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Discuss Aviendha's Arc

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To a greater extent I agree with you BladeDancer - pretty obvious if you've read my theories on the subject. The only thing in error is that the Aes Sedai are not from the Age of Legends. This has been confirmed by Jordan.

 

The other is if their main purpose is to view the future or the past. I doubt we'll ever get this answer though. What we can agree on though is that whether or not they're meant to view the future or past, their main objective is to prepare the Aiel. They do not work for any other people but the Aiel so this link is there.

 

As to why the Aiel didn't use them to view their future prior to Rhuiedan the answer lies in their constant traveling. The Jenn didn't stop moving until they came to Rhuidean. As to why they chose that spot is also left unanswered, most likely that answer lies in foretellings, dreams or some other premonition.

 

One of the many themes Jordan throws around is that change is good. The Aiel are very stubborn in their ways and this is the kick they need to get their shiat together.

 

As to whether this future could be avoided if Avinedha simply told her kids not to be dicks, I doubt that's enough. The Aiel as a people feel betrayed by Rand. Simply telling her kids will not be enough to lay their bitterness aside. Their future would at best only be postponed.

 

Well, for the chosen spot I would say water underneath might be it.

 

If RJ confirmed that AS were not from the AoL than that raises a series of questions starting with didn't the knowledge of how to make TA was lost in the Breaking? RJ is not wrong but something doesn't add up.

 

I have to disagree with you on Aiel being stubborn - I'd say adaptability is probably crucial to their survival in the desert and what people would actually accept their past as stoically as they did? Imagine if there was a completely proven beyond any doubt fact that let's say Jesus was a visitor from Mars and we all just an experiment. Can you imagine a reaction from our society - our belief system would collapse following by everything else in a heart beat. Aiel actually took it pretty good considering.

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I think people are way too focused on giving Seanchan a bad rap. Are they bad? Oh yes, certainly. So are many other cultures, but we aren't talking about how the Tairens, who hated how Rand wanted them to stop being able to rape women and kill commoners are as bad as the Dark One.

 

Are Seanchan bad? Yes. But as Rand said, their part of the country is peaceful, orderly, and safe. All the Tinkers are there, because the Seanchan let them live as they want, as long as they don't cause trouble. Seanchan don't, as someone said they did, change cultures on the main. They do become subservient to the Seanchan Empress and so on, but how is this different than just about any conquering culture, it's not necessary OMG EVIL.

 

The a'dam? That is. Slavery? Well, that is as well, though at least the Seanchan have turned it into a bureacratic system where slaves have some protection, much like certain periods of history.

 

Seanchan are not perfect. They're probably among the worst of the Wheel of Time. But they're also among the best. Ironically, much like the Aiel, who have their own major faults. It just seems that people get ticked off more by the Seanchan and are willing to ignore the Aiel doing stuff like being slave traders, thinking that fighting among themselves for little reason is fine, and their inability to avoid violence (look at Aviendha's columns view!)

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The a'dam? That is. Slavery? Well, that is as well, though at least the Seanchan have turned it into a bureacratic system where slaves have some protection, much like certain periods of history.

 

Generally I agree, except that the a'dam slavery is pretty demeaning - I don't think you defend that easily as opposed to so'jihn slavery which is more like hereditary caste.

 

I re-read the passage and somewhat suspect this might just be the only future. Aviendha makes a big deal out of how the future she sees feels unchangeable. As for why she didn't go running to the other WOs and publish what happens as a warning, well, who knows? There are plenty of instances where people could have just said something and made everything a lot easier.

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Generally I agree, except that the a'dam slavery is pretty demeaning - I don't think you defend that easily as opposed to so'jihn slavery which is more like hereditary caste.ws? There are plenty of instances where people could have just said something and made everything a lot easier.

 

I was actually splitting up a'dam and the other forms of slavery the Seanchan use. :)

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My interpretation is that Aviendha accidently (or at least unconsciously) altered the function of the crystal pillars ter'angreal when she was trying to figure out what it's original purpose was. She is thinking that a ter-angreal of this magnitude could not have been created by anyone save for the Age of Legends Aes Sedai, not even the Aes Sedai who created Rhuidean, only that they probably set up it's function to remind the nomadic Aiel of their history and their purpose as a people in fulfilling the prophecies.

 

I think she slightly altered the function of the ter'angreal so that instead of showing the history of one's people, it would show a potential future of one's descendents should that person fail to do something very important in their life. I predict that it will still maintain a very meaningful status in Aiel culture, with Wise One's and Clan Chiefs entering the crystal ter'angreal to see what visions it shows them should they fail to do what is needed. Perhaps this is not the exact function of the ter'angreal, but I do think Wise One's and clan chiefs will continue to enter it, except instead of being just a intense history lesson, it will take on a whole new meaning and be a whole new test for the Aiel leaders.

 

Perhaps by merely altering the function of the crystal ter'angreal, Aviendha took an important step towards averting the fate of her people as it was shown in her visions in the ter'angreal. Perhaps now the Wise One's and Clan Chiefs will still maintain something that binds them together in a deeper and more meaningful way down through the generations that may prevent their decay and demise.

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Avi went through the columns a second time which nobody previously has done. The Wise Ones stated it in the Shadow Rising that it was death to do so. Obviously it is not the case. Avi has no skill with ter'angreal that we know of. It's just she was the first to go against the strong tradition of only going through once. Previously, one time had been terrifying enough that nobody would want to relive the shame and go through again.

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yeah but something happened before she even entered it a second time. just by touching it she sensed something and i think that something changed about the ter'angreal in that moment.

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yeah but something happened before she even entered it a second time. just by touching it she sensed something and i think that something changed about the ter'angreal in that moment.

 

I think going in it twice shows the future of the Aiel which is the decline, and thus even those who barely make it through looking at the past and learning that the Aiel followed the way of the leaf - those people can't stand the thought of the Aiel going down like that and they end up not surviving.

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yeah but something happened before she even entered it a second time. just by touching it she sensed something and i think that something changed about the ter'angreal in that moment.

 

I think going in it twice shows the future of the Aiel which is the decline, and thus even those who barely make it through looking at the past and learning that the Aiel followed the way of the leaf - those people can't stand the thought of the Aiel going down like that and they end up not surviving.

 

Bingo. Good catch!

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yeah but something happened before she even entered it a second time. just by touching it she sensed something and i think that something changed about the ter'angreal in that moment.

 

I think going in it twice shows the future of the Aiel which is the decline, and thus even those who barely make it through looking at the past and learning that the Aiel followed the way of the leaf - those people can't stand the thought of the Aiel going down like that and they end up not surviving.

 

Bingo. Good catch!

 

I totally agree, I just read Aciendha's multiple glimpses forward as her surviving longer than any previous WO had, not because it was intrinsically impossible for the previous WO's, but that Avi was made of stronger stuff. Possibly because the future hinged so precisely on her own bloodline her sense of Toh made it impossible for her to give up and die. Surely, Avi's present experiences in the wetlands, the witnessing of the Shaido schism and the knowledge of the Last Days has prepared her subconscious mind for the most dismal possibilities making her resistant to the revelations of the Aiel's future.

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yeah but something happened before she even entered it a second time. just by touching it she sensed something and i think that something changed about the ter'angreal in that moment.

 

I think going in it twice shows the future of the Aiel which is the decline, and thus even those who barely make it through looking at the past and learning that the Aiel followed the way of the leaf - those people can't stand the thought of the Aiel going down like that and they end up not surviving.

 

Bingo. Good catch!

 

 

No bingo. Decent guess built on a possibility, no actual evidence that Aviendha isn't the only one to have gone through twice.

Edited by didymos

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Forgive me if someone has already brought this up, but I think there is already a way out of this future.

 

The main problem, according to Padra on p733, is: "What was it to be Aiel, now that their duty to the past has been fulfilled, their toh as a people cleansed?"

 

On that same page, Alalved says, "Skirmishes between the nations are common, though none speak of them. The Car'a'carn required promises of the monarchs, but there is NO ENFORCEMENT."

 

I think the Aiel will become an international police force, responsible for enforcing the Dragon's Peace. This gives them a purpose that also doesn't make them completely abandon their cultural heritage. Now, having Avi convince Rand to do this, given he's speaking at the FoM in a few hours, is another story.

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I totally agree, I just read Aciendha's multiple glimpses forward as her surviving longer than any previous WO had, not because it was intrinsically impossible for the previous WO's, but that Avi was made of stronger stuff

 

Where do you get that from? Not the visions, that's for sure. Aviendha only appears as a face in one person's memory. Besides which, lifespan isn't a matter of willpower or mental toughness. Consider the Wise One Mora, who was thought to be almost three hundred and looked no older than Amys or Melaine. She only died because a highly poisonous snake bit her. Plus, the idea that no other Wise One weren't psychologically tough enough, and none so tough as Aviendha, is kinda laughable.

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I totally agree, I just read Aciendha's multiple glimpses forward as her surviving longer than any previous WO had, not because it was intrinsically impossible for the previous WO's, but that Avi was made of stronger stuff

 

Where do you get that from? Not the visions, that's for sure. Aviendha only appears as a face in one person's memory. Besides which, lifespan isn't a matter of willpower or mental toughness. Consider the Wise One Mora, who was thought to be almost three hundred and looked no older than Amys or Melaine. She only died because a highly poisonous snake bit her. Plus, the idea that no other Wise One weren't psychologically tough enough, and none so tough as Aviendha, is kinda laughable.

 

Wait, may I wasn't clear, i didn't mean surviving (as in she lived a long life), I meant specifically surviving more viewings--than the prescribed ONLY GO THROUGH THE CRYSTALS ONCE rule.

 

I don't know if it's laughable--that previous apprentices mentally collapsed when showed the last moments of their people. We can't completely disregard how much the Aiel's way of life means to them, and how hopeless they feel outside of it. Ok ok, I'll compromise and say that many WO's were/are strong enough to weather the shock of their ultimate downfall, but custom prevented them from trying, and presumably any who did go in for more didn't live to tell?

 

Hm, all this stuff is us trying to rationalize an evolving storyline. Maybe the author(s) changed their mind about how the thing worked for the sake of drama, moving a plot line, or because it was cooler this way

(I am reminded of how Traveling seemed to evolve from when we first saw it, then were in the head of a Forsaken who thought about it, and later learned how it worked with Rand. It seemed to go from teleportation to what we now know, with gateways).

Anyway, I just don't buy the idea that Aviendha's Talent to scry the ter'angreal somehow CHANGED how it worked.

Edited by kidicaris

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I totally agree, I just read Aciendha's multiple glimpses forward as her surviving longer than any previous WO had, not because it was intrinsically impossible for the previous WO's, but that Avi was made of stronger stuff

 

Where do you get that from? Not the visions, that's for sure. Aviendha only appears as a face in one person's memory. Besides which, lifespan isn't a matter of willpower or mental toughness. Consider the Wise One Mora, who was thought to be almost three hundred and looked no older than Amys or Melaine. She only died because a highly poisonous snake bit her. Plus, the idea that no other Wise One weren't psychologically tough enough, and none so tough as Aviendha, is kinda laughable.

FWIW, I don't think it's likely that anyone else has done the forward leap because it started for her only when she did something she has a rare Talent for.

Avi is however, among very few (maybe the only WO) to have gone through post-alcair dal.

No new chiefs have been raised except maybe Bendhuin, and I'm assuming not too many WOs.

The past revelation is no shocker where Avi's concerned.

So she has only one shock to deal with.

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Aviendha is first WO to make Rhuidean trip since big reveal. Much easier for me to understand this way.

 

Yup agree. A lot easier to live through the head trip of the crystals, if you're living through the Aiel civil war, the End Times and the fact that that horrible future is preventable by you--as the mother of the four children with the swing votes for war with the Seanchan.

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Aviendha is first WO to make Rhuidean trip since big reveal. Much easier for me to understand this way.

 

Yeah, so her first trip wasn't distressing at all. She has been thinking and pining about it for months. The second trip was a rough one though, but instead of being a double whammy as it would have been for someone who did the two trips right after one another she still only gets one "whammy" as it were.

 

I expect Rand to fix it with some Zen motto. Honor is not the goal, honor is gained when reaching for a goal. Or something like that.

Edited by Haran

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It's been considered that the function of ter'angreal in this Age might not be the original function of the ter'angreal when it was made...so that certainly gives way to the idea that Aviendha altered the function of the Rhuidean ter'angreal with her Talent, or at least activated a different function of it.

 

I also think that ter'angreal are defined as items with a specific funtion that utilize the One Power to achieve that function. So...a dream ter'angreal would enable a person to enter Tel'aran'rhiod easily and that is its specific task. If Aviendha held one, I don't think her Talent would suddenly make it able to transport you to other worlds or something as well.

 

Perhaps the ter'angreal was designed to show the past AND future and that was it, but the idea of being bombarded with THAT much revelation of how different the Aiel were would indeed kill them...so it became tradition to only go through the Columns one time and to endure that truth. Aviendha went through twice and discovered the full function of the ter'angreal. When she read it, it just seemed too vast...to large...so it was probably designed to read and recreate the lines of the Pattern that were and will be...which would indeed make it vast.

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FWIW, I don't think it's likely that anyone else has done the forward leap because it started for her only when she did something she has a rare Talent for.

 

I don't either, but I still think the idea that only Avi of all the WOs past and present had the fortitude to handle the future visions is silly.

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It should be noted that when Aviendha tries to discern the nature of the pillars she notices a... not necessarily a sentience but an intelligence before her future visions begin. As with many things in Randland, I suspect the pillars respond to need and until that point, what the Aiel needed was to be reminded of their past and their purpose. What Aviendha needed when she first came was to pass the Wise One test and so the pillars responded with the generic visions. After that though, what Aviendha needed was to sort out the future of the Aiel, triggered partly by her encountered with Nakomi, and so the pillars responded by showing her what she needed to see.

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And what you seem to be forgetting is that things can be changed. No two iterations of the same Age are identical, and the more iterations, the greater the differences. And not all visions are certainties. That and the Pattern is currently being disrupted by the DO. Many of the things happening are not supposed to be happening. Time may be circular, but it is not eternally fixed into one unchangeable Pattern. If it were, there would be no possibility of the DO escaping. The Prophecies wouldn't say that Rand only has a chance to win.

 

Small changes, not major changes such as a civilization not coming into being at its appointed time, or a civilization being scattered at its appointed time. Or Lanfear deciding to not go through with her experiment to release the dark one. Or the discovery of the One Power not happening. I wouldn't consider the rise of the Empire and the downfall of the Aiel to be an 'optional' event. If the weaving didn't have to maintain certain norms, then there would be no point to Ta'veren to correct the weave to form the ages.

 

Btw, just curious... where did the idea that the more iterations, the greater the differences come from?

 

Just coming back to this conversation, since I happened to run across the answer to this in the Guide (or are the kids calling it the White Book these days?):

 

In this world there is no one beginning or one end, for each spoke of the great Wheel represents one of the seven Ages, receding into the past and returning in the future as the Wheel spins, the fabric of each age changing only its weave and pattern with each passing. With every pass the changes vary to an increasingly greater degree. For each Age there is a separate and unique pattern, the Pattern of the Age, which forms the substance of reality for that age. This design is predetermined by the Wheel and can only partially be changed by those lives which make up the threads within the weave.

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Even though seanchan rule would not be so bad, the complete conquest and assimilation of all the kingdoms and organizations we have enjoyed reading about for 13000 pages is not a happy ending.

 

If I wanted to read about relatively happy, prosperous, and obediant lower-middle-class society, I would not be reading fantasy genre novels. I would be reading the newspaper.

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Hmm, perhaps Avi will still her babies in the womb to stop the problem.

 

It's not their ability to channel that is the problem, it's how they think, their lack of morals/ethics. Maybe more their sense of entitlement. "We can do whatever we want because we weren't specifically included in the Dragon's Peace."

 

If Rand ends up leaving them out, it's probably because he figures they have enough honor that they don't need to be explicitly told. From what we are shown, the breakdown seems to result from a general lack of adults. It appears to be a Lord of the Flies future; children wrestling with issues they don't have the maturity to understand.

 

If Aviendha wants to abort that future, she needs to figure out what happened to all the adults and prevent their demise.

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