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Pillowfriends


ElusiveAthena
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This is something that I asked the Blue Ajah, but I thought I'd open it up to everyone. What exactty are pillowfriends? I know in the Tower Novice Quarters there are little holes in the wall near the bed-head for you to talk to a friend through, but is there a more intimate connotation? In "New Spring" there are a few hints that Moiraine and Siuan are closer than friends, and I think it's "Knife of Dreams" or thereabouts where Elaida and a Grey sister who dresses revealingly consider "being pillowfriends again" or something. What do you think?

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Guest PiotrekS
Pillow friends are not just good friends. Oh, they are that, too, but they also get hot and sweaty together and muss up the sheets something fierce. By the way, pillow friends is a term used in the White Tower. The same relationship between men or women elsewhere would be called something else, depending on the country.
(Robert Jordan's Blog, September 30 2005)
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While I think pillow-friends can develop into a sexual relationship, I don't necessarily think all pillow-friends are necessarily sexual.

 

In terms of Venn diagrams, I'd say pillow friends would be the big circle, with the sexual relationship/pillow-friends inside it.

 

For example. Elaida and her Gray were, but I'm not certain about Moiraine and Siuan. Elyane and Egwene were not. Though, of course, one can argue if Elayne and Egwene are actually "pillow-friends" at all, as RJ meant the term, but they certainly have shared a bed, and intimate personal details with each other. Just no sex.

 

For me, I think the term can be used more broadly. And not to get too Clintonian, but one person's definition of sex can be a bit different than another's.

Edited by TheAngryDruid
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Pillow friends are not just good friends. Oh, they are that, too, but they also get hot and sweaty together and muss up the sheets something fierce. By the way, pillow friends is a term used in the White Tower. The same relationship between men or women elsewhere would be called something else, depending on the country.
(Robert Jordan's Blog, September 30 2005)

 

 

can't really argue with this.

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Guest PiotrekS

I agree with Cindy.

 

It is on the other hand weird how Siuan and Moiraine walk away from each other and this relationship, which tended to be very close from what we can gather from New Spring, just ceases to be without any kind of...Anything. Some people has criticized RJ for treating Siuan's and Moiraine's relatinship not seriously enough, in "lesbian until graduation" kind of way. But who knows how this relationships really work? Certainly not me :wink:

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Yeah, Siuan and Moiraine were pillowfriends. Moiraine was pretty mortified in New Spring upon first meeting Cadsuane because her and the other sisters there were openly discussing the fact.

 

As for the "lesbians until graduation" thing, it seems weird but it kind of makes sense. Pillowfriend isn't just another term for a same sex relationship, it's a very specific kind of relationship that has a lot to do with the culture of living in the Tower. I think to AS it's just sort of accepted that you grow out of pillow friendship once reaching the shawl, because the stresses of every day life and intense training are removed. Not to say that AS don't have stress or training, but they aren't going through the meat grinder of the rigorous novice/Accepted lifestyle. Also, novices and Accepted are younger with more raging hormones.

 

I hate to make this comparison, or at least hope it's not misinterpreted, but I kind of see pillowfriends being similar to being "prison gay" a little. Granted, pillow friends seem to have a much more intimate relationship, but it's another example of a situation where people who are denied much interaction with the opposite sex engage in temporary same sex relationships.

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Re: Suian and Moiraine's relationship.

 

I don't think it was done badly. I mean, look at Moiraine and Suian. They probably have the strongest wills out of everyone in the series. I mean, look what Moiraine sacrificed for Rand. Moiraine accepted imprisonment by the finns and accepted the possibility of death to save Rand.They found something much more important than themselves, I have no trouble seeing them throw away such a relationship for the greater good. Its totally in sync with their characters.

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Yeah. It's not like they stopped being friends for no reason. In addition to wanting to make people forget they were friends as novices/Accepted in order to remain low key, Siuan was Amyrlin for ten of the twenty years they were searching for Rand, and I don't think Moiraine went back to the Tower more than a couple of times after initially leaving.

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The main thing this thread makes me think of was in New Spring, where somewhere in a Moiraine POV she says she could kiss Siuan, and did. I think pillow friends implies a semi-sexual relationship, but does not exclude or limit the 'pillow-friends' from dreaming of or practising in other relationships - re: Siuan and the footman, or Moiraine's exploits when she found out she would be departing from Cairhein to the Tower.

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