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Torture of Siuan Sanche and 3 Oaths


zerachiel76
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I've just been rereading TSR again and got up to the bit where Siuan Sanche was overthrown, tortured and stilled and it got me thinking. Surely the torture bit where they got all the info out of her broke the 3rd oath:

 

Never use the One Power as a weapon, except against Shadowspawn (Darkfriends also qualify), to save her own life, or her Warder's, or the life of another sister.

 

Surely when they were torturing her to find out all she knew they were breaking this. I know some of the people doing the torturing were Black Ajah and thus could do what they wanted but the rest including Elaida weren't. Since Min says afterwards that they didn't name Siuan as a darkfriend when they announced what had happened and they couldn't lie, then the get out clause of the shadowspawn/darkfriend doesn't apply. Surely this is a large loophole/plot oversight?

 

Of course it's possible that they used physical torture instead, whips etc but I seem to remember that Elaida in particular used the one power to start the beatings in Siuan's office. What does everyone think?

 

On a secondary question, is it ever stated EXACTLY what charges were used to overthrow Siuan or were they just implied?

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I've just been rereading TSR again and got up to the bit where Siuan Sanche was overthrown, tortured and stilled and it got me thinking. Surely the torture bit where they got all the info out of her broke the 3rd oath:

 

Never use the One Power as a weapon, except against Shadowspawn (Darkfriends also qualify), to save her own life, or her Warder's, or the life of another sister.

 

Surely when they were torturing her to find out all she knew they were breaking this. I know some of the people doing the torturing were Black Ajah and thus could do what they wanted but the rest including Elaida weren't. Since Min says afterwards that they didn't name Siuan as a darkfriend when they announced what had happened and they couldn't lie, then the get out clause of the shadowspawn/darkfriend doesn't apply. Surely this is a large loophole/plot oversight?

 

Of course it's possible that they used physical torture instead, whips etc but I seem to remember that Elaida in particular used the one power to start the beatings in Siuan's office. What does everyone think?

 

On a secondary question, is it ever stated EXACTLY what charges were used to overthrow Siuan or were they just implied?

 

First off most people forget that despite Elaida being at the forefront the whole thing had the BA pulling strings in the background from the start. In addition that hastily called session should not have counted as with many sisters absent the deciding votes to depose Siuan were all BA, thus legally voiding the proceedings. This is one of the major reasons the voting rules are changed later in the story.

 

As for the torture either the AS doing so would have had to "convince" themselves Siuan was BA like Elaida did to Egwene or the torture was physical.

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The Oaths depend on interpretation. If an Aes sedai does not consider torture with the OP as using the OP as a weapon, she will not have a problem.

 

This.

 

For my understanding of the Oaths, a weapon kills, but torture only injures. Along the same lines as the lying Oath, it is only a lie if you believe it is a lie.

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The Oaths depend on interpretation. If an Aes sedai does not consider torture with the OP as using the OP as a weapon, she will not have a problem.

 

 

That would work. A weapon is used during combat. Torture is not combat so it would be viewed as noting using it as a weapon. But at the same time, torturing an initiate of the tower is against tower law.

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IIRC, Vandeme and Adeleas explain clearly what can be done in the way of questioning by AS. From the description of what they did to the two captured BA we can extrapolate that SS could very well have been tortured while adhering to Tower Law. Also note what was done to Egwene and that wasn;t even counted as torture.

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The Oaths depend on interpretation. If an Aes sedai does not consider torture with the OP as using the OP as a weapon, she will not have a problem.

 

 

That would work. A weapon is used during combat. Torture is not combat so it would be viewed as noting using it as a weapon. But at the same time, torturing an initiate of the tower is against tower law.

 

Technicalities. I call it administering punishment for not cooperating to the initiate, and someone else calls it torture.

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The Oaths depend on interpretation. If an Aes sedai does not consider torture with the OP as using the OP as a weapon, she will not have a problem.

 

 

That would work. A weapon is used during combat. Torture is not combat so it would be viewed as noting using it as a weapon. But at the same time, torturing an initiate of the tower is against tower law.

 

Yet it the Aes Sedai thought torturing someone was for the good of the Tower they could do it. The Oaths dont say you have to obey Tower law.

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Thanks for the thoughts guys, it had been really bugging me trying to think how that scene wasn't a plot oversight but I see how loose the 3 oaths are. It just makes me dislike the non rebel Aes Sedai more. Any of them who can support Elaida must have no morality at all if they condone torture like they did and Elaida deserves everything she gets.

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(Excluding the stilling) I don't think Siuan suffered a 10th of what Egwene went through during her imprisonment in the WT. And what Egwene suffered was legal punishment. I think the WT doles out tons of pain as long as it doesn't kill; and that seems to be a fundamental flaw.

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Thanks for the thoughts guys, it had been really bugging me trying to think how that scene wasn't a plot oversight but I see how loose the 3 oaths are. It just makes me dislike the non rebel Aes Sedai more. Any of them who can support Elaida must have no morality at all if they condone torture like they did and Elaida deserves everything she gets.

 

I think somewhere along the line, Eg mentions the flaw of the Three Oaths is the same as you mentioned. There are ways around each of the Oaths.

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The Oaths depend on interpretation. If an Aes sedai does not consider torture with the OP as using the OP as a weapon, she will not have a problem.

That would work. A weapon is used during combat. Torture is not combat so it would be viewed as noting using it as a weapon. But at the same time, torturing an initiate of the tower is against tower law.

 

Technicalities. I call it administering punishment for not cooperating to the initiate, and someone else calls it torture.

 

The secret of the three oaths is that they are easily twisted. If the sisters who tortured her do not consider it torture, then it is not a violation of the oaths.

Edited by Dagon Thyne
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