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The White Tower And Oaths of Fealty


thisguy
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I'm rereading A Crown Of Swords and have run into something I find kind of amusing. The Wise Ones in T'Rond ask Egwene if the AS will swear fealty to Rand. She says no, they cannot. Their duty lies to the Tower first. She then accepts oaths of fealty offered from Theodrin and Faolin and later demands oaths of fealty from Nisao and Myrelle - Fealty to herself, not to the Tower. I just found it all to be kind of amusing.

 

That is all.

 

There's actually something else that she thought to herself that confirmed a belief of my own but since that's already been discussed to death, and had gotten a bit too fiery for friendly talk I'll keep it to myself.

 

Mst of this is in the chapter "A Morning of Victory".

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Yes, and then she later berates Elaida for coming up with the same idea, albeit involving the Binder. There's definitely a disconnect here.

That's interesting. I have no memory of that; it's been a while.

 

On an aside - something else came to me while reading this. Nicola and Areina - they try to blackmail Egwene and manage to blackmail Nisao and Myrelle until Egwene finds out about Lan.....

 

Actually, I should probably put this new question in the Spoiler section. I'll do it later. Thank you for your thoughts yoniy0

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there is a difference but yea its still oaths of fealty. Egwene did not force it, well for those novices she gave them little choice but they didn't have to, they would have had a unpleasant life for a while. Elaida would have forced it on, likely if they refused to take the oath they would have been stilled and exiled or something. Or at the very least be demoted.

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Senexx has the right of it.

 

In addition the duties of Amrylin were forced on Egwene and they sought to make her into a puppet. She was having to use every possible tactic necessary to enact her plan and reunify the WT. It's not as if she would need to do the same moving forward now that she is established. Elaida as others have mentioned was going to use the binder and force the issue.

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I love Egwene as much as anyone (actually, judging from the debates going on around here, quite a bit more than what's common), but that doesn't mean she gets a free-pass. With some things, either it's appropriate or it's not. Even if we get past this hurdle (and I repeat that we shouldn't do so lightly), she was adamant about the BA-hunters' releasing non-Blacks once their allegiances have been proven. Well then, what about releasing Beonin and the rest from the oaths they've made to her? Why does that never factor into her thinking? And what about her point of being accountable for your actions, once the crisis is over? Did she ever consider explaining her actions in that respect?

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I love Egwene as much as anyone (actually, judging from the debates going on around here, quite a bit more than what's common), but that doesn't mean she gets a free-pass. With some things, either it's appropriate or it's not. Even if we get past this hurdle (and I repeat that we shouldn't do so lightly), she was adamant about the BA-hunters' releasing non-Blacks once their allegiances have been proven. Well then, what about releasing Beonin and the rest from the oaths they've made to her? Why does that never factor into her thinking? And what about her point of being accountable for your actions, once the crisis is over? Did she ever consider explaining her actions in that respect?

 

Oh I agree, just pointing out the differences. To me it seems as if it's something that just doesn't register as big enough to drop in at this juncture. If the WT preparations for TG barely get a blip on the radar mention I'm not sure this does. The use of the binder to me presents a far bigger issue and one the author obviously felt needed to be addressed.

Edited by Suttree
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One of many? Well, do tell, then. Note, for a change of mind to be considered hypocrisy you have to show that she shifts back and forth depending on what's comfortable at each given moment; simply deciding upon a different course of action doesn't qualify.

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As Amrylin Seat and the head of all Aes Sedai I think she should release them. It would look really bad if someone found out about it(not just to the rest of the Aes Sedai but to anyone looking in from the outside), but I dont think this will appear in aMoL because it isnt all that important and much larger things still need to be smoothly wrapped up.

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Everyone who forced an Aes Sedai to swear such an oath was commiting a grave crime from my perspective. Coupled with their oath of not being able to speak a word untrue it's nothing short of slavery. I can understand Rand because he was scared of Aes Sedai and with him being so determined not to kill a woman it may have been the only option he saw and Elaida, she's always been cold blooded and power hungry, but Egwene in particular should know what it means to take away someone's freedom like that. Especially since it was unnecessary. Those Aes Sedai she blackmailed into it were already in her pocket, she already had the leverage to force them to follow her lead without such an oath.

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Everyone who forced an Aes Sedai to swear such an oath was commiting a grave crime from my perspective. Coupled with their oath of not being able to speak a word untrue it's nothing short of slavery. I can understand Rand because he was scared of Aes Sedai and with him being so determined not to kill a woman it may have been the only option he saw and Elaida, she's always been cold blooded and power hungry, but Egwene in particular should know what it means to take away someone's freedom like that. Especially since it was unnecessary. Those Aes Sedai she blackmailed into it were already in her pocket, she already had the leverage to force them to follow her lead without such an oath.

You know I forgot about the whole Egwene as a Damane thing. But I don't think it applies well to this situation. Or were you referring to something else?

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it's nothing short of slavery

Hold on now, it's actually more akin to transforming the WT from a theocracy to a monarchy. In a world almost exclusively governed by feudalistic regimes, it's not that far out of the norm. What has been bothering me is the inconsistency (then again, a quote about hobgoblins comes to mind).

 

Egwene in particular should know what it means to take away someone's freedom like that.

You do have her there, though.

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but Egwene in particular should know what it means to take away someone's freedom like that. Especially since it was unnecessary. Those Aes Sedai she blackmailed into it were already in her pocket, she already had the leverage to force them to follow her lead without such an oath.

 

They most certainly were not fully in her pocket. In addition you do know there was no binder used correct? To say just because they can not speak an untrue word that it amounts to slavery is a bit much and making the comparison in anyway to Egwene's time as a damane way too extreme and doesn't really help the discussion. As we've seen there are plenty of ways around these types of things. Further these are the same AS that tried to prop her up and us her as a puppet. It's totally fair game for her to do whatever is necessary to make sure that doesn't happen while still working for the greater good. Now I do agree with the disconnect later on down the line however.

Edited by Suttree
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Perhaps Egwene's view is that since she is the Amrylin she is in a way the Tower. So in effect, she's taking these oaths in the name of the Tower. It does seem rather shady though (saying on one hand that it's inappropriate and bad to be doing such things, and on the other actually taking such oaths from other Aes Sedai).

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Egwene in particular should know what it means to take away someone's freedom like that.

You do have her there, though.

I still don't understand what this is referring to, the only thing I can think of that you could be talking about is the damane, and that is way more harsh than a monarchy based on oaths of fealty could be without open revolt. With the damane they heave no chance to revolt.

 

Edit: Suttree told me. Thanks! The above still stands.

Edited by YourNewDragonAndGod
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Perhaps Egwene's view is that since she is the Amrylin she is in a way the Tower. So in effect, she's taking these oaths in the name of the Tower. It does seem rather shady though (saying on one hand that it's inappropriate and bad to be doing such things, and on the other actually taking such oaths from other Aes Sedai).

 

I do not believe this is correct, Chang. She never says that. She is surprised at the offer and then when she basically blackmails Nisao and MYrelle, they are surprised as this has never been done. There are no oaths of fealty offered to the Tower or the Amyrlin normally. She knows she is not doing what is conventional or customary.

 

Edit to add: you're on her side or see her as the good guy so you're fine with it. Imagine if she were Elaida. OR, imagine if Egwene were deposed as Amyrlin. The women would still owe fealty to her and not the Tower.

Edited by thisguy
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Let me first say I have never liked Egwene. Having said that, I do not have a big problem with her demanding the oath. She needed all the help she could get in order to re-unite the WT. As has been previously stated, these women did try to use her as a puppet. To me she has done nothing different than Rand did. I have a feeling this has been done in the past, despite the AS thinking it has never been done before. There are many things held in secret in the 13 Depository.

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I had this thought while reading this chapter and the ones around it - Nicola and Areina try to blackmail Egwene with the knowledge they have that Elayne and Nynaeve were posing as full AS before they were raised. That and the fact that she'd get in trouble if the AS in general knew that she took oaths of fealty from Sisters leads me to believe that there's a good chance she may do penance for her... indiscretions. There seems to be a bit of foreshadowing about her and Gawyn running off to a farm. I think it's possible that post TG she and Gawyn do go off to a farm. The Tower will make it a penance and won't really do much more than send Egwene there because they'll have to do something for her but will realize that she kept the Tower together through TG.

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Perhaps Egwene's view is that since she is the Amrylin she is in a way the Tower. So in effect, she's taking these oaths in the name of the Tower. It does seem rather shady though (saying on one hand that it's inappropriate and bad to be doing such things, and on the other actually taking such oaths from other Aes Sedai).

 

I do not believe this is correct, Chang. She never says that. She is surprised at the offer and then when she basically blackmails Nisao and MYrelle, they are surprised as this has never been done. There are no oaths of fealty offered to the Tower or the Amyrlin normally. She knows she is not doing what is conventional or customary.

 

Edit to add: you're on her side or see her as the good guy so you're fine with it. Imagine if she were Elaida. OR, imagine if Egwene were deposed as Amyrlin. The women would still owe fealty to her and not the Tower.

 

True, she never said this. I was merely try to make a guess as to her reasoning behind taking the oaths from the other Aes Sedai. :)

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Yes, and then she later berates Elaida for coming up with the same idea, albeit involving the Binder. There's definitely a disconnect here.

I think it is more the extreme measure of swearing an oath on a binder of what should have been already happening. The Aes Sedai must support their Watcher of the Seals or the entire structure of the tower falls apart as what happened. Egwene was seen as a child puppet to be manipulated. I was under the impression that the oaths given to her surprised her and were initiated by the women and not her. I'm almost at the part in my reread so I'll freshen up on the exchange shortly.

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Yes, and then she later berates Elaida for coming up with the same idea, albeit involving the Binder. There's definitely a disconnect here.

I think it is more the extreme measure of swearing an oath on a binder of what should have been already happening. The Aes Sedai must support their Watcher of the Seals or the entire structure of the tower falls apart as what happened. Egwene was seen as a child puppet to be manipulated. I was under the impression that the oaths given to her surprised her and were initiated by the women and not her. I'm almost at the part in my reread so I'll freshen up on the exchange shortly.

You're half correct - the first two were offered, the next two she asked for. It was pretty much blackmail.

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