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Cadsuane in a'dam or how I freed the damane


sumquy
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I've been doing a reread lately, and one thing that bothers me (and always has in the series) is the damane, specifically what would be their fate. I have a hard time believing that Jordan intended for them and the Seanchan to just go on into the future as they had in the past. One large (and long) subplot in the series has been the discovery, by the Seanchan that sul'dam can channel and what that would do to the Empire.

 

So I got to the part in TGS where Cadsuane thinks about how she put on an a'dam to test it and see if she could find a way out. She couldn't, but it got me to thinking; what if someone did find a weakness to it that allowed the damane to be able to remove the collar?

 

What do you think?

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That might work to end new damane that weren't born in seanchan culture, but part of the effect of the collar and Seanchan teaching from a young age is that those in the collar develop a mindset that they need to be collared. Several damane in the series when uncollared go into fits and I doubt they'd try to free themselves even if they knew how.

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Could just TP blast them all off...

 

But on a serious note, I agree with the posts above. While some Damane might try it (using this technique of getting out of the a'dam that Cadsuane finds) the majority will not, they would cry and go crazy if they are released.

 

More likely is your point about the long forshadowed sup-plot of the sul'dam being able to channel. In a series of RJ's quality where inconsequential seeming things are later important parts in the story (Eye of the World Tower of Genjei anyone?) I strongly doubt that this subplot wont be completed.

 

It could of course, be a MASSIVE red herring put in to hide something truly momentous, but if thats true, I dont think we have enough evidence to speculate, and I doubt it would be something as anti-climatic as, "oh, BTW, Cadsuane told yall Damane how to escape, your reign of terror is over." Not when there is a perfectly good subplot to be exploited

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Robert Jordan said not everything would be tied up neatly with the last book. I took that to mean we would not see the resolution of the Seanchan plots. Their being freed is not vital to the last battle and that is what the series is about. It wouldn't surprise me at all if it happened off screen or after TG and outside the books.

 

You could say the Seanchan plot has been a major part of the series. So much that half the time Rand was fighting them and not the Shadow. We know this isn't going to be finished up neatly before the end of the series. There's no way Rand will convince them to pack up and go home. So what would the difference be between the major man vs man war and the freeing of the damane plots? That the reader understands it's only a matter of time before the damane are all dealt with could be considered enough as far as the series itself is concerned.

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You might be right, but you have no evidence suggesting that this will be one such plotline.

 

Evidently you and I have different ideas of what is important to the story. Of course the Damane plot is essential to the last battle. the Finns answer suggested that Rand and the Seanchan must work together to win the LB, they cannot be at war with each other (thats been the whole plot for 4 Books with Rand) either beating them into submission, which is not possible, or creating an alliance, which has failed.

 

The main problem behind the two forces allying ? The Damane.

 

The Tower wont make an alliance with the Seanchan (especially not Egwene) while Damane exist, and while Damane are thought of as littl more than dogs, the Seanchan wont trust the White Tower or any channelers, neither will yeild this.

 

The finns answers said "the two must be one" (meaning the Seanchan and Rand's forces this side of the ocean) which says that the two MUST come to an agreement to fight the last battle, freeing the Damane is the most efficiant way to do this, its been forshadowed since tGH.

 

Not tieing up plots, i imagine it to be small things like where Merillie went and for the Seanchan, ultimately reslove the civil war on their continent.

 

No, saying that the damane plot isnt important enough to be wrapped up is like saying the "Lan and Malkieri" plot doesnt matter, its basically the same thing, it doesnt matter really if Lan disappears in the Blight.

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About unresolved plot lines; I would guess things planned for the outriggers, mainly Seanchan.

 

About damane escaping their own adam; not sure if that would happen, other than the method Rand used.

 

The Seanchan collaring damane seems to result (at least partially) from them treating people as property.

The Seanchan treating people as property to me seems to be the main preventer from an alliance; not necessarily damane.

If the treating people as property stops, collaring damane might also stop.

 

 

This type of plot seems most probable::

1.  Tuon managing to get a male adam on Rand.

2.  Rand kneeling to her.

3.  After some time, Rand gaining control of Tuon.

4.  Tuon kneeling to him.

5.  Rand changing Tuon's mind about various things; not sure exactly what.

 

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I'm not saying it's not important enough to be wrapped up, just that it probably won't be. There's going to be a lot of loose ends. Life doesn't end after the Last Battle.

 

Look at it this way:

 

Rand and the Seanchan come to an agreement to work together towards TG. Of course, like all of Rand's treaties, they will end once TG is over with. Because Rand does not demand the captured Aes Sedai be freed, he will "know the Amyrlin's anger."

 

I just see the whole Damane thing as a White Tower plotline and that's pretty much over. The White Tower sent their damane captives back and in time word will spread and it will shake the Seanchan way of life to its core. I don't see that happening before TG.

 

I don't have evidence to back all this up of course, but there's an equal amount of evidence saying it won't happen. We'll see! If we know everything now there would be no point in reading them.

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You are right, of course, and that may well happen, and yes, there isnt enough evidence to go either way, i  just thought that this being forshadowed for a long time was something that was going to be wrapped up, i mean, theres so much on screen time in the series dedicated to this subject, it just doesnt sound like something that wont be at least partially wrapped up.

 

I can understand the plots not resloving with the Seanchan, their occupation of the mainland and the civil war back home. But yeah, this particular plot seems to important to me.

 

Anyway, i just thought it a bit odd that someone would think this to be one of the plotlines not resolved, but  as i said, you may very well be right, and I can appreciate your reasoning and understand how you came to such a conclusion.

 

Well, we shall see  ;D

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Excellent comments. Funny note, I hadn't even considered the damane from Seanchan. I was thinking in terms of something to make them a little more balanced vs. Aes Sedai and the nations in Randland. I agree that the damane from home wouldn't even try to be free, but a lot of the ones in Randland would, and that could spread fast. Damane guerrilla warfare! Insurgency!

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It seems strange to me that channelers are such a prominent part of the Seanchan's military, yet apparently stedding are so much more common or accessible that the Ogier on that continent did not experience the longing.  Unless they have different stedding that don't block the OP?

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I think that we may see the beginning of the end of this--e.g., a confrontation with Setalle Anan post-Healing convinces Fortuona that channelers really are people, and maybe some of the more recently taken damane are freed.  But most of the damane, especially those from Seanchan, pretty much have to remain collared in order to fight in the Last Battle, because there is no time to teach them how to deal with not being collared.  And it's possible the change may be very slow: the Seanchan agree to free any damane who are willing to accept freedom, and not to make any more damane, but otherwise the institution slowly declines until the last damane are dead.

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Their being freed is not vital to the last battle

 

IMHO, it is pretty vital, given that a'dam prevents linking. And also that the vast majority of potential Seanchan channelers, i.e. sul'dam are currently a useless ballast. As we have seen with Bethamin and Seta, the experienced ones already know all the weaves that damane know and need only to be taught to touch the source properly to become competent in battle. But as the things are, most will die first.

 

Another big issue is that Randland channelers can't trust Seanchan and rely on them to guard their backs as long as those intend to eventually enslave/kill them.

 

BTW, we have seen Elayne's group having a pretty good success with freeing even the Seanchan damane, didn't we? And the unmistakable and widespread proof that sul'dam can channel will only expedite and smooth the process. Personally, I hope that somebody will discover a way to use a'dam to turn on sul'dam's channeling against their will. Maybe a channeler strongly drawing the OP through them, as in normal linking, would do the trick.

 

Oh, and I think that somebody managing to beat the a'dam will be required to make Seanchan abandon it. But it will be a Wo or Egwene that does that, IMHO, not Cadsuane.

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Your thread title made me think of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

 

yeah, I'm a fan!

 

Oh, and I think that somebody managing to beat the a'dam will be required to make Seanchan abandon it. But it will be a Wo or Egwene that does that, IMHO, not Cadsuane.

 

I agree, it was reading about how Cadsuane had put on the a'dam in order to try and find a way out of it that made me think of this (hence the title). But I don't think that she will be the one who actually finds a weakness that lets a channeller remove it themselves.

 

Something else I remember is that when Min first got to the Salidar camp, one of her visions was of Carlinya Sedai with a raven tattoo. Now the Seanchan consider damane property, but they don't tattoo them, so why and how would a channeller become Imperial property?

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As a military weapon the damane will probably become obsoleted by Mat use of gunpowder : without circles channelers can't do much against bombs, canons, grenades and so on (especially women channelers: as of TGS the Seanchan are probably already outpowered by the Ashaman). Channelers really need circles to be effective, even Travelling will be a burden for the Seanchan army given that they won't be able to create big gateways. The damane status will have to change out of necessity and will probably slowly evolve toward a corpus of channelers under the control of the empress/emperor/whatever (with the a'dam recycled as a mean of punishment).

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Yes, but are we going to see the dragons used at or before TG? We can consider the amount of time it takes for Lan to reach Tarwin's Gap as an accurate timer for when it will begin and it will take a long time for Mat to leave the ToG, get in contact with Rand and then start having them built.

 

I can see them in use for the Seanchan battles that come after the Last Battle, but not before.

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Yes, but are we going to see the dragons used at or before TG? We can consider the amount of time it takes for Lan to reach Tarwin's Gap as an accurate timer for when it will begin and it will take a long time for Mat to leave the ToG, get in contact with Rand and then start having them built.

 

I can see them in use for the Seanchan battles that come after the Last Battle, but not before.

 

Im not sure, but are you forgetting that while Outrigger novels were planned, I dont think they will actually be a separate series in their own right (meaning that they will most likely be a "what happened after" kinda thing)

So im not sure that RJ had acytually planned to make a big thing of all of these things you keep saying are not vital to TG.

 

The Dragons are something that has been forshadowed for multiple books, and strongly at that. I think you are getting confused about the meaning of "things will be left unresovlved". I'm thinking things that have happened, but have not really been given any thought or screentime. (Merillie disappearing, the Seanchan Civil War, Sharan matters, Bandar Eban, Tanchico) that sorta thing.

 

In any case,  the Dragons are important, remember Egwene's dreams of Mat, always hinting about the use of gunpowder.

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I'm not confusing anything. Egwene and Min's talents show them things that will happen in the future. They do not show them all the things that will happen in a book series they don't know exist. Why wouldn't they see things that happen after the series ends? We already know of one case where Min does: She sees multiple lives in Birgitte's future. There are going to be plot points that will be left until after TG. Whether they are included in the books will be seen when the final book comes around, but I have an idea the series will end with TG itself. The Seanchan plots, the dragons, all that will just serve to say that the Wheel turns and because the series ended does not mean everything has.

 

Robert Jordan said the book's ending will be like real life, not everything will be tied up in a neat package. There will be unresolved plots and to me, that sounds a lot like Mat's dragons and the whole Seanchan presence in half of Randland bit. There just isn't time for Mat to create the dragons for TG.

 

To be honest, I think the dragons were just a setup for the outriggers anyway. If channeling was somehow removed from the equation, the dragons will then be a major force to deal with. Against channelers they're just bulky blocks of bronze to carry around. They would be most useful in a prolonged war like the entire series was setting up for after the Last Battle with Seanchan versus Randland. The entire series we've been left wondering what's going to happen after the Dark One is dealt with. The characters wondered it too. It's not going to be "And they all lived happily ever after."

 

Plots that won't be resolved: What happens to the nations after TG. Rand states more than once that his treaties and laws are only good until he dies at TG. He knows the rulers won't follow him after that. There will be war on a massive scale. Then you still have the Seanchan who he is only allying with to fight in the Last Battle.

 

I think you're making a mistake in thinking that because something important is going on in the world it must mean that it'll be settled at or before TG and will be in the books. Robert Jordan has been known to make us wonder what was going on or going to happen. It would be like him to leave us something to think about and come to our own conclusions with after the series ends.

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Then you still have the Seanchan who he is only allying with to fight in the Last Battle.

 

He hasn't been able to ally with them yet, but I take your point. Still, it brings me back around to my original question. Something has to be done about the Seanchan. They are just too powerful to be left as they are at the end of the novel. If not, the epilogue might as well consist of "and the Seanchan went on to conquer all of the world." The End. The only thing I can seeto stop that would be to end their ability to harness damane. And even then they would still be the biggest threat in Randland short of TG come again.

 

I just have a hard time believing that Jordan would have intended to leave it that way.

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To get the Seanchan to stop collaring damane, their opinion about damane (and perhaps about people in general) would need to be the first to change.  Otherwise the Seanchan would eventually return to collaring damane.

 

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