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WoT If...the Aiel Submit to the Seanchan


Posted by Mashiara Sedai on Jan 01 2013 04:00 AM under in Theory Blog
Welcome back to "WoT If?", Dragonmount's weekly theory blog. As you all know, A Memory of Light is just one week away. In preparation for its release, this blog will contain a few of my predictions. But, before we begin:

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, Chapter 11, or Tor's daily previews. Please refrain from posting any spoilers from A Memory of Light in the comments section. The A Memory of Light pre-release spoiler discussion board can be found here. The A Memory of Light full spoiler discussion board is here.

I just finished my Towers of Midnight re-read, and I spent a lot of time thinking about many events that happened in that book; namely, Aviendha's second trip through the glass-column ter'angreal, and Moiraine's rescue from the Finns. We already know Moiraine has important information—after all, Mat gave up his eye "to save the world" (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 15, "Into the Doorway"; Towers of Midnight, Chapter 54, "The Light of the World"). But what of Aviendha's visions of the future—or possible future? Will the knowledge she has arm the Aiel for what is to come?

We've talked about the actual visions before and most everyone agreed they showed a possible future, not the future. Honestly, I'm still torn. I could see it going both ways. Obviously, I hope it's only a possibility. I respect the Aiel culture and would hate to see their honor lost so drastically. But the important fact is that Aviendha saw each step that took them down that path. She saw three key events that can be fixed, if she can convince the Aiel to bend a bit of their pride.

The Aiel have been left out of the Dragon's Peace, meaning they were not sworn to peace, a reward for their service to Rand. However, this lack of being included leads the Aiel down a very dark road. This is the first part of them going to war against the Seanchan. This part may be easily fixed, if Aviendha convinces Rand to include the Aiel.

The next major dispute between the Aiel and the Seanchan is the leashed Wise Ones. This hatred for the Seanchan festers inside the Aiel, growing into something so consuming they are unable to break away from it. Ladalin thinks that, "Her hatred of the invaders ran deep…Perhaps that hatred had destroyed the Aiel" (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 49, "Court of the Sun"). In that same chapter, Aviendha reflects:

The woman [Ladalin] had thought of war and associated it with honor, but hadn’t understood what honor was. No gai’shain? Retreat? There had been no mention of toh. This was battle stripped completely of point or reason.

Why fight? For Ladalin, it had been about hatred of the Seanchan.

There was war because there had always been war.


This may be a bit harder to fix. The Aiel are a proud people. They have so much honor and feel such shame when it is insulted. The Seanchan have insulted them by not letting the Wise Ones go after their year and a day of gai'shain service is up. So, to make peace with the Seanchan, the Aiel will need to let the collared Wise Ones go. They will need to let the insult go, let their hatred go. That won't be very easy for Aviendha to convince the Aiel to do.

On top of that, the Aiel still consider battle to bring honor.

Her mother had gained great ji in battle. Padra had had few chances to prove herself. A war with the Seanchan…the prospect invigorated her. But it would also mean much death.


The Aiel would go to war again. And there would be much honor in it.


Padra wants to start a war out of her desire to be like Aviendha. That's terribly ironic.

One last thing that Aviendha might try to prevent is Rand bowing to the Seanchan Empress. Oncala's vision shows this exchange between Hehyal, chief of the Taardad, and Talana, Queen of Andor:

“We have been patient with you,” Hehyal said. “We have come to you and explained what will happen if we cannot hold off the Seanchan.”

“The Dragon’s Peace—”

“What care do they have for the Dragon?” Hehyal asked. “They are invaders who forced him to bow to their Empress. She is considered above him. They will not keep promises they made to an inferior.”


From this Aviendha knows that if Rand bows before the Empress, the Aiel—and perhaps the other citizens of Randland as well—see him as weaker than the Empress. I think Rand's in a state of mind where he will willingly bow to Tuon, for the greater good, but look at how much harm comes from it later. But how will Rand make an alliance with them without bowing?

Here's my crazy theory on this one: Aviendha and the Aiel will bow before the Empress in Rand's place. She knows that so much harm comes from their hatred, their war, their unwillingness to surrender to the Seanchan. She will see that they need to submit. It will be the only way for the Aiel to survive as a people, avoiding the awful visions she saw.

And if that's unlikely to happen, here's another possible way to avoid that future: Aviendha will not have Rand's children. Now, before you start getting angry and saying "Min's viewings are always right," remember that Robert Jordan said, "The viewings and prophecies that occurred before the loosening of the Pattern are very valid. But those that occurred at, or after, the loosening have a higher chance of not coming true." Since he said this, I think we will have at least one instance when Min's viewing is wrong. Perhaps more than one. I think it would be very interesting if Elayne winds up with twin girls, instead of a boy and a girl—which would prove Min to be wrong—and Aviendha would then make sure she didn't get pregnant. I think she is strong enough to make that sacrifice for her people, since it is her line that leads to so much trouble.

That, mixed with the Aiel surrendering to the Seanchan, can make lasting peace.

Moving on…

Moiraine had three requests to make of the Eelfinn. She says that one of the requests was to keep the angreal that she and Lanfear brought into their world. What were the other two? She knew she wouldn't be allowed to escape since the doorway melted, so it's unlikely that she asked for that. Could she have asked for her Bond with Lan to be broken? It was necessary for everyone to think she died. If Lan's Bond with her still existed, he would have gone into the other doorway ter'angreal or into the Tower to get her out. That would have resulted in his and her death. She couldn't let that happen, so she needed the Bond annulled. Or did the Bond break because the doorway was destroyed? There were still other connections to the Finns' worlds, so I don't think that could have broken their Bond. I think it's much more likely Moiraine asked for it to be broken as one of her requests.

No doubt her last request was for specific knowledge. She has to come out of there with the key to victory because she will somehow save the world. I thought it would be her return that made Rand turn away from the Shadow inside him. But since he had his epiphany without her, her information must be something different. Perhaps she learned how to Heal the Bore? Perhaps she learned what the Dark One's real purpose is—since Verin says Rand's understanding isn't correct? Questions/requests related to the Shadow can have harsh consequences, but she's clever enough to phrase it the right way, I'm sure.

Okay, here's a few final predictions.

Deaths:

While I understand some of our main characters might die, I can't predict a single one. There is too much foreshadowing of events that take place past the Last Battle. The most popular character to die, I think, will be Birgitte. After that, I can see Gawyn dying, but I still think it unlikely.

I think the Aiel will suffer very heavy casualties. They have a prophecy that says, "He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live" (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 34, "He Who Comes With the Dawn"). Remember one of Min's first visions of Rand? She says she sees, "you [Rand] pouring water on sand" (The Eye of the World, Chapter 15, "Strangers and Friends"). Notice the similar wording? Perhaps that's a metaphor for the Aiel and their sacrifice in the Last Battle. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if every major Aiel character (Amys, Rhuarc, Sorilea, Bair, etc.) all die. Melaine will have her babies—unless that vision fails as well—so she might be safe until after the battle.

All the Forsaken will die. Even if one does wind up returning to the Light, it will be done in a sacrificial way, giving up their life for the Light to win. Out of all those who can turn, I think it likely to be Moridin.

Slayer and Fain will die. Slayer by Perrin. Fain by Rand. There's too much buildup between those pairs, too much narrative debt.

I think Cadsuane will die. She thinks in The Gathering Storm, that, "Over two centuries ago, she'd sworn to herself that she'd live to attend the Last Battle, no matter how long that took" (Chapter 5, "A Tale of Blood"). Notice how she never swears to live after the battle. I think that could be an ironic way of handling the situation. She lives to attend the Last Battle, but dies during it.

Other resolutions:

Perrin and Faile will take over the throne of Saldaea.

Mat and Tuon will settle the Seanchan around Altara; after the Dragon's Peace, they will not seek to conquer any more land this side of the ocean. Perhaps Setalle Anan can help with this; if she is Healed and is Aes Sedai again, Tuon will see that Aes Sedai are not evil creatures. Tuon will keep the damane they currently have, but not capture any more.

Nynaeve will become Elayne's Aes Sedai advisor ("If she had her way, Nynaeve al’Meara was going to be the Aes Sedai advisor to the next Queen of Andor" (Winter's Heart, Prologue)). Malkier is beyond saving, so she and Lan will live in Andor instead.

Egwene will continue as Amyrlin.

Galad will merge the Whitecloaks into Mayene's forces, becoming an independent group, but still tied to the Winged Guards. Galad and Berelain will get married and become good friends with Faile and Perrin. Galad's blood relationship to Rand won't play any part during or after the battle.

As mentioned above, the Aiel will bow their pride, accept the collared Wise Ones as lost, refrain from devotion to battle—not necessarily take up the Way of the Leaf, but become more peaceful—and live in the Wetlands. With their toh met, they can mold their culture into something better than what they were before. They won't be Aiel anymore, or even Jenn Aiel. As the prophecy said, only a "remnant of a remnant" would be saved (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 34, "He Who Comes With the Dawn"); only a few will stick to their warrior ways, most likely the Shaido hiding in the Waste. Though their losses during the Last Battle will be great, those who live will adapt to their new life. There's also several mentions in the prophecies of the Dragon's blood saving men from the Shadow. Though the word "blood" is never capitalized, it could still be used metaphorically. Could it also be a reference to the Aiel? In Aviendha's trip through the glass columns, one of the visions talks of "Dragon Blooded" Aiel (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 49, "Court of the Sun") which seem to be male channelers, from the context.

Though I'm not a huge fan of it, I think the body-swap theory will most likely be the reason why Rand will survive. He and Moridin will flip bodies—perhaps Moridin doing so willingly, giving up his life for the Light to win. Rand's body will die; his soul living on in Moridin. That is the reason Aviendha's children can have dark hair "after their wetlander side" (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 49, "Court of the Sun"). Rand is Andoran royal blood and Aiel blood—both of which have red-gold hair. Moridin, however, has "hair black as night" (A Crown of Swords, Chapter 41, "A Crown of Swords"). With Rand's physical body dead, and his literal blood falling on the ground, he can complete whatever task he needs to seal up the Dark One for good. Everyone will think him dead—that way he can live on in peace with his three women. He will settle in Caemlyn; Aviendha and Min will live there too. But maybe Moridin's body is too tainted by the True Power by this point, so his life won't last that much longer.

I really hope all our main characters have lives that are somewhat happy after the Last Battle. As much as they've given to the world, I'd like to see them receive something back. Rand has sacrificed so much for others—the Wheel and the Pattern need to acknowledge how much he's done and give him some happiness.

One more week, and we'll know.

Thanks for reading, everyone. We won't have any new theory blogs until March of 2013. But when we come back, we'll have full A Memory of Light spoilers! Hope to see you then!
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Posted by Mashiara Sedai on Jan 01 2013 04:00 AM under in Theory Blog

35 Comments

my preditction:

lanfear will help rand with the bore(with the breaking and the sealing),after all

she is the only person alive with first hand knowledge about the drilling,and she can and will supply rand some of his missing data.

lanfear will pay dearly for her actions,but she will do it anyway.

so let me guess a timeline for rand at the field of merrilor:

1.middle of the night:rand meets aviendha,they talk and she tells him everything about her flashforwards at rhuidean.

2.the fun part:sex,sex and more sex.

3.just before dawn:moiraine and thom arrive,happy reunion all around,well

maybe not for the grandmother from hell!!!.

4.morning:rand addresses the multitude.

5.later:rand redeploys the armies to different combat zones.

6.noon,probably later:rand takes an army with him to shayol ghul to guard his

back.

7.rand,moiraine and nynaeve walk to battle the heart of darkness.

8.halfway to the cave entrance,rand sees lanfear standing and waiting....

 

something personal:lanfear was from the very beginning my favorite female

character,so a reverse transmigration would be nice,from a small woman with

silvery hair and huge tracts o'land,to a tall raven haired beauty who almost

always gave me a heart attack when she appeared,but i love her nevetheless.

 

I can't wait till next week. 

yea, i cant see the aiel submitting to the seanchan... specifically because the seanchan taking their wise ones as damane is an insult to their whole culture... they might make oath to serve the white tower again tho...

yea, i cant see the aiel submitting to the seanchan... specifically because the seanchan taking their wise ones as damane is an insult to their whole culture... they might make oath to serve the white tower again tho...

 

That's the point, Mark.  Aviendha needs to make them do something impossible--or perhaps Rand does it (one of his nine impossible things?).  She sees what they become, and if someone else goes through the ter'angreal and sees the same thing, they will know they have to act.  It will hurt their pride for the moment, but it won't destroy them later down the line.

I think the Seanchan will be forced to unleash their damane (by choice, or by a'dams being destroyed). I think that this is what the Imperial family must do when it "right[s] that which is wrong" in the Towers of Midnight in Imfaral.

 

Moo.

yea, i know the aiel's position must change... but i just cant see them accepting the seanchan... the white tower, they think are childish(for the most part)... seanchan, insult them to their core... tinkers, polar opposite philosophically... returning to the waste, pointless... etc, etc, etc... however, i do think theyd follow egwene as amerlyn.

what if Tuon somehow gets collared. that could change lots of things

Fun theory but this doesn't seem to fit with the whole "slay them with the sword of peace" bit. I'm holding with most of the Aiel being wiped out during the battle: the Maidens at Shayol Ghul, most of the rest possibly while defending the Tinkers, especially if the Tinkers have some special task like fighting the Blight.

 

The rest will be slain by peace when they turn to the Way of the Leaf, likely after the last battle.

I think the war with the Seanchan will be avoided by the Seanchan unleashing their damane, with the sul'dam and Tuon being able to learn how to channel it seems very possible that is the solution.

I vote "Unresolved". This seems like something that we might get no resolution to.  There are a lot of ends that still need to be closed up in the limited number of words that are left in the series, this one might not make the cut.

 

 

Unless they managed to sneak in a super extended epilogue.

I just want to say Thank you Mashi for writing these week in and week out.  They have been an absolute delight to read, and I for one appreciate the effort you put forth greatly.

 

I'd give my own views on my final predictions, but at this point I'm too darn excited that MoL is so close to be able to put a string of coherent thoughts together.

 

Thanks again Mashi!

Aren't the Aiel wise ones who get collared Shaido, who the rest of the Aiel believe to have no honor? I don't see why they (Aiel) want the wise ones to be free, On the alternative, wouldn't the Aiel believe the Shaido wise ones were meeting their Toh?

Maybe I missed some things, sorry.

There are several instances when the Wise Ones talk about those caught by the Seanchan.  In Towers of Midnight, Chapter 21, "An Open Gate", it says:

 

“They have chained Wise Ones,” Edarra said, her too-young face growing dark. She smelled dangerous. Angry but cold, like the smell before a person planned to kill. “Not just Shaido, who deserve their fate. If there is an alliance with the Seanchan, it will end as soon as the Car’a’carn’s work is finished. Already, many of my people speak of a blood feud with these invaders.”

 

“I doubt Rand wants a war between you,” Perrin said.

 

“A year and a day,” Edarra said simply. “Wise Ones cannot be taken gai’shain, but perhaps the Seanchan ways are different. Regardless, we will give them a year and a day. If they do not release their captives when we demand them after that time, they will know our spears. The Car’a’carn cannot demand any more from us.”

 

So, there is the idea that the Shaido, and others caught, will willingly meet their toh, though it's a bit unorthodox, but must be released after the year and a day is up.

 

I don't think Tuon will give up any damane, under any circumstances.  I think she will agree to not collar more, but that's it.  To forestall the war Aviendha has seen, the Aiel must let this go.  I don't think there's any other way around it.
 

The Tinkers combating the Blight would be nice.

 

Is Someshta dead? Or possibly another existant Nym, possibly located in Seanchan territory or even Shara? Someshta should still know the Song the Tinkers seek.

 

The Ogier from both the Seachan and Randland, some still have the ability to sing to the trees. Might it be possible to revive Someshta?  I do see them growing new saplings from the Tree of Life.

 

All three societies could serve a greater purpose in MoL.

i dont know how i feel about this. as much as i want to see the aiel stay strong, i agree that in order to prevent the future they must change it. i agree with Snowball that this will most likely end up in the Unresolved catergory, mostly like so that people will have something to write Fanfiction about.

 

and since it was touched on briefly in this, i want to get my prediction down for how to close the Bore. when lew therin went to the Bore the first time with the hundred compainons, he only had male channelers with him because the female Aes Sedai refused to go with them. so when they touch Saiden to the dark one he tainted it. so my belief is that Rand will use the True Source to reseal the Bore. The True Source comes directly from the Dark One, and only the Forsaken can use it. I believe he (and maybe moridin) use it to seal the dark one, preventing a taint on Saiden and Saider

Interesting post!! Cool about the Aiel bowing in Rand's place to the Seanchan, though it will still lead to war with the Seanchan, as they will think that the Aiel will serve them as a people.

Roll on January 8th and birthday 3 days later!!!!!

It's probably been discussed, but what if the one power is no longer accessible after the last battle.

 

No Aiel women held be Seanchan=no blood feud.

 

No more chance to drill the bore in future wheel turns. 

 

Numerous other ramifications that I don't feel like going through, and don't belong here.  

I hate the idea of the Aiel bowing down to the Seanchan, but I agree, it seems the only solution short of Mat convincing Tuon to let the damane go. That seems even less likely than the Aiel bending knee. I'm with the others who said this will be unresolved. I think Aviendha's story will end with her becoming more and more stressed and frightened by the portents of the future she sees no way to change. Like you said, Mashi, it starts with the Dragon's Peace. Also, I'm holding to the idea that Moiraine discovered how to end the cycle completely. I think Rand is going to kill the Dark One, not just reseal him in his prison.

Hi guys! Im semi-new, but I love your posts! I just have a comment on the One Power after the last battle:

Reasons the one power might not be able to be used:

1) Technology can take its place fairly quickly, as we've seen the self-propelling wagons and such

2) No need for whitecloaks

3) Seanchan society will most probably collapse, but Mat and Tuon could pull it back together (one of the outrider novels?)

Reason it will still be used:

Aviendha saw it in her visions, and her (or rand) submitting to the empress wont do anything drastic to change how the bore is sealed, which won't change how they win the battle.

 

Im pretty sure it will still be useable after the Last Battle.

I like the idea of Moriane asking how to break the wheel, because personally i would rather the DO be killed than just re-sealed so that the entire story could be repeated again. Also, i too believe the Aiel's days are numbered.  i think that they will survive in such a small number that there will not be enough left to challenge or go to war against the Seanchan. The remaining few will be so dejected at the heavy loses that they will return to the way of the leaf, which is sad to say because i love the Aiel.  I also think that one way or another the Shaido will get what has been coming to them. The tinkers song has play a large part in the ending of this series because there is so much emphasis placed on it from the very beginning of the series for it not to.  I really am not a fan of the body swap idea but i also have no solid evidence or thoughts on another possible way the LB will end aside from those already stated.

Was there a discussion on the next battle between the Seanchan and the White tower. Since now they know how to travel and Tuon has planned an attack, will that effect Egwene meeting with Rand

Was there a discussion on the next battle between the Seanchan and the White tower. Since now they know how to travel and Tuon has planned an attack, will that effect Egwene meeting with Rand


I thought about that as well. I'm half expecting the Seanchan to arrive at the White Tower and find it empty, with maybe either just a few Aes Sedai protecting things like the angreal storage rooms and the library, or some nasty Wards.
Mashi - This is an excellent and thought provoking post. You broke down a number of issues in ways that I had not thought of before. My own sneaking suspicion is that most of these issues will not be resolved at the end of AMOL. Remember that the Age of Legends was the 2nd Age. Six ages need to pass before it comes again. Five ages after the 3rd age, during at least one of which, mankind will likely forget about the One Power. The D.O. must become a memory that fades to myth and is eventually forgotten before the 2nd age returns. A corollary of this is that the “taint” caused by the D.O.’s struggle to break free is not going to go away overnight. Darkfriends, Trollocs, etc. will still exist; the blight will not give up its hold easily and so on.

When I think about Randland after the end of the series, I keep returning to Nicola’s foretelling “The last battle done, but the world not done with battles.” I think the 4th Age will be both a renaissance and a long series of struggles. While I do not believe this means that the Aiel must go to war against the Seanchan, it feels like a hint to me. A reminder that not all loose ends would get tied up. Therefore, I am anticipating an end where Avienda is fighting the future she saw in the pillars without any guarantee as to which way her battle will fall.

That being said, as I write this, my mind keeps jumping to the “remnant of a remnant” prophecy. Someone check me on this, but as I recall, the Aiel prophecies foretell that the Car’a’carn will “SAVE” a remnant of a remnant of the Aiel. I have a hard time equating “saving” with surviving for a generation or two. Therefore, just like that, in the middle of a post, I am changing my mind . . . . . sort of . . . Ahhh . . . hell! I have no fracking idea.

Moving on and pretending like I didn’t just post all that, I also don’t believe Moridin will turn to the light. I think the best bet to make that leap was Asmodean and he knew himself too well to really consider it. While I see many of the forsaken as opportunists, Moridin is a true believer. He is the only one who seems to understand that if the D.O. breaks free everything ends and he seems to me to yearn for that ending, although that may just be a result of bias imposed by my own theory.

I cannot put my finger on it, but I seem to recall years ago, early on in the series, Jordan saying that not everything would be resolved at the end of the series and that he had written a "hook" into the final scene. My first thought (which I still retain to some degree) was that the hook would be Ishamael’s escape. Since then, we have learned that Ishamael/Moridin remembers things that are much more ancient than the Age of Legends (i.e. the Fisher King). From book one, he has stated that he and the Dragon have been through this cycle many many times. Thinking about that and keeping in mind how often Jordan used the idea of nonequivalent parallels (use of the power by men vs. women, etc) has lead me to think that Ishamael/Moridin may be immortal. It would be a terrific parallel to the heroes of the horn. As heroes of the light are bound to the Wheel (they die and are reborn), the champion of the dark is tied to the D.O. and becomes his immortal servant; seeing age after age go by; or perhaps being bound with the D.O. in the long gap between the end of the third age and the return of the second.

Anyway – we will know soon – which is, in itself, a bittersweet realization.

P.S. BTW this is why I do not post often - Despite my best efforts, brevity eludes me.

 In Aviendha's viewing, at the end the Aiel are destroyed, they call themselves the Folk, have lost all identity and culture, and exist as a handful due to war, starvation,etc. So maybe this is how prophecy will fulfill itself. That's sadly assuming that Aviendha's viewing is what will happen.

Another thing I thought about is what if Aviendha has her children stilled/gentled at their birth.  The problem with stilling is that a woman knows about the loss of saidar, and the pain of that loss eventually kills her (unless she can find something else to add meaning to her life).  But if you take it away BEFORE they know the wonder of channeling, it couldn't possibly be dangerous.  Imagine if Rand had been cut off, even after the first few times he touched saidin.  He didn't want to touch it again.  If he had been gentled at that time, he wouldn't have died, I don't think.

 

That being said, I'm not sure how much the babies' actual channeling could affect the fate of the Aiel, but it's an interesting though.



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