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It Works in Theory: The Amyrlin's Anger

Posted by Despothera on Nov 29 2011 04:00 AM under in Theory Blog
Calichniye, my cunning companions of Dragonmount! Welcome to another weekly installment of "It Works in Theory," Dragonmount's wild ride of a theory blog! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving last week, for those who celebrate it. For those who don't, I hope you found some other reason to stuff your belly (it's never hard for me to find a reason to do so). I'm sure everyone is anxious for me to continue with the second part of last week's blog...(crickets chirping), but I have one quick announcement: This week, I'll be venturing forth on a cruise with my newlywed wife, and as such, there's a good chance you might not see a blog from me for the following week. Fear not, though, for I will bounce back again completely relaxed and rejuvenated and should have oodles of new theories for you to masticate upon. And now, for our weekly disclaimer (does anyone actually read these?):

WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!!! WARNING!!!

This blog is based on theories that will include facts and material from the latest books in the series, so if you have not read through Towers of Midnight, continue reading at your own risk! "It Works in Theory" is a high velocity, roller coaster-type ride that includes sudden brief stops in hyperbole and sharp turns away from reason. Please secure all loose belongings and keep all attached and unattached limbs and body parts inside the blog at all times during the ride. Don't sway the cabin or rock the boat, that's my job. Due to the nature of the ride, guests with back and/or neck problems, expectant mothers, any who have recently had experimental non-FDA approved surgery, or anyone without an open mind or a sense of humor should not ride this blog.

As this is the second part of a two-part entry, I'll go ahead and review what we covered in last week's blog: The Gray Tower. It seems obvious to me that the White Tower and the Black Tower will not exist in the same way after both of their impending altercations. Many signs point to a joint organization being formed, a "Gray Tower," which would combine both of their forces and allow men and women to work together again using the One Power to help their world flourish after Tarmon Gai'don. This week, I'm going to cover exactly how that might occur. It seems like it might be a tall order after all, since the current leader of the Black Tower is an evil maniac, and the leader of the White Tower is somewhat biased regarding the sanity of male channelers. So, who would help these two groups come together to resolve their differences and work together?

Why, who else but the Dragon Reborn himself, Rand al'Thor?

Back in A Crown of Swords, Elaida a'Roihan had a Foretelling that seemed to assure her of her own control of the White Tower. She ended up drastically misinterpreting the Foretelling, but let's take another look at that vision of the future and see if we can glean more of what it really meant.

A Crown of Swords

The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds. This I Foretell.

The White Tower ended up becoming whole again, only it was under Egwene as Amyrlin, not Elaida. The Black Tower section is part of why I think some kind of calamity will ensue there, which will cause the Asha'man to have to find a new home. The part in the middle, about Rand facing the Amyrlin Seat and knowing her anger, is what really interests me. Some suggest that this in fact has already happened, when Rand visited the White Tower in Towers of Midnight. After all, Egwene wasn't exactly happy to hear about Rand's plan to break the seals on the Dark One's prison. However, I don't think this to be the case, as she wasn't nearly as angry as she was awestruck by Rand; she sensed the profound change inside him. There's also another reason I don't think Rand has "known her anger"...yet.

The Fires of Heaven
Chapter 15, "What Can Be Learned in Dreams"

Rand sitting down in a chair, and somehow she knew that the chair's owner would be murderously angry at having her chair taken; that the owner was a woman was as much as she could pick out of that, and not a thing more.

So, in one of Egwene's Dreams, she sees Rand taking a woman's seat, and that woman being very upset with him. Could this mysterious woman in fact be the same woman whose anger Rand would be "gettin schooled" in from Elaida's Foretelling? In the Wheel of Time FAQ, they bring up the possibility that this has occured already as well. It's possible that this happened when Rand briefly sat on the Lion Throne after securing the rule of Andor later in the same book as the Dream. Morgase would be considered the rightful owner at the time, and she did become pretty upset with the thought of Rand taking her throne. Another possibility mentioned is that the chair is the Crystal Throne, but at this point I find this to be highly unlikely; I just don't think there's enough time in the series for Rand to visit the continent of Seanchan and rob it from Tuon. So, this dream of Egwene's could be a possible foreshadowing of Rand sitting in the Amyrlin Seat's seat itself, which would cause her to be extremely upset, of course.

There's one more piece of evidence that I wanted to cover, and it's a little less solid, but together with the other pieces, it does make the picture slightly clearer.

The Shadow Rising
Chapter 19, "The Wavedancer"

The White Tower shall be broken by his name, and Aes Sedai shall kneel to wash his feet and dry them with their hair.

This quote is taken from the Jendai Prophecies. Many might look at the footwashing part mainly as flavor text that would mainly indicate Aes Sedai serving him, but keep in mind the odd ritual carried out during the ceremony of raising someone to the Amyrlin Seat:

Lord of Chaos
Chapter 35, "In the Hall of the Sitters"

The ceremony for choosing a new Amyrlin is very old and very strict. The woman is chosen and brought in front of the sitters for each Ajah. The first part of the ceremony is to make sure that only women are present. The oldest Aes Sedai stands and inspects each woman, who is naked to the waist, in order to make sure only women are present. Ages ago this portion would have been conducted with every woman completely naked. Once it is determined that every person present is a woman the ceremony continues until the woman who has been brought in front of the sitters is asked, "How would you serve the tower?" The woman responds, "by serving as Amyrlin." The sisters present then stand if they feel the woman should be raised. Generally, most take their time as to show they will not be easily controlled by the new Amyrlin. All sisters must be standing in order to raise a new Amyrlin, as the tower must remain whole. If some are not standing, the woman must go through and wash every sister's feet individually and ask, "Please allow me to serve." Once the washing is done, the vote is taken again and a third time if it is necessary. If by that time not every sister stands, the woman who had hoped to be raised will most likely be exiled along with the women that voted for her, because they would always be a reminder of division within the tower. Once raised, the woman is given the stole with the colors of each Ajah on it.

First of all, let me state that the undressing portion of the ritual is extremely odd and is probably an example of why some have been heard to complain about a possible sexist feel to the series. Moving past that, though, you'll see the part of the ritual I was referring to before. If an Amyrlin is being raised and every Sitter doesn't stand for her, the would-be Amyrlin must go to every one of the Sitters and wash their feet, asking them to let her serve. This seems a little different than the scenario described in prophecy, but let's not forget that several rituals and traditions have changed greatly over the years. The Oath Rod itself, which is used to swear Aes Sedai in after achieving the Shawl, was used as a way of punishing criminals back in the Age of Legends. So, it could be that the ritual became skewed over time and ended up having the Amyrlin doing the footwashing, when originally they were the ones getting their feet washed.

A funny little footnote to this theory is the fact that Rand, being Lews Therin reborn, might even have an odd sort of claim to the Amyrlin Seat. After all, Lews Therin was the Amyrlin himself before he committed the most extreme version of hari-kari ever, and for all we know the laws of that time might not have made the Seat automatically pass to someone else upon the Amyrlin's death. In that case, Rand would simply state that he already was the Amyrlin, and proceed to start barking out orders like General George S. Patton, foregoing the whole footwashing business altogether.

So, what would cause Rand to do such a thing? Is it the Two Rivers young prankster side of him coming back out for a moment, stealing Egwene's chair for a second just to upset her? I doubt it, but I'm sure plenty of fans of the series wouldn't mind Egwene being brought down a peg or two (judging from the forums, Egwene appears to be an extremely polarizing figure). More than likely, the disaster that will befall the White Tower will end up being placed at Egwene's feet, since she has taken a large percentage of the defensive forces of the White Tower with her to the Fields of Merrilor in an attempt to convince Rand not to break the seals. It goes without saying (which is why I'm typing it) that the fall of Tar Valon would be a huge loss for the forces of Light, not to mention that several important items are being safeguarded there. Should the attack be comprised solely of Seanchan troops, then Tuon would have a powerful edge in negotiations between the two (Rand would likely end up buying the Horn off her with another trinket that would be immensely valuable to her, but that's a story for a future blog). Should the Horn end up being stolen by the forces of the Dark, it would be a very bleak day for Rand and friends indeed.

Rand obviously would be very upset at Egwene for committing such a grievous transgression, and combined with the fact that Egwene would more than likely oppose the idea of Asha'man joining the ranks of the White Tower, it might be enough to make him so upset that he temporarily commandeers the Seat in order to help force the Aes Sedai to accept their new peers. Don't forget about the Dream that I quoted in part 1 of this entry, in which Egwene saw the window across from the Amyrlin Seat that had the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai (The Dragon's Fang mixed with the Flame of Tar Valon, making a yin-yang like symbol); this symbol is said to be the symbol under which the Dragon Reborn conquers. Egwene has been dreaming of an important confronation with Rand for some time, and instead of it being over the breaking of the Seals like most of us believe, it could in fact be a confrontation over the leadership of the new "Gray Tower" itself.

I have two more things to mention before I go. First, I'll ask you to please be nice when adding comments for this week's blog. As I mentioned before, Egwene can be a particularly polarizing figure, and if you have certain strong feelings about her, just try your best to keep it respectful. Second, I want to remind you that the JordanCon fundraiser is ending on December 1st. Go here if you would like to participate. With that, I bid you adieu for a couple weeks, and I'll send everyone warm, happy thoughts from the Bahamas!
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Posted by Despothera on Nov 29 2011 04:00 AM under in Theory Blog


Has anyone considered the possibility that Egwene seeing the teardrop+fang in the window might actually not be a reference to male and female channellers, but to the seals? As I recall, the seals have the same ancient Aes Sedai symbol on them.

So, could it be that her vision in T'A'R was actually a way to say "when the seals are broken, so too will the White Tower be broken"? After all, the second attack on Tar Valon is on its way while much of the Aes Sedai are on the plains. There's a good chance that Rand (or possibly someone else) will break the seals, and right around the same time, the attack on Tar Valon begin.

Alternatively, T'A'R is known to show people what they need - usually, this is done intentionally, but Egwene is a dreamwalker, perhaps it happens automatically for her. She needed to see that symbol in the white tower, to make her realise that she needs to mend the Aes Sedai, female and male, into a cohesive whole again. This could also tie to the seals, which also have the symbol, and may act as the other half of the reminder - it is when she sees the seals that she will need to realise the need.
I'm not convinced that Rand sitting in the chair in TAR is not the Lion Throne. The timing of the dream and when Rand sat on the throne was pretty spot on if my memory is correct. Also, the fact the Aes Sedai will bow to him and so forth could be a simple reference to the Aes Sedai sycophants that Rand already has following him.
The most interesting thing to me is Elaida's foretelling that "The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds." The conflict at the Black Tower seems like it will come down to Logain's followers and Mazrim Tiem's brood of Ashaman. I feel like Rand wont be the one leading the black tower after the last battle. Every thing seems to be pointing to Logain being the future leader of the male channelers. Hence Min's reading of his future majesty.
well... theres three thrones i can see women being grumpy about him sitting in...
1) crystal throne of seanchan
2) lion throne of andor
3) amerlin seat

crystal throne - now, unless tuon sent for the crystal throne when she became empress, i doubt he'll get the chance. tho, she may have sent for it...

lion throne - is possible if rand comes to rescue andor from the darkfriends... but that seems more like a mat type fight... the band of the red hand is already very close...

amerlin seat - possible... i can see it where the white and black towers join, amerlin over the women, m'hael over the men.. and the dragon over both... but i dont know if we have enough time in the books for that...

also, didnt lews hold the t'amerlin seat in the AoL? the head of the hall of servants

of all, i see the t'amerlin as most likely, as improbable as it is... then... egwene, and im guessing logain(as the true m'hael), are going to meet at the plains... so its possible the t'amerlin seat may return...
I always thought the tower eladia was building would be the new black tower.
@thepaperstones if it were anywhere close to being complete... id agree... but... perhaps the ashaman will speed up its construction some ;-) i mean... they built a palace, and wall, within what... a year? assuredly they could throw up a wee shack in a few months :)
1. The Crystal Throne: Distance is no longer an issue, the actual location of the throne is irrelevant to someone who can Travel. But how does this further the story?

2. The Lion Throne: Yawn, how does this further the story?

Prophecy in TWOT series is about forshadowing significant events, not being caught appropriating the queen's privy by sitting on her throne. Neither of the above is very significant unless Rand is destined to rule the Seanchean, and how many think that's in the cards?

Rand will sit on the Amerlin's throne. Among other things, the books are about how the Dark One divided men and women and how much was lost because of it. In all the time since the age of legends, the warder bond was the only progress made to heal that divide, that is, before the Dragon was reborn. There are hints that Rand will reunite the Aes Sedai, both men and women. The fact that circles are such a great advantage to the forces of the light is one such hint, as is the fact that Calendor can only be wielded by a man linked to two women. The failure of the peers in their first assualt of the bore was in part because they were disunited. Can this series be complete unless Rand both defeats the Dark One and undoes the damage he caused between men and women? Hell the whole book is about the conflicts between the sexes. When the stronger of the two sexes was eliminated, the Aes Sedai devolved into a self important bunch of schemers whose only method of sorting out their social status was who happened to be born stronger in the source. The Wise Ones underscore how far the Aes Sedai have fallen in this regard. Rand's role is to break all oaths and undo the wounds inflicted by the Dark One, and to stuggle against him in the final battle. Matt's is to general the army of the light, and Perrin's is to clear away the rubble and forge the new seals to lock away the Dark One forever.

It has to be the Amerlin's throne.
I agree with the theory that blood and fire rending the black tower refers to logain becoming the M'hael. In a True Dream of Egwene's (I think it she made this prediction at least), Logain would step over a unidentifiable corpse-and onto a carved black stone.

The BT has a carved black stone, from which morning announcements are made. Can't remember what it's called off hand but it was something to the effect of the leader's stone.

Now that I think about it, it's kinda a reference to the Scottish "Stone of Destiny," isn't it...
You didn't think he made that big ole hammer just to thump trollocs did you?
Oh yeah! And as for Egwene's anger moment, I could easily see her exploding when, after taking the time and energy to collect all these leaders and armies in a show of force to convince Rand not to break the seals, he goes and does it anyways.
It seems like the Black Tower has reached the tipping point where Logain's followers are hopelessly outnumbured by Ashamen taken by a circle of 13 myredrals, so if Logain becomes the M'hael, it will have to be with the help of the White Tower. It's going to be quite the fight (Everybody was kung fu fighting...)but I would imagine the naughty Ashamen will be squaring off with Logain's followers backed by a circle of sisters. That unidentifiable corpse seen in the dream is likely to be the former M'hael.

PS: I don't see Rand in this fight. When he confronted the trolloc army on the borderlands and crushed it, he said it almost precipitated an open battle with the Dark One. He expressed the belief he had to avoid this until the final battle, so I don't see him at the fight for the Black Tower.
i dont see that either smiddy... and yes... the darkfriends seemingly have much larger numbers... but, rand, mat, and perrin kinda balance the scales... rand with his crazy powerful channeling, mat with his luck and the ever victorious army and the real ever victorious army(band of the red hand), and perrin with the wolves

logain has been missing for several books now... who can say when/where he will come back... i think, he will have to attack the black tower with circles with AS... its the preverbial balance... men are stronger alone, but women in groups
Well, I agree that overall, the WT and BT will join forces, but I disagree about most everything else.

First, count me as one who thinks the throne Egwene saw Rand sitting on was the Lion Throne. And it was Elayne that was angry, not Morgase. In my book, that has already been fulfilled.

Second, in terms of Aes Sedai kneeling to him and washing his feet with their hair (Jendai prophecy), I believe that has already been fulfilled as well, though not literally in the latter sense. When Rand forcibly knelt the AS to him after Dumai's Wells, and then convinced the world that he wasn't a puppet by having them put on display to serve him, that fulfilled that part of the prophecy.

An opinion shared by Linda over at the 13th.


Third, I don't think Rand will be angry at Egwene for gathering a large force at Merillor to try to disuade him. That is precisely why he told her about his plan to break the seals. I believe there is even a direct quote from Rand to this effect,though I cannot find it now. Point being, he WANTED her to be the one to gather everyone together so he didn't have to waste time doing it. So he can hardly be mad that she's done exactly what he wanted.

Last, I don't think the Seanchan will be nearly as successful this time. Egwene knows they have traveling. Or proceeds under that assumption. Even with a lot of the armies at the FoM, many channelers will be at the Tower. Egwene knows the Seanchan are coming.

Also remember, I believe the BT timeline is considerably behind everyone else. I have a feeling that things may be resolved there, or close to it, before Caemlyn is attacked, or before the WT is attacked.
id agree that rand told egwene as pure manipulation... either to gather everyone together to support him, or, gather everyone together to oppose him... either way, his taverein ways would be able to effect everyone directly, all at once... tho, what will come of that... is anyones guess...

and i dunno about a second attack being fruitless or out of the question... tho now, we have both tower guards, and gareth's army inside the walls, and more sisters around, which are alot more unified... it would be a far tougher nut to crack if they tried again... even though the seanchan have gateways...

and yea, at second read, the chair passage seems unrelated... egwene saw it, but its probably talking about elain's throne that was put on its pedistle
Don't really have an opinion as to the chair and the like, but as far as the horn goes. Mat is heading up there to get his horn back, and I'm reasonably certain he's going to succeed at it, and what with him being so lucky and all, it seems quite possible him getting there might very well correspond with and attack on the white tower that may happen, during which, he'd likely end up leading the defending forces.
Inasmuch as Mat is the Prince of Ravens, he will have quite a conflict of interest on his hands. I'm not sure his wife would look fondly upon him messing up her invasion plans.

I think Perrin has a much greater role than just his link with the wolves. I always thought his link to the wolves was a disappointing superpower in comparison to Rand and Mat until his link to the world of dreams was developed. He is a master of Tel'aran'rhiod. He's not just a dreamwalker like Egwene or the Wise Ones, he has a mastery at a whole other level.

The Wise Ones said the world of Tel'aran'rhiod is more real than the waking world, and more dangerous. The light and the Dark One exist in every world, especially at the focus of all worlds, Tel'aran'rhiod. Lews Therin's didn't just make a mistake in assaulting the bore without the female Aes Sedai, he also failed to realize that the bore can only be perfectly sealed at the locus of all worlds, in Tel'aran'rhiod.

My guess is Perrin, armed with his light forged hammer, will be the one to clear away the rubble and seal up the Dark One while Rand battles him down the bore, but I believe he and Rand will do so in Tel'aran'rhiod, not in the world of the waking. Perhaps that's the explanation of how Rand dies twice in one day, once in the world of the waking and once, and forever, in Tel'aran'rhiod taking him out of the pattern as he will no longer be needed to counterweigh the Dark One when he is finally sealed away forever.

My likely final scene guess consists of Perrin, Egwene, and the Wise One's bearing witness to the final victory of the Car'a'carn, giving his life to the light to throw down his eternal enemy (Ultimate Ji). What a dramatic exit.
id agree there, tho, its his link with the wolves, that gives him the mastery of TAR... tho, the wolves are not the best at TAR... the hero's are... brigetta had a whole conversation infront of perrin+hopper at the tower of gengi, without hopper even senseing them...

and, RJ did say that the DO couldnt be sealed away forever... this is a revolution of the wheel like every other... as i see it, the ultimate ending, is when the bore is opened, rand kills the DO, fixes the patch, stuffs fain in there as a young DO, and seals it back up... i think the repairs and slaying of the DO will have to happen in TAR, but the resealing w/ fain in the waking(fain doesnt live in TAR)...

and, rand doesnt have to die twice, he has to die and live again, i assume that means dieng in waking, and living in TAR as a hero
when rand told egwene to meet him on the field of merillor,i asked myself why?
he doesn't need her approval,nor her permission to break the seals,and come hell
or highwater he will do it,so why tell her?
because he is not going to be there.he is using the forces of light as a decoy,
rand knows that all the forces of light will attract the armies of dark,causing
the inevitable battle,while he will go directly to shayol ghul with moiraine,lanfear,perrin,aviendha and maybe a few more.
he doesnt need her permission, but he may need her help...

and dont forget... the light/shadow are opposites, and balanced... if the shadow's slogan is "let the lord of chaos rule", then the polar opposite would be "may the men of order live"... THAT is why i think he's summoned everybody... to create order...

long story short, i dont think he can do it alone... or, by doing it alone, there are some serious drawbacks(tainting of saidin comes to mind)

... and, i dont think brigetta will make it... min still sees all her images for her, and they show the future, not past... she'll probably die, and be born in time to keep up with gaidal(who was always older), and we have theorized who gaidal is(the son of one of the ashaman... name skips me at the momen)
Just one comment...
Rand sitting in the Crystal throne would be cool, but... I doubt it.
I originally thought, and won't be put out if it's true, that the chair Rand sat in was the Lion Throne. But come to think of it, while he sat in a throne in Caemlyn, he did not sit IN the chair. He sat in a different throne then the official Lion Throne. So it could definitely be taken either way. So it's all opinion. Like always. :)
I'm really looking forward to how things work out with Rand and Tuon. If they had faced off in the Gathering Storm, Rand would have lost it and probably killed her. Now with Rand making peace with himself and finally acting the the Dragon Reborn ought to have been acting all along (imo) it very well may turn out that Rand does bow to Tuon like the Seanchan prophecies say. I don't see him sitting in her throne now. That's a punk move that the old Rand would have tried.
I think the Lion throne definitely didn't fulfil the requirement for that Dream. As ta'verentrapped points out, Rand never actually sat in the bloody thing. And more to the point, Elayne loves him. She was cross when she visited Caemlyn in TAR that time, certainly, but there's no way she would have qualified as "murderously angry". Elayne's temper comes up quick and tends to blow over just as quick. More bark than bite to her. Egwene would have a far colder temper and I think her anger if Rand sat in HER chair would be more than impressive.

Also there is a certain appealing quality to the idea of Perrin being the one to make the new version of the seals, whatever that turns out to be. His smithing background leads him to fully agree with Rand - no point mending something a bit crap, better to start from scratch. And since Mah'alleinir he very much seems to be the man to do it.
Last point - re Amyrlin's anger - Egwene wasn't actually angry at Rand during his visit. She was a bit bewildered by the changes in him, and clearly believes him wrong about breaking the seals, but even with that she wasn't actually angry with him. Clearly he'll have to go a lot further to fulfill that one.
Desposthera, I'm new to Dragonmount, and I'm lovin the theory blog. It's really interesting, and it's helping my own theories along as well.
I've got an idea for a future blog maybe, and it's to do with the assault on Caemlyn. It's generally been assumed that it's shadowspawn, but I've spotted a theory on DM and expanded it a bit. I thought that maybe, Demandred was Talmanes (it sort of fits, because neither of them ever smile, Talmanes would have access to the Band, which is defo a good army, and we have never had a PoV from him, i think), and that he used compulsion or something on some of the Red Hand to attack Caemlyn. I don't have a copy of Verrin's letter at hand, but I don't think she specified that there would be Trollocs. This would make the Last Battle even more interesting, as the Light would lose one of it's strongest forces.
I know it's a bit farfetched and wacky, but I'm just putting it out there.
@talmanes its... possible... we have had very little information about demandred... only extremely vague descriptions(if that)... tho, i think the prologue of ToM, hinted that masema(the prophet), may have been controlled/pushed by someone... i think that'd be demandred, not to mention, that mat's talisman does go cold when a man channels, and mat&talmanes are usually around eachother... so IF talmanes is demandred, he rarely(if ever) channels...

all in all, something makes me doubt it.

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