More on Lanfear’s Potential Repentance

Posted by JMC on 21.01.01 00:00

As a hopeless Lanfear groupie (I think she is by far the most interesting woman in Randland, in every way, and far superior to any of Rand’s current sweeties.), I’d like to extend the discussion most recently added to by Nynaeve in her posting, "Lanfear turning back to the Light". wotmania comments that he "really likes the idea of Lanfear turning back to the Light" but "doesn't see how it is possible." I’d like to take a crack at persuasion - since I’m taking a crack at everything else ;).

In order to show how Lanfear’s conversion could take place, we have to start with a delineation of the issue of what "possibility" means. In the simplest and barest sense, anything is possible so long as it is not logically contradictory. Thus, in the most basic sense, Lanfear’s conversion is possible so long as she retains free will and can choose what she wants to do. But this is a very cheap explanation, and it would be an insult to wotmania’s intelligence to simply force it on him, so I’m going to go deeper, into questions of probability. Here, we have to consider the interests of all the players involved in our little drama, i.e. Lanfear, the other bad guys, the other good guys, and Rand.

As for Lanfear herself, it is fairly obvious that she is an extremely ambitious woman who signed on with the Shadow for her own power and glory - they offered her more. True, she does say somewhere that she serves only the Dark One, but this is probably only because she sees him as stronger than the Light’s advocates. Remember that she once tried to get Rand to join her in using the two huge sa’angreal to knock of both the Dark One and the Creator Himself. Her loyalty is clearly not that of a zealot. I think she could be persuaded to change her mind for several reasons: first, she is very ambitious, and the most basic ambition of all is to survive. Seeing as how she’s most recently been nearly killed by Moiraine and has just gotten out of Finnland, and as how the Dark One has recycled her and put her on a short leash with a name that translates as "last chance," she may well conclude that the Shadow is more dangerous to her than the Light. Second, since her perrennial obsession is with power, she may also conclude that Rand can offer her more. Why? The difference lies in the distinction between actuality and potential. Suppose that we have two trees standing next to each other, a fully grown oak and a young redwood. Actually speaking, the oak is bigger than the redwood; but potentially speaking, the redwood is far bigger because it can grow to be much taller. An analogous situation exists between the Dark One and Rand. Currently, the Dark One is much stronger; but Rand has got those two big sa’angreal - and one of them works for a woman; and Lanfear thinks she and Rand could overpower the Dark One with them. Thus, while the Dark One is currently best, Rand may well offer a better future. Thirdly, there’s her obsession: she still wants the Dragon, even if her need for him doesn’t fit conventional definitions of love. And even if she meant to be his superior originally, as Asmodean once told Rand, I doubt she’d reject a chance to be his god-like equal with that big sa’angreal. Besides, people do change - she was’'t always evil; she doesn’t always have to be out to dominate everybody - she could conceivably have a sort of Lady MacBeth-like loving partnership with Rand, and just want to rule everyone else.

As for the other baddies, all that really restricts her here is the mindtrap Moridin seems to have her caught in. The other Forsaken, Shaidar Haran, and such, sure as heck don’t love her...she just needs to get clear of her dependence on the mindtrap (N.B.: the mindtrap gives Rand additional leverage if he can get his hands on it: he can offer to free her as a demonstration of goodwill; or he can threaten her with it- though that wouldn’t make her a willing ally, and those are the best sort).

Then there’s the other good guys. The biggest problem here is their acceptance of her into their ranks. It’s true that no one can "walk so long in the Shadow that they cannot come into the Light" and it would be a little hypocritical for the good guys to tell Lanfear to go away if she came to them asking for asylum and promising aid; but they still might not want her. However, I think this is unlikely for two reasons: One, while she is an important figure in the Shadow hierarchy, most of her atrocities and such lie in the distant past. The real war between Rand and the Dark One, the "Second War of Power," if you will, hasn’t started yet, and while lots of people may fear her, I doubt there are many who actively hate her and want revenge like there would have been back in the Age of Legends. Lastly, even if there was public hatred for Lanfear in Randland, there’s no real reason for anyone but Rand to know who she is... she and the Dragon could just make up a false identity. The secret might even help to solidify their "working relationship" (or perhaps even make it more intimate...), since if they needed to keep it from everyone else they’d both be in mutual danger from the same group - everybody else in Randland, evil and good alike.

Lastly, there’s the Dragon himself. This is perhaps the biggest obstacle, since Rand, who has more than a few personal problems himself, has to really get his act together to make this work. But still, it’s not impossible - it rests primarily on Rand having the imagination to grasp the potential public and personal benefits from having a minion who happens to be the hottest woman on the planet with a genius level intellect, great mystical powers that he can enhance to nearly god-like levels, an extremely passionate obsession with him and desire to be his honey, a drive for power that he can best satisfy, and increasingly fewer reasons to support his enemies. Rand really just needs to see the opportunity dangling before his eyes.

So, that, in short [or long ;)] is why I think it’s possible for Lanfear to become a servant of the Dragon. Of course, the final objection to her conversion is that it might be due to purely personal ambitions and desires rather than sincere contrition, and that her motivation might still be due to ambition rather than goodness per se. But I still don’t see how great ambition makes her any more evil than, say, Artur Hawkwing; he wanted to conquer the world too, and yet he’s still a hero of the Horn Lanfear’s real problem is not her ends, but her means - and she’s shown us before that she can change those. Thanks for your consideration wotmania!!! This site is GREAT.

wotmania says: Seriously, and post which calls this site GREAT gets put in without a doubt... This is a very interesting topic, one I am still not totally sure about. I have a problem with Lanfear as a good guy - would you trust her? I do not think I would... But the idea of her posing as someone else (a wilder who came to Rand for instance) might work, especially since no one would recognize her as Cyndane. That mindtrap presents quite an obstacle, though...


Cool, but....

Posted by Rathan on 20.06.01 03:47
Actually, a couple of buts.
One, she probably wouldn't keep her obsession with Rand since the reason she was in Finnland origonally was Rand said he didn't love her, and so she tried to kill him. Doen't sound like there was any love lost there, does it?
Second: How, in all that's holy, will Rand get a Mindtrap from someone who uses the True Power?!? Moridin could probably tie Rand in knots without breaking up a sweat, unless Rand sneaks up on him, which is not likely. Moridin strikes me as an incredibly alert man. Also, Moridin has access to fancloth, and it's kind of hard to kill someone you can't see (remember, fancloth makes you invisible). And even if Moridin didn't use his fancloth, or Rand and Moridin don't use their respective powers, (One and True) the Mindtrap is EXREMELY fragile. If they got into a wrestling match for it, it would probably break, and leave Lanfear as a mindless, soulless machine, doing only what it was told, and nothing else. That would kind of defeat the purpose of having Lanfear on the Light's side, as her wiles, mind, and experiance are what makes her so strong (and those are exactly what she would lose if it was broken).
All this makes it kind of difficult, don't you think?



Posted by Rathan on 20.06.01 04:13
Scratch my previous comment, I have submitted it as a theory.


Missing Lanfear

Posted by callandor4490 on 02.01.02 00:31
I'm with JMC on this one but stricly for selfish reasons. If Cyndane is Lanfear, and I assume this to be a foregone conclusion, after reading "Winters Heart," her thoughts reflect a very angry woman and that anger is directed at Rand. Given this, it is highly unlikely (as much as JMC and I wishes it) that Cydnane/Lanfear will take any action that would help the Dragon Reborn. But from a selfish standpoint, I was dismayed when Jordan chose to "kill" Lanfear off in her battle with Moraine. Then he resurrects her as Cyndane, a character no where near as beautiful as my favorite forsaken. Maybe Lanfear is using the "mask of mirrors," to look like Cyndane-and for what purpose, no one knows, but that's a theory for another time. Come on Mr. Jordan, give us (the Lanfear groupies) a reason for hope. Maybe in book Ten eh?


Posted by Aldo815 on 26.01.02 17:21
I really wish Lanfear would come back. I totally hated it when Jordan decided to kill both Lanfear and Moiraine off. Those two were my favorite characters, for different reasons. It'd be really cool if Lanfear were not reborn, simply using the mask of mirrors or something like that. But, of course, with Jordan we never know. It would be really cool if some sort of turn over were to happen with Cydane/Lanfear turning to Rand, who cares about the light, but on his side. Now all we see from her POV's is a crazy bitch who only wants to kill Rand. I liked it when she would speak to him, I loved it when I'd see her POV, her total POV. Not what we see now, only that she hate's him and wants to kill him. Well lets just hope that Cydane develops to be such a cool character like she was previously.

But then again....

Posted by Joe al Holz on 31.05.02 20:24
I hadn't considered Lanfear/Cyndane turning back(?) to the Light until reading this post. While the possibility is remote, who better to help Rand repair/"remove" the Bore than the one who made it to begin with?
Of course, as wotmania says, "How can rand make Lan-dane 'see the Light' again?"

I agree, this is an awesome site!


Awesome June Jones...I'm glad you took your 1-11 season to another WAC - expatriot. You truly are the most over-paid Division I coach. Go Bows!

Lanfear is evil, period!

Posted by Cassandra7422 on 12.11.02 21:46
Her one single motivation is POWER. Where there is power, there is Lanfear. Think about it, that is what drove her to drilling the bore in the first place: her desire for more power than people already had. Then, she was enticed by the power of the DO. However she is a woman and she does have feelings, so she loved LTT. And hoped with all hope that he would love her in return and lead her to a greater power still. Now she is returned and still hopes to make Rand love her as well as her ulterior motive of gaining power again. And if she can not make Rand love her and use him to gain greater power then she wants him to be destroyed so that he will not be greater than she. Lanfear even suggested challenging the Creator! How can someone who wants that ever be good?


just one point

Posted by BROTHERofBATTLES on 03.01.03 00:08
you made a comment about the things lanfear did geing far into the past and therefor she could be differnt or somthing along those lines. But she was sealed in the bore and was untouched by time in a dreamless sleep if i am remembering corectly so without any thought to give a reference to her it could feel like a few days. therefore the gap in timeline isnt realy a reason for considering she might welcom the chance to repent.


Seine sovya caba'donde ain dovienya

My take from there

Posted by Katie Sedai on 17.02.03 22:09
I have alwways had Lanfear as a character only second to Moiraine on my favorites list. This is the first time I've read theories on her, but for a long time I've fantasized about her turning to the Light. She clearly is always out there for herself, so if she sees a better oppertunity, she'll go for it! Plus, Rand never really seemed to hate her. I think this is all going to happen the same time Moiraine comes back, shorlty before Tarmon Gai'don. Rand is clearly going to kill Moridin and all those other people shortly before that happens. When he does kill whoever (most likely Moridin) has the mindtrap, he will take it and be able to free Lanfear of it. Though "a woman dead and gone", I believe, applies to Moiraine, it could apply both to her and Lanfear. Remember her "Whatever you can do, Lews Therin, I can do. And better" ? She AND Moiraine could both be involved in helping Rand succseed at TG. She had to be reincarnated, plus it COULD be considered "dead and gone" if she turned to the Light. She'd be dead to the Shadow, in a sense. Over all, it's a wonderful theory. If it's true, I could stop saying "Dark illumine you" when my friends say "Light illumine you." (we enjoy speaking from our fav character's PoV, and speaking from Lanfear's is more entertaining than from Moiraine's). So, as I love to say to my best WoT fanatic friend "The wheel weaves as Robert Jordan wills. Let's just hope that's what WE will too!"

I can't see it happend

Posted by dieu on 25.11.03 03:41
Lanfear is my favourite female character, mainly because she was evil, if LanfearCyndane returns to the ligth it would ruin the character. Lanfear is evil... Besides, I can't see how her ambition for power ever would be satisfied if she had to submit to rand. Face it the womans only ambition is to gain power... It's the only thing that drives her. Not love of RandLews Therin... She only loved Lews Therin because he was the most powerfull man in his age, and she loved Rand because he was to become the most powerfull man of his age. Besides, if the LanfearRand match ever was to take place what then about MinElayneAviendha? In order for the LanfearRand match to happend Rand has to abandon the three loves of his life, and that I'm sure would never happend in a million years...