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Put To The Queston?


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This may be just my own misunderstanding, but several times during the series, the phrase "to be put to the question" is used. Im just wondering if this means something specific in the Jordanverse, or if it's an actual term. And it seems to mean something different depending on who's saying it. Thoughts?

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To be 'put to the question' is to be torture. The differences depend on the degree to which different groups tolerate torture--the Whitecloaks, for instance, go much further than the Aes Sedai.

 

 

I see it more simply put as an interrogation. Torture can be used in an interrogation, but not always. Sitting someone in a dark room in a chair behind a desk with a light in their eyes and interrogating them would be 'to put to question'.

 

So would quartering them.

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Isn't it a standard phrase Jordan borrowed from the middle-ages/ inquisition?

exactly, this was apparently a standard euphemism for torture then. those in doubt should google it up.

 

It's also quite clear from the books that it means torture in WoT universe too. When Seaine is thinking of the possible effects of removing all oaths using the oath rod:

Light, the pain of being loosed from everything at once would be little short of being put to the question.

-tPoD, Ch 26

 

when Norry and Elayne discuss captive Black Ajah being unresponsive to regular interrogations he suggests that they should be put to the question and she agrees

"The prisoners are still being closemouthed, I fear," Norry said, sliding the refused petition back into his leather folder. He seemed to feel that if he did that quickly enough it was the same as never having removed it. "The Darkfriend Aes Sedai, I mean, my Lady. And the other two. Very closemouthed except for . . . um . . . invective. Mellar is the worst with that, shouting about what he intends to do to the women who arrested him." Deni had taken her instuctions literally; the Guardswomen had pummeled Mellar severely, leaving him a mass of bruises from head to foot, "but the Aes Sedai can be quite . . . um . . . vituperative, as well. I fear it may be necessary to put them to the question if we hope to learn anything useful."

"Don't call them Aes Sedai," she snapped. Hearing "Aes Sedai" linked with "Darkfriend" made her stomach writhe. "Those women have given up any right to be called Aes Sedai." She had taken their Great Serpent rings herself and had them melted down. That was Egwene's prerogative, not hers, and she might well be reprimanded for it, but she could not restrain herself. "Ask the Lady Sylvase for the use of her secretary." She had no questioners among her people, and according to Aviendha, an unskilled questioner was likely to kill the one being put unsuccessfully to the question.

-KoD, Ch 35

This makes it very clear that they are talking about torture, not just an interrogation.

Edited by herid
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