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WoT If…Slayer's the Key to Victory?


Posted by Mashiara Sedai on Nov 27 2012 04:00 AM under in Theory Blog
Now, we have another edition of "WoT If?", with a focus on who will live or die at the Last Battle. I'd like to look at the Royal Family of Andor a bit today, and see if their family ties might be the key to their salvation...or their doom. As always:

Spoiler warning! This will include content from many books in the series, including Towers of Midnight, and speculation about A Memory of Light. Please read at your own risk.

Also, this WILL NOT contain spoilers from A Memory of Light's Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, or Chapter 11. Please refrain from posting any spoilers from A Memory of Light in the comments section. The A Memory of Light spoiler discussion board can be found here.

First and foremost, we need to start with Elayne. Like last week's featured couple, many fans are upset with Elayne and begging for her death. She, however, feels immune to the threat of mortality. For the past five books, since she found out she was pregnant, she has known she will live long enough to have healthy children. There was a scene in Towers of Midnight where she sort of came to terms with her supposed immortality (Chapter 23, "Foxheads"), but will that change how recklessly she acts? I doubt it.

What kind of textual evidence do we have? The main argument comes from the same logic Elayne used, that she will be safe until her children are born. Min said:

Winter's Heart
Chapter 12, "A Lily in Winter"

"She'll get with child from this. Two of them; a boy and a girl; both healthy and strong."


It's difficult to keep track of the timeline, but I believe only three or four months have passed since Elayne got pregnant. That means she has five or six more before her babies are born. If the Last Battle is starting now, I'd say Elayne is safe. Since her babies will be born "healthy and strong," I'm assuming she won't have them prematurely.

There's also Nicola's Foretelling:

Lord of Chaos
Chapter 14, "Dreams and Nightmares"

"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."


Since Rand is "he who is dead yet lives," the Last Battle must be finished. So despite everyone's hopes, I'm saying Elayne will survive Tarmon Gai'don.

The next few have a little less certainty, in my opinion. Let's move on to Gawyn, another person a lot of fans have come to hate. Min and Egwene have both had visions about Gawyn that seem to have a "maybe" quality to them. Min sees:

The Shadow Rising
Chapter 47, "The Truth of a Viewing"

Gawyn kneeling at Egwene's feet with his head bowed, and Gawyn breaking Egwene's neck, first one then the other, as if either could be the future.


And Egwene Dreams:

Lord of Chaos
Chapter 15, "A Pile of Sand"

Twice, right atop one another, she dreamed of taking him by the shoulders and trying to turn him to face the other way against his will. Once he brushed her hands away roughly; the other time, she was somehow stronger than he. The two blended together hazily.


And later:

A Crown of Swords
Chapter 10, "Unseen Eyes"

Down one fork was his violent death, down the other, a long life and a death in bed. On one path, he would marry her, on the other, not.


Gawyn made his choice in Towers of Midnight. He chose to bow before Egwene, not break her neck. And with knowing that in regards to Min's viewing, we can apply it to Egwene's Dreams. Because she made him come around to her way of thinking, we can see she was "stronger" than he, turning him from what he wanted.

But which path is which? The second Dream has a violent death versus death in bed, which is paralleled in the next sentence by marrying her versus not marrying her. Does this mean they are linked in that way? That the violent death is if he marries her, and death in bed if he doesn't? That's what I would think. And we know they intend to marry (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 42, "Stronger Than Blood"), so I'd say that's evidence pointing towards Gawyn dying. However, the wording could be an Aes Sedai trick by Robert Jordan to make us believe that the phrases are paired with one another when they really aren't.

Okay, let's look at more proof. Gawyn took the ter'angreal rings from the Bloodknife Seanchan assassins. Those ter'angreal kill the wearer, even if the ring is removed.

The Gathering Storm
Chapter 35, "The Death of Tuon"

The incredible abilities came at a cost, however, for the rings leeched life from their hosts, killing them in a matter of days. Removing the ring would slow that process slightly, but once activated—done by touching a drop of one's own blood to the stone ring while wearing it—the process was irreversible.


The last we've seen, Gawyn has them on a chain around his neck (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 56, "Something Wrong"). Can they hurt him if they've been activated by someone else? Does having them around the neck count as "wearing" them? How easily could Gawyn's blood drip onto the rings if they are that close?

There are a lot of questions and a lot we don't know about these ter'angreal, but I think this could be more foreshadowing about Gawyn's death.

What about Galad? We only have a few viewings from Min that hint about his future. We find out he "will always do what is right. No matter who it hurts" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 24, "New Friends and Old Enemies"), and he would hurt someone for the greater good, not even noticing who got hurt (The Great Hunt, Chapter 38, "Practice").

I think this emphasis on Galad's goodness-to-a-fault suggests a self-sacrifice. He was willing to die by the hands of Valda for the wrongs done to Morgase, and he could easily give up his own life to save another, for the greater good.

I've seen theories that suggest Galad might be the key to victory at the Last Battle for two reasons. One is Elaida's Foretelling about the "Royal line of Andor being the key to defeating the Dark One" (A Crown of Swords, Prologue), and two is the prophecy that says, "Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul. In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 26, "Discord"). Galad is a member of the royal line and Rand's half-brother by blood. Galad could be said to be the Dragon's blood. Since prophecy very rarely means what it says, I think it's possible that this isn't referring to Rand's actual blood. It could easily apply to Luc Mantear as well.

Min did see a viewing around Berelain sur Paendrag that she will meet "a man in white who will make her fall head over heels" (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 50, "Thorns"). We get hints in Towers of Midnight that it is Galad. Even if Berelain falls in love with him doesn't mean he will survive Tarmon Gai'don.

So, I think Galad's chances of surviving are slim as well.

Finally, let's look at Luc Mantear, who is currently half of the assassin Slayer. The circumstances around Luc's trip to the Blight are mysterious. Rumors say it was Gitara Moroso who told him to go (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 16, "Tellings of the Wheel"). If a Foretelling was involved, it seems like the Luc/Isam merging was a step the Pattern needed. And if the Pattern needed Slayer, then he most definitely has a major role to play. And that means he could be the key to victory, when he is able to help Rand—who he knows is his nephew (Winter's Heart, Chapter 22, "Out of Thin Air")—and perhaps defeat the Shadow inside himself, most likely to die in the process.

Either way, if Slayer doesn't return to the Light, Perrin will certainly kill him. I think it's almost a guarantee that Slayer will die during the Last Battle.

So, things look pretty grim for the Royal Line of Andor. I guess we'll find out for certain in six weeks! That's all for this edition. Next week, we'll look at Nicola's Foretellings (not the "Three on a boat" one!). Thanks for reading!
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Posted by Mashiara Sedai on Nov 27 2012 04:00 AM under in Theory Blog

22 Comments

YAY! first post.
Why would Gawyn accidentally use those Ter'angreal? Seems to me he is headstrong enough to deliberately use them. Thought: what would be the effects of using them all simultaneously? a Bloodknife using one was bad enough, with 3 (is it 3, or 2, gotta check later) he'd be nigh unstoppable.
Love you from afar, Mashi... women who think are hot!

YAY! first post.
Why would Gawyn accidentally use those Ter'angreal? Seems to me he is headstrong enough to deliberately use them. Thought: what would be the effects of using them all simultaneously? a Bloodknife using one was bad enough, with 3 (is it 3, or 2, gotta check later) he'd be nigh unstoppable.
Love you from afar, Mashi... women who think are hot!


I think it was meant that wearing them around his neck means if injured, his own blood could accidentally get on it and activate them.
Welcome Tsukibana! We're always glad to have new people posting!

I think you might be forgetting one of Rand's blood-relatives: Sulin. It's been barely mentioned, and many people who've heard me say that have disagreed, but she said as much, referring to him as her "first-brother" when she realized he'd been kidnapped in LoC. So while Sulin might not have any connection to the Royal Line of Andor if she's Janduin's daughter, she could also be considered "the blood of the Dragon," in this case.

And yes, you make a really good case for Gawyn dying. Possibly Galad too, but Galad has actually grown in the past book. The Galad from the first 8 or 9 books would certainly have executed Perrin after his trial, Last Battle or not. It wouldn't have mattered if he also saved Galad's Whitecloaks from Trollocs, or done some other good deed. In the eyes of the OLD Galad, killing Whitecloaks is killing Whitecloaks. He would not have given Perrin a lenient sentence.

But this new Galad did exactly that. After he got to know Perrin, he realized that he wasn't a darkfriend, and that he didn't just kill Whitecloaks for kicks. Galad realized that there were bigger stakes, and that just maybe, "doing the right thing" can be more complicated than it appears at first. From a literary perspective, Galad's growth makes me think he's LESS likely to die. But Gawyn though, I think he's toast, and I think he'll go out in a blaze of glory. He's Egwene's warder now, so he'll save her life I'm sure, before it's all over.

As for Slayer, no way does he turn to the light. He's a died-in-the-wool killer, and he likes what he does. His death might help Rand, but only inasmuch as the battle between Perrin and Slayer (which we ALL know is coming) will do something to help Rand, like it helped Egwene take out Mesanna (with the dreamspike). The only thing I still wonder about Slayer at this point is whether or not Rand and Lan will ever learn that Slayer is connected to both of them. I don't know if either of them is even aware that Slayer exists.

Thanks for the weekly dose of awesomeness, Mashiara!
Hello everyone.. I believe Luc had an strong connection to Galad, his small nephew. He had bonded with him before he went to the Blight. Rand also resembles his sister Tigraine. Isam has a soft spot for little boys. Yes Mashiara, Slayer might very well come to the light and by doing so, help to save the day. A Memory of light, could easily be a memory of the unconditional love and tenderness to one''s sibling and to one's nephew.
Also, Slayer might only be hurt, and My Favorite Superhealer Girl , might just be the one who can undo and repair the evil one work.!!!!
Wow. For just a second there, I thought you meant that Tigraine was Rand's sister. Then I realized you were referring to her as Luc's sister.

But for just a moment there, I thought "Wow, how the heck did I miss THAT? Tigraine is Rand's sister? NOT his mother? I need to read a LOT more carefully!" LOL
Spoke, I understand what Mashi means about accidental activation, but I believe it much more likely he does it on purpose... wouldn't take much, I think. Egwene goes down, hordes of shadow spawn surround them, its the only way for him to protect her until help breaks through.
Right!!!L.O.L. I am doing my re-reads, exploring the Forums,and reading for the first time that jewel of information which is the Thirteenth Depository!!!I am in heaven!!!! I love reading you guys!!!And Mashiara, Keep the great job you are doing!!!

I feel like it is necessary to point out at this point that Rand could also easily fulfill Elaida's foretelling. He is the son of Tigraine, who was the daughter heir when Elaida gave that Foretelling.

 

Also, while we are speaking of relatives, Galad is Rand's half-brother. I think that for that reason alone, he might play a larger role than most people think, perhaps with Rand's resurrection.

I think I always thought Elaida's foretelling refered to Rand (once we found out who his mother was). He is decended from the Royal Line of Andor.

Galad being his half brother I hadn't really thought about but he will defo be at the Last Battle with Perrin.

Not really sure about Gawyn (but he is annoying) but I do actually like Elayne.

Only 6 weeks to go!!

I always figured that the foretelling from Elaida was with regards to Rand and Elayne getting together, with regards to Luc I think his importance was to provide Perrin with the motivation to learn the wolf dream.  the wolf dream is going to be vital to the last battle I think, more so than anything else.  there are many qualities of shayol ghul that I think translate and correspond to T'A'R.

I also believe that that Elaida's foretelling conerns Rand.... Slayer I believe will stay in the Shadow, while I am interested to see how badly T'A'R is at this point of the series.....what about the wolves????? Are they in the real world all at once, or one group in the real world and one group in T'A'R???? Big questions to be answered....... Getting EXCITED!!!!!

All right.  Now I can finally respond!  :P

 

Tsukibana, I'm not sure Gawyn would know enough about them to activate them on purpose.  As far as we know, there's no one, save Aviendha, who can "read" ter'angreal, so I don't think anyone in the Tower could tell him what they are.  Because of that, I think it would be accidental.  He, like Spoke said, would drop blood on one of them during the fighting and active it.  But of course, that is if it can be re-activated, since it's already been "turned on," so to speak.

 

Metal Head, I'm going to politely disagree with your idea that Sulin is Rand's brother.  We know Janduin was very young for a clan chief, so I don't think he would have been old enough to have a child who is Sulin's age.  Interestingly, her clan is never listed.  ???  I've checked Encyclopaedia-WoT.org and it's not even mentioned there.  Do we ever get told?  I can't recall.  But, she is described as such: "She is wiry and white haired. (TFoH,Ch7) She has blue eyes. (LoC,Ch1) She is wiry, scarred and leathery with white hair. (ACoS,Ch2)" (Encycloapedia-WoT).  She obviously a much older woman than someone who could be Rand's sister.  When she said "first-brother," I think it's just the way the Maidens adopted him.

 

Oragne7, I agree that it may have been referring to Rand, since he is the obvious one who will be the key to winning the Last Battle.  At the same time, I think that's a bit too obvious.  But, maybe that's the point; Elaida is oblivious to much of what's going on--this could be one of those pieces of information she's just bungled.

Metal Head, I'm going to politely disagree with your idea that Sulin is Rand's brother.  We know Janduin was very young for a clan chief, so I don't think he would have been old enough to have a child who is Sulin's age.  Interestingly, her clan is never listed.  ???  I've checked Encyclopaedia-WoT.org and it's not even mentioned there.  Do we ever get told?  I can't recall.  But, she is described as such: "She is wiry and white haired. (TFoH,Ch7) She has blue eyes. (LoC,Ch1) She is wiry, scarred and leathery with white hair. (ACoS,Ch2)" (Encycloapedia-WoT).  She obviously a much older woman than someone who could be Rand's sister.  When she said "first-brother," I think it's just the way the Maidens adopted him.

 

gotta disagree with you there too... we hear the maidens call him "son of a maiden", but "first brother" is a relation...

 

now, if sulin was was tigraine's child, as a maiden, she would have had to either give her up, and thus sulin wouldnt know of the relation, or, give up the spear, in thus rand wouldnt be born of a maiden as referred to in prophecy...

 

the only solution that i can see, is that tigraine had a sister-wife, who wasnt a maiden, and sulin was her child... in this way, sulin would have known tigraine, and thus rands relation to her as a first-brother... and, would account for the physical similarities, and differences :) while they would be considered blood kin, they have different mothers...

Mashi, most Ter'angreal are multi-use, so they might still work; besides, it's a ring... even Gawyn should be smart enough to use it. :)

 

Mark, seems logical, we never do hear about Janduin's family, and many chiefs have sister-wives... but still, I think even were she Rand's blood, I think believing her essential is a stretch...

 

Metal, agree that Galad's new personality makes him a much better character. always dislike those black/white archetypes.

Sulin is Goshien.  It is stated while she's cataloging the dead at Dumai's Wells in ACoS.

I'll give up on the "Sulin is blood-related to Rand" theory.  The popular vote seems to be way against it, although I sure would like it if it turned out Rand had some family among the Aiel.  Did Janduin have any brothers?  Sisters?  I have a feeling we'll never know.

 

But if it turns out I was right, I will return here to crow about it.  In that case, I'll get my "I-told-you-so"s all shined up and ready for deployment.
 

The only things I can add to the debate are pure speculation and conjecture, which isn't very helpful, but it is a lot of fun!

Sulin is older than Rand.  We know that Aiel custom is to make sure that no child of a maiden ever learns the identity of her birth mother, but no one is perfect, and no cultural system is perfect either.  It wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine that if Tigraine really is Sulin's mother, maybe she had a hard time adjusting to that particular Aiel custom because she wasn't born Aiel and had just left her first child behind in Andor, and perhaps some other maiden or wise one (or someone else who wasn't supposed to know) took pity on her and told Tigraine which child was hers in order to ease her mind, and then Tigraine quietly revealed herself to Sulin sometime before the invasion of Cairhien.  There are a million possible ways that Sulin could have found out who her biological mother was, if we accept that even among the Aiel, people make mistakes and sometimes break the rules.  After all, there wouldn't need to be a rule if EVERYONE went along with it voluntarily.
 

And the only reason I ever went with this theory in the first place is because Sulin refers to him specifically as her "first-brother."  Now, I know that ALL maidens look at him as a long-lost little brother, but "FIRST-BROTHER" is quite specific.  No other maiden ever referred to Rand as a "first-brother" that I can recall.  That's the only REAL evidence there is for this.

Oh, about Gawyn's ter'angreal... I think it's pretty obvious that SOMEONE is going to use it and die, or else why is it still in the story this close to the end?  Egeanin is around now.  She might recognize it and tell someone what it is.  I doubt that Gawyn will use it accidentally.  I just don't think Gawyn will go out like that.  If he uses that ter'angreal, it won't be an accident.

I must respectfully disagree metal. I think the odds of Gawyn using the ter'angreal are huge. I mean he hung them around his neck. Perfect position to get blood on them to activate them. As for Galad I have felt for a while that the odds of him dying and the relation between him and Rand and that his blood might be spilled. The misinterpretation seems far to obvious though for Jordan. I think it is there intentionally to try to confuse people. I think it is far more likely that the blood is the blood of his people. The Aeil or even the andorans. And of course Rands.

@metalhead popular vote is against it? news to me...

 

as i said, sulin and rand probably share a father... sulin was probably born years ahead of tigraine's marriage to janduin...

 

so they are blood related, tho i do agree, she isnt a huge character, and probably wont be pivital to the story...

Don't forget Rand's Grandmother (Janduin's Mother) Nakomi.

She went to Ruidean the second time and did not return and was "Forgotten".  Only to show up when Avi was going the second time.  I think she learned something when she went through the rings the first time and "remembered" it when she went the second time, and that was to "not return to Mount Chandier".

 

That's my theory.  They tell Avi when they send her the second time, to go to Ruidean the second time and they do not know her until she returns as a sister wise one.

Don't forget Rand's Grandmother (Janduin's Mother) Nakomi.

She went to Ruidean the second time and did not return and was "Forgotten".  Only to show up when Avi was going the second time.  I think she learned something when she went through the rings the first time and "remembered" it when she went the second time, and that was to "not return to Mount Chandier".

 

That's my theory.  They tell Avi when they send her the second time, to go to Ruidean the second time and they do not know her until she returns as a sister wise one.

nakomi is rands grandmother??? got a reference?

 

they also said similar to rand when he and mat went to rhuidean... to the pillars... i suspect this is more ceremonial than anything else...

Request for reference seconded.

At this point we can assume that Gawyn would use the rings accidentally since nobody knows what they are. Can you imagine the dramatic scene of his death? He's dying, nobody knows why, Egwene is desperate, crying, what's going on?!... However, if Egwene meets Fortuna she will probably be accompanied by her new warder and then the empress could see the rings. If only she would be merciful enough to reveal the secret...

 

I wonder if we will see some more Galad/Galahad paralell. After all, Galahad was the one to heal the Fisher King and, due to his chastity, to find the Holy Grail (Grail = angreal). This paralell could possibly make Galad the key to winning TG.



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