Tuesday, July 31, 2001

If the A'dam Fits...

by Linda

The a’dam is an unusual ter’angreal in that it is apparently designed for saidar users and yet is strongly affected by saidin users. Normally, a ter’angreal designed for saidar is completely unresponsive if touched by a channeller who uses saidin, and vice versa. But not the a’dam.

If a male channeller touches the collar, the damane wearing the collar feels great pain. A sul’dam wearing the bracelet of that a’dam would also feel pain. For example Rand, while holding the Power, tried to remove a damane’s collar. The damane convulsed in agony and the sul’dam gasped with pain. Rand felt saidin rush through him into them, and Aviendha likewise felt ‘the Power’ (she did not specify which) rushing into them ( The Fires of Heaven, A Short Spear).

If a male channeller puts on the bracelet of an a’dam, both he and the damane wearing the collar would die screaming (The Great Hunt, Damane).

This is quite a design fault. Obviously there must be some explanation, some reason why the a’dam, as Egwene says, is one link no man could be brought into (A Crown of Swords, The Figurehead.)

The answer must lie in the way the ter’angreal is made. The programming of the a’dam is that the bracelet wearer is completely dominant and has to have the ability to channel saidar. Since:

a man must control...in mixed circles of fewer than 13,

- A Crown of Swords, Glossary

this conflicts with the a’dam’s programming and pain (partial or attempted linking; touching the collar, the subservient part of the link) or death (actual linking by putting on the dominant part of the link) is the result. A similar case of conflict would be over two conflicting instructions given to someone sworn on the Oath Rod (or binder).

So far this plot device has not served much purpose. It has identified Rand as a male channeller in Seanchan in The Fires of Heaven,, but Lady Morsa had recognised him anyway, having been at Falme. That scene could have just as easily been written with the sul’dam exclaiming that it is his channelling and Lady Morsa arousing the Seeker’s suspicions with a gasp of recognition. The touching of the a’dam wasn’t strictly necessary.

It also served to indicate that there is a male channeller among the rebel Aes Sedai, one who released Moghedien, but Egwene has kept that largely to herself. Again, a minor plot twist.

Therefore, there must be an event yet to come which will dramatically involve a male channeller mistakenly being linked to an a’dam. I suggest that Halima will encounter Seanchan and will be tested with the a’dam with just such dramatic consequences as has been foreshadowed. It would be a fitting end for a Forsaken who set up death camps in the War of Power (The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time) – death on the end of an instrument of slavery.

The Ogier Stumped

By Linda

My theory is that Loial’s mother Covril has been subverted to, or perhaps by, the Shadow into pressing for the non-participation of Ogier at the Last Battle, indeed the Ogier’s immediate departure from the main world. The Great Stump is meeting to discuss whether the Ogier should open the Book of Translation and flee the Shadow – or stay and contribute to Tarmon Gai’don. It has been running for over 6 months (Knife of Dreams, Vows).

Covril is an extremely influential speaker:

She had once spoken from sunrise to sunset in favor of a very unpopular position without a single interruption, and the next day, no one had risen to Speak against her.

- Knife of Dreams, Vows

and so would be an obvious target for subversion by the Shadow, just as the Shadow managed to get at least 4 Black Sitters into Elaida’s Hall. (Actually I wonder what this very unpopular decision was and why it was unpopular...For all we know this was as dubious as her call for the Book of Translation to be opened as soon as possible.)

In order to show that he was worthy of attending the Great Stump, Loial unfortunately revealed to his mother a substantial part of his argument of why the Ogier must stay and fight. She is probably thinking of what to say to counteract it.

What she hasn’t factored into her speeches is the presence of the Gardeners, the Seanch Ogier, on the mainland. As of Knife of Dreams, Vows, the Seanchan Ogier had been on the mainland for over 6 of our weeks. Loial went to Ebou Dar to arrange a meeting with the Seanchan and Rand (Knife of Dreams, The Golden Crane), where he would have learned of them and probably saw them. During his speech, desperate to delay the vote and to allay the constant interjections of his mother, he will inform the Stump that the Gardeners need to be included in the Great Stump discussion too. Their presence so nearby, or even their very existence, will be a surprsie to many Ogier. Covril’s strident objections to any delay may well help turn the tide of a fair portion of Ogier opinion in Loial’s favour. Most Ogier would see that a decision affecting all Ogier should have representatives of all Ogier groups.

Afer all, whatever the Book of Translation is, it represents a once only opportunity for the Ogier to leave, since those who depart will take the item with them, to ensure they will return to the world in another Age as they believe:

we must leave this world eventually so we can come to it when the Wheel turns…That is written.”

- Knife of Dreams, Vows

I believe that there will be a vote – regarded as unfair by many Ogier and causing great division – and that some will take the Book, open it and leave. But the rest will meet the Seanchan Ogier:

Q: So will there ever be a confrontation between the Seanchan Ogier and the other Ogier?
RJ: They will meet... (in other words RAFO)

- DragonCon 2005

The Ogier have a large part to play yet:

Q: [Asks something about if RJ has plans of Ogier]
RJ: The Ogier? I've got lots of plans for the Ogier. So, yes. [crowd laughs]

- Crossroads of Twilight book tour

and what’s left in the story is basically Tarmon Gai’don and establishing the new Age. An abrupt early departure would not constitute 'lots of plans'.

What would be the attraction of the Shadow to an Ogier? Covril is certainly overly pushy and probably ambitious, but, as with Ingtar, her likely motive would be to save her own group, to join up rather than go under. There were appeasement factions in the War of Shadow (and WWII incidentally), mistaken ones, since there is no truce possible with the Shadow.

None of the prominent Wheel of Time characters so far have had close relatives who are Darkfriends. Such an excellent opportunity for drama and suspense would be a surprising omission. It would be even more unexpected and dramatic, and all the more tragic, if such a one were an Ogier, since they have the reputation for complete probity.

The absence of the Ogier would be a real loss, potentially a disastrous one, due to their formidable fighting ability and their gift for sensing and working with the Land. It would be highly desired by the Shadow, just as the misplaced Borderlander armies are a plot of theirs...

Aviendha’s Gateway

by Old Salt

The purpose of this theory is to show that Aviendha’s gateway to the Kin Farm was a very special gateway. By the end of this theory I hope I have convinced you that there is something completely unique to Aviendha’s gateway. I will present three different bodies of evidence, the first circumstantial, the other two more empirical.

The first piece of evidence is quite circumstantial. All of Rand’s young female “acquaintances” are extraordinarily talented. Min sees auras and frequently knows what they portend. Elayne, besides being a very strong channeler, can make ter’angreal, a talent lost since the Age of Legends. Egwene, equally strong in the One Power, is a Dreamwalker, has had some success in interpreting her Dreams, and is also quite talented in manipulating T’A’R. Nynaeve, is not only one of the strongest female channelers ever, but is also an extraordinary healer, having even Healed stilling, a feat not thought possible even in the Age of Legends.

This leaves Aviendha. Robert Jordan has shown over and over that he likes symmetry. Everyone else has a special talent. It is highly unlikely that only Aviendha lacks one.

So far Jordan has revealed no extraordinary talents of hers. Or has he? What about the ability to pick apart a weave? According to Moridin this was unknown in the Age of Legends also.

"He was about to turn away when the outlines of the gateway suddenly began to flex and tremble. Transfixed, he watched until the opening simply - melted.".... "What had the woman done? These barbarous rustics offered too many surprises. A way to Heal being severed, however imperfectly. That was impossible! Except they had done it".... "but whenever he thought he had the measure of them, these primitives revealed some new skill, did something that no one in his own Age had dreamed of. Something the pinnacle of civilization had not known! What had the girl done?".... "Coldly he considered the possibility that he had been within sight of an unraveling web. One that had been unmade successfully. Another impossibility casually offered up by these..."

The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

Picking apart a weave was unknown in the Age of Legends, in the Westlands and amongst the Sea Folk. However, it is quite common amongst the Aiel.

“Is this another thing you Aes Sedai cannot do? The Wise Ones say any woman can learn, if she is taught, some women more some less, but any woman, if she can pick out embroidery.” The Path of Daggers, To Keep the Bargain

Obviously picking apart a weave isn’t terribly unique, at least to the Aiel. So Aviendha’s unique talent is not that. Still, she must have one, what is it?

We know from the Saidar Strength Ranking article that Aviendha is as powerful channeler as either Elayne or Egwene. Yet she is having considerable difficulty in making a gateway.

“The gateway filled her with dissatisfaction. Elayne could make this weave with only a part of her strength, yet for some reason it required all but a fraction of Aviendha’s.” tPoD “To Keep the Bargain”.

Why does it take so much of Aviendha’s power? Some would say that it’s because Aviendha has a block of sorts due to the trauma associated with the first time she made a gateway, to run from Rand. I believe differently. This particular gateway of Aviendha’s not only allowed people to Travel from Ebou Dar to the Kin farm, but also backwards in time.

Obviously, to prove this we have to pay close attention to the time frame in which all this happened. First let us look at what time the gateway was opened. The first clue of the time is when Mat is arguing with the Windfinders about the necessity of leaving Ebou Dar and the gholam behind.

"'We are bloody well getting out of here now,' Mat said, again later, and this time there was argument. There had been argument for the past half-hour near enough. Outside, the sun was past its noon peak."

A Crown of Swords, Promises to Keep

The argument lasts another ½ hour at the most, until all are agreed to Travel to the Kin Farm. It doesn’t take long for everybody to get organized though, as Aviendha, Elayne and Nynaeve go to the palace courtyard the sun is still just past its peak.
“When Aviendha and the others appeared, Renaile din Calon ostentatiously looked to the sun, past its noon peak."

The Path of Daggers, To Keep the Bargain

Aviendha makes the gateway to a spot a few miles north of Ebou Dar. Note that it is only a few miles north of the city. I’ll get back to this point later. The first real evidence we have that something strange has happened is when Elayne notices that the sun seems lower in the sky than it should.

"'We’re safe and in a few hours we will reach the Kin’s farm, we’ll use the Bowl, and the world will be right again.' Well, somewhat. The sun seemed lower than it had in the stable yard, but she knew that was only imagination. For once, they had gained a clear jump on the Shadow."

The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

Italics mine. Note that RJ has left us with a little hint here in his "jump on the Shadow" remark.

Elayne and Co. ride for quite a while, eventually arriving at the Kin farm. It is here that we come across our second clue that time is not quite right.

“Nynaeve made several more brief visits, before finally coming to announce that the Kin’s farm lay just ahead, out of sight around a low rounded hill that appeared ready to fall on its side. Reanne had been pessimistic in her estimate; the sun had not fallen nearly two hours worth.”

The Path of Daggers, A Pleasant Ride

Let’s look at these two clues closely. Could Elayne have been mistaken? Well yes, she could have. But would RJ take the time to point out that Elayne has bad time sense? Not likely. Possibly, it took longer for everybody to file thru the gateway than Elayne expected. However from RJ’s account the exodus seemed well planned and expedited.

“The departure had been carefully planned, and the whole stableyard sprang into motion as soon as the gateway opened fully.”

The Path of Daggers, To Keep the Bargain

If that is not enough proof we have Moridin's PoV

"Something Madic had said caught his ear. 'The weather, Madic?" The shadows of the palace spires had barely lengthened from their bases, but there was not a cloud to shield the baking sun."

The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

The fact that the shadows had hardly lengthened at all clearly proves that the expedition moved quickly through the gateway.

So it is doubtful that the time it took everybody to get thought the gateway was the cause for this lower sun. What about the earth’s curve? Could that have had any effect? No. Note that they are only going a few miles north of the city. Not east or west, and only a few miles at that. They would have had to Travel many miles east or west for there to be any effect in the sun’s angle. We can also rule out altitude for the same reason. You would need to climb quite high for the sun’s angle to change noticeably, and they were only several hundred feet higher than Ebou Dar. There are no mountains high enough near Ebou Dar to cause that kind of change.

But, wait a moment you say. Didn’t Elayne think that the sun was lower? Doesn’t that mean that more time has passed? Not necessarily, it was somewhat past noon. If going through Aviendha’s gateway changed time more than an hour or so the sun would seem to be lower as it would still be before noon.

The second clue is even harder to explain away. The Kin farm has been in existence for a long time. Obviously Reanne has been there many times. It is extremely doubtful that she would have misjudged time so badly. And if she had erred, it most likely would have been to estimate a shorter time. It is a large group and a significant part of it, the Windfinders, have had no experience riding at all. If anything the ride should have taken a much longer time, not shorter.

However to base a theory this earth-shattering on only these two clues, makes for thin proof. All we have so far are the somewhat objective observations of only one character. For the most incontrovertible evidence we have to go back to Crown of Swords and look at what is happening there in conjunction with what has happened at the Kin Farm.

Right after Mat’s “bargain” with the Windfinders, everybody goes off to get ready to leave Ebou Dar. Unfortunately, Olver has gone off to run with the street urchins. Everybody offers to help search, but Mat sends Elayne and Co. off to the Kin farm.

"'The Bowl is too important,' he told them. 'That gholam is still out there, and maybe Moghedien, and the Black Ajah for sure.' The dice thundered in his head. Aviendha would not appreciate being lumped in with Nynaeve and Elayne, but he did not care right then. He addressed Lan and Birgitte. 'Keep them safe until I can reach you. Keep them all safe.'"

A Crown of Swords, Promises to Keep

Note that at this time it is still only slightly after high noon.

The search is quickly organized. As soon as he leaves Elayne and Nynaeve he meets with his Redarms.

“Everybody goes in a different direction. Make loops out from the Mol Hara, and try to be back after about an hour. Wait till everybody is back before you go out again. That way, if somebody finds him, the rest of us won’t still be looking tomorrow.”

A Crown of Swords, Promises to Keep

The search for Olver is on. The rest of the chapter is devoted to Mat’s search for Olver. Until he meets up with the Seanchan invasion that is. It is very significant to note that he never went back to Mol Hara. In other words, the time Mat spent searching for Olver was less than an hour before the Seanchan invasion landed.

In the same time period, Elayne and Co. have Traveled by gateway, had a ride which Reanne said should take about two hours, arrived at the Kin farm, quelled a panic at the farm, organized who would take part in using the Bowl of Winds, sorted through the collection of junk, ter’angreal and angreal, demonstrated linking for the Windfinders, and then used the Bowl of Winds! It wasn’t until after the Bowl of Winds had been used that the Seanchan invaded. They all feel the saidar being weaved by the Seanchan damane, and they see two tor’raken, one of which they kill. Renaile tries to open a gateway to her ship from the hilltop, which fails, and Elayne convinces her the Bargain isn’t yet complete.

“But most of all you aren’t going anywhere except with us, because our bargain isn’t complete; the Bowl of the Winds is not yours until the weather is right.” ...”And because you made a bargain with Matrim Cauthon, my subject. You go voluntarily where I want you to, or you go tied to a packsaddle. Those were the choices you accepted. So, get down this hill now Renaile din Calon Blue Star, before the Seanchan sweep down on us with an army and a few hundred women who can channel and would like nothing better than to see us collared alongside them. Now! Run!”

The Path of Daggers, The Breaking Storm

The one event which is common to both Mat and Elayne’s experiences is the arrival of the Seanchan invasion. For Mat it took place less than an hour after the women left through Aviendha’s gateway; for Elayne and Co. the time span was at least two hours longer! How can that be? The only difference between the two is that Elayne and Co. Traveled through Aviendha’s gateway. As miraculous as that sounds, Aviendha wove a gateway that took Elayne’s group back in time at least two hours or more.

To sum up. Aviendha’s gateway to the farm allowed people to Travel both spatially and through time. We have Elayne’s observations of the sun to prove this. But more importantly if we look at both Mat’s experiences in CoS and Elayne’s in The Path of Daggers, we see that there is a discrepancy of over two hours in time. The only difference is Aviendha’s gateway, therefore Aviendha’s gateway also allows one to travel in time.

Thank you for reading, and all comments are appreciated


Shattered Seals

by Fanatic-Templar

This theory attempts to explain several of the discrepancies in the ending of The Eye of the World, namely, the broken cuendillar seal, the retreat of the Blight and Shai’tan’s release of his grip on winter.

The Waning of the Seal

The Seal on Shayol Ghul waxes and wanes with the turning of the Wheel. It is through this cycle that Ishamael was capable of escaping the Bore at multiple periods throughout the Third Age. It is therefore also reasonable to deduce that Shai’tan’s power in the world during these periods was also stronger. Because Ishamael had the fiery eyes that come from the use of the True Power in The Eye of the World, we know that at least enough of the Dark Lord’s power was available for Ishamael’s use.

The Nature of the Seal

Knowing that the Bore is a hole in the Pattern, we can ascertain that the world of The Wheel of Time and Shai’tan’s reality are separate. If we also suppose that the physical cuendillar seals had to be destroyed before he could touch the world, then the obvious conclusion is that the heartstone seals hold the saidin Seal intact, and not the other way ‘round. Thence, we are left to conclude that Shai’tan could not touch the world, except as permitted by the Seal’s waning periods as described above. And if the cuendillar seals must be destroyed for Shai’tan to touch the world, then Shai’tan cannot touch the world until the seals are destroyed. Because the seals are in this world, Shai’tan is also prevented from touching them until at least one of the seals is broken in the first place.

Putting the two previous points together, and knowing that one of the seals did break, we reason that the breaking of the first seal could only happen during one of the waning periods.

The Dark One’s Blight

We know that the Great Blight is dependent on the Shadow’s influence. It is centered around Shayol Ghul and advances when those who resist the Shadow are defeated, as happened with Malkier ( More Tales of the Wheel, The Eye of the World. ) However, the Blight does not react directly to the Shadow’s influence. Despite the breaking of at least four of the seven seals, the release of the Forsaken and Shai’tan’s increased capacity to touch the Pattern; the Blight has remained eerily quiet. This implies that Shai’tan has conscious control over the Blight, and that its growth comes through his direct influence. Thus, for the Blight to spread, Shai’tan must use part of his power.

The Tainted Weather

We also know that Shai’tan’s touch on the weather requires expenditure of power on his part. We know this directly from the thoughts of Moridin:

The Great Lord would not be pleased. He had strained from his prison to touch the world enough to fix the seasons in place. The Path of Daggers, Unweaving.

So, like the Blight, the weather’s influence requires energy on the part of the Lord of Twilight.

Spring in Shienar

In The Eye of the World, The Wheel Turns shows that not only has Shai’tan’s grip on winter been released, but that the Great Blight has retreated from the border! Based on our previous conclusions, the reasoning is evident. Shai’tan’s power has weakened, or he used it all on another task. But what could have weakened Shai’tan so much? The common answer, the one that Moiraine uses is Rand wounding Ba’alzamon. But Ba’alzamon is also wounded in The Great Hunt, and finally killed in The Dragon Reborn. In neither of these instances do we hear of the Blight receding, so this can obviously not be the answer. Another possibility is that the use of the Eye of the World weakened the Blight. Since Rand did not target the Blight with saidin, then it would be the use of the Eye itself that causes this retreat. But then, why does the Blight recede from the edges, and not from the Eye itself? To the contrary, we see that the Blight finally does touch the Green Man’s gardens, something it could not do before. And still that would not explain the correction of the weather. So. If not a weakening of Shai’tan’s power, then presumable his power was otherwise employed.

Broken Heartstone

There is one fundamental difference between the seal under the Eye and the rest. The other seals were no longer indestructible. Morvrin breaks the shard of the Tanchico seal between her fingers ( To Teach, and Learn, The Fires of Heaven ) and Moiraine peels a sliver off an intact disk ( Rhuidean, The Fires of Heaven. )The first seal, however, breaks Lan’s Tairen steel knife. Even though it is shattered. Thus, the method in which that Seal was destroyed is entirely different from that which destroyed the others. The later seals were weakened over time, presumable through Shai’tan’s touch. But as we noted at the beginning of this theory, Shai’tan cannot touch the world until one of the seals have been broken. The difficulty then is destroying the first seal. After that, the others can be withered away.

This theory is that Shai’tan withdrew his power from the Blight and the weather because he knew the Dragon had been Reborn, and that he needed greater latitude before the world united against him. He withdrew all his power, and focused it into the Seal that was closest to Shayol Ghul, and destroyed it.

One final piece of evidence is that Aginor and Balthamel were released before Ishamael was wounded. Thus, the seal was already broken while it was under the Eye.

The Case Against Sammael

by Linda

The murder of Asmodean is one of the longest running and hotly argued mysteries in the Wheel of Time series. This theory will concentrate on the case against Sammael.


Sammael’s motive is well known: he wants Rand and anyone who is aiding Rand dead. Asmodean certainly falls into this category; since Sammael was angry and disgusted with Asmodean for teaching Rand. As an indication of which way his thoughts tended, he asked Lanfear why she didn’t kill Asmodean (The Fires of Heaven, Prologue).

All through the books Sammael tried to kill Rand and his aides: he sent Darkhounds after Moiraine and co in Illian (The Dragon Reborn, Shadowbrothers and Hunted) and Trollocs and Myrddraal to attack Rand in the Stone of Tear (The Shadow Rising, The Stone Stands). As Sammael later said:

“I would have had his head in the Stone of Tear except that someone sent Myrddraal and Trollocs to save him.”

- Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow.

Since Sammael already had Darkhounds under his control, it was probably he who sent the Darkhounds after Rand, Mat and a warded Asmodean in Rhuidean (The Fires of Heaven, Gateways) after hearing from Lanfear a short time before in The Fires of Heaven, Prologue that Asmodean was aiding Rand. Lanfear may have been wrong when she told Rand she thought it was Rahvin. Or playing her own game.

Most importantly, Sammael was one of four Forsaken (Sammael, Rahvin, Lanfear and Graendal) who plotted together to lure Rand into attacking Sammael in Illian, where they would take him (The Fires of Heaven, A Silver Arrow) As part of this plot, one of the Forsaken sent Shadowspawn and Darkfriends to Rand’s camp in Jangai Pass (The Fires of Heaven, Birdcalls By Night). It may have been Rahvin or Graendal, but Lews Therin (and Rand) believed it was Sammael because Sammael had used this pattern of attack on him before. Later either Sammael or Rahvin attacked Rand during the battle for Cairhien (The Fires of Heaven, The Lesser Sadness), again to goad Rand into attacking Sammael. So there were many clues pre Lord of Chaos that Sammael had murderous intentions and that he acted upon them. Someone who has made so many previous murder attempts on Rand and his aides and plotted to do others, should be seriously considered as a suspect if one of Rand’s aides is murdered.


Since the Dark One didn’t order Asmodean’s murder, the True Power was probably not used. Sammael used saidin and was fast enough and far enough away from Rand to go undetected. He balefired Asmodean to make sure the Dark One couldn’t claim Asmodean’s soul and get information from him or reincarnate him. There would be no body to destroy either.


Sammael had the opportunity to kill Asmodean. In fact, expecting an attack in Illian which did not eventuate, Sammael was at a loose end. When Rand disappeared from Cairhien in public and didn’t arrive in Illian, Sammael probably went to Caemlyn later in the day to see what had happened. With Rand’s forces having the upper hand there, Sammael remained out of sight. Asmodean happened upon Sammael’s hiding place and was rightly surprised and appalled to see Sammael. Sammael promptly balefired him. Asmodean’s murder was not premeditated; it was an opportunistic killing from someone who wanted to see Asmodean dead.

Further Events

We have no private thoughts from Sammael on Asmodean’s murder. While the Forsaken don’t lie to themselves in their thoughts (except about their opinions of others compared to themselves), they certainly lie to each other. Sammael kept asking where Asmodean was hiding, but most murderers lie about their crime/s. Sammael manipulated Graendal (as he congratulated himself) by using her fear of the number of Forsaken being killed into obeying his command to discover and reveal the location of the other Forsaken (Lord of Chaos, To Understand A Message). His subsequent demands in that chapter (and how ironically it is titled, since Sammael went to a great deal of trouble to mislead Graendal) that Graendal produce a body if she wants him to believe any Forsaken is dead become almost a taunt, since in Asmodean’s case, Sammael his murderer knows there is no body to produce.

Graendal’s fear has been quite suspicious, but she’s afraid the Forsaken, and especially herself, will all be killed, not just that Asmodean has been killed. She certainly acts like she knows more than she should, but then her spy network is good and she’s very intelligent.

Sammael’s declaration that he would kill Asmodean if he could find him (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow) is more disingenuousness. He is not lying (in fact he was truthful) but his truthfulness was deliberately expressed in such a way that he suggests that he believes Asmodean is alive to throw Graendal off the scent.

To Sum Up

Disregard what Sammael has said about Asmodean’s ‘disappearance’, because the Forsaken are liars – Sammael had the motive, means and opportunity to kill Asmodean. The case against Sammael is a lot stronger than previously recognised. As for Sammael claiming he believes Asmodean is alive and hiding, well he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Trusted Smiler with the Knife: Taim/Moridin in the Shadow of Rand/LewsTherin

by Linda

This theory explains why I think that Taim’s real identity is Moridin. It’s an old theory of mine, dating from when The Path of Daggers was released.

Taim is definitely the man who knows too much – too much for the Third Age, that is. Since knowledge is power, no wonder he’s been able to amass a lot of the latter in the short amount of time (6 months!) since he arrived in Caemlyn. More, in fact, than Rand can imagine or allow himself to believe, as we saw by his scepticism of Logain’s warning in Knife of Dreams News For the Dragon. Moreover, in that short time, Taim has made the Black Tower into a very well developed organisation, with a faction allied to the Shadow (see The Shadow's Influence on the Black Tower article); and it's not developed along Third Age lines.

And because knowledge is power, the Forsaken hoard it jealously – against each other, and against their minions. So why would any Forsaken instruct Taim on so much? They would fear the competition and feel threatened. For example, Mesaana and Alviarin have had close contact for months, yet Alviarin has been told rather little, and certainly doesn’t sound like Mesaana or anyone else from the Age of Legends. From the Forsaken’s point of view extensive education of minions is only asking for trouble, or for their ‘student’ to give the game away by revealing knowledge s/he should not have.

The simple answer for why Taim knows what no other Third Age person who hasn’t experienced the history of the Aiel knows and also knows how to test men for channelling ability and comes from nowhere yet is expert at town planning, management of large organisations, propaganda and subversion through education, all things that those from an earlier Age would know, is that he isn’t a Third Ager at all. Taim sounds like someone from the Second Age – referring to the Aiel as so-called Aiel (Lord of Chaos, Lessons and Teachers) and renegade Aiel (Lord of Chaos, Dumai’s Wells). He calls Travelling such when Rand just describes it as making a gateway (Lord of Chaos, A Woman’s Eyes). He refers to ‘testing for the Talent’ and can do so. All this is very atypical knowledge. His preference for Old Tongue titles for his lieutenants is also suggestive. The only other Asha’man to use the Old Tongue so much is/was Dashiva - a Forsaken. I believe, and have done ever since A Crown of Swords, that Moridin has been masquerading as Taim from at least when Taim arrived in Caemlyn, possibly earlier. We don’t see Taim before that - his doings are off-stage - so it’s hard to judge.

So when did Ishamael come back as Moridin? Aginor and Balthamel were transmigrated just before the Lord of Chaos, Prologue. Yet the Dark One should be bending all his concentration on restoring Ishamael first, rather than them, and in my opinion did so. Otherwise it would be like getting a pawn to the end of the chessboard and asking for a knight instead of a queen.

When Moridin appears in A Crown of Swords, he already has two cour'souvras. Therefore he has already been around a while. In The Path of Daggers, Moridin’s boast that he is playing both sides of the board only confirmed my suspicions. If he's Taim, he certainly is playing both sides.

The greatest irony of the books is that Rand, of all people; Rand, who is now blind to the threat Taim poses to him and to the Light, came closest to revealing the masquerade when he says at their first meeting:

"Taim? Keep a watch out for any student who learns too fast. Let me know immediately. One of the Forsaken might try to slip in among the students."
"One of the Forsaken!" It was almost a whisper. For the second time, Taim looked shaken, this time well and truly taken aback. "Why would—?"

Lord of Chaos, A Woman’s Eyes

Talk about a guilty conscience! No wonder Taim looks shocked, the most shocked he has in the series so far: he never thought his plan would be anticipated by Rand.

My, How He’s Changed

When Taim appears in Caemlyn, Rand sees:

a black-haired man of slightly above average height whose dark face and tilted eyes, hooked nose and high cheekbones, marked him another Saldaean, though he was clean-shaven and garbed like a once prosperous Andoran merchant lately fallen on hard times. His dark blue coat had been of fine wool trimmed in darker velvet, but wear had made the cuffs ragged, his breeches bagged at the knee, and dust coated his cracked boots.

- Lord of Chaos, A New Arrival

Rand thinks he is about thirty five (Lord of Chaos, A New Arrival). In contrast, this is how Taim appears a few months later:

Blue-and-gold dragons wove round the sleeves of his black coat from elbows to cuffs, in imitation of the Dragons on Rand’s arms. Though she suspected he would not appreciate the observation. He was tall, nearly as tall as Rand, with a hooked nose and dark eyes like augurs, a physically powerful man who moved with something of a Warder’s deadly grace, but shadows seemed to follow him…

- Winter’s Heart, Snow

Taim is now taller, more powerful and apparently younger-looking (see below), with the shadows that Ishamael/Moridin calls upon. Taim acted a part to look unthreatening at that first meeting with Rand. No need for that now. And more about the shadows below.

Taim has gradually changed his appearance to be closer to that of Moridin, ie close to reality. Moridin is of a size with Rand. By Dumai’s Wells, Taim was nearly Rand’s height by Perrin’s observation in A Crown of Swords, High Chasaline. Moridin is clean-shaven; so was Taim when he appeared. Moridin’s eyes are blue with the saa conspicuous to intimidate the other Forsaken; Taim’s are safely dark to hide them. (Who would poke Taim in the eye to uncover the illusion?) It is essential for a long-term disguise, especially if it has to stand up to close scrutiny such as from daily contacts (eg his students) and even more especially by another Forsaken, to stick to something as close to reality as possible, as Sammael explained in Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow, the very book when Taim appears. This is far different to what Semirhage was attempting as Tuon, or Sammael as Caddar.

It's not just what Taim looks like; it's the fact that at short notice he has to be Moridin as well. As Taim he isn’t bearded because then he would have trouble with his Moridin appearances. It would be tactically wise to go with either both Taim and Moridin bearded, or both clean-shaven. The latter was the option chosen. The bearded Taim in Saldaea may or may not have been Moridin. It's immaterial to my argument and we haven't enough data to say either way.

Moridin's got a lot of plans on the go - agents in various places, plus his contact with the other Forsaken - and he moves between them. Hence he is consistently clean-shaven.

Taim appears younger than he did:

For Linda Sedai, Rand misjudges Taim's age because when they meet, you might say Taim has been rode hard and put away wet. He has just finished a long and difficult flight to reach Caemlyn, the one place where he might find refuge instead of being hunted -- along with other reasons -- and that has a wearing effect on anyone. Now that he has recovered, he doesn't look so old.

- RJ on his blog

RJ said "you might say Taim has been rode hard…" And that there were "other reasons" as well as a refuge which made him go to Caemlyn. You might not say that he has been rode hard either. What he said was metaphoric, almost. And what were Taim's other reasons for going to Caemlyn? Even according to RJ it was more than a rush for refuge.

'Taim' also needed Bashere to verify his persona (something Bashere almost failed to do, which Taim explains as due to his lack of a beard) so he left a trail for Bashere to follow. We don't know how much time and trouble he took to lay the trail. Taim looked exhausted, but that was just to be convincing to Rand and co. A Taim on the run is no threat, and furthermore explains why he wants to join up. You might say that Taim was mostly guilty of over-acting when he first met Rand.

Moreover Rand knew nothing about channellers slowing in aging, so he would expect to see an older looking guy, when Taim should have looked young. But apparently not young enough for Rand to remark on it.

RJ has done ambiguous gags like this before over Taim and also over Asmo. This too is something to consider:

For Corin Ashaman, I've never changed anything because of a post. I did think of doing so when I first discovered the online community. I'd see someone who had figured out where I was going with something and think that I should change it just to keep the surprise factor. But there was always somebody else, often a lot of somebodies, who would post explaining why the first post just had to be wrong. So I went ahead and did what I had planned to do. Now, when somebody figures out what's what, I just think that's somebody who's on the ball and go on with my writing.

- RJ on his blog

Some have suggested that RJ was strongly tempted to do this indeed. RJ was tricky about a couple of issues, this one and Asmodean’s murder.

Who Knows What

None of the other Forsaken know about Taim being Moridin because he doesn't want them trying to derail his plans. They were informed that Taim is a Darkfriend so they would not strike at him or undermine him even though he is a considerable rival.

Moridin takes care to keep his identities 'separate', even to the extent of giving two lots of instructions, one some days after the other, to Kisman and co about the attack on Rand in Cairhien. I think that he gave one lot as his 'Moridin' identity, either to scare them, or else because that day they were at a location that Taim was not 'supposed' to know of, or Taim supposedly had duties elsewhere.

Taim/Moridin always knew that Dashiva was Osan’gar. He probably arranged for Osan’gar’s arrival at the Black Tower, to eventually assist in teaching, a task that Osan’gar was suited to. Osan’gar didn’t know Taim is Moridin though, but would have been instructed to obey Taim. Taim was irritated when Rand chose Dashiva as part of his bodyguard because he wanted Rand to choose at least one of his henchmen – he suggested their names to Rand – because they would follow Taim’s orders. Osan'gar would be far more likely to get creative - and in fact Osan'gar did get creative, much to Taim's annoyance. Once Rand became insistent that Osan’gar was his choice, Taim looked thoughtful and began to see the possibilities in it – the unassuming Osan'gar could keep an eye on Rand and perhaps find out his plans, since Taim had no luck.

I'm still waiting for Cadsuane to set eyes on Taim. She helped capture him, so she'll have something to say on how he is now. She also has ter'angreal which can break weaves and illusion, so maybe she will remove Taim's mask of mirrors as she did with Semirhage. I think this is the thing she is going to teach all the Asha'man that they won't like: "something about Taim." All in all, it should be an interesting meeting.

Playing Both Sides of the Board…

Moridin masquerades as Taim for tactical and theological reasons. Tactically it's a good way for Moridin to hear about Rand's deeds or plans, undermine Rand’s plans and position, sow chaos with an alternative Dragon doing evil in Rand’s name, and recruit some Dreadlords at the same time. Taim’s original aim was to get close to Rand, but instead he was given the job of recruiter and teacher and boy, has he done that.

The theology is going mad and the world order is turning upside down. The Creator's champion and the Shadow's champion are linked, and, in my opinion, effectively about to trade places. The ultimate inversion of order would be the substitution of one Champion for the other. Which was a possible plot of the Shadow suggested to us early thanks to Joiya Byir, and discarded by many as false, yet it is probably the most important plot of the Shadow.

In fact, I think that Moridin will go further than the original idea of Taim being an alternative Dragon and take the risk to pretend for a time that the Shadow's champion is on the side of the Light to fool the Pattern. The Shadow will become desperate enough to try to substitute the Shadow's champion, Moridin, for the Creator's champion - have him appear to switch sides so that he does evil in the Light's name. It would be risky, but I believe that Moridin has considered it.

Then there’s the symbolism and the real world parallels. Taim is called the M'Hael meaning ‘the Leader’ in the Old Tongue. Another word meaning ‘the Leader’ in our world has very dark connotations: der Fuhrer. The name his subordinates gave Hitler. That is a very high-up name for a Darkfriend. And, moreover, Ishamael has some parallels with Hitler...A blurring, or is it linking?, of identities here.

And in Knife of Dreams we see that Taim's joint is decked out in Moridin's colours and emblazoned with the Shadow’s sigil in gold, the highest status metal, no less. Sammael and Be’lal had to be satisfied with steel and silver sigils.

Most amusingly, Logain said that Taim's eyes were practically on fire to know where Rand was and what he was up to (Knife of Dreams, News For the Dragon), a veiled link to Ishamael, and his eyes of flame from using the True Power frequently, and to Moridin, who aready has the saa, the precursor to the flaming eyes.

There’s a satisfying symmetry of Rand/Lews Therin versus Taim/Moridin here, which is why I referred to it in the title of this theory. Goodness knows the confrontation between Rand and Taim has been shaping up for long enough: Rand’s inexplicable rage every time he sees Taim, his conviction he would kill Taim if he touched Rand with the Power and Taim’s mocking ironic smiles at Rand. And Lews Therin has major unfinished business with his slanderer and manipulator, Ishamael.

Shadows and Darkness

Rand has accessed the True Power through his link with Moridin. Since then, other characters have sensed blackness and shadows around Rand:

Rand is exposed further to it due to its influence bleeding through the link from Moridin.

Moridin himself uses the True Power frequently and has quite a few saa to prove it. All the POVs of characters observing Moridin have been of those who have used the True Power themselves or at least been touched by the Dark One, so we haven’t seen darkness or shadows gathering around Moridin. We have around Ishamael, though. For example, in Tear when Rand took Callandor.

Most interestingly, Taim also has these shadows:

He was tall, nearly as tall as Rand, with a hooked nose and dark eyes like augurs, a physically powerful man who moved with something of a Warder’s deadly grace, but shadows seemed to follow him, as if half the lamps in the room had gone out; not real shadows, but an air of imminent violence that seemed palpable enough to soak up light.

- Winter’s Heart, Prologue

And Pevara noted "an air of darkness" around Taim in Knife of Dreams, Epilogue. In contrast, other Forsaken, who use the True Power as little as possible and are not allowed to at all currently, do not have these shadows visible to non-Forsaken. So it looks like Taim has channelled the True Power recently, something reserved for the Naeblis. (Any saa can be disguised by a weave. Moridin doesn’t do so because it shows the other Forsaken that he is the favoured (and insanely daring) one.

Moridin is linked inside Rand’s head and Taim has attached himself outside, shadowing and sometimes pretending to be, Rand. Moridin is hidden within Rand’s head, Taim’s Black Tower is hidden inside Rand’s Black Tower. Inside and outside they surround Rand, the gamemaster relentlessly constraining the (Fisher) King piece, waiting to strike. The smiler with the knife: the man that, despite the Dreamwalkers’ warning, Rand doesn’t see, playing both sides of the board again.

Why Cheap Cuendillar?

by Linda

We know from earlier books that cuendillar is rare and expensive, and was so even in the Age of Legends. Also, RJ said in an early interview that cuendillar took Forsaken strength to make.

Now even novices of a few week’s training can do it, provided they are strong in Earth. And it is being made in a rather mundane manner. There is nothing difficult about making it, it’s just boring, so why would it have been rare in earlier times? It seems that it was necessary for the plot that RJ change his mind on this matter.

Curiously, the Yellow Ajah has more Aes Sedai strong in Earth than the others, even though until now Aes Sedai Healing is Spirit, Water and Air. The Yellow Ajah are becoming very discontented with Egwene over ‘wasting their time’ making cuendillar. Will they be the first group to disobey Egwene’s orders? Are they going to lead a group that wants an alternative leader? Surely they wouldn’t put their support behind Lelaine when her rival Romanda is Head of their Ajah. Perhaps the Yellow are the early returnees to the Tower?

Since even weak channellers can make cuendillar, Leane was the second fastest after Egwene and was chosen to attack the harbour chain. Egwene feels responsible that Bode, a novice, is the other candidate and replaces her. She is subsequently captured. So to further his plot, RJ not only had to have the harbour chain turn to cuendillar and Egwene captured, he had to have Leane (a weak channeller) also be captured alongside her.

Leane must perform some essential function in Tar Valon. Her presence there may have all or any of three purposes: as a stilled channeller whom Nynaeve Healed, as evidence that the Oath Rod shortens lives since Leane has been freed from the Oaths and is now young again, and finally as a source of information on important topics such as the Forsaken being lose, what Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne have been doing, Telaranrhiod, etc. She may be put to the question, or she may voluntarily tell this information to save Egwene’s life or to attempt to end the Tower split.

Certainly the Oath Rod’s properties will be revealed: the title of the chapter in Crossroads of Twilight when they were captured was What The Oath Rod Can Do and to me hints that this is one important thing that Leane will tell, as well as show, the Tower.

Finally, with her little factory, Egwene has now cheapened cuendillar. Knowledge of the weave will spread, and the rebels now have a stockpile of it, which they have to sell very carefully if they don’t want the price of cuendillar to crash. So far the factory is making cuendillar items to be sold to finance the rebel army. Soon it might be making cuendillar items directly for the war itself. Hopefully for the war against the Shadow. The oaths forbid Aes Sedai to make weapons (though presumably not if these are to be used on Shadowspawn), but there is always armour. It would of course be hypocritical for the Aes Sedai to permit or encourage novices and Accepted to make cuendillar weapons. Ah, what the oath rod can do.

And it is important to remember that once made, cuendillar is forever, so one has to be very careful what one makes, since it can’t be undone or disposed of.

My Ridiculous Finn Theory: Another Way into their World

by Legend

I propose that we will learn that the crux of the Ancient Agreement with the Finn goes far beyond the trading of wishes and knowledge in exchange for memories and experiences. I think we will find the primary reason for the link between the worlds has to do with the imprisonment of the Dark One. I think the Dark One's prison is somehow metaphysically attached to the Finns' world, and they had some role in the design, construction, or positioning of his prison, probably from the time of creation. It may be due to the proximity of the Dark One's prison to the Finn world that questions dealing with the Dark One one have dire consequences.

I am almost sure we will learn that a portal to the Finns' world exists at, or very near to Shayol Ghul. My certainty lies in that i think RJ foreshadowed it in KOD when Tuon mentions a childrens tale:

"How many children's tales do you believe? Do you believe that if you sleep on Old Hob's Hill under a full moon, the snakes will give you true answers to three questions, or that foxes steal people's skins and take the nourishment from food so you can starve to death while eating your fill?"

- Knife of Dreams, Chapter 10

Then Mat remembers Old Hob is another name for the Dark One and he thinks that her descriptions sound very close to the aelfinn/elfinn. So I surmise Shayol Ghul = Old Hobs Hill and its tied in with a legend related to access to the finns world, hence my theory.

It's pretty well established that Mat will be captured, at least for a time, by the Finns during his attempt to rescue Moraine. I think Rand may learn of this access to the Finn World, and via the swirling colors will get a glimpse of Mat's predicament and of a living Moraine, and this may be the final impetus to send Rand towards Shayol Ghul. Rand knows he needs his horn sounder and Moraine as per Min's viewing so he may launch his own rescue attempt. It may be via another encounter with the Finn's that Rand learns the final piece of the puzzle on how to defeat the Dark One and/or re-construct his prison.

I thinks its interesting to note in Norse Mythology Loki is punished by being bound and held until the last battle, and its widely known Mat is tied in to the Odin/Loki legends of Norse Mythology. I know this doesn't mean Rand will come to his rescue, maybe Mat will just flash his winning smile to one of the female-like Finns, those smiles are supposed to always work, right?

Now that I think about it, I don't think we'll get this close to the last battle in TGS, but we should get some part of Mat and Co. entering the Tower of Ghenjei, and maybe further revelation about who the Finns are.

Not so ridiculous after all?

Why Cuendillar Crumbles

by Linda

My theory explains how the Seals on the Dark One’s prison can be breaking when they are made with something supposedly unbreakable. The Seals that are the focal points to the Sealing of the Bore are made of cuendillar:

Seven indestructible cuendillar disks, made with the One Power and marked with the seal of the Aes Sedai, were prepared to function as ‘focus points’.

- Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time

They were made by men and women prior to the attack on Shayol Ghul before the female Aes Sedai decided to take no part in the attack to reseal the Dark One in the Bore.

Lost during the Trolloc Wars, the Seals have been gradually found. Some, like the one at the Eye of the World, have been found already broken, others, such as the one Taim brought Rand, have been found intact. The one Elayne and Nynaeve found in Tanchico was originally intact, but broke on the way to Salidar. When a Seal is about to break, it feels filthy and evil:

Evil seemed to bathe her hand, stronger than ever, as if the Dark One really was trying to break through the cuendillar seal.

- The Fires of Heaven, Leavetakings.

Interestingly, the Seal at the Eye was found broken, yet when Lan tried to cut it, his blade broke. However, Morvrin broke one fragment of the Tanchico Seal with her hands in The Fires of Heaven. Therefore the later breaking Seal was more fragile than the first Seal to break. More on this anon.

Until Egwene rediscovered how,

no one has been able to make cuendillar since the Age of Legends. And even then it was made only for the greatest purpose. Once made, nothing can break it. Not the One Power itself wielded by the greatest Aes Sedai who ever lived aided by the most powerful sa’angreal ever made. Any power directed against it only makes it stronger.

- The Eye of the World, There Is Neither Beginning Nor End

Since cuendillar is made with the One Power, and can’t be broken by using force on it, perhaps the reverse is true.

My theory is that cuendillar is weakened when the One Power is withdrawn or absorbed out of it, and this is why the Seals are crumbling.

The Dark One is the only being with the skill, strength and motivation to do this. He can feel the Seals (the focus points) from within his prison and has very gradually absorbed the One Power out of five of them in turn.

The feel of evil sensed while the Seals are weakening, but not afterward, supports this.

”It [the Seal] was whole when we put it in the purse.” Nynaeve paused to work moisture back into her mouth…
“We didn’t look at it,” Elayne said breathlessly, “or touch it more than we had to. It felt filthy, evil.” It no longer did.

- The Fires of Heaven, To Teach and To Learn.

Once the Seal breaks the feeling of evil is gone. Therefore the evil sensed was not the feel of the Dark One in his prison in the Bore, because that would have remained in the fragments, and so far in the books has only been felt in the Bore. It was the feel of the Dark One doing something to the Seal – actively weakening it. With his increased ability to touch the World, the later Seals have more of the Power leached out of them, and so are more fragile. That is why Morvrin broke the Tanchico fragment with her hands, but Lan’s steel knife broke on the Eye of the World fragment.

The feel of evil as the Seal weakens is the last stages of the Dark One weakening the cuendillar by absorbing the One Power out of it. And cuendillar crumbles…

A Perspective on AMOL

By Sign

At this point in the story, I feel confident that AMOL can be unravelled more so than any other book in the past. So this will be my one and only post on my feelings, or theory on how AMOL is going to play out. I don't claim to know everything, just enough to have a general layout of how our favorite main characters plotlines will unfold now that the story is so near a close, most of the characters at least (Lanfear and Alivia are left out for instance). If I leave a character out, it means I'm not sure enough to postulate on what they will do and/or I don't consider them important enough to the plot to mention, or I just simply forgot them. There are a few important events that are left out, but that's simply because I don't feel confident enough to speculate on them here. I'm also aware that I'm putting my neck on the block, and most won't believe even ten percent of what's written here - I refer you to the title of this post - but c'est la vie. Without further ado, here goes, just read at your own risk.

Outside of the filler stuff, the story will basically start off centered around the Field of Merrilor meeting. Due to the overwhelming majority of the Light's leaders attending this meeting, it's going to be one of the most important scenes in the book and big impact at that. Just so, Robert Jordan gave us a spreadsheet on how it will play out. It's too important a scene to not foreshadow in some form or another. Thus, Robert Jordan gave it to us in the form of a true dream Egwene has in CoT, "In the Night." It reads:

"She was struggling up a narrow, rocky path along the face of a towering cliff. Clouds surrounds her, hiding the ground below and the crest above, yet she knew that the ground below and the crest above, yet she knew that both were very far away. She had to place her feet very carefully. The path was a cracked ledge barely wide enough for her to stand on with one shoulder pressed against the cliff, a ledge littered with stones as large as her fist that could turn under a misplaced step and send her hurtling over the edge. It almost seemed this was like the dreams of pushing millstones and pulling carts, yet she knew it was a true dream.
Abruptly, the ledge dropped away from under her with the crack of crumbling stone, and she caught frantically at the cliff, fingers scrabbling to find a hold. Her fingertips slid into a tiny crevice and her fall stopped with a jolt that wrenched her arms. Feet dangling into the clouds, she listened to the falling stone crash against the cliff until the sound faded to nothing without the stone ever hitting the ground. Dimly, she could see the broken ledge to her left. Ten feet away, it might as well been a mile off for all the chance she had of reaching it. In the other direction, the mists hid whatever remained of the path, but she thought it had to be farther away still. There was no strength in her arms. She could not pull herself up, only hang there by her fingertips until she fell. The edge of the crevice seemed as sharp as a knife under fingers.
Suddenly a woman appeared, clambering down the sheer side of the cliff out of the clouds, making her way as deftly as if she were walking down stairs. There was a sword strapped to her back. Her face wavered, never settling clearly, but the sword seemed as solid as the stone. The woman reached Egwene's level and held out one hand. "We can reach the top together," she said in a familiar drawling accent.

The first paragraph of the dream is outlining the start of the meeting. Egwene is struggling up a towering cliff tells us how difficult this meeting will be for her to convince the worlds' leaders to not break the seals, but most importantly, Rand, since he's the towering cliff. The debate with Rand has started and everyone didn't instantly fall at her feet with her compelling speech of, "Breaking the seals is madness." Everyone’s mistrust of the Tower over the past three thousand years will do her no good either. Rand will make his presentation on why it must be so with evidence from the Prophecies, through his political acuity and knowledge of the AOL gained from Lews Therin, and the fact that it's apparent that he's clearly sane. Still, Egwene will have her supporters, and Rand will have his (the clouds above and below). His ta’veren nature combined with Perrin supporting him will be a bugbear that Egwene never accounted for as well. At this point, she will become aware that this is going to be a lot more difficult then she assumed it would be. Both sides have presented their reasoning on why it must be so. The ones left undecided at this point, various Kings, Queens, the Wise Ones, Sea Folk etc., are represented by all the stones on the ledge that can knock her out of the clouds she's been taking refuge in lately. It is here that we move unto the second paragraph of the dream, squee!

Suddenly, in the middle of the stalemate, Moiraine arrives and declares for Rand (stone crashing against the cliff). Pause here for everyone to catch their breath and take in the impact of what just happened. Continue on and Egwene listens as nobody, not even Aes Sedai, makes voice to oppose Moiraine's declaration. Only Moiraine can make a move like this (insert legendary status here) and not make a sound, or in other words, meet no opposition. Moiraine could even go on to say why it must be so, either through her trust in Rand and the Prophecies, and/or using knowledge she gained from the Eelfinn. As the chaos ensues and readers pick up their pace of reading, other Aes Sedai split from Egwene; Aes Sedai such as Nynaeve and Cadsuane, for example. What's left of Egwene’s supporters, the mist or more appropriately, Aes Sedai, aren't so confident anymore in their practiced manipulation, and Egwene watches as their feigned appearance of aloofness fades into panic on their face as they deflate like a popped balloon. It is at this point that everyone declares for Rand, outside of Egwene's most devout followers, and the strength leaves her arms. She has failed to lead the world to the 'right path' and can only wait for the end to come. The meeting ends with Egwene tasting the bitter vile in her mouth of betrayal by Moiraine and Nynaeve. Most importantly though, for the sake of the story and the Light, she leaves the meeting in desperate straits. We'll pick up the third paragraph of the dream in a moment.

To signify what's left of Egwene's following, we're given this dream Egwene has in ToM:

She saw an enormous sphere made of the finest crystal. It sparkled in the light of twenty three enormous stars, shining down on it where it sat on a dark hilltop. There were cracks in it, and it was being held together by ropes.
There was Rand, walking up the hillside, holding a woodsman's axe. He reached the top and hefted the axe, then swung at the ropes one at a time, chopping them free. The last one parted, and the sphere began to break apart, the beautiful globe falling in pieces. Rand shook his head.

The 23 stars are the Sitters, keeper and Amyrlin that claim they watch and are the authority over the seals. It's hard to watch over something when you have no idea where they are, impossible even. Anyways, Rand’s shaking his head at the futility of the White Tower trying to keep the seals intact, as if they're not already crumbling and breaking on their own. The axe could mean that Perrin will be the one actually breaking the seals, per Rands instruction, with his newly made Hammer. What must be done, will be. Rand from "And After" in ToM, his only viewpoint:

On the morrow, they'd hear his demands. Not what he would demand to keep him from breaking the seals - he was going to do that, regardless of what Egwene said.

Another piece of evidence we're given on Rand’s decision to smash the seals and his surety in facing the Dark One, is in a dream Egwene has of him in A Lord of Chaos, "A Pile of Sand":

Him walking toward a burning mountain, something crunching beneath his boots. She stirred and whimpered; the crunching things were the seals on the Dark One's prison, shattering with his every step.

At this point in the story, it's time for Matrims' light to shine through and fulfill his fate as the center of all. Whether he goes to the meeting beside Moiraine and then the White Tower, or travels with Moiraine to Merrilor and decides to skip off to snag the Horn real quick, isn't real important. It's only important for timeline purposes, if that need be the case. What's important for us, is his next step is to get the Horn from the Tower. His being with Moiraine, a quote in ToM from Moiraine, and a viewing of Min's verify this is his next step. So let’s present those.

First, when Matrim claims he has responsibilities in Caemlyn and must go there, Moiraine replies with, We Shall see.

The second piece of evidence, and most damning, is Min's viewing of Elayne she has way back in TGH:

“One of the things she said she saw looking at me [Elayne] was a severed hand. Not mine, she says."

This is an important viewing for a few reasons. The first is, it tells us that the Band in Caemlyn with Talmanes will fall (severed). Most likely, succeeding in securing the most important Dragon's; yet, nonetheless they will fall. The second, and most important for the Light, is without this incident, Matrim will refuse to lead the Light's forces in the Last Battle, claiming his responsibilities lie with the Band. This removes his natural instinct to deny his greater responsibilities in the Last Battle.

Onward he trudges to the White Tower and finds the Horn, with his luck if need be. At this moment or around this time while he's at the White Tower, he encounters Seanchan and realizes they're assaulting the Tower. Confused and outraged at the stupidity of such a thing on the eve of the Last Battle, he demands to be taken to his wife, Tuon. Matrim is taken to Tuon and proceeds to tell her that the attack has to be called off. Tuon responds with it must be done, if they're to defeat Sightblinder, as per the Prophecies. Matrim responds with telling her that the Last Battle has already started, scoffs at her and her Prophecies nonsense, and tells her Rand's going to break the seals regardless of what she thinks of how it's suppose to happen.

The two keys to Matrim coming out on top in this confrontation are this: Tuon is going to realize that all is lost and have her epiphany. The combination of her skewed version of the Karaethon cycle Prophecies and false conclusions of the Essanik cycle ensures this.

The second and most important key in Matrim's pocket is the Horn of Valere. Tuon tells us in KoD that, securing whoever blew the Horn, man or woman, may be as important as securing the Dragon Reborn. There must be Prophecies involving the Horn in the Essanik cycle that we're unaware of for Tuon to make such a claim. In light of the onslaught of information Matrim gives Tuon, she comes to the realization that her path must be changed. Matrim and Tuon proceed to come to a resolution. She calls off the attack on the White Tower and comes to the conclusion that she must ally with Egwene in opposition to the breaking of the seals. After all is said and done, and they make their promises to each other, Matrim, being that lovable rogue that he is, softens Tuon up further with his presentation of a foxhead medallion that he plans to give to Tuon as a gift. Certain in her purpose now, Tuon proceeds to have a Gateway made to stand with Egwene in opposition to Rand. Strike one in the books for the center of all.

The final piece of information to seal the deal, thanks to Robert Jordan and his love of witty foreshadowing, is Matrim's last words to Tuon in KoD "Under An Oak" on when he will see Seanchan next. He has this to say, "The next time I see Seanchan, I expect it will be on the field somewhere, Tuon." Burn him, it would be. His life seemed to run that way no matter what he did.

The last piece of information that we have confirming Tuon's change of mind comes from her certainty in her conclusion of the Prophecies she's privy to due to the Karaethon cycle; yet this version she's basing her beliefs on is predicated on Ishamael corrupting them to serve the Shadow's ends.

"I must find a way to make contact with the Dragon Reborn as soon as possible. He must kneel before the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai'don, or all is lost.” The Prophecies of the Dragon said so, clearly.

We also have Tuon and her surety in deciphering the Prophecies here with:

”For one thing, he [the Dragon Reborn] must kneel to the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai'don. The Prophecies are clear on that…”

He must bow before the Crystal Throne before the Last Battle can begin.

The next piece of information we have on how events unfold falls back unto the third paragraph of Egwene's true dream from CoT, "In The Night". Taken down from the clouds thanks to Matrim, Tuon approaches Egwene, albeit uncertainly despite everything. She is approaching a marath'damane, after all. Matrim, Prince of the Ravens, the Empress' sword arm in true now, strapped to her back - I'm going to use this joke on men in couples henceforth, instead of the common day lingo of tied around her finger, *laughs inside at the image of it* - has no such compunctions and quibbles in approaching his friend Egwene. Despite everything, Egwene is his friend and he won't leave a friends' neck in the noose without doing what he can to cut the rope. Discussion ensues between Egwene and Tuon with the result being they reach the consensus of an alliance in opposition to Rand breaking the seals. United and together, they can reach the Light together. Strike two in the books for the center of all. The last thing I'll say on the sword and it being Matrim is, you don't strap a sword to your back. Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not), but doesn't Egeanin keep her shortsword in a sheath on her hip? It's not really important because the sword is symbolic and not literal since it's a dream, but it would help others have a clearer picture of the dream. Matrim is also referred to as a sword in the Fourth Age Prophecy at the end of TGH, more on that later though.

Egwene's dream from A Crown of Swords, "Unseen Eyes", highlights this alliance even further.

A golden hawk stretched out its wing and touched her, and she and the hawk were tied together somehow; all she knew was that the hawk was female.

The final piece of the puzzle in Matrim's arsenal as God of Grey is culminated here in another of Egwene's dreams, albeit a short one from The Dragon Reborn, "Following the Craft".

Rand confronting her, and the women with her, and one of them was a Seanchan.

This is the final moment on the breaking of the seals, the last stand of the women. Egwene, Tuon, and the sitters or what's left of Egwene's following, confront Rand about the seals. I'll leave speculation on how this conversation proceeds out, except to say that this confrontation will not involve Rand standing alone against them. The women will finally fall under the weight of the three ta'veren tripod standing together. The Prophecies will be fulfilled; he will break what must be broken. Strike three down for the center of all. The reason Matrim is the center of all, is because he's the string that ties the three factions we have together; that would be Rand, Egwene, and Tuon.

This Prophecy from the Karaethon cycle in A Crown of Swords, "Ta’veren" confirms this alliance:

"The Prophecies said he would bind together the people of every land--"The north shall he tie to the east, and the west shall be bound to the south."

The agreement between Rand and Tuon is sealed when he gives Tuon Hawkwing's sword in honor of their alliance. This is shown to us in Mins' viewing in TOM, "A Return to Bandar Eban":

Rand reached out, touching the weapon. She glanced at him, and a viewing sprang to life above him. A glowing sword, Callandor, being gripped in a black hand. She gasped.
"What did you see?" Rand asked softly.
"Callandor, held in a fist. The hand looks to be made of onyx."…

Min assumes it is Callandor, which is funny because it's Min herself that tells us that Callandor is referred to as the blade of ruin, or the fearful blade and is not referred to as simply a sword in the Prophecies. She has no idea Hawkwing's sword Justice would be important. One should also take note that she refers to it as a sword and Callandor is always the "The sword that is not a sword."

Around this time is the moment Tuon will bond Matrim I would guess; if not here then after the Last Battle, but somewhere. The moment of triumph for the Light standing together, finally, will be a short lived climax however. It's time for Demandred to enter center stage and reveal himself in all his glory. The reports of the Light’s cities under assault by the Shadow start trickling in. Caemlyn under attack, Tear being assaulted, Cairhen lost, and even possibly Ebou Dar being dust will be the match on the haystack that sends them all through the roof. The Borderlands falling and Nynaeve's knowledge that Lan has charged, coincides with all this. Queue Loial's arrival with the Ogier and their axes to stand with mankind in existences darkest hour. Logain has arrived as well, with news of the Black Tower, possibly with Pevara and Androl, possibly not. Depends on if they escape in time, but next time we see that pair they will be bonded! Time for Logain to earn his glory that Min's seen numerous times:

“Logain’s aura still speaks of glory, stronger than ever. Maybe he thinks he’s the real Dragon Reborn."

Logain is pronounced the first male Aes Sedai of the Third Age. This is where Nicola's Foretelling comes to fruition in

the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade.

This has a complication however, since male Aes Sedai aren't going to swear on a criminal binder, as well as Aes Sedai being useless against Dreadlords due to the Three Oaths. Matrim once again though, comes through and provides the solution to this; the absolvement of the Three Oaths on the binder.

This is given to us in CoT, in the chapter "A Chat With Siuan". Before I even begin, I would ask you to open your mind to the possibility of allusion. Good writers are often thought of as magicians to a degree, and allusion is part of the magician's magic. The first thing you should think to follow my reasoning is, that’s a pretty bland chapter name. It's also a completely boring chapter if it solely consists of Egwene and Siuan having a conversation. So, a chat with Siuan, eh? Well, for the most part it is. Although Robert Jordan inserted an allusion in the chapter to make it interesting, thank the Light. The allusion begins with” concentrating on the business at hand, she picked up the next sheet” and ends with” Egwene's head came up as she read to the bottom of the page, and she hurriedly set that page down and picked up the next”. There are a few gems to take note of here in this passage.

The first is this I believe. Notice the word usage to introduce the allusion. I feel Robert Jordan knew this would be difficult to see, so he stressed it with the word "concentrate". The most important part to me though, is Egwene's first words and immediate thoughts following them, which are this:

"At least they don't suggest sending anyone to Caemlyn". Egwene blinked, the pain behind her eyes sharpened by following the tight letters.

Sounds a lot like Egwene's mental condition following the three ta’veren, or 'tight letters' eh? First of all, she's not reading tight letters, plural. We're specifically told she picks up the next sheet (1). Just to counter the arguments here, I'm aware that a report can have multiple letters on it, but such is not the case here. Take note of 'Siuan's' mannerisms during this conversation. The only character that scoffs, scowls, hems and haws towards Egwene is Matrim. Siuan is generally meek as a mouse with Egwene, especially the further into the story we get; and we're at book ten here. So we swap the name Siuan with Matrim and you have the real of it. Also take note of the last thing Egwene says to Matrim and I quote:

With luck, I'll convince the sisters to accept being freed of the Three Oaths so they can retire into the Kin before they ever learn there's a bargain with the Atha'an Miere. And once they accept any sister being freed of the Oaths, it won't be nearly as hard to convince them to let the Sea Fold sisters go. Beside that, the rest of that agreement is small turnips. As you keep saying, skill and a deft hand are necessary to get anything done in the Hall, but luck is absolutely required. Well, I'll be as skillful and deft as I can be, and as for luck, the odds seem to be in my favor for once." Suian (Matrim) grimaced and hemmed and hawed, but she (he) had to agree in the end. She (he) even agreed that Egwene might pull it off, with luck, and timing.

I would say, for those that see it, that it's obvious at this point. All the references to luck make it so. We have Egwene finally succumbing to follow the three ta’veren and now she's telling Matrim that luck is on her side. Well, at this point in the story it is, as Egwene sees it. Matrim would argue that he's always been on her side though. If I were a gambling man, I would even go so far as to say that this conversation will take place from Egwene's PoV, the same as the Field of Merrilor meeting will.

Business done dealing with those mule-headed (Egwene), fool women (Tuon), fates fulfilled for Matrim in full as he accepts the responsibility of being the Lights Supreme General. It's time for Matrim to organize the armies of the Light and put them to use, united as one. Gareth Bryne for sure is sent to defend the Borderlands in the north, along with Bashere and Ituralde. And now the true work is laid before him, that of taking Demandred down on the field of battle in the south. Matrim's business with Demandred is personal now. The Bands fall at Caemlyn will raise his ire and Demandred is going to be one sorry individual for it. So, Matrim and Tuon with the Seanchan military will lead the assault on the south, mainly the taking of Caemlyn.

He will be unable to Travel directly to Caemlyn though, due to Demandred extending the Dreamspike to prevent it. He's going to need Perrin, Egwene and the Wise One Dreamwalkers to deal with that problem. Chances are their battle in Tel'aran'rhiod will be met with Slayer, Moghedien, and various other servants of the Shadow. Logain will be the hammer that leads the channelers assault on the Black Tower. We have a Foretelling and some more witty Foreshadowing by Robert Jordan for this. First, the Foretelling given to us by none other than Suffa, a good damane, in A Crown of Swords Prologue: "Lightnings":

"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 second piece, the Foreshadowing, is more an idea of what to expect the attack to look like. That is, circles of men and women leading the assault on the Black Tower; most likely circles of thirteen due to the "thirteen noonday suns" part. Although they could be larger depending on their numbers, and how many channelers they decide to risk putting in circles together. In A Golden Crane in KoD, Nynaeve sees this as she watches Logain’s men and women work together to clean up after the Trollocs attack the manor:

Suddenly fires bloomed below, six enveloping dead Trollocs in front of Malevin and Aisling, seven in front of Sandomere and Ayako, and she squinted against the blinding glare. It was like trying to look at thirteen noonday suns blazing in a cloudless sky. They were linked. She could tell from the way the flows of saidar moved, stiffly, as though they were being forced into place rather than guided. Or rather, the men were trying to force them. That never worked with the female half of the Power. It was pure Fire, and the blazes were ferocious, fiercer than she would have expected from Fire alone. But of course they would be using saidin as well, and who could say what they were adding from that murderous chaos? The little she could recall of being linked with Rand left her with no desire ever again to go near that. In just a few minutes the fires vanished, leaving only low heaps of grayish ash lying on seared earth that looked hard and cracked. That could not do the soil much good.

Before the Lights assault on the Black Tower however, while they're still all at Merrilor, we'll have short scenes trickled in involving Rand and Moiraine, and their reunion in true I would imagine. Along with the assault on the Black Tower will Lan’s storyline be coinciding. So we'll tackle him next.

Lan's fall will be mirroring the Battle of Thermopylae when the Greeks held out against the Persians for days, despite being heavily outnumbered. This viewing of Min's can mean one of two things:

[Lan] "has seven ruined towers around his head, and a babe in a cradle holding a sword . . ."

Nynaeve is pregnant, and just isn't aware of it yet. If this is the case, Lan will fall. If not, Lan will live. The babe cradling the sword doesn't lead to very pleasing thoughts though. This viewing of Nynaeve that Min has in TGS, "Reading the Commentary" doesn't sit too well either for Lan:

And . . . what was that vision that was suddenly hovering above Nynaeve's head? She was kneeling over someone's corpse in a posture of grief.

As for Perrin, I don't foresee much of importance, compared to Matrim, on his plate outside of his battle in Tel'aran'rhiod to capture the Dreamspike and the Song. His importance will be, as the Prince of the Morning (title given to him in the Fourth Age Prophecy that's at the end of TGH), to take the Tinkers, along with Aviendha and the Aiel that throw down the spear in peace, to sing the Song and this will be Perrin's battle. The battle to create and bring nourishment to the land while the Dark One is trying to destroy it. To restore or keep the world in place, and make the green things grow to combat the Dark one's touch. The wolves will fight Slayer's darkhounds as well.

Additionally, this type of action makes a lot of sense that his title in the Fourth Age is Prince of the Morning. Basically, it's associating the rising of the sun with the growth of the land and such. The reason we're using Prince here is explained a little more at the end, but Perrin is the Wolf King as we know it. In the context of the Creator though, he's only a Prince, because there can be no King where the Creator's concerned.

Aviendha's visions of the future we saw in ToM, along with the Aiel Prophecy, leads to the only conclusion that her path is going to be one of throwing down the spear, leading other Aiel as a Wise One to do the same, and join the Tinkers and embrace their history as Jenn Aiel and following the Way of the Leaf. This clumps Aviendha with Perrin in doing the deed of the Song. The Aiel who don't do so are those that die. Here is what we're told about the Aiel that cements Aviendha's purpose, from a Shadow Rising, "He Who Comes With The Dawn":

"In this case, the whole truth, the truth known only to Wise Ones and clan chiefs before this, is that you are our doom. Our doom, and our salvation. Without you, no one of our people will live beyond the Last Battle., Perhaps not even until the Last Battle. That is prophecy, and truth. With you...'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.’”

This would make sense in that "those that call themselves Aiel", aren't truly Aiel. Aviendha needs the whole truth, or rather a true Aiel's purpose laid out to her by Rand via his knowledge of the AoL from Lews Therin of the Aiel. Rand will tell her that Aiel were those with the greatest honor for their service sworn in peace.

Onward to Rand though. Before Rand can confront the Dark One however, it appears he will be going to the Black Tower for battle. Another Egwene dream from A Crown of Swords, "Unseen Eyes":

Logain, laughing, stepped across something on the ground and mounted a black stone; when she looked down, she thought it was Rand’s body he had stepped over…

Along with this we have Nicola's Foretelling:

"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.

Telling us that Rand will suffer some type of wound and be assumed dead by the general populace, yet be alive. Min, Aviendha, and Elayne being at his side during this would lead us to believe that it's due to their bond to him that he was taken for dead, yet lives. The great battle, or the battle against the Black Tower is done. But Rand’s job, the battle for the world, isn't finished yet.

The Shadow Prophecy at the end of ToM would seem to indicate he dies shortly after making peace with Egwene and Tuon though, perhaps on the same day; amidst all the incoming dire news of the Shadow's full out assault from the north and south. But let’s take a look at it first:

Lo, it shall come upon the world that the prison of the Greatest One shall grow weak, like the limbs of those who crafted it. Once again, His glorious cloak shall smother the Pattern of all things, and the Great Lord shall stretch forth His hand to claim what is His. The rebellious nations shall be laid barren, their children caused to weep. There shall be none but Him, and those who have turned their eyes to His majesty. In that day, when the One-Eyed Fool travels the halls of mourning, and the First Among Vermin lifts his hand to bring freedom to Him who will Destroy, the last days of the Fallen Blacksmith's pride shall come. Yea, and the Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers. And his destruction shall bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, and shall shake their very will itself.
And then, shall the Lord of the Evening come. And He shall take our eyes, for our souls shall bow before Him, and He shall take our skin, for our flesh shall serve Him, and He shall take our lips, for only Him will we praise. And the Lord of the Evening shall face the Broken Champion, and shall spill his blood and bring us the Darkness so beautiful. Let the screams begin, O followers of the Shadow. Beg for your destruction!

All the Broken Wolf says to me though, is Rand will fall to a Forsaken (Demandred makes the most sense, maybe Lanfear though), or appear to fall to one; fall doesn't necessarily have to mean his death though. Egwene's dream, and Nicola's Foretelling, quoted a few paragraphs up would agree with this. Rand's death will appear to be death to the majority of the population, yet not. Moridin will know he yet lives through his link with him. Nonetheless, it's time for Moridin to use the peoples despair and lose of hope to his advantage and strike. For Rand, it's nigh time to make the trip and enter the Pit of Doom and face Moridin, the Shadow's Champion. I'm inclined to believe that this Prophecy is true, with a catch; more on the catch in a moment. Next though, we have this Prophecy:

Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed.
Once for mourning, once for birth.
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 mourning part confirms the Shadow Prophecy from the end of ToM, Egwene's dream of Logain, and Nicola's Foretelling of he who is dead, yet lives. More specifically for the Shadow Prophecy though, if you combine "Once for mourning" and the line from the Shadow Prophecy about "his destruction", leads it all to make sense when you read the next line. The second time the day dawns, for birth, however, the Light will shine in celebration of victory over the Shadow. The last lines of the Karaethon cycle confirm this for us here:

And it shall come to pass that what men made shall be shattered, and the Shadow shall lie across the Pattern of the Age, and the Dark One shall once more lay his hand upon the world of man. Women shall weep and men quail as the nations of the earth are rent like rotting cloth. Neither shall anything stand nor abide... Yet one shall be born to face the Shadow...and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes shall he clothe the people, and he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind. Like the unfettered dawn shall he blind us, and burn us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood shall give us the Light. Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation.

So, we have one saying Rand's blood will bring the Light. The Shadow Prophecy directly opposes this view and tells us Rand's blood will bring the Darkness though. So which is true? Enter the catch, or rather the wildcard, Fain; the one who is outside the Pattern and can't be divined in any manner, will turn the spilling of Rand's blood into something that isn't so beautiful. At least, not if you put your chips in for the Dark One. If I were the Dark One, I would be wary, nay terrified, of Rand's blood, due to Fain's wound, touching him in any manner. The Prophecies all agree that it is Rand’s blood that is important, after all.

A few last lines, Prophecies and Viewings that give us the fall of Moridin, The Lord of the Evening, to Rand. First, the Prophecy of Rand having a battle of wills with Moridin from the Karaethon cycle:

"Into the heart he thrusts his sword,
Into the heart, to hold their hearts.
Who draws it out shall follow after,
What hand can grasp that fearful blade?"

It's into the heart because Rands battle with Moridin is going to be one for their very souls. The hand that can grasp Callandor and follows after, will be Rand who crushes Moridin in a battle of willpower, thank the Light! The nature of Rand’s battle with Moridin is also indicated to us by Min in her Viewing of him that says this:

”I saw you and another man. I couldn’t make out either face, but I knew one was you. You touched, and seemed to merge into one another, and…” Her mouth tightened worriedly, and she went on in a very small voice.” I don’t know what it means, Rand, except one of you dies, and one doesn’t. I – Why are you grinning? This isn’t a joke, Rand. I do not know which of you dies.”

Finally, we come to the penultimate conclusion of the series, Rand's confrontation with the Dark One, but he isn't going to be alone. Fortunate for us and the Light, we have Prophecies detailing this confrontation and how Rand can possibly face a God. So let’s take another look at the Prophecy from the Karaethon cycle given to us in TGS, "Reading the Commentary":

He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one…

In the time he forms his circle with two women, Callandor in hand, the three ta’veren shall become one through their swirl visions of each other as per Zoroastrianism. The Three ta’veren holding their visions of each other, along with Nynaeve and Moiraine (most likely, if not Moiraine it's Egwene), will give Rand the strength and stability he will need to face the Dark One and perfectly reseal his prison to allow the Wheel of Time to continue. The other possibility though, is Rand will completely destroy the Dark One. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case, as a Fourth Age Prophecy states at the end of TGH:

And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the promised one be born of the mountain, according to the Prophecies, as he was in Ages past and will be in Ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that greens will grow and the valley give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of Justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time."

-from Charal Drianaan te Calamon,
The Cyle of the Dragon,
Author Unknown, the Fourth Age

If you don't get it (I never did until I decided to write this. Partly because I didn't read it line by line with an analytical mindset. I also just assumed all the titles referred to Rand without thinking for myself), Prince of the Morning is Perrin and the Song. Lord of the Dawn sheltering them from the Dark would be Rand. The great sword of Justice in defence is Matrim. I imagine it’s just assumed that the titles all refer to Rand, but this is not the case. First, to understand you have to look at this Prophecy in its' context. Its context is the people praying to the highest power, the Creator. In that light, all things outside of the Creator are below the Creator and are his servants. Rand, Matrim, and Perrin are the ultimate servants of the Creator. This Prophecy verifies it, in my eyes, and through time people will misinterpret it, and assume all those titles refer to only one person - The Dragon Reborn. Through time and the spinning of the Wheel through the ages, this knowledge of the ta'veren tripod will be lost. By the time the Wheel comes back around to the Third Age, Moiraine's going to have to figure out that there is really three born to combat the Dark One, and not just one, the Dragon Reborn, all over again...poor Moiraine.

One last thought regarding the Wheel of Time and the message Robert Jordan was sending, is re-sealing the Dark Ones prison doesn't lead to time not being seen as circular, as it is in the Wheel of Time universe. Rather, it’s that in certain ages, take your pick, time will be seen as linear through 'advances' in Philosophy, as it is today; and in other ages, such as the second and third, time will be seen as circular.

Queue the end of the Third Age and the beginning of the Fourth Age. The birth of the city states and a federal government in likeness to something resembling modern day U.S.

Legends Fading

by Fanatic-Templar

By now, we can start hoping for some actual losses for the Light. It would be a rather poor Tarmon Gai’don if only the Shadow had losses with names. As to who will die, we cannot be sure, but foreshadowing points towards Rand, Bashere, Lan, Cadsuane… The latter is the one who concerns us here. For starters, why exactly should she be one of the unlucky few who die? Then we’ll move on to the how.

Bluntly put, she’s old. Very old. Most Aes Sedai believe she should be dead. She agrees.

Any day now might be her last, but young al’Thor would be a fitting end to it all.
A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars.

And there we have it. From Min’s Viewing, what her purpose in aiding Rand is.

“It’s Cadsuane. She is going to teach you something, you and the Asha’man. All the Asha’man, I mean. It’s something you have to learn, but I don’t know what it is, except that none of you will like learning it from her. You aren’t going to like it at all.”
A Crown of Swords, A Crown of Swords.

The Last Battle is meant to be fought by the Emond’s Fielders, and Cadsuane is much too imposing a personality right now to have her meddling with Tarmon Gai’don, it would simply be unwise from a storyline point of view. Therefore she must be removed, and we’ve been told she wishes only to achieve this last task before she dies. Fortuitous, to say the least.

So the story requires victims for the Light, and here we have a woman who’s all set to cross the Styx. But how exactly will she die? Will the Aes Sedai just wake up one morning to find her dead? Surely not. With the Last Battle ever closer, most deaths will be due to battle with the Shadow ( or Bubbles of Evil ) and as the Pattern would have it, an adversary has been set up with every reason to hate her, and the means to destroy her.

“Then I heard of Taim, and I was off to Saldaea as fast as I could ride. There’s nothing for a bit of excitement like a man who can channel.”
A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars.

Mazrim Taim, of course, hates all Aes Sedai, and who can blame him, seeing as how they were about to gentle him? Of course, he is also a darkfriend, and a powerful one at that. Aside from his considerable strength in saidin, he commands a legion of Asha’man to serve his bidding. Since Cadsuane was among the Sisters who actually captured him, his hatred of Aes Sedai may well be exceptionally rabid against her.

Now, Cadsuane is protected by so many ter’angreal that it would take an army to defeat her. And as I just said, Taim has an army, an army of channellers, maybe the deadliest force ever assembled since the Trolloc Wars.

Well, there’s the evidence, make up your own minds.