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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Blind Channelers


Hagazussa
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Ok so we know that a channeler need to see to be able to weave, they can channel blind as much as they want but to actually use the Power for something practical they need to be able to see. Now this is just meant as speculation as no blind channelers are mentioned in the books, the closest is one girl who have a block so she can only channel with her eyes closes, a block that is beaten out of her, however let us say we have a person who is blind, but who also happens to be a channeler, would it be possible for them to find a way around this disability, perhaps memorizing exactly where each flow is to go so they can make weaves by heart, or perhaps finding some other way to sense the flows, perhaps feeling them or in other ways finding methods to weave even if blind?

 

Also if no such method can be found would not that have been a better way to deal with male channelers? If a blind channeler can do nothing but hold the Power but do nothing with it then just dragging a male channeler in, give him something to make him sleep, do some damage to his eyes and give him herbs for the pain until it heals and then just hire someone to teach him how to do everyday tasks blind. Sure he would still go mad but then you would just have a man blind man raving around if he would be unable to weave out some effects then he would not be dangerous with the power and it would be kinder than gentling him as he could still channel as much as he like, he just could not do something with it.

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1: The limit on channeling only what you can see is a self-imposed limit, I believe. This is evidenced by the PoV of the Red sister (don't remember the name) who is captured by Logain. She ran away after shielded, banking on her expeirence that male channelers (being uneducated) often could not affect things they could not see. She tried to put a lot of trees between her and the man holding her shield. This did not work, of course, because they were trained AM, but this does highlight the fact that the need to see is only in the mind. Other mental limitations include blocks on wilders. Also, there was that Ashaman who couldn't channel more than a few feet away because he was convinced he shouldn't be able to do so. Then there is Rand's convo with LTT when skimming, about the size of the platform. LTT says something like "we place limitations on ourselves..." So, a naturally blind person would learn to channel despite the handicap. They may even develope a weave that allows them to sense the world around them. I even bet they would become more adept at channeling, because they would need to depend on it much more, and they would be more focused on sensing weaves and channelling. I believe that when a person "sees" the flows of power, they see it with their "inner eye" rather than their physical eyes.

 

2: Blinding male channelers would still be able to channel, they just couldn't hit a target. They could still form fists of air, or balls of fire. A mad, blind channeler would still cause a lot of destruction. Maybe it would be more localized, but he could still flatten everything around him pretty well, just by thrashing around with the power.

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There is a difference between what the BTer did and being blind. He couldn't see his *target*, but could still see to lay the weaves. To do certain things with the power, you have to weave intricate nets of the various powers.

 

If one was born blind, you would have no way of doing that. Sure, you might be able to tell the difference between the elements you are using, as RJ stated they have almost a "taste" to them, that you can sense what element you're working with innately. But actually being able to do anything constructive with them would be something else entirely. I am pretty certain that a born blind person (or one blinded from a young age before they learned to channel) would not be able to channel effectively, if at all.

 

On the other hand, as Whizbang mentioned, someone becoming blinded after they have learned to weave could possibly be able to continue to weave things out of rote "muscle" memory, but even then they would be very limited. Not only would they be limited to lashing out "blindly", there are some weaves which require extreme precision in how they are formed-- read New Spring for an accounting of Moiraine's 100 weaves test, and you'll see the types of weaves I am talking about. These complicated and intricate nets would collapse or fail completely if a single strand was slightly out of place. I find it extremely unlikely that a blinded channeler would be able to function much beyond the most basic of weaves.

 

In our own RP at Dragonmount, we had a circumstance very near to this, if I remember correctly. A channeler had been injured, rendering her mostly blind. Special lenses were crafted to help enhance her eyesight, but it was still very limited. Without her glasses, she was incapable of weaving almost anything. With the glasses, she could weave, but her skill score was reduced drastically from where it had originally been, allowing her to only form basic weaves.

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interesting question, I would think that they would still be able too. Especially since during the seizing of power they gain extrasensory abilities (ex Rand being able to feel everything around him, it has nothing to do with sight, and he could likely manipulate them without seeing them)

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There's an interview quote or better it's mentioned in RJ's blog here or QotW...something like that. It's definitely not a categorical no way.

 

Interview: Nov 22nd, 2005

Robert Jordan's Blog: I'M BAAAA-AAACK (Verbatim)

 

 

Robert Jordan

 

Someone asked how difficult it is for a blind person to channel, but I didn't make a note of who. In any case, it is difficult but not impossible. The different flows have different feels, though saying they have different flavors might be as accurate. In the comic, we use colors, not because they actually have colors but because they also can be told apart by sight. Someone who was blind and who tried to learn to channel would be able to differentiate between flows of the Five Powers. The difficulty would be in learning to make the weaves.

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