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The Dragon Reborn (A truly RIDICULOUS amount of spoilers here, don't read it)

The Dragon Reborn (A truly RIDICULOUS amount of spoilers here, don't read it) – June 23, 2009 5:47 AM (edited 6/23/09 1:47 AM)
Airclair (1096 posts) Doesn't Play Well with Others
Rating: Not Rated
This post isn't mine, but I was browsing some WoT sites and found this very interesting take on the entirety of The Dragon Reborn. In my readings I definitely have missed that luring Rand to Tear was not Be'lal's idea, though obviously it's hard to miss that Lanfear was manipulating some (or all) of the Black Ajah, and with their plan ultimately revealed (to toss the girls in the Tear jail, I guess I should've connected the dots here ... but Rand didn't, and so I sort of took him at his word here. That and Be'lal is so fucking arrogant that he takes all the credit when Rand shows up anyways) but rather Lanfear's. The below argument is fairly rock solid, and an interesting read to boot. Enjoy!
Rand brings up the girls and Be'lal dismisses their importance out of hand (both as a bait and as a threat) - even brushes the topic aside with an hand gesture, and adds 'I confess surprise that you cared enough to make them useful'. What he says about them being untrained also imply he dismissed them as a potential threat, unlike Liandrin's opinion, we can surmise.That's fairly obvious, and this can't be intepreted in many ways... Be'lal wasn't responsible for bringing the girls to Tear or even for the idea of capturing them in Tear. Liandrin's group are the ones who captured them and convinced Be'lal to keep them prisoners, that they could be useful, or that they could be a threat,. Be'lal seems not to have believe either but... as Rhavin points out... Be'lal is not one who fear to seize potential opportunities to improvise, ending up with overcomplicated plans. He did keep the girls, but it's obvious he didn't plan on using them, because he didn't really believe they could be useful.

Perrin's Wolf Dream reveals who put the girls on the track of the Black Ajah in the Tower, who manipulated Liandrin and co. into capturing them for Be'lal:

"Egwene and Nynaeve and Elayne stood looking at a huge metal cage, with a raised door held on a heavy spring. They stepped in and reached up together to loose the catch. The barred door snapped down behind them. A woman with her hair all in braids laughed at them, and another woman all in white laughed at her.".

It was Lanfear's doing. Lanfear wanted Rand to take Callandor to defend himself against the male forsaken. She's the one who knew and believe the girls made a useful bait - and probably useful allies as well. She sent the girls to Rand as allies and let ta'veren do the rest - she was at Falme, she knew. She is also obviously the one who ordered Slayer to stop the Gray Man sent by Ishamael to kill them in the Tower, after he realised post EOTW and even more at Falme Rand's 'companions' were becoming a threat. He sent Grey Men against all of them in TDR: Perrin since he left the Mountains, the girls in the Tower, Mat as he left the Tower, and Rand. Meanwhile, Lanfear goaded all of Rand's allies - she visited Perrin's Dreams, visited Mat, sent the girls to Tear, pointed the way to Egwene in tel'aran'rhiod and then "helped' the girls to enter the Stone of Tear by manipulating Liandrin's group into capturing them.

It's fairly easy to follow the various plots of the Forsaken in TDR, RJ gave each different methods and remained consistent through the book: Grey Men are sent by Ishamael, Darkhounds by Sammael, Fades and brigands (foreshadowing his 'White Lions') and Comar by Rahvin - and what relates to Dreams (incl. Slayer) is the doing of Lanfear.

Be'lal was caught at the Stone completely unprepared. He had a full circle of 13 Black Sisters and weapons to take care of Rand and didn't even use them (he didn't even searched the vaults) - they were not even on stand by. His whole plan wasn't ready: the BA had the means to kill or capture Rand the second he took callandor: a stunner (which Moghedien seized in Tanchico and then gave back to a BA), a balefire rod (again seized by Moghedien then given back) etc. He toyed with the idea of turning the girls to the Shadow, but dithered. It's as if he didn't even track Rand's approach properly nor really expected Rand, not even when Moiraine showed up and he had her neutralized by the BA (or thought he did) - and this raise the question: were the dreams of Callandor sent to bait Rand really his doing, or were they also Lanfear's doing.

If they were Lanfear's, then the whole plot suddenly makes more sense, why she goaded Perrin and Mat (both were irresponsive, she gave up), why she sent the girls as potential allies and let ta'veren do the rest. She had seen in Falme the whole 'companions' brought together, and what happened. Notice she was there in person at the Stone. If things went wrong, she would not have let Rand die.

This also seems to explain the (mute) scene with Rahvin, Be'lal and Ishamael in tel'aran'rhiod. If Ishamael and Be'lal knew for fact Rand was coming for Callandor, they could have prepared. IMHO, the scene rather went that way: Rahvin accused Be'lal of being up to some dangerous game, with Rand heading east, his fetching of 13 BA... he accused him of trying to lure Rand to Tear to take Callandor instead of guarding Callandor from the Dragon. Be'lal denied this was his plan and doing, Rahvin didn't believe him and things got heated. Ishamael put a stop to their argument and warned them something was up. Rahvin went back home convinced Be'lal was up to some intricate plan, a conviction the news Elayne was heading for Tear only increased, convincing him further that Be'lal was planning to use Elayne in some intricate plot against his own powerbase as soon as he had Callandor. They never figured out Lanfear was pulling all the strings, at least not until Lanfear came to officially throw the glove at Ishamael's feet, challenging him openly. Then Ishamael began to unravel the web and see his real peril - leading him to his desperate move to kill Rand at the Stone... and leading him also to his attitude toward Cyndane... of all the transmigrated Forsaken, the one he displays a personal grudge toward.

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