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Alric

Most infuriating moment/topic in the books

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Decent Aes Sedai to me is rather difficult as RJ portrayed almost all the women in WoT to be headstrong know it alls who seem to think they have the right to shout down, hit or use the power on any man who disagrees with them. The men are just as bad to an extent but you dont see the men in it threatening to hit the women for being annoying cretins, granted I think Rand and his Asha'man should start stilling a few Aes Sedai as a taster to make them back off and stop being so smug and haughty.

 

Yeah punish someone for being smug by putting them though something that is described as worse than death, that generally changes people's attitudes. If the Asha'man started stilling Aes Sedai other than in battle where they might not have a choice other than lash out with whatever they got then there would be open war between Aes Sedai and Asha'man, and even if the Asha'man is likely to come out on top of that it would decimate two important groups in the fight against the Shadow, sure great idea to make someone less smug.

 

Sure many women in the books do teat men badly, and the Aes Sedai in general is an arrogant bunch and far from perfect, however many of them are good, self sacrificing women who honestly want the best for the world around them. Sure WoT is a bit mars vs Venus and both planets are packing heat, but that do not mean that all women in the series are bad.

 

You see what I'm saying here? The Aes Sedai claim they'll do whatever it takes to defeat the Shadow. But, what if they all have to become damane to do it? Would they still be willing to save humanity and preserve the Pattern if it meant sacrificing themselves to a life of animal-like servitude? Somehow, I think they might draw the line there. Egwene certainly would. Hell, she'd probably switch sides and become a Darkfriend to avoid that. Don't you think? Consider, Nynaeve would rather let defenseless Andoran farmers stay defenseless (and end up in Trolloc cook pots) than be conscripted into the Seanchan army. Seems awfully selfish to me. What do you think?

 

Actually I think that many Aes Sedai, not all but a fair number would be willing to become damane if that was the only way to save the world, but then they would have to know that to be the only way and the way. Seanchan have gotten their Imperial butts handed to them quite a few times now, they are far from infallible, I do not think they would save the world even if all the Aes Sedai willingly surrendered to them. Also you have to ask yourself, even if Seanchan saved the world from the Shadow, what would they save it as? For most people in Randland life under Seanchan would feel like slavery, they have extremely rigid social norms that demand absolute, unquestioning loyalty to nobility, not to mention how every, single channeler would be treated, perhaps if one is going to save the world, one have to save it for something better and not something worse. Now as for Egwene, no I do not think she would go over to the Shadow for any reason, but I do think it is a fair chance she would kill herself rather than end up a damane again.

 

Similarly, the Aes Sedai are essentially pacifists. They talk a good game, but they never have to fight anyone. Seanchan damane, on the other hand, regularly use the One Power as a weapon, and are well-trained in it. So, if you're a common man whose survival relies on either the Great Captains & the Aes Sedai, or the Seanchan, the latter may very well be the better bet.

 

The Aes Sedai themselves are not good at warfare no, but they have people working for them that are.

 

What I find so infuriating about that, is that Rand is expected to sacrifice himself for the good of humanity, but no one else is. The Aes Sedai certainly don't see it like that. Everyone else is making plans about how they'll benefit from Rand's death, but no one is stepping up to the plate and making sacrifices themselves (except, perhaps Lan... and even in that, he's doing it for selfish reasons rather than for the benefit of humanity).

 

Like have been pointed out by others this is not correct, most of the main characters have been willing to sacrifice their lives for the Light there are to many examples to mention of characters that have willingly done things they knew would most likely get them horribly killed or worse to do what they think is right. Yes Rand live with a certainty that he will die, we as readers are not so sure, but he is, and he have accepted that, but many of the other characters have done things they where sure at the moment would get them killed. For example take Siuan and Moiraine they knew they risked stilling for helping Rand and they where far more afraid of that than death but they still did what they thought was right, Siuan was stilled for it. Every Asha'man recruited before saidin was cleansed knew as he agreed to be tested that if he could learn to channel he might live five more years, perhaps a few more, perhaps a few less before he grew mad and died of a horrible illness where he would rot while he was still alive and yet they where willing to do so to fight for the Dragon Reborn, Egwene have put her life in danger many times to do what she think is right, Moiraine was willing to be captured by the Finns to help Rand the list go on and on with characters more than willing to sacrifice themselves. Sure they hope such a sacrifice will not be needed, but they are willing to do so.

 

The contradiction: Rand is expected to die for humanity, and everyone's cool with that (almost everyone, at least, except for the handful of people around him). But, if an Aes Sedai were to be leashed in order to save humanity, everyone would find that appalling, the Aes Sedai herself more than anyone. Nynaeve and Egwene certainly aren't making any plans to give themselves up for the good of humanity.

 

Because none in Randland think that having Seanchan take over the place and collaring everything female that can channel is a good idea or will be the way to defeat the Dark One, like I said if they thought that was the only way I think they would do it. As for giving themselves up for the good of humanity, well Egwene more or less did so and gave herself up to Elaida knowing full well that she would be beaten and mistreated, that there was a good chance she would be killed and even a decent chance she would be stilled, and she did that for the good of humanity.

 

Now those that know Rand do not want him to sacrifice himself, they do not want him to suffer and die and they do think it is horrible that he have to, but that do not change the fact that in most people's mind he have to and they might as well accept it, just as if collaring with an a'dam for every female channeler was necessary to save the world it would be seen as appealing but would by most be accepted I think, however unlike Rand's sacrifice that is not necessary, there is nothing indicated that Seancan taking over would be a good thing.

 

You are looking at this all wrong. Everyone world wide will be sacrificing, this the LB. Yes Rand has a unique position because he is the savior, the DR, the Creators Champion. Regardless AS have already been holding against the Shadow for 3,000 years. They pulled the world out of the breaking, they made a victory possible in the Trolloc Wars and they are the main reason anyone even remembers a DO. This is a collaborative effort, everyone is needed to win and everyone will have a role to play. Rand's role as the savior is different than everyone else's. It doesn't mean everyone else is selfish.

 

What he said, points to the post above.

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There's a chapter at the end of TGS that has got me thinking. It takes place between Rand & Nynaeve a chapter or two after the Seanchan attack on the White Tower. Nynaeve is trying to convince Rand to follow Lan to Tarwin's Gap, while simultaneously trying to extract Perrin's location from him.

 

Nynaeve makes the case that unless Rand helps Lan, the Trolloc armies will descend upon Andor, the implication being most Andorans are simple farmers incapable of defending themselves against Shadowspawn. This much is true.

 

But, Nynaeve goes on to solve her problem with her next thought (paraphrasing), "Either Shadowspawn will consume Andor, or the Seanchan will invade from the South and conscript the Andorans into their armies".

 

Well, lo and behold. There you go.

 

Solution: allow the Seanchan to consume Randland, and militarize the people against the Shadow.

 

The problem with that: the Aes Sedai would oppose it for selfish reasons, even if it were the only hope of saving humanity.

Saving humanity from the Dark One and giving it to the Seachan. Don't really know if that's any better.

 

EDITED: formatting

 

Obviously, the Aes Sedai don't want to lose their freedom and be treated like animals, but as we witness during the Seanchan attack on the Tower, the Aes Sedai are pretty inept when it actually comes to fighting. They talk the talk, but they can't walk the walk. This is largely due to the 3 Oaths. They've sworn off all violence, except when fighting Shadowspawn. The catch is, they never fight Shadowspawn, so they never get any practice. They are NOT weapons. Quite the opposite, in fact. And, if we're to believe Tarmon Gai'don will be a literal battle, then the Aes Sedai will have to act as weapons.

 

Enter the Seanchan. Their "Aes Sedai" most definitely ARE weapons. They are thoroughly trained in warfare, and get plenty of practice. Most are fanatically devoted to the Empire (or just cowed into Stockholm Syndrome) as well, and will do as they're told. On top of this, the Ever Victorious Army is equally badass, and routinely outfights the people of Randland, even when they don't have damane with them. So it would seem, if you're destined to fight a massive battle for the fate of humanity, you might want the Ever Victorious Army in charge, rather than a bunch of half-ass Andoran peasants.

Every conflict so far between the Seachan and the mainland forces, with the exception of their initial invasions, have led to a crush defeat or a horrible pyrric victory. Mat staged a campaign leaving 30,000+ Seachan dead for 1500 of the band (20:1 odds), Rand sent back an invasion force of a few tens of thousands using 9 Asha'man and 5 thousand men, and Ilturade crushed an army of 50,000+ with an army of 20,000, losing only 10,000. All three times the Seachan had a large number of damane, racken, and other advantages. So they aren't exactly a great army, either.

 

Meanwhile, the attack on Tar Valon was sent back with a few dozen untrained novices and Egwene, so they are at least going toe-to-toe.

 

The three oaths aren't going to hurt nearly as much when Aes Sedai are fighting Seachan, and damane can't use angreal or link which will be problematic.

 

You see what I'm saying here? The Aes Sedai claim they'll do whatever it takes to defeat the Shadow. But, what if they all have to become damane to do it? Would they still be willing to save humanity and preserve the Pattern if it meant sacrificing themselves to a life of animal-like servitude? Somehow, I think they might draw the line there. Egwene certainly would. Hell, she'd probably switch sides and become a Darkfriend to avoid that. Don't you think? Consider, Nynaeve would rather let defenseless Andoran farmers stay defenseless (and end up in Trolloc cook pots) than be conscripted into the Seanchan army. Seems awfully selfish to me. What do you think?

I can't say the Aes Sedai are wrong to want to avoid becoming damane at all costs. I don't think i could even say they are wrong for letting the world fall to the Shadow rather than fall to the Seachan. The a'dam is really a sickening thing.

 

Just like to point out that:

  • They were beaten at Falme by essentially indestructable Heroes of the Horn.
  • In the Damona Campaign theie was a point when Bashere recommended withdrawal - at that point they'd made all the gain they could with the force they had. Instead Rand pushed forward, at this stage the Seanchan started to win, to the point where Bashere was all but demanding a retreat. Rand decided to use Callandor and decimated both troops. Within a couple of weeks the Seanchan were advancing again - the battle made little difference to them.
  • Ituralde did amazing damage as a guerilla army - it ended with the Seanchan forcing Ituralde to retreat to a stedding where he was waiting to be wiped out.
  • Mat was fighting to get out, the final battle (at the least) was fought against entirely new troops (with one of Suroths guys there), so hardly standard Seanchan troops (and we've seen that in a losing situation, then Seanchan will withdraw - as seen in the Damona Campaign).

 

Saying that the Great Captains have creamed the Seanchan is evidently false (based on the text so far - they win the first battles, but the Seanchan come back stronger). What the Great Captains or Mat could accomplish with similar levels of troops/channelers is an entirely different question.

Edited by BFG

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Just like to point out that:

  • They were beaten at Falme by essentially indestructable Heroes of the Horn.
  • In the Damona Campaign theie was a point when Bashere recommended withdrawal - at that point they'd made all the gain they could with the force they had. Instead Rand pushed forward, at this stage the Seanchan started to win, to the point where Bashere was all but demanding a retreat. Rand decided to use Callandor and decimated both troops. Within a couple of weeks the Seanchan were advancing again - the battle made little difference to them.
  • Ituralde did amazing damage as a guerilla army - it ended with the Seanchan forcing Ituralde to retreat to a stedding where he was waiting to be wiped out.
  • Mat was fighting to get out, the final battle (at the least) was fought against entirely new troops (with one of Suroths guys there), so hardly standard Seanchan troops (and we've seen that in a losing situation, then Seanchan will withdraw - as seen in the Damona Campaign).

Saying that the Great Captains have creamed the Seanchan is evidently false (based on the text so far - they win the first battles, but the Seanchan come back stronger). What the Great Captains or Mat could accomplish with similar levels of troops/channelers is an entirely different question.

 

The Seanchan lost about 140,000 - 170,000 troops to Ituralde (60 - 70K), Mat (50 - 60K), and Rand (30 - 40K). Their victories have come against weak and ineffective foes: Tarabon, Amadicia, and Altara. They never won a decisive victory against a "prepared" foe. In Aviendha's visions, the Aiel held them to a stalemate for 40 years. My assumption is that if the rest of Randland (from Tear to Saldaea) aided the Aiel, the Seanchan would have been defeated.

Edited by Theodril

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The Seanchan lost about 140,000 - 170,000 troops to Ituralde (60 - 70K), Mat (50 - 60K), and Rand (30 - 40K). Their victories have come against weak and ineffective foes: Tarabon, Amadicia, and Altara. They never won a decisive victory against a "prepared" foe. In Aviendha's visions, the Aiel held them to a stalemate for 40 years. My assumption is that if the rest of Randland (from Tear to Saldaea) aided the Aiel, the Seanchan would have been defeated.

 

If Rand had taken his Saldaean horse, a few clans of Aiel and 200-300 Asha'man they'd have pushed the Seanchan out to see again before the full Return had landed. I think Rand seriously underused the Aiel following the Illian campaign myself.

 

Myself I would have done the following; i'd have gathered a decent sized army near one of their cities to provoke the seanchan into reinforcing that area, as soon as they did that I would use gateways to place mobile troops to totally decimate their supply lines, eliminate as much of their wagons, rakan and to'rakan as well as preserved food stuffs, then left within a maximum of two hours. Regrouped and then attacked the force preparing to attack the original army I had deployed from the rear and sides and en-globed them.

 

Simultaniously I would most likely have asha'man infilitrate and then annihilate every sul'dam and damane as possible in the Seanchan held cities. Think about this for instance, calling lightning from the sky wont actually show anyone whom it came from, so they could start dropping lightning bolts onto the seanchan patrols within the cities as well as the gate guards causing considerable turmoil. And if possible raise the Damane kennels to the ground, harsh but it is one of the quickest ways to eradicate the seanchan as a military threat.

 

Using a pre-planned indepth battle campaign and having hundreds of smaller attacks launch simultaneously from a secure location you could cripple them before they could effectively form any sort of defence.

 

However, if I were born in Randland I doubt I would think of tactics in the same way...

Edited by Morden

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Hey everyone, just found this MB so this is my first post. Sorry if this has been brought up already, only about halfway through the topic.

 

I think for me, this most infuriating character/storyline is Gawyn and his Younglings. Not only does he come out of nowhere to kill two Warders without taking any considerable wounds (he seems fine when he meets up with Min & Co. after that little fiasco), his groups performance at Dumai's Wells always bothered me. How were a bunch of 13-18 year olds who were only trained by Warders (not warders themselves) able to stand up to a massive onslaught of Aiel (who are throughout the entire series pretty much described as murder death kill machines when fighting)? It just seemed like they should have all been dead. Instantly.

 

His character seems to progress to God-tier swordsman with little to no background as how he got to that level.

 

Oddly, some things that bothered everyone else that I either didn't mind or liked...

 

- Faile and Perrin. I like their relationship and its dynamic, and I like how Perrin pretty much falls apart without her. I guess I would like to think the heroes of our story are infallible, but how far he was willing to go and push himself to get her back turned Perrin into a favorite.

 

- Alanna forced bonding Rand. Seriously, I have no idea why no AS had done that before, and I understood why she did it. From an AS perspective, it seemed like the proper thing to do to me. I also really liked the dynamic between the two after that, though I wish it had been explored a little more than it has at this point.

 

- Cadsuane. Love her.

Edited by BladeofGoldnight

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The Seanchan lost about 140,000 - 170,000 troops to Ituralde (60 - 70K), Mat (50 - 60K), and Rand (30 - 40K). Their victories have come against weak and ineffective foes: Tarabon, Amadicia, and Altara. They never won a decisive victory against a "prepared" foe. In Aviendha's visions, the Aiel held them to a stalemate for 40 years. My assumption is that if the rest of Randland (from Tear to Saldaea) aided the Aiel, the Seanchan would have been defeated.

 

If Rand had taken his Saldaean horse, a few clans of Aiel and 200-300 Asha'man they'd have pushed the Seanchan out to see again before the full Return had landed. I think Rand seriously underused the Aiel following the Illian campaign myself.

 

Myself I would have done the following; i'd have gathered a decent sized army near one of their cities to provoke the seanchan into reinforcing that area, as soon as they did that I would use gateways to place mobile troops to totally decimate their supply lines, eliminate as much of their wagons, rakan and to'rakan as well as preserved food stuffs, then left within a maximum of two hours. Regrouped and then attacked the force preparing to attack the original army I had deployed from the rear and sides and en-globed them.

 

Simultaniously I would most likely have asha'man infilitrate and then annihilate every sul'dam and damane as possible in the Seanchan held cities. Think about this for instance, calling lightning from the sky wont actually show anyone whom it came from, so they could start dropping lightning bolts onto the seanchan patrols within the cities as well as the gate guards causing considerable turmoil. And if possible raise the Damane kennels to the ground, harsh but it is one of the quickest ways to eradicate the seanchan as a military threat.

 

Using a pre-planned indepth battle campaign and having hundreds of smaller attacks launch simultaneously from a secure location you could cripple them before they could effectively form any sort of defence.

 

However, if I were born in Randland I doubt I would think of tactics in the same way...

 

Rand's arrogance and pride prevented him from doing that. But on the practical side, Rand only used the Asha'man that could open gateways of decent size (50 of them). And Sammael's dispersing of the Shaido threw off Rand and forced him to use the Aiel to hunt them down and secure Illian. But I agree that Rand could have destroyed the Halene (sp) and taken Altara if he had used a bigger force with more Ashaman.

 

But then the prophecies (bind the nine moons) and the Aelfinn answers would have been proven wrong; which the pattern would not allow. Apparantly Rand needs the Seanchan to win TG.

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Just like to point out that:

  • They were beaten at Falme by essentially indestructable Heroes of the Horn.
  • In the Damona Campaign theie was a point when Bashere recommended withdrawal - at that point they'd made all the gain they could with the force they had. Instead Rand pushed forward, at this stage the Seanchan started to win, to the point where Bashere was all but demanding a retreat. Rand decided to use Callandor and decimated both troops. Within a couple of weeks the Seanchan were advancing again - the battle made little difference to them.
  • Ituralde did amazing damage as a guerilla army - it ended with the Seanchan forcing Ituralde to retreat to a stedding where he was waiting to be wiped out.
  • Mat was fighting to get out, the final battle (at the least) was fought against entirely new troops (with one of Suroths guys there), so hardly standard Seanchan troops (and we've seen that in a losing situation, then Seanchan will withdraw - as seen in the Damona Campaign).

Saying that the Great Captains have creamed the Seanchan is evidently false (based on the text so far - they win the first battles, but the Seanchan come back stronger). What the Great Captains or Mat could accomplish with similar levels of troops/channelers is an entirely different question.

 

The Seanchan lost about 140,000 - 170,000 troops to Ituralde (60 - 70K), Mat (50 - 60K), and Rand (30 - 40K). Their victories have come against weak and ineffective foes: Tarabon, Amadicia, and Altara. They never won a decisive victory against a "prepared" foe. In Aviendha's visions, the Aiel held them to a stalemate for 40 years. My assumption is that if the rest of Randland (from Tear to Saldaea) aided the Aiel, the Seanchan would have been defeated.

 

My initial response was in response to the following - which stated that every time the Seanchan have met a Great Captain/or Mat they get creamed. The story doesn't support this, it shows them losing the first few battles then coming back stronger - Mat does negate this somewhat, but as I said he had different aims - escape, and the last battle - the big one was against primarily non-Seanchan troops. Before that he used superior technology to mount a guriella campaign (and from what I can remember their weren't many Damane/Sul'dam involved - I imagine if their had been he'd have fared worse)

 

As for the last I agree completely (and sort of have done already)!

 

 

Every conflict so far between the Seachan and the mainland forces, with the exception of their initial invasions, have led to a crush defeat or a horrible pyrric victory. Mat staged a campaign leaving 30,000+ Seachan dead for 1500 of the band (20:1 odds), Rand sent back an invasion force of a few tens of thousands using 9 Asha'man and 5 thousand men, and Ilturade crushed an army of 50,000+ with an army of 20,000, losing only 10,000. All three times the Seachan had a large number of damane, racken, and other advantages. So they aren't exactly a great army, either.

 

Meanwhile, the attack on Tar Valon was sent back with a few dozen untrained novices and Egwene, so they are at least going toe-to-toe.

 

The three oaths aren't going to hurt nearly as much when Aes Sedai are fighting Seachan, and damane can't use angreal or link which will be problematic.

 

 

 

...

 

- Alanna forced bonding Rand. Seriously, I have no idea why no AS had done that before, and I understood why she did it. From an AS perspective, it seemed like the proper thing to do to me. I also really liked the dynamic between the two after that, though I wish it had been explored a little more than it has at this point.

 

...

 

And if Alanna had been captured and killed by the Shadow then Rand would have gained a massive death wish and wouldn't have lived to see TG. She also then immediately uses the bond to try to compel him and later asked to pass the bond on to Cads. I have massive problems with it, even if it does seem logical from an AS perspective (can see that argument) and find some aspects of the dynamic afterwards.

 

 

 

Btw welcome to the boards!

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Simultaniously I would most likely have asha'man infilitrate and then annihilate every sul'dam and damane as possible in the Seanchan held cities. Think about this for instance, calling lightning from the sky wont actually show anyone whom it came from, so they could start dropping lightning bolts onto the seanchan patrols within the cities as well as the gate guards causing considerable turmoil. And if possible raise the Damane kennels to the ground, harsh but it is one of the quickest ways to eradicate the seanchan as a military threat.

 

First off all if the same guy was seen everywhere a tactical lightening strike just so happened to hit a target then people would be rather suspicious. Seanchan is not over run by insane male channelers so they appear to be rather good at finding them and killing them when necessary. But yes just decimating the damane kennels of a Seanchan stronghold is a good idea, though a very morally dubious one, especially since then he would not be killing enemy combatants but prisoners, many of which would be prisoners from Rand's own side, and I think that if Rand ever sunk that low morally that would be it, he would loose it completely. Also remember that the kennels are usually connected to other building so the civilian loss of life would be extremely high as well, and again not only enemies but also folks from Rand's own side of the ocean, which might cost him support.

 

And if Alanna had been captured and killed by the Shadow then Rand would have gained a massive death wish and wouldn't have lived to see TG. She also then immediately uses the bond to try to compel him and later asked to pass the bond on to Cads. I have massive problems with it, even if it does seem logical from an AS perspective (can see that argument) and find some aspects of the dynamic afterwards.

 

Yeah I agree with this. Alanna bonding Rand was completely irresponsible, after all he is the most powerful channeler alive with the possible exception of Taim, he have guards around everywhere and is fairly well protected, she is not. Now I understand why Alanna did what she did, she is trying to gain some control over a man that is so extremely dangerous for the sake of everyone and also she thinks she can protect him that way, but it is still completely irresponsible for now there is a back door to killing Rand available. Also Alanna is a part of allot of what is happening and set herself in danger quite often, if she was going to bond Rand she should at least make sure she herself stayed as far away from danger as possible, for if she either A get killed, B get stilled or C end up in a parallel universe then the world is toast.

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On the subject of the AS all being collared, i don't see how it would make them any more effective unless you also had them unbound from the Three Oaths as well.

 

things I find irritating,

 

The Shaido WO murder pact,

 

Elayne acting like a utter fool, especially in relation to Mins viewing ("oh my babies will be fine so for the next 9 months i'm indestructible") I wonder how many other peoples deaths she caused by this line of thought.

 

Tuon's obviously hypocritical attitude to the Damane issue ("I choose not to" - but at the same time deny thousands of other women that choice while forcing them to use the OP to kill, maim and destroy; and simultaneously stripping them of their basic human dignity). If she was honest she'd have said she needed them leashed because the Damane are the basis of the Empress's power and underpin the entire Seanchan power structure. How she could look Mat in the eye while she said that is beyond ridiculous.

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Just like to point out that:

  • They were beaten at Falme by essentially indestructable Heroes of the Horn.
  • In the Damona Campaign theie was a point when Bashere recommended withdrawal - at that point they'd made all the gain they could with the force they had. Instead Rand pushed forward, at this stage the Seanchan started to win, to the point where Bashere was all but demanding a retreat. Rand decided to use Callandor and decimated both troops. Within a couple of weeks the Seanchan were advancing again - the battle made little difference to them.
  • Ituralde did amazing damage as a guerilla army - it ended with the Seanchan forcing Ituralde to retreat to a stedding where he was waiting to be wiped out.
  • Mat was fighting to get out, the final battle (at the least) was fought against entirely new troops (with one of Suroths guys there), so hardly standard Seanchan troops (and we've seen that in a losing situation, then Seanchan will withdraw - as seen in the Damona Campaign).

Saying that the Great Captains have creamed the Seanchan is evidently false (based on the text so far - they win the first battles, but the Seanchan come back stronger). What the Great Captains or Mat could accomplish with similar levels of troops/channelers is an entirely different question.

 

The Seanchan lost about 140,000 - 170,000 troops to Ituralde (60 - 70K), Mat (50 - 60K), and Rand (30 - 40K). Their victories have come against weak and ineffective foes: Tarabon, Amadicia, and Altara. They never won a decisive victory against a "prepared" foe. In Aviendha's visions, the Aiel held them to a stalemate for 40 years. My assumption is that if the rest of Randland (from Tear to Saldaea) aided the Aiel, the Seanchan would have been defeated.

 

My initial response was in response to the following - which stated that every time the Seanchan have met a Great Captain/or Mat they get creamed. The story doesn't support this, it shows them losing the first few battles then coming back stronger - Mat does negate this somewhat, but as I said he had different aims - escape, and the last battle - the big one was against primarily non-Seanchan troops. Before that he used superior technology to mount a guriella campaign (and from what I can remember their weren't many Damane/Sul'dam involved - I imagine if their had been he'd have fared worse)

 

As for the last I agree completely (and sort of have done already)!

 

It isn't that there is disagreement; but just pointers since we seem to be in agreement on the general principle of the matter. But I want to comment on the perception that the Seanchan come back stronger after losing the first few battles against Great Captains.

 

For starters, the Seanchan only faced 1 Great Captain leading the armies of a weakened kingdom against the forces of an Empire that controlled 3 kingdoms (Tarabon, Amador, Altara) and Almoth Plain as well as being reinforced with the Return (between half a million and three-quarter million civilians and soldiers). And that one Great Captain, Ituralde, did well in destroying their forces whenever he met them on the field. And it took a the majority of Suroth's strength in Tarabon (Return and Taraboners) to push Ituralde into Arad Doman.

 

The Seanchan didn't fight any other Great Captain, so a reputation that they come back stronger cannot be built on just on one encounter.

 

As to the story not supporting that every time a Great Captain goes against them they suffer defeats. The battles and campaigns indicate that they do. They over-extended their reach after Altara and forced Rand to slap their hands back to the Illian - Altara border. And Ituralde inflicted significant casualties on them. The same with Mat. Those were the only times that a capable commander faced them on the field in Randland. And their victories were against hapless opponents: Tarabon, Amador, and Altara! Hardly resounding or military genius inspired victories.

Edited by Theodril

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Just like to point out that:

  • They were beaten at Falme by essentially indestructable Heroes of the Horn.
  • In the Damona Campaign theie was a point when Bashere recommended withdrawal - at that point they'd made all the gain they could with the force they had. Instead Rand pushed forward, at this stage the Seanchan started to win, to the point where Bashere was all but demanding a retreat. Rand decided to use Callandor and decimated both troops. Within a couple of weeks the Seanchan were advancing again - the battle made little difference to them.
  • Ituralde did amazing damage as a guerilla army - it ended with the Seanchan forcing Ituralde to retreat to a stedding where he was waiting to be wiped out.
  • Mat was fighting to get out, the final battle (at the least) was fought against entirely new troops (with one of Suroths guys there), so hardly standard Seanchan troops (and we've seen that in a losing situation, then Seanchan will withdraw - as seen in the Damona Campaign).

Saying that the Great Captains have creamed the Seanchan is evidently false (based on the text so far - they win the first battles, but the Seanchan come back stronger). What the Great Captains or Mat could accomplish with similar levels of troops/channelers is an entirely different question.

 

The Seanchan lost about 140,000 - 170,000 troops to Ituralde (60 - 70K), Mat (50 - 60K), and Rand (30 - 40K). Their victories have come against weak and ineffective foes: Tarabon, Amadicia, and Altara. They never won a decisive victory against a "prepared" foe. In Aviendha's visions, the Aiel held them to a stalemate for 40 years. My assumption is that if the rest of Randland (from Tear to Saldaea) aided the Aiel, the Seanchan would have been defeated.

 

My initial response was in response to the following - which stated that every time the Seanchan have met a Great Captain/or Mat they get creamed. The story doesn't support this, it shows them losing the first few battles then coming back stronger - Mat does negate this somewhat, but as I said he had different aims - escape, and the last battle - the big one was against primarily non-Seanchan troops. Before that he used superior technology to mount a guriella campaign (and from what I can remember their weren't many Damane/Sul'dam involved - I imagine if their had been he'd have fared worse)

 

As for the last I agree completely (and sort of have done already)!

 

It isn't that there is disagreement; but just pointers since we seem to be in agreement on the general principle of the matter. But I want to comment on the perception that the Seanchan come back stronger after losing the first few battles against Great Captains.

 

For starters, the Seanchan only faced 1 Great Captain leading the armies of a weakened kingdom against the forces of an Empire that controlled 3 kingdoms (Tarabon, Amador, Altara) and Almoth Plain as well as being reinforced with the Return (between half a million and three-quarter million civilians and soldiers). And that one Great Captain, Ituralde, did well in destroying their forces whenever he met them on the field. And it took a the majority of Suroth's strength in Tarabon (Return and Taraboners) to push Ituralde into Arad Doman.

 

The Seanchan didn't fight any other Great Captain, so a reputation that they come back stronger cannot be built on just on one encounter.

 

As to the story not supporting that every time a Great Captain goes against them they suffer defeats. The battles and campaigns indicate that they do. They over-extended their reach after Altara and forced Rand to slap their hands back to the Illian - Altara border. And Ituralde inflicted significant casualties on them. The same with Mat. Those were the only times that a capable commander faced them on the field in Randland. And their victories were against hapless opponents: Tarabon, Amador, and Altara! Hardly resounding or military genius inspired victories.

 

 

 

I really don't think we're disagreeing about much at all (possibly semantics, so last post and I'll agree :) )

 

I thought that Bashere was a great Captain, if not you're right, one instance of fighting a Great Captain and not losing isn't enough to found a reputation. But nor do I agree with the original statement that they got creamed in the Damona Campaign or against Ituralde - they lost the original battles, but would have ended up winning the war (the first if Rand hadn't entered the battle - and his 'help' (consisting of the strongest ever channeler using the third most powerful sa'angreal ever) ended up in both sides definately losing). I'm definately not trying to suggest they win every battle - but the text says they come back - so far no battle has been fought to completion so it's hard to say for sure but when those two battles were left the Seanchan looked like they would win.

 

Mat is the exception, it's hard to imagine a situatiion where one now alive person could think of something unique enough to overcome hundreds of older military minds. It's also up for debate as to whether he'dfight them later - his current indications seem to be for political reformation, not overthrow.

 

 

This says absolutely nothing as to what the Great Captains could do with an even fight - they haven't had one yet (Mat's come closest (but Mats very extraordinary), as I don't remember the Seanchan having many Damane with them). If Randland united against them, I have no doubt that they'd win, but so long as they remain didunited then the Seanchan have the largest army, and an excellent recruiting program, so have numbers to throw at the enemy.

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The question with the Seanchan is not whether the Great Captains can outfight them, it's "can they militarize the people against the Shadow?".

 

The Great Captains, for their part, have NOT done that (other than perhaps, Bashere... but ONLY in the Borderlands). As great a captain as Gareth Bryne is, for example, Andor is still full of defenseless peasants. Nynaeve herself said the Seanchan would recruit all of those people into their armies, which, when fighting the "Last Battle" would be a good thing, I would think. Perhaps in times of peace, you need peasant farmers. But in times of war, you need soldiers, and the Seanchan are the only people who have shown a willingness to arm peasants and train them in the ways of war (or at least, they do it better than anyone else).

Who feeds those soldiers? Who makes their weapons? Shoes their horses? You need soldiers to fight a war, but you also need a large number of people in order to keep those soldiers fighting - larger, in fact, than the number of soldiers. And the Westlands nations are entirely capable of gathering and training large numbers of peasant levies to fight - given they don't maintain large standing armies, that is the bulk of their forces.

 

What I find so infuriating about that, is that Rand is expected to sacrifice himself for the good of humanity, but no one else is. The Aes Sedai certainly don't see it like that. Everyone else is making plans about how they'll benefit from Rand's death, but no one is stepping up to the plate and making sacrifices themselves (except, perhaps Lan... and even in that, he's doing it for selfish reasons rather than for the benefit of humanity).

The difference is that only Rand has no choice. Only Rand is required as a sacrifice. Many others are prepared to sacrifice their lives if it comes to it, but have a chance of survival. It is hardly selfish to want to preserve your own life. It is perfectly natural. Saying Rand is the only person who isn't selfish is as silly as saying that the person with the inoperable tumour is less selfish than the person whose operation only has a low chance of success.

 

Yes, Greens & Reds can fight, but what of the Browns, and Whites, and Grays? The difference is, ALL the Seanchan damane are equally gnarly when it comes to destroying people. They may not believe in Shadowspawn... yet... but that won't take them long to get used to.

Actually, we know from both RJ and the books that t is not the case that all damane are "equally gnarly" when it comes to killing. Some of them are not weapons, being used for skylights, making a'dam, finding ores and mining, and various other tasks. Even someone as weak as Morgase or an AS bound by the Three oaths is considered marath'damane until they have a leash on them - even if they would be useless as weapons, they must still be leashed. Of course, if you are sending over an invading army, then those damane who will aid in the military conquest of the Westlands are more important than miners, so we see more of them, but what you say is simply untrue. Indeed, considering the bell curve and that the Seanchan find women of all strengths you are far more likely to find a woman of negligible strength amongst them than amongst the AS (who have a minimum strength requirement, and so should therefore skew to above average in their strengths). And just as not all damane are fighters, just because you are a member of the Brown or White doesn't mean you are incapable of putting up a fight. No Ajah is pacifistic in its beliefs, simply some have less use for force than others - doesn't mean they are unskilled in the application of force.

 

As for linking and angreal, yes, the Aes Sedai are better in that regard, but what's better; quantity or quality (as far as modern history is concerned, Hitler bet on quality, and Stalin bet on quantity, and how'd that turn out)?
That's a gross oversimplification of World War II, or any military conflict. It doesn't even consider qualities like quality of generalship or logistics, or the fact that Hitler's interference did a lot of harm to his own cause, or that the invading Nazi's made no attempts to win the hearts and minds of the people whose land they had just invaded - many of those people would have had no reason to love the Soviets, so it made little sense to turn a potential resource into an enemy. Sure, it all comes down to quality v quantity. Please, just read a book on warfare or something next time you feel the urge to comment - Carl von Clausewitz wrote a good one. I doubt you'll find many - if any - wars which can be boiled down to quantity beat quality without sacrificing every important lesson that could be learnt from the war.

 

Altara did not had a fighting force to write home about. Children of light at Falme was just one legion against the entire landing force and they had no idea about damanes. They were caught with their pants down. Again Tarabon did not had a fighting force of any size. They could not hold city against the rioters remember Nyny and company brought their Panarch as a captive and had her serving in the common room. That leaves us with Amadacia. Well there only fighting force was White cloaks and all of them are united under Galad. Who fought Seanchan there? They are yet to beat an army or show me an account of a battle they have won. All of the above were not battles against armies, they were skirmishes against for want of better word local law enforcing agencies.

A battle they won? Battle of Jeramel, aka Ailron's Disaster. The King of Amadicia took to the field, with the Amadician army, and all the Whitecloaks who could be mustered. I'll leave you to infer from the name what the outcome of said battle was. They have shown an ability to face down and defeat opponents in set piece battles, as well as being able to carry out strikes such as capturing the Fortress of Light. The thing with the Seanchan is that while opponents have shown an ability to out-think them, the Seanchan have also shown an ability to adapt. You can surprise them with a new tactic, but the longer the fight progresses, the less effective that tactic will become. You need continuous innovation. Mat didn't carry out a protracted campaign, so he gave them little time to adapt before carrying out his breakout. They were adapting against Rand in the Damona mountain campaign - he was unable to make further gains. He had succeeded in blunting their advance for a time, but he would not have succeeded in pushing them into the sea (even if he had taken Ebou Dar, he wouldn't have succeeded in that - they had several more countries to retreat through). Even had he brought more resources to bear, with the intention of overwhelming and defeating them, he would have required a protracted campaign - that is, he would need to give the Seanchan time to adapt to him, so he would continuous innovation to stay ahead of them. Rand isn't that astute, militarily, so he would be reliant on Bashere to conduct this campaign. Ituralde inflicted heavy losses, but admits that their ability to adapt left him facing the defeat that he always knew was inevitable much sooner than he would have liked. So Ituralde had lost, Bashere/Rand had lost, and it was only the intervention of the Dragon Reborn that turned both of those around, and into draws. Only Mat has successfully prosecuted a successful campaign against the Seanchan. Only he has ended with an unequivocal win. Yes, the Seanchan have suffered numerous bloody noses, but they have not been shown to be incompetent or outclassed.

 

And, just so we're all clear, you guys do all realise that "decimating" is killing one in ten? If you decimate the enemy supply lines, that means 90% of the stuff gets through. And you can only raise something to the ground when it starts under it. Don't make me start quoting the Princess Bride at you.

 

Tuon's obviously hypocritical attitude to the Damane issue ("I choose not to" - but at the same time deny thousands of other women that choice while forcing them to use the OP to kill, maim and destroy; and simultaneously stripping them of their basic human dignity). If she was honest she'd have said she needed them leashed because the Damane are the basis of the Empress's power and underpin the entire Seanchan power structure. How she could look Mat in the eye while she said that is beyond ridiculous.

Tuon didn't deny anyone a choice - the damane are sparkers, or people who have begun channeling (such as Kin or AS). In other words, people who have either already made their choice or don't have a choice in the matter, and will channel regardless of whether or not they want to. It is only learners who have yet to begin channeling who can be considered to be in a position to make a choice not to channel - who amongst that group has Tuon denied that choice to? No-one, that I can recall. Her attitude is not hypocritical. Wrong, yes, but not hypocritical.

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To answer the original question most infuriating moment in books for me would be Elaynes’ behavior in her conversation with Mat in ACOS Ch. 38. There she, assuming that Mat “forced his attention” on Tylin goes (understandably) ballistic on him, but after finding out that situation was reversed she find it actually funny and teases Mat for his predicament. Now, telling victim of sexual harassment/assault that what happened to them is actually pretty funny is low in it self however she managed to top it by suggesting it only 3 paragraphs after throwing a rant how crapy and intolerable such acts are. I’m really baffled at what was RJ thinking here. I read some comments of his about it and frankly weren’t satisfied with them.

Beside this there were two more moments worth mentioning in this tread. First is that infamous scene with Egwene and Nynaeve in TAR in TFOH. The second is that bit with Rand in KOD when he decree that 47 Dedicated and Soldiers will be bonded by AS as way of appeasing them for those captured in TPOD. I know that RJ wanted to bring AS and AM together and that this was his way to get there but, damn. In my book that was most dickish thing that Rand have ever done. Those were his followers, his people who left their lives to support him and most of whom didn’t volunteered to or wanted to channel and have sacrificed plenty for him already yet he tossed them to thing he himself found deeply traumatic, persistently uncomfortable and intrusive. Whenever he thinks of his bond to Alana we see that he wants to be released from it, but we don’t see him give second thought on how would D/S feel or react to his decision. And he never gets called out on that by anyone. Once again, I know that RJ wanted to bring AS and AM together and that this was his way to get there but, damn.

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Tuon didn't deny anyone a choice - the damane are sparkers, or people who have begun channeling (such as Kin or AS). In other words, people who have either already made their choice or don't have a choice in the matter, and will channel regardless of whether or not they want to. It is only learners who have yet to begin channeling who can be considered to be in a position to make a choice not to channel - who amongst that group has Tuon denied that choice to? No-one, that I can recall. Her attitude is not hypocritical. Wrong, yes, but not hypocritical.

 

It's the worst kind of hypocrisy to condemn someone one to abject slavery and rob them of their basic rights for something you consider immoral while at the same time forcing to do the very thing you find so abhorrent in the first place to ensure your own agenda.

 

"Channeling is bad, how dare you use the One power you foul beast" click, " now burn those people over there with the swords and anti Empire slogans"

 

It's not far-fetched to believe that Tuon already knew the Sul'dam could learn to channel (sort of the Imperial Family's dirty little secret) she's also savvy enough to realize the Damane are the source of the Empress's power and anything that threatened to reveal their secret or in anyway jeopardize the balance of power must be avoided, regardless of the fact the entire Empire is built on deceit, social conditioning, slavery and abuse of the worst kind.

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It's not far-fetched to believe that Tuon already knew the Sul'dam could learn to channel (sort of the Imperial Family's dirty little secret) she's also savvy enough to realize the Damane are the source of the Empress's power and anything that threatened to reveal their secret or in anyway jeopardize the balance of power must be avoided, regardless of the fact the entire Empire is built on deceit, social conditioning, slavery and abuse of the worst kind.

 

We know she didn't...

 

BWB

There is no doubt that the current power of the Imperial family over an entire continent is directly linked to their subjugation and control of all Seanchan Aes Sedai. It is fairly certain that in the beginning Luthair knew that sul'dam were women who could be trained to use the One Power, but with his antipathy toward Aes Sedai this information was likely suppressed. Certainly it was lost within a hundred years.
Edited by Suttree

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It's the worst kind of hypocrisy to condemn someone one to abject slavery and rob them of their basic rights for something you consider immoral while at the same time forcing to do the very thing you find so abhorrent in the first place to ensure your own agenda.

 

Tuon do not see channeling as immoral, she see it as dangerous. Some in Sanchan see damane as disgusting but for the most part the reason why they enslave them is not because they think channeling in itself is wrong but because they think a channeler is to dangerous to be allowed to be free. Tuon have always been friendly towards damane, at least to her own way of thinking so she have nothing against them, she just think that the people that can throw fireballs need to be controlled, and that may be an immoral view point, but it is not a hypocritical one.

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Tuon do not see channeling as immoral, she see it as dangerous. Some in Sanchan see damane as disgusting but for the most part the reason why they enslave them is not because they think channeling in itself is wrong but because they think a channeler is to dangerous to be allowed to be free. Tuon have always been friendly towards damane, at least to her own way of thinking so she have nothing against them, she just think that the people that can throw fireballs need to be controlled, and that may be an immoral view point, but it is not a hypocritical one.

 

Actually she most certainly does see it that way, channeling makes them less than human and is a "dark taint". It goes far beyond just thinking they are too dangerous to be free...

 

KoD

“I will house them in the wagon they are using and exercise them at night.” she snapped irritably. “I am nothing like these women, Toy. Nothing like them. Perhaps I could learn, but I choose not to, just as I choose not to steal or commit murder. That makes all the difference.”

Recovering herself with visible effort, she sat down with her hands on the table, focused on the Aes Sedai once again. “I’ve had considerable success with one woman like you.’’ Edesina gasped, murmured a name too low to be caught. “Yes.” Tuon said. “You must have met my Mylen in the kennels or at exercise. I will train you all as well as she is. You have been cursed with a dark taint, but I will teach you to have pride in the service you give the Empire.”

 

Further we see how completely erased this women's identity, it is sickening and you can not call it friendly by any stretch, even counting her cultural norms. You may call it "fondness" perhaps, the same type of fondness one would have for the family pet.

 

WH Ch. 14

Many had thought it odd when Tuon tested for sui'dam on reaching adulthood, though none could gainsay her, then. Except her mother, who had allowed it by remaining silent. Actually becoming a sui'dam was unthinkable, of course, but she found as much enjoyment in training damane as in training horses, and she was as good at one as the other. Mylen was the proof of that. The pale little damane had been half-dead with shock and fear, refusing to eat or drink, when Tuon bought her on the docks at Shon Kifar. The der'sul'dam all had despaired, saying she would not live long, but now Mylen smiled up at Tuon and leaned forward to kiss her hand before she even reached to stroke the damane's dark hair. Once skin and bones, she was becoming a trifle plump. Instead of rebuking her, Catrona, who held her leash, let a smile crease her usually stern black face and murmured that Mylen was a perfect damane. It was true, no one would believe now that once she had called herself Aes Sedai.

Before leaving, Tuon gave a few orders concerning the damane's diet and exercise. The sui'dam knew what to do, just like the other twelve in Tuon's entourage, or they would not have been in her service, but she believed no one should be allowed to own damane unless they took an active interest. She knew the quirks of every one of hers as well as she knew her own face.

 

That goes far beyond just thinking they need to be controlled, she thinks they are sub-human.

Edited by Suttree

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Seeing a trait as making someone less than human is not the same as thinking that trait is immoral. What I am arguing for is not Tuon clapping her hands and thinking channeling is great, but arguing against it being hypocritical for her to use damane to do things with the Power on the grounds that she think channeling itself is immoral. It would be like if someone think doctors is less than human so they lock them up, torture them until they break their spirit and make them little but pets, that still do not make it hypocritical to use them as doctors, the trait make them less then human, it do not make it wrong to have them use it.

 

Also note what I said, I did not say Tuon WHERE friendly towards damane, I said that she in HER world view was. Now off course I do not share her world view, nor am saying her view is right, it is in fact appealing, I am just saying that for her to use damane is not hypocritical, it may be wrong but it is not hypocritical for it is perfectly permissible within her world view. To be hypocritical mean that she would have one set of rules to apply to her and one set to apply to everyone else and so do not, her world view, appealing as it is are constant.

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A battle they won? Battle of Jeramel, aka Ailron's Disaster. The King of Amadicia took to the field, with the Amadician army, and all the Whitecloaks who could be mustered. I'll leave you to infer from the name what the outcome of said battle was.

A smaller army, organized last second, with none of the tools available to them that the Seachan have, nor knowledge that the Seachan have these tools? Whose main battle plan falls right into getting blown to hell by damane? It would require Weirmon-esque stupidity to lose that battle.

 

They have shown an ability to face down and defeat opponents in set piece battles, as well as being able to carry out strikes such as capturing the Fortress of Light.

But not Arad Domain or Illian, or even being able to keep a firm grasp on Altara. Every time the Seachan faced off against a competent general, they have been thoroughly, thoroughly thrashed.

 

The thing with the Seanchan is that while opponents have shown an ability to out-think them, the Seanchan have also shown an ability to adapt. You can surprise them with a new tactic, but the longer the fight progresses, the less effective that tactic will become. You need continuous innovation.

Reacting to what the enemy does so he can't do it again is not an effective military tactic. It's better than not reacting, to be sure, but still leaves massive holes, like watching half your army get destroyed before you decide that the tactic you just employed is not optimal. The only reason the Seachan have had the ability to adapt is because they are more focused on conquering than preparing for Tarmon Gaidon, so they are going against piecemeal armies.

 

Mat didn't carry out a protracted campaign, so he gave them little time to adapt before carrying out his breakout.

Even if the entire band had died in that campaign, Mat would have come out way ahead in that trade. He used 6,000 men to kill 30,000 (i believe). In any fair fight, there is no coming back from that kind of loss.

 

They were adapting against Rand in the Damona mountain campaign - he was unable to make further gains. He had succeeded in blunting their advance for a time, but he would not have succeeded in pushing them into the sea (even if he had taken Ebou Dar, he wouldn't have succeeded in that - they had several more countries to retreat through).

Rand was using 5,000 men and 9 channelers. The ability to not entirely get their asses handed to them by such a tiny force does not bode well for the Seachan's competence.

 

Even had he brought more resources to bear, with the intention of overwhelming and defeating them, he would have required a protracted campaign - that is, he would need to give the Seanchan time to adapt to him, so he would continuous innovation to stay ahead of them.

Had Rand decided to go full-out against the Seachan and bring along, say, 100 Asha'man and 50,000 men, i don't think the Seachan could have adapted in time to not watch their entire army get destroyed. The only reason that the Seachan adaptation has worked at all is because they've had overwhelmingly superior numbers. And the only reason they have that is because they care too much about conquering their homeland rather than being prepared to face the Dark One.

 

Rand isn't that astute, militarily, so he would be reliant on Bashere to conduct this campaign. Ituralde inflicted heavy losses, but admits that their ability to adapt left him facing the defeat that he always knew was inevitable much sooner than he would have liked. So Ituralde had lost, Bashere/Rand had lost, and it was only the intervention of the Dragon Reborn that turned both of those around, and into draws. Only Mat has successfully prosecuted a successful campaign against the Seanchan. Only he has ended with an unequivocal win. Yes, the Seanchan have suffered numerous bloody noses, but they have not been shown to be incompetent or outclassed.

Had Ilturade lost all of his forces and Bashere lost all of his forces, the outcomes in the long term would still have been wins for Rand's side. Ilturade destroyed an army of 50,000 men (and damane, and raken) with 20,000 men, Bashere turned around a force of 50,000 with 5,000 men and 9 channelers. Yes, the Seachan can thrown men at the problem until it goes away, but that is not effective military strategy and that will not work against the Dark One in Tarmon Gaidon.

 

And, just so we're all clear, you guys do all realise that "decimating" is killing one in ten? If you decimate the enemy supply lines, that means 90% of the stuff gets through. And you can only raise something to the ground when it starts under it. Don't make me start quoting the Princess Bride at you.

I think that is rather beside the point, no?

 

 

So far, the only fights we've seen from the Seachan are fights where they are against grossly incompetent or uninformed armies that are horribly outnumbered, and the Seachan won, or when they are against intelligent, but still horribly outnumbered and outpositioned armies, where the Seachan have been pretty thoroughly embarrassed. That does not bode well for their ability to fight compared to the Randlanders.

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But not Arad Domain or Illian, or even being able to keep a firm grasp on Altara. Every time the Seachan faced off against a competent general, they have been thoroughly, thoroughly thrashed.

 

In other parts of your post you talk as if the Seanchan wasn't closing in on Rand at the end of the Damona Campaign. Had he gone full out who knows what would have happened, it would have been a very different type of war and they would not have been able to use the same tactics. Bashere's plan called for them to use a small group of men, that was the strategy. It would have worked but Rand overextended himself and the Seanchan adapted. They were closing in at the end.

 

TPoD

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

 

Look I get your overall point but you are taking it a bit far. Everyone in text including the Great Generals admits how good the Seanchan are at war. I agree that some of it is propaganda but they are certainly are not as miserable as you seem you suggest.

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Seeing a trait as making someone less than human is not the same as thinking that trait is immoral. What I am arguing for is not Tuon clapping her hands and thinking channeling is great, but arguing against it being hypocritical for her to use damane to do things with the Power on the grounds that she think channeling itself is immoral. It would be like if someone think doctors is less than human so they lock them up, torture them until they break their spirit and make them little but pets, that still do not make it hypocritical to use them as doctors, the trait make them less then human, it do not make it wrong to have them use it.

 

She see's it as a curse, a dark taint(Almost like Saidin) in fact she goes so far as to compare it to thievery and murder so to her viewpoint its a crime commensurate with murder. When you consider what would happen if Channeling was outlawed or made a capital offence (women dying from the sickness, some burning themselves out and the vast majority ending up with a block and no conscious ability to channel; a continual witch-hunt ending in execution and something like the dark ages with women accused on the most spurious of evidence) then women would end up in a similar position to men who could channel. Instead because they don't go insane and you have the means to subjugate them, you use them to consolidate your own power - remember this is the crime comparable to murder - its like you condemn someone for murder and instead of executing them you force them to kill for your own benefit.

 

Also note what I said, I did not say Tuon WHERE friendly towards damane, I said that she in HER world view was. Now off course I do not share her world view, nor am saying her view is right, it is in fact appealing, I am just saying that for her to use damane is not hypocritical, it may be wrong but it is not hypocritical for it is perfectly permissible within her world view. To be hypocritical mean that she would have one set of rules to apply to her and one set to apply to everyone else and so do not, her world view, appealing as it is are constant.

 

How else would you describe the inherit contradiction in the Damane's situation - condemned for having the capacity to channel then forced to kill, maim and destroy using the same power at their captor's behest. Meanwhile your accuser has the potential to use the same dark tainted, criminal power. Mat seriously should have put the A'Dam round her neck, let her see where choice comes into it.

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How else would you describe the inherit contradiction in the Damane's situation - condemned for having the capacity to channel then forced to kill, maim and destroy using the same power at their captor's behest.

 

All the a'dam does is shift that power from one person to another. Although in Tuon's mind one of them is not human.

Edited by Suttree

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Shaido are Shaido, they do many things that were apparently uncharacteristic.

 

But yes, I would say it was. Sevannah used the killing of their own as a blackmail type thing to keep the other WO's in line.

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Shaido are Shaido, they do many things that were apparently uncharacteristic.

 

But yes, I would say it was. Sevannah used the killing of their own as a blackmail type thing to keep the other WO's in line.

 

It always bothers me when i read it, the WO have all been through their tests both the rings and the glass pillars, so they have some inkling of what the future would hold if they follow this path, they also know Rand is the true Car'a'carn and how manipulative, selfish and by Aiel standards perverse Sevannah is, is this the inheritance of Couladin, now they've started down this path the simply couldn't stop?

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