Theory: the Master of Master's motive (sort of)



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BlackOsprey

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Spoilers abound. You've been warned.

I've seen a few theories floating around that the Master of Masters is the traitor of the Foretellers. Set everything up to ensure failure and the apocalypse that he foresaw. I can understand why some may come to that conclusion, because his actions suggest that he rigged everything for failure:

-He gives the leadership role to Ira, someone who thinks a lot but rarely acts;

- Aced is denied the leadership role that he obviously desired, but the Master suggests that Aced could take over the role if Ira proved to be an ineffective leader, stoking his ego;

-and Gula is given the task to find a traitor, which will inevitably lead to accusations and drama, as we witnessed in Back Cover. He also tells Gula to trust no one, encouraging suspicion and accusations that would make any tense situation worse.

These roles either came into conflict with his students' personalities, or were sure to cause friction. So, was the Master's goal to pit his students against one another to start the apocalypse on purpose?

I'm not so sure.

The Master makes this very clear at the beginning: he believes that the end of the world is inevitable, and he’s not interested in trying to stop it:

Master of Masters said:
You really think you can change the future? You have to focus on what comes after. There’s no use in thinking about how to change events we know are gonna happen.
If there’s one thing that Greek mythology has taught me, it’s that prophesized future is inevitable. More often than not, someone’s efforts to avert their fate end up contributing to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The world’s end would’ve happened no matter what anyone did, so why would the Master go through the trouble of rigging the game if failure was already assured by fate anyways?

What’s more, whereas most of his students seem to have been set up for failure, Ava’s role to organize the Dandelions actually seems to be set up to succeed. BC’s character log states that due to her age, Ava is often thought of as a friend amongst the Keykids. She’s a friendly, approachable figure compared to the other Foretellers, a personality perfect for convincing wielders from all Unions to join her Dandelions. She’s also one of the most loyal to the Master’s teachings, and one of the least likely to muck up his orders. And these Dandelions ended up being the children who ended up saving the worlds and preserved them as the KH-verse as we know it today.

So, why would the Master of Masters actively work to end the world, which was already ending anyways, while also taking care to ensure the worlds’ survival?
Perhaps the Master was impatient and wanted to speed things up. Or maybe had somehow created a situation where the world had to end a very specific way. But rather than spout baseless speculation or possibilities, I’d rather focus on this:

You have to focus on what comes after.
Here’s the theory.

The Master was NEVER interested in stopping the inevitable. He was always focused on the future. Possibly even preserving the future. And in order to do that, the Master conceptualizes the Dandelions, wielders with powerful hearts unconquerable by the darkness. And because there are so many worlds (the ones that ended up being saved were as numerous as the stars… hell, they ARE the stars), he’s gonna need a lot of Dandelions.

To this end, he had his students organize their Unions, groups of hundreds of thousands of wielders, bringing together as many potential Dandelion candidates as possible, and the Books of Prophecy provided holographic worlds to give them a variety of experiences without actually having to leave Daybreak Town. Missions, Lux collection, and even the inevitable clashes between the Union leaders were meant to encourage competition; wielders would push themselves to become more powerful, at first for fun, and as the situation grew more dire, out of necessity.

Essentially, the Master of Masters, through his students, made Daybreak Town a crucible for producing as many Dandelions as possible, and Ava, loyal to the Master’s teachings and actually decently equipped for the job, successfully recruited enough that the myriad of small worlds that make up the KH-verse today were saved.

Do I think that preserving the worlds was the Master’s end goal? Hardly. He’s definitely up to something with that huge box and No Name and Luxu. Trying to figure that out is just Wild Mass Guessing at this point, but whatever it is, it seems like the Master needed as many worlds as possible worlds to in some form beyond that fated day of prevailing darkness.
 

Hirokey123

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I have a fairly similar theory however one difference, I don't believe that the Dandelions are the ones who rebuilt the lost world. On the contrary I think they are still in storage and the plan for them is much greater. The MoM wants a second keyblade war but seven people hell even 20 people does not a war make. So what he needed was a way for a large collection of wielders, enough to build war, to somehow survive the first keyblade war that was coming. Thus he tasked Ava with doing just that, shuffling the wielders off to a place where they couldn't be reached and where they are still waiting for now. Ventus for all we know may of just been the first dandelion to leak out, and Maleficent may of found a way into where they are hiding. I think the MoM wants to ensure there will be a second war capable of destroying the entire world and light, just as he foresaw. Because he wants to see what comes after and I think Xehanort does as well, they want to see beyond the end of the book.
 

BlackOsprey

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I have a fairly similar theory however one difference, I don't believe that the Dandelions are the ones who rebuilt the lost world. On the contrary I think they are still in storage and the plan for them is much greater. The MoM wants a second keyblade war but seven people hell even 20 people does not a war make. So what he needed was a way for a large collection of wielders, enough to build war, to somehow survive the first keyblade war that was coming. Thus he tasked Ava with doing just that, shuffling the wielders off to a place where they couldn't be reached and where they are still waiting for now. Ventus for all we know may of just been the first dandelion to leak out, and Maleficent may of found a way into where they are hiding. I think the MoM wants to ensure there will be a second war capable of destroying the entire world and light, just as he foresaw. Because he wants to see what comes after and I think Xehanort does as well, they want to see beyond the end of the book.
You're assuming that the Master of Masters WANTS to see the world destroyed, though. Based on what we have been shown, the Master has foreseen the future, and believes the end is inevitable. We can, of course, speculate that the Master is just curious like Xehanort and wants to see what happens if the world ends, but so far, we don't have much to support that idea. Personally, I see him like someone preparing for a hurricane; he's not even considering trying to stop it, he's just trying to figure out how to deal with it afterwards.

Also, I'm curious. If you don't think the Dandelions saved the worlds, then who d'you think did?
 

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I like this theory, it has a few of the same ideas I had but was too lazy to expand on them in any way over my big clickbait headline theory. I kind of ponder if he wanted to restart the world; basically, he saw the end coming and wanted to do better than the first time by going to the future and leading a new world. This could create interesting conflict with the heroes, as he's not really a villain but doesn't align with the heroes.
 

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You're assuming that the Master of Masters WANTS to see the world destroyed, though. Based on what we have been shown, the Master has foreseen the future, and believes the end is inevitable. We can, of course, speculate that the Master is just curious like Xehanort and wants to see what happens if the world ends, but so far, we don't have much to support that idea. Personally, I see him like someone preparing for a hurricane; he's not even considering trying to stop it, he's just trying to figure out how to deal with it afterwards.

Also, I'm curious. If you don't think the Dandelions saved the worlds, then who d'you think did?
Exactly I do think he wants to see the world destroyed, how else is he going to focus on what comes after if the end his keyblade saw doesn't come to pass? You can't focus on what comes after if the thing it's coming after doesn't happen. That's why he setup his apprentices and everyone to destroy the world the first time and create the first war that is going to be the very reason the second war happens. I think it was just regular people, people of the past who weren't part of the war, people of the past who didn't get consumed. The normal people who lost their world to the fight between keybladers, the brightness in their hearts that went untouched because they weren't obsessing over lux or unions or anything like that. Oh and maybe a few keybladers that survived the war and wanted to atone for what had happened, there is nothing that says our player is the only survivor just the only one we could see.
 

BlackOsprey

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Exactly I do think he wants to see the world destroyed, how else is he going to focus on what comes after if the end his keyblade saw doesn't come to pass? You can't focus on what comes after if the thing it's coming after doesn't happen.
I'll reiterate that hurricane analogy: like people in a tropical storm's path, the MoM has foreknowledge that the end of the world is coming. And like a hurricane, no matter what anyone does, it WILL happen. Now, when people know a storm's coming, they don't think about trying to redirect it. They get plans in order to minimize casualties and destruction, and plan to rebuild afterwards. This is essentially what the Master is doing, in his own way.

That's why he setup his apprentices and everyone to destroy the world the first time and create the first war that is going to be the very reason the second war happens.
But is he even aware that there will be two wars? He and his apprentices have all seen that passage about "On that day darkness will prevail and light expire" but they have never brought up the part about having another Keyblade war.

I think it was just regular people, people of the past who weren't part of the war, people of the past who didn't get consumed. The normal people who lost their world to the fight between keybladers, the brightness in their hearts that went untouched because they weren't obsessing over lux or unions or anything like that. Oh and maybe a few keybladers that survived the war and wanted to atone for what had happened, there is nothing that says our player is the only survivor just the only one we could see.
See, I might've thought that too if it weren't for a couple things. The first of them being the MoM's own words:

Master of Masters said:
You just might be the only hope of keeping light from expiring. Don't get involved in any battles. Forget the notion of Unions. Find Keyblade wielders with potential, and create an entirely separate organization.
The Master explicitly states that Ava's job is to keep light from dying altogether. This group, as we saw in KHX, both ignored the concept of unions, and those who joined started training for a different purpose; rather than hoarding lux or beating up other unions, they were preparing for the day when darkness falls, so...

Master of Masters said:
Then, like the seeds of a dandelion, let them fly to another world. They will keep the light alive.
When I imagine dandelion seeds, I don't think of a mass that stays together. I picture them scattering everywhere, far apart, each seed taking root and eventually growing into a new plant. I feel like that sort of imagery was invoked on purpose, considering that even back in the Chi era, the world was made up of smaller worlds, "stretching as far as the eye can see." Only difference between then and now is that they were all connected by land and didn't have walls or "world order" or anything like that.

It should also be noted that compared to his interactions with the others, which involved a lot of trolling and theatrics, the Master is very straightforward and rather serious with Ava. I don't see a reason to not believe that this is what he wanted her to do. And if they really were "stowed away" somewhere... we'd be assuming that there was some kind of force or entity around who actually did that. MoM has disappeared. Luxu seems to be busy watching the world end, and if that box has anything to do with it, well... he's not supposed to open it anyways!
 
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Hirokey123

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Here is the thing though, the war that destroys all light is not the first keyblade war and never was. The book has events in it that happen pretty much all the way up to KH3. Which doesn't mean the keyblade war wasn't written about in the book because we know it was, it just is the war that destroys their world not the one that destroys light entirely. They know both wars are going to happen, and that the first war they cause is what is going to be the spark that causes the second one...so what they do here now determines if the second war occurs and destroys light. Also we know the pages go past their first war seeing as they are using entries of places and people in the book that don't exist yet to gather lux, stuff like Beast's Castle and Wonderland with Belle and Alice. If anything this means the dandelions have to still be in storage waiting for their release, how else can they help prevent light from vanishing in KH3 if they aren't around?

I mean the reason light doesn't vanish in this first war had nothing to do with Ava's task, we know the history and we've even seen the physical evidence of it. Seven children managed to retain completely pure hearts in war and when the X-blade shattered its light split into 7 pieces in order to protect those seven pure lights from disappearing. That was our first set of guardians and princesses of pure heart. THEY are the light that was used to rebuild the world, they are the light that didn't vanish, and their light is what holds up the realm of light today. Not Ava's dandelion army but a small handful of children, probably all female given they became known as the princesses of pure heart.
 

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Remember the MoM's speech about the Chi-era world? "This world is full of light," and that light comes from Kingdom Hearts. And if Kingdom Hearts were to disappear... what would that do to the whole world? It would plunge all of existence into darkness. End of the world as they know it. Lights out. Which is exactly what happened in the Keyblade War.

Whenever the end of the world is discussed, it's never about this far-off future world where the Keyblade War had already played out. The Foretellers are concerned about the world they live in NOW, and the imminent darkness that threatens it. Remember, Ira and the others want to change the future. They don't think they must fulfill what's written in those tomes, because they view it as a future that they are going to avert at all costs.

(I'd also take the "destruction" of light with a grain of salt. Neither darkness nor light can be fully destroyed. They're eternaaaaaaallll. :p)

If anything this means the dandelions have to still be in storage waiting for their release, how else can they help prevent light from vanishing in KH3 if they aren't around?
The Keyblade War is what caused the darkness to swallow Kingdom Hearts (and subsequently, the world) in the first place. Geezernort and his vessels aren't here to fight a war, they're just fragments meant to put the X-Blade back together again, which will summon Kingdom Hearts, and kick off another war... unless his plan has shifted to "get KH's power and reshape world as I see fit" or something. ANYWAYS. So, you've got the light side of the war, the Dandelions. And on the dark side you got... 13 clones. Where's the other side of the war?

Furthermore, how is having the Dandelions fight in a Keyblade War supposed to keep the light alive? Last time there was a Keyblade War, Kingdom Hearts was lost. A Keyblade War is not a standard "good vs evil/light v dark" winner-takes-all affair, it's the sort of conflict where there are no winners. It simply destroys. Sounds like quite the opposite of the Dandelions' purpose, and I have a hard time buying that the Master's words to Ava were bold-faced lies.

And even if the Keyblade War was a thing that the light could just "win," then by having an army of light warriors beat back the darkness, the Master basically just prevented that "destruction of light" event he foresaw from happening. Which is something that he personally doesn't think is possible, and, according to your observations, is the exact opposite of what he was trying to accomplish.

I'll have to do some more lore digging before I can say for certain, but I don't think it was mentioned anywhere that it was the Princesses of Heart that saved the worlds. KH1's account of the war said it was "the hearts of children." Xehanort Report IV states "the little light that remained in the hearts of the few gave rise to the World we know today." It's late right now so I can't really check Yen Sid's exposition dumps, but no other in-game sources claim that the Princesses of Heart specifically saved the worlds. But feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

...Seeing as how light and darkness can never be fully destroyed, one might even argue that the 7 pure hearts would have persisted even if the worlds had never been rebuilt. If they really are a sort of secondary source of all light in the world, that doesn't necessarily mean that they could actively fix everything by themselves.
 

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If the Book of Prophecies can bring to life illusions of worlds and characters that don't exist yet, then it reaches past the first Keyblade War, so the last page, assuming the book's chronological, hasn't been reached yet, and as such we haven't seen Darkness prevail and light expire.
 

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Tinny has pointed out that technically the Lost Page details the beginning of the conflict that we refer to as the Keyblade War. So it's possible that the Keyblade War is detailed on the Lost Page, and the last page (lol) is detailing the future. As in the Foretellers believe that the last page is referring to their own world, when in actuality it is referring to the future, post-war.

If the last page is only talking about the first Keyblade War then, as palizinhas points out, it makes no sense for the Foretellers to be able to use the Book to bring forth medals and worlds post-KW.

There's also the fact that Nomura has said that the last passage on the last page is connected to KH3, and with YMX and Eraqus talking about how their future is already written -- and quote the last passage -- that it is indeed talking about the future war.

Something to consider anyway :/
 

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I see it this way, the Master knows everything that will happen up until the second Keyblade war (KHIII) because his eye still exsists in No Name during present day. The Last Page is obviously about the second Keyblade war where Xehanort will succeed and the light will be lost in darkness. It stands to reason if the Master's eye within No Name is destroyed then the Master of the past would no longer be able to see the future, his vision would be darkness, unable to see anything. That could be how he witness the end, but Sora and the guardians of light will bring back the light and banish the darkness. But the Master would never know this because his eye is gone thus the Book of Prophecies Last page. This could be why the Master vanished, to travel to the future beyond what his eye could see so that his beloved Book of Prophecies could continue on. But that's just my two cents of the whole deal.
 

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I mean here is the thing worrying about the war in KH3 and worrying about the war that is upon them is effectively the same thing. They know what the future holds, they know the ramification of what they do now is what will lead to light expiring. Like we all make bad choices time to time but our minds are limited in how far reaching those choices can be. Thanks to that book though they know how far reaching their mistake will be, how what they do here now will set the world on its path to total destruction. They are basically at the point in time where the rest of time will sprawl out from and take its course, so in a very real way they can control the future from this point in the past. Of course there are also the immediate ramification of their own present world and way of life being destroyed, however as I said these are basically all one and the same problem.
 

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Without going too deeply in all the implied "Xehanort wins"-scenarios (he's winning for the whole series already, all "accomplishments" made by the "heroes" in BBS, KH 1 and KH 2 rendered meaningless to some degree, so what?) and the cliché-ridden "The Apocalypse will happen because that stupid book says so and then stopped midway" there's also something else to possibly keep in mind and mull over and that's the fact that this whole "Book of Prophecies"-disaster and the "unavoidable fate"-bullshit has only any merit/significance because someone choose to make it so, not because it is a natural disaster or "divine decision".

Going by this assumption, there is the issue of why the Master of Masters wanted to see into the future in the first place and arguably starting all this mess to begin with.
 

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I figured it was mostly just human curiosity. We all have a little curiosity in us and what is more tantalizing than knowing the future? We all like to read books and see how stories end, aren't we the players just playing this game so we can do the same? It's only human to want to know what comes next and for a man who can see the future I can only imagine that it's the things that he can't see that interest him the most. I get the sense that Xehanort is a bit like that as well, that on some level the reason he is doing all this is because he wants to what surprises happen beyond the end of the book. He might even be curious on the ramification of what it means for the book to end...because that means Xehanort won't have that keyblade, that "gazing eye" out for one reason or another. Does Xehanort die? Does he simply desummon the keyblade because he gets his hands on the keyblade? Does his keyblade get destroyed? And did light truly expire or was that merely a misinterpretation of the events the MoM saw. Perhaps after his vision shutdown our heroes managed to reveal that they saved some light or something.

The only way to truly know the answer is for that future to occur....I mean ideally one would try to prevent that horrible future, of course if they did then they'd never be able to know what came after. So it's sort of a catch 22, if you want the answers to what comes after that future then you need to make sure that future comes in the first place.
 

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The one thing I like about this so much is it doesn't demonize the master. I think a lot of times people remember the master for what he said to Luxu at the end of the movie, and, while that scene is indeed pretty sketchy, the master clearly cares about his apprentices a lot. There is general compassion for all of his students beneath that coat, he just expresses his compassion in extremely exaggerated or hard to read ways. In a way, he really is helping preserve the future. He would have never set Ava up for success if he wanted the war to destroy everything the first time is all I'm saying. That being said... yeah, the box situation is sketchy, and he might turn out to be evil after all. Oh well, I hope Square doesn't just make him another Xehanort or whatever. That'd be SO lame.
 

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You say there is compassion but did we actually see any? I didn't see anything that was different from say the way Master Xehanort was acting to Terra when he was pretending to be a good guy, or when Xemnas gives his very business like speech to the organization about them being friends/comrades when he's putting on a face. You want to know what I remember about the Master of Masters? It's not just the end of the movie.

-I remember how he told Ira the keyblades weren't for protecting the light and how it's not their duty to, and then despite talking about the impossibility of the task decides to goad Ira on and tell him he's welcome to try.

-I remember how he told Aced that he would be the right hand, knowing full well Aced wanted to be leader, poked and prodded at him to stir those feelings, and then planted the idea into Aced's head that if he ever feels Ira is being a bad leader (and let's reiterate he knows the future he knows Aced is going to end up thinking Ira is a bad leader) then it will be up to Aced to replace him. Which does nothing but stroke his ego and encourage infighting, eventually leading to what we saw in Chi.

-I remember how instead of actually help Invi get over her worries he made light of them and then added something even worse. He told her if she doesn't keep up she'll just get left behind all alone, and the dialogue is written to emphasize the alone part. Guess what causes Invi's union to get involved in the war and start collecting more Lux, the desire to keep up and not be left behind by the other unions.

-I remember how he just goes along with whatever Gula says even when if you read between the lines what the Master says can't be true. He said Gula's assumption "if any of us deviate from our task than the traitor be obvious" is correct but that doesn't work because not all the tasks were known. Gula and Ava's tasks were unknown to the rest while Ira and Invi's were public, it's uncertain if any of them knew what Aced's task was. On top of that he tells Gula quite seriously trust no one, he encouraged Gula's paranoia and reckless actions.

-I remember how he told Ava to shuffle away a bunch of wielders away from it all, and the only reason he gave is that it would help protect light from vanishing. But for all we know he's just telling Ava what he wants to hear....there is no genuine reason to believe the Master was telling the truth.

-I remember how his task with Luxu if you read between the lines, he's practically mocking him. Luxu's task is the reason that all this fighting and paranoia starts, if the book couldn't be written then none of this would come to pass. Heck the MoM wouldn't of been hit with future sight that formed whatever goals he had if Luxu hadn't succeeded in his task.

-I remember how he created the Chirithy which he claimed would help them yet as much as I love the little cat thing, he makes things worse. Chirithy acted as a way to stir paranoia for they were told the appearance of a nightmare chirithy indicated someone had fallen to darkness. Not to mention the damage the nightmare chirithy caused creating an army of nightmares and making every union fearful and angry. As our own Nightmare Chirithy said, it's hard to believe the master hadn't foreseen all this happening.

-I remember how gave all his foretellers an intentional incomplete book of prophecies, that would cause them to be paranoid and search for the missing page while giving that page only to one person. And the lost page doesn't even directly say who the the traitor is so there was very little reason to hide that information from everyone but Luxu and Gula.

-I remember how he very deliberately created a setup that parallels that of organization XIII. Taking a handful of apprentices, giving them new names, and clothes that hide their identity. Then telling them to gather wielders and use them to take out heartless to harvest the "lux" inside of them with their keyblade. And now we even have confirmation that lux is a force that can summon Kingdom Hearts deepening the parallels further.

It's not the ending that makes me demonize the master, it's fact none of his actions are one of who wants to prevent the bad futures from happening. Also he created keyblades and because we have the value of the present's hindsight, the creation of the keyblade was not for good things. History tells us the keyblade was a weapon created by those that wanted Kingdom Hearts, wanted to conquer the light, and that also goes along quite well with the Master saying he didn't give keyblades to protect the light.
 
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Sephiroth0812

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Hirokey, you took the words right out of my head it seems and were just quicker to formulate them.

Xehanort playing the friendly Master and pretending to want to help (in case of Terra) or to be sorry (for Ven's state as Master Xehanort, for messing up the worlds as Xemnas) were exactly the things that came into my mind as well when reading about the Master of Masters actually "caring" about his apprentices.

Xehanort called it "keeping up appearances" and that is very well also possible in this case here.

The parallels to BBS are even more jarring when taking into account that just like TAV (or even worse considering what is at stake) the Foretellers so easily fall into all the traps laid out and act like dumb Kindergarten children instead of actual "Keyblade Masters".
 

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You know the kicker is if the Master IS telling the truth to Gula then Gula is the traitor since only Gula deviated from his task. Ira tried to lead to the bitter end, Invi tried to mediate, and Aced was simply trying to take control as he was told he should do. Meanwhile Ava and Luxu complete their tasks completely. Gula's task however was to find the traitor and ultimately he gives up on that, he decides he won't find the traitor instead he'll find the master by summoning kingdom heart which is breaking another rule. Gula is how Kingdom Hearts is going to get involved in the war and Gula's action are what caused the unions to become obsessed with Lux collecting. If Gula hadn't done this the war wouldn't have begin and if he didn't bring kingdom hearts into it the keyblade war's devastation wouldn't of hurt the whole world. And that would be perfectly in line with the Master to make the traitor hunt themselves.
 

Chuman

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I think it's funny you use him using keyblades as a strike against him. Considering users of darkness have been able to commit vile acts without them fine and the keyblade is the only weapon that can defeat the darkness. The point isn't that he didn't try to stop the war; it's that he couldn't and knew as much. There is no point I arranging another war when one was already looming, it's possible he wants kingdom hearts which is only possible from the future but his motives are unknown. For him to be another Xehanort is just a waste of an excellent character.
 

Hirokey123

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I use keyblades as a strike against him because the lore has beaten into our heads at practically every turn that the keyblade was not created for good. It was created out of greed, it was created to allow its makers to get kingdom hearts, it was created to conquer the light. I don't know how you think we can have the man who created keyblades not be evil and somehow still have the history of the keyblade be "a weapon created to conquer the light". Heck the Master flat out states in the movie he did not give them keyblades to protect the light....I don't know how much more transparent that can get honestly.

You're right darkness users have no problems sowing destruction, but there is only so much damage they can do. If one person wanted to actually destroy the entire world they would need to strike a vital point like its heart. Of course I didn't say the destruction itself was the goal, the goal would be what comes after. Regardless you think just because the keyblade can destroy darkness it's a weapon for good and light, but it's not. The keyblade is a weapon made for conquering, it can destroy the light just as easily as it can destroy the darkness. Which really just hammers in the keyblade is at its most pure a weapon for destruction.
 
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