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The nature of Rand Sedai


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She is head of the AS, he is not AS at all, despite having memories of being head of a now long defunct organisation. First Among Servants isn't a recognised position among modern AS, any more than Holy Roman Emperor is among modern Germans.

Ordinarily I wouldn't think that people have any right to titles held in a previous life, but Rand is a different case, IMO. He is LTT, albeit in a different body.

 

Something I also found ironic in ToM was Rand telling Cadsuane that he is "the only male Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised," while Egwene was never tested, and as of ToM claims she has no intention of ever taking the test. So who has more right to call themselves Aes Sedai?

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She is head of the AS, he is not AS at all, despite having memories of being head of a now long defunct organisation. First Among Servants isn't a recognised position among modern AS, any more than Holy Roman Emperor is among modern Germans.

Ordinarily I wouldn't think that people have any right to titles held in a previous life, but Rand is a different case, IMO. He is LTT, albeit in a different body.

 

Something I also found ironic in ToM was Rand telling Cadsuane that he is "the only male Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised," while Egwene was never tested, and as of ToM claims she has no intention of ever taking the test. So who has more right to call themselves Aes Sedai?

 

I would say that he is an aes sedai, but a different kind of aes sedai, with no authority over the current ones. What I personally find interesting is that he is both aes sedai and ashaman.

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I would say that he is an aes sedai, but a different kind of aes sedai, with no authority over the current ones. What I personally find interesting is that he is both aes sedai and ashaman.

I agree. Rand has no authority over the current crop of Aes Sedai, but he should get to call himself Aes Sedai if he wants to. I don't think he has any real need or interest in publicly proclaiming himself to be an Aes Sedai, though...it was mostly to yank Cadsuane's chain. :wink:

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Do the the 3rd Age Aes Sedai consider themselves to be a new order or do they presumne to think themselves the continuation of the old? I'd be interested in seeing LTT/Rand ask them that, and especially interested in his opinion if they said the latter. As things stand the Wise Ones, Windfinders and Ayyad all seem to have been founded at about the same time as the White Tower but only the women of Tar Valon did not choose a new name for their new order, but instead called themselves Aes Sedai. What would the First Among Servants make of that I wonder.

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You do realise LTT died 3500 years ago, right? His authority over the Aes Sedai died back then. They didn't choose him to be the Aes Sedai leader every time he gets reborn, that would be absurd and legal nonsense.

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You do realise LTT died 3500 years ago, right? His authority over the Aes Sedai died back then. They didn't choose him to be the Aes Sedai leader every time he gets reborn, that would be absurd and legal nonsense.

 

Yes, but for one tiny detail: his consciousness seems not to have died and now lives in Rand. He wasn't reborn the same way as everybody does, becasue he remembers his previous life/s and the LTT's personality seems to be an integral part of him. It seems correct to say that he is LTT come back rather than "reborn in a normal way"- although it is very unclear and obviously hard to apply any common sense principles to something so esoteric.

 

I understood Mr Ares' argument as saying that even if LTT had somehow survived without dying and being reborn, he still wouldn't have any formal claim to "Aes Sedai" or "First Among Servants" tiles, because now these titles are bestowed in different conditions and procedures than in the AoL. I was arguing precisely against that.

Edited by PiotrekS
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Memories doesn't matter. He's not the same person - he was Rand al'Thor without those memories in his formative years, brought up in a completely different way and his current personality is quite different from LTT's. And even if he was, he lost all claims of authority over Aes Sedai 3500 years ago when he died. Unless you think his title was granted not only for life, but for all subsequent rebirths, which seems extremely unlikely.

 

LTT went insane and killed his whole family, BTW, this probably qualifies as a legit reason for stripping him of his "First among Servants" title even if he hadn't committed suicide very soon after that.

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Memories doesn't matter. He's not the same person - he was Rand al'Thor without those memories in his formative years, brought up in a completely different way and his current personality is quite different from LTT's. And even if he was, he lost all claims of authority over Aes Sedai 3500 years ago when he died. Unless you think his title was granted not only for life, but for all subsequent rebirths, which seems extremely unlikely.

 

LTT went insane and killed his whole family, BTW, this probably qualifies as a legit reason for stripping him of his "First among Servants" title even if he hadn't committed suicide very soon after that.

 

Seeing as he had no control over his actions, I don't believe so. However, even if he still claims it, the title is meeningless now, since the position no longer exists, and certainly not in the tower hierarchy. He certainly has no power over any aes sedai, at least those who haven't sworn to him.

 

However he obviously still claims the title of aes sedai, he said as much himself, although it's clear that in that instance it was mostly just to shut Cadsuane up. He's simply not the same kind of aes sedai that's all. In any case it just fits perfectly with him also being ashaman. Both guardian and servant of the world.

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He's not the same person

 

Yes.. he is. It's the entire purpose of Veins of Gold and Rand's scenes after this. It is to establish that they are not two different people and never have been. Rand is Lews Therin. And Lews Therin was always Rand. Rand was raised to be First Amongst Servants, he was betrayed by Sammael, he sealed the Bore. Rand did this because Rand is Lews Therin.

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Memories doesn't matter. He's not the same person - he was Rand al'Thor without those memories in his formative years, brought up in a completely different way and his current personality is quite different from LTT's. And even if he was, he lost all claims of authority over Aes Sedai 3500 years ago when he died.

 

I dunno.. that's pretty moot, especially after the events of VoG.

 

Though it's a bad logic to say that he should have any control over the the organisation based in Tar Valon, as they only use the name Aes Sedai; there is no other substantial continuity between that organisation and it's namesake in the previous age. Of course, that also means that those Aes Sedai are outright lying when they claim all Angreal/Ter'angreal as their own.

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She is head of the AS, he is not AS at all, despite having memories of being head of a now long defunct organisation. First Among Servants isn't a recognised position among modern AS, any more than Holy Roman Emperor is among modern Germans.

Ordinarily I wouldn't think that people have any right to titles held in a previous life, but Rand is a different case, IMO. He is LTT, albeit in a different body.

 

Something I also found ironic in ToM was Rand telling Cadsuane that he is "the only male Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised," while Egwene was never tested, and as of ToM claims she has no intention of ever taking the test. So who has more right to call themselves Aes Sedai?

Egwene, clearly - the law states that the Amyrlin is AS, and she was raised according to the law. First Among Servants is no longer a title recognised by the AS, nor is the method by which he was raised - that is, if they are considered the same organisation. Therefore, he can claim that he was the FAS, but not that he is. He was an AS, he is no longer.

 

This argument stands many universally recognized rules of law on their head. If there is continuity between AoL Aes Sedai and the contemporary ones, then Rand's status both as an Aes Sedai and as a First Among Servants have to be recognized. When you change a procedure for awarding a certain title or the conditions for obtaining it - it can't affect the titles already bestowed upon people. You know, lex retro non agit and all that...

 

It is even more so when we take into account that the Aes Sedai themselves derive their authority from the AoL Aes Sedai. They use the same name, they claim the right to sa'angreal and ter'angreal produced by the "original" Aes Sedai, the Amyrlin uses certain titles that point the same way (Watcher of the Seals). The Flame of Tar Valon is a part of an ancient symbol of Aes Sedai. So, if there is no continuity between "old" and "new" Aes Sedai, then the "new" are commiting a lot of infrignments on the rights of the "old" and they should be giving back to Rand all these sa'angreal and ter'angreal and probably change their name too:smile:

 

It is a different thing what are the consequences of these titles nowadays - the Aes Sedai could arguably tell Rand that the First Among Servants no longer has the authority that he had because of organizational changes, but the least they owe him is recognition and respect for his title. If he has no present formal authority, then his status should be similiar to that of a former president.

The old AS are dead. All of them. None survived the Breaking. If any of them wish to complain about AS infringing on their rights, they are welcome to. However, the modern AS claim to possess all angreal, sa'angreal and ter'angreal is a rather dubious one, and can't really be considered to be based on the AoL AS - it is purely an invention of the Third Agers. Therefore they should not give them back to Rand. Les Therin Was an old AS. He died. All his titles passed with him. Rand al'Thor is not LTT, and has no claim to any of LTT's titles. He can claim to be AS insofar as he does remember being such, and being raised, although he never was. LTT was, but is no longer, due to being dead. Therefore, Rand has no claim to be AS, to be First Among Servants, to be Lord of the Morning, or to be anything else from the AoL.

 

 

Yes, but for one tiny detail: his consciousness seems not to have died and now lives in Rand.
His conciousness did die, it then came back. At best, that could be said to put his personhood in a legal grey area. I very much doubt Tower law, nor AoL law, has provisions for conciousnesses returning from the grave.

 

I understood Mr Ares' argument as saying that even if LTT had somehow survived without dying and being reborn, he still wouldn't have any formal claim to "Aes Sedai" or "First Among Servants" tiles, because now these titles are bestowed in different conditions and procedures than in the AoL. I was arguing precisely against that.
Had LTT never died, had he simply lived for another 3,500 years, then he would still be AS unless that title was stripped from him somehow. First Among Servants is rather more dubious. Of course, he did die, and therefore his AS-hood is strictly in the past tense.

 

 

Egwene became Aes Sedai thanks to a loophole that wasn't intended to replace the usual process. She hasn't learned the one hundred weaves and refuses to prove herself the way every other Aes Sedai has. Every Accepted will know that when they're forced to learn the difficult weaves and take the test; every Accepted who fails will leave the Tower knowing Egwene gets to stay without having passed. Even with the current Cult of Egwene Worship in the Tower, that's bound to cause resentment down the line.
It probably will cause resentment in some young Novices and Accepted years down the line. On the other hand, it can easily be pointed out that despite never taking the test, Egwene was made Amyrlin, desposed a usurper, fought off an attack by the Seanchan, defeated one of the Chosen, and (probably) fought at TG. Compared to that, the test looks like a silly formality. Those who are put out of the Tower would probably be less proficient channelers, and therefore while Egwene can be considered to have displayed the important qualities in field conditions, they have not displayed the required qualities at all, and that is why they are being put out. Of course, she is still hypocritical for making Nynaeve take the test - Nynaeve has probably done more than most AS to display the important qualities under field conditions, and therefore shouldn't need to take the test. In her case as well it looks like a silly formality - furthermore, she was treated with undue harshness and pointed out flaws in the test, and had to argue for her right to be called AS.

 

 

Unless you think his title was granted not only for life, but for all subsequent rebirths, which seems extremely unlikely.
I'm not sure we can even say First Among Servants is a title granted for life - it could be that even if he hadn't gone crazy and died he would no longer be such due to his term of office expiring.

 

 

He's not the same person

 

Yes.. he is.

No, he isn't. They are two different incarnations from the same soul. I'd like to see a definition of "same person" that was able to explain away being born in different places, different times, having a different personality and different life experiences - in short, having all the hallmarks of being a completely different person. If Rand and LTT are the same, then I might as well say that I'm you. And if I'm you, I'm probably just saying this to annoy me. I flatly disagree with your (by which I mean my) interpretation of Veins of Gold.
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You can hardly argue against the fact that Rand and Lews Therin are the same person, when the person in question himself states several times throughout ToM that he is the one and same person, and always has been. Even some of his traits from being Lews Therin, such as the arrogance and nobility, has been passed on. Sure the way he was raised as Rand have been different, which he also pointed out is why he's a changed person from when he was Lews Therin, he has learned better, become more like himself.

 

Or would you argue that Birgitte and the other heroes of the horn are not the same person? They clearly remember all their lives and nobody questions that they are the same person, The Dragon as a hero of the Horn is the exact same thing.

Edited by Manscher
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Yes, I dispute the notion that different incarnations of a given Hero are all the same person - they are not, they are incarnations of the same soul, but different people. Rand al'Thor is a different person to the historical figure Lews Therin Telamon. Rand had to integrate LTT's memories into himself in order to cope with his madness (the memories themselves being symptomatic of his declining mental state). Rand has long been arrogant, that doesn't come from LTT. The manifestation of LTT in Rand's mind was not LTT in truth - that man no longer exists.

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Rand's arrogance does not start to manifest until the memories and knowledge of Lews Therin starts to slip through in The Shadow Rising. I agree that the manifestion of LTT in Rands mind was never LTT, but rather a way for Rand subconsciousness to handle the fact that the memories and experiences of one of his previous incarnations began to seep into him. One thing worth noting regarding the madness and Lews Therins memories though, is that in non of his "replayed lives" during the portal stone travel, does it present itself. In those lives, the madness only seems to present itself in form of a terrible temper, the same temper that Rands slowly begins to built up after he begins to channel.

 

As for the heroes not being the same person, then what about those in the world of dreams? They must clearly see it all as one whole life, since as soon as they "die" they get transfered into the world of dreams to wait until they are reborn again. Though only in TAR are they able to remember this continuity, hence I would argue that they are the same person over and over again, only difference is that during their "life" they do not remember anything else, so the way they are raised and the things they experience throughout their life are able to influence their personalities, but they are still the one and same person.

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You can hardly argue against the fact that Rand and Lews Therin are the same person, when the person in question himself states several times throughout ToM that he is the one and same person, and always has been. Even some of his traits from being Lews Therin, such as the arrogance and nobility, has been passed on. Sure the way he was raised as Rand have been different, which he also pointed out is why he's a changed person from when he was Lews Therin, he has learned better, become more like himself.

 

Or would you argue that Birgitte and the other heroes of the horn are not the same person? They clearly remember all their lives and nobody questions that they are the same person, The Dragon as a hero of the Horn is the exact same thing.

 

Just because you have the memories and the soul and the personality of the person does not make you THAT person. You are a reincarnation of that person. That does NOT make you that person.

 

Anyway, Rand (as of ToM) only REMEMBERS the life of LTT as though it was a DREAM. He is far less arrogant as compared to LTT as well (he mentioned it).

 

Let's say I plucked your memories from you and internalized them into me. Does that make me you?

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And yet he very much states that he is the one and same person, the key difference is though that he's been raised differently this time, and that has made him a better person. It is not only the memories, but also the experience, expertise and knowledge that Lews Therin held that Rand now also have. The only difference between him and Lews Therin is though that he's had another 20 years of life in which he's learned things that have changed his personality and the way he is.

 

 

And there is of course still the case of the Heroes of The Horn who are stuck in TAR in between their reincarnations. Do you also claim that they are not the same person? There is a continuity throughout their life, they remember it all in one line. What is Birgitte after she is ripped out of TAR? Not a person? Even though she remembers and have lived it all in one continuity line?

Edited by Manscher
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Yes, I dispute the notion that different incarnations of a given Hero are all the same person - they are not, they are incarnations of the same soul, but different people.

Arguable on so many fronts.What makes a person ? His genetic makeup and his environment ? If he has an actual soul (as in, it's existence being a fact) do genetics really matter ? Sure you might say , they matter in appearance etc etc. but you have to admit the wheel is awfully keen on recycling "tendencies" on them.Similarly, what do you make of the person having the memories of the experience to boot ? Wouldn't that also account for the environment factor ?

 

Each of those parts wouldn't account for the whole but combine both, the soul (in this setting not a philosophical subject of debate but literally the CORE of a being ) and the memories (since they shape you) and you do have the same person.

 

Now ,on to the whole "does he still hold the tittle " part.

 

Unless the tittle was specifically stripped from him by tower law then yes he does hold it, even if he does not wield the authority.The Aes Sedai themselves cement this by claiming mandate from the old servants.You can claim that they are a new organization and they might be in fact, but that is irrelevant because of their claim.

 

Personally, I find the whole point kinda moot.The only reason he pulled it off in the first place was to shut up Cad.

 

 

Let's say I plucked your memories from you and internalized them into me. Does that make me you?

Interesting thought.That would make Mat a couple dozen people all in one.Until you realize that since your soul is not my soul thus making the comparison fall flat.

Edited by Zentari
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Upon death the title of Aes Sedai and the First Among Servants would obviously become void, with no reason to formally declare it. Obviously. So obvious in fact that you would not write any law to specify it, but as of Egwene's raising to the Amyrlin Seat what is obvious is not relevant, only what can be interpreted through some serious mental gymnastics. Therefore, provided the Aes Sedai of old didn't specify that a person lost their titles upon death, Rand is still Aes Sedai and the First Among Servants.

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Just because you have the memories and the soul and the personality of the person does not make you THAT person. You are a reincarnation of that person. That does NOT make you that person.

If Aran'gar and Osan'gar were still alive, should they be held responsible for crimes committed by Aginor and Balthamel during the AoL? Should Cyndane be held responsible for Lanfear's crimes?

Edited by sleepinghour
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Just because you have the memories and the soul and the personality of the person does not make you THAT person. You are a reincarnation of that person. That does NOT make you that person.

If Aran'gar and Osan'gar were still alive, should they be held responsible for crimes committed by Aginor and Balthamel during the AoL?

 

Yes, because they never died. They were sealed in the Bore and then transmigrated with the same memories and personality into a new body. That is a different process then dying and then being reincarnated 3000 years later. Rand's a bit of a special case because he does have LTT's memories but it's still a different case from Aran'gar and Osan'gar. He was born again and lived 20 years with no knowledge of what LTT did. He's still a different person. While the soul is the same as LTT's, I think a closer comparison would be Mat. They both just haves memories from different men. Should Mat be held responsible for the actions or crimes of the men whose memories he has? That is a better comparison then the two Forsaken.

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Just because you have the memories and the soul and the personality of the person does not make you THAT person. You are a reincarnation of that person. That does NOT make you that person.

If Aran'gar and Osan'gar were still alive, should they be held responsible for crimes committed by Aginor and Balthamel during the AoL?

 

Yes, because they never died. They were sealed in the Bore and then transmigrated with the same memories and personality into a new body. That is a different process then dying and then being reincarnated 3000 years later. Rand's a bit of a special case because he does have LTT's memories but it's still a different case from Aran'gar and Osan'gar. He was born again and lived 20 years with no knowledge of what LTT did. He's still a different person. While the soul is the same as LTT's, I think a closer comparison would be Mat. They both just haves memories from different men. Should Mat be held responsible for the actions or crimes of the men whose memories he has? That is a better comparison then the two Forsaken.

 

The two cases aren't exactly the same though. Mat only shares their memories, not their souls.

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Just because you have the memories and the soul and the personality of the person does not make you THAT person. You are a reincarnation of that person. That does NOT make you that person.

If Aran'gar and Osan'gar were still alive, should they be held responsible for crimes committed by Aginor and Balthamel during the AoL?

 

Yes, because they never died. They were sealed in the Bore and then transmigrated with the same memories and personality into a new body. That is a different process then dying and then being reincarnated 3000 years later. Rand's a bit of a special case because he does have LTT's memories but it's still a different case from Aran'gar and Osan'gar. He was born again and lived 20 years with no knowledge of what LTT did. He's still a different person. While the soul is the same as LTT's, I think a closer comparison would be Mat. They both just haves memories from different men. Should Mat be held responsible for the actions or crimes of the men whose memories he has? That is a better comparison then the two Forsaken.

 

The two cases aren't exactly the same though. Mat only shares their memories, not their souls.

 

Agreed. But Rand is a bit of a fluke scenario. I still think his situation is closer to Mat's (the memories of a dead man) then the two Forsaken. LTT died, then Rand was born and lived his own life before then having access to LTT's memories. This doesn't make him responsible for LTT's actions (despite the soul being the same) any more then Mat is responsible for the actions of the men whose memories he has. The Forsaken are obsolutely responsible for all their actions because their was no interruption in their consciousness. They are the same person in a different body. Not a reborn soul.

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Yes, because they never died. They were sealed in the Bore and then transmigrated with the same memories and personality into a new body. That is a different process then dying and then being reincarnated 3000 years later. Rand's a bit of a special case because he does have LTT's memories but it's still a different case from Aran'gar and Osan'gar. He was born again and lived 20 years with no knowledge of what LTT did. He's still a different person. While the soul is the same as LTT's, I think a closer comparison would be Mat. They both just haves memories from different men. Should Mat be held responsible for the actions or crimes of the men whose memories he has? That is a better comparison then the two Forsaken.

 

Heres a question. If Bela mulekicks Moridin in the head in the next book and he develops a bad case of amnesia resulting in his spending the next twenty years of his life as a cabinetmaker or something, would he still be regarded as Ishamael the Nae'blis and held accountable for all his crimes when his memories returned?

 

Another thing to consider in this debate is where RJ came down on the nature vs nurture thing. I would argue that the very existance of reincarnated Heroes chosen to fulfill the same or similar missions life after life suggests that in WOT what soul you possess has a significant bearing on who you end up becoming.

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Yes, because they never died. They were sealed in the Bore and then transmigrated with the same memories and personality into a new body. That is a different process then dying and then being reincarnated 3000 years later. Rand's a bit of a special case because he does have LTT's memories but it's still a different case from Aran'gar and Osan'gar. He was born again and lived 20 years with no knowledge of what LTT did. He's still a different person. While the soul is the same as LTT's, I think a closer comparison would be Mat. They both just haves memories from different men. Should Mat be held responsible for the actions or crimes of the men whose memories he has? That is a better comparison then the two Forsaken.

 

Heres a question. If Bela mulekicks Moridin in the head in the next book and he develops a bad case of amnesia resulting in his spending the next twenty years of his life as a cabinetmaker or something, would he still be regarded as Ishamael the Nae'blis and held accountable for all his crimes when his memories returned?

 

Another thing to consider in this debate is where RJ came down on the nature vs nurture thing. I would argue that the very existance of reincarnated Heroes chosen to fulfill the same or similar missions life after life suggests that in WOT what soul you possess has a significant bearing on who you end up becoming.

 

Having temporary amnesia is a bit different then dying and then being reborn as a separate person 3000 years later. Keep in mind that in the WoT world, every single person is reincarnated again and again. Should every person in the world be held responsible for all the actions or crimes of every incarnation of their soul? Rand is a complete fluke in that he ends up with LTT's memories and that his particular soul can actually be identified as a specific prior person. That doesn't make him any more responsible for LTT's actions (after all, how can you be responsible for something that you didn't have any power to prevent) then everyone else in the world is for their prior lives.

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