Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Channelers, Channelers Everywhere!


Luckers
 Share

Recommended Posts

So seriously, ever paused to concider the realities of the channelers in the world. RJ tells us that at the time of the books roughly 1% of the population have the ability to channel. Of that 62.5% of women being strong enough to gain the shawl, and 65.4% of men.

 

Getting an actual grip on the population of Randland is a bit harder. Purely from soldiers mention we know that there are 1,813,000. Doubled for their female counterpart that sets the lower limit at at least 3,626,000. This unfortunately is the only solid numbers we have, but based on descriptions i would say the population of the Westlands is around 20 million. It's less than what it should be for a society of that degree of infrastructure and climate, but we know the population has decreased fairly dramatically over the past 1000 years so i want to act on the safe side.

 

In any case that means that roughly 200,000 channelers live in the Randland area alone. Of that, roughly 62,500 women and 65,400 men would be as strong as any Aes Sedai.

 

Now, keep in mind that 3/4 sparkers die from lack of training which would influence that number, but even so... pretty dramatic isn't it?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is, is the  1% population the amount of channelers alive, or is it that 1% are born able to channel? If it is 1% born able, then the channelers lifespan would affect the total. So if an Aes Sedai lives ~300-350 years, Wise Ones, the Kin, and Windfinders about 600 or so, then that could make for a substantialy higher number of channelers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lets not forget, the majority of that 1% of the population can learn to channel, not born with the spark. That would mean in the westlans travelling to the White Tower and asking to be put into the books. The majority of people have neither the time, money or inclination to make that journey and therefore, grow old and die never knowing. The best proof of this is the fact that the Black tower matched the white in number after only several months, they went out and actively looked. The Aiel and Sea folk probably train those with the spark, not those who can learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest durram laddel cham

isn't 20 million people only even in Randland a bit low? we know Bandar Eban has 1 million citizens on it's own ( from what Logain ordered at the Atha'an Miere, food for a million people) and Bandar Eban isn't even the largest city in the world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What IS the biggest city in the world? Tear? Illian? I was studying the map just last night and I thought how small Tear actually is, when you consider what a large part it has to play in the story. And who rules the vast expanse which appears to sit above Andor? There are no civilisations marked in it apart from TV, but does it simply sit with the rulers of each individual town, and lords?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest durram laddel cham

I'd say TV is the biggest city in randland, maybe even in the entire world depends on how big the Seanchan city's are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is, is the  1% population the amount of channelers alive, or is it that 1% are born able to channel? If it is 1% born able, then the channelers lifespan would affect the total. So if an Aes Sedai lives ~300-350 years, Wise Ones, the Kin, and Windfinders about 600 or so, then that could make for a substantialy higher number of channelers.

 

It's one percent of the population, which means the number should as much as quadriple... but at the current state, with the lack of Aes Sedai recrutment and their active efforts to keep others from doing the same....

 

Do your estimates include the Atha'an Miere, Seanchan and Aiel? We know that rather large proportions of channellers come from those civilisations (at least the parts of the civs that we see).

 

No, I spoke of Randland only.

 

Lets not forget, the majority of that 1% of the population can learn to channel, not born with the spark. That would mean in the westlans travelling to the White Tower and asking to be put into the books. The majority of people have neither the time, money or inclination to make that journey and therefore, grow old and die never knowing. The best proof of this is the fact that the Black tower matched the white in number after only several months, they went out and actively looked. The Aiel and Sea folk probably train those with the spark, not those who can learn.

 

All true about Randland, but the Aiel and the Sea Folk claim to train all women with the ability. In terms of the Aiel it could fit. 6,000 women means 1,200,000 people in total--which does more than account for the Aiel population we've witnessed--add the high mortality rate....

 

isn't 20 million people only even in Randland a bit low? we know Bandar Eban has 1 million citizens on it's own ( from what Logain ordered at the Atha'an Miere, food for a million people) and Bandar Eban isn't even the largest city in the world.

 

Not especially. Currently Australia is equal in dimensions to Randland and numbers only 21 million citizens, six million of which recide in sydney alone. Given the state of technological and social advance and the climate they should number slightly more--though nothing near modern numbers for climates of their type--but we have direct statements about the fact that the population has had a specific decrease over the past 1000 years.

 

What IS the biggest city in the world? Tear? Illian? I was studying the map just last night and I thought how small Tear actually is, when you consider what a large part it has to play in the story. And who rules the vast expanse which appears to sit above Andor? There are no civilisations marked in it apart from TV, but does it simply sit with the rulers of each individual town, and lords?

 

The Caralain Grass and Harden above it are both unpopulated and unclaimed. It was claimed by Cairhein, but the simple lack of numbers forced them to give up the claim.

 

The fact is that the Randland population has decreased dramatically over the last 1000 years.

 

The largest cities are Tar Valon, Caemlyn and Illian, though we have no knowledge of where ther three stand in rank.

 

I'd say TV is the biggest city in randland, maybe even in the entire world depends on how big the Seanchan city's are.

 

Seanchan cities are undoubtedly greater. Their continent is three times the size of Randland and is nevertheless overpopulated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Out of about 65,000 that have the ability to channel, let's say only 15-20% are spark born and survive touching the Source.

 

Let's also say that about half as many who have the ability to learn actually do get the opportunity to learn.

 

Aes Sedai are not the most popular figures at the time, so it would be more rare for a woman to seek to learn. Even more rare for men without recruitment. Most don't even know that saidin is clean again, so...

 

I'd be more likely to see about 20,000 channelers who can actively channel at the moment.

 

Also note that at this time Aes Sedai aren't all that strong. For every Moiraine, Lelaine or Romanda, you have ten sisters who can barely match half of their strength. Presumably there are many who rank around Daigian's or Siuan's current strength and these can probably muster just enough to throw a fireball the size of a man's fist maybe.

 

The variable strengths are much the same I suspect for people like the Aiel and the Seafolk. Sorilea is a good example.

 

We got a good example of how these varying strengths matter in New Spring. Moiraine becomes concerned with how there are few sisters who are that strong in rank in the Tower. After a while it becomes clear that she is among maybe the top sisters in strength within the tower.  There are around 3000 aes sedai or so in the tower if I recall. Maybe about 10-20 can come near to, match or better Moiraine in strength by the end of that book.

 

So, we're talking about 1-2% of the White Tower are comparably strong enough to face one of the forsaken with a marginal chance of survival.

 

To be generous, I'd say about 200-500 channelers in the world at the moment, have even 75-80% of the strength of the weakest of the Forsaken. 

 

So, even though there may be many channelers out there, I think what makes it dramatic in our minds is perhaps due to the fact that when we think of a channeler, we think that they're all these walking nuclear weapons, which really isn't the truth.

 

The majority of these people aren't going to be able to blow up a city by themselves, or really even a house.

 

Even Semirhage got one of Min's knives stuck in her in a blink.

 

I see what you're talking about Luckers, about the sheer numbers of channelers that there potentially are. There are factors that balance those numbers and thin them out though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see what you're talking about Luckers, about the sheer numbers of channelers that there potentially are. There are factors that balance those numbers and thin them out though.

 

I'm not saying there arn't, I'd just never thought to look at the actual numbers.

 

Also, it does provide for potentially more darkfriend channelers. I always put the numbers of what the Shadow might have been able to recruit as pretty low because they could only either recruit very, very carefully or out of people already aligned.

 

But looking at the numbers of channelers just lying around loose--well, amongst hundreds of thousands, even acting carefully, it would be possible to find at least several thousand inclined to work with the Shadow.

 

--Another issue. In aCoS Elaida tells us that only 24 men have been found in the last twenty years. Even with 3/4 men dying there should have been alot more. I think in my first read i just assumed that that meant there were less male sparkers due to the decline in the ability, but we know the ability hasn't actually declined as far as the Aes Sedai believe, so where are all these sparkers going?

 

That being said, a few points.

 

Also note that at this time Aes Sedai aren't all that strong. For every Moiraine, Lelaine or Romanda, you have ten sisters who can barely match half of their strength. Presumably there are many who rank around Daigian's or Siuan's current strength and these can probably muster just enough to throw a fireball the size of a man's fist maybe.

 

A couple of things. Firstly, half of Romanda or Lelaine's strength would probably be under the vut off limit for gaining the shawl. Secondly, we know that to pass the test for the shawl even Daigian would have had to have been able to trow more effective fireballs and the like than that. Thirdly, Siuan is stronger than Daigian--at least two steps above her, and possibly a little more.

 

The variable strengths are much the same I suspect for people like the Aiel and the Seafolk. Sorilea is a good example.

 

We got a good example of how these varying strengths matter in New Spring. Moiraine becomes concerned with how there are few sisters who are that strong in rank in the Tower. After a while it becomes clear that she is among maybe the top sisters in strength within the tower.  There are around 3000 aes sedai or so in the tower if I recall. Maybe about 10-20 can come near to, match or better Moiraine in strength by the end of that book.

 

Well, on the strength distribution, again RJ said that 62.5% of women are strong enough to gain the shawl, and 65.4% of men.

 

There are under 1000 Aes Sedai, and there would have been more than 10-20 that equaled Moiraine in that book--I would suggest she was somewhere around the median strength given the degree of her deference to Cetalia, and the degree of deference to her by Cabriana.

 

In any case once she gained her full strength only Siuan, Elaida, Lelaine and Romanda equalled her, and only Cadsuane exceeded her.

 

 

So, even though there may be many channelers out there, I think what makes it dramatic in our minds is perhaps due to the fact that when we think of a channeler, we think that they're all these walking nuclear weapons, which really isn't the truth.

 

Well, again, 65,400 men and 62,500 women in the westlands alone able to channel to the degree nessasary to gain the shawl. That may not be Forsaken level (though of the top of my head i can think of 10 that are, and if 10 there will undoubtedly be many more) but thats still more than enough to do some conciderable demage--indeed, in order to past the test Aes Sedai have to prove themselves in battle against Trollocs, showing that yes, that is a strength level that allows them to be very destructive. And look at the hundred thousand dead Trollocs in KoD--a large part of that was the effort of Logain's Asha'men and Aes Sedai, none of which are up near Forsaken level.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Also note that at this time Aes Sedai aren't all that strong. For every Moiraine, Lelaine or Romanda, you have ten sisters who can barely match half of their strength. Presumably there are many who rank around Daigian's or Siuan's current strength and these can probably muster just enough to throw a fireball the size of a man's fist maybe.

 

A couple of things. Firstly, half of Romanda or Lelaine's strength would probably be under the vut off limit for gaining the shawl. Secondly, we know that to pass the test for the shawl even Daigian would have had to have been able to trow more effective fireballs and the like than that. Thirdly, Siuan is stronger than Daigian--at least two steps above her, and possibly a little more.

 

Hmm, sorry, I was always under the impression that Moiraine was well above average amongst the Aes Sedai of the Age.

It was noted in New Spring, how she was and how quickly she gained the shawl. Both her and Siuan. It's worth noting Elaida's jealousy that she did not advance as quickly as those two even though she was previously thought to be one of the strongest and most talented in her generation.

Romanda was considered to be pretty strong as well.

 

The variable strengths are much the same I suspect for people like the Aiel and the Seafolk. Sorilea is a good example.

 

We got a good example of how these varying strengths matter in New Spring. Moiraine becomes concerned with how there are few sisters who are that strong in rank in the Tower. After a while it becomes clear that she is among maybe the top sisters in strength within the tower.  There are around 3000 aes sedai or so in the tower if I recall. Maybe about 10-20 can come near to, match or better Moiraine in strength by the end of that book.

 

Well, on the strength distribution, again RJ said that 62.5% of women are strong enough to gain the shawl, and 65.4% of men.

 

There are under 1000 Aes Sedai, and there would have been more than 10-20 that equaled Moiraine in that book--I would suggest she was somewhere around the median strength given the degree of her deference to Cetalia, and the degree of deference to her by Cabriana.

 

In any case once she gained her full strength only Siuan, Elaida, Lelaine and Romanda equalled her, and only Cadsuane exceeded her.

 

Again, I never got the feeling that Moiraine was just a middling in strength. Aes Sedai are not totally unaware of someone's potential strength. Moiraine wasn't as fully developed as a channeler by the time she gained the shawl. Still, she possessed considerable skill.

I think we might have a skewed vision of what is strong since we spend most of our time reading about the most insanely powerful channelers.

Egwene and the other super female characters, have mostly been forced. Meanwhile Moiraine was brought about more slowly using the Tower's system. It wasn't until she gained the shawl that she began to push the limits of her strength.

 

So, even though there may be many channelers out there, I think what makes it dramatic in our minds is perhaps due to the fact that when we think of a channeler, we think that they're all these walking nuclear weapons, which really isn't the truth.

 

Well, again, 65,400 men and 62,500 women in the westlands alone able to channel to the degree nessasary to gain the shawl. That may not be Forsaken level (though of the top of my head i can think of 10 that are, and if 10 there will undoubtedly be many more) but thats still more than enough to do some conciderable demage--indeed, in order to past the test Aes Sedai have to prove themselves in battle against Trollocs, showing that yes, that is a strength level that allows them to be very destructive. And look at the hundred thousand dead Trollocs in KoD--a large part of that was the effort of Logain's Asha'men and Aes Sedai, none of which are up near Forsaken level.

 

Again, I think we're looking at a special circumstance with the attack against Rand in Knife of Dreams.

Among the Aes Sedai you had some of the most talented channelers in their order, and several of them were bonded to Asha'man.

These Asha'man were trained in such a way that they were all basically forced to their strength and specialized in combat. Also consider the fact that Lews Therin basically added a few rather devastating weaves into all of these men's arsenal, all designed to specifically combat shadowspawn.

I'd say Alivia, Nynaeve, and Logain are definitely in range of the Forsaken. They're not as strong as the strongest, but they could hold their own. Cadsuane isn't far behind and with her trinkets she could well be a match for some of the strongest alive at the moment. Nynaeve has her angreal as well. Shalon is not inconsiderable.

You also have Rand who is the strongest alive along with probably Morridin.

 

The rest who have bonds to Ashaman also have the ability to link so...

 

Again we're mostly looking at the strongest channelers in the narrative.

 

Also the test for the shawl is not completely about sheer strength. You must have extreme focus, discipline and skill in your weaving. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couple o things.

 

John please use the quote function correctly, else its kinda hard to work out where the quoted post ends and your comments begin, thanks.

 

On the subject of numbers not mattering because a load of them are gonna be weak... well I dunno 65,400 men and 62,500... say 0.01% are as strong as it's possible to be in the power, gives us 6 and a half men who can match Ishamael and 6 women who would be as strong as Lanfear was. Not all that pathetic really.. that's 12 channelers who between them could eat the combined might of the forsaken for dinner. I mean, sure we can argue that I just pulled that % from thin air (which i did) and that the proportion could be considerably lower, say 0.001% and rounding up, meaning that rand accounts for the Ishamael strength man, we still have a Lanfear strength women out there somewhere.

 

Even the weak majority (although I recall reading somewhere that strength as a channeler followed some variation on the normal distribution function meaning the majority would be around the mean strength in the power, not that we know what the mean strength in the power is) are useful - circles. Stick 35 weak men and 37 weak women together and they'll probably be able to turn Ishamael inside-out

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Aiel find every woman with the spark, if they can learn, they have to ask to be wise ones. We have never heard a Maiden saying she was tested to see if she can channel, and it would be a pretty big thing.

 

The most populous city is Tar Valon, the biggest area-wise is Illian, though i think Seandar would dwarf them both

 

As for using australia as an example, its a good try, but the majority of Australians are city dwellers, the majority of Randlanders would be villagers. I think the 1 million wasn't just Bandar Eban, Rand would want to feed the entire country, Bandar Eban is just the biggest port

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, sorry, I was always under the impression that Moiraine was well above average amongst the Aes Sedai of the Age.

It was noted in New Spring, how she was and how quickly she gained the shawl. Both her and Siuan. It's worth noting Elaida's jealousy that she did not advance as quickly as those two even though she was previously thought to be one of the strongest and most talented in her generation.

Romanda was considered to be pretty strong as well.

 

Moiraine is well above the average... she's actually at the very top of the hierarchy, equalled only by Elaida, Romanda, Lelaine and Siuan, and exceeded only by Cadsuane.

 

But, the Aes Sedai range is very limited, and the cut off strength is above half the strength of the strongest sister--except maybe Cadsuane, and it'd be close with her.

 

Again, I never got the feeling that Moiraine was just a middling in strength. Aes Sedai are not totally unaware of someone's potential strength. Moiraine wasn't as fully developed as a channeler by the time she gained the shawl. Still, she possessed considerable skill.

I think we might have a skewed vision of what is strong since we spend most of our time reading about the most insanely powerful channelers.

Egwene and the other super female characters, have mostly been forced. Meanwhile Moiraine was brought about more slowly using the Tower's system. It wasn't until she gained the shawl that she began to push the limits of her strength.

 

Again, Moiraine is not middling for Aes Sedai, she's the top. But that only puts her at around 60 or 65.

 

Forcing doesn't increase your ultimate strength, only the speed at which you reach it.

 

I'll get to the rest in a bit, gotta run.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, sorry, I was always under the impression that Moiraine was well above average amongst the Aes Sedai of the Age.

It was noted in New Spring, how she was and how quickly she gained the shawl. Both her and Siuan. It's worth noting Elaida's jealousy that she did not advance as quickly as those two even though she was previously thought to be one of the strongest and most talented in her generation.

Romanda was considered to be pretty strong as well.

 

Moiraine is well above the average... she's actually at the very top of the hierarchy, equalled only by Elaida, Romanda, Lelaine and Siuan, and exceeded only by Cadsuane.

 

But, the Aes Sedai range is very limited, and the cut off strength is above half the strength of the strongest sister--except maybe Cadsuane, and it'd be close with her.

 

Again, I never got the feeling that Moiraine was just a middling in strength. Aes Sedai are not totally unaware of someone's potential strength. Moiraine wasn't as fully developed as a channeler by the time she gained the shawl. Still, she possessed considerable skill.

I think we might have a skewed vision of what is strong since we spend most of our time reading about the most insanely powerful channelers.

Egwene and the other super female characters, have mostly been forced. Meanwhile Moiraine was brought about more slowly using the Tower's system. It wasn't until she gained the shawl that she began to push the limits of her strength.

 

Again, Moiraine is not middling for Aes Sedai, she's the top. But that only puts her at around 60 or 65.

 

Forcing doesn't increase your ultimate strength, only the speed at which you reach it.

 

I'll get to the rest in a bit, gotta run.

 

We're in agreement about most of it. I guess I don't agree with the statement you made about someone half of Moiraine's strength wouldn't pass the test for the Shawl.

 

For example, let's say one of the more powerful things I remember Moiraine doing was holding Aginor in a pit of fire long enough for Rand and everyone else to run. Aginor paused as if surprised that Moiraine had that kind of strength. She was working with earth and fire together in a way that wasn't typical of most female channelers. It was a very powerful move on her part despite not being a match for Aginor.

 

To be fair, Aginor is mentioned as being pretty strong, even though combat is not one of his specialties.

 

Anyhow...let's say someone half the strength of Moiraine does something at the peak of her ability. What do you think that would look like?

 

It's still pretty impressive, even half of Moiraine's strength.

 

I'd say Moiraine could probably throw a fireball the size of a horse, while someone half her strength would throw one the size of a large dog.

 

That's still impressive and in my mind par for most of the aes sedai we've seen.

 

I think a good indicator is looking at the the weakest amongst the Aes Sedai. I think Daigian as she is described, isn't even half as strong as Moiraine. I'm sure due to Aes Sedai protocol, because of where she stands against Cadsuane, if Cadsuane asked her to jump off a cliff, she would out of deference and degree in strength.

 

Now the skew in our thinking comes from the fact that we've been introduced to several women who are stronger than Moiraine in the Power.

 

because of this, we forget just how strong she really is and then think that anyone considerably weaker than her must not have any strength at all.

 

Fact is, a woman who is half the strength of someone like Moiraine is probably worth a dozen  armed soldiers in a fight, and that's plenty strong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well, the numbers are still impressive.

 

20 million people is a lot of people.

200,000 channelers are a LOT of channelers, considering that even a weak channeler can do amazing things with the Power.

 

As far as strength, I just think it's hard to tell because we're only really now getting a glimpse of the other cultures and their channelers.  I think the strength of Aes Sedai is no longer the absolute standard since we have Wise Ones, Windfinders, damane and Kin who are a match for the strongest of Aes Sedai (comparable to Romanda, Lelaine, etc)

 

There are a lot more channelers in the Logain/Nyneave/Alivia/Talaan/Someryn categories, and those we don't know of like Sharina who came out of nowhere with this immense potential.

 

I think that the fact that Verin was angry because Katerine escaped (she commented on Katerine being very strong) lets us in on the standard that current Aes Sedai consider "strong", which is why the appearance of Elayne and Egwene startled them and gave them hope, not to mention Nyneave's potential strength. (a bonfire next to Egwene/Elayne's candle, Moiraine said)

 

I think that there are very strong channelers in the world, but it would still be considered rare to match someone in the Alivia/Lanfear/Sharina category.  Despite Aes Sedai thinking they know everything, I think it's safe to say that Moiraine's strength class is still probably a less common occurrence among the 200,000 channelers of the world.  Perhaps as time goes on and channelers begin to procreate with one another, etc. it will be more common to be as strong as Nyneave, or Alivia.  But even in the Age of Legends, someone as strong as Graendal was rare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

 

All true about Randland, but the Aiel and the Sea Folk claim to train all women with the ability. In terms of the Aiel it could fit. 6,000 women means 1,200,000 people in total--which does more than account for the Aiel population we've witnessed--add the high mortality rate....

 

Not especially. Currently Australia is equal in dimensions to Randland and numbers only 21 million citizens, six million of which recide in sydney alone. Given the state of technological and social advance and the climate they should number slightly more--though nothing near modern numbers for climates of their type--but we have direct statements about the fact that the population has had a specific decrease over the past 1000 years.

 

 

The Caralain Grass and Harden above it are both unpopulated and unclaimed. It was claimed by Cairhein, but the simple lack of numbers forced them to give up the claim.

 

The fact is that the Randland population has decreased dramatically over the last 1000 years.

 

The largest cities are Tar Valon, Caemlyn and Illian, though we have no knowledge of where ther three stand in rank.

 

Seanchan cities are undoubtedly greater. Their continent is three times the size of Randland and is nevertheless overpopulated.

 

I think the Aiel have a significantly higher population that. The Shaido were able to match the forces of 7 clans because they took their whole population over the dragon wall. All their men took up arms to do this, add in their women and children and the Shaido alone have over half a million members.

 

This is because the 11 clans before the big battle had 480,000 spears, that's an average of just under 44,000 per clan. For the Shaido to have evenly matched Rand's 7 clans before the late coming 4 arrived, the Shaido must have had at between 250-300,000 men. Lets say a large proportion of these are deserters and only 200k were Shaido. That still implies they have over 500,000 in all and that the whole Aiel population has to be above 6 million.

 

You vastly underestimate the size of the Westlands. They are at least twice as large as Australia. Moreover it's a faulty comparison  since most of Australia is extremely arid, while just about all the Westlands are fertile with the possible exception of the mountainous bit on the shadow coast south of Tarabon. If you measure out the map in BWB the Westlands are about 3000 miles across and 2200-2300 miles deep. That's 6.6-6.9 million square miles.

 

Now obviously huge tracks of that are uninhabited these days. But in the 2000 odd years before the Hundred Years War and the decline of civilization it was fully populated with the exception of the 350 years during the Trolloc Wars. Now the land wouldn't be equally populated every where of course. One should compare the population density to that of similar kingdoms in real life.

 

With 20,000,000 people by itself Medieval France had the highest with 100 people per sq. mile before the black death hit in 1347. England was much lower with 40 and most other European kingdoms were somewhere in between.

 

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_France#Historical_population_of_metropolitan_France

http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm

 

Lets split the difference and say the continent as a whole had 70 per sq. mile before civilization began to slip away in the New Era. That comes out to between 462-483 million depending on the Westland's exact dimensions. It's clear that even given the massive depopulation we've seen there should still be at the very least 100 million people in the Westlands. A population of 20 million is far to low.

 

The number of channelers just doesn't make sense given the number of people who must live there. There's just no way around it, so it's better to ignore it for your own peace of mind.

 

Also, you'll get an idea from this how many Trollocs there must be. Assuming that during the Trolloc Wars the Ten Nations became as militarized as feudal Japan during the warring states period each of the Ten Nations must have been able to put over a million men under arms, yet the Trollocs managed to kick their ass while invading the Aiel Waste and Shara simultaneously.

 

As for the population of the cities, I think RJ once stated that Caemlyn had about 300,000 people. In the books, Tear and Cairhein are said to be just as big, while Tanchico is said to be larger. Lan says Chachin is as large as any southland city.

 

Tar Valon is about 500,000 I think, given it's size on the city map and comparisons to other large cities. I can't remember if this was said of Ciarhein or Caemlyn, but it was "swollen with refugees to twice it's normal size making it larger than Tar Valon." So I think 500k is right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tar Valon has a population of 500,000.  That number comes directly from RJ.

 

The population of Bandar Eban is nowhere near 1 million.  Rand has transported huge armies to Arad Domon, including most of the Aiel, in preparation for TG and those supplies are for them, as well as the 200,000 or so who actually live there.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the Aiel have a significantly higher population that. The Shaido were able to match the forces of 7 clans because they took their whole population over the dragon wall. All their men took up arms to do this, add in their women and children and the Shaido alone have over half a million members.

 

This is because the 11 clans before the big battle had 480,000 spears, that's an average of just under 44,000 per clan. For the Shaido to have evenly matched Rand's 7 clans before the late coming 4 arrived, the Shaido must have had at between 250-300,000 men. Lets say a large proportion of these are deserters and only 200k were Shaido. That still implies they have over 500,000 in all and that the whole Aiel population has to be above 6 million.

 

Mat states that Couladin has 160,000 spears, though you were correct about your implications that that means that he had every able adult holding a spear since that is roughly half what Rand's seven clans have as a whole.

 

If that is the case, that means that the twelve clans number roughly around 1,920,000 which fits nicely with the amount of female channelers they have. There is of course room for varience in the high mortality rates and so forth, but even so, no where near 6 million. Indeed, it would likely be impossible for the Waste to sustain a population that high.

 

You vastly underestimate the size of the Westlands. They are at least twice as large as Australia. Moreover it's a faulty comparison  since most of Australia is extremely arid, while just about all the Westlands are fertile with the possible exception of the mountainous bit on the shadow coast south of Tarabon. If you measure out the map in BWB the Westlands are about 3000 miles across and 2200-2300 miles deep. That's 6.6-6.9 million square miles.

 

Fair enough though its actually not a faulty comparison. Fertile or not, the vast majority of the centre of the Westlands is unpopulated.  The population, as with Australia, clings to coastal regions, and specifically around major metropolitan areas.

 

Beyond that, though, Australia has a much higher level of technology, argiculture and infrastructure, and the Westlands has seen a dramatic population decrease over the past thousand years. So yes, i very much stand by my suggestion that the Westlands at best number around 20 million people.

 

Now obviously huge tracks of that are uninhabited these days. But in the 2000 odd years before the Hundred Years War and the decline of civilization it was fully populated with the exception of the 350 years during the Trolloc Wars. Now the land wouldn't be equally populated every where of course. One should compare the population density to that of similar kingdoms in real life.

 

With 20,000,000 people by itself Medieval France had the highest with 100 people per sq. mile before the black death hit in 1347. England was much lower with 40 and most other European kingdoms were somewhere in between.

 

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_France#Historical_population_of_metropolitan_France

http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm

 

Lets split the difference and say the continent as a whole had 70 per sq. mile before civilization began to slip away in the New Era. That comes out to between 462-483 million depending on the Westland's exact dimensions. It's clear that even given the massive depopulation we've seen there should still be at the very least 100 million people in the Westlands. A population of 20 million is far to low.

 

Not based on what we've seen, its not. Your math is very good, but its missing the realities of hygene, water and food standards of that level of infrastructure. The centralisation of populations that is witness in the westlands is unsustainable--just look at the problems Cairhein was facing under Galldrian with the presense of the displaced eastern farmers in the Foregate if you need proof that RJ was aware of such things.

 

The simple fact is that populations that large cannot be centralized in that way without a much more evolved beuracracy in play. Something more like what the Seanchan have in play, but the Westlands doesn't have it.

 

No, 100 million is completely unsustainable.

 

As for the population of the cities, I think RJ once stated that Caemlyn had about 300,000 people. In the books, Tear and Cairhein are said to be just as big, while Tanchico is said to be larger. Lan says Chachin is as large as any southland city.

 

Tar Valon is about 500,000 I think, given it's size on the city map and comparisons to other large cities. I can't remember if this was said of Ciarhein or Caemlyn, but it was "swollen with refugees to twice it's normal size making it larger than Tar Valon." So I think 500k is right.

 

All that makes sense.

 

The number of channelers just doesn't make sense given the number of people who must live there. There's just no way around it, so it's better to ignore it for your own peace of mind.

 

I reckon they do. 65,000 in a pool of 20 million, and who knows how many spark out of that, and with 3 in 4 dying of lack of training, and the rest ending up blocked.... I can buy that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember reading somewhere that the the entire continent is 4500 miles wide, which I presumed to include The Waste and Shara.  That would make the area between the Dragonwall and the Aryth Ocean roughly the size of Australia.  The difference is that the cities have a much smaller population.

 

If we look at the  18 capital or independent cities, the city-dwelling population is in the neighborhood of 5-6 million, if TV as the largest has 500,000, and the rest are all 200-300K.

 

We have seen that while the land is not densely populated, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of towns and villages plus outlying farms.  If the village and rural population is only twice that of the cities, the total population would easily hit the 15-20 million mark.

 

In Andor, there are over 420 noble houses.  I don't profess to know what a good ratio of commoner to a minor or major noble house would be, but if perhaps one of our colleagues from the Empire could enlighten us, it would shed some light. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Mat states that Couladin has 160,000 spears, though you were correct about your implications that that means that he had every able adult holding a spear since that is roughly half what Rand's seven clans have as a whole.

 

If that is the case, that means that the twelve clans number roughly around 1,920,000 which fits nicely with the amount of female channelers they have. There is of course room for varience in the high mortality rates and so forth, but even so, no where near 6 million. Indeed, it would likely be impossible for the Waste to sustain a population that high.

 

You vastly underestimate the size of the Westlands. They are at least twice as large as Australia. Moreover it's a faulty comparison  since most of Australia is extremely arid, while just about all the Westlands are fertile with the possible exception of the mountainous bit on the shadow coast south of Tarabon. If you measure out the map in BWB the Westlands are about 3000 miles across and 2200-2300 miles deep. That's 6.6-6.9 million square miles.

 

Fair enough though its actually not a faulty comparison. Fertile or not, the vast majority of the centre of the Westlands is unpopulated.  The population, as with Australia, clings to coastal regions, and specifically around major metropolitan areas.

 

Beyond that, though, Australia has a much higher level of technology, argiculture and infrastructure, and the Westlands has seen a dramatic population decrease over the past thousand years. So yes, i very much stand by my suggestion that the Westlands at best number around 20 million people.

 

Now obviously huge tracks of that are uninhabited these days. But in the 2000 odd years before the Hundred Years War and the decline of civilization it was fully populated with the exception of the 350 years during the Trolloc Wars. Now the land wouldn't be equally populated every where of course. One should compare the population density to that of similar kingdoms in real life.

 

With 20,000,000 people by itself Medieval France had the highest with 100 people per sq. mile before the black death hit in 1347. England was much lower with 40 and most other European kingdoms were somewhere in between.

 

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_France#Historical_population_of_metropolitan_France

http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm

 

Lets split the difference and say the continent as a whole had 70 per sq. mile before civilization began to slip away in the New Era. That comes out to between 462-483 million depending on the Westland's exact dimensions. It's clear that even given the massive depopulation we've seen there should still be at the very least 100 million people in the Westlands. A population of 20 million is far to low.

 

Not based on what we've seen, its not. Your math is very good, but its missing the realities of hygene, water and food standards of that level of infrastructure. The centralisation of populations that is witness in the westlands is unsustainable--just look at the problems Cairhein was facing under Galldrian with the presense of the displaced eastern farmers in the Foregate if you need proof that RJ was aware of such things.

 

The simple fact is that populations that large cannot be centralized in that way without a much more evolved beuracracy in play. Something more like what the Seanchan have in play, but the Westlands doesn't have it.

 

No, 100 million is completely unsustainable.

 

As for the population of the cities, I think RJ once stated that Caemlyn had about 300,000 people. In the books, Tear and Cairhein are said to be just as big, while Tanchico is said to be larger. Lan says Chachin is as large as any southland city.

 

Tar Valon is about 500,000 I think, given it's size on the city map and comparisons to other large cities. I can't remember if this was said of Ciarhein or Caemlyn, but it was "swollen with refugees to twice it's normal size making it larger than Tar Valon." So I think 500k is right.

 

All that makes sense.

 

 

1) The Aiel. I think every man took up the spear, but not every woman. Also you forgot to factor in the children who would make a large percentage of the population in a preindustrial society.

 

2) Australia comparison - Australia's interior is uninhabited because it's a desert, more arid than the Aiel Waste from what we've seen. The interior of the Westlands is uninhabited for reasons we don't really understand. The population crash is never really explained. Looking on a map it looks as perfectly habitable. Despite its desert Australia only has 21 million people because western settlement began in earnest less than 200 years ago.

 

3) Centralization - You were a little unclear here, so forgive me if this doesn't answer your points. It seems to me that you are arguing that such large populations cannot exist without a centralizing authority to build appropriate infrastructure. I completely disagree Medieval Europe and Feudal Japan were extremely decentralized. Riven by petty warlords for centuries on end, very few powerful governments existed and they usually only lasted one or two generations, nothing compared to the relatively stable proto-nation states that exist in the Westlands. 

 

The fact is 14th century France, despite having no central authority (and inferior technology to the Westlands, who seem to be 16-17th century sans firearms) had 20 million people. Yet despite that, Paris was not even 1/3 the size of Caemlyn. Nor could the French have mustered nearly 200,000 men like Elyane contemplates, even if the Mongols were at the gates. The Westlands are more stable and centralized than you give them credit for.

 

Moreover given the low level of urbanization one would expect given the level of technology, for every person in a town or city there are probably 20 in the county supporting them. There are 15 cities about the size of Caemlyn, plus Tar Valon which is bigger. They have 5,000,000 people in them. Those cities by themselves mean there are 100,000,000 people in the rural parts of the Westlands. And of course there are hundreds of small cities and towns that need to be supported, so the total population is probably around 150,000,000. Sounds like alot, but it's 1/3rd of what it was before the population crash. 20,000,000 people would mean 1 in 4 people would live in a large city. That kind of urbanization didn't occur until the 20th century and would be totally unsustainable.

 

As for hygiene, the Westlanders seem to understand it  to a level not seen until the 19th century. Nyneave as backcounty wisdom certainly understood the necessity of cleanliness when dealing with wounds, clean water, and quarantining the contagious.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember reading somewhere that the the entire continent is 4500 miles wide, which I presumed to include The Waste and Shara.  That would make the area between the Dragonwall and the Aryth Ocean roughly the size of Australia.  The difference is that the cities have a much smaller population.

 

 

We have seen that while the land is not densely populated, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of towns and villages plus outlying farms.  If the village and rural population is only twice that of the cities, the total population would easily hit the 15-20 million mark.

 

 

1) Size of main continent - If you look at the map of the world on page 146 of the guide it looks much bigger. If you measure out the equator, it comes out to an earth like circumference of ~ 24,500 miles so it's to scale. Moreover it looks like there is an Earthlike proportion of land to water. The Westlands and the Aiel Waste meausure out to about 4500 across, with Shara an extra 2000 miles. Actually, that giant rift that seperates the Waste from Shara is the mark of a divergent plate boundary, so Shara is a different continent.

 

2) Some areas aren't populated but anywhere near a major city is, and there has to be way more than twice the amount of people in rural areas, by a whole order of magnitude. The population in urban areas in 5% tops.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...