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3 Oaths - Functionality


The Dragon Reborn
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Hey, I haven't been around for a while, I was re-reading everything before I started TGS and I didn't want to risk seeing something about TGS that I didn't want to. A question occurred to me though and I said I'd post it to see if anybody had any opinions about it (or if it's been answered before!)

 

Hypothetically (I can't see the situation happening otherwise ;D), If an Aes Sedai bound by the 3 oaths promised/swore to do 'something' immediatly and while they are going about doing it circumstances change and they no longer wish to do 'whatever it is', are they still bound to do the task to avoid a lying scenario? ie do the oaths force them to complete whatever they swore regardless of the Aes Sedai feelings?

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Of course not.

 

The oath is about intent. Ie, when an Aes Sedai makes such a promise, she must intend to do whatever it is that she promises. But it does not cover actions, you would need a completely different oath for that. For example, the oath of obedience the BA-hunters used.

 

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Indeed, the Oaths are adaptive to intent--notice, for instance, how Elaida was able to change her mind on doing what Alviarin told her, despite having said she would.

 

The Oath is to speak the truth, but truth of one moment is not nessasarily the truth of the next. Of course it depends on the nature of what is sworn too--the distinction, for instance, between Elaida saying she would do what she was told, and the Aes Sedai who swore fealty to Rand. Elaida's oath was due to desperation of the moment--she swore as a part of alleviating worries in that specific moment. That's why it adapted. The Aes Sedai on the other hand understood that the oath of fealty was conditional to service, not alleviation, and thus continue to be bound so long as it is necessary--i.e. Tarmon Gai'don.

 

I doubt, for instance, Rand would succeed in commanding one of those Aes Sedai after TG.

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