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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

wheel of time confussion


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okokokokokokok I just started watching wheel of time, never read books. how do the white cloaks, which appear to be the government millitary, get away with hunting and killing the ladys that use magic. And if the local government supports that then how can they have a white tower which trains and houses them right in the kingdom.

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In the World at the time, the kingdom governments are not strong in their reach.  There is an area around the capital cities that they can pretty tightly control (though there is a lot of civil war and infighting a lot of the time), and then there is the wider area that the kingdom claims as their own, but they don't really control.  They will fight other governments for it and claim taxes from the goods, but they don't patrol those areas regularly. There are also large wide-open spaces that are only in a kingdom on a map, but never see any government officials or armies and have to deal with problems on their own. And finally, there are places where the government that ruled it has been destroyed and have no government at all.

The Whitecloaks are not a government organization. They're more like...the Shriners, or the Masons, or the Knights Templar. They are a semi-religious order of men, that are wealthy enough or well enough sponsored anyway to keep themselves equipped and armed and keep other troops too. They move in areas less under the control of governments pretty freely because there are few out there with the power to stop them.  In some kingdoms, they virtually have taken over the civilian government, so that that helps their funding and stuff. 

The White Tower is like Vatican City. It's not part of any kingdom, though it is near a few fairly friendly ones.  They can't stop the WhiteCloaks directly because they don't have an army and can't use the one power as a weapon. They have magic, and can use that and their own wealth to maintain their city, and some other kingdoms do pay tribute to them in exchange for advice and occasional magic support (and out of tradition) , but they don't send troops for them.  

Many of the people are sympathetic to the Whitecloaks beliefs that the Aes Sedai are evil, though the whole 'burning at the stake' thing is not widely known and would generally receive disapproval if it were known. We saw Master Hightower say that. The Whitecloaks preach that a fair bit.

I hope that helps?

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Addendum: even for the relatively powerful nations (outside the borderlands - and the whitecloaks curiously are not often seen there) there is no standing army - the governing authority maintains only a small number of regular troops (e.g. the Illianer Companions seen in a flashback scene in a later episode) which form the core of an army (training cadre and an elite formation) if there is a war.  The bulk of any army raised is then personal armsmen paid for by the nobles (usually cavalry) and townsman and countryside militia as infantry (generally not respected).  This is how things were in Europe also until around 3-400 years ago.  The whitecloaks maintain a regular military force much larger than the regular troops of the southern nations (in the books several thousand well trained heavy cavalry) although it is rare to find more than a few hundred deployed together.  

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as for how they can overpower aes sedai, it's just a matter of numbers you've seen that enough trollocs could overpower moiraine, and she's stronger than most.

either that, or take the aes sedai by surprise and knock them on the head before they realize they are in danger.

 

in the books, though, there was no burning at stake unless the aes sedai was already dead. while it's true that many of them rely on hand gesture and can't channel without them, they are not strictly required and you can never know which aes sedai has a few tricks. taking one alive for the sole purpose of killing her in a more formalized fashion is just too dangerous.

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They can overwhelm with numbers, drug them, get them to a stedding, knock them out, threaten to kill innocents if they don't turn themselves over, or even kill their warder from afar and then return later.  They can only use the one power as a weapon to protect themselves, their warders, or another sister. 

 

Though I don't think burning at the stake is a regular thing for most Whitecloaks even in the show.  It's a fetish for Valda.  He may just report that he's killing dangerous rogue Aes Sedai.  Not many people realize the oaths are actually enforced with the Oath Rod.

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49 minutes ago, WhiteVeils said:

They can overwhelm with numbers, drug them, get them to a stedding, knock them out, threaten to kill innocents if they don't turn themselves over, or even kill their warder from afar and then return later.  They can only use the one power as a weapon to protect themselves, their warders, or another sister. 

 

 

The Yellow sister being burnt has a fairly obvious head wound.  A stone from a sling could be the possible reason.

 

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I haven't seen another comment mention this yet, but Wheel of Time depicts many countries, not just one. The Aes Sedai (magic witch ladies) are not technically bound to any country. The white tower is independent, but lends counselors to the kings and queens of most countries on the continent. The biggest exception is Amadicia, which is where the Children of the Light are headquartered. Aes Sedai are banned from being in that country at all. Although the Children are also not officially affiliated with any government, they do receive pretty significant backing within the country they're based out of, and that country is openly hostile to the Aes Sedai.

 

Aside from those details, there is also that the countrysides are largely de facto self-governing. It varies a bit from country to country, but for the most part, the monarchs really only control their capitals tightly. The area the main characters are from is technically part of Andor under the governance of the queen, but they couldn't even name her at the start of the story and don't even recognize her banner. They're really governed by their own town councils. The Children of the Light can't overpower the standing armies of a national capital, but outlying regions don't have the power to stop them from doing whatever they want, mostly.

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At least in the books the Whitecloaks avoid the Borderlands where the Aes Sedai are usually respected, so they wouldn't look too kindly on the Whitecloaks hunting Aes Sedai and causing trouble.  You don't seem to see them in Tear or Illian (which are both strong nations).  Andor is a strong nation so they mostly pass through and avoid causing too many issues near the cities.  Most of the other nations are too weak to really put up alot of issues to the Whitecloaks.  But alot of the land (even in Andor) is mostly no mans land where about anything can happen.  The Whitecloaks are mostly bullies that do what they wish in a lot of places becuase most of the nations are too weak to stand up to them.  

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In fairness, it's not even just the Borderlands that get avoided.  Sabio mentioned the strong nations where the White Cloaks don't really operate.

That's be everything in a rough diagonal across the map from NW to SE.  In the books the White Cloaks are starting to push into Andor and very much mostly in the west and south where the throne's hand is weak or non-existent.   They run throughout Tarabon, Altara, Amadicia(Their home), Ghealdin and Murandy.  I don't recall offhand if they are in Arad Doman.

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On 9/25/2022 at 8:16 PM, WhiteVeils said:

In the World at the time, the kingdom governments are not strong in their reach.  There is an area around the capital cities that they can pretty tightly control (though there is a lot of civil war and infighting a lot of the time), and then there is the wider area that the kingdom claims as their own, but they don't really control.  They will fight other governments for it and claim taxes from the goods, but they don't patrol those areas regularly. There are also large wide-open spaces that are only in a kingdom on a map, but never see any government officials or armies and have to deal with problems on their own. And finally, there are places where the government that ruled it has been destroyed and have no government at all.

The Whitecloaks are not a government organization. They're more like...the Shriners, or the Masons, or the Knights Templar. They are a semi-religious order of men, that are wealthy enough or well enough sponsored anyway to keep themselves equipped and armed and keep other troops too. They move in areas less under the control of governments pretty freely because there are few out there with the power to stop them.  In some kingdoms, they virtually have taken over the civilian government, so that that helps their funding and stuff. 

The White Tower is like Vatican City. It's not part of any kingdom, though it is near a few fairly friendly ones.  They can't stop the WhiteCloaks directly because they don't have an army and can't use the one power as a weapon. They have magic, and can use that and their own wealth to maintain their city, and some other kingdoms do pay tribute to them in exchange for advice and occasional magic support (and out of tradition) , but they don't send troops for them.  

Many of the people are sympathetic to the Whitecloaks beliefs that the Aes Sedai are evil, though the whole 'burning at the stake' thing is not widely known and would generally receive disapproval if it were known. We saw Master Hightower say that. The Whitecloaks preach that a fair bit.

I hope that helps?

Just had a good laugh at the Shriners' expense, there, thx! 😄 

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