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About Pregnant Aes Sedai


randsc
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Thread inspired by Spoke's, below.

 

Why would we think that women aged somewhere between 50 and 300 years could get pregnant, just because their faces don't show their age? Is there something I have missed in the text that indicates that working with the power would have this effect? I mean, I first thought that Suian's stilling and new youthful appearance meant that Gareth Byrne was wrong about it being, "too late for House Byrne" but then I talked myself out of it. Suian's over 50 no matter what her face looks like.

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Why would we think that women aged somewhere between 50 and 300 years could get pregnant, just because their faces don't show their age? Is there something I have missed in the text that indicates that working with the power would have this effect? I mean, I first thought that Suian's stilling and new youthful appearance meant that Gareth Byrne was wrong about it being, "too late for House Byrne" but then I talked myself out of it. Suian's over 50 no matter what her face looks like.

Ilyena was Aes Sedai and married LTT "about fifty years before the beginning of the War of the Shadow" (BWB), but had young children with him when he went mad and killed his family.

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Well, their bodies appear to be youthful for longer then non-channelers and last longer. It stands to reason that all physical processes of aging, including menopause, are slowed by channeling. So the body of an Aes Sedai who is 150 is in the same physical shape as a normal 40 year old (as an example, I don't know the actual conversion). But I wouldn't expect someone as old as Cadsuane to be able to have kids because her body is near the end of it's life (so maybe 80ish for a normal person).

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Thread inspired by Spoke's, below.

 

Why would we think that women aged somewhere between 50 and 300 years could get pregnant, just because their faces don't show their age? Is there something I have missed in the text that indicates that working with the power would have this effect? I mean, I first thought that Suian's stilling and new youthful appearance meant that Gareth Byrne was wrong about it being, "too late for House Byrne" but then I talked myself out of it. Suian's over 50 no matter what her face looks like.

 

 

One AS from the Yellow Ajah told them that she's in perfect/optimal childbearing condition. As in, she can do it now, and probably in 20-30 years from now.

 

EDIT: I think sleepinghour is right. LTT was over 400 years old, and he had small children, which he later kills. If a man can still be able to reproduce after 400 years, I think it's safe to say that an AS(with oaths) can have children even after 100-150 years.

Edited by Aiel Blademaster
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EDIT: I think sleepinghour is right. LTT was over 400 years old, and he had small children, which he later kills. If a man can still be able to reproduce after 400 years, I think it's safe to say that an AS(with oaths) can have children even after 100-150 years.

 

That simply doesn't follow, biologically.

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Guest PiotrekS

Let's assume an Aes Sedai can live 300 years on average. Taking 80 years as an average lifetime of a woman (I'm just taking these numbers from my head, they could be somehow inaccurate), it would seem that an Aes Sedai could bear children when 150 years old or even older - it would be equivalent to an age of 40 years for a woman in real world.

 

If they actually live longer, then the whole ageing process must go slower and not only external signs of ageing are affected.

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Let's assume an Aes Sedai can live 300 years on average. Taking 80 years as an average lifetime of a woman (I'm just taking these numbers from my head, they could be somehow inaccurate), it would seem that an Aes Sedai could bear children when 150 years old or even older - it would be equivalent to an age of 40 years for a woman in real world.

 

If they actually live longer, then the whole ageing process must go slower and not only external signs of ageing are affected.

 

I don't think that follows. Are female infants who will turn out to be channelers born with more oogonia?

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LTT was over 400 years old, and he had small children, which he later kills. If a man can still be able to reproduce after 400 years, I think it's safe to say that an AS(with oaths) can have children even after 100-150 years.

Well, my point was that Ilyena was at least 70 years old when she had her children. So my guess is that unbound female channelers (with a life expectancy of 600-700) remain fertile until they're 250-300 at least.

 

The BWB also mentions this:

 

Because of the use of the Power in health care, most people did not have to fear dying from disease or injury. The average life expectancy was between one hundred and fifty and two hundred years. For Aes Sedai it was considerably longer, since use of the One Power somehow enhanced the youth and durability of the channeler’s body, greatly extending his or her life. There are records of some Aes Sedai being considered barely middle-aged at three hundred years, and some channelers may have lived seven hundred years or more. Since long life spans and excellent health care resulted in large viable populations, it is fortunate that birth-control methods were extremely reliable and without side effects.
Edited by sleepinghour
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EDIT: I think sleepinghour is right. LTT was over 400 years old, and he had small children, which he later kills. If a man can still be able to reproduce after 400 years, I think it's safe to say that an AS(with oaths) can have children even after 100-150 years.

 

That simply doesn't follow, biologically.

 

 

Why not? Channelers age several times slower. A 400 man that can channel has all the characteristics of a 50+ man.

Why shouldn't this be the same for women? They don't age on the outside, but they are rotting inside?!?

I don't follow your line of thought.

 

 

I don't think that follows. Are female infants who will turn out to be channelers born with more oogonia?

If they can hurl fire, create lightning, live for almost a 1000 years, can boil your blood, control your mind, etc, it's so hard to believe that they may have some extra ovules?

Edited by Aiel Blademaster
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Yeah, I'm no biologist, but I figure something like menopause has more to do with someone's biological clock than calendar years. For instance, non-channelers during the Age of Legends had a very high life expectancy of around 150 years, due to better living conditions, high technology/One Power technology and Healing. Chances are they could still give birth well past anyone living today.

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Guest PiotrekS

Let's assume an Aes Sedai can live 300 years on average. Taking 80 years as an average lifetime of a woman (I'm just taking these numbers from my head, they could be somehow inaccurate), it would seem that an Aes Sedai could bear children when 150 years old or even older - it would be equivalent to an age of 40 years for a woman in real world.

 

If they actually live longer, then the whole ageing process must go slower and not only external signs of ageing are affected.

 

I don't think that follows. Are female infants who will turn out to be channelers born with more oogonia?

 

Maybe the menstrual cycle is longer? It would make sense in light of general slowing down of processes in the organism (allowing for a longer lifespan) and the rarity of Aes Sedai pregnancies (apart from their often solitary lifestyle). The same number of oogonia + longer cycle= longer period of fertility.

 

But is it 100% consistent biologically? I'm not an expert, but I guess not.

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Let's assume an Aes Sedai can live 300 years on average. Taking 80 years as an average lifetime of a woman (I'm just taking these numbers from my head, they could be somehow inaccurate), it would seem that an Aes Sedai could bear children when 150 years old or even older - it would be equivalent to an age of 40 years for a woman in real world.

 

If they actually live longer, then the whole ageing process must go slower and not only external signs of ageing are affected.

 

I don't think that follows. Are female infants who will turn out to be channelers born with more oogonia?

 

Maybe the menstrual cycle is longer? It would make sense in light of general slowing down of processes in the organism (allowing for a longer lifespan) and the rarity of Aes Sedai pregnancies (apart from their often solitary lifestyle). The same number of oogonia + longer cycle= longer period of fertility.

 

But is it 100% consistent biologically? I'm not an expert, but I guess not.

 

Elayne's is apparently synchronised with Birgitte's who can not channel, so probably not.

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Guest PiotrekS

Let's assume an Aes Sedai can live 300 years on average. Taking 80 years as an average lifetime of a woman (I'm just taking these numbers from my head, they could be somehow inaccurate), it would seem that an Aes Sedai could bear children when 150 years old or even older - it would be equivalent to an age of 40 years for a woman in real world.

 

If they actually live longer, then the whole ageing process must go slower and not only external signs of ageing are affected.

 

I don't think that follows. Are female infants who will turn out to be channelers born with more oogonia?

 

Maybe the menstrual cycle is longer? It would make sense in light of general slowing down of processes in the organism (allowing for a longer lifespan) and the rarity of Aes Sedai pregnancies (apart from their often solitary lifestyle). The same number of oogonia + longer cycle= longer period of fertility.

 

But is it 100% consistent biologically? I'm not an expert, but I guess not.

 

Elayne's is apparently synchronised with Birgitte's who can not channel, so probably not.

 

Wow, a good point! So either Birgitte is a special case, or it simply is not consistent with biological knowledge or-as Randsc said - Aes Sedai are fertile for no longer than non-channelers.

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Let's assume an Aes Sedai can live 300 years on average. Taking 80 years as an average lifetime of a woman (I'm just taking these numbers from my head, they could be somehow inaccurate), it would seem that an Aes Sedai could bear children when 150 years old or even older - it would be equivalent to an age of 40 years for a woman in real world.

 

If they actually live longer, then the whole ageing process must go slower and not only external signs of ageing are affected.

 

I don't think that follows. Are female infants who will turn out to be channelers born with more oogonia?

 

Maybe the menstrual cycle is longer? It would make sense in light of general slowing down of processes in the organism (allowing for a longer lifespan) and the rarity of Aes Sedai pregnancies (apart from their often solitary lifestyle). The same number of oogonia + longer cycle= longer period of fertility.

 

But is it 100% consistent biologically? I'm not an expert, but I guess not.

 

Elayne's is apparently synchronised with Birgitte's who can not channel, so probably not.

 

Exactly.

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Guest PiotrekS

Anyway, it's a fantasy. RJ did his best to make it realistic, but will everything truely be logical.

 

And this, of course, is the real answer. And ought to give us pause when we parse ANYTHING in this series too closely.

 

Of course, but it was fun to at least try to find an explanation. RJ simply couldn't have though about every detail that is connected with any of the things he decided to change, it is too overwhelming a task for any writer.

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Let's assume an Aes Sedai can live 300 years on average. Taking 80 years as an average lifetime of a woman (I'm just taking these numbers from my head, they could be somehow inaccurate), it would seem that an Aes Sedai could bear children when 150 years old or even older - it would be equivalent to an age of 40 years for a woman in real world.

 

If they actually live longer, then the whole ageing process must go slower and not only external signs of ageing are affected.

 

I don't think that follows. Are female infants who will turn out to be channelers born with more oogonia?

 

Maybe the menstrual cycle is longer? It would make sense in light of general slowing down of processes in the organism (allowing for a longer lifespan) and the rarity of Aes Sedai pregnancies (apart from their often solitary lifestyle). The same number of oogonia + longer cycle= longer period of fertility.

 

But is it 100% consistent biologically? I'm not an expert, but I guess not.

 

Elayne's is apparently synchronised with Birgitte's who can not channel, so probably not.

 

Wow, a good point! So either Birgitte is a special case, or it simply is not consistent with biological knowledge or-as Randsc said - Aes Sedai are fertile for no longer than non-channelers.

 

The second. LTT was 400 years old when he died, meaning he was 350 when he married Ilyena. If Ilyena went through menopause like a normal woman then she would have been very, very young when they married, particularly when compared to LTT's age. If the youngest of their "small children" was say 10 when he died, then he was born 40 years after they were married. The average age for menopause is like 50. So if she had him at that age then she would have been 10 when they married. The further you push back when she went through menopause, the older she was when she married. If she was 20 when they married then she had a child at the age of 60, which, while possible is rather unlikely. And that would still leave her 330 years younger than LTT when they married. Overall I'm thinking the second option is more likely.

Edited by Master Ablar
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Guest PiotrekS

Let's assume an Aes Sedai can live 300 years on average. Taking 80 years as an average lifetime of a woman (I'm just taking these numbers from my head, they could be somehow inaccurate), it would seem that an Aes Sedai could bear children when 150 years old or even older - it would be equivalent to an age of 40 years for a woman in real world.

 

If they actually live longer, then the whole ageing process must go slower and not only external signs of ageing are affected.

 

I don't think that follows. Are female infants who will turn out to be channelers born with more oogonia?

 

Maybe the menstrual cycle is longer? It would make sense in light of general slowing down of processes in the organism (allowing for a longer lifespan) and the rarity of Aes Sedai pregnancies (apart from their often solitary lifestyle). The same number of oogonia + longer cycle= longer period of fertility.

 

But is it 100% consistent biologically? I'm not an expert, but I guess not.

 

Elayne's is apparently synchronised with Birgitte's who can not channel, so probably not.

 

Wow, a good point! So either Birgitte is a special case, or it simply is not consistent with biological knowledge or-as Randsc said - Aes Sedai are fertile for no longer than non-channelers.

 

The second. LTT was 400 years old when he died, meaning he was 350 when he married Ilyena. If Ilyena went through menopause like a normal woman then she would have been very, very young when they married, particularly when compared to LTT's age. If the youngest of their "small children" was say 10 when he died, then he was born 40 years after they were married. The average age for menopause is like 50. So if she had him at that age then she would have been 10 when they married. The further you push back when she went through menopause, the older she was when she married. If she was 20 when they married then she had a child at the age of 60, which, while possible is rather unlikely. And that would still leave her 330 years younger than LTT when they married. Overall I'm thinking the second option is the more likely.

 

I agree,these are good points.

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Suiane can have kids anyhow, regardless of stilling.

She's only around 43-44 - well below normal menopause

She and Moirane were the same age.

 

Also

Setalle Martine Janata Anan knew Zarya who fled from the WT over 70 years ago.

Ergo, Martine Janata was at least 16+ more than 70 years ago.

She is a minimum 85+ - probably quite a bit more, if she was a full As over 70 years ago.

She had her first kid around 20 years ago.

Do the maths.

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Wow, a good point! So either Birgitte is a special case, or it simply is not consistent with biological knowledge or-as Randsc said - Aes Sedai are fertile for no longer than non-channelers.

 

The special case has a major potential explanation, thanks to the bond. That is to say, Elayne would have had a longer cycle, but Brigitte screwed it up. Another explanation that dovetails with the first is that cycles slow down as the Aes Sedai ages. So, Elayne might be on a twenty-eight day cycle when she starts channeling, but then twenty nine days the next month, thirty or thirty one the next, etc. Brigitte might be slowing down to match Elayne.

 

At the end of the day, this series was started by a man, and is being finished by a man, so I doubt that either of them are going to have written down anything explaining exactly how it works. It's just not something a guy really wants to think about for the most part. We men would much rather shrug and assume that the plumbing all still works, no explanation needed, thank you very much.

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One thing to note is that Elayne has only been channeling for around a year--she won't have slowed yet. Furthermore its interesting to note that Melaine also is quite young, and Amys, the other cited to channeler to have children had them in the time before she wouldn't have slowed--Rhuarc's children are all grown, which means Amys made have had her children shortly after completing her apprenticeship.

 

It's possible the menstrual cycle does slow in line with the rest of it, and that for slowed channelers the fertile time is much less frequent--it might explain the complete lack of children to Aes Sedai (who don't marry often, but there are a fair number who do still do the naughty).

 

I'm not saying its impossible, just that the ease with which Melaine, Elayne and Amys got pregnant may not hold once a channeler has properly slowed.

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