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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Fate of Shaido Aiel


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Every now and then I wonder, what is the fate of the Shaido Aiel clan? They've disgraced themselves to the extent that they are almost-but-not-quite outcast from the community of Aiel clans, they've gone a long, long way down the road that terrifies Aviendha when she is shown it through the Rhuidean ter'angreal - ji-e-toh without any obligation and certainly no honour, they've tried and failed at the game of conquest and are now off to the Threefold Land to lick their wounds (and presumably to prey on the remainder of the Aiel who have stayed there to look after their clan holdings and territories), and they have danced no part in the Last Ballet/Battle.

 

Did RJ at any stage indicate what the likely future for such a disgraced remnant of a remnant would be? I can guess from the prophecy of Rhuidean what a good part of it is likely to be - they get shunned when they appear at Rhuidean, all except for the few who take on the burden and repent of their clan's arrogance, they are ignored for all intents and purposes, and eventually, like other clans and septs before them who have not had the courage to face reality, they fade into the dust of the Threefold Land. It's just the remnant of their remnant that intrigues me - because it seems to me that that part of the prophecy of Rhuidean would also apply to clans and septs that regained their courage and thus their ji-e-toh.

 

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I don't think the Shaido are the "remnant of a remnant" that survives according to the Prophecy.  Either they abandon clan to rejoin the rest, or they'll be increasingly crowded out of the Waste as well.

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My guess is they will slowly die off.  They aren't part of or protected by the Dragon's peace, they have a blood feud with pretty much every other clan now, and most importantly they will be left out of all new weave and technology discoveries.  So as the other clans advance the Shaido will remain isolated and alone.

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Plus, I very much doubt the signatories to the Dragon's Peace are gonna leave the Sharans alone for long.  While there's not gonna be a big appetite for war in the immediate future, this is a whole society who sided with the Shadow in the Last Battle, full of powerful channellers who know Travelling, now.  That and the luxury trade goods like silk and spices that came out of Shara, which likely won't following the Last Battle, and there will be thirst for retribution and conquest.  Fortuona in particular would be thirsty for war there, as she needs new damane to replace Last Battle losses, and has locked herself out of aquiring any new ones in the Westlands.  And the way to Shara lies through the Waste.  The Shaido won't be able to hide there when Randland decides to go through there to put down the Sharans.

Edited by Thrasymachus
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This question makes me think that the Aiel are making a mistake in not bringing in the Shaido that escaped Malden, and headed to the Waste.

I say that, because it feels like the Shaido will be the Aiel in that vision that Aviendha saw.

The war with the Seanchan may not occur, but the Aiel scavenging could easily be their descendants.

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Much like the vision of the Aiel history seen through the columns, the visions of the Aiel future also follow bloodlines.  What Aviendha was witnessing were her direct bloodline descendants, not Shaido, and not just any Aiel.  And it was a vision she subverted; it's not gonna happen, at least not in the way she saw it happen, because she made two important changes.  First, she resolves to demonstrate to herself at least that such a vision can be subverted by changing the name of one of her future children.  Second, she gets the Aiel included in the Dragon's Peace.  The latter should work to change the fate of the Aiel overall, while the former demonstrates that such a change is possible.

 

The Shaido likely will meet a fate similar to the fate Aviendha saw for her own descendants, but it will likely happen a lot sooner than Aviendha saw it happening to her kin.  And it will likely not be the Raven Empire that kills them off, but a coalition of Seanchan, Aiel under the Dragon's Peace, the White and Black towers, and several of the nations that were signatories to the Dragon's Peace, as they work their way through the Waste to assault Shara. 

 

Indeed, as I think about it, I think that providing passage and guidance through the Waste will be a major element of the negotiations they'll pursue to get back their Wise Ones, including the Shaido Wise Ones.  Fortuona will need new damane which she can't really get in the Westlands thanks to the Dragon's Peace and her very public negotiations with Egwene.  So she'll be very interested in joining a coalition to conquer Shara provided she can capture their channellers as damane, which I doubt the Westlands will object to very strongly (though there may be some moral push back, the advantage of having Seanchan allies in pursuing a war against Shara will probably quiet those moral qualms).  The Aiel just have to say, "Fine, you want to come along with us to punish the Sharans?  Release our Wise Ones.  Otherwise, we will not recognize you in our ancestral homeland.  You will not be given water or shade.  While we will not kill you, out of respect for the Dragon's Peace, the Waste itself will." I think Fortuona takes that deal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think joining the Dragon’s Peace was a mistake. Aviendha thinks the Aiel’s purpose is to be warriors. The reality couldn’t be further from that. The Aiel are supposed to be pacifists and plant trees. The trees are needed for a peaceful society, or war is only halted temporarily, so long as neither side thinks they can win.

The problem wasn’t the Aiel’s role in the Dragon’s Peace. The problem was the Aiel’s desire to fight. That aggression created the war against the Seachan, it isn’t a tool to prevent war. Aviendha’s Folly. 

Edited by Jsbrads2
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On 11/20/2020 at 3:36 PM, Jsbrads2 said:

I think joining the Dragon’s Peace was a mistake. Aviendha thinks the Aiel’s purpose is to be warriors.

 

But that is why they must join the Dragon's Peace. Their original purpose was to be peaceful and non-aggressive, servants to the Aes Sedai; only the Tinkers still hold to the peaceful part. Aviendha's quite right - the only way to ground their aggressiveness after three thousand years of constant battle against each other, is to give it a purpose, to act as a buffer between the kingdoms and states of Randland and a guarantee of the Peace Treaty's provisions.

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The "remnant of a remnant" are just what's left of the Aiel after the Last Battle - no reference to the Shaido in particular.

 

I don't there is a Shaido clan in the future. It probably falls apart and the remaining members are sort of left to their own devices outside of the Aiel's role in the Dragon's Peace. Some might find their way back to their societies. Others might become soldiers of fortune.

 

The fate of the Aiel as a whole is to go from weapons of war to keepers of peace. They're sort of the UN Peacekeepers of Randland. The next Turning will find them moving from keepers of the peace to practitioners of peace, prefacing their adoption of the Way of the Leaf before the Wheel comes all the way back around.

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But that’s the point Kal, the vision in the Pillars will come true if the Aiel continue to fight. Purpose is only good if it changes the equation.

Avi’s daughter was right, the Seachan will eventually break the peace. The Aiel in the Pillars just shortened the Peace.

The Trees can change the future of mankind, not a peace treaty, WWI proved that. 

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The main thing about Avi's vison is the Aiel went to fight alone, then a few nations at a time joined the fight, then a few more etc.  That was the big key was there was no unity to fight the Seanchan.  Now the Aiel can't go off and attack and if the Seanchan do attack now all the nations must fight.  

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The vision from the columns was highly specific.  Concrete events occurred that determined the course of the future for the descendents of Aviendha.  Specific causes leading to specific events.  What it wasn't was a revelation of causation in general.  It didn't reveal that the Aiel maintaining their warlike ways was the cause of their demise.  It was about specific decisions that her descendents, and ultimately she herself, made, or rather will make, and their specific outcomes.  Her children deciding to go to war with the Seanchan.  Her granddaughter manipulating the Queen of Andor using deception.  A further descendent retreating to the Waste.  A further one splitting up the last remaining clan.  And the last one raiding a trash heap for scraps of food.  A specific chain of events that is in no way written in stone, because the free will of the one viewing it changes the outcome it shows.  In little ways, and big.  Wise Ones making a third trip through the columns was never a part of Aviendha's vision, after all.  And it will now be a requirement.  Aviendha's children will not have the names (at least one of them) that she learned in her last trip through the columns.  And the Aiel are included in the Dragon's Peace.  The future she saw is no longer possible.

 

Now, the Aiel as a race will eventually go extinct, or at least lose their cultural distinctiveness and meld into neighboring, or possibly conquering groups.  All things born in the turning of the Wheel eventually pass in the turning of the Wheel, only to be reborn when the Wheel turns again.  Nevertheless, the columns give no larger insight into the future of the Aiel than the specific futures they reveal, and those futures are invariably subverted by those to whom they are revealed, and their cohorts with whom those visions are shared, just as Aviendha subverted the specific future that was shared to her.  The columns, by their nature, do not reveal a future that will occur, nor do they even reveal a future that might occur, rather, they reveal a future that must not occur, both in the sense that it creates a moral imperative in the one to whom that future is revealed to prevent it, and that by revealing it, it creates the conditions under which what is revealed is no longer possible.  Because of that, even the compilation and analysis of multiple visions by multiple Wise Ones cannot be reliably generalized from, to be able to say that, "such-and-such generalized feature of the Aiel is responsible for this general sort of future for the Aiel." The truths the columns reveal are not predictive, they are moral.

 

Edited by Thrasymachus
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Unaware of all prediction based literature before today. Every action taken actually brings one closer to the result predicted.

The war between the seanchan can’t be completely prevented. The Aiel can be saved only if they don’t fight. They have a societal niche. Passive planters of the tree of life. They have an ancient oath to return to that, their temporary warrishness was required to be tempered with knowledge of their failure and Rand revealed it to them. Ji e Toh taught them to accept abject submissiveness. All of this was to prepare them for their true destiny. They learned bravery because the greatest bravery is required by he who will not fight back. Perrin noticed that when the Tinker woman came alone to Moraine in the mountains.

The Aiel returning to a life of peace can lead the future greater society to find peace. The Aiel would be allowed to enter any position and can be used to communicate and mediate peace. 

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