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The Aiel and them being fit


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World class marathon runners are pretty pooped after their runs. Thats because world class runners average between 8-10 mph in their runs. The world record is over 11.5 mph. In contrast, moving at half that speed for longer periods, a human can run 50 miles in 10 hours. With one rest period in the middle, proper nourishment, and 6-7 hours to rest each night, a human can keep up that pace almost indefinitely (by which i mean for days, even weeks at a time). Travelling by horse 50 miles in a day is pushing the horse hard, and can't be maintiained without special training/breeding, because horses metabolisms are not as efficient over the long term as humans'.

 

Actually, for endurance, humans are pretty remarkable. Many animals are capable of more amazing feats over short distances, but burn amazing amounts of calories and put great stress on their systems. Very few animals outlive humans, and the ones who do are proportionally less active. Humans seem to have the best balance of activity/longevity of any creature in the world.

 

I could say that it is because of good design, but that might start a religious argument :lol:

 

In short, it's not at all unrealistic that a body of well trained, warrior bred light infantry (the Aiel) would be well able to outpace horses over the long haul, and even to keep pace on daily forced marches.

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ummm... they're not really witches, or even close.

 

 

 

i've been familiar with this series since the second book was published and have no other word to describe them.

 

how would you describe them if they were in your house lifting you off the ground, throwing balls of fire around or healing a broken bone that protruded through your thigh? angels?

 

i don't know what rj has defined them to be in his world but it seems not every character has that power. it could be that everyone does but only a few show the inborn ability or want to develop it.

 

 

I certainly wouldn't call them witches, as would not you if you had any understanding or respect for the religion of witchcraft.

 

Witchcraft is not a religion. I think you're referring to wicca, and they practice witchcraft as a tool. Of course, the concept of witches predates wicca, and it's not necessarily accurate to deny all interpretations of the word witch because Wiccans would not approve.

J

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Words are defined by usage. You cannot cross-reference the history of a word in this world to its use in Randland. As the word is used in the books, it is a derogatory term referring to women who touch the Source.

 

If you try to convert that to how we would refer to Aes Sedai if they existed in our world, then you would also have to define it by usage. Since usage of the word "witch" varies so widely between groups/cutltures (from "any female with supernatural powers" to devotees of various and specific codes/rites/rituals/theologies) it would have to be said that they could qualify for the term. I wouldn't recommend using to their face though.

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To answer an earlier question in this thread, if they were in my house healing bones and whatnot i'd say, "oh snap, that chick is an Aes Sedai." Not she's a bloody witch, burn her!

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Witchcraft is not a religion. I think you're referring to wicca, and they practice witchcraft as a tool. Of course, the concept of witches predates wicca, and it's not necessarily accurate to deny all interpretations of the word witch because Wiccans would not approve.

 

Actually Witchcraft is a religion, and no i was not refering to wicca, which i did mention in a later post, had you bothered to read on. Here is what i said:

 

The religion of witchcraft is a pantheistic nature based religion, its most well know modern incarnation, Wicca, has been around for about a hundred years, but other forms such as Benne Magie have existed in their current, defined state for around 900 to 1200 years. The sector primrary (originating religion) is believed to be over 8000 years old.

 

But more importantly witchcraft is based around theism... power through a devine being, like christianity, or islam. Even uneducated people refer to witchcraft as the attaintment of power through a theistic channel... being satan. Channeling involves the use of a scientific energy source... thats it. That, and out of respect for real withches, is why i wouldn't refer to channeling as anything to do with witchcraft.

 

Specifically as to the nature of the witch. It originally meant 'wise'. It was utilized by herbwomen, healers and other such figures in several cultures. Frequently these women were also the centre of religious worship in those areas... not always, but commonly. The practises of those religions varied, some believed in theistic deities, some were far more animistic or shamanistic, but their beliefs were fluidic, due to the strong pantheistic thread to their religious practices. whether you believed in Freya or Hecate, you also were willing to worship the others, because you believe them to be the same being... no matter how different in shape or practices. And in all places these realigions were refered to as witchcraft, or rather, the Craft of the Wise.

 

Religion itself means almost exactly the same thing. relegeres meaning obligation or abiding the law and practice of what is right--which had specific implications to the romans.

 

Words are defined by usage. You cannot cross-reference the history of a word in this world to its use in Randland. As the word is used in the books, it is a derogatory term referring to women who touch the Source.

 

An excellent point. There must be some permissability for the changeing meanings of words, for languages are fluidic and living things. Nevertheless i do question the adherence to a christian bastardisation initiated as a part of a smear campeign, especially in references to religions such as Benne Magie (the Good Magic) which still exist in the same form it did prior to the instigation of that campeign.

 

It's not a matter of the usage of that word being dead, and replaced by another meaning--an argument that could be made for, say, the swastika... maybe--its a matter of a previous generations religious intolerence. In much the same way have many other religious traditions been treated by the major religions--something we are addressing. And a part of that is acknowledging the lies that have been told. Another example of this would be the treatment Aboriginal religions recieved. Or even some eastern ones.

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As previous posts have said, its entirely possible for an everyday human who is very fit to maintain the stated pace, can you imagine what 3000 years of evolution would do to enhance this (I mean... the environment is right: you have the separation of the group/species from others, in a place where those born with the best characteristics have a better chance of surviving and thereby passing on those genes.) You add a large dash of fantasy/hero/magic :D and voila!

 

Super warrior kick-@rse Aiel.

 

-Genesis_XVI

 

PS- I apologise to all science orientated people out there who just had to endure my adulteration of Darwin's theory f evolution :)

 

PPS - 3000 years is a long time!! That's 100 generations in today's world and maybe as many as 140 in Randland terms.

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Horses arn't as awesome as you guys seem to think--this is a misconception left in peoples mind by bad fantasy writers and movies. You know why Arwen's horse was able to gallop all day long to evade the ringwraiths? It's because they cut every five minutes to trade horses, and about 12 horse handlers there to see they stayed alive and happy.

 

Your average horse can cover maybe 30 miles a day, with frequent stops of at least an hour for them to feed, drink, and rest. You gallop an average horse non-stop and it'll be dead in 30 minutes. There are endurance horses that, with special and extensive training, can make around 100 miles, but i dont think thats what RJ was refering to.

 

That the Aiel could keep up with an average horse accross a day is not that surprising. Indeed, given that army would likely move slower then that anyway due to the foot it makes sense for the Aiel to be much faster then most the Wetland Armies.

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Genesis_XVI

 

PPS - 3000 years is a long time!! That's 100 generations.

 

you are correct! in modern times 30 years is a generation unless mankind begins to reproduce as animals do...the rash of teen pregancies, especially in my area of maryland can cut that in half. most people of our civilization plan a bit more than a 13 year old girl out with the wrong crowd.

 

meaning? as soon as the body is mature - the hormones have allowed all organs of the body to perform fully - humans can begin to procreate. the level of growth hormones we have subjected outselves to over the years put this at the age of 13 in most cases. i wonder how old they began before there was true civilization? - our own american indians or those in mexico as examples.

 

it blows the level of experience and maturity one would hope to pass on out of the rearing years...

we don't exist by hunting down wild game nor mindlessly farming on wide open spaces we are squatting on to justify reproducing like thoughtless animals in today's society. that sounds like the kind of activity that happens in a zoo or farmyard. if we needed a surplus of babies to be on the adoption market it would work but that is highly immoral.

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Luckers

Horses aren't as awesome as you guys seem to think--this is a misconception left in people's mind by bad fantasy writers and movies. You know why Arwen's horse was able to gallop all day long to evade the ringwraiths? It's because they cut every five minutes to trade horses, and about 12 horse handlers there to see they stayed alive and happy.

 

Your average horse can cover maybe 30 miles a day, with frequent stops of at least an hour for them to feed, drink, and rest. You gallop an average horse non-stop and it'll be dead in 30 minutes. There are endurance horses that, with special and extensive training, can make around 100 miles, but i dont think thats what RJ was refering to.

 

That the Aiel could keep up with an average horse accross a day is not that surprising. Indeed, given that army would likely move slower then that anyway due to the foot it makes sense for the Aiel to be much faster then most the Wetland Armies.

 

glorfindel saved frodo, not arwen.

it was an elven horse just like keebler cookies and baked in a hollow tree.

 

how many horses have you ridden?

 

most humans would have to train really hard to keep up with a farm horse at a canter. that is not a lope, that is running hard to a human and the horse is just settling to the pace and figuring how to get you off his back so he can eat grass in the shade.

 

sure the horse is gonna stop or slow down but a horse walks faster than a man does and that runner has to stop as well.

if you have ever seen a quarterhorse trained to race up close you are looking at something that is as close to a "warhorse" as we will see in this day and age.

a horse trained to pull a sulky - harness racing - is able to trot-not gallup at a fast pace for miles before having to stop to rest. i've watched them train at the local track, they don't gallop. they trot really fast, near a gallup, in the race but in practice they go for longer than i can count just for training and execise.

i rode horses when i lived i texas and though i never wore armor and rode at full gallop from trollocs, the horses know when they want to go for it and when to stop. they go until you really want to stop. none of them can run at a full out gallop for miles - riding a horse at a full gallup isn't fun anyway, it hurts unless you are trained along with the horse to do it.

 

the trained quarterhorse will fall from exhaustion after three miles and the horse pulling the sulky is going futher than that - at an easy trot. that is the key word - gallop or trot. a dog moves easier in a trot than walking. a horse walks, canters, trots and full out gallups. we have the preakness on memorial day in baltimore and those horses are moving, but not for more than two miles max at those speeds. some can't keep up with the faster horses.

it's true, you gotta rest them for hours at a time in a 24 hour period but a horse can go on day after day merely walking whereas a human doesn't have the strength for that unless trained to the point of "why?". long distance runners can't run for a month - their bodies have to heal or they will permanently injure themselves. the same goes with running a horse. however, he can walk for days when a man will not. feed him and water him and he acts like a big dog happy to be out. a plain house dog has more endurance than a human for a month long romp. we aren't conditioned to do that whereas an animal is still an animal. if you have two horses, alternating one for riding and carrying food and supplies, you can go at a steady pace that you wouldn't by foot. that's reality. aiel are in a story.

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I was speaking of the movie, not the books.

 

I'm not particular sure what you are either trying to say or imply with your post, but my figures stand as they are.

 

The average horse--not well-trained, and most of those we are discussing wont be--can travel 30 miles in a day, tops... and that a hard day. A well trained runner, as the Aiel seemed to all be, can match that. A well-trained horse, as i said, can make up to a hundred miles, but we havn't really encountered any horses like that in the series... Vanin's maybe. Scouts and horse thieves are usually on good runners.

 

As for Lan's... a warhorse is made for strength not speed. If Mandarb could make beyond 20 miles in a day, i'd be surprised. In real life i would be, anyway. No trained warhorse is expected to be a runner. And no knight would be expecting to run. They're made heavy and hard, but with expectation of surviving a fight, not running from it.

 

 

 

And then there is the strain on the rider. You have a untrained rider ride 30 miles in a day, expect him to not get up again for a while. In point of fact expect him to not be able to walk again for a while either.

 

As for Lords and Lady's mounts...parade horses are different again, though i suspect people like the Aes sedai buy their horses with a certain level of practicality in mind, as well as beauty. The majority of the nobiles, however...

 

So no i see no problem in the assertion that your average aiel could keep up with your average horse. They are marathon runners trained in truth--compared to your generic horse... bah.

 

I don't entirely get your spiel about 'animals' breeding and the rest. I neither see how its on topic, nor indeed what it means in any context.

 

We have survived longer hunting and farming--which we still do, need i remind you--then living under the umberela of our so-called civilisation. Also, let me remind you that the majority of the Great Minds--Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Nagarjuni, Siddhartha--all come from this era of animals. Frankly i think you give them too little credit and us too much. Our toys may have changed, but hummanity itself remains the same.

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glorfindel saved frodo, not arwen.

 

I was going to say "not in the movie", but Luckers got there first.

 

 

how many horses have you ridden?

 

Four. And none for more than 25 miles in a day, and that took most of the day. I also helped care for several others, as my aunt is part owner of a stable. In fact, I was just out there last week.

 

if you have ever seen a quarterhorse trained to race up close you are looking at something that is as close to a "warhorse" as we will see in this day and age.

 

Do you know why it is called a quarterhorse? It was bred for sprints. One quarter of a mile in distance. Horses are sprinters, not long distance runners. You acknowledged this later in your own post. You CAN push a horse, carefully, up to about 50 miles in a long day without extra special training, but try to do it for 2 or three consecutive days and the horse will play out. Average light cavalry units in the Civil War (who were about as lightly equipped as cavalry can be) averaged 20-25 miles per day.

 

sure the horse is gonna stop or slow down but a horse walks faster than a man does and that runner has to stop as well.

 

Trained runners can run all day, with only one sizable break for sustenance, and they can recover every night with 6-7 hours rest. Horses cannot.

 

long distance runners can't run for a month - their bodies have to heal or they will permanently injure themselves. the same goes with running a horse. however, he can walk for days when a man will not.

 

Long distance runners in subsaharan Africa train to run longer than marathon lengths daily. They do not run at marathon speed, but half speed for 4 times as long gets you more distance. There is an eastern (I want to say Tibetan, but I am not 100 percent sure) striding method called lung-gom-pa which allows runners to maintain a running pace even at high altitudes for 12 to 16 hours.

 

The part about the horse was right though.

 

And I've hiked mountain trails at a 30 mile per day rate for several days consecutively without pushing very hard (carrying all my supplies on my back), and without having to recuperate afterwards. Americans, for the most part, underestimate the human body because we have enough technology that we don't have to push ourselves if we don't want to. The Aiel are entirely plausible.

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Something else to consider with the Aiel is their height. They have longer legs then most other folks. At 6'6 Rand is average sized among Aiel. Mat, at between 5'11 or 6' is "taller then most" in Randland.

 

So Aiel are over half a foot taller then your average Randlander. The longer legs of an Aiel would make a big difference over long distances. 100 Aiel strides would cover more ground then 100 Randlander strides moving at the same pace.

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Robert, are you sure about the 50 miles for endurance horses? I've never checked it personally, but the women who told me has spent the better part of her life raising and training horse--on the other hand, maybe she said kilometers... yeah, that makes sense in hind-sight.

 

And Mike, i've ridden eight different horses in my time. Never for more then an hour or two though... im a city boy. I do know people who have ridden all day though... i stayed on this guys farm out near alice springs who once even had a bet with an Aboriginal guy on who could reach Darwin first, the Aboriginal guy... name was something like Nannarella--which they told me meant 'man of the sex-magic', but i later found out meant 'white river'--beat him by a long shot, him on foot and my friend on horse. Almost a day.

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50 miles is the outside limit, for a normal, healthy horse. There are alot of factors that can reduce it, and as I said, it cant be maintained even for a couple of days without the special training/breeding, etc. Even really well trained and bred endurance horses that can go 100 miles a day (and they do exist) can't do it for more than a day at a time, and after an endurance run of that length they need recuperation time.

 

The problem with horses is not mobility, it's recovery. You can push a horse and it will keep performing, right up until it starts spitting bloody froth and keels over dead. People "riding horses to death" really happened.

 

Warhorses, actually, travelled very poorly. They were not trained for endurance running, they were trained for battle. Trained to be guided with the knees, trained to not panic at the smell of blood, or the sound of two battle lines crunching togther. Trained to kick and bite. About the longest they would ever run is a 200 yard charge.

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you want to know the really senseless part of this thread??

 

there ain't no aiel, trollocs or aes sedai.

 

there is no single nation on the face of this planet whose majority of population can run as fast as a horse and be effective warriors. think hard on it. i won't go into that craziness because 2 marathon runners from a single village is not representative of an entire nation. if one was to consider martial arts movies from asia to be accurate representation of all peoples from those lands it is ludicrous. the united states is not the corncopia of wealth and abundance that too many people in third world countries imagine is the end of the rainbow.

 

its cool in the books but in real life, my standard trotter may run over the marathon runner. so may a quarterhorse and look out for a wild mustang or chincoteague pony. the last two bite and kick for fun. i haven't even thought of arabian horses with their ultra-deep chests(lungs). the closest thing to a war horse - now that i have been corrected - would be a breed of draft horse.

 

the simple truth is none of the debated is realistic. the only way to find out how far an army can go is to decipher journals of soldiers, hopefully a lower officer, that participated in ancient campaigns. the american civil war is going to be spotty. roman campaigns may be fair while alexander or napoleon's campaigns might be realistic.

 

as to how far a horse can actually go? ride one around a track all day. there is very little land open in the world that will allow one to trek - maybe australia?

 

luckers

alice springs? cool. lots-o-satellite dishes out there.

what does this refer to?

I don't entirely get your spiel about 'animals' breeding and the rest. I neither see how its on topic, nor indeed what it means in any context.

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there is no single nation on the face of this planet whose majority of population can run as fast as a horse and be effective warriors.

 

Well i'll be sure to let the Aboriginals know that. They'll be terribly dissapointed to learn they've been living a lie... and all the evidence that agrees with them... bah, nothing. Mike disagrees with it after all.

 

what does this refer to?

I don't entirely get your spiel about 'animals' breeding and the rest. I neither see how its on topic, nor indeed what it means in any context.

 

Your comments above.

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there is no single nation on the face of this planet whose majority of population can run as fast as a horse and be effective warriors.

 

Well i'll be sure to let the Aboriginals know that. They'll be terribly dissapointed to learn they've been living a lie... and all the evidence that agrees with them... bah, nothing. Mike disagrees with it after all.

 

Don't forget about the Zulu's of Southern Africa.

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Oh, and incidentally, Mike ... if this thread is senseless because there are no Aiel, Trollocs, or Aes Sedai, then this entire sight is senseless, because none of this really exists.

 

 

So .... why are you doing something senseless?

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RobertAlexWillisOh, and incidentally, Mike ... if this thread is senseless because there are no Aiel, Trollocs, or Aes Sedai, then this entire sight is senseless, because none of this really exists.

 

 

So .... why are you doing something senseless?

 

yep, none you a real either, i quit this thread.

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The notion that the aboriginal people of Australia are a warrior people is a myth. In general, (excluding the high rates of domestic violence and assualt that is a sad statistic of today) Aborigines are a peaceful people. Sure, they have spears, boomerangs and woomeras. It doesn't translate into certification of a warrior society at all!! I don't mean to be a stickler, but its an idea that has a stronger basis in ignorant European cinema fiction from very early in the century than in reality. Aboriginal society and culture is all about the community and the land. I would contend that the aboriginal people probably have as many parallels with the Ogier as the Aiel. Captain Cook commented when he left Australia that despite their primitive nature (his sentiments, not mine), the Aboriginal people appeared to be the happiest (not as in haha I'm happy, but as in general contentment throughout their society) that he had ever seen. And while I'm sure stories exist of battles between tribes, the blood shed probably pales against that shed by the english in their pubs on a Friday night. Aboriginal Australian's have a wonderful history of respect. So warriors??? Not really :D

 

Payback is as close as the get, I believe, and that's just a form of social justice (my point being that that's about as violent as Aboriginals get on a social level).

 

If you want a warrior society, try the Mongols. Or Zulus, as Kaznen said. :) They're pretty fascinating... sorry; I'm wandering off topic.

 

Anywho, I agree with Robert. What a silly thing to say about Trollocs not being real. Of course they're not real Mike. Like Robert said; this entire site is dedicated to the discussion of concepts, theories and creations - that while fictitious - can be discussed within the context of the medium they exist in. BOOKS! Wonderful, Imaginative and completely untrue books that carry so many parallels with our own world history, but manages to reduce them into digestible symbols.

 

And I'd give credence to Luckers figures. I've never found his information to be unreliable or concocted and I doubt any of that has changed. They're usually safely conservative (the wise course: no one respects grand-standing stats), which is where Roberts would complement them.

 

Having said that some - you have to really search for them sometimes - of Mike's points are quite true. 1) Without a true parallel existing, we could never really tell I guess. And a true parallel will never exist. Which is why I suppose we get on a website and discuss it :) because there's never gonna be that definitve answer. 2) I don't think it's truly that common for men to be able to match horses for speed. While possible; as we've all already established, overall I'd say horses are a far faster means of overall transport. Overall. That's why people use horses. And cos they're lazy. That's my assertion of the day. Look in the context of the book too. Horses are no where near the flawless speed-machine some novels portray them to be, but in Wot they are the faster means of transport. Just like in reality I guess.

 

that's just me all

 

-Genesis_XVI

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I never said the Aboriginals were a warrior race, i said they could outdistance a horse. The Aboriginals weren't warlike because there was no reason for them to be, they were intrinsically linked with their piece of land, so there goes much of the cause for war... i mean why invade someone elses lands when their spirits are just going to hate you for it, and see you starve and die. There WAS war between different nations... but it was extremely rare...

 

Yet this should not be confused with the Aboriginals being peaceful. They had little reason for war, but this did not mean they did not know how to fight and care for themselves. Skirmishes between the nations were quite common, involving no more then maybe 20 tribesmen at a time--often these involved women. Usually when a woman was to be abducted the men of the tribe abducting her would go to the men of her tribe and work it out beforehand, but not always.

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The Zulu impis of Tshaka and Cetewayo normally ran 80-100 miles/day and fought pitched battles at the end of the run. This was in hot tropical conditions. Each warrior used to carry a oval-shaped shield and 3-4 short spears called Assegai. Sound familiar to anyone?

 

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