Jan 11 2010 4:21pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 7

Why, hello, gentle readers! Having succeeded, with foresight, fortitude, and much layering, in not freezing to death this past weekend, I bring you a shiny new Wheel of Time re-read post to celebrate!

Today’s post covers Chapters 10-11 of A Crown of Swords, in which Things Happen, more or less.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, in which you can find links to news, reviews, and all manner of yummy tidbits regarding the newest release, The Gathering Storm, and for WOT-related stuff in general.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 12, The Gathering Storm. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And that is all she wrote, at least in the introductory bit, so click on to see the post!

Chapter 10: Unseen Eyes

What Happens
Back in her tent, Egwene endures Selame’s brainless chatter and fluttering as she tries to convince herself it was only anger she felt over Nicola and Areina, and not a bit of fear too. When Selame suggests Egwene bathe in ewe’s milk “to keep her skin soft”, Egwene kicks her out and finishes getting ready for bed herself. She checks outside and sees someone hanging around the tent – a woman, she thinks – but smiles to herself that whoever the watcher is, they won’t see where she goes tonight. Getting into bed, she quickly puts herself to sleep and goes to the in-between place where people’s dreams appear. She had considered finding Nicola and Areina’s dreams to “sink the fear of the Light into their bones”, but decides the effort of finding them was not worth it. Instead she finds Nynaeve’s dream, and touches the outside of it gently, not enough to see what Nynaeve is dreaming about, and leaves her a message:


The dream disappears abruptly, and Egwene is amused, thinking it must be a little disconcerting to have a disembodied voice boom at you in the middle of a dream. She finds Elayne’s dream and gives her the same message, and then finds Amys’s dream, asking her to come speak with her. Amys’s voice confirms in a normal “tone”, and Egwene is wryly amused at this reminder of how much more skill the Wise Ones have at this than she. Then she notices another dream coming toward her.

Only one dream would do that, one dreamer. In a panic, she fled, wishing she had a throat to scream, or curse, or just shout. Especially at the tiny corner of her that wanted to stay where she was and wait.

She arrives in Tel’aran’rhiod in the Heart of the Stone in Tear, and laughs at the extremely rich, low-cut gown she’s wearing, reflecting that Gawyn had a very unfortunate effect on her, then blushes at the memory of what they had done in his dream. Then she tells herself firmly that the time for all that would come, but for now she needs to pay attention to other things. Waiting for the Wise Ones, she wonders why they always chose the Stone to meet in the Dreamworld, and again becomes aware of the way it always seemed someone was watching you here. She wishes she had spied on either Logain or Moghedien’s dreams when she had a chance, but knows that would have been very dangerous, especially considering Moghedien was skilled in dreamwalking. She thinks of how Moghedien could be looking for her now, and suddenly realizes she is dressed in full plate armor. Irritated, she changes to Wise One’s garb, and says aloud to herself that Logain is on his way to the Black Tower and Moghedien has no way to know where Egwene is. Bair asks from behind her why she should fear “the Shadowsouled”, and Egwene literally climbs a foot in the air before calming herself. Amys, Bair and Melaine are highly amused by this. In dignified tones, Egwene explains that she caused Moghedien “some hurt”, and does not doubt the Forsaken would like to repay it; she changes her clothes again, to be dressed as the Amyrlin Seat might be, in silk. The Wise Ones are eager to know how she hurt a Forsaken, but Amys intuits that Egwene has something important to say to them, and suggests they get to it. Egwene gathers herself, and says that she has not told them why she was summoned away from them: she has been raised Amyrlin by the sisters opposing Elaida, and when Elaida is brought down, Egwene will be Amyrlin in the White Tower. She waits anxiously for their reaction.

“There is a thing children do,” Melaine said carefully after a time. Her pregnancy did not show yet, but already she had the inner radiance, making her even more beautiful than usual, and an inward, unshakable calm. “Children all want to push spears, and they all want to be the clan chief, but eventually they realize that the clan chief seldom dances the spears himself. So they make a figure and set it on a rise.” Off to one side the floor suddenly mounded up, no longer stone tiles but a ridge of sun-baked brown rock. Atop it stood a shape vaguely like a man, made of twisted twigs and bits of cloth. “This is the clan chief who commands them to dance the spears from the hill where he can see the battle. But the children run where they will, and their clan chief is only a figure of sticks and rags.” A wind whipped the cloth strips, emphasizing the hollowness of the shape, and then ridge and figure were gone.

Egwene is relieved that they believed her, and amazed that they had struck so instantly to the heart of her situation. She answers that that is so, but by the time she finishes she intends to be their chief in truth. Bair opines that Egwene has too much honor for these women, and urges her to return to the Aiel, but Egwene replies that she has made her choice. Amys declares there is much ji in her decision. Then Bair asks if Egwene means to bring the rebel Aes Sedai to swear to the Car’a’carn. Startled at the very notion, Egwene answers, certainly not; it would be like having Wise Ones swear fealty to a clan chief. Melaine is indignant to be compared to Aes Sedai, and Egwene wonders if the contempt the Wise Ones feel for Aes Sedai is due to resentment over the prophecies linking them to the Aiel. She reminds herself that the Wise Ones want to guide Rand as much as the Aes Sedai do, as she does, but thinks that she is the only one of them who wants to guide him for his own sake, as much as for the world’s. She tells the Wise Ones of her fears for Rand, and her uneasiness at Merana’s silence, and her worry that Merana will not know how to handle him. Bair again suggests she return, but Egwene thinks she can do more where she is, and besides, as Amyrlin she isn’t allowed near the Dragon Reborn. The three women exchange glances, and Amys finally says that Merana and the others followed Rand to the treekillers’ city, and there is no need for Egwene to worry about Rand setting a foot wrong with them. Egwene is doubtful.

Bair cackled with laughter. “Most parents have more trouble with their children than lies between the Car’a’carn and the women who came with Merana Ambrey.”

Egwene chuckles, relieved, but still wonders why Merana hasn’t sent a message, and Amys answers carefully that Merana had brought no pigeons with her to Cairhien. Egwene is irritated at Merana’s carelessness, and intently asks Amys to promise not to keep Merana from talking with Rand, as she is only supposed to convince him that the rebels mean him no harm; Elaida might have “some nasty surprise” in store, but the rebels do not. After another long moment, Amys promises, in a flat tone.

Probably she was offended that Egwene had required a pledge, but Egwene felt as though a weight had lifted. Two weights. Rand and Merana were not at each other’s throats, and Merana would have a chance to do what she had been sent to do. “I knew I’d have the unvarnished truth from you, Amys. I can’t tell you how glad I am to hear it. If anything were wrong between Rand and Merana . . . Thank you.”

Startled, she blinked. For an instant, Amys wore cadin’sor. She made some sort of small gesture, too. Maiden handtalk, perhaps.

Bair and Melaine appear not to notice this, so Egwene pretends she did not either, not wanting to shame Amys for her loss of control. She asks them as a favor not to tell Rand about her being raised Amyrlin, as she is worried he would decide to “rescue” her, and who knew what disaster would result; she is startled when the Wise Ones agree immediately. They chat of inconsequential things for a while, then Egwene says she must go, warning them to be careful of Moghedien and the other Forsaken. She takes their hands, thanking them warmly for their friendship, and Amys answers sadly that she hopes Egwene will always regard them so. The Wise Ones leave, and Egwene firmly suppresses the temptation to go find Gawyn’s dream. She returns to real sleep, trying to make sense of the prophetic images she sees.

On and on they came, and she sorted feverishly, desperately tried to understand. There was no rest in it, but it must be done. She would do what must be done.

Definitely the biggest thing you’re missing, if you’re only reading these recaps and not following along with the actual text, is the descriptions. The paragraphs in this chapter describing the “in-between” dream place, which I basically skipped entirely, are a prime example:

Formless, she floated deep within an ocean of stars, infinite points of light glimmering in an infinite sea of darkness, fireflies beyond counting flickering in an endless night.

I bring this up not because I think I’m remiss for leaving the description out (I’m not), but as a reminder that if you aren’t reading along, you’re missing all the imagery and scene-setting and things that make the Wheel of Time good writing, as well as a good story. Jordan had a real gift for evoking vivid imagery, in particular, which is something I think gets kind of ignored about him more often than not.

Interesting turning point here in Egwene’s relationship with the Wise Ones – interesting, in that Egwene herself misses it entirely. Which is because, of course, that she doesn’t know that Amys is lying like a rug to her, even if only by omission. Her dance around the truth of the situation with Merana et al, in fact, is downright Aes Sedai-like. How’s that for shaming, eh?

I understand why the Wise Ones are not telling Egwene about the situation with the sisters swearing fealty to Rand (basically for the exact same reason Egwene doesn’t want Rand told about her situation with the rebels, really – hah, mutual rescue-attempt-avoidance), but I think it was shortsighted of them not to at least tell her about Rand’s kidnapping and rescue. I mean, eventually Egwene’s going to find out about the whole kit and caboodle anyway, but they could have at least mitigated their deception a little bit by telling her part of the story. I guess I just don’t understand the reasoning, there.

(And now I’m trying to remember when Egwene does learn about Dumai’s Wells, and all the rest of it. I don’t think for quite a while, but I could be wrong. Oh well. I’ll find out eventually!)

Gawyn and his Amazing Roving Sex Dreams: Heh.

This does bring up again a criticism that was being discussed in the comments to the last entry, to the effect that (as I understand it goes) many of the female characters seem to have not really cared about clothes until they fell in love, at which point they went full-bore Barbie Dress Up on our asses, and this is a somewhat sexist portrayal, since none of the boys do the same thing.

To which I say: Firstly, there were more influences at work here than just falling for a guy. In my experience, there’s nothing more likely to induce a change in personal style than travel. Seeing new places and cultures is a huge incentive to experiment with all aspects of them, and fashion is one of the easiest (and most portable) ways of doing so. “When in Rome”, and alla that.

Secondly, the statement that the boys don’t change in their sartorial habits is demonstrably not true, as witnessed by all the rigmarole in the early books with the embroidered coats and whatnot. True, that was initially forced on them (well, Rand) by Moiraine, but I haven’t noticed that Rand’s gone back to wearing plain farmer’s coats since then, and there’s a whole passage in (I think) Winter’s Heart where Mat laments (at length!) the fact that he’s all into fancy clothes now – just as Nynaeve and Min do at various points.

Thirdly, there is the fact that fashion, especially in WOT, is more than just feeling pretty; it is also a social and political tool. This is, in fact, why Moiraine went to all that trouble to upgrade Rand’s wardrobe in the first place. Perception is power, boys and girls, and for better or worse there’s absolutely no doubt that what we wear plays a huge role in how others see us. This may not be all the characters’ motivations in wearing fancy clothes, but it certainly is for some of them, and Egwene in particular is well aware of this rule. She even uses it in this very chapter, when she switches from Wise One’s garb to a silk Amyrlin-y dress in order to bring home her change in status to Amys et al.

And last but not least: wearing pretty clothes is fun. It feels nice to look nice, and if that’s a girly thing, well, what’s wrong with that? The problem here is not whether wanting to wear nice clothes is “a girly thing”, the problem is with why we automatically seem to feel that “girly” = “bad”.

This sort of links into the “changing for a guy” accusation, as well. You can have a “nature vs. nurture” argument about whether this gender division is culturally-induced or not, but either way, I personally don’t see what’s so wrong with wanting to look good for the person you love. Love changes you just as much as travel, after all. And if that makes me “girly”, then I say, go me!

So There.

Okay, enough about clothes already. The other major thing about this chapter is, of course, the slew of new prophetic dreams Egwene heaps on us at the end, which you can catch up on by following the handy FAQ link above. Though the interpretation parts of the FAQ are outdated, the interesting thing is that even as of TGS, almost none of these dreams have been fulfilled, except for the one that’s (probably) about Jahar Narishma and Callandor. Though it is true that some of them, like the one about Gawyn slashing his feet up, are in the process of being fulfilled (as long as we assume that only refers to Emo Angst, anyway), and others, like the one about the wall, are iffy.

I’m still uncertain, personally, if the one about Egwene on the headman’s block is meant to be taken literally or not. If not, then it could possibly have been fulfilled by the end of TGS – if you kind of squinch your eyes and look at it sideways. She was under threat of execution, and Gawyn and Siuan and Bryne did come to rescue her; the problem, though, is that it seems their “rescue” was more or less superfluous, which doesn’t jibe much with the dream’s implication that the “running” person was essential to her survival. So, maybe this is still yet to come.

The one about Egwene trying to tear down the wall is strange; TGS seems to put paid to the notion that it meant she was going to tear down the White Tower (though I guess she did end up putting a few holes in it, ba dum dum), so I’m just really not sure what the wall is supposed to be symbolic of. Commenters are invited to have at with their ideas.

And then of course there’s the most annoyingly cryptic one of all:

A man lay dying in a narrow bed, and it was important he not die, yet outside a funeral pyre was being built, and voices raised songs of joy and sadness.

Seriously, what is that all about? I’ve never believed it referred to Rand, seeing as she just had a vision about him being on a funeral bier a second ago, and didn’t connect the two dreams; and plus why would she call Rand “a man”, instead by name, like she did for the one before it, if it was about him? But if it’s not Rand, and (by inference) not anyone else she knows, who the hell could it be?

‘Tis a puzzlement!

Chapter 11: An Oath

What Happens
Egwene endures Meri’s dour and gloomy disposition as the maid helps with her morning toilette, and flees almost before finishing. She heads to her “study”, but finds to her surprise that Faolain and Theodrin are there instead of Sheriam. They report to her that no one saw any man near Marigan’s tent the night before, though a few remember seeing Halima in the vicinity; Faolain adds bitterly that Tiana (the Rebel Mistress of Novices) had seen them and sent them to bed. Egwene knows that they are in the same predicament as her, except without even the extra shield of being Amyrlin. She tells them she is sorry for their difficulties, and that she will speak to Tiana, though mentally she doesn’t believe it will do much good, and makes it clear she wants them to go, but Faolain then says with frustration that she wishes she had held the Oath Rod, so that Egwene would know what she says is true. Egwene replies that it is not the Oath Rod that makes an Aes Sedai, and invites her to speak the truth. Faolain says bluntly that she does not like Egwene, and thinks she didn’t get half the punishment she deserved as a novice, and further that both Romanda and Lelaine have offered to take her and Theodrin under their protection. Theodrin puts in that Faolain is trying to say that they did not attach themselves to Egwene because they had no choice, or for gratitude either. Egwene asks, why, then?

Faolain jumped in before Theodrin could more than open her mouth. “Because you are the Amyrlin Seat.” She still sounded angry. “We can see what happens. Some of the sisters think you’re Sheriam’s puppet, but most believe Romanda or Lelaine tells you where and when to step. It is not right.” Her face was twisted in a scowl. “I left the Tower because what Elaida did wasn’t right. They raised you Amyrlin. So I am yours. If you will have me. If you can trust me without the Oath Rod. You must believe me.”

Pained at hearing again what the Aes Sedai think of her, Egwene asks Theodrin if she feels the same; Theodrin says yes. She does not think that Egwene will win against Romanda or Lelaine, but she and Faolain are trying to be Aes Sedai even though they are not really, yet, and won’t be until they have been tested and sworn on the Oath Rod. Egwene says she wishes they would stop bringing up the Oath Rod.

“Do you think everybody believes Aes Sedai because of the Three Oaths? People who know Aes Sedai know a sister can stand truth on its head and turn it inside out if she chooses to. Myself, I think the Three Oaths hurt as much as they help, maybe more. I will believe you until I learn you’ve lied to me, and I will trust you until you show you don’t deserve it. The same way everybody else does with one another.”

She adds that she doesn’t want to hear anymore about their not being real sisters; they are Aes Sedai. Theodrin and Faolain exchange a look, then each kneel before her and swear fealty, in terms which Egwene is startled to realize is the way nobles swear to kings and queens, quite outside Aes Sedai tradition. Then Faolain asks stiffly about the matter of her penance, for the way she spoke to Egwene. Egwene briefly considers making her eat soap, but answers that she will not penalize her for speaking the truth; Faolain can dislike Egwene all she wants, as long as she holds to her oath. Faolain is amazed by this. Egwene then tells them she has two tasks for them, to begin; they listen carefully to her instructions and then leave with all due courtesy. Egwene finds a note from Siuan (“nothing of interest in the dream”) and grimaces before burning the note, as Siuan had managed to get herself banned from using the dream ter’angreal, and now had to borrow Leane’s, who was likely to be in a taking about it. Siuan finally shows up, and Egwene demands to know where she’s been; Siuan growls back that Aeldene had hauled her out of bed to try and pry the Amyrlin’s eyes-and-ears network from her, and Siuan will be burned before she gives it up. Egwene reflects that Aeldene’s arrival had changed a lot of things for Siuan, as Aeldene had taken over the Blue’s spy network after Siuan had been raised Amyrlin, and had been infuriated on arriving to the Rebel camp to find that Siuan had been diverting its reports. Egwene reassures Siuan that no one will take away her network, but Siuan is despondent, talking of how Lelaine and Romanda and even Aeldene are so far above her in strength and she shouldn’t be fighting with them at all. Egwene is indignant that Siuan would choose now of all times to go into a funk, after everything she’s been through, and points out that the Aes Sedai way is not the only way, nor necessarily the best either, but Siuan will not be roused. Egwene catches sight of Myrelle outside the tent, and decides a victory might pull Siuan out of her depression. She rushes out, calling to Myrelle; Myrelle is startled to see her, and tries to excuse herself, but Egwene is not having it. Then Gareth Bryne appears, and asks to speak with Egwene alone; Egwene notes that just the sight of him is enough get Siuan to pull herself together. Myrelle again tries to slip off, and Egwene snaps at her to stay put; Myrelle appears startled at her own obedience. Egwene tries to put Bryne off till the afternoon, but he tells her his patrols found something this morning. Egwene decides to jump on the opportunity to get out of camp, and orders Siuan to go get horses for herself and Siuan (Myrelle is already mounted). Siuan darts off, but then Lelaine and Romanda appear and plant themselves in front of Egwene, and after weaving a ward against eavedropping that Egwene notes neither of them asked permission to create, immediately begin haranguing Egwene to do something about Delana. Delana wants to lay a proposal in the Hall to publicly condemn Elaida as Black, and Lelaine says Egwene must speak with her. Egwene doesn’t see what good this will do, as Delana is “a weathervane” with her vote, and her obsession with the Black Ajah is her only fixed point.

“Mother . . . ” In [Romanda’s] mouth, that sounded entirely too much like “girl.” “ . . . the reason Delana must be stopped is she does no good and considerable harm. Perhaps Elaida is Black—though I have strong doubts, whatever secondhand gossip that trollop Halima brought; Elaida is wrongheaded to a fault, but I cannot believe her evil—yet even if she is, trumpeting it will make outsiders suspicious of every Aes Sedai and drive the Black into deeper hiding. There are methods to dig them out, if we don’t frighten them into flight.”

Lelaine snorts that no one would submit to Romanda’s “methods”, which in her opinion are little short of being put to the question, and Romanda fires back that she will be the first to agree to undergo them, as long as Lelaine is next. They stare daggers at each other, apparently having forgotten Egwene entirely; fed up, Egwene announces that when they decide what she should say, then Egwene can decide what she will do, and marches off to the horse Siuan has brought. She rides off with Bryne, Siuan, and Myrelle, secretly relieved that neither Lelaine nor Romanda had tried to stop her. She asks Bryne if he expects any opposition ahead, and Bryne answers that he expects Murandy to be much the same as Altara, but Andor will be a different matter; he is not looking forward to it. Egwene then asks how he plans to take Tar Valon when they reach it, and Bryne notes dryly that no one has asked him that before.

“With that, I will lay siege. The hardest part will be finding ships, and sinking them to block Northharbor and Southharbor. The harbors are as much the key as holding the bridge towns, Mother. Tar Valon is larger than Cairhien and Caemlyn together. Once food stops going in . . . ” He shrugged. “Most of soldiering is waiting, when it isn’t marching.”

Myrelle demands to know how he expects to successfully siege Tar Valon when Artur Hawkwing himself tried for twenty years and failed; no army has ever breached Tar Valon’s walls. Egwene knows, thanks to Siuan’s secret histories, that this is not actually true, but Myrelle couldn’t know that. Bryne answers that Hawkwing’s failure was because he could never successfully block the harbors; if Bryne can manage that, the siege will work, after they’ve starved the city enough to weaken it. This shuts Myrelle up, and Egwene feels ill at the notion of all the innocents who will suffer for her war against Elaida. She notes that Siuan almost pats her on the shoulder, but refrains. She tells Bryne to show her what he found.

I’ve kind of been skimming over it in the recap, but Egwene’s tribulations with her maids, and the vastly different reasons why they are annoying, are actually pretty amusing.

Halima: several commenters have opined that Halima was an idiot for interfering with Sheriam the way she did later on, and I tend to agree, but you have to admit that otherwise she is the perfect mole. There’s really no reasonable way in the world, after all, for Egwene or anyone to have deduced that a formerly dead male Forsaken was lurking about in the body of a woman and still able to channel saidin (I mean, really), and the amount of confusion and misdirection Halima causes as a result is impressive, in a really frustrating way. I remember when first reading this I was all “Aah! No!” when Faolain and Theodrin mention Halima and no one gives it a moment’s notice, but, well. Yeah.

Speaking of F & T, Inc., I seem to recall various spikes of contention over the years in the fandom as to whether Egwene was on ethically shaky ground by allowing them (and the other sisters, later) to swear fealty directly to her. I personally tend to think that of the set of ethically gray-tinted things we could potentially give Egwene shit about, this one ranks rather low on the list, at least as far as Theodrin and Faolain specifically are concerned, as they were not coerced. The others… well, we’ll get to the others.

My opinion of Faolain changed pretty sharply as a result of this chapter, unsurprisingly. As characters go, I’ve always been something of a fan of the ones who can believably straddle the line between being both antagonist to and ally of Our Heroes, either in sequence or simultaneously. Even though such characters can often be incredibly frustrating, they also tend to ring true, as how people might realistically behave. And you have to appreciate a person who can overcome her prejudices to do what she believes is right, no matter how against the grain it might go. So, yay Faolain, heh.

There’s also a little bit here about the Oaths, and I remember much applause being sent Egwene’s way by readers (including me) at the time, for her increasing belief that they did more harm than good; it seemed that when she finally had full authority the Oath Rod might at last fall by the wayside. Later events, of course, have shown that this is not the case. I’m… still not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I can see where Egwene is coming from with her reversal, and on the other… eh. This will be discussed in more detail later.

Romanda and Lelaine: are annoying… but at least not totally stupid, at least as regards Delana. Romanda’s little speech I quoted above, actually, is what convinced me personally that she could not be Black Ajah. I never really believed either of them were, in truth, but for whatever reason Romanda’s conviction that Elaida could not be Black (which, of course, she isn’t) clinched it for me.

Bryne: Is still awesome, with his casual intention to out-general Hawkwing himself. Heh.

Speaking of which, perhaps it is a little naïve of Egwene not have realized beforehand that a siege of Tar Valon would involve, you know, a siege, but I appreciated it as a reminder that for all the rapid maturing she’s done in the past few books, she is still young, and doesn’t know everything. Her advantage is that she knows this.

(And aw, Siuan wanted to comfort her. I heart Siuan.)

And I heart YOU, readers of this blog, but I is spent for now, and so will shut up. Have a lovely week, and I will see you Friday. Ciao!

Aggie Will
1. Aggie Will
Great post - thanks for all you do to keep this going!
Aggie Will
2. Lsana
Egwene's reversal is one of the things that most annoys me about the later books. Not her reversal on the oath rod, necessarily, but her reversal on the importance of being trustworthy. At this point, thanks largely to her Aiel training, she recognizes that the oaths do nothing to make the Aes Sedai trusted; what makes someone trusted is whether or not they act in such a way that someone should trust them. Contrast that with the way she acts in TGS and her statement that being an Aes Sedai is about bending oaths as far as you can without actually breaking them.

Again, this is not about the fact that she wants to keep the oath rod: getting rid of it would have some negative consequences for the Aes Sedai, and perhaps they aren't worth it. It's about the fact that she no longer recognizes that a half-truth designed to mislead is a lie, and if you keep using those, you are a liar.
Bonnie Andrews
3. misfortuona
Yeah a new post, thank you Leigh, and awesome job as usual.

I think the wall in Egwene’s dream is going to be the figurative one between Rand and the Seanchan. I believe it will fall to Egwene to make the other major players for Team Light play nice.

I’ve got to say Faolain and Theodrin’s moment here came as a complete surprise, which I supposed is what it should have. Faolain’s “Because you are the Amyrilin Seat” response was exactly what Egwene needed to hear at this point. I also really like Egwene’s assertion that the oaths do not make Aes Sedai. It really bugs me when the first thing she does is grab up the darned thing and swear on it. Yes I see why she did it, it’s just I’d personally like to see the oath rod tossed into the ocean.

All-in-all my favorite moment in these chapters was watching Amys flinch. There is Toh to pay WO, and I don't think its been done yet.

Mis-made it in the top five today (Happy Dance)
John Mann
4. jcmnyu
The Egwene Oath Rod Reversal never sat true with me and for a long time (from here to PoD?) I thought Halima was the reason for it. And that once Halima left Egwene's vicinity, sanity would return. I mean, how can you possibly justify taking the oaths if it means cutting your life in half? Nynaeve and Elayne are surely going to pitch a fit about it. I can't imagine the Aes Sedai will go into the Last Battle restricted by the oaths. What a handicap that would be. They know how to remove them, they know the consequences of taking them, they know the Asha'man won't take them, the Kin, Wise Ones, and Windfinders won't either. If you had the option of joining the Aes Sedai or the Kin, which would you choose?
Aggie Will
5. RainierReiser
Leigh- I was wondering if its been discussed anywhere before (probably has) that maybe Rand's biggest issue with accepting guidance from Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, etc. comes from the fact that he lost his mom early on (at 5 I think?), and although he did have the Women's Circle and the town Wisdom, that's no true substitute for having a mom with you every day guiding you along. As we see he has no problems whatsoever in bending before the wisdom of respected male power figures such as Lan, Rhuarc, and Bashere, and I think that's in large part due to his reverence for Tam which we see briefly show itself once more in their reunion in TGS when Tam chastises him for whining.
Aggie Will
6. Ron al Dóskam
The mentioned dream prophecy below I always interperted as the warning or fact that the person that my not dei is in fact Harid Fell.

A man lay dying in a narrow bed, and it was important he not die, yet outside a funeral pyre was being built, and voices raised songs of joy and sadness

He gave afterall Rand is answers about cleansing the source and a way of winning the last battle, although being it a glimpse.
Sam Hedges
7. lostingeekdom
Whoa .. wait. I actually managed to read a recap before there were 100 comments on it already?

Long time lurker here, first time commenting. Thanks for these recaps, Leigh. I wouldn't have been aware of a lot of the details and speculations and subtext without the discussions here.

The part that bugged me about ACOS is how after the upcoming scenes, Egwene practically disappears from the rest of the book. And just when she was kicking her Awesomeness into high gear!

I though the wall in Egwene dream was about the figurative divisions between the Aes Sedai. And she does bring it down in TGS.

As for the Oath Rod, it's about check and balances on the AS. For all the problems associated with it, think how much worse things could have been without it. I thought Egs changed her mind when she finally came to grips with that.
Sean Banawnie
8. Seanie
Good stuff Leigh. I have been wondering about all these Dreams and Foretellings. These last two books have a lot of fulfilment due. In more ways than one. Heh.
9. birgit
The one about Egwene trying to tear down the wall is strange; TGS seems to put paid to the notion that it meant she was going to tear down the White Tower (though I guess she did end up putting a few holes in it, ba dum dum), so I’m just really not sure what the wall is supposed to be symbolic of.

At first Eg did try to undermine the Tower faction, but when she realized what a mess Elaida made of things she changed her mind and wanted to mend the Tower.

But if it’s not Rand, and (by inference) not anyone else she knows, who the hell could it be?

Maybe Rand in Moridin's body?
Lannis .
10. Lannis
My guess for Random Dude in Egwene's Dream...

A man lay dying in a narrow bed, and it was important that he not die, yet outside a funeral pyre was being built, and voices raised songs of joy and sadness.

Wild guess/Looney Theory time... haven't really thought about it, but if I were to toss a guess out there, I'd say that somehow the person is Moridin, and that the reason it's imperative he NOT die is because of his link with Rand (because then Rand will die, too), and of course, the cheering about the deathbed is the regular old Forsaken dying schtick--who wouldn't want to see a Mass Murderer/All Around Evil Dude kick it? Though the "sadness" part is not really covered by this theory, I'll admit, unless it's just a case of "it's a war/the end of the war" kind of sadness...

I have to admit, too, that one of my top reasons for keeping with WOT, even when the plot seems to get sluggish, is the prophecy--whether it be Egwene or Perrin's dreams, or Min's viewings, I love trying to guess what they stand for and when and what'll happen to fulfill them!

That said, uh... I'm usually wrong. Ha! ;)

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Much appreciated! :)

EDIT: Gah! Brigit beat me by a hair! ;)
j p
11. sps49
The Oath Rod is a misused crime control device, it has a serious penalty, it does very little good, and Egwene and the Kin show it isn't needed. Why the turnaround? I don't get it at all.

The Wise Ones hiding Rand's ordeal? Gah!

And there are a lot of prophecies coming due, no? Although ones like Sheriam's golden halo...?
Aggie Will
12. Ashaman
Apparently someone has taken my alias (Dedicated), oh well, time for a promotion I guess. Not very nice, but my fault for not registering it I suppose.

Lannis @10

Loony theory or not, that has always been my idea as well. I theorize that in the end, Rand's current body will die, but Rand will live on, in the body provided by Moridin. I have always thought that this dream refered to part of how that will work out.
Debbie Solomon
13. dsolo
Egwene's reversal on the Oath Rod is understandable if you consider that the original reason for it was to restore trust in the Aes Sedai after the breaking. I think the Oath Rod is going to be a deciding factor in changing the Seanchan's ideas about women who can channel. Hawkwing's armies spent a lot of time fighting the Armies of the Night (channelers without the restraint of the Oath rod), that added to the predjudice that Artur Hawkwing had against Aes Sedai led directly to the ad'am. The Seanchan actively fear women who can channel without any kind of restraint. The fact that Egwene has first hand experience with the ad'am can't be just a random coincidence. She needed that experience. Look at how stupid Joline behaved around Tuon due to lack of that knowledge.

"You can trust us without ad'am, we've got an Oath rod!"

Egwene has rapidly become one of my favorite characters. She's young, but that famous Two Rivers stubborness has served her well. As to finding out about Rand's kidnapping, I don't recall that anyone has told her about it. She hasn't had contact with the embassy to Rand, or any of the other Supergirls face to face since it happened. In fact,I don't even know if Elayne or Avienda are aware of it. Rand certainly hasn't been forthcoming about it, especially since he's gone into his "hardness" funk. I don't imagine that it would have made good pillow talk in his one visit to Elayne.

"By the way, Elaida had me kidnapped and tortured and I totally hate and distrust Aes Sedai. Let's make out."

Min and Avienda had other things on their minds during their post kidnapping meeting, although the Wise Ones might have clued in Avienda.

Love the posts. They always give me something to think about.
Debbie Solomon
14. dsolo
Almost forgot - my favorite line in your commentary

Gawain and his amazing, roving sex dreams - LOL!
Dorothy Johnston
15. CloudMist
I've always interpreted the "man lying on a narrow bed" dream as referring to Rand's condition after his not-so-brilliant idea to visit the rebel's camp that comes later on in COS.
Maggie M
16. Eswana
Another witty and wonderful recap, Leigh.

One of the many reasons I love CoS (aside from Reason #1 begin Mashiara!) is that Egwene begins to really embrace her role as Amyrlin, despite her limitations, and start kicking ass.

As far as her dreams go; sheesh, we only have two books left, so I hope that at least SOME of them can be moved to the "fulfilled" column by now. I thought the one about Gaywyn rushing to save her from the headsman was fulfilled in tGS; after all, she might have been captured by the Seanchan if Gaywn and Siuan and Gareth hadn't come careening in to save the day. And I'm not sure about "tearing the Tower down." I think that might refer to her efforts to undermine Elaida from within, because she's really re-forging a new Tower (as per the chapter title...).

The Oaths thing still bothers me, too- I mean, they know that they'll cut their life in half, after all. But I suppose Egwene had little choice; the way in which she swore the Oaths was part of the Great Purge of the Black sisters, and it was sort of necessary. What's a bigger question, now, is how Nynaeve and Elayne will react, since both of them have been vehement anti-Oath people since the beginning.

And as for changing dresses when thinking about boys... I'm with you, Leigh. Sometimes a girl just like to dress up and feel pretty. Being modern, enlightened feminists doesn't mean we can't still like pretty clothes :-)
Thomas Keith
17. insectoid
Great job, Leigh!

And, um... I can't think of anything concrete or meaningful at the moment. Perhaps something will occur to me later. ::shakes head sheepishly::

CloudMist @15: That's a good possibility.

EDIT for bbCode oopsie;)

Andrew Lovsness
18. drewlovs
"Gawyn's magical sexual parade,
is coming to take you away..."

Beatles, anyone?

I completely forgot about the power of Gawyn's dreams...
Tricia Irish
19. Tektonica
Leigh; Thanks for summarizing the Fashion discussion from the last thread. You are, of course, right on!

I do hope the Oath Rod discussion continues after tGS....Egwene's reversal on this issue is bothersome to me. I agree with MisFortuona, above, the oath rod is unnecessary and counterproductive, and I'm hoping when they learn it was used on "criminals" in the AoL, they will abandon it.

Question: Who was the woman "lurking" outside Egs tent? Halima? How could Egwene just go to sleep with someone hanging around out there? Yikes. I wouldn't sleep a wink.

Now Egwene wants to "guide" Rand, for his own sake. Ha. She also talks about how the WO's want to guide him just as much as the AS. Why doesn't anyone ever ask him What he thinks? What he wants? What he needs? Oh, so frustrating!

And, yeah, why didn't the WO's tell Egwene about Rand's capture by Elaida's crew? Did Rand ask them not to? It would've helped Egwene's position regarding taking the WT, and it might have helped her understand Rand's actions better.

Then Egwene thanks Amys for the "unvarnished truth."
Toh, indeed.

No one talks to anyone!! Arghhhhh.
Jeff Soules
21. DeepThought
I still maintain that Egwene is wrong about the Oath Rod. If they actually intend to be trusted, then they shouldn't give themselves such huge leeway to lie... particularly when that only gives the BA more power due to the perception of honestly (c.f. Galina).

As far as "fashion" goes, Our Boys also do change considerably when they encounter Wuv. I'm thinking most especially of the changes that come over Mat in KoD, which are driven home all the more clearly by his self-denials in tGS (and can I just say I did love that scene with him and Talmanes).

I always interpreted the man on the bier as being Rand; for what other person would people sing songs of joy at his death? Whether the M. link is relevant, we'll find out (presumably...)

I do hope that Egwene and the Wise Ones can still be friends in the remaining two books. Lord knows they haven't had enough contact. (You never call, you never write...) And the entire "Egwene is Awesome" arc that's been lasting over the last, oh, FIVE BOOKS is entirely due to how awesome RJ made the Aiel, and the WO specifically. Isn't it a relief to see Wise Ones in a book somewhere who are both (1) authentically wise and (2) actually involved in the action?
Tricia Irish
22. Tektonica
Line from Ch.11, An Oath:

Egwene suspected that Sheriam worked to dig up petitioners, something to butter the cat's paws, to keep her out of Sheriam's hair while the Keeper took care of what she considered important......Sheriam was not there.

Certainly different in light of tGS. What was she up to, and why didn't she show up the day after Marigan's escape? Ummmmm.....

And yes, Halima did stir the pot as a man in a woman's body, wielding Saidan, which they couldn't detect. She really should've left Sheriam alone though. Sheriam had her own good spy/subterfuge thing going on.

I'm still suspicious of Theodrin and Faolain....never did like/trust them....
Aggie Will
23. Ghenjei
Re: the Wall Dream

I think it's a reference to the role Egwene will play in bridging the divide between male and female channellers that began during the WoP. The division represented by the discs will be undone and, playing into RJ's theme of working together and cooperating as the way to defeat the DO, men and women will stop working against each other and combine to win at TG.
Richard Fife
24. R.Fife
I'm torn on the Oath Rod thing. I mean, obviously, several social structures get away without having to oath-bind their channelers... except:

Seanchan have A'dam

Sea Folk channelers are bound to their wavemistresses. When Nesta dies, her Windfinder is demoted to the very bottom of the stack, and the new senior windfinder around explains that "a Windfinder knows her position and rank will rise and fall many times in her life" (That's CoT, I believe, in Caemlyn).

Kin self regulate to the point of hiding that they are channelers at all.

Wise Ones are very similar to the Kin in that being a channeler is "nothing special". Also, the WOs do seem of having a way of actually running the whole show in practicality. Chiefs are good for fighting the wars, but WOs make the peaces.

Shara - the Ayyad supposedly rule the place from the shadows, but have to present the concept of being kept separated and "lesser".

So, on the whole, ever since the Age of Legends in general, channelers have been bound in one form or the other. The AS want to have their cake and eat it to (Be the Top Dogs and appear to be the Top Dogs), so they need to provide that binding.

Now, as to the whole concept of Should Channelers Be Bound. Think of this from the majority POV. Channelers, even Oath Rod bound, live 3x times longer than a normal human. They have the Power, which is a scary thing to a non-channeler as there is no way for a non-channeler to combat it without channeler help (I'm counting Mat's Foxhead as channeler help since its ter'angreal). So, non-channeler arguement: You have the Power and already live extra long. Why don't you give the rest of us some peace of mind cause all y'all are scary and nothing stops you from just taking over.
Rob Munnelly
25. RobMRobM
1. Contrary to the opinion of some on the last post and above (including Tek immediatly above), I don't believe Sheriam was particularly competent as a DF. If she had gotten Eg fully into her trust, she would have learned all her plans and the DFs could have countered. By trying to maneuver Eg too much, Eg cut her out of the real decisionmaking and info sharing process entirely and gave her disinformation instead. Halima was appropriately mad that the Keeper could not offer accurate dirt on Egs plans (although torturing her was probably not the best motivational tool).

2. Eg is very good in these chapters, a trend that continues through all of the upcoming books and culminating in both KoD and TGS. A true joy to read.

3. I very much like the Moridin as the dying man theory - Rand is already dead (hence the already built funeral pyre) - but he will somehow get reborn into Moridin's body, so M can't die. Still fascinated in how this will play out, as I have no idea.

4. Yes, Eg's dealings with Wise Ones will be interesting after TGS.

26. Freelancer
Hi Leigh, folks.

So, not able to perform any research ATM, but am fairly certain that BWS answered that Egwene has NOT experienced the headsman vision yet. I am certain that it was among the questions asked in the format "has this thing come to pass?", such as Min's vision of what Cadsuane would teach Rand and the Asha'man. (Which BWS said was partly completed, BTW).

And, that's all I've got. Hey, no fair acting all shocked.
Rob Munnelly
27. RobMRobM
Pity that what Cadsuane taught Rand and the Asha'man that they weren't going to like was that AS are not to be trusted...LOL (kind of). R
Ron Garrison
28. Man-0-Manetheran
Wall Dream
I think Ghenjei @ 23 is right on the money, and the description (for a dream, anyway) is pretty clear:
She stood before an immense wall, clawing at it, trying to tear it down with her bare hands. It was not made of brick or stone, but countless thousands of discs, each half white and half black, the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai...

The discs, each half white and half black speaks directly to the saidar/saidin being used together - the symbol of the ancient Aes Sedai.
Rob Trotter
29. shadar
Eg has a plan to deal with the Oath Rod though.

You become an AS and you swear the oaths. You serve the community. You can be trusted not to lie/kill someone.

When you retire - you retire into the kin with the Oaths removed.
Barry T
30. blindillusion
I’m still uncertain, personally, if the one about Egwene on the headman’s block is meant to be taken literally or not. If not, then it could possibly have been fulfilled by the end of TGS – if you kind of squinch your eyes and look at it sideways. She was under threat of execution, and Gawyn and Siuan and Bryne did come to rescue her; the problem, though, is that it seems their “rescue” was more or less superfluous, which doesn’t jibe much with the dream’s implication that the “running” person was essential to her survival. So, maybe this is still yet to come.

Well, just MHO, but perhaps the "essential" nature of the Dream has nothing to do with the seriousness of the situation (which was serious, just not in the way the Dream implies), but more along the lines of the motive of the rescuer/rescuers. Gawyn especially could be said to have seen himself as essential in Egwene's rescue/survival...he probably still does. Egwene is still a novice in regards to her own dreams. Anyway, just a thought....

RE:~ The Oath Rod and Egwene's complete reversal in later novels. I still think this is a product of Aran'gar's machinations while fiddling around in Egwene’s head. I look at it like this…. If the Oath Rod was something established by Ishamael, then it stands to reason that all the other Forsaken would do anything possible to keep it in circulation.

RE:~ Sheriam as an incompetent DF. I doubt with a Forsaken tending house next door she had much opportunity to do dastardly deeds. And I’m think Aran’gar, even if without letting Sheriam know, stacked claim on Egwene…and her mind…from the start.

Just food for thought. Pure speculation to get us along.
Barry T
31. blindillusion
In regards to Free at 26:
Mato: Have the visions and other such prophecies about Egwene and the Seanchan (such as the running one and the one with the sword) have they been fulfilled yet?

Sanderson: No, none of those have been fulfilled other than the attack on the White Tower. She still has more to go.

Seems the question dealt with the Seanchan, not the Headsman.

Oh, this is what Free was talking about, in case anyone is interested:
Q. Has Cadsuane met Min's vision regarding the lesson she must teach Rand and the Asha'man, which they won't like one bit?

A. Part of it.

Of course, this was a quick search, and I also only checked Terez's site, so perhaps there is something else out there from BWS in regards to this issue.
Bonnie Andrews
32. misfortuona

First response to you, so Hi. I’m not exactly sure when Egwene learns about Rand’s trip in the box, but she does muse on it during her time in that tiny cell in the WT.

As to the oath rod helping with the Seanchan, well I think learning about the Kin, the WO, and the windfinders, that is channelers who haven’t required something to control them might work better, otherwise they are only exchanging one leash for another.
As far as protecting people from them, doesn’t having something to protect the average Joe from the Aes Sedai foster the idea that Joe needs protecting? Egwene’s plan as Shadar reminded us does gives them a way to reintegrate the AS into ‘normal’ society, but do we really think that without all the other examples of ‘safe’ channelers to draw from the Seanchan would ever accept that idea. I think Fortuona would have suldam waiting outside the WT with their pretty bracelets.

Tek, yes here rises again the only I know how to handle Rand syndrome. It occurred to me that the real reason that Rand accepts advice from the men around him and not so much the women might be because the men offer Advice, they don’t try to control what he does with it.
A man of few words tonight, but eloquent as usual. Wave

Mis- thanks for listening
Kate Collura
33. dreamwalker
A point on Egwene's reversal on the Oath Rod that I don't think has been brought up:

Using the Oath Rod was integral to the Black Ajah purge in TGS. Not sure how so much could have been done to get rid of BA in such a short time without it.

Perhaps in the future, with the BA essentially removed from the Tower, there will be room for Egwene to reconsider her earlier misgivings about the Oath Rod.
Captain Hammer
34. Randalator
re: Egwene tearing down the wall

I always thought that that was about Egwene tearing down the division between male and female channelers. There's a lot of distrust between Rand and the White Tower (how's that for understatement?) and Egwene's the one who's gonna be all teary downy with the wall seperating them.

re: Egwene and Rand's torture

By TGS she knows at least about the part where there was kidnapping and then all went kaplooey. That was common knowledge/gossip in the WT by then and she confronts Elaida with the idiocy that was this plan. Don't think she knows about the torturing, though, or she would have brought it up.

Guess Elaida can count herself lucky not to be in the WT anymore. I wouldn't want to be her and around Tar Valon when Egwene ultimately finds out...
Bonnie Andrews
35. misfortuona
Yes the Oath Rod is an excellent tool when put to the purpose it was designed for. That is dealing with criminals ... or evil DFs.


PS. I really don't like the Oath Rod, think its as bad in its way as the adam or compulsion. Yes it isn't supposed to be used against people's will, but it has been, and in its way it is even more insidious because the compulsion has been coated to make it look good.
john massey
36. subwoofer
I'd like to address the Stump-

First off- hi Leigh! Ummmmm, I hates to correct you, but 3ply TP trumps a down filled parka any day for greatest invention;)

Second off, as for fashion, you dress for what you do. That was and is my position and I stick to it. Dress to be all growed up like Aes Sedai. Dress to be Lord of the Two Rivers. Dress to be General of the Band and Prince of the Ravens... and Tylin's Toy. Dress to be the Dragon Reborn. All uniforms of an individual's station in life.

Loved the bit where Eggy is doing the Running Man in mid air. The visual always cracks a smile:)

Another thing that was brought up in the text was the way that AS rank themselves by their strength. Siuan's Healing came with the side effect that she is no where near as powerful with Saidar as she was before Stilling. This hierarchy is so ingrained that Siuan, a former Amrylin, gives ground to just about everyone. Has to crush her spirits. And it is so ignorant. Look at Sorilea, weak in the power but highest of the WO by force of will and wisdom.
Siuan, you know how I feel about what needs to be changed. There's too much we do because Aes Sedai have always done it that way. But things are changing, no matter who believes it will all go back to how it was.

Exactly. People getting entrenched in their own dogma and BS, maintaining the status quo. Sometimes to make the world a better place you have to start from scratch and look at how everything is done and honestly evaluate it for what it is. Sometimes change is gradual, sometimes it is radical. At the end of the day things cannot go on as they are.

@Blind- flip the numbers.

craig thrift
37. gagecreedlives
“A man lay dying in a narrow bed, and it was important he not die, yet outside a funeral pyre was being built, and voices raised songs of joy and sadness”

If the Moridin/Rand body swap theory is true it could be Rand in Moridins body dying. That would explain why Egwene didn’t connect it.

Personally don’t think this is true but hey Ive been wrong plenty of times before. I got a hunch though it might be a tinker or Loial.

The most annoying thing about Egwenes flip on the oath rod was the speed of which it happened. If the white and black towers do unite will the asha men have to swear on the oath rod too?


That’s an interesting thought. Never considered that before.

I don’t think that’s the case. I just cant recall a time when Lan, Rhuarc or Bashere have tried to manipulate Rand. If they’ve had a problem with his plans before they normally just confront him with it.


IIRC Egwene in tGS comments that being locked in that tiny cell must have been how Rand felt locked in the box. So somewhere along the line she has picked up the knowledge.


Your not sick or anything Free are you mate?
Tricia Irish
38. Tektonica

I agree Sheriam wasn't a great DF super sleuth. Halima had her claws on Egs as soon as she got there, and started harassing Sheriam and torturing her, making her fumbling and ineffective. Sheriam was so low key, I didn't even catch on! (Sheriam did place Chesa with Egwene, so we'll just have to see if she's a DF, or if a Chesa really is just a Chesa....nod to MOM.)

MisFortuona@32 & 35:

You and I seem to be on the same page.....the Men advise, the AS tell. The AS need to take lessons from my teenage daughter....she taught me how to advise and ask questions.....telling was useless!

I don't like the oath rod either. Maybe it makes the Average Joe feel more comfortable around channellers, but he/she isn't really any safer. The AS can find ways around anything, and surreptitiously too....sneaky AS.

What is needed in the WT is something that was brought up on the original tGS thread, or maybe some old reread thread......A new raison d'etre for the WT......
Perhaps instead of trying to control governments, they should devote themselves to service. Their attitudes towards the populace and their actions might do wonders for peoples' trust and respect of them, and lessen the fear factor.
39. Freelancer

Nope, right as rain I am. Haven't been "sick" in 8 or 9 years. It's called. . . DUN!


Reconciling Forecast v Actual for the entire year, for Cost, Revenue, Reclaim, etc. by Customer Acct, Region, System Type, Contract Type, etc. Then there's closing margin analysis, trend tracking, historical trend to projected activity fitting, etc. And finally, comparative performance analysis vs industry peers. I couldn't start much of it until today because customer companies in other parts of the world just don't view the change of the calendar year with the same urgency that we do here, so don't submit regional inputs with alacrity. And everything must be wrapped up for final presentation Friday. ::pant pant::

Blast it, Jim, I'm an avionics technician, not a business analyst!

But thanks for asking!
john massey
40. subwoofer
@Free- have you considered arson? We had a count, but all the data was lost in the fire and could not be backed up...
beats counting beans forever and a day. Then on Friday present the Fire Marshal's report- sorry sir, as it turns out, given the right set of circumstances, water is extremely flammable;) We will all turn our backs and whistle happy tunes if anything kinda... happens.

I hate Year End... happens for us in October.

Bonnie Andrews
41. misfortuona

Yet one more lesson the WT can learn from the kin. Maybe Egwene will have (hmm, what's the name of the woman who annoys Nynaeve so badly at the farm?) run some special lessons for the sisters:)

Seriously though, I think that instead of having AS retire to the kin, they should have the sisters spend maybe ten years after they first reach the stole working with them, and then every couple of decades after that. It would do a great deal to humanize the WT. Maybe a turn with the WO's every so often as well.

Just a thought.

Mis-thinks she knows how to fix the WT
Aggie Will
42. Other Alias 2
Love reading these recaps, as always, Leigh. I am reading too many other things to go and start reading from scratch, and your summaries and commentary are perfect for scratching that WoT itch.

I used to be completely anti-oath rod, but I have become conflicted in recent years. Really, having a society with a minority group empowered with military grade weaponry, mind controlling power, long life, and other associated super powers would be an uncomfortable place to be.

I consider what might happen in our society if, say, 10 percent of the population woke up as super humans. Sure, you would have your serve-society types, but what happens when there are a bunch of cruel, destructive people who suddenly become super powerful?

War, super villains v super heroes (and all the attendant collateral damage), slavery in certain countries, supers being required to be police, of sorts, regardless of aptitude or interest.

It is difficult to see a clear solution.
Tess Laird
43. thewindrose
Freelancer - When you said *year end closeout* I thought you were going to launch into selling ugg boots and northface gear;)

I am pretty sure you all know where I stand on the Oath Rod issue. It was a tool used on criminal Aes Sedai/channelers in the AoL. Ishydin introduced it to back to the Aes Sedai as a 'way' for everyone to 'trust'them, there by making them ineffectual. They can't make power wrought weapons(like Rands first sword) or other highly needed weapons for the battle soon to come.
They need to feel in danger before they can use the power to fight, another bad thing. It would be easy to approach a sister under false pretence of friendliness, and then kill her. And we have seen that the first Oath on not telling a lie, is quite laughable - and even people in 'fly speck villages' know that Aes Sedai can dance the truth to a fine tune.

I hope that the end of this Age isn't paid for by loss of the One Power. I would like to see channelers revert back to how they were in the AoL. Egwene is learning what it truely means to be a servant of all. If this can be a lesson that all channelers learn, then there will be trust and honor for channelers again, and they will not need to be bound like criminals.

Gareth Bryne, heh - is awesome, and has great plans. Another show of an ineffectual Green Sister(Myrelle) - Battle Ajah umm sure.

craig thrift
44. gagecreedlives
The kin could be one of the best things ever to happen to the White Tower. If the kept their rules and culture imagine the eyes and ears network that you could set up all with women with a connection to the White Tower. Not to mention being a great source for aes sedai propaganda to the common people.

Also I dont think that the headsman block dream has come true yet either. I expect that one to come true at the same time as when the mysterious seanchan woman (Tylee) with the sword shows up. Possibly during the next seanchan attack. Just before Rand knows the amrylins anger while confronting Egwene with the seanchan by her side.

Sounds like fun Freelancer. Enjoy


Send the aes sedai to the wise ones for penance whenever its necessary or once every year just on principle
Ron Garrison
45. Man-0-Manetheran
thewindrose @ 43

I agree with your analysis of the Oath Rod. "Let's get them to swear to not make any weapons that can be used against us. Hehehe." Good one Ishy.

I also share your sympathies about the loss of the one power. Now that Rand, et al, have the opportunity to "get it right," it would be a real shame.
46. Freelancer

I don't hate year end. My ability to juggle those beans is why I slipped past three rounds of layoffs just over a year ago. But it surely takes several big bites out of giving best effort here. Another couple of weeks and you'll wish I was kept this busy all the time. ;-{)>


That wold be the ever-capable Alise.


Heh. No, I only sell stuff that truly improves one's life. But that's beside my day job counting billions of this and billionths of that.
Wesley Parish
47. Aladdin_Sane
11. sps49
-- snip --
And there are a lot of prophecies coming due, no? Although ones like Sheriam's golden halo...?

I guess there are some conditions that needed to be fulfilled for that to be fulfilled, and Sheriam didn't fulfill them.
Bonnie Andrews
48. misfortuona

That's the bird. Thanks


I guess there are some conditions that needed to be fulfilled for that to be fulfilled, and Sheriam didn't fulfill them. LOL

Death'll do that.

Actually I wonder if she did something accidentally that hasn't played out yet. Maybe Chesa will kill a BK.

Bonnie Andrews
49. misfortuona
Darn completly forgot


Yes, there's the best example of the way things should be. Do you think it would work if we sent my namesake through the rings at Ruidean? What an eye opener for the Seanchan eh.

john mullen
50. johntheirishmongol
I think the use of the oath rod is wrong and I am sorry to see the change from Egwene. I think it doesn't help, often hinders and didn't prevent anyone from becoming a BA. I do like the idea of it being used as a way to test for the truth.
Tricia Irish
51. Tektonica
Thanks, Wind@43: Good summation of all our ramblings. The Oath rod gives a false sense of security to the populace and weakens the AS.

I think learning to serve others is the key to making the WT respectable and engendering trust. The AS in the WT have evolved over millennia into a very self-serving kind of uber-government. They need a new direction.

Finding other channelers, teaching, training and serving...generally making everyone's lot in life a little better and easier, would create a totally different attitude towards the AS. They would be respected and revered, which is really what they wanted all along. Training with the Kin and the WO's would round out the character of the women/men with who had the OP.

Luckily, our woman, Egwene, has gotten training from All of the above and should be making some very good changes in the WT. A good reason for her to live past TG, IMO. I don't think RJ would leave us without great hope.

I think the FS and the BA may have been at work for centuries/millenia weakening the WT with the Oath Rod rules and various strictures, so that now, at TG, they are a mess, broken, selfish and untrained in self-defense, or any defense!
Aggie Will
52. jefff
Perhaps the "wall" is related to Egwene's future practice of allowing any woman, regardless of age, to ally herself with the tower.

@28 -- well, maybe I'm wrong.
Don Barkauskas
53. bad_platypus
@48, 49:
"Rays of silver and blue flashed about her fiery hair, and a soft golden light; Min could not say what it meant."
The vision of Sheriam's golden halo was fulfilled: right as she was about to be beheaded, the clouds thinned and created a golden halo around her head. Then the silver axe flashed and she died. (Don't have tGS with me at the moment and don't remember if the blue was actually involved, but I bet it was.)

It was fulfilled, but in a way that very few expected. (For example, IIRC prior to tGS Leigh had Sheriam going out in a blaze of glory by taking down Halima.)
James Jones
54. jamesedjones
Re: The Wall

It's something that Egghead can't pull down. And, at the time, she seems to be the only one trying in her dreams. So there's certainly a lot of things it could be, 'cause wishing won't make it rain.' It's most likely something that needs a lot more people involved, like all of the AS, or a few of the male channelers. Which would allow it to be either the broken-down traditions of the WT or the barrier between men and women channeling. But, personally, I don't think it's the latter since the source had not been cleaned, and Egghead didn't want to work with any men. She just saw the hypocrisy involved in gentling Logain.

So, nothing to contribute, just wanted to post the link. :P
Maiane Bakroeva
55. Isilel
The good thing about Egwene's Dreams is that they are _only_ possibilities. Sanderson doesn't have to check all the boxes there, in however perfunctory fashion (like with some of Min's visions in TGS), but can use only those that fit well.

Myrelle... sigh. The "Battle Ajah" strikes again in the person of it's leader among the rebels. These are folks who are supposed to understand war and work well with men :(. I get it that nobody among the SAS really wanted a true war with the Tower, but shouldn't the Greens have been thinking about eventualities for the worst case? I.e. if it really did come to military action?

I have to say that this is a major problem for me - apparently there were known Gitara's Fortellings that warned about the impending TG during current sisters lifetimes. Yet nobody prepared for it or even thought about tactics, etc.

Siuan is even worse - she knew for a fact that TG would happen in a matter of decades. She was an Amyrlin and generally depicted as intelligent, dedicated and dutiful. So, what were her plans? How come that she doesn't have a wealth of military ideas, that she didn't step up recruitment before the arrival of the supergirls, that she didn't do anything to make the sisters aquire some battle experience, etc.

So, what did Siuan's contribution to the quest for the DR consist of? Apparently, just guarding Moiraine's back and protecting her from intereference. Siuan is a victim of very contradictory characterization, to say the least. In order to exalt Egwene as the one true Amyrlin and savior of the WT, Siuan's tenure has been made implausibly ineffective.

Speaking of Halima, she was only as succesful as she was, because RJ didn't give any thought as to how male channelers were normally found out until a few volumes later :).
Because it is really the depth of implausibility that all those AS haven't been constantly checking for residues of saidin since they have first heard about Asha'man and doubly so since Logain's escape. They are supposed to be paranoid about the male channelers, right?

RR @5:

he has no problems whatsoever in bending before the wisdom of respected male power figures such as Lan, Rhuarc, and Bashere

Both Lan and Bashere have done stuff that would have counted as manipulation if performed by a woman ;). Particularly Bashere. They also benefit from not having POVs.

Anyway, re: Lan, I was pretty angry at Rand that after all the evidence in TGH that Lan could disagree with Moiraine and act against her wishes, Rand suddenly decided that he was Moiraine's appendage in TDR onwards and didn't trust and consult him as much as he should have, IMHO. OTOH, Lan's influence was mixed - all that disastrous "hardness" stuff that Rand indulged in was certainly significantly inspired by Lan.
Jeff Soules
56. DeepThought
@ #42--
what happens when there are a bunch of cruel, destructive people who suddenly become super powerful?
3/4 of them become Black Ajah, cast off their oaths, and take advantage of the false reputation of safety that the oaths create in the populace.

I just don't see the point of the Oath Rod. I mean, it's important for people in positions of incredible power to know that there are (and must be) limits to their power and influence; and since the WT can't hire a charioteer to whisper "momento mori" in the ear of every Sister at all times, I suppose the OR works. But obviously in the AoL a strong tradition of service and working for the benefit of mankind-in-general worked just as well as the Oath Rod.
There's something about any kind of rule or compulsion that causes people to try to get out of it. The WT, as saidar-channelers, should have a better understanding of that; you can't force people to cooperate, you have to give them incentives.

@tektonica #38 --
You and I seem to be on the same page.....the Men advise, the AS tell.
The exception of course being Moiraine, who finally figured it all out -- gotta "control" Rand the way you do saidar -- and as a result was the only sister he ever really trusted. Can't wait for her to come back and clean up the mess he's become.
James Jones
57. jamesedjones
Re: Oath Rod

Let's not forget that it was used in the AOL for criminals. This was a time when there was no clue regarding real crime. According to their standards, every AS in the world should be held on charges of: intention to use itchweed, unauthorized sniffing, malicious braid tugging, intentional slapping, involuntary screeching, expanding survey evasion (ok maybe that's just us).

I've got no problems with the oath rod.
Sam Mickel
58. Samadai

Lets not forget scandalous skirt straightening, illegal glaring, and cross armed breast push ups.
James Jones
60. jamesedjones
58 Samadai

Exactly! It's like no one has any respect for the law.

And they need to get off my lawn!
Rob Munnelly
61. RobMRobM
57 etc. Creative cursing involving bloody buttered onions....
David Platt
62. The Not So Dark One
Tektonika @51

I agree - serving the community would make them more trusted - but probably more human and less godlike. I.e. an AS Hospital with Yellows in every major city, plus locums out in the sticks. All Rulers offered units of Green Ajah - so no one is left out (kinda like nuclear deterrent?)

In fact this last one would most likely serve to make their influence stronger as who would want to upset and lose their deterrent?

Browns Teaching children across randland to read, philosophy???

Blues could form a detective agency? Or Unicef or something.

And Reds could have a show called loose women that they could take round the villages. (is that one just for u.k. viewers?)

hmmmm, may have gone off tangent, but you get the idea, community integration.
Rob Munnelly
63. RobMRobM
FYI interesting post on Brandon's webpage about development of a Mistborn movie. He is enthusiastic and thinks it actually could happen.
64. Freelancer

I don't know about water being flammable, but I do know about the deadliest chemical compound being kept secret from the public.


The blue from Min's vision of Sheriam turned out to be her dress. We can't very well have a second-tier character come to an end without a mention of her attire, can we?
Aggie Will
65. Pattingale
Re wall: What if it's the wall/seal on the Dark One's prison?
Jack Diamond
66. violetdancer
Sorry to post so late but classes started this week and I'm already swamped.

Here's my take on Chesa: Dark Friend or just a maid?

Chesa is present when Sheriam asked Egwene about her bracelet and hears Egwene's answer that it came from Nynaeve and Elayne.

Chesa is a maid and has dealings with Marigan. She likely saw the necklace around her neck.

The second Egwene dismissed Chesa, she hotfooted it to Halima and told her about the a'dam on Marigan.

I'm betting that Sheriam didn't show up the next day because Halima was torturing her over not knowing about the a'dam or having seen it sooner.

Until TGS and the light play over Sheriam's beheading, I thought she was being punished for being "good" i.e., not doing what she was ordered with respect to her friends (Suian and Egwene). Perhaps that's still true in a way. She played both sides a little and got knocked around for it.

One other thing before I disappear into Entomology lab. Egwene's about face on the oath rod is due to Halima's suggestions in her dreams. If he tells her nothing else, Rand should explain use of the oath rod in AOL. Perhaps that is when he will know the Amyrlin's anger.
James Jones
67. jamesedjones
64 Freelancer

ROFLMAO I can't stop. seriously. I've got deadly substances coming out of my eyes.
Captain Hammer
68. Randalator
RobMRobM @63

FYI interesting post on Brandon's webpage about development of a Mistborn movie. He is enthusiastic and thinks it actually could happen.

I squeed...
j p
69. sps49
bad_platypus@53- good one, I need to re-read TGS!

Freelancer @64- I thought you were going to link us to the Woman MSDS :)
Jamie Watkins
70. Treesinger
Speaking of the AS supposedly serving the greater good, I have often wondered, Why aren't the AS swamped by the sick every place they go? If someone in our society displayed magical powers to heal most diseases and injuries, wouldn't they be overwhelmed with people looking for miracle cures?
Fake Name
71. ThePendragon
To this very day, do the Aes Sedai even know wha the Oath Rods are? I don't think they do. I wonder what their reaction would be? Probably to pretend like they didn't hear.
Kurt Lorey
72. Shimrod
@64 Freelancer

That might explain some things about southern Californians. rofl.
Aggie Will
73. Ghenjei
JED @54:
The Wall-
that being said, Egwene does seem to be one of, if not the only members of team good guys to recognize how important men and women working together. While BS did write her a bit more indignant than I care for, she's definitely matured along her character arch to emphasize cooperation (see her self-analysis in the above chapter re the temptations of falling into AS cattyness and plots).

BlindIllusion @31:
The Headsman
i don't see that as conclusive that Eggy didn't fulfill the headsman yet. she came pretty damn close under Elaida so I'm chalking that one up as complete
Thomas Keith
74. insectoid
JEJ @57 and Sam @58/59: LOL

Free @64: That's... interesting. I'll never think about shampoo the same way again. 8|

By the way, the spoiler thread has officially gone sideways into casting calls...

Sam Mickel
76. Samadai
If something goes sideways after already going sideways, is it then back on track or totally screwy.
Tricia Irish
78. Tektonica

I like your Chesa scenario....we shall see about her.....

I do hope it was Halima's fiddling with Egs dreams that convinced her the Oath Rod was OK...seems I remember Siuan having quite a bit of influence on that topic as well.


That was a total rip, I hope! Very funny.


They aren't swamped because everyone's afraid of them! Even the Super boys don't want the Aes Sedai "healing" them except in dire circumstances.
No one trusts them! So much for the value of the Oath Rod! (I could sure use the Yellows around every morning when I try to get up!)


I don't think the AS know about the OR being used for prisoners in AoL...they don't know much about most of their 'Angreal. (We need Elayne and Avi for that.) When told about it's use in the AoL, they will probably pretend that they knew all along. So arrogant!
Aggie Will
79. CrazyLuck
This site continues to amuse and delight. Here's to keeping up the good work.
Barry T
80. blindillusion

RE:~ Me at 31

I know. I presented that as evidence that Egwene had fulfilled that Dream.

As for something something going sideways after already going sideways...I'd have to say it cubes. =)

edit: 80-31=49. 4+9=13. I win again

Thomas Keith
81. insectoid
Re: sideways-sideways, I was thinking oF a U-turn on a 1-way street. Of course, we could go 3-D and say it went up. ;)

Blind @80: LOL!

Aggie Will
82. ValMar
The Not So Dark One@62

I've been thinking on similar lines about the ajahs. Especially the yellows and their hospitals, the browns and their academies, and maybe the greens.

As for the reds, lol!!!
Debbie Solomon
83. dsolo
Well, these posts have certainly given me a lot to think about re: the oath rod. I had completely forgotten that it was Ishy's idea. I do hope that Rand and Egwene get a chance to sit down and compare notes some day.

"What, the OR was used for binding prisoners?"

Those of you who are anti-OR have convinced me. It needs to go. I believe the channelers are getting ready for what's called a paradigm shift.
They definitely need some cross-pollination, to maximize strengths before the TG. However, the Sea Folk need a smack in the head for their lesson plans and treatment of their Aes Sedai teachers.
Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
Late to the party, but in reference to some stuff up in the 40s & 50s, here's the Sheriam passage:
That scene would always be vivid in Egwene's mind - her former Keeper, lying with her head pressed against the stump, blue dress and fiery red hair suddenly bathed in warm golden light as a thinner section of clouds moved in front of the sun. Then the silvery axe, falling to claim her head.
Jack Diamond
85. violetdancer
Hey guys, I forgot to add my take on Egwene and the wall-o-disks.

On my first re-read I thought it was her version of "Break it! Break it! Break it!"

Since reading TGS, I'm even more convinced. I bet she can't pull it down because she's not the one to do it or that to do it she needs help (Rand, I guess). The wall is the DO's prison and seals have to be broken to make things right.
Ron Garrison
86. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. Sheriam:
Ahh. There's foreshadowing and false-shadowing in Mr. Jordan's repertoire. Love this story. We, as uber fans, tend to read a lot of stuff into dreams, etc. And we have lots of fun speculating, but I suspect some of Egwene's dreams are Dreams, and some are just your run-of-the-mill nightmares.
Tess Laird
87. thewindrose
Jumping a wee bit ahead, to CoT chapter 20 In The Night:
For a moment Chesa was silent, pursing her lips. "She makes me...uneasy, Mother," she said finally. "There's something just not right about that Halima. I feel it every time she's around. It's like feeling someone sneaking up behind me, or realizing there's a man watching me bathe, or...." She laughed, but it was an uncomfortable sound. "I don't know how to describe it. Just, not right."

Sometimes a Chesa is a Chesa;)
And, you have to love RJ - or realizing there's a man watching me bathe. That's great!! (Ahem, the cluebat, not being watched.)

john massey
88. subwoofer
RE Sheriam:

She is dead, its all good. Alviarin Freidhen is still floating around, as well as many other baddies. Unless Sheriam is brought back by the DO or something, I am fine with letting her go.

Bonnie Andrews
89. misfortuona
Or we could read this as Chesa hoping to give just enough of a clue that Egwene twigs on to Halima, and the pain in the derriere FS goes away and leaves Sheriam and Chesa to do their thing:)

Mis-twisting words
john massey
90. subwoofer
Not sure about the bathing... but I think Chesa is loyal. Rand had er... somebody... Min, Mat has Nerim(sp?), Morgase has Lini, Elayne has Birgette, and Perrin has Balwar. Why can't Egwene have one loyal attendant?

Ron Garrison
91. Man-0-Manetheran
@87 thewindrose
Yuppers. THAT'S where I decided Chesa was just a Chesa. Thanks.
Thomas Keith
92. insectoid
Wind @87: Ah yes, the ClueBat. Gotta love those. ;)

Bonnie Andrews
93. misfortuona
Egwene? That girl's going to end up with half the world loyal to her. But yeah I get what your saying. Anyway I don't really think Chesa's a DF, but it's fun to speculate ;P

Seems to me I heard that somewhere before;)

john massey
94. subwoofer
@Mis- which does bring up the other question- what of the Oaths? Is that going to become mandatory for all AS to swear to the Amrylin or is this an aberration? What would happen to Eggy if Ro or Le found out about Sisters swearing fealty to the Amrylin?

Bonnie Andrews
95. misfortuona
Hah a serious question, pass the ice tea.

Actually I don't see anyone else swearing to Egwene now that she's instated in the WT. I think the idea makes her as uneasy as it does the rest of us.

My guess is that she releases everyone who has sworn directly to her ASAP. Unless Halima really was messing with her brain while she was rubbing her back.

As for the fall out from Ro and Le, not much at this point. Why would they want to bring Egwene down now? They are smart cookies, ambitious to a fault, but relativly smart. I think they would both realize the state the WT would be in without Egwene and just keep thier reprimand private.

This might be sort of a dead horse, but would swearing on the OR remove a compulsion that was responsible for her wanting to use the OR?

er...doesn't make much sense to me either but sometimes you just got to let them stand.

Aggie Will
96. AndrewB
@83 and others: Where in WoT do we find out that it was Ishy who came up with the idea of swearing the 3 oaths? I do not remember that? Please enlighten me?

With respect to Chesa being a DF and informing Halima about the adam on Mogy (cannot remember which of you postulated this theory -- sorry), I do not buy it. I always though that SH told Halima to free Moggy and instructed her to let her know the DO wanted to talk with her. Remember, SH is present when Moggy confronts the DO.

I think (much to my dismay) that Egwene's chopping block moment will involve the remaining Bloodknives. (In the TGS thread, I lamented the introduction of the Bloodknives concept so late in the game and potential new storyline.)

I will rehash my complete argument at a more appropriate time (i.e. when Leigh recaps TGS).

My theory: the man in the narrow bed was Dobraine (sp?). IIRC, he was attacked in the prologue of WH and almost died. Many of his adherants were practically in tears until he was healed. Any thoughts on this interpretation?

Thank you for reading my musings.
john massey
97. subwoofer
I dunno. I am just doing my bit to support the local economy... and the economy of Kentucky;)

Am losing my ability to type well here, may have to invest in a word to type program. Then again I speak like I write so that may not work so well either.

As for Ro and Le, Le kinda made her bed when she was backing Egwene, the if the Amrylin was here she would do this bandwagon. Ro is pursuing power, same as always.

I must be drunk too because that OR thing made almost sense. Must be alcohol poisoning... grumble...

I dunno, maybe Halima was going for the pillow friend angle and that went sideways when Egwene began to assert herself. Then got captured, then got doused with forkroot. The stuff works. I still attest that the forkroot saved Egwene. What if Halima put a weave on Eggy that would eventually kill her and the forkroot doses healed Eggy from that.

john massey
98. subwoofer
Dang it Theoryland is really honking me off here- and it is a tiered site! Have to pay to play or something too. 13D is beginning to shine.

john massey
99. subwoofer
The Great One had this so I'll follow in his footsteps.

@Wetlander- you are a big fan of theoryland, perhaps you have a map and a flash light?

Alice Arneson
100. Wetlandernw
Woof... depends on what you're looking for. A lot of the theoryland site is "here there be dragons" for me - I just don't go there. Mostly I just focus on Terez's compilation of quotations; that's actually where my bookmark is. Then, if you can read that orange on black business, you just find the topic most likely to include what you're looking for. The rest of the site... I got nuthin'.
Barry T
101. blindillusion
Hmm, I read through Terez's compilation, along with some other sources, and I couldn't find mention of Ishamael initiating the Oaths.

I don't believe I've ever claimed this to be a certainty, as I usually pose it as a question, but now I'm wondering where I even got the thought from.

Several sources also state Ishamael formed the Black Ajah, but not that he has a hand in forming the White Tower/Aes Sedai society itself. Somehow, I also thought I'd read he had a hand in both.

Hmm, color me confused. Glad I never listed those as certainties, but I am wondering where the thoughts came from.

As for the 3 Oaths...well, Mr Sanderson put it down as a MAFO in regards to whether Ishamael had a hand in forming them/getting the binder into Aes Sedai ritual. Hopefully we'll get an answer on that one soon.

That raises another interesting question...who's going back and checking to see if Mr Sanderson ever found answers to his MAFOs?
102. Freelancer

I'm brave, but I'm not suicidal.


What about Brandon saying it hasn't been fulfilled yet?

subwoofer@97, 98, 99

Losing your touch, eh? 3 consecutive posts only to miss the century mark you so crave. Kentucky thanks you, I'm sure. Or is it Tennessee? Virginia? One of those grain distilling places.
Barry T
103. blindillusion
Free, Mr Sanderson never talked about the Headsman Dream.

He talked about the Seanchan Dreams.

That's why I posted what I did at 30.

Err. 31

edit: Let's just go ahead and drop that "0"
Don Barkauskas
104. bad_platypus
Freelancer @64:
The blue from Min's vision of Sheriam turned out to be her dress. We can't very well have a second-tier character come to an end without a mention of her attire, can we?
LOL; that was actually what I thought, but I try to not post things unless I can check the source (or am so sure that I don't feel like I need to).
Aggie Will
105. alreadymadwithforkroot
Man-of-Manetheran @86
Indeed some of Egwene's dreams from this time are suspect, having tampered with by Halima.

subwoofer @94
There really isn't much Romanda or Lelaine could do if other sisters swore fealty to Egwene voluntarily. If they wanted to get at Egwene, they'd have to win those sisters over first and prove the oaths were given under duress. Not likely given that Egwene's prestige has skyrocketed at the conclusion of the White Tower schism arc.

Forkroot hasn't been shown to have any other properties aside from disabling channelers.

I learned most of my WOT jurisprudence at theoryland, and I still can't say I know the site well. Particularly since they seem to have done some housework.
Linda Taglieri
106. Linda
Terez's database is excellent.

@101 I've never seen a quote in the books or from RJ or Sanderson that Ishamael initiated the Oaths.

They weren't all adopted at the same time, either. The BWB tells us that the second Oath (against making Power-wrought weapons) was the first to be adopted.

Furthermore the Kin reach ages of more than one hundred years older than any Aes Sedai since before the Trolloc Wars, therefore since even one Oath reduces (halves) lifespan at least one Oath was sworn on the Oath Rod by Aes Sedai before the Trolloc Wars. And it would be the second Oath.

(It takes three Oaths to achieve the ageless look).

So what Sheriam told Nynaeve in The Great Hunt, The Testing, about the Oaths being adopted between the Trolloc Wars and the Hundred Years War is suspect; maybe deliberately, maybe not.

It's not that likely that Ishy was involved in their adoption since he wasn't around until during the Trolloc Wars and only for about 40 years. The three Oaths were adopted at a longer interval than 40 years I would say.
Barry T
107. blindillusion
Well, looks like I might have to reevaluate some of my theories, or at the least stop putting that theory in with my thoughts.

Thanks Linda. Your words and knowledge are always appreciated.

Really enjoy the 13thD as well.

edit: 7=4+3. 4*3+1=13 =)
Pritesh Patil
108. MatHornsounder
@ Many

If the oath on AS are removed and they retire into the kin, wont the Rod have already had its effect, so wont their lifespan be already reduced??

any ideas??

meaning removing the oaths would almost be useless!

Also, i think that after TG, the AS might have a single Ajah, possibly, like it was in the AOL

And, the Man dying but it was necessary he not die, that might be Rand,
many will be happy if the DR dies and many others will be sad, so that might explain Eg's dream!!

she might not have recognized him in the dream since he could be in Moridin's body, or perhaps his face was'nt in focus in the dream!!

Also, Chesa is probably just a maid.
Captain Hammer
109. Randalator
Loony theory: Halima/Aran'gar set Sheriam to spy on CHESA because she is secretely a badass Lightfriend.

It's really quite obvious (to the most casual observer) when you think about it. And drink a lot of beer. And stand on your head. And think about something entirely different altogether. While juggling geese.
john massey
110. subwoofer
Sigh, you guys always catch me when I have one foot out the door. I have to drive like a lunatic to make up time.

Anyways, general question- I was under the impression that the WO hid from the AS because they were afraid that the AS would feel the channeling. I also seem to recall reading Mat or Rand or Perrin in recent history taking pause and connecting the dots of the old gray hair and the youthful faces. Does this mean the WO have ageless AS faces. If so, how did they get them? Do the WO have an Oath Rod? Is there another possible way to "slow"?

@Free, was deliberate. I decided to let someone else celebrate the milestones on our journey together. Besides, I got Gretzky's number. That is enough for anyone:)

Now about forkroot- I seem to recall that when Ny and Elayne were captured and Thom rescued them, Ny was commenting on the healing properites of forkroot. Helped Elayne's concussion and headache etc. If somebody with time and a book could indulge me, or I will dig this up tonight after work so please be patient.

Jay Dauro
111. J.Dauro
MatHornsounder @108

3 quotes from tBBoBA, page 90 (quoting from earlier documents from 50A.B.)
but it is generally accepted that ajah played an important part, though apparently they were nothing like the present-day Ajah.

ajah, in the Old Tongue, is defined as "an informal and temporary group of people gathered together for a common purpose or goal, or by a common set of beliefs."

"a vast sea of ajah(note:word deliberately left untranslated), all constantly shrinking, growing, dividing, combining, melting away only to be reborn in some new guise and begine the process once more."
Captain Hammer
112. Randalator
subwoofer @110

re: ageless look

The way the whole thing was introduced in TGH was that the WO have something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the ageless look. An Aiel linked Verin to the WO because some of them "don't get touched by the years as others do" (or so he had heard).

But most likely he just saw Verin's graying hair and her ageless face and connected it to stories about exceptionally old WO who looked a lot younger than they should.

Later books got rid of the (maybe initially intentional) ambiguity and clearly state that Aes Sedai are the only ones sporting an ageless facelift...

re: Forkroot

Now about forkroot- I seem to recall that when Ny and Elayne were captured and Thom rescued them, Ny was commenting on the healing properites of forkroot. Helped Elayne's concussion and headache etc.

You're getting two things mixed up. One is the headache healy thingy. That was in TGH, ch. 39 Threads in the Pattern when the supergirls were kidnapped by bandits on their way to Tear. And it was not forkroot but something called sleepwell root.

"Sleepwell root. The fools gave us sleepwell root mixed in wine. Wine near gone to vinegar, it tastes like. Quick, do you remember anything of what I taught you? What does sleepwell root do?"

"It clears headaches so you can sleep," Egwene said just as softly. And nearly as grimly, until she heard what she was saying. "It makes you a little drowsy, but that is all." The fat man had not listened well to what his granny told him. "All they did was help clear the pain of being hit in the head."

The other is the forkroot incident in TFoH, ch. 10 Figs and Mice. Nynaeve didn't know about it before.

"Put her over there," Nynaeve said, nodding to where Luci still shivered in the corner with her arms wrapped around her knees, "and help Elayne. I never heard of forkroot, but walking seems to help the effects pass. You can walk most things off."

alreadymad @105

Indeed some of Egwene's dreams from this time are suspect, having tampered with by Halima.

Wasn't the whole point of Halima's meddling that Egwene didn't have any prophetic dreams at all, instead just having nightmares upon nightmares without really remembering them? I think Egwene even commented on how unusual it was for her not being able to remember her dreams, what with being a dreamwalker and all...
john massey
113. subwoofer
@Randalator- Ahhhhhhhhh! I see it all clearly now! I am the keeper of the cheese!

Thanks for that. Yes, that was why I was being such an insistent knob about forkroot and Eggy etc. Doesn't surprise me, I can't remember what I had for breakfast half the time:) Well, speaking of such, maybe people take up horticulture or pharmacology and there is a list of banned substances now in WoT world. Maybe a funny pointy leafed plant makes its way onto the list after Elayne gets stoned or something...

Maiane Bakroeva
114. Isilel
Linda @106:

he wasn't around until during the Trolloc Wars and only for about 40 years.

Isn't it an extremely debatable notion? IIRC, the Ugly book never presented it as truth, just as something that people believed at that point in the series. Also, it certainly seemed from the books (particularly TEoTW and NS) that Ishy has been able to interact with the T'AR and thus pull the strings from the backstage for much more extended periods than those of his physical freedom.

The timing of adoption of the Oaths is uncertain and comparison of Kin to AS ages again only expresses what the AS believe or is a figure of speech, since they have very little information from before the Trolloc Wars.

Moreover, once the Oath Rod was adopted, they went to some effort to hide the life-shortening effect - hence the tradition of never asking about a sister's age.

All in all, I was highly disappointed with Egwene's flip-flopping on the Oath Rod issue.

The First Oath is actively harmful, while the Third Oath can be bi-passed if the sister really wants it, and what mainly keeps them from frequent confrontational use of OP are considerations of how it would affect their reputation (as explained by Verin in TDR) rather than the Oath itself.
I.e. the Tower is actually pretty good at instilling in it's non-DF initiates prohibitions against using OP aggressively and coming down on those who do. Ditto re: stealing, Compulsion and other OP abuse, etc.
They don't really need OR there, since training and control are working.

The only Oath worth considering is the one against making weapons - since the OP could lend itself to making those of mass destruction. But with advent of non-OP-powered highly destructive weapons such as cannon even that is likely to become obsolete. And the Third Oath even more obsolete, too.

Re: Ishy's role in adoption of the 3 Oaths, IMHO it is a very plausible theory, since it gave the AS a false sense of security against DFs in their midst and effectively prevented them from routing the BA out for 2 millenia. Also, it encouraged the AS to prevaricate and caused the populace to distrust them.
Maiane Bakroeva
115. Isilel
Speaking of forkroot - isn't there a scene in TEoTW in Shadar Logoth where Moiraine is drooping with exhaustion and Nyn wants to dose her with a herbal concotion?
And Lan asks her what's in it and Nyn mentions forkroot among other things and Lan tells her to watch what she is doing, while Moiraine politely refuses it, explaining that she only needs some rest? I had a distinct feeling that L&M somehow knew about forkroot. Well, Moiraine knew a lot of mysterious things, so...

Retirement of AS into the Kin is also totally backwards, since they'd remove their most experienced people and/or will encourage the best to "die in office" rather than step down.

The Kin also have stupid rules about precedence unrelated to merit and prohibition on marriage. Instead, it would make more sense to send an Accepted whose education is complete (maybe even after the second test) into the Kin to work in the world for a decade or two before she is raised to the social power and responsibility of an AS.

And ditch the Oath Rod altogether, of course, except as a means to ensure truthful testimony during trials and such.

Treesinger @70:

Actually, you have an excellent point. IMHO RJ forgot to take AS Healing into account when i.e. assigning ages and backstories to nobles in the series.
I mean, a commoner may be too afraid to approach an AS (but then again, if a case is desperate?) and just not have an opportunity, but sick nobles? Not likely.
And yet, we have both Morgase's parents dying young, 2 wives of Moiraine's father (the King's borther!) dying young, etc., etc. Which doesn't make much sense.

P.S. Not to mention all the kid High Seats that show up in KoD. How on earth did they become orphans at such young ages when any diseases that don't kill too quickly for an AS with Healing to be found, can be cured?

As a counter-point, Mat's band doesn't even have any medics and they clumsily sew each other up without desinfection, yet nobody gets gangrene or sepsis on a regular basis, yipee! ;). What happened to non-walking wounded until the AS attached themselves to Mat? Who knows...
Marcus W
116. toryx
Yay! I finally caught up on the re-read. I'll have to tell y'all that man, going without the re-read was tough. That was almost as much a factor in my finally getting TGS read as the desire to see what happens next!

So anyway, good to be back.

Egwene's reversal on the oath rod issue has always bothered me. I just don't really know where it comes from. Is it the result of something Halima did? Her dreams? Some sort of compulsion somewhere along the lines?

I understand some of her arguments about the oath rod, that they make the Aes Sedai who they are, but I think that's more true to how the Aes Sedai view themselves than how the world views them. As Egwene says in this last chapter, the Oath Rod hasn't led the greater world to trust Aes Sedai. I personally believe that it's made the outside world even less trusting of them. Actions dictate opinions far more than words and it's the way the AS act and treat outsiders that shape the opinions of non-Aes Sedai.

It also doesn't help that their ageless faces set them even further apart from the greater world.

It's not that the meaning behind the oaths is flawed. Being honest and honorable IS necessary, I think, for Aes Sedai to deal with the outside world. But the AS don't use the Oaths as a means to further their honesty or their honor: instead they use them as a means to control the outside world further. That's something that Egwene appears to want to continue and I think that's a mistake no matter how you cut it.

Now that I've finally been able to offer an opinion, I'll actually get caught up on the comments as well. Sorry if my post is completely redundant.
Matthew Smith
117. blocksmith

I raised the issue of Amys having the ageless look (as observed by Egwene during the first meet and greet near Rhuidean (sp)in TSR) as being, possibly, one of the "things" that BWS mentioned as being missed. This was posted (quote and page) in the TGS spoiler threads. I have only completed reviewing TSR to date and am working on TFOH.

Anyway, my point was that Egwene described Amys as having the Ageless Look and my item of conjecture was that, perhaps, Amys had for some (dark) reason taken an oath on a binder. I could be wrong, but at least in TSR, Amys was the only WO described as having the ageless face.
Aggie Will
118. tearl
Isilel @115

Speaking of forkroot - isn't there a scene in TEoTW in Shadar Logoth where Moiraine is drooping with exhaustion and Nyn wants to dose her with a herbal concotion?
And Lan asks her what's in it and Nyn mentions forkroot among other things...

The excerpt is (TEOTW, ch.19, Shadow's Waiting)

"A weak tea of foxtail, marisin, and --" Rand missed the last...

James Jones
119. jamesedjones
117 blocksmith
Anyway, my point was that Egwene described Amys as having the Ageless Look and my item of conjecture was that, perhaps, Amys had for some (dark) reason taken an oath on a binder.
I know it's sacrilage on this site to suggest it, but I always just figured it was revisionist history on RJ's part. If not, meh.

Or, since she has silver white hair, Amys might just appear ageless with the young face. I don't believe we've ever had anyone produce an artist rendition of Aes Sedai that RJ supported. So, who knows what they look like?
Bonnie Andrews
120. misfortuona

According to ideal seak, forkroot is never mentioned before tFoH.

Though Moraine might have known about FR, I don't think this is the type information that any AS, other than BA, would keep out of general knowledge.

That's just my thoughts

Oh yes, absoulutly it doens't make any sense that most of those who had access to AS healing wouldn't take full advantage of it.
Whatever the price you Might have to pay down the road, who wouldn't agree to save the life of a spouse, or child.


[b]tearl@118 beat me too it, and with the quote too ;)
Aggie Will
121. Lsana
On Amys "Agelessness":

She is described as "unnaturally youthful" and have something "akin to Aes Sedai agelessness." The general consensus seems to be that while Egwene drew the comparison between them, they aren't the same. The Aes Sedai aren't described as "unnaturally youthful"; they are "ageless" even among people who don't know that they are looking at an Aes Sedai.

@114. Isilel,

I tend to agree with you about the harm that the oath rod does. The more I think about it, the more I think that it has to go. IF it accomplished its purpose in making the Aes Sedai more trusted and/or trustworthy, then it might be worth the cost. But it doesn't. No one in Randland trusts the Aes Sedai. And their oaths are completely useless.

The third oath: they can't use the one power as a weapon, but they can use it to "punish." Meaning that the OP is a weapon, with the more arrogant the Aes Sedai, the more of a weapon it is.

The second oath: we haven't seen anyone violate it yet, but I imagine it could fall just as easily as the others: "I'm not making weapons for one man to kill another. I'm making kitchen knives. For sushi, you know. Only a power-wrought blade can really cut up an Altara-roll into those delicious bite-sized bits."

The first oath is worst of all. It actively encourage the Aes Sedai to become the liars that they are. As far as I can tell, the way the oath works is that you can say anything you want as long as you don't believe it is a lie. Thus, the Aes Sedai are almost forced to convince themselves that all their half-truths and evasions are just as good as the full truth. This is not exactly a recipe for encouraging virtue.

The only way out of this trap is to get rid of the rod. In the short term, the Aes Sedai would probably have a worse reputation than ever. In the long term, though, those who wanted to be trusted would have to be trustworthy.


I think the shorter lifespans of the previous generation are just a convention of the genre. Fantasy and Sci-fi both like to have young heroes in positions of power. In order to do this, you have to kill off those who went before. It doesn't really make sense with magical healing, but it makes even less sense in sci-fi settings where it is just as common. It's one of those things that you kind of just have to go with.
Rob Munnelly
122. RobMRobM
JEJ - I asked Irene how the cover artists will plan to present the ageless face over in the TSR e-book cover art thread (assuming they ever show an AS close up in one of the covers). Don't think she knows the answer yet. I sure don't. R
Pritesh Patil
123. MatHornsounder
Isilel @ 115

As a counter-point, Mat's band doesn't even have any medics and they clumsily sew each other up without desinfection, yet nobody gets gangrene or sepsis on a regular basis, yipee! ;). What happened to non-walking wounded until the AS attached themselves to Mat? Who knows...

perhaps you should take Mat's luck into account. It is ranndom, and so might be helping his army also,
else, perhaps RJ/BWS dont want to bore us with talks of disease and all in Mat's camp. I mean, such things do happen in an army!!
even the AS in Gareth bryne's camp wer'nt helpin the soldiers as Gareth mentions to Gawyn in TGS

Sleep well and wake!!
(if its night in your respective nations!!)
124. Freelancer

About Wise Ones and the Ageless Look. Not exactly the same. Yes they slow, so they look much younger than they should, which is a connection for all channelers, and has nothing to do with the Oath Rod. Remember folks noting that Nynaeve looked younger than her 26 years, and how she finally finds out from Moiraine that it's because she has begun to slow since she began channeling.

Gretzky... Oh yes, Los Angeles Kings, I remember him.

jej@119 & blocksmith@117

I was under the impression that Egwene's thought there was that Amys had something "akin" to the ageless Aes Sedai look, which all channelers have a bit of naturally. There's more than enough of a story going on, eh? I have a hard time imagining that RJ would find a way for Amys to get her hands on a Binder, know what to do with it, and use it on herself. Or that for some otherwise unfathomable reason, a darkfriend/forsaken did same to her. If one of them could forecast Amys' involvement with the Dragon Reborn, they would have been able to much more effectively hamper what Rand was doing. It just doesn't quite ring true.
James Jones
125. jamesedjones
121 Lsana
I'm making kitchen knives. For sushi, you know. Only a power-wrought blade can really cut up an Altara-roll into those delicious bite-sized bits.
The warders don't need their yard back, they just need access to the kitchens. Wouldn't Laras make a perfect Mistress of the Blades?

"Yes, 'scrubbing pots' is real form! And you're doing it all wrong! Put more of your shoulder into it." :P
Karen Fox
126. thepupxpert
I think the whole point of Eggs taking the oaths is to say that she is not a DF, that is why she had the other SAS re-take the oaths also. Drastic times call for drastic measures and although this is a pretty drastic way of ferreting out DF's, it worked for the most part.

Also I think there is a huge stigma attached to not taking the oaths, the AS that Eggs raised were having major issues with being taken seriously by the other AS and were still treated as Accepted. And now knowing more about the rituals involved in becoming AS from reading NS (100 weaves, etc.) and how dangerous that could be, it's not suprising to see how ingrained this way of thinking is.

It's clear that the OR is a bad, bad thing and hopefully we will see it abolished, but since we are talking about a system that has been in place for 2000 years, it's not going to go away in a day. I think we will just have to RAFO.
Aggie Will
127. ValMar
I believe that all this about the "Amys Agelessnes" and associated theories shows the dangers of over-analyzing.

IMHO, as implied by others, Amys, as all other channelers, lives much longer and at some stage her body stops ageing normally. So when she's, say, 100 years old she looks like this maths teacher you fancied in school, or a friends ehm... aunt. With silver hair.
And due to their prominent position in Aiel society everybody is aware that even though a wise one looks middle aged, she's been with them for 100s of years. With the Kin, people are surprised when young-ish looking women turn out to be 100s of years old.

About Eg's U-turn on the Oath Rod. Isn't, supposedly, because Siuan gave her a little "that's what make's us AS (i.e. a breed apart)" speech when Egwene proposed droping the Rod?
Tricia Irish
128. Tektonica

We are on the same page, in the same book when it comes to the OR. It's destructive. Does not accomplish what it's (possibly) good intentions are. It creates an evasion, prevarication situation. (Rap anyone?)

Agree on the new training order Egs should implement too....Basic training, then 10 years out in the world with the Kin doing service in the community and growing up. It would give the new AS a real sense of how the world works for normal's problems and needs. Then back to the Tower to become a full fledged AS, with character, thus no need for the silly oaths.
Matthew Smith
129. blocksmith
JEJ@119 and Freelancer@124

Gotta love CTRL F...anyway, this was my post from the VLFSTGST (Very Large First Spoilerific TGS Thread).

I don't think Amys is AS, if that is what you mean. The line states (TSR page 262, hardcover):

Egwene stared, wide-eyed. They could channel. At least, two of them could. Suddenly Amys's youthfully smooth features beneath that white hair leaped out at her for what they were, something very close to Aes Sedai agelessness. Moiraine was absolutely still. Egwene could almost hear her thoughts buzzing, though. This was plainly as much of a surprise to the Aes Sedai as to herself

I originally took this to be the channeling, but in reread the agelessness look jumped out as something I had missed before...

I believe that RJ is on the record that the ageless look is due to the three oaths, but I could be wrong. The quote does say something very close to AS agelessness, but it still jumped out.

Edited for post correction
Jack Diamond
130. violetdancer
Lsana@121 and JEJ@125

Re: 2nd Oath

There is also the more obvious from Middleearth. "I am no man!"
James Jones
131. jamesedjones
128 Tektonica

I like the idea of spending some time as an intern before becoming full fledged Aes Sedai, but I really don't think you're going far enough.

They should start out with a few years serving as an apprentice among the aiel. Give the ladies a perspective on cheetoes (I may have spelled that wrong).

Then a few more years with the sea folk, cause a little humility never hurt anyone.

Then, finish it off with some weapon grade training among the seanchan, since they clearly have no competent teachers anywhere in the WT.

Now, who's to say, after her training, that a woman would have to become Aes Sedai and take the oaths? Maybe she'd like to take care of some other stuff, first. Maybe she could have the option to finish the training with the other institutions, above. Whatever the case, it seems like it could be nice to have an Aes Sedai role that women, who had earned the right, could play at any point in their 500-600 year lives.

Regardless, I don't think anyone should just be given the kind of authority and influence and power that Aes Sedai assume is theirs by right without all of the training above. And, in order to get that power, you should have to accept some required limitations (oath rod) to go along with it.

Just seems like there should be a price to pay, and a way to eliminate the, you know, required death part after you were done.
Jamie Watkins
132. Treesinger
OK, I guess I am just not getting it. I still don't understand the opposition to the OR. The reason the AS used the OR was so the the non-AS general population would be able to trust them. They were supposed to not be able to lie and they were not to be able to use the OP as a weapon. The OR was a control to protect the mundane population from run-amuck channelers. The WT had rules and people were supposed to respect that. If the OR was removed, what protection do people have? I am pretty sure that Egwene will be using to OR to test every sister that returns to the tower from now on. I would be surprised if you don't see extensive use of the OR in next year's (I hope)ToM.
Thomas Keith
133. insectoid
Rand @109: LOL!

JEJ @125: BAHAHAhahaha!!

Violet @130: I heart that scene. ;)

Marcus W
134. toryx
Treesinger @132:

The reason the AS used the OR was so the the non-AS general population would be able to trust them.

Well, that's the point. How many people trust Aes Sedai? Even people who have never encountered Aes Sedai know the whole adage, "The truth an Aes Sedai says may not be the truth you hear."

It even seems pretty plain that all the Oath Rod accomplishes is that it teaches Aes Sedai to be spectacularly skilled at twisting the truth. And everyone knows it.

On top of that, the few people who do think they can trust what an Aes Sedai says regularly get screwed when the Aes Sedai turns out to be Black Ajah and can lie without difficulty. Given how many BA is out there, making the world believe that an AS cannot lie actually opens people up to being stabbed in the back on the rare occasion when they actually trust what an AS says.

In other words, the so-called protection that the Oath Rod offers is actually no protection at all.
Aggie Will
135. Lsana
@132 Treesinger,

Those of us to object to the OR do so on two grounds: 1) It doesn't do anything for the average Joe Randlander, 2) It has some very harmful side-effects.

toryx already covered (1) pretty well, so I won't say anything more there, except to point out that every single one of the oaths is fungible.

As far as (2) is concerned, it cuts an innocent person's lifespan in half. This wouldn't be so bad if it also accomplished something good, but it doesn't. So the AS are losing 300 years for no reason. Even more than this, however, the oaths have a corrupting effect on the Aes Sedai. They manipulate and mislead even when they don't have to, and I at least believe that it is because the Oath Rod forces them to ignore the difference between truth and lies.

The AS might end up being total bitches without the oath rod, but frankly, the vast majority of them are pretty much bitches with it. They lie, they manipulate, they destroy lives, and they use the power to torment and control people, all while bound with the OR. I think they need to do more to reform themselves, but getting rid of the OR would be a good start. If an Aes Sedai wants to prove that people can trust her, screw the rod and just act in a way that is trustworthy.
Andrew Blackburn
136. ajbcool
Something I realized the other day that may explain why getting 'prettied up' is so 'important'....

The more important something is to you, the more you prepare for it (so nothing goes wrong). Therefore, the more you appear to have prepared for something, the more important it is to you (apparently). Dressing up is one way to tell your significant other that 'I care about you enough to take time to prepare myself'. least, this is my theory.
Aggie Will
137. ValMar
I've been thinking of contributing more one the Oath Rod discussion (except for remembering Siuan vehemently defending the bloody thing) but others (toryx, Lsana, Isilel, etc) have been so thorough that I can't.

As always the re-read and the comments is a read well worth it!
Tricia Irish
138. Tektonica

I totally agree with Toryx@134 and Lsana@135. They spelled out the anti-OR arguments well. It's an illusion of safety.

I like your more complete curriculum for becoming an As, except that I would eliminate the Sea Folk section....they are just too awful for anyone to spend a minute with, and they have limited areas of use for the OP. I think the Aiel WO's will humble the novice/accepted girls just as easily. The Seanchan are good for military training ( BTW, they need some reformation as well!). Working with the Kin in service to the public would be essential.

I think the training has to be about building character and serving Randland. IF done correctly, the OR would be completely unnecessary. Perhaps all people should be tested, like the Seanchan, and then trained in service, with the violent, power-mongers weeded out and bound somehow to the Tower? Working with the various groups would be helpful for the young 'uns to find their areas of interest and ability too.

Now, I'm going to through a monkey wrench in the discussion.....

What about the Male Channelers, going forth from TG? The Ashamen?
Do they join with the WT? And how are THEY trained??
Do they get the same service training the AS do? Are they all AS again? Or do the men just get military training? Seems like they should get the whole ball of wax, just like the girls. Their natural strengths and abilities will perhaps be different and their service different.....Thoughts?

abjcool@136: Very excellent thought and I totally agree.
Marcus W
139. toryx
Tektonica @ 138:

I think that the male channelers should only join the White Tower if there are drastic changes made to the WT's modus operandi. I'd have a hard time seeing that happen for decades if not centuries.

It may be more reasonable for another educational system to be set-up alongside the White Tower that's tailored for training men to channel. At some point there'd need to be a crossover so that men and women could learn to work together but for the time being, I suspect it'd have to be a system outside of the White Tower.
James Jones
140. jamesedjones
139 toryx
It may be more reasonable for another educational system to be set-up alongside the White Tower that's tailored for training men to channel.
Exactly. Because a bird can't teach a fish to keep you up all night pecking at that dang... hang on. What was I saying?
Aggie Will
141. ValMar
It is not inconcievable that by the end of the series the White and Black Towers unite in some way.
Maybe Elaida's "Burj Dubai" can be finished as the male quarters? I am seriously considering this as a possibility. I very much doubt it that the Black Tower compound outside Caemlyn will last beyond ToM.
Tricia Irish
142. Tektonica
My guess is a lot of the A'men will be toast after TG. The few that remain could found a legitimate BT in TarValon alongside the WT. Back in the AoL both men and women were considered Aes Sedai, weren't they. If Rand lives, he should have memories of how that worked, and could try to make it happen again.

My hope is that Egwene will drastically change the face of the WT, with the Kin, WO's, accepting anyone, regardless of age, service focus, no OR, etc.

It seems that one of the Main Themes of the Books, if not THE main theme, is cooperation between the sexes and communication. A reintegrated tower, with a new mission, would provide great hope for the future of Randland after TG.
john massey
143. subwoofer
Well, yay for me... I'll just keep on throwing things out there and we'll see what sticks.

get it? Sticks? Oath Rod? Awwwww, I got nuthin...

Anyways, at the end of the day I think as Eggy says, it is about intent. If you are honorable and intend to keep your word, you will. If you want to stand the truth on its head, then no amount of oaths can prevent that. Any lawyers out there? Let us talk about twisting facts to suit your cause within the confines of the law. It happens in the world- why not in WoT?

Let a person's actions define them.

Male channelers... when the Tower was united, wasn't it a school of study or something without the colors/factions. What about the Reds? The Amrylin will have to be re-thought out. Eggy is there, but with equal numbers of males why not Logain taking her place? I don't think we can put the toothpaste back in the tube on this one.

As for learning from others about channeling... I thought the Sea Folk made a bargain and as a result, some AS are worked like rented mules to teach Windfinders about Tower channeling. Sucks to be them, but it shows that different cultures can learn from each other, and the AS may even learn something themselves... beyond humility.

Dang it! The Great One. Tryin' to get a rise outta me... mumble, mutter, gahhhh...

Roger Powell
144. forkroot
What? Eh? ... Oh... nevermind

Put me down for the number 4 then.
Henry Loose
145. schrodinger
yaaaaaaaawn... *smacksmack*

what have I missed?
I see that the longest thread ever continues to grow, and the rereads are going strong, probably go back and read those later.

sub @143
I really hope that its a power-sharing deal between logain and eggy in a post-TG world, which goes with Nicola's foretelling "Guardians to balance the Servants"... and also would be better for the world in general. Aes Sedai meddling would have to contend with Asha'man meddling, and each would have a powerful leader to counter each other.

I never understood the point of the sea folk, they just don't need to be there, because the Aiel wise ones are just as good, if not better at, making AS... humble.

good to be back
Roger Powell
146. forkroot
Doing the USA Today crossword here in the hotel.
One of the clues is: Tai ____

Ok - so why doesn't "Shar" fit?
john massey
147. subwoofer
Favre fan I take it? Glad he came back. Should be MVP this year.

Aggie Will
148. saintsfan4life
This is my first post so be gentle with me:) I've been reading all the posts relating to the AS going through training with the channelers from other cultures/nations, and here's my 2 cents worth (adjusted for inflation).

Before being raised full AS, the ladies should definitely spend some time with the Wise Ones to teach them humility and honor. That would do away with the need for swearing on the oath rod, because behaving honorably would be so ingrained into them, it would never occur to them or any one else to doubt them. Of course the WO's would also weed out the power hungry, weak-willed, etc who would not be good candidates for full-fledged sister-hood.

After being raised full AS, they should then be sent to spend some time honing their particular skill-set with the varying factions. At least two of the nations' specialties would line up perfectly with two of the ajahs: Yellow-The Kin (since they seem to always wind up as Village Wisdoms or similar); Green-Seanchan (so they could really be a Battle Ajah).

I'm sure there are more correlations but I'm no Guru.

As to the ageless look, I always thought it was an effect of the oaths settling on the body and the person feeling a certain tightness of the skin. Kind of like wrapping something in plastic wrap really tightly. That would have to alter how someone would appear, if their entire body was wrapped super-tight in plastic wrap.

Keep up the good work with all the postings and-- wait for it---

Ron Garrison
149. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. Wise One training
Although most WO's are made of Awesome, don't forget the Shaido WO's! Not so full of honor and humility there!
Aggie Will
150. AndrewB
Somebody has to take the minority view. (I appologize to any poster who has taken said minority view that I did not give you the proper credit.)

I agree with Siuan: the OR is what makes the Aes Sedai Aes Sedai (my, that is an ugly sentence construction). Just becuase a woman can channel does not make her Aes Sedai. It is being part of the White Tower and swearing on the OR. The fact that Aes Sedai give up some life by swearing fits in with the original concept of an Aes Sedai: servant of all -- i.e. somebody who sacrifices something to serve the greater purpose: In this instance, some of their extended life.

The OR helped distinguish AS from the general mainland Randland population.

In the mainland, 99% of the people value power (be it military might, nobility, wealth, what have you). Aes Sedai's power comes from their ability to channel. From the hints in the book, I have thought that before the forming of the White Tower, AS acted as they did in Seanchan before Hawking's army arrived. In other words, trying to get power. The OR acts as a public relations restraint on Aes Sedai. No matter what you might think about an Aes Sedai, there are certain things she cannot do (forget for a moment about the BA).

That some AS think they are god's gift to society is their belief that they have power. This attitude would not change even if the OR was no longer used.

Look at the Kin. Once Nyn gave them a backbone, most of them became obnoxious -- i.e. they started believing they were superior to AS (mainly because the AS did not act like the Kin).

Anyways, this entry is becoming a rambling mess. Suffice to say, I will drink the RJ koolaide (as poured by Siuan). I for one hope the AS continue to swear on the OR.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Don Barkauskas
151. bad_platypus
AndrewB's comment @150 that to the Aiel, channeling is just a characteristic of a person sparked something in me: I know that not all Wise Ones can channel, but are all female channeling Aiel trained to be Wise Ones?

Amys and Aviendha would tend to indicate the answer is yes, since they were forcibly removed from the Maidens to become Wise Ones regardless of their wishes; and references to the Shaido Wise Ones in battle seem to indicate it, but I don't remember reading anything specifically stating it. Anyone?
Roger Powell
152. forkroot
Um no. You wanted 99, I want 4. Same sport. Better player. (That last generally starts an argument, but 99 said 4 was better too.) Really can't compare them because they played different positions.

As for Favre - no real love/hate, but I admire his toughness as represented in the consecutive game streak.

Welcome to the playpen. You and I will need to be at odds this week (I'm from AZ and a Cardinals fan) but we can keep it friendly. Here, have a churro and I'd like a beignet please.

Back to Wot, and re Faolain: There is also a "Falion" AS, one of the Black Sisters that left the tower with Liandrin. I tend to get those two names mixed up, even though I realize they are separate characters. I wish RJ hadn't made those names so similar.

I would surmise that all Aiel female channelers would have to become WO just so they learn how to control it and don't burn out (or die). Recall that in the wetlands, many wilders that the Tower do not find end up dying because they aren't trained.
paul Hend
153. tugthis
I have to agree that it is the oath rod that makes an AS an AS, much like it is the vows a Cathoic priest takes that makes them a Catholic priest.

My wider musing is this. Why should the WT continue to exist after TG? If the light wins, their organization loses a bit of it's mission of keeping the Dark One in check. If Rand survives and has settled the squabbling in the and, resstored order and peace under his command, what need for the white tower tri-lateral commission?

If after TG there is no more channelling no more white tower... or black either, I suppose.

A better arrangement might be for the White tower to become a university of sorts... kinda like Hogwarts for channelers. One goes there to learn their craft and then they go on out into the world to do thier own things.
Tricia Irish
154. Tektonica

In the mainland, 99% of the people value power (be it military might, nobility, wealth, what have you). Aes Sedai's power comes from their ability to channel. From the hints in the book, I have thought that before the forming of the White Tower, AS acted as they did in Seanchan before Hawking's army arrived. In other words, trying to get power. The OR acts as a public relations restraint on Aes Sedai. No matter what you might think about an Aes Sedai, there are certain things she cannot do (forget for a moment about the BA).

Thoughts on AS and the OR:

1. Valuing power is not necessarily good, and is something that should maybe be changed in the future.

2. I don't think the As used to act like the Seanchan....I don't remember that...please tell me what you saw to make you think that...I missed it. (But then, I've missed other things!) In the AoL, I believe..... and some Guru will have to explain this fully....the AS were service oriented. Men were AS as well, and before the Taint of the DO, they were service oriented as well.

3. The AS think that the OR is a public relations restraint, but no one else believes it. The public in general is frightened of them, at least wary, and we've seen the AS bend the oaths as they see fit, many times.

4. We can't forget the one knows who they are and they are out in the world doing bad things, but people just think they're regular AS....bad PR.

5. The bottom line is the AS are, by and large, power mongers themselves. They manipulate, they're self-serving generally, selfish, and isolated from the general population....not serving anyone but themselves and their own interests. They've become what they were supposed to be protecting the world from, with the OR.

All of this is just my opinion, of course! And doesn't apply to all AS.

My hope is that Egwene, having been tutored by the WO's and knowing the Kin, will have some new ideas about what it means to be AS.....Service, less isolation from society, better character training, etc. Then the OR won't be necessary. The AS would be integrated into society like the Kin and WO's and respected, not feared.

Feel free to disagree!
john massey
155. subwoofer
@fork- must be talking about Orr- yeah, he had his moments. Had that conversation many a time. Gretz is gracious and Orr played D.

@all, I agree when channeling does go sideways, the Tower should be a school of research. Bring back the good ol' days. That being said, I am biased because I like people without power. There will be a remnant though. Like the RotJ the Power will rebuild itself.

Jamie Watkins
156. Treesinger
Andrew B @ 150
My sentiments exactly. It is the restrictions of the OR that distinguish the AS from all other channelers. Those of you who wish to abolish the Oath Rod, I think it is just wishful thinking --Brandon is going to keep it.
Don Barkauskas
157. bad_platypus
forkroot @152:
Yes, I agree that all Aiel female channelers are found and trained in the use of the One Power; my question is do all channeling females become Wise Ones, or do they have other career options once they've learned enough to not kill themselves?

From what I can remember, I think that they all become Wise Ones; I'm just trying to figure out if that's ever explicitly stated (or contradicted).
Aggie Will
158. alreadymadwithchannelers
re: Amys' "agelessness"
I think it wasn't so much the agelessness but something other Aes Sedai exhibit that Amys does so as well. That calm, unflappable composure. The wisdom despite the youthful face. The aura of authority, that expects to be obeyed. Egwene just couldn't put her finger on it and so therefore labeled it as akin to agelessness.

bad_platypus @151
I think someone actually notes at one point that there were no wilders among the Aiel. The Wise Ones find every one. Because to them, the ability to channel marks you out for a different duty to your community. Rhuarc lectures Aviendha at one point about duty to her people, and I believe this is what he meant. Her spark has set her a different duty than being a simple Maiden of the Spear.

This is also why the Shaido alone could boast of almost 400 channelers. Half the Tower from one clan as one Aes Sedai put it.

re: Windfinders
Much as everyone dislikes the Windfinders, I think they also impart an important lesson. Power and authority are not permanent. And how one deals with gaining and losing them are clues to one's character.

Tektonica @154
Mark Stokes
159. Mark_S
...a man riding on a black stallion. Gawyn. Then she was standing in the road in front of him, and he reined in. Not because he saw her...but the road that had been straight now forked right where she stood, running over tall hills so no one could see what lay beyond. She knew, though. Down one fork was his violent death, down the other, a long life and a death in bed. On one path, he would marry her, on the other, not. She knew what lay ahead, but not which way led to which. Suddenly he did see her, or seemed to, and smiled, and turned his horse along one of the forks...

I think this is on its way to fullfillment with Gawyn leaving his little band behind and heading to Egwene's side out of luv
Barry T
160. blindillusion
RJ: Regarding Sharina, and other women who learn to channel at age, she will indeed grow younger in appearance. No, she will not achieve an Aes Sedai face without the Oath Rod, but where she has previously looked, say, sixty, she will look perhaps thirty-five, with accompanying changes in hair color. Think of it as analogous to slowing, which older women also do.

Q: Is it true that the Three Oaths is why Aes Sedai I thought it might be because, when you try to avoid the Three Oaths, you get a lot of dangerous situation ...

RJ: No…now you have to be careful with this, because this is a kind of spoiler for people that haven’t read far enough, but the Oath Rod is what was in the Age of Legends called a binder. It was used on criminals. If you committed a violent act, or some sort of criminal act, with a binder, someone who could channel could be constrained from ever doing that again, and the result of having three of the Oaths, is the ageless appearance. One would not produce agelessness, but even one would shorten life, and three of them put a cap on Aes Sedai’s lives, on how long they could live.

Now, why did I post those two quotes? Well, I think they tie up some loose ends.

1 ~ Slowing comes as a result of Channeling the one Power. We all know this, but now we also know there is a reversal effect as well.

2 ~ It is not One, but Three Oaths that cause the Ageless look. I'm sure this has been discussed above, but I'll make mention of it as well. One shortens, but three places the cap...which is around 300. Cadsuane better drop those Oaths quick, yes?

3 ~ The Oath Rod has to go. Imagine if Sharina, or Alise, took the Three Oaths. They probably wouldn't even survive the experience.

As to Slowing and Agelessness. I've always seen it as such:

The Slowing is a natural result of using the Power. It means nothing more than the Channler's aging slows to such a degree that it's almost noticeable =).

The Ageless look seems to be a type of permanent face-lift. If you read the description of what taking the Oaths feels like anyway. Why do they call it the "Ageless" face? Well, I've always read it as meaning no wrinkles, but with world-weary eyes. How quaint, no?

Oh, guess who was promoted to First Lieutenant today? Yay pay raises!!!
Marcus W
161. toryx
Mark_S @ 159:

What's interesting is that it doesn't say for sure which path leads to her marrying him. We may assume that the marriage and long life with a death in bed are the same path but it doesn't outright say that.

I guess it's too much for me to hope that he'll pick the road leading to a violent death.
Sam Mickel
162. Samadai
RE: Aes Sedai and oath rod,

I believe they should keep the oath rod as part of the ritual, but drop the current three oaths and replace them with this. " I vow to serve the people of these lands to the best of my abilities, to protect, heal and mediate for all who ask, to serve under the light for the glory of all in the light."

This would help with the trust issue many have with the AS. It would allow for people to ask for help without fearing what will be asked of them.
Then The AS could be sent out of the tower in missions. To heal, help mediate problems, make crops and animals healthier, become teachers, start schools.
Within a couple of generations people would again trust them and the glory of the White Tower would shine again for the good of all.

Of course read into that what you will.

S A M ™
Sam Mickel
163. Samadai

Congratulations sir

Aggie Will
164. alreadymadwithslowingage
Sharina at her current relative age would likely not survive swearing the Oaths. But give her a few years to slow, and I suspect she will.
Ron Garrison
165. Man-0-Manetheran
Blind @ 160:
Mentioning Cadsuane's age prompted me to see if I could find out just how old she really is. She is believed to be born around 705 NE, and around 951 NE she announced her retirement. She comes back from retirement at the beginning of the Aiel War (976 NE). It is 1000 NE when she appears in aCoS. So that makes her presently 295 years old. Getting close girl!

Of course there are those here who might say in Cadsuane's case, a life expectancy of 300 years is reason enough to keep the Oaths. Not me. I like the old buzzard.

In researching this I came upon a site I hadn't found before. At first glance, it looks to be pretty fine: Seven Spokes
David Platt
166. The Not So Dark One
Blind Illusion @160

Does he say anywhere that the cap is retrospective? Maybe its 300 years from when you swear the third oath - not 300 years full stop - else any older AS in the Age of Legends would have been given the death penalty if made to swear 3 oaths.

Maybe the would face melt lost ark styleee.

apologies for the extra e's.

edit for thirs oath - doh!
Captain Hammer
167. Randalator
alreadymad @164

Sharina is regular grandma age. So swearing the three oaths shouldn't harm her, since, as I understand RJ's explanation, the Oath Road puts a cap on the oathee's maximum life expectancy and not relative life expectancy. They all get capped around 300-ish.

Someone like Alivia or the late Reanne Corly, being well beyond the 300 years threshold, however, would most likely have a very unpleasant day when taking the three oaths...

The Not So Dark One @165

Does he say anywhere that the cap is retrospective? Maybe its 300 years from when you swear the third oath - not 300 years full stop - else any older AS in the Age of Legends would have been given the death penalty if made to swear 3 oaths.

Well, maybe they just wouldn't swear three oaths.

Binding, it appears, was a very drastic measure. Think Semirhage level. So having a multiple opportunity offender in a peaceful utopia was already highly unlikely to begin with.

And if the problem arose anyway, they could just have removed the first oath and replaced it with a new one. Like someone with oath #1: "I swear never to do A again." appearing before court again because now he has done B...repeatedly...with minors...the pig! Instead of adding oath #2: "I swear never to do B." they would de-oath and re-oath him with "I swear never to do A or B again."

Single the oath, double the protection.

Edit: Or, as it just occurred to me, since it's a tool specifically made to deal with criminals, maybe the AoL'ers just weren't stupid, for example, and just put the highly practical "I swear never to break the law again"-whammy on the guy.

One size fits all...
Barry T
168. blindillusion
M-o-M ~ That's interesting, considering I used Cadsuane's age as the cap. She keeps talking about keeling over any moment now. I'm not sure if the limit of the cap is mentioned, either in text or by Mr Jordan. But I do believe, with some certainty, that there are no Aes Sedai running around who have taken the Oaths and are older than Cadsuane.

If one appears, I'm going to shoot the book.

You know Not So Dark One, that's an interesing thought. I've never seen the question posed to Mr Jordan, but I'd imagine any Aes Sedai past 300 who had to take 3 Oaths wouldn't live much past doing so.

But pure speculation there.

edit: 6-1=5. 8+5=13
Pritesh Patil
169. MatHornsounder



how much time for you to become the Marshal-General??
Thomas Keith
170. insectoid
Blind @160: Congrats! ::confetti::

171. Freelancer

So, the butter-bar turns to silver.

Now you get to spend the next two years proving it deserves a twin.

Congratulations! To celebrate, go give some orders to your senior Tech Sgts.


I think the highest ranked member of that service is known as the Chief Airhead. ::flee::
Bonnie Andrews
173. misfortuona
Re: the oath rod
How do we know that removing the oaths removes the age cap? I mean the BA had thier oaths removed, so if the effect of having taken the oaths disappeared, wouldn't they be wandering around without the Ageless face? Or do they take a different 3 oaths? I can't recall what those oaths are, or if they are done with a binder. Do we know?

Mis-postulating :)

Blind - first the new baby now a promotion. You got it all going on. Congratulations!!
D.I. Rock
174. FeatherDancer
160. blindillusion

Congratulations & thanks for serving.
Alice Arneson
175. Wetlandernw
blindillusion - Congrats! All sorts of good things happening in your life these days.

toryx @161 and Mark_S @159 - I always assumed that since it was so obviously left open, the set-up was that marrying Egwene would lead to the violent death (presumably as her Warder, protecting her), while choosing to let her go (possibly to go do his job as Elayne's First Prince of the Sword??) would end up with the long life and death in bed. Just because I always expect contrariness... ;)

Speaking of which, my only real argument with Gawyn (other than personality irritants) is his failure to go immediately to Caemlyn when he learns of his mother's disappearance & presumed death. He ought to know that as Daughter-Heir, Elayne will get there as soon as she can, and it's his job to be there, not wandering around with a random bunch of AS that he knows would just as soon see him dead. Well, okay, that and being so firmly convinced that Rand killed Morgase, based on nothing but rumor, but we've had that conversation many times...

Of course, if he'd done his duty, there wouldn't have been as much cool for Birgitte, nor would the Hanlon/BA storyline have been very plausible. Guess as an author, you have to come up with some reason for the guy to be AWOL so someone else gets their shot...

Samadai @162 - I like it. I think just dumping the OR altogether would be beyond acceptable to any AS, because it's too deeply engrained that "it's what makes you AS." However, replacing the existing oaths with a single oath to serve would be a major step forward. In general, I think that when the AS learn more about the Oath Rod, they will be willing to rethink it somewhat.

Realistically, though, I wonder how much we'll see of it all. Until very recently, the WT was oblivious to the existence of any channelers other than themselves (aside from the occasional blocked wilder who survived activation). We readers have all had many years to see them in other societies (WO, Kin, Windfinder, damane), in positions ranging from great authority to slavery. For the AS, however, it's a new thing. Not that many (proportionally) have even had first-hand exposure to those other channelers, so they have only rumor or wild-sounding reports to go by. Even for those who are getting it "up close and personal" (Merilille, Kiruna & co, etc.), it's too new, and has occurred in too chaotic settings, to have been considered in a larger picture. With TG coming, I don't see the WT having time in the near future to consider the implications of the way channelers function in other cultures, and what effect that should have on their own position. At best, I hope they realize that "they bind themselves like criminals" and reconsider that part, with a recognition that when things calm down, they will need to seriously look at the way the others have integrated into society and see what should be changed.
Alice Arneson
176. Wetlandernw
misfortuona @173 - I don't know if we're told for sure, but I certainly had the impression that the BA swore their new oaths on the OR. If nothing else, they have to have it to "unswear" the original oaths, and I got the idea that they then use it to swear the BA ones. If they didn't it would certainly affect the agelessness, so... yeah. I'm pretty sure they do. I'd have to go do some rereading in the last three or four books to chase it down to anything more definite. I don't recall that we've been told what their oaths are, other than Verin's "the hour of your death" thing. Might be a little more in that chapter if you look.
Don Barkauskas
177. bad_platypus
Wetlandernw @176:
The main argument for the BA swearing their new Oaths on the Oath Rod is (as you say) that otherwise they wouldn't have the Ageless look. It's almost certainly what's used to release the Oaths for the BA prior to swearing the BA Oaths. (Otherwise, why would Galina be so certain that Therava's "Oath Rod" could release her from her additional vow, even if she's uncertain about being able to use the Tower's Oath Rod to do so?)

I'm fairly certain we don't get anything more definite than that.
Bonnie Andrews
178. misfortuona
Thanks, that's the only oath I can recall either, and yes I'll go looking.
Something about removing the old oaths has been bugging me

I like Samadai's new oath. It makes mores sense, but I still don't think much of the OR being used at all.
Again using something like binder is just saying that the AS can't be trusted to keep thier word unless they are forced.
Give your word and keep it. That's how to make everyone trust you.

It is not the oaths themselves that make a priest, but the devotion behind them IMHO.
That said the OR is not the thing that makes them AS, it is the training that they have undergone. They still have the ring as a sign of office, however since they give that to Accepted as well, maybe some other signet would do as well.

I mean Blind gets his shiny new stripes and everyone salutes smarter, right?

I know they could all get tatoos.;P

Aggie Will
179. KingCorran
The wall which Egwene tears down is very possibly that between the Ajahs (built up by the Black Ajah). Her entire purpose in TV eventually becomes fulfilling that very task, even more than escaping or being named Amyrlin.

What more dangerous wall (in Egwene's context) could there be than one between the Ajahs? And indeed, that is what she focuses her energy on to an almost singleminded extent.
Tricia Irish
180. Tektonica
Blind@160: Congratulations!! Salute.

And thanks for the quotes too.

And on to the Oath Rod debate.......

I don't think there will be much time before TG to deal with the OR and integrating all the different channelers. This may happen post TG. Egwene had some distinct ideas about the WO's and Elayne has some about the Kin.
I'm sure they'll share their thoughts and come up with a new order for the WT.

They will also find out about the problems with the Rod....cap on life, used on criminals, basically, compulsion.

Since many people will think like Siuan, that the OR is what makes you AS, I propose the following:

Test everyone for the "spark" and bring them to the WT to train. If they have little ability, they will learn to control it, so they don't die. If they have great ability, they go into the Aes Sedai Training Program.

They learn at the Tower, they work with the Kin, the WO's, maybe Seanchan and Windfinders too. They find their speciality. They SERVE.

Then when they are ready to become full fledged AS.....

They have a nifty little ceremony and pledge to be good.....a "fly up" ceremony, like the Girl Scouts, or something. If they've been found to be deviant in some way, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. THEN they are bound by the OR, with appropriate vows. They still have the OP, but can't use it for evil.

Knowledge of the shortening of life if bound by the OR could go a long way to keep an AS in line, if being bound by it was a punishment!
James Jones
181. jamesedjones
173 misfortuona & 160 blindillusion

So, now we have two other oaths that the BA take, or they wouldn't have the ageless look and the life cap. Wonder what they are...

And what would the fourth oath that Galina swore do to her lifespan? How many years will she lose?

PS Congrats on the new decoration!
Aggie Will
182. alreadymadwithblackoaths
Randalator @167
I thought the Oaths shorten their remaining lifespans. Most Aes Sedai take the Oaths relatively young, within the first half century or so, so their remaining lifespan is effectively their full lifespan and that is cut to about a third, under 300 yrs. But if say, one has already lived 400 yrs and has 4 or 5 centuries left to go, then that remaining time would be cut to a third.

Wetlandernw @176
Verin does state the Black Ajah Oaths in TGS, but IIRC she gave only two. It's possible there are three and she simply did not consider the third relevant.
David Platt
183. The Not So Dark One
Does the life cap apply to BA? They say on more than one occasion that they have been promised eternal life.
Aggie Will
184. alreadymadwitheternallife
Just like the Forsaken have been promised high places for eternity? Nah... We know Moridin's position. There will be no eternity if the Dark One wins. It's just the end. Everyone else is deluded.
Bonnie Andrews
185. misfortuona
Interesting question. If you made someone swear enough oaths would it kill them?

Mis-swearing off swearing
Alice Arneson
186. Wetlandernw
The fact that the BA believe they have been promised eternal life doesn't mean they'll get it. The DO isn't exactly bound by the first Oath... ;)

amw... Thanks. I meant to go see exactly what Verin said, but haven't had time yet. I'm pretty sure that we aren't done with Sneaky Verin just yet. She's dead, but all we've learned about her book yet is the list (near the end of the book!) of the BA members she had identified. I'm pretty sure we won't learn all the contents, but I think it's just too good a set-up to waste. We should learn all sorts of interesting tidbits from that book; maybe what their oaths are, maybe what plans they had in place, maybe where their "Salidar" is (the place they go if they have to leave the WT)... Who knows? But I firmly believe that we will learn more, if only some things that will help win TG.
Hugh Arai
187. HArai
Speaking of which, my only real argument with Gawyn (other than personality irritants) is his failure to go immediately to Caemlyn when he learns of his mother's disappearance & presumed death. He ought to know that as Daughter-Heir, Elayne will get there as soon as she can, and it's his job to be there, not wandering around with a random bunch of AS that he knows would just as soon see him dead.

Well I know we've gone over this before but what the heck :) It's a bit unfair to expect Gawyn to report immediately to Caemlyn when

a) He has no idea where Elayne is or what she's doing and no one who knows will tell him, including people like oh say... Elayne.

b) Elayne certainly was in no hurry to get to Caemlyn and she's the bloody Daughter-Heir.

In fact that's a big reason it's obvious Dyelin really really doesn't want to be Queen - she basically kept the throne warm for an heir that obviously thought she had better things to do than take over on her mother's disappearance and provide stability to Andor. Obviously Elayne was doing important things, but she definitely dropped the ball in the "duties of the Heir when the Monarch vanishes" department.
Hugh Arai
188. HArai
Edit: apologies for double post
Cian Grogan
189. Caine09
Whoah havent been keeping up to date with the re-reads, better start getting back into them. Don't think its fair to be discussing TGS on a thread meant for aCoS, though. Keep up the good work Leigh!
Henry Loose
190. schrodinger
hopefully there will be better Gawyn moments down the road. The main reason I disliked him was that it was obvious where his loyalties were, (egwene and elayne), and yet he ignored those loyalties to do something stupid (side with a grandiose idiot). he's been a complete screw up. Thank god he's finally got his act together, which effectively makes sure that he's not so annoying. which will make the later books more enjoyable, at least compared to if he remained a stupid idiot.
James Jones
191. jamesedjones
175 Wetlandernw

I'm not sure rushing back to Caemlyn would have been the best idea for Gawyn. Can anyone say "hostage"? And that's assuming that they don't torture him into supporting someone else.
john massey
192. subwoofer
Holy Moo! Things are afoot at the Circle K.

Congrats Blind! Back in the day, when one of the boys got bumped up, they spent their first raise on the rest of us, kinda a tip of the hat to us... *ahem* cough, cough...

Brutal day anyways, musta been a full moon or something, so I am already half in the tank. I self medicate.

@AMW- interesting thought about the Windfinders- and I do agree. The real test of character is when people are met with adversity and humbling experiences. You either rise to the occasion or quit and go home. IIRC, the Mistress or grand windfindery person meets Rand or something and loses her high position and Min has a viewing that she will be back there again, or something like that. And the Windfinder mistress person still does what she has to do despite knowing the penalty she will have to pay.

Thoughts about Aes Sedai in general- are they inclusive or exclusive? At first blush they seem very exclusive and insular. Focusing on what they want to and ignoring other cultures and peoples. The end of days here has prompted fresh blood to reach out to others and bridge some gaps. In a way the Tower is very much like Seanchan in their hierarchy and the way they expect deference. In some ways AS remind me of modern day people who have it in them to help and change the world but are too self involved to bother beyond their own interests.

@Blind- R U serious? RJ said what? So... who is the scholar who came up with the three oaths? Was this done to prevent Salem-like witch hunts? If what you say is true then how is it possible that the most powerful would debase themselves so? That is just messed up.

The thing to me is that the Oaths are a waste and, according to RJ via Blind, AS must of been duped or are donkeys for doing what they did. I know what Siuan said, but I'm with Eggy here. AS can stand the truth on its head oaths or no. It is the character of the person's that count. If you take a solemn oath and have the intent in your heart to lie, then what good is such an oath if you can find ways around it.

This all goes back to character. If you take an oath and mean it, then it should be self governed and regulated. If an AS has any character and integrity at all a rod should not be needed. So take the oath Sam suggested. If you are trustworthy then your actions will speak for you. If you are not trustworthy, then get shunned like Cain. It is time the AS learned that when a person gives their word, it is their bond.

Aggie Will
193. alreadymadwithwinter
Gawyn does point out in a POV that with the sudden onset of winter he wouldn't have gotten to Caemlyn any faster than if he had waited for summer. Winter, was about the same time as the succession in Andor.
Barry T
194. blindillusion
Ahem, regarding Black Oaths
Q: What happens to objects left in Tel'aran'rhiod? Could an Aes Sedai free herself from the Three Oaths in Tel'aran'rhiod by creating an Oath Rod?

RJ: The only way for an object to enter Tel’aran’rhiod would be for it to be carried there by someone who entered physically rather than through a dream state. If left there, it would remain until it was retrieved by someone else who entered physically. And, yes, an Aes Sedai could free herself of the Three Oaths with an Oath Rod created in Tel’aran’rhiod, but remember that relatively few sisters actually have access to the World of Dreams, and for those who do want to remove the Three Oaths – sisters joining the Black Ajah – there is the Oath Rod in the White Tower to serve that purpose.

~ If an Aes Sedai becomes Black Ajah, the Warder would know instantly that something was up, but wouldn't know exactly what. The Black Ajah has three choices, then -- hope the Warder is a Darkfriend or amenable to being one, hide the affiliation, or arrange for an accident. Yes, this would be painful for the Aes Sedai, but it might become necessary. The process of becoming Black Ajah is evidently quite painful in its own right and thus probably involves more than just swearing new Oaths on the Rod. ~ The Path of Daggers book tour 21 November 1998, VA - John Novak reporting

Of the two quotes above, one was said by Mr Jordan and the other was, as stated, said my a Mr Novak writing on something Mr Jordan apparently said in interview.

But, what can we get from these quotes.

1)The Oath Rod is used to remove the Original Oaths. Sure, we already knew that, but there it is in black&white and provided by the Creator himself.

2)If what Mr Novak reported on what Mr Jordan said is accurate, the the Black Ajah does swear their New Trinity on the Oath Rod at the White Tower.

3)Again, assuming Mr Novak's report is an accurate report on exactly what Mr Jordan said, and the “painful in it's own right” isn't just polish used by Mr Novak, then we all know just where that Pain comes from...removing the Oaths and swearing new ones.

As to the question of whether the Black swears all 3 Oaths on the Rod...they'd have to in order to keep the Ageless Look. As to the question of whether there is a Trinity, we know this as well. Galina reminisces about them in Spears, Chapter 40 of aCoS.

~ I'd like to thank everyone for the congrats on my shiny new bar.

Mis, I haven't worn stripes since my Air Force days. Now it's all bars, oak leaves, a bird and stars.

Though I'm now thinking about leaving Active Duty, moving into a Reserve unit in the 'Sip and pursuing a teaching profession, so I suppose a Gold Oak Leaf is about as far as I'll go in rank.

And Free...I haven't forgotten where I came from, as so many do. I'm afraid I just don't go around rubbing my rank in others faces. Oh, I'll be a Captain in 18 months...some say I deserve it now.

And, well, I'll take Chief Airhead over Rear Admiral any day. ~dives for Bunker~
Hey, it's been awhile since I've been in guys have been busy....

edit: 1*9+4=13

edit:2 Sub, that's still a standing tradition. I took my HHC Fam to lunch today. And there are a few at the School House I work for that came along as well.
David Platt
195. The Not So Dark One
blindillusion @ 194 -

The statement

The process of becoming Black Ajah is evidently quite painful in its own right and thus probably involves more than just swearing new Oaths on the Rod.

Whilst I agree that they probably do swear 3 more oaths, and obviously TGS bears that out plus other snippets throughout the series, this statement doesnt ness. confirm that - invloves more than could mean that they dont swear oaths but are bound in some other way - i.e. compulsion.

But like I said not disagreeing just saying how at the time RJ could have been deliberatley vague to confuse us/ amuse himself/ leave himself room in the story for fine tuning.
Aggie Will
196. Justquickly
this may be a stupid question, but What dose DUN! mean? i have seen it all the way throughht the post's and never bothered to ask.
john massey
197. subwoofer
Jenny Craig is in the house! Put down your beer and chips and jump on the slim band wagon! If you like starving all the time...whomever came up with the idea for portion control must of had their stomachs stapled.

DUN- fini, finito, all wrapped up, the end, no more, made a major point and will stop, 'nuff said.

slang for the word "done". Used when you have completed or quitting a task. It is also used to describe when you are bored. Nihilists often use this word. It is popular when using this word to spell it out.
Andy quit his job today, he is dun with it.

Will not say too much today before the post, good stuff coming up in these chapters... been waiting... Lan time!

198. birgit
Talene's tears redoubled, but she mumbled through them. "I - forswear - all oaths - that bind me." With the last word, she began to howl.
Seaine jumped, then swallowed hard. She personally knew the pain of removing a single oath and had speculated on the agony of removing more than one at once, but now the reality was in front of her. Talene screamed till there was no breath left in her, then pulled in air only to scream again, until Seaine half expected people to come running down from the Tower itself. The tall Green convulsed, flinging her arms and legs about, then suddenly arched up till only her heels and head touched the gray surface, every muscle clenched, her whole body spasming wildly.

WH, Prologue

There must be more than one Black Oath for this reaction.
199. MasterAlThor
So I was looking at a checker set that my wife gave to our son and I noticed the rules for some other games.

Now I used to be part of Wotmania and they had a pretty good database of different things, and one of the things that they had was info about Snakes and Foxes.

Let me get to my point. One of the optional rules for checkers was a game called Fox and Geese. I instantly thought of Snakes and Foxes. I am aready aware that Stones is based off of an ancient game called Go. I was just wondering if S&F was based off of Fox and Geese.

I looked on WOT encyclopedia and 13 D. But alas no luck. So I was wondering if anyone out there would happen to know where I could look to see if anyone had put down the rules for the game.

Just wanted to compare.

I have to go back to roaming the sites so I can find more info.
john massey
200. subwoofer
Wanted to say something for 2 hunny, but I will let Maya talk.

Editing like a Champ here...just 'cause.

Matthew Smith
201. blocksmith
Regarding ageless look and oaths...

Perhaps I am beating a dead horse here...but anyway.

Based on Egwene description of Amys, I still feel that she has sworn oaths on a binder. I'm not saying I want her to be a DF, only that, clearly based on the quotes included above by Blind and others, the ageless look comes from binding, not from channeling. Perhaps Amys swore two oaths instead of three, or perhaps she only recently swore those oaths, or perhaps I am completely wrong. Regardless, from what I have reviewed so far, she is the only WO described as such.
john massey
202. subwoofer
Well, I'm just throwing it out there, but are the Rings in Rhuidean the only things the WO bother with? Does Amys have any talents in regards to telling what different angreal do? I am thinking that maybe the Aiel do or don't have a binder, but they do have something...

Slowing vs. ageless face. I am with blocksmith here on not being completely sold on the whole channeling gives you a long life but the oath rods give the face bit. Yes channelers live longer but look at one of the Forsaken that was just outside the DO sphere of influence. Whatshispickle lived like Methuselah but looked every year of it. Basically falling apart. I think some kind of Ter is linked to all channelers.

Aggie Will
203. alreadymadwithagelessamys
Egwene would have known the ageless look and would have identified it as so if it was there. She didn't. She did see something in Amys that was so similar to what she saw in Aes Sedai that she had trouble identifying it. Finally putting it down to something akin to the ageless look but not the ageless look. Something that up until that point in her life had been unique to Aes Sedai. We know that Amys does share several qualities with Aes Sedai. Several that would be apparent at first glance to an Accepted like Egwene. The wisdom and authority that did not match up with the youthful face. The ability to channel. The calm, controlled attitude.
Marcus W
204. toryx
I'm with Wetlandernw @ 175. I think Gawyn's obvious duty was to Andor after he learned that his mother had died. He should have left his service to the White Tower and gone directly to Andor as soon as he got the news.

At the time, he was in or near Cairhien. The Bowl of Storms had not been used yet and the weather would not have stopped him from traveling to Andor. Of course, if he'd been able to figure out where Elayne was, he should have done what he could to get to her but failing that, Andor is where his oaths lie.

Elayne's unwillingness to return directly to Andor does not absolve Gawyn of his responsibilities. When you get right down to it, they're both pretty much the same in that they're really good at choosing what they want to do over what they should do.

As for the Ageless look, Amys doesn't have it. It's right there in the writing. The things that Egwene recognized were other traits of the Aes Sedai; having the power (something she was still learning to recognize in others) and the forebearing that level of responsibility gives a woman.
Maiane Bakroeva
205. Isilel
Well, IMHO the most sensible way to integrate male channelers would be to accept them into the already existing channeling organizations. Anything else would be a recipe for power (and Power)-struggle, strife and general disaster.
Also, it would take a long time for the populace to accept male channelers, so they very much need official recognition, political protection and support of their female counterparts.

Subwoofer @143:

Eggy is there, but with equal numbers of males why not Logain taking her place?

Umm, why exactly? What did Logain do to deserve it? Destruction of his native country via civil war started on false pretext hardly recommends him. Yes, he is becoming better and yes, he has been promised glory through a vision, but neither translates into political power.

Generally, it would be far more plausible if integration of male channelers followed the patterns of integration of certain opressed sections of societies IRL. Those didn't take over immediately after getting some legal rights ;).

Speaking of apprenticeship of future AS, personally I don't see why an internship with Seanchan should be necessary, as their dealing with OP is hardly emulation-worthy and their society has many significant problems. I mean, just to learn about some different cultures, OK, but no more.

One thing that were the AS were 100% right was their successful bid to keep the OP out of warfare between nations in Randland and hopefully they'd manage to prevail on other channelers to keep it that way after the forces of the Shadow are dealt with.

Re: WOs, I don't understand the love they get. Yes, they do have a merit hierarchy, but other than that? They are a very xenophobic, superior and close-minded bunch even leaving out the Shaido. Some cultural exchange would definitely do them good, too.
Oh, and the good parts of Aiel tradition were substantially influenced by the post-breaking AS, which should be remembered among all the bashing :).
Also, Aiel WOs kept their OP abilities secret until recently and scarcely did anything useful with them, so they are hardly a shining example of successful integration of channelers into society.

As to the Windfinders, well, tying their fortunes to another person's and resulting rotation of social position didn't do anything for their humility or common sense, did it? These guys also need their horizonts broadened ASAP.

IMHO, while up-and-coming AS certainly should sample at least one of the out-of-Randland cultures, the most important thing is that they should live and work among a few Randlandian peoples, giving a good account of themselves, _before_ they are raised.

As to the Oath Rod - IMHO what makes AS currently are their training, education and tests, not the Oaths.

Oh, and BTW, dropping the Oath Rod now and announcing it as widely as possible would help to make the BAs instantly recognizeable and lessen the chance of their being trusted uncritically. I mean, now more than ever it is damaging for general populace to believe that they could recognize a channeler by appearance or that appearance gives any guarantees.
Aggie Will
206. alreadymadwithintegrating
The problem with integrating male channelers into the existing channeling organizations is that most of them are, just a shade short of being misandrist. They are not going to get fair representation from those. The White Tower will never consider them equals, the Sea Folk Windfinders won't even them consider them worthy of living. The Kin will most likely take their cues from the Aes Sedai, and there's no telling what the Wise Ones will do.

No, at this point they are better off within their own organization as they go and build their reputation as Guardians.

Also, it's debatable that the WO did not do much with their channeling abilities. Numerous as Wise One channelers are, there is still not enough to accurately cover the entire Aiel population. Those that do have the channeling ability use their ability to help. Nobody dies of channeling sickness among the Aiel. Nobody learns to touch the Power unaided save males. And they have pretty nifty tricks besides, like unravelling weaves and Caressing the Child. They just don't garner as much attention as the Aes Sedai because, to them, channeling isn't something that makes them special. What it makes them, is even more duty-bound to the community than most others.
Maiane Bakroeva
207. Isilel
Umm, ya, Gawyn. IMHO, he has been a complete failure as a prospective Prince of the Sword. He was supposed to work in concert with Elayne, but all he has been doing was working at cross-purposes with her. He would have been constantly going behind her back and counter-manding her orders as the First Prince too, IMHO.

Now, I do understand that it is also Elayne's fault, as she really should have included Gawyn in her plans after Falme. It goes both ways - if he was to be her First Prince, she should have been able to trust him with important things.

OTOH, I'd have thought that G&G would have had at least enough brain cells and money among them to ask at the harbours and bridges about people of the SGs descriptions and find out where they have really gone.

However, this doesn't excuse Gawyn from constantly and knowingly acting against Elayne's wishes.

I.e., he knew very well that Elayne supported Siuan, but chose to help topple her instead, just because he disliked her. Inventing some completely out-of-the-air stuff that Elayne must have been "coerced" to justify himself. It isn't even like he was loyal to or trusted Elaida or truly cared about intricacies of the Tower law, about which AS themselves were in disagreement!

Oh, and let's not forget that he drew other Warder students into it too, only to lead them to butcher's yard in Elaida's service and then to abandon them later.

He knew that Elayne supported Rand and the rebels, yet worked for the TAS and helped kidnap Rand.
Etc, etc.

And he is trying to follow the same pattern with Egwene. He, whose decision-making score so far has been anything other than stellar.

I used to like Gawyn in the early books and enjoyed his interactions with Min in TSR. But he is an idiot and he refuses to learn and now I hate him as much as I do Faile and hope that he gets killed in a suitably dramatic fashion ASAP.
Maiane Bakroeva
208. Isilel
AMW @206:

Shades of RL? No, acceptance won't come easily, nor should it for the process to appear plausible. But the WT was already willing to work with male channelers _before_ they knew about the Cleansing. The opportunity is there. IMHO, the WT will pioneer integration of male channelers back into society.

Logically, too, since they are the only channeling organization whose self-image ties back into AoL when half of AS were male.
Also, they were the only channeling organization that continued trying to cure male channelers for several centuries after the Breaking.

In any case, gender segregated channeling organizations are a recipe for disaster, IMHO, because they will make effective channeler policing and unified codes re: what is acceptable behaviour for channelers impossible.

Particularly since Asha'man recruitment was based on promises of power and glory and nothing was done to instill in them the proper moral restraints re: Power use.
Prejudices against them (that until very recently have been based in bitter reality) will only flare up with unscrupulous OP use that some will undoubtedly engage in once the big danger is over, not to mention all the DFs, etc.

Re: WOs, wasn't "Caressing the Child" the only useful thing that the WOs knew to do with OP? They couldn't Heal and IIRC didn't do any weather workings either. They didn't use OP for construction. They didn't use it in battle. AS are ragged on a lot, but at least they used their channeling somewhat.
And again, since the WOs were keeping their ability to channel secret from other Aiel, that's hardly a good example for _channelers_ being accepted in a society.
James Jones
209. jamesedjones
207 Isilel

GREAT GOOGLEY MOOGLEY! Um... I have to agree with pretty much everything there. Especially the last bit. :D

Edit: Nevermind.
James Jones
210. jamesedjones
205 & 208 Isilel

Nah. I've got to go back to AMW's argument about existing prejudices. The WT is not acceptable as a training ground for men who have been labled monsters to everyone for the past 3 millenia. I don't care how beneficial it would be to have men and women forced into working together. What you would be left with is a lack of balance.
Maiane Bakroeva
211. Isilel
Jamesjones @210:

I don't care how beneficial it would be to have men and women forced into working together. What you would be left with is a lack of balance.

What you will get without integration would be continuing genocide against male sparkers when they manifest and strife between channeling organizations. How is that preferrable?

IRL when certain opressed groups got legal rights they didn't get a whole parallel government structure - why should male channelers be different?

Alienation between genders is an imbalance that needs to be overcome for TG even to be won and you would enshrine it in perpetuity?!

Yes, the WT has it's problems and most of it's traditions need to be thrown out, but surely integration of male channelers would only help with the process, providing a fresh perspective, etc.?
Matthew Smith
212. blocksmith

I recognize that I could be wrong but I have to disagree. Reread the quote at 129. Eg is specifically describing her appearance...not her attitude or bearing. "...youthfully smooth features beneath that white hair leaped out at her for what they were, something very close to Aes Sedai agelessness...."

Yes, it is conjecture that she has taken oaths on a binder, but it is based on the fact that RJ himself said the ageless look was from the binding (with 3 oaths) and that no other WO, to the best of my knowledge, has been described as such.
Bonnie Andrews
213. misfortuona

One more reason why using the oath rod at all is a bad idea. Can you imagine having to go through that when your time to retire to the Kin came?

The AS that came up with this plan must have been quite the bunch, of course they probably never realized until 300 years later that they had shortened their lives, and by then well it was Tradition. Yep sign me up – Not.

Various - I really hope Amys isn't a DF. I really like her, of course I really like all the aiel, and I liked Verin, so maybe it wouldn't be that bad.
It occurs to me that we haven't had a whole lot of Aiel DFs, I can't imagine that the WO has been spared.

Also, I'm not convinced that having the three oaths removed would either remove the ageless look or return them to thier normal life spans.
In that case a channeling DF wouldn't necessarily have the full ageless look, but something short of it would make sense.

Mis-still not swearing
Tricia Irish
214. Tektonica
Sub@192 & Isilel@205 & AMWI@206:

The OR was a punishment in the AoL. It could be the threatened punishment for AS if they show defective character in Randland too!

Who would want to shorten their life drastically, and be bound by whatever oaths are created for punishment....possibly an oath to never touch the Source! That would keep any potential misusers and abusers of the Power in check.

As stated in #180, it's character, and service to the community that will create trust and respect for future AS.....actions, not oaths that are twisted routinely.

IMHO,the Ashamen have to be integrated somehow. Otherwise, there will be a natural power struggle, and no similar character and service training. The public needs to respect both AS and AM.

As for Gawyn...totally agree with you guys. Confused, bad judgement, idiot. He had no idea whether Elayne was in Caemlyn or not, and his place was there with her. The fact that he has clung to the notion that Rand killed Morgase, when both his sister and the woman he supposedly loves told him otherwise, just infuriates me. He is waaaaay too full of his ignorant self!
Die soon, Gawyn. Redeem yourself!
Aggie Will
215. Hari Coplin
I thought Gawyn saved Egwene by removing her from the Tower at the right juncture. For one, there were still the Blood Knives (if that is what they were called) and for second, Mesaana might have killed her if she had been available after the battle, as the situation with Elaida's kidnapping might have altered her plans. Just speculation of course, but I thought that might have been it.

Symbolically, a wall of course represents division. Thus, Egwene tearing down the wall represented Egwene's efforts to mend the Tower; the wall is not the Shining Walls or the Tower, but made of Aes Sedai symbols.
Marcus W
216. toryx
blocksmith @ 212:

It's certainly difficult to be certain one way or another. Like so many other things, this is a case where the writing can plainly be interpreted in one direction or the other. As a reader, I always interpret something written as being "like" another thing to be quite plainly not the same.

Also, given how many Wise Ones have seen Aes Sedai and how many Aes Sedai have seen Wise Ones at this point, I'd think that if it were really so plainly obvious that at some point some AS would ask the question: "Why does Amys look so much like an Aes Sedai?"

But so far, the only one that I can recall responding to her like that is Egwene. Everyone else notices that she looks younger than her hair would suggest. That's a regular occurance in the real world when people don't color their hair.
Aggie Will
217. Lsana
@208 Isilel,

The Wise Ones can heal with the OP. They specifically say that there are WO who heal, although Amys and Melaine are not among those. It's true that we haven't seen them building anything, but there aren't too many AS who build anything either any more, mostly due to how rare the earth talent is among women. I also don't see any suggestion that the WO hide their ability to channel: certainly when Amys and Melaine were tossing Couladin around at Rhuidean, none of the Aiel seemed shocked. The Wise Ones aren't perfect, certainly, but they seem to be the best example of channelers who integrate themselves into their societies.

As for the relationship between the male and female channelers after TG, I don't see a big happy family in the White Tower. It's true that the name Aes Sedai was pre-breaking and once referred to male and female channelers both, but none of the current institutions of the Aes Sedai date back that far or were meant to include men. The WT would have just as difficult a time integrating male channelers as any of the other organizations.

My guess is that they stay separate. Not because I want them to, but because there is too much hatred and mistrust on both sides. It would be nice if men and women worked together again. It would be nice if Egwene could wear the Ring of Tamyrlin and summon the Nine Rods of Dominion for the upcoming battle. Neither will happen. I think the WT and BT stay separate, occasionally allying, but never really trusting each other. The Age of Legends is gone, and it isn't coming back.
Tricia Irish
218. Tektonica
Remember, there probably won't be a lot of Ashamen that last past TG. My guess is there will be a small remnant of them. They, along with any new "sparkers", could redefine what it means to be an Ashaman/aes sedai, and the two towers could work together. Again, cooperation seems like one of the main themes of the books to me.
April Vrugtman
219. dwndrgn
Well as for making people Aes Sedai - isn't the Acceptatron a bit like that? So the training and the Acceptatron added together make them into Aes Sedai. Then they swear on the tenets of the Aes Sedai to do no harm or somesuch thing. No oath rod needed. Toss it into the volcano.

Double Blinking Congrats Blind Illusion!
220. Freelancer

In my case (and I believe Leighdb's also), the use of DUN! is intended to evoke the dramatic effect of a low orchestra hit just before a critical event in movies. So when it's truly a climactic moment, it might be DUN-dun-DUN!
john massey
222. subwoofer
Why? because Logain will eventually become the head of the Black Tower and male channelers. As a show of peace and good faith, if the two factions are to be united, why not show the trust of men by giving the leadership to a man?

Aggie Will
223. yasiru89
Despite all the reasons I have for disliking Egwene with a passion, I'm of like mind that the personal oaths to the Amyrlin that she was willingly on the receiving end of are in her favour.
Contrast this however, with how easily she changes her mind from 'Here's a novel idea, let's not be manipulative bitches all the time and give people a reason to trust us beyond the Oaths!' to 'Tell you what, let's keep on being manipulative bitches, but we'll do it all together and without forsaking our pride in this fine institution' over a couple of backward words from Siuan.
I'm impressed the Forsaken can fight Aes Sedai without bursting into hysterical fits over the fact that their enemies choose to shackle themselves like convicts.
William McDaniel
224. willmcd
I agree with many others who've posted that the Three Oaths are poppycock. Yes, I agree that there needs to be some form of regulation for channelers to be accepted into society; to my thinking the Aiel have managed this most effectively. But I think the key on the Oaths is (just as in real life) to be aware of the distinction between the intent of a law and its actual result.

The first oath enforces "honesty", but Aes Sedai are not trusted. Having now read AMoL, I draw a parallel between this and the "World without evil" scenario that plays out in Rand's final battle with the DO. Good without a choice isn't really "good", RJ tells us (echoing "A Clockwork Orange" and a bazillion other works). "Truthfulness" without a choice doesn't create trust.

We've seen how the limitation against violence severly handicaps AS in battle. Having seen the damage the Asha'man did at Dumai's Wells, yes, keeping channelers out of a battle is in theory a decent idea. But again, the idea and the reality are different. Unless you could get every channeler in the world to be bound under such an oath, all you're doing is severely handicapping one group. And furthermore, as others have pointed out, the OP may be used for "discipline". It also may be used for restraint; is wrapping somebody up in flows of air and lifting them off the ground when you're displeased with them that much different than whipping them? In either case, you're using your ubermensch-ness to enforce your will on them, which is at least in part what this oath is supposed to prevent. The oath doesn't work.

I'm less passionate about the "not making weapons" oath, but again it seems to assume a world where the Shadow is inactive. In actuality, the Forgers are going to keep making those black blades at Thakan'dar, and it'd be awful nice to have weapons than can match them pound-for-pound.

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