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The fight for Tar Valon


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So, who thinks Egwene needs to drop down a few...hundred rungs? Well, Im with you on this one. I think that she left Tar Valon mostly undefended because she is afraid that she might have to fight Rand. Also because she is such an amazing "Dreamer", she thinks that the Seanchean danger is passed. So, when the Seanchean take over the White Tower, what happens to reclaim it? Ill throw out my simple little theory. I believe after Matt successfully repels the shadow in Caemlyn, he returns to the tower with Moraine. She shows him where the Horn of Valor is located. At this point, the Seanchean attack and Matt again decides to blown the horn. The heroes of the horn stop the assault and release the captured damane. Matt is now reunited with Tuon (Fortuona) and they begin to assist with the defense of the world and join the monarchs at the FoM. Talk about your happy endings. So, let me hear your thoughts.

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So, who thinks Egwene needs to drop down a few...hundred rungs?

 

Because being mentally and physically abused by the Seanchan and then the Elaida run WT wasn't enough? :rolleyes:

 

I think that she left Tar Valon mostly undefended because she is afraid that she might have to fight Rand.

 

She went to the FoM because...

ToM

Obliquely, she realized what she was doing. She was using Rand's proclamation as a beacon by which to gather and tie the monarchs to the White Tower. They would come to support her arguments against breaking the seals. But in the end, they would serve humankind in the Last Battle.

 

Also it may not be for the Seanchan but far from leaving things undefended we know she has been heavily preparing for TG and the war to follow.

 

ToM

Gawyn waited. The walls were papered with maps of Tar Valon, Andor, Cairhien and surrounding regions. Many bore recent notations in red chalk. Bryne was preparing for war. The notations made it clear he felt he'd eventually have to defend Tar Valon itself against Trollocs. Several maps showed villages across the northern part of the countryside, listing their fortifications, if any, and their loyalty to Tar Valon. They'd be used for supply dumps and forward positions. Another map had circles pointing out ancient watchtowers, fortifications and ruins.

There was a methodical inevitability to Bryne's calculations, and a sense of urgency. He wasn't looking to build fortifications, but to use those already in place. He was moving troops into the villages he felt most useful; another map showed progress in active recruitment.

It wasn't until Gawyn stood there-smelling the musty scent of old paper and burning

candles-that he felt the reality of the impending war. It was coming soon. The Dragon

would break the seals of the Dark One's prison. The place he had told Egwene to meet

him, the Field of Merrilor, was marked in bright red on the maps. It was north, on the

border of Shienar.

Edited by Suttree
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Its not going to be Bryne's soldier to be the primary defense of the White Tower, it will be the Aes Sadai that I believe are accompanying Egwene to the FoM. Also, regardless of what thoughts, quotes, or character gut feelings that can be found about "serving the humankind", Egwenes intention is to show a united front of world leaders against Rand breaking the seals. With her at the head, of course, she is Aes Sadai and she knows best. The thing she isn't understanding, is that Rand actually has people that are loyal to him. Not to the notion of Aes Sadai or country, but actually loyal to Rand. Perrins army, the Aiel, the Dragonsworn Army, Tears army, and a small contingent of Aes Sadei. This spells disaster for the smaller contingent that are simply there for political reasons. Anyway, the physical and mental abuse that Egwene recieved at the hands of the Aes Sadei was 100% self induced. It turned out best for the story, but thats like saying somebody that is getting raped and abused in prison that has the means to end his/her improsonment, simply decides not to. That is what she did.

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Also, regardless of what thoughts, quotes, or character gut feelings that can be found about "serving the humankind", Egwenes intention is to show a united front of world leaders against Rand breaking the seals. With her at the head, of course, she is Aes Sadai and she knows best. The thing she isn't understanding, is that Rand actually has people that are loyal to him. Not to the notion of Aes Sadai or country, but actually loyal to Rand. Perrins army, the Aiel, the Dragonsworn Army, Tears army, and a small contingent of Aes Sadei. This spells disaster for the smaller contingent that are simply there for political reasons.

 

So we should just ignore all these quotes that show her thoughts and make up our own interpretation? It doesn't really work like that. In addition when you say "spells disaster" what do you mean? It is still very much up in the air which side will have more support. Regardless if Min has found a way to seal the bore and Rand actually lays out a ration plan for why things need to happen that way, then why would Egwene oppose him?

 

As an aside I know you mentioned Mat. But I always though there could be a possibility of this viewing being connected to any second Seanchan attack.

 

CoT Ch.20

Abruptly, the ledge dropped away from under her with the crack of crumbling stone, and she caught frantically at the cliff, fingers scrabbling to find a hold. Her fingertips slid into a tiny crevice, and her fall stopped with a jolt that wrenched her arms. Feet dangling into the clouds, she listened to the falling stone crash against the cliff until the sound faded to nothing without the stone ever hitting the ground. Dimly, she could see the broken ledge to her left. Ten feet away, it might as well have been a mile off for all the chance she had of reaching it. In the other direction, the mists hid whatever remained of the path, but she thought it had to be farther away still. There was no strength in her arms. She could not pull herself up, only hang there by her fingertips until she fell. The edge of the crevice seemed as sharp as a knife under her fingers.

Suddenly a woman appeared, clambering down the sheer side of the cliff out of the clouds, making her way as deftly as if she were walking down stairs. There was a sword strapped to her back. Her face wavered, never settling clearly, but the sword seemed as solid as the stone. The woman reached Egwene’s level and held out one hand. “We can reach the top together,” she said in a familiar drawl­ing accent.

Edited by Suttree
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i cant foresee another fight with the seanchan. sure the chance of it is really high, but in order for there to be a peace that involves them, i dont see it happening if there is another attack on the WT. The first one was really just a raid that took channelers, and really that left the WT pretty torn up. Another one and it might not stay standing. I think with everything else that has to go on that somewhere between suldam channeling, matt and tuon, and TG going, a fight at the WT is just too much. Matt will step in and somehow stop it or something very political with tuon and others channeling, or rand negotiating(with justice as a bargaining chip i think) and it just simply wont happen. If it were another raiding party it would be pointless, so it would have to be hugely destructive and the plotline cant afford to lose that many AS. thats my theory

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So, who thinks Egwene needs to drop down a few...hundred rungs?

 

Because being mentally and physically abused by the Seanchan and then the Elaida run WT wasn't enough? :rolleyes:

 

I think that she left Tar Valon mostly undefended because she is afraid that she might have to fight Rand.

 

She went to the FoM because...

ToM

Obliquely, she realized what she was doing. She was using Rand's proclamation as a beacon by which to gather and tie the monarchs to the White Tower. They would come to support her arguments against breaking the seals. But in the end, they would serve humankind in the Last Battle.

 

Also it may not be for the Seanchan but far from leaving things undefended we know she has been heavily preparing for TG and the war to follow.

 

ToM

Gawyn waited. The walls were papered with maps of Tar Valon, Andor, Cairhien and surrounding regions. Many bore recent notations in red chalk. Bryne was preparing for war. The notations made it clear he felt he'd eventually have to defend Tar Valon itself against Trollocs. Several maps showed villages across the northern part of the countryside, listing their fortifications, if any, and their loyalty to Tar Valon. They'd be used for supply dumps and forward positions. Another map had circles pointing out ancient watchtowers, fortifications and ruins.

There was a methodical inevitability to Bryne's calculations, and a sense of urgency. He wasn't looking to build fortifications, but to use those already in place. He was moving troops into the villages he felt most useful; another map showed progress in active recruitment.

It wasn't until Gawyn stood there-smelling the musty scent of old paper and burning

candles-that he felt the reality of the impending war. It was coming soon. The Dragon

would break the seals of the Dark One's prison. The place he had told Egwene to meet

him, the Field of Merrilor, was marked in bright red on the maps. It was north, on the

border of Shienar.

Those were the very points I was going to raise! :biggrin:

 

Incidentally, why are we assuming all the Aes Sedai are in Merillor? Egwene is quite aware the Seanchan have Traveling, and its not like the Novices and Acepted can be left without supervision.

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her, siuan and verin, who were the first three to know about Rand, and the main 3 to deal with them early on, they were together in their dealing with the HoV, and its placement in the tower. Moraine stayed with Rand and that group, in the mountains at the end of book 2/beginning of book 3, while Verin went with matt and his group to TV, with the HoV, disguised in a sac... I would bet on there being a well thought out plan regarding the hiding spot for the horn that moraine was in on. verin wasn't about to let it fall into darkfriend hands anyways, so perhaps she left a letter for someone to ensure it made its way back to matt

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if they and mat are both at the WT wouldnt they have to obey an order to stand down from the prince of ravens?

probably, but since this would be such a high priority deal, it would be verified and ordered by the empress, so no

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Regarding the Horn of Valere, Siuan and Verin were the only ones that knew where it was hidden. Moiraine never knew where the Horn was hidden after Verin delivered it to Siuan.

 

Egwene's dream of the Seanchan attacking the WT showed two Ravens, the White Tower swaying but not falling, and Aes Sedai scattered in groups around the Tower.

 

I think Egwene is expecting the Seanchan to attack the Tower again. She has already taken measures to secure the Tower's items of power. She has Bryne laying a defensive plan against Shadowspawn (and other attackers). She knows that the Seanchan have Traveling. And she has Leilwin in the Tower with Bethamin and Seta. My hunch is that much of the Towers preparations against a second Seanchan attack are done off-screen.

 

The second Seanchan attack will be much more devastating than the simple raid; but the Tower and Aes Sedai will survive. The "How" is another issue!

Edited by Theodril
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Okay, since we are going with Egwene quotes that seem to back your opinion that she is there to have an open discussion and possibly back up Rands plan to break the seals. Lets start with "I will not let you break the seals," she said (Egwene). "That is madness." also 'The Sitters pulled themselves to their fee, shaken. Silviana leaned down. "You're right, Mother. He can't be allowed to break the seals. But what are we to do? If you won't hold him captive..." Then lets just finish the chapter: "We need allies, " Egwene said. She took a deep breath. "He might be persuaded by people that he trusts." Or he might be forced to change his mind if confronted by a large enough group united to stop him.

 

All that sure does make it sound like she is preparing to jump on the old Rand bandwagon. It reeks of support. Sorry for the sarcasm, but I really hate the Egwene character. I hope Gawyn uses the rings he took from the assassins just so he dies and causes her extreme pain. And I liked Gawyn earlier in the books, though he is coming along now.

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Okay, since we are going with Egwene quotes that seem to back your opinion that she is there to have an open discussion and possibly back up Rands plan to break the seals. Lets start with "I will not let you break the seals," she said (Egwene). "That is madness." also 'The Sitters pulled themselves to their fee, shaken. Silviana leaned down. "You're right, Mother. He can't be allowed to break the seals. But what are we to do? If you won't hold him captive..." Then lets just finish the chapter: "We need allies, " Egwene said. She took a deep breath. "He might be persuaded by people that he trusts." Or he might be forced to change his mind if confronted by a large enough group united to stop him.

 

All that sure does make it sound like she is preparing to jump on the old Rand bandwagon. It reeks of support. Sorry for the sarcasm, but I really hate the Egwene character. I hope Gawyn uses the rings he took from the assassins just so he dies and causes her extreme pain. And I liked Gawyn earlier in the books, though he is coming along now.

 

I'm aware of those quotes. They come from the very first meeting where Rand(whose sanity was in question at the time) waltzed into the WT, said he was going to free the DO and then refused to discuss the situation. We know he purposely antagonized her so she would most likely gather the all the armies in one place. Never the less she has agreed to discuss the situation at the FoM and has "arguments" she will present. Unless you think she will not allow him to speak and attack him on sight why whould she not listen to reason? You can not condemn her for thinking about hypothetical situations. Seriously don't let your mislike of the character cloud your judgement. All she has done so far is fall into whatever plan Rand has set up for the FoM. Why don't we wait to see what actually happens before we rush to judge. If she refuses to go along after Min has figured out how to seal the bore and Rand lays out a rational course of action than I will speak out against her as well.

Edited by Suttree
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Thats the thing, I dont believe Rand will lay out a rational course of action. Rand has already made up his mind on what he is going to do. I think he already has the strength of enough of the female channelers to accomplish what he has planned. The point of this meeting is not to have a discussion about what Rand is going to do. The point of this meeting is to diiscuss what the worlds rulers are going to do. Well, what Rand is going to demand they do in return for his sacrifice. No, she will not attack him on sight. I think she even realizes how futile that would be. Anyway, I also don't think Min will figure out how to seal the bore, I think that is what Moraine will eventually bring to the table. But there isn't much evidence for that. Heck, she even thinks that it is a good thing that she got Nynaeve away from Rand because she seems to take Rands side to often. She has already lost Nynaeve because of loyalty. Either way, it will be an exciting situation.

 

Back to the original discussion though, how will the White Tower be defended? Im sure I read where the new empress ordered a full scale attack. I still think that somehow that will coincide with Matt retrieving the Horn. Matt's role just got a little bigger.

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I just had a thought, could AS blast raken and to'raken without any threat to themselves, technically their beasts and striking at them won't violate the oath even though in doing so they will cause multiple people to die

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No, the oath prevents using the one power as a weapon except against shadowspawn.

 

The Seanchan animals are not shadowspawn, and the Aes Sedai know that now. They could not use the one power as a weapon save in the last resort in the defence of themselves, their warder or another sister. I always found it interesting that an Aes Sedai cannot use the one power as a weapon to save a sister's warder, only their own. And they are helpless to defend anyone outside the order, unless shadowspawn are involved.

 

Of course, since the Seanchan are going to be attacking the White Tower, ALL the Aes sedai there are in imminent mortal danger. So the use of the one power in defense is a non-issue.

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I don't think raken would be a problem. They have Travelling, they won't be on raken or to'raken. Besides, as MoB said, the Seanchan are attacking the Tower, the Aes Sedai need no reminders of the danger of the Seanchan, I would say any sister would be easily convinced that the danger to their life was very, very real.

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The stumbling block for the Seanchan attack to my mind is the mechanics of travelling.

 

You can only open a gateway when you have intimate knowledge of the destination, or the distance traversed by the gateway is small. Coupled with the limitation of only particularly strong Aes Sedai can create one without angreal aid, the list of people that can create gateways to attack the white tower is pretty small.

 

It basically consists of those that fill all 3 of these criteria

  1. Captured tower initiate
  2. Broken sufficiently to be reliable in use by the seanchan
  3. Strong enough in the power to create a gateway

Obviously the Seanchan have sufficient in this group to be a major threat (even 1 would allow you to open a gateway to somewhere quiet, move a few demane through, and have them open gateways back to the Seanchan staging area that they do know). However, there is certainly the potential for the actual attack to be spotted early and start with a channelling battle through a single or very small number of gateways.

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You can only open a gateway when you have intimate knowledge of the destination, or the distance traversed by the gateway is small.

 

Opposite. Traveling requires knowledge of where you are. Skimming requires knowledge of where you're going.

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The stumbling block for the Seanchan attack to my mind is the mechanics of travelling.

 

You can only open a gateway when you have intimate knowledge of the destination, or the distance traversed by the gateway is small. Coupled with the limitation of only particularly strong Aes Sedai can create one without angreal aid, the list of people that can create gateways to attack the white tower is pretty small.

 

It basically consists of those that fill all 3 of these criteria

  1. Captured tower initiate
  2. Broken sufficiently to be reliable in use by the seanchan
  3. Strong enough in the power to create a gateway

Obviously the Seanchan have sufficient in this group to be a major threat (even 1 would allow you to open a gateway to somewhere quiet, move a few demane through, and have them open gateways back to the Seanchan staging area that they do know). However, there is certainly the potential for the actual attack to be spotted early and start with a channelling battle through a single or very small number of gateways.

 

Fortuona ordered that all damane be trained in Traveling. So, the list of Seanchan channelers who can Travel is not as small as you think. The problem is that damane cannot link. So, they cannot create huge gateways. They can only open ones as large as can be made by a single strong damane; or several ones; but not one like the one the rebel AS made to move Bryne's army to Tar Valon.

 

You're right. The WT is utterly screwed given a seanchan commander with a good tactical brain (as most of them seem to have)

 

But the White Tower has Gareth Bryne (a great captain) planning its defense with a significant army (at least 70K) and hundreds of Aes Sedai. The Seanchan attack will be hard; but it won't be a total surprise like the raid.

Edited by Theodril
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theodril:

we see gareth plan the defence of the city if a force comes from the north, he is presumably planning a defence against the shadowspawn. He in fact has nothing to do with the city defences. I believe that falls to captain chubain (I think thats his name). Not to mention it is nearly impossible to plan defence against waygates without dreamspikes and such.

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It doesn't matter if Byrne is or is not prepared for a Seanchan attack. The Seanchan would eventually be victorious, with the rest of the Light so divided between Caemlyn and Shadowspawn from the Borderlands. The Return inevitably would win unless all forces were focused on repelling them, which Rand and co. has little time or resources for.

 

In the end, it will be how fast Rand, Egwene and Mat can reach Tuon to make an agreement. They cannot fight a dozen battles at once, unfortunately the Seanchan are too powerful in the end. The best that they can hope for is a prolonged siege, waiting until reinforcements arrive.

 

I don't think that it will be that big of a battle, there isn't enough time to mess around fighting each other. Worst comes to worst, Rand will just blast his way through to the Empress and force a peace. If not for his aura of Darkness, she would have signed a peace treaty. New Rand will have less trouble, I think.

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