Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Why aren't vultures killed on sight?


AceDaMace9
 Share

Recommended Posts

         I've been rereading the series of late and was surprised when I noticed an odd detail. From the beginning it was made clear that ravens, rats and all other creatures that feed on death can be used as spies for the dark one. But many times throughout the series characters see or interact with vultures and do nothing, but will set bounties on and kill ravens or rats on sight.

           Does anyone know if Jordan ever addressed this? Or is it just a funny little oversight? Because in my opinion vultures are known for feeding on the dead even more than ravens or rats, the other two will eat anything they can scavenge, but as far as I know vultures hunt for dead meat. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Aisling~ said:

Yes but (and I could be wrong) aren't vultures a notoriously stupid bird? Maybe they're not smart enough to retain the info they should report. ?

 

 

I just imagine a Myrddraal telling a vulture to watch the road and report if it sees anything, and an hour later the bird comes back to say it saw a rabbit. I can see why maybe they dont like them if that's the case lol. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, AceDaMace9 said:

 

I just imagine a Myrddraal telling a vulture to watch the road and report if it sees anything, and an hour later the bird comes back to say it saw a rabbit. I can see why maybe they dont like them if that's the case lol. 

If i was the Dark One and wanted to use animals as spies i think i would be more likely to come up with something with a bit more intelligence and a lot less conspicuous. Crows and Rats make far better spies, much smaller far more intelligent and very common everywhere in the world, Vultures live solely off of Carrion, Crows and Rats are Omnivores and there presence on Roofs, in Houses, Gardens etc of large Cities will barely be noticed(except for the Borderlands) Vultures would draw attention sitting on a Roof in a large City, which is the exact opposite of what Spies should do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, Harldin said:

If i was the Dark One and wanted to use animals as spies i think i would be more likely to come up with something with a bit more intelligence and a lot less conspicuous. Crows and Rats make far better spies, much smaller far more intelligent and very common everywhere in the world, Vultures live solely off of Carrion, Crows and Rats are Omnivores and there presence on Roofs, in Houses, Gardens etc of large Cities will barely be noticed(except for the Borderlands) Vultures would draw attention sitting on a Roof in a large City, which is the exact opposite of what Spies should do.

 

That makes sense, and I almost raised the point that they might blend in well in the Waste but than I remembered that there wouldn't be much point since even the Trollic Wars couldn't break the Aiel. Guess there just isn't any real advantage to using them over ravens or rats, bigger, more noticable. Though I guess having them be so useless might make them unexpected. But itd only work once. Thanks for the answers though! I just hadn't noticed it before and thought it odd, but it makes sense when you put it that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vultures seem stupid to us because they're big, and thus awkward and lumbering on the ground.  And their ability to soar at well-beyond bow range and scan a battlefield, and their vastly superior senses of smell, would make them excellent scouts, of a kind.

 

My theory is that vultures are as immune from influence by the Shadow as hawks would be.  The Dark One's powers are strongest, not at night, but in twilight.  Fades travel at the edge of shadow, not through its depths.  And the Lord of the Grave can only snatch a soul soon after their death, and not long after.  Presumably when that soul is still in transition.  Darkhounds are most dangerous to encounter at crossroads.  That theme, that the Dark One's powers are at their zenith during transitions, at thresholds and crossroads, is one that Jordan borrows from other cultures and myths, and never really comes to much.  But I reckon it can explain why rats and ravens are susceptible to influence by the powers of the Shadow, where, for all we know, vultures are not.

 

Vultures are carrion-eaters, it's true, but they prefer to feed on carrion that's been stewing for a bit.  Long after a corpse has putrefied beyond the point where rats and ravens will feed on it (unless they're stressed or starving), vultures are still happily nomming away.  And while rats and ravens will eat fresh meat recently killed, or even kill it themselves, vultures don't kill, and don't eat fresh meat.  I would hypothesize that vultures are too far on the side of death to be the kinds of creatures that thrive in that transition between life and death.  Just as someone would be as safe from a fade in a completely darkened room that has no shadow edges through which they could travel as they would be in a fully bright midday sun where any shadows are too small and weak, vultures are too far on the side of consuming the dead to be greatly influenced by the Shadow's powers and minions.

 

Just my theory though.  I couldn't find anything about vultures in the interview database, and I doubt Jordan thought about it to that degree, though I wouldn't be surprised if he had.

Edited by Thrasymachus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really like that breakdown. Being a point where there wont be a confirmation (unless Sanderson is just hiding some random obscure notes on vultures to hype the show or something XD) I think that explanation probably makes the most sense. It's a true show of outstanding writing when even such an obscure detail like this can be looked at with the rules of the world you made and figured out with some thought and logic. Just one of the many reasons I love this series 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vultures will definitely eat a creature that is still alive if it is almost dead and can’t defend itself. Vultures eat freshly dead meat too. They have the additional capacity to eat long dead meat that only opossums can match.

Vultures may be the Dark One’s eyes, it’s just when they appear, it is too late to remedy the situation.

Was it at Dumai’s Wells? When someone killed a bird and Rand, disgusted, told them to stop, “isn’t there enough death?!” 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...