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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Chapter 11


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  1. The case in point isn't two rivaling pieces of evidence, it's one piece that I consider definitive and you consider debatable. In such a situation, the evidence itself can't be chalked down as 'a wash'. By the way, even though that's not the point we're debating, I do believe the evidence I've provided is stronger, since you've presented none to suggest that what you're describing is normal practice in Seanchan.
     
  2. They do at that. Only you're putting words in RJ's mouth -- he never specified what means he was talking about. And, mind you, even when making a point of the potential for social mobility, he still held that culture up as an example of a thoroughly stratified one; only not as rigidly stratified as some might think, given that the potential does exist. Still, by and large, people remain in their given roles.
     
  3. RJ's conflicting remarks don't reflect on the BWB (as I've said already), because he's talking about the potential for social mobility and not about the methods used to achieve it. As such, this conflict can't be used to suggest either way regarding the spheres of competition in the Seanchan culture, unless you're making a case for the man not having it together, meaning everything he wrote could be interpreted in whichever ol' way. Are you making that case?
     
  4. What Suroth expects Galgan to do or try when there's no member of the Imperial family alive is very weak evidence of the social protocol regarding how one considers the Empress, for obvious reasons, yes. What Tuon expects of Galgan is exactly what's in question here, that her expecting that doesn't fit in tWoT. You can't use the very thing we object to as proof positive of its validity, now can you? And Fain's assessment should be considered robust, yes, I do think so. He was very obviously in his Mordeth mode when he made that assessment of Turak, and if anyone would know how to manipulate the powers that be, it's Mordeth. Not only did he do a magnificent job of it in Aridhol, but we later see just how accomplished he is with both Nial and Toram.

In conclusion, I do still feel like you're putting a spin on each point I've brought up instead of addressing what's actually been said. Constructing a straw-man, if you will. If you disagree, well that's something else we can discuss. But to ignore such claims is destructive to the debate.

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Everyone has their own spin on everything. We disagree but your bias to your own opinions, as is expected for any person, has you stubbornly refusing to even acknowledge the alternative as a viable solution. You came to your own conclusion and god forbid you be wrong. There is no conclusive proof either way, so your claims that you are correct are as conclusive as my claims the moon is made of cheese

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"My eyes are lowered, Highness, that one of mine has offended you so deeply that you took his head"

 

"Offended me" Tuon seemed to be weighing the words. "It might be said he offended me. He tried to kill me."

 

Gasps filled the room, and before Suroth could more than open her mouth, the Deathwatch Guard Banner-General planted a boot on her bottom, seized her crest in his fist, and hauled her upper body clear of the floor. She did not struggle. That would only have added to the indignity.

 

Really, what else has to be said? This is what happens when someone from a lower caste overreaches themselves. The very idea of it causes a room full of high ranking Seanchan Blood, Servants, and Soldiers to gasp, when such people are able to school their features and hide their feelings in all but the most blatant breaches of etiquette. See, initially Tuon knew someone was making an attempt at her life, and the only suspects she had were her own sisters. When Suroth heard of the attempt on Tuon's life in the first place (from Semirhage) her only suspects were Tuon's own sisters. Suroth, of a lower status, making this play (or any play) results in her immediate devastation and a fate worse than death. The same would happen to Galgan if he made as if to play at Fortuona's level, which is an even larger gap than the one between Tuon and Suroth was.

 

Galgan's plotting to 'become Emporer' was against people he stood on equal ground with. That only began after the news from Seandar reached Ebou Dar coupled with Tuon's extended disappearance. He made no direct move against anyone higher than himself, and made no move to increase his rank to another level because there was no proof that Tuon wasn't alive. If she turned up again and found out he overstepped, then he'd be in hot water because with one sentence she could destroy him like she did with Suroth. And now, now that's she's surrounded by Deathwatch Guards who have become her property and live for the sole purpose of keeping her alive, it would be utter lunacy to do what he did. And equally as egregious is her internal reaction to his ploy in ToM. It completely goes against everything we've learned of Seanchan society in past books, and there's literally no explanation for the difference. Such a paradigm shift has to at least be acknowledged or explained somehow, or the people writing the story didn't bother to dot their I's and cross their T's. I don't even see how it could be retconned at this point without it being so far fetched that it makes it worse than it is. They'd pretty much have to re-write the pertinent sections of Tuon's PoV in ToM and change the excerpt from Chapter 11 completely (which I would welcome, since it has very few redeeming qualities).

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That shows what happens when you reach above and fail. Of you succeed there is no pinoaent because you succeed.

 

Also, Galgan could simply be posturing since the assassins are meant to fail.

 

We know almost nothing about seanchan culture that almost anything could be possible with even a modicum of an ability to suspend belief, which is something we all need to even read the series. People who get all caught up in their personal theories that are not concretely backed up bei g wrong ate doing nothing but ruining the books for themselves. That pperaobaly does by bother me. What does is when they try to force their own views on others who do not agree. Toni's #3 from above is arguing semantics that do not exist. Any basic reading comprehension has it obvious that RJ is referring to the most common forms of social movement. Usurping the tribe obviously does not fall über that category so e was my referring to it. Arguing that we do not know because he did not specify is, for lack of a better word, retarded. He knows better, but it does not shot his argument so he ignored that fact. It is the same logic I used for parts of my argument that he disregarded. Either hypocrisy runs rampant here or only theories that the big posters agree on count for anything. Arguing that it is not how you see something is different than arguing that it is not what RJ intended when there is no proof either way. I still fail to see how an explanation of an issue, with no definitive answer, that fits what RJ write with what BS wrote is not preferred to an explanation that puts the two at odds. When both make sense, it is better to admit another theory makes sense than to assume you know better than BS, Hariet, and the rest of team Jordan. If none of them caught it then it should not be as big a deal as we are all making it

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That shows what happens when you reach above and fail. Of you succeed there is no pinoaent because you succeed.

 

Also, Galgan could simply be posturing since the assassins are meant to fail.

Even posturing against people above you is viewed as overreaching, which results in death or worse.
We know almost nothing about seanchan culture that almost anything could be possible with even a modicum of an ability to suspend belief
We have several PoV's from Seanchan characters of various ranks and positions, as well as from numerous people that observe them up through KoD. They all agree with each other, setting a suitable basis from which to make clear observations of how the society works. It's only after KoD that they deviate and even contradict, with no explanation why.
If none of them caught it then it should not be as big a deal as we are all making it
I dislike having to ignore details to make key plot elements make sense.
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We disagree but your bias to your own opinions, as is expected for any person, has you stubbornly refusing to even acknowledge the alternative as a viable solution. You came to your own conclusion and god forbid you be wrong. There is no conclusive proof either way, so your claims that you are correct are as conclusive as my claims the moon is made of cheese

What does is when they try to force their own views on others who do not agree. Toni's #3 from above is arguing semantics that do not exist. Any basic reading comprehension has it obvious that RJ is referring to the most common forms of social movement. Usurping the tribe obviously does not fall über that category so e was my referring to it. Arguing that we do not know because he did not specify is, for lack of a better word, retarded. He knows better, but it does not shot his argument so he ignored that fact. [...] Either hypocrisy runs rampant here or only theories that the big posters agree on count for anything.

That's uncalled for.

I only ever said I viewed the case I was making as compelling and definitive, which isn't at all like saying that I'm right and that's that. Moreover, I quite pointedly did ask for your feedback on the points I make (not other, more easily dealt-with points that you addressed). As for the rest of it, I don't believe I forced anyone (I did offer that we call it quits, did I not?), I don't deserve your characterization of my 'poor comprehension', I don't believe my arguments are retarded, nor do I feel I earned your accusation of hypocrisy.

 

What's more, to make all of these accusations while flatly dismissing everything I said as 'semantics that does not exist' is disrespectful to the extreme, particularly after I've asked that you address my arguments as they are (which, I must point out, you still haven't).

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I said he knows better which indicates I know he is far from stupid or retarded. Saying he stubbornly sticks to his views is not an attack, it is what is expected of people in a debate

 

Which points did I not address? I had earlier mentioned how suroth clearly cares more about get own skin than the empire and other members posted in support. I mentioned that I do not count Fain as a reliable witness then because his powers were still developing. We have only had a few views from the seanchan and some are in awe and others, like suroth, seem more self serving but only the ones in awe of the emperess are considered valid here. The RJ quote OBVIOUSLY refers to social mobility through promotions/demotions and not regardinh subterfuge, but again that interpretation is being thrown out because it does not jive with interpretations people already made and the BWB seems to be an authority for this case when for others it is disregarded. Please accept my skepticism when it comes to people being receptive of ideas that are not theirs or admitting there is an alternative that COULD make sense.

 

Nothing I said was not true nor was it something that should have offended because in an earlier post I mentioned I was doing some of that as well. The only difference is I noticed and acknowledged it. Pointing out flaws in someone's style of arguing is not always a strawman, sometimes it shows a flaw in the argument itself.

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We're all arguing about the possibility/ impossibility that a Seanchan who is not of royal family might try to bump off the RF.

Obviously they might - if Suroth could get her head around it and Galgan could interview assassins for convoluted reasons, it's not exactly impossible.

Is it likely? Chapter 11 seems to suggest that it is happening whatever you may think of it.

Tuon's PoVs also imply that she's considering the possibility.

The fact that she's the only known living member makes it hugely more likely.

 

Another thing:

In earlier eras when the royal siblings and consorts were plotting against each other, they obviously used assassins and trusted servants as proxies rather than throw down in face-to-face duels.So there have always been Seanchan prepared to act as killers of RF, including of Empresses (usually at the behest of their consorts going by Fortouna's PoV). The Empress certainly was never absolutely off bounds, assuming the Prince of the Ravens doesn't just smother her with a pillow.

The prohibitions caused by stratified society and the "Unthinkability" Suroth thinks of, have obviously been trumped in the past as well.

A third thing: The consolidation is relatively recent and EVA has a track record of continuously putting down major rebellions against the CT. This implies there are actually large numbers of Seanchan who don't have issues contemplating bumping off members of the RF.

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Okay, I'm sorry for the length of this post, and for occationally repeating myself in it. I felt it important to explicitly address every claim as it's been made, instead of dealing in generalities. Also, please forgive the odd typo; I really need to go to bed.

 

I said he knows better which indicates I know he is far from stupid or retarded. Saying he stubbornly sticks to his views is not an attack, it is what is expected of people in a debate

Saying I knew better was patronizing, and in the rest of your post you did demean my arguments. The fact that you know I'm not all of these things doesn't mean you get to imply I am.

 

Which points did I not address?

You didn't address the fact that considering a piece of evidence immaterial and misunderstood is a far cry from being able to explain how it supports your position, and as such the assertion you've made that Suroth's PoV should be disregarded as 'a wash' is improper.

You didn't address the difference between there being social mobility and the means by which it's achieved. That is, the difference between is it possible to get promoted (such as Tylee was, for example, or even Suroth herself) and whether one goes against one's superiors in order to do so, which RJ very clearly didn't touch on.

You didn't address the fact that we're holding the BWB up as indicative because it's supported by additional evidence to the same effect. On the contrary, you're painting a picture of our nitpicking which parts of it to uphold and which parts to disregard based on our own convenience. You can explain away every piece of evidence we present, but you can't disregard how the presence of all of that evidence supports upholding the BWB in this case.

And, you didn't address the fact that Galgan's actions (as interpreted by Suroth, let's not forget) were performed in a vacuum, and as such don't imply anything of what he'd be expected to do normally.

In short, you've addressed nothing I've said.

 

Onwards, allow me to address what you're saying, so as not to respond in kind:

I had earlier mentioned how suroth clearly cares more about get own skin than the empire and other members posted in support.

 

That you have. Yes, Suroth is a coward. She's a despicable person. Galgan is much braver, that's certainly true. However, there's a distinction between what a coward considers doing on their own, and what they consider unthinkable, horrifying for anyone to do. That difference is why we apply her thoughts to the society at large. Well, that and the fact that it fits with others' behavior, such as the Blood gasping at the revelation of what she did, and Turak's refusal to blow the Horn, out of genuine adoration of the Empress.

 

I mentioned that I do not count Fain as a reliable witness then because his powers were still developing.

 

You did at that. It wasn't any part of the 4-point argument I've made, but you did. I disagree, by the way, as I already said -- he was acting in his Mordeth persona, and while he still couldn't exute a killer-fog, he was very much the weasel Mordeth was by then (as apparent in the prologue of TDR). That, however, is a point I don't mind giving up -- as there isn't any way to know for sure. What we do know is that Turak refused to use the Horn.

 

We have only had a few views from the seanchan and some are in awe and others, like suroth, seem more self serving but only the ones in awe of the emperess are considered valid here.

 

No, you've simply presented no evidence of Seanchan not in awe of her. Again, Galgan's actions were performed in a void, where he believed Suroth was the only one he had to contend with. And again, that he might continue in that vein after Tuon was back is certainly believable, even that Tuon would expect it, but not the way she referred to it as if it's to be expected in normal days, nor the way the masses disregard his public flirtation with having her killed as a matter of norm.

 

The RJ quote OBVIOUSLY refers to social mobility through promotions/demotions and not regardinh subterfuge, but again that interpretation is being thrown out because it does not jive with interpretations people already made and the BWB seems to be an authority for this case when for others it is disregarded.

 

I honestly disagree. The way one gets promoted in Seanchan can have a lot to do with winning a power struggle, and I don't think RJ said anything to suggest he was excluding that. After all, you have to ask yourself, why did he make a point of putting the throne beyond such mobility? If one can be raised to the Imperial family, supposedly one can also be chosen as heir afterwards. Only RJ did put that out of the question.

 

Please accept my skepticism when it comes to people being receptive of ideas that are not theirs or admitting there is an alternative that COULD make sense.

You can doubt whatever you wish to, but I don't think I've given you any sign of not being open to persuation, and I resent the way you voice that skepticism. Go ahead and search my post history, if you want; you'll find I'm usually confidant in my opinions, but I never bulk at admitting fault when persuaded by others' arguments.

 

Nothing I said was not true nor was it something that should have offended because in an earlier post I mentioned I was doing some of that as well. The only difference is I noticed and acknowledged it. Pointing out flaws in someone's style of arguing is not always a strawman, sometimes it shows a flaw in the argument itself.

I beg to differ. What I previously bolded was untrue, and parts of it offensive. And while pointing out flaws needn't be done through straw-man arguments, what you did in this case is exactly that, as evident by the fact that I could go over my original post one sentence at a time and show how you've disregarded what I actually said.

 

We're all arguing about the possibility/ impossibility that a Seanchan who is not of royal family might try to bump off the RF.

Well, almost. The distinction is that where the strange times might drive a certain type of person to that sort of action, that wouldn't affect the populace's attitude or what the Blood consider normal. But mostly, you're right.

 

Obviously they might - if Suroth could get her head around it and Galgan could interview assassins for convoluted reasons, it's not exactly impossible.

Yes, I agree to that. They might consider it, under cetain circumstances. However, note that: it took considerable pressure from a Chosen to drive Suroth to it, Galgan has never interviewed assassins ouside of Brandon's books (so that doesn't really help here), and then there's the issue I've mentioned above (what one might do and what's considered the norm are two very different things).

 

Is it likely? Chapter 11 seems to suggest that it is happening whatever you may think of it.

Tuon's PoVs also imply that she's considering the possibility.

Tuon's PoV's imply more than that. I'd have no issue with Tuon, as acute a plitical beast as she is, anticipating this in light of what's happening around her. I do take issue with the way she seem to think that's the norm for any Empress.

 

The fact that she's the only known living member makes it hugely more likely.

 

Another thing:

In earlier eras when the royal siblings and consorts were plotting against each other, they obviously used assassins and trusted servants as proxies rather than throw down in face-to-face duels.So there have always been Seanchan prepared to act as killers of RF

Yes, I completely agree. Note, however, how both Tuon and Suroth expect such plots to be carried out in the name of someone who has the right to reach into that family. If that distinction didn't matter, why then did they both never consider anything else before the evidence was staring them in the face?

 

including of Empresses (usually at the behest of their consorts going by Fortouna's PoV). The Empress certainly was never absolutely off bounds, assuming the Prince of the Ravens doesn't just smother her with a pillow.

Again, you are basing this on the very material we put into question.

 

The prohibitions caused by stratified society and the "Unthinkability" Suroth thinks of, have obviously been trumped in the past as well.

 

 

A third thing: The consolidation is relatively recent and EVA has a track record of continuously putting down major rebellions against the CT. This implies there are actually large numbers of Seanchan who don't have issues contemplating bumping off members of the RF.

This is, I feel, the strongest point you've made. Yes, apparently it's not uncommon to attempt to overthrow the Empire, with the implicit attitude towards the Crystal Throne that entails. However, I both think there's a difference between seeking independence and userping the throne, and I have to object to the populace acceptance of a rebel who continue to function as the supreme commander.

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I think this merits double-posting, since I'm putting on my mod hat for this:

I was being sarcastic, but if you want to reprimand them then that is your prerogative

It's not about what you've said, it's about what Luckers has. And I want everyone to take note of what I said here, including you. As Luckers put it, we are fully capable of disagreeing without resorting to demeaning language, and so we shall.

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yoniyo - I'm not going to argue against your post, because on balance I suspect you have the right of it. We have very little information with regards the Seanchan Empire and the way they think. But I'm going to try to summarise what I think are the important developments with regard culture.

 

Prior to tGS most of the characters we spend time with in their own povs are in unusual circumstances, which raises some doubts about all of them to a degree - Tuon's been taken prisoner, Egeanin is adrift of the Empire and struggling with different viewpoints having met Elayne and Nyn. I can't think of any more, but if I'm wrong please correct me.

 

During this time we know that some soldiers are highly loyal - e.g. Turak. I'm inclined to believe Fains pov here, although he's new to his power and may not use it properly - I think if there was something there to corrupt he'd find it.

 

We know that their have been failed rebellions on the Seanchan continent. We know that the Seanchan Empress is revered as a near god and the crystal throne as a ter'angreal may have something to do with this.

 

We know that even when Egeanin has been demoted by the Empire she still accepts the status given to her by Tuon (suggesting some awe, even though she hasn't sat on the throne).

 

Against this, the entire Seanchan continent is now in rebellion due to the murder of the entire Royal line that's still there. We see in response to this Suroth, with a lot of prodding, attempts to assassinate Tuon and gets cast down for it. Galgan has maneauvered for teh throne before he knows that Tuon is dead.

 

I guess I should add the actions of the army here - I think that teh army that attacks the Band in an attempt to kill Tuon are primarily non-seanchan homeland forces, but I'm pretty sure the command would be Seanchan, with Seanchan soldiers acting as a core of teh army. We don't get any viewpoint of these people - so are they acting that way, because they genuinely think Tuons a fake, have enough of them been compelled, is acting against Tuon, even though she's the heir apparant not that uncommon and to be expected, are they just blindly following orders? I haven't reread that bit for a while, so I can't remember if a reasons given - but either way, the Seanchan soldiers left with mat recognise that Suroths agent, is Suroths agent and thus take it as proof that Suroth was plotting against Tuon. It would seem reasonable that normal soldiers would also recognise who he is and what his authority is, and somehow accept it as sufficient to work against Tuon - but this is still before she actually becomes Empress, and before they would reasonably know that the old Empress was dead.

 

 

 

I know that there's stuff I missed out there, but I think that's all the significant stuff. We then reach BS's addition to the knowledge, but based on that BS's interpretation of Galgans actions doesn't seem that farfetched to me.

 

We get that the Prince of Ravens can work against the Empress (I've addressed this below, sortof)

 

We get that Tylins son (mental brain freeze on name) has been raised to the blood and has significant enough rank that Fortuona can speak directly to him, but that Galgan hasn't (as of Elaida showing them travelling) (as an aside how stupid is it that the Empress can't talk directly to her head honcho General in public?) we also don't know how many people equal Tylins son in rank, we just know that there aren't any in the room at that time - but it may be that at the moment Galgan is the 'heir' until Tylins son learns more Seanchan ways.

 

Galgan has initially met with assassins and killed them outright, and apparantly Fortuona has no problem with that, and then met with assassins who were expected to fail and we don't yet know whay Fortuona thinks about the second.

 

 

 

What we really have no information on is how RJ ever expected the behaviour of characters to behave following the devastation of the homeland. There are very few people at the top of the tree in Ebou Dar, so maybe it's had the effect of the people at the top, narrowing the gap and reaching above themselves. Maybe the fact that Tuon hasn't sat on the throne makes it easier for naturally ambitious people to over-reach. Maybe Tuon is reluctant to act, because Galgans success at the Tower gave him some leeway in the way things worked. We don't know.

 

BUT the acceptance from 'normal' Seanchan people of the attempted assassins doesn't seem to gel very well with what we know, not does their casual acceptance of Mat calling Tuon Tuon. I feel that the rest can work, without stretching the bounds of ridiculous to far and without a lot of thought, but the last doesn't work.

 

including of Empresses (usually at the behest of their consorts going by Fortouna's PoV). The Empress certainly was never absolutely off bounds, assuming the Prince of the Ravens doesn't just smother her with a pillow.

Again, you are basing this on the very material we put into question.

 

 

This may be questionable material, but BS is opening the door to some people attempting to work against the Empress in person, in normal times, which strengthens some of the support behind the idea that it's possible, even if that wasn't RJs initial idea.

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I've always looked at Seanchan as the mix of Aiel and Cairhein. The Aiel are fierce and are driven by a belief ... even if most of the common folk don't fully understand it. The belief drives and unites them. The Cairhein are broken into all their separate houses and there is no real loyalty to anything outside of that ... and that mentally runs all the way down to anyone inside the walls. Nothing is "against the rules" ... even sending assassins to kidnap a lowly gleeman and kill anyone that may just happen to unfortunately be in their way.

 

The Seanchan people are driven by the ideal of the Return of Hawkwing's armies to the land that turned their back on them. Just like the Aiel, each man down to the lowest understands that and will fight to the death to see that belief become reality. However, just like the Cairhein, the upper ranks of the Seanchan society are publicly respectable to each other while privately always trying to find a way to get the upper hand on those ahead of them in order to the Crystal Throne. The key element is that the belief in Hawkwing's Return becomes somewhat lost on The Blood as they bicker and fight for rank. In the Aiel, the Clan Chiefs and Wise Ones never lose sight of what drives their people (darkfriends, being the obvious exception) and actually drive their belief home to their people in every action they do.

 

I've always seen them as RJ's way of saying: People who lose sight of their beliefs become corrupt and more prone to human failings. Those who cling strongly to their beliefs lead their people without fail and are to be respected.

 

I can only speak for myself, but I see the Aiel society as the best in Randland and the Cairhein as one of the worst. My feeling toward the Seanchan (and I assume the general thought) is that, while they provide such strong stability and order to even people they conquer, the upper ranks are almost despicable in the way they carry themselves, treat other people and especially how they treat themselves.

 

I would not put anything past The Blood that I wouldn't put past the Cairhein lords ... which isn't saying much.

 

This isn't based on exact moments or physical evidence as much as the general feeling I get from RJ's way he writes them.

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Hey BFG, good points. Yes, whichever direction Brandon decided to go, he didn't do it in one fell swoop, and that begs some questions. He might realize that this doesn't completely feel intrinsic, and it might've even been the plan he was following (that is, the fact that Tuon's life is threatened again could've been in the notes RJ left). I still feel the execution is jarring, but that does make me feel better about the whole thing.

 

Regarding some of the other points you've made: yes, we did get more Seanchan PoV's (like Yulan's), but none of importance I think; more interestingly, take a look at this:

“There are assassins,” Mat said calmly, “after Tuon?”

Don’t use her name like that,” Kathana said, beginning to snap her cleaning rag at him again.

Mat reached up beside his head without looking, catching the tip of the rag. He held Jame’s eyes with his single one, not flinching.

“There are assassins,” Mat repeated calmly, “after Tuon?”

Is this how it originally was, or was this part corrected after the fact? I can't conclusively remember, but I do feel like I was waiting for just that type of reaction and failed to find it. Am I crazy?

 

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to say, you hit the nail on why that army presented a danger to Tuon. The story Suroth released regarding the foreigner impersonating Tuon meant that she was at risk from anyone who didn't know her (and remained loyal), which is why even after that army was dealt with she couldn't just stroll back to the palace.

Edited by yoniy0
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Cheers yoiyo, I'd forgotton Yulans pov, and I couldn't remember if we ever had one from Tylee (? - Seanchan with Perrin), but I wasn't trying to regurgitate the entire Seanchan bit from memory, mostly because I'd fail miserably.

 

I'm glad there's a reaction from Kathana, that does make that more realistic. I'm going to have to reread the chapter excerpt again, clearly. So it just leaves the 'normal' people view as to attempts on teh Empress being allowable as a real problem.

 

 

 

But I'm starting to go against the Mat takes over Seanchan armies bit (discussed on the boards somewhere), the more I think about it, the more I think Mat's going to be at the bore with the others. I'm desperately trying to remember when and whom Min sees fireflies. There have been several people that have been important to the effort so far that Min has seen with Rand without the fireflies - most of the Aiel, Cadsuane, Bashere, Logain (pretty sure they're a constant viewing around Rand, their success depends on whose around him at the time), so I think the fireflies must be more than just 'important in war effort' against Shadow. So that means, Rand, Perrin, Mat, Eg, Moiraine, Thom, Nyn, Elayne(?) at the least have to be there - possibly Min, possibly Avi(?). But if they're at the bore, then that throws open the question of whose leading the armies - presumably Logain for one - his glory aura... So thematically, in my pov, fireflies = bore sealing, but from the storytelling perspective, I'm not so sure.

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In response to a few posts up from BFG: Everything indicates that there is only one Seanchan man among the people Mat fights. From Under an Oak

Vanin reined in a rangy gray beside Tuon, eyed Karede and the other Deathwatch Guards, then spat through a gap in his teeth and leaned on the high pommel of his saddle. “There’s ten thousand or so soldiers at a little town about five miles west of here,” the fat man told Mat. “Only one man Seanchan, near as I could learn. Rest are Altarans, Taraboners, Amadicians. All mounted. Thing is, they’re asking after fellows wearing armor like that.” He nodded toward Karede. “And rumor says the one of them that kills a girl that sounds a lot like the High Lady gets himself a hundred thousand crowns gold. Their mouths are dripping for it.

 

And later in Prince of the Ravens

Mat hoped Leilwin did nothing foolish herself. Since there was apparently only one Seanchan with the people they would fight today, she had decided it was all right to be there, and the way she glared at Musenge and the other Deathwatch Guards, it seemed she might think she had something to prove to them.

------------------

“I want to see if I can find the traitor,” Hartha said, and he and the other six Gardeners shouldered their axes and walked over the mound of bodies as if it were dirt.

------------------

By the time an opening could be cleared so that Mat and the others could ride through, Hartha and the Gardeners had returned. “I found the traitor,” Hartha said, holding up a severed head by its hair.

Seanchan people find the thought of killing a member of the Imperial Family so unpalatable that only Suroth's man Elbar, a darkfriend himself, was in the group actively trying to kill her. He apparently couldn't risk even the lowest rank and file Seanchan soldier to be there and maybe see that they were making a mistake, or report his treason.

 

“As you say, Highness.” Musenge’s voice was so neutral he could have been commenting on the price of beans. Strange. He did not look like a diffident man. “I have always been ready to die for her.” There was no need for him to say which “her” he meant.

“I guess I am, too, Musenge.” Light, he thought he meant that! Yes, he did mean it. Did that mean he was in love? “Better to live for her, though, wouldn’t you say?”

This is the attitude of the DWG's to a man. I just can't believe they would accept any posturing against her, especially now that she is the Empress. Everything about this whole bloody plotline smells hackneyed.
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In response to a few posts up from BFG: Everything indicates that there is only one Seanchan man among the people Mat fights. From Under an Oak

Vanin reined in a rangy gray beside Tuon, eyed Karede and the other Deathwatch Guards, then spat through a gap in his teeth and leaned on the high pommel of his saddle. “There’s ten thousand or so soldiers at a little town about five miles west of here,” the fat man told Mat. “Only one man Seanchan, near as I could learn. Rest are Altarans, Taraboners, Amadicians. All mounted. Thing is, they’re asking after fellows wearing armor like that.” He nodded toward Karede. “And rumor says the one of them that kills a girl that sounds a lot like the High Lady gets himself a hundred thousand crowns gold. Their mouths are dripping for it.

 

And later in Prince of the Ravens

Mat hoped Leilwin did nothing foolish herself. Since there was apparently only one Seanchan with the people they would fight today, she had decided it was all right to be there, and the way she glared at Musenge and the other Deathwatch Guards, it seemed she might think she had something to prove to them.

------------------

“I want to see if I can find the traitor,” Hartha said, and he and the other six Gardeners shouldered their axes and walked over the mound of bodies as if it were dirt.

------------------

By the time an opening could be cleared so that Mat and the others could ride through, Hartha and the Gardeners had returned. “I found the traitor,” Hartha said, holding up a severed head by its hair.

Seanchan people find the thought of killing a member of the Imperial Family so unpalatable that only Suroth's man Elbar, a darkfriend himself, was in the group actively trying to kill her. He apparently couldn't risk even the lowest rank and file Seanchan soldier to be there and maybe see that they were making a mistake, or report his treason.

 

“As you say, Highness.” Musenge’s voice was so neutral he could have been commenting on the price of beans. Strange. He did not look like a diffident man. “I have always been ready to die for her.” There was no need for him to say which “her” he meant.

“I guess I am, too, Musenge.” Light, he thought he meant that! Yes, he did mean it. Did that mean he was in love? “Better to live for her, though, wouldn’t you say?”

This is the attitude of the DWG's to a man. I just can't believe they would accept any posturing against her, especially now that she is the Empress. Everything about this whole bloody plotline smells hackneyed.

 

Thanks for the extra info about the army! As I said, the one thing that really doesn't tie in is the general populaces attitude, I don't find the reaching at the top as much of a stretch as you or yoniyo (and others), given the completely unheard of circumstances they find themselves in now.

 

But, although Musenge's and the DWG's opinion and voice are entirely valid pov's I'm not so sure they'd be representative of the entire populace - I always assumed that they were chosen/raised/brainwashed into being completely loyal to the Empress/representative. It would be a bit like trying to find a member of the original Band that isn't a DF willing to kill Mat. The Band wouldn't countenance it, but I'm sure that there are people in the other armies who could be talked into it without being a DF.

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I agree that the general populace's attitude doesn't wash, but if even they know, then the DWG's certainly know, and wouldn't stand for the act, unless Fortuona deliberately told them not to take action. In these extreme circumstances, the Empire needs more than ever to be whole, and yet she tolerates this posturing from a man so much lower than her. I just don't see it.

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I can see the meet with assassins and get them killed could be a political move, I can't say I know enough about the parallels for the Seanchan culture to say for sure, and so far we don't know how Tuon's reacted to the escalation - I was burned with Eg, so on this (and Rand) I'm going to rafo :)

 

1 theory suggested (can't remember by whom) was that Mat kills Galgan and takes over Seanchan army, but on balance (as regards firefly viewing) I think Mat's going to be at the bore, so if Galgan is eliminated then who gets the army? Could be Tylee(? - Perrins ally) I guess.

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