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WoT Happened?

How could Ishamael show up to taunt Lews Therin if he was sealed in the Bore? [Volume 1]

In the prologue to the entire saga, the Betrayer shows up to give Lews Therin Telamon a moment of clarity.  But Lews Therin is already insane, which means the Dark One has delivered his counterstroke for sealing the Bore, which means Ishamael should not be out and about.

We have other indications that Ishamael was never completely sealed.  He has been "spotted" throughout Randland history.  He claims to have whispered in Artur Hawkwing's ear.  The other Forsaken say he is the least human of them, and closest to the Dark Lord.  Perhaps this appearance was his first adventure out of his sort-of-kind-of-imprisonment.  Or perhaps he was never sealed at all.

Who or what created the wind that pushed Rand in Fal Dara? [Volume 2]

According to Robert Jordan, it was a slight bubble of evil.

What was up with Paidan Fain's rendevous on Toman Head? [Volume 2]

According to Robert Jordan, a myrdraal wrote the Dark Prophecy in Fal Dara, released Fain from the dungeon, and gave Fain information about the Seanchan and their impending arrival.  I'll assume that Fain chose to fight Rand on Toman Head because he wanted to use the Seanchan as his back-up force.  The myrdraal wanted to take the Horn into the Blight, but by this time, Fain-Mordeth was able to torture myrdraal into submission.

Why did Mat and Egwene have amnesia in the Fal Dara dungeon? [Volume 2]

Mat and Egwene were left unconscious and unharmed, though the guards and prisoners were murdered in gruesome ways.  They can't remember what happened to them.  It's like they have amnesia.  What happened?  Robert Jordan was quoted as saying that the answer should be self-evident.

Theory 1) Fain-Mordeth did something so traumatic that they repressed memories of it.
Theory 2) Fain-Mordeth has some power to blank people's minds.

But why leave Mat and Egwene alive at all?

Mat:  Fain might have wanted Mat to track the dagger, knowing he would bring his buddy Rand with him.  Or perhaps Mat's tie to the dagger stopped the Mordeth part of Fain from killing him.  And being a ta'veren, Mat's luck might have been a factor.
Egwene:  Fain may have wanted to set her up to become a damane, for use as Rand-bait.

Why were the Ways blocked with the Black Wind? [Volume 2]

Why would Paidan Fain taunt Rand to follow him to Toman Head, and then block him by guarding the Ways with Machin Shin?  This forced Rand to use portal stones, which caused him to arrive many months late.

Theory 1) This was an accidental side affect of Fain going through Machin Shin.  The Black Wind absorbs people's minds, and because Fain understood the voices in the Wind, it acquired Fain's hatred and ability to follow Rand.
Theory 2) Machin Shin was actually attracted to Mat, because the Black Wind has an affinity for anything from Shadar Logoth, and Mat was carrying Mordeth's dagger.
Theory 3) Lanfear or Ishamael ordered Fain to block the Ways in order to force Rand to learn how to use portal stones.
Theory 4) Fain was avoiding the confrontation.  He still had a shred of sanity left.

Who had been following or watching Rand at various times in The Great Hunt?  [Volume 2]

Rand sensed someone sinister watching him in Fal Dara keep, and later he heard a watcher while entering a Waygate.  We know that it was a Gray Man who shot the arrow.  Ingtar later admits that he let a nondescript sort of man into the Fal Dara keep in order to shoot the arrow.  He also admits that he wasn't sure if the target was the Amyrlin or Rand.  Anyway, who was following Rand?

Suspect 1) Fain.  He has the ability to know where Rand is, so maybe some of that link allows for Rand to know when Fain is "staring" at him.  But did he have time to spy?
Suspect 2) Slayer.  He must have been around before Perrin saw him in Volume 4.
Suspect 3) Lanfear or Ishamael.

Who warded the drahgkar at Vandene and Adeleas's place? [Volume 2]

Suspect 1) Liandrin, who must have followed Moiraine.
Suspect 2) Lanfear, who wants Moiraine out of the picture.  Perhaps she even foresaw her upcoming battles with Moiraine.
Suspect 3) Vandene.  It has not been completely ruled out that she is a Darkfriend who murdered her sister (although I personally doubt that she is).

Who killed Lord Barthanes in Cairhien? [Volume 2]

Suspect 1) Some Darkfriend assassin, because Barthanes let the three ta'veren escape.
Suspect 2) King Galldrian's men murdered Barthanes, and Barthanes's men murdered Galldrian.  It was all political.
Suspect 3) A Gholam was sent to kill him.  Decapitation seems to fit a Gholam's method of murder, but the Gholam's talents are usually not wasted on non-channelers, and I'm not sure if it/ they had been released yet.
Suspect 4) If Barthanes was a loyal Darkfriend, then he would not have been assassinated by the Shadow at all, so Paidan Fain is the culprit.  However, Fain may have been on his way to Toman Head by this time.

Did Verin channel in Stedding Tsofu? [Volume 2]

      p.515 pb, Alar (the Ogier Eldest) says:  "Trayal was one of the last among us to go along the Ways ...  He came out as you see him.  Will you touch him, Verin?"
      Verin gave her a long look, then rose and strode to Trayal. [...] With a sharp hiss, she jerked back, staring up at him, then whirled to face the Elders.  "He is ... empty.  This body lives, but there is nothing inside it.  Nothing."

This sounds like Delving, which requires the One Power.

Theory 1) Any long-time channeler can do things like this without channeling.
Theory 2) Verin has a Talent that has nothing to do with channeling, and Alar knew about it.
Theory 3) Verin has a well ter'angreal, and Alar knew about it.

Why didn't Ingtar waste Rand during their cross-country journey? [Volume 2]

Theory 1) During the Darkfriend social scene in the beginning of the book, a Shienaran asked if he should kill the three ta'veren, but he was given special, secret orders instead.  Ba'alzamon might have ordered Ingtar to spy.  Of course, this makes no sense if Ba'alzamon meant to kill Rand during the battle on Toman Head, or with the Gray Man in Fal Dara keep.
Theory 2) Ingtar was considering quitting the Darkfriend social scene even back in Fal Dara, and he was deliberately disobeying orders.

How are the Heroes of the Horn connected with the Dragon? [Volume 2]

Both Suian Sanche and High Lord Turak claimed that the Heroes will fight for whoever sounds the Horn.  Yet the battle between the Heroes and the Seanchan was linked directly to Rand's battle with Ba'alzamon.  And how does the Dragon banner figure in?  Artur Hawkwing claimed that something was stalling the battle, and asked Rand to bring out the banner.

Theory 1) The weaving of the Wheel ensures that the Hornsounder will always be linked to the Dragon, so the Heroes will always fight for the Dragon, and there will never be a conflict of interest.
Theory 2) The Heroes will fight for the Hournsounder exclusively EXCEPT when their buddy the Dragon is present, in which case they will fight for the Dragon.

Why did Ba'alzamon attack Rand with a staff instead of wasting him with saidin or the True Power? [Volume 2]

And if Ba'alzamon wanted Rand to live (to turn him to the Shadow to serve him), why give Rand a fatal wound?

Theory 1) Rand was channeling into his sword, and Ba'alzamon was probably channeling into his staff.  Perhaps he wanted it to be an evenly matched fight.  He has been wishy-washy on the issue of wanting Rand dead.
Theory 2) The Horn of Valere somehow forced the battle.
Theory 3) Rand surprised Ba'alzamon by interfering with his ancient plans regarding the Seanchan, so Ba'alzamon had to stop the Heroes from destroying his Seanchan pawns.  The only way was to knock Rand out.
Theory 4) He's insane in the membrane like Paidan Fain on the Almoth Plain.  Say that three times fast.

What kind of weaves did Lanfear put in Rand at the end of the book? [Volume 2]

When Min was keeping Rand warm with her body heat under the covers, Lanfear showed up and brushed Rand's forehead with her fingers.  Rand stirred or shivered.

Theory 1) Lanfear did something similar to the weave Moiraine used on the coins she gave to the three ta'veren; a mark only she can sense.  Rand probably used a similar weave when he marked the spot outside Far Madding where he had buried the Choedal Kal access keys.
Theory 2) Lanfear Healed Rand.  She is able to find Rand easily throughout the series because she can Travel to people as well as to places.

Who was the hag, Silvie? [Volume 3]

While dreamwalking inside the Stone of Tear, Egwene met a old hag named Silvie who said that she had "come to the right place for answers," and has not been seen since.

The Wheel of Time FAQ pages explain this one well.  Silvie was probably Lady Selene aka Lanfear, trying to lure Egwene and Nynaeve to Tear in order mess up Bel'al, or maybe to help Bel'al by giving him Rand-bait.  She seems to have masqueraded as Else Grimwell as well, pointing Egwene and Nynaeve toward Tear to hunt the Black Ajah.  Her words to Mat when she visited him inside the White Tower indicate that she sent the Gray Man who tried to kill Nynaeve and Egwene.  She may also have sent the Gray Man that showed up dead in Sheriam's bed.
Wait, now I'm confused.  Why would Lanfear try to kill Nynaeve and Egwene, then point them toward Tear?  Did she change her mind, or was Mesaana messing with her plans?

What's up with Mat's war memories? [Volume 4]

When asked (see the interview that came with the Glimmers ebook), Robert Jordan said that Mat received the memories of people who went through that ter'angreal, memories from many men ... and since not everyone has the nerve to journey through a ter'angreal, the memories he received were those of adventurers and soldiers and men of daring.
But Mat's memories begin from the time of the ten nations, and the doorway ter'angreal was in the sacred city of Rhuidean at the time, where the Aiel would not permit any wetlanders to enter.

Theory 1) There may be other ways to reach the Eelfin, such as through the Tower of Ghenjei, the dreamworld, or the portal stones.
Theory 2) Those memories were actually soaked up by the Aelfin in the ter'angreal in Tear, and the Aelfin shared with the Eelfin.

The mercy of Sammael [Volume 5]

During the war against the Shaido Aiel in Cairhien, Rand became exhausted to the point of falling off his horse, and needed Moiraine to Heal him.  The Forsaken Sammael knew where Rand was at the time and was commanding a nearby army of Illianers.  So why didn't he kill Rand?

"Let the lord of chaos rule."


The Dark One gave this command at some point (I think) during this volume, and we construe it to mean that the Dark One would rather let Rand go insane than have him killed right away.  So the Forsaken, including Sammael, would have been under orders to let Rand live.  Rahvin disregarded that command and got erased from the Pattern.
Additionally, Rand was using an angreal during the war, but Sammael probably did not have such an advantage.  He may have simply been too worn out to deal with Rand himself.

So what was up with that messenger that Sammael sent to Rand to ask for a truce?  Sammael said (to Graendal) that the manner of messenger's death told him Rand's answer.

Theory 1) Sammael was just trying to manipulate Graendal by leading her to believe he had a truce with Rand, so she would get paranoid enough to either attack Rand or attack Sammael.
Theory 2) Sammael really wanted a truce and was tricked (by Moridin or someone) into believing that he had a true reply from Rand.

Who killed Asmodean? [Volume 5]

If you haven't pondered this unsolved mystery yet, then you must be new to The Wheel of Time.  Asmodean was killed by someone he recognized.  His famous last words were "You? ... No!"  His corpse was never discovered.  Robert Jordan was quoted as saying that the killer was someone who had already been introduced in the series, it has to do with timing, and all the clues are in the fifth book.
Ruling out the Forsaken and Darkfriends who have an alibi, or who seem ignorant of Asmodean's death, we can narrow down the Murder Suspects to a few.  Here they are in order of likelihood:

Suspect 1) Graendal was present in Caemlyn at the time.  She later seemed to know that Asmodean was dead, whereas other Forsaken were unsure.  She is the type who would make a corpse vanish in order to create confusion.  So how did Graendal know where Asmodean was?  Well, Lanfear or Sammael might have told her that Asmodean was "in league with" Rand.  And let's not forget that she can spy via tel'aran'rhiod or by using an ordinary spy network.
Suspect 2) Mesaana, whom Asmodean would also have recognized, and who has no alibi.
Suspect 3) Slayer.  We know that he works as an assassin for the Forsaken.  Asmodean might have employed Slayer in the past, which would explain the recognition.
Suspect 4) Paidan Fain.  He would have done it to keep Rand from learning any more One Power tricks.  But would Asmodean recognize him?  And why would Fain take the time to remove or hide the corpse?
Suspect 5) Moridin.  If it was him, then he must have appeared as Ishamael.  Moridin was not mentioned by name until later in the series.
As for the rest:  Sammael had no idea that Asmodean died, nor did Demandred (I think).  Osan'gar, Aran'gar, and Cyndane had not been introduced in the series yet, nor were the Gholam (again, not 100% sure on this).  Rahvin had just been balefired and Bel'al was long dead.  Semirhage was almost certainly with the Seanchan masquerading as Anath, so she would have been busy or on her cross-ocean journey.  Furthermore, she does not know about Asmodean's death when she thinks about him in

LoC (pg 189/190 pb): "Asmodean. A traitor and so doomed, but he really had vanished ...."

The paradox of Rand's injuries after the death of Rahvin [Volume 5]

When Rand killed Rahvin with balefire, reversing death itself, why couldn't he reverse the injuries that Nynaeve had to Heal on him?

Theory 1) It is possible that the injuries were not caused by Rahvin.  They may have been caused by a female channeler; perhaps the killer of Asmodean.
Theory 2) Rand suffered the injuries while in the dreamworld in the flesh, which may have some unknown effect.

How did Mazrim Taim know when and where to rescue Rand? [Volume 6]

Taim showed up at Dumai's Wells just as Perrin and the Aiel and everyone else did, and he never explained himself.

Theory 1) A channeler can Travel to a person as long as the person's location is more or less known.  This was the case when Rand Traveled to Mat while his Band of the Red Hand was on the move.  Taim did the same.
Theory 2) If Taim discovered that Rand was kidnapped, he would figure on the Aes Sedai taking Rand to the White Tower.  If he knew when the kidnapping took place, he could roughly estimate the distance they covered, and Rand's ta'veren pull would do the rest.
Theory 3) Taim knew where Rand was through the Darkfriend grapevine.  But he still would have needed a convincing lie to explain himself to Rand.  See first two theories.
Theory 4) There was a Demandred-Mesaana-Graendal-Semirhage plot to make Rand hostile to Aes Sedai, and Taim may have been ordered to rescue Rand.  However, Mesaana herself may have orchestrated this plot AND the capture in order to get Rand into her clutches at the White Tower.

What is the connection between the Bowl of the Winds and "the One Who Is No Longer?" [Volume 6]

A prophecy was given and the Bowl of the Winds was found and used.  But who is "the one who is no longer" mentioned in the prophecy?

Here is the very-likely explanation:
Setalle Anan, the innkeeper in Ebou Dar, led Nynaeve and Elayne to the Kin, who led them to the Bowl.  Setalle Anan could be an Aes Sedai who was stilled or burned out.  Stilling is more likely, since she hides her identity, but this would make her extremely old for someone who can't channel. According to chapter 8 in Book 6:

"Before Suian and Leanna, no woman had been tried and stilled in one hundred and forty years, and none burnt out in at least a dozen."

Yet everything about Setalle Anan fits this theory.  She's not intimidated by the Great Serpent ring or Aes Sedai authority.  She has a family to distract her and has moved as far from the White Tower as possible.  Joline Sedai thought for a moment that she recognized Setalle from long ago, especially when she heard her voice.  Setalle knows a huge amount about the Kin and channelers, and--as we learn later--the White Tower had always secretly known about the Kin.

When, exactly, was Min's first viewing of Birgitte? [Volume 9]

Min walked down a hallway in Caemlyn, saw Birgitte, and was amazed to view an incredible number of images around her.  But way back in Volume 6, Min and Birgitte were in Salidar together and hung out with each other.

Did Birgitte gain new images between Books 6 and 9?

Did Fain create the illusion of walking dead men in Far Madding, and if so, how? [Volume 9]

Just before Rand and Fain battled each other in Far Madding, where channeling is impossible without a well ter'angreal, Rand saw the blackened corpses of Torval and Gedwyn (who must have died by Fain's dagger).  But then, during the actual battle, Rand then saw them alive and well, talking to each other! From

Vol.9, p.616 hc:
      Torval and Gedwyn came up the stairs with their cloaks over their arms.
      "I say we aren't going near him until I know where the others are," Gedwyn growled.  "The M'Hael will kill us if ..."
      Without thought, Rand twisted his wrists in Cutting the Wind and immediately followed with Unfolding the Fan.
      The illusion of dead men come back to life vanished, and Fain leaped back with a shriek, blood streaming down the side of his face.  Suddenly he tilted his head as though listening, and a moment later, aiming a scream of wordless fury at Rand, he fled down the stairs.

Theory 1) The dead men are a sign that the Dark One is breaking free of his prison.
Theory 2) Rand is losing his marbles.  Naaaaahhh!
Theory 3) Fain-Mordeth has some very strange powers.  He appeared as a huge apparition in Volume 2 and then made a gholam-like exit.  He can torture Fades.  He can corrupt men's minds.  So he can probably make Rand hallucinate.

Then why hasn't he done it until now?

There is a theory at WOTmania that the ruby dagger is a ter'angreal gone bad, and that Mordeth is addicted to it the way Gollum needed the One Ring in Lord of the Rings.  The longer Fain has the dagger, the more corrupt, crazy, and powerful he becomes.  Maybe he only recently gained the power to make hallucinations.  More walking dead people have appeared in Crossroads of Twilight, to Mat and Perrin.  I think Fain has fled to the town of So Habor.

What was Rand's knowledge about cleansing saidin? [Volume 9]

The Aes Sedai during the Age of Legends were unable to cleanse saidin, so what information did Rand gain which they never had?  What question did Herid Fel's clue answer?  What was the riddle from the doorway ter'angreal in Tear?  Why did nobody question Rand about his knowledge?  We have only a partial explanation so far:

What the Aes Sedai during the Age of Legends lacked:  Shadar Logoth didn't exist during the Age of Legends, so it could not have been used the way Rand used it.  The Aes Sedai of that Age did not have Fain's wound and Ba'alzamon's wound fighting each other, which helped Rand figure out the pulse and counter-pulse thing.  They also lacked the riddle from the Aelfin.  And, of course, they were afraid to use the Choedan Kal.
Herid Fel's clue:  The last note from Herid was about clearing away the rubble before you rebuild.  Shadar Logoth is the most damaged of the old cities in Randland, so perhaps this was the rubble of the past which had to be removed before men and women can channel together and rebuild the distant past.  We still don't know why Herid was murdered by a Gholam.

Why is Mat wooing Tuon? [Volume 10]

She's not his type, she respresents everything he stands against, and she'll probably buy him as a slave as soon as she get the opportunity ... but Mat is buying her gifts and doing everything he can to court her.  He's not supposed to go mad!

Theory 1) He's finally decided to stop struggling against prophecy and embrace it, just in case it's safer than trying to run from fate.  From now on, whenever Rand shows up, he'll say, "Yes, Sir."
Theory 2) He secretly likes cold, arrogant noblewomen, but can't even admit it to himself.
Theory 3) He has a fetish for bald chicks.
Theory 4) He's attracted to Tuon's power and wealth, and figures he'll try to profit from this particular prophecy.  Besides, Selucia is sexy.  Maybe he's thinking in terms of harems.

Who is Aravine Charnel, and why did she swear fealty to Faile? [Volume 10]

Aravine has the air of a noblewoman, and although she seems to be a newly introduced character, she has made a point of befriending Faile, almost as if she knows that Faile has ties to Perrin and the Dragon Reborn.

Theory 1) She is exactly what she appears to be, and is merely thinking of her future, in case she escapes the Shaido Aiel.  She recognizes that Faile has power in the outside world.
Theory 2) She believes that Faile's party will escape, which means that she might have some precognitive ability, a la Min.
Theory 3) She recognized Queen Morgase, and plans to blackmail her once they're free.
Theory 4) She is a character we have met before, using a different name for some reason, and she recognized Faile.

Why did Egwene seal the ship gates to Tar Valon by herself, without any protection? [Volume 10]

Several powerful Aes Sedai have sworn fealty to Egwene, but she never makes use of them.

Theory 1) Egwene is still young and childish, and under stress, and it never occurred to her that a linked circle of Aes Sedai would have protected her without any threat of breaking the Three Oaths.
Theory 2) Halima (Aran'gar/ Balthamel) has been using Compulsion on Egwene, and orchestrated the whole event so that Egwene would be captured by the Tower Aes Sedai, thereby trapping her inside her own seige, and leaving Halima alone to manipulate the rebel camp through Sheriam and Delana.
Theory 3) Halima has been screwing around with Egwene's thoughts, and Egwene was so distracted and confused from weeks of Compulsion that she made a stupid mistake.

Content last modified in October 2005