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Will the Seanchan be responsible for people forgetting about the one power?


Dashnic
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So we know from the underlying theme of the story that there are ages where the OP is forgotten. This got me to thinking. Will the Seanchan be the ones to cause the OP to be forgotten in the upcoming ages? Given the possible future seen by Avi where the Seanchan conquer the world, their propensity to enslave female channelers and kill male ones, its possible that they wipe out knowledge of the OP entirely by slowly winnowing the pool of available damane into nothing. Evidence for this can be seen in the widespread weakening of channeling strength in the OP in the Westlands from a lack of interbreeding between men and women who carry the gene to channel. Since breeding with damane is highly taboo, and the Seanchan just straight up kill male channelers, its possible that over centuries there just wont be that many sparkers left to collar, which will decrease both the number and desire for people to collar, which will eventually wipe out knowlege of the OP all together since the Seanchan don't tolerate anyone else but damane channeling. Thoughts?

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I've always assumed that the OP will eventually be forgotten because as technology becomes more and more advanced, the OP becomes less important. At some point what you can do with technology will likely surpass what you can do with the OP, so people will stop caring or bothering to train in the OP, and eventually knowledge of it will be lost and forgotten.

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I'm inclined to follow dashnic's line of thinking. However, the future that Aviendha saw is no longer certain now that they forced Rand to give the Aiel a purpose. That future was the result of him not paying enough attention the Aiel post-Last Battle and them drifting around aimlessly (on top of a by Seanchan controlled world). One of the reasons the Aiel got treated the way they did in Avi's future dreams was because of the rift that had risen between them and the 'wet'landers (Elayne's descendants).

 

As for technology becoming more important, I'm not disputing that as it would certainly open up 'magic' to much more people. But that doesn't prevent people from being born with the spark and still needing training. The rule of 'only 1 in 4 survive the spark without training' doesn't stop after the Last Battle. So while less people may depend on channeling because technology makes more other options available, I don't see it extinguishing it since part of channeling is an inborn, natural occurance. Hence why Dashnic's theory of it being eradicated through a no-breeding amongst channelers or with channelers rule seems more plausible.

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So we know from the underlying theme of the story that there are ages where the OP is forgotten. This got me to thinking. Will the Seanchan be the ones to cause the OP to be forgotten in the upcoming ages? Given the possible future seen by Avi where the Seanchan conquer the world, their propensity to enslave female channelers and kill male ones, its possible that they wipe out knowledge of the OP entirely by slowly winnowing the pool of available damane into nothing. Evidence for this can be seen in the widespread weakening of channeling strength in the OP in the Westlands from a lack of interbreeding between men and women who carry the gene to channel. Since breeding with damane is highly taboo, and the Seanchan just straight up kill male channelers, its possible that over centuries there just wont be that many sparkers left to collar, which will decrease both the number and desire for people to collar, which will eventually wipe out knowlege of the OP all together since the Seanchan don't tolerate anyone else but damane channeling. Thoughts?

But you would still have sparkers, because you're not removing the learners from the gene pool, so there are still channelers breeding. So it seems doubtful, even if we assume that the Seanchan do still take over the world and nothing changes with regards to their worldview on channelers - and we have good reason to believe that that future will not come to pass, and it seems likely that the Seanchan views on channelers will change over time as well, given that now they'll be sharing a continent with unchained channelers who don't fit with their preconceived notions of what unchained channelers will do.

 

I've always assumed that the OP will eventually be forgotten because as technology becomes more and more advanced, the OP becomes less important. At some point what you can do with technology will likely surpass what you can do with the OP, so people will stop caring or bothering to train in the OP, and eventually knowledge of it will be lost and forgotten.

It's hard to really envisage a time when technology has advanced to the point where it can really compete with the OP, considering what it can do. Personal teleporter, advanced medical kit, Swiss army knife, and so much more rolled into one package - and you don't need to carry that package around, because you are the package. Outside of "human conciousness is uploaded into giant computer, physical bodies now irrelevant", how would technology render the OP obsolete?

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But you would still have sparkers, because you're not removing the learners from the gene pool, so there are still channelers breeding.

 

How often to Sul'dam have children?  Don't many of those who can learn become Sul'dam in Seanchan society?  

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So we know from the underlying theme of the story that there are ages where the OP is forgotten. This got me to thinking. Will the Seanchan be the ones to cause the OP to be forgotten in the upcoming ages? Given the possible future seen by Avi where the Seanchan conquer the world, their propensity to enslave female channelers and kill male ones, its possible that they wipe out knowledge of the OP entirely by slowly winnowing the pool of available damane into nothing. Evidence for this can be seen in the widespread weakening of channeling strength in the OP in the Westlands from a lack of interbreeding between men and women who carry the gene to channel. Since breeding with damane is highly taboo, and the Seanchan just straight up kill male channelers, its possible that over centuries there just wont be that many sparkers left to collar, which will decrease both the number and desire for people to collar, which will eventually wipe out knowlege of the OP all together since the Seanchan don't tolerate anyone else but damane channeling. Thoughts?

This probably happens on the opposite side of the wheel.  We have Ashamen and Aes Sedai falling in love, we have Rand's babies that will perpetually hold the power and never ned to embrace it, channeling kind of already hit a low point and faded, up to the beginning of Eye of the World.  It will ebb and flow, then die.  I think the Aes Sedai kind of hurt their own cause badly as evidenced by the older novices the rebels gathered, over a thousand IIRC, and that was just their march through Altara and Gheldan?  Think of those the Seanchan are collaring in Amadicia where it is viewed as witchcraft and punishable by death.  Think of Tear where they bundle any girl off to the tower and didn't like As Sedai.  Between the Seanchan snapping up all of them with it being "disgusting" and "perverted" to mate with them, the gene pool is drying up still, but we are poised for some considerable change.  I believe it will become prominent again, then it will die out.  I still find it hard to believe NO ONE will ever channel during this period.  Maybe a lot more mysterious deaths of older girls of the age to begin touching the source for those with the spark, but maybe it becomes taboo and is hidden like the men at the start of the Eye.

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But you would still have sparkers, because you're not removing the learners from the gene pool, so there are still channelers breeding.

 

How often to Sul'dam have children?  Don't many of those who can learn become Sul'dam in Seanchan society?  

 

I'm not aware of anything out of the ordinary regarding Sul'dam breeding habits, so I'm working on the assumption that they're about average for having children.

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My guess would be that an instantaneous event would decrease channeling; instead of a gradual process.

and I would guess that the nations of this series would be gone long before the event occurs.

 

or if a gradual process, there being many contributors; 1 thing by itself probably would not decrease channeling.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well how many suldam and damane pairs to the seanchan have in total? The books make it appear that they have somewhere in the realm of 500 in the Westlands. Assuming this is just a tiny chunk of their overall forces, there could be thousands of channeler women not breeding, and thereby taking away from the potential channeler gene pool

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Well how many suldam and damane pairs to the seanchan have in total? The books make it appear that they have somewhere in the realm of 500 in the Westlands. Assuming this is just a tiny chunk of their overall forces, there could be thousands of channeler women not breeding, and thereby taking away from the potential channeler gene pool

The damane aren't breeding, but there's nothing saying the sul'dam aren't, and learners vastly outnumber sparkers. And that's not counting the male learners as well, nor any men who manage to have kids before sparking (or before the spark is noticed), nor any women who have kids before they are collared. While you would be taking away from the potential gene pool, it shouldn't be happening to the extent that channeling dies out. Also, there are cultures outside of Seanchan with different customs regarding channelers (the Sharans, for example). And Seanchan customs can (and likely will) change over time, as the justification for making women damane is hollow and the evidence of that will be evident when you live side by side with cultures with different views of how to treat these women.

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A much simpler way...eventually the entire world will become one big Steading.

simple? I would guess not.  will happen? maybe.

If it happens, channelers that have access to Wells could probably channel; and I take that steddings do not prevent either learners or sparkers from being born.  At least 3 Aes Sedia came from Far Madding; Cadsuane, Verin, Romanda.

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My guess is channeling never entirely disappears. You have tales of magic, the witch trials and burnings. My guess is the knowledge of how to train the ability is lost, and trial and error takes over. Stories of miracles could be a few people who have control. For whatever reason, it goes underground and the wider world forgets.

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My guess is channeling never entirely disappears. You have tales of magic, the witch trials and burnings. My guess is the knowledge of how to train the ability is lost, and trial and error takes over. Stories of miracles could be a few people who have control. For whatever reason, it goes underground and the wider world forgets.

Bear in mind there are other examples of magical things in the series, like Min's Viewings and Wolfsiblings, that are new - they were abilities which did disappear, and came back. And the Wheel is cyclical time. Chances are it will disappear, and will come back, rather than just always being there but forgotten.

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They could disappear and be slowly emerging by our time. You have Cassandra and other tales of psychics. The Aol ended with a planet spanning war and then there were two immensely destructive wars in between. We also have no idea how the AoL began so millenia of info could have and was lost at any point along the way. For example did Mosk and Merk really have a nuclear world war or were those garbled legends of nuclear tests.

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What is the difference between it disappearing and it being there but forgotten? They seem essentially to be the same, just a difference in semantics 

The difference is that it's there or it isn't. If it's there, then people will still be sparkers, there will still be channeling, but there will belittle widespread knowledge of it, what it is, how it's done, and so forth. Consider that may wilders have tricks - Nynaeve's Healing for example, and variants of Compulsion or Eavesdropping are common. Those tricks would still be around. As would the effects of the OP on longevity, and the mortality rates for channelers who spark but never gain the control needed. Thus, there should still be evidence of it. If it's gone, then there should be no evidence of it currently being possible, because it isn't. I'd say the difference between a world in which people can live for centuries and miraculously cure people but the knowledge of this is not widespread and surrounded but ignorance and superstition, and a world where people cannot live for centuries and miraculously cure people is more than just a semantic difference, but maybe that's just me.

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What is the difference between it disappearing and it being there but forgotten? They seem essentially to be the same, just a difference in semantics 

The difference is that it's there or it isn't. If it's there, then people will still be sparkers, there will still be channeling, but there will belittle widespread knowledge of it, what it is, how it's done, and so forth. Consider that may wilders have tricks - Nynaeve's Healing for example, and variants of Compulsion or Eavesdropping are common. Those tricks would still be around. As would the effects of the OP on longevity, and the mortality rates for channelers who spark but never gain the control needed. Thus, there should still be evidence of it. If it's gone, then there should be no evidence of it currently being possible, because it isn't. I'd say the difference between a world in which people can live for centuries and miraculously cure people but the knowledge of this is not widespread and surrounded but ignorance and superstition, and a world where people cannot live for centuries and miraculously cure people is more than just a semantic difference, but maybe that's just me.

 

 

But they wouldn't effectively be doing that would they? If 1 out of a billion people live for centuries but no one knows, hears of, or is involved in their shenanigans, the ability is essentially gone. Even in our world you hear tails of random inexplicable crap happening, and no one chalks that up to the OP. So is the OP forgotten in real life or is it just not there? And even if its just forgotten, what really is the difference to the rest of us?

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What caused the Aes Sedai to find less and less women with the spark in them during Rand's time? 

 

Since channeling is tied to the soul there will always be people who can channel.  Guess the issue is are you always born with the spark, ready to channel or not?  Or sometimes can you be born as the type only able to  channel if taught?

 

Could be simply technology goes to such a point channeling is no longer needed and  people simply forget.  Symptoms of people first touching the source may be considered a medical issue and there might be treatment.  The tricks each Aes Sedai knows they usually take to their grave never telling anyone else about it..  A lot of knowledge is lost that way.

 

A sickness occurs and most the channelers are simply killed, the few left are not enough to pass on knowledge and such. 

 

Could be the Seanchan are responsible, but capturing so many women who can channel and not letting them have kids it could be they nearly breed out the spark.  Just as the Sharrans make sure their male and female channelers do breed.  

 

Also think of a time like the middle ages where a rumor of someone living for a strange amount of times would of more than likely gotten them killed by fearful/superstitious villagers.  Also I think of the Xmen.  Where when its rediscovered you start having more and more people with these strange abilities to do things.  Many "normals" will probably be scared and eventually it will seem normal.

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Basically that's what I've said before, in the future, it doesn't disappear, it just goes underground.

During the books the Aes Sedai found less girls Because they didn't go everywhere. Look how many they found in The Two Rivers and Murandy, and if not for Egwene, no matter how much I hate her, they would've passed over the strongest living potential Aes Sedai. As others have said, the pool of trained channelers wasn't marrying, and the only ones producing kids were the learners in the wide world with no training.
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But, if I understand correctly, Jordan confirmed that there were times in the turning of the wheel where channeling didn't exist. I guess I'm wondering how that's possible. And i'm not talking about the "ability is forgotten" scenario. Im talking about it not being there at all. As in its not possible to channel

Edited by Dashnic
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What is the difference between it disappearing and it being there but forgotten? They seem essentially to be the same, just a difference in semantics 

The difference is that it's there or it isn't. If it's there, then people will still be sparkers, there will still be channeling, but there will belittle widespread knowledge of it, what it is, how it's done, and so forth. Consider that may wilders have tricks - Nynaeve's Healing for example, and variants of Compulsion or Eavesdropping are common. Those tricks would still be around. As would the effects of the OP on longevity, and the mortality rates for channelers who spark but never gain the control needed. Thus, there should still be evidence of it. If it's gone, then there should be no evidence of it currently being possible, because it isn't. I'd say the difference between a world in which people can live for centuries and miraculously cure people but the knowledge of this is not widespread and surrounded but ignorance and superstition, and a world where people cannot live for centuries and miraculously cure people is more than just a semantic difference, but maybe that's just me.

 

 

But they wouldn't effectively be doing that would they? If 1 out of a billion people live for centuries but no one knows, hears of, or is involved in their shenanigans, the ability is essentially gone. Even in our world you hear tails of random inexplicable crap happening, and no one chalks that up to the OP. So is the OP forgotten in real life or is it just not there? And even if its just forgotten, what really is the difference to the rest of us?

 

One out of a billion could easily go unnoticed. But something along the lines of one in 10,000? Even one in 100,000? That would be a hell of a lot of people running around with these abilities, and these lifespans. And while they might do so in ignorance, and while some of what happens could be hidden there should still be some evidence out there. (I use the one in 10,000 figure because 1% of people at the time of the series can channel, and most of those are learners - if we conservatively say that 1% of channelers are sparkers, that gives us one sparker for every 10,000 people. One in 100,000 is allowing for further drops in channeler percentage and/or a lower rate of sparkers. It would still amount to over 6,000 sparkers in the UK, over 30,000 in the USA, over 600,000 worldwide.  And that's based on very conservative numbers.) And the idea that no-one sees, hears or is involved with any of this is a bit of a stretch. And while there are tales of inexplicable crap happening, people still investigate, and try to explain it. There should be evidence out there - certainly as much if not more than for things like ghosts, and plenty of people investigate ghosts, and there are TV shows about investigating it. So the difference between forgotten and not there should be that if it's not there it's not there, but if it's forgotten the evidence should be there - and we should be getting closer and closer to being able to put it together and start remembering.

 

But, if I understand correctly, Jordan confirmed that there were times in the turning of the wheel where channeling didn't exist. I guess I'm wondering how that's possible. And i'm not talking about the "ability is forgotten" scenario. Im talking about it not being there at all. As in its not possible to channel

It's possible in much the same way as it's possible for abilities like Min's Viewings or Wolfsiblings to appear and disappear. Any answer has to account for these abilities as well. Maybe the Wheel just turns it on and off.

Edited by Mr Ares
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not sure if the Wheel (or the Pattern) has power to simply turn things off or on.

Like I speculated in my first post of this thread, I would guess some instantaneous event would precede something being "turned off".

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