Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Sitting here thinking about it the Three Oaths really are fluff aren't they?


dlan4327
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was going through the Cadsuane thread when one particular quote stood out to me:

 

Aes Sedai are always hitting people with air, remember for that to be a weapon Cadusane would have to think it was a weapon.

 

I'd known that for a while now in some form or another. It was always lurking in the recess's of my mind but it didn't really click until I read that. Now when I think about it I realise that as long as they can make themselves believe something to be true, and we all know Aes Sedai are nothing if not stubborn pig headed braying mules who can brainwash themselves and others into believing the sky is sunflower yellow, then the oath's suddenly seem a whole lot less oath worthy... Any thoughts? Opinions?   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Supposition: Aside from the oath about making weapons, which we are told explicitly was done to gain trust after the hell that was the War of Power, the other two may be seen- IMO- as attempts to eliminate Black Ajah, or its potential, without ever needing to outright acknowledge the possibility. Particularly the lying Oath.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

 

the other two may be seen- IMO- as attempts to eliminate Black Ajah, or its potential, without ever needing to outright acknowledge the possibility. Particularly the lying Oath.

 

Actually I think the other two oaths had more to do with attempting to calm non-channelers fears about Aes Sadae and White Tower Manipulation.  Aes Sadea had great power which engendered great mistrust. Remember a direct question might be answered in riddles but if pressed haard enough A.S. would have to tell what they believed the truth to be.  This would seem to be a minium requirement for non-channeling noble's to permit A.S. to advice them.  Also limitations about the use of channeling in war (and therefore direct A.S. involvement in wars) would go along way in persuading mistrustful non-channelers  to utilize A.S. .  And since A.S. wanted to help lead mankind (read make it do what they wanted) but their numbers never very great, the role of the manipulating puppet master probably became their fakll back position. But this of course required that the nobles accepted them as advisors.  Thus the Three oaths have more to do (IMO) with getting over the reasonable suspicions of non-channelers then any attempt to limit or vanquish the black ajah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think anything happens to them if they break them, partly because I don't think they can break them..?? I dunno, kinda sketchy there. I think it is like dlan4327 said...if they can honestly convince themselves that something is true or neccessary then they can do it, despite that it may appear to be a violation of the 3 oaths. They do seem to come up with ways around them often enough. I guess it's all in interpretation. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you get to the later books (I think CoT or maybe even WH, but defineately CoT) you'll see how it works; Aes Sedai are physically incapable of dooing it. If an Aes Sedai tried / started to lie she'd start to choke / be physicaly unable to go on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The newly raised Aes Sedai are then bound to obey the Oaths for the rest of their lives. Breaking any oath sworn on the Oath Rod is physically impossible. This point is made crystal clear in A Path of Daggers when Zerah Sedai was caught between "speaking no word that is not true" and obeying Pevara, whom she had sworn on the Oath Rod to obey:

 

“So you are the source of that... rumour. You are going to stand before the Hall and reveal it for the lie it is! Admit the lie, girl!”

 

If Zerah’s eyes had been wide before, they bulged now. The Rod dropped from her hands to roll across the tabletop, and she clutched her throat. A choking sound suddenly came from her suddenly gaping throat....

 

...Zerah’s legs thrashed beneath the table as if she were trying to rise and could not get her feet under her. “Tell her, Pevara. She believes it’s true! You’ve commanded her to speak the truth and to lie. Don’t look at me that way! She believes! A bluish tinge appeared on Zerah’s lips. Her eyelids fluttered.

 

- The Path of Daggers, The Extra Bit

http://www.wotmania.com/faqtopic.asp?ID=67

 

It's not proof that simply trying to tell a lie would result in choking, because this is a more complicated situation. I doubt that an oathsworn AS who tried to lie of her own volition would have quite this reaction. Perhaps she would be unable to speak, but I doubt any AS not oathsworn to obey the way Zerah is would want to lie badly enough to choke this way. I imagine it would be sort of like trying to suffocate yourself by holding your breath...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think the oath against using the OP is that usless. It's all very well saying that all the Aes Sedai have to do is not think of it as a weapon but something like throwing a ball of fire at someone is completely different to switching them with Air. I don't think many people would be able to convince themselves they are the same thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, if you think about it, a weapon is primarily used to kill. When they swear not to use the OP as a weapon, I imagine that most of them interpret that as swearing not to use the OP to kill, except in certain circumstances that are mentioned in the oath itself. I think it's significant to note that the phrasing is "...in defense of her own life...," rather than "her own well-being" or some such. The phrasing implies that another's life may be considered forfeit through use of the Power should her own life be threatened. That would mean there's really no restraints on beating the daylight out of someone with the Power, or indeed, even maiming them, as that's precisely what occurs when men are gentled and women are stilled--they are maimed by the Power, yet none of the Aes Sedai seem to consider its use under such circumstances as being a weapon. The incidents we have of Aes Sedai needing to endanger themselves before striking out with the Power, like Kiruna at Dumai's Wells, and Teslyn and Joline in the battle against the Seanchan bounty hunters  in KoD both involve killing weaves. They don't wait until they're in danger before inducing debilitating pain or the like on their targets, they wait until they're in danger before incinerating them. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I was getting  at is the fact that if an Aes Sedai could convince herself that the harm they were causing someone else was for their own good i.e. not so much using OP as a weapon so much as simply 'correcting' or if they could convince themselves an enemy was a dark friend even if they weren't etc etc... you see my point? The oaths seem to me to be reliant on the good old honesty policy and can be worked around if someone really has the patience or inclination and Aes Sedai have both in bucket loads. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

 

The oaths seem to me to be reliant on the good old honesty policy and can be worked around if someone really has the patience or inclination and Aes Sedai have both in bucket loads. 

 

except as your exqamples point out the Aes Saqdae would have to convince herself of the fact that someone was a darkfriend or the use of the OP was meant to correct.  Its one thing to be duplicitous its another to make sureself believe a fact simply because its convenient. Remember if she doubted her belief that someone was a darkfriend she could not zap him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The oaths seem to me to be reliant on the good old honesty policy and can be worked around if someone really has the patience or inclination and Aes Sedai have both in bucket loads.
Except as your examples point out the Aes Sedai would have to convince herself of the fact that someone was a darkfriend or the use of the OP was meant to correct. It's one thing to be duplicitous its another to make yourself believe a fact simply because its convenient. Remember if she doubted her belief that someone was a darkfriend she could not zap him.
Further, some Aes Sedai don't consider the oath to cover Darkfriends - we have seen it refer to just Shadowspawn on occasion. Either that or she would have to believe she was using it as a weapon in the "last extreme defence of her own life, her warder, or that of another sister". Still, on the subject of believing things because it is convenient, that explains why they are good politicians. Whatever they say, they mean it when they say it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The oaths seem to me to be reliant on the good old honesty policy and can be worked around if someone really has the patience or inclination and Aes Sedai have both in bucket loads.
Except as your examples point out the Aes Sedai would have to convince herself of the fact that someone was a darkfriend or the use of the OP was meant to correct. It's one thing to be duplicitous its another to make yourself believe a fact simply because its convenient. Remember if she doubted her belief that someone was a darkfriend she could not zap him.
Further, some Aes Sedai don't consider the oath to cover Darkfriends - we have seen it refer to just Shadowspawn on occasion. Either that or she would have to believe she was using it as a weapon in the "last extreme defence of her own life, her warder, or that of another sister". Still, on the subject of believing things because it is convenient, that explains why they are good politicians. Whatever they say, they mean it when they say it.

 

Dumai wells  confused me on this issue. clearly  the  aes sedai  in the wagons  lives were in danger, and yet  Kiruna  says to perrin  when asked why  she threw herself into the  heat of battle that she  had to  be in danger  to  use the power as a  weapon.

 

although she might have  thrown herself in  danger  to  make her contribution seem  more to  Rand  like she took a risk to help him.  Or  she truly didnt consider the aes sedai  in the wagons as her sisters :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I was getting  at is the fact that if an Aes Sedai could convince herself that the harm they were causing someone else was for their own good i.e. not so much using OP as a weapon so much as simply 'correcting' or if they could convince themselves an enemy was a dark friend even if they weren't etc etc... you see my point? The oaths seem to me to be reliant on the good old honesty policy and can be worked around if someone really has the patience or inclination and Aes Sedai have both in bucket loads. ;)

 

This, i think, touches on one of the most destructive influences of the Oaths. The idea amongst Aes Sedai that what is not forbidden, is allowed. It is the source of a lot of their personal faults--their tendency to be gnomic, and spout pointless catchphrases, which, as time passes they actually have come to believe. After all, if your forbidden from telling a lie, and you can say things about how great and wise and powerful you are compared to others, then sooner or later some part of you will come to believe it--as has indeed occured. Even including things they intellectually know to be a lie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the oaths says that they can't kill, if their not in danger (except darkfriend then), but all they rialy have to, is to put themself i danger, our fell in danger. Thats why I think the 3 oaths its just bullshit. Just a way to keep the people around them satisfied

 

That is exactly what got Perrin so angry with Alanna at Dumai's Wells. She (and the others) had promised to stay where they were, out of the way, but in order to be of any service, they couldnt - they intentionally rode into the melee, which caused the shaido etc to attack them, which meant that then tehy were in danger and could use the power to fight back.

 

Otherwise they'd have been nothing but bystanders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...