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Aes Sedai lies.


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I've been thinking about this for a while, and I am certain it is possible.

 

While the oaths may constrain Aes Sedai from lying outright, they do nothing to prevent Aes Sedai from misleading others, as long as they do so truthfully.

 

My idea was that Aes Sedai can effectively "lie" by alternating speech volume. For example, they could insert barely audible negatives, or adjust the meaning of sentences by saying the "false" segment out loud while quietly muttering at the beginning or end of a sentence what would prevent the sentence from being an outright lie. As long as those they are addressing do not hear the quiet sections, the Aes Sedai pulling this trick has effectively lied to them.

 

While I do not think this could explain statements made in the books by Aes Sedai that appear to be false - so far, I have noticed no muttering or the like, and I am sure that if this technique was utilized that Mr. Jordan would at least hint at it that way - this does seem like something to ponder.

 

Also, I finally stopped lurking to make this first post. Hooray!  :)

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Hm. I suppose their mouths would still me moving and if AS were to live like this, I'd rather die.  I mean how much effort do you go to? Already they have to think virtually every other sentence they speak to manipulate others. Any more thinking is just going to drive them nuts. Possible I suppose, but they would know that they are effectively lying to the person so I'm not sure if that'd work.

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I faintly remember reading about an Aes Sedai learning that they couldn't say anything that they knew would cause the other person to interpret a lie as the truth.

 

This seems to me to preclude the possibility of speaking a lie aloud while mumbling something to oneself to turn it into a truth.

 

If the Aes Sedai knew the words spoken aloud were a lie and that the other person would hear only those words and interpret them as truth, they wouldn't be able to do it.

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I faintly remember reading about an Aes Sedai learning that they couldn't say anything that they knew would cause the other person to interpret a lie as the truth.

 

That's disproved by the simple fact that Aes Sedai mislead people all of the time, they are known for it, and they take pride in their ability to manipulate people without even lying.

 

The only time an Aes Sedai can outright lie is if the Aes Sedai believes what they're saying to be true. If you put an Aes Sedai under Compulsion, and told them the sky was red, they could walk around saying the sky was red all of the time without any negative effects. They wholeheartedly believe the sky is red, so to them, that is the truth.

 

Now, as for RAND's idea...I suppose it could work. The risk of the person the Aes Sedai is talking to hearing the truth, though, is much greater than with the current method of misdirection and half-truths. While it would most likely work, it's simply not practical.

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Well, there's a difference between allowing someone the opportunity to misinterpret what one says (Aes Sedai bread and butter) and knowing they'll interpret a lie as truth ("The sky is red... [mumbling 'in some places at sunset']").

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I faintly remember reading about an Aes Sedai learning that they couldn't say anything that they knew would cause the other person to interpret a lie as the truth.

 

On the contrary, Verin does something very much like this.  Beldeine believes she fainted and Verin responds, "The heat is quite strong today" or something to that effect.  She then thinks to herself about how it had nearly caused her to faint, justifying it to herself.  This is a deliberate attempt to mislead Beldeine.

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I think that each Aes Sedai's ability to "lie" is unique to each individual.

 

Any Aes Sedai can lie as long as they think they are telling the truth... this is proven by the Tower black ajah hunters when one of them commands a rebel to stop saying that the Red set up Logain as a false dragon and almost kills her because it is in direct opposition of the do not lie oath... it doesn't matter what the truth is, it only matters what the individual thinks the truth is.

 

All that an AS has to do to lie is convince themselves that they are not lieing.  This would likely manifest itself in different ways for different individuals.  Some could probably convince themselves that they weren't lieing by muttering under their breath words that made a sentance true, while others probably couldn't do that because they believe that is lieing.  Others could probably get away with just thinking the truth. eg. Speak out loud: "This sandwhich is awful"... think to themselves *** awfully good tasting!!!! ***

 

The weakness of the oath rods / binders have been mentioned before by the forsaken and I think that this is what they are alluding to.  A lot of oaths can be side stepped simply by deluding yourself... with a little bit of practice you could really stretch the limits of any oath.

 

I know people that lie to themselves and seem to believe those lies... so it wouldn't be too hard for a clever AS... ie. Verin... to find a number of ways to "lie".

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On the contrary, Verin does something very much like this.  Beldeine believes she fainted and Verin responds, "The heat is quite strong today" or something to that effect.  She then thinks to herself about how it had nearly caused her to faint, justifying it to herself.  This is a deliberate attempt to mislead Beldeine.

 

So long as it was a hot day Verin would have no need to justify saying that. Verin wasn't responding to why Beldeine felt faint, she was just stating a fact.

 

This is the problem I have with the oath being so easy to circumvent. Everytime we see an Aes Sedai mislead people it's in a relatively smart fashion. If all you had to do was mutter under your breath surely every Aes Sedai would do that instead of thinking of harder ways to bypass lying..?

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If all you had to do was mutter under your breath surely every Aes Sedai would do that instead of thinking of harder ways to bypass lying..?

 

"The risk of the person the Aes Sedai is talking to hearing the truth, though, is much greater than with the current method of misdirection and half-truths. While it would most likely work, it's simply not practical."

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On the contrary, Verin does something very much like this.  Beldeine believes she fainted and Verin responds, "The heat is quite strong today" or something to that effect.  She then thinks to herself about how it had nearly caused her to faint, justifying it to herself.  This is a deliberate attempt to mislead Beldeine.

 

So long as it was a hot day Verin would have no need to justify saying that. Verin wasn't responding to why Beldeine felt faint, she was just stating a fact.

 

This is the problem I have with the oath being so easy to circumvent. Everytime we see an Aes Sedai mislead people it's in a relatively smart fashion. If all you had to do was mutter under your breath surely every Aes Sedai would do that instead of thinking of harder ways to bypass lying..?

 

That's what my post said.  However, Verin's intent was to mislead Beldeine into believing nothing out of the ordinary happened, hence her comment and then her justification in her thoughts.  It happens in the book, you know.  She needs to justify it to herself because her intent is that the implication of her comment is that Beldeine fainted from the heat.

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Not sure but in book 2 Siuan lied or came close when Verin was interpreting the writing form the cells. 

 

"That would be something to worry us daughter", the Amyrlin said.  "if it were true.  But the Forsaken are still bound."  She glanced at Moraine, looking troubled for an instant before she schooled her features, "Even if the seals are weakening, the Forsaken are still bound."

 

TO me this suggests if Moraine hadn't told her about the Forsaken being free and the fight with them at the Eye of The World she at least suspected.  To me she suspected it wasn't true but could still say it.

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That's what my post said.  However, Verin's intent was to mislead Beldeine into believing nothing out of the ordinary happened, hence her comment and then her justification in her thoughts.  It happens in the book, you know.  She needs to justify it to herself because her intent is that the implication of her comment is that Beldeine fainted from the heat.

 

I'm glad it happens in the book i'd hate to argue a moot point with you  ::)

 

Which ironically this is. Verin isn't justifying saying it's too hot to Beldeine. It IS hot why would she need to justify it?

 

If you re-read the passage again you'll find Verin isn't justifying saying its hot in her thoughts. Infact she's doing quite the opposite.

 

The heat is very bad

I have felt light-headed myself once or twice today

From weariness not heat. Handling that much of the power takes it out of you

 

Nowhere in that passage does she justify saying it's hot. Which is what makes the misleading so smart. It isn't a direct response to Beldeines question but Beldeine being in a weak state of mind doesn't pick up on it.

 

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But saying something with the intent to mislead is not lying based on the law enforced by the Oath Rod.

 

"Speak no word that is not true."

 

That is the First Oath.

 

It does not say you cannot mislead. It says you cannot speak any word which is untrue. If an Aes Sedai knows that someone is going to mistake what they are saying as untrue, they can still say it because they know that what they are saying is the truth.

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Which ironically this is. Verin isn't justifying saying it's too hot to Beldeine. It IS hot why would she need to justify it?

 

If you re-read the passage again you'll find Verin isn't justifying saying its hot in her thoughts. Infact she's doing quite the opposite.

 

The heat is very bad

I have felt light-headed myself once or twice today

From weariness not heat. Handling that much of the power takes it out of you

 

Nowhere in that passage does she justify saying it's hot. Which is what makes the misleading so smart. It isn't a direct response to Beldeines question but Beldeine being in a weak state of mind doesn't pick up on it.

 

 

Actually, she is justifying it.  Beldeine doesn't remember what has happened.  Verin says it's hot and that she has felt light-headed today.  Verin's intent: Beldeine infers that she fainted from the heat, since she does not want Beldeine to believe something fishy just happened.  This would be a lie, so Verin thinks to herself she had felt light-headed from weariness not heat to justify her comment to herself.  Thank you for posting the quotes, btw, I forgot the exact nature of the passage.

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Actually, she is justifying it.  Beldeine doesn't remember what has happened.  Verin says it's hot and that she has felt light-headed today.  Verin's intent: Beldeine infers that she fainted from the heat, since she does not want Beldeine to believe something fishy just happened.  This would be a lie, so Verin thinks to herself she had felt light-headed from weariness not heat to justify her comment to herself.  Thank you for posting the quotes, btw, I forgot the exact nature of the passage.

 

No, it wouldn't be a lie. It IS hot outside. That's not a lie. Verin doesn't say "You fainted from the heat." She says "It's hot outside." You're not picking up on the nuances. Verin isn't responding to "How did I faint?" If she believes all she's doing is stating a true fact there's no need to justify saying it. What Beldeine infers from that is Beldeines problem. That's the way Aes Sedai turn truth on it's head.

 

 

On the contrary, Verin does something very much like this.  Beldeine believes she fainted and Verin responds, "The heat is quite strong today" or something to that effect.  She then thinks to herself about how it had nearly caused her to faint, justifying it to herself. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead Beldeine.

 

So above this quote she's justifying feeling lightheaded from being weary from using the one power. In this quote she's justifying how the heat had caused her to be light headed and nearly faint? Pick one please.

 

 

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You're right.  I'm not being particularly clear here (understatement).  OK, disregard everything I've said so far, I'm going to put it into proper wording.

 

OK, so Beldeine asks Verin what happened.

 

Verin responds:

The heat is very bad
(Truth)

and

I have felt light-headed myself once or twice today
(Truth)

She is using Aes Sedai misdirection here.  The two statements separately are both truths.  However, when spoken together, they imply that there is a connection between them, when in fact there is not.  For example, if I said, "Verin is a dangerous Aes Sedai" and "I am filled with admiration," the obvious inference is that I am filled with admiration at Verin, because I mentioned her in the previous sentence.  Verin does not want Beldeine suspecting that something strange had just happened.  Her intent is that Beldeine infer that she fainted from the heat.  Hence, "I have felt light-headed myself."  She's not just volunteering information here.  The tone and word choice ("myself") implies, to me at least, empathy.

 

Then, Verin thinks to herself:

From weariness not heat. Handling that much of the power takes it out of you

Now Verin explains to herself her statements.  There is no point to this thought unless Verin is trying to justify her words to herself.  After all, why bother explaining your own words to yourself?  Verin is justifying her words so that the First Oath doesn't kick in.  Hence, "From weariness not heat."  If she did not want Beldeine to be misdirected into believing a lie, she would not have added the "not heat" part.  The addition of "not heat" implies that Verin expects interpretation of the previous two sentences together to mean that she had felt light-headed from the heat.

 

How else can we explain this whole exchange, if not that Verin is deliberately misdirecting Beldeine into believing she fainted from the heat and then explaining her words to herself?  I trust this is clear now.

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Now Verin explains to herself her statements.  There is no point to this thought unless Verin is trying to justify her words to herself.  After all, why bother explaining your own words to yourself?  Verin is justifying her words so that the First Oath doesn't kick in

 

That's just ridiculous, Hybrid.

 

The First Oath cannot just KICK IN after you've already said something. If it were possible for an Aes Sedai to lie, then once the lie is out, there is nothing the Oath can do. It prevents the Aes Sedai from saying it in the first place.

 

Moving on, you say that it's pointless for her to think that unless she's justifying it to herself, but I say that you're mistaking pointlessness for a very useful writer's tool. If she just said those two things to Beldeine and moved on, what would the reader think? That she was just hot and that she was just directly responding to what Beldeine had said.

 

That's not the case, however. Fitting in Verin's thoughts is a way to tell the reader what is really going on. It gives you insight into Verin's way of thinking, in her actions, in her character. In fact, if you didn't include it, it might just make her saying those two lines pointless. Just an additional few words with no meaning.

 

If you have not ignored my posts you may have seen the words used in the First Oath. "Speak no word that is not true." Any time we have seen the First Oath take effect it is before the Aes Sedai can get the words out of their mouth, and it chokes them until they release all thought of saying the lie. It's not a very effective boundary for telling a lie if an Aes Sedai can tell a lie and then justify it later now is it?

 

No, because that's not the way the Oath works. The Oath does not care about the intent of the words. It does not care about anything but the truth of the words insofar as the Aes Sedai believes. If the Aes Sedai believes what she's saying is true, then it is true. It doesn't matter if she say it in her own mind, the Oath Rod is not bound to her words alone but bound to her being. Her concept of truth drives the Oath.

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You are right in regards to the First Oath.  That was an incorrect argument on my part. 

 

However, I still believe Verin is justifying her actions to herself.  She has had a lifetime of Aes Sedai misdirection.  Aes Sedai are very careful about not speaking lies, so it stands to reason that she would double-check herself.  Why else would she explain her own words to herself?  She knows full well what the meaning of her words are.

 

Moving on, you say that it's pointless for her to think that unless she's justifying it to herself, but I say that you're mistaking pointlessness for a very useful writer's tool.

You're saying that her thoughts are really contrived as a writer's tool and have no meaning to Verin in themselves?  I don't really buy that argument.  If that was true, then the entire book is simply deus ex machina and we might as well disregard everything as "writer's tools."

 

In fact, if you didn't include it, it might just make her saying those two lines pointless. Just an additional few words with no meaning.

Dialogue is not particularly pointless.  Even if we don't understand it.

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Why else would she explain her own words to herself?  She knows full well what the meaning of her words are.

 

There is no reason to double-check because if she can say the words in the first place, then it obviously passes the First Oath.

 

You're saying that her thoughts are really contrived as a writer's tool and have no meaning to Verin in themselves?  I don't really buy that argument.  If that was true, then the entire book is simply deus ex machina and we might as well disregard everything as "writer's tools."

 

You obviously do not understand what deus ex machina is. It is a tool used by a writer to fix major conflicts which have arisen by fitting in a character or event which comes seemingly out of nowhere and serves little other purpose but to fix the conflict and then disappears. This has been extended to characters which appear and take action in a very unbelievable way so as to seemingly have help from a god.

 

The writer's use of internal monologue to lay out further insight into a character's personality in any situation cannot be deus ex machina. And certainly not in this case because there is no conflict to resolve. It is simply a stray thought added in to show more of Verin's character, to tell you what she was doing, how she responds to what she was doing, without actually going into detail about anything.

 

Dialogue is not particularly pointless.  Even if we don't understand it.

 

If dialogue is excluded from being pointless by simple virtue of being dialogue, then an internal monologue is as well.

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The writer's use of internal monologue to lay out further insight into a character's personality in any situation cannot be deus ex machina. And certainly not in this case because there is no conflict to resolve. It is simply a stray thought added in to show more of Verin's character, to tell you what she was doing, how she responds to what she was doing, without actually going into detail about anything.

Right, I misused the term.  But my argument stands.  In this case, the insight into Verin's character is that she has to explain and justify her own actions to herself as a reflex against lying.

 

If dialogue is excluded from being pointless by simple virtue of being dialogue, then an internal monologue is as well.

Perhaps.  However, dialogue always has a point, because it does give us an insight into the character's character (lol).  As does internal monologue.

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Right, I misused the term.  But my argument stands.  In this case, the insight into Verin's character is that she has to explain and justify her own actions to herself as a reflex against lying.

 

Your argument does not still stand because I've defeated every point you've brought up to support it. And when you bring up a term like deus ex machina to support it, you misuse the term and admit to it and somehow your point still stands?

 

That just doesn't make any sense.

 

But now you're adding my point onto your point so that your point can be supported by my logic. Now instead of Verin merely having used her internal monologue as a justification for what she said (which there is no need to do since you admitted that what she said was the truth in the first place and I have proven that you don't need to justify any half-truth or truth to anyone in order to say it) the writer provided the justification as insight into Verin's character.

 

Compounding my idea with yours does not make yours any stronger. It is an essential change in your opinion which just weakens it. There is no reason to believe that Verin had to justify what she said as you admitted that what she said to Beldeine was the truth. That in itself tears your point apart. Since your point has no legs to stand on, you argued that if the reason for her internal monologue wasn't justification, then it was pointless and so I provided the point for the internal monologue.

 

You're wrong, Hybrid. Your point has no grounding, your argument has no base. You're running in circles and making me repeat myself.

 

 

Perhaps.  However, dialogue always has a point, because it does give us an insight into the character's character (lol).  As does internal monologue.

 

I'm sorry, but my mind is blown by this statement. You say "however" as if you're going to provide some argument against me, and then you simply agree with me. You should have just said "perhaps" and left it at that. But you go and contradict yourself.

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You're right.  I realize that it is silly for Verin to have to explain her actions to herself.  I got carried away by the idea, since the wording to me suggested explanation.  If Verin had said the third line vocally to someone other than Beldeine, I would regard it as justification for her previous words.  Do you agree with me?

 

Having thought it through, I conclude that Verin was simply continuing the logical train of thought prompted by her words.  Agreed?

 

I'm sorry, but my mind is blown by this statement. You say "however" as if you're going to provide some argument against me, and then you simply agree with me. You should have just said "perhaps" and left it at that. But you go and contradict yourself.

I misread your original statement with "for" instead of "from."  Hence my peculiar word choice.  In any case, I never stated that dialogue or monologue could be pointless.  I said that Verin had to have a reason for her thought, or it was a pointless thought and therefore would not be present.  At least, the last part (would not be present) was what I thought the implication would be.

 

While I was looking back, I noticed this:

In fact, if you didn't include it, it might just make her saying those two lines pointless. Just an additional few words with no meaning.

I have to disagree with this statement.  The two lines are not pointless, period.  If we did not get a glimpse into Verin's thought process, we would still get the idea that Verin is misleading Beldeine.  However, we would not realize that Verin only felt light-headed from channeling.

 

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