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Egwene/the Aes Sedai

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i think her attributes, accomplishments, and personal network make her the perfect amyrlin. the greastest of all time. she has a right to be a bit high handed

 

 

Yes, she has a right to be a bit(or even more) high handed. I just don't have to like it :biggrin:

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i think her attributes, accomplishments, and personal network make her the perfect amyrlin. the greastest of all time. she has a right to be a bit high handed

 

Siuan did name her one of the greatest Amyrlins.

 

 

However, none of the Randlanders are that great, they do get wiped out by the Seanchan after TG. Once the Dragon Reborn is gone, they are history, literally.

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I guess the whole contention comes to this: does Egwene want the WT to become the leading force for all the female channelers in Randland? Does she want to start with mutually beneficial exchange program and then gradually increase the WT's influence, in order to maybe in the end absorb other groups into its own structure?

 

I think this is precisely what she wants, to give the WOs and the Sea Folk a good deal, help the world but also make them cross the point of no return - after that, the integration can only go deeper.

 

I it bad? Not at all. I guess every leader of every organization wants to increase its influence in the world and its members expect them to do so. So what is the problem? I guess there might be two problems:

 

1. You might say that the Aes Sedai had their chance to be the main playmaker in the channeling world and failed miserably. So you could expect more humility from them, rather than subtle efforts to get their dominant position back.

 

2. If you believe that the channeling society should have no central authority, but rather be a conglomerate of independent and equal groups whose contacts are limited to e.g. student exchange, then you might be cross with Egwene for thinking in terms of tying everyone with one central authority rather than safeguarding the independence of each group. Of course, as an Aes Sedai, she does what is perfectly reasonable from Aes Sedai perspective and good for the world at least in short run, but if you hoped that her time with the WOs might make her a little different, then you might be upset.

 

I personally see no big problem with the exhange program.

All this comparing Mierin to Egwene made me wonder if we are not going to see Egwene-Cyndane confrontation in TAR in the last book. I certainly hope not.

Edited by PiotrekS

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I guess the whole contention comes to this: does Egwene want the WT to become the leading force for all the female channelers in Randland? Does she want to start with mutually beneficial exchange program and then gradually increase the WT's influence, in order to maybe in the end absorb other groups into its own structure?

 

I think this is precisely what she wants, to give the WOs and the Sea Folk a good deal, help the world but also make them cross the point of no return - after that, the integration can only go deeper.

 

I it bad? Not at all. I guess every leader of every organization wants to increase its influence in the world and its members expect them to do so. So what is the problem? I guess there might be two problems:

 

1. You might say that the Aes Sedai had their chance to be the main playmaker in the channeling world and failed miserably. So you could expect more humility from them, rather than subtle efforts to get their dominant position back.

 

2. If you believe that the channeling society should have no central authority, but rather be a conglomerate of independent and equal groups whose contacts are limited to e.g. student exchange, then you might be cross with Egwene for thinking in terms of tying everyone with one central authority rather than safeguarding the independence of each group. Of course, as an Aes Sedai, she does what is perfectly reasonable from Aes Sedai perspective and good for the world at least in short run, but if you hoped that her time with the WOs might make her a little different, then you might be upset.

 

I personally see no big problem with the exhange program.

All this comparing Mierin to Egwene made me wonder if we won't see Egwene-Cyndane confrontation in TAR in the last book. I certainly hope not.

 

Whether in TAR, or in the real world, Egwene would be completely oumatched by Cyndane (as would nearly anybody), so I certainly hope not for her.

Edited by Master Ablar

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I guess the whole contention comes to this: does Egwene want the WT to become the leading force for all the female channelers in Randland? Does she want to start with mutually beneficial exchange program and then gradually increase the WT's influence, in order to maybe in the end absorb other groups into its own structure?

 

I think this is precisely what she wants, to give the WOs and the Sea Folk a good deal, help the world but also make them cross the point of no return - after that, the integration can only go deeper.

 

I it bad? Not at all. I guess every leader of every organization wants to increase its influence in the world and its members expect them to do so. So what is the problem? I guess there might be two problems:

 

1. You might say that the Aes Sedai had their chance to be the main playmaker in the channeling world and failed miserably. So you could expect more humility from them, rather than subtle efforts to get their dominant position back.

 

2. If you believe that the channeling society should have no central authority, but rather be a conglomerate of independent and equal groups whose contacts are limited to e.g. student exchange, then you might be cross with Egwene for thinking in terms of tying everyone with one central authority rather than safeguarding the independence of each group. Of course, as an Aes Sedai, she does what is perfectly reasonable from Aes Sedai perspective and good for the world at least in short run, but if you hoped that her time with the WOs might make her a little different, then you might be upset.

 

I personally see no big problem with the exhange program.

All this comparing Mierin to Egwene made me wonder if we won't see Egwene-Cyndane confrontation in TAR in the last book. I certainly hope not.

 

 

Her plan is a good one, on paper. But the AS are a very secretive bunch, and they chose to distance themselves from the world, so the WO and WF will loose their heritage.

At the moment, the WO that can channel and the Windfinders are working for their societies.

If Egwene's plan succeeds and in the future all women that can channel will be AS, the Atha'an Miere will cease to exist as they are today, because most of their success is based on Windfinders.

If every WO that can channel will became AS, the entire institution will be destabilized. They will lose their best and more experienced members, their life will be cut in half by the oaths, etc.

Any AS has to put the WT before all, so the WF will not be able to help on their ships, or the Aiel channelers will not be able to council/heal/protect the Aiel.

 

Egwene is also minimizing the risk of Hall meetings to depose the Amyrlin, is monopolizing the spy network of the Ajahs, is demanding personal oaths of fealty from the AS.

 

All looks good now, but what if we have another power hungry Amyrlin that will try to control everybody and everything?

By demanding oaths of fealty from the Sitters, she makes sure that any law she will chose to make will pass every time.

Because the AS will not be able to meet in secret anymore, they will have problems trying to gather support to depose her, giving her time to quench any resistance.

By controlling all spyes, she can make dozens of Manetheren situation before the other AS will even catch a rumor of something amiss.

 

At the moment, if the WT falls, the WO and WF societies will continue to exist just as before.

If the WT as a leading faction in a AS+WF+WO alliance will fall(DF Amyrlin or just a power hungry one, some plots to control rules fail miserably and are tied up back to the WT), the people will loose the little faith they still have with the AS, and if the WO and WF are under their control, they will also loose status.

 

Example. One Aiel faction is attacked by the Cairhien for some reason, and they loose many people in the attack.

The WT wants to stop the retaliation attack from the Aiel, and they are taking the Cairhien's side.

If the WO are in an alliance with the AS, and the Amyrlin is the leader of that alliance, can the Aiel clan chief be sure that the advice he receives from the channeling WO is for the good of the tribe, or does she just follows the instructions of the Amyrlin?!?

 

 

 

An exchange program is excellent, an alliance with equal partners is just what the Randland needs, but an alliance in which one of the sides(read AS) has more power than the other is prone to failure.

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I guess the whole contention comes to this: does Egwene want the WT to become the leading force for all the female channelers in Randland? Does she want to start with mutually beneficial exchange program and then gradually increase the WT's influence, in order to maybe in the end absorb other groups into its own structure?

 

I think this is precisely what she wants, to give the WOs and the Sea Folk a good deal, help the world but also make them cross the point of no return - after that, the integration can only go deeper.

 

I it bad? Not at all. I guess every leader of every organization wants to increase its influence in the world and its members expect them to do so. So what is the problem? I guess there might be two problems:

 

1. You might say that the Aes Sedai had their chance to be the main playmaker in the channeling world and failed miserably. So you could expect more humility from them, rather than subtle efforts to get their dominant position back.

 

2. If you believe that the channeling society should have no central authority, but rather be a conglomerate of independent and equal groups whose contacts are limited to e.g. student exchange, then you might be cross with Egwene for thinking in terms of tying everyone with one central authority rather than safeguarding the independence of each group. Of course, as an Aes Sedai, she does what is perfectly reasonable from Aes Sedai perspective and good for the world at least in short run, but if you hoped that her time with the WOs might make her a little different, then you might be upset.

 

I personally see no big problem with the exhange program.

All this comparing Mierin to Egwene made me wonder if we won't see Egwene-Cyndane confrontation in TAR in the last book. I certainly hope not.

 

 

Her plan is a good one, on paper. But the AS are a very secretive bunch, and they chose to distance themselves from the world, so the WO and WF will loose their heritage.

At the moment, the WO that can channel and the Windfinders are working for their societies.

If Egwene's plan succeeds and in the future all women that can channel will be AS, the Atha'an Miere will cease to exist as they are today, because most of their success is based on Windfinders.

If every WO that can channel will became AS, the entire institution will be destabilized. They will lose their best and more experienced members, their life will be cut in half by the oaths, etc.

Any AS has to put the WT before all, so the WF will not be able to help on their ships, or the Aiel channelers will not be able to council/heal/protect the Aiel.

 

Egwene is also minimizing the risk of Hall meetings to depose the Amyrlin, is monopolizing the spy network of the Ajahs, is demanding personal oaths of fealty from the AS.

 

All looks good now, but what if we have another power hungry Amyrlin that will try to control everybody and everything?

By demanding oaths of fealty from the Sitters, she makes sure that any law she will chose to make will pass every time.

Because the AS will not be able to meet in secret anymore, they will have problems trying to gather support to depose her, giving her time to quench any resistance.

By controlling all spyes, she can make dozens of Manetheren situation before the other AS will even catch a rumor of something amiss.

 

At the moment, if the WT falls, the WO and WF societies will continue to exist just as before.

If the WT as a leading faction in a AS+WF+WO alliance will fall(DF Amyrlin or just a power hungry one, some plots to control rules fail miserably and are tied up back to the WT), the people will loose the little faith they still have with the AS, and if the WO and WF are under their control, they will also loose status.

 

Example. One Aiel faction is attacked by the Cairhien for some reason, and they loose many people in the attack.

The WT wants to stop the retaliation attack from the Aiel, and they are taking the Cairhien's side.

If the WO are in an alliance with the AS, and the Amyrlin is the leader of that alliance, can the Aiel clan chief be sure that the advice he receives from the channeling WO is for the good of the tribe, or does she just follows the instructions of the Amyrlin?!?

 

 

 

An exchange program is excellent, an alliance with equal partners is just what the Randland needs, but an alliance in which one of the sides(read AS) has more power than the other is prone to failure.

 

Or, you know, it's just politics.

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Yes, but one more Manetheren resulting from the politics of the AS, and they'll go bye bye, taking all their allies down with them.

 

I think they'll have the BT in the future to even things out, so that the WT doesn't gain too much influence. It's all about balance.

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I thought it was about choice. The apprentice WO/WF train with AS then go back to there people and vice versa. If at the end of there training they decide to become AS then the choice is there's. The same goes for accepted if she decides she doesn't want to take the test for the shawl but wants to be a WO she has that choice. Doesn't she?

I think the biggest benefit of the exchange was have future WO/AS/WF know and understand each others cultures.

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I thought it was about choice. The apprentice WO/WF train with AS then go back to there people and vice versa. If at the end of there training they decide to become AS then the choice is there's. The same goes for accepted if she decides she doesn't want to take the test for the shawl but wants to be a WO she has that choice. Doesn't she?

I think the biggest benefit of the exchange was have future WO/AS/WF know and understand each others cultures.

 

 

Yes, but this is just the first step. Egwene is hoping that in the future the number of exchange students will increase, and they'll see the light and chose the WT over their societies.

Egwene thinks that the WT is the best choice, and that every student(or most of them) will see it that way.

That's why she's asking for the strongest. An WO apprentice may remain as an AS, but I don't think the Aiel will chose wetlanders as WO, and I don't think many women from outside the Aiel will want to do that, because the AS will give them more power, prestige, free money and the power to make the rulers of the world kneel at their feet.

On the other hand, Aiel can give them a very nice suntan and a lot of sand.

 

The same is said about the WF apprentices. They can chose to remain as AS, but a AS will not loose her chance to be able to make rulers kneel before them so they can work their behind all day long moving ships around the world.

And if the WT gets the strongest WO and WF each year, and AS novices also return from their study with a better understanding of weather, dreamwalking, waves without hand gestures, the power of the WT will increase in time, while the WO and WF will just loose the strongest members and also help train the strongest of the AS Accepeted.

But if they are stupid enough to say yes to that, they deserve what they are getting :biggrin:

 

And if this exchange program will develop into an alliance, the WT will have to make sure they have the upper hand.

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I think Egwene is actually just trying to ensure long-term understanding. I don't think she expects Aiel and Seafolk to become AS and vice-versa.

What she said to Melaine is true - it helps the Aiel that the WT is currently run by somebody who was an apprentice WO.

Similarly it could help the WT if various windfinders and WOs have spent time in the WT.

over time, they will all have a sharper understanding of each other and develop personal relationships that can help them to weld compromises when there are conflicts of interest.

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I think Egwene is actually just trying to ensure long-term understanding. I don't think she expects Aiel and Seafolk to become AS and vice-versa.

What she said to Melaine is true - it helps the Aiel that the WT is currently run by somebody who was an apprentice WO.

Similarly it could help the WT if various windfinders and WOs have spent time in the WT.

over time, they will all have a sharper understanding of each other and develop personal relationships that can help them to weld compromises when there are conflicts of interest.

 

This.

 

Egwene's own words in the chapter prove that what Aiel claims isn't what she's shooting for. The whole "world as it was can't be ours any longer/won't be a tyrant" line. She even discusses what would happen if Windfinders/WOs start manifesting talents and how they can't try to bring them under control. She expects all the groups to remain unique.

 

It's funny because Aiel and Kael are pretty much two side of the same coin. They both just analyze Egwene's action in the best/worst possible light. To speak to a few of his other points.

 

1. The new rules for the Hall were not so Amrylin's can't be deposed. It was to stop unfair votes being pushed through without full representation. If an Amrylin deserves it she will be shown the door.

 

2. She coopted one spy network, the Blue and it was very much a wartime power with TG on the doorstep.

 

3. Can you show me where Eggy demanded oaths of fealty from all the sitters? I don't remember that happening. If you are referring to the AS early in her reign as a "puppet" that was a very unique situation and will not be repeated. Sitters wouldn't swear the oath to an Amrylin.

 

I don't seem to remember any time when she showed him the respect he deserves.

 

How about when he learned he can channel and she was the only friend who stood by his side?

Edited by Suttree

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Guest PiotrekS

I don't seem to remember any time when she showed him the respect he deserves.

 

How about when he learned he can channel and she was the only friend who stood by his side?

 

I think Nynaeve also stood by him, despite some of her comments "You are too dangerous, Rand" etc.

 

Egwene in The Great Hunt was different, I've actually enjoyed reading about her.She was even merciful to Fain, thinking about Two Rivers, helping Rand (and in that, showing independent thinking, neither Two Rivers, nor Aes Sedai prejudices directed her then)...Different Egwene.

Edited by PiotrekS

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I thought it was about choice. The apprentice WO/WF train with AS then go back to there people and vice versa. If at the end of there training they decide to become AS then the choice is there's. The same goes for accepted if she decides she doesn't want to take the test for the shawl but wants to be a WO she has that choice. Doesn't she?

I think the biggest benefit of the exchange was have future WO/AS/WF know and understand each others cultures.

 

 

Yes, but this is just the first step. Egwene is hoping that in the future the number of exchange students will increase, and they'll see the light and chose the WT over their societies.

Egwene thinks that the WT is the best choice, and that every student(or most of them) will see it that way.

That's why she's asking for the strongest. An WO apprentice may remain as an AS, but I don't think the Aiel will chose wetlanders as WO, and I don't think many women from outside the Aiel will want to do that, because the AS will give them more power, prestige, free money and the power to make the rulers of the world kneel at their feet.

On the other hand, Aiel can give them a very nice suntan and a lot of sand.

 

The same is said about the WF apprentices. They can chose to remain as AS, but a AS will not loose her chance to be able to make rulers kneel before them so they can work their behind all day long moving ships around the world.

And if the WT gets the strongest WO and WF each year, and AS novices also return from their study with a better understanding of weather, dreamwalking, waves without hand gestures, the power of the WT will increase in time, while the WO and WF will just loose the strongest members and also help train the strongest of the AS Accepeted.

But if they are stupid enough to say yes to that, they deserve what they are getting :biggrin:

 

And if this exchange program will develop into an alliance, the WT will have to make sure they have the upper hand.

 

 

You don't know most would choose AS. I would be suprised if the Aiel return to the waste and they will be a world power after TG and the WO s have as much influance with them as AS have over wetlanders.(Maybe more)

And the Aiel will except wetlander WO's after all they would of excepted Egwene.

As for the the WF's who's to say accepted that train with them won't fall in love with the sea (its been known to happen) plus they would be important people amomg the sea folk.

Also AS influance is on the wane with the Aiel/Seanchan presance also the BT.

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You don't know most would choose AS. I would be suprised if the Aiel return to the waste and they will be a world power after TG and the WO s have as much influance with them as AS have over wetlanders.(Maybe more)

And the Aiel will except wetlander WO's after all they would of excepted Egwene.

As for the the WF's who's to say accepted that train with them won't fall in love with the sea (its been known to happen) plus they would be important people amomg the sea folk.

Also AS influance is on the wane with the Aiel/Seanchan presance also the BT.

 

 

Maybe not all, but the percentage of WO and WF choosing the WT will probably be larger than the percentage of Accepted that will chose to remain to serve on a ship for the rest of their life, or as a WO, knowing that as an Aiel WO, the raw strength is not important in achieving a higher rank, but experience is.

 

Yes, there are a lot of unclaimed lands in the Randlands, and if the Seachan will not claim them first, the Aiel will probably remain there after TG.

The Seachan are a wild card, and as long as they keep their territories they have today, they will be a pain in the behind for the WT.

 

The different factions of male channelers, and how much influence the BT will have will also play a big role in the way the female societies will ally themselves.

If the BT will manage to draw most of the male channelers to them, the WT, WO and WF will have to stick together in order to equal the power of the BT.

If every country will have it's own male channeler society(like the Aiel having the Dragon Blooded), then the guys will not be a threat to the female societies, so they'll continue as before.

 

At this moment in time, this discussion has a lot of 'what ifs' in it. Maybe in the next book we'll have a clearer picture about what the future will hold for the WT&co, concerning their alliances and training programs.

 

 

@Sutree

I'm not talking about the channeling part, I'm talking about after he's DR and he has the Aiel at his side.

She wasn't the only one who stood at his side then, from those who knew.

And I was talking about respect for his accomplishments and his position as DR, not friendship.

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To Aiel blademaster;

I know we were speculating (which for me is part of the fun of DM) I was just playing devils advocate against your implying that the exchange deal between As/WO/WF was some sort of long range plot by Egwene to gain control over all female channellers.

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Maybe Egwene thinks that, because she believes that the White Tower is the best thing for all channellers, but I don't think all the WO and WF apprentices will so easily give up their whole culture and people to become Aes Sedai. Just look at the Sea Folk Aes Sedai. They seclude themselves, seem like they're not really part of the Tower in a way, and from what I understand, they wish they could return. I think this exchange is just what it seems: a way for the different groups of channellers to mingle and get to know each other, and become tied to each other. And sure, some of them might decided to change sides. But I don't think the white tower will take over as easily as you suggest.

Edited by Rose

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I think Egwene is actually just trying to ensure long-term understanding. I don't think she expects Aiel and Seafolk to become AS and vice-versa.

What she said to Melaine is true - it helps the Aiel that the WT is currently run by somebody who was an apprentice WO.

Similarly it could help the WT if various windfinders and WOs have spent time in the WT.

over time, they will all have a sharper understanding of each other and develop personal relationships that can help them to weld compromises when there are conflicts of interest.

 

This.

 

Egwene's own words in the chapter prove that what Aiel claims isn't what she's shooting for. The whole "world as it was can't be ours any longer/won't be a tyrant" line. She even discusses what would happen if Windfinders/WOs start manifesting talents and how they can't try to bring them under control. She expects all the groups to remain unique.

 

It's funny because Aiel and Kael are pretty much two side of the same coin. They both just analyze Egwene's action in the best/worst possible light. To speak to a few of his other points.

 

1. The new rules for the Hall were not so Amrylin's can't be deposed. It was to stop unfair votes being pushed through without full representation. If an Amrylin deserves it she will be shown the door.

 

2. She coopted one spy network, the Blue and it was very much a wartime power with TG on the doorstep.

 

3. Can you show me where Eggy demanded oaths of fealty from all the sitters? I don't remember that happening. If you are referring to the AS early in her reign as a "puppet" that was a very unique situation and will not be repeated. Sitters wouldn't swear the oath to an Amrylin.

 

I don't seem to remember any time when she showed him the respect he deserves.

 

How about when he learned he can channel and she was the only friend who stood by his side?

 

Most of the time I tend to agree with you, so I'm not entirely sure why you're distancing yourself. Like this for example I have no objections with at all... so I'm a little confused. I also agree with the quote above, and I think it is the ultimate goal and likely outcome.

 

However, I think it's also possible that the WT could suffocate the other cultures out of existence. But I would argue that that is a risk those other cultures take on willingly. So while it very well COULD be a possibility, it's not Egwene's fault or ultimate goal.

 

Just like when Nynaeve is kissing Birgitte's ass because she feels responsible for getting her torn from TAR. And Birgitte chides Nynaeve for trying to take responsibility for her own actions. Those who think the Wise One's and WFs are helpless children in Egwene's hands are being just as offensive.

 

And no the "confusion" does not instantly mean both sides have legitimate claims. The "unbalanced" side simply just don't know the difference between chains and bands, the purpose of lace, or how treaties affect sovereignty. Yes there are trade-offs, that doesn't make the person presenting the deal a sleazeball because she'd prefer one outcome over the other. They see a thought from Egwene, something she's clearly not willing to say aloud, and therefore it MUST be bad. And they start from that viewpoint before they even get to the content.

 

I mean DM would be pretty dull if we were like "Well that's an interesting alternative" to every suggestion that was clearly untrue. "But it's not clear". It IS clear. There's no mention of "chains", which is pretty clearly a perception distortion of what was actually said to fit the preconceived opinion.

Edited by Kael Pyralis

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K, since we are on this alliance topic, and we know that Egwene is trying to stop Rand from breaking the seals, and make him 'see reason', how do you think the other channelers groups will respond?

 

-AS are 100% on Egwene's side(Nynaeve may help him if he found the missing pieces to his plan)

-Elayne...I can't be sure. Egwene seems to be sure she'll take her side, but if Rand will have a good plan, even if part of it will be to break the seals, she'll probably be on his side.

-the WF are tied up with Rand by their prophecies and Bargain, but will it be enough?

-the WO will probably be in the Rand camp, but if he kneels to the Seachan to get their support, they'll probably stop considering him the Car'a'can, and who knows what they'll then.

-the BT will be purged of DF, and Logain will probably be the leader. Since Nyn healed him, and Egwene helped him escape, combined with the fact that he believes Rand is teaching only Taim and his cronies, and he doesn't even believe Rand cleansed the saidin, maybe he can make a joint front with the WT, if only to stop Rand from breaking the Seals.

 

The damane will do what Fortuona will tell them to do, so even if Egwene will somehow manage to unite all of Randland armies and all the channelers groups against Rand, he can simply go to Ebou Dar, kneel to Fortuona, and have an army and his channelers.

 

So, after Egwene will gather everybody, how do you think the two camps will look like?

Who will side with the WT and who with Rand?

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The White Tower has a lot to recommend it. For one thing, it’s the only truly democratic institution in the world (though in fairness, its system is closer to being republican). The daughter of a Tairen fisherman or a Two Rivers innkeeper has every bit as much of a chance at coming to a position of power as a highborn noble or a rich merchant. As an institution, the White Tower doesn’t care where you’re from either; I think that I may be justified in saying that there’s no institutional racism towards nationalities and ethnic groups within the Tower.

 

As a repository of knowledge, as an institution they’ve been keeping records for thousands of years. No institution in our time even comes close. It’d be like having a library in the world that was founded just as the Trojan War was ending. There are other things to recommend it as well, such as a guaranteed income, guaranteed residence that has been on the whole the second safest place in the world over the last three thousand years, etc. There’s also a certain degree of power and prestige.

 

So, despite the drawbacks (cutting your age in half, personal restrictions from the Oaths, potential continuation of a hierarchy that equates strength in the Power with authority, etc) the White Tower becomes a fairly pleasant choice for people.

 

I recognize that the Wise One apprentices and the Windfinder apprentices are their own women, capable of making their own choices. Nevertheless, I believe that loss of culture may yet occur. The easiest comparisons I can make are to the big box bookstores and the international cafes like Starbucks. They often drive smaller, local independent sellers out of business. In my city (Halifax, Nova Scotia) there’s only really one independent bookstore left selling new books. The situation with regards to coffee isn’t quite as bad, with some places finding superior locations, superior product, or integrating with other operations to keep going against the weight of Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and Second Cup. Along those lines: how many people have been buying the Wheel of Time from independent bookstores, rather than from one of the large national chains or online retailers?

 

I think that it’ll be the same way with the WO/WF apprentices, or at least that Egwene intends it to be. They’ll choose Starbucks over Steve-A-Reno’s Cappuccino, they’ll choose Amazon over The Bookmark, and they’ll choose the White Tower over being Windfinder to a skiff with sails. The WO/WF leaders are right to fear a loss of culture.

 

Having said that, loss of culture isn’t always bad. Sometimes, the great discounts and the standardization of product and service (a Chai tea in London, New York or Halifax tastes pretty much the same from Starbucks, and totally delicious) makes the loss of independence worthwhile.

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The White Tower has a lot to recommend it. For one thing, it’s the only truly democratic institution in the world (though in fairness, its system is closer to being republican). The daughter of a Tairen fisherman or a Two Rivers innkeeper has every bit as much of a chance at coming to a position of power as a highborn noble or a rich merchant. As an institution, the White Tower doesn’t care where you’re from either; I think that I may be justified in saying that there’s no institutional racism towards nationalities and ethnic groups within the Tower.

 

As a repository of knowledge, as an institution they’ve been keeping records for thousands of years. No institution in our time even comes close. It’d be like having a library in the world that was founded just as the Trojan War was ending. There are other things to recommend it as well, such as a guaranteed income, guaranteed residence that has been on the whole the second safest place in the world over the last three thousand years, etc. There’s also a certain degree of power and prestige.

 

So, despite the drawbacks (cutting your age in half, personal restrictions from the Oaths, potential continuation of a hierarchy that equates strength in the Power with authority, etc) the White Tower becomes a fairly pleasant choice for people.

 

I recognize that the Wise One apprentices and the Windfinder apprentices are their own women, capable of making their own choices. Nevertheless, I believe that loss of culture may yet occur. The easiest comparisons I can make are to the big box bookstores and the international cafes like Starbucks. They often drive smaller, local independent sellers out of business. In my city (Halifax, Nova Scotia) there’s only really one independent bookstore left selling new books. The situation with regards to coffee isn’t quite as bad, with some places finding superior locations, superior product, or integrating with other operations to keep going against the weight of Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and Second Cup. Along those lines: how many people have been buying the Wheel of Time from independent bookstores, rather than from one of the large national chains or online retailers?

 

I think that it’ll be the same way with the WO/WF apprentices, or at least that Egwene intends it to be. They’ll choose Starbucks over Steve-A-Reno’s Cappuccino, they’ll choose Amazon over The Bookmark, and they’ll choose the White Tower over being Windfinder to a skiff with sails. The WO/WF leaders are right to fear a loss of culture.

 

Having said that, loss of culture isn’t always bad. Sometimes, the great discounts and the standardization of product and service (a Chai tea in London, New York or Halifax tastes pretty much the same from Starbucks, and totally delicious) makes the loss of independence worthwhile.

 

 

Errr okay were to start.

I think a lot of your points about the merits of the WT were spot on.

With respect I think you got a bit carried away with the whole big guy, little guy comparision.

Why do people insist at this exchange deal will make a loss of culture, I see it rather as a change of culture for EVERYONE including the WT, after TG all will change. I am not totally blind to your points big multi nationals are cutting out the corner shop, to an exstent. A lot of people in my own city (Liverpool, England) people wine about how americanized we've become. I see it differently I see us listening to american music,tv shows ect, coppying then putting our own unique spin on it. Case in point the Beatles took american rock an roll music and made something new that changed both cultures.

Anyway gone of the point abit (sorry) the world will change after TG the Aiel may wont a city in the wetlands as well, greenthings may even grow in the waste, the Sea Folk will have acess to all the Sea's of the world. All as big culture shocks as sending apprentice channellers to the WT. And just as WT will infect WF/WO there's will infect them.

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Yes, there will likely be some transference, but the Wise Ones and Windfinders will need to be alert and proactive in ensuring that they're not changed more than they want to be changed.

 

You use the example of American music, TV, etc. Look at the top of the charts right now on BBC Radio 1: half of the top ten are not British, and this is not unusual. The thing that's important to note here is that a) most of the British acts that are showing in that top 10 are relative unknowns in America (for example, I don't think that Olly Murs has actually even released a single in the US yet), and b) there are very strong, very specific mechanisms in place in the British music industry to support, develop, and promote British artists. BBC Introducing is an example of that; really, the BBC in general does a huge amount to keep you aware of your own culture. IMO, the BBC is the greatest bulwark of defense that exists for a specific culture in this world. And even outside that, there are some great examples of local British creations trumping America's multinationals - I prefer a Pret to a Starbucks for example.

 

But I digress slightly.

 

A best case scenario has all parties taking something from each other, each organization improving and gaining new strengths. That may yet occur. Best case scenarios having a habit of not occurring nearly often enough, I think that the worst aspects of the White Tower continuing to flourish and to infect other traditions is a legitimate concern, as well as the White Tower establishing itself as the senior institution.

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