Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Expected lifespan of channelers


Alric
 Share

Recommended Posts

Elayne discovered that channelers who aren't bound by the Oath Rod slow instead of gaining the ageless looks. From what I've read here and other places it is stated that the Oath Rod cuts the expected lifespan in half (not sure if that's official though). We know there are several Aes Sedai close to 300, and it seems that they don't expect to live much longer than this. Considering this I have a few questions:

 

1) Is expected lifespan connected to strength in the power? I have read this several times, but I can't remember where. And if so, how much of a difference does this make? ~300 years seems to be mentioned several times with regards to Aes Sedai, can we assume that strength makes a difference, but a very small one, or that the Oath Rod for some reason negates the difference strength would have made?

 

2 ) Are persons who are stilled expected to live as long as channelers who are never bound by the Oath Rod? I know that they tend to die but assuming they actually find a purpose if that is possible. In the case of Siuan and Leane they at least return to look younger than their actual ages so that indicates that they will still have a longer lifespan, doesn't it?

 

3) Someone is healed of stilling, either partly or completely. Is their life expectancy the same as before (every ill effect of the stilling removed as if it never happened)? Will an incomplete healing (Nyn -> Siuan/Leane) make any difference? Nyn said that there was nothing more to Heal if I remember correctly. Is it based on original potential or effective strength?

 

4) Is the life expectancy for men and women different (this assumes that strength _does_ make a difference, please spank me if that assumption is wrong).

 

5) If someone never channels (this is possible for learners) I assume they will not live longer than "normal" people, correct?. What about someone who learns but hardly ever uses the Power? Does it make any difference whatsoever how much you channel? (Morgase I believe says she's been able to touch the Power once but she has slowed - would it be "good" for her to try to channel more?).

 

6) If someone who is 310 (older than most Aes Sedai expect to live) swear on an Oath Rod, will they die? Does the number of oaths make any difference?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) Is expected lifespan connected to strength in the power? I have read this several times, but I can't remember where. And if so, how much of a difference does this make? ~300 years seems to be mentioned several times with regards to Aes Sedai, can we assume that strength makes a difference, but a very small one, or that the Oath Rod for some reason negates the difference strength would have made?

~300 years seems to be the limit for Aes Sedai, but it might not be a coincidence that Cadsuane and Romanda who are among the oldest are also among the strongest. Romanda is as strong as Moiraine was, and Cadsuane even stronger. Here's a quote from RJ about slowing:

 

Q: Does the rate of slowing depend on your strength in the Power?

RJ: Yes: Basically; you age at 1/X your normal rate, with X being dependent up to a point on Power strength. The Power acts as a natural rejuvenator on you; even at the point of death you won't look or feel worse than a normal 65-year-old.

Since he said the Power acts as a natural rejuvenator, I've always wondered whether Rand and Nynaeve having handled such huge amounts of Power for several hours at the Cleansing did anything to extend their life spans. Or just someone using a sa'angreal regularly.

 

2 ) Are persons who are stilled expected to live as long as channelers who are never bound by the Oath Rod? I know that they tend to die but assuming they actually find a purpose if that is possible. In the case of Siuan and Leane they at least return to look younger than their actual ages so that indicates that they will still have a longer lifespan, doesn't it?

My guess is, Siuan and Leane would have gained 20 years of life span since they were restored to their 20s while actually being in their 40s. From then on, they would have aged normally, as Setalle Anan seems to done. Setalle was well over 60 when she was burned out and later had children, so she must have gotten younger at first just like Siuan and Leane. But nowadays she has gray hair and seems to be aging normally.

 

3) Someone is healed of stilling, either partly or completely. Is their life expectancy the same as before (every ill effect of the stilling removed as if it never happened)? Will an incomplete healing (Nyn -> Siuan/Leane) make any difference? Nyn said that there was nothing more to Heal if I remember correctly. Is it based on original potential or effective strength?

Good question... I'm guessing Logain's life expectancy hasn't suffered since his strength was fully restored, but Siuan/Leane is a more uncertain case. Or Moiraine for that matter.

 

4) Is the life expectancy for men and women different (this assumes that strength _does_ make a difference, please spank me if that assumption is wrong).

We don't know if men live longer. We only know that men begin to slow later ("at twenty-five, usually closer to thirty") than women, which possibly makes up for the difference in strength. RJ also said "they could go past thirty, but that probably depends on how early they start and how much they channel." So that's another indication that the amount of channeling also plays a part.

 

Talaan is an interesting case in that regard since she's almost as strong as Nynaeve and also looks much younger than she is (19), which could be because of slowing. She probably started channeling very early since she comes from a family of channelers and the Sea Folk are keen to put Windfinders to use. Nynaeve also slowed early, according to Elayne, and now looks like 20-21 instead of 27. It's possible Nynaeve would have slowed more and earlier if she hadn't been blocked for so long. So the block might actually have been a good thing for her—a teenage-looking Nynaeve would have looked really wrong next to a husband in his late 40s. :biggrin:

 

5) If someone never channels (this is possible for learners) I assume they will not live longer than "normal" people, correct?. What about someone who learns but hardly ever uses the Power? Does it make any difference whatsoever how much you channel? (Morgase I believe says she's been able to touch the Power once but she has slowed - would it be "good" for her to try to channel more?).

From RJ: "Morgase has slowed, and that is exactly why there is so much emphasis on her looking only ten years older than Perrin when she has children the ages of Elayne and Gawyn."

 

My guess is that Morgase will live a very long life, but not several centuries, and would benefit from using the Power more. Sorilea is also very weak (a bit stronger than Morgase though), but uses the Power regularly and Cadsuane suspects she's even older than Cadsuane herself. On the other hand, Sorilea looks very old and white-haired and could already be reaching the end of her life. Reanne Corly was 400+ and didn't look nearly as old as Sorilea.

 

We don't know for sure if Nynaeve's predecessor, Doral Barran, could channel, but 1) she was described as "the oldest woman in Emond's Field, maybe in the whole Two Rivers" 2) seemed to have an eye for picking out apprentices who could channel. She had one other apprentice before Nynaeve that died from channeling sickness. She also seemed to know that Nynaeve would be one of the Wisdoms who could Listen to the Wind. Doral Barran seems to have lived an unusually long life, but not so long that people found it unnatural or it would have been the talk of the town.

 

6) If someone who is 310 (older than most Aes Sedai expect to live) swear on an Oath Rod, will they die? Does the number of oaths make any difference?

Possibly, and yes.

 

RJ: One would not produce agelessness, but even one would shorten life, and three of them put a cap on Aes Sedai's lives, on how long they could live.

Furthermore, this quote from Brandon suggests Egwene's plan to let Aes Sedai retire into the Kin might not actually give them their original life spans back:

 

Leth Filorn on Twitter: How does the Oath Rod work? Does it accelerate the aging irreversibly, or add years that you get back upon Oath removal?

Brandon: A good question that people in world don't know the answer to yet, and only time will tell.

Edited by sleepinghour
Link to comment
Share on other sites

~300 years seems to be the limit for Aes Sedai, but it might not be a coincidence that Cadsuane and Romanda who are among the oldest are also among the strongest. Romanda is as strong as Moiraine was, and Cadsuane even stronger. Here's a quote from RJ about slowing:

 

Q: Does the rate of slowing depend on your strength in the Power?

RJ: Yes: Basically; you age at 1/X your normal rate, with X being dependent up to a point on Power strength. The Power acts as a natural rejuvenator on you; even at the point of death you won't look or feel worse than a normal 65-year-old.

Since he said the Power acts as a natural rejuvenator, I've always wondered whether Rand and Nynaeve having handled such huge amounts of Power for several hours at the Cleansing did anything to extend their life spans. Or just someone using a sa'angreal regularly.

 

Interesting. I didn't know of that statement. The X here must be a rather narrow though, or we would have seen huge differences in the looks of the channelers we know the ages of, at least those bound by the Oath Rod.

 

One thing I came to think of is the Amyrlins. There is a list out there somewhere and their reigns are remarkably similar in duration, which implies that most are raised at the same age (or at least that is more likely than the Hall calculating their strength/age). I believe that would speak in favor of Aes Sedai life expectancy having a narrower range than what is natural.

 

 

We don't know if men live longer. We only know that men begin to slow later ("at twenty-five, usually closer to thirty") than women, which possibly makes up for the difference in strength. RJ also said "they could go past thirty, but that probably depends on how early they start and how much they channel." So that's another indication that the amount of channeling also plays a part.

Talaan is an interesting case in that regard since she's almost as strong as Nynaeve and also looks much younger than she is (19), which could be because of slowing. She probably started channeling very early since she comes from a family of channelers and the Sea Folk are keen to put Windfinders to use. Nynaeve also slowed early, according to Elayne, and now looks like 20-21 instead of 27. It's possible Nynaeve would have slowed more and earlier if she hadn't been blocked for so long. So the block might actually have been a good thing for her—a teenage-looking Nynaeve would have looked really wrong next to a husband in his late 40s. :biggrin:

 

Very interesting. Regarding Nynaeve, do we know when she actually started to slow? Was it once she started getting lectures in tGH? Or earlier, when she first touched the Power (I can't remember what age she was then, but the symptoms in sparkers tend to manifest quite early for girls)? In that case, with a Forsaken-level of strength, shouldn't she look even younger?

 

I'll have to go hunting for that quote when Moiraine explains to her, and see if her age is mentioned.

 

If the amount channeled makes a difference, that might explain it.

 

 

From RJ: "Morgase has slowed, and that is exactly why there is so much emphasis on her looking only ten years older than Perrin when she has children the ages of Elayne and Gawyn."

 

My guess is that Morgase will live a very long life, but not several centuries, and would benefit from using the Power more. Sorilea is also very weak (a bit stronger than Morgase though), but uses the Power regularly and Cadsuane suspects she's even older than Cadsuane herself. On the other hand, Sorilea looks very old and white-haired and could already be reaching the end of her life. Reanne Corly was 400+ and didn't look nearly as old as Sorilea.

We don't know for sure if Nynaeve's predecessor, Doral Barran, could channel, but 1) she was described as "the oldest woman in Emond's Field, maybe in the whole Two Rivers" 2) seemed to have an eye for picking out apprentices who could channel. She had one other apprentice before Nynaeve that died from channeling sickness. She also seemed to know that Nynaeve would be one of the Wisdoms who could Listen to the Wind. Doral Barran seems to have lived an unusually long life, but not so long that people found it unnatural or it would have been the talk of the town.

 

Morgase went to the Tower earlier than Elayne if I remember correctly. That means she could have been 14 (isn't that the minimum age?). In that case, she hasn't slowed that much, which might indeed be explained by her strength (OR by the amount channeled). Regarding Sorilea, if we don't have more info, she could be anywhere from 300 to 600 (though the latter might be stretching it a bit regarding strength).

 

I dwell a bit on what you say about the amount channeled because I can't seem to find any clear evidence that it matters and while it could explain some of the discrepancies, we just don't know enough it seems. But I will admit it might still be the best theory we have, its just not satisfying enough for me considering all the unknowns.

 

6) If someone who is 310 (older than most Aes Sedai expect to live) swear on an Oath Rod, will they die? Does the number of oaths make any difference?

Possibly, and yes.

 

RJ: One would not produce agelessness, but even one would shorten life, and three of them put a cap on Aes Sedai's lives, on how long they could live.

Furthermore, this quote from Brandon suggests Egwene's plan to let Aes Sedai retire into the Kin might not actually give them their original life spans back:

 

Leth Filorn on Twitter: How does the Oath Rod work? Does it accelerate the aging irreversibly, or add years that you get back upon Oath removal?

Brandon: A good question that people in world don't know the answer to yet, and only time will tell.

 

Interesting (heh, I know I'm overusing that word). That RJ said "cap" could actually support that the oaths put some kind of strain upon the body that does not take strength in the Power into account at all (a hard limit at 300ish).

 

Considering that those had their oaths removed end up looking very similar to how they would have slowed without them, I find it hard to believe that BS couldn't answer it outright. Could they still drop dead at 300 even if released? I'm not too happy that he seems to be implying that we won't get to know.... 

 

 

Edited by Alric
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could be mistaken but I seem to recall an Egwene POV in The Waste/Cairhein about Sorilea's age being greater than some 500? year old WO she'd heard of. Can't remember which Clan or Sept either which could help with matching up to Wise One's we've come to know through Perrin or Elayne. You'd have to be pretty bloody old to think of Bair as 'that girl', Bair who is wrinkled and leathery and in my opinion pushing 90. Much like the Ogier elders thinking that 90 is equivalent to about 17. Logically I would expect the climate of The Waste to age the Wise Ones a bit more and the same could be said of the Windfinders' exposure to the elements.

 

There are many WO's described as grey and leathery and, who are strong in the Power but their ages are rarely mentioned. I don't think strength and/or usage can be held as definitive to a channeler's age. Yes we've even seen old novices' appearances regress and make them appear younger and strength/usage could well be a factor, just not the only one.

 

Aes Sedai agelessness, Kin, Aiel and Windfinders slowing only gives us a sense up to the quantifiably oldest woman we know from these groups, who if I'm not mixed up is of the Kin and is significantly older than Reanne who already has floored Merilille, Vandene, Adeleas and co. to the point that they accused her of lying and one of Sareitha or Careanne 'fainted dead away' at the declaration.

 

Even taking ageing from severe exposure and strength/usage into account, in none of the groups I've mentioned is any woman described as even nearing Sorilea's decrepitness, for want of a better term. There is a great deal of difference between the appearances of a 60 and a 90 year old woman.

Edited by YouMayCallMeElci
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6) If someone who is 310 (older than most Aes Sedai expect to live) swear on an Oath Rod, will they die?

I'm not sure if we know the age of Semirhage, but considering that she was offered the choice of severing or binding before going to the Shadow, we should be able to assume that if she is over 300 she would not have dropped dead from the swearing. Might as well go ahead and sever/kill instead of offering that option to a person over 300.

 

So whether the AoL Aes Sedai would have just given the one her the one oath to not do the naughty things again, or include reporting to a parole officer and some others to boot, my guess is that it would bring the age of those over 300 to something shorter than their max achievable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I saw Kirstian mentioned today, so I wonder...

 

With a pale face perhaps ten years older than Nynaeve's, she appeared out of place among the others.

 

This is from Aviendha's PoV... I don't know if she knows Nynaeve's age. I couldn't find Tylin's quote where she estimated Nynaeve's age, but I seem to remember she said 21? Please correct me if I'm wrong. In that case, Kirstian looks about 31. Aviendha clearly talks about her face so knowing Nynaeve's real age shouldn't matter here.

 

Maighdin, a good ten years older than Perrin, could only be called a girl in comparison to the older woman.

 

Perrin would be 21 at this point, so that makes Morgase look 31.

 

 

 

The interesting part:

 

Kirstian and Morgase should look practically the same age. I know there is some margin for error here, but given what we know that could only be adjusted very slightly upwards, and that goes for both of them. Kirstian is at least 314, if she ran away as a novice. Morgase is at least 40, some people probably have a more accurate estimate given what we know about her timeline.

 

If the amount channeled matters, this could be explained mostly by that. If it doesn't matter... then the possible ranges of lifespan vary to an extreme degree. I have the impression that we hear about so many Aes Sedai close to 300 or dead at around that age that it can't be coincidental. It seems the Oaths rather than just shorten lifespan from the maximum potential instead locks it at a fixed age regardless of strength. I think these seemingly huge variations strengthen my OR/AS theory.

Edited by Alric
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could be mistaken but I seem to recall an Egwene POV in The Waste/Cairhein about Sorilea's age being greater than some 500? year old WO she'd heard of. Can't remember which Clan or Sept either which could help with matching up to Wise One's we've come to know through Perrin or Elayne. You'd have to be pretty bloody old to think of Bair as 'that girl', Bair who is wrinkled and leathery and in my opinion pushing 90.

 

I don't remember if we ever get an accurate age for Sorilea. But say she's around Cadsuane's age, she could definitely still refer to Bair as "that girl" since Bair can't channel and if she is pushing 90, then that would make Sorilea at least three times her age. She would have already been 210.

 

Alric:

5) If someone never channels (this is possible for learners) I assume they will not live longer than "normal" people, correct?.

 

I think this is correct. I don't believe sul'dam slow at all, and they're learners who don't channel.

 

Lews Therin was 400, and I think described as being just into his middle years. Make of that what you will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...