Author: Katherine Avery
Most people associate the seven seals of the Dark One's prison with small, palm sized disks that are marked on top with the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai, one half dead black and one half purest white, separated by a sinuous line. These disks are cuendillar, or “heartstone.” These disks are in fact just objects that are a focus point for the real seals, which are actually weaves of the One Power (TWoRJTWoT).
It is thought that when all seven seals have been broken, the Dark One will return to the world (TGH, Ch. 49). With the seals weakening, despite being made of cuendillar, this has become a very pressing concern. However, after reading Herid Fel's work, Min suggested to Rand that the Seals might need to be broken. Rand agreed with this (This passage needs a reference). After telling Egwene of this decision, she decides she must unite the world against him (ToM, Ch. 3).
The Creation of the Seals
Close to the end of the War of Power, the Shadow was gaining more ground and The Hall of Servants sought a way to end the Shadow's touch on the world. An Aes Sedai named Latra Posae wanted to use two huge sa'angreal to close the Pattern where the Bore was located. Latra apparently was a speaker of great force and persuasion and gathered many people to her cause, but what assured her victory was an agreement she reached with all female Aes Sedai of significant strength in the One Power. This was called the "Fateful Concord," and included an agreement not to aid Lews Therin in his own plan.
Lews Therin wanted to place seals on the bore to cut off the Shadow's touch. This plan needed six male and seven female Aes Sedai of moderate strength. He had made seven cuendillar disks with the symbol of the Aes Sedai to use as focus points for the weaves that would seal the Bore. Latra’s maneuvering, however, made his plan much more difficult to implement.
Before Latra's own plan could be executed, the place where the access keys for the sa'angreal were located fell to the Shadow, leaving no way to access the power of the sa’angreal safely. By this time, the Shadow gained more ground and the Light had not had a significant gain in two years.
With Latra’s plan no longer viable, a group of powerful male Aes Sedai known as "the Hundred Companions" and a force of ten thousand war-men went with Lews Therin to launch an attack on the Bore. The exact events of that day can never be known, but some details have survived. The Dragon and his Companions arrived at the Bore to find a meeting of the thirteen most powerful Forsaken Aes Sedai. The Companions struck, quickly and efficiently placing the seals safely without ripping the Dark One's prison wide open. Forty-five of the Companions died in the struggle, and the war-men took a much higher casualty; according to “The Strike at Shayol Ghul,” none of the war-men ever returned. In addition, the remaining Companions went insane on the spot from the taint on saidin that resulted from the Dark One’s counterstroke. Nevertheless, in one stroke they took out the Shadow's touch and His leadership. With the seals safely placed, the disks were carefully hidden.
(References: The World of Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” and “The Strike at Shayol Ghul”)
Location of the Seals
- Moiraine finds the first seal in a chest at the bottom of the Eye of the World. Inside this chest lies the Horn of Valere, the Dragon banner and a broken seal. Moiraine puts the pieces of the seal into her pouch. Later, this seal is shown to Siuan when she visits Fal Dara. It is not said at the time whether the seal is given to Siuan or if Moiraine keeps it, but in “The Great Hunt” Moiraine says that she doesn’t have it any more, so it is likely that she did give it to Siuan (TEotW, Ch. 52, TGH, Ch. 5).
- The second seal is found in the possession of Bayle Domon on his ship the Spray. Bayle likes to collect old things; he found the seal in a shop in Maradon, intact, and he only haggled a little for it because he recognized the Aes Sedai symbol on the top. When Bayle’s ship is overtaken by the Seanchan, Egeanin takes it to Turak, who puts it in a cabinet filled with cuendillar (TGH, Ch. 9; Ch. 29; Ch. 40).
- The third seal is found by Moiraine in Turak's cabinet of cuendillar that he has collected. It and seal number two are broken; they were likely broken during the fight in Turak’s manor, as they were both intact when Egeanin brought Domon’s seal to Turak (TGH, Ch. 29; Ch. 49).
- The fifth seal is found in the Panarch’s palace by Nynaeve, intact. When it is taken out at Salidar it is in pieces (TSR, Ch. 54; TFoH, Ch. 50). Rand does not know that this seal has been found (CoT, Ch. 24).
- The sixth seal is found in Rhuidean. It is so weak that Moiraine is able to slice a tiny flake off of it with her knife (TFoH, Ch. 2).
- Rand sees two barrels with seals four and six packed in wool, since they are so breakable now (TFoH, Ch. 52).
- The seventh and final seal was found by Mazrim Taim on a farm in Saldaea. The farmer was old and wanted him to have it because he thought he was the Dragon. Lews Therin compels Rand to destroy it but Davram Bashere stops him (LoC, Ch. 2).
- The Amyrlin Seat is called the Watcher of the Seals, but no Amyrlin has known where they are since the Trolloc Wars (TGH, Ch. 5).
- When Nynaeve and Elayne hold the fifth seal they feel evil, but after it is broken they feel nothing (TFoH, Ch. 50).
- Rand asks Herid Fel if he can think of any reason to break the seals; Fel replies that only a madman would want to do that (LoC, Ch. 18).
- Lews Therin wants Rand to break the seals so he can end it (LoC, Ch. 18).
- Nesune Bihara is interested in visiting the Royal Library in Cairhien; she would like to do research on the seals (LoC, Ch. 25).
- Rand and Bashere wonder if the seventh seal is intact, not knowing that Nynaeve has also found one of the seals (listed above as the fifth Seal) (CoT, Ch. 24).
- We do not know if seals four and six are still in barrels in storage or if Rand has them with him.