Some of you may have seen this on another site, I thought I'd post it here too because it's a kick-ass theory and I'm damn proud of it. *Disclaimer - I'm not a psychologist, I just know a fair bit about it* At the beginning of the series Rand doesn't know what's going on, all he wants to do is get back home. Suddenly he's channeling and is told he's the Dragon Reborn. From then on he's running, from both. After all, they're not nice prospects, from the first he'll go mad and the second he'll destroy the world and die. The important facts are that he KNOWS he will go mad and refuses to acknowledge that he's the Dragon. He starts hearing LTT in his head. Now we get to the psychology. Most people know something about schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD from now on). The truth is that true MPD is extremely rare. What happens with schizophrenia (and I'm being very general here) is that the sufferer develops severe mood swings and radical changes in behaviour. An unconscious defense against this is to distance yourself mentally from this other side of yourself, to give it a seperate existance, a personality, even a name, in your mind. Hence the 'hearing voices'. The sufferer is no longer giving in to their own unpleasant impulses, it is this other person, this voice in their head, making them do it. With MPD the symptoms are so extreme that the alternate personality (or personalities) no longer just suggest, cajole or threaten; they sieze control totally and become the dominant personality for a time. The 'sane' personality either rides helplessly behind the eyes or has no recollection of these events. (Note: there is some conflicting research on whether or not schizophrenia and MPD are related) Rand's problems come from the facts that he KNOWS he's going to go mad, he's expecting it, and the fact that LTT is REALLY there. Now, if you know you're going to go mad and you start hearing a voice in your head, especially one that's not too rational or coherent, what are you going to think? Rand sees LTT's voice as a sign of his growing madness and sets himself to fight it. It is only in times of danger, when he needs help, that he acknowledges LTT and listens to him. It is in between LoC and ACoS that the changes begin. Rand is aware that parts of LTT are seeping into him, memories and personal mannerisms, no matter how hard he fights it. When he meets Taim he gets angry, acknowledges himself as the Dragon Reborn (for the first time I think) and doesn't push LTT down. Also noteworthy is the fact that his ta'veren ability seems to increase then too (as it did during his journey to Tear in TDR when he decides to go and find out if he really is the Dragon), Taim backs down suprisingly quickly, no argument at all. This seems to be the first time (or one of the first times) that he acts like the Dragon, not himself. A sign that he and LTT are merging. Dumai's Wells and the events that preceed it are not healthy in any way. If this happened to anyone they would develop psychological problems. Rand acknowledges LTT and talks to him. Rand isn't very stable here and LTT is still distressed over what he did to Ilyena so Rand still isn't able to make any progress on their relative relationship. He does however learn a lot in this time about the relationship and how to maintain control. It is also ironic because it ends with him relinquishing control. It is because of this ability to maintain control that he comes to accept LTT more, he feels that LTT can't sieze control again (like with the seal) and he has more important things to deal with than a voice he can now deal with. Cadsuane causes the next big step, she asks him if he hears voices. Now, a true schizophrenic doesn't know they're mad and so can talk about the voices they hear without panicking, they are not something that is a part of them, they come from outside somehow; they have no control over them. They are not responsible. Rand however is not insane. He does panic. He trashes his Dragon symbols and only comes to himself when he ends up in bed with Min. Mentally he retreats, backing away from the acceptance he had formed towards LTT and the Dragon persona. He cannot accept a voice in his head any more. What he comes up with as an alternative is to totally reject LTT once more and to throw himself at the Dragon persona, as if this will somehow protect him from LTT. If he's the Dragon he must be sane because the Dragon has things he's been Prophesied to do and he couldn't do them if he was a gibbering lunatic playing with blocks (to borrow a later example). He has spent, and continues to spend, a lot of time creating the Dragon persona. He's just a farmboy, how can he rule? But the Dragon can. The Dragon must be hard. The Dragon can handle everything. The irony of it, he runs from what he perceives as insanity towards insanity. He creates his own voice and personality in his head from the parts of himself and LTT that he needs. As time goes on it starts to become MPD except he is in control, he calls up the Dragon to deal with situations that Rand al'Thor can't (like having Mangin hanged and leaving Liah in Shadar Logoth). (Note: I'm not trying to suggest that he is totally gone, only that by the end of CoT he's nearing the edge.) Min is his only saving grace at this time although she unconsciously contributes to it with her Viewing. She tells him that she sees him and another man merging, one will die and one live. Rand thinks it refers to LTT and proves he's not mad. But it refers to the Dragon persona and him, one will survive and the other won't but which? Though he takes it as reassurance that he isn't going mad by now he is suffering from mental problems. One of Egwene's Dreams is of: "Rand, wearing different masks, until suddenly one of those false faces was no longer a mask, but him." This is Rand trying to find alternatives to his prophesied role, learning the flute, learning the sword and his stubborn insistance that he's only a shepherd, anything to avoid accepting he's the Dragon Reborn. Once he accepts the Dragon he becomes the Dragon persona, it becomes the more dominant, overt personality. There is also her Dream of Rand building the wall with her on the other side, this is him walling himself off from everything that has the power to hurt him, everything he cares about. Later on we rarely see anything but the Dragon personality. He has no feelings and rides rough-shod over everyone. He is doing things he never did before like planning battles, he always left that to Mat, the Aiel chiefs, his generals or Lan before. After his scare from Cadsuane he could not acknowledge LTT's voice in his head, it was still there but he formed a subconscious block while he was creating the Dragon persona. In fact, it comes as a relief when he finally allows himself to hear LTT again. During this time LTT was forced to go through the Dragon persona to reach Rand. This is why LTT knows about the 'Third Man' and Rand doesn't until he is told, true schizophrenics don't realise they're creating a personality in their head until it goes so far that the personality seperates from them. Until then the Dragon and Rand are very similar, with some of LTT's characteristics. From then on Rand retreats further and allows the Dragon to deal with more things, become stronger and absorb even more of LTT's characteristics. We now have 3 seperate personas in Rand's head: Rand himself, who isn't too far removed from the shepherd from the Two Rivers; LTT, who is himself and dealing better with his grief; and the Dragon, who is hard and uncaring and can do what must be done. Parts of Rand still linger in the Dragon, his reluctance to put women in danger, his interest in learning everyone's name, his stubbornness and his willingness to sacrifice his personal happiness for the greater good. Parts of LTT are his desire to fight and win, his take charge attitude, his sense of ceremony and his knowledge of the Power and tactics. Another thing is Cadsuane and Sorilea teaching him 'laughter and tears'. There is nothing to prove that this is the same lesson as in Min's Viewing, of Cadsuane teaching Rand and the Asha'man something they won't like but probably is. It's probable that she'll teach them that they must be people, not just weapons. Rand must acknowledge the Dragon persona and take back control. This could be part of defeating the DO and winning TG, if he manages to come to terms with the Dragon then the Dragon will die as a seperate entity, leaving a stronger, more whole, Rand, with emotions. It's also likely that this will happen during his next probable psychologically damaging event, his capture by Semhirage. This would suggest that Cadsuane will have a role in his escape. One last mention, the Fisher. Moridin comments that the Fisher acts differently depending on which square it's on, on white, weak in attack yet agile and far-ranging in escape, like Rand, he'd rather run than fight, on black, strong in attack, but slow and vulnerable, like LTT, he wants to fight, 'kill them all', and get it over with. The two aspects of the Dragon.