when he started out. Well, perhaps he is, but I don't believe that this philosopher will just give up and become close-minded, even when he is full of despair.

That doesn't mean it actually is. And since I believe Moridin can come back to the Light (it may be his "memory" the last book's title refers to), he too may eventually see there is hope, and a way for the Light to decisively win."

Moridin coming back to the Light... I don't think I've heard that idea before. But you are basing it solely on your opinion. Moridin might even come back if there truly is no possible decisive win.

"I did not consider, however, what you and Darkhound both agree could be the source of knowledge about the Creator: the True Source itself. Interesting. This does still suggest my initial point however, that the Creator had to do something to make himself known. What that something was was to either create the True Source and/or start it turning the Wheel of Time. Indirect, but still something he did which enabled the knowledge to be discovered."

Yes, but it isn't a direct interference and Jordan's statement manages to overpass it. Jordan has stated that beyond Creating the world, he never interferes. Since this is still creating the world, this isn't a true mistake.

"The fact you overlook his points about proofs of free will existing in Wheel of Time (Moiraine et al.'s choices in going to Rhuidean, the need for ta'veren, the Dark One enforcing his will on the Pattern) makes this even more clear."

Did I? Well, let me say my rebuttals again.

"One example is in the shadow rising where Moraine could have come to the waste or could of not... and lan could of come or not... and if they hadn’t both of come disaster would have ensued."

That was a dream. The Wise Ones weren't sure whether Moiraine and Lan would have come; but, that does not mean that the Pattern wasn't.

"The presence of Ta’veren is a signal of free will. If the wheel weaved in a deterministic fashion then why would there be need for corrective measures?"

Ta'veren are meant to alter the Pattern. Nowhere does the series say that they are meant to actually correct it, except in the case of countering the Dark One's influence (which by the way, I never said doesn't exist)

"If the DO didn’t have influence outside of the will of the pattern why the need for ta’veren?"

I never said the Dark One does not have influence. I never said the Wheel controls the Dark One's influence. I specifically said that the Wheel counters the Dark One's influence using ta'veren.

"I would also submit that you rather seem to be the one who dislikes Darkhound..."

Really? The only thing that you can call dislike is the occasional anger at Darkhound insulting me and everyone else who disagrees.

"Both of you are too entrenched in your beliefs, it seems...you may admit individual points as having merit, but your overall worldviews will not change and are too opposed to be compatible."

If you say so; I've always said that an outside observer knows best about both opponents.

"So perhaps you both should let it rest."

Perhaps we should.

102

DarkHound: 2012-01-17

#98@Kamaul:
“I am talking about Parallels. Since the Dark One is present in all worlds, including Parallels, the battle needs to be fought in all worlds, including Parallels.”

I’m not sure if there any evidence for this. Care to provide some? I understand that the LB will affect all realities, but why must a last battle be fought there? Is there a LB happening in the Snakes & Foxes world? Or that of the Ogier? The Ogier seem to think they can escape the Last Battle by leaving randland through the book of translation…

“It's not paradoxical at all. What I meant is that he is bound by Time, because that's his prison. However, his nature, being a creature against the Wheel, is outside it. So, although he is mainly bound, an event changing his very nature should be outside of Time.”

Evidence for this? Or are you just speculating…

“Or maybe he is right, and there is no chance for the light to win.”

Which is ridiculous given the feel of the entire story. Unless the DO winning is the major finale… Which I doubt since there were planned outrigger novels…

“And Jordan has more information than even Sanderson does. I am inclined to follow his lead. Remember that your standpoint is based upon your assumption of Sanderson's definition of Real Chance, while it requires that Jordan be intentionally misleading.”

Please provide relevant text for Jordan saying that there is no chance. It seems like speculation on your part that Jordan favors your perspective.

“I don't ignore the possibility of other factors. I simply counter them.”

Rarely.

“I have been wondering, Since when has a progression of time changed the possibility of an event happening? It never has.”

You said that because something had not happened it would not… this assumes that past events predict future events… which is false. A progression of time shows that something with a probability of happening can happen… it doesn’t change that possibility. Whereas; what you said directly conflicts with your “argument” above.

“I'm not sure about TAR existing without the Wheel, but The Creator and The Dark One definitely did. As for there being a `time` where the Wheel no longer exists...I will reluctantly say yes, but it cannot happen until another infinite turnings have passed.”

Will not happen unless something disrupts the cycle. In your defense however you have majorly contradicted yourself here… assuming that the wheel of time goes forever it will not “cease to exist” at the end of infinite turnings… it will just continue on until disturbed by an outside force. I agree that there isn’t a “time” where the wheel did not exist, but rather a “time” before time where it did not exist. Which means that its non-existence is not in the cycle of time. This statement was wrong but only because you diverged from your original belief.. which I agree with other than the outside forces being able to affect the existence of the wheel.

“You do 'want' to believe this. Otherwise, you wouldn't have ignored a direct quote from Jordan stating the opposite. As for the quote from Moridin ~not Ishamael, try to get it right~ here it is:

The Gathering Storm: A Place to Begin "Moridin gave no reaction. He was still staring at the flames. "We are connected," Moridin finally said. "That is how you came here, I suspect, though I do not understand our bond myself. I doubt you can understand the magnitude of the stupidity in your statement. This was in response to Rand saying he intended to slay the Dark One. Apparently, it is incredibly stupid to say that you want to kill the Dark One.”

Ha. I agree with you on this. I do not think that he will be “slain” in any traditional mortal sense… I already said that there were numerous ways that the DO’s defeat could happen… some of them more satisfying than others. But my opinion remains that the DO will be defeated, and not in a manner that he has been re-imprisoned in ages past. I think that “slaying” would be a horrible ending. I say defeat because at this point it would just be speculation…

#99@Kamaul:
“You seem to dislike me. There is no reason why you should dislike a person just because he has a differing opinion than yours. There has never been a person that I disliked just because of a differing opinion. I suggest you do the same.”

I don’t dislike you, it is just that your one sentence responses (without evidence) often vaguely alluding to things of opinion make it difficult to debate and offer little substance to the conversation.

“You're lying to yourself. I have provided irrefutable evidence. You have simply ignored it.”

If you don’t mind could you list the irrefutable evidence (with source references) that do not coincide with what I have proposed?

“There are several reasons:
[1] That would kill RJ's creation. I don't want that. I doubt he does either.
[2] That would make Ishamael totally wrong. And that would degrade philosophers.
[3] Towers of Midnight and The Gathering Storm tried to lead away from a decisive ending.
[4] A quote from RJ stating my opinion.
[5] I, myself, have a complex idea about the nature of the Wheel of Time world that fits all of the facts. So far, it has never been wrong. “

[1] I don’t think it would kill the creation, but rather evolve it.
[2] I think it would make Ishamael half wrong (not really even that), and I’m not sure how a philosopher being wrong degrades other philosophers… it seems like the constant debates is what makes philosophy so intriguing…
[3] “The Great Battle done but the world not done with battle.” A decisive Last Battle does not mean that there is not evil in the world or that everyone lives happily ever after.
[4] Please provide quote.
[5] Please detail your complex idea with hypothesis and supporting evidence.

“Nightmares. They are created by threads, but storm through TAR until removed.”

Touche. Like I said before that part is huge speculation. ;-)

“If TAR were outside the Pattern, that would mean that the Wheel has no control over the events there. If that were true, all Ishamael would have to do to win is enter TAR.”

Not sure how this follows. Care to explain?

“At that time you also thought that Jordan had outright stated that this was the LAST Battle.”

And I admitted that was wrong. I remember clearly reading that on this sire years ago… BUT it was probably someone else stating opinion as fact. Anyways, RJ not saying it directly does not combat the arguments that I have put forth.

“As you said, Fain's soul has been present in Ages past, even though his current state is not. Perhaps his soul (or Mordeth's) is required, but his current state was not intentional.”

I said that it was possible that it was there in the past… there is no definitive quote from RJ, it could go either way. And Fain as he is now never existed. He was maybe still just a peddler or just another DF with no consequence whatsoever. Therefore not required in the LB. His soul may be new, it may be old. It doesn’t really matter. What DOES matter is the uniqueness and that he wasn’t necessary before… so, why now?

#101@Kamaul:
“There, so the constants are throughout different Worlds, not Time and that Tel'aran'rhiod lies within each of the others or surrounding it. If Tel'aran'rhiod is outside the Pattern how can this be?”

Part of the quote was “or surrounding them”. But besides that, IMO it seems that TAR encases all worlds (surrounds) or is the canvas on which the creator painted time. In either of those scenarios it is a constant. I see your point, however I still relate TAR more to the DO and creator as a constant rather than as a construct like the Wheel because simply that’s still how the quote reads. The around or within portion of the quote relates to its place and/or its function in relation to the wheel, while its place as a constant relates to its existence in relation to the creator, DO and the wheel. In that scenario all the pieces fit rather than picking and choosing.

“Okay, you manage to convince me that TAR cannot be changed in any way by a thread inside TAR. To continue with my argument, if that is the case with all constants, how can the Dark One be destroyed? That would be changing the nature of a constant, you know.”

That’s the rub isn’t it? How? Just about all the pieces are in place to know everything about how the series will end besides a few minute details… I believe that this “How” will be what makes the series truly great. The How would be speculation… but that’s why I believe that this is a definitive last battle… because the “How the hero breaks the cycle” is a tale worth telling.

“I was just using this because Moridin seems to be the most knowledgeable character in the Wheel of Time world. I was not using this as indisputable proof.”

Thanks for the clarification.

“You're claiming that he is a different man from when he started out. Well, perhaps he is, but I don't believe that this philosopher will just give up and become close-minded, even when he is full of despair.”

I hadn’t thought of Ishy coming back to the light in any fashion. But maybe. The Betrayer of Hope coming back to the light would be a nice play on the whole idea that no soul is so far gone that it cannot come back to the light. Not sure how feasible it is, but I’m open to the idea. Though I think that his despair is what has made him close minded… how exactly is believing there is a chance for the light to win becoming close-minded… seems like the opposite is true. I think that the man he was before the bore was not as bad as a lot of the other forsaken… Maybe he was even REALLY good. Kind of the idea that he is a person prone to extremes… either on one end of the spectrum or the other… just speculation on his personality. If anyone has any clearer idea of what he was like before he turned to the shadow (with references) let me know.

“That was a dream. The Wise Ones weren't sure whether Moiraine and Lan would have come; but, that does not mean that the Pattern wasn't.”

What about the realities that Moraine saw when she went to Rhuedean.

“Ta'veren are meant to alter the Pattern. Nowhere does the series say that they are meant to actually correct it, except in the case of countering the Dark One's influence (which by the way, I never said doesn't exist)”

Alter means change. If determinism is true than there is no need for change because results are pre-determined.

“If you say so; I've always said that an outside observer knows best about both opponents. So perhaps you both should let it rest."

Perhaps we should.

“It seems that we have argued most things to death. I would like to see the overlying theory that you are proposing with the references you have eluded to however.

I can agree to disagree. As I am sure (and have been for awhile) that we cannot agree. But maybe the last book will lay to rest some of our arguments (likely on both sides). I would just rather know for sure if one side is right or not. Which I think is likely to be the case. We’ll see!

103

DarkHound: 2012-01-17

#100@Macster
“@Darkhound: The reason I emphasized the imprinting of the Dark One on Fain as important is that a) I don't think Fain could have been made to go into Shadar Logoth if the Dark One, through that imprinting, hadn't had such control over him and b) as you said, because it was this imprinting which saved him from being completely consumed by Mordeth. I do agree, though, that while the cause was important (or else it probably wouldn't have happened), the effect (having Shadar Logoth's taint in him) will indeed be the key.”

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I lean more towards the importance of B though A is a possibility as well, maybe fear of disobeying the DO would not be enough.

104

The Greenman: 2012-01-17

Just a simple question. If the darkness around Rand/Moridin/Ishmael is an indication of using the TP what is the light that people see around him in ToM?

105

Kamaul: 2012-01-19

Since I accidentally skipped this, I'll put it through here.

"Because if there were not anything different about this particular turning, why bother telling it as opposed to a different turning?"

You have to pick a turning. Jordan simply chose to tell about this one. They aren't very different, and they all end in the same way.

"Or why tell the story at all? You seem to believe that even though this turning is not special or different, there is a point in Jordan telling us about it. I'd like to know what you think this point is."

Do you know how many stories are told about a conflict which ends with nothing changed from the beginning at all? If you don't, I'll simply say that the Wheel of Time is not the only one. It, rather, is one of hundreds. Do you say that all of those stories have no point?

If I was off on what you meant, can you define a point of a story?

106

DarkHound: 2012-01-25

#104@The Greenman:
Could you provide a quote? I remember the essence of what you're talking about... but I recall it as a feeling rather than a visible glow of any kind... maybe I'm wrong.

Thanks.

107

DarkHound: 2012-01-25

#105@Kamaul:
"You have to pick a turning. Jordan simply chose to tell about this one. They aren't very different, and they all end in the same way."

Tell me you don't really believe this? The "end in the same way" I can understand from your POV, but I think it's pretty obvious that things could be drastically different in other ages. It's just that they don't change much from one turning to the next... BUT if you look at two points of the wheel of time that are say 100,000 turnings removed from one another the differences can be quite profound. Including different outcomes (Dragon going over to the shadow).

"If I was off on what you meant, can you define a point of a story?"

The point of a story can obviously vary, but I'll try and broadly state it as a story that end with a resolution. Some stories end where they begin, true, but it fits with the story, some stories end without knowing what comes next so people are left wondering and that is appropriate at times to.

My entire point in this thread is that if the story ends with "the beginning" or "leaves us wondering" then we are left to believe that the DO will eventually win. This is based on RJ's notes whether you believe BS or not is up to you but that's just a fact. Either the light wins outright and something unique happens, or we are given some kind of heretofore unknown knowledge that destroys the idea that the DO has a chance to win. This second option would IMO be the less likely of the two given the authors stance on the matter. Could the DO eventually breaking free be the lingering resolution to the story? Absolutely. I just have never had the feeling that the series is as dark as that. But maybe that's the twist.

108

Kamaul: 2012-02-06

#102@Darkhound

"The Ogier seem to think they can escape the Last Battle by leaving randland through the book of translation…"

Loial says otherwise.

"Evidence for this? Or are you just speculating…"

There is complete proof, if you care to look.

"Please provide relevant text for Jordan saying that there is no chance. It seems like speculation on your part that Jordan favors your perspective."

You've seen it before.

"You said that because something had not happened it would not… this assumes that past events predict future events… which is false. A progression of time shows that something with a probability of happening can happen… it doesn’t change that possibility. Whereas; what you said directly conflicts with your “argument” above."

Where did you get the idea that past events cannot predict future events? That is completely and indisputably false! Everything we know about the universe is based on past events! The very difference between a prediction and a theoretical future is that in a theory, past events support it!

If you want to dispute the Past Trials Postulate, don't. That is never accepted in the world.

"That’s the rub isn’t it? How? Just about all the pieces are in place to know everything about how the series will end besides a few minute details… I believe that this “How” will be what makes the series truly great. The How would be speculation… but that’s why I believe that this is a definitive last battle… because the “How the hero breaks the cycle” is a tale worth telling."

How a mere man defeats an extremely powerful deity makes this nearly as worth telling. That at least is my opinion.

109

DarkHound: 2012-10-26

BEWARE **AMOL Spoilers**

@Kamaul:
At the risk of rehashing an old argument, I have what I believe to be some newfound evidence to support the FINAL Last Battle theory. This evidence comes from the pre-release of Chapter 1 of AMOL (I included a little more than the important passage to put things into context):

"“It’s like that,” Rand said. “I can remember being Lews Therin, can remember doing what he did, as one remembers actions in a dream. It was me doing them, but I don’t necessarily like them—or think I’d take those actions if I were in my waking mind. That doesn’t change the fact that, in the dream, they seemed like the right actions.”

Perrin nodded.

“He’s me,” Rand said. “And I’m him. But at the same time, I’m not.”

“Well, you still seem like yourself,” Perrin said, though Rand caught a slight hesitation on the word “seem.” Had Perrin been about to say “smell” instead? “You haven’t changed that much.”

Rand doubted he could explain it to Perrin without sounding mad. The person he became when he wore the mantle of the Dragon Reborn . . . that wasn’t simply an act, wasn’t simply a mask.

It was who he was. He had not changed, he had not transformed. He had merely accepted.

That didn’t mean he had all of the answers. Despite four hundred years of memories nestled in his brain, he still worried about what he had to do. Lews Therin hadn’t known how to seal the Bore. His attempt had led to disaster. The taint, the Breaking, all for an imperfect prison with seals that were now brittle.

One answer kept coming to Rand. A dangerous answer. One that Lews Therin hadn’t considered.

What if the answer wasn’t to seal the Dark One away again? What if the answer, the final answer, was something else? Something more permanent.

Yes, Rand thought to himself for the hundredth time. But is it possible?"

Rand already knows from Herid Fel that the Prison must be whole again, not just patched, so THIS new "Final Answer" is not merely sealing the DO away into his original prison again. I think this lends credence to the idea that the DO will be defeated permanently.

And of course, to your previous comment; The Dragon is not a mere man, he's integral to the survival of the wheel.

110

Valaris: 2012-11-13

I just discovered this site recently, even though I've been a massive WOT fanatic for ages and I wasn't thinking about posting, but something caught my attention in precisely this theory.

I understand the theory perfectly, as it makes perfect sense (and I'm pretty ashamed at not having paid so much attention to the connection between sha'rah and the conflict), but something very central to your theory is that according to sha'rah, if the Dragon (fisher) dies while under the control of the light, the shadow wins.

Well, lets take a few things into consideration on how the age of legends ended:

1. The Bore was opened

2. Armies were marshalled for a fight in the name of the dark one

3. Channellers were chosen, among which one who is a master of sha'rah, a philosopher and a nihilist to "champion" the fight

4. Without said philosopher actually LEADING those forces, a war is fought which soon brings LTT to nearly lose

5. Suddenly LTT has to plan something daring in order to win

6. His plan can ONLY be a strike directly to Shayol Gul, whether to reseal the bore or attempt to kill the DO, using the one power ON the DO

7. Suddenly, the women of the age decide to oppose his plan. Remember, at this point the shadow is about to overwhelm the light and win. Also men were part of the opposition, else the Choedan Kal would not have had a MALE. Even though LTT decides to go ahead with it, the Dragon himself about to make a fateful move, they still DO NOT support him

8. LTT goes to the Bore with 68 channelers WITHOUT circles, believing that brute force could not seal the bore and there are no details of what happens, except that 68 channelers without circles resealed the Bore with brute force

9. This allows the DO to taint Saidin and lead all these men to insanity, leading to the breaking of the world. It also technically turns the Dragon to the shadow, for a short time, leading to him killing Ilyena and losing himself.

*Note that Ishamael, somehow, is the ONLY chosen NOT at Shayol Gul at that point. he is also the Chosen capable of healing madness from LTT, to grant him lucidity.

10. When LTT has, under the control of the shadow, technically defeated his own forces and given himself sufficient reason to wish to die, after killing his own love, he is visited by Ishamael

11. At that point, Ishamael is triumphant, as if on the completion of a lot of planning. He visits LTT and grants him lucidity, cleanses him of the taint. This brings the Dragon back into the light. THIS is the crucial moment

12. The Dragon, now back into the light, realises that he has defeated his own forces while under the shadow and has done something that would lead him to take his own life.

13. Under the light, without the shadow doing anything, the Dragon kills himself.

Now, just forget all these for a second. Forget this was a war of the forces of light against the shadow.

Think of a big sha'rah game between the creator and the DO. Think of Ishamael being the skilled player the DO has employed to take the moves.

Now, under the idea of a sha'rah game, think of all these things that I listed as being moves to the eventual winning of the game - leading the Fisher to die, while under the control of the light.

Sounds like a damn incredible, genius and amazing sha'rah plan doesn't it? Also a VERY, VERY obvious sha'rah plan when viewed like this.

I'll leave off now, as this is starting to become a full theory, but I can easily apply this to the current age, especially seeing as how Rand was at one point of the shadow and at another, suspiciously close to the end, he goes back to the light.

THE POINT

The ages are a sha'rah game and the shadow won the age of legends. The third age is one in which the shadow has won. That is why the current age is one which is corrupt and not advanced, while the AOL, one which is presumably following a victory of the light, is perfect and such.

111

DarkHound: 2012-12-01

@Valaris: I'm not sure exactly where to start in response... I'll try to keep my first counter argument brief.

#6: this isn't the only decision or option available, it was merely an option. And it was the one he thought was best, the female channelers disagreed (as you mention in #7). When he becomes a voice in Rand's head he often rants about how his pride led to the madness.

#7: seems like part of your argument here is that there was only a male choeden kal because there were male dreadlords? I don't know where this comes from... Could you provide textual evidence or at least a reference point to support your claim? (Though I don't think it even factors into your argument and I'm not really sure why it's here).

#9: technically turns the Dragon to the shadow? I don't believe there is any support for this whatsoever. From your argument it seems as if you are proposing that once a channeled is affected by the taint that they are now an agent of the DO? Please back this up if you can.

Yes the taint was a good move by the DO, but it doesn't make channelers sworn to the shadow... The madness IS great for the DO... But because it supports chaos... Not because it allows him to gain direct control of channellers...

And if you can't support #9 then 10, 11, 12, and 13 fall flat.

Moreover, why would LTT consciously hand over a win to the DO knowing what that would mean? I think your whole theory is quite a stretch.

Going further:

IMO the game of sha'rah is not played once per age, but rather, once per turning of the wheel. The game is won or lost based on the LB. but there have as of yet been no wins or loses, all results have ended in a draw, hence the resetting of the board.

The 4th age through the 2nd age (age of legends) serves to erase the previous play of the board, and begin to setup a new game. When the bore is created at the end of the 2nd age the game starts anew.

At the end of the 2nd age LTT takes himself off the board, but Rand IS the same fisher piece... Hence his "rebirth" or re-entry into the same game.

Following shortly will be my take on what the general structure of the 7 ages may be.

112

DarkHound: 2012-12-01

The 7 Ages; a reasonable idea of what they are what happens within and how each ends.

I'll start with my conclusion, here are the ages:

1. The Age of the Power; The discovery of the Power.
2. The Age of Legends
3. The Age of Illusion (?) I.e. The Dragon Age
4. The Age of Enslavement; The collaring of all channellers, make and female.
5. The Age of Cleansing; The genicide of all channellers.
6. The Age of Destruction or The Age of No Power; all remnants of the power destroyed.
7. The Age of Science or The Modern Age; our age and its relevant histories.

Lets start with what we know... From the "beginning"

1. The ring of tamyrlin in possession of LTT in the AOL shows that they are aware of a "first channeler" or a time without channeling turning into a time with channeling during the AOL.

2. The AOL was the pinnacle of peace and prosperity for all, a time when there was an unparalleled level of equality among channelers and non-channelers. And that war (though not mans evil) were absent and greatly forgotten.

3. The Age of the dragon is filled with battle between light and dark forces. And ultimately ends in the LB and the DO prison being made whole again.

4. Presumably from Avienda's vision we can conclude that the Dragon's peace won't last and that the Seanchan empire is well on its way to world domination.

5. In the modern age (ours) there is no knowledge of the power, and only mangled myths from the time of the dragon.

Things that we can conclude from the previous 5 points but do not have direct evidence for:

6. The seanchan shall inherit the earth (but it won't last forever).

7. Access to the power must be lost or destroyed.

So really, all that is in any question are ages 5 and 6.

This is the (hopefully) brief course of the ages starting from the AOL:

In the AOL civilization has reached it's peak, overreaching for even more power they break open the bore and the war with the DO begins. The DO is patched back into his prison, but it is imperfect and results in the madness and subsequent breaking of the world.

Male channel are hunted and vilified, the Dragon returns to battle the DO, reseals him in his prison, leaves the world to battle.

The Dragons peace doesn't last, the seanchan conquer a non-unified opponent and collar all channellers. This ends the fourth age and begins the fifth.

*this is where it gets interesting*

With a seanchan rule the entire public comes to loathe channellers, so they will eventually be roved from the population. Three likely scenarios:

A. A Naziesque radical faction begins the systematic concentration camp execution style genocide on those that can channel and those that can learn.

B. or an equally radical faction starts a biological war tailored to those that can channel.

C. Channeling naturally dwindles once channelers are all captives.

I lean towards A or B. The genocide of channelers signals the start of the 6th age.

During the "Age of Destruction" remnants of the power are either destroyed, lost, or forgotten. The seanchan empire lacking the one power as a weapon eventually crumbles from within and the entire world is consumed in war for an extended period of time. Generations know nothing but war and much knowledge is lost. Civilization crumbles to a stone ages type low.

The loss of civilization signals the 7th age. See modern history.

At the end of our age we rediscover the power, either through science or naturally by the will of the wheel. This signals the end of the age of science.

The age of the power, channellers become dominant and rule over non-channellers. When they decide to coexist and work for the greater good of all mankind this signals the end of the age of the power and signals the beginning of the age of legends.

I think that closes the loop quite nicely. I may have to think a bit further on the details, but I'll have to put all that into a theory of my own.