The Bodyswap Theory - Updated
The bodyswap theory began during one of the original discussions about the possibility that the Third Man that Rand began to see in his dreams during tPoD was Moridin. It was based on an attempt by me to solve certain contradictions between the prophecies that relate to Rand's death--contradictions which I thought might be solvable if a link between Rand and Moridin truly did exist. I've always meant to update it, but I just couldn't find the energy. I figure now, with tGS still fresh in people’s minds, is as good a time as any.
Rand's Death; A Plethora of Prophecy!
There has been a lot of theories over the years to explain Rand's death. Each would take one of the various prophecies and run with it--the problem being that whilst these theories might fulfil one of the prophecies, they usually ignored the others. So that is what I looked at--rather than trying to answer a singular prophecy, I chose to see if the prophecies as a whole established any requirements or limitations to the Rand's Death Scenario. Before I state what my final deductions were, here is my compilation of relevant prophecies concerning Rand's death.
The Prophecies of Rand's Death
1. EGWENE DREAMING: Logain, laughing, stepped across something on the ground and mounted a black stone; when she looked down, she thought it was Rand's body he had stepped over, laid out on a funeral bier with his hands crossed at his breast, but when she touched his face, it broke apart like a paper puppet. [ACOS: 10, Unseen Eyes, 202]
2. EGWENE DREAMING: A man lay dying in a narrow bed, and it was important that he not die, yet outside a funeral pyre was being built, and voices raised songs of joy and sadness. [ACOS: 10, Unseen Eyes, 203]
3. EGWENE DREAMING: Rand, wearing different masks, until suddenly one of those false faces was no longer a mask, but him. [TPOD: 15, Stronger than Written Law, 308] [/quote]
4. MIN VIEWING: three women standing over a funeral bier with [Rand] on it. [tEotW][/quote]
5. MIN VIEWING: [Min]"Rand, I like Alivia, But she is going to kill you." [Rand replies]: "You said she was going to help me die… Those were your words." [WH: 25, Bonds, 483]
6.1 NICOLA FORETELLING: Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. [LOC: 14, Dreams and Nightmares, 255] [Which we know is Rand because of the next point.]
6.2 WISE ONE DREAMING: Melaine and Bair dreamed of [Rand] on a boat with three women whose faces they could not see and a scale tilting first one way and then the other. [LOC: 19, Matters of Toh, 312]
7.1 AELFINN ANSWER: [Rand] knew he had a chance to live, if a seemingly impossible one. If you would live, you must die. [LOC: 26, Connecting Lines, 373]
7.2 AELFINN ANSWER: [Rand] had been told by those he had to believe. To live, you must die. [WH: 25, Bonds, 483]
The Luckers Pick
So, as I said, there are many individual answers to each of these prophecies, but if you look at the following three together you can actually begin to establish some restrictions and requirements for Rand’s death.
1. To live, you must die.
2. He who is dead yet lives.
3. [Alivia] is going to [help you die].
As a result of these three we can establish these following points.
1. Rand must actually die. The wording is too clear here to permit him faking his death, or people assuming that he is dead in the event that he disappears, or any derivation thereof. He must actually die (more on this in a second).
2. This death must be the result of an intentional effort by himself, with Alivia's aid. Alivia will help him die. Alivia will not kill him, she will aid HIM in causing his own death.
3. That some aspect of himself must survive his death... and I mean that literally. It must SURVIVE, not just be resurrected or resuscitated later. The language is clear, he who is dead, YET lives. Concurrent states. He is both dead AND alive, not dead THEN alive. Note the Mat prophecy. To die and live again as a part of what was. He died, THEN he lives again. Rand dies, YET he lives.
The Nature of Death
Or we could call this part the Nature of Life in the Wheel. All I'm really looking to point out is that due to the cycle of resurrection within the wheel a living person has three distinct parts; body, soul and the manifest personality of the current incarnation. In terms of the theory, the significant part of all this is that 'death' in the world of the wheel is established by the death of the physical body in which a person resides. Their souls do not die at this time, yet they are still termed as dead.
In particular the Forsaken stand in as evidence for this--their bodies died, their souls continued, and even the manifest personality of that incarnation remained cohesive--yet they are still said to have died, and refer to their 'death' in the possessive--it was their death, not simply the death of their body.
The Body Swap
What is the Body Swap Theory?
So keeping all that in mind, let's look at the actual theory. It's actually pretty much what you expect--that Rand and Moridin will swap bodies using the link that formed between them when they crossed their balefire streams. Then Alivia will assist Rand-in-Moridins-body to kill Moridin-in-Rands-body thus 'helping him die' and fulfilling requirement two. At that point Rand will be dead, yet alive fulfilling requirement three, and a part of him will genuinely be dead, under the definitions of death established in this series, fulfilling requirement one.
So How Will the Swap Occur?
As I said above the link will be what facilitates the link, but taking a closer look at that link can tell us a bit about the how and why. Firstly, the link is growing stronger. From fuzzy perceptions to thoughts crossing over to Rand and Moridin's souls being yanked together for a dream Q&A in tGS we've seen a steady progression and development of this link since it first formed.
From there I would bring up the saidin factor. Whilst the link seems to have a certain passive element--with thoughts sliding through unasked--there is also a state to it which can specifically be activated by either Rand or Moridin seizing or releasing saidin. And it is just saidin--which is curious, one would think for Moridin it would be the True Power given that's what he was channeling, but it isn't--Demandred notes that Moridin after three thousand years of using both saidin and the TP has suddenly given up using saidin altogether--ergo, it is saidin which is causing the nausea in him. I wrote a full thread on my thoughts about why its saidin, and why they're experiencing nausea which can be found here if anyone is interested http://forums.dragon...ic,47417.0.html
For the sake of the body swap though, all we need to know is that saidin activates the link, and that the link is growing stronger as time passes. My suggestion therefore for how the Swap will happen is that Rand and Moridin will be fighting and Rand will cut Moridin off from the Dark One as he did in tDR. Now I'm aware RJ has said those black threads are not a connection to the Dark One, and that channeling the True Power is simply a matter of the Dark One giving his permission--but the fact remains that in tDR that did cut Ishamael off from the True Power.
I've speculated that those threads are the Chosen Mark, and are what enables Ishamael to ask--as in it serves as permission to ask. Whatever it is its involved in the process of asking and recieving in some way. I'm getting off track--the point is that Moridin will be cut off from the True Power, forcing him to draw saidin. Rand and Moridin both channeling saidin at the same time in proximity will activate the link so strongly they their souls will swap bodies.
Let's Clean House
Soul Transfer and Manipulation
One of the commonly raised objections/questions about the Body Swap is the question of the basis for suggesting a swap to even be possible. They point out that only the Dark One's been seen doing that sort of things, and ask what basis there is to suggest Rand and Moridin could even swap intentionally, much less accidentally without effort. The reply to that is that it’s a misconception to think the Dark One is the only one playing with souls. In fact Soul Manipulation is relatively common within the series. Here, off the top of my head.
1. Mordeth's soul survives his body’s death and inserts itself into Fain's body--and should have been able to oust Fain except for the Dark One's taint in him.
2. Dreamwalkers/Wolves--from when Perrin stayed in the Dream too long when hunting Faile we know that Dreamwalkers souls actually leave their body to enter TAR. As do Wolves when they sleep or die.
3. Ter’angreal--the above obviously means that the dream ter'angreal can pull peoples souls out of their bodies. Also the hedgehog that captured Faile captured her soul and pulled it almost all the way out of her body.
4. Machin Shin devours soul’s whole.
5. Draghkar also devour souls.
Of course none of these are specifically what we're suggesting here, they simply serve to establish that the sort of soul manipulation and transferral were talking about is not out of the norm for the Wheel of Time. They cumulatively establish precedent for the general art of Soul Transferral.
So that's it. I know a lot of you don't like the Body Swap. I don't really like it myself, but it fits. And, to date, it is the only one that does fit. But make of it what you will, and try not to rip into me too harshly. I'll cry. ;D