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Durinax

egwene vs elayne (political arcs)

  

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  1. 1. which was better?



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I say there is nothing she can do about the possibility of other BA. The more people who know what's happening, the greater the chances are that a Darkfriend will know - there are only a few people she can trust absolutely in this matter. Speed and secrecy are assets. If you can get in and out in, say, ten minutes, then the chances of someone else showing up are quite low unless they're lying in wait for you - which they have no reason to be doing. The plan was solid. Overcomplicating it could have helped, but would cause far more problems that it solves. Elayne was not stupid or a poor planner, she did not take an unnecessary risk (even more so in ToM, where things were in her favour to a far greater extent), she simply had bad luck.

 

Gareth Bryne told Gawyn that he was "impulsive," like his mother and sister. He acts on what he feels, not what he thinks; then works out the ramifications later. Galad thinking about Elayne when Perrin told him that she has the crown and is probably thinking of how to get married to Rand, "Unfortunately, Galad knew his sister all too well. She was impulsive."

 

As to the BA capture, let us look at it from a purely "law enforcement perspective." It was an operation targeting Darkfriends who had been in Caemlyn for weeks if not months, one of them the commander of Elayne's personal bodyguard. There were no reports indicating that they were about to commit any immediate crime. But Elayne reacted with impulse and decided to seize them right away.

 

Regardless of excuses, the Queen is judged by results. The BA capture was a disaster as Elayne lost the only two trustworthy AS she had and their warders for nothing. And planning, sound planning, takes into account the unexpected. Elayne did not plan that well for this operation.

 

The same can be said about her impulsive decision to disguise herself as a "Chosen" and go to the dungeons. She was in her sitting room after the musical play talking to Sylvase; and abruptly she left and started her mini-adventure.

 

One of the major differences between Elayne and Egwene in the political sphere is their "intelligence services." Egwene has the Amyrlin's network funneling information to her as well as selective parts of the Ajah networks and Aes Sedai networks. On the other hand, Elayne has no dedicated, capable spy-chief; and that goes against basic principles of politics and rule. Whereas Niall then Perrin had Balwar, Tuon had her seekers and Hand, and Rand had Thom in Tear, Elayne with all her training to be queen didn't establish a professional intelligence body. She transformed her finance minister into a part-time spy and her first maid into a part-time palace police service.

 

To me, that alone disqualifies Elayne as a top-level ruler. She doesn't rely on credible information sources to make her decisions. She takes what comes along and acts accordingly. I'm hoping that book 14 gives us information on pre-emptive action by Elayne to counter the impending assault she's aware of; because if she's caught unaware by that, she should abdicate to Dyelin.

Edited by Theodril

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One of the major differences between Elayne and Egwene in the political sphere is their "intelligence services." Egwene has the Amyrlin's network funneling information to her as well as selective parts of the Ajah networks and Aes Sedai networks. On the other hand, Elayne has no dedicated, capable spy-chief; and that goes against basic principles of politics and rule. Whereas Niall then Perrin had Balwar, Tuon had her seekers and Hand, and Rand had Thom in Tear, Elayne with all her training to be queen didn't establish a professional intelligence body. She transformed her finance minister into a part-time spy and her first maid into a part-time palace police service.

 

Egwene did not have to set up any networks. They were already in existence. So were the seekers for Tuon. Elayne did not have anything when she took over. She had to build from scratch, and she was in the middle of a civil war. It seems unreasonable to ask that she already have the same kind of intelligence services as the Egwene or Tuon, when she barely has any control beyond the capital. By the end of KoD she's trying to set up spies in her opponents camp's but you don't set up such an extensive network in a day.

 

She doesn't rely on credible information sources to make her decisions.

 

That statement could be applied to a lot of characters.

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Elayne with all her training to be queen didn't establish a professional intelligence body. She transformed her finance minister into a part-time spy and her first maid into a part-time palace police service.

 

As opposed to what? Ringing up dial-a-spy and perusing a few resumes?

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Egwene did not have to set up any networks. They were already in existence. So were the seekers for Tuon. Elayne did not have anything when she took over. She had to build from scratch, and she was in the middle of a civil war. It seems unreasonable to ask that she already have the same kind of intelligence services as the Egwene or Tuon, when she barely has any control beyond the capital. By the end of KoD she's trying to set up spies in her opponents camp's but you don't set up such an extensive network in a day.

 

 

As opposed to what? Ringing up dial-a-spy and perusing a few resumes?

 

Gaebril destroyed/removed/replaced the ruling apparatus with his own. And a few months after securing the crown, Elayne - the ruler of the largest kingdom, doesn't have an institutional structure for one of the most important aspects of governance: information gathering. From what I know this is one of the most important things to any entity, especially a kingdom surrounded by enemies.

 

If Elayne tried to solve this problem/deficiency, please refer me to where I can read up on it.

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Gaebril destroyed/removed/replaced the ruling apparatus with his own. And a few months after securing the crown, Elayne - the ruler of the largest kingdom, doesn't have an institutional structure for one of the most important aspects of governance: information gathering. From what I know this is one of the most important things to any entity, especially a kingdom surrounded by enemies.

 

If Elayne tried to solve this problem/deficiency, please refer me to where I can read up on it.

 

Exactly which is why it is so ridiculous to compare her with all those other rulers that stepped into pre existing networks. She has just barely come clear of a civil war and now TG is on her doorstep. Her attempts to put together a network and begin placing spies as Master Ablar mentioned is about as much as anyone can do with the resources she has to hand. Anything more would simply be unrealistic.

Edited by Suttree

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Exactly which is why it is so ridiculous to compare her with all those other rulers that stepped into pre existing networks. She has just barely come clear of a civil war and now TG is on her doorstep. Her attempts to put together a network and begin placing spies as Master Ablar mentioned is about as much as anyone can do with the resources she has to hand. Anything more would simply be unrealistic.

 

So, Andor did not have a pre-Gaebril network of spies! The WT was split and many agents were cut off; but after the reunification, Egwene had spies in Caemlyn and the Royal Palace. Tuon had a warrant on her head and Suroth had all but taken control of the Seanchan on this side of the Ocean; but in her first official audience she had her secretary, and her secret hand, at her side. Elayne's difficulties were not too severe compared to the others; yet that aspect of her ruling apparatus is still missing. Fixing this problem would be from top to bottom, not the other way around. Too bad the first secretary she hired turned out to be a DF.

 

And she has difficulties in "questioning" prisoners and proving the guilt of DF's: mainly Mili Skane and Daved Hanlon. Whereas the Queen's justice already hanged men for tax evasion (woodcutting without paying the queen's tax), she has Hanlon & Skane in a cell for months without proving his guilt.

 

One way to look at it is to say that the plot demands it.

Edited by Theodril

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Elayne's difficulties were not too severe compared to the others; yet that aspect of her ruling apparatus is still missing. Fixing this problem would be from top to bottom, not the other way around. Too bad the first secretary she hired turned out to be a DF.

 

And she has difficulties in "questioning" prisoners and proving the guilt of DF's: mainly Mili Skane and Daved Hanlon. Whereas the Queen's justice already hanged men for tax evasion (woodcutting without paying the queen's tax), she has Hanlon & Skane in a cell for months without proving his guilt.

 

One way to look at it is to say that the plot demands it.

 

I'm sorry but what? Gaebril evicted anyone of importance who was even remotely loyal to Morgase. Not sure how you expect Elayne to all of a sudden have intimate knowledge of who and where those people were. You can not compare that in the slightest with a WT split that does little to effect the day to day of their agents, only the people who controlled them. There wasn't a loss of any kind in that scenario. Again anymore in the short amount of time with everything else going on would be totally unrealistic. She had to make do and has done so.

 

Not even sure what your point is with the woodcutters v DF. With the DF you are trying to secure important information, it has little to do with proving guilt. You are talking apples and oranges.

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I'm sorry but what? Gaebril evicted anyone of importance who was even remotely loyal to Morgase. Not sure how you expect Elayne to all of a sudden have intimate knowledge of who and where those people were. You can not compare that in the slightest with a WT split that does little to effect the day to day of their agents, only the people who controlled them. There wasn't a loss of any kind in that scenario. Again anymore in the short amount of time with everything else going on would be totally unrealistic. She had to make do and has done so.

 

Not even sure what your point is with the woodcutters v DF. With the DF you are trying to secure important information, it has little to do with proving guilt. You are talking apples and oranges.

 

I don't expect Elayne to have anything in an "all of a sudden" way. She's been in Caemlyn for months and several months as a queen. My view is that she hasn't done enough to fix her information deficiency. She is relying on 2nd hand tools; and hasn't tried to fix that problem despite that being one of the very top priorities of any monarch. Information is power; and Elayne's power in that is severely lacking.

 

As to fixing Gaebril's problems, I'm not saying that Elayne should run the spies; but hire a competent person to do so. Thom would have been ideal.

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Which would you rather die of, Ebola or MRSA? Which is the greater force for good inthe world today, North Korea or the Taliban? Which is the greater musician, Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez?

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I say there is nothing she can do about the possibility of other BA. The more people who know what's happening, the greater the chances are that a Darkfriend will know - there are only a few people she can trust absolutely in this matter. Speed and secrecy are assets. If you can get in and out in, say, ten minutes, then the chances of someone else showing up are quite low unless they're lying in wait for you - which they have no reason to be doing. The plan was solid. Overcomplicating it could have helped, but would cause far more problems that it solves. Elayne was not stupid or a poor planner, she did not take an unnecessary risk (even more so in ToM, where things were in her favour to a far greater extent), she simply had bad luck.

I agree that Elayne simply had bad luck in ToM, but her actions in KoD were reckless and stupid. She could have stationed some Kin nearby—Elayne was sure none of them were Darkfriends, and two Kinswomen helped Nynaeve against Falion and Ispan in ACoS, so they can't be completely useless in battle.

 

Vandene lowered her voice anyway. Quietness did nothing to mask her displeasure. "They reasoned out that the killer must be Merilille, Sareitha or Careane."

Elayne knew that one of the sisters with her (Careane, as it turned out) was Black Ajah. She took some precautions such as letting Vandene lead the link with Careane, and she herself the one with Sareitha, but it was still possible for the Black sister to betray them in other ways such as warning the other group.

 

"Perhaps this man can be trusted," Sareitha said, glancing at Hark with no trust at all, "but even if he heard correctly, nothing says there are still only two sisters in the house. Or any. If they have gone, there's no danger, but if others have joined them, we might as well put our necks in a noose and spring the trap ourselves."

 

Careane folded her sturdy arms and nodded. "The danger is too great. You yourself told us that when they fled the Tower, they stole a number of ter'angreal, some very dangerous indeed. I've never been called a coward, but I don't fancy trying to sneak up on someone who might have a rod that can make balefire."

 

"He could hardly have misheard something as simple as 'there are only two of us,'" Elayne replied firmly. "And they spoke as if they didn't expect any others." Burn her, considering her standing with respect to them, they should have been jumping to obey rather than arguing. "In any case, this isn't a discussion."

Sareitha suggested there might be other sisters in the house; Careane pointed out that they had dangerous ter'angreal. Both were right.

 

Elayne thinks they should jump to obey her because she's stronger in the Power and uses that to dismiss their objections. Yes, that's what Aes Sedai have always done, but that doesn't make it right for Elayne to use her standing to force others to risk their lives. Elayne believed herself safe because of Min's viewing, but the others didn't have that reassurance.

 

Men would be dying out there. Instead of laughing, Elayne wanted to weep for them. They deserved someone to weep for them, and they were dying for her. As Vandene and Sareitha had died. Sadness for them welled up in her again. No guilt, though. Only by letting Falion and Marillin walk free could they have been spared, and neither would have countenanced that. There had been no way to anticipate the arrival of the others, or that strange weapon Asne had.

"No way to anticipate" despite being warned about exactly those things? :rolleyes: No guilt that it was her reckless plan that resulted in their deaths (and most likely their Warders' too)? Given that she barely knew Sareitha, it's also fairly presumptuous to assume that Sareitha would have wanted to sacrifice her life just to catch a few Black sisters. Vandene was already at the end of her life and didn't care about anything except avenging Adeleas, but Sareitha wasn't much older than Elayne and didn't seem all that enthusiastic about the whole thing. So it just comes off as self-justification. I still like Elayne, but this was a low moment for her, to say the least.

Elayne might show a callous indifference to the lives lost, but that is beside the point. Random people could show up - there wasn't a lot she could do about that besides drag even more people in. Speed and surprise minimise that risk, but the risk is ultimately unavoidable. More people increases the risk of the wrong people knowing, and also takes more time to prepare. Vandene considered it a good plan. Neither Sareitha nor Careane offered advice on how the plan could be improved. When you have four AS, a bunch of Warders and fifty soldiers along, you should be capable of dealing with most things. A refusal to do things simply on the grounds that it could go wrong leads to no-one doing anything. Given that Birgitte, Sareitha, Careane and Vandene were all unable to offer helpful suggestions beyond wait and do nothing (something which would at best lead to you never arresting the Darkfriends, and at worst them learning you're aware of them being there and so moving on). From the intelligence she had received, it was unlikely there was anyone else there or anyone else coming.

 

I say there is nothing she can do about the possibility of other BA. The more people who know what's happening, the greater the chances are that a Darkfriend will know - there are only a few people she can trust absolutely in this matter. Speed and secrecy are assets. If you can get in and out in, say, ten minutes, then the chances of someone else showing up are quite low unless they're lying in wait for you - which they have no reason to be doing. The plan was solid. Overcomplicating it could have helped, but would cause far more problems that it solves. Elayne was not stupid or a poor planner, she did not take an unnecessary risk (even more so in ToM, where things were in her favour to a far greater extent), she simply had bad luck.

 

Gareth Bryne told Gawyn that he was "impulsive," like his mother and sister. He acts on what he feels, not what he thinks; then works out the ramifications later. Galad thinking about Elayne when Perrin told him that she has the crown and is probably thinking of how to get married to Rand, "Unfortunately, Galad knew his sister all too well. She was impulsive."

 

As to the BA capture, let us look at it from a purely "law enforcement perspective." It was an operation targeting Darkfriends who had been in Caemlyn for weeks if not months, one of them the commander of Elayne's personal bodyguard. There were no reports indicating that they were about to commit any immediate crime. But Elayne reacted with impulse and decided to seize them right away.

 

Regardless of excuses, the Queen is judged by results. The BA capture was a disaster as Elayne lost the only two trustworthy AS she had and their warders for nothing. And planning, sound planning, takes into account the unexpected. Elayne did not plan that well for this operation.

 

The same can be said about her impulsive decision to disguise herself as a "Chosen" and go to the dungeons. She was in her sitting room after the musical play talking to Sylvase; and abruptly she left and started her mini-adventure.

The results of the operation were several Darkfriends in custody. Also, an undercover Darkfriend was exposed and killed. Hardly a disaster. Not even a failure, merely a costly victory. Her actions in the dungeons? Well, the guards on the cells were notified of her presence, so she had back up in the form of channelers and armed men. To deal with prisoners who were shielded, while Elayne herself held the Source. Impulsive, perhaps, but a solid plan nonetheless. It is hardly reasonable to expect people to prepare for every eventuality, no matter how vanishingly unlikely it is. If we are, I'd also like to point out that she tends not to wear a hard hat in the streets, thus leaving herself open to suffering head injuries from meteor strikes. That Elayne is impulsive is not at issue. It is simply not relevant. Did she take reasonable precautions? In both cases, yes. In the former she had intelligence indicating there were two BA, no others being present or expected - intelligence that was more likely to become outdated the longer she waited. She acted in a way as to neutralise the BA in their midst, and had armed back up. In ToM she had armed and channeler back up, and was against shielded prisoners in her own base of operations. Now bear this in mind - in neither case were the people who ruined her plan lying in wait for her. She didn't fall into a trap. In both cases, ten minutes either way would have completely changed the picture. In KoD, ten minutes earlier would have had them outside the house before the others arrived, and later would have either seen the others gone or merely allowed them to take all of them by surprise and capture them all. In ToM, ten minutes earlier and she would probably be gone and ten minutes later would have seen her arrive too late. Fluke timing, both times. You cannot take precautions against every eventuality. She was prepared for any reasonable likelihood.

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I could not stand Egwene's political arc. Elayne's political opponents act like air heads and greedy people in different scenarios. They feel like real, silly, primitive politicians.

 

Egwene's opponents consists of A. Crazy insane woman and B. Satanists C. Minor, almost inconsequential, bickering women. The in-catastrophic opponents lack teeth. I've never once felt that Romanda could do more than annoy Egwene. The key opponents don't really have much to do with politics, and ended up getting killed by the oath rod purge. Elaida had little to nothing to do with any politics. An insane woman wielding her authority unsubtly like a bludgeon is a terrible opponent in a political arena. As soon as Egwene ridiculously had war declared on Elaida due to the illiteracy of her Hall, she pretty much won.

 

Elayne's opponents were silly, but what politician isn't a bit silly? The Black Ajah serves less of major role in Elayne's arc. Though the Sea Folk aren't as pathetic as Romanda, they at least give off a little aura of authority. Elayne can't simply roll over them like Egwene can Romanda. Sadly, Elayne's non-Black Ajah opponents are more....politically competent than Elaida.

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I'm sorry but what? Gaebril evicted anyone of importance who was even remotely loyal to Morgase. Not sure how you expect Elayne to all of a sudden have intimate knowledge of who and where those people were. You can not compare that in the slightest with a WT split that does little to effect the day to day of their agents, only the people who controlled them. There wasn't a loss of any kind in that scenario. Again anymore in the short amount of time with everything else going on would be totally unrealistic. She had to make do and has done so.

 

Not even sure what your point is with the woodcutters v DF. With the DF you are trying to secure important information, it has little to do with proving guilt. You are talking apples and oranges.

 

I don't expect Elayne to have anything in an "all of a sudden" way. She's been in Caemlyn for months and several months as a queen. My view is that she hasn't done enough to fix her information deficiency. She is relying on 2nd hand tools; and hasn't tried to fix that problem despite that being one of the very top priorities of any monarch. Information is power; and Elayne's power in that is severely lacking.

 

As to fixing Gaebril's problems, I'm not saying that Elayne should run the spies; but hire a competent person to do so. Thom would have been ideal.

 

Which has been my entire point. With a city empty of qualified personnel, a civil war raging and Tarmon Gaidon on her doorstep just where are all these professional spies(hence my first comment) that she can trust coming from. In the short time she has had to work on the situation she has made to with the tools to hand.

 

That Elayne is impulsive is not at issue. It is simply not relevant. Did she take reasonable precautions? In both cases, yes. In the former she had intelligence indicating there were two BA, no others being present or expected - intelligence that was more likely to become outdated the longer she waited. She acted in a way as to neutralise the BA in their midst, and had armed back up. In ToM she had armed and channeler back up, and was against shielded prisoners in her own base of operations. Now bear this in mind - in neither case were the people who ruined her plan lying in wait for her. She didn't fall into a trap. In both cases, ten minutes either way would have completely changed the picture. In KoD, ten minutes earlier would have had them outside the house before the others arrived, and later would have either seen the others gone or merely allowed them to take all of them by surprise and capture them all. In ToM, ten minutes earlier and she would probably be gone and ten minutes later would have seen her arrive too late. Fluke timing, both times. You cannot take precautions against every eventuality. She was prepared for any reasonable likelihood.

 

Very well said...

Edited by Suttree

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Just a note on Norry - he was not just a finance minister before Elayne came back to Caemlyn. The First Clerk is in charge of the administration of the realm and advices the Queen on matters of state. Given the lack of capable and trusted people, it makes sense to make him a spymaster too - he has plenty of contacts everywhere and is an expert on domestic and foreign policy. So far he's done a pretty good job too.

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Elayne pressed her hands to her abdomen. Her babes would be all right, wouldn't they?

"I did something very rash, Birgitte, and I know that you are going to scream at me for it . But would you first please take me to my rooms? I think we should have Melfane look at me. Just in case."

 

Towers of Midnight.

 

As to spymasters and Elayne, the point I was trying to make is that Elayne needs someone more qualified than Norry and Halfor to rely on. Both did the best they could; but that best isn't the standard. In any case, I'd trade both Norry and Halfor for 50% of either Thom or Balwar and for a quarter of Siuan Sanche.

Edited by Theodril

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Elayne pressed her hands to her abdomen. Her babes would be all right, wouldn't they?

"I did something very rash, Birgitte, and I know that you are going to scream at me for it . But would you first please take me to my rooms? I think we should have Melfane look at me. Just in case."

 

Towers of Midnight.

 

As to spymasters and Elayne, the point I was trying to make is that Elayne needs someone more qualified than Norry and Halfor to rely on. Both did the best they could; but that best isn't the standard. In any case, I'd trade both Norry and Halfor for 50% of either Thom or Balwar and for a quarter of Siuan Sanche.

 

But you keep dancing around the point here. The great thing about the WoT is how realistic a fair number of the situations such as this are. In a city gutted of loyal personnel, in the midst of a Civil War, with TG on the doorstep you don't just have one of the worlds foremost spy masters(who is for no reason all of a sudden loyal to Andor) pop up out of nowhere and offer his services. She has made due with the tools at hand. Now instead of repeating yourself again please tell us what else she could have realistically done? Perhaps Norry wasn't a spy by trade but he has all the prerequisites and connections to grow into quite a successful one.

Edited by Suttree

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But you keep dancing around the point here. The great thing about the WoT is how realistic a fair number of the situations such as this are. In a city gutted of loyal personnel, in the midst of a Civil War, with TG on the doorstep you don't just have one of the worlds foremost spy masters(who is for no reason all of a sudden loyal to Andor) pop up out of nowhere and offer his services. She has made due with the tools at hand. Now instead of repeating yourself again please tell us what else she could have realistically done? Perhaps Norry wasn't a spy by trade but he has all the prerequisites and connections to grow into quite a successful one.

 

The reason I keep restating the "perceived" shortcoming is that I don't like to go into speculation when I'm so ignorant of the rest of the story and the plot plan and details. Because we'll end up discussing speculations and that will mix up facts with wishes.

 

But we might want to consider the following points:

- Rand killed Rahvin and ruled Caemlyn for a few months before going into hiding to hunt the Ashaman assassins.

- He stabilized the security situation in Caemlyn with the Aiel and Saldeans and rooted out or scared off most of Gaebril's hardcore followers. And he attempted to win over the "good High Seats" and met them to help set up Elayne for the throne.

- Dyelin was a "steward" of sorts in Caemlyn for a period of time and put down rebellion and a false claim to the Throne.

 

So, loyal officials have had an adequate chance to come back to Caemlyn if they wanted to. And there has been sufficient time to heal some of Gaebril's takeover moves.

 

Also, we hear about the High Seats and how capable they are at preserving Andor's independence. We read their names in the numbers game. We see many of them capable enough to marshal armies to face down Aes Sedai and planning to fight Borderlanders.

 

But after Elayne secures the throne and gets her 10 or 14 houses, we hear more about her midwife than these nobles. Maybe Elayne could put one or two of them to actual use. And we see Dyelin's role reduced to adviser (despite being the person Elayne owes the most for securing the throne). She would have been a good and trustworthy candidate for the job.

 

Again the simple point, regardless of whether Elayne is to blame or not for any failings is that she lacks a credible information gathering body to go with Andor's place among the nations. That is all that is important for this thread to show a difference between Elayne and Egwene's political institutions.

 

And I apologize for bringing Daved Hanlon and Mili Skane into this as this is not the thread to discuss that.

Edited by Theodril

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Just a note on Norry - he was not just a finance minister before Elayne came back to Caemlyn. The First Clerk is in charge of the administration of the realm and advices the Queen on matters of state. Given the lack of capable and trusted people, it makes sense to make him a spymaster too - he has plenty of contacts everywhere and is an expert on domestic and foreign policy. So far he's done a pretty good job too.

I think he has been doing a credible job too

 

Halfor too is doing a very good job of locating and eliminating the threats posed by other factions/nations informants.

 

 

I actually think that between the two of them Andor could potentially have the best intellegence / anti intellegence works in randland.

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So, loyal officials have had an adequate chance to come back to Caemlyn if they wanted to. And there has been sufficient time to heal some of Gaebril's takeover moves.

 

Also, we hear about the High Seats and how capable they are at preserving Andor's independence. We read their names in the numbers game. We see many of them capable enough to marshal armies to face down Aes Sedai and planning to fight Borderlanders.

 

In point of fact they did not have enough time to come back. It is why Elayne's supporters were caught in the snow attempting to reach Caemlyn and had to be searched out by gateway. Not sure why you bring the High Seats into the equation when Elayne has only recently gained their support. Until then the only thing they could agree on was banding together to drive the DR out if he overstayed his welcome. They certainly would not help the Daughter-Heir and why would Elayne trust any of their spies in the first place? As others have noted she has done an admirable job with the tools at hand. If Norry continues on the path he has started on he has the skill set to be up their with the best.

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1- In point of fact they did not have enough time to come back. It is why Elayne's supporters were caught in the snow attempting to reach Caemlyn and had to be searched out by gateway.

2- Not sure why you bring the High Seats into the equation when Elayne has only recently gained their support. Until then the only thing they could agree on was banding together to drive the DR out if he overstayed his welcome.

3- They certainly would not help the Daughter-Heir

 

1- The timeframe above disregards the months in between Gaebril's death & Elayne re-entrance into Andor as a possible time to heal some of Gaebril's actions. Those months were brought into the discussion to establish the fact that Rand gave them time to come back and so did Dyelin, if they wanted to. Gaebril's impact on Caemlyn is a terrible memory being erased.

 

2- The High Seats are Andor's most powerful nobles and most capable candidates for important jobs (of course a personal opinion); and Elayne relied on Dyelin to secure the throne; and knows she's trustworthy; but still reduces her role after gaining the throne. I don't see High Seats as a once in a life-time vote; but people Andor needs. I am sure more than one of the High Seats is more qualified than Birgitte or even Gawyn to lead Andor's armies in the Last Battle.

 

3- True that the High Seats would not help the Daughter Heir; but she's been a Queen for months; and they've sworn allegiance to Queen Elayne. They should be as trustworthy as humanely possible, especially the ones who refused Gaebril and stood up to Rand.

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Elayne pressed her hands to her abdomen. Her babes would be all right, wouldn't they?

"I did something very rash, Birgitte, and I know that you are going to scream at me for it . But would you first please take me to my rooms? I think we should have Melfane look at me. Just in case."

 

Towers of Midnight.

So what's your point? In the aftermath of her plan going wrong, Elayne feels she did something rash. Is that a reasonable viewpoint? If we take a step back, do we see a reasonable plan that went horribly wrong for unlikely reasons, or do we see that being stabbed caused Elayne to think clearly? I very much doubt it is the latter. Elayne's response is reasonable - being stabbed can be somewhat upsetting. But it is not an accurate assessment of what happened. She took reasonable precautions. It turned out not to be enough.

 

But you keep dancing around the point here. The great thing about the WoT is how realistic a fair number of the situations such as this are. In a city gutted of loyal personnel, in the midst of a Civil War, with TG on the doorstep you don't just have one of the worlds foremost spy masters(who is for no reason all of a sudden loyal to Andor) pop up out of nowhere and offer his services. She has made due with the tools at hand. Now instead of repeating yourself again please tell us what else she could have realistically done? Perhaps Norry wasn't a spy by trade but he has all the prerequisites and connections to grow into quite a successful one.

 

The reason I keep restating the "perceived" shortcoming is that I don't like to go into speculation when I'm so ignorant of the rest of the story and the plot plan and details. Because we'll end up discussing speculations and that will mix up facts with wishes.

 

But we might want to consider the following points:

- Rand killed Rahvin and ruled Caemlyn for a few months before going into hiding to hunt the Ashaman assassins.

- He stabilized the security situation in Caemlyn with the Aiel and Saldeans and rooted out or scared off most of Gaebril's hardcore followers. And he attempted to win over the "good High Seats" and met them to help set up Elayne for the throne.

- Dyelin was a "steward" of sorts in Caemlyn for a period of time and put down rebellion and a false claim to the Throne.

 

So, loyal officials have had an adequate chance to come back to Caemlyn if they wanted to. And there has been sufficient time to heal some of Gaebril's takeover moves.

 

Also, we hear about the High Seats and how capable they are at preserving Andor's independence. We read their names in the numbers game. We see many of them capable enough to marshal armies to face down Aes Sedai and planning to fight Borderlanders.

 

But after Elayne secures the throne and gets her 10 or 14 houses, we hear more about her midwife than these nobles. Maybe Elayne could put one or two of them to actual use. And we see Dyelin's role reduced to adviser (despite being the person Elayne owes the most for securing the throne). She would have been a good and trustworthy candidate for the job.

 

Again the simple point, regardless of whether Elayne is to blame or not for any failings is that she lacks a credible information gathering body to go with Andor's place among the nations. That is all that is important for this thread to show a difference between Elayne and Egwene's political institutions.

Rand left Caemlyn because of the AS embassy. The mere fact of Caemlyn being stable isn't necessarily going to draw people back, as they are Andoran or Trakand loyalists and he is not a Trakand, and is supported by foreign armies at the very least. Loyal officials had good reason to stay away. Also, as we see with Ellorien, not all support will come back now. Some of that support is gone. These people will not just be on Elayne's side regardless. Since Elayne established herself as queen in KoD, not everyone who might want to support her will have been able to come back, bearing in mind the snows. It's only been a couple of months. With travel slowed and people not getting word right away that they can come back. There are all sorts of possible delays, so it is not unreasonable that a lot of support might not have trickled back yet. As for the High Seats, which of them is qualified as a spymaster? More so than Norry, anyway? Which of them is both trustorthy and comes with a network of spies? Saying someone else other than Norry could have done the job is true, but we have no more qualified candidates available. He is as good as any. And, despite the short time she has had available, she has made a start on creating an information gathering body. Which is commendable.

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So what's your point? In the aftermath of her plan going wrong, Elayne feels she did something rash. Is that a reasonable viewpoint? If we take a step back, do we see a reasonable plan that went horribly wrong for unlikely reasons, or do we see that being stabbed caused Elayne to think clearly? I very much doubt it is the latter. Elayne's response is reasonable - being stabbed can be somewhat upsetting. But it is not an accurate assessment of what happened. She took reasonable precautions. It turned out not to be enough.

 

Elayne's assessment of her "plan" was that it was very rash. That's the point. And this is reflected by Elayne's agreement with Birgette after the incident that she needs not take as many risks as she'd been taking. She fell in the same trap Egwene fell in when she went on the Cuendillar mission. Both didn't learn the lesson Mat gave to Musenge in the battle against the army that wanted Tuon's head:

"Should you not be donning your armor. Highness?"

"I don't intend getting close enough to the fighting to need armor. A general who draws his sword has put aside his baton and become a common soldier."

 

Rand left Caemlyn because of the AS embassy. The mere fact of Caemlyn being stable isn't necessarily going to draw people back, as they are Andoran or Trakand loyalists and he is not a Trakand, and is supported by foreign armies at the very least. Loyal officials had good reason to stay away. Also, as we see with Ellorien, not all support will come back now. Some of that support is gone. These people will not just be on Elayne's side regardless. Since Elayne established herself as queen in KoD, not everyone who might want to support her will have been able to come back, bearing in mind the snows. It's only been a couple of months. With travel slowed and people not getting word right away that they can come back. There are all sorts of possible delays, so it is not unreasonable that a lot of support might not have trickled back yet. As for the High Seats, which of them is qualified as a spymaster? More so than Norry, anyway? Which of them is both trustorthy and comes with a network of spies? Saying someone else other than Norry could have done the job is true, but we have no more qualified candidates available. He is as good as any. And, despite the short time she has had available, she has made a start on creating an information gathering body. Which is commendable.

 

Two comments here: first on return of Andoran officials and the second on Norry.

 

The reason for bringing up Rand's and Dyelin's time prior to the succession in this discussion was to establish that there was a period of several month between Gaebril's death and the winter snows. And in those months, Rand did his best to soothe the fears of the "good" nobles by promising to hand over Andor to Elayne as soon as she arrives. And in between Rand's departure and the snows - succession, Dyelin and the "good" houses were in control of Caemlyn (a period of few months). Whether that is enough to convince the pre-Gaebril system officials to return or not is not an issue. They had the chance (for the good of Andor); and that's all I'm trying to say.

 

As to someone more qualified than Norry for a spymaster, I'll just let Elayne do the talking:

 

Eventually, she would probably have to build a stronger network of eyes-and-ears, as neither of these two was perfectly suited to leading them. Norry was too obvious, and he already had enough to do with his other duties. Dyelin was ... well, Elayne wasn't certain what Dyelin was.

 

She owed much to Dyelin, who seemed to have taken it upon hetself to act as a surrogate mother to Elayne. A voice of experience and wisdom. But eventually, Dyelin would have to take a few steps back. Neither of them could afford to encourage the notion that Dyelin was the real power behind the throne. But Light! What would she have done without the woman?

 

So, Elayne tells us that "politics" is what's preventing Dyelin from being a more important player and a candidate to lead a stronger network of eyes-and-ears. It is a misguided feeling of insecurity fueling Elayne's actions towards Dyelin.

Edited by Theodril

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So what's your point? In the aftermath of her plan going wrong, Elayne feels she did something rash. Is that a reasonable viewpoint? If we take a step back, do we see a reasonable plan that went horribly wrong for unlikely reasons, or do we see that being stabbed caused Elayne to think clearly? I very much doubt it is the latter. Elayne's response is reasonable - being stabbed can be somewhat upsetting. But it is not an accurate assessment of what happened. She took reasonable precautions. It turned out not to be enough.

 

Elayne's assessment of her "plan" was that it was very rash. That's the point. And this is reflected by Elayne's agreement with Birgette after the incident that she needs not take as many risks as she'd been taking. She fell in the same trap Egwene fell in when she went on the Cuendillar mission. Both didn't learn the lesson Mat gave to Musenge in the battle against the army that wanted Tuon's head:

"Should you not be donning your armor. Highness?"

"I don't intend getting close enough to the fighting to need armor. A general who draws his sword has put aside his baton and become a common soldier."

Again, so what? I am contending that Elayne's assessment in the aftermath of things going wrong is tainted by things going horribly wrong, and therefore is not an accurate and fair appraisal. Given that, simply saying "but Elayne says..." is pointless. It doesn't address my point. Elayne is not seeint things clearly then. And when Egwene went on her cuendillar mission, she was the best candidate for the job, and it gave her the opportunity to attack the WT from within (and T'a'r allowed her to maintain control of forces on the outside). Also, do not underestimate the value of leading from the front. It can inspire people in a way that standing well away from the action can't.

 

Rand left Caemlyn because of the AS embassy. The mere fact of Caemlyn being stable isn't necessarily going to draw people back, as they are Andoran or Trakand loyalists and he is not a Trakand, and is supported by foreign armies at the very least. Loyal officials had good reason to stay away. Also, as we see with Ellorien, not all support will come back now. Some of that support is gone. These people will not just be on Elayne's side regardless. Since Elayne established herself as queen in KoD, not everyone who might want to support her will have been able to come back, bearing in mind the snows. It's only been a couple of months. With travel slowed and people not getting word right away that they can come back. There are all sorts of possible delays, so it is not unreasonable that a lot of support might not have trickled back yet. As for the High Seats, which of them is qualified as a spymaster? More so than Norry, anyway? Which of them is both trustorthy and comes with a network of spies? Saying someone else other than Norry could have done the job is true, but we have no more qualified candidates available. He is as good as any. And, despite the short time she has had available, she has made a start on creating an information gathering body. Which is commendable.

 

Two comments here: first on return of Andoran officials and the second on Norry.

 

The reason for bringing up Rand's and Dyelin's time prior to the succession in this discussion was to establish that there was a period of several month between Gaebril's death and the winter snows. And in those months, Rand did his best to soothe the fears of the "good" nobles by promising to hand over Andor to Elayne as soon as she arrives. And in between Rand's departure and the snows - succession, Dyelin and the "good" houses were in control of Caemlyn (a period of few months). Whether that is enough to convince the pre-Gaebril system officials to return or not is not an issue. They had the chance (for the good of Andor); and that's all I'm trying to say.

Rand did a terribel job of allaying fears. He said he would give the throne to Elayne - anyone who wanted a free Andor, not a puppet state, would hesistate to return until Elayne herself was back and showing that she was a true Andoran queen. Also, there was a siege. Do you think these people are just going to walk through the enemy camps? That leaves only a brief period between Elayne returning and showing she's not a puppet and the rebel armies marching on the city.

 

As to someone more qualified than Norry for a spymaster, I'll just let Elayne do the talking:

 

Eventually, she would probably have to build a stronger network of eyes-and-ears, as neither of these two was perfectly suited to leading them. Norry was too obvious, and he already had enough to do with his other duties. Dyelin was ... well, Elayne wasn't certain what Dyelin was.

 

She owed much to Dyelin, who seemed to have taken it upon hetself to act as a surrogate mother to Elayne. A voice of experience and wisdom. But eventually, Dyelin would have to take a few steps back. Neither of them could afford to encourage the notion that Dyelin was the real power behind the throne. But Light! What would she have done without the woman?

 

So, Elayne tells us that "politics" is what's preventing Dyelin from being a more important player and a candidate to lead a stronger network of eyes-and-ears. It is a misguided feeling of insecurity fueling Elayne's actions towards Dyelin.

It is a wholly legitimate concern on her part. She doesn't want to be perceived as a weak monarch - such a perception could be damaging to her rule. So she needs to be seen to be able to stand on her own two feet, not to need Dyelin as a crutch. Also, Norry is not "perfectly suited" to the role. Hardly a sign of his being incompetent. He is a very capable interim spymaster. She has not had time to deal with the problem fully, but she has not ignored it either. Which is pretty much what people have been telling you - Norry is capable of doing the job and she hasn't had the time to create a proper eyes and ears network. Also, I will point out that you didn't mention anyone more capable as spymaster than Norry. I asked who was more qualified than him. Apparently we don't know of anyone, at least not anyone available to Elayne.

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I asked who was more qualified than him. Apparently we don't know of anyone, at least not anyone available to Elayne.

 

Which brings us back to my very first comment which Theodril has not been able to address.

 

As opposed to what? Ringing up dial-a-spy and perusing a few resumes?

Edited by Suttree

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I went with Egwene. She has more moments of awesome. Her conversion of Gareth Byrne, and Siuan. Playing the rebel Hall and council off against each other. Her idea to turn the chain into cuendlllar. Her stance on not being rescued. Of beating Elaida while unable to channel and winning over the novices and Accpeted. The dinner scene with Elaida. Winning over the Tower's Ajah heads and some of the Sitters under the guise of her lessons. Winning over Silviana. Awesome stuff. Awesome.

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Again, so what? I am contending that Elayne's assessment in the aftermath of things going wrong is tainted by things going horribly wrong, and therefore is not an accurate and fair appraisal. Given that, simply saying "but Elayne says..." is pointless. It doesn't address my point. Elayne is not seeint things clearly then. And when Egwene went on her cuendillar mission, she was the best candidate for the job, and it gave her the opportunity to attack the WT from within (and T'a'r allowed her to maintain control of forces on the outside). Also, do not underestimate the value of leading from the front. It can inspire people in a way that standing well away from the action can't.

 

This is where we disagree. I don't think that Elayne's statement is clouded by the circumstances. And the evidence convincing me is that she agrees with Birgitte later, and she tells herself that she doesn't need to take as many risks as she's been taking before.

 

As to leading from the front, it is warranted in situations like Rodel's in Maradon, where the leader's presence is a source of strength and a stopgap against total disaster. But I don't think it applies to ordinary tasks such as questioning darkfriends or arresting them.

 

Rand did a terribel job of allaying fears. He said he would give the throne to Elayne - anyone who wanted a free Andor, not a puppet state, would hesistate to return until Elayne herself was back and showing that she was a true Andoran queen. Also, there was a siege. Do you think these people are just going to walk through the enemy camps? That leaves only a brief period between Elayne returning and showing she's not a puppet and the rebel armies marching on the city.

 

The "free – proud – Andor that rejects foreign rule" makes me smirk every time I come across it. Just seems that uber-independence and fleeing the capital – going into hiding - and surrendering Caemlyn to two apparent usurpers don't mix well with each other. But that isn't the issue, is it?

 

So, these uber-independent Andorans should have taken better care of their Kingdom if they didn't want Rand to intervene. And he was forced to act against Rahvin after believing that Rahvin killed Morgase. He didn't want to conquer Andor. But since they couldn't defeat Rahvin, they should have at least shown some gratitude and faith in their savior's promises.

 

You say that Rand did a terrible job of allaying the fears of Andorans; and with that you mean the "good" High Houses (Pelivar, Luan, & co.). I am aware that the rest of the houses were basically kissing Rand's foot to name one of them or their allies to the throne.

 

The question would be, what could have Rand done better taken into considerations his other responsibilities & time constraints. How could he have killed Rahvin, defeated his army of Trollocs and Fades in the inner city, and restored order without the Aiel and Saldeans? What was the "independent" Andoran alternative to that?

 

Andor has a long bill to pay; and I hope they do it in the L.B. with flare. Because up till now, independent Andor hasn't done much on its own in the two years of the fight against the Shadow.

 

 

It is a wholly legitimate concern on her part. She doesn't want to be perceived as a weak monarch - such a perception could be damaging to her rule. So she needs to be seen to be able to stand on her own two feet, not to need Dyelin as a crutch. Also, Norry is not "perfectly suited" to the role. Hardly a sign of his being incompetent. He is a very capable interim spymaster. She has not had time to deal with the problem fully, but she has not ignored it either. Which is pretty much what people have been telling you - Norry is capable of doing the job and she hasn't had the time to create a proper eyes and ears network. Also, I will point out that you didn't mention anyone more capable as spymaster than Norry. I asked who was more qualified than him. Apparently we don't know of anyone, at least not anyone available to Elayne.

 

It isn't a wholly legitimate concern because any monarch needs to rely on strong and faithful allies who fulfill important functions. Dyelin rejected the throne when she could have snatched it. She has no ambitions; and the High Seats know it. And they know that Elayne is capable. And that is why I said it was a misguided sense of insecurity. Elayne is capable as a monarch; but she feels that she needs to be free of Dyelin's shadow, which is worrying since that would distance her from one of the few people she can really trust.

 

I won't go into the definition of "perfectly suited" and "capable" as opposed to "obvious" regarding Norry. For the issue at hand, it suffices that Elayne feels that she needs someone better, which is the point I've tried to defend.

 

Maybe I should have been more clear on my candidate: Dyelin!

 

Elayne's thoughts on the issue start with the word "eventually." And that is the reason that led me to raise the issue. My perception is that a Kingdom's spymaster is one of the top priorities that should not be relegated to "eventually."

Edited by Theodril

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