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The Life and Times of An Aes Sedai


Luckers
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I just thought of how in tEotW Aglemar was begging for Moraine to help at Tarwin's Gap. Then the next day the army of Shienar marched to the Gap with their king and his sons from Fal Moran. It was known the King of Sheinar had an AS advisor name Aisling Noon, a green sister. She, a green, was stationed in the borderlands, as Luckers they should have been, but she stayed behind when the armies marched.

 

Why?

 

There is the argument, I suppose, of her being backup for the last stand defenders of Fal Moran, the very young and very old militia members. But when going into battle one calls in the airstrikes at the beginning and then uses ground troops to finish up.

 

If Aisling Noon had been with the main army she could have pulled out some AS saidar mojo when things looked at there bleakest and help pull out a victory (like what Rand did when he miraculously appeared of the field. It was what AS, mostly greens, did during the Trolloc Wars.

 

Moreover, I thought things like the Gap is what the greens lived for. I can't help but think Alaana was feeling a certain thrill when she was killing Trollocs in Two Rivers.

 

No doupt pleas for help was sent to TV and a force was being mobilized. If she went with the main host even if Rand hadn't shown up she could have helped them buy time for the other AS to get there, and then they could have destroyed the trollocs and prevented Shienar from being another Malkier. From a stragical standpoint it would have been in the Tower's best interest to prevent Sheniar's fall and leave a section of the Blight, which would have spread through Sheinar rather quickly, from being without a buffer country.

 

The trollocs could have flooded Eastern Randland from there and threatened the other three borderlands from the south, surrounded TV and threaten the borders of Carahien, Andor, and Arad Doman.

 

Here's a map

 

The world was not prepared to fight another Trolloc Wars. They would have lost the Aiel War if Laman hadn't been killed and the Aiel just went away. And political factions in Carahien are to divided to stand up to the Trollocs and most of the Southern Nations don't even believe trollocs are real. Andor, with Gareth Bryne, and Arad Domain, with Rodal Iltrude, could have mounted a feasible first wave defense but the only other military group "prepared" to fight trollocs were the Children of the Light, and imagion how well they'd work with AS.

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General Ideals and Purpose

 

Servants of All

 

The concept of an Aes Sedai is a fairly nice one. An authoritarian figure, highly trained and with access to great resources who is dedicated singularly to the greater good of society--presumably without personal agenda or bias--is a pretty utopian ideal.

 

In modern times this is supplemented and upheld by the Ajah structure, which also is a pretty neat concept. Subdivisions each focused on serving the world in a specific way, thereby covering the smaller issues, yet still working in collaboration so as to also address the bigger picture.

 

Consider--the knowledge of the Browns tempered by the cool reason of the Whites, enacted with the dedication and focus of the Blues, or the sternness of the Reds, or the mercy of the Yellows, the passion of the Greens, or the even-handed justness of the Grey's in whatever variety is needed... strength overlapping weakness so as to form the Tower into a single instrument to be wielded for the betterment of all.

 

Pretty darn nifty. So why are the Aes Sedai by and large such contentious idiots?

 

Sorry Sister, That's a Fail

 

The majority of modern Aes Sedai are contentious and self-involved. They attempt to mystefy everything they do even when a simple honest explanation would serve their cause much better. They attempt to assume control of every situation—not because they have a specific plan or knowledge that would be well used, but rather simply because that is what they feel Aes Sedai should do. At best this is simply childish, at worst they take control from someone who does know what they are doing, and cause disaster.

 

Typically they are close minded as well, never daring to question the status quo, or innovate new methods of dealing with things—which can be utterly disastrous. This attitude nearly saw the Tower die because the sisters would question the recruitment policies, and even as it is its left the Tower vastly under strength in the face of TG.

 

Perhaps the worst part of it all is that they are no thinking at all. Egwene highlights this point cleanly in tGS when she dresses down Elaida for her idiocy in having Rand shielded and held captive in the Tower—such a plan was obviously doomed for disaster, and had a single sister paused to think about it they should have realized that, but they did not. Some were uneasy with how he was treated, but none looked to the practicalities of the Dragon not being free to fulfill prophecy. Aes Sedai shield men who can channel, so that is what they did. This sort of puppetry is repeated throughout the series. An Aes Sedai encounters a problem, pulls out the stock response—and if that response doesn’t work she typically falls apart.

 

Consider the Atha’an Miere, for instance. No part of the Bargain involved an agreement to let themselves be bullied or beaten or forced to serve, yet when the Sea Folk simply ignored the stock response of ‘it’s dangerous to anger an Aes Sedai’ the Aes Sedai simply caved in. Having no training in dealing with a channeling organization (an equal, in terms of strength at least) and lacking all ability to innovate, the Aes Sedai simply collapsed.

 

Sorry Entire Ajah, That’s an Epic Fail

 

Beyond the personality flaws of the generic Aes Sedai, their entire organizational structure fails consistently in the jobs they’ve chosen for themselves. Consider.

 

Greens – Claim to be the Battle Ajah, and prepare themselves to fight the Shadow, so why do they maintain no presence along the Blight were the fight with the Shadow goes on daily? Where were they when Shienar was threatened in the Eye of the World? Where were they when Malkier fell? Oh, sisters were sent, they just didn’t get there in time—and that’s what happens, isn’t it, when you bumble around doing your own thing and ignoring your duty until a true emergency develops—you don’t get there in time. They didn’t for Malkier, and they wouldn’t have for Shienar had Rand not intervened.

 

Yellows – Want to Heal, yet in the entire course of the series the only healing we’ve seen them do has been incidental—someone was injured near where they happened to be, so they deigned to heal them. The only yellow sister we’ve seen go out of her way to do Healing is Nynaeve. And why don’t they have hospices in the major cities? Yes, they lack in numbers—which is the fault of the Tower as a whole, not just the Yellow—but two or three Yellows supported by a team of herbal healers could do a great deal of good. That is the vocation they’ve chosen, after all.

 

Blues – Seek to right wrongs, and fight for causes, which is such generic mission its hard to judge. But ignoring Moiraine and Siuan what’s the last cause we’ve seen a Blue fight for? There are a great many injustices in the world that the Blue’s seemingly ignore in favor of bumbling around living their lives. What about the decline of the Tower? Why hasn’t the Blue taken that upon themselves as cause?

 

Browns – Seek to arm the world with knowledge, only I don’t see much of that knowledge being spread around. Rand has done more for the world in terms of the gathering and sharing of knowledge in a year than the Brown has done in three thousand. Where are the new inventions? New studies? Where are efforts being made to implement what was learned from the old knowledge?

 

Greys – The Grey’s at least actually seem to take their vocation seriously, but what have they achieved. I think the situation with Tylin, Merilille, Elayne and Nynaeve shows this the most clearly—the Grey’s need to reinforce the image of their own importance and the importance of the Tower completely undercuts their attempts to mediate. Elayne and Nynaeve achieve more in Tower/Nation relations by simply talking to Tylin than Merilille does with all her supposed ability as a mediator. Still, at least the Grey’s are trying.

 

Reds – Take upon themselves the responsibility for stopping another breaking of the world. They do seek out men who can channel quite assiduously, which is in a way fulfilling that purpose, but where were the efforts to cleanse saidin? They’ve claimed this responsibility, but all they’ve done is attempted to treat the symptom, and done nothing about the illness itself. They, in effect, let their personal feelings get in the way of serving the job they’ve taken upon themselves, and that is more than a failure—it’s distasteful.

 

Whites – Have possibly failed the most out of all the Ajah. They claim upon themselves the subject of logic. It is for them to consider all issues for their merits and flaws with no reguard for their own feelings. Yes, perhaps the failings of the other Ajahs are more tangible, but it was up to the Whites to safeguard the ideological integrity of the Tower—up to them to ask the hard questions of the other Ajahs, the questions which should have stopped the Tower’s free-fall into failure—that they did not do this makes them not only responsible for their own failure at the job they claimed for themselves, but for the failures of all the other Ajah’s as well.

 

How Can So Many Women Be So Damn Stupid?

 

The Aes Sedai are highly educated, highly intelligent, strong willed women with a great deal of training under the belts, so how on earth could they all be such idiots? Well, firstly, the fact is that not all Aes Sedai are idiots. What’s sad is that those who tend to be capable are the women who, for one reason or another, have been forced to take a step away from the other Aes Sedai.

 

Indeed, these women are usually doing something that an Aes Sedai should not be—Moiraine and Siuan seeking a man who can channel, not to gentle him but to help him. Verin as a Black sister, Cadsuane setting out to learn from a filthy wilder (and what a disgusting action that was for an Aes Sedai to take). Even Pevara and Saerin have reason to not fully identify with their natures as Aes Sedai—Pevara being a Red with a Green’s temperament, and Saerin originally coming from the Daughters of Silence.

 

In all these cases these women have broken with what an Aes Sedai would do, and as a result have become capable of doing things no Aes Sedai should be contemplating, thereby allowing them to achieve or deal with things no Aes Sedai should be able to deal with.

 

There is something tragic in that. To be Aes Sedai is to be weak and contentious, and the only ones who are capable are those who are, for whatever reason, betraying the ideal of what it is to be Aes Sedai. But how could such idiocy have come to be? And why do the Aes Sedai cling to the current style with such blind tenacity?

 

Aes Sedai Recruitment

 

Their problems begin with the methods they use to recruit and train new girls. They restrict their training to young girls who have sought them out (with the exception of the odd wilder). They do this because the younger a novice the easier they are molded, and because those that seek them out have a stronger will, and thus are more likely to be effective Aes Sedai.

 

Excluding the blindness in that--the girls who never considered that they could channel, like Egwene and Nynaeve, yet nevertheless have made very strong, very capable Aes Sedai--there is a more insidious threat. That is that they were too successful.

 

By waiting on young, impressionable girls who are already ‘wow-ed’ by the idea of Aes Sedai, and then proceeding to seclude them from the world for upwards of twenty years they result in Aes Sedai that are more concerned with trying to be what they think Aes Sedai should be, rather than simply being Aes Sedai. The title has come to mean more than the women that wear it, which means ultimately that said women are not worthy of the title, or, put another way, they have forgotten that it should be the woman that brings honour to the title, not the title that brings honour to the woman.

 

This training methodology is highly effective as a form of indoctrination. By the time the women gain the shawl they are simple facsimilies of the concept of what it is to be Aes Sedai. They are so overawed by their own image that they simply cannot act—any action which is not a reflex built into them during their training would be to question the perfection of their image of being an Aes Sedai—which in turn would be questioning their very sense of identity.

 

This is why there is no innovation amongst the average Aes Sedai, and no attempts to go against the status quo no matter how pressing the need. To do so would be to question a sense of self that has been so heavily drilled into them that it permeates every part of their personality. Some few, like Verin or Cadsuane, are strong enough in themselves that when they’ve encountered a situation that requires action not trained into them have broken through their indoctrination and adapted—more often though the Aes Sedai simply breaks, like Merilille with the atha’an miere.

 

This (combined with the point i will raise next) is the source of most of the modern Aes Sedai's childish behaviour. Comments such as 'there is truth that would burn any mind but an Aes Sedai's' and 'Thrones have fallen messing in the plans of the tower' are thrown around so often not as simple methods of persuasion, but because the Aes Sedai themselves are overawed by their own image. Their constant attempts to control every situation they are in stems not because they think themselves capable, but because they feel that as Aes Sedai they should be.

 

They are, for lack of a better phrase, victims of their own PR regiment.

 

Criminal Negligence and Recruitment

 

Aes Sedai actively avoid recruiting, maintaining fairly strict policies against it. They also actively stop other groups from recruiting. Women die from lack of training. Tell me that isn’t criminal negligence.

 

The Three Oaths

 

The Three Oaths represent the single most foolish thing the Aes Sedai have ever done—binding themselves. Even aside from the age-limiting effects of being bound, the Oath’s themselves are counter-productive and dangerous. Consider;-

 

Implementation

 

They were instigated initially to placate the fear of the general populace, but they do not even achieve that. Binding ones ability to act does not stop others fearing or hating you, it just places limitations on how far that fear and hate can get. Perhaps that was necessary at the time—we don’t know enough about the political situation that was in play when the Oaths were sworn—but necessary or not the Aes Sedai should never have stopped there.

 

Consider, if you had a brain tumour you might take pain killers to help with the headaches, but you don’t just settle with that and take pain killers for the rest of your life, you treat the illness itself, in the hopes that you can stop taking the pain killers. That is what the Aes Sedai should have done—figured out how to stop the general public hating them, not simply treated that hate by binding themselves.

 

Aes Sedai should have been looking for ways to end the need for the binding, not turning the binding into a badge of pride. Oh, it’s a very Aes Sedai thing to do, to have to cut off a leg because it was caught in a trap and then proclaim to the world about how amazing you are for having no leg. But it was stupid of them to forget themselves the real nature of the Oaths—which is to say, a mark of their greatest failure. The failure to serve the people.

 

Practicality

 

The Oaths themselves are dangerous in a purely practical sense. Consider the Oath against using the power as a weapon, for instance. It makes sense when dealing with non-channelers. For all that non-channelers might take out an individual Aes Sedai, any major attack could easily be held off by purely defensive methods, or at the worse, by the opening of the oaths to protect ones life (I’m speaking on the large scale by the way, with many Aes Sedai involved).

 

However, that does not continue through into dealing with enemies that have their own channelers. Such an oath only makes sense when you are the stronger force, not when you must deal with peers. And as we have seen with the emergence of the Asha'men, not to mention the Wise Ones, Windfinders and damane, the Aes Sedai are not the stronger force.

 

The Aes Sedai were like adults in a world of children. When a child attacks them they can afford to simply hold them until they grow tired and then send them to bed without dinner. Now however other adults have walked onto the field, and the Aes Sedai cannot do anything until those adults have walked up an punched them in the face. And, when your dealing with channelers, a punch in the face is likely to kill. So here we are, with Aes Sedai unable to fight back until their lives are in danger, yet by the time they perceive the danger they’re likely dead.

 

The same applies to the oath against the making of weapons for one man to kill another. They put that oath in at the memory of the terrible damage done during the Age of Legends--yet did not pause to consider that that damage was done in fighting a terrible enemy. Had the Light not equipped itself then something far worse would have come from it. It was pure luck that none of the Forsaken had expertise in making weapons. If they had the Light would have been doomed at Tarmon Gai'don, completely unable to respond in time because of the Aes Sedai’s arrogance.

 

Subtle Dangers

 

What of the less obvious effects? Let's start with the original intentions of the Oaths--that they placate the fear of the masses. Certainly they have done so to a degree. Aes Sedai are trusted in a sense, and when they speak openly their words are taken as fact. But to go along with that are the constant iterance of phrases such as 'the truth an Aes Sedai speaks is not the truth you hear."

 

It seems counter-productive to me to make people know you can't hurt them by swearing oaths not to... it presents the image that without such oaths Aes Sedai would be lying, murdering, weapon-mongers. Yes they are stopped from doing such things, but it is still their nature.

 

And what of the effects on themselves. How long can a person who can't lie say something without coming to believe it to be true? Even when they know that they've manipulated the truth into a lie. Consider all the things Aes Sedai simply accepted as fact; should such intelligent, well-educated women such as they have been so simply accepting of the idea that the kin numbered a few dozen, that they gave up after a time and wandered off and stopped channeling?

 

This combines with the fact that all Aes Sedai are ‘wowed’ by their own image in order that even they fall victim to the perception that since they can't tell a lie, what they’ve said must obviously be the truth. Oh, they are intellectually aware of the holes in that, but after a time what began as opinion becomes fact simply by the woman opining must be speaking the truth. Its an epidemic of their entire culture. ‘Woman above a certain age will fail in the training’, ‘novices and accepted put out of the tower give up channeling’. On and on opinion becomes fact because its spoken by women who cannot lie.

 

And one final point on the oaths before i move on. What of the ethical implications? The three oaths address negative aspects of human nature. Lying, violence and creating instruments to do violence. Noble things to want to avoid doing; yet nonetheless at times these things are necessary. As such how does one decide when to employ them?

 

The answer is simple--employ them when they are necessary. The Aes Sedai however, do not reguard it so—for them it is not a case of ‘I do this when it’s necessary’, but rather, due to the fact that they are power-bound against such things, ‘I do this when it is allowed’. Look at them. Look how easily they lie by omission, or misrepresentation. There is absolutely no understanding of the concept and value of truth in them, and that is contemptible.

 

Worse, the Accepted actually practice lying as a part of the skills necessary to attain the shawl—oh, they call it giving Aes Sedai answers, but that’s what it amounts to. An institution which practices deception as part of gaining membership…

 

The Decline in Their Numbers

 

They suggest that they have culled the ability from mankind by gentling every man they find, but we know this to be inaccurate. From RJ we know that roughly one percent of the modern population have the ability to channel which means there are several hundred thousand channelers in the Westlands alone. Logically it doesn't make sense either--most men don't spark until their mid twenties, which means they likely would already have families. All men who don't have the spark remain in the general genetic pool, as do the vast majority of female channelers.

 

The ability has indeed declined since the Age of Legends--from 3% to 1% likely as a result of a lack of interbreeding between male and female channelers. We know that in Shara were they specifically breed male and female channelers the numbers have remained higher. That being said, even with that decline, and the decline in the human populace of the westlands since the War of a Hundred Years there is still more than enough female channelers of a strength to gain the shawl--indeed, if all were found and trained they would exceed the Tower at its height by nearly tenfold.

 

So what are the causes for the decline?

 

The first is obvious. The introduction of the oaths halved the Aes Sedai's lifespan, which in turn halved the number of Aes Sedai that should be alive. Even so, without the oaths there would only be 2,000 Aes Sedai, still nothing near the 6,000 that the Aes Sedai numbered at their height.

 

The second reason is more insidious. Following Hawkwings attack the anger and fear the general populace felt for the Aes Sedai increased massively. This disfavour amongst the people continued, spouting misinformation where it went. We see the formation of the Children of the Light in this time, and the increased belief that Aes Sedai are darkfriend who broke the world for the Dark One (and it is increased, we know the people of the past had a much greater degree of knowledge about the nature of Aes Sedai and their intentions for the world, even when these people didn't trust Aes Sedai).

 

This change in the social perception of the Aes Sedai probably has alot to do with the way Aes Sedai currently hold themselves aloof from the general populace, which in turn likely spread the misinformation. As this increasingly bad opinion spread, naturally less girls sought the Tower. Effectively, the Tower continued on under its old method of letting girls approach, and when they didn't in as great a numbers the Tower concluded that the ability must be declining, when in fact it was simply that the girls desire to approach the Tower had declined. That, combined with the general decline in the westland population resulted in the marked decline witnessed in the Tower.

 

What is the Future for Aes Sedai

 

I think it's bright. They have an Amyrlin who by and large escaped the indoctrination process, which is added to by the sudden influx of so many novices including mature women, which means that sooner or later their will be many more Aes Sedai who aren't indoctrinated with the idea of being Aes Sedai. Fresh thought will finally be introduced.

 

And it is the perfect time for it. They’ve been slapped in the face by the Seanchan and the revelation of the Black Ajah, which should combine to be enough of a wake-up call that even the most idiotic sister will hear, if not act upon. That means that they are in a state of flux, the perfect mentality for new thought to be introduced. Add to that the ability to Travel and I suspect much more prodigious recruitment will begin.

 

Effectively, they're kind of wankers, but they're on their way out of that, and they have all the tools they need to achieve it.

 

Luckers, I only have one thing to say - you are the forsaken, and maybe even Demandred! I don't know how many pages of the text are here, but I sure just read this whole thing instead of working.biggrin.gif

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I didnt read the whole treatise on AS and their epic failure.

 

I would like to point out that most AS stay in the tower becuase that is the best way for them to gain prestige among those they conside equals, whereas if they where out of the tower they may get respect and such but they would also be working and only be getting their due respect. This accompanied by the stated resentment/distrust of aes sedai caused them to stop leaving the tower resulting in the reduction of AS expeditions into the world.

 

One thing I will give the Aes sedai is that they do a good job of gaining intellegence through their various informant networks, the problem being is that no one does anything with that information. (I will use this information to show that the AS massively failed Manetheren on many levels since they very likely had intellegence on a trolloc army moving against Manetheren, and if only the amyrlin of the time was recieving information on enemy movements I would be very surprised. Just the best example I had on this)

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(I will use this information to show that the AS massively failed Manetheren on many levels since they very likely had intellegence on a trolloc army moving against Manetheren, and if only the amyrlin of the time was recieving information on enemy movements I would be very surprised. Just the best example I had on this)

The AS and Amyrlin did know about the advancing Trolloc host on Mantheren. Everyone did. Mantheren sent out pleas for help to the nine other nations and TV. The got a, "sorry, can't help" from every one. The first Amyrlin to get get stilled was the first elected from the Red Ajah and she denied help because of a petty feud she had with the Queen of Manthereon (Also and AS) and because it resulted in the eradication of the most powerful army against the shadow the hall deposed her for it.

 

Lucker's awesome treatise is how a lot of problems AS have today wouldn't have happened if they didn't separate themselves from the world in their "Ivory Tower." It was one of the things Rand thought about when he formed the AM.

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(I will use this information to show that the AS massively failed Manetheren on many levels since they very likely had intellegence on a trolloc army moving against Manetheren, and if only the amyrlin of the time was recieving information on enemy movements I would be very surprised. Just the best example I had on this)

The AS and Amyrlin did know about the advancing Trolloc host on Mantheren. Everyone did. Mantheren sent out pleas for help to the nine other nations and TV. The got a, "sorry, can't help" from every one. The first Amyrlin to get get stilled was the first elected from the Red Ajah and she denied help because of a petty feud she had with the Queen of Manthereon (Also and AS) and because it resulted in the eradication of the most powerful army against the shadow the hall deposed her for it.

 

Lucker's awesome treatise is how a lot of problems AS have today wouldn't have happened if they didn't separate themselves from the world in their "Ivory Tower." It was one of the things Rand thought about when he formed the AM.

I realized I was using that portion of my post to say how ineffectual the AS are since they gather knowledge about world events (as many individual sisters do, along with more extensive ajah intell systems, then the Amyrlin and keeper systems, a person would think many AS would have known of such events) I would think that many AS would have known of such an army moving towards Manetheren and yet they still did nothing, the hall should have been able to depose of her and still send out an army if the tower wasnt crippled by beauocracy and by stupidity

 

but I completely agree with Luckers treatise.

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Great stuff from Luckers here, and I agree in the main, 3 small points.

 

First, regarding AS declining numbers, the cause was their isolation and refusal to marry or have children themselves. The Whites (logically) had suggested it, but the others were too dumb to follow. This is alluded to several times (The White's "mad plan"). Maybe the Whites have come up with the right answer other times, but the rest of the Ajah's didn't agree?

 

Second, regarding the issue that only AS who steps outside the lines are competent or free-thinking. While I think the examples sited tend to support the idea, that doesn't make it true. We are presented with an increasing number of AS who are pretty competent (Silviana, the Ajah heads in tGS, Tarna, Gabrelle, Daigian, Hattori). Further, a lot of times the more competent AS have less strength in the power, but are always ignored. I think the silly way they determine precedence impedes their mission, reinforces the idea they are childish, and hampers the ability to actually debate, since whomever is stronger in the OP carries the day (unless in the Hall, or appointed to a position of authority).

 

Last, for the future. While Egwene does have some good ideas, her blindness on the oaths (and her hypocrisy) is startling. She also needs to rid them of the silly precedence rules (maybe Nynaeve will help her with that). Elayne, too. Still, the #1 thing will be integrating back into society and helping. Nynaeve's healing in Arad Doman is a start. Alanna and Verin in the Two Rivers helped. That needs to be replicated. Siuan seems ready to marry, despite it being against Blue orthodoxy. And Moiraine as well. Nynaeve is a Yellow, and married. All this helps with the reintegration.

 

Plus, the Warder bond IS intimate. AS have already changed some. Caddy's group bonded AM immediately. And even Reds have seen the need to change (or at least Tarna and Pevara, and some others).

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First, regarding AS declining numbers, the cause was their isolation and refusal to marry or have children themselves. The Whites (logically) had suggested it, but the others were too dumb to follow. This is alluded to several times (The White's "mad plan"). Maybe the Whites have come up with the right answer other times, but the rest of the Ajah's didn't agree?

 

Actually the White's 'mad plan' was to breed gentled men who can channel. Verin suggested in turn that it should be Aes Sedai who have children--the Whites were less than impressed. One their failures to provide the Tower with reason tempered only by logic.

 

Second, regarding the issue that only AS who steps outside the lines are competent or free-thinking. While I think the examples sited tend to support the idea, that doesn't make it true. We are presented with an increasing number of AS who are pretty competent (Silviana, the Ajah heads in tGS, Tarna, Gabrelle, Daigian, Hattori). Further, a lot of times the more competent AS have less strength in the power, but are always ignored. I think the silly way they determine precedence impedes their mission, reinforces the idea they are childish, and hampers the ability to actually debate, since whomever is stronger in the OP carries the day (unless in the Hall, or appointed to a position of authority).

 

The Ajah Heads, in my opinion, are the worst example of Aes Sedai. Until the Seanchan slapped some reality into them they blundered from one mistake to another, refusing to alter their path. Even then it takes a stupidly long time for them to settle on Egwene. That being said, there will be Aes Sedai who never bought in to the indoctrination. Whilst the majority of those that havn't seem to have stepped free because they were pushed out of it, there will be those who simply avoided falling for it from the beginning.

 

But I will make a clarification here--when I speak of competency, I mean competency of dealing with new things. Daigian and Hattori don't do anything outside the box for an Aes Sedai--remember within the circle of experience their training prepared them for, Aes Sedai are quite capable. And I never said that they were not intelligent. Bonding warders, negotiating the political waters of the Tower, even appreciating the need for the pain of a lost warder--these are all things that Aes Sedai are prepared for. A Red bonding a warder, on the other hand--thats new. That's Tarna getting to the end of what her training has prepped her for and saying none of it touched upon this, I need to innovate. (Tarna by the way as a wilder and blocked one at that, has the advantage I was speaking of).

 

Gabrelle... I'm not sure what to make of Gabrelle. I get the feel that she didn't cling to the presumptions of the Aes Sedai even before being bonded by Logain. She adapts too casually. Even Tarna and Pevara struggled somewhat, but Gabrelle... she just flows with it. She reminds me a little of Verin, really.

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There isn't much of a comparison possible between Tarna/Pevara and Gabrelle. The first have a high position (Ajah Head : Highest, and Sitter), the latter is a mere Aes Sedai. The two former are Red, the latter is green (IIRC). Why would she struggle? She is bonded, hasn't much leeway to bend the orders given by Taim, and has set herself a task. It's normal she is feeling and acting differently. And maybe she is black...

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Tarna is the Keeper of thr Chronicles. At least, she still is in her mind. But I maintain my claim. The circonstances are really different.

 

Gabrelle is bonded to a man and shall obey all orders he gives. And he knows all she feels. She has to be careful and be as normal as she can be in her position. She can't be all sneaky, unfriendly or anything. If she want to escape, survive or whatever, she has to be prudent.

 

And I also want to point out that she doesn't dislike bedding Logain, or staying near him or else. She may have a greeny temperament as well.

 

On another topic, I also would like to point out that the relationship between bonded chanellers is strange. Look at most of thr Aes Sedai bonded by Asha'man. Some bed them, and even Reds joke with them. On the other side, Eben played with Daigian, Merise hold a tight discipline upon Narishma, etc... the relationship has fastly become friendly, whereas they despised them moments before. There is something more to those bonds that we are aware of. Up to that point, we only saw woman bonding non chaneller. Then we saw Alanna bonding Rand, without visible effect. Yet, there are differences between Merise/Narishma.and Alanna/Rand. Nobody find this strange that she can't have any effect on him? We know the causr of the mirroring effect between Birgit and Elayne, but not for those other "inconventional" bonds. (What would happen to a man bonding a man? Women bonded together start having their "monthly gift" at the same time. Could there be a similar effect with men?)

 

Oh and also, Gabrelle is Brown, not Green. I didn't remember well it seems.

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I think that women cant compell men because of the nature of saidin which leads to them having to develop a mutually respectful relationship much faster than 'normal' circumstances

as for men having women bonded I think its the fact that the women realize that men have the same power, and they also remember the nature of saidar, to surrender and get along will allow them to have some control

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@Demiandre I don't believe Gabrelle was forced to bed Logain, if that's what you're implying. I don't mean that he forced himself on her, I know he didn't (in fact, it seems he was surprised when she first came on to him). I meant that she had no other choice if she were to escape. Proof positive - most other AS in the BT tried scheming to bring the AM down, but they didn't try bedding their Bond-holders.

 

Regarding Alanna not being able to force Rand to her will - he was holding sai'din at the time. I think it's been made clear that this is the true cause, since holding sai'din (as opposed to sai'dar) also protects one from being Compelled.

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Another sign of their arrogance is the whole refusal to learn any types of self defense. Frankly even if I could channel, I would still want to know how to defend myself. You never know when you'll be without the ability to channel. How many times have the Supergirls been in trouble, where they could have used a knowledge of martial arts?

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well if i remember correctly, in Jordan's roundabout way, the almost "rape" was implied by Sareitha and Birgitte. I think she was knocked on the head, which we know reduces ability to channel, but Aviendha was "luckily" there to save her. It still reinforces my point that with some basic self defense she wouldn't have needed to rely on Aviendha being there.

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well if i remember correctly, in Jordan's roundabout way, the almost "rape" was implied by Sareitha and Birgitte. I think she was knocked on the head, which we know reduces ability to channel, but Aviendha was "luckily" there to save her. It still reinforces my point that with some basic self defense she wouldn't have needed to rely on Aviendha being there.

still she was stunned without the second person she would still have been beaten.

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I recall a time when Nynaeve and Elayne were in Salidar, showing people their discoveries, and they noticed that some of the AS picked up too quickly on this, or didn't seem to be surprised, or what have you. Just another example of AS foolishness, they would keep these "tricks" to themselves, to the grave, instead of helping the tower as a whole grow.

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I recall a time when Nynaeve and Elayne were in Salidar, showing people their discoveries, and they noticed that some of the AS picked up too quickly on this, or didn't seem to be surprised, or what have you. Just another example of AS foolishness, they would keep these "tricks" to themselves, to the grave, instead of helping the tower as a whole grow.

Actually, I think they should have kept more of the weaves to themselves. There were way to many BA running around at the time, to make it smart to show to much. Some obviously don't matter, but inverting should never have been taught until after the Purge.

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