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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Mesaana and the Oaths


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Ok, I knooooow I'm beating a dead horse (or something) by bringing this overly-discussed topic back up to the surface but I just can't get it out of my mind.

 

We've been told (by whom, I forget) that Mesanna is disguised as a sister.  Brandon has suggested that we start thinking about ways to defeat the Oath Road and believe me, I am trying!  A few months ago, I posted my theory about Mesanna hiding as a novice or an accepted and that theory was quickly shot down.

 

Thinking about it now, Mesaana as a novice is not plausible for a number of reasons like the fact that novices are under many restrictions and have little freedom.  Mesanna as an Accepted, however, could be possible.  One, Accepted have the freedom is choose their own studies and are also one of the few that can move freely about the ajah quarters.  That privilege alone is worth something, especially thinking about the recent tension between the ajahs.  Accepted would be able to communicate between sisters, pass messages and research what they want with little interference from the sisters.  The problem with Mesanna being an Accepted, however, is that I remember reading that the DO only recruits from full sisters -- even though Mesanna is forsaken, not technically modern AS.  I think some part of me will always entertain this idea of her being Accepted even though I'm pretty certain she is not one.

 

As for defeating the Oath Rod, I'm stumped.  I've read others' ideas and theories -- like Mesanna being Chosen not BA, and thus be able to truthfully say she is not.  I also think about Mesanna possibly being bound to other oaths that supercede the Three Oaths... kind of like how Suian explained to Gareth that her oath to save the world was stronger than her oath to him, you know?

 

I want to hear from you!

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I think that Mesaana could very well not be bound by the oaths at all.  She would have most likely killed a pre-existing sister and so would never have been bound by Oath Rod.  So that is how she specifically has beaten the oaths.  She just has to be really careful about how she speaks, and keep up an illusion of the ageless face, unless she is posing as a new sister.  Other than those two things, I think she has no problems.

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A thought from left field... could she possibly be hiding among the Rebels?  Even though BS has told us to consider defeating the Oath Rod, she may be a sister who has had a long absence from the tower.  AS like Cadsuane and those two sister AS, Adeleas and ???, have been gone from the tower for so long that they have been kind of forgotten by other sisters.  Well, the sisters retired... Cads, her own thing.

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I'm completely stumped as to who she is, all ive got is Laras/Dannelle and i doubt its either of them

 

Oh, I've definitely considered both of them as well.  Laras seems plausible but I think her role as this stern but sneaky woman is about all there is to her.  I do wonder if Laras has been the Harriet Tubman of the White Tower, helping Novices and Accepted run away.  I mean, think about her elaborate plans to help Egwene escape and her role with women like Suian and her escape.  Since it seems like it would be pretty difficult for an initiate to escape the island, having someone like Laras helping out seems to fit.

 

Danelle... now, I can't remember if we've been told whether we've seen Mesaana on screen or not.  Danelle seems to fit because of the way she's been described along with the ajah she's associated with.  In the Encyclopedia, Mesanna is described as '...practical and intelligent, though often taken for being dreamy because of her introspection.'  She also loves knowledge, research and such. She was an average field commander but blossomed as a governor of conquered territories, her administration efficient and orderly.  This seems to fit Danelle pretty well. 

 

Meh....

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I think Egwene may have been a little reckless with how the oaths were resworn, despite Verin having just made a huge point out of loopholes in such things.  Immediately she left it up to anyone resworn how they wanted to phrase their not-a-darkfriend declaration.  Belief, or some sort of delusion, have enabled AS to twist the truth to say things that are ultimately false.  What might separate Mesaana from every modern day Aes Sedai is that she is conceited enough to not consider herself a darkfriend at all.  She could quite possibly say that under oath because she believes herself in a totally different cateogry (Chosen).  

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If the oath has taken effect and she cannot lie then she did not beat the oath rod. So it would not matter if she doesn't have to lie to say she is not a darkfriend. Beating the oaths is not the same as beating the oath rod.

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Well I meant that she would simply have to satisfy the process of retaking them in order to prove she's not a darkfriend.  It might be of personal significance to Mesaana if she had to go for a time without lying until she was able to remove them again, as the Black Ajah have had done to them.  But lying is the only way they seem to be testing darkfriends, and she may have a good shot at beating that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hi all, I just finished gathering storm and I signed up for Dragonmount specifically because of this Mesaana identity thing.  I thought that my idea of Laras being Mesaana would be an original idea... apparently it is not.  But here is my reasoning:

1) We know she is hiding in the Tower.  People are assumming she is a sister, but what better disguise for her than a cook?  She is still around all of the action and can still do her manipulation.

2) She somehow gets around the 3 oaths... because she has never taken the 3 oaths. She wouldn't be forced to retake the oaths, because only the Aes Sedai were forced to do this, obviously.

3) She is the only non- Aes Sedai in the tower that is consistently mentioned.

4)  I don't think Robert Jordan would throw in a nameless, unimportant Aes Sedai as Mesaana.  Where would the drama be in that?  This person has be to a name that we recognize, and come as a surprise.

5) Freeing Siuan and various runaways seems like a good act, but what if her intentions are actually do sow discord and strife within the Tower but allowing these people to run away?

 

Anyway, thanks for listening. 

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RJ or Brandon confirmed that Laras has never been able to channel.

 

I think she was runaways/thrown out novies/accepted's way to the Kin

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I think it's specifically stated somewhere that she is posing as a Sister.  Not as the cook, or an accepted even.  As a sister. 

 

Laras being Messanna would be very very interesting for sure, but I just don't see how it passes all the restrictive tests.

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That thread you linked to is way too big. It can only be described as a chaotic jumble of posts designed merely to prevent a lot of threads popping up on the subject. Nobody new to the debate will want to read all that mess so it's a pure waste of time. Same goes for the 300 page Asmodean thread and any other that starts with a single word post "Discuss." As somebody who has spent a good bit of time in that linked post I can tell you that every other post just brings up a theory that was already debated - without giving any information, they could have just copied earlier posts word for word. Had they had their own threads it would not have happened and the threads would allow greater debate on the finer points. As this thread seems intended to do. Better to debate why it can't be Laras and let it go at that. Then when somebody else has the same theory they get a reasonably sized thread on it already that isn't way off topic talking about voice boxes and special weaves that might exist.

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The thing is, MikeRiley, that (almost) everything one needs to know is in the first 3 pages or so of that thread.

I do agree that it became too repetitive, and that's why I hope Kathana will note my last post - so that people could instead read a structured article about the different theories out there. Either way, they're releasing the FAQ sometime in September, and that's not that far away now.

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"Speak no word that is not true."

 

There's a flaw in the oath. Words as such can not be assigned truth or falsity (is "dog" true? what about "and?") While the spirit of the oath is quite clear due to cultural context, the wording leads to an ambiguity which could be exploited.

 

An oath itself is a willing declaration of intent, a promise. When someone makes an oath, they are declaring that they will do something or behave in a certain way. Most Aes Sedai who swear the oath may speak the flawed language, but really be swearing to "make no assertions which are untrue" and so they are bound to that oath.

 

 

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Crazy idea, random thought... What about this?  If Mesaana were to hold the rod, channel into it and then begin reciting the Oaths BUT while still holding and channeling into the rod, she says immediately following the Oaths, "I am not a Darkfriend," and then releasing the weave.  What I'm thinking is, even though the Aes Sedai have said (I think) that they can feel the Oath settling into their bones while swearing it, I would assume that techincally the Oath isn't totally binding until she stops channeling into the rod.

 

With this in mind, Mesanna could lie and say she isn't a Darkfriend because she spoke it before completing the swearing process.  Kind of like claiming false information before swearing to the judge that what you say from thereon is truthful?  :P

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I had a thought. Its possible to hide weaves, but is it possible to make them LOOK like another weave.

 

ie, she did swear on the oath rod, but not using the correct weave therefore, not bound by it.

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I had a thought. Its possible to hide weaves, but is it possible to make them LOOK like another weave.

 

ie, she did swear on the oath rod, but not using the correct weave therefore, not bound by it.

 

Nothing like that has even been suggested or implied in the books, making weaves look like something else that is.  That is an interesting concept though but personally, I don't see any channeler being able to do it even in AoL... But then again, if a channeler can disguise herself or hide her ability to channel, then why not the weaves themselves? I'm thinking that the OP is the most basic essence of the ability to channel, the raw material to be worked with.  I'd say that you can use that energy, or raw essence, to control the environment around you, including hiding your ability but you can't mess with the energy itself. 

 

To think about it in a different way, I'd compare it to what the sun is to us.  We can stop the light from reaching us by blocking it, we can "see" the sun differently by, say, wearing kaleidescope sunglasses, and we can convert the sun energy into other kinds of energy -- however -- we can't change the sun's energy itself; we can only manipulate it after it reaches us. 

 

Don't think read too deeply on my analogy.  I'm not even making sense in my own head right now =) 

 

 

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There is a possibility that it is even simpler ...

 

The principles behind the Oath Rod, that is, why it works the way it works, were known in the Age of Legends when it was made.  Generally speaking, if you know how something works, then you can develop a way to counteract it.  Since the Oath Rod produces no externally visible effects (at least not immediately), then if Mesaana were simply warded in some way against it, with inverted weaves, then she could hold it, say all the words, and lie her head off.

 

That would be disappointingly simple, but Occam sometimes has a point.

 

 

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That thread you linked to is way too big. It can only be described as a chaotic jumble of posts designed merely to prevent a lot of threads popping up on the subject. Nobody new to the debate will want to read all that mess so it's a pure waste of time.

It's probably even a greater waste of time to rehash a lot of the same arguments that have already been largely dismissed. For instance:

 

1. The argument that she's not posing as an Aes Sedai. We have information from both Verin and Graendal that she is posing as an Aes Sedai. Graendal's informants keep her well informed of Mesaana's activities. Add in the restrictions that she would be under if she wasn't posing as an Aes Sedai, and it simply wouldn't make sense for her to be a servant or an Accepted or some such. There's even a likely suspect: Danelle.

 

2. Those that argue that Mesaana swore the Oaths and simply believed she wasn't a "mere" darkfriend are ignoring the glaring fact that she would have also had to allow herself to be bound against using the One Power as a weapon except in self-defense, thereby hamstringing herself. Additionally, the simple act of swearing on a binder would be distasteful to say the least for an AoL'er. Since no Black Ajah Sitters remain, it wouldn't be an easy feat for her to get her hands on the Oath Rod to forswear the Oaths, either -- and she'd know that.

 

3. Mesaana remains in the Tower. That has been confirmed by Brandon. Additionally, it's been confirmed by Brandon that all remaining Aes Sedai in the Tower have sworn on the Oath Rod. Egwene's reasoning is not incorrect when she deduces that Mesaana must know a way to defeat the Oath Rod.

 

4. The earlier thread contained two very plausible ways to defeat the Oath Rod, both which would fit with Mesaana's MO of relying on illusion and both of which are known to be possible. The first is that Mesaana used an inverted weave to create an illusion of sound so that she appeared to the other Aes Sedai to have actually sworn the Three Oaths when in fact she never spoke. The second is that she simply wore gloves and altered her Mask of Mirrors so that none of the witnesses realized she'd avoided direct contact with the rod while swearing.

 

That should about cover it. At only 55 pages so far, it isn't unreasonable to look through what's already been thoroughly been discussed.

 

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"Only 55 pages", not everybody makes their life Dragonmount. Gigantic threads that try to take on the role of being a generic "Let's discuss everything about this right here" tend to be a turnoff to newcomers to the debate. Had this debate been split up into lesser threads and kept isolated to their own section of the forum, this would not be an issue at all. People would see the relevant 2-3 page discussion and read that in just a few minutes and not have to bother with 50 extra pages of back and forth talk about something their idea doesn't touch on at all. It would also keep the threads clean, a concept that does not exist in the larger threads. The same arguments are being made every few pages with the occasional new one thrown in now and then making the person have to read each page so as not to miss anything anyway. For an idea, I posted a theory I had on a page and it went unreplied to for a few pages, then somebody else posted the exact same idea and it got noticed. There's just too much clutter. If an idea is suggested when people are debating something else, it will not get read. I just think people need to lighten up about the occasional duplicate thread, especially when the new thread is more about the fine tuning of a theory rather than something as broad as "She could have evaded the oaths." 

 

Seriously, the only reason I can think of for why people want giant generic threads is because they want the forums themselves to remain for the most part empty. At every other forum on the internet, if a thread could exist that discussed multiple topics, it was just created as its own forum and the topics were discussed in their own threads - it was more organized this way and the information was more readily available. With luck the new setup will include that on the 10th!

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MikeRiley, since you didn't come up with this reason, let me suggest it (though Random Man's already said it in his post). It's because the theories that people come up with have already been suggested and discussed. Some weaknesses in them were offered. Some theories have been disproved altogether.

 

Random Man, I just love how you threw your own opinions in there :). As much as I appreciate your right to think as you will, I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that some people disagree with you regarding no. 2. I think you'll have to admit that it's not proof of anything, merely your opinion.

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MikeRiley, since you didn't come up with this reason, let me suggest it (though Random Man's already said it in his post). It's because the theories that people come up with have already been suggested and discussed. Some weaknesses in them were offered. Some theories have been disproved altogether.

 

I'm not sure I get what you're saying. The theories that people come up with were suggested and discussed in that 55 page thread that you linked to, yes. But like I said, not everybody has the time or will to read a 55 page thread just to search for the relevant posts to their specific theory. The big thread idea also fails to handle the reposting of theories that have "already been discussed", as is quite apparent with the thread that has been linked to. This would not have been the case if the thread itself was created in the form of its own sub-forum and individual theories were posted as their own threads inside of it. They would have been easier to find and duplicate theory threads would simply not exist.

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Oh, I didn't understand that you were suggesting a separate thread for EACH THEORY. Yes, that would work.

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