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Barid Bel Medar

The Seanchan: Past, Present and Future.

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i'm not convinced that the male a'dam is widespread enough among the seanchan. and in any case, i believe moghedien's warning about the danger of using it on a man. A'dam works like an enforced Linking, and I think its prob something related to that (for example, how if you have more men than women in a circle, then a man has to lead etc). 

 

I don't think the Seanchan will change any time soon. Too much is dependent on using damane as base of power. Having said that, many characters commented on how strong Seanchan are, how well they adapt. Look at how Egeanin/Leilwin and Alviarin adapted. They are a strong disciplined people. It may well be that they will learn to change after all. However, Semirhage left Seandar in a complete mess. Who knows how long it will take for Tuon to re establish order? 

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I was glad to see Barid Bel was interested in my same question...namely, will Min continue as Tuon's Truthspeaker/Doomseer??  I would think she would eventually get bored with Aviendha and the Aiel.... and with Elayne and the Andorans.  In the same way that Seanchan is perfect for Mat... who was grateful to be freed from what he saw as a boring life confined to the Two Rivers, and glad of his life of adventure... I think that life with Tuon et al might actually be more interesting and challenging for Min...plus she would have more purpose there...and Nynaeve, Moiraine, and Perrin wouldn't be around to question her new man, whom they've seen.  Her only challenge would be to make sure Moggy didn't see her with "Moridin", assuming she sees multiple images around Moggy and figures her out.  

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There would be no reason for Semi to hand male a'dam out like kinky magickal candy as earlier even if a male channeler could be safely controlled the time and effort needed to train him would be wasted as he would soon go insane and be completely useless meaning that for Semi sue she would need a few of them, but for the general Seachan population they would find no need for the male a'dam it is far less work to just kill the male channelers so even if there might be a few male a'dam floating around there is nowhere near enough to collar every man who begins to channel in the entire Seanchan nation.

 

I had forgotten this.  Even so, the brief comment that people who have
the potential to be murderers aren't murderers didn't seem like a
satisfying resolution of this plot.  Again, I think it is the lack of a
Tuon POV.  This is something that could shake the foundations of their
society and its just dismissed.  As a fan, this was one of the scenes I
had really been hoping to read about, or maybe one of the other sul'dam
learning about channeling, and nothing much came of it.

 

I agree, for many damane have been the single biggest injustice in the books and several of my friends who like the series say that that was the one thing they looked forward to most, seeing a resolution to the damane problem. I think very many are disappointed that such a ressulation never happened and that women are still being held as damane, on Seanchan, women are still being taken from their families, sometimes girls as young as twelve and they are tortured until their mind and spirits break and they begin to enjoy their situation and believe it is right, and for many just leaving the series at that feels a little unsatisfying, one want the last book to say that damane is freed and this injustice is over and made better.

 

On the other hand that the book is the way it is can be a powerful symbol on that even if the heroes won, the bad guy is defeated and a new dawn have come, not everything is magickaly fixed, there are still problems in the world even if the big bad have been sent away, and in a way I think that makes the series feel more real, it is not like boom everything is perfect.

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When Semi was impersonating the truthspeaker. The Seachen knew that the male adam was in their hands and they now have multiple copies.It would stretch imagination that they never bothered to learn how to make one when Semi was handing the copies around.

Why would anyone outside of that immediate circle involved in that trap have known about the bands. It's not like she was announcing her plans, in fact we know she was undercover and none of the bands made it back after that. For all we know she had them made elsewhere.

 

 

Except that we know that Egeanin handed the male a'dam over to the Seanchan (I think directly to Suroth - but publicly, so difficult for her to bury) given the similarities between the a'dam and the male a'dam I think it's reasonable to assume that the Seanchan now have the knowledge to create male a'dam as well as female a'dam.  But given that Seanchan is currently in civil war, revolt, war I'm not sure how easy it would be to get new ones built.

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I agree, for many damane have been the single biggest injustice in the books and several of my friends who like the series say that that was the one thing they looked forward to most, seeing a resolution to the damane problem. I think very many are disappointed that such a ressulation never happened and that women are still being held as damane, on Seanchan, women are still being taken from their families, sometimes girls as young as twelve and they are tortured until their mind and spirits break and they begin to enjoy their situation and believe it is right, and for many just leaving the series at that feels a little unsatisfying, one want the last book to say that damane is freed and this injustice is over and made better.

 

I don't agree that damane are the biggest injustice among the Seanchan, they're just the one we see the most horror at. The institution of suldam + damane is terrible, but to my mind its part of a bigger problem: slavery. There aren't really slaves in Randland, or with the Aiel - there's indentured servitude by oath and dat'sang, but that's as punishment, and it isn't hereditary. The Seanchan treat whole classes of people like property: da'covale, so'jhin and damane are examples. Yes, we saw a number of channelers, Egwene included, ground into simpering, servile, husks, but that process is not unique to channelers. Amathera/Thera was similarly humiliated and broken as da'covale.

 

Damane simply seem a greater problem to us because we mainly see them from the viewpoint of powerful, strong-willed and independent-minded channelers. People for whom the idea is anathema because it reduces them to the one thing they can never imagine being: powerless and controlled. This isn't just a dig at Aes Sedai - Rand, Asha'man, Windfinders and Wise Ones all have a hatred of control which isn't found in non-channelers, at least not in the same way. I wonder why those who can't channel don't seem to share that special level of horror, but I suspect it's because they don't feel they are immune to dominance. The hatred of damane in particular is a hatred born of privilege. 

 

TL;TR: I don't feel any more dislike of the Seanchan for damane than I do for da'covale - and I don't see any great moral distinction between the two.

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When Semi was impersonating the truthspeaker. The Seachen knew that the male adam was in their hands and they now have multiple copies.It would stretch imagination that they never bothered to learn how to make one when Semi was handing the copies around.

Why would anyone outside of that immediate circle involved in that trap have known about the bands. It's not like she was announcing her plans, in fact we know she was undercover and none of the bands made it back after that. For all we know she had them made elsewhere.
Except that we know that Egeanin handed the male a'dam over to the Seanchan (I think directly to Suroth - but publicly, so difficult for her to bury) given the similarities between the a'dam and the male a'dam I think it's reasonable to assume that the Seanchan now have the knowledge to create male a'dam as well as female a'dam. But given that Seanchan is currently in civil war, revolt, war I'm not sure how easy it would be to get new ones built.
We have been told by the authors after that they only know how to make the female a'dam. Again Suroth was a DF working with Semi. I would be shocked if anyone else even knows about it.

 

@easy

 

The others don't share it because they aren't turned into something less than human. While slavery is wrong some of those people raise to high positions of society. They don't have their very identity removed. There is simply no comparison between the two and it has very little to do with "privilege".

Edited by Suttree

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I also think there is a difference between Seanchan slavery and damane. Now on the surface they are similar, low ranking slaves speak in third person as do damane, they get new names but then all of Seanchan society do change their names to commemorate life changes so that is not so strange. Now I am not saying that slavery in the rest of Seanchan society is not horrible but first of all we as the readers do not know that much about it, it is not that much in our faces which is why I commented that fom a reader's point of view the situation with damane is more emotional for many, but also as Suttree comments other Seanchan slaves are still considered human beings, sure there are horrible things done to them and they get stricken of the family records and so on, but they are still considered human, they are trained to be obedient yes but they can still seek out love, they can still have lives. Damane is seen as animals, inteligent animals yes but subhuman, they are trained to be childlike.

 

Ok look at the difference between Thera and the former Aes Sedai Mylen. Thera is brainwashed to think it is right that she is a slave, but she act and behaves as a human being, a cowed human being but she is still her in most ways. Mylen however have gone from being an Aes Sedai to having the mentality of a five year old who clap her hands in delight when her sul'dam whisper little pretty words to her and cry when she think she is not useful enough, there is a difference.

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other Seanchan slaves are still considered human beings, sure there are

horrible things done to them and they get stricken of the family records

and so on, but they are still considered human, they are trained to be

obedient yes but they can still seek out love, they can still have

lives. Damane is seen as animals, inteligent animals yes but subhuman,

they are trained to be childlike.

I would add to this that damane have the ability to exert free will almost completely removed.  Other Seanchan slaves can at least make limited or bad choices (e.g. choosing to attack an unfair master), but damane cannot make any meaingful decisions by themselves.  Even their thoughts are controlled to some degree.

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Egwene's capture by the Seanchan in tGH (I think) was a pretty horrid part of the series.  It really showed the dehumanisation of a character I liked.

 

RJ has had many nasty channellers captured by the Seanchan.  This list includes Elaida, Moghedion and the Shaido WOs.  Also, Liandrin, Suroth and Sevanna are nasty non-channelers who were captured by the Seanchan, and received fates worse than death by becoming da'covale.  (Liandrin was a channeller but had been almost completely shielded by Moggy).

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As others have said, i'm for the oath rod changing the channellers in the Seanchan Empire

At the moment the civil war in Seanchan is the suldam using damane in service of their Lords.

Tuon, if she learns how effective the oath rods are, could change this to damane serving the Empress and her heir only,

after of course Mat's kids finish killing eah other :(

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When Semi was impersonating the truthspeaker. The Seachen knew that the male adam was in their hands and they now have multiple copies.It would stretch imagination that they never bothered to learn how to make one when Semi was handing the copies around.

Why would anyone outside of that immediate circle involved in that trap have known about the bands. It's not like she was announcing her plans, in fact we know she was undercover and none of the bands made it back after that. For all we know she had them made elsewhere.
Except that we know that Egeanin handed the male a'dam over to the Seanchan (I think directly to Suroth - but publicly, so difficult for her to bury) given the similarities between the a'dam and the male a'dam I think it's reasonable to assume that the Seanchan now have the knowledge to create male a'dam as well as female a'dam. But given that Seanchan is currently in civil war, revolt, war I'm not sure how easy it would be to get new ones built.
We have been told by the authors after that they only know how to make the female a'dam. Again Suroth was a DF working with Semi. I would be shocked if anyone else even knows about it.

 

@easy

 

The others don't share it because they aren't turned into something less than human. While slavery is wrong some of those people raise to high positions of society. They don't have their very identity removed. There is simply no comparison between the two and it has very little to do with "privilege".

 

 

When did the author quotes come from - my understanding was that they were RJs which means they're before tGS...  I think that BS confirmed that the Seanchan can only make the a'dam (when asked about bloodrings), but was this restricted to just the female a'dam?  (genuine question)

 

I disagree that it's likely that no Seanchan has knowledge of the male a'dam, but I think it's possible that they don't know how to make one...

 

When Egeanin and Bayle Domon were sailing out to deep water to throw the male a'dam in they were overtaken by a Seanchan Vessel and in order to avoid execution they lied and said they were bringing the male a'dam to the Empire.  Suroth then made Egeanin a Captain of the Green because she'd found the male a'dam, to me this sounds like it was a public event.  Additionally I thought the male a'dam were discovered and commented on before the sul'dam were sent back to Ebou Dar, commanded to speak with Tuon (although it's possible that the sul'dam failed to understand the significance of the 2 bracelet a'dam.  I find it highly unlikely that Suroth and Egeanin are the only Seanchan to find out about the male a'dam, although it is possible that Suroth then ordered everyone to secrecy and that everyone would obey, at least until Suroth was declared da'cavole.

 

This is also seperate from making them.  Semi seems to have 2 places where she could get them made - Seanchan or the Blight.  Seanchan seems more likely, it already has facilities set up, Semi could travel there impersonate someone important and then order them to secrecy, or even kill the people who made them (probably would go unnoticed amid the chaos around them), the Seanchan that have knowledge of the male a'dams existence in Randland have no way of making them, so it's possible that the knowledge has been lost.

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Copying the male a'dam requires a level of inquiry that should of been beaten out of the damane and a level of trust in experimentation that the sul'dam don't have. Teaching them how to do something is one thing, forcing them to find out how something works and then trusting that they copied it right is quite another.

 

Though if Semi didn't make them personally and there is a bunch of damane she taught they might have some, and the ability to make more.

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The  thing I took away from Tuon's musings about collaring all those nice, exhausted  marath-damane to be used in re-taking Seanchan was how stupid she seems to be. Frankly, I was so thrown by her not seeing the flaw in her reasoning that I thought that it might well be a continuity error, . I say this because in earlier books it's noted that collaring an Aes Sedai doesn't break the Oaths. They simply can't be used as weapons as most Damane are. They can heal, etc, but they can't be made to kill.  Even Tuon is shown to be aware of this severe limitation.That being the case, exactly what good would collaring all those Aes Sedai do her in re-taking the Seanchan mainland? Most of them aren't very good at healing so they'd just be more mouths to feed. etc. 

 

Frankly, i'd have thought she have been smart enough to realize that small fact and give over trying to collar largely useless channelers.

 

As for the future of Damane as a whole, IMHO unless Toun abrogates the treaty very, very quickly, she's going to run out of marath-damane to collar. I say this because the population in the Seanchan controlled area of Randland haven't had time to assimilate the Seanchan attitude toward potential channelers. Unlike Sheanchan proper where all girls are tested and the wilders are automatically turned over to the Suldam and their names stricken from the family histories, the tradition in Randland is far different. Here, the result  of the treaty will be a steady flow of channelers who don't want to be collared away from Seanchan controlled areas to the White tower. In point of fact, the treaty helps the Aes Sedai at the very same time (and in inverse porportion) it hurts The Empire. Pretty soon, the only Damane left will those seized and broken prior to the signing of the treaty and the Sharans, etc taken during the last battle. 

 

Since Tuon has shown herself to be someone who only keeps her word when it suits her (despite what Mat claims), i'm betting she breaks the treaty almost immediately, but even that doesn't make sense. She doesn't need Damane to controll the areas of Randland she already holds because the Dragon's Peace  protects her borders and  if they are violated, she can call on the Aiel to punish the malefactors. That being the case, she could withdraw all her damane back to Seanchan Proper to re-take her homeland , all the while knowing her postion in  Randland is protected by the very treaty that will dry her supply of Damane.

tud

Edited by Tud

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Channelling -is- mistrusted and feared in Randland. Almost everyone dislikes AS, Andor is the only country that admits to having an AS councilor even though almost all do. Only in the Borderlands are the AS liked, even Basil Gill mistrusts them to a large extent until Moiraine gets rid of his rats. Wilders get blocks because they don't want to channel and in backwater towns in Andor the AS are the villain in every story they appear in. It wouldn't be exceptionally hard to make the populace accept the a'dam, especially in the southern countries. Tear especially of the unconquered lands would be waiting with open arms for it.

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@easy

The others don't share it because they aren't turned into something less than human. While slavery is wrong some of those people raise to high positions of society. They don't have their very identity removed. There is simply no comparison between the two and it has very little to do with "privilege".

 

I look at Amathera and Teslyn, and see two strong women who took roughly the same amount of time to emerge from a similar amount of time in Seanchan control. Not exact, but similar. Re-read Suroth's meeting with Valda: Amathera's identity was certainly being stripped away. I agree with you that the treatment of damane is worse, but I think its a question of degree, and not too great a difference. Some slaves rise high, true. Most never, ever, will. I'm sorry to be blunt, but slavery as an institution is so abhorrent to me that minor exceptions do nothing to cover its vileness. I'm genuinely not accusing you of minimising the problem, or apologising for it, it's just something I feel strongly about. Perhaps its the historian in me - so'jhin are so close to the Roman concept of freedmen/freedwomen (including the rule/custom about not freeing someone you can't provide for) that I can't forget how the Romans treated their slaves. Some rose very, very high during or after their slavery - most died in chains on farms, knowing that the same fate awaited their children. Seanchan slavery is hereditary too. 

 

As an additional point, 'privilege' is slightly too loaded a term here, perhaps. I do think that part of it is 'how dare you treat a channeler like that', in the same way that the High Lords of Tear are shocked at being treated like commoners, or Colavaere's horror at becoming one. Many channelers see themselves as above non-channelers, after all. A bigger part of it, I suspect, is that the very thing that makes a channeler special is what is being used to control them - their own strength turned against them. I'm sure that would be horrifying. There's a parallel here to being turned to the dark - only channelers can be turned against their will.

 

I think we may have to agree to disagree here :)

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BenevolentCrow,

 

     I disagree..Mistrust in general is one thing, but even in Tear where Channeling is outlawed, they don't kill the Channeler. They just banish her to the White tower. also, in randland, while there may be disrust and even dislike, there's no history of any family handing over a daughter to slavery based on the fact that she could channel. Subsequent to TG, the attitude of mistrust would almost certainly change based on the foreshadwoing provided by the mother's reaction to Logain. If Male Channelers are no longer feared, why would they fear female vhannelrs?

 

tud  

Edited by Tud

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Channelling -is- mistrusted and feared in Randland. Almost everyone dislikes AS, Andor is the only country that admits to having an AS councilor even though almost all do.

Other countries such as Ebou Dar, Mayene and all teh Borderland countries had open AS councilors as well. In fact they only places where AS were seriously disliked was Tear and Amadacia.

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Channelling -is- mistrusted and feared in Randland. Almost everyone dislikes AS, Andor is the only country that admits to having an AS councilor even though almost all do.

Other countries such as Ebou Dar, Mayene and all teh Borderland countries had open AS councilors as well. In fact they only places where AS were seriously disliked was Tear and Amadacia.

 

 

I wonder about this. I certainly think there's also a big sex bias. Most of the people who have a strong impersonal dislike of Aes Sedai seem to be men, maybe that's just me. Impersonal, BTW, meaning that they don't have a direct grudge, like Thom.

 

Perhaps women are more willing to accept the idea of other women who can channel, or that women can be physically dominant. An awful lot of sexual differences in Randland are expressed via physical dominance or control of space, after all - spankings, marriage knives, women's quarters, etc. Aes Sedai flows of air subvert quite a lot of the male part of that control. The female dominated or relatively sexually equal areas south of the Borderlands seem to be more accepting of Aes Sedai, perhaps there's a link? And is it just me, or do men seem more willing to accept the idea of the Dragon Reborn and the Asha'man?

 

Are Aes Sedai mistrusted and feared, though?

 

As to fear, I suspect that to most people Aes Sedai are pretty distant figures. Aes Sedai do get involved in mundane and ordinary affairs - 'not all mediations take place in palaces' - but there simply aren't enough Aes Sedai for that to change most people's opinions. Few go to the White Tower to ask for healing, advice, or sanctuary, or claim audience with the Amyrlin Seat.

 

I suspect most Randlanders go through life never seeing an Aes Sedai channel. It's natural, therefore, that channeling would be the subject of fireside stories - of awe and fear. Among the nobility, there seems to be more acceptance of channeling - the High Lords aren't comfortable with it, but they don't seem to fear channeling itself, at least after a while.

 

What is noticeable, however, is how almost nobody *trusts* Aes Sedai - even those with experience of them and their role. Tam al'Thor, a steady man who's seen a lot of the world, doesn't trust Aes Sedai. Gareth Bryne doesn't trust them, Berelain doesn't fully trust Annoura, Lan is prepared to believe that Aes Sedai would rather see Malkier fall to the blight than come for aid, Morgase doesn't fully trust Elaida either, IIRC. How many characters and viewpoints remind us that Aes Sedai practically invented the game of houses? Aes Sedai don't even trust each other: Morraine counsels Rand not to trust Aes Sedai, Cadsuanne doesn't trust them either, nor does Siuan. The ajahs hide secrets from one another and from the Amyrlin, who in turn keeps secrets from them. There's even a song/poem about it: 'Give me your trust, said the Aes Sedai...'

 

Trust and fear, of course, are two different things. The nobility often don't trust each other as far as they can kick them :)

Edited by EasyBadger

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Is there really a large difference to the mind of a peasant farmer between sending a daughter off to the Tower to never be seen again and sending them to the Seanchan to never be seen again? Remember that most damane have accepted their life and are reasonably 'happy'. It only takes a little social engineering to change the thoughts of the unwashed masses and most of them are far more than halfway there already.

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Is there really a large difference to the mind of a peasant farmer between sending a daughter off to the Tower to never be seen again and sending them to the Seanchan to never be seen again? Remember that most damane have accepted their life and are reasonably 'happy'. It only takes a little social engineering to change the thoughts of the unwashed masses and most of them are far more than halfway there already.

There is a huge difference and the masses are nowhere near to half way there already. Even someone like the Amyrlin kept in contact through letters and had her parents at her wedding. It certainly is not riding off "never to be seen again" in most cases. Further it is not really true to say most damane have "accepted" their life. They have had that acceptance forcibly beating into them and there very identity changed.

Edited by Suttree

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Does the Dragon's Peace allow for free migration across Randland?  If not, the Seanchan could seal their borders to any suspected marath'damane trying to leave.

 

Also, the Seanchan are going to be allowed to sell the so-called virtues of being damane, even to Tar Valon.  Obviously, the Aes Sedai will strongly argue against this propaganda, but some people are going to be won over by Seanchan propaganda.  There are plenty of nutty things many people believe today, so you can't argue that no one will believe the Seanchan.

Edited by Lord D

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Does the Dragon's Peace allow for free migration across Randland?  If not, the Seanchan could seal their borders to any suspected marath'damane trying to leave.

 

Also, the Seanchan are going to be allowed to sell the so-called virtues of being damane, even to Tar Valon.  Obviously, the Aes Sedai will strongly argue against this propaganda, but some people are going to be won over by Seanchan propaganda.  There are plenty of nutty things many people believe today, so you can't argue that no one will believe the Seanchan.

The Seanchan can't seal the borders to damane, that would seem to go against the deal made.

 

It will be a PR battle but the WT has dealt with that in the past with the Children. TG has brought them a ton of gratitude and prestige amongst common folk and they can surely capitalize on that. The BT who also came off looking very well will surely argue against Seanchan propaganda as well. Once channelers start centers of learning, healing and offering travelling for trade it really will be a no brainer. They will be able to provide living proof that the Seanchan are wrong. Keep in mind that although AS  lost  a bit over half their number they still have around a 1,000 novices. Now that travelling is widespread they will be recruiting everywhere from a wider base due to the new rules Egwene put in place. With the changes from the channeling exchange program they will be more integrated into society. The WT will very soon be bursting at the scenes and it is hard to imagine the Seanchan preachers being met with anything other than incredulous disbelief.

 

It will also be interesting to see how the chance of freedom changes the thoughts of those leashed, especially WFs, Kin and the like.

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Channelling -is- mistrusted and feared in Randland. Almost everyone dislikes AS, Andor is the only country that admits to having an AS councilor even though almost all do.

Other countries such as Ebou Dar, Mayene and all teh Borderland countries had open AS councilors as well. In fact they only places where AS were seriously disliked was Tear and Amadacia.

 

 

Actually I'm pretty sure that Mayene (at the least) didn't have an open AS councillor out of consideration/fear of how Tear would react.  I'm sure that when we meet Annoura it's mentioned that although Mayene had reasonable/good relations with Tar Valon (evidenced somewhat by Annoura's decision to sacrifice her ability to channel in an effort to repair relations between them), it had been kept hidden from the rest of the world.

 

I also thought that Andor was unusual in that they openly had an AS councillor, but I may just be remembering the circumstances of Andors creation and translating that across, I am quite sure about Mayene however.

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TGH Chapter 4:  Morgase was one of the few rulers to openly admit to an Aes Sedai councilor; almost all had one, but few admitted it.

 

Clearly having an AS councilor is a bad thing in most countries. And I still believe that if backwater towns in even Andor dislike AS enough to call them darkfriends after the AS saved them from a horde of trollocs, the general populace of most of the world would be against them. This is prior to news spreading about TG of course, that will probably have an effect.

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TG has brought them a ton of gratitude and prestige amongst common folk and they can surely capitalize on that.

Is there a reason the WT would have more gratitude from common folk than the other groups that participated in the LB?  If not, the Seanchan participated too, and actually came to the rescue at one point.  Additionally, there have been a few comments throughout the books that after the initial occupation by the Seanchan life carried on as normal (apart from collaring of channelers), and was even better in some ways.

 

I totally agree that people will see the difference between sending their daughter off to be a Novice versus sending their daughter off to be a Damane, but I don't see the Seanchan being able to take many more Damane from Randland.

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