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WoT If...the Eye of the World Is Really...?

Posted by Mashiara Sedai on Aug 07 2012 03:00 AM under in Theory Blog
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to "WoT If?". This will be the start of a two part look at the events that happened in the conclusion of The Eye of the World. There are a few things that are a little fuzzy and unexplained at the end, plus a lot of things that might come full circle in A Memory of Light.

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.

First off, what is the Eye of the World? We get a description of what it actually is near the end of the first book. Moiraine says:

The Eye of the World
Chapter 50, "Meetings at the Eye"

"It might be called the essence of saidin." The Aes Sedai's words echoed round the dome. "The essence of the male half of the True Source, the pure essence of the Power wielded by men before the Time of Madness. The Power to mend the seal on the Dark One's prison, or to break it open completely."

From this description, it seems as if the Aes Sedai during the Age of Legends cleansed just this little bit of the Source, the same way Rand cleansed all of it in Winter's Heart. They worked together, and through the taint, to make this pool of pure saidin. But, pay attention to that last sentence. Moiraine believes that the Eye can seal the Bore, or it can break it open. In fact, she says multiple times that the Eye might be able to seal in/break free the Dark One.

The Eye of the World
Chapter 43, "Decisions and Apparitions"

"There is enough power in the Eye of the World to undo his prison. If the Dark One has found some way to bend the Eye of the World to his use..."

Here, Moiraine suggests that the Eye can undo the Dark One's prison. We know that the One Power can't break cuendillar, but Moiraine is saying it can. Rand also has plans to break the remaining seals. But how is this possible? The seals have weakened, yes, but can the Power in the Eye really break cuendillar, no matter how old? Maybe so. Moiraine makes a comment that "four men with hammers" can break the remaining seals and free the Dark One (The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 2, "Rhuidean"). However, they don't know this information during The Eye of the World, so she shouldn't be assuming the Eye, and saidin, can break the Dark One free.

Also, Moiraine and Lord Agelmar have a discussion that hints at the Eye's power.

The Eye of the World
Chapter 46, "Fal Dara"

"You cannot be saying he [the Dark One] is loose!" Rocklike Agelmar sounded shaken, and Moiraine quickly shook her head.

"Not yet. If we win at the Eye of the World, perhaps not ever again."

According to this, Moiraine thinks that Rand using the Eye will seal the Dark One again, solving all their problems. Okay, okay. She does use the word "perhaps," which is Aes Sedai doublespeak. However, she seems to have a lot of confidence that the Eye's power will be glorious. When Rand does use the Eye, he doesn't do anything even close to sealing in the Dark One—he does believe he killed Shai'tan, but Moiraine and others don't believe it. If there was so much potential in the Eye, did Rand waste it? Was it used for a purpose other than for what it was initially intended? We'll speculate on that a bit later.

So, we know the Eye is a pool of saidin, made clean by the sacrifice of male and female Aes Sedai. We know a bit of its presumed power. But that doesn't tell us a thing.

There are several theories about what the Eye actually is, or rather, what it does to Rand. Here's three that might work.

First: the Eye of the World, with its pure Power, is the Creator. That is, the Creator is the One Power.

This seems plausible on the surface. We typically think of channeling and channelers as doing the Creator's work. The True Source is, after all, the power that drives the Wheel of Time and weaves the Pattern. The Creator made the Pattern, so it seems logical that the Creator is the One Power. However, in an interview, a fan asks Robert Jordan something that might say the opposite:

Paul Ward: Possible question: Is the Dark One pure True Power? Why does the Creator ignore Randland except to talk to Rand at the end of The Eye of the World?

Robert Jordan: No, the Dark One is not pure True Power. Who says the Creator takes little interest in the activities of mankind? And I will neither confirm nor deny that the Creator spoke to Rand.

There are two pieces of information here, but let's focus on the Dark One not being purely True Power. If the Dark One isn't the True Power, then I don't think the Creator can be the One Power. It's likely that the One Power comes from the Creator—like True Power comes from the Dark One—but they are two separate forces/energies/beings.

The second part of that answer talks about the ALL CAPS voice Rand hears in his head after he accidently Travels to Tarwin's Gap. We'll get to that in next week's post, so just put it on hold for now.

Second: the Eye of the World is just a pool of saidin intended to hide the Dragon Banner and the Horn of Valere.

Those artifacts are indeed important to the next book. Without both of them, Rand could not have beaten Ishamael in the sky above Falme. Also, the Heroes of the Horn wouldn't have helped Rand unless he had the Dragon Banner too. Artur Hawkwing says:

The Great Hunt
Chapter 47, "The Grave is No Bar to My Call"

"Something is wrong here. Something holds me." Suddenly he turned his sharp-eyed gaze on Rand. "You are here. Have you the banner?" A murmur ran through those behind him.

"Yes." Rand tore open the straps of his saddlebags and pulled out the Dragon's banner. It filled his hands and hung almost to his stallion's knees. The murmur among the heroes rose.

"The Pattern weaves itself around our necks like halters," Artur Hawkwing said. "You are here. The banner is here. The weave of this moment is set. We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon."

Hawkwing implies that this was the way the Pattern wanted it. Since the Heroes seem to have quite a bit of knowledge about certain things while they wait in Tel'aran'rhiod, we can be pretty sure he knows what he's talking about. It's also interesting to note that Hawkwing says they will only follow the banner and the Dragon. We had other sources earlier in The Great Hunt say that the Heroes will fight for whichever side blows the Horn. Is this another thing Aes Sedai don't really know the truth about, or is this particular moment in the Pattern something that needs to be specifically set?

So, the Banner and the Horn are terribly important for the forward movement of the characters and the world. But would so many Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends sacrifice themselves for this? Possibly. Rand needed those items, and the world would have died if he didn't have them. Could the Eye be just an elaborate hidey-hole?

If that were true, and the Eye is just an insignificant pool of saidin, why is Aginor so keen on using it? Robert Jordan was asked that very question in an interview:

LordJuss: Why was Aginor so interested in the Eye of the World? He could channel clean saidin anyway so it shouldn't have been an issue?

Robert Jordan: He was able to channel clean saidin, true, but only through the "filter" which had been provided by the Dark One just a short time previously, which meant the Dark One would be aware of him channeling wherever he was. Remember, Aginor was the creator of the Trollocs; he is quite able to reason things out clearly, at least in a scientific sense. Also, he wasn't certain whether or not the Dark One also would know what he was doing when he channeled, too. For someone as secretive, competitive, and generally untrustworthy as one of the Forsaken, the Eye of the World amounted to a valuable asset if it could be secured. To put it simply, Aginor saw a means of channeling without the Dark One looking over his shoulder, and maybe a way to increase his own power at the expense of those who didn't have that advantage. Balthamel might well have been for the long drop, administered by Aginor, if things hadn't worked out differently.

This quote seems to imply that Aginor only wanted the Eye for the extra bit of Power, and a way to channel unobserved. Makes it sound kind of pointless, huh?

Third: the Eye of the World is a link to Rand's past lives and memories.

Drekka Mort posted on the Dragonmount forums:

"I think it might be the Eye that gave him [Rand] access to past life memories. He didn't remember any past lives in book 1, but in book 2 when Mat blew the Horn, Rand said not only could he recognize the Heroes by their names and variations, but he had to fend off remembering countless of his own past lives. Those memories were there very early."

This is an interesting theory. One of the main reasons I would believe this is because it takes absolutely no outside source for Rand to remember all his past lives in "Veins of Gold" (The Gathering Storm, Chapter 50). The memories were inside him the whole time; it only took Rand's acceptance to open them all up.

From this, I would say that the Eye stayed with Rand even after all its Power was used up. It's something that went into his skin, into his bones, into his soul. Some evidence that this might be correct comes from an interview with Brandon Sanderson:

Jeff Edde: Interesting. In The Eye of the World, Rand uses Light and Power. Is it significant that he uses Light and Power again in Towers of Midnight?

Brandon Sanderson: Yes.

Jeff Edde: Can Rand channel Light and Power as a result of touching the Eye of the World, or does he have access to it because he is who he is?

Brandon Sanderson: It was the power in the Eye, so far as I know.

From this, we can gather that Rand still has access to the Power of the Eye, since he can still channel Light and Power. In Towers of Midnight, Naeff is the one who notes Rand's incredible abilities:

Towers of Midnight
Chapter 32, "A Storm of Light"

The Asha'man Naeff—standing beside Bashere—gasped. "I've never seen so many weaves at once," he whispered. "I can't track them all. He's a storm. A storm of Light and streams of Power!"

After accepting his memories in "Veins of Gold," Rand's madness seems to leave him completely. When Nynaeve Delves into Rand's mind she sees something odd:

Towers of Midnight
Chapter 15, "Use a Pebble"

The darkness was enormous, covering the entirety of his mind. Thousands upon thousands of the tiny black thorns pricked into his brain, but beneath them was a brilliant white lacing of something. A white radiance, like liquid Power. Light given form and life. She gasped. It coated each of the dark tines, driving into his mind alongside them. What did it mean?

A liquid Power. Like the Eye? Most likely, I'd say. How did it get there? Probably from when Rand first used the Eye. It could have stayed with him, flowing in him, without him knowing. It laid dormant until he was able to reconcile his present life with his past lives. So, if there's a link still there between himself and the Eye, can the Eye's Power be refilled?

Well, that's a good place to stop for today. Next week we'll delve (no pun intended) a little deeper into who that ALL CAPS voice might be.
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Posted by Mashiara Sedai on Aug 07 2012 03:00 AM under in Theory Blog


For the part on the banner perhaps the hero's follow whoever blows the horn, UNLESS the dragon is reborn and is at the current location.
The horn summons, but only one with the banner can command the host. I suspect that over the centuries, this little tidbit of information got lost to history.
One word...Ta'veren ! Rand did not blow the horn, Mat did. I feel that is the "something wrong" that Hawkwing mentions. The prophicies say the Dragon will blow the horn but being Rand and Mat (also Perrin) are Ta'veren (and as Min has pointed out on numerous occasions) they are tied together.They came because of the horn but follow the "banner".So if Rand was turned they would follow the "banner" which ever side he was on. "The weave of this moment is set",all 3 are there,Rand,Mat and Perrin. They will all have to be together to defeat/re-seal the Dark One.
I hope this makes some sense, It seems odd but don't know how to put into words what I am thinking.
I am also reminded that Artur Hawkwing himself did most of the talking for the dead heroes. And Tuon is one of his direct descendants. And she married Mat. And he blew the horn.

I wonder what influence this will have on Tuon if she should actually witness Mat blow the horn again, recalling Hawkwing, and then seeing the Dragon issue commands to Hawkwing. That could possibly change a few things about those pesky altered Seanchan Prophecies, don't you think?

As for the Eye, perhaps it served to shield Rand from the taint all this time? Or at least, it did once he accepted his own history. The brilliant lines that Nynaeve sees in Rands mind along with the shadow tendrils... hasn't anyone wondered exactly which veins the chapter "Veins of Gold" referred to? I don't recall that phrase actually appearing in that chapter, except for the title. Perhaps those are the "veins" referred to? I'm probably wrong. I'm often wrong. It's part of my charm.
The prophesies, according to Vandene, have no link between the Horn and the Dragon. She says, "Except for the fact that the Horn must be found before Tarmon Gai'don and that the Dragon Reborn is supposed to fight the Last Battle, there is no link between them at all" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 22, "Watchers") It never says Rand is supposed to be the one to sound it, Moiraine only thinks he will be. And, as I pointed out, Moiraine is often wrong. :)

The veins of gold in "Veins of Gold" is, in my opinion, a reference to the feeling of love received through the bond. When Elayne, Min, and Aviendha first bond Rand, Aviendha says, "The veins of gold. Oh, the veins of gold. You do love me, Rand" (Winter's Heart, Chapter 12, "A Lily in Winter"). Rand realizing he had a second chance, that he had love throughout the countless ages, is what brings him back to sanity. That's what I thought the chapter title referred to.
Rand in my opinion has not done anything considered "mad." The only time I can remember Rand doing anything that might make him mad was in the EotW when he is on the boat with Mat and Thom and he just goes crazy on the mast. However, after the Eye incident he does not really do anything mad (except talk to Lews Therin but thats normal since he is the dragon reborn). So I think it is fair to presume that the Eye is what is keeping the madness away. Also, maybe the Eye had something to do with all of the stuff blooming around Rand in ToM. Once he accepts his role then maybe the power of the Eye really kicked in.
Oh, Trollocslayer, I think that Rand was deeply mad indeed... The ultimate proof of that is the unhealable mess which Nynaeve found in his brain while Delving. In the latest books we learned that the male channellers' madness can have as many shades as many personalities there are. Rand's madness was: getting always harder and harder, growing self-condemnation (wasn't counting the dead women quite crazy?), building the wall between himself and the world, sudden outbursts of anger, constant fear of beig manipulated and controlled... As the story develops it gets harder to dfferentiate between the taint-caused madness and the growing dark influence through the bond with Moridin, but still - I think there's enough of it. On the other hand, Rand going crazy on the mast in tEotW wasn't crazy at all, it was a spontaneous act of a still innocent boy... IIRC.
Gwenifer, I am not so sure. You hear about asha'man that are going crazy by seeing fades that do not exist or turning into a child and playing with blocks. I will admit his trying to become harder and harder could be influenced by the taint. Counting the woman he has killed might be thought as crazy but we see that Mat also remembers the women he has killed and also hates it as much and he is not mad. Also there are many accounts of people who don't want to be manipulated. I feel it is worse with Rand because he is around Aes Sedai all of the time. The pressures of his role as savior are good enough excuse for his outbursts. Who wouldn't be angry all the time with Cadsuane around? Like you said it is hard to tell what would be consider madness when there are so many other variables like mordin, and annoying people and the pressure that he has to save the world. However, I have read the passage on the boat many times and I feel that it was a glimpse at madness. Even Rand is surprised at himself for what he was doing. It is hard to tell. I guess I expect madness to be more evident like with the asha'man. I have a feeling that the Eye was keeping the bigger part of the madness away and that gives him the light that is between his brain and the black mess of thorns. I guess I could be looking for a more complex reason when the reason for the light is probably because he is the dragon reborn or because he now understands why he fights. (Both are fine I guess). I just feel that I would probably do the same thing in Rands situation and hopefully I am not mad hahahahahaha. If you knew you were going to die and your only hope is to maybe save the world while you do it then I would be a little touchy. Not to mention half the world you are trying to save blames you for one thing or another and hates you to boot. Duty is heavy as a mountain, death is light as a feather.
It have been considered that his "madness" and talking to LTT is just him developing a split personality and he create LTT in order to cope with his sudden extra memories of past lives. All the weaves and memories that Rand would never know, but LTT would know, is just the memories Rand apparently already had since very early on (as mentioned earlier in these comments).
Basicly, he already had all this information, he just did not accept it and fought it.

Apart from that, there is nothing that could not be considered "normal" insanity, considering the pressure the man is under.
Just look at a sulky kid and Rand's actions are not that far off sometimes. Other times he is just acting the way he think it is ment for him to be. It is like looking at someone steeling him/her self after a dear relative have passed away, and you know that they are hurting so badly inside, but whatever you say just cant get through to them because they are so sure that this is the way it must be.

Thus, it is quite possible to say that The Eye inoculated him from the very start and that the only madness he was subjected to was what he channeled before The Eye.
However, he do mention the oily and sickly taint on Saidin even after The Eye, so clearly he sense it, but is he affected by it the way the others are?
Since he cleansed Saidin before Veins of Gold, we will never really know how him having that protection would affect his perception of The Taint.
I find myself wondering that if the Forsaken and/or their allies got a hold of the horn, the heroes that it summons may be very different from those that appeared for Mat. For example, they may find some of the greatest Darkfriends or Trolloc chieftains from history summoned to their call.

In turn, those Darkfriends (Darkheroes, really) may refuse to follow the commands of the horn bearer until, for example, Ishmael/Moridin raises his own banner.
I'm going to agree with Gwenifer; Rand is pretty crazy. Whether it be from the pressure forced on him or his touching the taint on saidin, I'm not sure. But I do feel he was out of his mind in the last few books. Remember when he lashed out at Tam, his own father? That's crazy. Paranoia is a form of mental illness too, so...

Since we know certain Heroes are "bound" to the Horn for their acts of bravery and courage, I don't think any Darkheroes could exist. Typically, Darkfriends aren't very courageous.
Gwenifer: Rand's occasional bouts of craziness/sickness in EotW were reactions to toching the True Source, paralleling the reactions described by Moiraine. Notice that each reaction took place a short time after a known occurence of channeling or an extremely lucky event:

-- his odd (impetuous, feverish) behavior toward the Whitecloaks in Baerlon came little over a week after he washed away Bela's tireness while fleeing the Two Rivers;

-- his extremely risk-oblivious behavior on the White Spray took place a few days to a week after a boom broke loose and saved him from a trolloc while boarding the ship, just in the nick of time;

-- and his chills/fever/sickness on the road to Caemlyn (the sickness he was experiencing when the then-nameless Mili Skane tried to assassinate Rand and Mat in a barn between Market Sheran and Carrysford) came a few days after Howal Gode and his minions were suddenly struck by lightning, saving Rand and Mat's lives. Ba'alzamon later said that Gode had found Rand for him, and that Rand sometimes hid and sometimes lit signal fires.

That said, Rand was batshit crazy in the later books. The fact that Lews Therin was real doesn't mean Rand was sane -- he was still paranoid and talking to a voice in his head; he displayed obsessive and compulsive tendencies (e.g.: reciting the list of dead women, muttering about breaking the seals while holding one over his head in the beginning of LoC). His craziness happened slowly -- so slowly that each bit seemed natural, even rational. But imagine how you would view him if you first met him in book 8.
I have an alternate theory as to what the Eye of the World really was meant to do.

I think it was meant to provide a "clean" Saidin source to protect the Seals from the Dark One's taint (since they're practically in direct contact with the bore, the Dark One would just need to wear them down... leading to the question of why the seals lasted so long, but are now falling apart).

So essentially, the Eye provides a safe source of Saidin that is connected to the Seals, and keeps them from decaying and crumbling due to the taint (not unlike what happened in the Ways). When Rand used the Saidin of the Eye, it removed this protection, and the Seals began to weaken - at first, just being weak enough to be capable of being damaged by cutting, but eventually to the point that destroying them would be as trivial as dropping them from a short height.

It might also explain why Aginor so wanted the Eye - if he could be the one to break open the seal, he'd be nae'blis. The first step to that would be to deal with the Eye itself, and then he'd just have to destroy the seals physically, one by one.

Note that the Seals are half black cuendillar, half white cuendillar... which seems like it might mean half-male and half-female created... if true, then they weren't made at the sealing of the bore; maybe they were made at the same time as the creation of the Eye, an event that involved both males and females. This would also explain why the old Aes Sedai symbol was used on it - because it involved a unified effort.

So yeah, I think the Eye was the protector of the Seals (not physically, but in terms of the One Power), and as Herid Fel pointed out, you have to destroy the seal before you can undo the bore, so using the Eye was necessary. In effect, the Eye existed purely for the purpose of delaying the weakening of the Dark One's prison.

Mind you, that isn't to say that the seal wasn't already weakening. Even the Eye wouldn't hold it off forever, and the seal had weakened just enough that Aginor and Balthamel could get free, since they were sealed so close to the surface of it. But the use of the Eye's power by Rand allowed the seal to weaken rapidly, releasing the other Forsaken and producing decay of the physical Seals at a rate far beyond what it had been in the previous 3000 years.

The placement of one Seal inside the Eye was essentially a protection mechanism, so that even if the other seals were broken after some decay, one seal would remain protected until the Eye was used up.

That said, Rand was batshit crazy in the later books.

+10, totally cuckoo

About him having yet another power, Light, to wield, I don't know, I think Maradon was just an awesome display of how to use the One Power... efficiently. Imo there are/(were?) enough powers available to him via OP, Ta'veren and maybe still TP.
So, guys...

Padraig, we are of the same opinion then? :) As to tEotW, I admit I didn't remember those things because it's been a while since I last read it.

Trollocslayer, Ferdawoon - I think the word Mashiara used is accurate: paranoia. I've always considered Rand's hardness etc the natural result of the pressure he's been put under, his character developement, of course. But then I read what Nynaeve saw in his head.

I remember this beautiful deiscussion on whether the voice was real (the real madness, right? :) or was a result of developing split personality, like Ferdawoon said. I've never liked the second option (by the way, the discussion was one of the first things I read on DM and made me think: "these people are insane, I must join in!" :)). Therefore I don't think it madness.

What I really think is that all those Rand's natural predispositions and attributes became the foundation (sorry, I can't find the word since English is not my first language) for his madness which made them grow to the state of paranoia.

I like to think so, but, honestly, you may as well be right and maybe this is one of the WoT things we'll never really find out :) Especially after what you reminded me about tEotW. I'm not a person who says "it's this way, amen" and - by the way - I'm actually shocked to find such pronouncements here on DM, while, come on, this is all about the interpretation! I'm sure Shakespeare would be proud of Jordan, since this is exactly what he loved and how he created Hamlet, so that both it's characters and the readers try their best to interpret prince Hamlet... and all of them may be right, there's no one exclusive explanation.
I don't know. I have thought Rand's hardness was due to him believing he had to be steel so that he had no weaknesses for his enemies to attack. Which is a very real reaction people have when in situations where you are paranoid your enemies will only try to attack you at your weakest points (loved ones). Like when Semirhage was forcing him to strangle Min. He states he thought he was steeled enough but he had to become Cuellendar (spelling) at that point. Which in turn was pushing him closer to a point he would be more vulnerable to turning evil.

I do really like the idea that his insanity created LTT to protect his mind. Creating LTT in his head to grant him the information he was going to learn.
Aielyn, I really like your theory - maybe apart from the idea that the Seals were made after the actual sealing of the Bore, since according to the Big White Book the disks of cuendillar had already been prepared before LTT and the 100 Companions went on their mission (and this book is supposed to always be right, right?...). They used them as the focal points for making the real Seals of saidin.

I don't know if it's right, but I've always thought that the Seals were breaking due to something important Rand just and did that's why for the Shadow it's vital that he live. Using up the Eye would be first such thing. But then what about the remaining 2 if he can just break them with his bare hands... Maybe this could go together with your theory of the pool of clean saidin as a protection for the Seals until the Dragon comes.
One thing that I never got was how Aginor was starting to heal just tapping into the Eye. Given his condition, and the inability of people to heal themselves, the Eye seemed to allow him to do this .
I agree Gwenifer. One can't be 100% sure about these kinds of speculations but it is fun speculating.

Orderofolde, very interesting question. I don't know. Maybe if you do not channel for 3000 years it takes away the age slowing but if you channel again it takes affect and you become younger. I doubt it though because he becomes A LOT younger. That brings up some more questions. What is the relationship to age and channeling in men? Will men live as long as women? Do men age slowly?

I just thought of another theory. Maybe if using up the Eye slowly gave the Dark One more influence (like discussed by weakening seals or exposing seals to weakness) so the Dark One could give Aginor a more youthful body. Just a theory.
Very interesting, Aielyn! I like that theory. I think it makes sense, from the knowledge we have in the books.

As for Aginor getting young, here's an interview that answers that.

"I asked him about Aginor getting younger at the end of The Eye of the World, and he said 'no, he doesn't get younger, he dies'. So I actually looked up the reference and read it to him. He said 'oh, that,' and then went on to explain that it is actually the True Power, not the saidin from the Eye, that rejuvenates him. He did describe the saidin in the Eye as a 'mother-lode', however, I didn't think to ask him what he meant by that until I was in the car going home. I instead asked him whether the True Power was the source of the Forsaken's immortality. He said: yes."
If using up what was within the eye weakened the seals and gave power to the Dark One, then why, when they left the Blight, was the Blight receded and weakened? wouldn't giving power to the Dark One make it more menacing and powerful? Or was destroying his army at Tarwain's Gap enough to weaken him? If that is true, then are Trollocs and Mydraall (spelling) somehow connected to the Blight?
So many questions. Very few answers.

If the connection between shadowspawn and the Blight is true, then later when Rand destroys the humongus army in the Blight in Towers of Midnight, then was the blight weakened once more? Or was the Dark One so powerful then that it didn't matter?
I'm loving this discussion...

Aielyn - Love the theory. I think you're on to something, but I've wondered for some time if the taint itself was what caused the seals to slowly wear away and break. What if the very act of channeling saidin, and thus the taint that used to come with it, was what weakened the seals. Aes Sedai hunting down men who could channel for 3000 years would certainly push back the expiration date on the seals, because they're reducing the amount of saidin being channeled in the world. But as you say, the seals would eventually wear down because there was still SOME male-channeling going on. So maybe Eye was actually meant to BREAK the seals intentionally. Rand has determined that the seals would have to be broken in order to truly seal up the Bore, which means Lews Therin must have known that'd be the case when he went ahead with his Strike on Shayol Ghul. Perhaps he planned ahead for the next Dragon, leaving a way to ultimately break all the seals when the next Dragon started channeling. Using up the power in the Eye started the countdown. My latest looney theory. That one's got some holes, though, obviously.

As for "How Crazy was/is Rand," I would say that Rand, if he were alive today, would need a psychologist, but not a psychiatrist. Was Rand starting to go off the deep end? Surely. Was he "padded cell" crazy? Almost. Was it CAUSED by the taint? I don't think so. I think it was caused by the pressure he was under, which was self-induced as much as it came from external sources. The analysis of Rand's self-destructive behavior in EotW is spot on, that's early signs of channeling sickness, not taint-induced madness. It was said over and over that many male channelers held off the madness for years, even decades, but here's the important part: Rand is clearly not mad now, and Nynaeve's delving proves that the taint has certainly taken hold, and had been in him for quite some time. But no one has healed Rand's madness yet. Ergo, if he is not already suffering from taint-induced madness, and has not gone through any form of healing that would reduce the impact of the taint's hold on him, then he could not have been suffering from taint-induced madness at any other point in the series. Whatever madness he was dealing with was a function of stress and pressure, like normal people deal with, and not saidin.

Also, I really like the idea of love being the veins of gold that are possibly holding off the madness. This explains a lot more about why the Dragon needed three lovers. He'll carry more of the taint, and thus the pattern gave him 3 times the lovin'. And also Rand as an Aiel gives him a precedent for polygamy in his own time. Love is the shield that slows the taint. I like that a lot.
@Captain Musenge, The reason the Blight was receded at the end of tEotW was cause of the sacrifice the Green Man made.
that makes much more sense. Thank you Pawan.
@ Metal Head:
I just reread the Rhuidean sequence from TSR. The Aiel are sent packing the same time as the plan for the Eye is made, and presumably, the mentioned Foretelling is the bulk of the prophesies of the Dragon. Nothing to indicate that Lews Therin anticipated the backlash/taint. The strike at the Shayol Ghul seems exactly the last ditch effort it was made out to be. I don't believe the seals were made with the intention of being broken by Rand. It seems like the prophesies were given during the Breaking, well after the fact. I do agree with the part about Rand's madness, though.

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