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Tyzack

Eliada's Motivations

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For those who haven't read past the dragon reborn, this post is a spoiler.

 

 

 

I'm doing a re-read (which might count as a first read, but whatever) and I am at the start of The Shadow Rising. I am struggling with what Eliada's motivation is for wanting to dispose Suian. From what I understand she seems to believe in a narrow focused view of her Foretellings, and is convinced that Suian's actions are endangering them - she sights a Foretelling about Rand and one about Elayne.

 

This doesn't make sense to me because if she were convinced in the certainty of her Foretellings, and of the prophecies, then wouldn't she understand that the Foretellings are the truth of the Wheel and she is relatively powerless to inter-fear?

 

Basically, couldn't she have, instead of disposing Suian, worked with her to allay her fears? On my first read through the books years ago, I skipped most if not all of the Eladia-WT parts because I didn't understand/like what they were doing and why. They seemed arrogant and extremely short sighted.

 

Perhaps I will gain more understanding of them on this read, but any clarification as to why Eladia and her supporters felt the need to take the extremely drastic step of disposing the Amrlyn would be appreciated.

 

I put this is spoiler tags, because if you are on EotW through TSR, it is...also because I don't mind spoilers in the response, though other people might.

 

 

 

[Fixed spelling error]

Edited by Tyzack

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Elaida has an extreme case of tunnel vision. I believe it's Alviarin who remarks that for all Elaida's intelligence she sees only what she wants to see and dismisses everything else. I think at first it was a combination of her thirst for power and a genuine belief that she would make a better Amyrlin in a time when the Dragon was reborn, with the thirst for power eventually turning into full blown megalomania after Fain paid her a visit.

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Elaida wanted power. This represented a chance to get it.

 

That simple? Is this tied into Lucker's amazing "Aes Sedai, or a study in stupidity" thread?

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People often act for silly, selfish and petty reasons. Elaida was motivated by a desire for power, a personal dislike of Siuan (and Moiraine) and she had little confidence in Siuan's ability to handle the Dragon. So she deposed Siuan and got herself elected in her place. That simple. A mix of "what's best for the Tower" and "what's best for Elaida".

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Elaida wanted power. This represented a chance to get it.

 

That simple? Is this tied into Lucker's amazing "Aes Sedai, or a study in stupidity" thread?

 

For Elaida I think it may have been as simple as ego and wanting power. You mentioned her supporters as well however and in this the motives are a bit more clear. The meeting was called with the bare minimum of sitters allowed and the BA cast the deciding vote. They saw an opportunity to cause chaos and jumped at it. Technically Siuan should have never been deposed as without the BA Elaida would not have won the vote.

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I was just going to say what Suttree said! It was all a part of the BA's plan to destroy the white tower from within. Elaida was just someone who they could easily manipulate due to her thirst for power. I'm not trying to vindicate her as a lot of blame does of course lie at her feet but the BA put her on (and pushed her along) the path, and Fain's appearance will have significantly sped up her descent into tyranny / becoming an absolute psycho.

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Siune's withholding of information on the Dragon Reborn from the Hall was seen as impeachable, as well. Elaida was a sitter for the Red and would be especially insulted. It may not seem like a big deal, but this is literally on the prophesied messiah/destroyer of worlds level of importance here. Siune knew she was treading shaky ground. She had good reasons not to go to the Hall, but considering that the Black Ajah was considered just a laughable rumor that excuse wouldn't hold much water.

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Apparently they aren’t teaching Machiavelli’s The Prince in schools, anymore. "…Worked with her to allay her fears?" What? This isn’t a parent teacher conference, this is about Power; the chance to become the most powerful woman in the known world. Suian left herself vulnerable by going against long-standing traditions of the Tower and circumventing actual laws as well as going behind the backs of the entire Red Ajah to find the Dragon Reborn. Suian left herself wide open and anyone with any ambition would never hesitate to tear her down.

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Roan du Feu

I was just going to say what Suttree said! It was all a part of the BA's plan to destroy the White Tower from within. Elaida was just someone who they could easily manipulate due to her thirst for power. I'm not trying to vindicate her as a lot of blame does of course lie at her feet but the BA put her on (and pushed her along) the path, and Fain's appearance will have significantly sped up her descent into tyranny / becoming an absolute psycho.

Lurk31

Apparently they aren’t teaching Machiavelli’s The Prince in schools, anymore. "…Worked with her to allay her fears?" What? This isn’t a parent teacher conference, this is about Power; the chance to become the most powerful woman in the known world. Suian left herself vulnerable by going against long-standing traditions of the Tower and circumventing actual laws as well as going behind the backs of the entire Red Ajah to find the Dragon Reborn. Suian left herself wide open and anyone with any ambition would never hesitate to tear her down.

 

I viewed it (Elaida's Motivation) as a mix of these two; Elaida seems to be the proverbial leaf-in-the-water where the whirlpool is the ta'veren and the effects of how they affect people on a daily basis. Her Foretellings served as fodder and motivations for taking control; she serves to show that despite her obvious altruism (wanting to save the world) and her following of the Light that even this can easily be curtailed by the Dark (along with her own shortsightedness) - Fain and the BA machinations (which have been prepared for decades) helped speed up the process for sure. Additionally, her character (in my interpretation of the series) shows how really uncertain Foretellings are; as far as we know, Elayne and Gawyn could possibly have no importance for the LB and ironically Rand has been who she had Foreseen since the beginning.

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well Rand is of the royal line of Andor, so Elaidas foretelling could have only been of him. not of Elayne or Gawyn or Galad even. Elaidas thirst for power along with that she believed Elayne was the requirement for the last battle is what drove her i think.

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well Rand is of the royal line of Andor, so Elaidas foretelling could have only been of him. not of Elayne or Gawyn or Galad even. Elaidas thirst for power along with that she believed Elayne was the requirement for the last battle is what drove her i think.

Rand is not of the royal line of Andor. He was, but the royal line changed. Elaida's conclusion is not unreasonable - the foretelling could be referring to either the royal house at the time the foretelling was made, or the royal house at the time it comes to pass. She chose the latter interpretation. Given that a foretelling is a vision of the future, that vision relating to a future royal house is a perfectly valid interpretation.

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well Rand is of the royal line of Andor, so Elaidas foretelling could have only been of him. not of Elayne or Gawyn or Galad even. Elaidas thirst for power along with that she believed Elayne was the requirement for the last battle is what drove her i think.

Rand is not of the royal line of Andor. He was, but the royal line changed. Elaida's conclusion is not unreasonable - the foretelling could be referring to either the royal house at the time the foretelling was made, or the royal house at the time it comes to pass. She chose the latter interpretation. Given that a foretelling is a vision of the future, that vision relating to a future royal house is a perfectly valid interpretation.

 

At least what has been written, Elaida never considered the possibility that the royal blood could have meant someone else. That was part of her downfall. She never asked, "What if..."

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She already decided what her foretellings meant before having them. Either Something good happened purely because of her, or something bad due to the actions of someone else. If she foresaw a small army beating one three times it size then clearly it was all due to her giving them a very inspirational speech.

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She already decided what her foretellings meant before having them. Either Something good happened purely because of her, or something bad due to the actions of someone else. If she foresaw a small army beating one three times it size then clearly it was all due to her giving them a very inspirational speech.

 

The most common human characteristic is a universal belief that "I am the center of the Universe. I am God's special chosen being, and I am destined to do great things."

 

Somewhere way down deep inside, that is what everybody believes, or the human race could not/would not continue in the face of all the ugliness and tragedy, greed and stupidity that surrounds us daily. Elaida is very human. She believes utterly in her own "manifest destiny." That belief blinds her to a lot of uncomfortable truths about herself, and leads her down the path she chose. Because she was so "special" and because she was obviously "destined for greatness", every action she chose was obviously both "right" and "necessary" because her special relationship with the Creator and her obvious "destiny" would not allow anything else.

 

IOW, she was about a hair and a half crazier than the average human being.

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well Rand is of the royal line of Andor, so Elaidas foretelling could have only been of him. not of Elayne or Gawyn or Galad even. Elaidas thirst for power along with that she believed Elayne was the requirement for the last battle is what drove her i think.

Rand is not of the royal line of Andor. He was, but the royal line changed. Elaida's conclusion is not unreasonable - the foretelling could be referring to either the royal house at the time the foretelling was made, or the royal house at the time it comes to pass. She chose the latter interpretation. Given that a foretelling is a vision of the future, that vision relating to a future royal house is a perfectly valid interpretation.

 

At least what has been written, Elaida never considered the possibility that the royal blood could have meant someone else. That was part of her downfall. She never asked, "What if..."

 

There really wasn't any reason for her to question herself. Nobody knew what happened to Tigraine or that she had a child.

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This doesn't make sense to me because if she were convinced in the certainty of her Foretellings, and of the prophecies, then wouldn't she understand that the Foretellings are the truth of the Wheel and she is relatively powerless to inter-fear?

 

Quite the opposite actually. She felt that since she was the one to foretell, it was her duty to ensure that foretelling to come true. Min was the same way as a kid, but she learned quickly that things would happen as foretold no matter what someone did. In fact, the foreteller would be the one to cause the happening sometimes from their very action to prevent it.

 

Elaida's just that power hungry teacher you hated every time you had class with her.

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Suian left herself vulnerable by going against long-standing traditions of the Tower and circumventing actual laws as well as going behind the backs of the entire Red Ajah to find the Dragon Reborn. Suian left herself wide open and anyone with any ambition would never hesitate to tear her down.

Yep. But I find it hard to blame her for it. Both she and Moiraine knew that they were taking huge risks and that the chances they would succeed or survive were slim. It was part of the gamble. Siuan had practically no choice. Keeping info away from the BA was the number one priority. That being said, she did actually inform the Hall about the DR herself before the coup.

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At least what has been written, Elaida never considered the possibility that the royal blood could have meant someone else. That was part of her downfall. She never asked, "What if..."

Having the Foretelling, she should have enough experience with it to have had some doubts. Her conclusion might still be the most likely, but that she had no doubt whatsoever _does_ reveal a huge flaw in her.

 

 

Additionally, she does actually consider "disposing" of the three ta'veren. That includes Rand, who she Foretold would cause strife in Andor. She _knows_ he will cause it, yet she still think she can change it, despite it being Foretold. That boggles my mind. :rolleyes:

 

The part about her Foretelling from tSR:

 

 

The very first thing Elaida had ever Foretold, while still an Accepted - and had known enough even then to keep to herself - was that the Royal line of Andor would be the key to defeating the Dark One in the Last Battle. She had attached herself to Morgase as soon as it was clear Morgase would succeed to the throne, had built her influence year by patient year. And now all her effort, all her sacrifice - she might have been Amyrlin herself had she not concentrated all her energies on Andor - might be for naught because Elayne had disappeared.

 

With an effort she forced her thoughts back to what was important now. Egwene and Nynaeve came from the same village as that strange young man, Rand al’Thor. And Min knew him as well, however much she had tried to hide the fact. Rand al’Thor lay at the heart of it. Elaida had only seen him once, supposedly a shepherd from the Two Rivers, in Andor, but looking every inch the Aielman. The Foretelling had come to her at the sight of him. He was ta’veren, one of those rare individuals who, instead of being woven into the Pattern as the Wheel of Time chose, forced the Pattern to shape itself around them, for a time at least. And Elaida had seen chaos swirling around him, division and strife for Andor, perhaps for even more of the world. But Andor must be kept whole, whatever else happened; that first Foretelling had convinced her of that.

 

There were more threads, enough to snare Siuan in her own web. If the rumors were to be believed, there were three ta’veren, not just one. All three from the same village, this Emond’s Field, and all three near the same age, odd enough to occasion a good deal of talk in the Tower. And on Siuan’s journey to Shienar, near a year ago now, she had seen them, even talked with them. Rand al’Thor. Perrin Aybara. Matrim Cauthon. It was said to be mere happenstance. Just fortuitous chance. So it was said. Those who said it did not know what Elaida knew.

 

When Elaida saw the young al’Thor man, it had been Moiraine who spirited him away. Moiraine who had accompanied him, and the other two ta’veren, in Shienar. Moiraine Damodred, who had been Siuan Sanche’s closest friend when they were novices together. Had Elaida been one to make wagers, she would have wagered that no one else in the Tower remembered that friendship. On the day they were raised Aes Sedai, at the end of the Aiel War, Siuan and Moiraine had walked away from one another and afterward behaved almost like strangers. But Elaida had been one of the Accepted over those two novices, had taught their lessons and chastised them for slacking at chores, and she remembered. She could hardly believe that their plot could stretch back so far-al’Thor could not have been born much before that-yet it was the last link to tie them all together.

 

For her, it was enough.

 

Whatever Siuan was up to, she had to be stopped. Turmoil and chaos multiplied on every side. The Dark One was sure to break free - the very thought made Elaida shiver and wrap her shawl around her more tightly - and the Tower had to be aloof from mundane struggles to face that. The Tower had to be free to pull the strings to make the nations stand together, free of the troubles Rand al’Thor would bring. Somehow, he had to be stopped from destroying Andor.

 

She had told no one what she knew of al’Thor. She meant to deal with him quietly, if possible. The Hall of the Tower already spoke of watching, even guiding, these ta’veren; they would never agree to dispose of them, of the one in particular, as he must be disposed of. For the good of the Tower. For the good of the world.

 

 

She made a sound in her throat, dose to a growl. Siuan had always been headstrong, even as a novice, had always thought much of herself for a poor fisherman’s daughter, but how could she be fool enough to mix the Tower in this without telling the Hall? She knew what was coming as well as anyone. The only way it could be worse was if . . . .

 

 

Abruptly Elaida stopped, staring at nothing. Could it be that this al’Thor could channel? Or one of the others? Most likely it would be al’Thor. No. Surely not. Not even Siuan would touch one of those. She could not. “Who knows what that woman could do?” she muttered. “She was never fit to be the Amyrlin Seat.”

 

“Talking to yourself, Elaida? I know you Reds never have friends outside your own Ajah, but surely you have friends to talk to inside it.”

 

Elaida turned her head to regard Alviarin.

 

 

 

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{ The whole post from TSR}

 

Is actually what prompted me to start this thread. At the very least it would seem as though Eladia has no idea how to interperate Foretellings, and probably never discussed them with anyone else to try and figure out what they meant. She sees her Foretellings as mutually exclusive - the royal line of andor was key to winning the last battle and the rand would cause strife and division in andor. Both of these are true, but neither one excludes the other.

 

That she actually thought of "disposing of him the way he should be" speaks to an arrogance so deep it can hardly be explained.

 

...which is why I started this thread, to see if there was some other reason that I was unaware of. I was aware that the BA were heavily involved in the coup, but was unaware of Fain influence on Eladia.

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Elaida's motivations have never been properly explained, even going as far back in the chronology as New Spring. Her mistrust and dislike of Suian and Moiraine goes far beyond any novice/accepted pranks that were pulled on her. There are times when she acts almost like she's Black instead of Red, but even the Black sisters aren't so mean and arrogant as her.

 

I think the best way to understand Elaida is to consider her to be the archetype and culmination of the traditional Red Ajah Aes Sedai: arrogant, domineering, self-absorbed, lacking empathy, etc., etc, written that way to counter Moiraine and Suian's archetype for the Blues. The coup itself was caused by Elaida's ignorance and arrogance, with no small amount of manipulation by the Black. Fain corrupted Elaida after she gained the stole and staff, and it was his influence that was likely behind the idea of the palace for the Amryllin, stripping the shawl from that one Aes Sedai, and ordering Sitters and Sitters about and giving them penances. As far as I can recall, Elaida doesn't meet Fain until after the coup.

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