Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
solarz

Thoughts on the Aiel

Recommended Posts

Abilities

 

The Aiel are described to be very tall (average height ~6'6"), have pale natural skin, and red hair. They all seem to have peak-human endurance, being able to out-run horses at long distance (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_versus_Horse_Marathon, most of the winners are horses).

 

They are very resistant to heat and cold, being able to endure the baking sun of the day and the freezing cold of the night, often naked. Aes Sedai are said to be able to do this with a mental trick that had nothing to do with channeling, but we have never seen any non-channeler being able to do this "trick".

 

In Rand's Rhuidean visions, there is a mention of a Da'shain Aiel "being in the prime of his life" at 63 years old, "not yet old enough for gray hair". That suggests they may have better longevity than normal people.

 

The fact that in the AOL, they were a caste of people who served channelers, who shared commonly identifiable traits, and who exhibit a range of peak-human or near superhuman abilities, leads me to believe that they were genetically engineered by the Aes Sedai.

 

Perhaps before channelers became Servants, they were conquerors, and the Aiel were their super-soldiers. Perhaps that is why the Aiel are sworn to the Way of the Leaf, as a renounciation of their former sins.

 

 

Warfare

 

Many people have decried Aiel as Mary Sues, and claimed how the Aiel could not possibly be as successful in battle in reality. The mistake thse readers make is they focus tactics and equipment, when wars are won by strategy and logistics.

 

Aiel have amazing logistics: they don't need supply lines. They grew up living in such a harsh environment that anywhere in the wetlands seems like a tropical paradise to them. They can live off the land where ordinary armies would starve. Some might argue that this is unrealistic, but remember that the Aiel all have peak-human endurance. I remember in one instance, Mat was thinking to himself how the Aiel could move twice as fast as any wetlander army. So, if you can move twice as fast, you only need half as much food for a given distance.

 

Aiel strategy is based on raids. They do not occupy or hold land. They attack, loot, and move on.  This is the essence of their war strategy, and the foundation upon which their tactics and equipment are optimized. They are also much more discipline and better organized than most wetlander armies, not to mention much more numerous.

 

I've never seen any number stated for the Aiel War, but we know 4 clans crossed the Dragonwall. The Shaido were able to field 160k spears by emptying their holds. The 7 clans that followed Rand fielded double that number of spears, while the 4 clans that remained on the side had roughly the same number of spears as the Shaido. Thus, we can likely conclude that the Aiel War also involved roughly 160 thousand spears. That would have been an astounding number for wetlanders used to armies that numbered in the thousands. Such an army would have easily swept over Cairhien and anything the wetlands could muster until Tar Valon.

 

Many readers wonder how Aiel can withstand cavalry charges and arrows with no armor and only hide bucklers. The answer is they don't. Unlike wetlander armies, who line up on opposite sides of a field and then run at each other, the Aiel sweep the land in columns of a few hundred. Being much more mobile than wetlanders, they never present a target for an effective charge. During the siege of Cairhien, Mat mostly holds his cavalry in reserve while turtling in with his pikes. Recon is the key factor in this type of warfare: the side that catches the other by surprise is usually the side that wins.

 

On the flip side, other readers wonder how Aiel can break a pike formation or siege a city. Again, the answer is they don't, not usually. Mat's objective in that battle was just survival. He ran into Couladin by fate, but it was the other Aiel who defeated the Shaido. Against a heavily dug-in enemy, the Aiel can just bypass them and strike more vulnerable targets. The Shaido's defeats were all caused by incompetent leadership that forced them into immobility: first at the siege of Cairhien, then at Dumai's Wells, and finally at Malden.

 

The Aiel tactic for taking fortified towns and cities is infiltration. It works on small towns that don't expect attacks, but did not work against a forewarned Cairhien. The Stone was a different matter: those few hundred Aiel would have been slaughtered eventually if Rand hadn't pulled out Callandor. That was not a military strategy, that was following prophecy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The war portion you make a lot of good points, but I don't agree with the genetically engineered part.

 

In the AoL we know life expectancy was much, much longer even for non-channelers, so I think the reference you mentioned is just showing that. 

 

The original Da'Shain Aiel were the ultimate pacifists serving the Aes Sedai, and would never have so much as considered violence (hence the other Rhuidean visions showing the first breaking away as warriors and the beginning of the Tuath'an).

 

It's mentioned throughout the series that the Airline saw the Waste as a proving ground and punishment. After 3,000 years or so of living in those conditions, the weak dying off, the strong breeding (especially considering men can have multiple wives) it makes sense that they would become a strong, hard people. 

 

In the Waste they lived with extreme heat every day, extreme cold every night. You get used to that over time, especially when it's all you've ever known. People live in deserts/extreme weather locations in the world now, but if I went there it would be insanely hard. Even in smaller scales, I don't get as cold as easily as people who live in the Southern US because I'm more used to the cold up North.

 

So basically I think it comes down to descending from one group of people, breeding the strongest and the weak bot suriving over time, and the general conditions they've always lived in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Talmanes said:

The war portion you make a lot of good points, but I don't agree with the genetically engineered part.

 

In the AoL we know life expectancy was much, much longer even for non-channelers, so I think the reference you mentioned is just showing that. 

 

The original Da'Shain Aiel were the ultimate pacifists serving the Aes Sedai, and would never have so much as considered violence (hence the other Rhuidean visions showing the first breaking away as warriors and the beginning of the Tuath'an).

 

It's mentioned throughout the series that the Airline saw the Waste as a proving ground and punishment. After 3,000 years or so of living in those conditions, the weak dying off, the strong breeding (especially considering men can have multiple wives) it makes sense that they would become a strong, hard people. 

 

In the Waste they lived with extreme heat every day, extreme cold every night. You get used to that over time, especially when it's all you've ever known. People live in deserts/extreme weather locations in the world now, but if I went there it would be insanely hard. Even in smaller scales, I don't get as cold as easily as people who live in the Southern US because I'm more used to the cold up North.

 

So basically I think it comes down to descending from one group of people, breeding the strongest and the weak bot suriving over time, and the general conditions they've always lived in.

 

3000 years is not long enough for any genetic shift. What you are thinking of is conditioning. There are limits to conditioning. In the real world, there are people who live in geographical areas that resemble the Aiel Waste. While they may be tougher than us city folk, they are nowhere near Aiel levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some analyses of the major engagements featuring Aiel in the books, by rough chronological order:

 

1. Aiel War:

The Aiel War is often referenced, but never truly described in the books. What we do know is that 4 Aiel clans crossed the Dragonwall, overran Cairhien, burned the topless towers, and defeated every army sent against them until they reached Tar Valon and killed Laman.

 

Apparently I was wrong in my original estimate, and the Aiel numbered only 80k against 170k from the Wetlands. However, it should be noted that the wetlands only mustered that force after the Aiel had inflicted significant damage. Apparently, Tear convinced Laman to go to Tar Valon, so the Aiel did not need to siege the Stone.

 

In fact, Cairhien was the only major city that fell to the Aiel, and that was largely due to the element of surprise. Even at Tar Valon, the Aiel did not assault the Shining Walls. It's unknown why Laman did not seek protection within the walls (overconfidence? Aes Sedai refusal?), but it's clear that the Aiel mainly stuck to field battles.

 

In New Spring, we see Lan trying to defend a ridge with a few hundred armsmen against an Aiel column 1000 strong. They were clearly surprised by the presence of the Aiel, and their only hope was to hold the ridge until reinforcements arrive. If this was typical of the Battle of the Shining Walls, then we can surmise that the Aiel held the initiative in most engagements. We can see that by then, competent wetland commanders like Lan knows that the best tactic against the Aiel is the "hammer & anvil". In other words, pin the Aiel down and deny them their mobility advantage. We know that losses on both sides were grievous, including top wetlander commanders and Rand's mother.

 

2. Second Battle of Cairhien

This was mainly an Aiel vs Aiel battle, but it's significant that the city of Cairhien was caught in the middle. As Rand's commanders noted, pushing the Shaido too hard would drive them into the city, where they would be hell to root out. This shows that while the Shaido can take Cairhien by force, they would pay a high price doing so.

 

It's important to note that this battle involved 160k Shaido spears. Remember that the Grand Alliance of the Aiel War numbered only 170k. We don't know how many troops were inside the city of Cairhien, but the Shaido likely outnumbered the Cairhienins and Tairens by 10 to 1, if not more.

 

We see most of the battle from Mat's pov, and it can be summarized as a game of cat and mouse, with Mat trying to evade enemy Shaido, and holding them off with encircled pikes when he can't. In one scene, he noted that if the Aiel caught his forces out of formation, he would get cut to pieces. In another scene, we see a few dozen Tairen nobles charging ineffectively into Aiel ranks, who isolated the horsemen and cut them down one by one.

 

When Rand tries to assist with the Power, he could find no large target to focus his strikes. He was forced to attack small clumps of a few dozen Aiel, who made full use of their skill at camouflage. As a result, even with Aviendha and Egwene's help, he was not able to make much impact on the battlefield.

 

3. Dumai's Wells

Here, we see what happens when the Aiel forgo their mobility, fails to use screens of scouts, and focus blindly on a single, well-fortified, target. They fail to overcome the Aes Sedai, and get hit from behind by Perrin's forces. When the Ashaman join the fray, the Shaido become easy targets for "rolling earth and fire".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying there was a full blown genetic shift, but moreso that they have been conditioned for a long time, along with selected breeding over time.

 

It would be like if a group of highly trained and talented athletes only bred with other highly trained and talented athletes for 3,000 years, and also all those descendants (at least the warriors which is a big portion) constantly trained their entire lives. Those people are going to win easily when going against another team.

 

The Aiel way of life doesn't allow for weakness, so only the strong survive and breed. That coupled with dancing the Spears being a huge aspect of their life, they become better at fighting than 99% of wetlanders who don't have nearly the training/don't have nearly the practice.

 

I mean look at Lan for example, someone who has been training at fighting his entire life, born into harsh conditions, and can deal with heat/cold and has crazy endurance. Yeah he has the bond, which helps somewhat with extra strength, but the point is valid. 

 

Plus we know that literally anyone can learn the secret of ignoring heat cold with a mental focus (Aiel definitely would have the mental focus). 

 

The majority of wetlanders do not fight and have no experience with weapons or survival, because they haven't needed to.

 

To take the sports metaphor into use again, an example of being used to conditions, the Denver Broncos always have a huge home field advantage, because of the thinner air, which they are used to, so aren't affected by it as much. Not write the same thing, but a point about being used to conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some nations don't even have a standing army and rely mostly on retainers when it's time to fight.  One of the reasons the Aiel pummeled the armies during the Aiel war.  They had to raise their armies to go fight, the Aiel.  Tear has the defenders but those are more of the elite and not the entire army.  Come war time they basicly arm the peasants and send them off to fight.  In Aiel society the people trained to fight are the ones going off to fight.  So it's basicly like the regular army vs the nation guard.  One trains daily where the other trains part time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In certain situations, but you saw Mat have a lot of arguments with nobles about a simple calvary charge isn't going to simply drive the enemy away.  Tactics in Randland were pretty much based on calvary charges but as we saw those were pretty much outdated.  The struggled when facing enemies that used other methods.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/15/2018 at 10:28 AM, Dave the Knave said:

The aiel not forming proper infantry formations should make it a lot easier for cavalry to mop them up. 

 

How exactly would cavalry "mop them up"?

 

16 hours ago, Dave the Knave said:

Also I don't understand how an army that big survived the winter despite being afraid of puddles. 

 

Because even winter in the the Wetlands has more natural resources than the Aiel Waste. Because Aiel don't let fear stop them from doing anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Aiel could not have been genetically modified. Genetic experimentation on humans and animals was forbidden by the Hall of Servants, and it was for this reason that Aginor turned to the shadow. Only plants were allowed to be experimented so, leading to choral trees and the nym. On the other hand, a case could be made that the Aiel are super advanced pod people. It would explain why seem to need little food (they get nourishment from soil), why they thrive in a desert (yummy sunlight) and why they hold water precious. Maybe the Daishan Aiel were grown pod people to act as servant to the AS. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GASP! If they really were plant people, it would also explain why Avendesora was trusted to them! Maybe the original Aiel were the fruits of chora trees??? and why they respect and hold Ogier in such high regard! AND WHY THEY ARE SO GOOD AT BLENDING INTO FOLIAGE! Guys, #AielArePlants

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Forshookt said:

The Aiel could not have been genetically modified. Genetic experimentation on humans and animals was forbidden by the Hall of Servants, and it was for this reason that Aginor turned to the shadow. Only plants were allowed to be experimented so, leading to choral trees and the nym. On the other hand, a case could be made that the Aiel are super advanced pod people. It would explain why seem to need little food (they get nourishment from soil), why they thrive in a desert (yummy sunlight) and why they hold water precious. Maybe the Daishan Aiel were grown pod people to act as servant to the AS. 

 

The Aiel could have existed before Aes Sedai forbade it. This also begs the question, why was such an edict needed at all? It means Aes Sedai were capable of genetic manipulation, but stopped doing so because of some dire consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the original Aiel were servants, why would anyone genetically modify them?  To be a better servants?  No one could foresee events that would force them to give up the way of the leaf.   Over the years they adapted to their new environment.  But you also see that they had an advantage over Randland.  Trolloc Wars, Ishy manipulating things when he gets pun out, the wars to claim Hawkings throne etc.. missed them. So as randland kept having to start from scratch the Aiel didn't.  Aiel were able to perfect their fighting and to adjust as Randland kept having to fight to simply survive.

 

Aiel are tough, but I would be honestly shocked though if they had to experience harsh winters, blizzards and such they you wouldn't see some starve/freeze to death without help.  It would be odd if you took some Aiel and told them to survive a borderland winter on their own that they wouldn't struggle.

Edited by Sabio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Sabio said:

Since the original Aiel were servants, why would anyone genetically modify them?  To be a better servants?  No one could foresee events that would force them to give up the way of the leaf.   Over the years they adapted to their new environment.  But you also see that they had an advantage over Randland.  Trolloc Wars, Ishy manipulating things when he gets pun out, the wars to claim Hawkings throne etc.. missed them. So as randland kept having to start from scratch the Aiel didn't.  Aiel were able to perfect their fighting and to adjust as Randland kept having to fight to simply survive.

 

Aiel are tough, but I would be honestly shocked though if they had to experience harsh winters, blizzards and such they you wouldn't see some starve/freeze to death without help.  It would be odd if you took some Aiel and told them to survive a borderland winter on their own that they wouldn't struggle.

 

We don't know when Aiel began to serve the Aes Sedai, but why wouldn't the AS want physically improved servants? Aes Sedai live hundreds of years, wouldn't they want their personal servants to live longer as well? AS can ignore heat and cold (again, no indication in book that non-channelers can use their trick), why wouldn't they want their servants to as well?

 

Moreover, we know that Two Rivers farmers kick ass because they have the ancient blood of Manetheren. What is "ancient blood" except genetics? Perhaps it wasn't only the Aiel who had improved genetics, but the Aiel were also genetically isolated.

 

Perhaps the genes aren't even engineered, but related to channeling. We know channeling is genetic, and in the Age of Legends, the Aiel produced a lot of channelers. Even in the Third Age, a single Aiel clan has hundreds of Wise Ones who can channel. In contrast, the entire White Tower only has 1000 Aes Sedai, and they are having difficulty finding more girls who can channel near the end of the 3rd Age.

 

Manetheren is another example. The Two Rivers has a trove of girls who can channel, and we know that traditionally, Manetheren queens were all Aes Sedai and the king their warder. Two Rivers people all seem to be amazing rangers, even Nynaeve can track Lan and she spends most of her time thumping people with sticks.

 

As for the Aiel and winters, remember that deserts are very cold at night. Aiel are used to the cold, if not the snow. Considering that the path they took during the Aiel War went from Cairhien to Tear to Tar Valon, they would not have experienced very harsh winters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 16/07/2018 at 4:02 PM, solarz said:

 

How exactly would cavalry "mop them up"?

Because the aiel are standing around in loose formation with weapons that are poor at countering cavalry. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Dave the Knave said:

Because the aiel are standing around in loose formation with weapons that are poor at countering cavalry. 

we see repeatedly in the books that this isn't true. It would seem that you undervalue the average skill of the Aiel.

 

On 7/20/2018 at 9:08 AM, solarz said:

 

We don't know when Aiel began to serve the Aes Sedai, but why wouldn't the AS want physically improved servants? Aes Sedai live hundreds of years, wouldn't they want their personal servants to live longer as well? AS can ignore heat and cold (again, no indication in book that non-channelers can use their trick), why wouldn't they want their servants to as well?

 

Moreover, we know that Two Rivers farmers kick ass because they have the ancient blood of Manetheren. What is "ancient blood" except genetics? Perhaps it wasn't only the Aiel who had improved genetics, but the Aiel were also genetically isolated.

 

Perhaps the genes aren't even engineered, but related to channeling. We know channeling is genetic, and in the Age of Legends, the Aiel produced a lot of channelers. Even in the Third Age, a single Aiel clan has hundreds of Wise Ones who can channel. In contrast, the entire White Tower only has 1000 Aes Sedai, and they are having difficulty finding more girls who can channel near the end of the 3rd Age.

 

Manetheren is another example. The Two Rivers has a trove of girls who can channel, and we know that traditionally, Manetheren queens were all Aes Sedai and the king their warder. Two Rivers people all seem to be amazing rangers, even Nynaeve can track Lan and she spends most of her time thumping people with sticks.

 

As for the Aiel and winters, remember that deserts are very cold at night. Aiel are used to the cold, if not the snow. Considering that the path they took during the Aiel War went from Cairhien to Tear to Tar Valon, they would not have experienced very harsh winters.

This is actually a very good point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It gets cold in the desert yes, but remember in the borderlands it can get so cold it can split a tree in half.  I am just saying the Aiel are made out to be tough, but I would find it odd if they could handle extreme cold/a snow storm that would dump a foot of snow etc..  with out difficulties and some suffering.

 

The Aes Sedai are having trouble finding women who can channel because they are doing things wrong.  Look at how many kin/Aiel/Seanchan/seafolk/Sharans channelers there are.  The Aiel are simply better at locating their channelers.   There nothing to suggest there a higher percentage of Aiel who can channel over any other group.  We know the Seanchan were amazed at how many people who could channel they were finding in Randland.  If Aes Sedai used the Seanchan method and tested every female at a certain age, they would of found a lot more wilders.

 

As for calvary don't forget a few things like terrain is a huge factor, light calvary is mostly useful for harassing, heavy calvary is the drop a lance and charge type.  The Aiel are extremely mobile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, The Aiel have about a somewhat larger population than the main randland nations which is all the AS have access to. True, the AS have a worse method for finding channelers than the Aiel but its still better than the Seanchan method.

The Seanchan only found people who had the spark, but they did find all of them.

They found a ton of channelers in Randland was because of the all of the people with potential to learn, plus all of the people who managed it on their own.

True, the AS would have found more wilders if they used the seanchan method, but that would take more control than they have, and they would have found less people who didn't have the spark.

 

As for the kin, remember that the AS have Standards if a person is too weak in some regard or another, out they go. That also explains why there are so few AS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/20/2018 at 7:56 PM, Dave the Knave said:

Because the aiel are standing around in loose formation with weapons that are poor at countering cavalry. 

 

Except they're not just "standing around". Lan said in TSR: "you'll not see the Aiel before they attack unless you get lucky". This is from the guy who fought the Aiel in the Aiel War and in Shienar. Cavalry can't charge what they can't see.

 

The typical wetland cavalry troop won't even see the Aiel before they're all cut down in a hail of arrows.

Edited by solarz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 12:52 PM, TheSociopath said:

First, The Aiel have about a somewhat larger population than the main randland nations which is all the AS have access to. True, the AS have a worse method for finding channelers than the Aiel but its still better than the Seanchan method.

The Seanchan only found people who had the spark, but they did find all of them.

They found a ton of channelers in Randland was because of the all of the people with potential to learn, plus all of the people who managed it on their own.

True, the AS would have found more wilders if they used the seanchan method, but that would take more control than they have, and they would have found less people who didn't have the spark.

 

As for the kin, remember that the AS have Standards if a person is too weak in some regard or another, out they go. That also explains why there are so few AS.

Also shows the weakness of the Aes Sedai to place too much importance on strength of power.  To assume someone weak in power has no use was rather dumb.  Pretty much no other group cared about strength or thought it was as important as the Aes Sedai did.

Edited by Sabio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/21/2018 at 9:50 PM, Sabio said:

It gets cold in the desert yes, but remember in the borderlands it can get so cold it can split a tree in half.  I am just saying the Aiel are made out to be tough, but I would find it odd if they could handle extreme cold/a snow storm that would dump a foot of snow etc..  with out difficulties and some suffering.

 

First, the Aiel Waste extends as far north as the borderlands, so it does get as cold.

 

Second, as I've indicated before, the Aiel did not go anywhere near the borderlands during the Aiel War.

 

 

On 7/21/2018 at 9:50 PM, Sabio said:

The Aes Sedai are having trouble finding women who can channel because they are doing things wrong.  Look at how many kin/Aiel/Seanchan/seafolk/Sharans channelers there are.  The Aiel are simply better at locating their channelers.   There nothing to suggest there a higher percentage of Aiel who can channel over any other group.  We know the Seanchan were amazed at how many people who could channel they were finding in Randland.  If Aes Sedai used the Seanchan method and tested every female at a certain age, they would of found a lot more wilders.

 

On 7/22/2018 at 1:52 PM, TheSociopath said:

First, The Aiel have about a somewhat larger population than the main randland nations which is all the AS have access to. True, the AS have a worse method for finding channelers than the Aiel but its still better than the Seanchan method.

The Seanchan only found people who had the spark, but they did find all of them.

They found a ton of channelers in Randland was because of the all of the people with potential to learn, plus all of the people who managed it on their own.

True, the AS would have found more wilders if they used the seanchan method, but that would take more control than they have, and they would have found less people who didn't have the spark.

 

As for the kin, remember that the AS have Standards if a person is too weak in some regard or another, out they go. That also explains why there are so few AS.

 

The Shaido brought their entire clan over the Dragonwall. In the siege of Cairhien, the Shaido had 160k spears. In Aiel society, only children, non-maiden women, and craftsmen are not warriors. I think it's fair to say that warriors make up ~40% of the Aiel population. That would give the Shaido a population of ~400k. Sevanna gathered all the Shaido Wise Ones who could channel, and they numbered 400. That's a ratio of 1 : 1000.

 

In contrast, Jordan has stated that Andor alone has a population of 10 million. If we assume Andor is the largest nation, we can estimate that Randland has a total population of around 50 million. If we followed the Aiel ratio, there should be 50,000 channelers in Randland!!

 

Note that although the AS have tough standards, we know that they were having trouble even finding novices. We know that the AS search assiduously for girls who can channel or learn to channel. In New Spring, the number of Accepted and novices only numbered in the dozens! Even when we count in the Kin, that would only bring the number up to a few thousand. That's a difference of a magnitude!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Numbers from the rebels camp suggest that traditional Aes Sedai recruiting methods were pretty dire, 450 novices were recruited just by opening the doors (so to speak) and that was still mostly people asking to be tested, not active recruitment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never said the Aiel went to the borderlands during the Aiel war,  just there are places with extreme weather the Aiel if suddenly dropped into I would expect to struggle.  The majorty of Aiel never venture up to the blight and those who do probably don't do so during the winter.  The cold they are use to but in the waste it isn't the cold others are use to.  They ran through Randland but the places where we would consider a normal winter.  They can deal with cold and snow but again the point I was trying to make is if a blizzard dumped a couple of feet of snow on them it would seem odd if they handled it like no big deal.

 

 

Look at how many were found just in the two rivers.  Consider there are Aes Sedai who never leave the tower and some who don't actively search for girls with the spark.  Factor in lands where they aren't allowed to openly look or not safe to look such as places experiencing wars.  We have also seen they aren't really going to out of the way places.    So the Aes Sedai are missing a lot of people.  Taim was able to build the BT up so quickly because he simply went in scooped up everyone who wanted to follow the Dragon and tested them.

Edited by Sabio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, BFG said:

Numbers from the rebels camp suggest that traditional Aes Sedai recruiting methods were pretty dire, 450 novices were recruited just by opening the doors (so to speak) and that was still mostly people asking to be tested, not active recruitment

 

12 hours ago, Sabio said:

Look at how many were found just in the two rivers.  Consider there are Aes Sedai who never leave the tower and some who don't actively search for girls with the spark.  Factor in lands where they aren't allowed to openly look or not safe to look such as places experiencing wars.  We have also seen they aren't really going to out of the way places.    So the Aes Sedai are missing a lot of people.  Taim was able to build the BT up so quickly because he simply went in scooped up everyone who wanted to follow the Dragon and tested them.

 

Again, if we followed the Aiel ratio, there should have been upward of 50,000 channelers in Randland. Compared to that, even 450 new novices would be a drop in the bucket.

 

Two Rivers is exceptional, the Aes Sedai said so specifically. IIRC Alanna and Verin scooped up ~20 girls from the Two Rivers. If we allow that the entire population of the Two Rivers is ~1000, then that's an astounding 1:50 ratio!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...