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No tar valon born aes sedai?

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Aes sedai come from all lands, but girls born in tar valon are the most likely to have the chance. those from faraway lands have to take the long voyage to the distant city to be tested on the off-chance of having the spark, while those born in tar valon just have to take a short hike. they may easily be discovered by a passing aes sedai on the street.

Compound on that tar valon being the most populous city, and having no prejudice against the tower, unlike most other lands, I'd expect a statistically large amount of aes sedai coming from the city and its surrounding.

Yet I can't recall a single one. is there a reason for this oddity?

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Well there might be a few, but remember people born able to channel are rare.  Most people don't travel to Tar Valon to be tested, either Aes Sedai find someone or if someone shows the signs of being able to channel they are sent to the tower.  But few people actually travel to the tower.  The Red Ajah was the largest Ajah and they only had 200 members.  So you might have around a 1000 Aes Sedai total.  So there is bound to be some from Tar Valon, but the numbers would still be tiny.  Many who can learn but wouldn't channel on their own are simply never found.

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  • 1 month later...

There are no Tar Valonese characters in the WOT.  People who come to Tar Valon retain their original nationality even if they live in Tar Valon permanently.  

Think Republic City in the Legends of Korra.   Citizens of Republic City are still consider themselves Fire Nation, or Water Tribe, especially Benders.  

Tar Valon came first but the two are similar in that regard.

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The difference is that Republic City is less than a few decades old, founded specifically to be a haven for all those displaced by the Hundred Year War.  Very new and intentionally cosmopolitan.  There would be nobody native to Republic City who was more than a few years older than Korra.  Tenzin's age at best.


Tar Valon is 3000 years old, and founded specifically to be a haven for Aes Sedai and their trainees.  The city grew up around the Aes Sedai's needs, to feed them, clothe them, and so forth.  I doubt that Tar Valon is the most populous city, though.  It's pretty geographically constrained, for one.  I would say that Tear, Illian, Caemlyn and Cairhein are all likely more populous, word of god not withstanding.


And in the three thousand years that the Tower has existed, there have been at least three successive generations of nations.  There's no natural distinction between people like with Avatar, where there's Fire Nation and Water Tribe and so forth.  I very much doubt a family that moved to Tar Valon from Manetheren just after the Trolloc Wars would, in the days of the Dragon Reborn, still consider themselves Manetheren, or more absurdly, Two Rivers folk.


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All very true. 

Republic City was an imperfect example rather than a direct parallel. 

But Remember Aes Sedai carry the stigma and most of the blame for the breaking of the world.  An event so catastrophic that it has left an enormous scar in the racial memories of every people in Randland. 

Even Tar Valon being considered the greatest city in the world, and almost every ruler being advised by Aes Sedai, isn't enough to make people comfortable being associated with Aes Sedai.  People even look askance at anyone just carrying Tar Valon coins.   

We don't see ANYONE admit they are FROM Tar Valon, though there must be plenty.  I think this would apply to Aes Sedai as well, from simple habit if nothing else. 

Also novices are expected to leave their previous life behind them during training to become Aes Sedai.  "Washed Clean"  and all that.   

So I think for all these reasons we don't see Tar Valon born Aes Sedai, even though they must exist from time to time.

Also we don't see much in the way of Tar Valon specific culture either.  For example we don't see women in the Royal courts emulating Tar Valon fashion, or even mentioning it, and Jordan talks ALOT about dresses. 

Though admittedly this could also stem from a fear of being accused of pretending to be Aes Sedai and being punished.

Lastly RJ probably just didn't think Aes Sedai who were born in Tar Valon would be that interesting to write or read about 🤣.  



Edited by Rhettles
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The thing is that there are relatively few main or secondary characters that were born in any of the Great Cities.  Which makes sense.  Even being hugely populous, the vast majority of the population would still have been in the countryside, due to the lack of industrial farming.  


And I don't really buy the premise that people native to Tar Valon would generally not want to make that heritage known.  Particularly in Tar Valon and those nations most closely allied with them, the Borderlands nations, Andor and Cairhein.  Perhaps in Tear or Amadicia there would be such reluctance, but likely only to avoid the inconvenience of having to put off Whitecloaks or Defenders who may be overzealous.  And in particular, a man from Tar Valon who's older than about 25 ought to be considered safe as houses.

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