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Wool-headed lummox

Aviendha's vision was not the future

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Thanks, glad you guys like it! I'm new at this, so I haven't figured out the proper quoting system yet. Still, pressing on! Here are a few additional thoughts.

 

Olver's Grin, "I don't agree on this. The Seanchan have a much more organised way of looking for potential channelers than the Aes Sadai. It is said that there are more Aiel channalers than Aes Sadai- I expect this to be true of the Seanchan as well - they simply don't allow anyone with the spark to slip through their net."

 

I agree with you as of right now, but don't forget that according to Avi's vision the Aiel don't start the war for twenty years, and the rest of the nations for closer to forty. Added to that we know that the reason for the low Aes Sedai numbers is changing. Historically they've always (mostly) waited for girls to come to them; frankly in a medieval society where people rarely ever travel more than 20 miles from home it's a wonder there are any AS left at all. Egwene is changing all that. Her rebels scooped up everyone they could get on their march to the Tower and she's said on several occasions that she plans to keep doing so. Plus she's keeping everyone who fails the test and retires, the Kin, associated with the Tower. Poor recruiting and attrition are the reasons for low Aes Sedai numbers, and they've already decided to address that.

 

"That's assuming a unified Randland, which is very far from the truth. If they can't stop their internal bickering to fight the Dark One, how will they be able to unify to fight the Seanchan invaders?

And how many Randland armies and Randland channelers will be left over after the last battle?"

 

How many good guys will be left over after the Last Battle is a good question, but we don't know that the Seanchan will be spared the fighting either. There's no reason to know whether one side or the other will take the worst of it, so I'd call that one a wash. That said, I do think there's reason to believe that the Seanchan might take worse casualties in the Last Battle. In (I think) Shadow Rising, Rand has a vision through the Portal Stone where the Seanchan had conquered the entire continent but then were completely outmatched by the bad guys. At least we know that, if they had to face the Dark One alone, the Seanchan would get rolled. As to unification, definitely call me out if I misread the section, but my interpretation of Avi's vision is that it actually says that eventually all the nations join the war against the Seanchan. It references Andor, Cairhien, Tear and Illian all having fought them at least.

 

 

 

"The Damane are trained for battle. The Aes Sadai aren't."

 

A good point, right now. But the Aes Sedai (et al.) will have decades to train and prepare, with an existential threat on their doorstep and the memory of the Last Battle and everything they learned from it fresh in their minds. Plus the Black Tower is always trained for battle, and we know that in Avi's vision they somehow survive and thrive because there's a reference to them fighting in secret after losing their fortress. I may be making an assumption here but I don't think it's a very big one to say that the Aes Sedai will prepare to defend themselves against the empire that wants to chain and enslave them now that they've seen the danger firsthand, especially with an Amyrlin who's changing a lot of their self destructive, naval gazing tendencies. The other channelers certainly will.

 

BFG

 

I agree, who fights and survives is definitely a giant question mark, but don't forget that the homeland being in chaos will mean not only cut supplies but also very real (potentially huge) losses as well. This is a civil war, not only a potentially bloody affair but one where every loss on either side weakens the Seanchan.

 

"BUT as of ToM the BT looks to be in serious trouble with either DF BT or 13x13d BT, meaning that assuming the Light wins their won't (or may not) be many male channelers left."

 

We know that there will be though, at least in vision-land. There's a specific reference to the Black Tower fighting the war against the Seanchan, then losing their fortress. Even if they sustain heavy losses, the institution will survive and have a long time to rebuild.

 

I agree with you completely on the Oaths, that's something I should have included up top. They will be a very big problem for the AS, but I don't think an insurmountable one. They have other options for disabling the damane, many other channelers available, if they send themselves or their Warders directly into the fight they're unshackled and (in case of an existential threat) the Oath Rod can release them from an Oath, or modify it as needed. The last I'll admit is unlikely considering Egwene's foolish adherence to them, but we know they aren't irrevocably bound. I'm not sure I can see Mat giving them much advantage as I can't imagine him helping them with that fight. If anything he'll be trying to undermine the system of damane.

 

I definitely agree with you that there are a lot of variables out there, I'm just not sure that I can realistically see them breaking strong enough in favor of the Seanchan to make up for their very real disadvantages.

 

I don't think Mat would do it on purpose, but we know that the Seanchan have some astute military commanders that are (presumably) capable of learning from him. Some theorys suggest that Mat as Prince of the Ravens has a military position, possibly similar to First Prince of the Sword. In that case they may learn some tactics through that.

 

The BT should survive, but Androl(?) POV suggested that their weren't very many people outside Taims group, if so there really won't be that many left - and in terms of recovering numbers, it's difficult to say how long it will take people to overcome the terror of male channeling.

 

 

Very good points, mate! I'm just on LoC on my first re-read, so I tend to forget to take stuff that will happen later in the series into account.

I had totally forgotten that there's such a big period of time between the Last Battle and the Seanchan war in Avi's vision. That does indeed leave room for a lot of changes - both in Randland and among the Aes Sadai and among the Seanchans.

 

Don't have books to hand, but it seems that in that 20 year period, Tuon and Elayne have died. I agree that Eg is trying to take the WT in a better direction, but if she dies young (say in the LB - don't think she was mentioned one way or another) I'm not sure how successful her attempts will be - e.g. re older novices, most AS have been really really resistant to that idea.

 

I think their are too many variables in play, Avis future is definately within the realms of possibility, but I think it's just one possibility of many.

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On the oaths~

 

If I was an AS, I would feel in danger the second I saw Seanchan troops/channelers

 

Much as I agree, I think it would come down to how much an AS can twist the oath (below copied from WoTwiki)

  1. Speak no word that is not true
  2. Make no weapon for one man to kill another
  3. Never use the One Power as a weapon, except
    • Against Shadowspawn (Darkfriends also qualify),
    • To save her own life, or her Warder's, or the life of another sister
       

I think it's in KoD with Mat, when he gets annoyed with the AS because they don't stick to the plan. They justify it by they couldn't act earlier because they didn't feel in danger, this despite being in a battle. In the attack on the Tower they were able to respond, but I don't know if they'd have been able to attack first.

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If the Seanchan put enough rumors around that they wouldn't kill the AS only enslave them (and just knock out Warder), do you think many Sisters wouldn't be able to defend themselves because they were convinced of it?

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If the Seanchan put enough rumors around that they wouldn't kill the AS only enslave them (and just knock out Warder), do you think many Sisters wouldn't be able to defend themselves because they were convinced of it?

 

This is what I was trying to address, I guess it depends in their heads on the definition of 'life'. Every Seanchan would rather capture an AS as opposed to kill one, so technically their lives would (almost) never be in danger. But their are many people who believe that quality of life counts as well. Being collared is definately detrimental to quality of life. It could be an interesting distinction.

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I don't think Mat would do it on purpose, but we know that the Seanchan have some astute military commanders that are (presumably) capable of learning from him. Some theorys suggest that Mat as Prince of the Ravens has a military position, possibly similar to First Prince of the Sword. In that case they may learn some tactics through that.

 

 

You know, I actually disagree with the Seanchan's military reputation (as should be clear, I'm pretty anti-Raven ; ). The series does tell us that the Seanchan are considered excellent military commanders, but I would argue that the evidence strongly disagrees with that. I think it's all talk.

 

In favor of the reputation, we have indeed seen them tear through several Randland countries like a bull with extraordinarily multilayered social strata through a china shop. They didn't even break a sweat taking Ebou Dar, Amadicia, etc. The problem is, none of those countries actually had channelers. In fact, during none of their victories have the Seanchan ever had to face an army that could field channelers, allowing them to just unload the damane artillery and call it a day. They are indeed complete bad@$$es, just as long as they never have to fight anybody who can actually fight back.

 

The only time that we've seen the Seanchan fight on a level playing field was when Rand took his Asha'man against them. For the first time we saw the Seanchan fight an opponent on equal footing, and they got routed. The only thing that saved them was Rand going too far with Callandor. We also saw them have to fight without being able to use their damane at Falme, so just a test of their generals and soldering against another army. Again, a total loss. While, to be fair, they had to fight the Heroes of the Horn, they couldn't even beat the human army they faced off with. We also have a reference to them fighting shadowspawn and dreadlords in Rand's book 4 vision, in which they again were completely defeated. For all their fearsome reputation, every time we've seen the Seanchan run into an equivalent or superior force they get defeated, while the good guys have to face those odds on a near-daily basis.

 

It's the same reason why I think that damane aren't actually the fearsome killing machines they're made out to be. As the Seanchan use them, they are more appropriately considered weapons of terror than anything else. Every time we see the damane triumph it's from a position of overwhelming strength, such as blowing up an army with no channelers, bombarding civilian populations (Ebou Dar) or facing a few (or one) channelers with far superior numbers. It certainly gives the illusion of strength, and I'll grant you that an Aes Sedai facing six of them stepping out of an alley is in a lot of trouble, but they aren't ever used to fight and defeat equivalent enemies. You never see them duel an Aes Sedai/Wise One/Asha'man one on one or take on an army with its own channeler corps. Like the Seanchan overall, they only crush people who can't fight back. Not that they couldn't fight against other channelers at all, but they don't have any experience or training in doing so. Nobody has been able to fight back in so very, very long that I think there's a serious question about whether they're equipped to handle it when somebody does. It's like a bully with his first bloody nose, there's no telling what will happen. It's oddly also a little like the problem that the Aes Sedai have been going through in the whole series, one Luckers pointed out in an excellent post. They're so used to just steamrolling everyone that, now that some people like the Wise Ones and Windfinders are pushing back, they don't know how to handle it. Difference is, the Aes Sedai are going through their crash course in growing up right now, the damane still lag behind.

Edited by methegrate

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I don't think Mat would do it on purpose, but we know that the Seanchan have some astute military commanders that are (presumably) capable of learning from him. Some theorys suggest that Mat as Prince of the Ravens has a military position, possibly similar to First Prince of the Sword. In that case they may learn some tactics through that.

 

You know, I actually disagree with the Seanchan's military reputation (as should be clear, I'm pretty anti-Raven ; ). The series does tell us that the Seanchan are considered excellent military commanders, but I would argue that the evidence strongly disagrees with that. I think it's all talk.

 

In favor of the reputation, we have indeed seen them tear through several Randland countries like a bull with extraordinarily multilayered social strata through a china shop. They didn't even break a sweat taking Ebou Dar, Amadicia, etc. The problem is, none of those countries actually had channelers. In fact, during none of their victories have the Seanchan ever had to face an army that could field channelers, allowing them to just unload the damane artillery and call it a day. They are indeed complete bad@$$es, just as long as they never have to fight anybody who can actually fight back.

 

The only time that we've seen the Seanchan fight on a level playing field was when Rand took his Asha'man against them. For the first time we saw the Seanchan fight an opponent on equal footing, and they got routed. The only thing that saved them was Rand going too far with Callandor. We also saw them have to fight without being able to use their damane at Falme, so just a test of their generals and soldering against another army. Again, a total loss. While, to be fair, they had to fight the Heroes of the Horn, they couldn't even beat the human army they faced off with. We also have a reference to them fighting shadowspawn and dreadlords in Rand's book 4 vision, in which they again were completely defeated. For all their fearsome reputation, every time we've seen the Seanchan run into an equivalent or superior force they get defeated, while the good guys have to face those odds on a near-daily basis.

The asha'man were male channelers - something of a different proposition to facing female, as damane cannot detect male channeling. Also, Rand's forces had Traveling. So Rand had a very significant advantage in manoeuvre, so it was not an equal footing. The Seanchan advantage of numbers could be neutralised, because Rand could rapidly redeploy and destroy the Seanchan forces in detail. Also, let us not forget that at the end the Seanchan were not routed - they received reinforcements and were on the verge of pushing forwards, and looked certain to gain victory in the end. He had amazing success, but the tide was starting to turn. Rand had to use callandor because his only other option was to fall back, which he refused to countenance. As for Falme, not exactly a fair fight - the Pattern took a direct hand in events. The Whitecloak forces were destroyed, but the Seanchan could not hope to overcome the Heroes.

 

It's the same reason why I think that damane aren't actually the fearsome killing machines they're made out to be. As the Seanchan use them, they are more appropriately considered weapons of terror than anything else. Every time we see the damane triumph it's from a position of overwhelming strength, such as blowing up an army with no channelers, bombarding civilian populations (Ebou Dar) or facing a few (or one) channelers with far superior numbers. It certainly gives the illusion of strength, and I'll grant you that an Aes Sedai facing six of them stepping out of an alley is in a lot of trouble, but they aren't ever used to fight and defeat equivalent enemies. You never see them duel an Aes Sedai/Wise One/Asha'man one on one or take on an army with its own channeler corps. Like the Seanchan overall, they only crush people who can't fight back. Not that they couldn't fight against other channelers at all, but they don't have any experience or training in doing so. Nobody has been able to fight back in so very, very long that I think there's a serious question about whether they're equipped to handle it when somebody does.
Actually, this is untrue. If anything, the damane have more experience fighting other channelers than the other groups do. Seanchan has frequent rebellions, and some of these feature damane on both sides. The AS, Wise Ones, Kin and Windfinders don't fight amongst themselves, nor do they fight against the other channeling groups. They thus have no experience save that gained during the span of the series. The damane have experienced gained beforehand. And when have we actually seen them at a disadvantage in channeler v channeler fighting? The only time I can think of is the aforementioned battle against the Asha'man, a fight that would not be as easy now that the Seanchan have experience of fighting male channelers and can now Travel.

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For the first time we saw the Seanchan fight an opponent on equal footing, and they got routed. The only thing that saved them was Rand going too far with Callandor.

 

First lets put to bed this myth that they were routed. In fact they were closing in on Rand's position at the end after Rand refused to listen to Bashere(he would have had a great victory if he hadn't continued pushing), a decision which made even LTT call him crazy "I would not mind you in my head, Lews Therin said, sounding almost sane, if you were not so dearly mad." Also both Mat and Ituralde speak on how great their Generals are at constantly adapting. We have seen them lose battles so far but that is it.

 

TPoD Ch. 24

Bashere knuckled his thick mustaches with a wry laugh. "You want to find them. Look out there." He swept a gauntleted hand across the hills to the west. "I can’t point to a particular spot, but there are ten, maybe fifteen thousand close enough to see from here, if those trees weren’t in the way. I danced with the Dark One getting through them unseen to reach you. Maybe a hundred damanedown there. Maybe more. More coming, for sure, and more men. Seems their general has decided to concentrate on you. I suppose it isn’t always cheese and ale being ta’veren."

 

You never see them duel an Aes Sedai/Wise One/Asha'man one on one or take on an army with its own channeler corps.\

 

A little different but how about Alivia v. Lanfear? In addition they seemed to be doing just fine against AS until Eggy had them join circles and rally.

Edited by Suttree

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I don't think Mat would do it on purpose, but we know that the Seanchan have some astute military commanders that are (presumably) capable of learning from him. Some theorys suggest that Mat as Prince of the Ravens has a military position, possibly similar to First Prince of the Sword. In that case they may learn some tactics through that.

 

 

You know, I actually disagree with the Seanchan's military reputation (as should be clear, I'm pretty anti-Raven ; ). The series does tell us that the Seanchan are considered excellent military commanders, but I would argue that the evidence strongly disagrees with that. I think it's all talk.

 

...

 

Should have been clear, I was specifically referring to people like Furyk Karede, the soldiers he left behind with Mat, Tylee and Mishima (when I said they had people capable of learning from Mat), they seem pretty smart. I'm pretty anti-Raven to, but I want to believe they can change.

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Going out on a limb here, but maybe the visions are a plot device to make Aviendha more important for the rest of the story? Before this she could have fell down a well and although Rand being heart broken it would have meant nothing to the rest of the story. Now she has to save her people from a fate they would find worse than death. Hurrah!

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Was this touched upon...?

 

In Aviendha's vision, did the Seanchan ever Travel or use gateways?

 

We know they now have that particular weave. Unless Elayne has a chance to study the Dreamspike and learns how to make copies, there is no reason the Seanchan would not use gateways to quickly Travel to holds within the Waste when trying to eradicate the Aiel.

 

If Elayne or someone else is able make Dreamspikes, then the White Tower and the nation's leaders would pay mucho mucho $$ for one. Sort of the story for all warfare. For every new offensive feature, a defensive feature is soon implemented.

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Well, we've been told over and over again that prophecy is not necessarally what is going to happen, only what may happen. It's one possible future out of many. (And considering that we've seen parrell universes and such from the Portal stones, it only makes sense that it's possible to see a possible future and why it seems so vivid; it's "real" somewhere, even if that's not what happens in the main universe.)

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Also something to consider, was the fact that I am pretty sure RJ stated that Prophecy becomes less reliable, the more power the Dark One has in the world, due to his influence, so it would make sense, that the Prophecy would seem unchangeable, because that is the goal of the Dark One, to bring bad things about, to remove peoples hope. And a Prophecy like the one Aviendah saw, certainly would do much to take Hope away.

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In a way I think Avi's vision will be the seanchan's doom. If she tells Egwene and the other leaders, then they will know that if they do not face the Seanchan as a unified force then they will fall.

 

However...

 

Would the Seanchan break the dragon's peace of their own accord? This is the real question, if they will not then it will give Egwene and co time to prove to them that Sul'dam are girls who can learn, which could well undermine their culture. Merely saying it is not enough, getting an older Sul'dam leashed is not enough.

 

An example of this would be a Seanchan Embassy, being shown a girl who they would consider Sul'dam material, and then watch seeing her week by week as the Aes Sedai train her.

 

They MIGHT and I say that loosely decide to change their ways slightly and instead of leashing Channelers, might see the Aes Sedai's Oath-rod and adapt that for their own uses.

 

That would be a start in the right direction towards seeing Channelers as servants rather than slaves, as well as lead towards what Aes Sedai in the AoL were. They were not upstart little girls wanting to be in control of everything and everyone. They were respected and honoured as Servants of All...

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Avienhda's vision is the future, unless drastic changes occur.

 

The White Tower would be of little use due to their foolish oaths: a massive disadvantage in warfare. The Seanchan can take the Tower via gateways.

 

From what I gathered, the Black Tower tried too much to be the opposite of the WT...the hands off approach. American isolationism nearly led to Hitler's victory.

 

Sea folk channelers are almost impotent in battle from what we seen thus far. Knitting Circle, meh. It is up to the BT and WT.

 

The Wetlanders have gotten very soft and weak following the Last Battle and went back to their old ways. The Aiel had stalemated the Seanchan for many decades of war, it is only when the very soft wetlanders entered the picture that the Aiel started losing. The Seanchan started collaring in droves no doubt and various nations felled like domino's.

 

The Seanchan are a unified force who know how to deal with channelers, they would have distinct advantages over the wetlanders.

Edited by Entreri

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Would the Seanchan break the dragon's peace of their own accord? This is the real question, if they will not then it will give Egwene and co time to prove to them that Sul'dam are girls who can learn, which could well undermine their culture. Merely saying it is not enough, getting an older Sul'dam leashed is not enough.

 

An example of this would be a Seanchan Embassy, being shown a girl who they would consider Sul'dam material, and then watch seeing her week by week as the Aes Sedai train her.

 

They MIGHT and I say that loosely decide to change their ways slightly and instead of leashing Channelers, might see the Aes Sedai's Oath-rod and adapt that for their own uses.

 

Yeah, I think the best way to avoid the horrible Aviendha future is to keep the peace with the Seanchan.

 

Actually, there was one hint in Aviendha's vision that gives me a thought. One reason things went so badly, it seems, is that Turon ("the old emperess") died not long after the Last Battle in that future. If the good guys can keep her alive, I bet Mat can eventually change her mind about damne (especally if he manages to get her to learn to start channeling herself), and take the Senchan empire in a whole new direction. But only if they can prevent that; I think that's one key turning point where everything starts to go wrong in the future.

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I remember damane being mentioned during the visions closest to the current time, but I don't recall damane in the more distant future visions. Also, like I mentioned, we didn't see any Traveling. In fact, I don't recall any examples of channeling in the most distant future visions. Granted, there probably wouldn't be any channellers with the group of Seanchan laying track across the Waste...but I don't recall there being any channeling when the last hold was destroyed (though I may just not remember it).

 

Perhaps the Seanchan do cull out channellers. With the rise in traditional weaponry and transportation, they would not be so reliant upon channellers. I could certainly see the Seanchan outright killing channellers once their usefulness is over.

 

On a side note, I think the future Aviendha saw is true but only in the sense that the Aiel as we know them no do not exist in general pattern of the next age. There is no need for an isolationist warrior culture. I don't believe Aiel will go out the way Aviendha experienced - but their culture as it is now will disappear.

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Perhaps the Seanchan do cull out channellers. With the rise in traditional weaponry and transportation, they would not be so reliant upon channellers. I could certainly see the Seanchan outright killing channellers once their usefulness is over.

 

Oh splendid, so there's a genocide against both the Aiel and channellers as a whole? My appreciation of the Seanchan grows every day, book, and thread!

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I think the Seanchan may have already undermined their own cultural practices with the move to using Forkroot as a means of detecting marath'damane. If it becomes the accepted method the number of sul'dam will quickly become extremely limited.

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The real future is not set, and the Fourth Age that is yet to come may divert greatly from its previous incarnation seen in the pillars. Perhaps Aviendha was given these visions to learn from the mistakes of her past life, and make crucial decisions which will save her people - and the entire mainland

 

You do realize that the "future" in general is not set in the Wheel of Time, right? Prophecies are not large stone tablets which read "THIS WILL HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT!"

 

The whole point of the scenes was to show Aviendha a version of the future which may occur. Now that she knows about them, it's up to her to save her people. What you described here, in the section I quoted, is exactly the point and it is exactly the assumption every operates under. You don't need to assume that it's the past in order to assume that she can change the future with that knowledge.

 

This.

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