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WoT If...the Sul'dam and Damane Relationship Changes?


Mashiara Sedai

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to "WoT If?". For this week's discussion, I'd like to look a little closer at the sul'dam and their damane. There are a few points about them that get overlooked and plenty of questions to ask about their future.

 

Spoiler warning! This will include content from many books in the series, including Towers of Midnight, and speculation about A Memory of Light. Please read at your own risk.

 

For most of our female characters in the series, being a damane is a fate worse than death. Egwene has such a fear of being leashed that it makes her particularly vengeful when the Seanchan attack the White Tower in Towers of Midnight. Though the a'dam was mysterious at first, we learn later that it acts as an instrument that forces a link between the damane and the sul'dam, leaving the sul'dam in complete control.

 

The first thing that I've always wondered is why the damane don't feel the ability to channel in sul'dam. When Rand and Aviendha Travel to Seanchan in The Fires of Heaven, they encounter two sul'dam, two damane, Lady Morsa, and Jalindin, a Seeker for Truth. When Rand asks Aviendha to shield the ones who are leashed, she says:

 

The Fires of Heaven

Chapter 32, "A Short Spear"

 

"The women with the bracelets can channel also," she replied just as softly. "It feels very strange, though. Weak. As if they had never practiced it. I cannot see how that can be."

 

Sul'dam claim they develop an "affinity" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 42, "Falme") for knowing if a damane has channeled. Some experienced sul'dam can even see weaves without the bracelet on. I can't believe that the Empress, or anyone within the Seanchan hierarchy, couldn't put together these pieces and realize that sul'dam can channel too.

 

Tuon's total lack of surprise at this reveal might show some do know. In Knife of Dreams, she tells Mat:

 

Knife of Dreams

Chapter 9, "A Short Path"

 

"Perhaps I could learn, but I chose not to, just as I choose not to steal or commit murder."

 

She doesn't respond with, "Don't say such vile lies," or something along those lines. She seems to accept it without comment.

 

It might be argued that Seanchan-raised damane don't know how to sense the source in another woman; it could be one of the skills or Talents that have been lost in Seanchan. I doubt it, but it's possible. However, with the sudden intake of so many Aes Sedai, the secret can't remain hidden for long. If Aviendha can sense the sul'dam's ability, a trained Aes Sedai most certainly will.

 

Once exposed, all the Seanchan would have to do is order the sul'dam to drink forkroot tea. I'm assuming it would work on sul'dam the same as any other woman who can channel. After all, it worked on Morgase and she is probably more weak and unpracticed than the sul'dam.

 

The Aiel Wise Ones being taken damane might have a large impact on the Seanchan's future. When Aviendha goes through the glass columns in Rhuidean a second time, she sees the future of her line. The scene, through the eyes of her daughter, Padra, shows the Aiel still fighting with the Seanchan over the collared Wise Ones. However, you'll notice that it doesn't imply that more Wise Ones have been taken, only the initial Shaido who were captured by General Tylee.

 

The other future scenes show the Aiel constantly at war with the Seanchan. The Raven Empire has taken control of most of the world. They have technology—or is it One Power technology? Malidra thinks:

 

Towers of Midnight

Chapter 48, "Near Avendesora"

 

The Lightmakers had magics, the same magics that created their food and their lights. Magics that kept them warm in the bitter cold at night...

 

...She rounded their massive wagon. There were no horses. Only the wagon, large enough to house a dozen people. It moved magically during the daylight, rolling on wheels nearly as wide as Malidra was tall.

 

So, the Raven Empire seems to make use of the One Power, and even have a weapon that sounds to me like a shocklance. But it never mentions sul'dam, damane, or getting the "magics" from leashed women. I think this shows that the Seanchan eventually will give up their ways of collaring women.

 

Another question to ask about the a'dam is whether it's similar at all to the Domination Band (the male version of the a'dam). Moghedien tells Nynaeve in the Panarch's Palace:

 

The Shadow Rising

Chapter 54, "Into the Palace"

 

"Put the collar on a man who channels, and a woman wearing the bracelets can make him do whatever she wishes, true, but it will not stop him going mad, and there is a flow the other way, too. Eventually he will begin to be able to control you, too, so you end with a struggle at every hour."

 

 

Is it only the male a'dam that has the backwards flow? Obviously, women channelers don't have the madness, but could the damane eventually be able to turn the flow back on the sul'dam? Damane from Seanchan are raised to know they are beneath humans; they are animals, dogs. Their training is so harsh that even Egwene, a very strong-willed woman, was beginning to be brainwashed into believing it was good for her to serve her sul'dam wholeheartedly.

 

However, a sudden hoard of Shaido Wise Ones was collared at the end of The Gathering Storm. How will the sul'dam control a group of women who do not fear pain? I can't see how the sul'dam could even begin to turn the Wise Ones into obedient damane. And if the Wise Ones cannot be cowed by the a'dam's effects, perhaps the Wise Ones can turn the flows against the sul'dam.

 

There's more to speculate on the a'dam, but I think I'll leave it there. Join us next week for a look at the Black Tower's possible role in saving Caemlyn.

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Well, generally I think you can only feel the ability in women who have the spark naturally. The Sul'dam don't have the spark (those are the damane), but instead, can be trained. I think if they were trained, then others would feel the resonance (or whatever it is). I didn't remember the Aviendha quote, but perhaps that is a talent specific to her. Rand's girls are all full of surprises. As to the future of damane and sul'dam, I would like to think that Mat would play a role in abolishing the a'dams. Wouldn't that just be SO ironic. possible quote, "Burn me! Of course I hate the power... but, well it's just not right, blood and bloody ashes. You could tie them up and leave them for all I care just take those flaming collars off, light Tuon it's just, wrong!" lol, in the old tongue of course.

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i tend to think that it will change... if not completely self destruct at the end of the next book... when avi did her future walk through rhuidean, se saw the seanchan use the guns, but there was absolutely no mention of damane... or suldam... we do know that saiar isnt tainted, as its not mentioned(seems like an obvious thing to mention)... and that people still can channel... i think it more likely, that bonding in the next agee wont be possible... be it the aes sedai bond, or the a'dam...

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Or here's another thought:

 

One thing that has troubled me since the Seanchan attack on the White Tower is that the Seanchan now have Travelling, right? But in Aviendha's vision, the Seanchan were using giant self-propelled wagons. Why? Wouldn't travelling be faster? At that point, they'd have bred a HUGE number of channelers, male and female, presumably. So, why would they resort to such a slow-moving mode of transport, when in theory they'd have an army of trained channelers able to open Gateways to anywhere?

 

It got me thinking that something is going to happen to the One Power during the Last Battle.

 

What if one of the things that comes out of the Last Battle is that no one has access to the One Power any longer? Men & women both. It would, presumably, still be there (it would have to be, if time is a wheel), but untouchable by any channeler. Not like being stilled, just more like the whole planet becoming a stedding. And come to think of it, isn't that sort of what the Travelling People are hoping for? But I digress...

 

Think about what "no more channeling" would do to the world: The White and Black Towers would be no more. The Seanchan would have no more channelers (hence the need to develop technology again) but they would still have the single largest organized army in Rand-land. The Dragon himself, if he survives, would have no power over anyone, and would essentially become only a figurehead.

 

Yeah, I know. Probably impossible. So file this one under "From the Looney Bin." My details are probably wrong, but SOMETHING is going to change about the OP at the end. Thoughts?

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the only problem with that theory, is that avi's children are fully able to channel... the people thought it was odd how easy they did it, so others also were able to channel... id more call it a "distortion"... where certain things stop working, or even potentially backfire... travelling, adam, others perhaps? but not a complete severing of all channeling ability...

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A complete severing of all humanity for the entire Fourth Age is unlikely. I suspect it will be similar to the time after The Breaking, where channelers after the Age of Legends are nowhere near as powerful as those during that time, and successive generations got weaker and weaker - until Nynaeve, Egwene, Elayne, and Rand were born, and even Nynaeve isn't quite as strong as Lanfear.

 

My idea is this: channelers will become more and more rare and they won't be as powerful, but there will still be the occasional powerhouse, like how the vast majority of Aes sedai before Moiraine were far below Moiraine and Cadsuane, only the ratio will be more like 10,000,000 normal people to 1,000 Else Grinwell-level channelers (meaning practically worthless but with some power) to 1 Egwene-level channeler, and no more Nynaeve or Lanfear level channelers. With this idea, The Seanchan wouldn't have enough channelers with strength enough to make the damane as feared or as capable as they once were, and Mat might free them anyway, so the seanchan would have nothing left but developing technology to turn to, while Aviendha's descendants are still powerful channelers but that's more of an extreme exception, as the majority of other channelers would be capable of little more than party tricks.

 

I really hope I made sense.

 

And can I just say that the first draft of the cover is a blatant spoiler? I was kinda hoping for rand to live, and then the almost-cover of the last book has his funeral pyre. Not nice, Tor.

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Since RJ said "It exists in our past and our future...The time in which the characters live is our future and our past," we know our time is a spoke on the Wheel. Because of this, we know humans lose the ability to channel, since we can't channel. That must mean channeling eventually disappears from the world, but will appear again sometime in our future.

 

As for theories of how this happens, I've heard several. One is that the world becomes similar to a Stedding, you can't even feel the Source. It's also been stated in the series that the ability has been "culled" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 24, "New Friends and Old Enemies") out of humanity. Perhaps there's some sort of disease that only affects channelers, so they all die. There's lots of different ways for the ability to be lost.

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will channeling disappear during one of the ages? i suspect so, but, the coming age, isnt it... avi's children are fully capable of channeling... i mean, the spreading of the stedding effect may take time tho, i cant rule that out...

 

it does seemt tho, that after this breaking, in a few generations, they go from the perma-channelers, to the a'dam has become obsolete... whethe its a static to stop bonding, or the steading slowly spreading, or a seanchan societal change(i doubt), i dont know...

 

they have the early car, and the early gun/cannon... id like to think that the coming age is our own, but i dont rightly see how a non-channeler could defeat the DO and cause the next age to come... wouldnt that mean TG has nothing to do with the power?

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I do not believe that Tuon's lack of response to learning the Sul'Dam can learn to channel had anything to do with a prior knowledge. Instead, I remember Tuon's first person inner dialogue while traveling with Mat discussing how she had been trained for years in physical combat, ceremony, and schooling her outward responses. I also believe that she accepts this as a possibility. To flat out and completely deny something that is plausibly possible would be immature and excuse me but "un-empress-like."

 

When speaking of Damane not commenting on Sul'Dam and their ability to channel by feeling the affinity for it, the Damane probably do not know what the affinity means. Similar to an un-trained "wilder" such as a Wisdom, they do not know when other women can channel but they can have a feeling that another woman can actually "listen to the wind" rather than relying upon signs from animals and the elements to determine the weather. So why comment when a Damane can feel an affinity to a Sul'Dam? All of them know that the two are closely related and that Sul'Dam of long experience can see weaves without being linked. What would be the big deal?

 

As for the scenes Aviendha saw through the ter' angreal and the technology that Malidra saw, the technology is most likely an advanced and personal form of Aludra's "Dragons." Something similar to a rifle I imagine.

Malidra just didn't understand the machines. Anyone who has a complete lack of understanding concerning technology could think that simple things are run by "magick." Take an old elevator for instance. Someone who had never seen a motor operate or any form of simple technology could certainly think it run by magick even in the days when it was called a lift.

 

I do not believe that based on the visions seen through the ter' angreal that the Seanchan will give up collaring women. I do not say that they will not give it up, I just do not think there is enough evidence in the visions to support this hypothesis.

 

When considering the Adam and the Domination Band, of course there are similar qualities. Both are a ter' angreal that controls the usage of the one power and its flow through an individual. The Domination Band however, has been around longer. It was "crafted during the breaking" according to Semirhage (page 340 TGS.) "The domination Band demands far more obedience (page 350 TGS.)

Obviously the Adam does not have the same flaw as the Domination band (concerning the flux of control from one side to the other.) Besides Egwene, there have been a handful of other Aes Sedai who encountered the Adam and have had no breakthroughs in getting around its absolute control (unless someone draws upon the "True" Source eh?) There have also been the few renegad channelers throughout the Seanchan Empire as well as rebellious Damane for several centuries and there have been no problems concerning control that we have been made aware of.

I also doubt that the Wise Ones will be broken quite as easily as the others (wilders, Aes Sedai, Sea Folk) have been even though they are Shaido (daid to be the least honorable and weakest of the Aiel clans.) I am not sure how long their captivity will be. I personally think that some kind of agreement will be reached. since first of all, Tuon can learn to channel and Mat is involved (we know how much of a loose cannon he can be especially when dealing with something that he feels is his obligation to rectify.) Remember the Sul'Dam that he gave permission to go to the White Tower with the incentive to learn all they can in order to help him find a way to come to a happy ending without damaging the Empire for Tuon. Also, there is Eaginin and where she will go, and what she will do after befriending Nynaeve and Elayne with her knowledge of how the Adam works.

 

For heavytabbs,

feeling others who can channel is not a talent. In Eye of the World, Moraine explains that any woman who can channel with practice, can sense the ability in other women.

 

Metal Head, I can agree with you on the overlook of small things that affect story coheesiveness and plot. Sometimes the small things can really make a big difference. I also had a slight grievance over the same issue. But, we are all human and we cannot expect any one person even with a whole team of helpers to see and fix every small problem in a book (especially considering deadlines.)

 

But the Tuatha'an are not looking for the world to become similar to a stedding. They are looking for a song... It is a song that no one can remember or has an idea of what exactly it does. They just know that it will bring about peace and happiness. I think that it is probably the song from the Age of Legends where the male Aiel, (once old enough)the Ogier, and creatures like the Green Man sang together in order to make the crops grow and flourish.

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You could also explain the Damane not being able to sense the Sul'dam because they don't have access to the power themselves. My example would be Nynave prior to her block getting removed. When she wasn't angry and had no access to the OP she couldn't see someone holding the power nor the flows. So, perhaps when the Damane aren't linked they dont have that ability either.

 

 

As far as the Seachan using technology instead of traveling... Perhaps something that comes from all of this is that there are no more damane and the Seachan are quick to adapt to their losses (TGS there are references about them being incredibly fast at adaptation in warfare). SO this could explain why....

 

On another side. Mat is their Prince and dislikes the OP and its users, and is already shown to be finding alternate methods to maintain destruction in combat with out use of the OP (Cannons/Grenades), so it would make sense that Mat would eventually govern a nation that did not include enslaved Damane because they are basically irrelevant to his tactics.

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The damane do have access to Saidar when not linked, Egwene tests this out trying to escape in TGH Ch 42 and it makes her sick. The a'dam is not a shield, although when linked, a sul'dam can disallow or force the damane to channel but I suspect this is a particular skill Tuon has developed and other sul'dam don't know how as it was never indicated by Renna when Egwene was captured. Renna and Alwhin knew that Egwene hadn't channelled, but Renna didn't just take over control either.

 

I think it comes down to the fact that damane generally don't speak unless their sul'dam asks them a direct question.They are taught not to bring attention to themselves etc.. What sul'dam is going to ask can you feel the ability in me or can I learn? If a non-Seanchan captive in the know volunteered that info, she would be severely punished for insolence and it would not be taken seriously.

 

Yes Mat dislikes the Power but only in relation to it being used on him. He is more than willing to use Aes Sedai in battle and ter'angreal. He doesn't really like most Aes Sedai either but that is only because they are worse than the nobility in his view. He still likes Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, possibly Verin and has added Teslyn to the list because she humbled herself and thanked and showed him respect.

 

I don't know if Tuon had prior knowledge before Renna, Bethamin and Seta, but I think that her view is that because she chooses not to learn to channel directly, that she is still not a damane. Any sul'dam who she knew did choose to learn to channel would have an a'dam slapped on her faster than she could say "mother's milk in a cup".

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The damane do have access to Saidar when not linked, Egwene tests this out trying to escape in TGH Ch 42 and it makes her sick. The a'dam is not a shield, although when linked, a sul'dam can disallow or force the damane to channel but I suspect this is a particular skill Tuon has developed and other sul'dam don't know how as it was never indicated by Renna when Egwene was captured. Renna and Alwhin knew that Egwene hadn't channelled, but Renna didn't just take over control either.

 

I think it comes down to the fact that damane generally don't speak unless their sul'dam asks them a direct question.They are taught not to bring attention to themselves etc.. What sul'dam is going to ask can you feel the ability in me or can I learn? If a non-Seanchan captive in the know volunteered that info, she would be severely punished for insolence and it would not be taken seriously.

 

Yes Mat dislikes the Power but only in relation to it being used on him. He is more than willing to use Aes Sedai in battle and ter'angreal. He doesn't really like most Aes Sedai either but that is only because they are worse than the nobility in his view. He still likes Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, possibly Verin and has added Teslyn to the list because she humbled herself and thanked and showed him respect. (Edit: How could I forget Moiraine?)

 

I don't know if Tuon had prior knowledge before Renna, Bethamin and Seta, but I think that her view is that because she chooses not to learn to channel directly, that she is still not a damane. Any sul'dam who she knew did choose to learn to channel would have an a'dam slapped on her faster than she could say "mother's milk in a cup".

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The idea about the coming age being our own time doesn't hold much water. In the very first book, Egwene asks Thom for stories which are clear references to our own time. Thom says those stories are very old, from the age before the age of legends. That clearly pinpoints our time as being two ages before or five ages after Rand's time period. Furthermore, it's the 3rd age, making our time the first age. That would make sense from the author's perspective. Also, we have seen plenty of 4th age writings in the epigraphs of the books.

 

Channeling will be lost at some point, and my guess is at the end of the seventh age, the age before our time. That point in the cycle must be a TRULY cataclysmic "Last Battle." Channeling is lost, and civilization is so destroyed that it doesn't even leave behind any ruins. The remnants of mankind are reduced to a few small groups in the heart of Africa to begin history all over again. All other ages are forgotten, and we don't even know that time is a wheel. Flash forward another 10,000 years or so, and here we are. We don't channel and we forgot about the DO and the Dragon.

 

Regarding the sensing of the ability to channel, I think the a'dam must dull the capability in the damane wearing the collar. Egwene did not feel the ability in her sul'dam. I don't recall the Aes Sedai rescued by Mat mentioning that they sensed the ability in their sul'dam either. They only made the connection later. It can't block the sense completely though- damane can recognize a trained woman within a short distance. I can't remember exactly where or when, but I vaguely remember a scene where a damane pointed out a woman to her sul'dam as marath'damane.

 

A wagon that only moves in sunlight sounds like solar power to me. A primitive would call it "magic.". Whether it is solar-electric or solar-steam, it would appear magical to someone as ignorant as the Aiel seem destined to become.

 

As far as not using the power to travel, not everyone did that even in the age of legends. Sho'wings were used for mass transit. We saw them during Rand's journey through the glass columns. I think the Guide mentions them too.

 

I think the Domination Band must be different from the a'dam regarding the back flow effect. I think that effect has more to do with the taint than anything. That, or men and women are just too different. Men and women would be equally scared and enraged by being turned into slaves. Why should men be harder to control, or rebel where women can't? WoT revolves around a "different but equal" parity between the sexes. If men can rebel but women cannot, the difference must lie in something external to the person. It's either the taint, the method of control, or whether the gender of the controller and the controlled are the same.

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Remember that Mat sent Seta and Renna to the White Tower with the Aes Sedai to find a solution for the whole mess. I think they're going to learn about the oath rod and have all the damane and sul'dam swear fealty to the empress.

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My theory about the rulers of Seanchan know that Sul'dam can channel. I believe the Crystal thrown is a ter'angreal that subdues people when it is used by channeling. Also, that some Empress' themselves were able to Channel. One such is Tuon's own mother. That's why she favored Tuon for the succession against her other kin.

 

For the future visions of people in "magical" conveyances, those could easily be a form of modern technology and not magic at all. We see the steam engine being created at one of the collages Rand finds. That could be seen as forshadowing.

 

With the rise of the canon, organized armies on huge scales, and the rise of technology that we see in the books I believe, and I hate that I believe this, is that magic is going to die and the wheel broken. The end of the series there.

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An Adam does not grant or take away a person's ability to channel, or any effects one might have from being able to channel. An adam is simply a control. It has a near limitless power to restrict and control a daman or any female who can channel. captured Aes Sedai still have all their abilities; for instance, Egwene is strong in Earth so she could still sense ores and such (once trained) the Sul'Dam was just able to sense what Egwene sensed through it. Another example, look at the long lives of the Damane such as Alivia who is older than the oldest living Aes Sedai.

Some things are a given with the ability to channel. For a female, sensing another's ability to channel is as simple as breathing once trained in the use of the power. Nynaeve could feel an affinity to Egwene (explained in EoW) all along, she just didn't realize what exactly it meant. She knew that Egwene would be a good village wisdom because she would be able to actually "sense the wind" as Nynaeve could. The explanation learned in the White Tower is that a wilder's control of the power is limited until it is unblocked and most never realize that what they do is actual usage of the power.

 

Elci had a good point about Mat's view of the one power. He does not like it associated with himself but as a master tactician, has no compunctions about using it in battle. He was actually upset with the Aes Sedai for not attacking soon enough (they did not feel in danger yet) when they were being attacked by the Seanchan who thought he was about to kill the real Tuon.

 

As to Mat being the Prince of the Ravens, by now he is the Emporer or whatever title they bestow as husband to the Empress. But Mat will not have absolute authority and I doubt would be able to countermand any orders of the Empress. So far, we so that he has no desire to step into the role of a ruler he just wants to drink and bloody gamble!

 

Jackie made a good reminder of the Seanchan that Mat sent to the White Tower in order to learn of a way to help him convince Tuon that what she is doing is wrong. A way to help without harming the Empire. I beliieve that they will be very devoted to doing this as it could mean an honorable way to save the Empire from collapse. I would like to think that Mat himself along with the afore mentioned Seanchan with the help of Leilwan Shipless, and possibly Mistress Anan will all have a positive influence on Tuon's decision.

Two things of note: First, how long do the Seanchan have to learn at the White Tower? Will they not get there either just in time or too late to Travel with the rest to the big meeting at the Feilds of Merilor? Second, in the visions that Avhienda sees in the waste, there was a comment about a reconciliation or agreement nearly being met with the Empress (Tuon) but that two things weighed against them. One being that the Dragon knelt to her and so she was on a level above the Dragon and did not have to obey him; and two, that Tuon either died or was killed before the agreement was reached. So that being said, maybe Avhienda will bring this knowledge forth (if not kept confidential by the other Wise Ones) and all will find a way to prevent this from happening.

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This shows the conflict in the prophecies. The Seanchan prophecy says that "'He must kneel before the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai'don, or all is lost.' The Prophecies of the Dragon said so, clearly." (Winter's Heart, Chapter 14, "What a Veil Hides"). In Randland, it says, "he 'shall bind the nine moons to serve him.'" (The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 6, "The Hunt Begins") So, it's been speculated that Ishamael, during one of his free moments from the Bore, corrupted the Seanchan prophecy, making them believe the Dragon Reborn must kneel to the Empress. It's probably not true prophecy. In all likelihood, Rand will bind Tuon to him, even if it's through Mat, not the other way round.

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Mashi, I agree. I never thought the prophecies from Seanchan to be true but that they were corrupted. Altered by time if not deliberately changed by the Shadow. I mean, come on! Think about it. It was the HAWKWING EMPIRE. There arrogance would demand that the Dragon kneel to the Empress.

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I remembered the quotes about the two prophecies as well, I just did not have time to discuss it my son had to be fed and put to bed. I am not sure whether the prophecies are true or altered by the Shadow. But so far, we have not seen any prophecy regarding the Dragon to fail... If you recall, Rand as the Dragon after accepting to be human again (internal battle atop Dragon Mount) went to Egwene inside her seat of power and at least aknowledged her station. He had a respectful conversation that bordered on philosophy and quite politely (if with a hidden edge) asked leave to exit and made a slight dip of his head in respect.

Given, this is not quite a humbling act as kneeling especially debasing one's self so far as to lay their head on the ground before their ruler. But Rand managed the respect without actually lowering his own status or placing himself beneath Egwene. In fact, just by being himself and so strong Ta'varen, he managed to tug at the very soul of the gathered Aes Sedai without any effort.

 

The last meeting between Rand and Tuon went so horribly because of Rand's arrogance and the darkness that seemed gathered around his head out of the corner of the eye. Tuon knew that she could make no agreement with such a man.

Now that Rand has accepted himself, and changed for the better ("he has embraced death") instead of a darkness there is now a shimmering light that seems to warp the air around him. I believe that this changed man can have an entirely different approach to the Empress Tuon. I would like to think that as many a great man can bow without making it seem an act of subserviance, maybe Rand can complete ceremony with Tuon in a way that leaves neither of them looking the lessor. I realize how impossible this may seem since Tuon can have no one placed above her as Empress or her entire Empire would crumble around her, but Rand may no longer feel the need to assume such an arrogant and commanding air. Maybe he can just "Ta'varen" everyone around him into knowing he is a man you can trust and rest the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Maybe Rand can help Tuon out with the infiltration of the Shadow among her followers since it seems that no servant of the Shadow can meet his eyes or remain comfortable in his presence.

 

On a curious note, I wonder if this warping of the air around him will intensify if Nynaeve is able to heal the madness from his brain. I also apologize and hope that I am not breaking rules for bringing up a point from another discussion to this board, but I wonder how much healing the madness from his mind has a part in letting him live after death. I will be sure to copy this portion and paste it as a response on the other board. But since Jordan has drawn portions of culture in the book from cultures of our world, and seems to be playing off a few different Religions, the latter part of WoT seems to play somewhat on Christianity. It has been wondered if Rand is a surrogate of the Creator, maybe his soul is the reborn sould of the son of the Creator. Since Nynaeve sees so much brilliant white light laced under and through the briars of blackness (madness) in Rand's brain, maybe if she heals it he will be wholly good or "Creator-like." Maybe he or the Creator will bring him back.

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Tuon as always felt incredibly hypocritical in this quote , she choose not to learn , did her damane choose not to be enslaved ?

If someone snap and A'dam around her neck and force her will she accept it willingly ? Will Selucia ?

More so I have always found Rand's opinion about Seanchan control territory flawed , for one the shadow as left them wholly untouched . Only one Trolloc attack , one forsaken and barely in control .

Second they have thousand of slave , one-power wielding slave , to do their biding , it is always easy to maintain order when you have a race of slave .

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Mashiara, I guess this week's theory blog is a hit. I used to tell Despothera that you know your theory has struck a chord by how many comments it got, and by the average length of each comment. Looks like you're a hit! Congratz!

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@philosophic mind

i urge you to read the meeting between rand and egwene again,i read

it 20 times myself.

i my opinion rand played egwene from start to finish,he pushed all the right buttons to rile her up,but not enough for her to explode!

he clearly was not happy doing it,but he did it anyway.

i still dont understand the why,lets face it,rand will go to shayol ghul no matter what egwene will say or do,and she has no alternative to solve the problem,its very easy to say no without any

real solution.

"that is why i came to you,to let you plan"(smirk)

so yes,he aknowledged her station,and he was polite,but he also was in total cammand of the meeting,not her!!!

regarding tuon,rands behavior has nothing to do with the outcome

in a memory of light,because of a different agendas,but that is his

problem to solve,lol.

after all he is the dragon reborn.

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Fair enough Jack. I have to agree with you about the dialogue between Rand and Egwene. He was in complete control as you say. Looking back, I also wonder if it were not planned for her to gather all the monarchs of the world in order to "confront Rand." After all, he was a tad bit too busy to put so much pen to paper or even travel everywhere needed in order to gather everyone himself. It seems a brilliant move on his part and when they do all meet together, how can anyone refuse or argue with the new man that Rand has become? He not only has obvious power... But being Ta'varen seems to really be working to his advantage as well as developing an astounding boost to his charisma.

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Directed @ somewhere in the vacinity of Philosohpic Mind

 

There are several instances where it could be made to seem as if the pattern could be twisting around Tuon as well as Mat. He even makes a comment and asks her.

She responds with a characteristic disbelief in "fairytales."

The key point is that nobody with the ability to see ta'veren has looked at Tuon (that we know of.) Nicola is dead, and Siuan has never come close to the empress.

But if Tuon is also a ta'veren, then the strain in the pattern will dictate the circumstances. The pattern could also force Rand into a kneeling pattern because he must kneel to gain the support of the Seanchan. Added to that, the "crystal throne," which is ultimately what Rand will bow to (read the prophecies), is a ter'angreal designed to make the person approaching feel insignificant and respectful. In any case, I very much doubt that the meeting with Empress Fortuana will be anything like the meeting with the Amyrlin in ToM.

And just for the record about Nynaeve's ability to heal madness, she came out and bluntly said that she couldn't heal Rand. Not to be a stick in the mud, but it's obviously been ruled out. And it doesn't exactly look like he needs it anyway...

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Even if Tuon is ta'varen, Rand is is said to be the strongest living ta'varen at least since Artur Hawkwing. At the last meeting with Tuon, she talked about the strain in which she felt she must agree with this man about anything. That is why she denied him.

 

As for Nynaeve, her ability to heal madness is only recent and has to do with her ability to delve getting better and better. She has only had contol of her usage of the OP for a few years and her control just continues to grow at unbelievable levels... I am quite sure that it will continue to progress throughout the last book to a significant degree.

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