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The staff of Moiraine Sedai


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It is not an angreal- just a piece of wood. Judging by the later books, such objects are completely unnecessary for wielding the power. During the EOTW, she claims that it helps her concentration or some such. What is the actual purpose? She doesn't have any trouble on focusing her concentration in the latter books without the staff.

 

IMO, RJ put in the staff to make her fit the traditional 'mage' image a bit more. Thoughts welcome.

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True, such objects are not necessary for wielding the power, but if she learned particular weaves using them, then they are required for her.  Take her blue stone for example.  She can eavesdrop on distant conversations with a weave she discovered herself, but she would probably have a hard time doing so without her aid to concentration.

 

We see another example of that later on with one of the kin.  She waggles her fingers when she weaves out of habit.  She might have a hard time of it if her fingers were tied together.

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But we know she didn't learn anything while using that staff. I thinks its just one of those things that changed about the One Power over the first few books.

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But we know she didn't learn anything while using that staff. I thinks its just one of those things that changed about the One Power over the first few books.

 

Who said anything about her learning the weave with that staff?  Perhaps the weave, as she was taught it, requires a focus.  It can be a staff or anything else.  In TSR she uses a switch to focus fire during the battle in the stone..... actually that might have happened in TDR during the battle in the mountains prior to Rand running away to Tear, can't remember.  And she's very clear in the first book that the staff is only a concentration aid/focus so I don't think RJ changed anything about how the power was working.

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  • 7 years later...

True, such objects are not necessary for wielding the power, but if she learned particular weaves using them, then they are required for her.  Take her blue stone for example.  She can eavesdrop on distant conversations with a weave she discovered herself, but she would probably have a hard time doing so without her aid to concentration.

 

We see another example of that later on with one of the kin.  She waggles her fingers when she weaves out of habit.  She might have a hard time of it if her fingers were tied together.

 

Excellent answer; I also add that Moi is a trior, an experimenter, so I see her as someone who always tries new things out.

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True, such objects are not necessary for wielding the power, but if she learned particular weaves using them, then they are required for her. Take her blue stone for example. She can eavesdrop on distant conversations with a weave she discovered herself, but she would probably have a hard time doing so without her aid to concentration.

 

We see another example of that later on with one of the kin. She waggles her fingers when she weaves out of habit. She might have a hard time of it if her fingers were tied together.

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Yes...this is one of many reasons the Aiel Wise Ones look down on Aes Sedai ...Sorilea once comments on all the hand-waving the Aes Sedai do...most can't even hurl fireballs without making a throwing motion.

Edited by Kesiera_Sedai
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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes...this is one of many reasons the Aiel Wise Ones look down on Aes Sedai ...Sorilea once comments on all the hand-waving the Aes Sedai do...most can't even hurl fireballs without making a throwing motion.

This is because they were taught that way.  Many sisters can watch a sister perform a weave and know which sister taught it to them by the gestures and formation.  So yes, Moiraine makes a use of focuses, because perhaps some of her strongest wards and weaves required the staff as that is how it was passed through the ages, what remnants were remembered or rediscovered.  The Blues had a lot of secret tricks and weaves.  It was also one of the early bookisms.  Perhaps in RJ's mind he discarded the staff after they left the ways because her power had grown as it does in women.  Or because staffs and power were/are a big thing in Tolkien and Modesitt's books and he wanted to break away from that.  We do have Moiraine's statements in TGH that she is much more dangerous than she was before, she apparently went somewhere and learned some new powerful weaves, Balefire among them.  This might have been with the two sisters in retirement or maybe another stop before them.  Maybe Vandene passed it on to her after the Drahkar incident or her sister.  So it's probably not any one specific thing but likely a combination of several factors why he went with less visual aids.  

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I agree the staff wasn't used to wield the power, but she cast some pretty powerful stuff focusing on it.  When the made the rings of Earth when they had them trapped in the woods and the hounds were coming down on them.  She also used it from horseback to create that fog aid their escape into Tarren Ferry too.  She even commented there were very few sisters alive who could have done the same thing.  If I remember right, she lost it holding back Machin Shin when they escaped the Waygate too, and that was pretty powerful too.

I liked the staff, and as much as appearances mattered to Moiraine, it probably helped her look more regal too. 

Edited by bigdoug1971
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