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Barid Bel Medar

Ask Simple questions, get simple answers (aMoL version covering the entire series)

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Interview: 2006                                                           
The Great Hunt 2011: Excerpts from Robert Jordan's notes (Verbatim)

                                            

FORCED-LINKING-STUDIES                                                                            

 Robert Jordan                                                                                       
When Careanne (Sareitha) is explaining about the impossibility of one woman forcing a link on another, this study should have survived from the Breaking, I think. Or, at least, it was begun during the Breaking. After this second study was begun and had gone on for a number of years, more of the original was discovered. With the destruction of the intervening years, relatively little is known, some of it only to the Black Ajah.

Footnote

This topic is explored a little more thoroughly here.

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While Trollocs are larger and physically stronger then men, they are also more cowardly and more stupid then men. I personally would bet on 20 decent swordsmen over 20 trollocs any day. Even a Fade, while MUCH more dangerous than a trolloc, can be killed by one good swordsman.

 

In regards to the questions of Demandred being a brilliant general and how could he not have won within the hour... I honestly must say that there seem to be some large irregularities during the battle.

 

Rand completely decimated the Seanchan forces in minutes with Callandor, so yeah, it would seem that Demandred with his Sa'angreal and a circle could probably do the same. I have no explaination why he didnt other than there a number of glaring errors going on...

 

For most of the series the abilities of what someone can do with the power seems to be pretty consistent until this battle. Suian, Elaida and Morainne are about equal strength, followed by Egwene, Elayne, and Avienda, followed by Nyneave, then the forsaken. Its very clear for the most part. A circle of 13 weak Aes Sedai is much stronger than any single person and so on...

 

Egwene has a Sa'angreal and she cant shield Taim who is channeling unaided? My jaw probably dropped open when she didnt just snag him like a kitten. He later comes back with Demandreds Sa'angreal and they fight some more on even footing? Makes no sense. Grendal was fighting Amys, Talaan, Alivia(stronger than Nyneave), AND Cadsuanne simultaneously and it said Grendal was winning somehow? She was drawing from one other but that wouldnt make ther that much stronger. Alot of the rules seem to have been ignored. I dont understand how Demandred could just be sitting there all day in the open and no one throws a little weave of balefire at him and kill him. Doesnt Mogheiden use balefire like a sniper rifle at Nyaneave while shes in the boat? When you hold that much of the power you are an easy target. Thats why people always release it when they can, its safer.

 

Im not sure about the numbers but theres well over 1 thousand of the kin, maybe a thousand Aes Sedai, hundreds of Ashaman, probably several hundred Damane. I dont see how the Shadows forces could have anywhere near that many channelors to match them. I cant imagine the Sharan channelers outnumber the Seanchan's so a couple hundred. Maybe a hundred from the black ajah, a hundred from the black tower. But thats not the impression I was given during the battle. Looking at the math... The light could have formed numerous cicles of 72. a circle that large alone should put them on par with a Sa'angreal, probably more than. If the light has a total of 2000 channelers, thats almost 28 circles of 72.... I imagine thats like Choden Kal level practically. I dont see how they couldnt have vaporized Demandreds army in like 10 seconds...

 

It felt like alot of the facts where just kinda casually forgotten. If anyone could explain any of these I would like to hear them...

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The reason why demandred didnt win in the hour is because the light have to win and to make a climatic story you have to have the light in a bad position and an underdog. How did the rebels win the battle in return of the jedi? they should have been crashed same reason the good guys have to win. Fayde's logic is stupid RJ says it can kill 20 men, or 6 aiel in the early parts of the series then he says people like lan can kill them by themselves and other borderlanders. Which brings down the threat of them.

 

The light werent using balefire cause its "bad for the pattern". He was surrounded by sharan channelers cutting weaves and taking balls of fire like human shields. Like when logain attacked him he just cut the bad weaves. But there are many things that dont make sense. Robert jordan made channeling too powerful early on int he series and you make a great example of the rand vs seanchan with callandor. Think about it if you added the proper number of channelers the light had it would be like 4k channelers vs the 700 or so sharans and 200 black ajah and ashaman. it would be a white wash. Brandon had to weaken the strength of the one power otherwise circle of 72 demandred and the most powerful saangreal didnt just win the last battle by himself. The last battle would have been stupid if it was by RJ power scale with just channelers wiping everyone. The light should have 1k kin 1k accepted and novices, 500ish aes sedai 1000ish ashaman dedicated and soldiers 300ish windfinders (rough guess) 1000s of wise ones (or more since there was 500 channeling wise ones in the shaido) All with angreal and Saangreal. Taim had 100 converted Ashaman, Black ajah got away with around 100ish black ajah (considering there was 80 something in the rebel camp) Then the sharan channelers and the few men aiel channelers. RJ backed himself into a corner with the numbers and i didnt even include the seanchan. He really had no hope of finishing the series in 1 book.

 

I brought up the same point about graendel but she said she was using a circle. Which i think still doesnt warrant her beating the others especially with cadsuanes net.

 

The egwene vs taim doesnt make sense. Taim is way more powerful compared to egwene normally but egwene should have squashed him with voras wand.

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While Trollocs are larger and physically stronger then men, they are also more cowardly and more stupid then men. I personally would bet on 20 decent swordsmen over 20 trollocs any day. Even a Fade, while MUCH more dangerous than a trolloc, can be killed by one good swordsman.

 

In regards to the questions of Demandred being a brilliant general and how could he not have won within the hour... I honestly must say that there seem to be some large irregularities during the battle.

 

Rand completely decimated the Seanchan forces in minutes with Callandor, so yeah, it would seem that Demandred with his Sa'angreal and a circle could probably do the same. I have no explaination why he didnt other than there a number of glaring errors going on...

 

For most of the series the abilities of what someone can do with the power seems to be pretty consistent until this battle. Suian, Elaida and Morainne are about equal strength, followed by Egwene, Elayne, and Avienda, followed by Nyneave, then the forsaken. Its very clear for the most part. A circle of 13 weak Aes Sedai is much stronger than any single person and so on...

 

Egwene has a Sa'angreal and she cant shield Taim who is channeling unaided? My jaw probably dropped open when she didnt just snag him like a kitten. He later comes back with Demandreds Sa'angreal and they fight some more on even footing? Makes no sense. Grendal was fighting Amys, Talaan, Alivia(stronger than Nyneave), AND Cadsuanne simultaneously and it said Grendal was winning somehow? She was drawing from one other but that wouldnt make ther that much stronger. Alot of the rules seem to have been ignored. I dont understand how Demandred could just be sitting there all day in the open and no one throws a little weave of balefire at him and kill him. Doesnt Mogheiden use balefire like a sniper rifle at Nyaneave while shes in the boat? When you hold that much of the power you are an easy target. Thats why people always release it when they can, its safer.

 

Im not sure about the numbers but theres well over 1 thousand of the kin, maybe a thousand Aes Sedai, hundreds of Ashaman, probably several hundred Damane. I dont see how the Shadows forces could have anywhere near that many channelors to match them. I cant imagine the Sharan channelers outnumber the Seanchan's so a couple hundred. Maybe a hundred from the black ajah, a hundred from the black tower. But thats not the impression I was given during the battle. Looking at the math... The light could have formed numerous cicles of 72. a circle that large alone should put them on par with a Sa'angreal, probably more than. If the light has a total of 2000 channelers, thats almost 28 circles of 72.... I imagine thats like Choden Kal level practically. I dont see how they couldnt have vaporized Demandreds army in like 10 seconds...

 

It felt like alot of the facts where just kinda casually forgotten. If anyone could explain any of these I would like to hear them...

1. Please check post 174 176 194 196 and 198. Also, recall that a huge portion of the Light's forces were raw recruits with little or no training. Many were either young boys or very old men and in some cases women too, hardly a match for trollocs and myrdraal.

 

2. Graendal seems to be a very proficient fighter, it isn't only that she has great power, but also speed [ she'd need speed to keep up with attacks from multiple opponents.] and presumably a variety of attacks/weaves that far surpasses that of the Light. Though personally, I wonder why Cadsuanne didn't try to just stop Graendal's heart, it requires little power and can be done very quickly.

 

3. When it comes to numbers, the Aiel in clan Shaido alone had between 4-500 channelers, 11 clans should have had about 2500  at least. That's aside from all the channelers from the windfinders, kin, Light Aes Sedai and hundreds of Seanchan damane to boot. Having Demandred go up against that and make mincemeat out of that would truly have shown how he was a super general indeed. At the very least, the dynamics of such a battle would have been very different than the one we were given.   

 

4. The only explanation I have read, [ I'm not at all sure it is correct, but is better than any other I have up to now.] is that Demandred, although having superior forces to the Light [ notwithstanding the objections we've mentioned, but it is the way the story is set up.] wanted to beat the Light's forces using generalling skills because he wanted to prove that he was better than LTT as a general. If anything, he only used channeling as a goad to get LTT to come and more as a whip than a weapon to finish the Light.

 

Yes, he could have blasted away the Light forces with Sakarnen and a circle of 72, but it would not have shown him to be a better general in his own way of thinking, so he fought the battle mainly using his armies as a general would, proving he could win based on his skills as a general.

 

I'm not thrilled with this explanation, but it sure beats the one that says RJ really had no good end game planned and had set everything up poorly so that BS was forced to write a contrived last battle that simply didn't fit the rest of the series.

 

5. I agree with NitroS comment that "RJ backed himself into a corner with the numbers and i didnt even include the seanchan. He really had no hope of finishing the series in 1 book."

 

I'd add that RJ's style was that whenever he wrote a book he kept slowing the pace down and adding story arcs and character development,which made for great reading IMO, [ Mat Nynaeve and Thom's characters in particular were priceless.] but it also kept making the series longer.

 

BS's greatest strength IMO was that he sped the pace up alot, bringing many arcs to a close while adding virtually no new arcs, so that the series could finally end. The cost though was that many aspects of the story, [ especially the "individual flavor" of each character, ] were rushed and not as vivid or realistic as RJ would have done.  [ I still loved the book though, just not as much as if it had been written by RJ ]

Edited by dir ehlef

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While Trollocs are larger and physically stronger then men, they are also more cowardly and more stupid then men. I personally would bet on 20 decent swordsmen over 20 trollocs any day. Even a Fade, while MUCH more dangerous than a trolloc, can be killed by one good swordsman.

 

In regards to the questions of Demandred being a brilliant general and how could he not have won within the hour... I honestly must say that there seem to be some large irregularities during the battle.

 

Rand completely decimated the Seanchan forces in minutes with Callandor, so yeah, it would seem that Demandred with his Sa'angreal and a circle could probably do the same. I have no explaination why he didnt other than there a number of glaring errors going on...

 

For most of the series the abilities of what someone can do with the power seems to be pretty consistent until this battle. Suian, Elaida and Morainne are about equal strength, followed by Egwene, Elayne, and Avienda, followed by Nyneave, then the forsaken. Its very clear for the most part. A circle of 13 weak Aes Sedai is much stronger than any single person and so on...

 

Egwene has a Sa'angreal and she cant shield Taim who is channeling unaided? My jaw probably dropped open when she didnt just snag him like a kitten. He later comes back with Demandreds Sa'angreal and they fight some more on even footing? Makes no sense. Grendal was fighting Amys, Talaan, Alivia(stronger than Nyneave), AND Cadsuanne simultaneously and it said Grendal was winning somehow? She was drawing from one other but that wouldnt make ther that much stronger. Alot of the rules seem to have been ignored. I dont understand how Demandred could just be sitting there all day in the open and no one throws a little weave of balefire at him and kill him. Doesnt Mogheiden use balefire like a sniper rifle at Nyaneave while shes in the boat? When you hold that much of the power you are an easy target. Thats why people always release it when they can, its safer.

Most of the Light's channelers don't know balefire. Most of those that do understand the harmful effect it has on the Pattern. Also, unlike some readers, channelers tend not to look at balefire as a catch all solution to problems - most of the time, other weaves will do the job as well, without destroying the Pattern while they're at it. Winning a fight isn't just about strength. Graendal has greater knowledge and a good grasp of tactics. And Moghedien's use of balefire was more like an RPG than a sniper rifle - it sank the boat (several minutes in the past), even though it missed Nynaeve.

Im not sure about the numbers but theres well over 1 thousand of the kin, maybe a thousand Aes Sedai, hundreds of Ashaman, probably several hundred Damane. I dont see how the Shadows forces could have anywhere near that many channelors to match them. I cant imagine the Sharan channelers outnumber the Seanchan's so a couple hundred. Maybe a hundred from the black ajah, a hundred from the black tower. But thats not the impression I was given during the battle. Looking at the math... The light could have formed numerous cicles of 72. a circle that large alone should put them on par with a Sa'angreal, probably more than. If the light has a total of 2000 channelers, thats almost 28 circles of 72.... I imagine thats like Choden Kal level practically. I dont see how they couldnt have vaporized Demandreds army in like 10 seconds...

 

It felt like alot of the facts where just kinda casually forgotten. If anyone could explain any of these I would like to hear them...

A large circle has more power than any individual in it, but less than the total strength of them all combined. Circles are thus not suitable for all work - they'll do better in situations where one strong channeler is more useful than several weaker ones, but other time the greater flexibility of multiple channelers is better. If the Light's armies formed large circles, those circles would become targets. Remember that the Shadow has been gathering the male Aiel channelers for a long time - and breeding them. In addition to that, Shara is a large country that breeds channelers. Seanchan is a large country, but it doesn't breed damane, it removes them from the gene pool (but not sul'dam, I'll grant you), and it left most of its forces back in the empire. Demandred presumably brought everything he had. Given the size of Shara, it could easily have two million people - that amounts to 20,000 channelers, using the 1% figure that the Westlands has, although it wouldn't surprise me if they were closer to the AoL's 3% of the population. Even if Bao only had 10% of those channelers (the others being either casualties of the Sharan civil war or in the factions that he hadn't managed to bring into the fold) they should be numerous enough to match the 2,000 you put forward for the Light. With the BA, Asha'man, Red Veils, etc. they should be capable of matching the Light's channelers on a fairly even footing, if not outright surpassing them. And that's being amazingly conservative with numbers for Shara. If we assume a population closer to 5 million, 2% of the population being channelers and Bao bringing 50% of the Ayyad to his side, that amounts to 50,000 channelers - that's not outside the bounds of possibility. Any assertion that large numbers of channelers needed to vanish in order to make the Light the underdog is just absurd. The numbers do not add up. But the Shadow should be easily capable of matching the light through sheer numbers of channelers, and therefore the idea of circles being able to cut swathes through the enemy without being stopped by by rival circles is simply not realistic.

 

5. I agree with NitroS comment that "RJ backed himself into a corner with the numbers and i didnt even include the seanchan. He really had no hope of finishing the series in 1 book."

 

I'd add that RJ's style was that whenever he wrote a book he kept slowing the pace down and adding story arcs and character development,which made for great reading IMO, [ Mat Nynaeve and Thom's characters in particular were priceless.] but it also kept making the series longer.

 

BS's greatest strength IMO was that he sped the pace up alot, bringing many arcs to a close while adding virtually no new arcs, so that the series could finally end. The cost though was that many aspects of the story, [ especially the "individual flavor" of each character, ] were rushed and not as vivid or realistic as RJ would have done.  [ I still loved the book though, just not as much as if it had been written by RJ ]

RJ had already begun closing down plot threads and increasing the pace while driving towards a conclusion. He was aware there was a lot still to cover - his statements about a 2,000 page AMoL make that clear. But he wanted one more book because he felt that more than that wouldn't work, structurally. Given the poor structuring of all the books post TGS, he might have had a point. Point is, what you cite as Brandon's greatest strength was just following on from what RJ was doing anyway, and RJ did it without sacrificing the characterisation or voice, and he got the details right while he was doing it. Those losses of voice and characterisation, they are not a product purely of an increased pace.

 

As for RJ backing himself into a corner, that would be true if it wasn't for the huge level of variation in terms of how many channelers could be brought to the fight - as already shown, depending on how big the initial population is, the percentage of it that is comprised of channelers, the number of channelers that are actually found and trained and the number Demandred could muster to his banner Shara could be bringing thousands or tens of thousands. Given that level of variation, that idea that he had written himself into a corner is laughable. There are enough variables involved that Demandred's army can literally be as big as the plot needs it to be at the outset and have it be plausible.

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BS's greatest strength IMO was that he sped the pace up alot, bringing many arcs to a close while adding virtually no new arcs, so that the series could finally end. The cost though was that many aspects of the story, [ especially the "individual flavor" of each character, ] were rushed and not as vivid or realistic as RJ would have done. [ I still loved the book though, just not as much as if it had been written by RJ ]

While Mr Ares rightly covers what RJ was already doing the extra piece to this si where we were in the story arc. The set up and expansion was over and things were coming to a climax/wrapping up. Comparing the pace of AMoL to that of tPoD-CoT is apples and oranges. So while the story arc increased the pace, we actually have no idea whether it's a strenght of Brandon's until we see him in a comparable WoT books 8-10 place in his own Stormlight Archive. Keep in mind that a number critics questioned the pace of Way of Kings and called it too bloated si it will be interesting to see how he does through that middle stretch that has given Jordan, Marin and Erikson trouble.

 

As an aside people really need to stop claiming Jordan painted himself into a corner. The idea is absurd given the options at hand. IMO the number being off was a dropped ball,one that fundamentally changed the battles and strategy of TG.

Edited by Suttree

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While Trollocs are larger and physically stronger then men, they are also more cowardly and more stupid then men. I personally would bet on 20 decent swordsmen over 20 trollocs any day. Even a Fade, while MUCH more dangerous than a trolloc, can be killed by one good swordsman.

 

In regards to the questions of Demandred being a brilliant general and how could he not have won within the hour... I honestly must say that there seem to be some large irregularities during the battle.

 

Rand completely decimated the Seanchan forces in minutes with Callandor, so yeah, it would seem that Demandred with his Sa'angreal and a circle could probably do the same. I have no explaination why he didnt other than there a number of glaring errors going on...

 

For most of the series the abilities of what someone can do with the power seems to be pretty consistent until this battle. Suian, Elaida and Morainne are about equal strength, followed by Egwene, Elayne, and Avienda, followed by Nyneave, then the forsaken. Its very clear for the most part. A circle of 13 weak Aes Sedai is much stronger than any single person and so on...

 

Egwene has a Sa'angreal and she cant shield Taim who is channeling unaided? My jaw probably dropped open when she didnt just snag him like a kitten. He later comes back with Demandreds Sa'angreal and they fight some more on even footing? Makes no sense. Grendal was fighting Amys, Talaan, Alivia(stronger than Nyneave), AND Cadsuanne simultaneously and it said Grendal was winning somehow? She was drawing from one other but that wouldnt make ther that much stronger. Alot of the rules seem to have been ignored. I dont understand how Demandred could just be sitting there all day in the open and no one throws a little weave of balefire at him and kill him. Doesnt Mogheiden use balefire like a sniper rifle at Nyaneave while shes in the boat? When you hold that much of the power you are an easy target. Thats why people always release it when they can, its safer.

Most of the Light's channelers don't know balefire. Most of those that do understand the harmful effect it has on the Pattern. Also, unlike some readers, channelers tend not to look at balefire as a catch all solution to problems - most of the time, other weaves will do the job as well, without destroying the Pattern while they're at it. Winning a fight isn't just about strength. Graendal has greater knowledge and a good grasp of tactics. And Moghedien's use of balefire was more like an RPG than a sniper rifle - it sank the boat (several minutes in the past), even though it missed Nynaeve.

>Im not sure about the numbers but theres well over 1 thousand of the kin, maybe a thousand Aes Sedai, hundreds of Ashaman, probably several hundred Damane. I dont see how the Shadows forces could have anywhere near that many channelors to match them. I cant imagine the Sharan channelers outnumber the Seanchan's so a couple hundred. Maybe a hundred from the black ajah, a hundred from the black tower. But thats not the impression I was given during the battle. Looking at the math... The light could have formed numerous cicles of 72. a circle that large alone should put them on par with a Sa'angreal, probably more than. If the light has a total of 2000 channelers, thats almost 28 circles of 72.... I imagine thats like Choden Kal level practically. I dont see how they couldnt have vaporized Demandreds army in like 10 seconds...

 

It felt like alot of the facts where just kinda casually forgotten. If anyone could explain any of these I would like to hear them...

A large circle has more power than any individual in it, but less than the total strength of them all combined. Circles are thus not suitable for all work - they'll do better in situations where one strong channeler is more useful than several weaker ones, but other time the greater flexibility of multiple channelers is better. If the Light's armies formed large circles, those circles would become targets. Remember that the Shadow has been gathering the male Aiel channelers for a long time - and breeding them. In addition to that, Shara is a large country that breeds channelers. Seanchan is a large country, but it doesn't breed damane, it removes them from the gene pool (but not sul'dam, I'll grant you), and it left most of its forces back in the empire. Demandred presumably brought everything he had. Given the size of Shara, it could easily have two million people - that amounts to 20,000 channelers, using the 1% figure that the Westlands has, although it wouldn't surprise me if they were closer to the AoL's 3% of the population. Even if Bao only had 10% of those channelers (the others being either casualties of the Sharan civil war or in the factions that he hadn't managed to bring into the fold) they should be numerous enough to match the 2,000 you put forward for the Light. With the BA, Asha'man, Red Veils, etc. they should be capable of matching the Light's channelers on a fairly even footing, if not outright surpassing them. And that's being amazingly conservative with numbers for Shara. If we assume a population closer to 5 million, 2% of the population being channelers and Bao bringing 50% of the Ayyad to his side, that amounts to 50,000 channelers - that's not outside the bounds of possibility. Any assertion that large numbers of channelers needed to vanish in order to make the Light the underdog is just absurd. The numbers do not add up. But the Shadow should be easily capable of matching the light through sheer numbers of channelers, and therefore the idea of circles being able to cut swathes through the enemy without being stopped by by rival circles is simply not realistic.

 

5. I agree with NitroS comment that "RJ backed himself into a corner with the numbers and i didnt even include the seanchan. He really had no hope of finishing the series in 1 book."

 

I'd add that RJ's style was that whenever he wrote a book he kept slowing the pace down and adding story arcs and character development,which made for great reading IMO, [ Mat Nynaeve and Thom's characters in particular were priceless.] but it also kept making the series longer.

 

BS's greatest strength IMO was that he sped the pace up alot, bringing many arcs to a close while adding virtually no new arcs, so that the series could finally end. The cost though was that many aspects of the story, [ especially the "individual flavor" of each character, ] were rushed and not as vivid or realistic as RJ would have done.  [ I still loved the book though, just not as much as if it had been written by RJ ]

RJ had already begun closing down plot threads and increasing the pace while driving towards a conclusion. He was aware there was a lot still to cover - his statements about a 2,000 page AMoL make that clear. But he wanted one more book because he felt that more than that wouldn't work, structurally. Given the poor structuring of all the books post TGS, he might have had a point. Point is, what you cite as Brandon's greatest strength was just following on from what RJ was doing anyway, and RJ did it without sacrificing the characterisation or voice, and he got the details right while he was doing it. Those losses of voice and characterisation, they are not a product purely of an increased pace.

 

As for RJ backing himself into a corner, that would be true if it wasn't for the huge level of variation in terms of how many channelers could be brought to the fight - as already shown, depending on how big the initial population is, the percentage of it that is comprised of channelers, the number of channelers that are actually found and trained and the number Demandred could muster to his banner Shara could be bringing thousands or tens of thousands. Given that level of variation, that idea that he had written himself into a corner is laughable. There are enough variables involved that Demandred's army can literally be as big as the plot needs it to be at the outset and have it be plausible.

 

Mr Ares, thanks for the reply, I really enjoy your well reasoned thoughts.

 

I need to clarify what I meant.

 

I agree with you that there were ways of getting out of the Light forces being too strong and having too many channelers. One method, as you rightly argue, was to increase the Sharan numbers. Another would have been to introduce new shadowspawn with powers that could negate the Light's advantages. An example could be worms, jumjara or kafar, [ even Graendal was scared of them ] or for that matter, a small army of new gholam. Any of these methods could even up or even tilt the scales in the shadow's favor. 

 

The problem with any of these things and for that matter so is the introduction of a vast Sharan army, is that it seems forced and contrived, and RJ was supremely good at creating smooth flowing arcs and plots. These methods don't follow that style. That is what I meant.

 

Yes RJ was starting to speed the story up somewhat, but it seems to me that BS accelerated the pace significantly more than RJ. When you start going as fast as BS was going, I think that some voice and characterisation will be lost.

 

Personally, after reading Lucker's and Dwynwen's posts on battles between characters, I wish they'd have had an input into the books as they in particular seem to have captured some of the style RJ had with characters.

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Hello;


I am a long-time reader of WOT but have never posted before on a fan site.I have a question that does not appear to have been asked anywhere. (Did a search engine check, sorry if it has been asked.)

 

How did the breaking of the world happen?


Yes, I know insane male channellers wreaking havoc around the world for decades is the answer. But how? Did the taint amplify their power? Where there just so many of them (assuming a population of a few billion where 1% or so of the population could channel could equal a few hundred million of male channellers), that the combined effect could massive damage to the earth’s tectonic plates?


However, in the chapter 'The Last Battle' we saw a vast majority of channellers from almost every continent all gathered in one geographic location unleashing huge amounts of power trying to blow each other to oblivion but it had little to no effect on the geography. No earthquakes, no mountains toppled, etc.

 

The only channelling in the book that I found could theoretically affect a cataclysm was Androl opening gateways deep into the earth that could potentially cause some instability to the earth's crust if done on a massive scale. Other than that, Rand's battle earlier in the series at Rhuidean fighting over the Chodel Kal caused some damage to the nearby mountains, but that was with the most powerful channelling artefact ever created that was massively more powerful than any other sa'angreal. The only other geography altering event I recall in the series was the creating of Dragonmount.


Anyway, after reading the entire series now I am not sure how the misuse of the One Power is enough to explain the Breaking. The way channelling was portrayed throughout the series could explain a mob of insane men destroying people, and armies and cities all over the world but how did the continents and oceans move?

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

(Also posted this in another thread I accidentally necro'd.)

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@ Mr Ares: I have a hard time believing that the Sharan army has 20 to 50 thousand channelers. It seems completely implausable. Remember a large majority of the fight takes place on the heights, thats only about 2 x 3 miles in size. With numbers like those I'd guess the entire Heights would be covered with nothing but channelers. The white tower has 1000 or so, with probably another 2-3 thousand in wilders/kin. Is there any real evidence that channeling was actually being bred out of the population, or was that idea a mistake the tower made by turning alot of girls away, not realizing that the population is out there, they just werent in the tower. In the big scheme of things, the white tower has had alot of false assumptions. My opinion is that someone being able to channel is completely random, and independant of genetics. If that were the case you would expect to see someone like Nyneave at the very end of a growing genetic line, not the random anomally I believe she is...

 

@ dir ehlef: I understand that Grendal is a proficient fighter, of course she would be. But consider the fact that Nyneave fought Mogheiden one on one with very little training in comparison and pulled through means that experience isnt always everything. I would understand if she were up against 4 random sisters, but  she was up against some of the strongest and most experienced channelers who have tricks of their own.

 

Okay forget using balefire to kill Demandred, couldnt someone just look at him and open a gateway right in his place? Doesnt one of the forsaken do that in Grendals palace and kill one of her pets with no warning or way to counter act it? Point is, standing in the open has always been a vulnerable position in the series... until now.

 

Overall I just feel that alot of the numbers were fudged and alot of people suddenly became more powerful (or less) for the sake of making the Light the underdogs...

 

I do agree with the idea that Demandred wanted to win the battle through skills as a general, that follows his character's personaility as well as his actions...  The Light however had similar power, and were desperate to win at any cost, but didnt do it either...

 

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It was misuse of the One Power + Taint driven coo-coo cah cah-ness.

It's also alluded to that  Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends were significantly more powerful than your run of the mill Aes Sedai of the current age. Not only in terms of raw strength, but as well as weaving ability. Also, I would think it's safe to assume that the number of, prevalence, of powerful male Aes Sedai would be a factor as well.

We can also assume their access to, and the availability, of angreal/sa'angreal/ter'angreal was significantly greater at that point of time. Which doesn't necessarily mean possession of any number of those is a factor, but it's there for what it's worth.

So we've got, channelers of significantly higher natural output & knowledge of weaves, plus crazy mcloonytoon taint, and increased probability for access to power magnifiers, as well as a significantly greater number of said channelers...

I mean you see what Demandred's sort of capable of in AMoL, as well as when Rand nukes Graendal's party palace, as far as balefire's concerned. Now, not every man in the AoL had the same means - an amped up sa'angreal, a complete circle, but you can extrapolate the affects of how a person of a certain power level in the AoL could wreak havoc, once the taint drives them bonkers.

For instance, is that a fruit-fly...or something coo-coo von-crazy pants feels the need to balefire to the max?

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@ Mr Ares: I have a hard time believing that the Sharan army has 20 to 50 thousand channelers. It seems completely implausable. Remember a large majority of the fight takes place on the heights, thats only about 2 x 3 miles in size. With numbers like those I'd guess the entire Heights would be covered with nothing but channelers.

Keep in mind we know per Brandon that there were parts of Shara Demandred didn't control/bring with. Giving the fact that they have basically been breeding channelers in that country it is very possible. More to the point however it is entirely plausible that they would have had more than enough channelers to counterbalance the light side. RJ did not by any means write himself into a corner.

 

The white tower has 1000 or so, with probably another 2-3 thousand in wilders/kin. Is there any real evidence that channeling was actually being bred out of the population, or was that idea a mistake the tower made by turning alot of girls away, not realizing that the population is out there, they just werent in the tower. In the big scheme of things, the white tower has had alot of false assumptions. My opinion is that someone being able to channel is completely random, and independant of genetics.

Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

ComicCon Wrap-Up - Jason Denzel (Verbatim)

Question

A question was asked about whether or not a non-channeler could go and become Enlightened through meditation and be able to sense the True Source, or even channel it.

Robert Jordan

RJ replied that there were indeed people in his world that sought Enlightenment in such ways, but no, that channeling was related to genetics. He went onto say that he estimates that the Age of Legends had about 2-3% of the population able to channel in one way or another, while in the modern world that number is down to about 1-2%.

Jason Denzel

Update: Robert Jordan sent me an email correcting this statement:

Robert Jordan

I went back to look at the article again and check something I thought I recalled. If I said the current population has about 1% to 2% who can learn to channel, then I misspoke, because I have set that figure at about 1%.

Edited by Suttree

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Ok, I have a questioned I asked in the gateways thread. Not sure if answer is so simple, though I guess one could ask BS/TJ.

 

What would happen if Androl redirected Taim's balefire (early on in aMoL) using gateways so that it was to hit Taim? 

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Taim would be burned out of the Pattern, obviously.  Pretty sure balefire doesn't negate balefire.  Anybody balefired is gone, whether the balefirer is himself balefired later or not.

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True. I was just interested because he could have burned his thread from the pattern to prior to his balefiring, meaning that the balefire hadn't ever occurred because Taim was not there to balefire himself. Meaning... I don't really know.

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However, it is important to note that crossing the streams (balefire burning balefire) is what connected Rand and Moridin in the first place. I don't know if we can predict what can happen if the results of balefire can burn itself out of existence, because some pretty crazy stuff has occurred with it in the past. It may even be that it simply doesn't kill you, which would explain why Moridin didn't simply balefire himself and end it all. I'm not saying that the above statements are false, but I'm not sure if we can prove the validity of any argument in this case.

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Re The Breaking: don't forget channelers can way overdo what they're capable of if they're willing to die or at least burn out. I.e. I'd hope Rand couldn't raise a Dragonmount unaided all day, every day. (Sorry for revealing that, but the funny in the Egwene thread will have to end sometime.)

 

This isn't the thread for it, but I'd argue for some corner-painting on RJ's part, channeling was just way over the top with few to no drawbacks. Hard to imagine a total war as described without it coming down to nuke exchanges and cowering in steddings until someone tips a mountain down on top of those :)

Edited by Cybertrolloc

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Simple question:

 

Is it possible that Moiridin was already in Rand's body (and vice versa), and that Moiridin actually carried Rand out of the cave at Shayol G.?

 

See generally: Rand's question to the DO re: has anyone ever given their lives for you?, etc etc.

Moiridin just wanted peace, and with DO fixed up...

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I always assumed the transfer happened while they were resting side by side and one was growing weaker and the other stronger. I cant imagine why Moridin would carry rand out, nor would there be any reason to hear/see an aiel woman..

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RJ had already begun closing down plot threads and increasing the pace while driving towards a conclusion. He was aware there was a lot still to cover - his statements about a 2,000 page AMoL make that clear. But he wanted one more book because he felt that more than that wouldn't work, structurally. Given the poor structuring of all the books post TGS, he might have had a point. Point is, what you cite as Brandon's greatest strength was just following on from what RJ was doing anyway, and RJ did it without sacrificing the characterisation or voice, and he got the details right while he was doing it. Those losses of voice and characterisation, they are not a product purely of an increased pace.

 

As for RJ backing himself into a corner, that would be true if it wasn't for the huge level of variation in terms of how many channelers could be brought to the fight - as already shown, depending on how big the initial population is, the percentage of it that is comprised of channelers, the number of channelers that are actually found and trained and the number Demandred could muster to his banner Shara could be bringing thousands or tens of thousands. Given that level of variation, that idea that he had written himself into a corner is laughable. There are enough variables involved that Demandred's army can literally be as big as the plot needs it to be at the outset and have it be plausible.

Mr Ares, thanks for the reply, I really enjoy your well reasoned thoughts.

 

I need to clarify what I meant.

 

I agree with you that there were ways of getting out of the Light forces being too strong and having too many channelers. One method, as you rightly argue, was to increase the Sharan numbers. Another would have been to introduce new shadowspawn with powers that could negate the Light's advantages. An example could be worms, jumjara or kafar, [ even Graendal was scared of them ] or for that matter, a small army of new gholam. Any of these methods could even up or even tilt the scales in the shadow's favor. 

 

The problem with any of these things and for that matter so is the introduction of a vast Sharan army, is that it seems forced and contrived, and RJ was supremely good at creating smooth flowing arcs and plots. These methods don't follow that style. That is what I meant.

It all comes down to execution. The Sharans were made front and centre, which was out of place given their lack of presence to date, but had they been put to one side - keeping large numbers of channelers busy elsewhere while the important parts of the fight went on elsewhere, it would not have seemed so jarring. Armies of Trollocs and Fades can be supplemented by other, more horrifying creatures without distorting the focus.

Yes RJ was starting to speed the story up somewhat, but it seems to me that BS accelerated the pace significantly more than RJ. When you start going as fast as BS was going, I think that some voice and characterisation will be lost.

 

Personally, after reading Lucker's and Dwynwen's posts on battles between characters, I wish they'd have had an input into the books as they in particular seem to have captured some of the style RJ had with characters.

Frankly, I'm not seeing the super fast pacing on the part of Brandon. It doesn't strike me as being significantly more fast paced than RJ's better paced entries into the series. Brandon might be better paced than CoT, but that is an anomaly even by RJ's standards, and many stretches were sluggish, and positively glacial at times. And RJ was able to do it without sacrificing voice and characterisation. The problem is not that what was lost was lost due to pacing, it was lost due to not taking the time for the rewrites that were needed. AMoL might well have been better served by getting BS to spend another year going over it and over it and over it in order to get it right. I don't think he has the patience for that, which is a shame, as it means he won't rise to the same heights as guys like GRRM or Scott Bakker until he learns it. And even in his own works, he isn't the strongest character writer. Given the greater unfamiliarity of another guy's characters, it was always going to be harder to get those voices right.

 

@ Mr Ares: I have a hard time believing that the Sharan army has 20 to 50 thousand channelers. It seems completely implausable. Remember a large majority of the fight takes place on the heights, thats only about 2 x 3 miles in size. With numbers like those I'd guess the entire Heights would be covered with nothing but channelers. The white tower has 1000 or so, with probably another 2-3 thousand in wilders/kin. Is there any real evidence that channeling was actually being bred out of the population, or was that idea a mistake the tower made by turning alot of girls away, not realizing that the population is out there, they just werent in the tower. In the big scheme of things, the white tower has had alot of false assumptions. My opinion is that someone being able to channel is completely random, and independant of genetics. If that were the case you would expect to see someone like Nyneave at the very end of a growing genetic line, not the random anomally I believe she is...

Channeling is well known to have a genetic component, although it also requires the right soul. Bear in mind that the TR is full of channelers, mostly learners. No reason why it should be if channeling is purely random, but if it's genetic it makes sense. As for the size of the Sharan army, my point was that it could potentially have had any number of channelers, not that it ended up with that many. Brandon could have made the Sharan channeler numbers as big as he wanted, so he had no reason to disappear some channelers in order to make the Light the underdogs, it was simply a cock up on his part. And yes, Word of God states that channelers are less numerous, due to not breeding.

@ dir ehlef: I understand that Grendal is a proficient fighter, of course she would be. But consider the fact that Nyneave fought Mogheiden one on one with very little training in comparison and pulled through means that experience isnt always everything. I would understand if she were up against 4 random sisters, but  she was up against some of the strongest and most experienced channelers who have tricks of their own.

Nynaeve v Moghedien was a very unusual fight in that it did come down to strength. Moggy overcommitted her strength, and thus had no reserves. Had she not engaged in an OP arm wrestling match, she would have had the advantage.

Okay forget using balefire to kill Demandred, couldnt someone just look at him and open a gateway right in his place? Doesnt one of the forsaken do that in Grendals palace and kill one of her pets with no warning or way to counter act it? Point is, standing in the open has always been a vulnerable position in the series... until now.

Gateways can be blocked, as we've seen (Dreamspikes). What if Demandred simply warded the place against attacks like that? After all, you wouldn't want someone to dump assassins right into your command tent. Any attack from outside can be seen and intercepted. Demandred can put up shields against lightning or anything else. So, what attack can realistically hope to get through?

Overall I just feel that alot of the numbers were fudged and alot of people suddenly became more powerful (or less) for the sake of making the Light the underdogs...

As already stated, it has nothing to do with making them the underdogs, and everything to do with Brandon not being very good with numbers.

 

Ok, I have a questioned I asked in the gateways thread. Not sure if answer is so simple, though I guess one could ask BS/TJ.

 

What would happen if Androl redirected Taim's balefire (early on in aMoL) using gateways so that it was to hit Taim?

Then Taim would be dead. Balefire stands outside its own paradox.

Edited by Mr Ares

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Simple question:

 

Is it possible that Moiridin was already in Rand's body (and vice versa), and that Moiridin actually carried Rand out of the cave at Shayol G.?

 

See generally: Rand's question to the DO re: has anyone ever given their lives for you?, etc etc.

Moiridin just wanted peace, and with DO fixed up...

This, in the old thread about who would turn to the light I predicted Moriidin and more recently since aMoL and evidenced on these boards, I've believed that Rand had already morphed because of the "all that he is can be taken" which clearly referred  to the point in time where Rand took c'ontrol' of Moridin IMHO.

 

ETA: I meant that I agreed that Rand already in Moridin's body carried Moridin in Rand's body out of the cave if that wasn't cleaar.

Edited by YouMayCallMeElci

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@ Mr Ares: I have a hard time believing that the Sharan army has 20 to 50 thousand channelers. It seems completely implausable. Remember a large majority of the fight takes place on the heights, thats only about 2 x 3 miles in size. With numbers like those I'd guess the entire Heights would be covered with nothing but channelers. The white tower has 1000 or so, with probably another 2-3 thousand in wilders/kin. Is there any real evidence that channeling was actually being bred out of the population, or was that idea a mistake the tower made by turning alot of girls away, not realizing that the population is out there, they just werent in the tower. In the big scheme of things, the white tower has had alot of false assumptions. My opinion is that someone being able to channel is completely random, and independant of genetics. If that were the case you would expect to see someone like Nyneave at the very end of a growing genetic line, not the random anomally I believe she is...

 

@ dir ehlef: I understand that Grendal is a proficient fighter, of course she would be. But consider the fact that Nyneave fought Mogheiden one on one with very little training in comparison and pulled through means that experience isnt always everything. I would understand if she were up against 4 random sisters, but  she was up against some of the strongest and most experienced channelers who have tricks of their own.

 

Okay forget using balefire to kill Demandred, couldnt someone just look at him and open a gateway right in his place? Doesnt one of the forsaken do that in Grendals palace and kill one of her pets with no warning or way to counter act it? Point is, standing in the open has always been a vulnerable position in the series... until now.

 

Overall I just feel that alot of the numbers were fudged and alot of people suddenly became more powerful (or less) for the sake of making the Light the underdogs...

 

I do agree with the idea that Demandred wanted to win the battle through skills as a general, that follows his character's personaility as well as his actions...  The Light however had similar power, and were desperate to win at any cost, but didnt do it either...

wait 50 thousand channelers in shara? ahahahahha no chance, Didnt robert jordan say that their were 1% channelers in this age compared to the age of legends. Or did he specify randland only? if he didnt then thats already wrong. Secondly the age of legends was peace with no black ajah killing channelers ect and many channelers would have had tons of kids with other channelers and they still only had 2-3% of channelers.

 

i agree 100% on everything you said.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
unnecessary

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wait 50 thousand channelers in shara? ahahahahha no chance, Didnt robert jordan say that their were 1% channelers in this age compared to the age of legends. Or did he specify randland only? if he didnt then thats already wrong. Secondly the age of legends was peace with no black ajah killing channelers ect and many channelers would have had tons of kids with other channelers and they still only had 2-3% of channelers.

 

Try addressing the actual post.

Given the size of Shara, it could easily have two million people - that amounts to 20,000 channelers, using the 1% figure that the Westlands has, although it wouldn't surprise me if they were closer to the AoL's 3% of the population. Even if Bao only had 10% of those channelers (the others being either casualties of the Sharan civil war or in the factions that he hadn't managed to bring into the fold) they should be numerous enough to match the 2,000 you put forward for the Light. With the BA, Asha'man, Red Veils, etc. they should be capable of matching the Light's channelers on a fairly even footing, if not outright surpassing them. And that's being amazingly conservative with numbers for Shara. If we assume a population closer to 5 million, 2% of the population being channelers and Bao bringing 50% of the Ayyad to his side, that amounts to 50,000 channelers - that's not outside the bounds of possibility.

Now what about that specifically amounts to "no chance" and why? Also you do understand that Shara has been breeding channelers(RJ says channeling is genetic) all this time unlike the other countries correct? The reasoning is entirely sound as was the point being made which you apparently are ignoring...again.

Edited by Suttree

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I wont even argue if Channeling is genetic, seems like it shouldnt be to me, but whatever...

 

I will argue that IF Channelling is genetic, and the Sharans have been breeding 50K channelers... then we have spent 13 books acting like city we have to eventually invade and overcome is Baerlon, when at the last second we realize "oh shucks, its actually the fortress of Tear over there". Weve been hammered with fighting the black ajah, and dreadlords for the whole series... but those forces are about 2% of the channelling force when you do the math. If thats the case the the Sharans should have played an even larger part than even the Seanchan throughout the series...

 

And I will argue over the 50K number. If thats the case, then there is nothing stopping the Sharans from using their 10:1 ration and instantly sheilding every single Aes Sedai, Ashaman, WO, Kinswoman in the first 10 seconds of battle. Period. 

 

I guess had I been writing this, I would have almost elminiated the Sharans from the plot (maybe they brought a few hundred channelers w them), and instead admitted that the Shadow had less channellers (not really a big deal), but use them as Kamikazees to gateway in and ambush the Aes Sedai, maybe taking out several before dying. More of a terror/assassination tactic. Maybe a new ter'angreal that reflects weaves or something to negate the superior numbers. Use more Grey men to kill them, etc. You dont have to conjure an army which really supercedes the DO's forces halfway through the last book...

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I wont even argue if Channeling is genetic, seems like it shouldnt be to me, but whatever...

 

I will argue that IF Channelling is genetic, and the Sharans have been breeding 50K channelers... then we have spent 13 books acting like city we have to eventually invade and overcome is Baerlon, when at the last second we realize "oh shucks, its actually the fortress of Tear over there". Weve been hammered with fighting the black ajah, and dreadlords for the whole series... but those forces are about 2% of the channelling force when you do the math. If thats the case the the Sharans should have played an even larger part than even the Seanchan throughout the series...

 

And I will argue over the 50K number. If thats the case, then there is nothing stopping the Sharans from using their 10:1 ration and instantly sheilding every single Aes Sedai, Ashaman, WO, Kinswoman in the first 10 seconds of battle. Period.

 

I guess ad I been writing this, I would have almost elminiated the Sharans from the plot (maybe they brought a few hundred channelers w them), and instead admitted that the Shadow had less channellers (not really a big deal), but use them as Kamikazees to gateway in and ambush the Aes Sedai, maybe taking out several before dying. More of a terror/assassination tactic. Maybe a new ter'angreal that reflects weaves or something to negate the superior numbers. Use more Grey men to kill them, etc. You dont have to conjure an army which really supercedes the DO's forces halfway through the last book...

As mentioned earlier Brandon has told us Demandred didn' unite the entire continent. Not "by a longshot".

 

Interview: 2013

Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

Werthead (23 January 2013)

Did Demandred take over just a single faction of Sharans, or all of them?

Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)

Multiple factions, but not all by a long shot.

The reasoning behind the numbers is sound however given what we know about the world. I do agree with your assessment that Shara threatened to sidetrack from the war against the Shadow. In fact that is a very frequent criticism of AMol. Edited by Suttree

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