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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Where did Aram stand in rank as a swordsman?


mrabbott
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On a scale of 1-100, where would Aram stand in skill amongst the characters?

Let's say that Lan (obviously the best swordsman alive) is 100, where would Aram have stood?

Lan has come out of battles with marks and cuts, but in the battle at dumai's wells (sp?) it was mentioned that after battling against the Aiel, he was untouched even though Perrin and Loial had suffered wounds.  This really stood out knowing the skill of the Aiel.

Might as well list the others: Rand, Gawayn, Galad... other notables.  Obviously not Mat since he uses a different (and superior IMO) weapon.

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    I can't remember Aram fighting anyone of note except Trollocs (which would be hard by themselves) so to give him a high number would be tough. I would say probably 75. Galad and Gawyn, I would think be in the low 90's. Rand, in the top 5 considering how many blademasters all three have fought. I definetly agree with Lan being the highest.

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Possibly, but Rand hasn't as much need for the sword as Galad has. And I can remember Galad flowing through the rioters in TFoH and not a single one could touch him.

 

Id put Galad slightly ahead of Rand, because Galad has more time to practise the sword. If it was about raw talent, rand would be higher than Galad, and Aram would surpass them all

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    I can't remember Aram fighting anyone of note except Trollocs (which would be hard by themselves) so to give him a high number would be tough. I would say probably 75. Galad and Gawyn, I would think be in the low 90's. Rand, in the top 5 considering how many blademasters all three have fought. I definetly agree with Lan being the highest.

 

In LoC Perrin, Loial and Aram charge the Shaido and this is described: "Aram seemed to dance with his sword, laughing as he cut down everyone in his way."

 

Later when Rand had been freed and Perrin arrived, what Rand sees is described: ". . .Perrin staggered up, face and beard bloody, followed by a limping Loial with a huge axe, and a bright-eyed fellow who looked a Tinker in a red-striped coat, except for the sword he carried, blade crimson from end to end."

 

The haggard shape Loial and Perrin are in are noted, but Aram appears untouched - even by fatigue after fighting through lines of Aeil.  That moment really showed me how talented he was with a sword.. and could only imagine how good he would have been had he not been such a mental case.

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I Agree that Aram wrould be around 75-80 in this scale, but never under estimate what those voices in our heads say.  Right LTT  :-\  He could have been better than everyone but all he fought were trollocs.

 

Wrong - how can you guys read the series and not even remember he was there during Dumai's Wells?

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Well, I forget this series started a while ago.  I just started reading it about a year and a half ago.  I read it through, then read song of ice and fire, then some other books, then started again on the series where I am now on book 10.  Sorry, I forget some people might not have read it in some years.

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Later when Rand had been freed and Perrin arrived, what Rand sees is described: ". . .Perrin staggered up, face and beard bloody, followed by a limping Loial with a huge axe, and a bright-eyed fellow who looked a Tinker in a red-striped coat, except for the sword he carried, blade crimson from end to end."

 

The haggard shape Loial and Perrin are in are noted, but Aram appears untouched - even by fatigue after fighting through lines of Aeil.  That moment really showed me how talented he was with a sword.. and could only imagine how good he would have been had he not been such a mental case.

 

Keep in mind that we are seeing this through Rands eyes. Perrin and Loial are important to him, of course he will notice any visible injuries. Aram? Just another body. Had he not been a tinker, Rand would probably not have paid any attention to the sword either.

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Yes, he notices the eyes, something Rand stressed as important way back. He notices the sword. Things that means dangerous. A few cuts and bruises? Not so important. Had there been any serious injuries, like a limp or so, it would have been a different story. But I do not take Rands impression of Aram as any kind of evidence Aram went through the battle without so much as a scratch.

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Aram was taught by a blademaster, Tam. This doesn't really meant that he is a blademaster. I doubt he's better than his teacher is in such a short amount of time. Tam is genuine, but probably not as good as he used to be. Galad is a legitimate blademaster. He won his duel against a blademaster, to the death.

 

Rand is likely just about as good as Galad (or was), but lacks the credentials. He was really good though. He was doing insane things like practicing against half a dozen very skilled swordsmen at once.

 

Gawyn...he did kill two warders. I'm not sure of their rank, but they must be very good at least, being that Hammar was the sword instructor for warders.

 

Lan is probably the best.

 

Aram was probably pretty good, but judging by his mental status, that seriously hinders him from being considered among the best.

 

I believe it is Lan's focus, discipline and mental strength that makes him the best.

 

And in that case I'd give a slight edge to Galad over Rand when Rand had both hands.

 

Gawyn is fairly weak in that department.

 

Aram is among the weakest in character in the whole series. Impulsive, no discipline, and he betrayed himself in the end.

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Aram was taught by a blademaster, Tam. This doesn't really meant that he is a blademaster. I doubt he's better than his teacher is in such a short amount of time. Tam is genuine, but probably not as good as he used to be. Galad is a legitimate blademaster. He won his duel against a blademaster, to the death.

 

Rand is likely just about as good as Galad (or was), but lacks the credentials. He was really good though. He was doing insane things like practicing against half a dozen very skilled swordsmen at once.

 

Gawyn...he did kill two warders. I'm not sure of their rank, but they must be very good at least, being that Hammar was the sword instructor for warders.

 

Lan is probably the best.

 

Aram was probably pretty good, but judging by his mental status, that seriously hinders him from being considered among the best.

 

I believe it is Lan's focus, discipline and mental strength that makes him the best.

 

And in that case I'd give a slight edge to Galad over Rand when Rand had both hands.

 

Gawyn is fairly weak in that department.

 

Aram is among the weakest in character in the whole series. Impulsive, no discipline, and he betrayed himself in the end.

 

Credibility stricken due to not seeing twice that people mentioned RJ saying Rand was above Galad when Rand had both hands. ;p

 

Mental aspect is very important, but incredible natural talent can overcome that.  Fighting through a wall of Shaido and coming out of it without any note worthy injuries is better than 'probably pretty good'

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First of all, Rand beat a blademaster, in a duel to the death. I know what everyone says, but Highlord Turak was a blademaster, and Rand did kill him. Even if Rand did get lucky, he killed Turak, and that makes him a blademaster. That was in The Great Hunt, how good is he by the later books?Back to the original question, we can't be certain how good Aram is, but I personally think on a scale of 1-100, he would've been 85-90. All the povs that mentioned Aram talk about how quick he was progressing, and he did escape Dumai's Wells relatively unscathed.

Just to mention Gawyn, obviously Hammar and Coulin(sp?) were blademasters, they trained all the warders for god knows how long. killing those two makes Gawyn a blademaster.

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I believe it is Lan's focus, discipline and mental strength that makes him the best.

 

And in that case I'd give a slight edge to Galad over Rand when Rand had both hands.

 

Could you expand a bit on this, if you don't mind?

 

Despite Rand's troubled mental state, he was still better than Galad (RJ's words, not mine), so I don't see where that edge comes from. True Rand is more of a hothead compared to Galad, but when it comes to fighting they both use the Void, and as for being trained by masters, who beats Lan? He trained Rand, and even told him that he was 'very good' with a blade.

 

And how many times do we actually get to see Rand fight with a sword for his life? I remember him taking down something like eight Trollocs, but otherwise it's all jumbled up.

 

In a normal course of events I believe Rand would have gone on to equal Lan, perhaps surpass him, and he would have been the one with the edge of Galad, IMHO. Gawyn would have been behind them. With a clear mind Aram could have been as good as Galad I guess.

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And how many times do we actually get to see Rand fight with a sword for his life? I remember him taking down something like eight Trollocs, but otherwise it's all jumbled up.

 

I'll remember some times for you... 

The Eye of the World:

Trollocs

Ishamael(sort of.. He had the Sword of Light thing going on there, and he didn't use much skill, just a few slices)

 

The Great Hunt:

Trollocs inside Fal Dara Keep, I believe.  Could be wrong.  I think he ran from a Myrddraal, though.

High Lord Turak

Ishamael

 

The Dragon Reborn:

Darkfriend female merchant(beaheaded) and her guards

Be'lal(who used the black fire sword while Rand used his red)

 

The Shadow Rising:

Trollocs and Myrddraal inside the Stone of Tear(prior to using his shadowspawn-seeking lightning cloud of doom)

 

The Fires of Heaven:

Can't think of any times here.. He mostly commanded and used the Power. No, wait!

Darkhounds in Rhuidean(prior to balefiring them)

 

The Lord of Chaos:

Hmm... Honestly can't think of any here. He practiced with the swordsmen in the courtyard in Caemlyn in this book, though.

 

A Crown of Swords:

Again, he mostly used the Power here.

 

Path of Daggers:

Fought Toram Riatin, but not for his life.

 

Winter's Heart:

Padan Fain in the bootmaker's 3rd floor.

 

Crossroads of Twighlight:

Can't think of any.

 

Knife of Dreams:

Can't think of any here, either, but I'm currently reading it again, so if there is a time, I'll see it.

 

 

 

On the note of Padan Fain, how good is he?  He was nearly a match for Rand and all he was using was his Shadar Logoth dagger. Seems like, if he was sword-trained, he'd be damned good.

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The Lord of Chaos:

Hmm... Honestly can't think of any here. He practiced with the swordsmen in the courtyard in Caemlyn in this book, though.

 

In Lord Of Chaos when he saw that Min was also captured, he killed one Warder with his bare hands and then used his sword against another Warder. We never saw the actual scene, but we heard about it (from Galina, if I'm not mistaken).

 

 

I don't usually get involved with this particular discussion (since it been beaten over the head with a dead fish quite a few times), but in this order:

 

Lan - 100

Rand - 90

Galad - 85

Gawan - 85

Tam - 80

Aram - 75, but on his way up

 

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Aram was taught by a blademaster, Tam. This doesn't really meant that he is a blademaster. I doubt he's better than his teacher is in such a short amount of time. Tam is genuine, but probably not as good as he used to be. Galad is a legitimate blademaster. He won his duel against a blademaster, to the death.

 

Rand is likely just about as good as Galad (or was), but lacks the credentials. He was really good though. He was doing insane things like practicing against half a dozen very skilled swordsmen at once.

 

Gawyn...he did kill two warders. I'm not sure of their rank, but they must be very good at least, being that Hammar was the sword instructor for warders.

 

Lan is probably the best.

 

Aram was probably pretty good, but judging by his mental status, that seriously hinders him from being considered among the best.

 

I believe it is Lan's focus, discipline and mental strength that makes him the best.

 

And in that case I'd give a slight edge to Galad over Rand when Rand had both hands.

 

Gawyn is fairly weak in that department.

 

Aram is among the weakest in character in the whole series. Impulsive, no discipline, and he betrayed himself in the end.

 

Credibility stricken due to not seeing twice that people mentioned RJ saying Rand was above Galad when Rand had both hands. ;p

 

Mental aspect is very important, but incredible natural talent can overcome that.  Fighting through a wall of Shaido and coming out of it without any note worthy injuries is better than 'probably pretty good'

 

I don't tend to go by what people say that RJ said. It's just my opinion and it's little affected by hearsay. No offense Maj, but I need a sourced quote before I take anyone's word for what RJ actually said. Oh and mrabbot, I do believe it was Maj who said it twice.

 

No, I was going by my own opinion of how Rand would approach a fight and how Galad would.

 

Galad is more studied, more sophisticated. He never loses focus. Rand on the other hand is is distracted by his wounds often times, Lews Therin, and those bonded to him. He wrestles with his mental balance constantly, and he has, almost literally, the weight of the world on his shoulders.

 

This is the edge I was talking about with Galad. He has no ego either. this is currently an issue that Rand has to struggle with as well.

 

That's my rationale. Disagree with it if you will, but I have my reasons.

 

In all likelihood, in a blood fight, Rand would win because of his nature as the savior, ta'varen, and he has genius technique to boot. Granted.

 

In a sparring session of several bouts, all things equal, I take Galad 3 out of 5 rounds because of his sense of clarity.

 

Rand pretty much beat Turak through luck, so I can't really give him that. Turak had no idea what he was dealing with and Rand was ta'varen lucky that night.

 

As for Aram. I concur with the assessment that we cannot be sure that he came out of that battle without a scratch. The only description was the most notable features about him, that he looked like a Tinker, he was eager and whatnot. May not have occurred to Rand to care whether or not he had any scratches or wounds. It's safe to say that Aram is a bit mentally unstable, even at this point, so hurts to his person aren't really much to him. Still, I allow for the possibility that he could have been untouched. He is tied up in Perrin's web. He's meant to die at another time perhaps.

 

 

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I love how everyone is saying Aram is mentally unstable, therefore it hinders his swordsmanship. There a numerous passages in the book that speak on Lans mental instability. A man who wishes for nothing more than to die in a futile war he cant win isnt exactly the most together person in my opinion, but Lan uses that. He is fearless, he has nothing to lose.

 

Aram is very much the same. He may be a bit tapped in the head, but he lost his parents and most of his family to trollocs, watched most of it happen, then had the remainder of his family call him Lost for desiring to stop it happening again. He doesnt believe in the way of the leaf any more, he belives in that sword, the sword is his purpose in life. Much like Lans was before he was bonded.

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I think it would help if, before I gave my own personal account, I assigned a ranking system to the numbers- the method to my madness!!!

 

0-25: You might accidentally cut yourself while unsheathing the sword

25-50: For the most part, you can draw your blade and know the basic stances, but as a rule of thumb have no 'formal' training to speak of. Probably at best are a small town's civil guard.

50-75: Here's where you start get some skill. Mercenaries, Common Soldiers, Guardsmen, (and young teens studying to become Warders, Children of the Light, etc). At the top end, we can see some pretty good talent- better than most, but we're not talking blademaster material. Not yet anyway.

75-80: Skilled Swordsman. Well trained and a solid opponent. Would still fall rather quickly to a blademaster, but to others would be well respected.

80-85: Very skilled Swordsman. Someone that would probably rise in the ranks of a Nations army based on budding skill alone. At the top of the rankings here, he/she might have the potential to become a blademaster with the right training.

85-90: These are your next blademasters. These are the people that move with grace and walk with grace. Rarely will they fall to anyone but a blademaster. More than likely, they are able to use some type of Flame and Void level of concentration to become this proficient with the weapon.

90-95: Hello Blademasters. If someone in this category pulls out their sword, turn around and run. If you can channel, open up a Gateway and leap through. The only one taking these fellows down are either Ta'vern lucky, channellers of the OP, or other skilled blademasters.

95-99: The best of the best. Only a handful of people in Randland possess this level of skill (literally). These are the people that will somehow manage to kill you while they are sleeping if you look at them wrong. Death walking, if they draw their blade, you will die facing them. If two people at this level fight, you will see what appears to be two people dancing with blurs of steel (or power wrought metal) and the fight will most likely last 30+ minutes long. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

100: Lan. Enough said. If you need more, I will give you more. The perfect weapon. Someone who is literally one with their sword- no matter what. Someone that has no teacher- because there is noone with his level of skill, nevermind his superior. Someone that was literally born was a sword in his crib and trained to use if as soon as he could walk and has trained for as many as 10-15 hours a day since then by the best fighters and swordsmen in the world.

 

So here is where I rank them:

 

Lan- 100 (see above for explanation)

Rand (with 2 hands)- 97 (In two years, he has been trained by the Perfect Weapon for over one of them, and then relied on the Void and his Saidin "one-ness" combined with his "Ta'veren-ness" to hone his skills to one of the most deadliest swordsmen in Randland. He did this by practicing with groups of 70-85's at the same time. Sometimes as many as 6 of them. He's had some close calls, but through a lot of progressive skill-building and some luck in certain situations, Lan seems to be the only person that could have definitively beaten Rand when he had 2 working hands. And even Lan, I think, would have taken a few licks

Galad- 96 (As skilled as Galad is- and we all know his deal....meticulous, astute, intelligent, methodical, etc....he lacks one thing that I think is holding him back, and its the burning fire of desire. To me, that gives Rand the edge. His lack of emotion is holding him back. Regardless that RJ, the Creator, has said this to be the case, Galad is a half a step behind Rand in my book.

Gawayn- 95 (Gawayn has proven that he is about as deadly and formidable as they come. He would give any of the above mentioned swordsmen trouble, and on "Any Given Sunday" might actually run one of them through if he were lucky enough, but he's still not as talented as Lan, Rand, or Galad. That being said, he's one of the most talented in the world and will only get better. I think he has the potential...and humanity...to surpass Galad, the robot.)

Aram- 91.5 (While very, very skilled, the facts still remain that he only has one year of training. He's still probably good enough to eek by into the Blademaster category, but he's got a lot more to learn and has only had proper training by someone that hasn't picked up a sword in 18 years. With the right training from the right person and more experience, he has the raw potential to become a 96-97 in my opinion)

Tam- 89/90 (Still good enough to probably hang onto the Blademaster title, but let's face the facts and be realistic....while his skill is coming back to him as a swordsman, he's been out of the game for awhile. In the EOTW he was almost done for by a small handful of Trollocs. That's not really a fair example- I realize it and am going out of my way to call myself out for even brining it up, but facts are facts. Blademasters are death walking. I think he's skilled enough to keep that title, but would most definitely fall to just about any of the Blademasters that we've seen in the entire series so far.

 

Hope my scales makes sense! We might all being looking at different criteria, so I felt listing my ranking system would help explain where I ranked them.

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