shayol ghul

So I’m doing a WOT reread and I just started The Dragon Reborn and I’ve gotta rant about something that’s been bothering me. And that is the serious communication issues between these characters. Obviously they didn’t have cell phones or even reliable ways of sending letters so they have some excuse but they still kinda suck at telling each other things even when they have the opportunity. I’m pretty sure this has been talked about before, but this instance in particular is really bugging me. 

At the end of The Great Hunt, Min is visted by Lanfear while she’s lying in bed with unconscious Rand. Lanfear, a FORSAKEN who’s supposedly bound in Shayol Ghul, just waltzes in and has a chat with her and then leaves. And Min doesn’t tell ANYBODY?! WHY!!! WHY would she not tell ANYONE? I just really can’t justify this? 

Like if she told Rand that Lanfear showed up and described her to him he would have instantly made the connection to Selene. And then, knowing that she apparently wears the same outfit everyday, they could have told the rest of the group and next time she showed up they’d know!! Would have saved lots of trouble!!

sansa-hand-of-the-king  asked:

Hi! First i have to say i love your metas, the one about the dragons is my favorite ( you totally convinced me that viserion is jons). Can i ask you a question? There is a lot speculation about sansa dying this season. I am worried because she doesnt have any connection to the others or fighting skills, and she isnt one of the main 5. (Arya,bran,tyrion,dany,jon). Can she survive? Thank you for the answer ;)

In the books, I feel confident that Sansa survives the series and is there at the end to help rebuild Winterfell. GRRM has said that the original outline is no longer relevant, and he regularly talks about Sansa when he mentions his main POVs :)

I think there are different ways to fight the War for the Dawn. Some heroes like Bran and Dany are going to be called upon to actively fight the War in a magical context. But a lot of other heroes are going to be called upon just to hold. To quote GRRM’s friend Robert Jordan, “We hold. With everything we have, we hold. We don’t pull back. We don’t try anything clever. We just hold.” If I may steal another Wheel of Time quote, 

“if the Lord Dragon three heads of the dragon attacks Shayol Ghul beyond the curtain of light, we will likely need to seize the valley North and the Riverlands and then hold it for as long as it takes him Bran Stark to battle with the Dark One Euron. I don’t know how long that will take, but it could take hours. Days. Tell me, have you ever had to entrench and fight a protracted, defensive war?”

Humanity doesn’t know it yet, but Westeros is already under siege. (Robert Jordan uses this same theme of humanity under siege btw; y’all should read Wheel of Time while you’re waiting for TWOW.) The first line of defense, the Wall, is about to fall, and an enemy that will not break – that will not stop – that will only grow stronger as everyone you love dies – is about to overwhelm the world. While Bran and Dany and Jon and Tyrion are fighting, everyone else has one job: stay alive. To steal from another of GRRM’s favs and give the corollary to Dany’s “dragons plant no trees” quote, “your job [humanity’s job] is to plant yourself like a tree” and not move. Hold. Stay alive. Even if Bran and the three heads succeed in their tasks, the War is still lost if humanity dies. 

Some people like Arya and Brienne will stay alive by the sword, and that’s essential in this fight. But as you point out, Sansa’s story has never been about her fighting skills. Sansa has long been the maiden in the tower, surrounded by the thick castle walls of the Red Keep and later the Eyrie. Well, we know GRRM likes to turn tropes on their heads, right? That’s why we’ll put Sansa in another tower. I love the idea of turning the powerless maiden in the tower trope on its head and making Winterfell the place where Sansa comes into her own and having her hold it in the War. That’s what Winterfell was built for: to hold. Winterfell is designed so that when the first wall is lost, the defenders can retreat to the second wall and keep holding. Sansa has a strong connection to Winterfell, and many people believe Sansa’s snowcastle foreshadows her rebuilding the castle post-ADOS. 

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Still staring out the window, he nodded. There was no expression on his face—Lan could teach Aes Sedai about hiding emotions!—but a touch of heat entered his voice. “It’s coming soon, Nynaeve, yet al’Thor seems to think he has forever to dance with the Seanchan. Shadowspawn could be moving down through the Blight while we stand here, down through—” His mouth snapped shut. Down through Malkier, he had almost said, dead Malkier, the murdered land of his birth. She was sure of it. He went on as if he had not paused. “They could strike at Shienar, at the whole Borderlands, next week, or tomorrow. And al’Thor sits weaving his Seanchan schemes. He should send someone to convince King Easar and the others to return to their duty along the Blight. He should be marshaling all the force he can gather and taking it to the Blight. The Last Battle will be there, and at Shayol Ghul. The war is there.”

Sadness welled up in her, yet she managed to keep it out of her voice. “You have to go back,” she said quietly.

She gathered all of her courage and held on to it hard, so hard that she ached. She wanted to speak fast, to get the words out before courage failed, but she forced herself to a steady tone and an even pace. “A Borderland saying I heard from you once. ‘Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.’ My duty lies here, making sure Alivia doesn’t kill Rand. But I will take you to the Borderlands. Your duty lies there. You want to go to Shienar? You mentioned King Easar and Shienar. And it is close to Malkier.”

Knife of Dreams, chapter 20 “The Golden Crane”.

This is a huge part of why Nynaeve and Lan are together. Shared values. They understand - and respect - how important honour and duty are to the other. Neither of them are the sort to turn away from a difficult task.

Different topic, but I think it’s sad that Lan refers to Rand as “al'Thor”. Lan’s been a mentor figure to Rand, he taught him to use his sword and how to stand up to Siuan, he’s called him sheepherder and given up all sorts of advice. And it’s not as if he’s talking to someone who might feel uncomfortable at the concept of being on first-name basis with the Dragon Reborn, he’s talking to Nynaeve.  So his use of Rand’s surname really highlights how distant Lan feels from Rand. And maybe that’s Lan’s fault - or rather, the fault of the snapped-Warder-bond depression Lan’s still struggling with (which is totally not Lan’s fault) - but I suspect it’s really due to Rand trying to push everyone away…

starks-in-the-north-deactivated  asked:

I loved your recent piece on Sansa's endgame! Probably the best articulated endgame/arc write up for her line. But I have a question totally tangential: it seems like you mention Bran v Euron as a separate/parallel battle to the WotD. Elsewhere I've seen predictions that Dany will defeat Euron at the Isle of Faces. Is there a reason you suspect Euron's plot lasts longer/Bran will defeat him(guessing the 3ER connection)?

Thank you! When I borrowed this Wheel of Time quote for my other post,

“if the Lord Dragon three heads of the dragon attacks Shayol Ghul beyond the curtain of light, we will likely need to seize the valley North and the Riverlands and then hold it for as long as it takes him Bran Stark to battle with the Dark One Euron. I don’t know how long that will take, but it could take hours. Days. Tell me, have you ever had to entrench and fight a protracted, defensive war?”

it was merely the most convenient way for me to illustrate the difficulties of fighting an Apocalyptic Fantasy War on multiple battlefronts. My meaning there might be clearer to people who’ve read Wheel of Time, but I think of the War for the Dawn as being fought on at least three fronts, all linked, interdependent, and simultaneous. 

The first battle is what I’ll call the Ground Battle, fought at Winterfell and elsewhere, against overwhelming numbers of Others, wights, ice spiders, reanimated direwolves, etc. This is where Arya and her wolfpack come in, this is where Brienne lives up to her secret legendary ancestry, this is where Sansa proves she’s “stronger within the walls of Winterfell” etc. It’s very important that the Others don’t win the Ground Battle because if these people are lost, it destroys the morale of Bran and the Three Heads.

The second battle is what I’ll call the Battle of Light & Shadow, where Tyrion, Jon & Dany need to pass covertly beyond the curtain of light and enter GRRM’s version of the Faerie Realm, where I’m sure they will have to use a combination of their wits, courage, and compassion to strike at the heart of the Others and accomplish the tasks required of them. Benjen Stark might be waiting in this neighboring dimension, either a prisoner to be freed or a thrall to be slain (by Jon).  

The third battle is Bran’s. As I’ve discussed previously, Bran is the Battle Commander, an Ender Wiggin figure, the linchpin upon which the future of Terros turns. Without Bran, the world dies. Bran’s abilities to see and communicate across space and time (and neighboring dimensions?) are going to be super important to the other battlefronts. So we need to throw a wrench in the machine: Euron. I think Euron remains a threat to the end. Bran will have to divide his attention between helping Our Heroes and fighting Euron in a mental battle of wills. 

So, at least three battlefields, all linked through Bran in an all-or-nothing war. Lose one and you lose them all. 

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“Best Darkfriends Forever”. Is your loved one displaying signs of Darkness? Have they recently begun torturing other Channelers? Making frequent trips to Shayol Ghul? Are you concerned their soul may belong to the Dark One? Learn how to tell if your Best Friend has turned Darkfriend in this supportive help book by Brown Sister Kerina Sedai.

I was contemplating this earlier today…the original Seanchan Aes Sedai. 

We know from what little is discussed by the Seanchan how horrible these people were. That they were vastly different than the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends, let alone the Aes Sedai of the White Tower. That they were true monsters, users of the One Power who used it to take advantage and destroy and rule. And you know who they sound like?

Like the Forsaken. 

What I suspect the Seanchan Aes Sedai may have been, at least the very oldest ones, were probably the Aes Sedai who went to the Shadow. As we know through the books, it was only the thirteen strongest Forsaken who were trapped in Shayol Ghul. There must have been hundreds more who weren’t trapped. They may have ended up in the area that would eventually become Seanchan. 

It would explain why they never managed to form an organization similar to the White Tower, or even similar to the Sharan Ayyad. Horrifying as things are in Shara, the Ayyad demonstrated a set organizational structure. They were unified. Seanchan Aes Sedai fought against each other as much as they did non-Aes Sedai. Obviously, by the time Luthor Pendraeg ended up in Seanchan, the original, likely predominately Forsaken Aes Sedai were dead, but not their descendants. Much like their ancestors, they may have been raised into serving the Dark One. They demonstrated the selfish, destructive tendencies we say out of numerous Darkfriends and most of the Big 13 Forsaken. 

But the Seanchan Aes Sedai were also connected to what they called the ‘Armies of the Night’ which sounds more an organization that would serve the Shadow. It also could explain how things like ravens would end up as imperial signs. If the Pendraegs adopted symbols from the Seanchan side of things, it would make sense for Shadow-hinted aspects to be there. 

Likely this entire idea is going to be discounted by the Companion, but we’ll see.

You think you’re going to Shayol Ghul?” Rubinde asked, incredulous.
“I’m going to be there,” Nynaeve said softly. “It is not a question. Rand has asked it of me, though I would have gone if he hadn’t.

Towers of Midnight, chapter 20 “A Choice”.

I love how this captures the difference in perspective between Nynaeve (and others who know Rand personally) and those who only know him as the Dragon Reborn.

For Aes Sedai like Rubinde, going to Shayol Ghul along side Rand would be such a big deal - a terrifying honour and responsibility that is so unlikely to befall them that it is practically unimaginable.  

But for Nynaeve, it is just something that of course she’s going to do.  


The name is al'Thor, Rand al'Thor.

My instructions were explicit. I was to prevent the Dark One from breaking free of his prison at Shayol Ghul. Licensed to break the world.

(Bond Music)

(Private study)

Moiraine:  Your mission is of the utmost importance, al'Thor. Try to take it seriously.

Rand:  I’m always serious, M. Have I ever let you down?

Watch as he battles the world’s most feared villains

Rand:  Do you expect me to just hand control over to you, Forsaken?

Aginor:  No, Lews Therin, I expect you to die.

With amazing devices from an Age long past

Thom:  And if you press this part here, the head of the ter'angreal will shoot out flames up to thirty feet. This one will allow you to open any lock, and this sword also doubles as a flute.

Rand:  And how much use do you think a flute will do in the Last Battle? 

Thom:  Just try to bring it back in one piece, al'Thor.

And with beautiful women at every turn


Min:  I know I’m not the only girl in your life, al'Thor, but do you have to be so cavalier? 

Rand:  Elmindreda, what would I do without you?


Elayne:  Well, well, and what have we here?

Join Rand al'Thor in 

“Eye of the World”

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Rand:  Mother’s milk in a cup. Shaken, not stirred.


Rejected Scenes 2
by PseudoDragon

Rejected Scene #230
Demandred: *farts loudly* Oh dear me, I appear to have released a bubble of evil!

Rejected Scene #245
Perrin: Right, I’ve had enough of you always yelling at me, Faile. From now on I am going to stand up for myself, and not moan over my love troubles!

Rejected Scene #266
Automated voice: You have reached the Royal Palace of Andor. King Gaebril is not at home right now. Please leave a message after the beep. *beep!*

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