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I'm also curious on a scale depicting Rand at 100 as to what people think he can hold with Callandor and the Choedan Kal.


I equate Callandor (in Rand's hands) to the destructive potential of a Fission bomb (destroy a small city), but the Choedan seems like it's ridiculously out of everything else's league. Global scale?


That would have Callandor bumping Rand somewhere from 1000 to 5000, and the Choedan Kal to the number "really freaking high"

Edited by Haftarun8
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Knife of Dreams book tour 11 October 2005, NYC - Syraelle reporting

Re: bulk "strength" in the power

RJ reiterated that men were stronger than women by a couple of levels, including Lanfear [whom he reiterated was a woman after all]; but then he also reminded us that that did not take into account the dexterity factor.


Re: Lanfear and Rand at the docks.

RJ: She was just toying with him using her angreal, [while he used the little fat man]. They were pretty well matched.

Q: Was Rand correct in his estimation (based on Lews Therin's memories) that he could end it if he wanted to?

RJ: Yes. But of course, Rand couldn't.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe there weren't any women among the top 10 Forsaken. (At least not during the AoL?)

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Lanfear is several levels below Ishamael and Rand. She is the strongest woman, Rand is the strongest male, males are several tiers higher than women.


So it is most likely this


LTT and Ishmael - Sure (BWB)

Aginor - Sure (BWB)

Demandred - Sure (always a step behind LTT) (BWB)

Lanfear - Sure (Most powerful female)

Bear in mind that the second strongest Chosen overall was supposed to be a toss up between Aginor and Lanfear. Demandred always being a step behind has been brought up before as a justification to put him above both of them. Of course, the information we have isn't always clear, it is often open to interpretation. But you didn't put either Asmo or Moggy at the bottom, so you get a thumbs up from me.



Werent Asmodean described as the weakest forsaken?


Not certain, just going by my memory.

No. Much as with Moghedien, Asmodean has never been placed by either the books or by any RJ or BS statement I am aware of at the bottom of the strength rankings for the Chosen. We only know that they are not the strongest (we do have statements for those positions), but for all we know Asmo could be a little below Aginor, equal to Demandred, while Moggy looks down on Graendal, Semi and Mesaana. The placement of those two near the bottom is generally due to strength of character - both are cowards - which has no bearing on strength in the Power.
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Honestly, this is a rather futile exercise, considering the inherent self-contradiction of this statement:

Men can be much stronger than women in the pure quantity of the Power that they can channel, but on a practical level, women are much more deft in their weaving and that means the strongest possible woman can do just about anything that the strongest possible man could, and to the same degree.
It would appear that the great majority of the textual evidence supports the first claim rather than the second (the weaker woman can lift just as much weight as the stronger man because of her deft touch), however. So count me in with those that say Lanfear is probably weaker than every male Forsaken except Asmodean and maybe Balthamel. The scale on the chart Haftarun8 posted seems exaggerated, though.
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I don't think the strongest woman can beat the strongest man in an OP duel. Asha'man were feared whilst Aes Sedai were sneered at - from the Forsaken point of view. Though it is true that Egwene and others have defeated them (Mesaana & others). Maybe they shouldn't have sneered at anyone.

Edited by Nightstrike
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I don't think the strongest woman can beat the strongest man in an OP duel. Asha'man were feared whilst Aes Sedai were sneered at - from the Forsaken point of view. Though it is true that Egwene and others have defeated them (Mesaana & others). Maybe they shouldn't have sneered at anyone.


There's a few reasons for that I'd say.. first the Asha'man are living weapons. The Aes Sedai are washed-up has-beens living in their ivory tower getting fat off their own PR campaign. The Asha'man are not bound by any oaths. If you piss one of them off he'll blow your head off with the Power. If you shield him and piss him off he will stab you with his sword. If you shield him, remove his sword and piss him off then he'll kill you with his bare hands.


Plus, very importantly, the Forsaken remember what the Aes Sedai used to be. It's a bit hard not to sneer at what they have become.

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Where did you get the idea that strength didn't matter in the AoL? There are certainly textual indications that it did matter.


I don't honestly know where it's came from. I have always thought it was simply self evident. Look at the fact that most works in the AoL where done through the use of rings/circles. So individual strength would not matter much. I would like to see your textual evidence that it did matter. I just don't see it.


The fact that the strongest male channelers were the ones to attempt to seal the bore, for example. So I am curious where that interpretation came from.


Well, I did say pre-War. But even then, where is it said the strongest in sheer volume of the Power accompanied Lews Therin to seal the Bore? Lews Therin would have wanted the Aes Sedai with the best weaving ability. When placing the Seal on the Bore each man was doing his part on his own. Say seven of the Hundred Companions were those chosen to place the Seal. Those seven had to work isolated because they couldn't link. Really, the Sealing has to be one of the most amazing acts of channelling in recorded history.

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Here's some more one power dynamics theories by Sidious and other contributors on a thread from readandfindout.com. The one power was treated as a science in the Age of Legends, and it's likely they had calculations of strength and potential of angreal, sa'angreal similar to this. I'm not sure how he came up with the math for this but I have yet to find any counter to this with as much thought and calculation. It's not a ranking list but it may help explain or give people a more quantitative view of what people's relative strengths are in the series.




Slightly off topic, but there's an interesting discussion about Sanderson's possible mis-interpretation of angreal in that thread. I am FIRMLY in the angreal multiplicative camp as opposed to them just being a flat bonus reservoir. I'm sorry, there's no way in hell someone like Verin would've been able to handle the female Choedan Kal as well as Nyneave did, much less produce that much power.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey i just signed up to this...on my first read of the series only on book 7 :L i kno i kno wat the hell do i know right! But just my opinions on this because i find it all very interesting...


My rankings would go like this;




Arginor/Lanfear (as i believe it is stated that lanfear was one of the most powerful, despite being female)

Demandred (due to the reference of being a small step behind)

Rahvin (based on the evidence from FoH)

Bethamel - sorry about the spelling)



Bel'al (the reason for asmo and bel'al last of the men is for the simple reason that they were relatively unknown and their power was never clearly defined, there are references to lanfear and ishmael the betrayer of hope as childrens tales perhaps showing their prominence)


From here i cannot really say the order of the female forsaken.


However, i would point out that nynaeve at least is in the mix there as i believe moggy isnt the weakest in the power of the female forsaken....i would also be inclined to put strong 3rd age males in amongst them such as taim and logan.


Lower down apart from some semi spoiling characters iv read of being stronger than nynaeve i would instantly place elayne n egwene...after that i would consider moiraine/siuan to be the next most powerful....i beleieve moiraine would have been the next amyrlin when siuan was disposed of if she had been present to block elaida. However i hav not considered the placement of ashaman above them.


An interestin note would be the wise ones...i think i recall references to them, such as Amys, being quite strong especially if they had been tower trained.


A few more points...obviously this is without any sa'angreals or angreals, thats a different ballgame, i also believe it difficult to rank the lower forsaken/nynaeve at this point as there is not much differentiating material....aswell as that one must consider strenghts in different areas of the power....compulsion, healing etc.


Finally i am convinced that lanfear is at least 3rd or 4th despite being female, also is rand necessarily the strongest...ltt is referenced to have been but are they exactly 100% one and the same? obviously i dont know yet being where i am....i dont really mind spoilers that much...just my thoughts

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I've always thought of it as a 24-level scale, with women being capped at 21, in pure quantity of Power:


24: Rand/Ishy

23: Demandred, Aginor

22: Sammael, Rahvin

21: Lanfear


19: Graendal


and the rest I don't really know. I agree that we don't know enough to say that Moghedien and Asmo are the weakest.


Ishy is a given, and it feels to me that Aginor and Demandred should be, too, since they've always been described as almost as strong as LTT.


I'd place Sammael and Rahvin at the same level, since Rahvin actively pointed out to himself that Sammael was holding about as much of the One Power as he could himself. Lanfear I placed at the top of the female limit because she's always been mentioned as being one of the strongest. With women weaving very deftly, being a few levels below Rand and Ishy in terms of strength could make her about as effective. I left an empty space between her and Graendal, to make room for Cyndane, who was weaker than Lanfear but stronger than Graendal. And I placed Graendal high up because she stated that it was very rare indeed that women were stronger than her in the AoL. Which, I suppose, might've been an exaggeration ... but since it's the only thing to go on, aside from the vague remarks made by Someryn.

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