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A question on strength and dexterity

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There is ongoing discussion in tread  Combat Skills; Egwene vs. Nynaeve (no ter/sa angreal)  that touches upon maters of strength and dexterity. I’d like to ask if somebody can provide me with more information on subject: are there any Words of Creators on relation of strength and dexterity? I mean are they proportional (greater the strength greater the dexterity) or are they independent (strong channeler can be of low dexterity, dexterous can be off limited strength)   of each other? To clarify: I’m only interested in quotes of RJ, BS and Team Jordan, not anything off fandom.

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I don't think we've got the particulars specified, but only the characters' own assessments of who could take care of who. Nothing like you ask, as far as I'm aware. You could search yourself:

 

 

http://www.theoryland.com/wheel-of-time-interview-search.php

 

 

I could give you my impressions of how things work, but then you wanted the authors' words ...

Edited by Nightstrike

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a couple in-book quotes off the top of my head:

Egwene juggles fire and divides her flows multiple ways in KoD while full of forkroot. Also, when she organizes the novices in the Tower during the Seanchan attack:

 

 

She [Egwene] had some inkling, from discussions with the novices during her stay in the Tower, which among them were the most skilled with weaves and the most levelheaded. Those weren't always the most powerful, but that wouldn't matter if they had a circle backing them up.

-tGS, ch 40

 

 

Edited by herid

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Skilled with weaves and more levelheaded should definitely lead the circles. Talents and dexterity could be valuable when trying to heal someone or things like that. There's no direct comparison between the two, as in "this is worth twice of that". Some have weaknesses too, it seems. Egwene should have some ability with healing, since she much stronger than most and even in the 5 elements, and yet she can't heal much more than bruises.

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Here is the most pertinent from RJ showing that dexterity makes up for strength and as Herid points out the text and these quotes show there is no correlation between strength and dexterity. Someone can be very strong but clumsy with their weaving.
 
 

 Interview: Oct 11th, 2005
KOD Signing Report - Pary (Paraphrased)

Robert Jordan
Re: bulk "strength" in the Power, RJ reiterated that men were stronger than women by a couple of levels, including Lanfear [whom he reiterated was a woman after all]; but then he also reminded us that that did not take into account the dexterity factor.

 


 

 Interview: Nov 4th, 2005
KOD Signing Report - Karana Majin (Paraphrased)

Karana Majin
At one point, Lanfear reflects that she was about as powerful as it was possible to be. Is there an upper limit to human channeling ability, some sort of asymptote that channelers approach but never pass beyond?

Robert Jordan
Yes, there is an upper limit. In terms of the channeling of raw amounts of the One Power, men can handle more than women. However, women are much more dextrous in their ability to use the One Power, so for all intents and purposes, they are equal in their abilities to do and create weaves and are mostly equal to each other.
 

Edited by Suttree

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There's one that wasn't paraphrased saying almost the same thing. "They are mostly equal"/"can do just about the same things". It was about men and women, and it does not say that strength wins over dexterity or the other way around, neither in duels or in some other weave. The particulars aren't specified. Closest to particulars is in the books when char A compares char B with himself/herself or char C.

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AS the OP quite clearly asked for quotes let's everyone try and stick to providing them...

Edited by Suttree

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I’d like to ask if somebody can provide me with more information on subject: are there any Words of Creators on relation of strength and dexterity?

No, I haven't seen any such quotes.

 

I mean are they proportional (greater the strength greater the dexterity) or are they independent (strong channeler can be of low dexterity, dexterous can be off limited strength)   of each other? To clarify: I’m only interested in quotes of RJ, BS and Team Jordan, not anything off fandom.

I don't know. I don't think it's been specified. Some strong can have above average dexterity, if I'm allowed to judge from the books. Otherwise, I haven't seen any such quotes.

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Skilled with weaves and more levelheaded should definitely lead the circles. Talents and dexterity could be valuable when trying to heal someone or things like that. There's no direct comparison between the two, as in "this is worth twice of that". Some have weaknesses too, it seems. Egwene should have some ability with healing, since she much stronger than most and even in the 5 elements, and yet she can't heal much more than bruises.

 

 

so what? lews therin telamon was shit at healing too. didnt make him any less of a chaneller

 

to the OP

 

RJ said the most powerful male aes sedai is equal to the most powerful female aes sedai. Implying that men's overrall strength advantage over women can be negated by women's superior OP handling skills.

 

Ofcourse there comes a point where no amount of skill weaving can overcome brute force. Otherwise LTT would have been matched by lanfear which is not the case

Edited by Elan Tedronai

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so what? lews therin telamon was shit at healing too. didnt make him any less of a chaneller

 

I didn't say it makes anyone less of a channeler, I just meant to say that some have weaknesses as well as strengths. Some should by all accounts be able to Heal more than minor bruising, but still can't. Some shouldn't be able to make a working Gateway, but can. Seems like both Talents and Weaknesses are there.

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Skilled with weaves and more levelheaded should definitely lead the circles. Talents and dexterity could be valuable when trying to heal someone or things like that. There's no direct comparison between the two, as in "this is worth twice of that". Some have weaknesses too, it seems. Egwene should have some ability with healing, since she much stronger than most and even in the 5 elements, and yet she can't heal much more than bruises.

 

 

so what? lews therin telamon was shit at healing too. didnt make him any less of a chaneller

 

to the OP

 

RJ said the most powerful male aes sedai is equal to the most powerful female aes sedai. Implying that men's overrall strength advantage over women can be negated by women's superior OP handling skills.

 

Ofcourse there comes a point where no amount of skill weaving can overcome brute force. Otherwise LTT would have been matched by lanfear which is not the case

 

To be honest, I always took it as 'but not in all situations'

 

I would imagine THE best healers may well have been women, as needing more dexterity, while those best at blowing things up or fighting other channelers may have been men, as simply overpowering others (1-1; women have the linking advantage) may be actually useful there. In things like gateways I would imagine similar results, as they simply do something completely different, but that could also mean men/women are twice as good at it as women/men.

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The best quote is this, since its from RJ's blog:

 

Men can be much stronger than women in the pure quantity of the Power that they can channel, but on a practical level, women are much more deft in their weaving and that means the strongest possible woman can do just about anything that the strongest possible man could, and to the same degree.

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The best quote is this, since its from RJ's blog:

 

 

Men can be much stronger than women in the pure quantity of the Power that they can channel, but on a practical level, women are much more deft in their weaving and that means the strongest possible woman can do just about anything that the strongest possible man could, and to the same degree.

 

 

what if you have a man who is above average in dexerity, or a woman who is top strength but suffers a little on dexterity. I this is just a general across the boards thing, so there will be exceptions

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The best quote is this, since its from RJ's blog:

 

 

Men can be much stronger than women in the pure quantity of the Power that they can channel, but on a practical level, women are much more deft in their weaving and that means the strongest possible woman can do just about anything that the strongest possible man could, and to the same degree.

 

 

what if you have a man who is above average in dexerity, or a woman who is top strength but suffers a little on dexterity. I this is just a general across the boards thing, so there will be exceptions

 

Of course there will be exceptions, just like we have with the Five Powers. So you may have exceptionally strong women (Lanfear) or men with exceptional dexterity (who?). But just like there are several levels between top female and male strength, I think there will be several levels between top male dexterity and top female dexterity.

 

In wotmania/rafo, where strength has been discussed a lot, we had a term "effective strength". Effective strength was essentially a combination of raw strength (volume of OP you can draw) and dexterifty (how efficient your use of the OP is). In general, men throw strength at a weave to make it work, while women make it more efficient, so they need lower volumes of Power to make something work. But how much of each a person uses will vary a lot, and not always on the basis of gender. And there will obviously be exceptions, I think. 

 

What we don't have is the exact relationship between the two. Can we simply multiply strength and dexterity values to get effective strength? Is there a more complicated relationship? We'll probably get an answer in Harriet's encyclopedia.

Edited by fionwe1987

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The best quote is this, since its from RJ's blog:

 

 

Men can be much stronger than women in the pure quantity of the Power that they can channel, but on a practical level, women are much more deft in their weaving and that means the strongest possible woman can do just about anything that the strongest possible man could, and to the same degree.

 

 

what if you have a man who is above average in dexerity, or a woman who is top strength but suffers a little on dexterity. I this is just a general across the boards thing, so there will be exceptions

 

Of course there will be exceptions, just like we have with the Five Powers. So you may have exceptionally strong women (Lanfear) or men with exceptional dexterity (who?). But just like there are several levels between top female and male strength, I think there will be several levels between top male dexterity and top female dexterity.

 

In wotmania/rafo, where strength has been discussed a lot, we had a term "effective strength". Effective strength was essentially a combination of raw strength (volume of OP you can draw) and dexterifty (how efficient your use of the OP is). In general, men throw strength at a weave to make it work, while women make it more efficient, so they need lower volumes of Power to make something work. But how much of each a person uses will vary a lot, and not always on the basis of gender. And there will obviously be exceptions, I think. 

 

What we don't have is the exact relationship between the two. Can we simply multiply strength and dexterity values to get effective strength? Is there a more complicated relationship? We'll probably get an answer in Harriet's encyclopedia.

 

I would almost say rand is one with exceptional dexterity, because people keep bringing up the amount of weaves at once, and Rand seems to be able to pull off an incredible amount

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The best quote is this, since its from RJ's blog:

 

 

Men can be much stronger than women in the pure quantity of the Power that they can channel, but on a practical level, women are much more deft in their weaving and that means the strongest possible woman can do just about anything that the strongest possible man could, and to the same degree.

 

 

what if you have a man who is above average in dexerity, or a woman who is top strength but suffers a little on dexterity. I this is just a general across the boards thing, so there will be exceptions

 

Of course there will be exceptions, just like we have with the Five Powers. So you may have exceptionally strong women (Lanfear) or men with exceptional dexterity (who?). But just like there are several levels between top female and male strength, I think there will be several levels between top male dexterity and top female dexterity.

 

In wotmania/rafo, where strength has been discussed a lot, we had a term "effective strength". Effective strength was essentially a combination of raw strength (volume of OP you can draw) and dexterifty (how efficient your use of the OP is). In general, men throw strength at a weave to make it work, while women make it more efficient, so they need lower volumes of Power to make something work. But how much of each a person uses will vary a lot, and not always on the basis of gender. And there will obviously be exceptions, I think. 

 

What we don't have is the exact relationship between the two. Can we simply multiply strength and dexterity values to get effective strength? Is there a more complicated relationship? We'll probably get an answer in Harriet's encyclopedia.

 

I would almost say rand is one with exceptional dexterity, because people keep bringing up the amount of weaves at once, and Rand seems to be able to pull off an incredible amount

 

I don't think splitting flows is the sole component of dexterity. And till he had his epiphany, Rand could do 12-14, which is not all that exceptional. Post-epiphany he may indeed have increased this, but we can't use that as a useful measure of normal channeler capabilities.

 

None of this is to say Rand is clumsy, of course. But we really don't have any evidence that he's at the top of male dexterity.

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The main problem is that strength is nearly everything in the main series (admittedly most of the channeler PoVs are the heavy hitters). You need to be so strong in the power before you can do things we would call dextrous: more weaves simultaneously or something along that line.

 

There's a few exceptions like Sorilea being able to make the channeling weave (she can't handle enough of the power alone to make it do anything), I think only a handful beyond that.

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I dont think the number of weaves is a component of dexterity, but of focus. The more strength you have the less focus it requires to create more weaves, which i figured due to Morgase's struggle with just one weave.

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The main problem is that strength is nearly everything in the main series (admittedly most of the channeler PoVs are the heavy hitters). You need to be so strong in the power before you can do things we would call dextrous: more weaves simultaneously or something along that line.

 

There's a few exceptions like Sorilea being able to make the channeling weave (she can't handle enough of the power alone to make it do anything), I think only a handful beyond that.

There's Androl, and his huge Gateways for his very low strength. And maybe Breowyn and her shields. There's also the Windfinders, who can singlehandedly do what required a powerful ter'angreal in the AoL. 

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To quote the expert on such matters:

Channeling is not just strength and endurance... it's strength, endurance, and agility. Where agility is how many threads (of whatever strength) you can handle at one time. There is the awesome scene where Rand makes the girls levitate, and I think it's Egwene who comments on how Rand can handle so many weaves at once. This is different from skill! Skill is about how quick and neatly you can tie specific weaves.

 

Yes, strength certainly factors into the equation. For example, gymnasts are very agile, but they build up certain muscles to help pull that stuff off, so they also tend to be strong. But they're certainly not as strong as those guys in strong man competitions who pull tractor trailers and carry boulders. Those guys are usually pretty meaty and aren't usually agile.

 

If you're weak however, you'll not likely be pulling off anything on a pommel horse.

 

So that's why our heroes, who are generally pretty strong, are also usually pretty agile. It's easier to be agile if you already have a good deal of strength to work with. However, some characters are able to do more with less, Egwene for example. Nynaeve could be more skilled, she could be (obviously is) stronger. But if Egwene can weave 4 complex things at once using 4 different powers in each, that's gotta be a tough spot for the opponent.

 

I amend to my quote one more thing. Since women tend to be better than men at this agility/dexterity thing, I suspect the "flow control" even comes down to the shape of a single flow. I'm not talking about the weaving, that's more skill, but how the thread looks, is it like a square extruding around in the weave pattern, or is it circular (as I suspect most people picture it)? In order to "slice" a weave it's described as having an edge, it was similarly described when shielding. You literally 'cut' through. I think this is what allows weaker women to slice men's flows as easily as stronger men could slice female flows. Women can make it as sharp as a scalpel, but men can only get it like a dull machete.

 

Not a whole tonne of solid evidence for this, but it seems to make sense given what we do know (most of which has already been quoted in the genesis thread of this one)

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The main problem is that strength is nearly everything in the main series (admittedly most of the channeler PoVs are the heavy hitters). You need to be so strong in the power before you can do things we would call dextrous: more weaves simultaneously or something along that line.

 

There's a few exceptions like Sorilea being able to make the channeling weave (she can't handle enough of the power alone to make it do anything), I think only a handful beyond that.

There's Androl, and his huge Gateways for his very low strength. And maybe Breowyn and her shields. There's also the Windfinders, who can singlehandedly do what required a powerful ter'angreal in the AoL. 

 

 

I think talents should be considered as outliers (and therefore not germane to a discussion about 'norms' or 'averages'). We know talents exist, and they tend to be very obviously outside the norm.

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The main problem is that strength is nearly everything in the main series (admittedly most of the channeler PoVs are the heavy hitters). You need to be so strong in the power before you can do things we would call dextrous: more weaves simultaneously or something along that line.

 

There's a few exceptions like Sorilea being able to make the channeling weave (she can't handle enough of the power alone to make it do anything), I think only a handful beyond that.

There's Androl, and his huge Gateways for his very low strength. And maybe Breowyn and her shields. There's also the Windfinders, who can singlehandedly do what required a powerful ter'angreal in the AoL. 

 

 

I think talents should be considered as outliers (and therefore not germane to a discussion about 'norms' or 'averages'). We know talents exist, and they tend to be very obviously outside the norm.

 

No. Great Talent is outside the norm. But Talents are not on off switches. There are levels to any Talent, and moderate levels of Talent are very much within the norm.

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Maybe not on/off switches, but I think most really weak channelers can't make Gateways at all, or hold someone perhaps 3 or 4 times their own strength shielded. Talents that are mentioned break the norm, but there might be a few that do not. I don't know of many middling strength Aes Sedai that can make Gateways, they are usually above average. Nynave considered the women in Ebou Dar impossible, and Taim thought the same about the asha'soldier that can make Gateways (Androl, right?).

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The problem is it varies a lot, and we don't know how different BS' implementation is from RJ's (who changed things OP a lot through the first 7 or 8 books anyway). Besides unreliable narrators who don't really understand what they're doing for the most part :)

 

Really I blame natural talent/inclination having such a huge weight on what you can do (that tend to be tied to your soul, gah) in so many areas of the story. But at the same time we have Dumai's Wells where 200 or so men were taught to do mostly the same level of stuff over the course of a few months (general fighting, being part of making the uber shield, rip people apart weave, spinning earthfire, etc...).

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I think the greatest proof so far that dexterity and knowledge can sometimes trump strength is Cyndane vs Alivia.  She was using angreal and ter'angreal, and was still beaten, despite being of near equal strength.

 

Personally, I absolutely loved that.  I don't like to think that strength is everything; hell, I still like to hold on to the belief that Nynaeve could defeat Alivia, and Egwene could take Sharina. 

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