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Luckers

The Subtleties of Cadsuane

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You want to compare her to Moiraine, but somehow you ignore the fact that while Cads mission may be roughly simuliar to Moiraine's, she is dealing with a Rand that is litereally 5x as unstable, untrusting, and nearly insane.

 

Actually...I believe I did mention that. And pointed to it as a reason why Cadsuane should be even more careful around Rand than Moiraine was.

 

She chose a path that I think is entirely destructive and any success on her part is due to Min's prophecy staying Rand's hand rather than her own brilliance.

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I don't care if Cadsuane hurt Rand's feelings. She did what was right, and it worked. You can't much get around that.

 

Didn't Caddy herself say that she 'bungled' with Rand al'Thor? Even Loial knew she was going downhill with Rand, and he actually trusts Aes Sedai. My point being, she was right only in parts - she would've been more effective if she'd given some positive encouragement along with all the bullying. That worked with Nynaeve, and she's just as Two Rivers stubborn as Rand.

 

In that respect, she has shown a typical AS quality - utter faith in bullying. :biggrin:

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Actually...I believe I did mention that. And pointed to it as a reason why Cadsuane should be even more careful around Rand than Moiraine was.

 

She chose a path that I think is entirely destructive and any success on her part is due to Min's prophecy staying Rand's hand rather than her own brilliance.

 

Precisely. Without that Viewing, Cadsuaqne is dead long since.

 

As for examples of her stupidity, let's start with her entrance ACoS ch 18. She barges into a private meeting with the most powerful man on the planet and some of his chief lieutenants, unannounced, unwelcome, and entirely unnecesssarily. It caused Rand to distrust her even more than he would any Aes Sedai. Not an intelligent way to begin an important association.

 

She doesn't advise. She corrects. She remonstrates. And, worst of all she does it publicly, undercutting Rand. Stupid in the extreme.

 

I repeat - DIE Cadsuane, DIE!

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Cadsuane is careful with Rand. She deftly orchestrated her way into Rand's inner circle by making him think he was beneath her notice, playing to a very childish, but real side to Rand. She enforces strict rules in her company to keep Rand's temper from getting out of line. Simply surrendering to him as Moiraine did is not enough anymore. Cadsuane would hold no more influence than any of the other sisters who have sworn fealty to Rand. It was Cadsuane alone that figured out the way to penetrate the iron/steel/cuendillar Rand by using his many insecurities as cracks. Even in her rashest moments, slapping Rand, reinforce that he is still a man with repercussions for his actions.

 

Moiraine was there to help Rand embrace that he was the Dragon Reborn and a ruler, but Cadsaune is there to help Rand embrace his human side again and going around bowing your head to the Lord Dragon is not the way to humble him.

 

As for examples of her stupidity, let's start with her entrance ACoS ch 18. She barges into a private meeting with the most powerful man on the planet and some of his chief lieutenants, unannounced, unwelcome, and entirely unnecesssarily. It caused Rand to distrust her even more than he would any Aes Sedai. Not an intelligent way to begin an important association.

 

It was these kinds of actions that attracted Rand's attention and made him ask Cadsuane to be his advisor, before Min's viewing. So, how is complete and utter success stupid?

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It was these kinds of actions that attracted Rand's attention and made him ask Cadsuane to be his advisor, before Min's viewing. So, how is complete and utter success stupid?

 

You have a very loose definition for "complete and utter success."

 

Her actions have been just short of complete and utter failure. All her game playing has done is soak up bandwidth that Rand needed to be using figuring out how to get the people of the world to work together to defeat the DO. The only time he makes any progress on fulfilling his destiny is when he is away from her, Cleansing excepted.

 

All you Cadsuane apologists are forgetting one thing - Rand is the greatest ta'veren ever. The Wheel will give him what he needs to survive to make it to his pre-ordained destiny. Since he would have required an adequate guard force for the Cleanising the Wheel gave him one. Cadsuane didn't "choose" to be there, the Wheel chose her for that task.

 

Ultimately, of course, her biggest fault is that Jordan wrote her very, very badly. As with the Forsaken, he told us she was one thing ( a tough maiden aunt who challenges you to be better than you thought you could and makes doing so the best scary-wonderul fun you've ever had ) and showed us someone entirely different ( a harridan with no redeeming qualities ).

Edited by Bob T Dwarf

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But, there quite simply is far too much stupidity in this series as is.

 

*Looks at real world*

 

*Looks at books*

 

Nah, that's about the right amount of stupid.

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It was these kinds of actions that attracted Rand's attention and made him ask Cadsuane to be his advisor, before Min's viewing. So, how is complete and utter success stupid?

 

What's this "before her viewing"? She told him Cads was going to teach him something necessary before he went to confront her again. She flat out told Rand he needed Cadsuane, but she didn't need him. You think that didn't alter his intentions regarding her? When she refuses, he gets annoyed and wishes Min could be wrong for once. So, yeah, no "complete and utter success" for Caddy. She owes that one to Min. Completely. If Min hadn't have said that, Rand may very well have added another name to his list.

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Okay, I'll admit I was flat out wrong about that. I was checking my facts on the WoT encyclopedia site and misread a few things. I saw that Min tells Rand about her vision in chapter 41 of ACoS, which is right. Then I read that Rand asks Cadsuane to be his advisor in chapter 27 of TPoD, but I must have misread as chapter 27 of ACoS in my haste to defend Cadsuane.

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Her actions have been just short of complete and utter failure. All her game playing has done is soak up bandwidth that Rand needed to be using figuring out how to get the people of the world to work together to defeat the DO. The only time he makes any progress on fulfilling his destiny is when he is away from her, Cleansing excepted.

 

Or when she was there to save his bacon when he got himself sliced by Fain.

 

Or when she taught him why he led his forces to disaster trying to repeal the Seanchan in PoD.

 

Or when she saved him from disaster at the meeting with Semihrage.

 

Or when she found a way to reach him when he became a monster.

 

Were you the one that said 5 times in 6 books is a lot for her to impose her will? How about saving Rand's ass in every book she's been in?

 

I honestly don't see how and why people despute this anymore. Rand is not omnipotent. Hell, a lot of Rand's plans since LoC have been downright stupid, loony, or rediculously overconfident. What he wants to do, and how he choses to do it especially, or not always right. He needs a balancing force, and Cads method has worked....well.

 

All you Cadsuane apologists are forgetting one thing - Rand is the greatest ta'veren ever. The Wheel will give him what he needs to survive to make it to his pre-ordained destiny. Since he would have required an adequate guard force for the Cleanising the Wheel gave him one. Cadsuane didn't "choose" to be there, the Wheel chose her for that task.

 

And the Wheel chose to give him a strong, confident, competent woman that is willing to take chances to accomplish what needs to be done to balance out his erratic behavior. The question is, why are you so pissed at her about it....

 

Dislike? No I flat hate her after that little bit of sadism. Why? Because she begins from the standpoint that she must hurt him. She never once considers that there might be another, better way.

 

Have you ever had to live through a loved one having a serious ailment? The point is not that Cads is going to hurt Rand. She knows she has to hurt Rand. Not because she wants to, or because it gets her jollies off, but because Rand is in a place where there is no coming back from without pain. Anyone who thinks Rand at this point can see the end of the tunnel without going through hell doesn't know a damn thing. The point is that Cads shows the genuine compassion of wanting to help Rand by hurting him as little as possible. This shows that while she, like everyone, knows they have to use Rand to save the world, she cares about the man(and boy) underneath. Which, as I said, is more then all but a handful of characters in the series have shown.

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Add Age and Experience to the Equation and One Understands Cadsuane all the Better

or: Cadsuane's Not Just Aes Sedai, She's an Elder

 

It's a great exposition and I agree that she is misunderstood by many. But I am surprised that you leave out one really obvious point, Luckers, and that is their relative AGES and the knowledge of interpersonal relations that one may acquire in life over many years of trial and error. She's an elder. He is still a young man, especially so in relation to an elder.

 

Is it not obvious that Cadsuane is of great age? Cadsuane is only able to adapt to the needs of each personality on the basis of years and years of experience. She was not "born yesterday." Not by any means.

 

Is it not obvious that Rand is still a relatively young man? He reacts in a fiery way to stress. As you point out through the passages, he is often not in control of his emotions. This is more typical of youth than of great age. He does not always listen well either, which is also something most of us have to learn to do better.

 

Further, we have all known older people who, for reasons of ill health, and/or lack of patience, have become pushy or bossy toward their younger kith and kin. Do we go off on them or do we try to be patient with them? As you elucidate so well, Luckers, Cads does not do that all the time. She's fairly conscious of her treatment of each person. But she does tend to fall back on bossiness to make a point, as opposed to the majority of Aes Sedai who make a practice of bossiness out of arrogance and privilege.

 

Allow me to speak from my own experience for a moment. When I was in my early 20s, I recall that while I had older friends, the moment that one of them spoke to me about myself in a way that was based on their knowing better than I, from the POV of years of experience, I immediately went into a knee-jerk reaction. "You can't tell me!" And I would become insufferable. I had not learned to listen! At the time, I thought I was right. Looking back, even in those cases where I was right, I could have been more patient with them as they were only trying to be helpful.

 

Now, fast peddle 30 years, 30 more trips around the Sun, and at 55, I have learned to listen, for the most part. It took me years and though I am more patient now, I still joke that I am working on patience. But I will act quickly when I see someone in danger!

For example, five years ago, I was in a Kmart walking up to an escalator, and a 20-something new-age couple were at the bottom of an escalator looking up at the top where their three-year-old was hanging from the banister. "Come down here, Sweetie. This way." As though the kid was old enough to process their request! As if he was not about to take a tumble down a flight and maybe break himself in a serious way! I was right behind the kid. I picked him up under my arm and carried him down to them, handed him to them and said, "he could have fallen," and walked away. A man behind me stopped me and lectured me for five minutes how I could have been arrested for intervening. And I shook my head and said that would be better than watching him kill himself for want of smarter parents.

 

Jordan's principal characters develop maturity through their experiences and need

 

In fact, Jordan has done such a subtle job of writing his young characters growing up in the course of the strife and struggle between Light and Dark, one could miss it although it is one of many strong points in his characterizations. Nynaeve and Egwene grew up. Sometimes they're still working on it! Perrin and Mat have gone through plenty of changes since they left the Two Rivers; they were boys and now they are men. Some of those growing pains were palpably painful to us, the readers and fans!

 

Rand has had the worst time of it clearly, and he's been under the greatest stress. But he had not till the very end of TGS overcome the utter despair of what he understood of the prophecies foretelling his destiny. And he was still throwing tantrums (such as that he threw at Tam when he nearly killed his father). Rand's been under way too much stress and has had no break from it. He was about due for a meltdown! For yes, he is human! And he is still learning the meaning of his own humanity!

 

Cadsuane is hundreds of years old. She has enough experience to get it when action on her part is called for. She gets it that sometimes it's better to listen, maybe impart advice, but then to let it ride when Rand won't listen. She's got a method in her interpersonal relations as you spelled out in the passage with Nynaeve, Luckers. It's a method she had perfected long in the past, clearly.

The only person in Rand's party older than she is Alivia; but poor Alivia has been a slave for hundreds of years which has definitely impacted her development as a human being. There are so many experiences she never had in life. She's wise despite that in her own way. But she lacks any experience in interpersonal relations.

 

In the final chapters of TGS, Rand threw that particularly horrid and dangerous tantrum at Tam, and in his resultant despair and grief, he set out to enact a seriously dangerous attack on the Seanchan but which he did not effect due to the experiences he had on the street with the people, and following which he went to the top of Dragonmount, emotionally blinded on top of LTT's gravesite. Rand then climbed to the top of Dragonmount, following a passage a few pages earlier about how that climb would kill most men, btw. There he releases all of his grief and his pain and doubt-—it was Tam's words that he repeated in his head when he made the decision to change his attitude and his entire perspective on his burdens and his duties, on his destiny—he made his internal attitude adjustment based on his father Tam's words of advice.

 

Therefore, although bringing Tam to Rand could have been handled better, ultimately it worked. Though at the end of TGS, Cads and Nynaeve and Min and Tam don't yet know it.

 

I got a lot more substance out of the second read of TGS than the first. There is so much in TGS winding up the various threads of the saga before the final chapters, my second read I read just a passage at a time and then thought about each one before picking the book back up.

 

As you said, Luckers, she makes mistakes too. And she learns from them sometimes as well. That is the best we can do in life! We try not to make the same mistake twice!

 

I like Cadsuane better on my second read of the series. Based on my own life experience, I appreciate the brilliance of Jordan's characterizations and their individual growth and analyses based on their own development. He's a master of fantasy. His characters are NOT flat. They are fully developed.

 

And, with all due respect, I think that is what some fans don't YET understand, but what they may later understand if they should live long enough and fully enough. Cadsuane is a great case in point!

Edited by Jillain Sanche

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A good post and good points Jillain. I actually find it a little offputting how often we see Aes Sedai's ages of 100+ are thrown out there and so many of them show little wisdom and understanding to go with that age. My current reread is reminding me why I like Cads so much. Everything she does is so clearly built on her long years of expirience.

 

It kind of makes me smirk that even with her PoV some people still think she acts the way she does because she has a big ego. The "legend" image and her attitude are simply tools in her arsenal. Unlike some Aes Sedai who we know literally have a "How dare you question me!" attitude in thier own minds when they come up against opposition, in Cads we see that her attitude is just a means to an end. She uses the image as a tool against others, she very pointedly does not "buy into the hype", as it were, in thinking about herself.

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I actually find it a little offputting how often we see Aes Sedai's ages of 100+ are thrown out there and so many of them show little wisdom and understanding to go with that age.

 

That's because they're extremely insular and parochial and don't actually have a lot of experience outside the fairly narrow confines of Tower life. Many avoid leaving the Tower as much as possible. Not just avoid leaving Tar Valon: the actual Tower. Also, age bringing wisdom and understanding is one of those things many, if not most, people just sorta buy into. The evidence for it actually being the case is....lacking. There's no reason to believe that simply throwing some extra decades or even centuries at the "wisdom" problem is going to solve it.

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Well forsaken are not kidding when they consider current Aes Sedai a joke. These women are not just lacking in one power. They used to be servant, now they are all know-it-all hags;

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But, there quite simply is far too much stupidity in this series as is.

 

*Looks at real world*

 

*Looks at books*

 

Nah, that's about the right amount of stupid.

 

True, the real world gets pretty stupid.

 

This is fantasy, though. If I wanted reality I'd read a newspaper. For a fantasy, there's just far too much stupidity going on.

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I guess you never noticed that Cads did not spend much time in the Tower, didymos?

 

And yeah, it's not just long life, it is also learning and learning from one's mistakes. The choice is YOURS. Get it?

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I guess you never noticed that Cads did not spend much time in the Tower, didymos?

 

And yeah, it's not just long life, it is also learning and learning from one's mistakes. The choice is YOURS. Get it?

 

Why are you getting all snippy with me? I guess you didn't notice I was speaking in general and didn't say anything about Cads specifically.

Edited by didymos

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Were you not indeed responding to my post, and the points on age and life experience?

 

Though it may be as you say with a lot of the Aes Sedai avoiding the world, never leaving the Tower. But we are talking about Cadsuane, aren't we?

 

And yeah, I do think that those of us who are older should not always be so worried that youth will think we are flaming them. I flamed my own self. And I really do try to learn from my mistakes. It is the only way to avoid making the same ones!

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Cadsuane is an idiot. There I said it;). Wisdom is failed on many old people and Aes Sedai in Randland have no equal. If they had any shame, they would simply call themselves channelers instead of Aes Sedai. They serve no body except their own inflated egos.

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If they had any shame, they would simply call themselves channelers instead of Aes Sedai.

 

Well, "Aes Sedai" means "Servants of All" in the Old Tongue, so the name really is quite noble in origin. So you can understand how you'd cling to that if you want people to trust you.

 

Edit: I'd also like to add that I don't think Cadsuane is stupid. I think she's bloody brilliant, as Luckers evidenced. I also think she would fail miserably in her pursuits due to her own pride. A failing that most Aes Sedai have, and that she is no exception to. Due to those two, I've never really been able to make up my mind about her. On the one hand, I can respect her cunning and knowledge. On the other hand, I can't respect her arrogance which shows through in her interactions with everyone.

Edited by Magnetic Zero

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Were you not indeed responding to my post, and the points on age and life experience?

 

Uh, no. I was responding to the post I quoted, which was not yours.

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I admire Robert Jordan for being willing to try to flesh out the scraps of Eddas that have come down to us and write a comprehensive Ragnarok. I admire him additionally for trying to give us more rounded, three-dimensional characters.

 

But, this is fantasy. The Good Guys are supposed to be larger-than-life heroes, and the Bad Gus are supposed to be even larger-than-life villains. More rounded characters are better than one-dimensional cardboard cutouts, but rather than give us an array of well-rounded people, he gave us nothing but greedy, unthinking children. Not a real hero or villain in the lot. Just a bunch of all-to-real, selfish, stupid babies doing boringly pedestrian selfish and stupid things. Whiney, too.

 

Cadsuane was his best opportunity to give us a character with some real maturity and wisdom. One character in this whole overcrowded kindergarten who thought and behaved as an adult.

 

He blew it. She's the most gamey, deceitful, manipulative ... ummm ... person in the series. She's even more deceitful and manipulative than Faile, and that really takes some doing.

 

DIE Cadsuane, DIE! And, take Faile with you.

Edited by Bob T Dwarf

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But, this is fantasy. The Good Guys are supposed to be larger-than-life heroes, and the Bad Gus are supposed to be even larger-than-life villains.

 

Sorry, but I just hate this sentiment. There aren't any hard and fast rules that must be followed in fantasy. There's no "supposed to". That just what a bunch of people did in their stories for their own reasons, but Jordan was under no obligation to folllow suit.

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All you Cadsuane apologists are forgetting one thing - Rand is the greatest ta'veren ever. The Wheel will give him what he needs to survive to make it to his pre-ordained destiny. Since he would have required an adequate guard force for the Cleanising the Wheel gave him one. Cadsuane didn't "choose" to be there, the Wheel chose her for that task.

 

You do have some decent arguments, but this is a cop-out. You could put this in for any character ever. Lan is a badass; well, the Pattern made him a badass.

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All you Cadsuane apologists are forgetting one thing - Rand is the greatest ta'veren ever. The Wheel will give him what he needs to survive to make it to his pre-ordained destiny. Since he would have required an adequate guard force for the Cleanising the Wheel gave him one. Cadsuane didn't "choose" to be there, the Wheel chose her for that task.

 

You do have some decent arguments, but this is a cop-out. You could put this in for any character ever. Lan is a badass; well, the Pattern made him a badass.

 

 

If pattern needed Rand to learn from the best, indeed this could happen. Lan need not be badass because of pattern but the guy who teaches DR.

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Before i read this thread i was under the impression that everyone had to _love_ Cadsuane, seeing as i think she's one of the most awesome characters in the series. How can you not love that strict old granny type of person, once she gives a compliment you cant help but be overwhelmed at the immense respect she holds, and even a tiny nod or wink is like all the gold Mat has won at dice so far. Im definetely in the Love-Cadsuane camp, no doubt about it :P

Edited by Homasz

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