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The Oath rod and the Damane

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It seems I am drawn mostly to the issue of the Seanchan's use of Damane far more than any other anything I have read in the whole series. I can't help but think that a solution needs to be provided regarding their use of damane before any meaningful truce with the rest of randland can come about, especially after the Last Battle.

 

The Seanchan originally leashed female channelers because they were a destructive force back in Seanchan, they fear the unbridled use of the One Power and so they sought to control and harness that power via the A'dam. That particular aspect of the Seanchan culture has been the most divisive issue that makes it hard for people to accept the Seanchan.

 

What if Tuon can be persuaded to trade the A'dam for an Oath rod? In essence, she will have all female channelers ( probably even male channelers eventually) under her command to swore an oath of loyalty to the Crystal Throne and the Empress or some such. It will provide a solution to the Suldam problem as well and it will essentially double the channelers that she has under her control.

 

If I were Tuon and the Seanchan I would consider that proposal very seriously.

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not very likely. Tuon could be reasonable about the issue (not that she has shown any reasonableness) but for the whole Seanchan community to throw away eons of tradition and suddenly realise channellers are not animal is improbable.

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It seems I am drawn mostly to the issue of the Seanchan's use of Damane far more than any other anything I have read in the whole series. I can't help but think that a solution needs to be provided regarding their use of damane before any meaningful truce with the rest of randland can come about, especially after the Last Battle.

 

The Seanchan originally leashed female channelers because they were a destructive force back in Seanchan, they fear the unbridled use of the One Power and so they sought to control and harness that power via the A'dam. That particular aspect of the Seanchan culture has been the most divisive issue that makes it hard for people to accept the Seanchan.

 

What if Tuon can be persuaded to trade the A'dam for an Oath rod? In essence, she will have all female channelers ( probably even male channelers eventually) under her command to swore an oath of loyalty to the Crystal Throne and the Empress or some such. It will provide a solution to the Suldam problem as well and it will essentially double the channelers that she has under her control.

 

If I were Tuon and the Seanchan I would consider that proposal very seriously.

At this point Tuon's position on leashing channelers is not based on logic but on emotion and prejudice. She views them as animals. She had plenty of chances to see that they are not during her travels with Mat. Also Seanchan have had plenty of interactions recently with various cultures which don't treat their channelers so ( randlanders, aiel and seafolk). And Tuon is already aware of the Aes Sedai oaths and her only reaction to that is her annoyance that leashed Aes Sedai can not be used as weapons. Nice. She will not change her mind based on a rational argument or suggestion. It will happen because of some strong emotional experience. But it certainly will happen. Whenever we see a "positive" character stake out a completely irrational position in WofT, it is entirely plot driven and that person is eventually converted. Take Gawyn for example. He became convinced that Rand killed Morgase based on a single rumor. From there on he acts with presumption of Rand's guilt and demands that others prove that Rand did not do it. This is so completely irrational as to be almost laughable. He is converted in the end. Another example is Dain Bornhald (who is perhaps not so "positive" a character) and his conviction that Perrin killed his father. Also, Egwene's opposition to Rand's plans to break the seals. Here is her best "logical" argument:

 

"Yes, but the seals? That's foolhardy. Surely Rand can face the Dark

One, and defeat him, and seal him away without taking that risk."

 

hardly very convincing. She'll definitely be converted in the end.

 

Tuon is like that too:

 

"One would think she'd have grown more accustomed to marath'damane, after traveling with Matrim. But not so. They were unnatural. Dangerous. Tuon

could no more grow comfortable around an unleashed damane than she could tolerate having a grassfang twisted around her ankle, its tongue tickling her skin."

 

Nothing here is based on logic.

So she'll certainly be converted too. As to how it's going to happen I really have no idea. Perhaps Mat will do it. After all he sort of made a promise about it to Seta and Bethamin. And Mat always accomplishes whatever he sets out to do.

 

Personally, I would like to see Tuon collar Egwene and then the two of them have a contest of wills. That would be interesting. Who knows, this might actually happen. Egwene had a dream of a golden hawk touching her (likely Tuon as a golden hawk is a sign of Seanchan nobility) and then the two of them becoming linked in some way. Linked by an a'dam perhaps?

Edited by herid

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Toe-MAY-toe, Toe-MAH-toe.

 

Oath rod, binding chair, a'dam, Warder bond...

 

They're all compulsion, even if they aren't Compulsion. And they're therefore all reprehensible.

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I agree to the point, but I think that the a'dam is, by far, the worst of them all. It's entire purpose is to force obidience through continuous torture until the subject's will is broken. There's nothing non-vomitous about it or anyone who'd use it for anything beyond stopping someone from being able to channel.

 

Compared to the a'dam, the others are the equivalent of poking someone on the shoulder instead of shooting him in the face.

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Toe-MAY-toe, Toe-MAH-toe.

 

Oath rod, binding chair, a'dam, Warder bond...

 

They're all compulsion, even if they aren't Compulsion. And they're therefore all reprehensible.

You certainly have a point there although neither the warder bond nor the Aes Sedai oths are anywhere near as bad as an a'dam. Aes Sedai oaths are very specific and one can argue that they only restrict very specific kinds of behavior. But certainly, ideally they should not be needed. The Warder bond is worse as it can be used to compel. I've always found that part deeply unsettling.

Edited by herid

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Toe-MAY-toe, Toe-MAH-toe.

 

Oath rod, binding chair, a'dam, Warder bond...

 

They're all compulsion, even if they aren't Compulsion. And they're therefore all reprehensible.

 

Yes and no. Certainly the oath rod and the Warder bond can be used to compel (useless against non-channelers and possibly male channelers/just Rand respectively). However with the exception of the a'dam, these things are all either voluntary or used as punishment. The common practice of the oath rod (until Sammael introduced another in TPD) was solely to prevent an AS from using the OP to dominate life. It was a precaution, a safeguard for the rest of humanity. The warder bond gives quite a few benefits to the man/woman and AS. It's customary to only bond willing men (aka considered rape otherwise).

 

The binding chair can be used on channelers and non-channelers, but it hasn't been used or seen since the AOL. Ergo it's irrelevant. The Chair of Remorse was used by the AS to punish convicted criminals, and the criminals can only allegedly stand 2 passes through it before being overcome with guilt; that's why there was no crime in Tar Valon before Elaida. Since committing crime is usually voluntary, the CoR falls in the same category..

 

The a'dam is neither voluntary nor a punishment for an illegal, yet voluntary act. Girls are collared with it as soon as the spark hits them and wear it for the rest of their lives. They receive no benefits from the a'dam and regularly get beaten or negative feedback through them. The entire humanity/slavery/ethical argument aside, the a'dam is very, very different from the other devices you mentioned. 3 are optional/voluntary, the other is mandatory.

 

Long story short - you're wrong, but there is some nuance to it.

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Don't care. Slavery is wrong, even if you sell yourself into slavery.

 

True, but there are different levels of wrong. Choosing to be a slave and receiving numerous benefits in exchange for your loss of freedom is vastly different than being chained up and tortured into submission while having your personality ripped out. Both can be seen as wrong, but the former is a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 and the latter is a 956.

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Hate the game not the player.

 

Post-Breaking Seanchan AS didn't have an institution, like the WT with an Oath Rod to somewhat regulate the actions of AS. We know when Hawkwing sent his son across the sea, he was being influenced by Ishy who had ingrained his hatred of AS into the mind of the King, and one can't help but assume that Luthair(?) would have also been affected via Artur, being that it's his Dad, or that he's Ta'varen, pick your poison.

 

So we've got a continent of unregulated, apparent crazy lady's, calling themselves AS, running around warlord style loosing the power on whoever or whatever, loosey goosey. Hawkwing2 steps on the scene, and has all of his father's opinions regarding AS confirmed to the hilt. Bingo-bango Seanchan 'AS' are probably viewed as being as loony-toons with crazy destructive power at their disposal, very much like the men who broke the world.

 

Is slavery wrong? SHit yes. Can you really blame the Seanchan, in how they deal with women who can channel, taking into account the historical context of their nation? To me, no.

 

If there had been an institution like the White Tower in Seanchan, influencing the social norms of it's members, like in Randland, would the A'dam have even come about as a means for controlling people, who probably scared the living daylights out of non-channeling folks?

 

I mean sure, in Randland the AS get a whole lot of sketchy looks and folks may or may not trust them, or what they have to say. They do know about the oaths though, and unless you end up dealing with a sister that's black, you know that they can't use the power as a weapon against you without threatening their lives, they can't outright lie, nor make weapons for man to kill another.

 

From the Seanchan perspective, because there is no WT where they come from, because of the crazy 'AS' history there, instead of the WT and Oaths, you get the A'dam, and there aren't any alternatives or regulatory forces in play (oaths), to influence a societal change saying hey, it's okay if you can channel, even if you get slanty-eye'd looks.

 

Keeping in mind that there isn't an alternative institution, and that the Seanchan use the damane as tools for their empire, there's absolutely no incentive whatsoever for societal change. From the Seanchan point of view, where they come from, their history & everything else - these chickas need to be collared, double time. As I see it, Randland AS can bitch and be holier than thou all they want, but they're going to have to pony up a real viable alternative for the Seanchan to drop the leash.

 

I've also always thought that one of the biggest precepts of Seanchan society was holding true to the oaths they swear. I could totally see it happening that a meeting would occur, some WT AS gets in a huff about how they swear oaths on the rod, then they get it thrown right back in their faces with how they twist and turn any way they can, to avoid holding true to oaths they hold, and swear by, as the pillars of their institution.

 

It could be a really great scene (if it happens). Could the WT with the Oath Rod offer an alternative, Yes. Would the Seanchan give up damane without a sweet sweet alternative? Hell no, but they do take Oaths apparently very seriously. Will the AS come off sounding totally reasoned, informed, professional, and prepared to negotiate positive outcomes on both sides? ... ... .. .Have you met Egwene? (zing!)

 

Should be good! :jordan:

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the oath rod doesn't matter. In Fires of Heaven Asmodean made it clear that he could see obvious flaws with the Oath Rod, and in ToM the gimmicks of how to avoid the oaths are made clear. Hopefully the oathrod becomes a non issue. I'm with Nyneave when talking about the knitting circle, the oathrod is a waste. (also, remember in the prelude to Eye of The World ishamael mentioning the 9 rods of dominion?)

 

I don't know what will go on with tuon, I don't think we will find out in the last book except for a toss off in the epilogue.

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I always think of "The 9 rods of dominion" and "The Ring of Tamyrlain."

 

I would like a quick lecture on the known ter'angreals by the dragon whole before TG. I like the AS being made fools, which I think they are.

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The Nine Rods were people. The Ring might have been a ter'angreal, or an angreal. We don't know.

 

Also, there's an old theory that 'bind the nine moons' refers to the Oath Rod.

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The Nine Rods were people. The Ring might have been a ter'angreal, or an angreal. We don't know.

 

Also, there's an old theory that 'bind the nine moons' refers to the Oath Rod.

 

Perhaps Hawkwings family gathered items of the power in the same way that tear did?

 

I believe the oath rod and the "other" oath rod, and the rod of bale fire were 3 of the rods of dominion.

 

the theory about the ring of tamyrlain is odd, some think it's a sa'angreal, I don't think so, I think it's a terrangreal like a domination chair.

 

Also the greatest sa'angreal known to the tower, meant for women other than the chodan khal was a rod, I forget it's name. So that's 4.

Edited by Mandro

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The Nine Rods were people. The Ring might have been a ter'angreal, or an angreal. We don't know.

 

Also, there's an old theory that 'bind the nine moons' refers to the Oath Rod.

 

Perhaps Hawkwings family gathered items of the power in the same way that tear did?

 

I believe the oath rod and the "other" oath rod, and the rod of bale fire were 3 of the rods of dominion.

1. There were 9.

2. Like I said, the rods were people, not objects of the Power. RJ said so.

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The Nine Rods were people. The Ring might have been a ter'angreal, or an angreal. We don't know.

 

Also, there's an old theory that 'bind the nine moons' refers to the Oath Rod.

 

Perhaps Hawkwings family gathered items of the power in the same way that tear did?

 

I believe the oath rod and the "other" oath rod, and the rod of bale fire were 3 of the rods of dominion.

1. There were 9.

2. Like I said, the rods were people, not objects of the Power. RJ said so.

really? or were they the WIELDERS of the objects? I don't like calling channelers daughter, I find it pedantic, LITERALY, and calling them objects is even more offensive, But then again, rands expressed memories and experiences in the rings from the AOL shows that the AS were baicaly slave holders. Not a big fan of how the AOL ran.

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People have speculated that the 9 Rods may have been the leaders of the great nations, which seems like a reasonable guess. They were "summoned" from somewhere, and were obviously important (Ishamael thought it was an impressive act).

 

As far as the Ring of Tamyrlin, it could be one of the two sa'angreal that Lanfear says a man can use that are stronger than Callandor. I'd like to at least see what that sa'angreal is before the story is finished, if it's not the Ring...even if powerful sa'angreal are apparently less important now (enough so that Rand thinks it's reasonable to destroy the Choedan Kal, anyway).

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Related Question.

 

Since we have seen that the OR trumps the A'dam. We have heard that captured AS are considered near useless by the Seanchan because they are restricted by their oaths and can not be used as weapons.

 

So Could all the AS, WO & Windfinders use the OR purposfully to defeat the A'dam? i.e. have everyone take an oath - "I will not channel while connected to the A'dam. I will not feel its pain." "I will never channel for the Seanchan." "I will never let them treat me as an animal." or some such?

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Related Question.

 

Since we have seen that the OR trumps the A'dam. We have heard that captured AS are considered near useless by the Seanchan because they are restricted by their oaths and can not be used as weapons.

 

So Could all the AS, WO & Windfinders use the OR purposfully to defeat the A'dam? i.e. have everyone take an oath - "I will not channel while connected to the A'dam. I will not feel its pain." "I will never channel for the Seanchan." "I will never let them treat me as an animal." or some such?

 

I don't think the "I will not feel its pain" oath would work (pain is pain, regardless of the recipient's intentions). The others . . . I think would get real painful. But the oaths to not channel while connected to an a'dam or for the Seanchan should work. I'm not sure how you'd carry out the not treating you like an animal, though. Interesting idea, though. It wouldn't help any sparkers the Seanchan caught, but would help (well, render useless) anyone who swore the oath(s). Risk that the Seanchan would start killing them, but that still prevents the Seanchan from gaining from their prisoners.

 

Edit: Actually, an oath of "I will not serve the enemies of the White Tower [or Aes Sedai]" would cover anyone using any method of extorting Aes Sedai. A better oath (at least in the view of most denizens of Dragonmount) would be "I will serve the Light" - then they CAN'T become Black Ajah, because that would violate their oath (it does leave room for politics, of course).

Edited by Barrett

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All good points excpet that the black ajah break all thier oaths anyways so it kinda becomes mute for them.

 

Well since they'd be unswearing their oaths with an intent to become BA it would still work to swear "I will serve the Light." since they wouldn't be able unswear with intent to become BA. The oath to not channel when collared by an a'dam would be genius. Also, a more concrete way to prevent unswearing by the BA would be to add a 4th oath saying "I will not unswear any of these oath's without direct permission from the Amyrlin." Only reason to leave that opening is so they can unswear when they retire to the Kin.

 

Also, I think swearing the 3 oaths is one of the stupidest things the AS do. I was hoping Egwene with all her new ideas would at least remove that fool requirement.

Edited by Ashandarei

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All good points excpet that the black ajah break all thier oaths anyways so it kinda becomes mute for them.

 

Well since they'd be unswearing their oaths with an intent to become BA it would still work to swear "I will serve the Light." since they wouldn't be able unswear with intent to become BA. The oath to not channel when collared by an a'dam would be genius. Also, a more concrete way to prevent unswearing by the BA would be to add a 4th oath saying "I will not unswear any of these oath's without direct permission from the Amyrlin." Only reason to leave that opening is so they can unswear when they retire to the Kin.

 

Also, I think swearing the 3 oaths is one of the stupidest things the AS do. I was hoping Egwene with all her new ideas would at least remove that fool requirement.

 

Not the Amyrlin, I'd say (assuming they're going to swear any oaths) - what if she is Black Ajah? So, the Hall of the Tower, I guess. Of course, the "serve the Light" oath would prevent that (add to the ceremony for raising an Amyrlin that the Amyrlin retakes that oath? Or all four or five?)

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The Oath Rod is not slavery. Not unless Elaida had her way with the 4th oath of obedience to the Amyrlin. Otherwise, the oaths do not make someone the property of another person.

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