The Aelfinn and Eelfinn have always intrigued me. There is not much information on them and that allows theory crafters like myself dig a little deeper and personalize the story we are given. Here is an interesting theory that I created (If it exists elsewhere, I don’t know of it). I apologize ahead of time. In the words of Loial... "“I will try to be brief, but this is not a thing that can be told too briefly." Spoiler: Spoilers From The Eye Of The World to Towers Of Midnight The Aelfinn and Eelfinn are described as being from a parallel world. I always thought that the “parallel world” was similar to a dreamshard. A dreamshard is a pocket dimension created by a channeler. It exists between the real world and Tel'aran'rhiod. The creator of a dreamshard has complete control over the contents of the dreamshard and the people that are brought into it. This is all a theory and one that I believe makes a lot of sense. To support this theory, I have included the following information. First we must understand who the Aelfinn and Eelfinn are. The Aelfinn. are a race of beings which possessed souls and were largely human in appearance but with snake-like characteristics. They were reputed to answer three questions truly. Whatever the question, their answers were always correct, if frequently given in forms that were not clear. Questions concerning the Shadow could be extremely dangerous. Their actual location, a parallel world, was unknown, but they could be visited by passing through a ter’angreal , once a possession of Mayene but in recent years held in the Stone of Tear. They could also be reached by entering the Tower of Ghenjei. The Aelfinn spoke a harsh dialect of the Old Tongue, mentioned treaties and agreements, and asked if those entering carried iron, instruments of music, or devices that could make fire. They have existed as long as the Wheel. The Eelfinn are a race of beings, largely human in appearance but with fox-like characteristics, who would grant three wishes, although they asked for a price in return. If the person asking did not negotiate a price, the Eelfinn chose it. The most common price in such circumstances was death, but they still fulfilled their part of the bargain, although the manner in which they fulfilled it was seldom the manner the querent expected. Their true location was unknown, but it was possible to visit them by means of a ter’angreal that was located in Rhuidean. That ter’angreal was taken by Moiraine Damodred to Cairhien, where it was destroyed. They could also be reached by entering the Tower of Ghenjei. They Old Tongue, mentioned treaties and agreements, and asked if those entering carried iron, instruments of music or devices that could make fire. They have existed as long as the Wheel. (Both descriptions taken from the Companion) The most important things I would like everyone to take away from these descriptions is that their location is decribed as a parallel world, and that their true location is unknown. Also of significant note is that they have existed as long as the Wheel. Now let’s delve a little deeper. When Matt first enters the first twisted redstone doorway in Tear, he looks out the windows of the structure he is in. This is what he sees… “What he saw through those round windows was even worse. Tall wispy trees with only a drooping umbrella of branches at the top, and others like huge fans of lacy leaves, a tangle of growth equal to the heart of any briar-choked thicket, all under a dim, overcast light, though there did not seem to be a cloud in the sky. There were always windows, always along just one side of the curving corridor, but sometimes the side changed, and what surely should have been looking into courtyard or rooms instead gave out into that forest. He never caught as much as a glimpse of any other part of this palace, or whatever it was, through those windows, or any other building, except … . Through one circular window he saw three tall silvery spires, curving in toward each other so their points all aimed at the same spot. They were not visible from the next window, three paces away, but a few minutes later, after he and his guide had rounded enough curves that he had to be looking in another direction, he saw them again. He tried telling himself these were three different spires, but between them and him was one of those fan-shaped trees with a dangling broken branch, a tree that had been in the same spot the first time. After his third sight of the spires and the strange tree with the broken branch, this time ten paces farther on but on the other stop looking at what lay outside at all.” (from The Shadow Rising, Chapter 5) The takeaway from this is: 1. The twisted redstone doorway has taken Matt to an unknown location 2. Three tall silvery spires. (Will go into detail later) 3. He is presented with points of view that should be impossible. Clearly this is a world that does not follow the natural order of the realm Matt is from. This could indicate 3 different possibilities. One is that this is a parallel world much like those visited using portal stones. Another is that this is Tel'aran'rhiod and the doorway is a way to enter in the flesh. The third option is that this is a Dreamshard. Let’s continue the research. Matt and Rand exit the twisted redstone doorway shortly before Moiraine does. Here is a bit of the conversation they have. “You! You were both in there. That is why … !” She made a vexed hiss. “One of you would have been bad enough, but two ta’veren at once—you might have torn the connection entirely and been trapped there.” (from The Shadow Rising, Chapter 5) Getting trapped in another world is a possibility in all 3 likely scenarios. I believe the most likely is within a Dreamshard. They seem to be the most unstable type of parallel world. This does not rule out the other two (Tel'aran'rhiod and portal stone like worlds). In the twisted redstone doorway at Rhuidean, Matt witnesses the same unnatural phenomenon with rooms changing instead of the view outside. “He knew he should have expected something of the sort after what he had seen on the other side of the doorway in the Stone. Those spires moving from where they should be to where they could not, logically. If spires, why not rooms? I should have stayed out there waiting for Rand, is what I should have done. I should have done a lot of things. At least he would have no trouble finding the ter’angreal again, if all of the doorways ahead were the same.” (from The Shadow Rising, Chapter 24) Here we learn that the Aelfinn world and the Eelfinn world are very similar. I would go as far as to say that they are the same world. I will explain that theory later. Finally, Matt and friends enter the Tower of Ghenjei. He makes a startling discovery while looking out the windows. “I doubt we’re in the tower anymore,” Mat said. Up ahead, he could see a slice out of the side of the wall, a kind of window. It was set a little too high up to feel natural. “Then where….” Noal trailed off as they reached the window, which was an off-center square. Through it, they could look out at an unnatural landscape. They were up several floors in some kind of spire, but that certainly was not Andor outside. The window looked out over a canopy of dense vegetation that was too yellow. Mat recognized the wispy trees with a drooping umbrella of well, though those had deep black fruits hanging from them now. The large fruits caused the leaves to droop. “Mercy of the Winnower,” Noal whispered, a phrase Mat had never heard before. Noal had reason to be astonished; Mat remembered looking out at that forest for the first time, realizing that the twisted doorway had not brought him to another place, but another world entirely. Mat looked to the side. Could he see the three spires he had noted on his first visit? They did not seem to be about, though in this place, the very next window they passed could show a different scene. They could…. He paused, then glanced sharply through the window. He could make out a spire to the left. And then he knew. He was in one of the spires he had seen in the distance during his first visit.” (from Towers Of Midnight, Chapter 53) From this passage we learn a few things. The first spire Matt was in and the current one are at the same location. We can also surmise that the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn are within the same world. Later on, Matt meets both the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn within this spire. This leads me to conclude that there are not multiple worlds for the Aelfinn and Eelfinn… but one. This works with my Dreamshard theory. Now let’s rule out our other options. This can not be Tel'aran'rhiod as Matt has taken items out of this parallel world. There are more things that rule out Tel'aran'rhiod but this is getting to be a long theory. I also rule out portal stone worlds due to the fact that the Aelfinn and Eelfinn have existed since the beginning of the wheel. The portal stones are said to be of an older age but are never said to have existed at the beginning of the Wheel. Additionally, portal stone worlds have different histories and events than the normal world. The answers the Aelfinn and Eelfinn gave Matt are clearly from the “normal” world. I find the theory of a dreamshard much more interesting and likely. It explains the physics experienced by everyone who enters. It explains the way the foxes can “Unnaturally" hide in the shadows. Even the odd changing of locations and room anomalies can be explained by the dreamshard theory. The biggest problem with the dreamshard theory is that a dreamshard is created by a channeler. I combat this by presenting that the Ways were created by a channeler, but are not maintained by a channeler. It stands to reason that the Aelfinn and Eelfinn world was created at the beginning of the wheel and exists as a “pocket dimension” similar to a dreamshard since dreamshards are connected to the real world and not parallel worlds. While all of this is simply theory crafting, I believe that everyone creates their own realities within the grey areas of books. I would love to hear your opinions on this. Maybe you have a different take on all of this. If you have any info that can support or destroy this theory, please share what you have.