Inconsistencies with Balefire

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-14' started by smcskim12, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. smcskim12

    smcskim12

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    So maybe I am just operating under the wrong assumptions about Balefire but am taking into account what we have been told about its use and the damage it does to the pattern as well as its effects.

    The Aes Sedai do not use it unless its dire circumstances as we saw with Moiraine in one of the early books because it can unravel the pattern and have unforseen ramifications.

    From Rand using Balefire on Rahvin after he killed Mat, Aviendha and Moiraine (I Think) we saw that the force that he used not only burned out Rahvin from the Pattern but then undid some of his recent actions, which in turn brought them back to life.

    So, during the Last Battle, Demandred is channeling it exclusively. Being linked with 72 others and his Sa'Angreal its safe to assume he was using powerful blasts of it on the forces of the Light. So wouldn't it also be safe to assume that the Soldiers and Aes Sedai that he killed with it would have had a similar effect? IE the Trollocs, Sharans and Dreadlords that were recently killed by the forces of the light would have been brought back to life when they were burned out?

    Was this just a catch 22 because essentially the Shadow would have a never ending horde? Also Taim was using Balefire at will as well. When he was fighting Egwene he was hurling Balefire at her and taking out sisters and anyone else who got in its way.

    Finally, and this is more a random questions. How far does a stream of Balefire(or any weave) go? Meaning those streams that narrowly missed Egwene. How far does the weave go before unraveling? Compare it to a stray bullet. If you miss your target, the bullet continues until it hits something / someone or runs out of velocity. Is there a finite distance that a weave can travel? I always wondered about that because they never mention a stray weave missing its intended target and continuing on and hitting someone else.
     
  2. Keelinnea Isyne

    Keelinnea Isyne Aes Sedai

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    I would have to go back and find the page, but Egewen mentioned seeing people that had been killed by the Aes Sedai coming back to life after the AS were hit with the balefire from him. It was toward the end before Galad went after him I believe.
     
  3. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

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    Egwene does indeed think that after Taim balefires a large number of Aes Sedai, that it will be a setback not just because of their loss, but because the people they had killed will be returned

    edited after Keelinna's correction
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  4. Keelinnea Isyne

    Keelinnea Isyne Aes Sedai

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    Found it! Page 793.

    It was Taim who was doing the balefire. That is why it took me a bit to find it.
     
  5. Kiranthus Solaron

    Kiranthus Solaron

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    I believe the dimensions of a weave depend on the ability of the channeler and how much power they put into it. With the travelling weaves we see them in a variety of heights and widths. I would imagine the same would go for any weave including balefire. In the final battle Demandred had an awesome amount of power and he was able to balefire from a central point relatively safe from lightside channelers as well as having his streams be very large. I imagine he could have made it very thin and gone straight through to the reserve ranks. One caveat is that I am pretty sure line of sight is required for many weaves as they must sea the weaves to maintain the composure.
     
  6. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

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    I don't think they mention one missing, but they do have one going through a gateway Androl opens. I don't think it says where he opened it to, but I could be wrong on that.
     
  7. Axis m'Troutilas

    Axis m'Troutilas Gaidin

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    No inconsistencies with balefire in A Memory of Light as far as I can see.

    Anyone one hit with balefire will indeed be burned back, and have actions reversed.

    Each incidence of this will depend on the relative strength of each balefire strike.


    The only real saving grace for the light here is that it takes a LOT of strength to burn back significant amounts of time. Most of the strikes in the battle were probably only taking back minutes and they caused enough problems. The larger strikes taking back hours...... they are more nasty and no wonder the pattern was breaking up from those.
     
  8. Keril Cahendirr

    Keril Cahendirr

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    Perhaps I got it wrong but when Mat was speaking with Hawkwing about is connection to the horn, Hawkwing said the link was not broken when he was hanged but at another time that Mat cannot recall.
    So that would mean when his death was cancelled when Rand balefired his murderer.

    But then if I understand the working of balefire this death of Mat never occurred so this non-existent event could not have broken his link to the horn.
    Where am I wrong ?
     
  9. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

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    I think you have the correct understanding. It's probably one of those situations where the consequences of balefire are odd
     
  10. Morrighan Daghdera

    Morrighan Daghdera Aes Sedai

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    Maybe the oddness is attributable to the tenuous connection to the Horn? Is that what you mean, Toral?
     
  11. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

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    Just that when balefire undoes the past, it doesn't undo people's memory's of the past, so if the link is to the mind, that might not be reset by balefire
    We also don't seem to know much about the new version of time - Taim balefires the Aes Sedai and the past ten minutes have been undone, which means that Sharans were not dead. But, in those ten minutes, those Sharans were probably fighting and some of the Aes Sedai balefired to death were probably killed by normal channeling, so weren't balefired at all. So the people that they killed were still dead. So they didn't kill the Aes Sedai before the balefire and they were actually balefired.
    And so on, except it doesn't really work that way.
     
  12. Tazren Talamar

    Tazren Talamar Gaidin

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    The Horn also seems to be connected to tel'aran'rhiod. We don't know if Balefire affects that in quite the same way, at least not the connection between the physical world and the world of dreams. Tel'aran'rhiod is, after all, said to be a place both within and outside the world. So that connection might just have reacted when Mat was killed, and then it didn't give a damn when he was brought back by balefire.
     
  13. Axis m'Troutilas

    Axis m'Troutilas Gaidin

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    The proof is in the pudding, that death did break the link.

    The balefire effect is clearly insufficient to re-establish a connection to the horn which is broken.

    It doesn't "wind back time" like a time machine, it simply removing the effects of certain events (possibly it re-weaves certain parts of the pattern).

    Clearly the way the mechanics of the horn operate means that a death, even one that is balefired will break the connection.
     
  14. Matriz Ca'zon

    Matriz Ca'zon

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    Aye! All this is just giving me a headache! :arch
     
  15. Jell Gordan

    Jell Gordan

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    Time-related discussions will do that to you :lol