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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Forshookt

The White Tower floor plan

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This has been bugging me for a while now and since I am neither an architect nor an engineer, I can't answer it by myself. Hopefully, either someone has already posited this question or a suitable answer can be given to me. My question involves this: how the heck can the White Tower, a six hundred foot building, fit in close to ten thousands people? 

 

Let me begin by saying that I imagined the WT roughly as a Pringles can on a shoebox. The rectangular bottom part would be about 100 feet tall, but, since these were the function rooms, meeting halls, and other public spaces, no one lives there. The bottom half may have also housed the staff, at least those that need to live in the tower and not go home to their Tar valon residences. The novices and accepted also populate this area sine this area is big, there is enough room for the one thousand novices and accepted that the place was built for, since novices sleep two to a room that I imagine was only about 20 to 25 feet square. 

 

I have no problems with the bottom part of the tower. it is the Aes Sedai quarters that tick me off.

 

Now, Versailles at the height of if use housed up to ten thousand people, but note that these numbers were fluctuating and perhaps only 3000 stayed there full time. So far so good, because the WT was built to house just that many AS. But the three thousand of Versailles were mainly staff that were packed even more tightly than the novices. 

 

EACH AES SEDAI HAS ENOUGH SPACE FOR AT LEAST THREE ROOMS. A sitting room, a dressing room and a bedroom. And that is being stingy with space, cause I assume AS have at least 200 feet of floor space. Even assuming that these are built like modern apartments for single people, there is, at least to me, no way that three thousand such apartments could be fitted into a 500 foot tube and still have room for hallways and ramps. Some may point out that there are only ever one thousand AS in residence at the WT, but it still has apartments for three thousand.

 

Can someone please theorise a way that this is possible with the White Tower? 

Edited by Forshookt

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Where did you get the 10,000 number from? AFAIK, the White Tower was built to house 3000 Aes Sedai. Currently, it only houses a few hundred, which is probably why all the AS have their own rooms. I would imagine if the Tower was fully occupied, novices and AS would have to share rooms.

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The BWB described the WT as being 500 feet tall, and 300 feet at the base, slightly wider at the base than at the top.  The tower was designed to house the ajah's in the top half; each with it's own pie shaped section, while leaving the wider bottom half to general purposes.  A smaller-palace like structure attached to the back of the main tower was intended for novices and accepted, while a large building behind the tower and palace was to function as a library.  Solarz is right, the BWB also says the Aes Sedai intended for their numbers to grow since the Tower and related buildings were far larger then was needed at the time, with working and living quarters for many more Aes Sedai then there have been, even now.  

 

Well first the 200 feet per Aes Sedai is an assumption.  Also how do you know each Aes Sedai had space for three rooms?  The novices and accepted are in a palace out back and the most the staff probably lived in the city.  No mention of where the warders or trainees stayed. The picture in the BWB shows the WT with at least 18 floors (possibly 26).   

 

My guess is the rooms weren't very large, mostly a place to sleep and do some work if needed.  if you wanted food you went down to the kitchen etc..  For instance the companion says for Greens, staying in the tower was considered punishment.  So many Aes Sedai would rather travel about then stay in the tower.

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Also, some browns have their quarters above the library: 

 

tDR, pg 235

"Verin had her quarters above the library"

 

Other Ajahs may have random quarters squeezed into various parts of the tower

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7 hours ago, Sabio said:

 

 

Well first the 200 feet per Aes Sedai is an assumption.  Also how do you know each Aes Sedai had space for three rooms?  The novices and accepted are in a palace out back and the most the staff probably lived in the city.  No mention of where the warders or trainees stayed. The picture in the BWB shows the WT with at least 18 floors (possibly 26).   

.

 

IIRC, the three rooms thing was from New Spring, when Moiraine first saw her new rooms. And yeah, maybe two hundred feet is a bit big, but I would assume that AS rooms are like pricey hotel rooms, at least a hundred feet of floor space. Bathrooms would not be needed, since either they have tubs brought up and chamber pots would do for waste. 

 

As for the ten thousand number, yeah that's an exaggeration, sorry. I would assume tho a permanent staff of at least a thousand. So maybe three thousand permanent residents, staff AS and novices and accepted included. 

 

I think the room sharing thing might be the best answer. Assuming the pricey hotel room space and the fact that your. AS roommate would prefer to be outside and adventuring, this would work out. I have no trouble believing the Tower can hold 1500 rooms for AS.

 

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This might help a little, the companion has more information on the WT layout.  

 

Central portion of the tower had forty levels and was 600 feet tall.  300 feet in diameter at base, 200 feet at top.  Ceiling ranged from 15ft on the lower levels to 12ft on the upper.  Wings on the building extend to either side, they were about 150 feet tall with lower ceilings and fifteen levels in each. They extend 300ft from the central tower.  

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Oh my God, thank you. This issue is one of those things that drag me out of enjoying fiction. Like how the on the world are seasons years long in Westeros and whether or not this weird weather affects Essos. 

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5 hours ago, Sabio said:

This might help a little, the companion has more information on the WT layout.  

 

Central portion of the tower had forty levels and was 600 feet tall.  300 feet in diameter at base, 200 feet at top.  Ceiling ranged from 15ft on the lower levels to 12ft on the upper.  Wings on the building extend to either side, they were about 150 feet tall with lower ceilings and fifteen levels in each. They extend 300ft from the central tower.  

 

600 feet tall and 300 feet in diameter... the White Tower is pretty squat!

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I know! And every time someone sees its profile from a distance they say its a slim spire or a nail or some other adjective of slender. Who do I believe??

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The companion says the central portion (so main tower) roof was flat, but that each wing also had towers with conical tiled roofs.    So may that's the slim spires?  The only picture I can find of it is in the BWB and it pretty much looks like a big tower with flat roof.

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