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greenfreq

Lord of Chaos and the Shielding of Rand at Dumai's Wells

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In book six when the tower Aes Sedai take Rand, they shield him and take him to the house they have been staying in.  Rand talks about 6 soft points.  At Dumai's Wells there is a point where some of the six points become hard (from knotting).  I have heard this part many times (audio books) and even read it several times and it never dawned on me until today.  How come their were six points and how come some got knotted.  I reason away the six soft points with an explanation of the one power flowing in from 6 people, but then some of them get knotted (tied off) as women leave the circle.  This part does not make sense to me.  As it is always a circle of Aes Sedai that is mentioned to maintain a shield.  Did I miss something?

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Think of it as when they are actively holding the "Shield" they are using a constant flow of Spirit to hold Rand.  When they started to break off & fight the attackers they tied off their Shield and that is what made it a "Hard Point" aka like a Stapler.  That is when LTT used a Staple remover to take out the Shield.

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I cannot give you relevant notation now, but they was not at circle. It was several weaker shields, not one powerful.

Edited by Elendir

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2 hours ago, Lancer said:

Think of it as when they are actively holding the "Shield" they are using a constant flow of Spirit to hold Rand.  When they started to break off & fight the attackers they tied off their Shield and that is what made it a "Hard Point" aka like a Stapler.  That is when LTT used a Staple remover to take out the Shield.

So I understand what is being described in the passage, the issue for me is that when they state that a circle of 13 women can shield any man, they are stating a single shield held by one woman that is basically using the other women as an angreal.  The women wouldn't be able to tie off their portion and leave the circle, they would have to be released.  In which case it would then turn to 5 soft points, then 4 soft points etc.

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What the previous thread said.  The women guarding/shielding Rand were NOT in a circle.  They were overlapping shield's on him.

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7 hours ago, Lancer said:

What the previous thread said.  The women guarding/shielding Rand were NOT in a circle.  They were overlapping shield's on him.

Can you point to a text where it states this. If they were not in a circle then each shield would only be as strong as the SINGLE woman holding each shield, and Rand would only have seen the single point of the shield closest to him and he would have been able to break each one as he worked his way out.

 

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The text would have said that there was only one soft or hard point in the shield itself if the Aes Sedai were in a circle, because  only one Aes Sedai would be making the shield, using the other Aes Sedai to boost the shield. The six points in the text represented six individual shields made by six Aes Sedai maintaining each shield separately.

This was because only the female Forsaken and Nyneave have the individual strength level strong enough to maintain a shield on Rand alone.

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On 2/7/2020 at 10:53 PM, wotfan4472 said:

The text would have said that there was only one soft or hard point in the shield itself if the Aes Sedai were in a circle, because  only one Aes Sedai would be making the shield, using the other Aes Sedai to boost the shield. The six points in the text represented six individual shields made by six Aes Sedai maintaining each shield separately.

This was because only the female Forsaken and Nyneave have the individual strength level strong enough to maintain a shield on Rand alone.

 

This seems more like trying to justify the presence of 6 points, as this would be a break from tradition. It takes a circle of 6 to be strong enough to hold a man once he has been shielded by a circle of 13.  If a shield held by a single woman could not hold Rand, then why would they use six individual shields that he could just break one by one.

 

1.  If an individual cannot hold a shield on Rand

2. If tradition dictates that a shield be maintained by a circle of 6

 

Then it stands to reason that at Dumai's Wells, all Rand would have noticed was a single point, and a lessening of the shield strength as women were released from the circle.  (Which brings up another point, can a person be released from a circle without releasing everyone?) And that the six points, although more exciting and lively for the story telling was an oversight on the part of R.J.  

 

Another thread on the same topic. (with some interesting theories on how is could be an amalgamation of 6 separate shields in spite of custom.)

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Think of this as sarand wrap. 1 layer is weak, where as 6 is stronger.  The women were never linked, I think this is where the hang up is.

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The 6 points indicate separate shields overlapping. We learn later that knotted weaves can easily be broken, while soft points cannot. The tradition of 6 separate shields after capturing a male channeller is because of how a man channels saidin. They do not submit to it like the Aes Sedai do with saidar, they must dominate it.

 

A man with Rand's strength requires 6, minimum to shield him safely, just as shielding Lanfear would. 

 

5 would mean they could stop him, but it would be difficult without the 6th. 4 would not hold him, as we all saw, and two of them are stilled as a result of the back blast of energy and effort to keep him shielded. The Aes Sedai have forgotten that the most powerful of channelers must be shielded with 6, minimum, and any less will see them either stilled or dead.

 

The exact same scenario plays out when you put Lanfear or Alivia in Rand's position.

 

But engaging a powerful channeler requires 13 women, and a technique that has been lost since the Age Of Legends.

All the Aes Sedai remember is that number. That is it. 

 

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One doesn’t break a tied off shield, one breaks the knot.

 

I’m not sure Nynaeve could shield Rand alone, she almost failed to hold Logain alone.

Unfortunately, power levels are all over the place, when Mat is being healed Nynaeve seems to indicate she is can channel half of what 13 women with a saangreal can channel?

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Egwene seemed pretty certain had they tried to shield Rand in the WT he could of broken it with ease.

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Posted (edited)

Because the knowledge the White Tower had when Rand met Egwene would have had him break through any attempt to shield him. The interesting thing, is there was a way to shield Rand without him breaking free, but only the Age Of Legends Aes Sedai knew how. It died with them.

 

Nyneave could not have held Rand by shield alone, since she was not his equivalent strength, since her equals were Asmodean and Moghedien.. Lanfear and Alivia, however could shield Rand alone, because they were equivalent to his strength in specific ways. But only these two could.

Edited by wotfan4472

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Posted (edited)

Interesting topic.

 

I must say, I have to agree with Greenfreq on this one. I didn't pay too much mind when I first read that chapter, but now that it's been pointed out, it does seem like an inconsistancy. The sisters should have definitely been linked, with the leader maintaining one powerful shield.

 

We know from text elsewhere in the series that flows cannot be combined unless linked. Six separate shields would be six separate shields, each just as weak as the next. Rand might not have been able to break all six at once, but he would have taken them down one-by-one as easily as peeling an onion.

_____

 

It might be worth noting that channeler's seem to be able to take control of a weave that someone else creates: the flicker of light that was "all Egwene" in EotW; Egwene and Elayne playing catch with a ball of light; the Shaido Wise Ones' fireballs and lightning strikes either dissipating or getting diverted... all these suggest the flows of a weave are either shared, passed, or wrested away from (respectively) another channeler.

 

The six Aes Sedai might be simultaneously grasping the same flows on Rand's shield, but this doesn't support the idea of them knotting their individual effort. That would suggest they are combining flows, which is impossible without a link.

_____

 

Sorry folks, but I don't think this one can be explained away so simply. I chalk it up to Jordan just testing new ideas. The concept of linking was not even fully introduced until LoC, and Jordan had previously amended principles of the One Power throughout the series. (Remember in EotW when Moiraine had to "remove" the last vestages of the OP after their first night in the Blight? Never again is it shown that characters can detect where the Power was used after its effects are gone. That little bit was retconned through ommision.)

 

My point is that it seems Jordan was just beginning to explore the fundamentals of linking, and what we see at Dumai's Wells is just an early version of that. [Insert head-canon]

 

🙂

Edited by Effete

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