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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Chapter 11


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i don't understand why people think suroth's pov means she is in awe of the empress.

Because she said so

Assassination was not unknown among the Blood, High or low, nor within the Imperial family, yet for anyone else to reach inside the Imperial family in that way was horrifying, unthinkable. Even one of the Da'concion, the Chosen Ones.

no, she calls it "unthinkable". it could be "unthinkable" because it means your death is assured. she mentions nothing about her own feelings in that internal monologue other than saying she does not want to die.

 

Take it in context with the passage and her own thoughts are that it is horrifying and unthinkable for anyone outside the blood to reach like that. It's pretty cut and dry in regards to her feelings on the topic.

is galgan not of the blood? why are people saying it is against the seanchan way for him to try to kill tuon?
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i don't understand why people think suroth's pov means she is in awe of the empress.

Because she said so

Assassination was not unknown among the Blood, High or low, nor within the Imperial family, yet for anyone else to reach inside the Imperial family in that way was horrifying, unthinkable. Even one of the Da'concion, the Chosen Ones.

no, she calls it "unthinkable". it could be "unthinkable" because it means your death is assured. she mentions nothing about her own feelings in that internal monologue other than saying she does not want to die.

 

Take it in context with the passage and her own thoughts are that it is horrifying and unthinkable for anyone outside the blood to reach like that. It's pretty cut and dry in regards to her feelings on the topic.

is galgan not of the blood? why are people saying it is against the seanchan way for him to try to kill tuon?

 

I always took it to mean they are separate categories. Scheming happens between the nobility but it is unthinkable for someone outside the family to reach in. That sort of thing is reserved for siblings and the like.

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She clearly states that while assassination is a common fact of life among the Blood, that someone not of the Imperial Family would reach in and attempt to assassinate a member of it is "horrifying, unthinkable". The only thing you need context for is to understand that by "else" she means "not of the Imperial family" rather than "not of the Blood, low or high".

 

And in fact, the passage does also contain her feelings at the possibility. She's horrified.

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Neo, beyond what others have already said (in particular Luckers and Sid), there are two things I'd like to point out. The first is the fact that, when Tuon considers the possibility of Mat being part of a plot against her, the ones she suspect are her brothers and sisters and them alone (BTW, that's who Suroth considered as well). That's the way of it: the imperial family do scheme against each other -- competing for the Empress's favor as they see it -- but outsiders simply don't reach in. And, the Empress herself might be beyond even that, as Tuon herself got rid of several competitors, but has never even considered doing away with her mother.

 

The second, to complement what Sid said of Fain, is to quote Suroth's reaction to Semirhage's proposal:

"Better," Semirhage murmured. "Now. How would you like to rule in these lands? A handful of deaths-Galgan and a few others-and you could manage to name yourself Empress, with my help. It's hardly important, but circumstances provide the opportunity, and you would certainly be more amenable than the current Empress has been so far."

Suroth's stomach clenched. She feared she might vomit. "Great Mistress," she said dully, "the penalty for that is to be taken before the true Empress, may she live forever, and have your entire skin removed, great care being taken to keep you alive. After that-"

"Inventive, if primitive," Semirhage broke in wryly. "But of no account. The Empress Radhanan is dead. Remarkable how much blood there is in a human body. Enough to cover the whole Crystal Throne. Take the offer, Suroth. I will not make it again. You will make certain matters slightly more convenient, but not enough for me to put myself out a second time."

Suroth had to make herself breathe. "Then Tuon is the Empress, may she live...." Tuon would take a new name, rarely to be spoken outside the Imperial family. The Empress was the Empress, might she live forever. Wrapping her arms around herself, Suroth began to sob, shaking beyond her ability to stop. Almandaragal lifted his head and whined at her interrogatively.

Semirhage laughed, the music of deep gongs. "Grief for Radhanan, Suroth, or is your dislike of Tuon becoming Empress so deep?"

Haltingly, in spurts of three or four words broken by unmanageable weeping, Suroth explained. As the proclaimed heir, Tuon had become Empress the moment her mother died. Except, if her mother had been assassinated, then it must have been arranged by one of her sisters, which meant that Tuon herself was surely dead. And none of that made the slightest difference. The forms would be carried out. She would have to return to Seandar and apologize for Tuon's death, for the death of an Empress, now, to the very woman who had arranged it. Who would, of course, not take the throne until Tuon's death was announced. She could not bring herself to admit that she would kill herself first; it was too shaming to say aloud. Words died as howling sobs racked her. She did not want to die. She had been promised she would live forever!

This time, Semirhage's laughter was so shocking that it shut off Suroth's tears. That head of fire was thrown back, emitting great peals of mirth. At last she regained control, wiping away tears of flame with fiery fingers. "I see I didn't make myself clear. Radhanan is dead, and her daughters, and her sons, and half the Imperial Court, as well. There is no Imperial family except for Tuon. There is no Empire. Seandar is in the hands of rioters and looters, and so are a dozen other cities. At least fifty nobles are contending for the throne, with armies in the field. There is war from the Aldael Mountains to Salaking. Which is why you will be perfectly safe in disposing of Tuon and proclaiming yourself Empress. I've even arranged for a ship, which should arrive soon, to bring word of the disaster." She laughed again, and said something strange. "Let the lord of chaos rule."

Suroth gaped at the other woman in spite of herself. The Empire...destroyed? Semirhage had killed the...? Assassination was not unknown among the Blood, High or low, nor within the Imperial family, yet for anyone else to reach inside the Imperial family in that way was horrifying, unthinkable. Even one of the Da'concion, the Chosen Ones.

[...]

"Great Mistress, if Tuon really is alive, then...then killing her will be difficult." She had to force those words out. To kill the Empress.... Even thinking it was difficult. To become Empress. Her head felt as if it might float off her shoulders.

I think this says it all.

She clearly states that while assassination is a common fact of life among the Blood, that someone not of the Imperial Family would reach in and attempt to assassinate a member of it is "horrifying, unthinkable". The only thing you need context for is to understand that by "else" she means "not of the Imperial family" rather than "not of the Blood, low or high".

 

And in fact, the passage does also contain her feelings at the possibility. She's horrified.

she is more afraid of dying. she would rather kill herself due to the shame of having to report tuon's death.

 

the end is ambiguous as to whether only the imperial family assassinates the imperial family or if the blood is included. i prefer to think anyone in the blood can try, but the further removed from the throne they are, the more people they would have to kill (hinted at in the beginning of the quote). There is no reason to assume otherwise. By the time chapter 11 rolls around, there might only be one death needed for galgan to take the throne as opposed to the usual 10 or more for a member of the [high] blood if the entire imperial family was around. it is a valid interpretation that allows what RJ and BS wrote to mesh fairly well, yet people are sticking to their original interpretations even if the only result of that is their own frustration over BS's extra bs

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shortkut, there's nothing ambiguous about it. Yes, she fears dying, and the humiliation which usually accompanies it in this circumstances, but that doesn't have anything to do with the aversion she exhibits to even considering someone other than Tuon's sisters trying to assassinate her (BTW, the only context one requires to properly parse the point we previously debated). Even after learning that Tuon is the last surviving member of the Imperial family, Suroth can hardly contemplate killing her, and that only after repeated prods from a Chosen (who has already reminded her of the price one usually pays for displeasing one of their number). Alas, there's very little I can do to persuade you if you simply prefer the alternative to be true.

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It might be a bit misleading to take Suroth as an example of ambition and strong personality. She was in her weakest state when Semirhage ordered her to kill Tuon. Galgan was all be the actual leader of the Seanchan after Suroth's numerous military debacles (vs. Rand, and vs. Ituralde). And she didn't have full control of the seekers who came with Tuon. All it would take is a mistake for her plans to be unravelled; and she was a coward.

 

Galgan on the other hand plays a more sophisticated game. He is bidding his time and not hiding his ambition. If Fortuona falters, I don't think he'll hesitate in overthrowing her. There was an indirect reference to him thinking about the possibility of becoming the first emperor in 600 years or 900 years (I forgot where).

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It might be a bit misleading to take Suroth as an example of ambition and strong personality. She was in her weakest state when Semirhage ordered her to kill Tuon. Galgan was all be the actual leader of the Seanchan after Suroth's numerous military debacles (vs. Rand, and vs. Ituralde). And she didn't have full control of the seekers who came with Tuon. All it would take is a mistake for her plans to be unravelled; and she was a coward.

 

Galgan on the other hand plays a more sophisticated game. He is bidding his time and not hiding his ambition. If Fortuona falters, I don't think he'll hesitate in overthrowing her. There was an indirect reference to him thinking about the possibility of becoming the first emperor in 600 years or 900 years (I forgot where).

 

The quote is from Suroth's PoV in the epilogue to Knife of Dreams:

 

"You overstep yourself, Galgan," she said coldly. "I command the Forerunners. For the time being, I command the Return. You will sign no orders without my approval."

"You commanded the Forerunners, who have been subsumed into the Return," he replied calmly, and Suroth tasted bitterness. The news from the Empire had emboldened him. With the Empress dead, Galgan intended to make himself the first Emperor in nine hundred years. It seemed he would have to die by tonight. "As for you commanding the Return—" He cut off at the sound of heavy boots from the corridor.

 

At the beginning of this exchange, they both thought that Tuon was dead. The boots coming in at the end of it are the Deathwatch Guards who escorted Tuon back to Ebou Dar, so they discover that Tuon lives immediately following those thoughts.

 

It seems (and this is the last RJ writing on the Seanchan) that the idea that Galgan would try to take the throne is not inconceivable to Suroth - however, at the moment they both thought Tuon dead along with the rest of the Imperial Family. With Tuon's return and her assumption of the title of Empress ... well, that's the point where we changed writers, so those who think Sanderson misunderstands the Seanchan will say that Galgan would never go against her, and those who think it's possible will point to Fortuona's later thoughts about it being expected.

 

Maybe with no Imperial Family left other than Fortuona herself, the taboo would be weakened? I don't know - and the timing of the author switch makes this an irritating question.

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It might be a bit misleading to take Suroth as an example of ambition and strong personality. She was in her weakest state when Semirhage ordered her to kill Tuon. Galgan was all be the actual leader of the Seanchan after Suroth's numerous military debacles (vs. Rand, and vs. Ituralde). And she didn't have full control of the seekers who came with Tuon. All it would take is a mistake for her plans to be unravelled; and she was a coward.

 

Galgan on the other hand plays a more sophisticated game. He is bidding his time and not hiding his ambition. If Fortuona falters, I don't think he'll hesitate in overthrowing her. There was an indirect reference to him thinking about the possibility of becoming the first emperor in 600 years or 900 years (I forgot where).

 

The quote is from Suroth's PoV in the epilogue to Knife of Dreams:

 

"You overstep yourself, Galgan," she said coldly. "I command the Forerunners. For the time being, I command the Return. You will sign no orders without my approval."

"You commanded the Forerunners, who have been subsumed into the Return," he replied calmly, and Suroth tasted bitterness. The news from the Empire had emboldened him. With the Empress dead, Galgan intended to make himself the first Emperor in nine hundred years. It seemed he would have to die by tonight. "As for you commanding the Return—" He cut off at the sound of heavy boots from the corridor.

 

At the beginning of this exchange, they both thought that Tuon was dead. The boots coming in at the end of it are the Deathwatch Guards who escorted Tuon back to Ebou Dar, so they discover that Tuon lives immediately following those thoughts.

 

It seems (and this is the last RJ writing on the Seanchan) that the idea that Galgan would try to take the throne is not inconceivable to Suroth - however, at the moment they both thought Tuon dead along with the rest of the Imperial Family. With Tuon's return and her assumption of the title of Empress ... well, that's the point where we changed writers, so those who think Sanderson misunderstands the Seanchan will say that Galgan would never go against her, and those who think it's possible will point to Fortuona's later thoughts about it being expected.

 

Maybe with no Imperial Family left other than Fortuona herself, the taboo would be weakened? I don't know - and the timing of the author switch makes this an irritating question.

 

That's a good point - there's also this -

 

1. They're in a foreign land and the homeland leadership is now dead and there's rebellion on the homefront;

2. Galgan has never seen Tuon sit on the throne and become overcome with awe

 

Even without the terangreal throne involved, this is the sort of circumstance that could ferment the idea of revolution in real life in any culture.

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It might be a bit misleading to take Suroth as an example of ambition and strong personality. She was in her weakest state when Semirhage ordered her to kill Tuon. Galgan was all be the actual leader of the Seanchan after Suroth's numerous military debacles (vs. Rand, and vs. Ituralde). And she didn't have full control of the seekers who came with Tuon. All it would take is a mistake for her plans to be unravelled; and she was a coward.

 

Galgan on the other hand plays a more sophisticated game. He is bidding his time and not hiding his ambition. If Fortuona falters, I don't think he'll hesitate in overthrowing her. There was an indirect reference to him thinking about the possibility of becoming the first emperor in 600 years or 900 years (I forgot where).

 

The quote is from Suroth's PoV in the epilogue to Knife of Dreams:

 

"You overstep yourself, Galgan," she said coldly. "I command the Forerunners. For the time being, I command the Return. You will sign no orders without my approval."

"You commanded the Forerunners, who have been subsumed into the Return," he replied calmly, and Suroth tasted bitterness. The news from the Empire had emboldened him. With the Empress dead, Galgan intended to make himself the first Emperor in nine hundred years. It seemed he would have to die by tonight. "As for you commanding the Return—" He cut off at the sound of heavy boots from the corridor.

 

At the beginning of this exchange, they both thought that Tuon was dead. The boots coming in at the end of it are the Deathwatch Guards who escorted Tuon back to Ebou Dar, so they discover that Tuon lives immediately following those thoughts.

 

It seems (and this is the last RJ writing on the Seanchan) that the idea that Galgan would try to take the throne is not inconceivable to Suroth - however, at the moment they both thought Tuon dead along with the rest of the Imperial Family. With Tuon's return and her assumption of the title of Empress ... well, that's the point where we changed writers, so those who think Sanderson misunderstands the Seanchan will say that Galgan would never go against her, and those who think it's possible will point to Fortuona's later thoughts about it being expected.

 

Maybe with no Imperial Family left other than Fortuona herself, the taboo would be weakened? I don't know - and the timing of the author switch makes this an irritating question.

 

I think that "never" is too strong a word. What was the Seanchan saying? "On the heights, paths are paved with daggers." Ruling out a move against the Empress is what triggered my response. I don't think any ruler, crystal throne or not, is immune to potential rebellion and the danger of ambition from those immediately under that ruler.

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Plus, isn't rebellion somewhat common in Seanchan?

 

The early Suroth PoV's make it pretty clear that, in her mind, it is basically unthinkable for someone outside the Imperial Family to even consider going against someone in the Imperial Family. Members of the Blood plotting against one another is fine (or at least, common) but she holds the Imperial Family in genuine awe.

 

It's not because of the Crystal Throne, because she thinks the same way about Tuon, who has never sat in the Throne, as far as we know.

 

What we don't know is if the degree of Suroth's awe is a personal idiosyncrasy, due to her rather weak character, or if it is a genuinely Seanchan trait. There are, to my mind, some indications both ways. The problem is that we don't get Fortuona's thoughts, which make Suroth look like the exception, until after the change in authors. Even that last passage, where Suroth thinks that Galgan wants to become Emperor, is not definitively indicative, since at that moment, she thought the entire Imperial Family was dead.

 

If we can trust Sanderson, then Suroth's honest, internal awe says more about her than it does about the Seanchan generally. The question is, can we trust Sanderson?

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Yes, but I'm 100% sure that rebellion against the empire has been mentioned more than once. One of times mentioned had to do with rebellious factions using male channellers and those always failing.

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Plus, isn't rebellion somewhat common in Seanchan?

 

The early Suroth PoV's make it pretty clear that, in her mind, it is basically unthinkable for someone outside the Imperial Family to even consider going against someone in the Imperial Family. Members of the Blood plotting against one another is fine (or at least, common) but she holds the Imperial Family in genuine awe.

 

It's not because of the Crystal Throne, because she thinks the same way about Tuon, who has never sat in the Throne, as far as we know.

 

What we don't know is if the degree of Suroth's awe is a personal idiosyncrasy, due to her rather weak character, or if it is a genuinely Seanchan trait. There are, to my mind, some indications both ways. The problem is that we don't get Fortuona's thoughts, which make Suroth look like the exception, until after the change in authors. Even that last passage, where Suroth thinks that Galgan wants to become Emperor, is not definitively indicative, since at that moment, she thought the entire Imperial Family was dead.

 

If we can trust Sanderson, then Suroth's honest, internal awe says more about her than it does about the Seanchan generally. The question is, can we trust Sanderson?

 

Regarding the last question, "do we have any other choice?" We take it from the man who is tasked with writing it and with the inside knowledge necessary for it.

 

As to Suroth, I think that her cowardice and weakened state after many debacles are more of a reason she cannot fathom a move against the Empress. Suroth has been inept since her first entry when Nynaeve and Elayne escaped. And she wasn't even the leader of the Forerunners, Turak was (who was 12th in line to the Throne).

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Yes, but I'm 100% sure that rebellion against the empire has been mentioned more than once. One of times mentioned had to do with rebellious factions using male channellers and those always failing.

 

You are correct. There has frequently been rebellions and sedition in various districts.

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Yes, but I'm 100% sure that rebellion against the empire has been mentioned more than once. One of times mentioned had to do with rebellious factions using male channellers and those always failing.

 

You are correct. There has frequently been rebellions and sedition in various districts.

Thanks, Sutt. So, I personally have no problem with Galgan wanting to overthrow Tuon.

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As to the issue of Suroth's character, that's why we need Turak's attitude to complement it. But we've already said as much, and I don't believe anyone would be swayed that hasn't already been. However, the question of rebellions is a separate issue, because that's akin to provinces attempting to throw away the yoke of the empire. It's nothing to do with the Imperial family.

 

Even that last passage, where Suroth thinks that Galgan wants to become Emperor, is not definitively indicative, since at that moment, she thought the entire Imperial Family was dead.

I completely agree. To clarify, there's nothing wrong with Galgan, once he believed Tuon dead and contemplated becoming Emperor, later giving the issue more thought even when she's back. Some bells, you can't unring. However, that is quite different from Tuon's expecting his behavior, accepting it as normal, or the commoners' nonchalant acceptance.

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There is a least one part of RJ text that supports that Suroth acutally had thoughts about challenging the Empress, in contrast to the assertation that it is unthinkable for the High Blood to plot against the Imperial Family.

 

To also be the one to capture this Dragon, whether false or real, along with the means of controlling his incredible power...

 

But if - when I take him, do I give him to the Empress? That is the question.

 

Her long nails began to click again against that wide stone rail.

 

Suroth, Chapter 1, The Shadow Rising

 

The rules have clearly changed post KOD - with only one member of the Imperial Family left, I see no problems with the High Blood changing the paradigm and plotting against the Empress, as their world is changing in big ways. Seanchen has fallen, and there are no other Imperials who would band together and punish an interloper who is rising above herself as was probably the case prior the death of the Empress. I can see Tuon even accepting this new danger as a matter of course, as she seems pretty aware of the shifts in the treacherous political winds of Seanchan, and little makes her sweat.

 

But Yoniy0 makes a point I cannot find any good way to refute - why the heck do the rank and file Seanchan accept it as a matter of course? As taveren, Mat can pull the right man to say the right thing to get him this information out of 10,000s of folk in Ebou Dar, but unless this Blademaster is more important that we realize, it stretches credulity that this is information any innkeeper would know, let alone accept.

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Not giving a captured Dragon Reborn to the Empress isn't really 'Challenging the Empress'. It actually kind of lends credence to the sway that the Empress has over her mind to consider giving him to her rather than her other masters. I doubt there were any orders from the Court of the Nine Moons pertaining to the Dragon Reborn, since at this point she hasn't heard from them for months before Falme. There's no direct evidence that she was given any orders pertaining the Dragon directly from the Shadow, but she obviously knows that the Shadow wants him. Yet she considers giving him to the Empress anyway.

 

Compare her theoretical situation to Jaichim Carradin's. His formidable Lord Captain commander, Pedron Niall, gives him direct orders to support Rand al'Thor and make sure he stays alive, or Carradin will be killed. Some Fade orders him to kill Rand al'Thor, or his family will be killed one at a time. As every future PoV shows, Carradin values his own life much more than any family members, yet Carradin tries every way he can think of to kill Rand al'Thor. The Shadow's grip is tight on Darkfriends.

 

There are a few other passages that I found pertinent on the subject of Seanchan Hierarchy:

 

We have Tuon's thoughts in WH chapter 14 What a Veil Hides -

She certainly felt more affection for the woman who had raised her than for the mother she had seen only twice a year before becoming an adult, or the brothers and sisters she had been taught from her first steps to battle for their mother's favor. Two of them had died in those struggles, so far, and three had tried to kill her. A sister and a brother had been made da'covale and had their names stricken from the records as firmly as if it had been discovered they could channel. Her place was far from secure even now. A single misstep could see her dead, or worse, stripped and sold on the public block.
She is taught to fight for her mother's favor, rather than try to supplant her mother from her position, even though she is constantly in a perilous position herself, even when she is considered the Empress's "favored one".

 

Captain General Kennar Miraj of the Low Blood in TPoD chapter 24 A Time for Iron, speaking of Suroth -

Under her, the Hailene had done far more than had been dreamed, reclaiming great stretches of the stolen lands. All they had been sent for was to scout the way, and after Falme, some had thought even that impossible. She drummed fingers on the table irritably, the long blue-lacquered fingernails on the first two clicking. Continued success, and she might be able to shave her head entirely and paint a third nail on each hand. Adoption into the Imperial family was not unheard of for achievements so great. And if she stepped too far, overstepped, she might find her fingernails clipped and herself stuffed into a filmy robe to serve one of the Blood, if not sold to a farmer to help till his fields, or sweat in a warehouse. At worst, Miraj would only have to open his own veins.
Overstepping yourself leads to a fate worse than death, in the eyes of the Seanchan. It seems like Galgan, one of the High Blood, is making overtures at hinting at becoming Emporer himself. This is not done between someone of a lower station and that of a higher one, they do it among their own level to be adopted into a higher echelon. Suroth's fantastic success may get her adopted to the Imperial family. Then she would be playing Tuon's game, vying for the Empress's favor among her 'brothers and sisters'. For Galgan to play against someone two entire levels higher (and the Empress besides) is essentially going to result in something I imagine is even worse than
"Oh, Light!" Egeanin said hoarsely, sinking to her knees. "You madman! It's death by slow torture to lay hands on the Daughter of the Nine Moons!"

 

Literally everyone in Seanchan has had their place in its society drilled into them from an early age. It just doesn't fit that Tuon and Galgan would act this way, not to mention the Deathwatch Guards and Ogier Gardners letting it go on.

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Overstepping yourself leads to a fate worse than death, in the eyes of the Seanchan. It seems like Galgan, one of the High Blood, is making overtures at hinting at becoming Emporer himself. This is not done between someone of a lower station and that of a higher one, they do it among their own level to be adopted into a higher echelon. Suroth's fantastic success may get her adopted to the Imperial family. Then she would be playing Tuon's game, vying for the Empress's favor among her 'brothers and sisters'. For Galgan to play against someone two entire levels higher (and the Empress besides) is essentially going to result in something I imagine is even worse than

"Oh, Light!" Egeanin said hoarsely, sinking to her knees. "You madman! It's death by slow torture to lay hands on the Daughter of the Nine Moons!"

 

Literally everyone in Seanchan has had their place in its society drilled into them from an early age. It just doesn't fit that Tuon and Galgan would act this way, not to mention the Deathwatch Guards and Ogier Gardners letting it go on.

 

Indeed, Sid has the right of it. Really surprised this is even being debated...

 

BWB

Since Luthair's conquest, Seanchan has evolved into a nation that is stratified and has very little movement between the ranks. That is not to say that there are no power struggles, only that almost all of them are between members of the same class. The society is based on the concept that everyone has a place in which to serve, and everyone should be in their place.
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White cloaks are following Perrin and, though him, Rand. Also, they're fighting alongside AS and Ashaman. I thought the whole point about this time is that bonds are broken. As soon as the Seanchan sent men to retake Randland they ran this risk. The farther away from the seat of power, the more risk.

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Not giving a captured Dragon Reborn to the Empress isn't really 'Challenging the Empress'. It actually kind of lends credence to the sway that the Empress has over her mind to consider giving him to her rather than her other masters. I doubt there were any orders from the Court of the Nine Moons pertaining to the Dragon Reborn, since at this point she hasn't heard from them for months before Falme. There's no direct evidence that she was given any orders pertaining the Dragon directly from the Shadow, but she obviously knows that the Shadow wants him. Yet she considers giving him to the Empress anyway

 

Compare her theoretical situation to Jaichim Carradin's. His formidable Lord Captain commander, Pedron Niall, gives him direct orders to support Rand al'Thor and make sure he stays alive, or Carradin will be killed. Some Fade orders him to kill Rand al'Thor, or his family will be killed one at a time. As every future PoV shows, Carradin values his own life much more than any family members, yet Carradin tries every way he can think of to kill Rand al'Thor. The Shadow's grip is tight on Darkfriends.

 

 

The parallel you give does speak to Suroth's special case as a dark friend, but isn't specifically apt to the given scenario, because there is no indication that the Dark One has given specific orders to Suroth regarding the Dragon Reborn either. Read the chapter in TSR, you will see she is thinking almost entirely about her role as a High Blood in Seanchan society, not as a Darkfriend.

 

A much better parallel is in THG: The High Lord Turak tells Fain that he will not blow the Horn of Valere as that would be presuming to much, and the Empress would take that as a challenge to her approved heir and the Imperial Family. Would not the Dragon Reborn be considered an even more valued prize? Suroth is daring what Turak would not. The Empress had no idea the Horn would be recovered, so Turak had no orders regarding the HoV either, yet he notes the complications in Imperial politics it would stir up none the less, so saying Suroth can keep the DR because the Empress is unware is moot. And practically, by not giving a hypothetically captured DR to the Empress, its a challenge to the hierarchy once the Empress is aware. So if she goes through with it either Suroth is stupid and courts death, or she had greater aspirations... when I read the chapter it seemed portentious at the time about the choices Suroth had to make. The narrative give the weight, I think... if its not a big deal, why is it presented that way ti finish a chapter?

 

I do agree that as a darkfriend Suroth is not your typical High Blood noble,. It also conflicts a good amount with her discomfort when speaking to Semhirage about killing Tuon in KOD so well described above. We dont have a lot of examples of the High Blood that is presumably one level below the Imperial Family (Turak, Suroth, and Galgan, am I missing any), but in general the social strata is very strict (almost unbelievably so) in its plotting. I am just noting an interesting exception to the absolutes that are being stated here in this thread.

 

thisguy continues to make a good point: the world is standing on its head, and the natural order of things is breaking down. The pattern is groaning, It is a time af great change, and the Seanchan are not immune to it. Even if the world isn't phiscially breaking, society surely is, and long held traditions are going first. They arent any more special than the Borderlanders who abandoned their posts at the blight, the Red Ajah bonded to men who can channel, or the Aiel who refuse to put off gaishan white, or Aes Sedai who are happy as lapdogs to the Adam. There is no Empress in Seanchan and that changes a lot.. plus there are no longer repercussions from the rest of the imperial family if a HIgh Blood steps out of line and kills the last imperial..

 

Perhaps the Crystal Throne that inspires devotion to the Empress has a lasting effect of awe, and once that Empress who sits on it dies, it is broken. The same level of fanatisicsm is not evoked in the the new Empress unless she is seen upon the throne. I'm not sure I buy that theory, but its another fly in the ointment. It would be one explanation for such a static society.

Edited by Damer Sedai
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Perhaps the Crystal Throne that inspires devotion to the Empress has a lasting effect of awe, and once that Empress who sits on it dies, it is broken. The same level of fanatisicsm is not evoked in the the new Empress unless she is seen upon the throne. I'm not sure I buy that theory, but its another fly in the ointment. It would be one explanation for such a static society.

Interesting. The idea that the Crystal Throne ter'angreal affects the Seanchan empress AND her subjects is one I've not seen widely discussed. But then again, I only lurk here close to book release dates so I may have merely missed it.

 

Anyway... we know that the Crystal Throne compels the residents of Seanchan to raise their Empress to near-goddess status, to do anything for her and anything to win her favor including commit murder. It is entirely possible that when an Empress sits on the Crystal Throne she herself changed in some fundamental way, ensuring the unchanging continuity of the Empire.

 

This becomes an interesting wildcard factor because Fortuona, although being a product of Seanchan society, is headed for the Last Battle having never actually sat on the Crystal Throne herself. It's rather like Egwene in her Accepted test saying she could do things no other Amyrlin could because she never held the Oath Rod. Fortuona is able to act unhindered by the Crystal Throne's influence, free to make decisions which would never occur to any previous Empress.The big difference between the two is that Egwene recognizes the restrictive effect of the Oath Rod and the Three Oaths, but Fortuona may be entirely clueless regarding what the Crystal Throne does to the Empress.

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They arent any more special than the Borderlanders who abandoned their posts at the blight, the Red Ajah bonded to men who can channel, or the Aiel who refuse to put off gaishan white, or Aes Sedai who are happy as lapdogs to the Adam.

No they aren't, and in each and every one of these cases we don't hear the end of people wondering at the oddity of it all, having to compose themselves in the face of change. Not here; it's like everything and everyone takes this behavior as the norm.

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They arent any more special than the Borderlanders who abandoned their posts at the blight, the Red Ajah bonded to men who can channel, or the Aiel who refuse to put off gaishan white, or Aes Sedai who are happy as lapdogs to the Adam.

No they aren't, and in each and every one of these cases we don't hear the end of people wondering at the oddity of it all, having to compose themselves in the face of change. Not here; it's like everything and everyone takes this behavior as the norm.

 

+1

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