Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Go down

Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Eric Gaidin on Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:56 am

In The Great Hunt, Lan teaches Rand about Sheathing the Sword. Now a bunch of you have told me that Rand already did this move up in the sky at Falme. However, I truly think Rand will have to use this move to end his life in order to sacrifice himself for others. Think of Lews Therin, the last Dragon. Lews opened his veins to the One Power, killing himself because of the destruction he caused his own family. Who knows who could have died if Lews hadn't commited suicide? Time is cyclical in this universe--Rand is destined to repeat Lews Therin IF he doesn't do something about it.

So, here's my prediction: at the end of Memory of Light, Rand will commit suicide to save the world by utilizing the sword technique known as Sheathing the Sword.
avatar
Eric Gaidin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 195
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 37

View user profile http://robertjordan.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  kimwhite624 on Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:15 pm

WOW! It is like you are in my head. I just read this part of the book the other night. How did you know!?

Well anyways, it was very interesting how Lan told Rand he had one last lesson to give him. And that was that there will come a time when Rand will have to sheath his sword in himself. During this dialogue, I was thinking about the tradition of Seppuku, where after the loss of a battle a Samurai warrior is given his last honor by being allowed to commit suicide. Now isn't that an odd concept, in our society suicide is looked down upon, but in some cases the Japanees saw it as an honor. Just a difference in culture.

kimwhite624
Aes Sedai
Aes Sedai

Posts : 32
Join date : 2009-01-16
Age : 33

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Eric Gaidin on Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:53 pm

Regarding seppuku, the Japanese would commit this act because they had been dishonored; it was the only way to save face. Kinda gross. If Jordan does relate this to seppuku though, Rand would need a friend nearby, someone to cut off Rand's head if Rand can't go through with the suicide. Wouldn't this be dishonorable though? Not to worry. According to seppuku, the friend is supposed to be skilled enough to lop the head off and yet leave a small flap of skin at the front of the neck so that the head doesn't roll about and create a mess. What are friends for?
avatar
Eric Gaidin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 195
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 37

View user profile http://robertjordan.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Sheathing the Sword

Post  The_Dark_1 on Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:19 pm

Eric will you be my seppuku buddy? YOU BETTER LEAVE THE FLAP!!!! (**shakes fist**) I would totally cut your head off... sooooooo you better say yes.

The_Dark_1
Ta'veren
Ta'veren

Posts : 60
Join date : 2009-01-02
Age : 37

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Eric Gaidin on Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:25 am

I would do it in a heartbeat bro...c'mon, you know me better than that affraid
avatar
Eric Gaidin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 195
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 37

View user profile http://robertjordan.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Proof Rand DOES NOT Sheathe the Sword in the sky above Falme

Post  Eric Gaidin on Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:51 pm

Rand DOES NOT use the sword form called Sheathe the Sword in the sky above Falme. Rand instead uses a form called Heron Wading in the Rushes. Lan teaches Rand this form in ch. 1 of The Great Hunt: "Remember that that Heron form is only for practicing balance work. Anywhere but doing forms, it leaves you wide open; you can strike home from it, if you wait for the other man to move first, but you'll never avoid his blade" (ch. 1; p. 8 hardcover).

Then, once fighting Ba'alzamon (Ishamael) in the sky above Falme, Rand assumes the Heron form in order to "strike home": "Before he knew it, he had taken the position of Heron Wading in the Rushes, balanced on one foot, sword raised high, open and defenseless" (ch. 47; p. 586 hardcover). This is when he takes the wound that never heals. Ishamael gets him good but Rand strikes home.

Also on that page, Rand REMEMBERS when Lan told him that "It is every man's right to choose when to Sheathe the Sword." Rand was mulling over options, trying to decide what to do. He did not choose to Sheathe the Sword.

Sheathing the sword means plunging one's own blade into one's body. It's the ultimate sacrifice. In the skies above Falme Rand left himself open for attack--Rand did not stab himself.

Here is the description of the technique called Sheathing the Sword in full from Lan: "There will come a time when you must acheive a goal at all costs. It may come in attack or defense. And the only way will be to allow the sword to be sheathed in your own body" (ch. 9; p. 130 hardcover).
avatar
Eric Gaidin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 195
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 37

View user profile http://robertjordan.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  kimwhite624 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:14 pm

Sounds like you had a little help getting the details of this one together. Not much to add, but that I concur. Yes Peter Eric and I are like the same person.....scary!

In the later novels, when Rand's wound opens up, the way it is described makes you think it was done my a dark friend. Reminds me of that festering wound from "Lost in Space". If I recall correctly Dr. Zachery Smith gets bit by spiders in the center of his back and the wound festers with out anyone knowing until it takes over his body.

kimwhite624
Aes Sedai
Aes Sedai

Posts : 32
Join date : 2009-01-16
Age : 33

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Peter on Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:48 pm

Eric, while you bring up a very good point, I believe that you misinterpreted the description. "There will come a time when you must acheive a goal at all costs. It may come in attack or defense. And the only way will be to allow the sword to be sheathed in your own body" When I first read this quote, and when I reinterpret it now, I still still firmly believe what I said. I believe that sheathing the sword is not when you willingly plunge your own sword into your body, but when you purposely take a wound in order to kill your opponent. You can sheath the sword using any technique, such as Heron Wading, because it is not a set position or move, more of technique while using another form.

To further strengthen my position, there are many sites listing all of the sword forms. While I trust my own opinion and interpretation better than these sites, they still all mostly agree with me about sheathing the sword.

Sheathing the Sword Technique Any N/A More of a concept than a sword-form, this is used when what you can gain is greater than or equal to what you may lose in the process of gaining it. This might be using Heron Wading in the Rushes like Rand al'Thor, or it might be using Lizard in the Thornbush to take down two major opponents when you know a third, less important one is coming up behind you. (http://www.wheeloftimerp.net/blade/forms.htm)

During this battle, Rand "Sheathes the Sword" which opens his defenses and allows Ba'alzamon to strike home with his staff leaving Rand with a wound in his side that has never healed. While "Sheathing the Sword" provides Rand with a malignant wound, it also allowed him to defeat Ba`alzamon in single combat.[5]. This battle proclaimed him as the Dragon Reborn, a fact Rand finally accepts. (http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Rand_al%27Thor)

Peter
Ta'veren
Ta'veren

Posts : 49
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Eric Gaidin on Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:44 pm

Peter,
There's no description to misinterpret. Lan states OVERTLY that Sheathing the Sword means plunging the blade into your own body. There is no argument here. It's in the text. I could give two hoots about what other web sites say. The people who wrote those sites are either morons or fools. Actually, they could be both--moronic fools.

This is irrefutable. Lan says it. He's the authoritative source in this matter. Not some boob who decides to interpret this in any other way than what Lan literally says. These are facts from the novels, the primary source. Your web site is not authoritative; the novel is.

Furthermore, Robert Jordan states OVERTLY that Rand's form was Heron Wading the Rushes above Falme. See the quote above. This also is irrefutable. (See my next post discussing whether this is a form). Sheathing the Sword is a sword form, as stated by Lan. At some point you have to agree that up is up and down is down. Lan states these things overtly--so does Robert Jordan in his description of the battle in the sky.


Last edited by Eric Gaidin on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:48 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : edit)
avatar
Eric Gaidin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 195
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 37

View user profile http://robertjordan.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Eric Gaidin on Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:16 pm

The question seems to be whether or not Sheathing the Sword is an actual form or simply a decision to open oneself to injury-- a sacrifice-- while performing an actual sword form. Here is why Sheathing the Sword is an actual sword form.

First, let's examine this using the logical property of redundancy. Lan describes the Heron Wading through the Rushes form (herein called the Heron form) very specifically. "Remember that that Heron form is only for practicing balance work. Anywhere but doing forms, it leaves you wide open; you can strike home from it, if you wait for the other man to move first, but you'll never avoid his blade" (ch. 1; p. 8 hardcover). Lan states here that the form is for practicing balance only because it leaves ones completely defenseless. However, he also states that one can "strike home" with this form. To sum up, one is defenseless, yet deadly. Heron Wading through the Rushes.

Now, let's look at the battle in the sky above Falme. Rand assumes the form Heron Wading through the Rushes: "Before he knew it, he had taken the position of Heron Wading in the Rushes, balanced on one foot, sword raised high, open and defenseless" (ch. 47; p. 586 hardcover). Please note here that Rand has taken the Heron form and nothing at all is mentioned concerning Sheathing the Sword. The reason for this, is because the Heron form, and the Sheathing form, are very similar in that they both result in injury by the one assuming the form. Understanding this, I must point out that to then claim Rand is Sheathing the Sword is utterly redundant. Why would Jordan describe the same move using two poetic names? The redundancy makes these two poetic derivations pointless. The simplest answer here is that Jordan wouldn't describe an undisputable, clear sword form like Heron, with Sheathing the Sword.

Similarly, we should look at Jordan's usage of "Sheathing the Sword." As a poetic moniker, Sheathing the Sword's imagery is apt; the imagery names the form. Lan describes Sheathing the Sword as "a time when [one] must acheive a goal at all costs. It may come in attack or defense. And the only way will be to allow the sword to be sheathed in [one's] own body" (ch. 9; p. 130 hardcover). Rand further backs up the imagery of one sheathing the sword in one's own body when he condescendingly tells Lan that Lan has "spent an hour every morning making [him] do nothing but draw [the] bloody sword and put it back in the scabbard. Standing, sitting, lying down. [Rand thinks he] can manage to get it back in the sheath without cutting [himself]" (Great Hunt, ch. 9; p. 129 hardcover). Lan describes the act of allowing the sword to be sheathed in one's body just after Rand's patronizing tirade. Within this context, it is very clear that Sheathing the Sword is a form--a form in which the swordsman sheathes the sword in his own body.

This is very clearly what Rand has not done in the sky above Falme.
avatar
Eric Gaidin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 195
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 37

View user profile http://robertjordan.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Peter on Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:44 pm

You still don't have me entirely convince, but let us just say that you are right. For what purpose could you fathom in which one would actually sheath the sword then?

Peter
Ta'veren
Ta'veren

Posts : 49
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Uncle Mart on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:36 am

Sorry Eric, I still agree with Pete on this one. The dialogue you're quoting does not say that Sheathing the Sword is a form at all. Lan doesn't describe Sheathing the Sword as stabbing yourself with it. He says that Sheathing the Sword is allowing it to be sheathed in your own body. Allowing something to happen is, by definition, a lack of action on one's part. Failing to prevent something from happening. That is VERY different from taking action to do it to yourself. The point I presented to you earlier still holds. I see nothing in your example that proves to me that Sheathing the Sword is an actual sword form. I believe that it's a concept. The idea of self sacrifice in order to gain something important. To argue my point I'll pick up quoting that lesson from Lan where you left off.

"That's crazy," Rand said. "Why would I ever--?"
The Warder cut him off. "You will know when it comes, sheepherder, when the price is worth the gain, and there is no other choice left to you. That is called Sheathing the Sword. Remember it."

Lan says absolutely NOTHING about Sheathing the Sword being an actual sword form. No "sword held high"... no "balanced just so"... and no "stab yourself with a big fucking blade." See my above definition of the word "allow." Add to that the context of the paragraph where Lan first mentions Sheathing the Sword. He had just finished telling Rand to learn to settle for small victories when you can't win a big one. Have you forgotten that Lan was not only instructing Rand to use a sword, but his head as well? I've heard you describe Lan as a "warrior poet" myself. Lan may have been talking about Rand letting himself get hurt physically in order to achieve a goal important enough, but he was not necessarily telling Rand to do it to himself. That was a lesson in wisdom, not a martial technique.

Skip ahead to the battle above Falme. There is a small paragraph during the battle where Jordan writes "Rand wanted to howl aloud. Suddenly he knew that the two battles were linked. When he advanced, the heroes called by the Horn drove the Seanchan back; when he fell back, the Seanchan rose up."

<Insert Rand and Ba'alzamon trash talking each other here.> Then the following paragraph...

It was another voice he heard then. Lan's voice. There will come a time when you want something more than you want life. Ingtar's voice. It is every man's right to choose when to Sheathe the Sword. The picture formed of Egwene, collared, living her life as a damane. Threads of my life in danger. Egwene. If Hawkwing gets into Falme, he can save her. Before he knew it, he had taken the first position of Heron Wading in the Rushes, balanced on one foot, sword raised high, open and defenseless. Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.

Insert more trash talking here, and remember what Lan told Rand about being able to strike home if he allows his enemy to strike first, and then...

Rand screamed as he felt it pierce his side, burning like a white-hot poker. The void trembled, but he held on with the last of his strength, and drove the heron-mark blade into Ba'alzamon's heart. Ba'alzamon screamed, and the dark behind him screamed. The world exploded in fire.

Rand chose to Sheathe the Sword, my friend. Heron Wading in the Rushes was simply the method he used to do it.

Uncle Mart
Aes Sedai
Aes Sedai

Posts : 32
Join date : 2009-02-26
Age : 38
Location : Vernon, NJ

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Peter on Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:35 pm

Well put, Mart. That is exactly what I believe also.

Peter
Ta'veren
Ta'veren

Posts : 49
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Eric Gaidin on Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:46 pm

I believe you're correct. I was wrong. After reading Ingtar's final moments in chapter 46 of The Great Hunt I think it's more clear.

However, the idea of Sheathing the Sword as an actual form came to me when I first read the book sometime around Christmas of '94. There is a very large Eastern influence on Jordan's writing (the Seanchan are an Asian martial culture, the swords in the novels are katana, the idea of the flame and the void is taken from a diverse Asian martial heritage, etc.) and as such I believed that Jordan was borrowing the idea of seppuku--the act of ritual suicide. In seppuku, a Japanese swordsman plunges a wakizashi through his abdomen and disembowels himself. This is done to save face, usually to prevent his illicit actions from dishonoring his family. In Rand's case, an act of ritual suicide could save the world from the prophesied re-breaking once Tarmon Gai'don is finished. It would be the ultimate sacrifice, Rand's final act. Plus, it's highly dramatic and one could easily compare Rand's sacrifice to the sacrifice that Jesus Christ makes in Christian mythology (the series is loaded with those parallels too).

In any case, I believe I was wrong. You were right. Only fools stubbornly support an argument they no longer believe in.

However, Mart, I will take issue with your critique of the word "allow." Allow does not suggest passivity of any kind. If one is to commit suicide with a blade, one must allow the blade to enter the body, which would be in direct opposition to one's screaming instincts of survival and self preservation. "Allow" is not inherently passive; like most things it is conditional.
avatar
Eric Gaidin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 195
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 37

View user profile http://robertjordan.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Uncle Mart on Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:17 am

Lol, fair enough. You're the English teacher. And I agree with you that Rand killing himself to save the world would be a fantastic ending to the tale. I don't think it matters whether the harm comes by an enemy's hand or your own for Sheathing the Sword.

Uncle Mart
Aes Sedai
Aes Sedai

Posts : 32
Join date : 2009-02-26
Age : 38
Location : Vernon, NJ

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  GreatGamsby on Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:52 pm

Victoy! Eric admits defeat! woohoo!!! Very Happy


Laughing clown cheers alien cat sunny albino jocolor geek cherry rendeer king queen farao flower

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

GreatGamsby
Cairhienin Foot Soldier
Cairhienin Foot Soldier

Posts : 8
Join date : 2009-06-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Eric Gaidin on Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:45 am

LOL. Wow, look at all of those emoticons. I can't tell, are you happy?
avatar
Eric Gaidin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 195
Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 37

View user profile http://robertjordan.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Sheathing the Sword - Rand's final act

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum