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Tuon...oh...Tuon... you are a hypocrite!


chongjasmine
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7 hours ago, chongjasmine said:

Tuon is such a hypocrite! What does Mat see in her?

Confronted with the fact that she herself can channel, she still tried to train damane and enjoys it.

I totally despise her and feel so sorry for Mat.  

 

(Currently reading the part where she tried to train Joline, Teslyn etc)

So you're saying that she is human with human flaws?

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A society based on the idea of all channelers being collared and that rule being true for what 500 odd years or so and you expect, on learning the truth, that the person who relies on that undesirable truth keeping peace in her land and keeping her in power. Something that she feels is her true birthright, to just stop following centuries of indoctrination. 
 

Also, there is a suggestion that when the collar was first created it was widely known that taught channelers held one end. I imagine Tuon etc would work out there was a reason it was accepted, probably because by being put in either end of the collar both natural channelers and taught channelers are enslaved. 

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On 11/27/2022 at 9:46 PM, Sir_Charrid said:

A society based on the idea of all channelers being collared and that rule being true for what 500 odd years or so and you expect, on learning the truth, that the person who relies on that undesirable truth keeping peace in her land and keeping her in power. Something that she feels is her true birthright, to just stop following centuries of indoctrination.

 

This so much.  The experience of Hawkwing's armies in Seanchan was of Aes Sedai, unconstrained by the three oaths, who set themselves up as Queens/tyrants, warring among themselves for power.  With the one power unleashed in battle it must have been nightmarish. Plus Hawkwing's armies likely had his suspicion of, if not enmity towards Aes Sedai, because The White Tower had tried to control him.  They're all the same in other words.

 

So Tuon will have grown up with the tradition that using the one power is incredibly dangerous and a threat to order and stability unless the power can be controlled and harnessed for The Empire's good.  Which is very handy for Tuon as she is at the apex of the pyramid and relies on it.

 

At a human level it is vile that she would submit every single woman or girl who could channel to the a'dam while exempting herself and keeping her secret but, oh, so very human.  "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" is great advice until someone has something to lose then they can become morally flexible - or hypocritical.  And she can justify this to herself as for the good of the empire.

 

Exposure to Aes Sedai / windfinders / Wise Ones might change her view of how dangerous channelers are and the need to chain them but I doubt it.  Egeanin could see the truth of Nynaeve and Elayne's characters but Tuon will see rivals for power and organised structures like The White Tower (oaths or no oaths), Wise Ones and Windfinders, not to mention The Ayyad, as incredibly dangerous.  What if Moghedien had not been conveniently collared at the end of AMOL?  How much damage could she have done?

 

The best outcome is likely the possibility hinted at in Aviendha's Rhuidean visions - that The Dragon's Peace endures and Tuon does not attempt to conquer all of Randland and then Shara like Hawkwing did.  Only long exposure to both men and women being able to channel who are not rabid animals might change attitudes but against that you have the problem of how useful it is to chain those channelers and exploit their labour, whether in battle, finding minerals or healthcare.

 

The problem for Tuon is long-term: as someone who can channel and is not bound by the three oaths she will have a greatly extended lifespan.  At some point the penny is going to drop.

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In my (non-canon) post WOT sequence of events, Mat's sister Bodewhin comes to visit Mat and Tuon on the birth of their first child, all smiles and bonhomie on the birth of her first niece/nephew. And having been through the Last Battle, she's mastered most of the discipline to pass the final test for becoming Aes Sedai. But she hasn't yet.

 

So Bodewhin's just outside the agreement between Tuon and the Amyrlin, and Tuon collars her. Mat is outraged - okay, she's been a right royal pain to him while he was growing up, but she's his sister, and she's brought presents for her niece/nephew, and damn it all, Tuon should know better. So, before things get out of hand, he unleashes her, to Tuon's horror, and Bodewhin, who's heard from Nynaeve and Elayne after all, that the collar also works on those who can be taught to channel, promptly clamps it on Tuon's neck, and is only restrained from further retaliation by Mat's equal outrage - blood and buttered onions, Tuon's his wife, and he won't have her leashed any more than he'll have his sister leashed ...

 

Chastened, Tuon and Bodewhin agree not to go mediaeval on each other's person, and Bodewhin gets plenipotentiary rights to negotiate an agreement on channelers in the Seanchan Empire, which at this time is still restricted to the south-west of Randland while the rest of Seanchan is locked in civil war ...

 

Just my 0.02c worth, and don't go spending it all at once ... 🙂

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I guess you have to take into account how literally cutthroat Seanchan politics are - they even say to Mat that the first assassins sent his way will not be trained too much.

 

At the Last Battle, most of the Blood are still Seanchan - local nobility inducted into the Blood are still an exception, not the rule (and what with the Returners, most Seanchan expect to grab a bit of Randland). And some of the High Blood may already know the secret about taught channelers - it's not like Aes Sedai are particularly tight-lipped on the subject.

 

So even when Tuon confronts Egwene at the Last Battle, it could be a precisely devised blunder. Tuon could already know the empire's dirty secret about natural vs taught channelers - but she has the very public occasion to shock the Blood, and a culprit already able to take the fall : Knotai / Mat, aka This Unreliable Guy and Military Genius.

 

Note that it is Mat's Fault (like always) to not have passed critical data (Egwene was a damane). This is also a way for Tuon to have the brilliant general out of the way of Seanchan politics, as after this no one from the Blood would risk any plot to dethrone her to Mat's benefit. This is politically brilliant, because Mat has way more momentum than Tuon at the time, politically speaking (unknown to him maybe).

 

Next point is obvious : Seanchan was destroyed by a Forsaken at Seandar, which shows that a society with damane only works in isolation - with no external channelers. Now that the Dragon's Peace forces cohabitation - Seanchan has to crank up its magical defences against channelers. So you can try to train more damane with blind faith to the Empire - the conservative answer - or be a little more bold...

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/4/2022 at 5:16 AM, Stedding Tofu said:

The problem for Tuon is long-term: as someone who can channel and is not bound by the three oaths she will have a greatly extended lifespan.  At some point the penny is going to drop.

Channeling, not simply being able to channel or being able to learn to channel, is what extends the lifespan of channelers. I don’t think this applies to suldam as using the bracelet side of the suldam is not enough to extend lifespan noticeably. But if it does, that applies to all suldam, not just Tuon. Surely the Seachan would have already noticed if Suldam live longer. If they do, everyone will assume Tuon lives longer because she is a suldam. If they don’t, nothing will be noticed at all.

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12 hours ago, Samt said:

Channeling, not simply being able to channel or being able to learn to channel, is what extends the lifespan of channelers. I don’t think this applies to suldam as using the bracelet side of the suldam is not enough to extend lifespan noticeably. But if it does, that applies to all suldam, not just Tuon. Surely the Seachan would have already noticed if Suldam live longer. If they do, everyone will assume Tuon lives longer because she is a suldam. If they don’t, nothing will be noticed at all.

 

Yes, that's a fair point.  I initially read the scene where Selucia collars Teslyn, Joline and Edesina while Tuon already has the a'dam on her wrist (all three I suppose) but hidden by a blanket as evidence that she could channel herself.  It's not of course, merely that she is a sul'dam, but I retained the initial sub-conscious belief that she could channel. 

 

I'm still not sure, though, as we know that the a'dam allows a woman to be brought into a circle involuntarily and we know that the link cannot be expanded into a larger circle so the implication of Tuon forming three separate circles at the same time is either that a woman can be part of and control multiple circles at the same time (surely not), that the a'dam does not work the way the Seanchan believe (but surely the Aes Sedai would have known if they were all linked in one circle) or that Tuon only believes she is relying on the a'dam while she is really using her own innate ability to channel instead of or as much as the a'dam(s). 

 

The last explanation still raises the problem of Tuon controlling three separate circles or the shocked Aes Sedai not realising they are all in one circle so there are logical impossibilities with all explanations.  I put it down to the need for the dramatic scene to have Tuon neutralise all three Aes Sedai rather than any hard rule about the operation of the a'dam or forming of circles but who knows?  Maybe the tradition of sul'dam only wearing one bracelet has hidden the fact that she can control multiple women or maybe the simplest explanation is that only one link / circle is active at a time with the other links being dormant with the women being held by the a'dam as they would be if the bracelet was on a peg on the wall.

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6 hours ago, Stedding Tofu said:

 

Yes, that's a fair point.  I initially read the scene where Selucia collars Teslyn, Joline and Edesina while Tuon already has the a'dam on her wrist (all three I suppose) but hidden by a blanket as evidence that she could channel herself.  It's not of course, merely that she is a sul'dam, but I retained the initial sub-conscious belief that she could channel. 

 

I'm still not sure, though, as we know that the a'dam allows a woman to be brought into a circle involuntarily and we know that the link cannot be expanded into a larger circle so the implication of Tuon forming three separate circles at the same time is either that a woman can be part of and control multiple circles at the same time (surely not), that the a'dam does not work the way the Seanchan believe (but surely the Aes Sedai would have known if they were all linked in one circle) or that Tuon only believes she is relying on the a'dam while she is really using her own innate ability to channel instead of or as much as the a'dam(s). 

 

The last explanation still raises the problem of Tuon controlling three separate circles or the shocked Aes Sedai not realising they are all in one circle so there are logical impossibilities with all explanations.  I put it down to the need for the dramatic scene to have Tuon neutralise all three Aes Sedai rather than any hard rule about the operation of the a'dam or forming of circles but who knows?  Maybe the tradition of sul'dam only wearing one bracelet has hidden the fact that she can control multiple women or maybe the simplest explanation is that only one link / circle is active at a time with the other links being dormant with the women being held by the a'dam as they would be if the bracelet was on a peg on the wall.

Yeah, the explanation of how the suldam/damane circle works is somewhat odd anyways.  Although it is a circle of sorts, the suldam is sort of telepathically telling the damage to perform the weave. The damane can even try to resist although this is painful and difficult.  But both the damane and suldam still believe that the damane is the one channeling.  

 

In a regular circle, the leader of the circle is channeling without consulting or otherwise interacting with the consciousnesses of the other members of the circle.  The supporting members of the circle can see and perhaps feel what the leader is doing, but that is all.  

 

Moreover the adam does more than just allow the suldam to draw on the power of the damane to channel.  It physically controls the damane, allows for psychic punishments, and can constrict movement even without someone controlling the bracelet.  It's probably best to just call it a twisted circle, since the differences between it and a real circle are quite significant.  None of those things are possible in a regular circle, although perhaps a skilled leader could do them by channeling with the power of the circle and using it agains the supporting members of the circle.

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14 hours ago, Samt said:

Yeah, the explanation of how the suldam/damane circle works is somewhat odd anyways.  Although it is a circle of sorts, the suldam is sort of telepathically telling the damage to perform the weave. The damane can even try to resist although this is painful and difficult.  But both the damane and suldam still believe that the damane is the one channeling.  

 

In a regular circle, the leader of the circle is channeling without consulting or otherwise interacting with the consciousnesses of the other members of the circle.  The supporting members of the circle can see and perhaps feel what the leader is doing, but that is all.  

 

Moreover the adam does more than just allow the suldam to draw on the power of the damane to channel.  It physically controls the damane, allows for psychic punishments, and can constrict movement even without someone controlling the bracelet.  It's probably best to just call it a twisted circle, since the differences between it and a real circle are quite significant.  None of those things are possible in a regular circle, although perhaps a skilled leader could do them by channeling with the power of the circle and using it agains the supporting members of the circle.

The adam is a Moebius strip! It'd need something like for the Domination Band to work, two women, one man. FWIW, the adam seems to include a touch of compulsion that a regular circle couldn't - you remember, in a circle you have to let go your control of the One Power to the leader. With an adam, it's the placing it around the person's neck that establishes the connection. And the control.

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The reveal that Suldam could channel sort of was a dud.  I mean they kept saying how if this knowledge got out it would shake the empire to the foundation.  Yet when Tuon and everyone learn of it, then it's sort of like no big deal.  Tuon's explanation of I choose not to channel so I don't care seemed weak.  

 

It sort of like a circle of one,  as Moghi pointed out that unlike a normal circle where everyone contributes to the power of the circle.  The Suldam doesn't add anything to the link with the damane.  

Edited by Sabio
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1 hour ago, Sabio said:

The reveal that Suldam could channel sort of was a dud.  I mean they kept saying how if this knowledge got out it would shake the empire to the foundation.  Yet when Tuon and everyone learn of it, then it's sort of like no big deal.  Tuon's explanation of I choose not to channel so I don't care seemed weak.  

 

People overreact sometimes.  Look at meteorologists - bomb cyclone, polar vortex, the sky is falling...  Then we get 2 inches of snow and it is mild two days later.

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We generally exaggerate the levels of hypocrisy others display, while at the same time being generally blind to our own hypocrisy.   The self-serving nature of Tuon's stance is totally clear to the reader and to those from other cultures, while she does not see it at all.  If only we could see the planks in out own eyes to remove them.

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19 hours ago, Sabio said:

The reveal that Suldam could channel sort of was a dud.  I mean they kept saying how if this knowledge got out it would shake the empire to the foundation.  Yet when Tuon and everyone learn of it, then it's sort of like no big deal.  Tuon's explanation of I choose not to channel so I don't care seemed weak.  

 

It sort of like a circle of one,  as Moghi pointed out that unlike a normal circle where everyone contributes to the power of the circle.  The Suldam doesn't add anything to the link with the damane.  

I mean the knowledge hasn't got out, Tuon knows, a handful of others know, but, back home the knowledge is not wide spread. Of course those at the top of the pyramid are not going to treat it like a big deal, because everything she is is based on that lie being maintained and, if she is going to remain empress of a united nation, then she needs to make sure that if the knowledge IS going to get out, it is done in a controlled manipulated and drip feed manner and, more importantly in such a way that it can be "no big deal". 

"Citizens of Seanchan, we have learnt that Channeling can be taught, but thats ok, those who can be taught become Suldam, and a Suldam will never learn to channel because she is Suldam. Should any Suldam ever be caught learning to channel she shall be collared. Should anyone be found teaching a Suldam to channel she shall be killed and her family with her." 

To get to that stage would take years of drip drip information and Tuon re establishing her place as the unquestionable empress. Meaning that when she makes the decree, it is not questioned and any attempt to use it to usurp her can be crushed. 

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22 hours ago, Sir_Charrid said:

I mean the knowledge hasn't got out, Tuon knows, a handful of others know, but, back home the knowledge is not wide spread. Of course those at the top of the pyramid are not going to treat it like a big deal, because everything she is is based on that lie being maintained and, if she is going to remain empress of a united nation, then she needs to make sure that if the knowledge IS going to get out, it is done in a controlled manipulated and drip feed manner and, more importantly in such a way that it can be "no big deal". 

"Citizens of Seanchan, we have learnt that Channeling can be taught, but thats ok, those who can be taught become Suldam, and a Suldam will never learn to channel because she is Suldam. Should any Suldam ever be caught learning to channel she shall be collared. Should anyone be found teaching a Suldam to channel she shall be killed and her family with her." 

To get to that stage would take years of drip drip information and Tuon re establishing her place as the unquestionable empress. Meaning that when she makes the decree, it is not questioned and any attempt to use it to usurp her can be crushed. 

 

Egwene's plan was to turn the captured sul'dam into Aes Sedai, or at least "Women who can channel connected to The White Tower" and then show this back to The Seanchan to undermine their whole power structure.  Publication of information and public announcements about this would be vital but it all goes nowhere, remains a secret and the Seanchan juggernaut is left camped over a third of Randland at series end, having disgorged millions of settlers in Ebou Dar and Tanchico.  It seems there was simply too much to tie up and this plot point (introduced as early as TGH when Nynaeve first collars a sul'dam) opened up too much more to resolve so it was dropped.

 

I don't quite know what RJ intended with The Corenne but as we see Mat realise, watching the settlers leave Ebou Dar, there's no turning back from this and the Seanchan seem in an impregnable position with the conquered populace fairly well-integrated into the Empire in record time - see all the auxiliary troops and their morale / commitment and e.g. Beslan's relationship with Tuon in Altara.

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