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Hogwarts vs the White Tower/Tar Valon

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I realize this is a WoT only forum so it might seem weird to bring up Harry Potter...


If igure figure I already brought up Game of Thrones in some other thread.... and I'm still here which mens means its at least ok....


Um, so really I actually read Wheel of Time before Harry Potter virtually certain as a matter of fact.... and quite enjoy it....


Then harry Potter comes along and is like this massive revelation/ginormous explosion of everything.... and by the time the fervor died down

it's been hard to get many other series in the spto spotlight....


Just the other day though.. for sone reason or another while reading parts of Wheel of Time I'm like wait Wheel of Time has it's own kind of

magic academy....


I mean really Tar Valon vs Hogwarts their both schools for magic... almost like the public vs private schol school debate..... and essentially

the debate is all about which is better and why at least in my mind since I don't know if strangely enough anyone that I've seen on the internet

or anywhere has even tried to have this debate.


It could be that one is good for some type of wizards ands ome the other... btu I'd like to start with the idea that one is simply better... better

design better ideas better everything, better outfits lets say (or lack thereof perhaps)


So here's some basic points....




- Hogwarts: It's definitely got the edge in terms of complex hierarchies I'd say... for starters there's multiple players first years 2nd years 3rd years...

then you have rival houses and stuff Hufflepuff and Ho er Raven claw and stuff like that... and then you have perhaps even different types of

wizarding pagentry and stuff connected to those things like 3rd years go to Hogsmeade ands tuff like that.... lots of crazy ideas basically like

that... that make it even more clear there's a lot of regalia and  h changes and ideas that go into it....


- Tar Valon: Tar Valon has a clear kinda singular sorta track system in my opinion... novice... accepted... wizard... kinda... in my opinion... sorta like

that more or less... it's clear what each one means and where you are goingl... and it's just sot sorta straightforward.




- Hogwarts: Well for starters Hogwarts is a castle... a proper European  medieval castle in allr espects... you have glass windows, dark corridors... you have

basically all kinds of stuff on every level that is a very serious intense thing... roman cn candles... moats.... it's all very much like that in every respect... it's basically

very very lage a in a kind of manorial sort of way.... it's also very isolated and is basically in a remote region of I guess Scotland or something and you have to take

an incredibly long train ride to get there because it's so far away and everrything about it is so desperate and desolate in many ways I guess from that point of



- Tar Valon - Tar Valon by comparison is like a city-state sorta feel almost with the tower being specifically dedicated to the wizarding parts but the town around it

being basically normal I guess in many ways... it's more or less just a bunch of people who are like normal and not wizards or magical and they all interact with the

white tower in unique ways.... so I think that's pretty different. Also the White Tower is very litterally a tower of some kind instead ofa  castle much smaller you could

say probably in many ways....


More or less actually I think by comparison Tar Valon is probably considered a bit barren... like it's just sorta empty... perhaps might be the wrong term

but it's hallways and corridors, rooms perhaps... not necessarily the grand illustrious traditional medieval European thing... not being insulting or anything

by the way! Just comparing....


Relations witht he exterior etc.


-Hogwarts - Hogwarts basically has a fairly rigid view of the whole situation... seeing it as a wizarding only community at the outskirts of everything.... and just

overall has all kinds of issues I guess arguably... the ministry of magic views them as troublesome and different... they are completely invisible from muggles etc

it's just one kinda crazy approach in many respects....


- Tar Valon: Tar Valon's approach to humans c by comparison is more fluid... there's a lot of give and take and infact many close connections between

the White Tower and the surroudning population... for example many Aes Sedai (to use the term of course now instead of wizards) take on local

companions and stuff such as with Gawyn and others it feels like ther'es overlap in many respects with just the local community, then you have

proper warders like lan who are definitely connected even though Lan himself isn't really at all magical and could probably be found around

Tar Valon in many respects.


Ok so there's a few points... I think it might be sort of an interesting topic to talk about.

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Another fairly major difference is that Hogwarts is 'just' a school, much like Beauxbatons, Durmstrang etc are 'just' schools. Wizarding kids go there to learn magic but when they graduate, they are no longer part of the school except as alumni. Like the same for us - high school becomes a fond memory for them. They leave school and they go out into the world and get jobs -  in shops or at the Ministry of Magic, etc. Hogwarts doesn't pay their way or direct their movements.


Also, the political / government seat of power aren't the schools themselves, it's the Ministry of Magic that is the government / power seat (in England, anyway - other countries have their own Magical governments).


The White Tower, on the other hand, is the political seat of power for Tar Valon and the Westlands. Girls go there to learn to channel, but once they 'graduate' to become Aes Sedai, they don't leave to get jobs elsewhere. They do go out into the world but all the work they do is always on behalf of the White Tower. The White Tower pays their salaries, etc. I suppose you could say that the White Tower trains them up, and then becomes their employer, while Hogwarts students have to go out into the world and gain employment elsewhere.


I guess what I'm trying to say is, Hogwarts sole function is to teach students - it's just a school. The White Tower is so much more than that. 


At the end of the day, Dumbledore is 'just' a principal - his position in the wizarding world is not equal to the Amyrlin Seat in Randland. The Minister for Magic's position IS equal to that of the Amyrlin Seat. Dumbledore is politically powerful, that's made fairly clear. Fudge and other Ministers have felt threatened by him, mostly because they know of the support Dumbledore would have from the wizarding community if he decided to overthrow the current Minister in order to take that position for himself. Also because the Ministers know he could do a better job of governing the Wizarding world. But he chooses not to; therefore, he is not as powerful as the White Tower's "Principal": the Amyrlin Seat.


As for the White Tower size vs Hogwarts size, according to wot.fandom, the White Tower is 600 feet or 183metres tall. I'm not sure, but I think Hogwarts at its highest peak might reach that, but as a whole, the building might be much shorter. More sprawling than tall. I think the White Tower must be larger overall though, because the novice quarters can hold 400 novices, and the Accepted quarters can hold 200 accepted. With seven more floors allocated to the seven ajahs, surely there's enough room for another five hundred Aes Sedai - though that figure could be closer to one thousand?? Don't know...


How many Hogwarts students are there at any given time? Five - six hundred? And only about twenty - thirty teachers... If that's anything to go by, then surely the White Tower is larger than Hogwarts...


Interesting topic, thanks for raising it ? 



Edited by francy
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  • 6 months later...

Hogwarts like regular school, only for magic at level junior high + high school (11-18), while WT only accepts girls between 16-18 unless a girl with the spark starts channeling earlier so they have to take her in. And then you normally study for 20ish + years


So its more like a looooong Uni


And as AS you keep studying your chosen field sort of like a doctorate..even as you work in it

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/18/2019 at 12:16 PM, CrystallineTart said:

- Tar Valon: Tar Valon has a clear kinda singular sorta track system in my opinion... novice... accepted... wizard... kinda... in my opinion... sorta like

that more or less... it's clear what each one means and where you are goingl... and it's just sot sorta straightforward.


Sad a lamb before wolf den.

The White Tower has three head power system (the Amrilin, the Hall and Ajahs heads). You can build your carrier in Tower politics, or from interaction with outer world. Novices is influenced by different ajahs from second, they was found. Deep current of toxic politic become stronger and stronger on their way.


I think, that major difference between WT a H is like between war field and kindergarten.

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  • 1 month later...

I find many misconceptions and flawed assumptions with the OP.



The White Tower has a far more complex heirarchy/social dymamic than Hogwarts. The four Houses of Hogwarts are little more than cliques that any school has (the jocks, the nerds, the stoners, etc.). Their only real function is to garner competition between each other. Likewise, the "years" only serve as a type of de facto seniority, in which upperclassmen are "better than" lowerclassmen merely by the fact they are older. It's like Seniors hazing Freshmen... more or less.


By contrast, the White Tower is far more than just a training ground for Novices and Accepted. Indeed, mosts sisters rarely concern themselves with training young girls. The real heirarchy exists amongst the sisters themselves. The Amyrlin's authority is  balanced by the Hall of Sitters, who are, in turn, pressured by the heads of their respective Ajahs. Inter-politics between Ajahs is brutal at times. Furthermore, every sister, regardless of Ajah, respects (even defers) to a sister who is stronger in the Power. This makes for an extremely complicated set of interweaving politics that Hogwarts doesn't even come close to matching.



Forgive me, but I don't think you really know what a "proper, European castle" is. The White Tower is very much a castle, in the literally sense: it is a residence fortified with a bailey (Tower grounds) and a surrounding wall. It doesn't matter one lick whether the building is in the middle of a city or nestled somewhere in the highlands of Scotland... that isn't what defines a castle.


Also, I question your assessment that the WT is more "empty" than Hogwarts. The White Tower has many unoccupied rooms because the ability to channel is slowly being culled out of humanity, but it is still full of groundskeepers, servants, supplicants, Warders, soldiers, and trainees (the Younglings were almost all from the Tower, and there's hundreds of them). Hogwarts, by contrast, has a full roster of students, and there are still big, dusty rooms full of junk, entire sections the students aren't allowed to go in, and a huge subterranean vault that not even most of the teachers know about.


Hogwarts is flamboyant in its need to waste space in fanciful ways... the White Tower is built for practicality and function.


Outside Relations

The Wizarding World is full of selfish, arrogant, and ignorant children. They possess an ability that can help all of humanity reach a grand Golden Age free of poverty and starvation, yet they use it for the stupidest sh!t I have ever seen.


The Aes Sedai are also arrogant and gigantic fools, but they still take the "Servants of All" moniker somewhat seriously. Moiraine said that without the Tower, people would forget about the Dark One exists. I honestly doubt that is true (what with all the Trolloc raids into the borderlands), but I think the spirit of the statement is that people still look to the Tower and the AS for guidance. I truly believe that their desire to be "mysterious" and to "stand apart" from common people has done them absolutely no favors. They are mistrusted and feared nearly as much as they're respected.


But the wizards and witches in HP...?

*hmph* They're practically villians the way they secret their power away from public view.

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