Hello, all. Welcome back to "WoT If?", Dragonmount's weekly theory blog. This time, we'll continue our look at the Warder bond. As always:
SPOILER WARNING. This will include content from A Memory of Light. Please DO NOT read this if you have not completed the book.
Last week, I suggested that the bond connects the two participants' souls. For this discussion, I want to look closer at the double bond formed by Pevara bonding Androl and Androl bonding her in return. Before we look at that, though, I'd like to examine both bonds a bit more.
The Aes Sedai/Warder bond is formed by the Aes Sedai with saidar. The Aes Sedai is the leader of the pair—in vows as well as in the physical manifestation of the bond. Sisters can force their Warders to do things through the bond; we see that when Myrelle receives Lan's bond:
Lord of Chaos
Chapter 52, "Weaves of the Power"
"Be quiet," Myrelle hissed. In a louder voice, she called, "Come to me." The horse did not move. A wolfhound mourning his dead mistress did not come to a new mistress willingly. Delicately she wove Spirit and touched the part of him that contained her bond; it had to be delicate, or he would be aware of it, and only the Creator knew what sort of explosion might result. "Come to me."
This time the horse came forward, and the man swung down to stride the last paces, a tall man, moon-shadows making his angular face seemed carved of stone. Then he was standing in front of her, standing over her, and as she stared up into Lan Mandragoran's cold blue eyes, she saw death. The Light help her. How was she ever to keep him alive long enough?
However, this practice of using a form of compulsion on their Warders to do their bidding doesn't seem to hold true for men who can channel. When Alanna bonds Rand, he is not subjected to her compulsion. The conversation between Alanna and Verin shows it:
Lord of Chaos
Chapter 11, "Lessons and Teachers"
"Well. Now that you have him, what are you going to do with him? Considering the lessons he taught us. I am minded of a fireside tale when I was a girl, about a woman who put saddle and bridle on a lion. She found it a fine and wonderful ride, but then discovered she could never dismount and never sleep."
Shivering, Alanna rubbed her arms. "I still cannot believe he is so strong. If only we had linked sooner. And I tried... I failed... He is so strong!"
Her "trying" had to be using the bond to make him heed her words. Obviously she would have tried it. But she failed, and it's because he is too "strong." So, that leaves the question of which strength is it? Is it because Rand is ta'veren or is it because he is a channeler? We don't see any other instances of an Aes Sedai compelling her Asha'man Warder in such a way, so I'm assuming it's the channeling that gives them immunity to this device.
On the other side, though, the Asha'man bond is quite different from the Warder bond. The Asha'man bond was discovered by Canler, and it's "something like the bond between Warders and Aes Sedai" (A Crown of Swords, Chapter 27, "To Be Alone"). How similar, and how different, are they?
When Logain bonds Gabrelle and Tovaine, we see he has absolute control over them. Gabrelle thinks:
Crossroads of Twilight
She had never had a Warder—they were needless flamboyance for Browns; a hired servant could do all she needed— and it felt peculiar to be not only part of a bond, but at the wrong end of it, so to speak. Worse than simply the wrong end; this bond required her to obey, and she was hedged about with prohibitions. So it was not the same as a Warder bond, really. Sisters did not force their Warders to obedience. Well, not very often. And sisters had not bonded men against their will for centuries. Still, it did provide a fascinating study. She had worked at interpreting what she sensed. At times, she could almost read his mind. Other times, it was like fumbling through a mineshaft with no lamp. She supposed she would try to study if her neck were stretched on the headsman's block. Which, in a very real way, it was. He could sense her as well as she could him.
So, what happens when the two bonds are mixed?
After a horrifying linking experience, Pevara bonds Androl without his permission. Then, in retaliation, Androl uses the Asha'man bond on Pevara. This results in their emotions circling back on them—her feelings get reflected to Androl, which get reflected back to herself. Overall, it's a very crazy concept.
As time progresses, Androl and Pevara begin to consciously develop the bond, forming a sort of telepathic connection. They can essentially read each other's minds—and with greater ease than Gabrelle could read Logain's mind.
So, here's my conclusion: the Asha'man/Aes Sedai double bonded combo will serve as the catalyst for binding the two Towers together.
Once the events of the Last Battle settle down, it seems likely that others will follow Pevara's and Androl's example. There are many advantages to their enhanced bond. It was very useful as they ran around looking for the seals. If every Asha'man/Aes Sedai combo had that sort of telepathic connection, they would be very powerful.
But the main reason is that the connection gives equal status to both participants. The Aes Sedai is the weaker one in the Asha'man bond, and the Asha'man weaker in the Warder bond. The double bond gives them equal status, which would be advantageous to both the White and Black Tower. I think every channeler bonded to another channeler will agree to add on the extra bond.
There are other things to speculate about the single bond. First, would the Asha'man suffer the pain of losing the Aes Sedai? In the prologue of Winter's Heart, Gabrelle says, "Or it could be that this bond is like the Warder bond in more ways than we know. Maybe he just did not want to experience the two of us executed." Here, she's implying that if Logain's bonded Aes Sedai were killed, Logain would suffer the unbearable pain of the broken bond.
And if the Asha'man dies, does the Aes Sedai go into the "death rage?" Rand wonders about this in Knife of Dreams. He thinks, "The Asha'man bond differed from the Warder bond in some respects, but in others it was identical, and no one yet knew the effects of an Asha'man's death on the woman he had bonded" (Chapter 27, "A Plain Wooden Box"). It seems likely that the death of the Asha'man—the bonder—would cause the Aes Sedai—the bonded—to die as well. Or at least suffer from the "death rage," and want to kill themselves.
The double bond would either cancel out both negative factors, or make them a hundred times worse. I could see that if Androl died, Pevara would feel the cutting of the Warder bond more keenly than the other, since that was the bond she initiated. If Pevara died, Androl would feel the cutting of his initiated bond, feeling the pain of it, but not suffering from the "death rage." It seems logical that each would feel the bond they created the most, and the loss of the other would be a lesser reaction; they would feel the pain, but not experience the "death rage."
On the other hand, with their near telepathic connection, perhaps feeling Androl die would be so emotionally shattering that it would kill Pevara instantly. If their minds are linked, as well as their emotions, they probably wouldn't be able to separate their own feelings in time to survive the loss.
This is a tough one, and I'm not sure we have enough information to go on. Personally, I'd like to think the former situation would work—since it's very sad to think both would die. If they did, I'm not sure the price of the double bond would be worth it.
So, what are everyone else's thoughts on the subject? Please let me know! That's all for this edition. Next week, I want to look at the "importance" of Moiraine. Thanks for reading!