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 The Dark One

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PostSubject: The Dark One   Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:38 pm

Speak the true name of the Dark One to bring misfortune on the speaker.




In The Wheel of Time books Verin Sedai says the Dark One is the "embodiment of paradox and chaos, destroyer of reason and logic, breaker of balance, the unmaker of order, and the opponent of the Creator". Shai'tan (an Islamic name for Satan) is the godlike figure of the creatures of darkness . Sheriam tells Egwene that the ability to channel confers a weakness, that those who can channel can be turned to the Dark One . There is also a catechism in the books that states that "The Dark One was bound by The Creator in the moment of creation." It is unclear just what the Dark One is or how powerful he is in relation to The Creator. It is definitely implied in the books that the Dark One has the capability to unmake or reorder all that is, was or ever will be, which leads one to the conclusion that in some way the Dark One is a match for The Creator. However, the fact of the Dark One's imprisonment at the moment of creation and his apparent lack of a role in that creation would contradict that. It's possible that the Dark One is just what he is often called or intimated to be: not so much a force of evil as a force of death and destruction, opposed to existence and the pattern itself. It is possible that in creating the good things of the world, the Creator also gave birth to evil, and to protect his creation, sealed off the essence of evil away from the pattern. It is hinted at by Lanfear, one of the Forsaken, that the Creator is actually stronger than the Dark One:

Quote :
"'we can destroy the other Forsaken.... we could challenge even... the Great Lord himself. Even the Creator!'"

The order in which Lanfear names those entities she wishes to destroy suggests that the Creator is indeed the stronger. Though it would be impossible even for her to know that, she has more knowledge of The Dark One than anybody born in the age portrayed in the series.

Influence

The Dark One is the source of the True Power, which is analogous to the One Power. However, one can only draw on the True Power with the Dark One's blessing. Furthermore, it is much more addictive than saidin/saidar, and not even the strongest willpower can fight the desire to use it. The True Power is demonstrated to be centered around death and destruction, for example Moridin uses it accidentally to crush the life out of a servant. The only person currently allowed to draw on the True Power is Moridin.

The Dark One has never been actually seen in any of the novels; Padan Fain states in The Fires of Heaven that the Pit of Doom's lake of fire "holds the Great Lord of the Dark in its endless depths..."; however, it is extremely unlikely that the Dark One is 'in' the Pit of Doom in a physical sense, as the books repeatedly state that the Bore into his prison is a hole in the Pattern itself, rather than a physical passage in anything, and that he is somewhere else entirely. However, within the area of Shayol Ghul the Dark One has several powers. He can speak, although his 'voice' is massive enough to inflict incredible ecstasy and pain on the listener, often leaving those he speaks to barely coherent, and he can create mindtraps, as in the case of Moghedien.

There are other ways the Dark One can impact the world, as well. Metaphysically, the Bore is a pathway that allows the Dark One to reach out into the physical world; the patch created by Lews Therin Telamon and the Hundred Companions is of a constant size, and since the Dark One is increasingly able to widen the Bore, there is more and more 'space' around the blockage, enabling him to reach out and touch the physical world more and more. The strain this puts on the patch is connected to the weakening and breakage of the cuendillar seals on his prison. By Lord of Chaos, several seals have broken and the rest are incredibly fragile, reflecting the fact that there is sufficient 'space' around the patch to enable the Dark One to impose a sweltering summer on the world long after the heat should have faded away. It can be deduced, then, that Tarmon Gai'don and the Dark One's ultimate bid to control the world will only occur when he is able to reach completely around the patch. It should be noted that this concept provides a comparison of the Dark One's power with that of the Forsaken; they too were sealed within the Bore, but were able to escape much quicker, meaning that they were, to follow the metaphor, much 'smaller' than the Dark One. If the Bore was a slowly widening hole in a wall, mice (the Forsaken) would be able to go through it long before a giant (the Dark One) would, reflecting the difference in their powers.

As the Bore widens, the following occur, reflecting the increasing ability of the Dark One to affect the world.
  • The Forsaken are able to escape (Aginor and Balthamel, sealed close to the physical world, can escape first)
  • "Bubbles of evil"; likened by Moiraine to a miasma emanating from the Dark One and twisting reality in the Pattern, especially near ta'veren.
  • Power to affect weather, as demonstrated from Lord of Chaos onwards, until the use of the Bowl of the Winds in The Path of Daggers.
  • Power to resurrect the dead, as with Aran'gar, Osan'gar, Cyndane, and Moridin.
  • Tarmon Gai'don (future), at which point the Dark One will be able to reach out entirely.


Naming

Speaking the true name of the Dark One is believed to bring misfortune on the speaker. Darkfriends claim not to fear this misfortune, but consider speaking his name to be blasphemy. As a result, there are many alternative names for him:

  • Ba'alzamon (meaning 'Heart of the Dark' in the Trolloc language, although this was explained by Egwene at one point to most likely be a Trolloc name for the Forsaken Ishamael (a connection she made using prior knowledge of the subject given to her by Verin Sedai in the White Tower) when speaking with Moiraine Sedai, Mat Cauthon, the Aiel clan chief Rhuarc, and Nynaeve just after the climactic battle between Rand Al'Thor and Ishamael in the final pages Book 3: The Dragon Reborn)
  • Father of Lies
  • Sightburner (used by the Aiel)
  • Soulblinder
  • Lord of the Grave
  • Shepherd of the Night
  • Heartsbane
  • Soulsbane
  • Heartfang
  • Old Grim
  • Father of Storms
  • Grassburner
  • Leafblighter (used by the Aiel)
  • Lord of Chaos
  • Caisen Hob ("Old Hob")
  • Great Lord of the Dark (used only by Darkfriends, the Forsaken, and Myrddraal)
  • Shai'tan


Location

The Dark One is imprisoned at the time of the books in the same nameless state the Creator placed him in at the moment of creation, but with a "Bore" drilled into that prison. A patch made by Lews Therin Telamon and the Hundred Companions at the end of the War of Power seals the Bore, which was made by Mieren Eronaile. This led to the taint on the male half of the One Power. Either as a final attack or a reprecusion for sealing the Dark One, since Lews Therin and the Hundred Companions were all male channelers, the male half was tainted. Perhaps if there was a female channeler to link with the Hundred Companions the Seal would have been stronger, and lasted longer, or perhaps even the female half would have been tainted also.

The geographic location in which the Bore and the Dark One are closest to the world is the Pit Of Doom. The Pit Of Doom is an otherworldly place beneath Shayol Ghul, a mountain in the valley of Thakan'dar, beyond the Blight. In the books, Shayol Ghul is entirely a real place, but the Pit Of Doom, while it lays beneath Shayol Ghul, is either partially or wholly not in the world. It is the place where the Dark One's power over the Pattern is greatest.

Another explanation for the Bore's location to Shayol Ghul might be a twisted version of Traveling, since the world in which Ishamael confronted Rand had orange sky with odd clouds and air with no wind, it could be a reflection from another world slowly or half merged with the one in which the story takes place using a perversion of Traveling with the True Source. However this is entirely theory. It does hold some explanation though since Traveling with Saidar is to "make the two places so alike that there is little to no difference between them." and the True Source seems to be a perversion of such with rushing river of Saa.
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