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An Aes Sedai queen in Andor


qaddafi
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Hello, all. I'm a long time lurker who's just joined because of this odd thought I had during a recent reread.

 

It regards Elayne and Andor. It seems a bit strange to me that Andor would want to have a fully trained and raised Aes Sedai for Queen. Now, most of these thoughts are only relevant early in the series, since once Rand turns up, everything goes crazy.

 

We know Morgase had some basic training in the White Tower, which also seems to be fairly common knowledge in Randland at large, but she was never raised and is very weak in the One Power. Now, Andor is clearly Aes Sedai-friendly, as are most of its close allies and neighbors (the Borderlands and Cairhein). However, there are many countries that are not so friendly towards Aes Sedai (Tear) or outright anti-Aes Sedai (Amador). This doesn't seem to have negatively affected Morgase's reign, but Elayne is another thing entirely.

 

It does seem that the plan is not that she just get some basic training at the White Tower like Morgase did, but that she become a full Aes Sedai. Also, her strength in the One Power is much, much higher than Morgase's (not as high as Nynaeve, for example, but still very significant).

 

This seems like a huge political issue. The Borderlands might be okay with Andor having a powerful Aes Sedai for a Queen, but surely this would worry most other countries. Even Cairhein, which is largely pro-Aes Sedai, would not be okay with Andor, with whom relations can often get shaky, having a powerful Aes Sedai on the throne. Countries like Tear and Amador might ever use it as an excuse to make war.

 

This is all speculation, of course, and again the way the series progresses makes it a bit irrelevant, but it does seem strange for Andor's plan for the next generation.

 

Also: how well known among normal people is the lifespan of Aes Sedai? Even if the normal people have no idea, surely the rulers and nobles are aware that most Aes Sedai live well over 100 years. (Anyone have any quotes about this, one way or another?) That's 100+ years for Andor to be ruled by a powerful Aes Sedai.

 

If I was a ruler of a country, that would certainly make me nervous. Maybe Morgase and Andor planned to keep it a secret how powerful Elayne is until she took the throne? (They don't seem to be keeping it a secret that she's going to the White Tower for training.) Or were they planning on flaunting the Daughter-Heir's power? Maybe something in between?

 

Anyway, I was just curious if anyone else had any thoughts about this.

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A lot of IF, in this...but, Given what we know of Elayne - outside whether or not you personally like her, she seems to be of the same mold of not crazy, pretty rational leader of a nation whose ruling class allied themselves behind her, yadda yadda yadda she's on the throne...Assuming for whatever reason she doesn't go off her rocker, it might be pretty nice in a land as unsettled & transient as Randland, that there'd be an AS Queen to provide consistent leadership & powerful ability, with deep personal allegiances for centuries, particularly if she was Queen of your own nation.

 

Well, surely not that long, but just because Elayne's Aes Sedai doesn't mean she has to go bat-shit loony toons as a result. Granted people can be loopy, but what the heck does it say about a leader or people of a nation if they looked at Andor down the line, and decided they wanted to make war on the sole basis that Elayne is Aes Sedai - assuming also, there hadn't been any provocation beyond that.

 

If Elayne lived for 300 years(grandiose, ridiculous number for the heck of it) and ruled justly and happily for the good of Andor, and all who knew her, praised across realms near and far, what reason beyond pettiness would there be a reason for her to be brought down with malicious intent. For example we sort of see that happen with Tetsuan as Amyrlin being jealous of Eldrine, and the resulting downfall of Manetheren

 

That's not taking into account say an outstanding case of say, a fundamental reform where the people themselves moved towards a modern-ish democracy sort of thing, or whether/when Elayne would abdicate in irrevocable word fashion, or finding herself or Andor in such a situation warranting her leaving her post.

 

I mean you could see people hating it because for whatever their reasons they hate Aes Sedai, regardless of outcomes for Andor.

 

But that's really on them, rather than a reflection upon Elayne's rule, of which we've seen she's managed to lay her hands on modern technologies(cannons), unites the territories of 2 separate countries under her rule, quells an internal conflict without bloodshed, defines trade & travel agreements with seafolk & kin...Aside from being a bit of a numbskull in her personal choices, Andor's looking on the up & up...

 

...At least of course until we see how that whole waygate invasion turns out *stiffled homer-giggle

 

*shrug

Edited by Mat's Spare Hat
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A lot of IF, in this...but, Given what we know of Elayne - outside whether or not you personally like her, she seems to be of the same mold of not crazy, pretty rational leader of a nation whose ruling class allied themselves behind her, yadda yadda yadda she's on the throne...Assuming for whatever reason she doesn't go off her rocker, it might be pretty nice in a land as unsettled & transient as Randland, that there'd be an AS Queen to provide consistent leadership & powerful ability, with deep personal allegiances for centuries, particularly if she was Queen of your own nation.

 

Well, surely not that long, but just because Elayne's Aes Sedai doesn't mean she has to go bat-shit loony toons as a result. Granted people can be loopy, but what the heck does it say about a leader or people of a nation if they looked at Andor down the line, and decided they wanted to make war on the sole basis that Elayne is Aes Sedai - assuming also, there hadn't been any provocation beyond that.

 

If Elayne lived for 300 years(grandiose, ridiculous number for the heck of it) and ruled justly and happily for the good of Andor, and all who knew her, praised across realms near and far, what reason beyond pettiness would there be a reason for her to be brought down with malicious intent. For example we sort of see that happen with Tetsuan as Amyrlin being jealous of Eldrine, and the resulting downfall of Manetheren

 

That's not taking into account say an outstanding case of say, a fundamental reform where the people themselves moved towards a modern-ish democracy sort of thing, or whether/when Elayne would abdicate in irrevocable word fashion, or finding herself or Andor in such a situation warranting her leaving her post.

 

I mean you could see people hating it because for whatever their reasons they hate Aes Sedai, regardless of outcomes for Andor.

 

But that's really on them, rather than a reflection upon Elayne's rule, of which we've seen she's managed to lay her hands on modern technologies(cannons), unites the territories of 2 separate countries under her rule, quells an internal conflict without bloodshed, defines trade & travel agreements with seafolk & kin...Aside from being a bit of a numbskull in her personal choices, Andor's looking on the up & up...

 

...At least of course until we see how that whole waygate invasion turns out *stiffled homer-giggle

 

*shrug

 

Pretty much this. She has shown over and over in her internal thoughts how important it is to be a good ruler and the duty she feels she owes Andor. I think things will go well and don't feel it likely that Avi's vision will come to pass.

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Welcome to Dragonmount, Qaddafi.

 

I don't think an Aes Sedai Queen is such a big issue in terms of foreign policy for Andor. It's well known they've always been close allies of the White Tower anyway. As long as the Queen doesn't use the One Power in battle, nothing has changed significantly for the other countries. The Whitecloacks would probably try to depose such a Queen, but they were trying the same with Morgase too. Despite Andor's close ties to the Tower and Tear's anti-channelling laws and attitude, the relationship between the two realms was good during Morgase's reign, so I doubt it would've deteriorated to the such a degree that they start a war after Elayne takes the Lion Throne.

 

The bigger problem would've been internal IMO - even in Andor a lot of the common people don't like Aes Sedai, as we saw in TEOTW.

 

Also: how well known among normal people is the lifespan of Aes Sedai? Even if the normal people have no idea, surely the rulers and nobles are aware that most Aes Sedai live well over 100 years. (Anyone have any quotes about this, one way or another?) That's 100+ years for Andor to be ruled by a powerful Aes Sedai.

 

Here's one quote:

 

ACOS, Ch. 37

 

“Good morning,” Mat said, stepping past the screen of plants. The whole discussion was idiotic; everyone knew Aes Sedai lived longer than anybody else.

This is Mat, of course, and he's spent (to his chagrin) much more time around Aes Sedai than most people, but it indicates that Aes Sedai's longevity is not really a secret.

 

Maybe Morgase and Andor planned to keep it a secret how powerful Elayne is until she took the throne? (They don't seem to be keeping it a secret that she's going to the White Tower for training.)

There are some clues on that. Gawyn mentioned this in TSR “I know Elayne isn’t a child, even if she does bounce back and forth between running off like one and playing at being Aes Sedai." and Min interpreted the part in bold to mean that he had no idea how much channelling potential his sister had. Moiraine in TGH thought that the best course of action for Morgase was to keep Elayne's potential secret.

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interesting thoughts here. one point i want to make is if she does live to 300+ years she will retire to the Kin and live how much longer? the eldest of the Kin is said to live for 700+ years. i doubt she will be queen longer than any other human, because of all the backstabbing power struggling that goes on. the other houses will get tired of it and make a move, whether to assassinate her or depose.

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1. White Tower jealously isn't an issue as long as Egwene sits in the Amyrlin Seat. Their strength is equivalent once Elayne catches Egwene's forced strength

 

2. Access to the one power is going to be an economic bonus. We're looking at an ability that allows movement of goods any distance once the set up is established. Imagine the profitability of all the Kin merchants who learn to Travel!

 

3. The Whitecloaks are currently led by the half-brother of the Queen, and are establishing a new direction. Hell their life philosophy is going to be more conclusively destroyed than the Aiel's once the DO is sealed away.

 

4. You've got me on the jealously of the other nobles though, unless they shift to the new age of economics with open OP use entails they'll be crushed regardless.

 

5. Elayne herself may abdicate in favour of ter'angreal study though. I could see that happening once her daughter reaches adulthood.

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I've always felt that, aside from political reasons, there is a fundamental contradiction between being Aes Sedai and being a Queen. In my mind, the two positions can not be done properly by the same person. Because they have fundamentally contradicting missions. Now, I'm not talking about the Aes Sedai/White Tower as it 'is' in Randland, but as it 'should' be.

 

Aes Sedai are supposed to be 'servants of ALL'. Not of one person or one nation.

Queens are supposed to serve 'one' Nation to the extent that everything else, including their own personal life, becomes second stage at best.

 

By merging the two, BOTH missions are nullified in my opinion. It would be like Bishops being Kings.

 

Politically, it gives the AS Queen much too much power in the international field. Especially with some nations, like the Borderlands, being raised with such high level of respect for Aes Sedai that they jump whenever a Sister says boo. A Queen Aes Sedai may 'intend' to speak in this instance as Queen and in that instance as Aes Sedai, but no one will forget that it is the same person. A Borderlander speaking to the Queen will always also see the Aes Sedai and the Queen speaking as AS will always also keep her duty to her nation in mind and use 'whatever' tool to her nation's benefit.

 

Economically, it gives the AS Nation much too much advantage since the Kin are 'under' White Tower rule now and will evolve in to a stronger alliance with the White Tower (and it's residents) as time goes by and more and more Aes Sedai retire in to it. This will inevitably create a favoritism towards the AS Nation(s) which will benefit from the Kin's economical value.

 

This may not be a bad thing 'in case of' a good Queen/AS and an honorable Amyrlin Seat. But there is no guarantee one will be a good Queen/AS/Amyrlin until it's too late. And even good Queens/AS will never sacrifice their nation for the benefit of the world (should this be necessary). Amyrlins come and go and we've all witnessed that the Tower isn't unfallable in chosing their Amyrlins (Elaida only being the latest example).

 

 

This mixing of status and power smells too much like the beginnings of dictatorships to my liking. Too much is left to the 'chance' that the ones in power will be honorable and good, while history shows over and over that the scale can just as easily tip the other way.

Edited by Mystica
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One question which occurs is this. Morgase was known to have an AS advisor, namely Elaida. Would people prefer to have an As queen rather than a queen who was a puppet of the WT?

 

The queen doesn't have to be a puppet, not all rulers with AS advisors are. However, in the current situation, what happens if there is a conflict of interests between the WT and Andor? As AS will Elayne have to obey the Amyrlin? That is a much bigger issue imo.

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Aes Sedai are not bound or sworn to obey the Amyrlin. Both Elayne and Egwene know this. Although it could cause tension between Elayne/Andor and Egwene/Tower, I think it would actually be good and progressive for a monarch to not be afraid of standing up to the Amyrlin and/or the Tower.

 

Edit:

 

Just thought about how Egwene told off Seaine/Searin about swearing of the ferrets to obedience and her own sworn Aes Sedai such as Faolain and co. Bit of a double standard there even if Egwene's haven't sworn on the Oath Rod, but any who weren't black would still be bound by the first oath anyway. Food for thought.

Edited by YouMayCallMeElci
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Elayne really has shown that she has the good of Andor on her priority list. Adding to her Kingdom by claiming the throne of Carhien I don't think was really a power play but just a way to secure a stable and uncontested rule. She's smart, politically skilled and has been trained to rule by some very skilled people (Thom, Morgase, etc.)

 

It seems to me that once Andor and Carhien are settled and stable, and her children are of age and themselves trained to rule justly and for the good of the Kingdom, Elayne would abdicate in favor of her children ruling. Likely they will be able to channel as well, since both Elayne and Rand are channelers...but if not they will need to know how to rule a nation through political skill anyway.

 

There is an ambition in Elayne but it does not seem likely that she would rule her entire 300+ years of life. If she retires into the Kin, she can work inside of Andor and still be connected to the Throne for advising while fulfilling her duties as a member of the Kin.

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I have a suspicion that Lan/Nynaeve/both/children will end up in charge of Shienar/Arafel/Kandor (or some part thereof) and make a new kingdom. Mainly because I still think all the Borderland rulers will die, and I am firmly opposed to the recreation of Malkier, and Lan has been there to guard the Blight when the other rulers fled.

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I have a suspicion that Lan/Nynaeve/both/children will end up in charge of Shienar/Arafel/Kandor (or some part thereof) and make a new kingdom. Mainly because I still think all the Borderland rulers will die, and I am firmly opposed to the recreation of Malkier, and Lan has been there to guard the Blight when the other rulers fled.

Why are you so pessimistic?

Didn't Rand see that the 7 Towers had raised a bit after they left the Eye of the World?

I don't think it was a vision, but it could have been a foreshadowing at least.

Furthermore I am not convinced that there have been no visions or foreshadowings in Nynaeves' and Ewenes' acceptance test. Some things already happened in some way.

There we saw that Nyn had 3 children.

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I don't see any good coming from an AS as a queen. I think Elayne/Nyn will have to choose one or another in order to make things fair to the other regions and to their own people especially.

 

The point of Elayne having an unfair advantage against other non AS leaders has been already touched, so I'll point out the second one. Many will see Elayne just as a puppet for the WT.

 

If she is an AS she is bound to follow the orders of the Amyrlin or the WT council. For example, if Egwene orders every AS to do everything in their power to bring every country to oppose Rand, Elayne will have to comply with the command, even if she may have other ideas, or her nobles will want something else. After a while, the nobles of Caemlyn and Cairhien will present their problem to the Amyrlin herself or to one of Elayne's AS superior, to save time. We may say that being a queen gives Elayne some freedom that other AS don't have, but it will be a blurry line and everybody will ask themselves where does the queen's authority ends and the WT's starts or vice versa.

 

And the WT/Amyrlin have the right to punish an AS which disobeys orders. Let's not forget that in the first book Siuan has to pull some strings to keep Moiraine out of the hands of the Red Ajah, because the sisters believed she needed some 'adjusting'. It will be strange for a queen to be sent to wash some dishes or sheer some sheep every time she disagrees with her AS 'counselor'.

 

Furthermore, if the nobles will ally themselves and will try to overthrow Elayne/AS ruler, the WT may see this an a direct attack on the WT, and may force other leaders to side with Elaynem or intervene themselves alongside the WT armies.

 

This will not be such a big problem if the WT will have less power in the future. For example, if the DO is defeated for good, the AS will have no reason to meddle in the affairs of the other countries, or to ask for money as a tribute in exchange of an nonexistent help, at least not on the big scale they are doing it at the moment.

Then being an AS and a queen at the same time will not be such a huge conflict of interests, and since the longer life span of AS, it will bring stability to a region, as long as the ruler in question is a good one.

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Would it be better or worse for the channeling Queen of a nation be AS or unaffiliated? Would that be enough to remove the "conflicts of interest" or would people just assume she was under cover? Said ruler would then be unbound from the Oaths and be able to utilize their abilities as they saw fit. Might this then lead other AS to seek out individual power in a similar fashion to the Seanchan history. Hundreds of former AS and AM running amok.

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If she is an AS she is bound to follow the orders of the Amyrlin or the WT council. For example, if Egwene orders every AS to do everything in their power to bring every country to oppose Rand, Elayne will have to comply with the command, even if she may have other ideas, or her nobles will want something else. After a while, the nobles of Caemlyn and Cairhien will present their problem to the Amyrlin herself or to one of Elayne's AS superior, to save time. We may say that being a queen gives Elayne some freedom that other AS don't have, but it will be a blurry line and everybody will ask themselves where does the queen's authority ends and the WT's starts or vice versa.

 

And the WT/Amyrlin have the right to punish an AS which disobeys orders. Let's not forget that in the first book Siuan has to pull some strings to keep Moiraine out of the hands of the Red Ajah, because the sisters believed she needed some 'adjusting'. It will be strange for a queen to be sent to wash some dishes or sheer some sheep every time she disagrees with her AS 'counselor'.

 

Furthermore, if the nobles will ally themselves and will try to overthrow Elayne/AS ruler, the WT may see this an a direct attack on the WT, and may force other leaders to side with Elaynem or intervene themselves alongside the WT armies.

A queen's foremost loyalties are to her country, Everything else comes second. We've seen enough evidence this is the case with Elayne, her loyalties are first to Andor and only then to the White Tower.

 

There hasn't been an AS queen in a very long time, the WT is going to have to rewrite some rules to deal with AS queens.

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A queen's foremost loyalties are to her country, Everything else comes second. We've seen enough evidence this is the case with Elayne, her loyalties are first to Andor and only then to the White Tower.

 

There hasn't been an AS queen in a very long time, the WT is going to have to rewrite some rules to deal with AS queens.

 

Actually, it's the other way around.

Andor needed a queen, but she refused to go to Caemlyn, and went to find the Bowl of the Winds instead(someone else could have gone instead). Rand had a lot of problems keeping things in order during that time, and Mat also lost a lot of time(he could have dealt with the Dragonsworn a lot faster/cleaner and save a lot of lives in the process).

During the struggle to gain support for her coronation, she had a lot of work dealing with the Kin, AM, Black Ajah, former damane, and was in danger to lose her life on more than one occasion, in matters not related to the succession.

 

Manetheren is another example to prove that a queen who is also AS sets a very bad precedent and raises many problems, which in that particular case had extremely unpleasant results.

 

 

And rules can be bent/broken, especially by a skilled liar(read AS). Maybe a new oath with a Oath Road for both the queen and the acting Amyrlin to keep the AS and the throne separate and the queen to have the throne as her first priority, done in front of the court and the other leaders will eliminate some of the problems, but there will always be questions about these problems.

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Actually, it's the other way around.

Andor needed a queen, but she refused to go to Caemlyn, and went to find the Bowl of the Winds instead(someone else could have gone instead).

 

Elayne had to go, her and Nyaneve were the only two involved with the "need" search in Tar. If you recall Nynaeve was wrong about the details of the house in which it was hidden so who knows if they would have even found it had she not. In addition she is far more accomplished than any other AS at working the weather.

 

I think it was admirable that she put the needs of the world before her political aspirations. As LazyMonk said her inner thoughts show how important her country is and the pressure she feels in living up to the great Andoran Queens. There maybe a problem with some Queens as AS but not this one.

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I agree with Suttree, there's no problem with Elayne as Queen (other than the inherent problems of Monarchy, and that she acts like a monarch, which makes me hate her). Still, Aiel Blademaster's example DID prove that Elayne hasn't always put Andor's interests first (not saying she should have). Problems may arise when there's a conflict of interest between Andor and the White Tower. Also, I think Egwene is able to peel the hide of Elayne's skin (is that an expression? I thought it was, but wasn't sure. Please confirm or refute :)).

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I agree with Suttree, there's no problem with Elayne as Queen (other than the inherent problems of Monarchy, and that she acts like a monarch, which makes me hate her). Still, Aiel Blademaster's example DID prove that Elayne hasn't always put Andor's interests first (not saying she should have). Problems may arise when there's a conflict of interest between Andor and the White Tower. Also, I think Egwene is able to peel the hide of Elayne's skin (is that an expression? I thought it was, but wasn't sure. Please confirm or refute :)).

 

I believe it would be the other way around: "peel the skin off Elayne's hide".

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