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Nynaeve's Arc

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It's been bugging me how many Aes Sedai know balefire on sight, even though it's extremely forbidden. Perhaps the visual effect is described clearly in a tome somewhere. It's just that every time the Aes Sedai talk about it they are really round about, almost like how one speaks of Shaitan. How can anyone even really know what it is, if they can never learn it, and only speak about it in euphemisms. Every one of the Aes Sedai at Nyneave's testing seemed to know it on sight, instead of just thinking Nyneave created a particularly hot jet of fire.

 

Hell, I'm not even sure how Moiraine knew the weaves to make it. It's not like she was taught it and as far as I know weaves aren't found diagrammed in scrolls. And I'm pretty sure the weave to make it is extremely complicated (not possible to accidentally weave it) as well as requires more of the Power than your average Aes Sedai can wield unaided.

 

*shrug* I didn't blink twice when Nyneave instinctively channeled it, so I guess I have no ground to stand on being annoyed the sisters testing Nyneave also knew of it enough to identify it on sight. It wouldn't be that hard to find "Balefire: a bar of white light THAT IS FORBIDDEN" in scrolls in the library.

The women at Nyneave's testing where all Sitters except for the Mistress of Novices and Egwene (Egwene knows from her time with Rand and Mo) The Sitters would need to know a balefire weave because it could come up in a trial (one of the still AS all novices have to learn about could have used balefire).

 

Caudsaune being the poster child for the Green Ajah would have learned about during her many long years and research into the Ware of Power. Moiraine would have learned about it during her research into the Dragon Reborn she would need to research the Dragon. Balefire was used a lot in the first part of the war.

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Moiraine would have learned about it during her research into the Dragon Reborn she would need to research the Dragon.

 

Moiraine figured it out somewhere during tGH when she was away from Rand and the lads, probably from clues she pieced together from Vandene and Adeleas' documents. She tells Perrin in tDR, shortly after she used it on the Darkhounds, that she's "learned things in the past year" and that she is "more dangerous than when I came to Emond's Field."

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Moiraine would have learned about it during her research into the Dragon Reborn she would need to research the Dragon.

 

Moiraine figured it out somewhere during tGH when she was away from Rand and the lads, probably from clues she pieced together from Vandene and Adeleas' documents. She tells Perrin in tDR, shortly after she used it on the Darkhounds, that she's "learned things in the past year" and that she is "more dangerous than when I came to Emond's Field."

That's the given assumption, at least. Moiraine's statements are excellent Aes Sedai answers. I agree with you that she learned Balefire during TGH, also likely in the manner you described, but to play Devil's Advocate I wanted to point out that everybody learns things over the course of a year, and that Moiraine's willingness to use Balefire makes her more dangerous than her actual knowledge of Balefire. Also since her visit to Emond's Field she's become more experienced in warfare with the Power. The statements she made addressed Perrin's questions without actually answering them.

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Also since her visit to Emond's Field she's become more experienced in warfare with the Power.

 

I don't know about it. Moiraine and Lan seemed to have fought in the Blight quite a bit before they ever came to TR. Alone their first visit of the Eye required crossing the Mountains of Dhoom and fighting some unnamed horrible Shadowspawn in the process. Agelmar seemed to be quite familiar with Moiraine's fighting abilities too. Of course, she, like all of WoT female channelers had nearly always hampered herself by unimaginatively fighting with her weakest powers of Fire and Earth, but she was a veteran and pretty effective even so.

 

Also, Moiraine did some funky things with OP that we haven't see since, so it is not surprising that she could reinvent balefire from descriptions, IMHO.

Ditto, it is not surprising that the Sitters knew what a forbidden weave, use of which is a stilling offense, looks like.

 

And the SGs' unwillingness to kill DFs and FS in a fight had irritated me for volumes on end, until most of them got over it. Elayne _still_ shielding BAs in her fight in ToM made me want to scream.

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Also since her visit to Emond's Field she's become more experienced in warfare with the Power.

 

And the SGs' unwillingness to kill DFs and FS in a fight had irritated me for volumes on end, until most of them got over it. Elayne _still_ shielding BAs in her fight in ToM made me want to scream.

As far as we know, Nynaeve and Elayne still don't know about the purge do they? Egwene was about to tell them all about it when they were distracted by a spy and then when they started talking again the conversation went in another direction. Nothing was ever done about Duhara was there?

Edited by Charlz Guybon

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Like almost everyone else, I loved Nyneave in this book. In all honesty, I've been a big fan of her's from the get-go, so my reaction isn't at all surprising. As far as her actions healing the madness and during the testing, it didn't surprise me since she she also channeled during her testing for Accepted and that wasn't even supposed to be possible.

 

What I find funny is her relationship with Cadsuane..They butt heads continually and really get on each others nerves and yet fail to see that they are pretty much the same person...Cadsuane is what Nynaeve is going to be when she gets older and vice versa. A hundred years on (Assuming Avienadha's viewings are wrong), she's going to be as legendary.

 

After all, name me another Aes Sedai whosedone more than she has...Helped fight Balinor and Aginor, captured Mogiedehan, helped kill Rhavin, figured out where Greandal was, figured out how to remove compulsion, participated in cleansing Saiden, completely cured stilling in men and partially in women (it isn't her fault that a complete cure requries a channeler from a different gender), raised the Malkieri nation (and their allies) to ride to Tarwin's Gap and now has cured the madness.

 

Not too bad a resume for a legend in the making...

 

A fit heir to Cadsuane, IMHO..

 

tud

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The oath should be not to do harm with the one power..

 

Then you're just opening a semantic debate about whether using One Power as a corrective to their bad behavior is "helping" them or "harming" them.

 

First you need a universal, all-encompassing definition for "bad behavior." Then you need an equally universal and all-encompassing definition for both "help" and "harm." You'll never get those things.

 

 

In the last analysis, oaths are useless. They only act on what the oath taker truly believes, and as history amply demonstrates, human beings can rationalize anything. There simply is no set of foolproof oaths.

 

With channelers as with everything else in life, there are no guarantees. Nor can there ever be.

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It was instructive when Siuan said that Nynaeve took Rand's side too often...well, he's the damned Dragon Reborn, maybe he's right more often than you arrogant modern Aes Sedai.

 

Egwene didn't ask Rand why the seals needed to be broken, and Rand knew she would knee jerk oppose him like she did. He manipulated her into gathering allies whose loyalty he will seize for the last battle.

 

This book showed Egwene as being the same selfish arrogant loser she was back in Shadow Rising - Lord of Chaos who abused her friends to cover up her lies; like when she assaulted Nynaeve in TAR because Nynaeve almost disclosed to the Wise Ones that Egwene had been coming into TAR without their permission, something Egwene had promised not to do. I have hated her since that moment. She was pretty cool in TGS but only because she was opposing even worse individuals, namely Elaida and the Seanchan. Come to this book and she is stepping on Nynaeve and attempting to bind Perrin in the middle of a battle against the Black Ajah...ummm what?

 

Nynaeve should be a legend at this point but because of the poor communication between light side characters the details of her assistance in cleansing the taint are only just coming out. To top it off, she is the only Aes Sedai Rand presently trusts absolutely. Even when he was crazy, he fully trusted her. Rand is not aware that Moiraine is back and even Elayne has Andor and the White Tower dragging at her loyalty. I think Nynaeve's testing showed that Rand needn't fear that the Tower will change his favourite Aes Sedai.

 

However, I was really hoping Nynaeve would just kick the notion of becoming Aes Sedai. She wasn't a fan of the oaths earlier in the books, and with the Seanchan being an enemy almost as bad, or worse than the Shadow, why would you want to limit yourself? Don't you want to be able to strike first when you see a damane? Well, it's too bad. I don't think she can keep secret that she cured madness, it sounds like she took care of the Ashaman around Rand and they are all bound to Aes Sedai not bound to Rand (Cadsuane's crew). It is likely it will be blabbed. How many sisters will be powerful enough to pull it off is another question. She was pretty tired when she did it but that probably still left her in the top tier of Aes Sedai in terms of power. I would have LOVED if she had told Egwene to suck it and not bothered with becoming Aes Sedai at all. She will be Queen of Malkier and after helping Rand will be quite famous for a long time.

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However, I was really hoping Nynaeve would just kick the notion of becoming Aes Sedai. She wasn't a fan of the oaths earlier in the books, and with the Seanchan being an enemy almost as bad, or worse than the Shadow, why would you want to limit yourself? Don't you want to be able to strike first when you see a damane? Well, it's too bad. I don't think she can keep secret that she cured madness, it sounds like she took care of the Ashaman around Rand and they are all bound to Aes Sedai not bound to Rand (Cadsuane's crew). It is likely it will be blabbed. How many sisters will be powerful enough to pull it off is another question. She was pretty tired when she did it but that probably still left her in the top tier of Aes Sedai in terms of power. I would have LOVED if she had told Egwene to suck it and not bothered with becoming Aes Sedai at all. She will be Queen of Malkier and after helping Rand will be quite famous for a long time.

 

 

 

This is pretty much why I thought it would have made more sense for Nyneave to walk out of the Aes Sedai testing and for Rand to make her the first female Asha'man. And then Alivia would have been the second. And the three of them would wield Callandor in the final battle. It seems like those three in a circle, with the boost from the sa'angreal, would be able to turn the entire Blight into a parking lot.

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I was thinking about the light she sees in rands brain.

 

I think this is what rand wove with all the power from CK at DM. He might not have known what he did like when he used callandor the first times or CK at SL, when you hold a lot of power it just forms and he held A LOT. By using all that power he healed himself(he madness is now secure behind the light), integrated himself, enhanced his ta'veren ability and also made the bridge between him and saidin bigger like Nynaeve when she healed Siuan, that bridge just got huge!

 

That's why he can be badass at Maradon, he is using extra power from his light enhanced brain with LTTs knowledge on effetive OP warfare.

Edited by Padra

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He might not have known what he did like when he used callandor the first times or CK at SL, when you hold a lot of power it just forms and he held A LOT.

 

No, because he doesn't do that sort of completely unconscious, auto-channeling anymore. He's always aware of it now, and has been for a long time. He may not have always known exactly what he was making, but he always knew he was doing something. And no, the Power just doesn't form stuff by itself either. Doesn't matter how much you're holding, it still requires the channeler to actually want something to happen.

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Rand knew precisely what he was doing in SL. He didn't just pick up that place. Ofcourse no one can be certain of the outcome of something no one has done before.

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Never thought to say this but it seems Nynaeve is the one teaching AS to be less "well, if I started on this way I have continue b/c I will look stupid." Is this even the same woman I know? All in all, (and once again never thought to actually say this) she's starting to be in the list of great AS, you know, with Moir, Verin, Caddy (i most cases), and that crazy AS that Rand sees in his visions in the pillars.

 

I LIKED NYNAEVE A LOT IN THIS BOOK! (as much as it pains me to admit).

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CK at SL

 

That's why he can be badass at Maradon, he is using extra power from his light enhanced brain with LTTs knowledge on effetive OP warfare.

 

At SL he knew what he was making, it just didn't form in the way he had expected.

 

As for what happened at Maradon I'm putting that down to having all of LTT's memories. More and more we're seeing that while strength in the Power is great it is more about how well you can form and manipulate the weaves.

 

Really, with few exceptions, Nyn's strength only comes into play when she has to use a ton of different threads of Saidar('healing' the madness). She's always experimented with new ways of doing things. Aes Sedai do not try new things and they do not change the way a weave is formed because "that's the way it's always been done". Hopefully that will change.

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Thankfully Nynaeve has largely been trained or self trained outside of the Tower, and given her attitude going in, she's had the best chance along with Elayne to just learn things in new ways and not be limited. Hopefully Nynaeve doing things with the power no other Aes Sedai thought possible (healing madness and stilling, not to mention her way better method of healing), and becoming so famous will force other Aes Sedai, even outside of the Yellow, to challenge their beliefs about the Power.

 

I don't have the book with me, was the Yellow Ajah stepping up against Egwene? Nynaeve is going to become the most famous and high profile Aes Sedai so hopefully the Yellow falls into line behind her at some point. Let's be honest though, Nynaeve is more of a Lime Green than a Yellow, or Green.

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Thankfully Nynaeve has largely been trained or self trained outside of the Tower, and given her attitude going in, she's had the best chance along with Elayne to just learn things in new ways and not be limited. Hopefully Nynaeve doing things with the power no other Aes Sedai thought possible (healing madness and stilling, not to mention her way better method of healing), and becoming so famous will force other Aes Sedai, even outside of the Yellow, to challenge their beliefs about the Power.

 

I don't have the book with me, was the Yellow Ajah stepping up against Egwene? Nynaeve is going to become the most famous and high profile Aes Sedai so hopefully the Yellow falls into line behind her at some point. Let's be honest though, Nynaeve is more of a Lime Green than a Yellow, or Green.

 

It's hard to say with the Ajahs, since the clearest indications we get of the opinion of the Ajahs is the Sitters, but the true power inside the Ajah's seems to be the Ajah Heads. It is clear though that both Romanda and Lelaine (Sitters for Yellow and Blue respectively) have a long unresolved grudge match with Egwene. I know that Egwene's face off with Mesaana was a key moment in her character arc, but DAYUMN I wish Egwene would crush those two women once and for all. They have been a thorn in her side, and her authority for books now... I had thought with the backing of some equally aged and powerful and revered sisters Egwene would be insulated from their scheming, but I was wrong.

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Egwene's battle is to try to get Aes Sedai to stop pulling for positions of power and begin to work together for the good of the Tower and its purposes. I think she's restoring the definition of Aes Sedai (servants of all). The Seanchan kept damane, after all, because Aes Sedai were not viewed as servants of all, but rather women who used the Power to attain position and rule.

 

This isn't too far from how Aes Sedai have been up until recently. Romanda, Lelaine, Elaida...all women who were viewed as ambitious and looking for opportunity. Sheriam sought position (though she was Black Ajah), and Alviarin was described as being "ambitious enough for two" (though she was also Black Ajah). Nynaeve serves truly because she cares very much about what she is doing. She doesn't want to BE Aes Sedai as it's defined by the women of the Tower. She doesn't care about position of authority unless that position better puts her in a place where she can serve (i.e. for Nynaeve serve in Healing or even practical politics) The Hall of the Tower's job has been mostly to try to undermine the Amyrlin Seat and rule the Tower, while the Amyrlin has tried to bypass the Hall and rule the Tower.

 

Egwene seeks to establish a new Aes Sedai structure, where Aes Sedai serve the people around them, just as they did in the Age of Legends and Nynaeve represents the achievment of what she is trying to do in the Tower. She is powerful, very powerful. And yet she does not wish to use that power to attain anything but the opportunity to continue to Heal.

 

I love Nynaeve's character. She's always been one of my favourites.

Edited by balefireruinssteaks

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I really don't understand the Egwene hate. I really, really don't get it. I mean, in something like 8 months, she goes from being an apprentice to an attempted puppet leader, to being the actual leader who freaking saves the White Tower (probably the most important organization on the side of Light that exists) from itself and the Black Ajah and then takes down a forsaken of her own. And yet, she gets dinged for... i dunno what. Thinking that the plan of a guy who might be dangerously insane might be a bad one?

 

The flaw in your logic is that you think everyone believes the White Tower is probably the most important organization on the side of Light that exists. Most people I have talked to believe that the White Tower is a corrupt organization at best. Up until recently they have used manipulation, deceit, bullying, power mongering (Daes Dae'mar, politics, etc), and their monopoly on the One Power to brow beat anyone they can get hold of into line. They believe they know best and that other people should just kindly fall into line.

 

snipped really long rant about incredible flaws in their philosophy that practically make them useless as an organization. Even after being shown time and time again how flawed their concepts are, Egwene has continued to embrace their ridiculous behaviors. Now she is the chief champion of those behaviors and has given up a lot of what made her a great character to make herself the head witch. The whole bit with Gawyn and the three Bloodknives proves this. She is so hell bent on forcing him to trust her instincts that she runs rough shod over his, and nearly gets them both killed for it. Typical AS bs. I expect she will require him to thank her or apologize or both for the whole situation before the whole series is over. I have said this before, the AS need humbling at least one more time in this series, Egwene as much as the rest of them.

 

Nyneave is refreshing compared to that. BTW, I hope she doesn't take those oaths. They are such a joke. Why take them to prove your trustworthiness if you are going to use logic games to obfuscate the truth anyways.

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The whole bit with Gawyn and the three Bloodknives proves this. She is so hell bent on forcing him to trust her instincts that she runs rough shod over his, and nearly gets them both killed for it. Typical AS bs. I expect she will require him to thank her or apologize or both for the whole situation before the whole series is over.

 

In her POV while he was bleeding to death, it's noted that she felt like a fool because Gawyn had been right. Shortly after that, he started in on how he'd disobeyed her again and she said that, technically, she'd already asked him to return so he hadn't. He insisted that he had, and she simply replied that he'd saved her life, and then told him he'd done the right thing and agreed that on matters of her protection, Gawyn pretty much had free rein from then on. But you were saying?

Edited by didymos

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The whole bit with Gawyn and the three Bloodknives proves this. She is so hell bent on forcing him to trust her instincts that she runs rough shod over his, and nearly gets them both killed for it. Typical AS bs. I expect she will require him to thank her or apologize or both for the whole situation before the whole series is over.

 

In her POV while he was bleeding to death, it's noted that she felt like a fool because Gawyn had been right. Shortly after that, he started in on how he'd disobeyed her again and she said that, technically, she'd already asked him to return so he hadn't. He insisted that he had, and she simply replied that he'd saved her life, and then told him he'd done the right thing and agreed that on matters of her protection, Gawyn pretty much had free rein from then on. But you were saying?

I was saying, "I expect she will require him to thank her or apologize or both for the whole situation before the whole series is over." Because this is exactly what I expect out of the character after having read the series for 20 years. If the incident with the Bloodknives humbled her at all, we are yet to see that. Just because she admitted her fault in one conversation doesn't say that her whole character has changed and she is willing to accept the advice of others. She is still a 18-19 year old who thinks she has the wisdom of the ages.

 

I am not saying this because she opposes rand, I am saying this because half of her decisions are so poorly thought out. The Bloodknife bit, the gathering of the armies to "oppose rand" after she already has heard other AS say that they could not say or do anything while Rand was in the room, holding on to the 3 oaths because people will be more willing to trust them, etc, these things are adding up to a series of failures to think that are undermining all of the advancement she has made over the last few books. It really feels like she is being set up as a stooge. The only thing she has going for her is that she has so far beaten the AS at their own game. How messed up is that? She is being set up as a stooge and she is the leader of a group of people that are supposed to be one of the most influential groups in their part of the world.

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The whole bit with Gawyn and the three Bloodknives proves this. She is so hell bent on forcing him to trust her instincts that she runs rough shod over his, and nearly gets them both killed for it. Typical AS bs. I expect she will require him to thank her or apologize or both for the whole situation before the whole series is over.

 

In her POV while he was bleeding to death, it's noted that she felt like a fool because Gawyn had been right. Shortly after that, he started in on how he'd disobeyed her again and she said that, technically, she'd already asked him to return so he hadn't. He insisted that he had, and she simply replied that he'd saved her life, and then told him he'd done the right thing and agreed that on matters of her protection, Gawyn pretty much had free rein from then on. But you were saying?

 

the point is that this:

"My name is Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran. The message I want sent is this. My husband rides from World's End toward Tarwin's Gap, toward Tarmon Gai'don. Will he ride alone?" and after encountering resistance, she says: "Lan told me once that Malkier lives so long as one man wears the hadori in pledge that he will fight the Shadow, so long as one woman wears the ki'sain in pledge that she will send her son to fight the shadow. I wear the ki'sain, Master Aldragoran. My husband wears the hadori. So do you. Will Lan Mandragoran ride to the Last Battle alone?"

 

clearly trumps whatever Egwene allegedly said or did in that scene

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Some of the reasons why I love Nynaeve is she has never lost that old school integrity of the Two River's Wisdom, it's not that she's a simple country village rube, but she, unlike almost all other Aes Sedai, will actually say what she means, and get to the point rather than trying to manipulate you into some direction.

 

Also she has discovered a new method for Healing, she has discovered it's possible to heal stilling, she has discovered (at least in this age) it's possible to heal madness, and she helped cleanse the taint from Saidin.

 

Aside from all these accomplishments I think she has tremendous potential as an Aes Sedai not only for her outstanding talents with channeling, but also her intuitive gifts as a human being, i.e. her straight forwardness. I remember some part in TGS when Nynaeve brought up to some other Aes Sedai who was very weak in the power that the system by which Aes Sedai determine their rank was fatally flawed and just did not make sense on a fundamental level (which no other Aes Sedai would ever do because it's extremely rude). Akin to this is after her testing when she tells Egwene and the other Aes Sedai present that she would've rather failed the testing for Aes Sedai that let one child starve or let her husband be killed by Darkhounds or something to this effect, which was a very radical idea to the authoritarian nature of the White Tower.

 

I predict that after the LB, which Nynaeve will undoubtedly play a very important role in, she will forever change the way that channelers in the White Tower relate with one another and many of the traditions which have been unquestionably followed for so very long.

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The whole bit with Gawyn and the three Bloodknives proves this. She is so hell bent on forcing him to trust her instincts that she runs rough shod over his, and nearly gets them both killed for it. Typical AS bs. I expect she will require him to thank her or apologize or both for the whole situation before the whole series is over.

 

In her POV while he was bleeding to death, it's noted that she felt like a fool because Gawyn had been right. Shortly after that, he started in on how he'd disobeyed her again and she said that, technically, she'd already asked him to return so he hadn't. He insisted that he had, and she simply replied that he'd saved her life, and then told him he'd done the right thing and agreed that on matters of her protection, Gawyn pretty much had free rein from then on. But you were saying?

 

the point is that this:

"My name is Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran. The message I want sent is this. My husband rides from World's End toward Tarwin's Gap, toward Tarmon Gai'don. Will he ride alone?" and after encountering resistance, she says: "Lan told me once that Malkier lives so long as one man wears the hadori in pledge that he will fight the Shadow, so long as one woman wears the ki'sain in pledge that she will send her son to fight the shadow. I wear the ki'sain, Master Aldragoran. My husband wears the hadori. So do you. Will Lan Mandragoran ride to the Last Battle alone?"

 

clearly trumps whatever Egwene allegedly said or did in that scene

 

Your point is that Nynaeve got a cool speech, and said cool speech is better than Egwene's dialogue in that scene? Sure, fine. It's a nice speech. Totally irrelevant to Gary's prognostication of Egwene forcing Gawyn to apologize for saving her life and/or thank her for refusing to bond him before that, though. Which, as I noted, has already been proven false.

Edited by didymos

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I'm just thinking of a Nyn and Cauddy conversation with just the two of them. I can see Cauddy getting upity and Nyn saying something along the lines of, "Shut up and fetch me some tea."

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