This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
The Wheel of Time
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The Last Battle
The Last Battle will involve an epic sword-fight between Rand and Moridin
And what's more, Rand will be wielding Callandor with a new hand made from either black cuendillar, or rock from Shayol Ghul.
AMOL Spoiler: Swordfight yes, but it's not especially epic, and no magic hand is involved. The sword-fight in fact seems to exist largely as a successful ploy by Moridin to draw Rand into the real, mental duel with the Dark One itself.
Rand will be mortally wounded at Caemlyn. The last battle might even take place there
With all the King Arthur parallelism, I'd be surprised if Jordan had let that one slip. In every story about King Arthur he gets mortally wounded at Camlann, also called (you guessed it) The Last Battle. Since Rand plans on attacking the DO at Shayol Ghul, it makes me doubt that the Last Battle would truly take place in the city, but then again, nothing guarantees that Rand actually gets to the Shayol Ghul.
For all we know, the DO might actually manifest in Caemlyn and lay waste to the city. Rand gates there, gets wounded very badly (showing the three women weeping on his bier, which reminds me of another scene from the King Arthur legends, with the three women weeping over his wounded body on the boat trip to Avalon.) Then the DO withdraws back to Shayol Ghul then, because Caemlyn is too far from the Bore for him to manifest there for long (maybe he manifests before Rand breaks the three seals, so he's still being held back a bit, but not enough to keep him from manifesting somewhat), which would give more time for the weeping over the bier vision to occur. Rand later resurrects somehow and attack him in Shayol Ghul once he's healed.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope. Caemlyn is destroyed fairly early in the Last Battle, and Rand never fights there.
Balefire must be channeled to seal (Or rather, un-unseal) the bore
At one point, Rand and Hegrid Fel have a conversation about the Bore, that, when the wheel of time turns and the Bore is drilled again, the Bore must not exist, which is different from simply sealing the bore. So, it seems like if the bore is going be undone, somehow the bore must be prevented from happening in the first place. It seems like balefire may be the only way to do this.
Alternatively, especially if The Wheel really does go on forever, the Dark One has to get free at some point, and then eventually be resealed.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope. Rand regenerates the Dark One's prison using a combination of saidin, saidar, and the True Power. Besides, channeling enough balefire to turn back time more than three thousand years sounds like it would have really catastrophic side-effects.
The Last Battle was already won.
In the very first book. When Rand killed Narg, Lord of All Evil. All this stuff afterward is just the nightmare of a Post-Victory Collapse suffering Farm Boy.
Rand will actually become a Dragon
This one's really out there, I know, but it has a strange appeal. Somehow, Rand will be transformed into a Dragon for his final battle with the Dark One, maybe permanently. This could also involve, Elayne, Min, and Aviendha also choosing to become them as well to be with Rand. This could be supported by Min's viewing that Aviendha would have five of Rand's children at once, but there would be something odd about them.
The oddity about Aviendha's children is revealed to be that the children are born embracing the source, and hold it all the time naturally. They are also all human.
Actually it never mentions that they all can. Also; four children, not five.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope.
Rand, Mat, and Perrin will lose their Ta'veren status right before Tarmon Gaidon
It has been mentioned that people are not always Ta'veren for their whole life. So, Rand, Mat, and Perrin will all lose their Ta'veren status right before the Last Battle and they will have to "Go It Alone" without their Ta'veren condition to back them up.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope.
Though they do seem to lose their Ta'veren status immediately afterwards.
Possibly not Rand. He can no longer channel, but that trick with the pipe seemed to point towards him having some Pattern-manipulating powers left.
Both armies of the Last Battle are going to have roughly the same number of channelers on either side
There is probably going to be a stupid reason too.
AMOL Spoiler: True, though there's not a reason so much as a balance of forces.
No stupid reason. The Black Ajah has been very active for thousands of years and Taim, a new Chosen, managed to Turn/turn a majority of the Black Tower to the Shadow.
Once Moiraine is rescued and rejoins Rand, she and he will have to defeat the Dark One together.
Nothing says that Rand, as The Chosen One, is the only one who can/will fight the Dark One, simply that he has to be there for humanity to have any chance. Rand has certainly shown, for various reasons, that he needs help in his endeavors, and has even accepted it on certain occasions. Once she surrendered to him, he always trusted Moiraine; after thinking he caused her death, to see her back again would not only undo a lot of the angst and restore his confidence in himself, he'd immediately accept her as his advisor again in Cadsuane's place. And Min had those visions saying he would fail without her. Why would that be?
Well, aside from whatever she might have learned/bargained from the Finn, there's the fact that Rand is going to attempt to somehow actually destroy the Dark One. Failing that, he needs to destroy the seals and then completely reseal the Bore. Lews Therin failed at this task. Why? Because he only used saidin. Saidin and saidar are both necessary. We've already seen the two were needed to cleanse the taint; both were used by the Bowl of the Winds; both may well be a part of the makeup of Callandor; and the Guide and glossaries explicitly state (the books might too) that the greatest feats of the Age of Legends were always performed by men and women working together.
A theme of the series all along has been people learning to put aside their differences and join together; look at the Red Ajah going from gentling and killing male channelers to bonding them as Warders. It could well be that one of the big reasons Jordan put the whole Battle of the Sexes thing into this series was because it had to be overcome for victory: can't have men and women working together unless they get over their irrational beliefs about each other first. So, when Moiraine returns, and once she finds out saidin is now safe (can't wait to see her reaction to that!), her linking with Rand is the only way he'll be able to reseal or even destroy the Dark One.
AMOL Spoiler: Moiraine was there, but surprisingly irrelevant. Word Of God indicates that Moiraine's purpose was to ensure that Rand and Egwene went to the Last Battle as allies, rather than at odds with each other- being both of their first mentor, she was better positioned than anyone to talk sense into both of them. According to Sanderson, while Jordan had always intended her to be one of the two women in a circle with Rand at Shayol Ghul, he never outlined a specific purpose for her to fulfil while there.
Rand succeeds in killing the Dark One. Padan Fain becomes the new one.
(This doesn't even seem like a particularly wild guess, but it's not here yet, so it might as well be added.) Rand has said he plans to truly kill the Dark One. Maybe that's just ego speaking, or maybe he really does have a plan. It seems implausible, but who knows? Even if he does, though, history is cyclical, and something will become aBig Bad. Well, there's Padan Fain. He's already incredibly evil and in every book he becomes more and more powerful.
Looking at it, Padan Fain has power over death, is definitely not human, and is super evil and super powered. Who is to say that, with the cyclical time, the Creator imprisoning the Dark One is not re-played through eternity using things that are more than human, the new incarnations of the Dragon and Mashadar?
This ones fun, but seriously, it's pretty much set in stone that the Dark One can't be killed.
AMOL Spoiler: Teased - Fain briefly assumes the name "Shaisam", which sounds a whole lot like "Shai'tan", and seemingly intends to get rid of his vulnerable mortal body and implant his consciousness and power into Shayol Ghul - but no. Mat kills him before he gets there.
Ishamael (Moridin, whatever) will have a Heel-Face Turn and maybe even be the one that actually seals the Dark One.
Rand's been in his head since they crossed the streams. Just imagine what effect Jesus!Rand's brain must be having on him — he probably hasn't slept properly in weeks. Rand would still indirectly be the one responsible.
AMOL Spoiler: He does, but not voluntarily - Rand seizes control of him through Callandor's flaw. Rand does try to talk him into a Heel-Face Turn, but by this point he's too far gone into nihilism and madness to listen.
This occurred to me when I was thinking about Nicola's Foretelling from Lord of Chaos. The first sentence is clearly Elayne, Aviendha, and Min; the second likely refers to them as well as Rand; and the third sentence seems to be saying "this is in the Fourth Age". Since we know that Rand has to die (or at least bleed profusely) at Shayol Ghul in the last battle, it would fit in quite well with the whole "legend fades to myth" deal.
AMOL Spoiler: Not explicitly ruled out, but given that he's alive, it seems unlikely.
Either Min is pregnant or Rand survives.
In Aviendha's incredibly-disturbingflash-forwards, there's a brief line about someone being from one of the three branches of the Dragon's descendants. The most obvious interpretation of that is from Rand's children by Elayne, Aviendha, and Min. Elayne is currently pregnant, and through Min and Rhuidean we've seen Aviendha's children, but nothing about Min's. Going off of overdosed-on-TVT-and-thus-not-that-reliable memory and conjecture, I don't believe there's going to be enough time after Towers of Midnight and before Tarmon Gai'don for Rand and Min to be together, so if she is to have at least one child by him, either she needs to be already pregnant, or he needs to survive long enough to impregnate her.
Read the scene again. Aviendha's persona thinks that the OTHER three lines of the dragon have died off. Aviendha has a grand total of four kids by Rand. Three of them have descendants die childless somewhere along the line, and the fourth survives a REALLY long time. In typical Aiel fashion, she ignores any of the wetlander kids that may exist. Even the girl who was Aviendha's granddaughter met Elayne's granddaughter and they really didn't like each other. Min never enters into it.
AMOL Spoiler: Rand survives.
Aviendha's Super Special Vision in Towers of Midnight was of a previous turning of the Wheel
Consider: Aviendha accidentally changes the function of the vision-granting ter'angreal in Rhuidean which used to grant past visions of one's ancestors, and instead gets what appears to be a vision of the future, post-Last-Battle. This vision seems "more real" to her than the visions of possible futures usually granted to Wise Ones. HOWEVER, thus far, every known method of divining the future (Foretelling, Min's viewings, Aeelfinn answers, Wise One ter'angreal visions, Dreaming, etc.) have been either very cryptic or fallible or both. There is no precedent for such a clear, detailed prediction of future events.
If we take as a given that this is not a "possible" (but uncertain) future like the ones Wise Ones usually see, but not an unalterable future like the ones glimpsed in Foretellings, Min's viewings, and other forms of prophecy either, what else could it be? Simple: it's not the future, it's the past. It's what happened to the Aiel in the beginning of the Fourth Age the last time the Wheel turned, but not necessarily what must happen to them this time (because each turning of the Wheel is slightly different, with the differences working themselves out over thousands of years and multiple Ages).
Last time, the Aiel were conquered and driven to extinction by the Seanchan, but all that is required to happen by the Pattern is that they cease to exist as a people sometime in the Fourth Age so that they can re-emerge in the next Age of Legends. Maybe this time, they'll be peacefully absorbed by the Westlands and lose their cultural identity through thousands of years of intermarriage, or they'll take up the Way of the Leaf again and become indistinguishable from the Travelling People, or some... third... thing.
Except that the visions explicitly follow her genetic line - the same Ages are similar, but not so much that they would both have an Aviendha who had four children by the Dragon Reborn.
The fourth line of the Dragon will be descended from Lanfear.
The other three lines of Rand's descent are fairly obvious: Elayne, Min, and Aviendha. Barring Ilyena being reborn as someone other than Elayne, Lanfear is the most likely person to receive Rand's "affections" in the modern age.
When Rand encountered her in the Cyndane body, he felt, among other things, lust. She's been chasing him for hundreds of years (not counting the thousands of years they both spent in limbo and Tel'Aran'Rhiod). It's unlikely that she will stay on the side of Shai'tan if someone frees her from the vacuole. Being beaten (or worse) to the brink of death and then healed in a place where time may have no meaning just might be what it takes to make her genuinely seek to change sides.
Her current circumstances also play into the "can't hurt a woman" sentiments that the three main characters cling to.
AMOL Spoiler: Lanfear dies. Besides, the other four lines of the Dragon refer to Aviendha's children specifically, not RAND'S children
Lan will become King of a Re-Established Malkier
What no one has mentioned is once the Last Battle is fought, what is going to be done about The Blight? Will it disappear and go back to the way it was? Will the Aes Sedai and Asha'man be required to fix everything? I think in Towers of Midnight some effort will be put into pushing The Blight back far enough and it will turn out that Malkier is back. Lan will then be crowned and Malkier will be used as the staging ground for The Last Battle. Or maybe he'll be crowned afterwards.
Well, while such a thing could still happen in A Memory of Light, it hasn't so far. Still, Lan did at least verbally reclaim his crown. There is also the viewing Min had of him with the seven towers and a sword in a cradle. Word Of God says viewings are all of the future, not the past. Problem is, the viewing could have two interpretations: the seven towers could mean Malkier is re-established, or just what has happened already, Lan gathering the Malkieri and riding to Tarwin's Gap while calling himself king again. And the sword in the cradle could represent his child being given his sword because he's the next ruler...or because the responsibility of fighting in honor of fallen Malkier against the Shadow will be passed to him, as it was to Lan.
AMOL Spoiler: He's still alive, he's claimed the throne and been acknowledged, and the Blight is gone, so this seems likely.
The Horn of Valere
The Horn won't summon anyone at the Last Battle
All the legendary heroes will be there already! We'll get to see Mat do a spit-take, it'll be great.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope.
Rand will die before the series ends and be called back by the Horn.
We know that Rand has to die somehow to defeat the Shadow. We also know that he "must die in order to live" and have seen visions indicating mourning over his death when he is not precisely gone.
We know Rand isn't powerful enough to beat the Dark One all by himself; the Dark One is basically Anti-God, and Rand is just a powerful human. But the Heroes of the Horn are invulnerable while called back, and seem to have other powers above their normal abilities. (Note Birgitte's arrow that sets the Seanchan ship aflame in her first appearance.)
The Heroes are stated by Moiraine to follow whoever sounds the Horn, even a Darkfriend. But the Heroes themselves state that they cannot fight without the Dragon, and his banner, to lead them. This makes sense only if the Dragon is himself a Hero and would normally be called with the rest; it's only when he happens to be incarnate that this is an inconvenience. Otherwise, it would be essentially impossible to know the Heroes would follow whoever calls them.
It should be noted here that while Moiraine can't lie, she can be wrong. It's possible that the Horn can only be used by whichever side the Dragon is on, only Moiraine doesn't know that.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope.
Interestingly enough, This theory pans out for other characters besides Rand: Noal and Birgitte are both summoned by the horn at a critical moment.
The Heroes of the Horn get their power when called by the horn from sitting in the World of Dreams
Basically, the power they displayed at Falme is in line with what people expect out of them. The World of Dreams seems to be formed from people's thoughts, hence why temporary things flicker so easily; they're not firmly placed in people's minds when thinking about the location. So Birgitte never misses and rides on water because people think she does, and is immune to channeling because her being defeated by channelers is simply not in the legends. Furthermore, the reason their success got linked to Rand's is because that's how stories work.
AMOL Spoiler: Not explicitly refuted, but Artur Hawkwing does say the legends are wrong in one regard, so they're definitely not entirely bound by belief.
Jain Farstrider will return in the final book as a Hero of the Horn.
The way he was described in the previous 13 books was in terms rather similar to how the legendary heroes are described. Not all great heroes need necessarily be great fighters; Jain is one who did great deeds of a different form, and his legacy is to spread geographical knowledge.
That was not his only legacy, of course. Although it is certainly no guarantee that he will appear as a Hero of the Horn, he is certainly worthy of recognition for literal heroism, quite aside from his activities under the name "Jain". And as a famed gleeman was a direct witness to his death and his last deeds, the story of his final heroism is sure to be remembered (it isn't clear whether popular recognition is necessary to become a Hero of the Horn, but if it is, he'll surely satisfy it).
AMOL Spoiler: True.
Lanfear killed Asmodean
We know the following things about the conditions of Asmodean's death:
It was instantaneous, he didn't have enough time to even try and defend himself.
No traces of his body remained.
Asmodean recognized the killer, and his last words were "You? NO!"
According to RJ, it should have been obvious at the time the book was released (damn liar), which rules out gholam and Aran'gar/Osan'gar.
Additionally, Lanfear said in The Shadow Rising that she would kill Asmodean once she felt he had taught Rand enough. The docks incident would probably qualify as "enough". Of all the Forsaken, Lanfear was the one Asmodean feared the most, though Unreliable Narrator may be an issue (this was Lanfear telling Rand from what she saw in Asmo's dreams). Additionally, Asmodean was thinking to himself how happy he was that she was dead literally a few pages before getting torched. That would be easily enough to make a guy shout "You? NO!"
Of course, Lanfear happened to be in another dimension after getting tackled into it by Moiraine, but could have used her wish by the Finn to appear in the normal dimension to exact her revenge.
Since Lanfear is re-incarnated by the Dark One, wouldn't that mean she died in the portal?
The Finn exact a price for the wishes they grant. I have a theory about two of the wishes Lanfear may have had granted. One, she wanted to kill Asmodean, and the price was a reduction in her channeling ability. Two, she wanted to escape the Finn, so they killed her.
Also, to answer a point many who decry the Lanfear theory make, how could she have killed him the very day she fell through the doorway: the Finn can read the thread of a human life, past present and future (or else they couldn't receive people's own memories of dying) and we know things work differently in Finnland (the laws of space, if nothing else). So why not the laws of time? Like the World of Dreams, time runs differently there, so they could have sent Lanfear back (for the duration of her wish) the very day she left. As to how she knew to go to Caemlyn, she could have asked around while in disguise, guessed Rand would go after Rahvin, or been told by the Finn.
Sadly, this has been Jossed too. But see a new theory below...
Word of God expressly stated that Asmodean was killed by Graendal. RJ also expressed frustration with the fan base that no one figured it out.
Asmodean is alive again
This assumes one of the more popular, not so wild theories- that it was Graendal who killed Asmodean. TGS Spoliers: Now, Rand appears to have quite thoroughly eliminated Graendal's thread with his Choeden Kal powered balefire nuke. If there was enough power in that attack, might her thread have been burned out far enough back for Asmodean to be resurrected? But then, if Graendal had originally killed him with balefire as well, then the Pattern itself might be in for a major headache trying to figure out the consequences.
Now that is an interesting theory. Robert Jordan did say that Asmodean was dead, but I do not think he said he would stay dead. Asmodean himself will appear again near the end of the series and confirm himself it was Graendal that killed him!
Word of God gave us the maths. Even the Choedan Kal balefire nuke would only reverse time by hours at most. Asmodean died months ago. If Graendal did it, and if she died at Natrin's Barrow, it still wouldn't bring Asmodean back.
To be completely accurate Word of God says that with the Choedan Kal even the strongest channeler could undo events by a couple of days at best. Brandon Sanderson went on to say that longer periods would be theoretically possible but the damage to the pattern would be so great that it would simply unravel altogether. Very creative thinking but thoroughly Jossed.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope.
Asmodean is Moridin
Think about this for a moment. Asmodean is described as the least powerful of the Forsaken in the One Power. Moridin almost exclusively relies on the True Power. Moridin only really showed up after Asmodean kicked it. Cyndane (aka Lanfear) has a deep hatred for him, which could be more than just being made his servant. My theory is this: After meeting his end at the end of book 5, Asmodean is ressurected as Moridin in secret, then sent to organise the rest of the Forsaken into an organised force, rather than a squabbling bunch of ninnies by whatever means possible. It's mentioned that the Dark One has a cruel sense of humour, so why not have the one perceived as the weakest Forsaken made into the leader?
Well, Rand (who knew all the Forsaken as Lews Therin Telamon) believes that Moridin is Ishamael, though I suppose that could be a deliberate false lead on either the Dark One's or Moridin's part. Also, Asmodean died a traitor- why would the Dark One want him back, much less in a position of authority? He even seemed somewhat repentant at the end, while the DO has always favored the monster.
Also, the Forsaken say that Moridin is as insane as he was in his old incarnation and thought Moridin believed he was the Dark Lord. Ishamael called himself Ba'alzamon and later books after his death have the Forsaken commenting on him, saying he actually believed this. However, Moridin showing up at the same time Asmodean died could mean he's the killer.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope.
Asmodean was killed because he knew too much about his killer.
As of book thirteen, we FINALLY know that Graendal killed Asmodean, though a number of points are left unexplained and can only be implied or reasonably inferred. To run down the checklist from one of the major Wheel of Time websites:
Means: she could use the True Power, hence why neither Rand nor Aviendha could sense her.
Opportunity: Not confirmed, but the theory that she was one of the two "servants" cowering in the corridor, and that she was supposed to have been in Caemlyn helping Rahvin, which is why he was surprised at Rand getting into the palace, seems very convincing now.
Be a person Asmodean recognized, who he didn't expect to see, and of whom he was terrified: First one is obvious since she's a Forsaken, and under the Two Servants Theory would have dropped her disguise while in the pantry as she did with Sammael while meeting the Shaido. Second one: as far as he knew, she was in Arad Doman and never left there. As for the third, read and find out...
Be able to dispose of the body: See point 1. As to why she would, be patient...
Must know Asmodean's fate: Her thoughts and comments during her talk with Sammael in Lord of Chaos, where she insisted he was dead, give this away.
Which just leaves unexplained why this was kept secret so long, and how it was "intuitively obvious" Graendal was the killer. The explanation for this, for why Asmo was terrified when he saw her, and why she destroyed the body rather than leaving it to warn the other Forsaken about what happens to traitors, is all explained by another, more personal, enterprising motive she had for killing him besides becoming Nae'blis. Please direct your attention to the following points, from The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven:
When Rand dreams of swimming in a waterhole with Min and Elayne, Lanfear shows up to get jealous, then Asmodean. She chastises him for almost giving their game plan away and then notes "he would still be hiding in his hole" if she had not hauled him out.
When Rand is talking to Asmodean about the Forsaken and where they are located, he notes that he has spent some time in Arad Doman, and also that he knew Graendal had been there. The implication is that this is the "hole" in which he'd been hiding when Lanfear found him.
What was he doing there? Consider that Asmodean was the weakest of the Forsaken, meaning a) he'd want to be as far from Rand and his allies as possible and b) he'd want to attach himself to a powerful Forsaken, both for protection and to help increase his own standing and further whatever plots or designs he might have. At the same time, he would not work with anyone he hated or feared. The two most powerful Forsaken, Lanfear and Ishamael, he feared. (Plus at that point Ishamael was dead.) From comments made by him and others, he seemed to greatly dislike Demandred and Sammael, and the feeling was mutual. He also feared Semirhage. But Graendal had always been the most powerful Forsaken, after Ishamael and Lanfear—not in terms of the One Power (though she was strong) but in terms of her influence, information, and political/manipulative skills. He never expresses fear of her, either. We learn from her thoughts in book thirteen that she was once a good person, unlike most of the Forsaken; so was Asmodean, something they had in common. Lastly, the sort of retreat she created, one filled with beautiful people, fine things, relics of the Age of Legends, and overall a sense of culture and the elite, would appeal very much to a bard such as he.
So, either one of two things happened. Either he was outright allied with, and a part of, Graendal's coterie until Lanfear absconded with him (likely via the World of Dreams) to make him Rand's teacher, or he had simply ferreted out where she was hiding. The latter sounds rather out-of-character, both in terms of his abilities (Asmo was not a spy or sneak, nor very good at either) and his personality (a weaselly coward who wouldn't take the risk of being discovered). But either way, Graendal knew (or figured out) he knew where she was. Note that no other Forsaken, aside from Sammael, knew where she was hiding, at most only suspecting. Yet Asmodean did know.
Put that together with his later 'treachery', and Graendal's further motivation for killing him becomes clear. On the one hand, Asmodean was the only one who could give away where she was hiding, both to Rand and the other Forsaken. Killing him would silence him, assuming he hadn't already blown the whistle on her. (He had, but she didn't know this.) At the same time, if he had not merely discovered where she was but had been allied with her for a time, the fact he seemingly defected might have cast suspicion on her loyalties too, particularly with their common bonds (a once good past). Kill him, and she looks like a loyal Chosen to the others as well as to the Dark One.
This explains why he would be terrified when he saw her: because he knew she was there to silence him and/or punish him for giving her away to Rand, as well as for turning traitor. Why did she destroy the body? Because leaving it to be found would make Rand wonder why he was killed, and thus he would lend more credence to any information Asmo had given him as being true. And telling the other Forsaken about it would give away she was trying to curry favor so as to become Nae'blis.
Hiding the fact she and Asmo had been allied, as well as that she was offing a traitor not on the Dark One's orders, but so as to impress him and become Nae'blis, is why this was kept secret. And the fact he knew she was in Arad Doman when nobody else did, coupled with him having been "hiding in a hole" somewhere, should have made it obvious to the reader that she would be the one to kill him, to prevent him from telling Rand where she was.
As to why none of this was mentioned, for example, in any of the meetings between the Forsaken in Tel'aran'rhiod in book five this could be because a) it had already been discussed prior to Nynaeve listening in or us getting to witness the talks b) Graendal didn't know Lanfear took Asmo, just that he vanished, so while she might guess what happened after Lanfear suddenly has knowledge of Asmo's treachery, she can't confront her and prove it, or c) as we knew from her thoughts and comments in Lord of Chaos and has now been confirmed in Towers of Midnight, Graendal does not like to share her plots with others. So she would never admit to allying with Asmo or killing him (let alone to Lanfear having snatched him away from her).
What makes this a WMG, of course, is that while all of this is logical and makes sense, unless we ever get another POV from Graendal it can never be proven.
AMOL Spoiler: The question of motive is never addressed.
Graendal killed Asmodean
In the epilogue of Towers of Midnight, when Superfade comes to punish Graendal for her epic fail, it mentions that three Chosen have died by her hand. One of them is Aran'gar, who got balefired by Rand because Graendal shielded her, another is Mesaana, who got trapped when Perrin brought Graendal's dreamspike to the White Tower, but who is the third? Osan'gar was killed near Shadar Logoth, ironically by a Darkfriend, Cyndane and Moghedien are mindtrapped by Moridin, Sammael got killed by Mashadar, Be'lal, Rahvin, and Semirhage got balefired, and Demandred is still alive (though where he is based is still unknown). That leaves only Asmodean unaccounted for, so he probably got killed by Graendal.
And where is the guessing in all this?
Asmodean is a Hero of the Horn
I'm sure many will read that and think "but he didn't do anything heroic!" That's true... but I'm not asserting that his actions in his most recent life made him a Hero. I'm asserting that he already was one, and was spun out in the Age of Legends. However, much as how the Dragon can turn to the Shadow, so too can a Hero. Joar Addam Nesossim was born a Hero of the Horn, and had things gone as expected, he would have gone on to compose songs comparable to The Song that the Tuatha'an are seeking.
Note that, even as a Forsaken, Asmodean was not nearly as bad as the rest of the Forsaken - his only real atrocity was mutilation of artists (especially musicians and composers), whereas the rest undertook much grander acts of atrocity. Indeed, it is possible that Thom Merrilin was produced by the pattern because the soul of Joar Addam Nesossim was still in use elsewhere, when it was supposed to be available - note that Thom is also a musician who is likely to be a Hero after the events of the series. Another thing to note is that his final acts before death were somewhat honourable, suggesting that most of his evil behaviour were a result of his connection to the Dark One.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope.
The True Power
There will be three types of power
It stands to reason that with there being the One Power, force of time, and the True Power, force of evil, there should be a power that can only be channeled with the consent of the Creator himself, with Rand being the Dragon Reborn and being prophesised to confront the Dark One who can use the True Power independantly, wouldn't Rand need a new power to even the odds?
This makes a certain amount of sense, particularly when you consider Sanderson's own Mistborn books. That trilogy has two gods (Preservation and Ruin) in opposition to one another, which results in three magic systems- one from Preservation (Allomancy) one from Ruin (Hemalurgy) and one from both (Feruchemy). Now, I'm not saying that Sanderson would make as big a change as adding a third kind of Power on his own, but since both cosmologies are driven by opposing, dualistic gods and we know that at least one of WOT's magic systems comes directly from one of them (the True Power from the Dark One) it does make one wonder...
More support for the idea: we know the taint on saidin came from the Dark One, and could possibly even have been caused by the True Power mixing with the One Power. But in Towers of Midnight we discover that the thorns of Rand's taint madness have been coated by some "liquid light" which is protecting him and keeping him sane. This must be a result of his epiphany on Dragonmount in The Gathering Storm. We have no idea how Rand accomplished this healing, when he fully accepted and joined with Lews Therin, but the fact the moment coincided with light shining down upon him, thus breaking through what had been until that moment the Dark One's immovable cloud cover, is certainly suggestive. If there is a power exclusive only to the Creator and his champion, it would seem Rand unconsciously drew upon it to heal himself. Which in turn makes the prophecy about Callandor and the "three being one" very interesting, if it means the One Power, this power of the Creator, and the True Power (if Rand can still channel it due to his link with Moridin)...
When Rand is in Far Madding and says that the Guardian only stops the One Power, we assume that he refers to his, still unresolved, ability to draw on the True Power. In a series where half the characters' primary trait is the ability to lie while speaking not a single untrue word. Who is to say that, if the Borderlanders had decided to kill him, he was referring to some new, uncertain ability?
(OP back again) I've had another thought that is slightly related to this in reference to the thorns of liquid light that were mentioned, that Rand may be the reincarnation of the creator, it might be that as a result of integrating with Lews he's come slightly closer to being the full creator than any other version of The Dragon that has been before. As a result of that he may be able to join with the rest of the incarnations when he dies as a result of the prophesy about the Horn Of Valere. He's protected from the taint because the Creator's natural power and the True Power counteract each other, forcing them to compete on entirely different terms, hence the armies and the Heroes of the Horn.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope.
Actually, sort of yep, although it doesn't come into play until the post-Last Battle epilogue and then is used only for lighting Rand's pipe.
There's nothing pointing to it being a new power. If anything, it looks like Pattern manipulation.
Rand can channel the True Power because Moridin can.
It's been established that the two of them share a strengthening connection, and in The Gathering Storm, the connection was finally made apparent when Rand visited Moridin in his dreams. The connection was quite possibly strengthened even more as a result of the dream. The fiasco with Semirhage didn't happen until after that dream sequence. What I figure is that the Dark One didn't actually grant Rand the ability to touch the True Power. Maybe Rand can do it because Moridin has the ability as well.
This has to do with Min's viewing of Rand and another man merging with one another. The other man isn't Lews Therin, like Rand believed. It's Moridin. And the True Power is an example of that merging.
Entirely possible. Though it could also be Rand was given the ability to channel it because he had become unstable and insane enough to please the Dark One. Remember it always wanted Rand to serve it if it could get him...presumably if he started doing or being what it wanted, it would start extending the rewards it promised. Also, neither Moridin nor the Dark One were pleased with Semirhage's failure—so if Rand hadn't killed her, it was obvious she was slated for a You Have Failed Me moment. No reason they couldn't have taken the chance to get rid of her through Rand's True Power usage. Or option 1.5: Rand pleased them by becoming dark and hard enough to serve the Dark One, which meant that Semirhage actually succeeded at her mission. But then she wasn't needed anymore, so...
It seems fairly likely that Rand and Moridin's connection and Rand's link to the True Power originated from when their balefire crossed in Shadar Logoth killing Sammael. Rand's OP balefire and Moridin's TP balefire merged, linking them and giving Rand access to Moridin's TP. This also caused the waves of dizziness that Rand experiences since TPOD.
The True Power must be channeled to seal the Bore.
Lews Therin explains his theory that they were unable to seal the bore because they used saidin and it touched him so his counterstroke traveled back along it and tainted it. So, Rand should use a power that he won't mind touching the Dark One. Like power that comes from the Dark One himself. Rand has already channeled it once.
I am immediately going to argue with myself and point out that supposedly the Dark One has to personally bless every use of the True Power. But I still like my theory.
I am going to back you up by pointing out that you should consider the source of that little tidbit.
That...is an absolutely brilliant idea. I hope it turns out to be true, since it would both make up somewhat for Rand having to endure the True Power and would be deliciously ironic and karmic for the Dark One. And indeed, we only have the Dark One's word that its will is required, and that information in turn comes from Moghedien and/or Moridin.
If the Dark One has to bless every use of the True Power, that seems to imply that Rand finally jumped off the slippery slope and can now use the True power because he thinks along the lines of evilness.
Considering what happened to Rand at the end of book twelve, and what we now know about him from book thirteen, it seems unlikely he's able to use the True Power anymore. Whether his newfound Person of Mass Destruction-hood will be enough to seal the Bore or even destroy the Dark One, who knows. Then again, his newfound power may make him strong enough to draw on the True Power without the Dark One's permission, or being corrupted by it. Sometimes it pays to be The Chosen One.
Rand can still use the True Power, or at least he thinks he can. He threatened the Borderlander monarchs with it in Far Madding. He can use it as long as he's linked to Moridin. However, his current plan for sealing the Bore properly is using both saidin and saidar, because last time LTT only used saidin.
Actually in that scene, he was implying what would have happened if he had met with the Borderlanders prior to his moment on Dragonmount. (You can tell this because one of the first things Rand says after the test is "If you had done this a month ago, I would have reacted to being struck by using balefire.") Until we get a scene where he thinks or speaks about what he can do in the present, we won't know if he can still use it or not. If he can, it's likely only because of the link to Moridin, and with his new mindset (and plan) he won't use it even if he can unless he has no other choice.
AMOL Spoiler: True.
Callandor is a sa'angreal for the True Power too
"The three shall be one" refers to saidin, saidar, and the True Power, not three actual humans. It would explain why Callandor in particular is necessary for the Final Battle, and it'd allow for the (rather obviously true) theory that the True Power will be used to seal the bore to have the right tool for the job on hand. This also explains why it has all the oddities in construction - it's a very one-off item, so it couldn't incorporate all the usual bells and whistles.
This could actually be true... but more than that, perhaps Callandor and Rand's Cleansing are also related. As you no doubt recall, at the Cleansing, Rand used Saidar to create a conduit for Saidin, which, in conjunction with the Choedan Kal, allowed him to filter all of Saidin through Shadar Logoth. Perhaps he will do a similar thing, except with Saidin and Saidar serving as the conduit. Guiding the True Power without having to touch much of it directly would allow Rand to create a feedback loop, and this could effectively auto-knit the bore back to solidity - essentially, the True Power would be the needle, and Saidin and Saidar would be the thread.
AMOL spoiler: I was right, bitches! (So was the reply to me, but I can't gloat about that)
Ishamael deliberately overuses the True Power
It's repeatedly stated that even the other Forsaken use the True Power only rarely and that it leads to With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, so that only the completely nutty Ishamael/Moridin would dare use it on a regular basis. But what if it's the other way around? We know that Ishy was a philosopher who came to a very bleak and nihilistic worldview that lead him to team up with the Dark One in the first place- what if he is deliberately trying to make himself go mad so he doesn't have to deal with it any longer? It's the equivalent of an ordinary person drowning their sorrows in alcohol, but since he's the God of Evil's Dragon, he gets Drunk on the Dark Side instead. As Ba'alzamon, he'd plainly succeeded, turning himself into a raving borderline-Card-Carrying Villain; but as Moridin he seems a good deal more rational (not to mention he's got the saa now instead of the fire-eyes), albeit still as devoted to his "cause" as ever- the reincarnation probably caused some sort of snapback that cured the worst of what he'd done to himself. The question is- where does he go from here?
Not directly confirmed in AMOL, but when Rand wonders why the Dark One didn't punish Moridin for pretending (and apparently believing) that he was him, Moridin replies that being brought back was his punishment. Brought back to life, or brought back to (relative) sanity?
All Myddraal channel small amounts of the True Power
Okay, so the Fades are clearly established as having a variety of supernatural abilities (albeit not to the degree that a human channeler would); their powers can't be detected by human channelers; according to Semirhage, even they don't know where their powers come from. Also take note that the Dark One uses as Myrddraal, Shaidar Haran, as his empowered emissary/proxy/avatar. Now, Haran's ties to the Dark One are obviously unique, but perhaps other Fades (arguably the most completely heartless and evil of the shadowspawn)have a much fainter link, which enables them to use the Dark One's own Power for small feats. Best part? Even a human who knew what to look for couldn't tell that they do it, because Fades don't have eyes- therefore, no saa!
Which could also explain why they are used as 'filters' for the circle of 13 Dreadlords which can turn a channeler to the Shadow—it is the True Power, the essence of the Dark One, in them that causes the channeler's soul to have their worst/evil traits brought out.
Unknown channeling abilities
Masema can channel
At the start of Lord of Chaos, when Taim shows Rand how to test for the ability to channel in men, he mentions that excessive channeling around a man with a latent ability to channel can cause 'strange things' to happen to his mind.
Now think back to the end of The Great Hunt, when Rand fought Ishamael and their fight was projected in the sky. The prophecy about this battle specifically said, "Above the watchersshall he proclaim himself"; since the author is a big fan of Exact Words, it follows that Rand was directly, though probably unconsciously, responsible for this display.
If anyone happened to look up, then they probably would have been pretty engrossed. Any man with the latent ability to channel would have had his spark brought forth, along with any associated madness.
Masema was among the Shienaran soldiers involved in the battle. When he reappears in The Fires of Heaven, he is completely insane; Perrin's nose confirms this in a later book (The Path of Daggers?).
In another book, Verin thinks to herself that if a wilder learns to channel on her own, she always figures out one of two things - Eavesdropping or Compulsion. Verin is specifically thinking about women, but it's not unreasonable to think that the same may be true of men.
Let's look at Masema - an insane, poor, foreign soldier who manages to gather a huge force of fanatics in Ghealdan - and most people in the Westlands don't like the Dragon. This sounds entirely like Compulsion, which he learned unconsciously after his latent channeling ability was brought to the fore after witnessing the battle in the sky.
Wouldn't Perrin's Asha'man say something?
Actually, male channelers cannot tell if a man can channel if he isn't already holding saidin, and even then they can't tell how powerful he is unless he holds as much of it as he can without burning himself out.
Not to mention what happened near the beginning of The Gathering Storm. It makes me doubt Masema could channel.
Well, not any more he can't!
He didn't know he could channel. That would be blasphemy, after all.
There already large numbers of Dragonsworn long before Masema got his Prophet on. They just started flocking around him because he was a direct connection to the Lord Dragon. Additionally he tended to attract a certain kind of people. The kind you wouldn't like to meet. Ever.
Galad can channel
In his duel with Eamon Valda, Galad enters "The Void" to use his sword forms. He describes how he can hear a fly paces away as if it is buzzing in his ear, how he could make out the pattern on the fly's wings. This is exactly like the sensory-enhancing effects the channelers describe when holding the source. Other characters that enter the Void, like Lan in "New Spring" never make any mention of improved senses, only being "one with the blade" and etc.
And since Rand is Galad's half brother through his mother, it seems very possible that Galad has the spark as well.
I think you mean that he would be one of those who could be taught to channel, because if he had the spark inborn he would have channeled on his own by now. But in all other respects this is a highly plausible theory. Also, for added humor value, perhaps this means he's the one responsible for the Cosmic Dress being woven below (what man in Randland would know how to create a proper dress for a woman? No wonder the Dark One isn't happy!).
Or, alternatively he does have the spark and has been channeling since a very young age. The "always do what is right, not matter who it hurts" could be his own specific madness brought on by the taint: Galad realized he was channeling and created the "always do good" as a defense mechanism (similar to Rand's "never kill women" thing), the reason being that even if he went mad, so long as he kept that at the core of his character then ultimately he would do good and thus not risk breaking the world again and causing suffering and injustice. Over time this became twisted by the taint so that he began to lose his human empathy for those that were hurt in his upholding of justice (again like Rand's thing, where his protection of women from battle mutated into extreme Honor Before Reason, and crossed somewhat into Lawful Stupid). Eventually this would have lead to the inevitable Well-Intentioned Extremist route, where he would have seen the ultimate justice for all the horribleness in the world was to Break it again and he would never have realized he had gone mad until it was too late.
Mat could learn to channel
...though I doubt he ever will, certainly not before the Last Battle. But we know that at least two of his sisters can channel, and it would be such a perfect fit with the rest of his story arc: the four things he really hates and wants to avoid are destiny (turns out he's one of the three greatest ta'veren ever), battles (turns out he's a military genius), nobility (turns out his wife is an empress) and the One Power...
Gawyn can learn to channel.
We know the ability to channel is determined by a recessive allele. Let's call the ability to channel c, and the inability C. Only cc people can channel; Cc and CC people are completely unable.
Canonically, we know that Morgase is cc. Elayne is also cc, so it follows that Taringail must have been Cc or cc. If he was cc, then Gawyn is also cc. If, on the other hand, Taringail was Cc, then Gawyn definitely got the c allele from Morgase, and has an even chance of getting the C or c allele from Taringail. Thus, a Cc Taringail means Gawyn could equally likely by Cc or cc.
Hence, purely by statistics and the laws of genetics, there is at least a 50% probability that Gawyn can learn to channel.
Actually, this reasoning only works if one assumes that ability to channel comes from just a single gene. Given the extreme rarity of the ability, it seems likely that there are multiple genes involved, with some of them granting the ability, and others creating the spark. Noting that Morgase has just the barest hint of channelling ability (she likely couldn't even match post-healing Siuan if she used the Choedan Kal), and that she didn't have the spark, we can be fairly confident that the probability of Gawyn also having the ability is fairly slim. That said, it certainly isn't impossible. It would actually be quite funny if it turned out that Gawyn was not only capable of channelling, but if taught, was comparable in strength to Egwene. Personally, I'm more hoping that Gawyn is found to be capable of Dreaming (as it has been established that the ability is not tied directly to ability to channel, and while we haven't seen a male dreamwalker, it seems likely that they can exist) - alternatively, perhaps the Warder bond will give him the ability to follow her into Tel'aran'rhiod.
The Dark One wants to break the Wheel because the Wheel is a manipulative entity that costs many people their lives because of how it "corrects" itself. The Wheel is not necessary for life in the world to continue. The Dark One just has to use extreme methods to combat the Wheel. He was imprisoned because he is the only one who could possibly destroy it.
AMOL Spoiler: This doesn't seem to be the case.
There is no Dark One
This troper's stepfather believes that there isn't and never was a Dark One. Rand kills several Dark One impostors, and who's to say that that doesn't stretch all the way back. His idea is that the Dark side and the Light side are non-sentient, and people simply attribute personalities to them.
The biggest problem with this is that something that's obviously sentient and extremely powerful is talking through Shayol Ghul and controlling Shaidair Haran. The Dark One at least has a personality, although I suppose it's possible that it/he started out as a nonsentient force of chaos and destruction but acquired a personality through interacting with humans (or, like Brandon Sanderson's shard gods, was a nonsentient force merged with a humanlike intelligence)...
Read any part in the series where someone actually says his name.
AMOL Spoiler: This is pretty obviously false.
The Forsaken were not the most powerful of the Dark One's minion's in the Age of Legends
They are just 13 random Dark Friends who happened to be in Shayol Ghul at the time the Bore was sealed. They ranged from the extremely skilled (Ishmael) to the totally incompetent (Asmodean) but mostly tended towards the latter. This would explain why in the Second Age the forces of the Dark One were on the verge on winning (because he had far more competent minions who didn't survive the intervening millenia), while in the current age, the Forsaken barely pose a threat to a quadriplegic kindergartner.
Only half true. The Forsaken are the Dark One's most powerful servants, all granted immortality for that fact, but there used to be more of them and the ones that were sealed were the ones who were'nt already killed by Lews Therin Telamon or his allies. So guys like Asmodean are the weakest survivors of a much larger, much more elite group.
Specifically, the Forsaken who were sealed had apparently been the ones gathered for a war meeting at Shayol Ghul when the sealing went down. This included the top six of the entire organization (Ishamael, Lanfear, Demandred, Graendal, Sammael, and Semirhage, per Word Of God) a couple of useful mid-level types (Be'lal, Rahvin, Mesaana), a couple of one-trick ponies (Aginor, Moghedien) a guy who was Unskilled, but Strong and had little else going for him (Balthamel) and a largely useless hanger-on (Asmodean). Word Of God indicates that there were a lot more Forsaken still around who weren't bound, but they were killed during the Breaking and were largely forgotten. So the "Shayol Ghul thirteen" likely did benefit from having the reputations of a much larger organization conflated with their own, but a number of them were quite impressive in their own right nonetheless.
The Dark One is resurrecting the Forsaken in order to induce Rand to use Balefire to kill them.
It's understandable why the Dark One might want to keep Ishmael/Moridin around, but why would he waste energy bringing back Aginor, who managed to do exactly nothing before he was killed, not to mention Lanfear, who actively betrayed the him? In addition, Rand learned about the resurrections and how to stop them from Moridin. Why would Moridin give away that secret and negate such an important advantage of the Dark One—unless the Dark One actually wants Rand to Balefire his servants.
So for the sake of argument, why does the Dark One want Rand to balefire the Forsaken?
Presumably, to further damage the Pattern, making it easier for him to break free.
To follow from the above: the Forsaken are still threads in the Pattern, and if the Pattern is the Dark One's prison or must completely unravel for him to break free of the prison, then all threads must be destroyed, even the Forsaken's. Nae'blis may possibly mean "last to die"; Moridin certainly seems to want everything to end, so it makes sense he would encourage Rand to use balefire on the Forsaken so as to help break the Dark One free so he will destroy reality. Semirhage even has thoughts something like this, when she wonders about the Dark One moving the Forsaken about like game pieces: "The Chosen might be Spires or Counselors, but they were still pieces on the board."
AMOL Spoiler: Not explicitly addressed, but he does order the Forsaken to use gobs of balefire in the Final Battle, so seemingly true.
Taim is actually not a Darkfriend.
He's just a power-hungry bastard who's learned/created more than a few weaves of questionable morality.
Doesn't explain how he knows the phrase "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule!", which so far as we know has only been said by the Dark One to the Forsaken, strongly suggesting Taim either is a Forsaken himself (probably Moridin, since Demandred's out) or at least has had contact with them- and his fondness for red and black decorating suggests, but doesn't confirm, a Moridin connection, since those are Moridin's colors. He's also clearly using a circle of Dreadlords and Myrddraal to turn Asha'man and Aes Sedai to the Shadow as of Towers of Midnight. Even if he's not a card-carrying Darkfriend, he's plainly working with them at the very least.
Jossed: In the prologue to A Memory of Light he is officially promoted to Forsaken, which would require him to be a Darkfriend.
Narg Is Shaidar Haran
The Dark One reincarnated Forsaken, so obviously he would have reincarnated his ultimate warrior. When Narg died, The Dark One brought him back as his Superfade. However, in his POV we learn he is plotting to overthrow the Dark One. Therefore, Narg will be the Dark One!
Taimandred was Jossed because Taim is actually Bel'al
Bel'al's Informed Ability is being behind everything. He might have actually sent an impostor to grab Callandor and give him it. Something that somewhat supports this is that in Lord Of Chaos, Shaidar Hain mentions Rahvin is lost to the flow of time, but not Bel'al. Taim has knowledge only Forsaken have, but since Taimandred was Jossed the only Forsaken it could be is Moridin. However, Taim was around before Moridin. Meanwhile, Bel'al was free to step in anywhere he wanted. Besides, the poor guy deserves some screen time.
That is...a rather fascinating possibility. And perhaps in support of it, recall the sigil of the gauntlet clutching the lightning bolt which we see Taim using in the Black Tower—while that also appeared on the back of Sammael's throne in the World of Dreams, the first place we saw it was...on the coach Liandrin and her coven used to take Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene to the Stone of Tear, which belonged to High Lord Samon, Be'lal...
It was also Liandrin and her coven who came up with the idea to free Mazrim Taim, presumably while they were at the Stone so that Be'lal would have known about it. He pulled Alviarin into the World of Dreams (an unnecessary act since Mesaana and Lanfear had already dispatched the coven and the Supergirls to Tear as bait for the trap for Rand)—perhaps to send the Black Ajah to free Taim? In which case perhaps the real Taim was the impostor sent in to get Callandor, and whom Moiraine balefired. Then she gets knocked out, Ishamael chases Rand into the World of Dreams, and Be'lal makes a Villain Exit Stage Left, using the info he got from Taim to assumehisidentity with a Mirror of Mists. Or...he actually did get balefired, but because the amount was so small (Moiraine could only burn a thread back by "a few seconds", and Jordan said the Dark One could resurrect someone killed by balefire if the amount was small) the Dark One was able to catch his soul in time. Then he was put into Taim's old body, or a new Saldaean one. And Be'lal being another guy who hated and envied Lews Therin would explain all the things about Taim that made him seem to be Demandred...unless Be'lal was imitating Demandred on purpose, to throw both Rand and the readers off...
AMOL Spoiler: Nope, Taim's his own man.
Taim and/or his crew have been forcibly turned to the Shadow using the thirteen dreadlords channeling through thirteen Myrddrall trick
Early in the series, it's mentioned several times that thirteen dreadlords channeling through thirteen Myrddrall can forcibly turn a prisoner who can channel to the shadow, yet we never actually see it happen. It seems pretty unlikely that a plot element like that got dropped on us for no reason.
Taim's group of dirtbag followers keeps growing, converting people who used to be against them after "private lessons." After attending these lessons, the members of Taim's sect have radically altered personalities and are suspected of being impostors of some sort by members of Logain's party.
The Black Tower has been locked down with a dreamspike, available only to followers of Moridin. Taim runs the Black Tower and is clearly pursuing his own agenda. It seems unlikely that these two are unrelated: the simplest explanation is that Taim is a follower of Moridin and placed the dreamspike there to keep those who haven't yet been "turned" from escaping.
Most likely a good chunk of his crew joined up with the Shadow normally, and the 13-13 only got started up in To M, possibly after the White Tower purge, since that's when Asha'man start operating as Dreadlords (It's pretty clear the new Dreadlords are Asha'man), and also when the radically altered personalities start showing up.
Quite possibly. I'll take it one step farther: suppose the 13x13 trick requires both male and female dreadlords working in a circle. (This is never explicitly stated, but most great works involving the Power require channelers of both genders, so it stands to reason. This would also explain why it's so rarely done; it's tough to get enough channelers of both genders, all shadowsworn, into the same place at the same time.) Egwene purges the Black Ajah from both White Tower factions. Mesaana catches onto what Egwene is doing, too late to save the Black Ajah members close at hand, but quickly enough to send a message warning the Black sisters encamped at the Black Tower. (She can't go to their aid herself because her sudden disappearance from the White Tower would blow her cover.) These sisters do NOT scatter and run, as we've been led to believe, but go to Demandred or Moridin or whichever male Forsaken is in charge of the Ashaman darkfriends for protection. (Alternatively, Mesaana may have sent a message directly to Demandred or Moridin asking for help; she never revealed which sisters were Black before because she didn't want him taking charge of her servants, but better to let another Forsaken get ahold of them than let them get captured and executed by Egwene's faction.) Only after the Black sisters camped at the Black Tower had gone into hiding under the protection of a male Forsaken and his Black Ashaman were all the necessary pieces in place to start using the 13x13 trick.
AMOL Spoiler: True. (Though this was pretty obvious from the end of TOM)
Taim himself was stated to have been recruited by Demandred and is never stated to be as unnervingly "wrong" as the ones who've been Turned; he just seems to have been plenty evil all on his lonesome. He does, however, make heavy use of Turning for his, ah, recruitment techniques.
The Dark One doesn't actually mind being imprisoned, and trying to escape is done for entertainment while drinking copious quantities of beer
It's mentioned by Verin that the Dark One has incredibly poor taste in selecting his top followers. Given the sheer size of the population during the War of Power, he could almost certainly have found thirty disciplined, intelligent, loyal, and powerful people. Instead he deliberately picked out people for gaping personality flaws, and Ishy to ride herd on them.
It's clear the Dark One is not stupid. If he really wanted to escape he'd have picked out more competent leaders. Instead, he picked people who are excellent sources of fun. He doesn't want them to succeed so much as fail entertainingly.
One could Take a Third Option and say both are true- he does want to win and get out, but he doesn't rely on (most of) the Forsaken to help with that. They're just there to provide entertainment, since watching a bunch of lunatics run around screwing the world up is how a God of Evil gets his jollies, and are ultimately irrelevant in the grand scheme of things- except as a distraction for everyone else, while the real plans get carried out by Ishamael/Moridin and Shaidar Haran.
I would like to toss in the idea that The Forsaken as a whole exist to distract from Ishamael and Shaidar Haran,I would even go as far as saying that Ishamael attacked Rand in the Stone of Tear to get resurrected so he could go underground and pull the strings in the background while Rand spend his time dealing with with the other forsaken.
AMOL Spoilers: The Dark One really does seem to want to get out, but he doesn't really care at all for the Forsaken, even Moridin. Of the three visions he shows Rand of worlds he might create, in only one do the Chosen actually get to rule- in the second, the Shadow's armies were defeated but the Dark One swooped in and altered humanity to be like him without the victors realizing anything was wrong, and the final one was a void. In the long run, the Forsaken's main job looks to have been making the Dark One's job easier by using lots of balefire to weaken reality, while Moridin's job was to suck Rand into a battle with the DO.
The world exists because the Pattern exists, and the Pattern exists for the sole purpose of trapping an incredibly powerful sorcerer: the Dark One.
Shai'tan is not in fact a world-destroying Eldritch Abomination, just a very powerful, very power-hungry sorcerer who tried to... I dunno, take over the world or something else unforgivable. The Creator was his arch-nemesis. Eventually, the latter triumphed over the former, but for some reason couldn't or wouldn't kill him, and so instead devised an ingenious prison: Shai'tan would be imprisoned within his own mind, his own most dangerous weapon. The enchantment/device/whatever, the Wheel of Time, would force him to, essentially, keep writing and re-writing a story, always with the same characters, in which he was the villain trying to destroy the world (i.e. break free of his prison). This is why there's so much Dramatic Irony and Mars and Venus Gender Contrast in the world created by the Pattern: Shai'tan, like many evil sorcerers, is a bit of Nietzsche Wannabe, and the humans written by his imagination are his caricature of humanity in general. Of course, the truly ingenious part of the prison is the fact that Shai'tan is actually a character in it, who must conform to a role that is just similar enough to his actual personality but different enough to include an important caveat: when he wins, he will re-make the world. In short, even if the Dark One ever succeeds and destroys the world, in theory freeing him, he will actually re-make his own prison. Hence, it's nigh impossible for him to truly escape.
Note that this would also explain why the Creator is so absent in the series: the Creator is just another human being and, well, he has a life! He doesn't want to spend all his days watching over that Big Bad he defeated centuries ago. Heck, he may well be dead by now, and he died in peace, knowing that he'd saved the world from such a horrible monster. Those little figments of imagination in his 'creation' can take care of themselves. After all, it's not as if they're real or anything...
AMOL Spoiler: Memory of Light makes it plain that the Dark One isn't remotely human and likely never was.
Demandred is in charge of Shara
So, we know he's secured his rule somewhere and started moving armies around, but all the major military movements are accounted for and everywhere in Randland is controlled by Rand, was controlled by a (dead) forsaken, or is not controlled by anyone. Seanchan falls into the latter category, and although not much is known about the situation in the Waste, it's largely stripped of military forces. However, there's a contient-sized region that's largely out of contact but which has begun sending out traders (Silkworm man). Given that the White Tower has been purged, the Kin didn't have many darkfriends to begin with, and same with the Wise Ones and apparently Windfinders, the Dark needs a good source of female dreadlords. Shara fits the bill.
AMOL Spoiler: True.
The Dark One's eventual victory isn't as certain as Moridin claims
We're all familiar with the logic: The Dragon has to win every time, the Dark One only has to win once. However, the pattern is a Multiverse... and Word Of God says that if the Dark One is sealed in one timeline, he's sealed in all of them. To win, the Dark One has to defeat the Dragon in every single alternate timeline — something next to impossible. The Dark One has to win every time too.
It's next to impossible - but so far as we know, the DO has eternity to keep at it. He can afford the wait. It's also said that if he's freed in one timeline, he's freed in all of them.
AMOL Spoilers: Memory of Light implies that the Dark One's nature is such that he can never really learn from his mistakes, making it seem pretty unlikely that he'll ever actually be able to win.
The alternate timelines stuff kind of shows up in AMOL As the battle progresses, Shayol Gul gets increasingly disassociated from the rest of reality, to the point that it becomes impossible to gate there. The people fighting there see ghostly images of other armies also fighting Trollocs, and it's implied that they're overlaid from other worlds. It's thus possible that there's really only one Bore, and all incarnations of the Dragon sealed it "simultaneously", as far as that word can be applied to any events subject to so much time dilation. Alternately, realities where the Bore gets bad enough may outright merge.
The Dark One is not the first Dark One
Per the creation myth of the setting, the Dark One is the antithesis of the Creator and was bound by him at the beginning of Time. In the Second Age, he was partially freed by human channelers, and the Third Age has been building to an apocalyptic showdown with him. Now, having this end with the DO simply being re-bound and vowing to try again next time the Wheel rolls around to these particular Ages could easily be anticlimactic- perhaps at the Last Battle, the Dragon, champion of the Creator, will actually succeed (and has succeeded in previous turnings) in "killing" the DO, only for the DO's power to survive and latch onto a nearby human, resulting in that person being sucked into the Bore and becoming a new DO? In brief, the current Dark One is not the entity imprisoned by the Creator, but rather, his successor. After Rand kills him, who'll take his place? Ishamael/Moridin(if he survives) and Padan Fain/Mordeth both seem like possibilities, particularly the latter...
AMOL Spoilers: Jossed. The Dark One is definitely not human, more of a Sentient Cosmic Force. Moridin dies in Rand's body. Fain looks like he's about to set himself up as a new God of Evil, but is offed unceremoniously by Mat, who is immune to his powers from long exposure to his cursed dagger.
What if after he initially created the world, the creator decided that he wanted to do it over, but had cut himself off of it? When mankind created the Bore, it let him in, but was still not enough to simply unmake it. This would also tie to the True Power, in that it would be similar, but is channeling the life forceof the Dark One/Creator.
AMOL Spoiler: Not explicitly refuted, but it doesn't correspond with what he seems to be trying to do.
There's more than one Dark One
The Creator only imprisoned one, Shai'tan, the most powerful, (or there is only one whose prison got a hole bored into it in the Ao L) but there are other similar personifications of destruction, entropy, chaos, and evil out there in the cosmos. What follows is partly based on comments Sanderson and Jordan has made in interviews, partly based on AMOL: During the Trolloc Wars, a human named Mordeth started looking for other powers that could oppose the Shadow, and he went to the Finns, and they either told him how to get in contact with or directly put him in contact with (depending on which Finns he went to) another Dark One, Shaisam, who began to feed him a form of power distinct from the One or True Powers. Well, we all know what happens next, and Mordeth ends up a spirit haunting Shadar Logoth, a city that had become infected with Shaisam's power, which manifested as Mashadar, the killing fog. After his attempted possession of Fain goes awry, the mix of two human personalities plus Shai'tan's taint on Fain plus Shaisam's taint on Mordeth leaves the resulting being totally Axe Crazy and weakens his humanity enough that Shaisam becomes able to have more and more of an influence, until by Tarmon Gai'don, Fain becomes an avatar of Shaisam, even using its name. Being weaker than Shai'tan, but not bound away from the world, this new Dark One could have become an even greater threat- had Mat, immune to its power, not shown up and killed Fain, severing its connection from the living world once again.
This theory is based on Word Of God confirmation that Mordeth went to the Finns (maybe Shaisam is Finnland's Dark One and they hooked him up with Mordeth in hopes of getting rid of him?), Fain had somehow managed to sidestep the Pattern in certain ways, and that there was a specific dark force driving Mordeth/Fain, as well as in AMOL his name change and the fact that he's become more a force than a person, albeit one still tied to the human body of Fain.
Bela is the Creator
How else could she keep turning up, again and again, without supernatural powers?
I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that she is Egwene's horse and so would usually be in her general vicinity.
The same way Bayle Domon, Egeanin, Aludra, Valan Luca, and probably some others I'm forgetting each become very important in unrelated plotlines. Robert Jordan the Pattern says so.
Egeanin and Valan Luca are also notable in the fact that they become recurrent before having been ta'verened (which is the standard excuse for bringing back characters).
Bela will win TG when her Great Serpent cutie mark is revealed, and she spews love and tolerance aka balefire out of her mouth.
Then she'll turn into an alicorn so Hasbro can sell toys of her.
AMOL Spoilers: Jossed, since Bela dies in the Last Battle. Sorry guys.
Ishamael is the Dark One.
Essentially an unfortunate human who somehow recovered his memories of previous cycles of time,the exposure to eternal recurrence drove him really reallyreaalllly crazy. He wants his ceaseless existence to end, but looking into future past only promises failure. Obviously, he plans to destroy all creation to Screw Destiny.
AMOL Spoilers: This is pretty spot-on for Ishamael, but the last book confirms that he and the Dark One are separate, though Ishy did apparently genuinely believe he was the Dark One's avatar when he was Ba'alzamon.
Olver is Gaidal Cain
We've been told that time in the Dreamworld isn't linear, and doesn't always really match up with the real world. We also know that Gaidal Cain always re-enters the real world prior to Birgitte. Gaidal Cain is also a remarkably ugly man.
Olver appears after Birgitte notes Cain's disappearance from the Dreamworld, and is a very ugly boy. Also, being raised by Matt & Co. are setting him solidly on a path towards becoming a soldier and talented swordsman, not to mention gifting him with some chick-magnet powers.
Also, It's possible that he wasn't born, raised, and orphaned in the normal sense. The pattern anticipated Birgitte's being removed from the normal sequence of events, and so it brought Cain into the world in an abnormal fashion to heal the damage done to the Pattern with Birgitte was removed. Thus, even though Birgitte is older than Cain in a biological sense, he remains older than her in a chronological sense, preserving the pattern.
We've all been saying Demandred is the most likely candidate because Demandred is always second to Lews Therin, just like Taim, and is The Resenter as well. (Plus, we don't know who he's hiding as.) Well, the thing about Moridin is that he's strongest on the bad-guy side, which means he's stronger than Demandred and is likely to be bettered only by Rand. Additionally, if there's one thing we know about Ishamael, it's that he likes to play Evil Chancellor and subvert good people's efforts to bad ends from behind the scenes. If there's anything Taim is doing, it's that. Finally, Moridin is the only remaining Forsaken who could be Taim.
Jossed: In the prologue to A Memory of Light he is officially promoted to Forsaken by Moridin. Unless Moridin is playing some sort of absurd double game, this would be fairly solid evidence that they are not the same person.
And later in the novel, Taim is present at the Last Battle while Rand is duelling Moridin, and at the end Taim is killed by Egwene, who turns him to solid crystal using an anti-balefire weave called the Flame of Tar Valon, while Moridin and Rand swap bodies, with Moridin dying as "Rand". We also see Taim's POV, and he's a lot more petty, grasping, and spiteful than the coldblooded, philosophically-inclined nihilist Moridin. There's no way they could possibly be the same person.
Time exists as seven Ages. In each Age a specific set of events always occur, even if other details vary. There are certain people, souls, who always appear to drive these events. One of these is basically the Messiah who comes about whenever humanity is in dire need, and usually heralds the end of an Age- this soul is known as the Dragon.
The First Age, our age, is implied to have ended in brutal warfare (the Machine War). John Connor was the Dragon for the First Age, and saved the human race while ushering in the Second Age.
We know from Terminator Salvation that there are humans who don’t believe the Resistance can defeat Skynet. A group of these people conspire to go back in time in order to escape the machines. They succeed, but mess up the space-time coordinates and end up on the planet that eventually becomes Coruscant.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, a group of humans flees the galaxy. They end up in another galaxy utterly devoid of sentient life. They eventually build sentient machines. These machines enslave humanity (another repetition of the BSG Cycle). The humans rise up and annihilate the machines in a two-generation galactic war called the Butlerian Jihad. This causes the humans to forsake all powerful computers- including ones that could calculate FTL jumps. This leads to the Dune universe relying on spice that allows them to go faster-than-light.
Back to The Start:
There are two ways to end up back at BSG, one from Star Wars and one from Dune
Star Wars Path:
Sometime in the millennia after the Yuuzhan Vong War, some great cataclysm utterly devastates the galaxy beyond all repair. Survivors flee to another galaxy and settle on a large habitable world. They call this world Kobol and the Thirteen Lords of it are the last members of the Jedi Order or other Force-using faction.
Stock Characters: Characters are reborn to the Wheel, with different names and faces but the same person underneath.
Heroes: There is a group of Heroes bound to the Wheel, who are reborn in times of need to do legendary deeds. This includes The Chosen One, of course.
Cadsuane is the Doctor.
No, for once it's not just because someone HAS to be. Cadsuane IS the Wo T universe equivalent of The Doctor, at the start of his/her career. She will find, probably immediately following the Last Battle, that one of her hair trinkets is a compressed TARDIS; remember, there are some of them that even SHE doesn't know what they do.
Or so she says... There is reason to believe she can lie. Okay, she is not Black Ajah, but we saw her lie in The Gathering Storm (more precisely, use irony to say that she hadn't notice Aiel in the city). Maybe she un-oathed herself long ago. That would fit with her character.
Her having removed the Oaths would also help explain how she is still alive. Her advanced age for an Aes Sedai is noted multiple times throughout the books. Maybe she's still alive because she isn't Bound.
If she had removed the Oaths, somebody would have noticed she doesn't have the ageless look.
Think about it, the wheel is essentially a set pattern that forces peoples lives to conform to it. Meanwhile the dai gurren dan FORCE themselves down a path THEY choose.
Alternatively The wheel of time is a part of the Lotus-Eater Machine created by the anti spiral king.
You know, I get more and more of a feeling that Rand and Co. are Exalted characters, Rand being a Solar- major sanity issues included (which explains his unreasonably quick mastery of several, seemingly unrelated abilities and overall powerhouseness), Mat being a Sidereal (incredible, fate- twisting luck galore, plus awesome martial arts prowess) with the "Strategist" Merit and a healthy dosage of "Past Lives" background, and Perrin being a Lunar who has no inherent shapeshifting ability (either that, or an incredibly human- looking beastman). I'm also basing this on the fact that a lot of the setting (besides ripping off almost all of the original plotline + characters from King Arthur) has suspicious similarities to Exalted setting (I could detail corresponding pairs of the Forsaken vs. Deathlords, but I'll just use these examples: The Lanfear- Rand- Lews Therin/ Lilith- Swan- Desus pairings. Ninayeve= Ariana with different hair color and minus the scar. Also, the whole Age- of- legends- masters- of- world- turned- crasy- by- curse- of- sealed- off- villain- followed- by- apocalypse- Heroes- returning- from- ages- past- to former- glory- viewed- as- Anathema plotline, and the Loom of Fate equivalent. Further similarities abound.
There are certainly a lot of similarities there, yeah. Though channelers in general strike me as being more like the Dragon-blooded (though I'd imagine the Aes Sedai wouldn't like being called that), what with it being an inherited thing based around Elemental Powers. Presumably the Aelfinn & Eelfinn are Raksha of some sort - the Alien Geometries in their dimension wouldn't be too unusual in the Wyld. And maybe the Dark One is what you get if the Ebon Dragon dies and becomes a Neverborn.
Desus would make an excellent Forsaken.
Are you joking? Desus *is* Rahvin, just read the part where he uses mind control to overpower and abuse Morgase.
They both hear dice in their heads, they both want nothing more than to stay out of danger. Rincewind's more blatant cowardice is a direct result of all the battles that he got into when he was known as Mat.
Insanely, hilariously brilliant. Inspired. It made me laugh so hard I spilled my tea. Somone needs to combine this with the "Everything ever is Randland" theory above.
The Age of Legends begins
When Princess Zelda uses the Triforce. Also, if Rand really tried hard enough he'd remember how to play an Ocarina.
Rand's three women represent the three parts of the Triforce - Elayne represents Wisdom, Min represents Courage, and Aviendha represents Power. Note that Min is always wearing tunics and comes from a backwater place, Elayne is fair and blonde and wears dresses and is a Princess when we first meet her, and Aviendha has red hair, comes from the desert, and wears battle-suitable clothing. That's right, Min is Link, Elayne is Zelda, and Aviendha is Ganondorf, it's a perfect fit.
It's not just that there are strong implications that the First Age was (is? will be?) our own, and that Third Impact was a suitably apocalyptic cataclysm in this time period that broke and remade the world. Nor is it simply the fact that Shinji, like any other incarnation of the Dragon, had to make a difficult and painful choice in order to keep the Pattern from collapsing. What seals the deal is that the only surviving female, from whom all future generations would descend, was... Asuka. Which explains a *lot* about women in Jordan's world.
Let's see, pure, bright, white light, unstoppable, incredibly dangerous, feared by everyone, causes/caused by damage to the fabric of time, and erases the past of everything it touches. The similarities are uncanny.
is a Myrrdraal. ]]
Eyeless? Check. Fear inducing by looking at one? Check. Incredibly tall? Check. And can walk through walls and teleport. Here, too, the similarities are uncanny.
The books and the writing
Now that Brandon Sanderson is writing Wo T, it'll end in three books easily
Unfortunately, like the rest of his series, there'll still be a massive amount of questions left hanging, and we'll never actually find out the answers to any of them. Don't believe me? Read Elantris, Warbreaker, or the Mistborn Series. None of them had any meaningful resolution outside of the specific plot.
Very possible, since that's what RJ was planning anyway. Something about how it's unrealistic for every plotline to be resolved pretty much simultaneously.
The difference is RJ has mentioned that even when the main story ended he'd continue writting (IE, New Spring Dawning) and attempt to wrap up those plotlines. Sanderson, on the other hand, has no qualms about simply ending without any sort of meaningful resolution at all.
Sanderson leaves threads dangling for the same reason Jordan did- Sequel Hooks. Since he's not planning on revisiting the WOT-verse, he has no reason to do so here.
Word Of God says that all three of those books were written with sequels planned (Yes, even the Mistborn trilogy — he says there's going to be another trilogy in the same setting taking place hundreds of years later). So the questions there will be answered.
Two more trilogies actually, the Mistborn series is conceived as a "trilogy of trilogies" as he put it. There's also a novel coming out in Novwember that wasn't originally planned but just kind of happened (it was originally a short story).
AMOL Spoiler: There are no endings, and never will be endings, to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was an ending. :)
Now that Sanderson is writing, The Dark One will turn out to be a fragment of Ruin or another, similar, Elritch Abomination.
Well, it's not like he doesn't use the 'Evil/good sealed at the beginning of the world trying to break free and destroying everything' trope in all his other books.
No, no, no, you're messing up Sanderson's mythology. Ruin and Preservation were both fragments of something even greater, so even if you were right it wouldn't be an Eldritch Abomination anyway. Besides, he's outright stated that he will not be including the Wo T books in his cosmology.
Ah. I missed that. Still, you've gotta admit, the two cosmologies are similar.
In the case of Ruin and the Dark One, the similarities are pretty superficial- the DO is explicitly a God of Evil, while Ruin is explicitly not, being rather a natural force that got out of hand. Also, Word Of God is that Ruin was once human, while the Dark One seems to have always been the Dark One.
There are theories about that too: mainly the possibility of Fain/Mordeth becoming the new Dark One once Rand has offed the current one.
AMOL Spoilers: The Dark One turns out to be more a Sentient Cosmic Force than anything, and unlike Ruin, doesn't appear to have ever been human. He's also a lot crueller than Ruin- while Ruin just wanted to destroy the world because his nature was to destroy things, only one of the possible futures the Dark One shows for his victory is a void- the other two are dystopias. Basically, Ruin is just destruction, while the Dark One is destruction and lots of other negative things as well.
Robert Jordan was trying to break a world record
For longest book series. There are over twelve books which continue to grow in length and must be split into volumes. This can't be accidental.
There are many series out there that are much longer. The Xanth series, for example, is now well past 30 books. If Jordan had ever even thought about this he would have been writing much shorter books, much faster.
But the Xanth series are episodic works, related loosely. They aren't bound together in a serial trilogy, quintology, or dodecatology.
Think about it. While men and women are both shown to not understand each other, they both seem to think along exactly the same lines. Think of Mat and Tuon. When complaining about how incomprehensible the other is, they both use almost the exact same metaphor (layers). Rand and his psychic harem? Same kind of thing. Perrin and Faile have shades of this, though their misunderstandings seem to stem more from the places their from and them expecting each other to conform to those standards (Perrin expecting Faile to want him to be humble, Faile wanting Perrin to express his anger as best he can).
Rand will renegotiate a treaty with Fortuona, possibly giving the Seanchan Illian.
At the end of The Gathering Storm, Rand notes how the people under the Seanchan rule seem much happier than his own, realising that even though they're conquering his home continent and enslaving men and women, forcing women who can channel to become weapons, they can bring some prosperity and peace, which he can't due to him having barely any clue as to running a nation and working with nobles who are out for themselves. Most likely in The Towers of Midnight we will see Rand giving up the crown of Illian, while requesting that his appointed steward (Can't remember the name) be left in charge.
AMOL Spoiler: He does negotiate a new treaty, ensuring their rule of their existing lands, but does not give up Illian.
The Seanchan Empire will be disbanded or given an overhaul
In Towers of Midnight, Aveindha sees The future of her descendants, who will be destroyed by the Aiel. And she's disgusted by her great, great, great granddaughter's life and almost abandons her test in the glass columns after seeing it. Knowing this, and the fact that Fortuona is not going to negotiate, plus the Seanchan Have travelling, which makes Elaida's karmic capture much less sweeter, the best bet anyone has of eliminating the threat is revealing the secret of the a'dam bracelets, which would cripple the Seanchan empire since it's been conformed they heavily rely on damane. However, it is possible Fortuona will make changes to the empire to avoid this, since she has seen the loyalty she has been given on the other side of the Aryth Ocean and thinks herself foolish for considering that Mat, her own husband, won't scheme against her, since the royal family are encouraged to plot against each other and try to assassinate their own brothers and sisters. This could encourage her to change the methods by which the Seanchan do things, or perhaps Mat's Ta'veren nature will do it.
AMOL Spoiler: The book ends before it's addressed, but Mat seems to be trying very hard to do this, going so far as to order Artur Hawkwing to have a talk with his wife.
The Wheel and the Pattern
The Events Starting each Age
This is based off my own suspisions, confirmed and implied events in the books.
First Age: Channeling disappears (one of two places - Maybe both)- PRESENT TIME
Second Age/Age of Legends: Channeling reapears (if disappeared at start of first age)
Third Age: War of power, first Breaking of the World (Age in which the books take place)(canon)
Fourth Age: The Last Battle, second Breaking of the world (canon, but hasn't happened yet)
Fifth Age: Channeling disappears (second possible place- again, maybe both)
Sixth Age: Channeling reappears (second possible place - maybe both)
Seventh Age: Actually, I don't have a theory for this- maybe someone else does?
How about peace, prosperity, and carelessness?
It is likely that this and the sixth ages would have formed the basis of our own ancient mythology.
What if instead of using Middle Earth, we use a setting Jordan wrote in prior to Wheel of Time: Conan. Since it is implied our age is the First Age, it would go: 5: Age of Atlantis, 6: Hyborian Age, 7: Ancient History (BCE), 1: Current Age/Age of Wonders (CE), 2: Age of Legends, 3: Third Age, 4: Fourth Age.
In "T Eot W" Thom makes references to "the Age before the Age of Legends" that sound like the Space Race and the Cold War.
Selectively ignoring pieces of stories, worlds and cosmologies? We KNOW that the world of Middle Earth was created by the valar, We KNOW that the world of Wo T was created by the Creator and is cyclical. While the magic feats of Lot R could be done with the One or True Power, many things that are easy with them aren't possible there. No go. But as far as i know creation of the world and how magic works is unclear in Conan, so it could be part of Lot R, but this isn't the place for that...
The Pattern is a Dress
I know this sounds a little out there but think about it. Ever wonder why these door stoppers are filled with overly elaborate descriptions of clothing and dresses worn by the characters? They fit in with the constant motif of weaving. It's actually RJ cluing the audience in on what Wheel of Time is actually making: a Cosmic Dress. The Dark One is being forced to wear different dresses made by the Creator. But the Dark One hates these dresses and is trying to implement his own design or just wants to go nude.
That has to be the funniest thing I have read in a long time. You, sir or madam, are Made of Win.
It makes even more sense when you think about it: This time the last battle is for keeps, so it's almost done. It was meant to be size 12 but since Sanderson is finishing it he can give it to someone else, so it's going to be size 14!
AMOL Spoiler: Well, Rand sees the pattern in its entirety, and doesn't use the words "pretty" or "fabulous", so this seems unlikely.
The Wheel of Time series will never be finished.
In each book, less and less time passes. In Towers of Midnight it was less than week. As we get closer and closer to the end of the series, the amount of time covered in each book will grow closer and closer to zero.
Through Fridge Logic this Troper believes that the slowing of time is actually a kind of measuring rod to how much control the Dark One is possessing over the Pattern. The closer we get to the Last Battle, the more time will slow, to the point where it actually stands still during a total solar eclipse, fulfilling the prophecy of twice dawns the day. When the good guys when, back to standard time zones.
Through normal logic, how exactly can you truly "finish" a series where life goes in a continuous circle, forever?
The Aelfinn and Eelfinn have their own Wheel and Pattern
Think about it. In Towers of Midnight, Mat and crew enter the Tower of Ghenjei to go save Moiraine. While there, they look out a window and see... a perfectly healthy (if incredibly weird) world. No droughts, no unnatural winter, no Blight, nothing. Additionally, while the Finns do seem to have some kind of Power (since they can make angreal and sa'angreal basically out of thin air), it's not anything any of Randland's heroes can detect. Not to mention, when Mat rescues Moiraine, she mentions one of the things they loved to do was slowly drain her ability to channel. If they themselves could channel, this wouldn't be such a rare treat for them.
Also consider they must have some kind of ability to read Randland's pattern, since they can read the future and past with perfect accuracy. And not only can they view these things, they're able to actually take ancient memories completely intact and put them in some poor soul's mind. This either speaks of a very... unusual Power or very high technology. But if there's more than one Wheel, does that mean there's more than one Dark One, since Randland's End Times don't seem to be bleeding over? How many Wheels are there, anyway? Would this explain why the Creator has helped Rand exactly once (in the first book), since he has so many other Wheels to watch? What are they for? Is he a weaver, and when he closes for the night all time stops?
Let's just think of this as an alternate reality where the Dark One doesn't exist. That would also explain the healthy world above.
Lan was actually ta'veren during New Spring
Weird things kept happening around him, the Prince was too young to have started channeling when he fell, and Siuan never actually saw him with her own eyes during the events of the book.
The Wheel is going to keep making things go in a cycle: this has all happened before, and it's working its way back around
There is a board game in which one of the pieces is clearly Rand, and it's a very, very old game. Some of the things that existed in the Age of Legends have been created without knowledge of their previous existence. Nothing that existed in the Age of Legends has been completely eliminated, for example, Avendesora can lead to more chora trees again, And the Aiel still have traces of the Covenant left and will prabably accept it again after the Last Battle. "Old" abilities like Wolf Brotherhood violence-sniffing are suddenly reappearing. Malkier and Manetheren aren't completely wiped out, and seem to be on their way to revival. It's clearly working it's way towards what was the past, althought with a few differences.
Cycle is longer than that. I'd guess we'll hit the pre-Ao L era via the Seachan exterminating channelers, going by Aviendha's vision of the future, then a new Aiel group will take up the Way of the Leaf after channeling gets rediscovered.
Every Age is called The Third Age.
At the beginning of each book, we're told that the action is taking place "in an age called the Third Age by some." Why is it called the Third Age? Because previous to the current Age (the Third Age or Age of Prophecy), only two previous Ages are remembered: a relatively fair bit about the Age of Legends (Second Age) and a few jumbled scraps about the "age before the Age of Legends" (First Age, Wild Mass Guessed to be our own).
The first age can't be our own because the portal stones are said to be from an earlier age and not even fully understood by the people in the age of legends. Our own could be the seventh though.
Except that the first age can't REALLY be "first," because "there are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time." There's nothing special about that age that marks it as "the First Age," it just happens to be as far back as the legends (based on some scrap of historical fact) in the present time go.
When Rand kicks the Dark One's ass and breaks the world again and the Fourth Age begins, it might be called the Fourth Age for a couple hundred years because the previous age was called the Third Age, but eventually the fact that the Age of Prophecy was ever called the Third Age will be forgotten, and the new Age will be called the Third Age because the people living in it will only remember two previous Ages: the Age of Prophecy (about which they'll remember a fair bit) and the Age of Legends (about which they'll remember only a few jumbled scraps). Any tiny scraps still remembered about the previous "First" Age will be conflated with what little they know about the Ao L.
This may fall into "Well, duh," territory, but I think it's interesting.
Also, why would you set a Final Battle in the Third Age of seven? You'd end up repeating the whole thing, and there'd be four whole Ages for things to go wrong. If it's really the Final Battle, wouldn't that make it the Sixth Age, making about one more Age of peace before things begin again?
AMOL Spoiler: Well, they explicitly use the phrase "Fourth Age" in several places, so no.
Rand is so strongly ta'veren that he infused Mat and Perrin to become ta'veren.
...and possibly others.
It's been stated that Rand is more strongly Ta'veren than anyone since Arthur Hawkwing, and strongly implied that he may be even stronger.
Perhaps Rand is so strongly Ta'veren that growing up as one of his best friends shapes the pattern around you to such a degree that you become Ta'veren yourself.
In later books, Egwene is asked whether she is Ta'veren because although she is not identified as such by those with talents, events seem to shape themselves around her.
This theory treats Ta'veren less as a binary state and more as a gradual scale, wherein Rand's presence gradually pulls you towards the Ta'veren end of the scale. Those who met him recently find themselves swirled about. Those he loves have a slightly more pull on the pattern. A sweetheart from adolescence has still more effect, and those who played with him even as little children are fully Ta'veren.
There is only one Last Battle in all the Portal Stone worlds
We're told that if the Dark One is free in any of the worlds, he's free in all of them, and if he's imprisoned in any of the worlds, he's imprisoned in all of them. This leads to the question of what happens if one world wins and another loses. The answer lies in the increasing weirdness around the Pit Of Doom. As the battle progresses, time moves slower and slower nearby relative to everywhere else, and towards the end gateways simply fail. Also, the people fighting there begin seeing shadowy images of other, often wildly different, armies fighting as well. As the battles in the various worlds get closer to the conclusion, each version splits from its home and begins to merge with the others. Presumably, if Rand had taken another five minutes in his reference frame, it would have merged completely; or maybe for Rand it did at the end, and one Dragon sealed one Bore in all the worlds at once.
The Ways will be used to move troops to the Blight
Loial has mentioned that there are several Way Gates connecting to The Blight. I think the Ogier and Asha'man will work together to undo the corruption of The Ways so Rand can move his troops quickly without having to rely on Travelling. This will also allow him to insert secret troops since channelling can be detected by other channellers.
AMOL Spoiler: No, but the reverse is certainly true.
The Ways and the void traversed when Skimming are the same
Each is described as an unending, pitch black oblivion. Both are means to get from one place to another more quickly than any convention means. Skimming accesses it through use of the One Power, whereas the Ways were created through the use of the One Power. Perhaps one could find the ways while skimming, if he or she had an inkling of where to look (perhaps by skimming near a waygate).
Machin Shin will be destroyed by Mashadar
With the series's tendencies to tie objects and beings of similar power together, two inscrutable evil entities that are/were confined to specific locals should be the ones to destroy each other. See the taint on saidin and Aridhol/Shadar Logoth's shadowlike-but-not-of-the-shadow evil; Rand and Ishamael/Moridin, the two strongest channelers; and Luc Mantear/Isam Mandragoran's fusion into Slayer for more possible examples.
Alternate theory: Machin Shin will be absorbed by Mashadar. Padan Fain was telling Machin Shin what to do since the first book. ...wait a second, does Mashadar even exist any more? I thought it was destroyed along with Shadar Logoth...
Alternate theory 2: In connection with the next WMG, Machin Shin is actually a result of the Taint interacting with Mashadar bleeding into the Ways through the Shadar Logoth waygate. Much as happened in the case of Padan Fain, who was a creature of the Dark One before entering Shadar Logoth, Machin Shin is insane because it is in a turmoil as its Dark One taint and Shadar Logoth taint fight even as they find a common cause (also explaining Fain's "kinship" with it). The effect of this interaction is decay in such a way that it is gradual and painful, just as with the wounds in Rand's side. With Shadar Logoth and the taint both gone, Machin Shin will have begun to dissipate.
AMOL Spoilers: Nope. Machin Shin never appears in the book, though it's mentioned offhand at one point, and Mashadar dissipates after Fain is killed.
The Ways are tainted not by Saidin, but by Shadar Logoth
There is a waygate inside Shadar Logoth. Waygates are grown, suggesting the Ways are a living thing, which can be tainted by the corruption of Shadar Logoth. When the group is about to leave the Ways in book one, Mat (still heavily bound to his evil dagger) yells "I can feel it! Light, I can bloody feel it!". Contrarily, Egwene, Nyaeve, and Moiraine can feel the taint, whereas elsewhere in the series it's been shown that women can feel absolutely nothing of saidin.
This also explains why the Ways are so hostile to Trollocs and other Darkspawn; Shadar Logoth was no friend to the dark.
According to Loial/Moiraine in tEotW, the anti-trolloc traps were built-in by the Aes Sedai who grew the Ways.
To further support this theory: Aridhol fell to Mashadar and became Shadar Logoth sometime during the Trolloc Wars (a legion of Shadowspawn camped there and was never seen again near the end of the wars), while the Ways began growing dark during the War of the Hundred Years. This would indicate the magic and sentience of the Ways took some time to become tainted and darkened by Mashadar, and also puts the darkening of the Ways and its cause much closer together than it would be if the tainting of saidin caused it.
This is fairly well debunked by Word Of God, which explicitly refers to Machin Shin as a product of the Taint. Presumably, anyone can feel the corruption because it's so strong, and the Ways were such a complex and massive creation that it took awhile for the corruption to visibly set in. Apparently the effects of Machin Shin and Mashadar are similar enough for it to recognize Fain as "kin", though.
Cuendillar made by women is white, and cuendillar made by men is black
And the black hand Min has viewed with Rand is made from it.
AMOL Spoiler: No mention of the main theory, but the black hand is not true.
The whole series is about the battle between Verin and Moridin
Both are Chessmasters and both are very mysterious. It would not be surprising if the entire series was really about these two pitting their pawns off against each other.
Pretty well debunked by The Gathering Storm
Not if Verin's final move was a Thanatos Gambit in the match, establishing the final checkmate. Mind you, even if Verin isn't the true chessmaster, she still went for a Thanatos Gambit.
AMOL spoilers: Probably still debunked. If Verin was chessmastering the Light's forces beyond what we already saw in TGS and TOM, nobody was even aware of it- don't think she was even mentioned in the book.
The reason the Seanchan hate channelers is because of Hawkwing's death
Hawkwing became immensely suspicious of Aes Sedai before his death, likely because of Ishamael's influence, and it was theorized by his family that he was poisoned by the Tower. When the Seanchan discovered a method of imprisoning the people who slew their High King, it became Collarin' Time.
Everything we've heard about Seanchan history indicates that the continent was controlled by channeling warlords prior to the arrival of Hawkwing's armies, and one of them created the a'dam in an attempt to curry favor with the invaders (and was rewarded by having her device used on her). That's why they consider channelers to be Always Chaotic Evil, because they'd pretty much run what would become the Seanchan Empire into the ground.
Moiraine had a second Warder: Thom
He inexplicably got all depressed right at the same time as she died. He's able to take down a Myrddraal in single combat and walk away from it. He's got incredible healing abilities. He was always able to find his way back to the party as long as Moiraine was with them. And that letter she wrote to him seemed a bit more personal in tone than what we knew of their relationship would justify...
But, you say, "He didn't 'take down' the Myrddraal." It decided he was Not Worth Killing. And whose word do we have for that? Just Thom's. Given how much Thom refuses to talk about himself, and throwing in what appears to be a Warder reticence, it makes perfect sense that he wouldn't tell them he could deal with a Myrddraal, especially when he's trying to both get rid of the ta'veren and get them to be careful.
As of the thirteenth book, Moiraine not only likes Thom, but outright loves him. They're even going to be married, over Mat's utter shock. And he even asks her if he will be her Warder now, and if he can have a fancloth cloak made with gleeman patches, which manages to be a Crowning Moment of Funny and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming at the same time.
Callandor is special
The new bits of the Prophecies of the Dragon we get a look at towards the end of The Gathering Storm made me think about the nature of Callandor a bit more. Apparently it has to be used by a circle of one man and two women to actually be stable; otherwise, bad stuff happens. This seems fairly unique amongst angreal and sa'angreal; even the Choedan Kal can apparently be used individually without problems (well, beyond the "temptations of god-like power" problem). So the reason for Callandor's weirdness? It actually channels both sides of the One Power at the same time. Try to use with just women, however, and it doesn't work; try to use it with just a man and it works, but the little bit of saidar it naturally draws in anyway makes it impossible for him to control the weaves he sends through it. Use both a man and two women, though, and you can run saidar and saidin through it at the same time, and have control of both.
Which suggests a number of possibilities for who would link with Rand to wield it (keeping in mind who he trusts): Elayne, Aviendha, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Moiraine after her return are all good theories. Pick the first two if you're ascribing to 'only those he personally loves', Nynaeve and Egwene if you want to stick with pure Aes Sedai allies who are also among the most powerful in this Age, and as for Moiraine, who knows what she might have learned in Finnland and could bring to the table. Not to mention she's one of the few he's ever trusted. Then again, she might be being saved up for something even better. See below...
Although I forget why I thought it, I somehow got the ridiculous idea that Callandor might allow Rand to link with Mat and Perrin, even though they can't channel. It would certainly fulfill the whole "all three are needed" idea.
This Troper thinks that Rand (Who can wield the True Power) might need to link with the forsaken woman that channels Saidin and a powerful Saidar channeler, because the prophecies state that (He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one.) The three being the two halves of the One Power, and the True source. Rand being the only non-forsaken to be able to use the True Source controls Callandor, and the two women to create the link. Only then can he seal the Dark One for good.
Jossed, since Aran'gar is now dead and can't be brought back, and it seems very likely that with Rand integrated with Lews Therin, he can't use the True Power anymore.
It could happen a different way, since Rand's madness (the taint in his soul or whatever that Nynaevae senses in the latest book) is now held back by light (sort of), this could be a hint of a Creator based true power, that Rand then uses to protect Saidin and Saidar from the Darkone's inevitable counterstroke when he's sealing the bore)
AMOL Spoiler: As said above, Callandor is a True Power sa'angreal
Lanfear visited the foxes in the age of legends
Lanfear has some remarkable properties: (1) She is as strong a channeler as a woman can be without aid (i.e. a circle or angreal) (2) She has mastery of dreaming and Tel'aran'rhiod, even claiming to be better than Moghedien. (3) She is described as being the most beautiful woman or having unparalleled beauty.
What are the odds that she was born to be the best at all these things simultaneously? It seems more likely that she acquired these powers somehow. The logical way to do that would be by visiting the Eelfinn (foxes) and getting some wishes granted. Of course the foxes would demand too high a price so she had to cheat. "Courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to dazzle, iron to bind." Fire and Iron seem easy, but Lanfear isn't known to be particularly musical. She would need help from a musician, for example Asmodean who was known as a famous composer and musician in the age of legends.
So she could have cheated the Eelfinn (foxes) out of three wishes. Perhaps she also cheated the Snakes out of true answers (remember that she was the only one who knew how to tap into the dark one's prison) but that isn't really necessary for the theory.
When Lanfear entered finn-land a second time she would certainly have been stripped of her ill-gotten wishes. It might be suguested that you cannot enter twice, but Jordan loves Exact Words and Moiraine said no one could "step through" the doorway twice. At the docks Lanfear was pushed through by Moiraine which may not count as stepping through. It is also possible that Lanfear originally entered through the Tower of Ghenjei.
If it is true, then this theory explains a few things that seem mysterious:
Q: Why is Cyndane less powerful than Lanfear was?
A: Well she is less powerful because now she is at her natural power strength rather than her wish enhanced power strength.
Jossed. Towers of Midnight reveals that the Snakes and Foxes were slowly draining Moiraine's ability to channel, and that they accidentally killed Lanfear by draining her too quickly, inadvertently preserving most of her strength when she gets reincarnated by the Dark One. Moiraine, on the other hand, the Snakes and Foxes drained more slowly, and thus she lost much more of her strength before finally getting rescued.
Q: If Asmodean was killed by Lanfear (as seems likely) how did he recognize his killer since Lanfear was in the new "Cyndane" body by that time?
A: He recognizes her since she is not in a "new" body at all. The Finn never killed her and she was never resurrected. She just got her wish for beauty revoked and now looks different. Asmodean recognizes her pre-wish body since he helped her to get the wishes in the first place.
Jossed, at least in part, by Towers of Midnight. Lanfear was weaker as Cyndane because the Aelfinn and Eelfinn can actually drain the One Power from somebody, and that includes the talent for using it rather than just what somebody is holding. Lanfear was saved by the Dark One before it got too bad, but Moiraine was reduced to what is probably about what Siuan currently has, if not less.
Not to mention by the fact that Graendal killed Asmodean.
Rand loves none of his harem, or possibly only loves Min.
Let's take a look at the circumstances in which he entered his relationships.
Elayne: Egwene had just dumped him, he was starting to realise the pressure of being the Dragon Reborn and here he had a girl confess her love for him. She was possibly a rebound and a way of coping with stress. Also, he had his first kiss with her, which his home town considers to be off limits unless you're engaged so through his eyes, he lost his virginity to her.
Aveindha: Elayne sends Rand two contradicting letters, confusing him about her feelings. He then travels with a group of strangers and his friends are ignoring him because they're busy or, in Mat's case, afraid of him. Then there's this pretty girl who is constantly around him and the two converse about their own traditions and laws. They share a tent and she casually gets undressed in front of him without a thought. They then sleep together, so he loses his actual virginity to her. Plus, when he lead the attack on Caemlyn, she died and he only narrowly brought her back. Again, lust confusion with love and possibly some guilt.
Min: Aveindha has just left, but because Rand sent her away so it's on better terms. Rand is starting to hear Lews Therin, the stresses of running three kingdoms, setting up the black tower and preparing to invade Illian are getting to him. Along comes Min and he uses her to cope with stress the same way he did with Elayne.
Okay, now you may be thinking "but what about the bond? All three know he loves them." True, but at that time Rand was trying his best to harden his heart, so any form of slight affection for another human being could be seen as burning passionate love in a cold heart. Also, when does Rand once try to drop in on Elayne and Aveindha, even though he can travel anywhere in an instant and disguise himself so that no one will be able to recognise him? Out of the three of them, Min is the only one he keeps nearby. Also, when Aveindha is in the same camp site as him, he doesn't try to go see her.
So either Rand only loves Min truly, or he only cares for them slightly, but not in a way where he can say he loves them and means it.
Well, considering that love can have many subjective definitions, the amount of shit Rand's busy trying to deal with, his normal treatment of women and the fact that the series never really delves all that deeply into his feelings for them, you could very well be right, but there's more evidence so far to suggest he does love them than there is that he doesn't.
I want to know where this idea that "in the Two Rivers kissing = engagement" came from. Book 4 (oddly enough, the same volume in which Rand first kisses Elayne) should have effectively killed that theory, because there is a LOT of kissing going on. And not just for the Casanovas like Mat or Wil al'Seen. Take Perrin, for example. Of the Big Three, probably the most prudish or at least most reserved. Also has no problem kissing Faile long before any formal arrangement is made. And when he goes back to the Two Rivers, sees the first girl he ever kissed (I believe now married to someone else), implying that there have been others. Perrin telling Mat's father about what the son has been up to: dicing and kissing pretty girls. Perrin's not embarrassed to tell it and Abel's not embarrassed to hear it; not exactly like "yeah, Mat's gone off to the city and become a turboslut." Rand says that Berelain was acting as if they were betrothed, by which he means coming to his bedroom alone in the middle of the night wearing a few scraps of silk and throwing herself at him. Clearly what she had in mind was well beyond the kissing stage. Even Egwene, who admittedly is slightly prudish, didn't have a problem sitting in a private room and locking lips with Gawyn by Book 6.
Rand was never affected by the taint on saidin
Rand is completely unaffected by the taint as of Towers of Midnight, and is shown to have some weird form of power protecting him from the taint when Nynaeve looks at him. Before Nynaeve figures out how to heal it, there's exactly one instance of someone being cured of it - Lews Therin being healed by Ishamael. Hey, look who's still got some hard-to-understand thing protecting him from the taint.
Ummm, Towers of Midnight? By about Winters Heart, much of the taint is gone anyway, except to possibly to those who already have it. But yea, he lasts like seven or so books without getting healed before that happens.
But the taint still affects those men who channelled pre-WH - other than for those Nynaeve has cured, the madness hasn't gone away, it's just stopped getting worse. But To M Rand has no madness, despite doing immense amounts of channelling pre-WH.
So why did Rand spend twelve books going completely bonkers? Well, the Rand half is a shepherd who suddenly finds out that he's Jesus Napoleon, and the Lews Therin half went crazy and slaughtered his family. Each half of them is independently crazy for reasons having nothing to do with the taint, and both of them have some crazy dude in their head talking to them for reasons they don't understand. Wouldn't you go a bit loopy too?
Almost every time he seized the source he mentioned feeling it.
Just because he can feel it doesn't mean it can affect him.
Except that in Towers of Midnight, when Nynaeve looks into Rand's mind, she finds the huge shadow of the taint and its madness with countless thorns piercing his brain. The reason he isn't being affected by it is because of his epiphany on Dragonmount, which somehow coated those thorns with "liquid light". Whatever that is and how it came about, that is why he is now sane, not because he never suffered from the taint.
I think the point being made is that the "liquid light" may have been there from the start, effectively put in place by Ishamael on healing Lews Therin, due to Lews Therin then channelling that massive amount of the One Power to create Dragonmount. With that "liquid light" protective shield, Rand never actually got driven crazy by the taint, or so the troper was proposing. Personally, I think Lews Therin's power usage in creating Dragonmount is where the "Liquid Light" came from, but it entered at the time of epiphany - had Rand been anywhere else, the epiphany wouldn't have happened.
That is exactly what I was proposing - that the "liquid light" has nothing to do with the epiphany, and was put into place during the prologue in T Eot W, and simply not noticed until To M.
If Rand has always had the liquid light protecting him, perhaps that was what the Eye of the World was for, we were never given a reason why it was created other than being the place where they stored The Banner and The Horn.
Perrin's going to lose a leg at some point
Based entirely on the fact that Mat's lost something up high and Rand has lost something in the middle. It's plausible, especially considering that he's about to participate in a massive war.
Unlikely, as Thor did not receive such a wound. Rand and Mat's losses have been long expected, being Tyr/Tiw and Odin, respectively. Well, unless Perrin's leg is poisoned, maybe by Black Ajah (serpents)...
If anyone's going to be a Thor analogue, wouldn't it be Rand al-Thor?
No, it'd be the guy who kills people with a GIANT HAMMER.
AMOL Spoiler: Nope, though he does get hit by multiple arrows, with wounds that don't seem to heal quite right.
There has/will be a female dragon at some point.
No particular reason the Dragon can't reincarnate as a woman.
Or as a horse. For those who are convinced that Olver is Gaidal Cain, it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to believe that Bela is Rand Reborn.
Actually, there is a reason- Word Of God is that souls are normally tied to one gender (Aran'gar, the obvious exception, was the result of the Dark One screwing around, and even then she still channeled saidin). However, there is also apparently a female Chosen One soul that gets spun out by the pattern about half the time. So The Dragon is always male, but the Light's champion isn't.
Rand is a direct descendant of Artur Paendrag Tanreall through his mother's side.
This may be a bit of a stretch but, Souran Maravaile was not just a random commoner who rose through the ranks of Artur Hawkwing's he was an Illegitimate child of the High King whose origin was kept a secret as to not tarnish Artur's reputation, when he was grown he joined the army and rose its ranks not knowing what his true parentage was, eventually marrying Ishara Casalain and creating a ruling family line that lasted until Tigraine disappeared. Why does this matter? If Rand is a bloodline descendant of Artur Pendrag Tanreall that means he has a right to the crystal throne.
The "murderer" who rules openly in Seandar would have been the Big Bad for the Mat/Tuon trilogy.
Jordan had originally planned several "outrigger" novels that would have taken place in the same world as WOT but not been part of the main sequence (New Spring being the only one of which to actually see the light of day) and this included a trilogy that was supposed to have focused on Mat and Tuon in Seanchan. Based on the current political situation, Tuon only controls the Seanchan holdings in "Randland" and not the core Seanchan Empire, which is ruled by a "murderer" mentioned briefly near the beginning of Towers of Midnight. It doesn't take much to put two and two together that Tuon would try to retake her empire, with Mat as her consort and best general, and that they would have to deal with this person. Of course, since Sanderson has pretty much confirmed Jordan didn't leave enough material for us to get the outriggers, we'll probably never know for sure.
Nakomi is the Creator
Or rather, she is a mortal vessel that the Creator can use to show up and give cryptic advice to people at important junctures, like Aviendha and likely Rand. Whether she was a human who somehow volunteered for the position or is a construct specifically designed for it is debatable. In other words, if the Creator is the Good Counterpart to the Dark One and Rand is the Good Counterpart to Ishamael, Nakomi is the Good Counterpart to Shaidar Haran.
The Creator is the Wheel of Time
Alternatively(?), the Wheel is sentient.
There is a physical Void
When the story comes to that massive climax on top of Dragonmount, something interesting is actually happening. Rand is creating the physical equivalent of The Void. In this Void, he is able to finally look at things in a way that he could never do when in the mental void he uses. As such, the final dispelling of the physical Void allows him to also dispell the mental Void that he has practically been living in, perhaps for years on end. What's more, in order to restore his sanity, he must grasp the concept of saidar, with the whole "guiding, but not forcing" concept. Until that point, Rand represented only half of the One Power, and thus was highly unbalanced. It is this balance that he has finally achieved, coming with the knowledge that both sides of the One Power are necessary at times, in symmetry with the balance necessary to seal away the Dark One. It was the asymmetry, after all, from Lews Therin that led to the sequence of events from the Breaking onwards.
Our modern times are actually the early part of the second age
Ok hear me out here. We have been told (At least I seem to remember reading this somewhere, someone feel free to correct me if they have contradicting proof) that not all of the ages need to end in a cataclysm of some sort. That sometimes the ages just kind of merge together. But if the books are anything to go by while they might not always end in cataclysm, they do always seem to end in some sort of epic struggle between good and evil. So my theory is that The first age ended at the end of world war two. While this wasn't a society resetting cataclysmic battle it was a subtler fight between the creator and dark one in a more cat's paw type battle as it had to be since neither side had channelers. Now that the more light aligned forces seemingly won the world will increase in peace and prosperity leading into the age of legends, sped up when in the next few decades or centuries channeling is rediscovered leading into the high second age that we know from the books.
Actually Word Of God on this one is that our own age is the First age. For example, the old legend about giants fighting in the sky with lances of fire is allegory for the cold war, and the story of men who flew to the moon in the belly of an eagle is a reference to the moon landing("the eagle has landed"), and both of those legends date back to the Age of Dreams(the first age).