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Vince Black

Aes Sedai Haters

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Reading through the early books ive seen a lot of hatred toward Aes Sedai. From commoners to soldiers

, personal experience to word of mouth, theres a lot of haters out there.

Why is that? I cant see anything particularly bad that they do.

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Over the course of 3000 years legends have become distorted and the AS haven't aided themselves by living in an ivory tower, rarely coming out. Person A says to Person B, "I hear the witches in Tar Valon do..." and over millenia fiction becomes reality

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"dislike" seems more accurate than "hate" for most characters.  only Thom seems to hate them; because they gentled his nephew.

though both dislike and hate seem to gradually change throughout the series.

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We never, in the books at least. find that out.Who knows, it could've been a society founded for the right reasons that was twisted over 3000 years. Or it could've been founded by a dark friendClick posed

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The Whitecloaks think the One Power corrupts. That much power in a person's hands is bound to make them power-hungry. They can throw fireballs at people with their minds (although they have the Oaths, the WCs don't believe it.) they live 200-300 years, don't get sick like normal people and their bodies stay young for a long time. That scares them. They also blame the One Power for the Breaking of the World (technically true, but was the Taint). They believe it is something like the Power of the Creator, and don't believe mortals are worthy of it. 

 

Normal people fear them for much the same reason. It is something like if a soldier with a loaded gun walked down your street. Except you can't see the gun but know it's there and in seconds it could go off and kill you. At least with a soldier, you can see the person aiming at you. The Aes Sedai do it with their minds, all invisible to the normal eye. 

 

Then they like meddling in affairs. As people know, an Aes Sedai can't lie, but she can twist the truth better than any liar. They also have a penchant for using people to their own ends (usually for the 'greater good' but it isn't a pleasant thought.) (Think of how Moiraine manipulates Rand and the other boys. Except for an Aes Sedai, she's one of the better ones.) 

 

So it is more fear and suspicion rather than hate. 

 

Although, I can assure you, once you read further, you will begin to understand why people don't like them much. 

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I just love the diversity of views and belief systems in WoT. I love the varied cultures and the fact that no one group is fully righteous. The conflict is so amazing.

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Aes Sedai have the reputation as being manipulators and rather arrogant.  As it was  said the truth you hear a Aes Sedai say might not be what they mean.  So since they can be so shifty with their words tends to make folks wary of them.  Not to mention most Aes Sedai hold themselves apart from the world and sort of have the power makes them better.  Many common folks have a scary idea of what the power is and can be done.  So you have these people wielding a power you don't understand.  Also many just hear stories of what they have done, may be true may not, but your average commoner has no idea. As Demanded said in his post, a lot off it is stories and rumors passed down over 3000 years and in  peoples minds have become  fact.

 

I do think at times the mistrust was overdone. One thing I do find odd is how mistrustful the three guys are of what Moriane says and seem to believe the DO in their dreams more.

Edited by Sabio

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I think witches have always been mistrusted, even when they weren't really witches.

 

These witches have real power and hardly anyone has ever met them.

 

If they have met them they've either had male relatives destroyed by them or females essentially kidnapped from their POV so I don't see why the common folk wouldn't fear and therefore hate them.

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I agree.  They manipulate people constantly.  The funny thing is, the rumors and everything were true.  They do attach a string to everything they do for you.  What you heard them say in context means something else to them at the same time.  "I Healed your father, now you owe me". 

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As others have said, they manipulate just about the whole political landscape of the main continent, and they use both that political power and the One power to bully everyone in it... that's a major reason. Second is because of the Oath to say no word that is untrue, the way they say things is often very deceitful. Many of them are absolutely arrogant, mean, and just bitchy in general... particularly Reds.

 

There are exceptions... Early in the book there is a lot of Moiriane, Suain and Verrin, who aren't as bitchy as most, but even they manipulate the crap out of people. 

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Fantastic example of people not liking AS, Elayne thought about giving Matt a copy of the foxhead instead of the original and it was probably him being taveren that stopped her. Also up until recently AS bonded any man as a warder willing or otherwise. That would make most people hate them at the very least, or a recruiting poster for DF's. Basically they did to warders what the a'dam does to them. Even Moiraine in NS, she tortured lan for no better reason than she could. In that situation, I would've tried my best to kill her.

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about the medallions; from what I recall, Elayne never considered passing off a copy as the original.  and from what I recall, she was honest about them.

 

about warders; the forced pre-series bonding seemed to be known to only White Tower initiates.  from what I recall, very few of other characters found out about it; and their knowledge of it was directly from Aes Sedia.

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On 8/29/2015 at 11:20 PM, Barid Bel Medar said:

The Whitecloaks think the One Power corrupts. That much power in a person's hands is bound to make them power-hungry. They can throw fireballs at people with their minds (although they have the Oaths, the WCs don't believe it.) they live 200-300 years, don't get sick like normal people and their bodies stay young for a long time. That scares them. They also blame the One Power for the Breaking of the World (technically true, but was the Taint). They believe it is something like the Power of the Creator, and don't believe mortals are worthy of it. 

 

Normal people fear them for much the same reason. It is something like if a soldier with a loaded gun walked down your street. Except you can't see the gun but know it's there and in seconds it could go off and kill you. At least with a soldier, you can see the person aiming at you. The Aes Sedai do it with their minds, all invisible to the normal eye. 

 

Then they like meddling in affairs. As people know, an Aes Sedai can't lie, but she can twist the truth better than any liar. They also have a penchant for using people to their own ends (usually for the 'greater good' but it isn't a pleasant thought.) (Think of how Moiraine manipulates Rand and the other boys. Except for an Aes Sedai, she's one of the better ones.) 

 

So it is more fear and suspicion rather than hate. 

 

Although, I can assure you, once you read further, you will begin to understand why people don't like them much. 

I am reading the series for the first time, and I'm on book 10. How do they manage to make a whole group of people so insufferable? Seriously, I don't think there are more than 3 Aes Sedai (including our "heroes") that are likable. In fact, majority of the women are written as sulky, scowly, cold, petty, ungrateful, know-it-all, easily-fooled/manipulated, annoying, judgmental, back-stabbing or/and can't-think-straight-because-of-a-man. Even the ones that are supposed to be friends are so petty to each other too much of the time. It gets tiring to read about them tbh. Then there are the ones who imply that they want a man to take charge/yell at/overpower them...then turn right around and treat men like they are fools. It's like the author picked out all the worst attributes in the worst people and injected his characters with them

 

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5 hours ago, Leighla said:

I am reading the series for the first time, and I'm on book 10. How do they manage to make a whole group of people so insufferable? Seriously, I don't think there are more than 3 Aes Sedai (including our "heroes") that are likable. In fact, majority of the women are written as sulky, scowly, cold, petty, ungrateful, know-it-all, easily-fooled/manipulated, annoying, judgmental, back-stabbing or/and can't-think-straight-because-of-a-man. Even the ones that are supposed to be friends are so petty to each other too much of the time. It gets tiring to read about them tbh. Then there are the ones who imply that they want a man to take charge/yell at/overpower them...then turn right around and treat men like they are fools. It's like the author picked out all the worst attributes in the worst people and injected his characters with them

 

Arrogance, no one has really been able to stand up to them for thousands of years, Hawkwing tried but didn’t really succeed. As is mentioned in the books several times, Kings and Queens are summoned to Tar Valon not the other way around, someone even said somewhere, even Pedron Niall would answer a summons. 
Won’t get any deeper, don’t want to get into Spoilers for you.

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A few reasons as much as Aes Sedai can be all powerful they are still people and have all the good and bad that most people have.  They are also taught from an early age they are different and many are encouraged to hold themselves apart from ordinary people and they make few contacts outside the tower.  So in some ways they live in this isolated world were change is basicly forbidden, it's a this is the way it's always been and this is how it will always be mentality.  You get scolded if you try anything new with the power.  But in some cases you also have the BA messing with things and causing chaos here and there, for the most part the Aes Sedai see the world as full of children and they are the ones needed to tell the children what they need to do.

 

Rand sees these flaws and wants the BT to be different, wives live at the tower and he doesn't want the BT to be isolated from the real world.  

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On 6/10/2020 at 6:21 AM, Harldin said:

Arrogance, no one has really been able to stand up to them for thousands of years, Hawkwing tried but didn’t really succeed. As is mentioned in the books several times, Kings and Queens are summoned to Tar Valon not the other way around, someone even said somewhere, even Pedron Niall would answer a summons. 
Won’t get any deeper, don’t want to get into Spoilers for you.

This is not just Aes Sedai. Almost every single female in this series is annoying. I kinda liked Birgitte a little, but in the last couple of books, she's lost the parts of her that make her likable. I get that she's under stress, but they could have retained some of her personality. Now she's pretty much always angry and snappy. Elayne....oh Elayne. I won't get into her. If I was reading instead of listening to the audiobook, I would probably skim over a lot of her parts. I like Aviendha better now I guess, when she's away from Rand. I could not make up my mind about Moiraine, but I just finished New Spring and that made me understand her and Siuan a little more. But still, it just rubs me the wrong way how they are written. And what adds to my annoyance is the repeated phrases and descriptions. I'm sure the author did it because books were released years apart. But reading the books one after the other really brings those things to light. OH LIGHT.

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On 8/30/2015 at 2:17 PM, Mrs. Cindy Gill said:

Because they're the Spanish Inquisition.

 

I think the Whitecloaks are more likely a critical retrospective of the US armed forces in Vietnam - or at least the officer class and the CIA - the "Questioners". Indeed, it's a toss-up between the Whitecloak Questioners and the Myrdraal as to which does the most damage unprovoked ...

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