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Luckers

The Subtleties of Cadsuane

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Overall, if Cadsuane's a bully what does that make Rand? If she were a man I don't think she gets this kind of grief quite honestly- in fact she seems to share quite a lot in common personality wise with LTT back in his hay day.

 

You are absolutely right Cadsuanne would have been treated completely differently if she were a man, as a matter of fact, if she were a man, her head would have rolled the moment she struck Rand, and probably no one would have condemned him for it. If she were a man, she wouldn't get any grief at all, because she'd be dead.

 

Funny you should say that given the Borderlander prophecy... if Rand was the kind of person willing to balefire somebody for slapping him he was too dangerous to humanity to fight the Last Battle. Is the reaction of somebody that is becoming a borderline psychopath a good indication of how people deserve to be treated?

 

Is Paitar Nachiman a bully for doing exactly what Cadsuane did, and ultimately for exactly the same reason?

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Everything Cadsuane does she does for herself. Not for Rand, not for the WT, not for the world or the light.

She does it to improve her own image as a legendary Aes Sedai. Rand's supose to be her grand accomplishment. She probably wants her own name to replace Rands in the historybooks. To be remembered as the one behind the DO's defeat and Rand was only a tool she used.

 

Unless you claim her to be a darkfriend (or free of the three oaths), you can't mean that. She tells Rand her intentions straight out.

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I'm wondering why Moiraine seemed so convinced that Cadsuane was a darkfriend (in the prequel), and if that was supposed to be a hint. I never got that feeling at all. I personally like Cads for what she is, but I don't see why she has to be so manipulative when she seems perfectly happy being confrontational. Why play her cards so close and hide everything instead of being forthcoming and giving Rand (and the readers) real reason to trust her? I'm just not a fan of the sneakiness, and I don't know why she feels the need for it, what she feels like she would have to lose. Would her plans be so impossible by approaching them that way?

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Cadsuanne has always eluded my emotions somehow. Like Egwene, she's cool and all but I know I hate her. Rand, he's kind of an ass at times but I know I love her. Cadsuanne.. I just don't know.

 

 

The problem with Cadsuanne, is that for me she will always be in the shadow of Moiraine. This might not be completely fair, but as the AS closest to Rand (except perhaps Nynyaeve), she will be compared to Moiriane.

Now, I think it could be argued that had Moiraine went on her little holiday, Rand's personal problems would have been better. But it's also pretty safe to say that Cadsuanne couldn't meet with Rand the way Moiraine did.

 

Rand hates Aes Sedai. The only one he ever really trusted was Moiraine, and only really towards the end of her life as Rand saw it (he mentions this at some point, but I can't remember when). He was "raped" by Alanna, he was put in a box by Galina and the others, they are always trying to push and manipulate him; hell, he doesn't trust Egwene. So Cadsuanne was in a pressed position. She doesn't act like the other Aes Sedai; neither did Moiraine, and neither does Nynaeve. That's to her credit, she managed what only Moiraine really had been able to do before - knit close bonds to Rand despite being an Aes Sedai.

 

I like Cadsuanne, but I am really looking forward to Rand meeting Moiraine again. I wonder if he will pick her up and swirl her around. Wouldn't be to out of character now :)

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The problem with Cadsuanne, is that for me she will always be in the shadow of Moiraine. This might not be completely fair, but as the AS closest to Rand (except perhaps Nynyaeve), she will be compared to Moiriane.

Now, I think it could be argued that had Moiraine went on her little holiday, Rand's personal problems would have been better. But it's also pretty safe to say that Cadsuanne couldn't meet with Rand the way Moiraine did.

 

Rand hates Aes Sedai. The only one he ever really trusted was Moiraine, and only really towards the end of her life as Rand saw it (he mentions this at some point, but I can't remember when). He was "raped" by Alanna, he was put in a box by Galina and the others, they are always trying to push and manipulate him; hell, he doesn't trust Egwene. So Cadsuanne was in a pressed position. She doesn't act like the other Aes Sedai; neither did Moiraine, and neither does Nynaeve. That's to her credit, she managed what only Moiraine really had been able to do before - knit close bonds to Rand despite being an Aes Sedai.

 

I like Cadsuanne, but I am really looking forward to Rand meeting Moiraine again. I wonder if he will pick her up and swirl her around. Wouldn't be to out of character now :)

 

I like Cadsuane as a character, but I agree that she will always feel a bit like a retcon, that RJ discovered that Rand needed an Aes Sedai advisor but Moiraine was going to be gone longer than anticipated. We'll obviously never know if that was truly the case, but her introduction without any prior mention felt very awkward.

 

-- dwn

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All right, so this thread hit pause several months ago, but it looks like it did so a few times and was revived, so I'll go ahead and put my 2 cents in now as well.

 

First off, I am definitely in the Love Cadsuane camp. She's not perfect and yes, at times I do want to slap her, but then sometime people you love do things that you disagree with and in an extreme case you may just want to slap them.

 

Even when she is wrong though (and her having been big enough to admit when that did happen was definitely a point in her favor) I don't think I would have done differently in her shoes--and by the way, I've never been seen as a bully by anyone. After the centuries she's been kicking around and kicking a**, she certainly does have a right to think she's going to be far more often right than wrong. When she looks at others with disdain, they usually deserve it (I said usually, not always), and sometimes it's not even real disdain but simply a method of quickly testing the person's mettle to see who they really are underneath the social veneer.

 

And she really is more about extremely high standards than about bullying. She is what far too few people in this world or in Randland are--competent. And yes, she's impatient with the incompetence she's found in humanity for the last few hundred years, rightly so.

 

A point was made early in this thread about "stoooooooooopid" actions by far too many of the characters and wanting the characters to not be so ... flawed I guess you would say. The fact is that you can write a story where the characters are more noble or you can write a story where the characters grow into their nobility from a lower state, and either way can work. I admire the Sword of Truth series a great deal, and it's one of the few series I've read where the author pulls off having some characters (namely Richard and Kahlan) show themselves to be far more noble and wise then your average humanoid on planet Earth, and yet still make them real and very lovable. In WoT series, RJ shows the world the way some of us need to really confront that it has degraded to--he is capable of showing its beauty and wisdom as well as its pettiness, selfishness and stupidity, and sometimes even show where those intertwine in a person. I think that is one of the most brilliant aspects of the series and combining this with my own experiences of traveling the world and living life from many different perspectives, it contributed to my own ability to quickly learn to adapt my views of people and life.

 

By the time Cadsuane found Rand, he was not the same Rand that Moiraine was dealing with, and frankly if Moiraine was still around at that time I'm not sure even she would have been all that successful with using her old tactics of submission (or at always keeping herself in check when she sees Rand about to willingly punch an iron spike with his naked fist (metaphorically). When you're dealing with someone who has degenerated to a point of losing his sight of what humanity is all about, of what he's actually fighting for, of why life is so important and deserves to be preserved, well you don't really reason with a person like that. They're not in a "reasonable" mind-set and therefor not open to being reasoned with. Her tactics took this into account.

 

Yes, her barging in on him for her first introduction was excessively rude and even unnecessarily so, or at least so it would seem. That's what made it so brilliant. Someone earlier quoted where she had said that if you want to find out what a man is made of, you push him from a direction he doesn't expect. I'm not going to say I totally agree with this, but if her experience has told her that it's workable then I would of course expect her to use it as a workable philosophy. She did the absolute last thing he would have expected and got his attention by it. Otherwise Rand would likely have seen her as just another self-important person trying to manipulate him and relegated her to the same position as all the other AS trying to achieve their ends with him. In this way she pushed her way into his reality, actually became a real person to him, not just another talking head.

 

Sure, it didn't come off without a hitch, and yes it was mainly Min's intervention that made Rand keep her around right off. But I'm sure that she would have worked her way in without that anyway, this was just the pattern's (RJ's) way of speeding up the process so as not to add even more time to the storyline. And let's not forget that while she did not really know Rand yet, she did know that he was the DR and knew therefor that he would be dealing with the madness of the taint, among other pressures, and also knew from the prophecies she's read that there was a strong chance he wasn't going to make it sanely to the LB, and therefor might even now be insane (and potentially in need of her disposing of him if he had grown too ridiculously mad and dangerous to the world).

 

I don't think RJ wrote her poorly at all. I think he wrote her perfectly. Even her flaws are perfect. And I'm sure RJ must have understood that a lot of people wouldn't be able to appreciate her. He had to have understood that. After all, he had a good enough grasp of humanity's failings to know just how far below Cadsuane's standard's most of us have fallen.

 

I personally might not use her methods (in fact I don't) but I admire her for having the strength to do so when needed and I like to think that if I was in her shoes and felt the way she felt that I'd have the guts to go through with what seemed to her like the only way to get the job done.

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Everything Cadsuane does she does for herself. Not for Rand, not for the WT, not for the world or the light.

She does it to improve her own image as a legendary Aes Sedai. Rand's supose to be her grand accomplishment. She probably wants her own name to replace Rands in the historybooks. To be remembered as the one behind the DO's defeat and Rand was only a tool she used.

 

Uhh, then why did she claim no fame for being part of the Logain and Taim hunts? The Aes Sedai were surprised to find out she was even involved. If this was even remotely true she'd have been part of the procession through Caemlyn and had all the gasps of her returning with another captured MC.

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I read the first post before Cadsuane was introduced in my most recent reread. Cadsuane made a huge flaw, and its only made more glaringly obvious because of how the youngest AS in history explained very carefully how to avoid it.

 

For someone so experienced, she comes off half-cocked when she meets Rand. She "knows" Rand needs her, but Rand doesn't know that. And the theory Luckers put in the OP does make an excellent case that he does, and she did good. But she very nearly failed horribly - because of a lack of preparation. She didn't research Rand, she didn't learn about how he was - she (like many other Aes Sedai in the books) expected him to be awed by her mere presence. When he wasn't, she got snippy. Rand acted like a complete child, true - but if you are intending to help someone who you are afraid might be insane, perhaps you should start out with reading the chart, talking with some friends and family, and starting off armed with some information and context to start helping in. She doesn't do this, and at 300 years old - with the entire world at stake, she has no excuse.

 

I think she's no better than any other Aes Sedai, I don't think she's strictly a Bully anymore than any other Aes Sedai - she just has more pull than most. But she's unbearably stupid (or at least unquestioningly arrogant) - and could have made this a lot better if she hadn't been too hasty. I hate her, personally, but that's because of that glaringly huge mistake of a lack of research before she went about her good work.

 

Egwene, in TGS, explains in a very excellent way how to deal with The Dragon Reborn as someone who doesn't know him. I have to think its just Aes Sedai arrogance that didn't let any of the rest of them see the obvious steps one should take when dealing with something so delicate. It doesn't mean that Cadsuane had to act significantly different, but she would have been listened to far better had she started off on a better foot.

 

You can argue Cadsuane is exonerated by Rand turning into Rand Sedai - though I think there's a case that Rand curing his own madness (which is basically what happened), could have been done by Nyneave after the taint was cleansed (like she did for someone else), and that Rand was ALWAYS Rand Sedai who just hadn't accepted it yet and was going insane.

 

That being said, she's written brilliantly. Her characterization is amazing, and any character that can make you feel this strongly has to be done right.

Edited by Yamahako

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Cads loyalty and motivations are not in doubt..however some of her methods are stupid. Publicly humiliating the DR by either hitting him or disagreeing with him only undermine's him when he is trying to gather nations and people around him most of whom are reluctant to do so in the first place. Though I need to give her kudos on bravery in angering someone who could kill her easily.

 

Anyway on the second read..I found Cads more bearable because I know that it is leading upto the point when she pushes Rand over the top and then for all her bluster literally soils herself when faced with the Dragon's anger. :tongue:

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You can argue Cadsuane is exonerated by Rand turning into Rand Sedai - though I think there's a case that Rand curing his own madness (which is basically what happened), could have been done by Nyneave after the taint was cleansed (like she did for someone else), and that Rand was ALWAYS Rand Sedai who just hadn't accepted it yet and was going insane.

 

Nynaeve said herself she could do nothing for Rand.

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Actually that was her greatest triumph. If it hadn't been here Rand would never have been pushed to reconcile his issues.

 

I don't think that's a valid argument for anything. That's like saying Lanfear is a hero for setting the dark one free so that Rand could seal him up again.

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Actually that was her greatest triumph. If it hadn't been here Rand would never have been pushed to reconcile his issues.

 

I don't think that's a valid argument for anything. That's like saying Lanfear is a hero for setting the dark one free so that Rand could seal him up again.

Cadsuane helped to fix a problem. Lanfear created one in the first place. The two are rather dissimilar.

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Great OP Luckers :) and generally a great discussion, thanks!

 

I'm going to try to trim down some posts, otherwise this will be really, really long.

 

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.

 

So, by this I assume you mean after she'd distracted him in the middle of a battle with fog that was killing people by slapping him that allowed Fain to sneak up and almost kill him? Or how, despite knowing that even if he didn't have the sword with him then, that considering he's destined to use it in battle it might be a good idea to see if he knows about the flaw?

 

I'm not necessarily arguing that Cads was wrong about the balefire, (and it's worrying that Rands initial reaction is to use it,) from what we know balefire is necessary in some situations, she didn't know that, but she was aware they were in a battle. Slapping someone in that situation, probably not the best idea.

 

She shoulda/coulda mentioned the flaw in Callandor earlier.

 

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.

 

Agreed, with reservations. It seems that in some young people (myself especially) that being told to do something, even if I know its the right thing to do, depending on how it's said/suggested/told can make me want to do exactly the opposite. So given that Cads has more experience, generally has a good grasp of understanding people and that the world rests on one young mans stubborn shoulders... Given this can't Cads find a way to suggest he does something that doesn't put his back in every time?

 

...he wanted an excuse to kill Cads. Her apologizing probably would have given him an excuse in that moment. I don't get what you mean about similarities. Why should she alter her behavior? If you mean she should have seen that Semi could escape and devine where Cads had hidden an object that I don't beleive Semi should have even known she had....I don't think you can blame that on Cads. It seems like the only faults you guys can find with her is that she's not quite smart enough to anticipate every single action/reaction possible in the universe! Oh, and if you mean that Cads should have changed her image because it was similiar to Semi's? Not at all. Everyone from teachers to the president to dictators use certain images of authority to lead. That doesn't mean just because one does something horrible with that ability another shouldn't use it for positive things.

 

 

You misunderstood me. There's a difference between apologizing (which is something you do with people you care about whose feelings you've hurt) and taking responsibility for your faults (which is something you do with coworkers and superiors). THAT's the adult thing, every child can say that he's sorry (though most don't, and I agree it also takes a measure of maturity to apologize). You admit fault, and you make corrections so that you will never make this particular mistake again. And, like didymos, I simply don't buy into this "he just needed an excuse" theory. He already had his excuse. He waited to see how she'll react, and upon hearing her "I suppose you'd like an apology now" weakly @#$@ed response, decided to do his worst. He wasn't yet at the point of killing innocents, I think.

 

Lots of posts about whether or not Cads should have apologised, and this isn't really directed at the two posts above, they were just the ones I clicked on. I don't think anybody is arguing that Cads acted stupidly (or at least most people aren't) or that she didn't try her best. But in this case her best wasn't good enough. Obviously a fake apology is worthless, but why can't she admit that she made a mistake. Yes, the enemy had knowledge and abilities she couldn't have known they had, but it was still a mistake. (I also know that other characters, Rand included, made mistakes and didn't apologise, but we're not discussing those on this thread). I also wonder if there's a cultural difference amongst the readers showing here. As an extreme example, I'm English and sometimes apologise if soemone steps on my foot :) Generally it's if they apologise first, and in that case it's generally a polite acknowledgement. I'm not saying this is the way to go, it's quite frankly ridiculous. But in this case, from my cultural awareness, and upbringing Cads made a mistake and should apologise and there's no reason for it to be sincere. I apreciate that other cultures/upbringings would disagree with me, I'd also be happy to accept an acknowledgement that a mistake had been made, but she keeps backing away from it.

 

No, it wasn't, was it? I wonder why not?
VoG anyone? Rand with the CK is worse off than he is without it.

 

Yes and no, Rand used the CK as a balance against the TP.

 

- which to me is the prime reason she allows Alanna to accompany her. Also, if you were Cads, and you knew there was a hairbrained AS running around with a direct bond to the Dragon Reborn, a bond we know could be used to compel

 

Actually we (and Cads) know that she doesn't have the strength to compel Rand through the bond.

 

I vary wildly between really loathing Cadsuane, and finding her kind of cool. She's a tricky one to place. On the one hand, she doesn't seem to have the Aes Sedai focus of "The Tower must be respected and powerful above all and what's good for the Tower is good for the world!" She genuinely seems to be working for the good of the world- as Rand says, she does what she does because she wants Rand to fight the Last Battle, and she wants him not to destroy the world in the meantime. She doesn't seem to believe that the Tower as an organisation knows what is best for Rand. Of course, she is arrogant in the sense that she believes that SHE knows what is best for Rand, and that SHE should be respected... but unlike certain other AS, she has been around for hundreds of years, and become a legend amongst AS- in a lot of cases, she really does know what she is talking about, and is right irritatingly often. The problem is, she is a bully, and she is hugely proud. If someone doesn't show her respect and, in many cases, deference, then she's quite happy to manipulate, scold, humiliate and bully them until they do. In some cases, this can be a good thing- being someone who isn't bowing and scraping to Rand, and telling him some harsh truths when neccessary, her figuring out how to deal with Semirhage, etc. In some cases- her treatment of Tam when he grows angry with her, her refusal to apologise after the incident with the a'dam, etc- it really, really isn't. She is quite willing how to teach other people- Nynaeve, etc.- to swallow their pride when circumstance (or SHE) demands it, but it seems like, in her opinion, she's gone through life, she's done a lot, she's past the point where she's going to swallow her pride for someone else- and the fact is, it is neccessary for everyone, in day to day life, to swallow their pride sometimes, but especially when dealing with someone as volatile as Rand has been up to this point. I think at the end of the day, she is working with Rand for the right reasons. Some of her advice is very helpful, and even some of her actions may have helped Rand, but her attitude in general towards him and pretty much everyone else is terrible, she IS a bully, and she has a bucketload of the AS arrogance. I can't wait for her to meet the Tower AS- those she hasn't already met at least. She is both terribly frustrating and extremely entertaining to read. She's unflappable and often sarcastic, she is quite real, as a character- the grandma who has been there, done that, seen it all, and, as a consequence, thinks she knows it all, and makes sure everyone else knows her opinion... and turns out to be right frustratingly often. There's a few things I want to see happen with Cadsuane for her to make the progression to a great character in the last book. - I want to see her in battle. This is an extremely powerful AS, one who has faced down a Forsaken, albeit shielded, from the Ajah that's supposed purpose is to prepare for and fight the Last Battle. - I want to see her speak- to the other AS, perhaps, or to some nations, or perhaps all of them- in support of Rand, at some point. They are working together, now, Rand has lost the hardness that she wanted him rid of. It would be nice to see them working together rather than fighting each other. - I do NOT, NOT want her dumbed down so that another character can look good. She's an unlikeable character, yes, and she makes mistakes, and I would be quite happy to see her called on them at some point, but do not dumb her down to do it. So, yeah... Cadsuane has the potential to be awesome. In some ways she is. And yet, half the time I still want to slap her :P She is a puzzling character.

 

Could have just read your post and left the thread, pretty much what I think but can't articulate (the bolded bits particularly). I'm also going to throw in that I want to see her meeting with Mat. Mat plays the fool, a lot, and also seems to shun responsibility. SO by previous reactions Cads threats him like a child of 6. Except then Mat shows how awesome he is. So what then? Cos immediately afterwards he'll act the fool again.

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Actually that was her greatest triumph. If it hadn't been here Rand would never have been pushed to reconcile his issues.

 

I don't think that's a valid argument for anything. That's like saying Lanfear is a hero for setting the dark one free so that Rand could seal him up again.

Cadsuane helped to fix a problem. Lanfear created one in the first place. The two are rather dissimilar.

actually I think Cad did more to aggrivate the problem than to reconcile it.

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I really disliked Cadsuane... almost to the point of hating her. The main problem I have with her is the same that I have with most Aes Sedai: arrogance. To me, she's the Aes Sedai's Aes Sedai... the alpha Aes Sedai, if you will. And frankly, her introduction is pretty much designed to show how much Robert Jordan really likes this character. 

 

But when you really examine her, she's really a horrible bully. The answer why is simple: she believes she knows best. All the time, with anyone, regardless of their own histories, experiences, backgrounds, Cadsuane arrogantly believes that she's the only one with real common sense and focuses her time and energy on MAKING everyone around her see things her way. 

 

Sure, she dresses it up in pretty language like, "teaching them manners" but let's just for second say this was our world... what would this look like? 

 

The most unforgivable sin in my book is in Path of Daggers, Chapter 12: New Alliances, After Cadsuane found out about Alanna's forced bonding of Rand. In public, she condemns it. But in private, to herself... she admits she would have done the same thing!

 

  • "You will keep me fully informed, however, won't you, Alanna?" That was not a question. "Look at me, woman! If you dream of him, I want every detail!"
  •  
  • Unshed tears glistened in Alanna's eyes. "In my place you would have done the same!" 
  •  
  • Cadsuane scowled over the cup at her. She might have. There was no difference between what Alanna had done and a man forcing himself on a woman, but, the Light help her, she might have, had she believed it would help her reach her goal. Now, she no longer considered making Alanna pass the bond to her. Alanna had proved how useless that was in controlling him.

 

In other words... Cadsuane, to control Rand, would have raped him and abused him to the extent of taking away his free-will if the opportunity to do so presented itself... or at the very least, she'd strongly consider it. The only reason she doesn't CONDONE this action is because she can't use the bond Alanna made to control Rand! If it had worked, she would have demanded the bond and started making Rand do what she wanted, how she wanted.  

 

This is my biggest problem with her character, because again... that shows her unbelievable arrogance. She knows this would be morally wrong, but if the bond had worked to compel obedience, she freely admits to herself that she would have used it. 

 

This is wrong on so many levels!

 

To me, there's no defending this. You don't see Rand allowing someone around him to rape a woman because she'll be confused and pliable to his direction afterwards. Rand becomes very morally flexible about killing because he's in a war with the Shadow. He is beset on all sides by enemies. During this period in the books almost no-one is escaping the ugly-action stick... everyone is doing things that make us go, 'ewww'! But this took the cake for me. 

 

So with all her enlightened experience, does Cadsuane do the most sensible thing she could... you know... like TALK to him as a person? Does she try to get to the root of WHY he's trying to make himself so hardened? Nope... she slaps him for being rude and to start messing with his mind; which, by the way, seems a perfectly acceptable way to treat people in her book. 

 

I'm not saying Rand was a saint. The death of Moiraine started a chain reaction in Rand, (he admits this in Winter's Heart, Chapter 34), where he felt that it was due to his unwillingness to do what must be done, a woman died a senseless death. Ever since, (especially after his torture at the hands of Galina and again after his betrayal by the renegade Asha'man) he's become a worse and worse pill to swallow. But instead of tackling the root issue of his trauma from Moiraine's death, Cadsuane focuses on browbeating Rand. 

 

It's no surprise. She bullies everyone. She does have good ideas sometimes and she certainly came through in big ways when Rand was cleansing Saidin. I just think people cut her way too much slack. 

 

 

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Even if I don't like her way of bullying people  I do like that she does stand up to Rand, not many people does that in the series. When it comes to which Aes sedai that Rand trust I've always found it interesting that Rand dosen't counts Elayne among them, either he dosen't trust her or he dosen't see her as an Aes sedai. 

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Cadsuane IMO is clearly to me neither or not a clear portrayal of like heroism or bad things and so on...

 

It's complex portrayal of a person interacting with an extreme situation and trying to find the right solution

and reacting in basically a human sort of way.

 

This is a 10 year old topic I realized and people are posting in it still for that reason... Cadsuance's types of

behaviors and stuff are very common and can be identified in a number of different ways.

 

Discussing them is interesting as well...

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