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Why strip Moiraines channeling ability in the story?


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It seems a strange decision to make. It can't be seen as an actual sacrifice since she can still be stronger than she was with the angreal. Whilst it does add to the sense of suffering she endured at having this taken off her, there's no reason this can't be done by their normal method of consuming her emotions. I mean, for me, Moiraine has always come across as a bit of a badass. Thats not her only defining trait but its a big one. It would be like if lan had his sword arm cut off before the last battle. For a minor character I don't see the need to take a stab at that. I suspect the reason this was done is that, exactly like with Siun, its a plot device to prevent the older characters taking away from the other female channelers. Now, TBH, I don't see the point since Egwene and Elayne aren't really defined by their channeling ability; their stories are more about plots and intrigue than raw power. Whilst Nynaeve very rarely fights. Indeed, with the supergirls it has very rarely came down to blowing stuff up at all across these 13 books. Also I think they were stronger than Moiraine and had discovered many other powerful female channelers anyway; so its not like Moiraine would be unique in that regard anymore. So Moiraine remaining a strong channeler wouldn't detract from the supergirls, especially since they were all established as having greater potential than Moiraine anyway. As well as having their own angreal. 

 

The same goes with Lanfear. Theres no reason why Ishmael could not control her as she was because he is more powerful channeler and Lanfear would have been weakened. I don't see why Moiraine couldn't have got the angreal and retained her full abilities. Felt a lot like how Nynaeve, whose healing nearly always works perfectly, fails to completely restore Siun's ability and yet it works with Logain perfectly. 

Edited by False Dragon1991
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Re: Lanfear- a prevalent theory is not that Lanfear was weakened, just that Cyndane is Lanfear's natural strength, and that Lanfear had an angreal that she used frequently, making it seem like she was more powerful than she actually is.

About Moiraine, I couldn't say.  Maybe it was to set up for an outrigger novel where the ranking of the Tower is restructured, or maybe whoever's idea that was decided that Thom couldn't end up with a strong channeller?

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Re: Lanfear- a prevalent theory is not that Lanfear was weakened, just that Cyndane is Lanfear's natural strength, and that Lanfear had an angreal that she used frequently, making it seem like she was more powerful than she actually is.

 

The books show that is clearly incorrect and honestly I have never seen the theory taken seriously here or at Theoryland.

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if a person is severed then healed then severed and healed again. Do they come back weaker each time?

 

They are healed to full strength if it is done by a member of the opposite sex. The reason Siuan was weaker is that she was healed by Nyn.

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This is my take on this subject.

 

Moiraine having her channeling ability reduced is just part of her character development, and maybe I could argue that her channeling reduction helps the wonder girls move into a more dominant role in the story. Now Moiraine had a good idea of what was going to happen that day at the Cairhien docks. Her character is passionate about her cause and was willing to suffer imprisonment and even risk death. I really appreciate Moiraine’s dedication to working with Rand to win the Last Battle. So she follows through with her conflict with Lanfear fully knowing that she was going to suffer greatly, she also knew that her channeling ability would be reduced. Moiraine even plants the bracelet hoping to use its power just to survive the Aelfinn and the Eelfin. She also risks death, if Mat and Thom don’t hold up their end of the rescue all three of them die. In my opinion, all these bold moves and sacrifices really make her one excellent character.

 

So she is rescued, with less ability to channel. The As Sedan hierarchy is based on strength. The wonder girls are at the top of the totem pole and Moiraine is not. It’s a changing of the guard. That’s how I see it.

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This is my take on this subject.

 

Moiraine having her channeling ability reduced is just part of her character development, and maybe I could argue that her channeling reduction helps the wonder girls move into a more dominant role in the story. Now Moiraine had a good idea of what was going to happen that day at the Cairhien docks. Her character is passionate about her cause and was willing to suffer imprisonment and even risk death. I really appreciate Moiraine’s dedication to working with Rand to win the Last Battle. So she follows through with her conflict with Lanfear fully knowing that she was going to suffer greatly, she also knew that her channeling ability would be reduced. Moiraine even plants the bracelet hoping to use its power just to survive the Aelfinn and the Eelfin. She also risks death, if Mat and Thom don’t hold up their end of the rescue all three of them die. In my opinion, all these bold moves and sacrifices really make her one excellent character.

 

So she is rescued, with less ability to channel. The As Sedan hierarchy is based on strength. The wonder girls are at the top of the totem pole and Moiraine is not. It’s a changing of the guard. That’s how I see it.

 

Yeah but it shouldn't really be necessary to detract away from Moiraines abilities in order to prevent the supergirls role being diminished. Quite frankly only Nynaeve needs to be a powerful channeler and even then all she does is heal so its questionable if even that is needed; but its mainly to use the Kal. Egwene is given her position to be a puppet and her whole arc is about politics and intrigue. Its hard for me to see when her being a really powerful channeller came into it and not based on her having knowledge or her wits. Elayne is even worse. She literally has been along for the ride and being a channeler is pointless for her as she never uses her abilities. So only for Nynaeve is her strength in the One Power ever a major plot point. The others could have just been average Aes Sedai or in Elaynes case not a channeler at all. Plus, they were already meant to be stronger than Moiraine. Lessening Moiraine further doesn't seem necessary in those circumstances and if you're not going to make the supergirls do anything badass with the One Power then why bother giving them this ability in the first place? You could just say Egwene is a regular Aes Sedai with a talent for dreaming. So the guard was already changed and would have been anyway. It feels like a pointless stab at a minor character simply because it might undermine an attribute which the supergirls NEVER use. Considering this is a 13 book series and they were stated to be powerful Aes Sedai it is telling that they have a tiny handful of fights with the power as a weapon. Elayne and Nynaeve have almost NEVER used the One Power as a weapon. So why does it matter if Moiraine has her power stripped? The supergirls never use their powers. Moiraine did, hence why she came across as a strong powerful character. This feels like the author misidentifying the problem. Its not that Moiraine is strong in the OP indeed its repeatedly established that the supergirls were already better its just they never use the power as a weapon. If its just healing, politics and helping Rand then obviously people aren't going to think about the supergirls strength in the One Power and they come across as weak. Basically the supergirls role in this series is diminished quite a bit anyway because of the roles they are put into and the near total absence of any fighting with the One Power.

Edited by False Dragon1991
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Besides the theme, it is to keep Lanfear reincarnation a bit of a mystery between the Chosen.

 

Also, it makes Moiraine's sacrifice mean something more since we know she got to see her future.

Edited by James Tham
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All angreal belong to the WT. It can be taken from her if the hall knows she has it. Most sisters with hidden angreal only use it in front of others when there is great need (Cadsuane in the cleansing of Saidin) or in pure secrecy (Verin using compulsion).

 

Perhaps you do not see a material difference. Even looking purely at the AS hiearchy, and assuming no change to the AS hiearchy is made, Moiraine is demoted to serving tea to any sister.

 

Regardless, a number of reasons/interpretation has been presented as to why Moiraine's ability is cut:

1) Theme (which you disagree)

2) Make Cyndane a bit of a mystery (however weak) among the chosen

3) Sacrifice (which you disagree)

4) Give us some knowledge of what the Finns feed on.

5) Perhaps a sign of a shake up of AS hiearchy in the future.

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Just for my sake, what IS the accepted reason for the Lanfear-to-Cyndane weakening of the Power?  She's still stronger than all of the other female Forsaken, so I have a hard time accepting that it is supposed to be a punishment...

 

The finns can feed on the ability to channel much as they do emotions. Her ability was drained, same as Moiraine's.

Edited by Suttree
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Then why isn't she as reduced as Moiraine is?  And channelling is tied to the soul, not the body.  Aginor and Balthamel were at the same level when they were resurrected.  Shouldn't Cyndane be at the same level as Lanfear?

 

As said in the books they drained Lanfear too fast and killed her. With Moiraine they were careful and did it slow hence being able to take more over a longer period of time. After that she was transmigrated, not reborn.

 

 

Interview: Feb 20th, 2013Question

Regarding burning out, is it Healable?

Brandon Sanderson

Not in the same way that stilling is Healed. All it says in the notes is what I just said. And that Nynaeve would not be able to Heal Setalle. Being reborn would heal burning out, but transmigration would not. That's why even though Lanfear shifted bodies, she was still reduced.

 

 

As an aside channeling is both a trait of the soul and body:

 

 
Robert Jordan

For Papazen, while I have spoken of souls being born with the ability to channel in response to questions, I think of it as being genetic also. In the Age of Legends, between 2 and 3% of people had some ability, following a bell curve distribution in strength. For over 3000 years, though, Aes Sedai have been removing men who actually learned to channel from the gene pool. They have been very efficient at this. As a result, the "present day" sees about 1% of the population who can learn to channel, with a much, much smaller percentage of that being born with the spark.

 

Edited by Suttree
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How is it a sacrifice if she has a angreal that makes her channel stronger than she was? That defeats the object.

Having an angreal is not the same as having natural strength. After all, if she was as strong as she was then an angreal would make her stronger still.

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It may have just been a world-building detail about the Finns and "Finnland."

 

As for Eggy and Elayne's strength being meaningless, it wasn't. The Aes Sedai base nearly their hierarchy around strength. Nyn and Elayne's strength were useful in cowing the Aes Sedai in Ebou Dar, and certainly Egwene's helped back her authority in the Tower. Had she been of middling strength she may have had more trouble with the Aes Sedai. While she is young, Aes Sedai reflexively submit to other Aes Sedai stronger than them. So long as Egwene could convince others that she was Aes Sedai by maintaining that perception and strength of character, she could take advantage of that reflex. I'm not saying it's an "instant win" for Eggy, but being significantly stronger than the others certainly was to her advantage. The more people are convinced of her legitimacy, the more they would use normal Aes Sedai protocol in determining rank and behavior.

Edited by Agitel
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It may have just been a world-building detail about the Finns and "Finnland."

 

As for Eggy and Elayne's strength being meaningless, it wasn't. The Aes Sedai base nearly their hierarchy around strength. Nyn and Elayne's strength were useful in cowing the Aes Sedai in Ebou Dar, and certainly Egwene's helped back her authority in the Tower. Had she been of middling strength she may have had more trouble with the Aes Sedai. While she is young, Aes Sedai reflexively submit to other Aes Sedai stronger than them. So long as Egwene could convince others that she was Aes Sedai by maintaining that perception and strength of character, she could take advantage of that reflex. I'm not saying it's an "instant win" for Eggy, but being significantly stronger than the others certainly was to her advantage. The more people are convinced of her legitimacy, the more they would use normal Aes Sedai protocol in determining rank and behavior.

I completely agree with this.  The supergirls needed their strength for their adventures and treatment by other AS to be plausible.  The AS subconsciously put a lot of store in strength, even when they aren't thinking about it.  Elayne and Egwene would never have been respected by the AS if they didn't have greater strength than all of the AS.  Egwene needed this to make her seen as anything other than a puppet Amyrlin, and Elayne to have control of the AS in Caemlyn and Ebou Dar.  Nynaeve never really leads anyone, and is treated as an Accepted by the AS she hangs out with (Cadsuane and her allies), so her strength doesn't seem to have as much of an impact.

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It may have just been a world-building detail about the Finns and "Finnland."

 

As for Eggy and Elayne's strength being meaningless, it wasn't. The Aes Sedai base nearly their hierarchy around strength. Nyn and Elayne's strength were useful in cowing the Aes Sedai in Ebou Dar, and certainly Egwene's helped back her authority in the Tower. Had she been of middling strength she may have had more trouble with the Aes Sedai. While she is young, Aes Sedai reflexively submit to other Aes Sedai stronger than them. So long as Egwene could convince others that she was Aes Sedai by maintaining that perception and strength of character, she could take advantage of that reflex. I'm not saying it's an "instant win" for Eggy, but being significantly stronger than the others certainly was to her advantage. The more people are convinced of her legitimacy, the more they would use normal Aes Sedai protocol in determining rank and behavior.

I completely agree with this.  The supergirls needed their strength for their adventures and treatment by other AS to be plausible.  The AS subconsciously put a lot of store in strength, even when they aren't thinking about it.  Elayne and Egwene would never have been respected by the AS if they didn't have greater strength than all of the AS.  Egwene needed this to make her seen as anything other than a puppet Amyrlin, and Elayne to have control of the AS in Caemlyn and Ebou Dar.  Nynaeve never really leads anyone, and is treated as an Accepted by the AS she hangs out with (Cadsuane and her allies), so her strength doesn't seem to have as much of an impact.

Nynaeve's exceptional strength was a big part of why she was accepted into the WT anyway. Otherwise, she would have been too old.

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But she was such a badass. She actually got to fight with the OP something the female characters never do in this series.

The series is not about just fighting!

 

In fact I'd say the ratio of action to politics is incredibly one sided. and it's awesome!

 

 

Pretty much. 

It is in fact the opposite. It emphasises that fighting and Power isn't the most effective way of dealing with problems. 

 

They don't fight because they don't want to fight. Rand only fights because he has to - plus, he is insane - and has to learn the hard way that violence isn't everything. 

 

When people fight, it's either because they are forced to, or they aren't doing their job properly. 

 

Moiraine being weakened isn't a big deal. She is still the badass she was, her badassery doesn't rely on her strength of arms. Which is the whole point. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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