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The Subtleties of Cadsuane


Luckers
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People have asked me why I like Cadsuane, especially in light of my thread on the inherent and invasive stupidity of the Aes Sedai, which many regard Cadsuane to be the ultimate example of. So in this thread I am going to attempt to explain what it is about Cadsuane that I like, and why I regard her as one of the greatest characters in the series. Now, going in, I know the vast majority of you hold a different view, and all I ask is this--read me through, and be gentle when you tear me to pieces.  :D

 

The Subtleties of Cadsuane

 

Ok, so most people look at Cadsuane as a bully, so that’s where I am going to start—her general behaviour. After that I will move on to her mission with Rand.

 

Cadsuane, The Bully

 

Does She Have The Right?

 

Ok, so Rand Al'thor is the fracking Dragon Reborn. The Champion of the Light, the one spun out and prophesized to lead the Light against the Shadow.  The one who has suffered, again and again, for the light—including Cadsuane—so where does Cadsuane get the right to step in and start bullying him?

 

I'm actually going to shelve this question for a moment, but I want you to keep it in mind over the next part.

 

Cadsuane Getting Her Way

 

I think the first thing that we should look at is when, precisely, does Cadsuane actually bully Rand into doing what she wants? When does she try?

 

Set aside for a moment what you think of her tactics--I will address the nastiness of them later--and look purely at the distinctions between when Cadsuane decides to exert herself, and when she holds back. Going back through the series, here is my list of when Cadsuane has actively intervened and acted to force Rand to do what she wants, instead of what he wants.

 

1. She slaps Rand and insists he not use balefire [aCoS; 36, Blades].

2. She forces Rand to be polite to her [tPoD; 27, The Bargain], [WH;32, A Portion of Wisdom].

3. She forces Rand to be polite to his followers [KoD; 18, News For the Dragon], [KoD; 21, Within the Stone].

4. She attempts to force him to see her side of things following Semirhage's assault. [tGS; 23, A Warp in the Air]

5. She forces Rand to face his father, and through that the darkness that has grown within him [tGS; 48, The One He Lost].

 

Now, the first point I'd make is that for a woman who is supposedly defined by her penchant to bully, 5 times in 6 books is not a lot.

 

From there, the most significant thing we can draw from this is the question of why she decided to interfere here, and not, say, when Rand was seeking an alliance with those who leash women who can channel, or when Rand was risking the world in performing the Cleansing?

 

Why Does She Interfere?

 

The politeness thing, and the 'forcing Rand to face Tam', all tie in to her addressing his inner demons--and we know she was, at the very least, right to be trying to address them. I’ll cover her doing so, and whether she was right in her specific actions in doing so later, but for now let’s look at the balefire issue.  In some ways this issue is more interesting, because she was actually wrong in trying to stop him using balefire altogether--after all it is the only way to truly kill the Forsaken.

 

I do wonder what her response would have been if he'd taken the time to truly explain the necessity of balefire to her--I suspect, based on the position she took at the Cleansing wherein she fell in with him even though the Cleansing risked the pattern just as much as balefire does, that she would have agreed to its necessity in fighting the Forsaken--but irrespective, it doesn't much matter. She was wrong--and yet I still regard this as a point in her favour--or rather, a stepping stone to a point in her favour.  I’m sure you’re wondering why.

 

Ignoring how wrong she was, the answer to the question of 'why did she interfere during the balefire situation' is because, from her perspective, she was right. Balefire was just a weapon, and however powerful it may be, another weapon could have been employed instead-- one which does not risk the destruction of existence. Absent the knowledge of the Chosen, this is fairly irrefutable logic--one which Rand should perhaps have fallen in with, prior to tGS.

 

But that is the answer. She acted because she was certain she was correct. Of course, Aes Sedai are certain of their correctness all the time, usually without reason--and that last is the distinction I would make. They lack reason for their certainty, and act anyway. Does Cadsuane do the same?

 

This takes us to the question of...

 

Why Does She Not Interfere?

 

I ask you to consider the question of the Cleansing. It was a similar situation--Rand doing something which risked the pattern itself--so why, unlike the issue with balefire, did she follow Rand’s lead here? In the balefire situation, she knows there is great danger and no gain. And no evidence existed for her that contradicted that knowledge, or even suggested such evidence might exist. So she acted--a solid premise leading to decision and action. She was, of course, wrong--I'm not trying to defend her here, I'm just trying to point out that when she acted, she had solid, logical reasons to do so. But at the Cleansing, when she wasn't certain, when she had reason to doubt--she did not act.

 

And this occurs several times—the Cleansing, the alliance with the Seanchan, the releasing of the captured damane, the lack of the use of torture in questioning Semirhage—however much she mightn’t like something, lacking a specific, certain reason to oppose him, she falls in line. That is where she steps clean of my derision for the Aes Sedai—because she is not the ultimate form of Aes Sedai meddling. They meddle because they think that as Aes Sedai they not only have the right to, but that they must or else they aren’t good Aes Sedai. She meddles when logic dictates that she must—and that is, I think, the defining aspect of Cadsuane's bullying. When she did not have solid reasons to intervene, she doesn't.  All of which leads us back to...

 

Does Cadsuane Have The Right To Bully The Likes of Rand?

 

In my opinion, yes she does--that she only attempts to force him when she has solid, logical reasons and that she falls in line when she does not have such solid reasons--even when she disagrees strongly--gives her the right to exert herself against him because it means she is doing it by conscience, with cause.

 

That is the dividing line between Cadsuane and other Aes Sedai--she doesn't try to control people because she feels that as Aes Sedai she should. She doesn't even do it when she has an opinion on what should be done. She does it only when she has examined the logic and has decided that her course is the best out there. Consider, it is very similar to how she deals with Semirhage--she studies, she considers, and only when she is certain of her path does she act. That doesn't mean she can't be wrong, of course. But that she is conscientious of why she is choosing to specifically influence an events does give her the right to attempt to do so. At least to my mind.

 

Alright. Moving on. Even if you buy that she has the right to influence events, that doesn't answer everything...

 

Does She Have The Right To Treat People The Way She Does?

 

Probably not. Frankly, if she were on the board I'd have perma-banned her a long time ago. She is rude, abrasive and arrogant. So why do I like her? Well, before I try to explain that, let's take a closer look at her behaviour.

 

Inventive Bullying; The Adaption’s of a Master

 

Most people claim Cadsuane's a flat-out bully; that she just throws her weight around and simply smashes people out of her way—but I would put out to you all that, as a bully, she's so much more than that. She reads people, and adapts her methods to fit them individually. Let me see if I can show you what I mean.

 

Take the Atha'an Miere in [WH; 13, Wonderful News] for instance. These women thrive on confrontation. Snarkiness is the foundation of their government—so, instead of letting herself be drawn into an argument, she instead she lets Harine rant herself out, and then dismisses her for a spanking—now, compare that to when she faces Moiraine in [NS; 17, An Arrival]. No casual dismissal there; Cadsuane grabs Moiraine by the scruff of the neck and refuses to let go--because otherwise Moiraine would have danced around her, much as she later did when Cadsuane DID let go. Harine on the other hand would have loved Cadsuane to trying and argue back. It would have put her right in her comfort zone.

 

This is what Cadsuane does. She adapts her responses to fit each person. With Aleis [WH; 34, The Hummingbird’s Secret] she plays subtle games, using the implication of threat more than threat itself. With the Asha'men [WH; 13, Wonderful News], whose threat is obvious and blunt, she applies blackmail, whilst with Verin, whose danger she doesn't quite understand, she uses knowledge—first by [WH; 25, Bonds] taking her into her confidence about some of her intentions for Rand, and then [CoT; 23, Ornaments] ensuring that at the same time Verin was still uncertain of her.

 

The point is that she responds to each person uniquely. She uses a hammer where a hammer works best, a whip were a whip works--and a feather where a feather works. Consider the Wise Ones. These are women with their own agenda—one not necessarily Cadsuanes—who have their fingers all over Cadsuane’s goals. Typically, a bully would attempt to... well, bully them out of the way. Cadsuane doesn’t, and that is curious. Cadsuane doesn’t dismiss them out of hand as useless wilders, she looks at them and sees strength, wisdom, capability—and she offers them her respect.

 

Conclusions on Cadsuane; The Bully

 

Up to this point I’ve been following the line that the defining aspect of Cadsuane is her bullying—this is the general thought that I’ve witnessed amongst the fandom. However at this point I wish to clarify that I do not think Cadsuane is a bully, but rather a woman who uses bullying when she needs to. I think that to look at her so ignores the aspects of her character that have nothing to do with bullying, and without looking at those aspects we cannot get an accurate picture of her as a character.

 

So what would I state as the defining aspect of her nature? Her insight. She perceives people, both as they are, and as they could be, and she modulates her response to fit. And that is significant, because if she is not bullying out of a simple, bull-headed desire for authority (which given the Wise Ones, and Verin, we know she isn’t), then she is doing so each time at a specific perceived need. Let me see if I can show you why this is significant.

 

Take Nynaeve, for example. She sees ability in Nynaeve, but that it is not yet tempered by the knowledge that some things must be endured--and can be endured [CoT; 23, Ornaments]. And thus she modulates her treatment of Nynaeve to fit that—note her refusing to give Nynaeve full knowledge of the plan with Tam, even though there is no reason to hold it back. If this isn’t just ‘Cadsuane being a bully’, then what is its purpose? Specifically, it’s exactly what she states it to be—she’s teaching Nynaeve the lesson that what must be endured, can be endured—in this case not knowing everything, and putting up with Cadsuane in charge though Nynaeve hates following—and when Nynaeve shows herself capable of learning that, Cadsuane gives her respect [tGS; 37, A Force of Light].

 

So people call her a bully. I call her insightful and adaptive, reacting to each person as their behaviour demands. Consider Rand--when he bursts in on her[tPoD;27, The Bargain], strutting like a child with the Asha'men calling trumpets in the sky--she laughs at him. When he throws a tantrum at Bera in Tear [KoD; 21, Within the Stone], she spanks him--and when he seriously sets out to Cleanse Saidin she backs him to the hilt.

 

So, yes--she's rude, abrasive and arrogant, but she's also fair and insightful. When someone does something worthy of respect, she gives them that respect. When someone does something worthy of scorn, she gives them that scorn. She adapts her behaviour to fit each person she encounters, and for all that it can be pretty unpleasant, there is an integrity to it which I can respect.

 

Cadsuane's Mission

 

Cadsuane's Loyalty

 

A lot of people hate her for the way she treats Rand, or at least think it wrong that she acts so to the one who is undergoing so much pain for the sake of everyone else. The first thing I would attempt to point out in answering that is that Cadsuane has be loyal to Rand without fault. Consider, she saved his life during the fog outside Cairhein, she pulled him out of the dungeons in Far Madding, she backed him during the Cleansing—and likely the only reason the Forsaken failed to stop Rand was that they could not penetrate the defensive measures she organized—ones which Rand did not even consider, and would not have had had Cadsuane not followed him to Far Madding (he originally wanted it to be just himself and Nynaeve at the Cleansing). She helped him approach the Rebel Aes Sedai, stood with him against Semirhage.

 

And it does sadden me, somewhat, that people ignore all this. However nasty her tongue is around him, when it has come to actual action, she has backed him to the hilt without fail. But alright, she's nasty and ungrateful to the Champion of the Light, the man who has been tortured and harmed, and may well have to die so the rest of the Light can live. Let's look at that.

 

Cadsuane's Nastiness: Ungrateful, of True Service?

 

The fact of the matter is that Cadsuane's concerns were genuine. I don’t think anyone really argues that Rand's personal problems were getting worse, and were directly endangering the mission. The best case scenario was that Rand broke under the strain. The worst is that Rand broke the world under the strain. But despite a general consensus on this, people still fault Cadsuane for her methodology in attempting to deal with this, stating that she should have done it another way, that she should have talked him down from the ledge, rather than pushing him.

 

A Gentler Approach; Fact or Fiction?

 

The most commonly cited alternate path is the one Moiraine took—to swear service, to aid him as he wished, and through that gain his trust and his respect, thereby bringing him to be willing to listen to her words, hear her warning, and walk back from the edge.

 

The first great problem with this method is that it is passive.  Even if Cadsuane managed to convince Rand of the purity of her service, it was still service at his choice. When Moiraine herself is at the height of her influence, and attempted to speak to him of something he didn’t want to hear, he sent her outside to cool off [tFoH; 14, Meetings], and we witness Nynaeve try to pull something very similar in tGS, and the most she can achieve is to get him to hold back from raining lightning on the borderlanders--in effect what I’m saying is that this method has a flaw in it, and that flaw is that Rand would have to want help with his personal problems for the submissive method to work.

 

And he doesn’t. Rand believed that his way was the right way, the only way to survive. Here is what he thinks of those who disagree.

 

"That's the key, Nynaeve. I see it now. I will not live through this, and so I don't need to worry about what might happen to me after the Last Battle. I don't need to hold back, don't need to salvage anything of this beaten up soul of mine. I know that I must die. Those who wish for me to be softer, willing to bend, are those who cannot accept what will happen to me."

 

[tGS; A Conversation With the Dragon]

 

He knows their thoughts. That was never the problem. He just doesn’t agree—and Moiraine’s methodology in no way covers forcing him to agree. That’s where a more forceful method comes into play.

 

Degree’s Of Nastiness

 

Perhaps more interesting to me than the question of ‘should Cadsuane have used another method’ is the assumption that she did not think about it, that her bullying was blindly undertaken, and that she ‘lucked’ into success. Let’s examine that concept. Firstly, she states why she chooses not to take a less forceful path.

 

“But I must wait for him to come to me. You see the way he runs roughshod over Alanna and the others. It will be hard enough teaching him, if he does ask. He fights guidance, he thinks he must do everything, learn everything, on his own, and if I do not make him work for it, he won't learn at all."

 

[WH; 25, Bonds]

 

And she didn’t just ‘luck’ upon that either. We see her test his reactions to someone having knowledge of his weaknesses during their first meeting in [aCoS; 18, As The Plow Breaks The Earth], when she speaks to him of her knowledge of what men who can channel undergo, of her understanding of ‘his future and his present’—he reacted with fear, and that fear brought rage and expulsion.

 

That right there was her testing the waters of how he would react to someone dealing with him about  his weaknesses, and he reacted with fear and aversion. People may not like it, but it did spell out her having to do something specific to make sure he listened, and swearing to him, or serving him, would just see him run roughshod over anything he didn’t want to hear—as he did with Nynaeve in tGS, and yes, as he did with Moiraine too.

 

An Escalation of Nastiness

 

So, even if I’ve gotten you to buy that a less forceful method, more gentle method of behaviour modification would not have worked, there is still the concept that she was just blindly pushing at him, and that she lucked out in that her pushing brought him back, and didn’t push him over the edge.

 

Firstly, Cadsuane was very aware of the dangers. She spotted them, and pointed them out, before anyone else in the series.

 

"If you want to see what a man is made of, push him from a direction he doesn't expect. There's good metal in that boy, I think, but he's going to be difficult." Steepling her fingers, she peered across them at the wall, musing to herself. "He has a rage in him fit to burn the world, and he holds it by a hair. Push him too far off balance .... Phaw!

 

[aCoS; 19, Diamonds and Stars]

 

There, at the very beginning, she states her awareness of the dangers, her contemplation of the degrees to which she may have to push him, and of what may be too far. I would then postulate that rather than blindly pushing at him, her ‘bullying’ with Rand was a carefully orchestrated dance.

 

Consider that she escalated, utilizing each of the psychological methods of behaviour modification. She began by offering him knowledge of his problems [aCoS; 18, As The Plow Breaks The Earth] in a direct, head on alteration, but he freaked and pushed her away. She followed through by withholding something he wanted (her advice, via Min)[tPoD; 27, The Baragain] (thereby withholding satisfaction), and got some results in that he began controlling his emotions more, in order to obey her demand for politeness... and then Aleis locked Rand up and he got worse.

 

So she upped her game by punishing him when he slipped (as with the spanking in Tear in [KoD; 21, Within the Stone]) (applying negative reinforcement), and again she got some results—he stepped back out of a rage and actually realised he was wrong, showing him both learning further control of his anger, and a degree of self-analysis. Losing his hand presented a setback to her, but not an insurmountable one, and she continued to gain at least some success in getting him to both control his emotions, and see reason in the situation with the clan chiefs in [tGS; 7, The Plan for Arad Domon]. Then the second Semirhage attack kicked the bucket.

 

I suppose I should address whether that attack was her fault—but other than to say that I do not see how Shadar Haren overcoming Cadsuane’s wardings in a way she could not have predicted, nor stopped if she had predicted it, is her fault, I’ll simply leave it up to you to think what you want about that. As I said earlier I’m not here to say Cadsuane’s perfect, or that she cannot (or has not) made mistakes. She has, and that is that.

 

In any case, Cadsuane was starting to get desperate at this point [tGS; 17, Questions of Control]. TG was getting closer, and what limited success she had was not working upon Rand fast enough. In effect for every step away from the darkness he took, and then took another back towards it. Perhaps that is why she didn't handle Semirhage’s attack well--and she didn't. There can be a direct parallel between when she first met Rand, and when she walked in on him after Semirhage died. In both she walked in, uncertain of his temperament, in the first she changed tactic, played it cool, danced around confrontation. In the second she just bulled on, idiotic and with none of her normal insight nor adaptability. And perhaps this is why—she knew they were approaching the precipice, Rand’s point of no return, and then this happens, undoing what little success she had.

 

The Culmination of Nasty Work

 

Rand was cuendillar. He refused to listen to her, and even if he hadn’t banished her it was doubtful that the simpler behaviour modification techniques she’d used earlier would have had any chance—effectively she’d come to that point, the point of pushing him too far that she spoke about in aCoS, but there was little choice. Nynaeve and Min state it best...

 

"Dare we send him as he is, with that look in his eyes? Nynaeve, he's stopped caring. Nothing matters to him anymore but defeating the Dark One."

 

"Isn't that what we want him to do?"

 

"I. . . ." She stopped. "Winning won't be winning at all if Rand becomes something as bad as the Forsaken . . . We—"

 

"I understand," Nynaeve said suddenly. "Light burn me, but I do, and you're right. I just don't like the answers those conclusions are giving me."

 

"What conclusions?"

 

Nynaeve sighed. "That Cadsuane was right,"

 

[tGS; 37, A Force of Light].

 

Cadsuane had to act. They were at the rickety edge, and there was no other choice. Did she risk everything at that point? Yes. Was it necessary? Yes. Was there no other way? ...

 

People will think what they want about that, but in my opinion, no, there was no other way. Rand's distrust meant a friendlier manner would not work. She couldn't go to him and offer to talk out his problems because he would refuse, and then doubt her for having tried. She had to force him to it, and even then she tried to limit the dangers, using all the behavioural modification techniques--first deny satisfaction, then utilizing negative reinforcement--but Rand was more correct than he realised--Semirhage had done to him the last that could be done, and none of those techniques would work anymore.

 

She could not talk him from the edge. She could not lead him from the edge. It left her only chance being to push him from the edge, and hope that he would land safe. The alternative was to wait for him to jump, and know that none of them would land safe.

 

Conclusions

 

Cadsuane is rude and abusive, but also fair, and applies those aspects with great integrity. She has, furthermore, been unfailingly loyal to Rand and to his mission since the moment she stepped on screen, and has done everything in her power to help him, yet at the same time she has held to her oath not to hurt him anymore that she had to. She never blindly hurt him, never stupidly pushed him. Each act was calculated, and careful and with on the his best interest at heart.

 

And, in the end, she succeeded.

 

So yes, I like her. I respect her, and think she is one of the greatest characters in the series.

 

Proceed with lynching me!

 

 

Conclusion for Tamyrlin

 

As you can see I've conclusively proven Cadsuane is real, and not a construct of Moiraine's mind. And given that she is real, she read your comments about her, and is coming for you!

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Cadsuane is a parasite, basically she is a zero without a host.  Rather than remain as some kind of positive influence on the AS, she chose to stay away just to cultivate her own image as a bounty hunter of sorts.

 

The whole politeness bit is just part of her routine for dealing with pre-Rand male channelers, false dragons.  These type of men have an important distinction in that they would go mad, they would die, Cadsuane could stop that, and maybe provide some hope for a life beyond gentling.  Start with the strict mother routine and take your time getting back to the WT.  Rand had no choice, he doesn't want power, she has nothing that he wants.  She gets Tam because she just has nothing.

 

So all those years in self imposed exile to cultivate the illusion that a forceful personality is a competent one.  She could have done a lot better, but all that time is lost now, hope she thinks it was worth it.  Maybe she can salvage enough of it to keep the rest of the AS focused more on her than on him.

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Rather than remain as some kind of positive influence on the AS, she chose to stay away just to cultivate her own image as a bounty hunter of sorts.

 

Do you seriously believe that she could change the tower just by being there? Maybe she knows her limits, she knows how much one person might do.

 

To me, it seems she's trying to DO what good she can (she actually acts: instead of playing Daes Daemar in the tower, she's out there where people are) and waiting for her one big chance. If she is to use her reputation and all that (and Light knows she needs everything she can pull at the last battle and handling the dragon reborn), it's only rarely she can act it.

 

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Egwene did?  Either way we see from her POV she was actively uninvolved just to maintain a certain image.  You certainly don't make anything better by not doing anything unless you are someone who has no value to offer (like Elaida, many of the other AS).  She also regrets not staying on top of things sooner, so it's pretty simple, she blew it.

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Luckers, the reason I disagree with your conclusion is that you focused this article on the wrong points. I agree with most everything you said regarding Cadsuane's treatment of Rand. I had no quarrel with her there in the first place. The one exception to that is the way she reacted upon discovering that Semirhage bypassed her wardings (she was protective and forceful, when she should have admitted fault, regardless of how likely it is that she could have stopped Semirhage).

The problem with her is that her true nature (or rather, different aspects of it) reveals itself in the way she treats others. Consider Bera and Kiruna, and the way she interrogated them and dismissed their actions (though they deserved part of that). Consider Moiraine in NS. She had assumed Moiraine couldn't possibly be up to anything important so soon after gaining the Shawl, which wasn't based on anything except her lack of respect to most sisters. Consider Tam - had she told him everything about her relationship with Rand, he wouldn't have failed the way he did (and she can't claim credit for what happened in VoG, that was unforeseeable IMO).

 

In conclusion, she has her strong sides (the way she recognized what Rand and Nyneave needed and did her best for them, the way she treated the WO, her ability in tight spots as seen at the Cleansing and at the meeting with Semirhage), but she certainly has her faults as well. You know what the punishment usually is for hubris, right?

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Ithink cadsuane is figure of extreme luck. She did not come out of retirement to save the world or anything like that she left retirement for the challenge, and to grow her own legend even further, she is infact selfabsorbs in cultivating her own legend, and like she says herself when she breaks semi "Breaking her would be like breaking myself" or somethign to that effect.

 

and no one can argue that moraines method was ineffective, it was very effective giving it was only recently implemented and rand was already seeking her opinion and advise somewhat. We have seen that if a person offers their support to rand in a consistant way that he does grow to rely on them and their advice (lan, rhuarc). The reason he didnt take cadsuane into his confidence is because she kept 'poking him with a sharp stick'

 

Personally I feel that cadsuane is a person who is basically bored and wants to see how close to the brink of destruction she can push the savior of the world before bringing him back, and she nearly failed after prodding rand to the very edge.

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The one exception to that is the way she reacted upon discovering that Semirhage bypassed her wardings (she was protective and forceful, when she should have admitted fault, regardless of how likely it is that she could have stopped Semirhage).

 

I agree that she reacted badly (and touched upon it). I don't think she should have admitted fault given I don't think it was her fault, but certainly she blundered a great deal in that scene.

 

The problem with her is that her true nature (or rather, different aspects of it) reveals itself in the way she treats others. Consider Bera and Kiruna, and the way she interrogated them and dismissed their actions (though they deserved part of that).

 

Her true nature as a bully? Or as a sister with experience and authority passing judgements on the failures of others. Because Bera and Kiruna DID fail, and deserved to be reprimanded for it.

 

Consider Moiraine in NS. She had assumed Moiraine couldn't possibly be up to anything important so soon after gaining the Shawl, which wasn't based on anything except her lack of respect to most sisters.

 

Firstly, what makes you think Cadsuane assumed that? She made no attempts to stop Moiraine from continuing on with her stated plan to travel to Chachin, she merely attempted to ensure that Moiraine, a new and inexperienced sister, had travelling companions who could keep an eye out for her.

 

I think she had every reason to do that. Moiraine was clearly plotting--she'd disguised her presense--and given her lack of experience that plotting, whatever it was, could have landed her in a world of trouble. Cadsuane was merely looking out for her.

 

I regard that as one of Cadsuane's more noble actions in the series.

 

Consider Tam - had she told him everything about her relationship with Rand, he wouldn't have failed the way he did (and she can't claim credit for what happened in VoG, that was unforeseeable IMO).

 

And Tam held her to account for that, and rightly so. I never made the pretense that Cadsuane was perfect, nor that she couldn't make mistakes.

 

(and she can't claim credit for what happened in VoG, that was unforeseeable IMO)

 

I beleieve she can. Oh, not the specifics, not that he would turn on Tam, or run to the Seanchan and percieve some of their more noble aspects, or come to reconcile and reintergrate with Lews Therin--but she knew what she was doing. She knew she was giving him that final push, the one that would either force him to realise his true nature, or shatter.

 

She stated that possibility in our first scene with her. She used everything she could to achieve it through other methods--but Semirhage had done the last the could be done, and there was no other course. She states it, the risks, the potential for failure--but weighed against what would happen had she not acted, she knew there was no choice. She had to push him before he jumped. And so she did.

 

In conclusion, she has her strong sides (the way she recognized what Rand and Nyneave needed and did her best for them, the way she treated the WO, her ability in tight spots as seen at the Cleansing and at the meeting with Semirhage), but she certainly has her faults as well. You know what the punishment usually is for hubris, right?

 

Hopefully a place on the heroes.

 

Seriously, do you know any other character who could have done what needed doing? She saved the world, man. That's worth some respect.

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Ignoring how wrong she was, the answer to the question of 'why did she interfere during the balefire situation' is because, from her perspective, she was right. Balefire was just a weapon, and however powerful it may be, another weapon could have been employed instead-- one which does not risk the destruction of existence. Absent the knowledge of the Chosen, this is fairly irrefutable logic--one which Rand should perhaps have fallen in with, prior to tGS.

 

Could have used the forsaken here but for some reason you used a word only the forsaken would use. The mystery is solved people, Luckers is Demandred. As evidence, Luckers has not yet been seen in the books and both Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson have told us we haven't seen Demandred yet.

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Consider Moiraine in NS. She had assumed Moiraine couldn't possibly be up to anything important so soon after gaining the Shawl, which wasn't based on anything except her lack of respect to most sisters.

Firstly, what makes you think Cadsuane assumed that? She made no attempts to stop Moiraine from continuing on with her stated plan to travel to Chachin, she merely attempted to ensure that Moiraine, a new and inexperienced sister, had travelling companions who could keep an eye out for her.

 

I think she had every reason to do that. Moiraine was clearly plotting--she'd disguised her presense--and given her lack of experience that plotting, whatever it was, could have landed her in a world of trouble. Cadsuane was merely looking out for her.

 

I regard that as one of Cadsuane's more noble actions in the series.

Oh, she was doing what she considered best for Moiraine's own interests, that's for sure, but the part you skip over is that she was dead wrong. To the point, she had no right to interfere with whatever Moiraine was doing OR to question her (most definitely not in the presence of others). Moiraine has done more than enough to signal to anyone who recognized her that she was on a sensitive mission, and did not wish anyone to know of her actions. To openly expose her on the assumption that this secrecy wasn't really required and that she should be looked after by experienced sisters is pure hubris on Cadsuane's part. That, I think, is the measure of a turly arrogant person. Do you give people the benefit of the doubt when you have no official cause to interfere, or do you always assume you know best (unless confronted with positive evidence to the contrary) and meddle in other people's business?

 

(and she can't claim credit for what happened in VoG, that was unforeseeable IMO)

I beleieve she can. Oh, not the specifics, not that he would turn on Tam, or run to the Seanchan and percieve some of their more noble aspects, or come to reconcile and reintergrate with Lews Therin--but she knew what she was doing. She knew she was giving him that final push, the one that would either force him to realise his true nature, or shatter.

So you claim she intended to have Rand snap at his father and realize how close to the edge he's been all this time? I took it that she intended for Tam to set him straight, and failed because she didn't prepare Tam adequately. I guess what you say is possible, but as I stated I think it's unlikely.

 

You know what the punishment usually is for hubris, right?

Seriously, do you know any other character who could have done what needed doing? She saved the world, man. That's worth some respect.

No, I agree with you there. But, like Moses, I suspect she will not witness the new Age she helped ushering in.

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I think you've covered most of the salient points fairly well, Luckers. Her only flaw I think big enough to single out is how she generally underestimates people.

Even after her conceding that Nyn isn't a total hothead, it doesn't occur to her that it might be best to send Nynaeve - the ex Wisdom - to Emond's Field, or wherever, for Tam.

Of course we wouldn't have necessarily had the make or break moment then - Rand prob would have just chosen what he wanted to hear out of Tam's words - but Cadsuane knew how Rand felt about her, so she should have minimised her involvement there.

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Egwene did?

 

Circumstances were much different. For one, she never would have made it without the breaking of the tower.

 

  Either way we see from her POV she was actively uninvolved just to maintain a certain image.

 

And well she did. She does need that image now. Events showed that.

 

You certainly don't make anything better by not doing anything unless you are someone who has no value to offer (like Elaida, many of the other AS).

 

What in the bloody light makes you think she did not do anything? We actually DO know she was up to a lot of things. Certainly her research, collecting ter'angreal, gaining skilled followers, finding men who could channel, just to name a few, were much important than squabbling in the tower.

 

The best thing Cadsuane DID realize is that the Tower means nothing. Aes Sedai are to serve all, not the tower.

 

Why am I even replying, I don't know...

 

 

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I'm just going to read the full OP now, Luckers, but I have to say the title made me laugh. The what now?? Of who?!!

I'm sure it's wonderful, tho...!

 

:D

 

Oh, she was doing what she considered best for Moiraine's own interests, that's for sure, but the part you skip over is that she was dead wrong. To the point, she had no right to interfere with whatever Moiraine was doing OR to question her (most definitely not in the presence of others).

 

Sure she did, she was an older, more experienced Aes Sedai who knew well the feeling of invincibility that comes with newly attaining the shawl. And she wasn't wrong, either--Moiraine's plotting was placing her in danger.

 

Moiraine has done more than enough to signal to anyone who recognized her that she was on a sensitive mission, and did not wish anyone to know of her actions. To openly expose her on the assumption that this secrecy wasn't really required and that she should be looked after by experienced sisters is pure hubris on Cadsuane's part.

 

And when did Cadsuane expose her? And to whom? She didn't even tell the sisters the truth, letting them think instead that she had merely convinced the wilder to take up novice white.

 

That, I think, is the measure of a turly arrogant person. Do you give people the benefit of the doubt when you have no official cause to interfere, or do you always assume you know best (unless confronted with positive evidence to the contrary) and meddle in other people's business?

 

I'd meddle. If I saw a young, inexperienced girl playing at something that could get her burned--yes, I would pull her aside, slap some sense into her, and ensure there was someone to keep an eye out for her.

 

Cadsuane did not interfere with Moiraine's plans. She did not demand to know them even though she had to guess Moiraine was hiding her intentions. She did not, as you've suggested, reveal her to those who didn't already know who she was. All she did was try and help an inexperienced young girl survive in a dangerous world.

 

That is not arrogance, that is wisdom.

 

So you claim she intended to have Rand snap at his father and realize how close to the edge he's been all this time? I took it that she intended for Tam to set him straight, and failed because she didn't prepare Tam adequately. I guess what you say is possible, but as I stated I think it's unlikely.

 

I claim she intended that being exposed to something that so anchored him to his more human self was intended to cause a break in him--to bring to the front the contradictions between who he was, and who he is now, thereby forcing him to deal with it.

 

And she states it. "She spun on her heels and hurried back the way she had come, her head bowed, barely daring to think about her plan. It could fail so easily. If al'Thor really was as dominated by his rage as she feared, then even this would not help him. But if he really was that far gone, then there wasn't anything that would help him. That meant she had nothing to lose. Nothing but the world itself."

 

It's clear she intended her plan to bring him to the very edge--to the point she spoke of in aCoS. It was only by bringing him to the actual precipice that she could lead him away from it.

 

That was her plan. How it unfolded precisely was unplanned, but it was always her intention that he come to a breaking point.

 

No, I agree with you there. But, like Moses, I suspect she will not witness the new Age she helped ushering in.

 

I suspect your probably right.

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What in the bloody light makes you think she did not do anything? We actually DO know she was up to a lot of things. Certainly her research, collecting ter'angreal, gaining skilled followers, finding men who could channel, just to name a few, were much important than squabbling in the tower.

 

The best thing Cadsuane DID realize is that the Tower means nothing. Aes Sedai are to serve all, not the tower.

 

This. Cadsuane realised she could do better outside the Whitetower and thus why she refused to become a Sitter; so she wouldnt have to be hung up on the politics of the Aes Sedai society. To me, she is the best example of an Aes Sedai.

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What in the bloody light makes you think she did not do anything? We actually DO know she was up to a lot of things. Certainly her research, collecting ter'angreal, gaining skilled followers, finding men who could channel, just to name a few, were much important than squabbling in the tower.

 

The best thing Cadsuane DID realize is that the Tower means nothing. Aes Sedai are to serve all, not the tower.

 

This. Cadsuane realised she could do better outside the Whitetower and thus why she refused to become a Sitter; so she wouldnt have to be hung up on the politics of the Aes Sedai society. To me, she is the best example of an Aes Sedai.

 

Indeed, I agree. Cadsuane has one up on the rest of them.

 

Realising that the Tower is not as important as the Dragon Reborn and other such things. Realising that the internal quibbles of the tower (like Egwene has in tGS, Cadsuane realised this from the start) are virtually insignificant compared to matters in the REAL world.

 

Well said.

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I have to disagree with you on almost everything.

 

Others have already made several points that I would have, so i'm not going to addess those, but I have just three points that I haven't seen discussed.

 

With the Balefire incident, she should have at least said to Rand what her logic was, rather than immediately slapping him. That would have given Rand a chance to consider her reasons for forbidding it, and also a chance for Rand to say why.  As time was short, a simple "We'll discuss this later boy" followed by the discussion after the incident would have helped. Even better would have been for her to consider the possibility that Rand had a reason for using it, or knew something she didn't. Followed by asking for his logic in using Balefire.

 

My second point is simply this.

 

She handled him wrong. When she was first introduced taking a Moiraine approach - telling him what he must know, whether he wants it or not - would still have worked. The quote you use to say it wouldn't is from TGS which is quite a distance from when she was first introduced.

 

This is shown through Min's reveal, which is just a reminder really of Moiraine's revelation:

"This is what we all get," Min said, "for assuming we can make him do what we want"

(Their emphasis, not mine)

 

Moiraine's revelation was about controlling him like Saidar.

I believe Min's quote applies equally well to every single time Cadusane, Nynaeve, Aes Sedai in general, has tried to control him. When Cadsuane first arrived, Moiraine's approach would have worked.

 

Thirdly, Cadsuanes approach is very uncommunicative. She doesn't tell or even show him the reasons why she tries to stop him doing something. She just punishes him. And one huge theme of this series, is that when people don't communicate, things go wrong.

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With the Balefire incident, she should have at least said to Rand what her logic was, rather than immediately slapping him. That would have given Rand a chance to consider her reasons for forbidding it, and also a chance for Rand to say why.  As time was short, a simple "We'll discuss this later boy" followed by the discussion after the incident would have helped. Even better would have been for her to consider the possibility that Rand had a reason for using it, or knew something she didn't. Followed by asking for his logic in using Balefire.

 

She states the problems with the methodology you suggest. "He fights guidance, he thinks he must do everything, learn everything, on his own, and if I do not make him work for it, he won't learn at all."

 

She wasn't just bullying for the sake of bullying. She had thought on this, and she had reasons for choosing the path she took.

 

She handled him wrong. When she was first introduced taking a Moiraine approach - telling him what he must know, whether he wants it or not - would still have worked. The quote you use to say it wouldn't is from TGS which is quite a distance from when she was first introduced.

 

Mmm. I may be mistake, but I believe I detailed my position on utilizing a 'Moiraine technique' with considerably more than one quote. Including, but not limited to, pointing out that she did test his response to her having information about his problems during their first meeting. He freaked.

 

I refer you to my original post. I'm more than willing to discuss my arguments upon this, contained therein.

 

This is shown through Min's reveal, which is just a reminder really of Moiraine's revelation:

 

Quote

"This is what we all get," Min said, "for assuming we can make him do what we want"

 

(Their emphasis, not mine)

 

Min was correct, of course. Rand's complete break was what they got from trying to make him do what they want. Of course that was exactly what needed to happen. What Cadsuane knew would happen. Re-read my first post. I cover this in detail.

 

But in effect Cadsuane made him do what she wanted. He broke with his old self without breaking. She got, as Min stated, precisely what she asked for.

 

Thirdly, Cadsuanes approach is very uncommunicative. She doesn't tell or even show him the reasons why she tries to stop him doing something. She just punishes him. And one huge theme of this series, is that when people don't communicate, things go wrong.

 

She tested him first before choosing that approach. She states her deductions to Verin as I cited above. I agree with her conclusions, and detailed that above.

 

I am more than willing to discuss my thoughts, if you could be specific in addressing them?

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With the Balefire incident, she should have at least said to Rand what her logic was, rather than immediately slapping him. That would have given Rand a chance to consider her reasons for forbidding it, and also a chance for Rand to say why.  As time was short, a simple "We'll discuss this later boy" followed by the discussion after the incident would have helped. Even better would have been for her to consider the possibility that Rand had a reason for using it, or knew something she didn't. Followed by asking for his logic in using Balefire.

 

She states the problems with the methodology you suggest. "He fights guidance, he thinks he must do everything, learn everything, on his own, and if I do not make him work for it, he won't learn at all."

 

She wasn't just bullying for the sake of bullying. She had thought on this, and she had reasons for choosing the path she took.

That quote, however, was from WH, while I agree that by that time that is what was needed, I do not believe that it would have been needed if she had taken my methodology from the beginning.

She handled him wrong. When she was first introduced taking a Moiraine approach - telling him what he must know, whether he wants it or not - would still have worked. The quote you use to say it wouldn't is from TGS which is quite a distance from when she was first introduced.

 

Mmm. I may be mistake, but I believe I detailed my position on utilizing a 'Moiraine technique' with considerably more than one quote. Including, but not limited to, pointing out that she did test his response to her having information about his problems during their first meeting. He freaked.

The Moiraine technique you detailed mainly dealt with Moiraine doing exactly what was told of her. You mentioned only once about Moiraines previous technique of telling him what he needed to hear whether he wanted to or not.

 

Now during the first meeting. Cadsuane approached this in such a way as to deliberately to put him off balance. She "swept in immediately right after" she had been announced. Aes Sedai sweeping in, ended with him in a box alst time. Although she couldn't know this, it seems irresponsible to start off a relationship by trying to put them off balance.

 

This then cuased Allana and Merana's outburst "You mustn't harm him!". Which caused near panic for everyone in the room. Cadsuane must have at least suspected that her reputation, coupled with her having dealt with channelling men before would cause a reaction like this. So naturally Rand was already very off balance.

 

She then proceeded to insult Moiraine - who has enourmous significance for Rand, being the first name on the list, as well as someone he respected enoumously. "I would have thought that even a child such as Moiraine". Yes, Rand was rude, but so was she. If she treats someone rudely and deliberately off-balances them, what else can she expect.

 

Then she detailed what she had done before to men who could channel "Some fought to the bitter end kicking and screaming...", which sent Rand's anger over the edge - anger she had deliberately cultivated. What other reaction from someone whose only impression of her had been as I've detailed?

 

She bullied him from the word go. What does she expect to see from a man whose first impression of her is as a bully?

I refer you to my original post. I'm more than willing to discuss my arguments upon this, contained therein.

 

My original response was more about things that I hadn't seen discussed at any great length in your post - hence I didn't quote it. You touched briefly on the Moiraine style I was talking about, but with only one quote about it, it didn't seem necessary to quote it. The rest of the discussion about Moiraines style was a different style to the one my post discusses, so I didn't quote that either. I do always try to quote peoples posts, but only when I am directly addressing a specific point contained in it.

This is shown through Min's reveal, which is just a reminder really of Moiraine's revelation:

 

Quote

"This is what we all get," Min said, "for assuming we can make him do what we want"

 

(Their emphasis, not mine)

 

Min was correct, of course. Rand's complete break was what they got from trying to make him do what they want. Of course that was exactly what needed to happen. What Cadsuane knew would happen. Re-read my first post. I cover this in detail.

 

And my post was detailing why it didn't need to happen, if Cadsuane had taken a different approach. I agree entirely, that given the approach Cadsuane took it would have to come to that; I just dispute that it was inevitable that it should have come to that from before Cadsuane even stepped in front of Rand. Min's quote (and Moiraines similar revelation) show clearly how if Cadsuane had taken a different approach, Rand would never have become as bad as he was. In other words: Rand wouldn't need to have been broken in such a fashion if Cadsuane's approach had been different from the start.

 

But in effect Cadsuane made him do what she wanted. He broke with his old self without breaking. She got, as Min stated, precisely what she asked for.

See above: It could have been done differently, without having to go to such extremes.

 

Thirdly, Cadsuanes approach is very uncommunicative. She doesn't tell or even show him the reasons why she tries to stop him doing something. She just punishes him. And one huge theme of this series, is that when people don't communicate, things go wrong.

 

She tested him first before choosing that approach. She states her deductions to Verin as I cited above. I agree with her conclusions, and detailed that above.

As I have outlined above, in her first meeting she had already chosen the bullying approach. The conclusions she drew were based on the behaviour of rand. But Rand could not have behaved any differently given her way of supposedly testing him. Her conclusions being correct relies on her data about Rand being unflawed. Yet her data about Rand is flawed as his reaction is the one any reasonable person should have seen as inevitable.

 

I am more than willing to discuss my thoughts, if you could be specific in addressing them?

I have done so in this post, and I've already explained above why most last post didn't quote specific passages.

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What in the bloody light makes you think she did not do anything? We actually DO know she was up to a lot of things. Certainly her research, collecting ter'angreal, gaining skilled followers, finding men who could channel, just to name a few, were much important than squabbling in the tower.

 

The best thing Cadsuane DID realize is that the Tower means nothing. Aes Sedai are to serve all, not the tower.

 

Why am I even replying, I don't know...

 

It would've helped to really read what I was typing before you did. No we don't know what she did in any detail, again her POV reveals it was driven by creating an image, that's it.  Tell me specifically what she did then.  I also didn't say serve the Tower but if she suddenly finds AS to be so incompetent why then over the course of the hundreds of years of her life did choose not to do something about it when it could have mattered?  If she is some sort of Sears Channeler Repair technician she wasted time period.

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I agree with Luckers, but I have my doubts on the Tam meeting she arranged.

 

She misunderestimates Tam (thanks, W) twice. And sending Tam with a 'script' - I doubt that approach would've worked. Min had almost softened Rand - before Semirhage - but Cuendillar Rand would never have softened up with Cadsuane's script. So, for a person who was remarkably successful till date, that was a weak move, maybe a bit out of character?

 

That said, Cadsuane has been one of my favourite characters - slapping Rand was just wow. I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I've met a woman like her - and it was hell. For two years.

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Now during the first meeting. Cadsuane approached this in such a way as to deliberately to put him off balance. She "swept in immediately right after" she had been announced. Aes Sedai sweeping in, ended with him in a box alst time. Although she couldn't know this, it seems irresponsible to start off a relationship by trying to put them off balance.

 

This then cuased Allana and Merana's outburst "You mustn't harm him!". Which caused near panic for everyone in the room. Cadsuane must have at least suspected that her reputation, coupled with her having dealt with channelling men before would cause a reaction like this. So naturally Rand was already very off balance.

 

She then proceeded to insult Moiraine - who has enourmous significance for Rand, being the first name on the list, as well as someone he respected enoumously. "I would have thought that even a child such as Moiraine". Yes, Rand was rude, but so was she. If she treats someone rudely and deliberately off-balances them, what else can she expect.

 

Then she detailed what she had done before to men who could channel "Some fought to the bitter end kicking and screaming...", which sent Rand's anger over the edge - anger she had deliberately cultivated. What other reaction from someone whose only impression of her had been as I've detailed?

 

She bullied him from the word go. What does she expect to see from a man whose first impression of her is as a bully?

 

This is good summary of my feelings exactly. I was enormously satisfied when Tam told her that straight in her face.

I'm not sure why people keep defeding Cadsuane. It took Tam only what one hour or two to figure out what Cadsuane is - a bully.

 

And another point about the following quote:

I do not think Cadsuane is a bully, but rather a woman who uses bullying when she needs to.

I can say only this - if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

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Caddy is a bully.  she can not help but interfere in other people's lives.  She kidnaps Darlin and carlina (Moraine's counsin can't remember the right name)and holds them and won't let them go.  She also takes Lady Ailiern Raitin (Toram Raitin's sister)and the seafolk windinder, who Rand had trapped under a bed, and tortured them for two days.  Caddy has either figured out how to dodge the 3 oaths or remove them or is BA.  Moraine thinks that she is BA.  She knows things that she shouldn't.  She is a bully.  A bully is a bully even if they don't use a hammer every time to get their point across.  She is more manipulative than the usual bully, who uses only their strength, but when nothing else works, she reverts to her only strength, her powerful channeling ability and her reputation.  She goes by whatever she feels is right no matter if it is obviously wrong.

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Alrighty, here goes...

 

Cadsuane, The Bully

 

Does She Have The Right?

 

No. The only person who might have a right to bully other people is Rand. Of course, sometimes there is reason to bully others. Does Cadsuane have reason to bully Rand? No, because it simply doesn't work.

 

Cadsuane Getting Her Way

 

1. She slaps Rand and insists he not use balefire [aCoS; 36, Blades].

2. She forces Rand to be polite to her [tPoD; 27, The Bargain], [WH;32, A Portion of Wisdom].

3. She forces Rand to be polite to his followers [KoD; 18, News For the Dragon], [KoD; 21, Within the Stone].

4. She attempts to force him to see her side of things following Semirhage's assault. [tGS; 23, A Warp in the Air]

5. She forces Rand to face his father, and through that the darkness that has grown within him [tGS; 48, The One He Lost].

 

1. Sure, why not? That's the standard reaction to Balefire. Balefire is bad.

2. He should be polite.

3. He should be polite.

4. It wasn't her fault.

5. A good last stab in the dark.

 

While the intent of each action was understandable, the fact remains that she failed in all five precisely because of her execution.

 

Now, the first point I'd make is that for a woman who is supposedly defined by her penchant to bully, 5 times in 6 books is not a lot.

 

I'm not sure how many interactions we see between the two but I do not recall Cadsuane ever being polite or forthcoming with Rand.

 

Why Does She Interfere?

 

She interferes because she is trying to help Rand win the Last Battle. As to Balefire, I agree. She does not see the wisdom in using Balefire.

 

Why Does She Not Interfere?

 

She sees the wisdom in cleansing Saidin and a truce with the Seanchan.

 

Not torturing Semirhage is moronic. I tend to agree that torture is bad and should not be done but (in real life) that was not Rand's reason. Not torturing Semirhage because she is female is moronic. There is nothing Cadsuane could have done to change Rand's mind.

 

Does Cadsuane Have The Right To Bully The Likes of Rand?

 

She may have reason to try to bully Rand. Does it work? No.

 

That is the dividing line between Cadsuane and other Aes Sedai--she doesn't try to control people because she feels that as Aes Sedai she should. She doesn't even do it when she has an opinion on what should be done. She does it only when she has examined the logic and has decided that her course is the best out there. Consider, it is very similar to how she deals with Semirhage--she studies, she considers, and only when she is certain of her path does she act. That doesn't mean she can't be wrong, of course. But that she is conscientious of why she is choosing to specifically influence an events does give her the right to attempt to do so. At least to my mind.

 

I disagree with your assessment of Aes Sedai in general and I disagree Cadsuane is any different, except that she's far more intelligent than most of her sisters.

 

Does She Have The Right To Treat People The Way She Does?

 

Probably not. Frankly, if she were on the board I'd have perma-banned her a long time ago. She is rude, abrasive and arrogant. So why do I like her? Well, before I try to explain that, let's take a closer look at her behaviour.

 

I agree.

 

Inventive Bullying; The Adaption’s of a Master

 

I agree Cadsuane is a Master Bully. She does respond to each person uniquely and she is able to identify the best way to "handle" people most of the time. However, I still think she is a flat-out bully because she is not subtle and there is very little inbetween cause and effect (usually just threats).

 

Cadsuane does not try to bully the Wise Ones because she does not know how (yet) and does not have any reason to (yet). If she could and thought it good, I'm sure she would. She not a stupid random bully.

 

Conclusions on Cadsuane; The Bully

 

I do think Cadsuane is a bully as it is part of her personality. I do not think this is her defining aspect although she is really good at it. He is also highly intelligent and very competent, but that's not how I would define her either. How would I define her? Good question.

 

Cadsuane's Mission

 

Cadsuane's Loyalty

 

I disagree with what was said here. Cadsuane couldn't give one whit about Rand. She is however 100% dedicated to what Rand must do. She's not so much loyal to Rand as she is loyal to his cause.

 

Cadsuane's Nastiness: Ungrateful, of True Service?

 

The fact of the matter is that Cadsuane's concerns were genuine. I don’t think anyone really argues that Rand's personal problems were getting worse, and were directly endangering the mission. The best case scenario was that Rand broke under the strain. The worst is that Rand broke the world under the strain. But despite a general consensus on this, people still fault Cadsuane for her methodology in attempting to deal with this, stating that she should have done it another way, that she should have talked him down from the ledge, rather than pushing him.

 

I'm sure on some level, Cadsuane is grateful for what Rand must do and pities him, but she wouldn't have any trouble getting over it and doing what she thinks she must do. I strongly disagree that Cadsuane was trying to push him over. I would say Cadsuane is yelling at him to get has butt back in the window.

 

A Gentler Approach; Fact or Fiction?

 

Moiraine's method is the one that has achieved the most success and done Rand the most good in the context of teaching him. Although passive, this approach also happens to be the most proactive. Cadsuane, Nynaeve and everyone else can only react to Rand's actions.

 

And he doesn’t. Rand believed that his way was the right way, the only way to survive. Here is what he thinks of those who disagree.

 

"That's the key, Nynaeve. I see it now. I will not live through this, and so I don't need to worry about what might happen to me after the Last Battle. I don't need to hold back, don't need to salvage anything of this beaten up soul of mine. I know that I must die. Those who wish for me to be softer, willing to bend, are those who cannot accept what will happen to me."

 

[tGS; A Conversation With the Dragon]

 

He knows their thoughts. That was never the problem. He just doesn’t agree—and Moiraine’s methodology in no way covers forcing him to agree. That’s where a more forceful method comes into play.

 

I find Rand is actually very reasonable (when not on one of his raging fits) and is intelligent enough to see the truth of things when given the opportunity to cool down. Moiraine did not have an easy time with Rand, but Rand always went back for more. Rand is sort of right when he spoke the above quote. The only problem with his reasoning is that he might not make it to the Last Battle because of his mental instability.

 

Degree’s Of Nastiness

 

Perhaps more interesting to me than the question of ‘should Cadsuane have used another method’ is the assumption that she did not think about it, that her bullying was blindly undertaken, and that she ‘lucked’ into success. Let’s examine that concept. Firstly, she states why she chooses not to take a less forceful path.

 

First of all, she did not "luck" into successs. She failed. Secondly, submission is not in her nature and I doubt very much that she ever considered submitting to Rand.

 

She is correct that Rand fights guidance and would try to run roughshod over her. She is wrong when she says Rand thinks he must do everything. Rand delegates tasks all the time. She is wrong when she says Rand thinks he has to learn everything on his own. He learns as much as he can, but acknowledges his own limitations. He accepts Moiraine's teaching and, more significantly, tasks Herid Fel with the heavy thinking. She is also wrong when she says he won't learn at all if she doesn't make him work for it. The only reason Rand kept her around is specifically because he is waiting to learn something from her.

 

Rand runs roughshod over Nynaeve and Moiraine, true. But guess what, he listened to them. And was eventually grateful for it.

 

An Escalation of Nastiness

 

So, even if I’ve gotten you to buy that a less forceful method, more gentle method of behaviour modification would not have worked...

 

Boo... :)

 

Cadsuane's stated objective was to make Rand strong rather than hard. If that was the message Cadsuane wanted to get through to Rand, she failed miserably because despite her actions (and because of it), Rand just got harder and harder. Cadsuane was never trying to make Rand harder and showed frustration with her ineffectiveness. The problem is that she keeps pushing him. The more he resisted (the harder he got), the harder she pushed. She wasn't pushing blindly, she was pushing as much as she thought he needed. This was not a planned tactic but the actions of someone who does not know any other way. She is a bully.

 

As to helping Rand control his emotions, it's obvious to readers his control was deteriorating. He "controlled" his emotions by getting harder, which is to say he bottled it up while Cadsuane gave it a good shake.

 

Losing domination band: I agree, not her fault. I disagree she handled it poorly. There was simply nothing she could do. At least she did not make it worse for herself and get Balefired on the spot.

 

The Culmination of Nasty Work

 

Cadsuane had to act. They were at the rickety edge, and there was no other choice. Did she risk everything at that point? Yes. Was it necessary? Yes. Was there no other way? ...

 

Who knows? But I say this was Cadsuane's "friendlier" manner. She was trying to remind Rand of his humanity without the use of force. Push him over the edge? Hardly. Cadsuane was using Tam to try and talk Rand back inside. Rand flipped because Tam strayed from what he was supposed to say and mentioned Cadsuane in the process.

 

Conclusions

 

Cadsuane is rude and abusive, but also fair, and applies those aspects with great integrity. She has, furthermore, been unfailingly loyal to Rand and to his mission since the moment she stepped on screen, and has done everything in her power to help him, yet at the same time she has held to her oath not to hurt him anymore that she had to. She never blindly hurt him, never stupidly pushed him. Each act was calculated, and careful and with on the his best interest at heart.

 

And, in the end, she succeeded.

 

I agree with rude, abusive, fair and integrity. I disagree with her loyalty to Rand. Min is loyal to Rand. Cadsuane is loyal to Rand's cause, which not coincidentally is also her cause. I agree she has done everything in her power to help him while not hurting him anymore than she has to. I strongly disagree that her efforts were effective and that she succeeded. She pushed him over the edge when that was never her intent. Rand succeeded, with help from Tam, in spite of Cadsuane.

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