Oddities of the Wheel of Time

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Author: Melana al'Cairera

Cats and dogs and other oddities in WoT!

Cats seem to like Aes Sedai (TEotW)
Cats seem to dislike Asha'man (WH)
Dogs seem to like Asha'man (WH)
Dogs seem to dislike Aes Sedai (WH)

In TEotW, we see in chapter 41, Old Friends and New Threats, that a cat promptly leaves Master Gill's ancles in favor for Moiraine's. This shows that cats do not feel hostile against Aes Sedai.

In the Prologue of WH, we see the Red sister, Toveine, almost being attacked by a pack of dogs in the "village" of the Black Tower, and the woman who helps her, - and is the wife of one of the men of the Black Tower, says that she herself would prefer a nice cat, but cats won't abide her husband anymore. From this we learn that cats feel hostile against Asha'man, while dogs feel hostile against Aes Sedai. I would also dare to say that dogs feel drawn to Asha'man, based on the fact that packs of dogs roam the "village" of the Black Tower.

One must presume that the reason for this oddity is some strange connection between cats and dogs, and saidar and saidin. Maybe these animals are aware of the One Power in the same manner as some creatures are known to be aware of earthquakes before they actually find place. But they apparently act different towards the two parts of the One Power. Whether this oddity will be of any consequence for the final plot-line is yet to be seen...

Men and Women

When women draw on saidar near Rand, he gets goosebumps on his arms. Alas, men can feel it when women channel. But when Rand draws on saidin near female channelers, they can't feel anything. Hence women can't feel men channel. Even dogs and cats are in some mysterious way able to feel it if men can channel. Why can't female channelers feel this? Is it to give men an advantage of their own, since they can't link without the help of a woman?

Or maybe women are able to feel men channel, but they are just not aware of it yet. The first times Rand felt those goosebumps, he didn't see the connection between that and women channeling near him. Who is to say that women don't get a vague feeling which they can't put their finger on or explain, and thus dismiss it without thinking more of it. It certainly seemed like Lanfear knew what weaves Rand was using on her in TSR, I honestly don't think she would be able to unravel them so easily if she couldn't recognize them in some way. And it surely seems a little odd that only the males should have this advantage...

Mat and the Darkhound

In TFoH, a Darkhound claws at Mat's door before it is balefired by Rand. Mat says that he actually saw the beast managing to claw through the door, and drooling saliva all over his arm, but after Rand balefired the doggie, only a few scratches remained on the door. However, Mat's arm has still been hit by a drop of saliva, - it itches and soon the itch spreads to the whole arm, making it all red and fluffy. Moiraine Heals him after some fuzz with his ter'angreal medallion, and it all ends rather well.

But the odd thing is, how could a drop of saliva land on his arm when the Darkhound ceased to exist before it slobbered all over his arm? Was it a memory of what the doggie did when he existed? Logically, the saliva should have ceased to exist at the same time as the doggie, and there shouldn't have been any itches or wounds afterwards. Maybe this is one of those confusing and unseen consequences when using balefire. At least it has gotten me a little confused...

Verin in Stedding Tsofu

In chapter 35 in TGH, Verin, Rand, Mat, Perrin, Hurin, Ingtar and Loial have traveled to Stedding Tsofu in order to ask the Elders for permission to enter the Ways. The Elders don't like this, and, trying to discourage the travelers, they bring forth an Ogier who has lost his mind to Machin Shin, - the Black Wind. Verin walks over to the Ogier, lays her hands on his chest, than reacts in a violent sort of way before she concludes that he is empty, that there is nothing inside him anymore.

The first time I read this, I thought Verin was using the One Power to delve him, interpreting it like that from the text, but I didn't think more of it at that point. However, the next time I read the series, my mind was more WoTish, and now I remembered that you just can't draw from the One Power in a stedding. So now I wondered, what exactly did Verin do in the stedding?

My first theory was that she might just have looked him in the eyes and seen nothing there. Eyes are after all supposed to be the mirrors of the soul, so one might be able to tell whether the soul is present or not, by looking into them. We know that the servants at the "Darkfriends' Socials", - and I mean those serving drinks and such to the Darkfriends attending the meeting, they have lifeless eyes, - soulless eyes.

But as Verin was specifically asked to touch the Ogier, I came up with a second theory. Maybe the touch of someone who have lost their soul is different than that of a normal person. It might produce certain unpleasant feelings within the one touching the soulless, whether the one touching him can channel or not. That would explain how the Elders knew what Verin would discover when she touched the Ogier, and it would also explain Verin's reaction. This is the theory I believe is closest to the truth, but I've got one more.

In book nine, - WH, we got to know about ter'angreal called wells, which allowed a channeler to store a certain amount of the One Power for later use. Verin might be in possession of one of these wells, and she might very well have used it in the stedding. Still, it seems a little odd that she would use a ter'angreal in book two, which we don't even get to know about until book nine...oh..well...the series obviously weaves as Robert Jordan wills...

Aes Sedai and Diseases

We know that people channeling the One Power develop an immunity against most diseases. We also know that most diseases are caused by viruses and germs. Germs also cause tooth decay. it would probably be safe to guess that it is those nasty little fellows who cause tooth decay in WoT too. So here's my theory; if Aes Sedai are immune against germs causing diseases, logically they should be immune against germs causing dental caries too. Maybe Aes Sedai just brush their teeth with salt and water to keep them clean and white, but never actually have dental problems...that would be something...

Moiraine's Choice

In TFoH we saw Moiraine pushing Lanfear through the red twisted ter'angreal doorway, leading to the realm of the Eelfinn, - the Foxes. Most questions and theories i've seen concerning this event evolve around what might have happened on the other side, if they would or could survive, when they might come back and how this would happen. My question is; why did she choose to do as she did? I have come up with two alternatives that might have worked as good, or maybe better.

First alternative

Moiraine knew how to weave balefire, why didn't she just balefire Lanfear? It's kind of odd that she would refrain from using the one sure way to get rid off Lanfear forever. Especially when she had already used it on another Forsaken earlier in the series, proving that she wouldn't have hesitated to use it again if she saw it a necessity.

The second alternative

Why didn't she enter the twisted doorway before that fateful morning at the docks? She had the opportunity to enter it for several weeks I believe, and if you have entered the doorway once, you won't be able to enter it a second time. My theory here is that while Lanfear would end up in the realm of the Eelfinn, Moiraine probably saw what she had to do in the rings, and knew that her way was the right, or maybe the best way to to it. I can't believe that she didn't consider other alternatives while waiting for events to unfold. All in all I guess she did as she did for a good reason, - who am I to question Aes Sedai decisions...

Myrddraal and Eyeballs

The Myrddraal strike me as some of the oddest creatures in WoT! They haven't got any eyes, just smooth skin where the eyes should have been. Yet they can see like eagles whether it is light or dark. But with the lack of actual eyeballs, what DO they see with? It is tempting to suggest at this point that the Darkhounds were intended for more than assassinations when they were created, but as I have yet to see a Myrddraal with a big black doggie at his side, I will make no such suggestions.

It could be that the Myrddraal have some inner censor, allowing them to perceive their surroundings very strongly, maybe some kind of inner radar. And their ability to paralyze someone with fear just by "looking" at them, could be something like a telepathy talent, because they can't actually stare at someone, - they've got no eyes!!!

It would of course be very interesting to perform an experiment on a willing Myrddraal, - tie a blindfold around his head, covering where his eyes should have been, than made him shoot with a longbow at a target, - an apple on a voluntary person's head maybe...made him walk on a painted line...and stand on one foot while touching his nose with his finger...that would be something...