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I recently started re-reading the Wheel of Time series and something right at the beginning struck me that I hadn't noticed before. In the prologue to "The Eye of the World" Lews Therin Telamon is somewhat deluded by the madness and having a conversation with a stranger he does not recognise immediately, Elan Morin (Ishamael).

At one point in the dialogue, after saying it will be time for the singing soon, the Dragon asks the following questions of Ishamael; "Do you have the Voice stranger? Do you know the Song?"

In the edition I have the words Voice and Song are capitalised; now I assume the song is what the Ogier and the tinkers are searching for and the same as the Song that Rand sings much later in the stories to make things grow. Please correct me if this is not correct or feel free to clarify.

But one thing is not clear to me, what is the Voice?

EDIT: Something to add to this from another re-read of the books.

When Rand first sees the male Choedan Kal in Cairhien (in book 2) his thoughts discuss seeing light pulse in the crystal and light seemingly singing to him. This suggests, to me at least, that while we don't know what the Voice or the Song are exactly; we can be relatively certain that they are directly related to the One Power (Saidin/Saidar).

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    Probably not this Voice. – Rand al'Thor Jun 6 '16 at 23:46
  • I'd always assumed it was related to the Ogier, but I'm not enough of an expert to back it up. – Radhil Jun 6 '16 at 23:52
  • @Randal'Thor I also do not think it was THAT voice... this one seems to be something directly related to the Song; which I believe is related to the Ogier (unless I am mistaken about the meaning of the Song) – Theyna Jun 6 '16 at 23:59
  • Yes. My best guess would be that having the Voice == being a Treesinger. – Rand al'Thor Jun 7 '16 at 0:32
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    The WoT Wikia hasn't identified them either fwiw. – Mat Cauthon Jun 11 '16 at 16:41
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It's never really clearly explained what either the Voice or the Song are; most likely they are similar to the various references to the Rods of Dominion and other similar items -- throwaway references that have no meaning.


The closest thing we have in the series to something called The Song is the song that the Tuatha'an are searching for. I doubt that's what Lews Therin it talking about, however, because it doesn't quite fit.

The Tinker's song is almost certainly a metaphorical reference to the Songs of Growing that the Aiel/Ogier/Nym used in the Age of Legends. It's unlikely that this Song is a real thing, otherwise the tinkers would have found it the first time they met the Ogier, who still remember how to Treesing. Rather, they are vaguely remembering a time in their past, when they were Aiel and were servants of the Aes Sedai and helped sing to the trees. The tinkers are searching for this mythical song that will bring back the Ages of Legends, but in reality, it just doesn't exist.

The main reason this "song" is probably not what Lews Therin is talking about is that there isn't really "a Song", that you need "the Voice" to sing. The Wheel of Time Companion does mention that Tree Singing is a Talent, and that not everyone has it, but it never refers to it as The Voice. More importantly, it mentions that there were tree songs, plural, that the Treesingers used to help plants grow, and not merely "a Song". What Lews Therin was talking about was clearly A Specific Thing, not just one of many possible songs, so it is unlikely to be referring to tree singing.

Unfortunately, beyond this one single reference, we never get any more from Lews Therin or Ishmael or anyone else from the Ages of Legends that might explain what it means.

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    Y'know, Asmodean was a major musician in the Age of Legends. He totally knew what the Song was. He could probably hum it. Too bad we never got him in the same room with interested parties so he could resolve the question for them... – akaioi Oct 5 '17 at 1:16
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Pure conjecture: I had always thought that "The Voice" was the ability to augment/lend one's ability to sing/channel to Ogier song (Tree Singing) to fight off the blight. The talent was sufficiently rare that those with the ability would have been sought after.

While not explained, we see a snippet when the Aiel help with the singing. Humans lend voice and One Power (i.e., the Voice) while the Ogier control the process through the Song (Tree Singing.) .

  • Hi. Welcome to sci-fi stack exchange. We appreciate your answer, but due to the lack of evidence to back it up it is more of a comment (which you may not have the ability to make just yet); however, you will be pleased to know that some of the other comments are very much related to what you have posted. – Theyna Dec 20 '16 at 19:35
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As far as anything indicates, the Song would be the same song the Ogier sing to the Trees, and the Voice would be the Treesinging talent itself. Apparently during the Age of Legends there were humans who had the Voice and would help the Ogier and Num by singing along while they made the crops grow.

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