- “We can't know how the future will come about. We can't know the meaning of what she said, how it will be true! Or if. Not until it happens! Only then can we know what it means, and deal with it.”
- ―Richard Rahl, on prophecy
Prophecy is the art of predicting the future. This is done by a very rare group of wizards known as prophets. These prophets have visions of the future, which they translate to words based on instinct and magic so that future generations can heed their warnings.
In Legend of the Seeker, prophecies are received in the form of engravings on the walls of the Hall of Prophecy in Palace of the Prophets, magically put there by the Creator. This, of course, takes out the problem of the prophet's interpretation.
Regula and the Existence of Prophecy Edit
In the language of Creation the symbol for "prophecy" also means "the voice of the dead". When a prophet has visions of the future they are actually channelling these voices.
At some point in time Regula was taken from the Underworld and brought to the world of the living by the good spirits. This caused a leak in the veil between the two worlds allowing prophecy.
Ambiguity and Forks of Prophecy Edit
The wording of prophecies is often extremely ambiguous, and rarely ever refers to individuals by name. Interpreting prophecies is therefore an unpredictable and unreliable business. Prophecies are always fulfilled, but are more often self-fulfilled, carried out because their existence influenced their subjects. Moreover they are usually fulfilled in ways other than those that would be conventionally expected.
"Fork prophecies" are prophecies that are essentially if-then statements. They predict the outcomes of two or more mutually exclusive events occurring, creating several "forks" that the future can follow. Fork prophecies are the most precarious of all, for pursuing the events predicted by a false or unfulfilled fork can allow them to become self-fulfilling, making false predictions seem true. Many believe that prophecies are not be trusted in the slightest due to the considerable probability that all current prophecies are the "thens" of a false fork of a fork prophecy perverted thousands of years ago.
Believers in Prophecy Edit
In the Sword of Truth series, prophecy plays a huge part. Several characters, like Annalina Aldurren, believe whole heartedly in the truth of prophecy. However, Richard Rahl chose early in the series not to let prophecy dictate his life, choosing instead to trust his own judgement and reason. Ironically, as a part of his gift as a war wizard, Richard can understand prophecy and has even had his own visions of future events.