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Icarium
11-10-2010, 08:31 PM
The AS love to boast how they kept the world safe from the Shadow for 3000 years. Now the Last Battle is coming, the Trolloc hordes attack, you'd think they would leave their precious tower and come to help. But no, they are too busy squabbling and plotting how to increase their power. Even in earlier times, one woudl think there should have been at least 50 AS in each Border kingdom, helping the armies hold off the Blight.

I am left scraching my head why the Borderlanders respect the AS so much, seeing that even most of the "Battle" Ajah members rarely show up to help with the fighting and prefer to stay in Tar Valon, looking for new Warders or buying more dresses or something of equally vital importance. I for one would have been a lot more inclined to put up with their extreme arrogance, if they had been doing their damned jobs all along. Yes, the Whiteclocks are morons to think the AS are Darkfriends but the AS's neglect of their duties surely does little to help their public image.

Not that this excuses Rand for not dealing with the BT properly and sending Asha'man to help, mind you, but the AS's neglect seem to have been going for far longer.

Dewairah
11-10-2010, 08:39 PM
I've wondered this as well.

The Aes Sedai have a really bad track record of being there when it matters - particularly when fighting against the shadowspawn.

multiple examples:

1. The amyrlin was jealous of the wife of the king of manetheran - so she let an entire country be butchered.

2. And where were they when Malkier was destroyed? no where to be found either.

Terez
11-10-2010, 08:42 PM
I asked Brandon about this, based on the idea in TEOTW that the part of what Warders do is guard the Blight:

Terez on Twitter - 11 August 2010 12:25 pm (http://twitter.com/Terez27/status/20906545958)
Are there actually Warders and Aes Sedai guarding the Blight at all times? Or is that another TEOTWism?
Brandon - 4:34 pm (http://twitter.com/BrandonSandrson/status/20922389730)
Well, there are Aes Sedai and Warders staying with most Borderlander monarchs.
4:34 pm (http://twitter.com/BrandonSandrson/status/20922417355)
I would say that yes, they are up there guarding. There are a disproportionate number, it seems, at times.
4:35 (http://twitter.com/BrandonSandrson/status/20922462556)
Morgase had one Aes Sedai, as did Berelain, to give advice. Borderlanders often have more.
Not very helpful, I admit.

alleluia_cone
11-10-2010, 08:45 PM
People have to recognize that the Aes Sedai are politicians, not warriors. If it wasn't for linking, the damane would destroy them.

Ammord
11-10-2010, 08:46 PM
Dew have you not read new spring?

Tamyrlin
11-10-2010, 08:46 PM
Like this is a situation where an organization has so much history, so much formality, so much politics, they are stifled from making significant cultural changes that were necessary for them to be prepared. Consider the fact that the Amyrlin had to work in secret to find the Dragon Reborn, which immediately is a big flag that something was deeply wrong with the White Tower. Also, the Black Ajah has been so prevalent, it's likely being ready for the Last Battle was never going to happen until the Tower was cleansed.

Dewairah
11-10-2010, 08:56 PM
sounds like many governments and organisations (UN) in our world, Tam.

arioch
11-10-2010, 08:56 PM
It probably doesn't help that when Elaida took power, her "administration" called for ALL Aes Sedai to return to the Tower, regardless of prior commitments.

Even so, indications are that nearly 1/3 of all the Aes Sedai stayed where they were anyway. Maybe there ARE a bunch out there in the Borderlands, doing what they can.

alleluia_cone
11-10-2010, 08:59 PM
It probably doesn't help that when Elaida took power, her "administration" called for ALL Aes Sedai to return to the Tower, regardless of prior commitments.

Even so, indications are that nearly 1/3 of all the Aes Sedai stayed where they were anyway. Maybe there ARE a bunch out there in the Borderlands, doing what they can.

Don't worry; Egwene will make contact with them as soon as she finishes making arrangements with the Sea Folk and the Aiel for what they will do after the Last Battle.

arioch
11-10-2010, 09:02 PM
Don't worry; Egwene will make contact with them as soon as she finishes making arrangements with the Sea Folk and the Aiel for what they will do after the Last Battle.

Who says she hasn't? Her Aes Sedai have been all over Randland already with Travelling, and just because it wasn't in the books we assume they haven't been in some form of contact--witness that we thought the SAS embassy to the Black Tower was completely out of touch ... except whoops.

It's probably more an issue of reality being recognized that Aes Sedai and Warders simply aren't numerous enough to constitute a fighting force if even the Borderlander armies aren't there.

Madgod
11-10-2010, 09:03 PM
Don't worry; Egwene will make contact with them as soon as she finishes making arrangements with the Sea Folk and the Aiel for what they will do after the Last Battle.

Didn't Egwene call all of them back also to check for Black Ajah members? I got that impression in TOM but I could be wrong and am way too lazy to try and find that passage. However, I think that most of the surviving AS in the borderlands told Egwene to go . . . somewhere uncomfortable, like they did to Elaida. And of course, if Saldea is any indication, there's probably not many of them left alive anyways.

Dewairah
11-10-2010, 09:05 PM
Even so, indications are that nearly 1/3 of all the Aes Sedai stayed where they were anyway. Maybe there ARE a bunch out there in the Borderlands, doing what they can.


Possibly.

I'm willing to bet they arent out walking the blightborder and fighting trollocs and myrdraal though. They were most likely to be flittering around the courts of fal moran/maradon/etc in their silks politicking.

I say that based upon what we've been shown of Aes Sedai.

Also taking into account the Aes Sedai in the Aiel war. They did little or no fighting at all - and only came out afterwards and healed what they could of the wounded.

They COULD have joined the armies and when in "danger" destroyed the aiel and drove them back acrosss the dragon wall - but they didnt. They waited until the aiel had pretty much given up and gone home until they emerged from tar valon to do some healing

arioch
11-10-2010, 09:07 PM
Possibly.

I'm willing to bet they arent out walking the blightborder and fighting trollocs and myrdraal though. They were most likely to be flittering around the courts of fal moran/maradon/etc in their silks politicking.

I say that based upon what we've been shown of Aes Sedai.

Also taking into account the Aes Sedai in the Aiel war. They did little or no fighting at all - and only came out afterwards and healed what they could of the wounded.

They COULD have joined the armies and when in "danger" destroyed the aiel and drove them back acrosss the dragon wall - but they didnt. They waited until the aiel had pretty much given up and gone home until they emerged from tar valon to do some healing

I'm going to throw this out there--did you just skim these books for the "good parts" or something? Why would you think Aes Sedai blowing up the Aiel would have been a GOOD THING?

Dewairah
11-10-2010, 09:12 PM
I dont recall where in any of the books it was written that the aes sedai used the one power extensively in war against the aiel.

I do recall (from new spring) the aiel fighting to the walls of tar valon, then giving up and going home and the aes sedai emerging to do healing and collect names of newborns on the order of the amyrlin

If they did seriously use the power to any extent against the Aiel - Could you point me to the book/chapter?

Icarium
11-10-2010, 09:19 PM
The Aiel wouldn't have attacked the Aes Sedai. Not that the AS knew that at the time, mind you.

People have to recognize that the Aes Sedai are politicians, not warriors. If it wasn't for linking, the damane would destroy them.

One AS is still more useful in battle than many soldiers. Doing nothing in Tar Valon isn't exactly much of an achievement...

arioch
11-10-2010, 09:31 PM
The Aiel wouldn't have attacked the Aes Sedai. Not that the AS knew that at the time, mind you.



One AS is still more useful in battle than many soldiers. Doing nothing in Tar Valon isn't exactly much of an achievement...

But a few hundred AS is not more useful in battle than a few hundred thousand soldiers. Particularly if those soldiers aren't even there.

Neilbert
11-10-2010, 11:12 PM
I asked Brandon about this, based on the idea in TEOTW that the part of what Warders do is guard the Blight:


Not very helpful, I admit.


So do they actually man border forts and whatnot and kill Trollocs and Fades or do they just chill with monarchs doing political stuff AKA nothing terribly useful?

Because even after reading that answer I'm not terribly sure, and I sure as heck don't remember any Aes Sedai being mentioned in any border conflicts so far. There weren't even any during the first Tarwin's gap in TEoTW, and apparently the Shinerians had ample time to prepare and request aid.

If anything people should be paying homage to the borderlanders, not the bloody Aes Sedai who can't get off their arses to use their God given superpowers to do ANYTHING USEFUL. It's no wonder people call them Witches and hold them in contempt.

Charlz Guybon
11-11-2010, 08:31 AM
I thought this thread was going to be about how the Aes Sedai know that the Borderlands are being overrun by Shadowspawn but do nothing about it. The Hall has control of the armies, but rather then do something like send Gareth Bryne, 50,000 men and 50 sisters to Shienar they just go along with Egwene's plan to meet Rand on the field of Merrilor. WTF?

WinespringBrother
11-11-2010, 08:59 AM
A lot has happened off-screen for most of the main characters in the week or two before the meeting at the Field of Merrilor, and we have more of those time gaps filled in before the meeting, to hopefully deal with these big problems.

For example, Nynaeve will probably realize that Lan is almost directly due north-east at Tarwin's Gap, and she is the type to speak up about such matters.

But I agree that the Aes Sedai are largely a political group and not suited for war. Then again, so were the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends. That is due to the relatively long period of peace for the Wetlands as a whole (~1000 years since the War of a Hundred Years), and the Aes Sedai generally stepping in to force peace through treaties, kidnappings and manipulation when wars got too out of control.

Case in point, Joline, Teslyn and Edesina trying to force Tuon to negotiate for peace.

Elaida and her Hall were not suited for War. Egwene did prepare the Rebels for war, choosing a Great Captain as their General, and raising the army, and hopefully the rebel holdovers in the Hall learned from those experiences so that they are more prepared for Tarmon Gai'don.

The Angry Druid
11-11-2010, 09:38 AM
Yes, this had really bothered me. Both from Rand and Egwene.

I'd have thought it would have been the first order of business for Buddha Rand and Egwene. And Nynaeve seems not to have made a stink about it either, as Lan is at the Gap with no AS or aid from the Dragon.

The more I think about it, the dumber ToM gets. Before, we could blame it on Elaida and Rand's instability, what is the excuse now?

Charlz Guybon
11-11-2010, 09:50 AM
Yes, this had really bothered me. Both from Rand and Egwene.

I'd have thought it would have been the first order of business for Buddha Rand and Egwene. And Nynaeve seems not to have made a stink about it either, as Lan is at the Gap with no AS or aid from the Dragon.

The more I think about it, the dumber ToM gets. Before, we could blame it on Elaida and Rand's instability, what is the excuse now?

Well, we didn't see how the Borderland situation played out with Rand. So I don't think we can judge that yet. He might have sent them back home.

WinespringBrother
11-11-2010, 09:55 AM
Well, we didn't see how the Borderland situation played out with Rand. So I don't think we can judge that yet. He might have sent them back home.

According to the book, the Borderlander armies accompanied Rand to the Field of Merrilor. Not sure if it was all 200,000 troops, but it seems to be implied.

David Selig
11-11-2010, 11:02 AM
Yes, this had really bothered me. Both from Rand and Egwene.

I'd have thought it would have been the first order of business for Buddha Rand and Egwene. And Nynaeve seems not to have made a stink about it either, as Lan is at the Gap with no AS or aid from the Dragon.

The more I think about it, the dumber ToM gets. Before, we could blame it on Elaida and Rand's instability, what is the excuse now?
Agreed.

Especially this bit in the epilogue about Kandor being overrun by the Trollocs. A whole country
was destroyed yet we have no indication that Rand or Egwene sent help there. This better get some reasonable explanation in the next book.

alleluia_cone
11-11-2010, 11:21 AM
Agreed.

Especially this bit in the epilogue about Kandor being overrun by the Trollocs. A whole country
was destroyed yet we have no indication that Rand or Egwene sent help there. This better get some reasonable explanation in the next book.

This is honestly Rand's fault if anybody's.

The armies of Tear, Illian, Saldaea, Kandor, Arafel, Shienar, Arad Doman, Mayene, Ghealdan, and the Two Rivers are his. He is the clan chief of the entire Aiel nation, save for one clan. He leads all the Sea Folk. Plus, he is the ultimate leader of the Black Tower, which has sworn no oaths on any Oath Rod.

Egwene only has the White Tower and Byrne's army, and they are under threat from the Seanchan.

Even Elayne has more responsibility than her because she leads two nations.

David Selig
11-11-2010, 11:27 AM
I agree, but still Egwene has plenty of channellers and a sizeable army too. Not to mention the political influence of the Amyrlin Seat.

But yeah, in this case Rand is more to blame, and of course the Borderland rulers too for taking their armies away from the Blight.

WinespringBrother
11-11-2010, 11:35 AM
I agree, but still Egwene has plenty of channellers and a sizeable army too. Not to mention the political influence of the Amyrlin Seat.

But yeah, in this case Rand is more to blame, and of course the Borderland rulers too for taking their armies away from the Blight.

This can't all be laid at Rand's feet. Look at what happened when he sent foreign troops to Saldaea, they almost got wiped out because they were treated as enemies/foreign invaders by the Lord of the city (though he did turn out to be a darkfriend). Rand didn't have an army of Kandorans to send there, besides, they abandoned their duty, as Rand noted. Unfornately, their nations paid or will pay the price.

And Egwene gave up the armies to get Rand. Though it may have been too late by that point, depending on when the invasion began.

I've haven't noticed too much that credit is being given to the Shadow for its Chaos plans, which have been carried out very well in some ways, sowing mistrust among the forces of the Light.

thedragonreformed
11-11-2010, 11:44 AM
This is honestly Rand's fault if anybody's.

The armies of Tear, Illian, Saldaea, Kandor, Arafel, Shienar, Arad Doman, Mayene, Ghealdan, and the Two Rivers are his. He is the clan chief of the entire Aiel nation, save for one clan. He leads all the Sea Folk. Plus, he is the ultimate leader of the Black Tower, which has sworn no oaths on any Oath Rod.

Egwene only has the White Tower and Byrne's army, and they are under threat from the Seanchan.

Even Elayne has more responsibility than her because she leads two nations.

Actually, the armies of Kandor, Arafel, Shienar were his only the day before the big meeting. Armies of Mayene, Ghealdan, Two Rivers were being used by Perrin.

I believe most of Arad Doman's army was wiped out in Maradon.

I am guessing the armies of Tear and Illian had to be deployed in the south so as to act as a deterrent/protection against a Seanchan invasion.

But the 11 Aiel clans? If they were simply idle all this time, then its probably a bad mistake on Rand's part.

GonzoTheGreat
11-11-2010, 11:48 AM
Maybe some of those Aiel were protecting their own wives and children. Based on what we know, we should expect that Trollocs also ran into the Waste. If there was no one there to stop them, they would have quite an easy time of it.

thedragonreformed
11-11-2010, 12:05 PM
Maybe some of those Aiel were protecting their own wives and children. Based on what we know, we should expect that Trollocs also ran into the Waste. If there was no one there to stop them, they would have quite an easy time of it.

I seem to have missed this completely. I was under the impression that, apart from the Trollocs that have attacked Caemlyn, no other army has penetrated that far into Randland. Is this mentioned in ToM?

Was there any mention of the Aiel clans gathering in the Field of Merrilor? I wonder if Rand has sent or intends to send some of them to assist Lan.

GonzoTheGreat
11-11-2010, 12:17 PM
I don't think there is mention of what the Trollocs are doing. But I would be very surprised if they aren't attacking all along the Blight, and in Seanchan too. The latter might not be the case, if there aren't any Portal Stones there, though.

Madgod
11-11-2010, 12:20 PM
Yeah, but even if they are attacking the Waste would all 11 clans need to return? Why not send half to the Waste and the other half to Kandor? That way you aren't letting Trollocs run throughout the main staging area for the forces of light, and are also protecting any wives/children left behind.

etranger
11-11-2010, 12:23 PM
Was there any mention of the Aiel clans gathering in the Field of Merrilor?

It's said that some Aiel came with Darlin from Tear.

It doesn't seem as if all the Aiel or even most of them were at Merrilor though. There should be hundreds of thousands of them in the Westlands after all.

alleluia_cone
11-11-2010, 12:30 PM
As I understand, 90% of the Aiel are in Arad Doman.

Charlz Guybon
11-11-2010, 05:15 PM
Agreed.

Especially this bit in the epilogue about Kandor being overrun by the Trollocs. A whole country
was destroyed yet we have no indication that Rand or Egwene sent help there. This better get some reasonable explanation in the next book.

That guy said he was bringing supplies to Heath tower when his caravan was overrun. So all that guy knows is that the border forts were overrun. His thoughts that all of Kandor has been overrun is just an assumption. Perhaps a good one, but only an assumption. The Shadow may have only bothered to use Dreadlords at Maradon because of all the Asha'man there. If they don't use them to break the walls of Chachin then the city could hold for a while. It seemed better fortified than Maradon.

David Selig
11-11-2010, 05:47 PM
Let's hope you're right - Kandor is not completely taken over and most of its people are safe behind the walls of their cities. It would be an awful shame if a whole nation is overrun by Trollocs because the rest of the world did nothing to help and their own army was away chasing Rand.

Weiramon
11-11-2010, 06:13 PM
But the 11 Aiel clans? If they were simply idle all this time, then its probably a bad mistake on Rand's part.

Bah, foot would never do. Cavalry would make short work of those Trollocs.

Best leave those savages in Illian to chase their own renegades, or back in Kinslayer's Dagger. The Lord Dragon should have left the other 2 bands of savages back in Arad Doman instead of sullying the Stone.

AbbeyRoad
11-11-2010, 06:59 PM
This is why Rand has to immediately cleanse the Black Tower, in similar fashion that Egwene cleansed the White Tower, so that he can send a large contingent of Asha'man to the borderlands to hold the Shadow at bay until Rand can gather all of his forces for his strike. I thought we'd see some of that in ToM, but apparently it's all going to be in AMoL. Oh, well.

arioch
11-11-2010, 07:09 PM
I was re-reading the Ituralde rescue section earlier and I just came across a passage that should read very interesting--Bashere arrives with what is said to be a "large number" of Asha'man and Aes Sedai.

How many is a "large number" of Aes Sedai? There can't be more than about a dozen of them running around with Cadsuane, and I can't imagine her sending ALL of them with Rand's strike force to Maradon.

Davian93
11-11-2010, 07:12 PM
On a side note, just how many Trollocs were killed in the Battle of Maradon?

Between Ituralde & Rand's finale, I'm guessing in the hundreds of thousands.

Charlz Guybon
11-11-2010, 07:47 PM
On a side note, just how many Trollocs were killed in the Battle of Maradon?

Between Ituralde & Rand's finale, I'm guessing in the hundreds of thousands.

Tens of thousands of them are killed at the ford, but when Ituralde retreats into Maradon there are still a ton left.

"the city was now besieged by a force of several hundred thousand shadowspawn."p331

"an awesome force of Trollocs, many times the size of the one that had assaulted Maradon" p500.

"The field before him was piled with carcasses atop carcasses. Tens of thousands of dead Trollocs smoldering"p503

There were over a million trollocs and he killed several tens of thousands of them, so there's probably still a million left. He killed many more at the Eye of the World were he had the benefit of the terrain to keep them hemmed in. The only reason he drove them off is that they're cowardly.

arioch
11-11-2010, 07:50 PM
The only reason he drove them off is that they're cowardly.

That Light blinding effect probably helped.

Charlz Guybon
11-11-2010, 10:42 PM
That Light blinding effect probably helped.
Yeah, they are sensitive to bright light.

shadar
11-12-2010, 01:39 AM
I know we're not allowed to Egwene bash around here - but Rand at least has sent ashaman to the blight. And Egwene has to take responsibility for AS short-sightedness

The White Tower has sent Alanna. (And she was sent there by someone who was technically BA). No other aid, no discussion of Aid, even when they heard the borderlands were being over-run.

A circle of say 11 (5 greens, 1 of every other ajah) to each borderland country could make a major difference in terms of healings/gateways.

The White Tower seems to have abandoned that. They are planning the defence of Tar Valon. Not the defence of the world.

jana
11-12-2010, 01:49 AM
I know we're not allowed to Egwene bash around here

You just hurt my brain really badly

Terez
11-12-2010, 01:58 AM
You just hurt my brain really badly
Did you miss Tam's last post on the WTF thread?

jana
11-12-2010, 02:20 AM
Did you miss Tam's last post on the WTF thread?

Oh, thanks :) and lol.

Sorry shadar

Weird Harold
12-09-2010, 03:15 AM
Like this is a situation where an organization has so much history, so much formality, so much politics, they are stifled from making significant cultural changes that were necessary for them to be prepared.

I think it is no coincidence that the "Ivory Tower Intellectuals" of the WOT, who are so bound up in internal politics and self-righteousness that they have virtually no contact with reality, live in a Giant, 500-pace-tall, Tower of Unblemished White.

:D:D:D

subwoofer
12-09-2010, 01:05 PM
I'm going to throw this out there--did you just skim these books for the "good parts" or something? Why would you think Aes Sedai blowing up the Aiel would have been a GOOD THING?

LOL:D

Possibly.

I'm willing to bet they arent out walking the blightborder and fighting trollocs and myrdraal though. They were most likely to be flittering around the courts of fal moran/maradon/etc in their silks politicking.

I say that based upon what we've been shown of Aes Sedai.

Also taking into account the Aes Sedai in the Aiel war. They did little or no fighting at all - and only came out afterwards and healed what they could of the wounded.

They COULD have joined the armies and when in "danger" destroyed the aiel and drove them back acrosss the dragon wall - but they didnt. They waited until the aiel had pretty much given up and gone home until they emerged from tar valon to do some healing

I am thinking that the Oaths specifically:
"Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or another sister."
would get in the way of this.
The Aiel wouldn't have attacked the Aes Sedai. Not that the AS knew that at the time, mind you.


Exactly. The Aiel are reticent about Aes Sedai in the Waste because of the Wise Ones, but they respect the Aes Sedai in the world.


So do they actually man border forts and whatnot and kill Trollocs and Fades or do they just chill with monarchs doing political stuff AKA nothing terribly useful?

Because even after reading that answer I'm not terribly sure, and I sure as heck don't remember any Aes Sedai being mentioned in any border conflicts so far. There weren't even any during the first Tarwin's gap in TEoTW, and apparently the Shinerians had ample time to prepare and request aid.

If anything people should be paying homage to the borderlanders, not the bloody Aes Sedai who can't get off their arses to use their God given superpowers to do ANYTHING USEFUL. It's no wonder people call them Witches and hold them in contempt.

Yep, nodding my head here. Aes Sedai lament at their dwindling numbers- but do they pull their heads out of the sand long enough to do something about this? AS know where the Shadow is the strongest- the Blight and beyond, do they stand watch? If I was Amrylin, I'd be sending the Battle Ajah on 2 yr stints to the borderlands. Maybe all Aes Sedai should have a tour or two in harms way. And I do remember the respect that Agelmar, heck all borderlanders gives Moiraine and any Aes Sedai that comes along. They are revered for all that they can do. Pity that the ladies do not step up where they are needed.

Juan
12-09-2010, 01:25 PM
Maybe the AS (servants of all) can't serve precisely because people hold them in contempt.

Icarium
12-09-2010, 01:46 PM
Maybe the AS (servants of all) can't serve precisely because people hold them in contempt.

Except nobody does that in the Borderlands, as implausible as that is considering how much the AS have left them out to dry. Also, being hated certainly doesn't stop the AS from trying to meddle into the affairs of each and every ruler.

Juan
12-09-2010, 02:24 PM
Example: Artur Hawking could have likely been saved by accepting Aes Sedai Healing and thus cure the sickness which ultimately killed him. But he refused. Also remember those parents Nynaeve chastised for not letting their kids get Healed? How can they serve if people will not let them?

Example: channeling outlawed by Tear

Example: AS outlawed in Amadicia

Most nations' people have these same feelings in general about AS even if they may not show them as openly as Whitecloaks, Tear, Amadicia, etc.

Nobody loves the AS. Not even the Borderlanders. They respect them out of awe and fear more than anything else. That doesn't mean the Borderlanders want them in their cities. Like most people in this thread, they want them in the battlefields, but that's easier said than done. Who wouldn't want to put someone other than your own people in harm's way to fight your battles for you?

Besides, I could say the same of the Borderlands. Where were they for Maradon? Kandor? Malkier? Isn't that their job? Instead, they take their armies south to deal with the Dragon Reborn. Yes they had a Prophecy to fulfill and to confirm Rand was ready, but they didn't need to leave the Borderlands defenseless by bringing their entire armies with them. They rulers could've come with an escort of 100 soldiers and their AS. But no, they abandoned their duties.

You can't play the blame game and lay it all at the AS's feet. Yes, they hold much of the blame, but everyone else holds just as much.

Icarium
12-09-2010, 03:00 PM
Besides, I could say the same of the Borderlands. Where were they for Maradon? Kandor? Malkier? Isn't that their job? Instead, they take their armies south to deal with the Dragon Reborn. Yes they had a Prophecy to fulfill and to confirm Rand was ready, but they didn't need to leave the Borderlands defenseless by bringing their entire armies with them. They rulers could've come with an escort of 100 soldiers and their AS. But no, they abandoned their duties.

Sure, the rulers of the Borderlands were complete morons to do that. But overall they have abandoned their duty just this once, as far as we know. The AS have been doing it for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Example: channeling outlawed by Tear

Example: AS outlawed in Amadicia

Well, you might as well claim alcohol is hated everywhere in real world because it's banned in some countries.

And a lot of the attitude against the AS is caused by AS themselves. Do they send most of the Green Ajah to the Blight? No. Do the Yellows set up clinics to Heal people? Nope. Do the Browns share their knowledge with non-channelers. No. Are they bullying and manipulating each and every ruler? You bet they are. What reason do ordinary people have to like the AS? If there were Healers in every major city who healed people free of charge (as Elayne intends to do in Andor) the support for the AS would soar. Ditto if the Browns actually created some technical innovations to make life easier, instead of living in their ivory tower.

Now, if they did live up to their publicly stated raison d'etre and actually sent a lot of Sisters to fight in the Blight, they would have an actual reason to complain that people misunderstand them.

That doesn't mean the Borderlanders want them in their cities. Like most people in this thread, they want them in the battlefields, but that's easier said than done. Who wouldn't want to put someone other than your own people in harm's way to fight your battles for you?

Did you miss all the scenes in which the AS are treated like royalty in the Borderlands? And it's not as if they are going to fight alone, if they decide to help out.

You can't play the blame game and lay it all at the AS's feet. Yes, they hold much of the blame, but everyone else holds just as much.

I don't think that's true but even if it was, nobody else claims to be the bulwark against the Shadow except for the Borderlanders who actually do fight the Shadow all the time, unlike the AS.

Weird Harold
12-09-2010, 04:31 PM
Except nobody does that in the Borderlands, as implausible as that is considering how much the AS have left them out to dry. Also, being hated certainly doesn't stop the AS from trying to meddle into the affairs of each and every ruler.
Have you examined the history of the White Tower with an eye for the parallel history of the Black Ajah?

Many of the attitudes you complain of are in fact watered down versions of the BA's attitudes -- eg "we are special and should rule the world."

The Three Oaths severely inhibit AS effectiveness in combat and the Three Oaths came into being roughly around the same time as Ishamael founded the BA -- Did HE provide the Oath Rod and suggest the Oaths?

Many of the White Tower's failings can be seen as "Ivory Tower Mentality" but nobody seems to consider that they've had a fifth column working for thousands of years to shape attitudes and policies in ways that inibit the Tower's real ability to fight the Shadow.

Everyone bashes Egwene for changing her mind and not throwing out the Oaths while conveniently forgetting that while we don'tknow what Halima was doing with her massages, we do know that she was doing something and believed it was effective.

How much of the Tower's idiocy is the result of malice (directed at them from within their ranks) instead of inherent stupidity?

Tarion
12-09-2010, 04:35 PM
@Juan Icarium's spot on - You've got the cause and effect reversed. Aes Sedai have been reduced to the level of myth in many places and aren't trusted in those places where people believe in them.

Siuan believes the 3 Oaths are a good thing because when an Aes Sedai says something outright, people know they can trust it. What she's missed is that it means they can't be trusted the rest of the time. There are plenty of groups known for their honesty - The Aiel, the Ogier, the Borderlanders. When they say anything people believe them, they don't go looking for the trick. They've earned that trust through generations of honesty. The Aes Sedai have earned their reputation for trickery.

Look at the progress that has been made since Rand started taking power. He's funded inventions and essentially jumped through what took our society hundreds of years. Why haven't the Browns been funding this? What does the White Tower do with their seemingly endless cash?

EDIT: @Weird Harold - I agree completely that the Black Ajah probably hurt the White Tower, but whose fault is that? They allowed it to happen. When it can be fixed with a simple "I am not a Darkfriend" after OathRodding, you have to wonder why they don't do it as a standard operating procedure. Why not include an Oath "Never serve the Dark One"?

Juan
12-09-2010, 04:38 PM
@Icarium
The Borderlanders abandoned their posts when it mattered most: The beginnings of the Last Battle.

Alcohol is not hated everywhere where it's outlawed. Most people drink alcohol, many to get drunks, others conservatively. Very few don't drink it at all. Even in countries where it's illegal, it's drunk. Prohibition in the U.S. didn't seem to stop drinking, just increase smuggling. Alcohol is in fact a loved substance. AS are not loved. They're mistrusted even for their Three Oaths (I don't blame people for their mistrust, rather I disagree with them for their comtempt towards AS).

You seem to be forgetting about your own unstated assumption. You're assuming that AS are simply tools for the rest of the world. They are people too. They have a life to live. They serve where they can (as AS Heal people when they can, counsel when they can, etc.) They are not tools to be used at others' whims.

The people in Andor are not being Healed free of charge. Nothing is ever free. There is always a price to pay, or have not you studied Macroeconomics? Elayne had to do a nice little deal with the Kin and all that.

You are assuming the Borderlanders will help out if the AS send people, but you don't know that for a fact. Rand sent an entire army to defend a city that didn't defend itself until the last second when it was either join the fight or die too. Granted, the leader was a Darkfriend, but who's to say there aren't other Darkfriends that infiltrated positions of power in other Borderland nations? I'm willing to bet there's plenty more. Come on, if there's BA Sitters in the White Tower, Darkfriend Children of of the Light, and other high offices of other nations, then as we've seen, the probability that there's more in the Borderlanders is high and thus they would not necessarily send help.

Why should AS be sent to the Blight? The Borderlanders don't even send people to the Blight really. All they do is raids and defend villages and all that. They never really stage an attack on the Blight. If they did, then I might agree that AS should send people to wipe out Shadowspawn once and for all. The Seanchan had an effective invasion of the Blight it seems, there is little Trolloc activity there. If the Randlanders were to actually invade their Blight and do the same, sure, send the AS and Ashaman and all the nations' armies. But they haven't. I'm willing to bet the AS now that they are cleansed from the BA for the most part WILL play a part in the fighting, even if they aren't as effective warriors as Ashaman or damane.

Key point to remember is: The Aes Sedai are people and not tools to be used.

David Selig
12-09-2010, 04:50 PM
Everyone bashes Egwene for changing her mind and not throwing out the Oaths while conveniently forgetting that while we don'tknow what Halima was doing with her massages, we do know that she was doing something and believed it was effective.

Team Jordan confirmed the decision to stick with Three Oaths had nothing to do with Halima.

But I agree that probably a lot of the fundamental problems of the Aes Sedai as an organisation were created and maintained by the Black Ajah under the guidance of Ishamael. But this is not a good excuse - their own refusal to even admit the possibility of the existence of the Black Ajah is what led to its having so much influence. They had the perfect tool for easily discovering Darkfriends in the Oath Rod yet it took them 3000 years to start using it this way.

Tarion
12-09-2010, 05:09 PM
You seem to be forgetting about your own unstated assumption. You're assuming that AS are simply tools for the rest of the world. They are people too. They have a life to live. They serve where they can (as AS Heal people when they can, counsel when they can, etc.) They are not tools to be used at others' whims.... Key point to remember is: The Aes Sedai are people and not tools to be used.
If you don't want to be a tool to be used, I'd suggest against joining a group called "The Servants of All".

Weird Harold
12-09-2010, 05:32 PM
Team Jordan confirmed the decision to stick with Three Oaths had nothing to do with Halima.

I doubt that there is ANY specific decision Egwene has made that can be laid explicitly at Halima's feet. But I'd be willing to bet that Halima's tampering Affected a lot of her decisions indirectly.

But I agree that probably a lot of the fundamental problems of the Aes Sedai as an organisation were created and maintained by the Black Ajah under the guidance of Ishamael. But this is not a good excuse - their own refusal to even admit the possibility of the existence of the Black Ajah is what led to its having so much influence.

When the BA holds positions such as Ajah Head, Sitter, Keeper, Eyes and Ears controllers, pigeon keeper, etc. Just how is any movement to purge the BA going to get started?

Aside from the natural tendency of any group to deny the possiblility of DFs among its memebership, you have DFs actively encouraging the attitude that the BA can't possibly exist in an organization as pure as the Ivory Tower that symbolizes their power. :rolleyes:

They had the perfect tool for easily discovering Darkfriends in the Oath Rod yet it took them 3000 years to start using it this way.

You first have to get the DFs in your organization to quit sabotaging any suggestion that there might be DFs in your organization to worry about.

Then you have to overcome the unmbrage any existing membership will display at the mere suggestion they or anyone they know might be even the slightest bit on the dingy side of pure as the drivien snow.

The Amyrlin Seat has never been the kind of ruler the Empress of Seanchan (may she live forever) is; there is no possibility that the Amyrlin can redfine the color Blue to make the "sky green." Amyrlins can be deposed (or assassinated) if they get too uppity about the BA and the Hall of Sitters is a committee -- a beast with 42 feet, 42 hands, 21 heads, and NO BRAINS.

Juan
12-09-2010, 05:36 PM
There's a difference between serving and being a tool. A tool has no say in the matter and is in essence a slave. Slaves are tools. That's why the U.S. colonies bought them and traded them. Because they weren't humans, they were tools. That's why the Seanchan are largely criticized, because their damanes are slaves and tools to be used (for the "GOOD" of the empire). The Ashaman were Rand's tools to use in the Last Battle (for the GOOD of the world). The Seanchan have yet to do so, but Rand has already realized the error of his ways. Or did you not read his last POV in TGS and read TOM? The Ashaman AREN'T tools. Neither are Aes Sedai.

subwoofer
12-09-2010, 06:28 PM
@Icarium
The Borderlanders abandoned their posts when it mattered most: The beginnings of the Last Battle.

Key point to remember is: The Aes Sedai are people and not tools to be used.

Ahem- "I see him before you!" Paitar quoted. "Him, the one who lives many lives, the one who gives deaths, the one who raises mountains. He will break what he must break, but first he stands here, before our king. You will bloody him! Tellindal Tirraso, murdered by his hand, the darkness that came the day after the light. You must ask, and you must know your fate. If he cannot answer... then you will be lost. You will bring his end swiftly, so that the final days may have their storm. So that Light may not be consumed by he who was to have preserved it. I see him. And I weep."

The borderlands did what they had to do. Sometimes rulers have to make hard choices.

"Peace, but it is good to see you, Dai Shan," the Lord of Fal Dara said."And you Moiraine Aes Sedai, perhaps even more. Your presence warms me Aes Sedai."

"Ninte calichniye no domashita, Agelmar Dai Shan," Moiraine replied formally, but with a note in her voice that said they were old friends. "Your welcome warms me, Lord Agelmar."

"Kodome calichniye ga ni Aes Sedai, hei. Here is always a welcome for Aes Sedai."....

..."But I thought... Moiraine Sedai, I have no right to ask it of you, but you would be worth a thousand lances in Tarwin's Gap. And you Dai Shan. A thousand men will come when they hear the Golden Crane flies once more."...

..."Aes Sedai, I can accept that when I lead the lances to Tarwin's Gap we will be nore more than a diversion, or a skirmish on the outskirts of the real battle. Duty takes men where it will as surely as does the Pattern, and neither promises that what we do will have greatness. But our skirmishes will be useless, even should we win, if you lose the battle. If you say your party must be small, I say well and good, but I beg you to make every effort to see that you can win. Leave these young men here, Aes Sedai. I swear to you that I can find three experienced men with no thought of glory in their heads to replace them, good swordsmen who are almost as handy in the Blight as Lan. Let me ride to the Gap knowing that I have done what I can to help you be victorious."

Heck, I could quote the whole back end of tEotW and the beginning of tGH. Borderlanders are nothing if not respectful and worshiping of Aes Sedai. And it is not out of fear and it is not grudgingly given either. Borderlanders value and cherish Aes Sedai and a single one appointed there is treated with the highest of regard. It is a pity that more are not there, because as borderlanders their duty is who they are. "Are you truly that eager?" Nynaeve asked. "To fight Trollocs?"

"Ingtar gave her a puzzled look, then glanced at Lan as if the Warder might explain. "That is what I do, Lady," he said slowly."That is what I am."

Regardless of whether the rest of the world likes or loathes Aes Sedai the borderlanders do not. Regardless of how put upon the Aes Sedai feel, the borderlanders need them. Regardless of who else hurts the Aes Sedai feelings, the Blight is real, the forces of the Shadow are real, the Dark One is real. Get over the touchy feely and do your duty already. Malkier might be standing if you were already there in the first place instead of having to send a force after the fact.

The borderlanders are people too, not tools. But they understand duty. Great, the Aes Sedai can opt out of going and helping, the borderlanders cannot. That is their home, their families, their people. They stand watch over the ever encroaching Blight so that people in Andor can sleep at night. Give them some respect. Let the Tower give them the help they need and deserve and let the Tower quit the pity party and get it in gear.

Enigma
12-09-2010, 06:57 PM
Might it be that the Aes Sedai dont/didn't sent sisters to the borderlands becasue they are afraid that people will see that they are not all powerful?

If you consider there were two Aes Sedai in the Two Rivers when the trollocks invaded. They certainly helped but they were not exactly able to help throw back the Trollocks all on their own.

As a reason its pretty self centred but this is the white tower after all.

Juan
12-09-2010, 07:00 PM
You haven't been reading what I've been saying, subwoofer. I said I understand the Borderlanders had to make sure Rand was well and if not take him out, but they didn't need their ARMIES to do so. Fighting against Rand is not a battle you win by sending troops against him, rather by using the one power (in other words, Aes Sedai). Which they brought. But they didn't need their armies there.

Moiraine is Moiraine and everyone loves her. That's not really fair. Also, that's why I said respectful and I didn't say grudgingly. Don't put words in my mouth that I didn't say. I said respectful out of fear. Is there anyone who can't channel that DOESN'T fear AS? Even Mat with his medallion is wary around them.

All I'm saying here is that you can't see the Borderlanders are these glorious perfect beings as so many people here see them as, and the AS as these flawed bitches who don't do their part. Both parts have had mistakes, both have a duty. A big confusion is that the AS's duty and the Borderlander's duty are the same. They are not. They have different duties and different battles (metaphorical or not) to fight. And lastly, whether you like it or not, AS are not tools/damane to be used whenever rulers want/need them.

subwoofer
12-09-2010, 07:23 PM
You haven't been reading what I've been saying, subwoofer. I said I understand the Borderlanders had to make sure Rand was well and if not take him out, but they didn't need their ARMIES to do so. Fighting against Rand is not a battle you win by sending troops against him, rather by using the one power (in other words, Aes Sedai). Which they brought. But they didn't need their armies there.

Moiraine is Moiraine and everyone loves her. That's not really fair. Also, that's why I said respectful and I didn't say grudgingly. Don't put words in my mouth that I didn't say. I said respectful out of fear. Is there anyone who can't channel that DOESN'T fear AS? Even Mat with his medallion is wary around them.

All I'm saying here is that you can't see the Borderlanders are these glorious perfect beings as so many people here see them as, and the AS as these flawed bitches who don't do their part. Both parts have had mistakes, both have a duty. A big confusion is that the AS's duty and the Borderlander's duty are the same. They are not. They have different duties and different battles (metaphorical or not) to fight. And lastly, whether you like it or not, AS are not tools/damane to be used whenever rulers want/need them.

Don't make me go and plow through PoD's prologue to find the exact quote, but they took the troops they needed to make sure the job was done.

You didn't read what I wrote either or you would have noticed the quote I included that indicated that the rulers thought that this was of paramount importance, even more so than guarding the border. If they failed at this, all was lost anyways. And the quote in PoD was to the tune of we took enough troops to get the job done and what we left behind would be good short of the end of the world... They did need their armies. We have already seen a hundred Aes Sedai do sweet FA to stop Rand from coming and going as he will. 13 is a drop in the bucket. Ethenielle tunes back into the conversation when she hears mentions of Aes Sedai. Ethenielle is immediately alarmed, thinking to herself that, "if Aes Sedai had gained a hint of their plan...well, Aes Sedai always had plans of their own." It seems that Paitar has brought his Aes Sedai advisor, Coladara. Not only that, but Coladara had seven visiting Aes Sedai that she brought with her. Paitar says that he thought it prudent, under the circumstances, to bring them. Ethenielle is quite aghast, thinking that if there are eight Aes Sedai with them, then surely the White Tower knows every move they intend. As if that were not bad enough, Tenobia announces that she has also brought five Aes Sedai whom she ran into before leaving Saldaea. Ethenielle tells them that all any of the thirteen Aes Sedai need to do is find a way to send a short message to the Tower, and asks if any of them can stop the Aes Sedai. Paitar replies that the dice are out of the cup. Easar adds that, further south, it may be well to have Aes Sedai with them. There's more, but I'm getting tired of typing right now.

And respect out of fear is not respect. Borderlanders actually respect Aes Sedai, they do not defer to them out of fear but out of reverence. They were cautious with the ones they had but the reality was, no body knew about the Prophecy they were following, they knew things were awry in the Tower- the division, and they did not want to be turned back from their mission.

Mat's wary around them because they do not say what they mean, they usually have a hidden agenda, they use him and they fling poop at him.

Yes the borderlanders have their flaws, but they also do their duty. AS duty is to be at the Last Battle. Borderlanders are already there. Last I checked, it was Lan and crew riding into the Gap without so much as one Aes Sedai with him. Did they need a written invitation? Duty is duty.

When I was in the army, I didn't get a whole lot of thank you's for stepping into the middle of genocide. I was getting shelled from both sides. Aes Sedai are supposed to be the force that stands against the Shadow. They do not need accolades, they do not need appreciation, etc. It is what they do, it is who they are. The borderlanders don't get any and they are normal people without a huge gift. They do their thing without thank yous. They step up for the rest of the world without a second thought as to reward. As my quote said, it is who they are. Aes Sedai have to come to the same way of thinking. Suck it up.

Right- found it:"What I left behind can guard the Blight short of the Trolloc Wars coming again," Etheniellle said in a firm voice. "I trust you've all done as well. It hardly matters, though. Does anyone believe we truly can turn back now?"

Icarium
12-09-2010, 07:40 PM
The people in Andor are not being Healed free of charge. Nothing is ever free. There is always a price to pay, or have not you studied Macroeconomics? Elayne had to do a nice little deal with the Kin and all that.

Healing people for free would be an immense propaganda coup for the AS. This alone would repay the rather meagre cost of the operation - it's not as if they use expensive materials in order to Heal or there aren't plenty of AS who spend all day in their precious Tower wondering what to do. I think there is mention that in Tar Valon they already Heal people for free on a regular basis that, but only few of them and on a much smaller scale. Or maybe I am imagining it. In any case, the AS have plenty of options to use if they want to make people like them more - they don't bother because they seem to prefer being feared instead. See how the people in Emond's Field first thought the AS were little better than Darkfriends but after Moiraine Healed many of the wounded, most of the villagers decided she was quite all right.

When I was in the army, I didn't get a whole lot of thank you's for stepping into the middle of genocide. I was getting shelled from both sides. Aes Sedai are supposed to be the force that stands against the Shadow. They do not need accolades, they do not need appreciation, etc. It is what they do, it is who they are. The borderlanders don't get any and they are normal people without a huge gift. They do their thing without thank yous. They step up for the rest of the world without a second thought as to reward. As my quote said, it is who they are. Aes Sedai have to come to the same way of thinking. Suck it up.

Exactly.

There's a difference between serving and being a tool. A tool has no say in the matter and is in essence a slave. Slaves are tools. That's why the U.S. colonies bought them and traded them. Because they weren't humans, they were tools. That's why the Seanchan are largely criticized, because their damanes are slaves and tools to be used (for the "GOOD" of the empire). The Ashaman were Rand's tools to use in the Last Battle (for the GOOD of the world). The Seanchan have yet to do so, but Rand has already realized the error of his ways. Or did you not read his last POV in TGS and read TOM? The Ashaman AREN'T tools. Neither are Aes Sedai.

Strawman much? There is a healthy middle ground between being tools and staying in their ivory tower while the world is literally going to hell. The AS just need to get their heads out of their asses and find it.

Just how is any movement to purge the BA going to get started?

Not denying the obvious would be good start. Even after Liandrin and her fellow BA escape the theme still remains a taboo. Typical AS - not losing prestige is considered better than actually dealing with the problem. There is also the mind-blowing stupidity of the thought that the Oath Rod could be used for removal of Oaths never occurring to anyone.

You are assuming the Borderlanders will help out if the AS send people, but you don't know that for a fact. Rand sent an entire army to defend a city that didn't defend itself until the last second when it was either join the fight or die too. Granted, the leader was a Darkfriend, but who's to say there aren't other Darkfriends that infiltrated positions of power in other Borderland nations? I'm willing to bet there's plenty more. Come on, if there's BA Sitters in the White Tower, Darkfriend Children of of the Light, and other high offices of other nations, then as we've seen, the probability that there's more in the Borderlanders is high and thus they would not necessarily send help.

Well, then they might as well never go anywhere because you know, maybe Darkfriends will ambush them along the way. Come on, let's be serious.

Why should AS be sent to the Blight? The Borderlanders don't even send people to the Blight really. All they do is raids and defend villages and all that. They never really stage an attack on the Blight. If they did, then I might agree that AS should send people to wipe out Shadowspawn once and for all. The Seanchan had an effective invasion of the Blight it seems, there is little Trolloc activity there. If the Randlanders were to actually invade their Blight and do the same, sure, send the AS and Ashaman and all the nations' armies.

Way to nitpick. "To the Blight", patrolling along the Blight, whatever you want to call it - they aren't doing it. Even the "Battle Ajah". I am not saying they should destroy the Blight but the least they can do is ease the burden of the Borderlanders.

Juan
12-09-2010, 07:48 PM
Respect out of fear is respect. A different respect than respect out of love, but still respect. Grudging respect is no respect at all, though.

I don't believe all those troops were needed. Rulers can think they needed those troops, that doesn't mean they really did.

I'm glad you agree Borderlanders have their flaws. And they do do their duty. I don't recall saying they didn't. I just basically said they're not 100% perfect in doing that duty.

Likewise, I'm saying AS have a different duty. They're not perfect in doing their duty either. But their duty is not limited to just fighting at the Last Battle, and their main duty isn't even to fight at the LB, although that doesn't mean they won't. Theirs is to serve the people. This can include a serving in nonmilitary matters. And in many of these matters are counseling, healing, etc, which many rulers and people do not want. So how can they serve those people well if at all?

Last I checked, Lan didn't even want followers at first, so how could've AS have joined him then anyway. Just recently did he begin accepting followers.

The Borderlanders' reward is surviving and living.

You can't complain that AS are not in the Borderlands, because as BS said, there are more there than in any other place. But they have other pressing matters and duties to attend to elsewhere as well. They do their part even if not 100% perfectly, and even if you don't think they do. As I said before and will again. The AS are not tools to be used when needed. They are a free people unlike damane who make their own decisions and have their own personal sense of duty.

I'm ok with people thinking that the AS should be in larger numbers in the Borderlands. I'm not ok with people complaining they don't do their part.

subwoofer
12-09-2010, 08:06 PM
Respect out of fear is respect. A different respect than respect out of love, but still respect. Grudging respect is no respect at all, though.

I don't believe all those troops were needed. Rulers can think they needed those troops, that doesn't mean they really did.

Right- so that is your opinion, would be great if it was backed up by some quotes from the books.

I'm glad you agree Borderlanders have their flaws. And they do do their duty. I don't recall saying they didn't. I just basically said they're not 100% perfect in doing that duty.

Likewise, I'm saying AS have a different duty. They're not perfect in doing their duty either. But their duty is not limited to just fighting at the Last Battle, and their main duty isn't even to fight at the LB, although that doesn't mean they won't. Theirs is to serve the people. This can include a serving in nonmilitary matters. And in many of these matters are counseling, healing, etc, which many rulers and people do not want. So how can they serve those people well if at all? What?! Last Battle goes sideways, show's over for everyone. And doctors show up and do their thing when people don't appreciate them. The reality is, some things are thankless, and just by doing their duty should be thanks enough. If they came into being an Aes Sedai for the rewards and accolades they are sorely mistaken. The Aes Sedai duty is to represent the Light for all people.

Last I checked, Lan didn't even want followers at first, so how could've AS have joined him then anyway. Just recently did he begin accepting followers. The Aes Sedai should have been at the Gap before Lan got their, not for the purpose of joining Lan, but for the purpose of stopping the Shadow. That is their job. Now I'm going to have to hunt for the quote where whatsherpickle talks about Battle Ajah.

And of all the people in the galaxy- Lan has every right to bear a grudge against Aes Sedai. His kingdom went bye bye. By Mo told him stuff and Lan get's it. That is why he is a Warder.

The Borderlanders' reward is surviving and living.

You can't complain that AS are not in the Borderlands, because as BS said, there are more there than in any other place. But they have other pressing matters and duties to attend to elsewhere as well. They do their part even if not 100% perfectly, and even if you don't think they do. As I said before and will again. The AS are not tools to be used when needed. They are a free people unlike damane who make their own decisions and have their own personal sense of duty.

I'm ok with people thinking that the AS should be in larger numbers in the Borderlands. I'm not ok with people complaining they don't do their part. Well fine at least you agree that more of them need to be at the Blight. But heck, look at the world they were the sheppards of. All these things happened on their watch. How can you say they were doing their jobs?:confused::confused::confused:

At the end of the day I would be happy if the borderlanders, Rand, Perrin, and Mat succeeded because of the Aes Sedai rather than in spite of them. If the ladies want to sit on the sidelines and have a "woe is me, nobody likes me party" fine. At least don't get in the way of everyone else.

Sorry but I'll take this one to the mats. If you haven't noticed- my location given is the borderlands. I respect those guys. I'm not letting this one go.

Juan
12-09-2010, 08:27 PM
I can't back that specific statement from the book. But then neither can you. Because rulers have their own opinions on whether they needed the bulk of their armies or not and they can be flawed (or not). I happen to think they are.

I never said the AS should only heal or counsel if they're thanked or rewarded. You are welcome to read all my previous posts on this thread. I've said the AS can't really force people to accept them. Like I said, they may not want Healing. Artur Hawking didn't want it and he died, but that was his choice. But there are many others like him. Or they may not want counseling. Some AS have proven to be foolish, but many others have proven to be wise, they can't really force people to listen to their counseling or even if they listen, to heed their counsel.

AS duty is to serve. Servants of all. It doesn't say to serve by fighting in the last battle. Battle Ajah is one ajah out of many. They may see their duty as fighting the Shadow, and if they do, then they should do their duty and fight. But not all AS have this duty.

I'm on the personal opinion that AS should only go to the Blight if they actually go to the Blight. Meaning, they don't go there, to patrol the Borders. They go there to invade the Blight and wipe out the Trollocs and in some crazy way try and figure out how to make the Blight full of life again. I think AS should perhaps only be in the Blight should it be an urgent need. Not there waiting for something to happen. Although some AS may have nothing to do, many others have shown to be busy and competent people with better things to do than wait around like that.

Analogy: if an apple is infected and rotten, should you blame the apple for being bad? Is it the apple that's inherently bad? Or is it the infection that's causing the apple to be gross and disgusting and unable to fulfill its job: to provide food and nutrients to the eater?

Likewise, the White Tower was infected by the Black Ajah and darkfriend Warders. I don't have the numbers on me, but if you remember, they were quite high. Surprisingly high. How could they be effective in what they're trying to accomplish with such rot and corruption? That doesn't mean they haven't tried. They've just been hindered by that rot. Now that the White Tower has been cleansed (for the most part at least), then as I said, you can expect they will participate in the Last Battle.

(This has nothing to do with the WOT, but you mentioned having served in the army. You may or may not want my thanks, but I have to thank you. Thank you.)

Icarium
12-09-2010, 08:59 PM
Although some AS may have nothing to do, many others have shown to be busy and competent people with better things to do than wait around like that.

We have seen time and again the many, if not the majority of the AS spend their days doing nothing important, unless we count petty intrigues amongst themselves. Patrolling the Blight is far from the only area they are slacking in. They are very bad at finding girls who can channel, never mind that 3 out of 4 of those with the spark die if not not taught how to control their gift.

I've said the AS can't really force people to accept them. Like I said, they may not want Healing. Artur Hawking didn't want it and he died, but that was his choice.

But they can at least try. Btw, Hawkwing is a bad example considering Ishamael was his advisor and he had already been backstabbed by the AS.

Juan
12-09-2010, 09:21 PM
@subwoofer
It's cool man. I respect the Borderlanders. And I respect the troops (in the real world).

I just have to point it out that there's others who have different duties who fight their own individual battles as best as they can.

@Icarium
Important in who's mind? How many AS have we seen? Not all by far. The AS are not without flaws and some dillydallying, but they have done their part overall.

AS can't do everything, nor can you expect them to do everything. They are still human. That's why there are things the Kin does better than the AS, some things the Wise Ones do better, some the Windfinders do better, and some the AS do better.

They do try. I use Hawking cause he's an important figure and well-remembered. And do we know Ishamael was his advisor or is that just speculation? You want another example? Look at all the people we've seen through the story who reject Healing. Reject counseling. I mentioned before the parents whose kids were about to die from the shivers if they weren't Healed by Nynaeve because the parents didn't want their children Healed at first. You might remember Mat is like this too. He doesn't like getting Healed. Remember they had to almost force him to be Healed back when he was almost dead thanks to the dagger from Shadar Logoth? They Healed him only because he was unconscious. He still avoids getting Healed. Million other examples.

I'm simply trying to show for the millionth time that AS are not superhuman and can't be expected to do everything. They are not slaves and tools to be used at others' whims. They have different duties to perform other than the Last Battle. They have their share of flaws. But they have had their cleansing and can now better perform their duties.

subwoofer
12-09-2010, 09:59 PM
I can't back that specific statement from the book. But then neither can you. Wrong, I used a quote from the text that RJ wrote.

I never said the AS should only heal or counsel if they're thanked or rewarded. You are welcome to read all my previous posts on this thread. I've said the AS can't really force people to accept them. Like I said, they may not want Healing. Artur Hawking didn't want it and he died, but that was his choice. But there are many others like him. Or they may not want counseling. Some AS have proven to be foolish, but many others have proven to be wise, they can't really force people to listen to their counseling or even if they listen, to heed their counsel.

AS duty is to serve. Servants of all. It doesn't say to serve by fighting in the last battle. Battle Ajah is one ajah out of many. They may see their duty as fighting the Shadow, and if they do, then they should do their duty and fight. But not all AS have this duty.
Really? It is not all Aes Sedai duty to fight the Shadow? When did that happen? Dang it, I'm going to have to go find New Spring and when Egwene was choosing Ajahs in Salidar. They say as much there. It is their duty.
I'm on the personal opinion that AS should only go to the Blight if they actually go to the Blight. Meaning, they don't go there, to patrol the Borders. They go there to invade the Blight and wipe out the Trollocs and in some crazy way try and figure out how to make the Blight full of life again. I think AS should perhaps only be in the Blight should it be an urgent need. Not there waiting for something to happen. Although some AS may have nothing to do, many others have shown to be busy and competent people with better things to do than wait around like that. That is actually a brilliant idea. I very much like the idea of driving the Blight back and reclaiming some land. But regardless, the Aes Sedai are not even there. Period. And they should not be waiting for the end of the world to do this. Get'r done. Now.

Analogy: if an apple is infected and rotten, should you blame the apple for being bad? Is it the apple that's inherently bad? Or is it the infection that's causing the apple to be gross and disgusting and unable to fulfill its job: to provide food and nutrients to the eater?
Not sure if you are trying to use the "poison tree" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_of_the_poisonous_tree) analogy but here you go... I get it and I have said as much in defense of Egwene and the Aes Sedai for their problems. But the reality is, there are capable Sisters and they are not stepping up.


Likewise, the White Tower was infected by the Black Ajah and darkfriend Warders. I don't have the numbers on me, but if you remember, they were quite high. Surprisingly high. How could they be effective in what they're trying to accomplish with such rot and corruption? That doesn't mean they haven't tried. They've just been hindered by that rot. Now that the White Tower has been cleansed (for the most part at least), then as I said, you can expect they will participate in the Last Battle.

(This has nothing to do with the WOT, but you mentioned having served in the army. You may or may not want my thanks, but I have to thank you. Thank you.)

My Master Corporal used to tell me, "boy, there are two things- you got excuses and you got results. Excuses are great, but all the excuses in the world will get you no results. So what's it gonna be? Are you going to make excuses for everything or are you gonna get things done and get some results?"

I'm not saying that there are not good Sisters in the Tower. What I am saying is that they are taking a back seat and letting themselves get lost in the shuffle. The women that left the Tower, beyond the Blues, had some gumption. Some of the ladies that stayed, like the BA hunters, had guts. Laras- the cook, has heart. Cadsuane- legend, putzing around with roses, when she is not chasing after False Dragons. Good she does that from time to time, would be better if she didn't make it sound like she was doing it to relieve the boredom.

And no need to thank me. I wanted to serve my country. It was my duty and my honor to serve.:)

Juan
12-09-2010, 10:17 PM
No their duty is to serve. Hence the name Aes Sedai, from way back in the Age of Legends. The serving can come in different forms, such as fighting at the LB. But it's not their main duty.

Yeah I'd love for the Blight to go away. Easier said than done though.. Damn.. But Aes Sedai would sort of get in the way as you said before. Not really, they'd still be a help. But in comparison to say damane or Ashaman...? And because of their prideful nature (one of their flaws when taken to extremes) will that hinder the organization and effectiveness of the rest of the Light's armies? In that context it may be best for Aes Sedai not to even show up. I doubt it'll happen though. But like I said, the Aes Sedai will be there.

I'm not much of an Egwene fan myself, nor am I an AS fan. And I'm not excusing them to prevent them from fulfilling their duty. I'm excusing them so you can see there's a reason why they haven't been as effective as we may have liked them to be. But now that that reason is gone, it's time to get results. On that I completely agree.

Finally! You seem to get my point. There are good AS and there are bad ones. Hence with flaws. But you can't let the bad shadow the good. In the same way there are flaws with everyone else in WOT. Rand himself had plenty of flaws. And The borderlanders had theirs.

My initial post was meant to wake people up and tell them, "listen, the AS have their flaws, but you can't act as if the Borderlanders don't have theirs."

And there IS need to thank you my friend. It's because of people like you that the rest of the country can sleep safely at night. It's the least I can do.

subwoofer
12-10-2010, 07:14 AM
No their duty is to serve. Hence the name Aes Sedai, from way back in the Age of Legends. The serving can come in different forms, such as fighting at the LB. But it's not their main duty. Right, it'll take some time, but I'm gonna go and weed through some books here. Yes AS are supposed to do other stuff. It would be a valid statement if they actually did other stuff. But yes, it is Aes Sedai duty to fight Shadowspawn, that is why it is built into the Oath I quoted. My point about serving is simply this, if an Aes Sedai does something for thanks or accolades, credit, recognition etc. they are doing it for the wrong reasons. If Aes Sedai are not helping out Randland because they are not getting any sympathy from the common person, they are holding back for the wrong reasons. There will be doubters, there will be haters, there will be people that want to see the Tower pulled down, there always are and there always will be. Letting that stop them from giving aid when they can, shame on them.

Yeah I'd love for the Blight to go away. Easier said than done though.. Damn.. But Aes Sedai would sort of get in the way as you said before. Not really, they'd still be a help. But in comparison to say damane or Ashaman...? And because of their prideful nature (one of their flaws when taken to extremes) will that hinder the organization and effectiveness of the rest of the Light's armies? In that context it may be best for Aes Sedai not to even show up. I doubt it'll happen though. But like I said, the Aes Sedai will be there.
Er... I'm not sure if I'd lump damane and Asha'man into the same lot. One are leashed and property of the Seanchan, the other are free men and Guardians-“An asha'man was a man who defended truth and justice and right for everyone. A guardian who would not yield even when hope was gone." The Light knew, hope would go when Tarmon Gai'don came,if not before. "That is what you are here to become. When you finish your training, you will be Asha'man."
I'm not much of an Egwene fan myself, nor am I an AS fan. And I'm not excusing them to prevent them from fulfilling their duty. I'm excusing them so you can see there's a reason why they haven't been as effective as we may have liked them to be. But now that that reason is gone, it's time to get results. On that I completely agree.Well then, you missed my point. I have always understood the corruption of the Tower was one of the DO's objectives. IIRC, in one of the Forsaken meetings it was admitted. My point is, this assumes the view that the Aes Sedai are helpless and not sentient, powerful women that can get stuff done. Rise up dang it, and get their collective heads outta the sand and see the world falling down around them. Great the world doesn't trust them, but they do have to live in the world. They wanna live in a world going to seed or use what gifts they have to make it a better place? The Tower was supposed to be the last bastion of Light. The Tower was supposed to be what held the world together since the Breaking. The Tower and the Sisters are what the world looked to when everything is the darkest. It is the Amrylin's, Hall's, Ajah's and Sister's duty to help the world. Instead they have become insular and dwindled. That is their own fault. And of the thousands of Sisters, it doesn't take a genius to see, one should have figured it out Ages ago and put a stop.

Finally! You seem to get my point. There are good AS and there are bad ones. Hence with flaws. But you can't let the bad shadow the good. In the same way there are flaws with everyone else in WOT. Rand himself had plenty of flaws. And The borderlanders had theirs.

My initial post was meant to wake people up and tell them, "listen, the AS have their flaws, but you can't act as if the Borderlanders don't have theirs."::Blinks::
Well yes, I always saw where you were coming from. Heck, you read tGH and bookend it with ToM and there are two prime examples of the corruption in the borderlands eating away at them too. Ingtar and whatshispickle-Vram? from Maradon. A whole lotta people died because of those two. One let Fain go free, the other let Rodel's troops be Trolloc fodder. No excuses there, they blew goats.

Point is, despite it all, the borderlanders were there fighting, guarding and dying. More of them would be alive if say... a platoon of Sisters were sent for each country. Ride in pairs, didn't wear themselves out, Heal what needs Healing. Couple could advise the rulers, and their presence would bolster the image of the Tower immensely. Duty is done for the sake of duty, not for anything else. That is my point. To expect more is putting a person's motivations in the wrong place. I do things because they feel right, not because I expect people to say thanks.

And there IS need to thank you my friend. It's because of people like you that the rest of the country can sleep safely at night. It's the least I can do.

oki doki.:)

Juan
12-10-2010, 10:37 AM
There is a difference between there being a hate for AS and actually preventing the AS from doing their work. I’ve given examples for that. Hate in this context is passive. It won’t stop the AS. Actually showing their hate and mistrust of AS and therefore not accepting Healing, counseling, etc. etc. is active. If people won’t let the AS serve, then the AS can’t serve. It’s not about thanks. Duty is duty. The AS do indeed need to change. But they’ve already started. It’s about time people change too.

Fact is damane and Ashaman are better fighters than AS. AS might be more effective in their “fight” against the Shadow if they specialized in other ways, tasks, and areas. Read my last paragraph for further explanation.

They have risen up or did you miss the re-swearing of the Three Oaths? They have had their cleansing. They are in the works of progressing. Egwene has met with the Wise Ones, Kinswomen, etc. To progress, to change, to be better. The White Tower has had their flaws for the millionth time, but not without great successes. Some have been better than others, but for the most part they have been good. The corruption was indeed caused by the DO. Easier said than done my friend. How could the AS re-order a cleansing when so many of the Ajah heads, Sitters of the Hall, Keeper, and powerful and nonpowerful sisters were Black Ajah themselves? They wouldn’t put a stop to it by claiming it was an invasion of privacy, against Tradition, or whatever. Easier said than done. But they finally did it. You have to look forward now. They are changing, they are improving, and will continue to do so.

The Borderlanders have their own fight to fight. The AS have theirs. I don’t mean they shouldn’t help each other out. Let me illustrate. Cadsuane served the world by counseling Rand, and because of her he had his epiphany and because of Cadsuane therefore, the Light now has a chance that dark Rand is gone. I shouldn’t need to tell you about Moiraine; she did more than her share. She saved the Dragon Reborn time and time again, she counseled him, she guided him, she Healed him, she fought for him. She sacrificed herself for him and ultimately the Light. Siuan did her part as Amyrlin. She was great, of course with flaws, but great overall, also participating in the fight against the Shadow by seeking out Rand, among many other things. Verin had her own fight against the Shadow. She infiltrated their system, spied on them, tore them apart from the inside. She fought them sure as if not more than the Borderlanders. Nynaeve apart from fighting the Shadowspawn directly in certain cases, has had her share as well. She has Healed countless people, discovered new ways to Heal more things and more effectively. That’s a good thing. And anything that’s good diminishes the Shadow’s power. The AS need to study because as we all know, education leads to a better society. Granted, they shouldn’t hoard their knowledge and keep it to themselves, but rather implement it and put it in practice. List can go on and on about the good the AS have done and the good they can do in the future as well.

As you can see my point is that the AS duty isn’t ultimately to fight the Shadow. It’s to serve. But even if it WAS to fight the Shadow, the AS have shown to be fighting the Shadow sure as the Borderlanders in their own ways. This may not include fighting in the Borderlands as you can clearly see. But they ARE fighting. In the same way, you wouldn’t tell nor expect the Borderlanders to fight the AS’s type of battle against the Shadow. They both fight the Shadow, but they need to fight it differently.

kamarile
12-10-2010, 12:08 PM
Maybe another way of putting it is that the White Tower simply isn't a military structure. It is what it is, but it isn't set up to be an army in the way that the Black Tower is, or the damane branch of the Seanchan armed forces. What that means is that historically, the WT was able to perform a muc broader range of tasks than any oher channeling group. The Wise Ones and the Seafolk have a more comprehensive testing apparatus, and so their groups are much larger as a result, but teir societies are also much more insular and much less diverse tan those of Randland proper. I don't know, butif I had to be a female channeler, I'd definitely want to be an AS over all those other groups, because AS are given autonomy to a degree that non of the oter societies allow. Id also much rather be a sister in te WT than an Asha'man... even after the cleansing, hings are pretty grim for them.

TLDR; the WT isn't a military bootcamp, and until recently only a few sisters had any idea the LB was approaching... and they had good reasons not to publicize that. Just because someting isn't n army doesn't mean it's useless.

subwoofer
12-10-2010, 12:31 PM
It’s not about thanks. Duty is duty. The AS do indeed need to change. But they’ve already started. It’s about time people change too. You gotta give folks more credit than that... and I see you didn't bother to check out tGH either because that book is chalk full of examples of how revered the Aes Sedai is... and not just Moiraine either. I'll give you exact quotes from that book in a bit, but as I have this one handy... I'm sorry to be so abrupt. I ... Well, you know how I am with words, Renald. I don't know what that storm is. But I know what it means. I've never held a sword, but my father fought in the Aiel War. I'm a Borderlander. And that storm means the end is coming, Renald. We need to be there when it arrives." He stopped, then turned and looked to the north, watching those building clouds as a farmhand might watch a poisonous snake he found in the middle of the field. "Light preserve us, my friend. We need to be there."

Farmers realize what is going on. They are dropping everything, leaving everything behind, packing up their family and stepping up. It is about time the Aes Sedai gave the Last Battle the same attention a simple farmer is. They at least should know better.

Fact is damane and Ashaman are better fighters than AS. AS might be more effective in their “fight” against the Shadow if they specialized in other ways, tasks, and areas. Read my last paragraph for further explanation. whoa! I say Whoa! Now there is this Battle Ajah thing going on... I'm gonna find that quote- and this is a real pain cause I'm not real mobile these days- but anyways the Greens are the ones that are supposed to man the front lines. They are also the ones that have 3000 years of experience with weaves to draw from. That is simple facts.Fact is Aes Sedai should be better better at weaves than anyone. Damane are limited in that they only know weaves related to war, but until recently it took a douche like Suffa to show them Traveling. Asha'man- well lets look at it- how long could they have possibly been channeling- months?? A year? And they are better than Aes Sedai? Really? Right then.

They have risen up or did you miss the re-swearing of the Three Oaths? They have had their cleansing. They are in the works of progressing. Egwene has met with the Wise Ones, Kinswomen, etc. To progress, to change, to be better. The White Tower has had their flaws for the millionth time, but not without great successes. Some have been better than others, but for the most part they have been good. The corruption was indeed caused by the DO. Easier said than done my friend. How could the AS re-order a cleansing when so many of the Ajah heads, Sitters of the Hall, Keeper, and powerful and nonpowerful sisters were Black Ajah themselves? Simple- just like you said, instead of whispering about the existence of the BA be honest and open about it. Acknowledge it for what it is and get everyone to swear the Oaths from the word jump. That would have ended things years ago.They wouldn’t put a stop to it by claiming it was an invasion of privacy, against Tradition, or whatever. Easier said than done. Nope, if the Sister's walk in the light it should be no problem. As a matter of fact there would be a similar response as and again, I'm gonna have to get my books, but IIRC when the BA Hunters first swore the Oaths, one of them was chomping at the bit to do it just to prove she was not a Darkfriend. But they finally did it. You have to look forward now. They are changing, they are improving, and will continue to do so.
That is one way of looking at it, after 1000s of years of mismanagement, they are finally getting their collective heads out of the sand. It took momentous events to do it, but the Sisters finally stepped out of their comfort zone.
The Borderlanders have their own fight to fight. The AS have theirs. I don’t mean they shouldn’t help each other out. Let me illustrate. Cadsuane served the world by counseling Rand, and because of her he had his epiphany and because of Cadsuane therefore, the Light now has a chance that dark Rand is gone. Good point there. But if you remember, Cadsuane left the Tower, she is rogue, acting on her own.I shouldn’t need to tell you about Moiraine; she did more than her share. She saved the Dragon Reborn time and time again, she counseled him, she guided him, she Healed him, she fought for him. She sacrificed herself for him and ultimately the Light. Siuan did her part as Amyrlin. She was great, of course with flaws, but great overall, also participating in the fight against the Shadow by seeking out Rand, among many other things. Verin had her own fight against the Shadow. She infiltrated their system, spied on them, tore them apart from the inside. She fought them sure as if not more than the Borderlanders. All excellent points. Love those ladies, they stepped up. 4 out of 2000. Crappy stats if you look at the numbers. And Siuan- well, she inherited a ton of crap herself, and she did start the ball rolling, but you have to blame the Sister's themselves for letting the Tower get to the state it was. That is my point. Nynaeve apart from fighting the Shadowspawn directly in certain cases, has had her share as well. She has Healed countless people, discovered new ways to Heal more things and more effectively. That’s a good thing. And anything that’s good diminishes the Shadow’s power. The AS need to study because as we all know, education leads to a better society. Granted, they shouldn’t hoard their knowledge and keep it to themselves, but rather implement it and put it in practice. List can go on and on about the good the AS have done and the good they can do in the future as well. Whoa@! Again. Nynaeve is a force unto herself. If the boobs in the Tower had their way, she would still be an accepted. And there was a warrant out for her and Elayne as wayward Accepted. That was the Tower doing. Anything Nynaeve did as far as advancements is all recent history and it was done to amend the centuries of crap the Sister's have lost or forgotten. Sad that a "wilder" is the one to show full grown Aes Sedai the way.

The main thing I will give the Sister's credit for is fixing the weather. The Bowl of the Winds thing. That was huge and deserving of kudos. And again, it was Nynaeve, Elayne doing it. And they had to browbeat the other Aes Sedai into giving them the respect they deserve.

Everything else, healing Saidin, restoring some peace, creating centers for learning and knowledge, fixing famine, giving folks hope again, general whoopin' ass and even the Asha'man is all Rand. You wanna give somebody credit?- Dragon Reborn dude. And much of that stuff was done in spite of the Tower, not because of them.

As you can see my point is that the AS duty isn’t ultimately to fight the Shadow. It’s to serve. But even if it WAS to fight the Shadow, the AS have shown to be fighting the Shadow sure as the Borderlanders in their own ways. This may not include fighting in the Borderlands as you can clearly see. But they ARE fighting. In the same way, you wouldn’t tell nor expect the Borderlanders to fight the AS’s type of battle against the Shadow. They both fight the Shadow, but they need to fight it differently.
I am so gonna find that quote- The Aes Sedai are there to fight the Dreadlords. At least that is the Greens purpose. And it is everyone's duty to fight the Shadow, especially the White Tower. They have other duties- yes. Agreed. The world is big and there are tons of things to do. But strong leadership means sitting back, looking at things- saying "wtf is going on? Our numbers are dwindling, folks are reticent of us, The Shadow is growing and we have lost- weaves, angreal, SEALS TO THE DARK ONE"S PRISON, and a whole host of other things. We are squabbling amongst ourselves, it takes a committee to get anything done and that is after a lengthy debate that would put a calling to the Stump to shame, and we ostracize tons of women that could help us. Oh yeah, some of us are worshiping Shai'tan. Maybe we should do something about that."

Just sayin'.

Right this could go on forever. You've made your points and I hope you realize I have made mine. Here on in it is opinion and I'm gonna leave it at that.

sleepinghour
12-10-2010, 01:33 PM
From Egwene's meeting with the Hall in ToM:

"Are you aware that Kandor, Saldaea and Arafel are swarming with Shadowspawn?"
Several of the sisters gasped. Others nodded, including Lelaine. So the Blue network was still reliable. Good.
--ToM ch 27: A Call to Stand

You'd think the Ajahs would at least see the need to immediately share information about three countries being overrun by Trollocs, but apparently not... :rolleyes:

Yes, it's possible that the Ajahs had only just found out and intended to share the news, but there's still the question of why the meeting ends shortly after that without anyone suggesting they send aid to the Borderlands. Or do something. Anything.

Agelmar seemed to think that Moiraine alone would have been a significant help had she followed the Shienarian army to Tarwin's Gap in TEotW.

Agelmar frowned. “But I thought . . . Moiraine Sedai, I have no right to ask it of you, but you would be worth a thousand lances in Tarwin's Gap.
--TEotW

If the Tower doesn't want to send sisters into battle, they could at least use Traveling to transport Borderlander soldiers to where they are most needed and civilians into safety.

Weird Harold
12-10-2010, 03:16 PM
... Love those ladies, they stepped up. 4 out of 2000. Crappy stats if you look at the numbers. And Siuan- well, she inherited a ton of crap herself, and she did start the ball rolling, but you have to blame the Sister's themselves for letting the Tower get to the state it was. That is my point.

You are seriously underestimating the "cancer in the clubhouse" effect of the BA's existance. Siuan inherited "a ton of crap" because the BA had centuries to build up that "ton of crap" one fart at a time.

To borrow from US Sports news, There is no logical reason that Randy Moss -- statistically one of the best wide receivers the NFL has ever seen -- should have a life-time record of making every team he has ever played for worse instead of better. The teams get better when he's traded or released. Teams he gets traded to get worse; recently the effect is almost immediate. :(

The Miami Heat now has the three best players in the NBA and, thus far, their record is worse than when they only had one "star" (Not even a "super-star.")

One person -- coach, star player, owner, etc -- can destroy a sports franchise in spite of whatever the talent level of the team would lead one to expect.

The White Tower for centuries has endured something similar to the MLBPA's resistance to Steroid testing. It practically took an act of Congress to force the MLBPA to accept any form of Steroid testing and the testing they finally agreed to is so watered down as to be ineffective.

"On Paper" the White Tower is supposed to be a lot of things, but as is the case with so many things, what the 'paper' says and reality have only tenuous connections. The White Tower can be compared to the US military just before almost any war they've fought after an extended period of peace -- they get top-loaded with "political generals" who equate readiness with spit-and-polish.

How many examples are there in History (and fiction) of "Elite Military Units" with fearsome reputations who crumple like wet toilet paper when someone shoots at them with anything more dangerous than a spitball?

Weird Harold
12-10-2010, 03:26 PM
You'd think the Ajahs would at least see the need to immediately share information about three countries being overrun by Trollocs, but apparently not... :rolleyes:

You'd think the CIA and FBI would tell each other when somebody was planning to fly civilian airliners into skyscrapers so that both could verify their intel. Then you'd think that *somebody* in either organization would tell *somebody* in a position to act on the information that people were going to die. :rolleyes:

The US and indeed most of the world has a long history of intelligence organizations withholding vital information (and letting people die) because revealing the information might endanger their sources. Why should the various eyes-and-ears networks be any different?

subwoofer
12-10-2010, 03:41 PM
You are seriously underestimating the "cancer in the clubhouse" effect of the BA's existance. Siuan inherited "a ton of crap" because the BA had centuries to build up that "ton of crap" one fart at a time.

To borrow from US Sports news, There is no logical reason that Randy Moss -- statistically one of the best wide receivers the NFL has ever seen -- should have a life-time record of making every team he has ever played for worse instead of better. The teams get better when he's traded or released. Teams he gets traded to get worse; recently the effect is almost immediate. :( Now hang on there, the Patriots and Brady had one of their best seasons ever with Moss. They almost had a perfect season. My Giants beat them in the end, but that was destiny. And in yesterday's game, Randy was totally shut out of the play book for whatever reason. They rambled on forever and a day on Total Access about that. Watch Playbook next week, they will say the same.

The White Tower for centuries has endured something similar to the MLBPA's resistance to Steroid testing. It practically took an act of Congress to force the MLBPA to accept any form of Steroid testing and the testing they finally agreed to is so watered down as to be ineffective. Several points there, first being why did it take sooooo long for this to be figured out? MLBPA only took about 30 or so years to figure out that the crazy stats had to be juice related. Sammy didn't do it.

And most of the ladies act independently- from what I have seen Caddy had her own head of steam, Moiraine, flew solo for 20 or so years, Verin was off on her own, Alanna, the same etc. If the Tower is supposed to function like the military, it's troops do a lot of UNODIR. As this is the case, some folks coulda wondered off, seen how the Shadow is winning and helped.

Not well versed in Tower history but there had to be some descent Amrylin's in the past. Some of them could have started the process Siuan and Suffa started in the last 20 years. And that is what burns my ass, why is it only on the eve of Tarmon Gai'don do we see things getting straightened out? If they haven't been helping and fixing such an insidious problem, what the deuce have they been doing?lot of things, but as is the case with so many things, what the 'paper' says and reality have only tenuous connections. The White Tower can be compared to the US military just before almost any war they've fought after an extended period of peace -- they get top-loaded with "political generals" who equate readiness with spit-and-polish.

How many examples are there in History (and fiction) of "Elite Military Units" with fearsome reputations who crumple like wet toilet paper when someone shoots at them with anything more dangerous than a spitball?Well, true, the thing I noticed was when the Tower was under attack it was Egwene, some Novices and a Brown taking charge and the rest were all involved in running and screaming.

Fish guts.

Grig
12-10-2010, 03:46 PM
The US and indeed most of the world has a long history of intelligence organizations withholding vital information (and letting people die) because revealing the information might endanger their sources. Why should the various eyes-and-ears networks be any different?

Saying "hey, Trollocs are overrunning Kandor" would give nothing more away than that the Ajah has a spy in Kandor. It's already assumed that all Ajahs have a spy in every country (except perhaps the browns and whites). There would be no risk of exposing who the spy with something that can be actively noticed across a country by anyone with eyes and ears. It's not like the information is "tee hee, Tenobia kissed Paitr last night" where the information gives you cues about who the witness/reporter was.

There's a place for Devils Advocacy, but you're being silly in this case. The nature of the news makes it such that it poses no risk to the source.

Juan
12-10-2010, 05:11 PM
@subwoofer
I was talking about people in general. The Borderlanders are better than everyone else in this regard, but I hold my position that it's still not respect out of love. More out of, hey you can use the OP and we need you, so we'll be nice, come help us out. I have no problem with that, but I'm just saying.

The AS are not warriors. That has been proven time and time again. They may know a few battle weaves but most AS are not warriors. Even the so called Battle Ajah lacks in comparison to the damane and Ashaman. The latter two groups have had accelerated training specialized in war. They are clearly better warriors.

It is an invasion of privacy. And it had to be done finally, but only at extreme and urgent prompting during the most urgent and important of times. That'd be like saying the police and government should get to inspect homes whenever they want. Hey, if you "walk in the Light" a.k.a "have nothing illegal" it shouldn't be problem. Only in an extreme situation like this one is an extreme action like that cleansing justified.

AS leave the Tower and attend to their own duties and responsibilities all the time--- that doesn't make them rogue. Does that make Moiraine a rogue because she was rarely in the tower? Exactly. Some AS live in the tower and spend most time in the tower, but many others have responsibilities elsewhere.

We haven't been introduced all AS, only a few really competent ones and a few really incompetent ones. There is a reason for this. Storywise, the really awesome ones like Moiraine, etc are the protagonists. The ones that are really incompetent have a good story behind them and can be like antagonists (not talking and light and shadow, just in terms of opposites on the competent ratings). We've seen few AS in depth that are really middle ground in terms of competent and the reason is because they're boring and don't add too much of interest to the story. You're making a big assumption by taking away from the AS good and focusing just on the few bad/incompetent ones that have caused rot in the Tower. Whether the evil kind of rot or the incompetent kind of right.

I'm not taking anything away from Rand. If you've noticed I've barely mentioned him because this isn't a conversation about Rand, but rather about AS and them being sent to the Borderlands to fight battles.

You make it sound like the Hall should be done away with, and I don't know about you, but I'm not a supporter of a strong central government, nor of a monarchies, nor dictatorships, etc. The Hall has proven ineffective so far, but they may yet resolve themselves. You can't expect them to randomly reform themselves entirely in a day's time. Like I've told you I want people to reform their views on AS and yes, the AS need to change to give people reason to trust them more again etc, but I also expect it to take hundreds of years. This can't be fixed with magic or anything like that in a day or even a few years' time. This will take generations. The White Tower needs a system that checks the Amyrlin. And that's the Hall. The same way the U.S. government works. Except in the case of the White Tower it's more of a two branches of check and balances instead of three. Elaida is a prime example of why there needs to be a Tower. And even Egwene is treading the borderlines of abusing her rights and powers as Amyrlin... There are other cases in WT history, but I don't wanna have to go dig for the exact names right now, I'm sure you get the point.

And the Tower is not supposed to function like the military.

But yeah like you said man, we can go around in circles and circles. I know your point of view and I think you know mine. No big deal if we disagree. I like intellectual discussions. As a side note (your a Giants fan? Me too. Well, when I decide to watch football that is. I'm often preoccupied by other things haha).

@Grig
If all Ajahs have spies in all countries as you said, then the sisters wouldn't have been surprised.

Calling someone silly is no way to debate. If you've taken debate classes you know that's a really bad thing to do. Instead, actually argue the points, explain your position, provide arguments and counterarguments, etc. Like you did before you made that statement. That last statement was uncalled for...

Grig
12-10-2010, 05:41 PM
Calling someone silly is no way to debate. If you've taken debate classes you know that's a really bad thing to do.

He is making a silly argument here, and I'm calling it out. I am not "calling him silly", any more than pointing out someone making a bad argument is "calling them bad". And what's this about debate classes? I'm not debating him, I'm pointing out the bleeding obvious. It's not even something that's open to debate. He's looking at an apple and calling it an orange (CIA/FBI messed up on 9/11, and the British didn't act on information gained by cracking Enigma, therefore it's not weird if AS don't share information about Borderlands being overrun even though it wouldn't endanger, expose, or reveal any sources). If he made an argument that needed serious refutation, a different path would be taken. If he's acting silly, why not point it out? Sometimes people don't look at what they are saying critically, especially on boards like this, since they get into their position and simply feel beholden to defend it without critical analysis of how they got there in the first place (granted, less so here than other places, but it still happens). /shrug

If you're going to lecture someone for their behavior, please at least properly characterize that behavior when doing so. If you've taken debate classes, you wouldn't learn that since it's just about scoring points, where lying and mischaracterization is fair game. But it's rude, nonetheless.

Oh, and btw,

If all Ajahs have spies in all countries as you said, then the sisters wouldn't have been surprised.

That was tangential to the point I was making. Or are you saying no Ajahs had spies in the Borderlands? Anyway, with the total rampaging, it would not be surprising if their spies were killed in shadowspawn raids before they could send word out (the invading armies were making a point of trying to cut off communications, at least in Kandor). My point was that knowing the Ajah has a spy in a country that is knowledgeable enough to know it's overrun by shadowspawn doesn't tell you anything about who said spy is, and thus exposes them to zero risk. Withholding the information is pointless and stupid.

Weird Harold
12-10-2010, 05:46 PM
Now hang on there, the Patriots and Brady had one of their best seasons ever with Moss.

I used Moss because ESPN was on in the background talking about him. <shrug>

Terel Owens, Chad 'Ochocinco,' Albert Hanesworth, Keyshawn, or any of a dozen other past or present locker room cancers work just as well as Moss. The point is that just one individual can disrupt a team effort thorugh malice, greed, self-interest, or just narcism. Other sports figures, like Brett Favre, postpone any real team progress by hanging on far beyond any real ability to contribute.

Several points there, first being why did it take sooooo long for this to be figured out? MLBPA only took about 30 or so years to figure out that the crazy stats had to be juice related. Sammy didn't do it.

And most of the ladies act independently- from what I have seen Caddy had her own head of steam, Moiraine, flew solo for 20 or so years, Verin was off on her own, Alanna, the same etc.

There are several dynamics at work in keeping the BA from being rooted out in the past. Like the MLPA, each individual Ajah works to limit the influence of other Ajahs while simultaneously working to limit restrictions on any Ajah's autonomy. The actual content of reforms don't matter to such organizations, only that reforms MIGHT reduce the organization's ability to manipulate events to the organization's advantage.

Individual sisters with any comptence do "go solo" rather than trying to fight the intertia of the REMF mindset and the on going fifth colimn efforts of the BA. Those who don't suffer "accidents" and lose any chance of having an effect.

Not well versed in Tower history but there had to be some decent Amrylin's in the past. Some of them could have started the process Siuan and Suffa started in the last 20 years.

There have been capable, charismatic and competent Amyrlins in the past; even a few in the time since the Tower was last tested by War.

The BA assassinated all but a very few and manipulated the successors of those few they missed to repeal any potentially lasting reforms.

And that is what burns my ass, why is it only on the eve of Tarmon Gai'don do we see things getting straightened out? If they haven't been helping and fixing such an insidious problem, what the deuce have they been doing?

The same thing EVERY organization does when it goes too long without a reality check -- living on their reputation and believing the reputation over the reality of changing times. Or alternatively, "preparing for the LAST war."

Until Rand's birth and the approach of T'G the Pattern had no real benefit from curbing the decline of the WT. Once Rand was Born, the Pattern gained an "interest" in reforging the White Tower for T'G.

Well, true, the thing I noticed was when the Tower was under attack it was Egwene, some Novices and a Brown taking charge and the rest were all involved in running and screaming.

The White Tower as an organization and 'Aes Sedai' as a stereotype has been set up throughout the story as an example of what happens when the reputation is more important than reality. REMFs and Political Generals always have control at the beginning of a defensive war and things alwys go badly until they are killed off or deposed -- The White tower is just the most graphic illustration of the principle in the WOT.

There's a place for Devils Advocacy, but you're being silly in this case. The nature of the news makes it such that it poses no risk to the source.

I'm not being sily, I'm just pointing out that Intelligence Operatives throughout history HAVE acted silly -- protecting or disbelieving sources at the expense of soldiers lives and country's survival. It's called Empire Building or Turf War and the White Tower is rampant with that kind of behavior.

Elaida provided some classic examples of the phenomenon -- 'there can't possibly be more than one or two a'dam in the entire world' for example.

The mere end-of-existance-itself is nothng compared to scoring a single point in the struggle to hold more secrets than any other eyes-and-ears. :rolleyes:

Flinn Sedai
12-10-2010, 05:59 PM
As for Malkier, much like all armies, it wasn't that the Aes Sedai didn't try to come.

They just didn't get there in time.

What the White Tower seems to do is wait until they're actually being attacked, then sending troops and sisters over. That'd be why the Borderlanders hold them in such high regard.

This just seems to be the one time when they're ignoring it completely.

The rulers stated that they were looking for Rand because the White Tower wasn't doing their job. That left it to the Borderlanders. They also left back enough troops to hold unless the Trolloc Wars come again. They didn't expect TG to start
while they were gone. They had an excuse. Egwene doesn't.

(Also, no more Egwene bashing?) :-(

Juan
12-10-2010, 06:07 PM
Calling him or the argument silly is no way to go. Instead just focus on the points made.

Saying that something is not open to debate shows a close-minded mentality. Might want to keep that in mind.

Far as I remember, I didn't lecture you. I pointed out that calling someone or the argument silly isn't an effective thing to do. In essence all I'm asking for is a bit of politeness. Thanks. And if I expressed myself incorrectly, I apologize. Maybe I should've simply asked for politeness from the start. Politeness meaning being less aggressive and not diminishing someone's point by calling it silly.

About the point you made, at the same time, the Ajah's eyes and ears are regular people living there and you know the whole deal. Far as we've seen that I remember, they're really not AS nor channelers. So if the Ajah's spies were able to send people and the information actually reached the network heads, then it's likely communication was done without the use of Travelling. So you could say, you would think the Borderlands would request for aid and their message reach the White Tower.

Side note: I'm not sure about their system of notifications. Perhaps someone can refresh my memory. I forget the name (I just got sick so my head is all over the place) but they're the pyres or whatever they light with fire to notify of an attack or whatever. I know it goes across the Borderlands, but what I'm curious to know is if they go southward as well? For example within view of the White Tower or anywhere without an immediate danger so aid can requested easily? If so, why hasn't that been done? I'm going to start a re-read on Towers of Midnight soon, but I think I remember fires being lit to signal for help. Or maybe I'm crazy. If they did, then these fires should have been lit all across the Borderlands, and I know not all areas in the Borderlands are under immediate attack. You'd think one person seeing this would go request aid maybe even personally from the WT.

@Flinn Sedai
I'm pretty sure they could've figured it out that the LB was coming. Everyone with a brain could see that it was coming. The Dragon Reborn was back. Rand had fulfilled all these prophecies. There were bubbles of evil, there were famines, etc. And clearly the rulers knew Rand WAS the Dragon Reborn that's why they were testing him to see if he was ready. The Borderlands messed up too. They're not perfect either.

And the WT is not ignoring it completely. They have been doing their own little fights against the Shadow some more important than others as I've said in previous posts. Remember Min's note: "You must clear the rubble before you can rebuild" or something to that effect. That applies to the WT as well. They had to clear all the BA corruption and all that before they could afford to divide themselves and send sisters in concentrated numbers to other places. They have had their cleansing. They will join that fight everyone wants them to join. Count on it.

sleepinghour
12-10-2010, 06:19 PM
You'd think one person seeing this would go request aid maybe even personally from the WT.

The Borderlanders have no reason to believe the WT would send aid if asked--as far as they know, the WT never tried to save Malkier, so why would it help Kandor or Arafel?

Juan
12-10-2010, 06:29 PM
They have no reason to believe the WT wouldn't. AS were sent to Malkier. If the Borderlanders do revere AS as so many here seem to think, then you'd think they'd also believe the AS would send help.

You'd also think they'd go with: "doesn't hurt to try." If they try and they're not helped, they at least have the potential to get helped. If they don't try. Then that potential is even less because AS may not be aware of the attack, or know the importance of it, etc etc. That's no excuse not to request for aid.

Remember Perrin is not exactly friendly with the Seanchan nor the Seanchan with Perrin, yet Perrin asked for help from them against the Shaido. What did he have to lose? Nothing. In fact he had a potential to gain much. And he did. And that's why he defeated the Shaido (among other reasons).

Flinn Sedai
12-10-2010, 06:30 PM
Lan - no! - Dai Shan, for you are a Diademed Battle Lord of Malkier whatever you say. Dai Shan, the Golden Crane banner in the van would put heart into men who know they are riding north to die. The word will spread like wildfire, and though their kings have told them to hold where they are, lances will come from Arafel and Kandor, and even from Saldaea. Though they cannot come in time to stand with us in the Gap, they may save Shienar."


Saldaea and Kandor were closest to Malkier, and they couldn't get troops there in time. Certainly, many Malkieri feel betrayed, as Lan expressed in New Spring, but Moiraine explains it.


The answer he wanted was Sealed to the Tower, taught to Accepted in history lessons yet forbidden to any except initiates of the Tower. But what was a penance alongside what she faced? "Over a hundred sisters were ordered to Malkier," she said more calmly than she felt.

By everything she had been taught, she should ask a penance for what she had told him already. "Even Aes Sedai cannot fly, however. They were too late." By the time the first had arrived, the armies of Malkier were already broken by endless hordes of Shadowspawn, the people fleeing or dead.

The death of Malkier had been hard and blood-soaked, and fast. "That was before I was born, but I regret it deeply. And I regret that the Tower decided to keep their effort secret." Better that the Tower be thought to have done nothing than to have it known Aes Sedai had tried and failed.

Can people quit bashing the White Tower for not helping Malkier, now?

Juan
12-10-2010, 06:32 PM
Thank you, Flinn Sedai!

David Selig
12-10-2010, 06:37 PM
About the point you made, at the same time, the Ajah's eyes and ears are regular people living there and you know the whole deal. Far as we've seen that I remember, they're really not AS nor channelers. So if the Ajah's spies were able to send people and the information actually reached the network heads, then it's likely communication was done without the use of Travelling. So you could say, you would think the Borderlands would request for aid and their message reach the White Tower.
Most likely those messages were sent by carrier pigeons, which is the usual way thoe reports of the eyes and ears are sent. I doubt the leaders of the Borderland defence had such an option to use to send a request for help to the WT.

Flinn Sedai
12-10-2010, 06:43 PM
@Flinn Sedai
I'm pretty sure they could've figured it out that the LB was coming. Everyone with a brain could see that it was coming. The Dragon Reborn was back. Rand had fulfilled all these prophecies. There were bubbles of evil, there were famines, etc. And clearly the rulers knew Rand WAS the Dragon Reborn that's why they were testing him to see if he was ready. The Borderlands messed up too. They're not perfect either.

They knew that it was coming somewhat soon. They left several months ago, and they had to travel back and forth across the whole world to finally get a hold of Rand. They expected it to be done sooner.

Even then, virtually nobody expected that TG would start this quickly. Besides Rand, is there anybody who was thinking that TG would have already started by now (according to BS it has).

They aren't perfect. Never said they were. However, they actually thought things out, and are trying to deal with the Borderlands, while securing the long-term objectives. Egwene has focused all of her attention on Rand instead, and is ignoring everything else.


And the WT is not ignoring it completely. They have been doing their own little fights against the Shadow some more important than others as I've said in previous posts. Remember Min's note: "You must clear the rubble before you can rebuild" or something to that effect. That applies to the WT as well. They had to clear all the BA corruption and all that before they could afford to divide themselves and send sisters in concentrated numbers to other places. They have had their cleansing. They will join that fight everyone wants them to join. Count on it.

You said that the White Tower tried to help? When Malkier was being overrun, they sent 100 sisters with an army to go help. They didn't get there because it took so long. Egwene could have had 3 times that many there immediately. Instead, she's decided to focus on a power struggle with Rand, and cluck disapprovingly at everybody's short-sightedness.

They KNOW those countries are actively being overrun, after the White Tower was cleansed of Black Ajah. She's doing nothing about it, though. You could even make the argument that she wanted to keep her army for show against Rand (I still don't understand how bringing her army helps. Is he supposed to be intimidated?) The Sisters can still help, though.

Juan
12-10-2010, 07:12 PM
haha right. I'm trying so hard to refrain from Egwene bashing because I've never really liked Egwene. Only a few scenes have ever made her somewhat tolerable for me.

The WT had their cleansing but are still in the process of stabilizing themselves.

Far as I remember, it's the Hall with control of the armies, not Egwene.... If the army is with Egwene, it's because the Hall allowed it.

You (and I'm not saying you as in you, I'm saying you as in the general people) can't blame the AS for the faults and shortsightedness of a few Sitters, sisters, or the Amyrlin. Overall it's a good organization.

I agree bringing the armies to Merrilor is silly. But I don't know... Remember Rand doesn't seem to have anything against it. In fact, it seems that he's been playing Egwene to bring the armies of the world there. If he really had that much of a problem with this I'm sure he could've easily used his ta'vereness and power to get his armies to not go to Merrilor and instead go elsewhere... but he has chosen not to. That's a pretty strong indication that the armies in Merrilor isn't exactly a bad thing, as silly as it may be.

Flinn Sedai
12-10-2010, 07:27 PM
The WT had their cleansing but are still in the process of stabilizing themselves.

Far as I remember, it's the Hall with control of the armies, not Egwene.... If the army is with Egwene, it's because the Hall allowed it.


Actually, I'm so used to her being in charge of the Rebels, and thus, having the army all to herself, that I forgot. That said, she didn't even suggest it when they were sitting there talking about going to war. Nothing like, "And it shows great wisdom that you are ensuring that you will be able to direct the armies along the Borderlands." No "If I might make a suggestion. As your first act with the army, it would show great wisdom to go save the Borderlands."

Doesn't even mention it.



You (and I'm not saying you as in you, I'm saying you as in the general people) can't blame the AS for the faults and shortsightedness of a few Sitters, sisters, or the Amyrlin. Overall it's a good organization.

I agree that you can't blame individual Aes Sedai for this. However, it is perfectly fair to blame the White Tower (important distinction) for the actions that it makes, based on the decisions of those chosen to lead.



I agree bringing the armies to Merrilor is silly. But I don't know... Remember Rand doesn't seem to have anything against it. In fact, it seems that he's been playing Egwene to bring the armies of the world there. If he really had that much of a problem with this I'm sure he could've easily used his ta'vereness and power to get his armies to not go to Merrilor and instead go elsewhere... but he has chosen not to. That's a pretty strong indication that the armies in Merrilor isn't exactly a bad thing, as silly as it may be.

Oh, I've said from the moment that I saw what he did that he was getting her to get the armies together for him. Saves him the time and effort. It's just absurd. It isn't a bad thing.

It's just that the sisters and probably a fair number of soldiers should be sent to the Borderlands instead. That's the part that's stupid. She doesn't even have the sisters at Merrilor. She has them back at the White Tower, awaiting her return with bated breath (artistic license is mine).

Since she's not going to try threatening Rand with 300 sisters, send them to the Borderlands to sweep them clean. Fighting together helps heal division, and frankly, 300 sisters could sweep the whole Borderlands and only lose a couple if there is a Dreadlord.

sleepinghour
12-10-2010, 07:44 PM
Saldaea and Kandor were closest to Malkier, and they couldn't get troops there in time. Certainly, many Malkieri feel betrayed, as Lan expressed in New Spring, but Moiraine explains it.

Can people quit bashing the White Tower for not helping Malkier, now?

I know they sent help, and I don't fault them for failing--they did what they could--but the Tower's refusal to admit they sent aid in the first place has done more harm than good.

Lan was told the truth by Moiraine in NS, but other Malkieri and Borderlanders still believe the Tower abandoned them:

He could not recall the last time he had heard of a Malkieri girl going to the White Tower. The Tower had failed Malkier in need, and the Malkieri had turned their backs on the Tower.
--Weilin, KoD

Weilin acts respectful towards Nynaeve, but his thoughts show he wants nothing more than to get rid of the Aes Sedai bothering him. Faile (usually) acts respectful towards Aes Sedai as well, but had this to say about them in private:

She shivered slightly. "Is there anything an Aes Sedai would not do, or put up with, if the White Tower told her to? I have studied my history, and I was taught to read between the lines. Mashera Donavelle bore seven children for a man she loathed, whatever the stories say, and Isebaille Tobanyi delivered the brothers she loved to their enemies and the throne of Arad Doman with them, and Jestian Redhill . . . " She shivered again, not so slightly.
--ACoS

Stories like these don't exactly make the Aes Sedai sound like a compassionate bunch of people you'd want to turn to in times of need (or expect to help).

subwoofer
12-10-2010, 07:55 PM
Terel Owens, Chad 'Ochocinco,' Albert Hanesworth, Keyshawn, or any of a dozen other past or present locker room cancers work just as well as Moss. The point is that just one individual can disrupt a team effort thorugh malice, greed, self-interest, or just narcism. Other sports figures, like Brett Favre, postpone any real team progress by hanging on far beyond any real ability to contribute.
Well TO gets results to, he is just a visible and outspoken so he becomes a natural target. You almost had me going until you started talking about Farve. IIRC Mini sent a private jet and three of it's top players to bring Farve back from the farm to try for a redo of the previous seasons magic. Ownership and management all had a hand in that so it was not just on Farve.


There are several dynamics at work in keeping the BA from being rooted out in the past. Like the MLPA, each individual Ajah works to limit the influence of other Ajahs while simultaneously working to limit restrictions on any Ajah's autonomy. The actual content of reforms don't matter to such organizations, only that reforms MIGHT reduce the organization's ability to manipulate events to the organization's advantage. Not sure if by organization you mean the BA or the Tower in this case. But you do point out one of the fundamental problems in the Tower. Regardless of BA influence, as Egwene points out, the Ajahs do not work together. Sisters play in more infighting and policy making than the actual carrying out of said policy. Prime example of that is the garbage that went on between Romanda and Lelaine. In the Tower itself some of the divisions became more prominent with Elaida's garbage, but it did exist before.

Individual sisters with any comptence do "go solo" rather than trying to fight the intertia of the REMF mindset and the on going fifth colimn efforts of the BA. Those who don't suffer "accidents" and lose any chance of having an effect.
Exactly. And over the centuries, any Amrylin worth her salt should have seen this, called a spade a spade and squashed it.


The BA assassinated all but a very few and manipulated the successors of those few they missed to repeal any potentially lasting reforms.
Pity that. Where's a good Warder or Tower Guard when you need them? Heck even Gawyn for all his bumbling managed to keep some folks alive.


The same thing EVERY organization does when it goes too long without a reality check -- living on their reputation and believing the reputation over the reality of changing times. Or alternatively, "preparing for the LAST war."

Until Rand's birth and the approach of T'G the Pattern had no real benefit from curbing the decline of the WT. Once Rand was Born, the Pattern gained an "interest" in reforging the White Tower for T'G.

The White Tower as an organization and 'Aes Sedai' as a stereotype has been set up throughout the story as an example of what happens when the reputation is more important than reality. REMFs and Political Generals always have control at the beginning of a defensive war and things alwys go badly until they are killed off or deposed -- The White tower is just the most graphic illustration of the principle in the WOT.
Errr... you seem to be making my point for me here. Thanks:rolleyes:

Elaida provided some classic examples of the phenomenon -- 'there can't possibly be more than one or two a'dam in the entire world' for example.

The mere end-of-existence-itself is nothing compared to scoring a single point in the struggle to hold more secrets than any other eyes-and-ears. :rolleyes: Elaida is a prime reason for the "they needed killing" law. I had a plan involving banana peels and a sheer drop but the Seanchan beat me to it. Sometimes the Pattern needs correcting too.

Juan
12-10-2010, 07:55 PM
Maybe it isn't wise to send AS to the Borderlands. I know it sounds mean but I've been saying the AS are't specialized warriors and they're not. Also been saying they have other duties besides the actual fighting. And there are a good number of dreadlords and I think Ashaman and damane (if the Seanchan join the fight) are better suited to deal with them in the actual battles. On the other hand I believe AS are better suited to deal with dreadlords in a non-battle context.

Well in the past, much of that leadership was because of BA... Remember Elaida was elected thanks to the BA... you can be sure many other important decisions have been sabotaged or twisted by the BA and the help of a few incompetent AS. Now that that's dealt with I agree you can blame the WT as a whole because they did choose their leaders but only in part. If the leaders turn out to be corrupt or incompetent, it's not all AS fault/WT. It's the AS's who are incompetent's fault.

Let me explain. Years ago in high schoool, I had a Latin I teacher. Easily one of the worst teachers I've ever had. Most of us in the class learned virtually nothing. Going into Latin II, we had a slightly better teacher but still a fairly bad one. Then going into Latin AP (the next course I forget the exact name) we had a great teacher, but our Latin foundation was horrible, so the stuff she would teach us... well you can understand, it was impossible for us who had had this first teacher to keep up with the class and really do well. This last teacher was the head of the Latin department, so we asked her, why would anyone hire this guy to teach Latin? At least make him teach something else. And she responded, "you know, the funny thing is he had better Latin credentials on paper than me." There are two points to this story. First, the AS elected to lead the WT, maybe they appeared that they would be great leaders... but for whatever reason, they weren't. For example, to be honest, at first, Elaida didn't seem to be TOO bad a choice. She was strong of will. And when she became Amyrlin, she changed, became power hungry, paranoid, etc etc. So why should the WT and those AS who elected her be blamed for that? Second point, related to that one, is because of my horrible Latin I teacher, my class had a bad Latin foundation and therefore as we progressed in our Latin courses, we continually found ourselves to be behind others who had had betters teachers and therefore a better Latin foundation. Assuming my class studied etc and tried to do what we could, should we be blamed for the incompetence of our teacher? I don't think so. It's an individuals fault. Not the organization's. My high school was and is among the top 50 high schools in the nation (U.S.) to give you an idea. Does that mean the whole school was bad? No, just that teacher. And perhaps a few others as well.

Hahah nice about the artistic license comment.

I agree. Few things make people bond more than fighting together. But I'm not sure if I'd pick the AS for that job.

@David Selig
Sorry, man. I missed your post earlier. I'm actually in doubt that the leaders DON'T have them. I would imagine that being the Borderlands and the need for such communication extremely important, that they of all people would have such means.

@sleepinghour
You don't turn to compassionate people for help. You turn to help to whomever can give you help. As I said, that's why Perrin turned to the Seanchan for help. I have never heard it said that they are a compassionate people...

About the AS keeping their help to Malkier a secret... I agree and disagree at the same time. In one aspect I agree obviously because then the Malkieri and other people wouldn't see them as lazy coldhearted women who refuse to help. But at the same time I agree with the AS, because if they're seen as failures, then little awe people have of them would diminish. They might see them as failures and incompetent rather than unwilling to help. In some ways, being seen as unwilling to help is better than being seen as incompetent. If I had to make that decision, I'm not sure which I'd make. I just know there's merit to both sides.

Flinn Sedai
12-10-2010, 07:56 PM
I know they sent help, and I don't fault them for failing--they did what they could--but the Tower's refusal to admit they sent aid in the first place has done more harm than good.

Lan was told the truth by Moiraine in NS, but other Malkieri and Borderlanders still believe the Tower abandoned them:

Weilin acts respectful towards Nynaeve, but his thoughts show he wants nothing more than to get rid of the Aes Sedai bothering him. Faile (usually) acts respectful towards Aes Sedai as well, but had this to say about them in private:

Stories like these don't exactly make the Aes Sedai sound like a compassionate bunch of people you'd want to turn to in times of need (or expect to help).

As I said, I agree that the Malkieri still hold the Aes Sedai responsible for not sending aid. However, it underlies a important and crucial point. Namely, that it is expected that when the Borderlands are in need, the White Tower will be there.

More importantly, it still doesn't make sense to blame the Aes Sedai (though, I acknowledge that many do). Kandor and Saldaea weren't able to get there in time. We're talking about blaming troops for not coming, that were further away than Arafel, Shienar and probably Arad Domon.

Also, to clarify, I'm not saying that Borderlanders aren't mistrustful of Aes Sedai. They are. It has been pointed out several times.

However, they still rely on them. The most pointed example being when the Borderland Monarchs left. They brought the sisters because they believed it would help them. They aren't the type to turn away somebody who can help just because they've been spited (before anybody brings up what happened in ToM, let's remember that was a Darkfriend, who was countermanded by his own troops on that).

While the Borderlanders don't expect Aes Sedai to follow orders or do as they're told in any respect, they DO expect that the Aes Sedai will fight against the Shadow. That's made quite clear when the Monarchs are talking amongst themselves, even if you disregard Eye of the World and history.

Flinn Sedai
12-10-2010, 08:19 PM
Maybe it isn't wise to send AS to the Borderlands. I know it sounds mean but I've been saying the AS are't specialized warriors and they're not. Also been saying they have other duties besides the actual fighting. And there are a good number of dreadlords and I think Ashaman and damane (if the Seanchan join the fight) are better suited to deal with them in the actual battles. On the other hand I believe AS are better suited to deal with dreadlords in a non-battle context.

Well, it's certainly true that they aren't well suited to battle. I don't think anybody is going to argue this point (cue Theoryland argument). However, it's unfair to expect other groups to do it. Asha'man are almost all Darkfriends now. The Wise Ones can fight, but there are far too few. And damane won't fight unless the Seanchan tell them to do so. Even then, Tuon won't allow them to follow the lead of the rest of the army. Unless Mat's leading. Hrmmm..... maybe I just defeated my own argument.

Nevertheless, with Tarmon Gaidon, there isn't really a whole lot else for them to do. According to BS, the Last Battle already started. There won't really be much room for them to do things in non-combat aspects, to deal with Dreadlords. While all the troops are off fighting, the group that has stood for 3,000 years on the, "We combat evil" platform is sitting in their Ivory Tower (literally) going, "Well, we never really had to COMBAT before." Baptism by fire, I say (in many cases, literally).

Well in the past, much of that leadership was because of BA... Remember Elaida was elected thanks to the BA... you can be sure many other important decisions have been sabotaged or twisted by the BA and the help of a few incompetent AS. Now that that's dealt with I agree you can blame the WT as a whole because they did choose their leaders but only in part. If the leaders turn out to be corrupt or incompetent, it's not all AS fault/WT. It's the AS's who are incompetent's fault.

I think you misunderstood. I care not for their past quibbles. Right now, there are nations being overrun with Shadowspawn. They could save them. They're choosing not to, and instead sitting on their hands. That cannot be laid at the feet of the Black Ajah. The fact that they haven't sent troops earlier could be. Right now, they're pristine, and they are doing less fighting than when they were rife with Darkfriends (see: Trolloc Wars, Artur Hawkwing, Dumai's Wells, etc...)

I'm not blaming all Aes Sedai. I'm blaming their organization, the White Tower (though, they could do with a few more rogues like Cadsuane who don't listen to the White Tower when they're told to be useless).

Let me explain. Years ago in high schoool, I had a Latin I teacher. Easily one of the worst teachers I've ever had. Most of us in the class learned virtually nothing. Going into Latin II, we had a slightly better teacher but still a fairly bad one. Then going into Latin AP (the next course I forget the exact name) we had a great teacher, but our Latin foundation was horrible, so the stuff she would teach us... well you can understand, it was impossible for us who had had this first teacher to keep up with the class and really do well. This last teacher was the head of the Latin department, so we asked her, why would anyone hire this guy to teach Latin? At least make him teach something else. And she responded, "you know, the funny thing is he had better Latin credentials on paper than me." There are two points to this story. First, the AS elected to lead the WT, maybe they appeared that they would be great leaders... but for whatever reason, they weren't. For example, to be honest, at first, Elaida didn't seem to be TOO bad a choice. She was strong of will. And when she became Amyrlin, she changed, became power hungry, paranoid, etc etc. So why should the WT and those AS who elected her be blamed for that? Second point, related to that one, is because of my horrible Latin I teacher, my class had a bad Latin foundation and therefore as we progressed in our Latin courses, we continually found ourselves to be behind others who had had betters teachers and therefore a better Latin foundation. Assuming my class studied etc and tried to do what we could, should we be blamed for the incompetence of our teacher? I don't think so. It's an individuals fault. Not the organization's. My high school was and is among the top 50 high schools in the nation (U.S.) to give you an idea. Does that mean the whole school was bad? No, just that teacher. And perhaps a few others as well.

Hahah nice about the artistic license comment.

I agree. Few things make people bond more than fighting together. But I'm not sure if I'd pick the AS for that job.

*blinks*

*blinks again*

*faints*

Talk about artistic license :P

As to your points, I agree that the Black Ajah were largely responsible for many failings that are currently going on. Your analogy is slightly off, though (I don't think it actually impacts your points, but I'm a bit OCD). Presumably, you are saying that the Latin department is akin to the White Tower. At the end, however, you liken the White Tower's organization to your school's organization. A better analogy would be likening Randland to your school. Still holds, that way, too.

In any event, I agree, to an extent. The fact that Aes Sedai have subsumed their individuality into the whole is largely due to the influence of the Black Ajah. Moreover, they've ensured that a few key individuals are given enough authority as to be above reproach. This allows the Sitters, the Keeper and the Amyrlin Seat to define the White Tower.

Thus, the Black Ajah are to blame for the philosophy and structure of the White Tower. The actions, however, are the responsibility of the individuals holding said positions. For example, without Black Ajah influence, hopefully, many Aes Sedai would have said, "Why in the *beep* are you sending troops to Merrilor, when you had him in your hands. They serve no purpose."

However, the Black Ajah is not to blame for the fact that nobody in power at the White Tower has thought to actually send troops and sisters to the Borderlands. That is all on the Tower.

Juan
12-10-2010, 08:37 PM
Man I gotta say I love theoryland. It's nice to talk with people who can be reasonable and debate respectfully and intellectually. Thank you.

Part of what I'm trying to say is given the option, meaning if Ashaman and/or damane do fight at the LB, then I would use the AS for other purposes. If most of those Ashaman are indeed darkfriends and the damane don't fight... well clearly there's not much of a choice there...

But the WT does combat the Shadow. Not necessarily in battlefields though. As I said some ways of fighting the Shadow could include examples like Cadsuane counseling the Rand who is prophesized to be the only hope for the Light. It's because of her that he had his reform. Moiraine. Enough said. Nynaeve. Healing, helping Rand, etc. Enough said. Increasing Healing and education/knowledge (not saying for free necessarily). I don't wanna retype the reasons and examples, but you're more than welcome to check to see. But these are all ways to increase the good in the world and thus diminish the evil. In other words, combating/fighting the Shadow.

Maybe Egwene hasn't thought about it, but I'm sure SOMEONE is bound to have thought about it. I mean Egwene is a selfish stubborn.. (ok I tried to resist, but I couldn't). Maybe they figured it best not to send troops. All I know is that now we won't have the problem of sending aid and the aid not getting there in time as with Malkieri. With Travelling, I don't think the AS need to send their armies and AS right NOW. I think they can hold off a bit and see what gives.. especially with Rand and figure out what his scheme at Merrilor is. Man I can't wait. Far as I know even Rand only sent troops to Maradon.. nowhere else. Probably a reason for that.

Hahaha yeah, I had to bring up my Latin class because I'm still sore that my teacher sucked. You know he hated me. One of my buddies was messing around with me and threw a paper ball at me and my teacher started shouting at me because I asked who it was. Then he kicked me out of class and after that made me sat in the back of the class.... hahaha. Then he almost died from I forget what, was gone for the entire second half of the year.. Came back the next year where I had him for homeroom, and he all of a sudden loved me. Very weird......

Side note: I think John Madden's obsession with Brett Favre is hilarious haha.

Flinn Sedai
12-10-2010, 08:53 PM
Man I gotta say I love theoryland. It's nice to talk with people who can be reasonable and debate respectfully and intellectually. Thank you.

Hear, hear. Three cheers for Theoryland.

Hip hip! Hurray!
Hip hip! Hurray!
Hip hip! Hurray!

Part of what I'm trying to say, given the option, meaning if Ashaman and/or damane do fight at the LB, then I would use the AS for other purposes. If most of those Ashaman are indeed darkfriends and the damane don't fight... well clearly there's not much of a choice there...

But the WT does combat the Shadow. Not necessarily in battlefields though. As I said some ways of fighting the Shadow could include examples like Cadsuane counseling the Rand who is prophesized to be the only hope for the Light. It's because of her that he had his reform. Moiraine. Enough said. Nynaeve. Healing, helping Rand, etc. Enough said. Increasing Healing and education/knowledge (not saying for free necessarily). I don't wanna retype the reasons and examples, but you're more than welcome to check to see. But these are all ways to increase the good in the world and thus diminish the evil.

My point is more that while those are all laudable goals, during the Last Battle, those are no longer relevant. The other thing that you've noticed that is the same with all the examples you provided. They all fought when it was needed. At the Last Battle, every channeler is going to be needed. It isn't even like they're doing anything right now, with the sisters. They're just sitting at home, cleaning their shawls and talking about how things need to get done. :rolleyes:

Maybe Egwene hasn't thought about it, but I'm sure SOMEONE is bound to have thought about it. Maybe the figured it best not to send troops. All I know is that now we won't have the problem of sending aid and the aid not getting there in time as with Malkieri. With Travelling, I don't think the AS need to send their armies and AS right NOW. I think they can hold off a bit and see what gives.. especially with Rand and figure out what his scheme at Merrilor is. Man I can't wait.

I'm certain it's something that had the opportunity to come up. Maybe it's something that happened in the background (maybe we need to ask BS). However, they talked about their army, and they talked about the Borderlands being overrun. It shouldn't be too difficult to put 2 and 2 together. However, from what we saw, they're ignoring both.

Hahaha yeah, I had to bring up my Latin class because I'm still sore that my teacher sucked. You know he hated me. One of my buddies was messing around with me and threw a paper ball at me and my teacher started shouting at me because I asked who it was. Then he kicked me out of class and after that made me sat in the back of the class.... hahaha. Then he almost died from I forget what, was gone for the entire second half of the year.. Came back the next year where I had him for homeroom, and he all of a sudden loved me. Very weird......

Hehe. Hard to tell :P

Also, latin = win. Just so we're clear.

Weird Harold
12-10-2010, 08:54 PM
Ownership and management all had a hand in that so it was not just on Farve.

Brett Favre should have retired about five years agot, long before Green Bay got fed up with his "don't bother me, I'm thinkin'" routine. His year with the Jets was a joke, and his first year with the Vikings was a fluke -- they won in spite of his loose cannon play, not because of it.

I can't help it if Ownership and Managment are too stupid to see what any team with Brett at quarterback has been like for the last five+ years.

Not sure if by organization you mean the BA or the Tower in this case. But you do point out one of the fundamental problems in the Tower. Regardless of BA influence, as Egwene points out, the Ajahs do not work together.

Let's see. At least one Ajah head was a top ranking Black Ajah and about a third of the Sitters were Black. Just how are the Ajahs supposed to work together when their leadership is actively working to keep them separate?

Exactly. And over the centuries, any Amrylin worth her salt should have seen this, called a spade a spade and squashed it.

What part of "Suicidal Impulses" don't you understand? Any Amyrlin "worth her salt" got the job by mistake and the BA tends to correct mistakes like that with "Accidents."

Errr... you seem to be making my point for me here. Thanks:rolleyes:

What? Your point is that the White Tower is a realistic portrayal of an organization that presents a facade of "Perfection by Divine Right" while hiding a core that would make a maggot filled cesspool look like look like the work of a master chef? :rolleyes:

It is not and never has been a military organization; it is a "cloistered order" like religious monks and nuns. Only the Green Ajah has any semblance of a military command structure and that is more like a noble officers' social organization than a true military hierarchy.

The Greens don't see themselves primarily as fighters, they see themselves as commanders and strategists -- for most of them, they're just arrogant butter-bars who should be fragged before they get good soldiers killed.

You expect the White Tower to be a typical Epic Fantasy "Invincible Band of Brothers" Destined to Save The World. The Wheel Of Time would be a horribly boring series if you got your wish. :D

Juan
12-10-2010, 09:00 PM
Can't say I agree about Latin. Then again I'm biased because I had bad teachers and didn't learn much. Translating the Aeneid was quite a painful experience. And although there's use in Latin for analyzing the origin of words, there's not much practical use for it. But in case you disagree let's not start a discussion on that.. :P

Flinn Sedai
12-10-2010, 09:01 PM
It is not and never has been a military organization; it is a "cloistered order" like religious monks and nuns. Only the Green Ajah has any semblance of a military command structure and that is more like a noble officers' social organization than a true military hierarchy.

The Greens don't see themselves primarily as fighters, they see themselves as commanders and strategists -- for most of them, they're just arrogant butter-bars who should be fragged before they get good soldiers killed.

I agree. They should at least shut up and let their betters tell them what to do. I think they'd make great foot soldiers (see: canon fodder).

Juan
12-10-2010, 09:08 PM
Yes. Thank you. Finally. AS are NOT a military organization. I don't even know how many times I've said that in this thread. I don't know how effective the Greens will be as commanders, but I wouldn't be very trusting of their skills as either soldiers or strategists. Although if made to choose one or the other I'd choose soldiers just because even if there are better channeler fighters than the AS, OP is still the OP and is bound to cause some damage. And then they wouldn't get in the way of great generals and strategists like Mat, Ituralde, Bryne, etc.

Weird Harold
12-10-2010, 09:17 PM
I agree. They should at least shut up and let their betters tell them what to do. I think they'd make great foot soldiers (see: canon fodder).

There is some justification for letting them determine how best to use the OP and that requires them to at least have veto power over stupid orders.

The big problem is that they don't seem to do much prior coordination and drill. Without both sides understanding what the other can do, "Charlie Foxtrot" ensues -- quickly followed by FUBAR.

Again, it wouldn't take very many BA or very much manipulation to pervert what is essentially a sound concept into a guaranteed failure and silence any persistent voices of reason.

Weird Harold
12-10-2010, 09:29 PM
Yes. Thank you. Finally. AS are NOT a military organization. I don't even know how many times I've said that in this thread. I don't know how effective the Greens will be as commanders, but I wouldn't be very trusting of their skills as either soldiers or strategists. Although if made to choose one or the other I'd choose soldiers just because even if there are better channeler fighters than the AS, OP is still the OP and is bound to cause some damage. And then they wouldn't get in the way of great generals and strategists like Mat, Ituralde, Bryne, etc.
The Question is not how effective Greens would be as comanders, it is how effective could they be as commanders if they went about it correctly? The answer to could be is "pretty good." The answer to would be(will be) is "Disastrous."

The Asha'man are a bit less complicated to work with:

Commander: "Kill those trollocs."

Asha'man: "OK."

Juan
12-10-2010, 09:36 PM
Right. The Ashaman are clearly soldiers.

The AS have the potential to do great things in battle as well as I've said before. But unless they change their bickering and organize themselves a bit more, it's gonna be tough.. Also keep in mind that although the battle Ajah is supposedly well versed in the history of historical battles and warfare strategy, they like most AS seem to have a hard time adjusting to the changes currently happening in the world. It's understandable considering their long lifespans. For example Ituralde quickly adjusted in battle and began using Ashaman effectively. Rand and Perrin have used them in battle too, but Rand has memories from the Age of Legends, and Perrin hadn't studied battle before. He learned as he went along so he wasn't prejudiced on what's a good way to go about fighting or some good strategies. I'm really curious to see how this will play out. We will see.

subwoofer
12-10-2010, 11:02 PM
Brett Favre should have retired about five years agot, long before Green Bay got fed up with his "don't bother me, I'm thinkin'" routine. His year with the Jets was a joke, and his first year with the Vikings was a fluke -- they won in spite of his loose cannon play, not because of it.

I can't help it if Ownership and Managment are too stupid to see what any team with Brett at quarterback has been like for the last five+ years.
Nope you can't, but the fact remains the same.:)
Let's see. At least one Ajah head was a top ranking Black Ajah and about a third of the Sitters were Black. Just how are the Ajahs supposed to work together when their leadership is actively working to keep them separate?

What part of "Suicidal Impulses" don't you understand? Any Amyrlin "worth her salt" got the job by mistake and the BA tends to correct mistakes like that with "Accidents."
The whole term flies over my head. If the BA was such hot stuff, they'd of got the top Seat. They were sent to infiltrate and hinder. That is what they did. So in all of this, we are saying "hey, these ladies were dupes and helpless?" I don't think so. I am trying to give the Sister's credit. They are the White Tower. They have the ability to overcome. Egwene rants about the Tower Power forever and a day.

What? Your point is that the White Tower is a realistic portrayal of an organization that presents a facade of "Perfection by Divine Right" while hiding a core that would make a maggot filled cesspool look like look like the work of a master chef? :rolleyes:
Buddy- read what you wrote- you said the Aes Sedai were resting on their laurels. I was agreeing.:rolleyes:
It is not and never has been a military organization; it is a "cloistered order" like religious monks and nuns. Only the Green Ajah has any semblance of a military command structure and that is more like a noble officers' social organization than a true military hierarchy.

The Greens don't see themselves primarily as fighters, they see themselves as commanders and strategists -- for most of them, they're just arrogant butter-bars who should be fragged before they get good soldiers killed. Bound to be a descent non-com amongst the lot of them.

You expect the White Tower to be a typical Epic Fantasy "Invincible Band of Brothers" Destined to Save The World. The Wheel Of Time would be a horribly boring series if you got your wish. :D

Well, no. Read what I did say:At the end of the day I would be happy if the borderlanders, Rand, Perrin, and Mat succeeded because of the Aes Sedai rather than in spite of them. If the ladies want to sit on the sidelines and have a "woe is me, nobody likes me party" fine. At least don't get in the way of everyone else.

Well then, you missed my point. I have always understood the corruption of the Tower was one of the DO's objectives. IIRC, in one of the Forsaken meetings it was admitted. My point is, this assumes the view that the Aes Sedai are helpless and not sentient, powerful women that can get stuff done. Rise up dang it, and get their collective heads outta the sand and see the world falling down around them. Great the world doesn't trust them, but they do have to live in the world. They wanna live in a world going to seed or use what gifts they have to make it a better place? The Tower was supposed to be the last bastion of Light. The Tower was supposed to be what held the world together since the Breaking. The Tower and the Sisters are what the world looked to when everything is the darkest. It is the Amrylin's, Hall's, Ajah's and Sister's duty to help the world. Instead they have become insular and dwindled. That is their own fault. And of the thousands of Sisters, it doesn't take a genius to see, one should have figured it out Ages ago and put a stop.

The Aes Sedai are there to fight the Dreadlords. At least that is the Greens purpose. And it is everyone's duty to fight the Shadow, especially the White Tower. They have other duties- yes. Agreed. The world is big and there are tons of things to do. But strong leadership means sitting back, looking at things- saying "wtf is going on? Our numbers are dwindling, folks are reticent of us, The Shadow is growing and we have lost- weaves, angreal, SEALS TO THE DARK ONE"S PRISON, and a whole host of other things. We are squabbling amongst ourselves, it takes a committee to get anything done and that is after a lengthy debate that would put a calling to the Stump to shame, and we ostracize tons of women that could help us. Oh yeah, some of us are worshiping Shai'tan. Maybe we should do something about that."

Right, found it:
“Browns seek knowledge, Blues meddle in causes, and Whites consider the questions of truth with implacable logic. We all do some of it all, of course. But to be a Green means to stand ready. In the Trolloc Wars, we were often called the Battle Ajah. All Aes Sedai helped where and when they could, but the Green Ajah alone was always with the armies, in almost every battle. We were the counter to the Dreadlords. The Battle Ajah. And now we stand ready, for the Trollocs to come south again, for Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle. We will be there. That is what it means to be a Green.”
—Alanna Mosvani:)

Weird Harold
12-11-2010, 12:09 AM
The whole term flies over my head. If the BA was such hot stuff, they'd of got the top Seat. They were sent to infiltrate and hinder. That is what they did. So in all of this, we are saying "hey, these ladies were dupes and helpless?" I don't think so. I am trying to give the Sister's credit. They are the White Tower. They have the ability to overcome. Egwene rants about the Tower Power forever and a day.

Being raised Amyrlin takes more than 20% of the Sitters. There's no proof, but there are hints that some of the more notorius Amyrlins were Black. Or they were at least as easy to manipulate as Elaida was.

I'm not saying that the Aes Sedai were helpless, but I am saying that a load of crap piled up one fart at a time is hard to resist. There's not really anything to object to because one fart doesn't add much to the pile. To most Aes Sedai, even the most damaging customs and traditions are so ironclad that even losing half, or more, of your life and vitality isn't enough reason to change.

Buddy- read what you wrote- you said the Aes Sedai were resting on their laurels. I was agreeing.:rolleyes:

You didn't get the same information out of what I wrote as what I put into it. :( The White Tower is far worse off than simply "resting on their laurels."

When you look at the White Tower, you see a group badly in need of a mass epiphany that will make everything all right,

When I look at the White Tower, I see the inertia of a thousand years worth of complacency, misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy, customs and traditions and institutional arrogance that will take the literal End of the World to crack open.

GonzoTheGreat
12-11-2010, 04:54 AM
The US and indeed most of the world has a long history of intelligence organizations withholding vital information (and letting people die) because revealing the information might endanger their sources. Why should the various eyes-and-ears networks be any different?Well, for starters: in how much more danger could those sources be placed, anyways? I mean, they've been killed and eaten already, which generally means that there's not much more danger to be feared.

Weird Harold
12-11-2010, 05:31 AM
Well, for starters: in how much more danger could those sources be placed, anyways? I mean, they've been killed and eaten already, which generally means that there's not much more danger to be feared.
All the more reason to withhold information. How are you going to recruit replacements if word gets out that your last source got eaten?:D

GonzoTheGreat
12-11-2010, 05:59 AM
All the more reason to withhold information. How are you going to recruit replacements if word gets out that your last source got eaten?:DWell, look at it this way:
If you act quickly enough for someone to actually get this word out to, then you may some day have people around who could be recruited. If you do nothing, they will all get eaten, and then you won't have any informers ever again.

Weird Harold
12-11-2010, 06:14 AM
Well, look at it this way:
If you act quickly enough for someone to actually get this word out to, then you may some day have people around who could be recruited. If you do nothing, they will all get eaten, and then you won't have any informers ever again.
Empire Building REMF Intel weanies don'tthink like rational people. Better to be eaten with your sources unrevealed than to let one single secret out of your possession -- somebody might actually act to correct the problem and then your source got eaten for nothing. :rolleyes:

You need to practice channeling paranoid REMFs more to understand things like this. :D It doesn't make any sense to rational people, but if you can't predict how they think, you can never pry anything useful out of them.

subwoofer
12-11-2010, 08:55 AM
Being raised Amyrlin takes more than 20% of the Sitters. There's no proof, but there are hints that some of the more notorius Amyrlins were Black. Or they were at least as easy to manipulate as Elaida was.
Hmmmmm.... but there seems to be proof that some of the Amrylin's have been fairly charismatic and capable leader. IIRC Siuan and Egwene talked about them when going over the histories of 13D.
You didn't get the same information out of what I wrote as what I put into it. :( The White Tower is far worse off than simply "resting on their laurels." Well okay, we can chalk stuff up to miss-communication, happens enough in Randland, but this is what you said:The same thing EVERY organization does when it goes too long without a reality check -- living on their reputation and believing the reputation over the reality of changing times.
The White Tower as an organization and 'Aes Sedai' as a stereotype has been set up throughout the story as an example of what happens when the reputation is more important than reality.

When you look at the White Tower, you see a group badly in need of a mass epiphany that will make everything all right,

When I look at the White Tower, I see the inertia of a thousand years worth of complacency, misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy, customs and traditions and institutional arrogance that will take the literal End of the World to crack open. That's one way of putting it, but in the end, it does come down to the same thing, the Sister's need to take action. What I have been saying all along is that they are not helpless. And the premise is that they are "servants of all". Well, help the borderlanders then. Mass epiphany or end of the world, I'd like the Sisters to get their collective heads outta the sand. And I have said that before too.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

Weird Harold
12-11-2010, 04:34 PM
And the premise is that they are "servants of all".

Oh, Yes. Names do so reflect the reality of any organization so perfectly. :rolleyes: Why just look at the Whitecloaks; their very name, "Children of the Light," assures one and all that they are the perfect example of Lightfriends and could never do anything even grey-ish.


Seriously, to all but a very few idealists, like Galad, names, titles and even written "mission statements" are just noises to distinguish one group of hypocrits from another. :( Those AS who believe only a little bit of the Image are already out and fighting -- and dying -- and the REMFs are obstructing and arguing over who has control of the White Tower's armies.

In the end, I expect that staying away from the initial disasters and grouped together is going to work to the Light's eventual advantage. They're doing it for all the wrong reasons, but their forces ARE surviving at the moment.

subwoofer
12-12-2010, 10:13 AM
Oh, Yes. Names do so reflect the reality of any organization so perfectly. :rolleyes: Why just look at the Whitecloaks; their very name, "Children of the Light," assures one and all that they are the perfect example of Lightfriends and could never do anything even grey-ish.

exactly.
Seriously, to all but a very few idealists, like Galad, names, titles and even written "mission statements" are just noises to distinguish one group of hypocrits from another. :( Those AS who believe only a little bit of the Image are already out and fighting -- and dying -- and the REMFs are obstructing and arguing over who has control of the White Tower's armies.
Exactly. Again. This is what burns my ass. There should be more of the former and less of the latter.
In the end, I expect that staying away from the initial disasters and grouped together is going to work to the Light's eventual advantage. They're doing it for all the wrong reasons, but their forces ARE surviving at the moment.

Well it seems like Egwene had them pointed in that direction... until the FoM garbage upcoming...

Juan
12-12-2010, 02:34 PM
@Harold and subwoofer
I'd hate to start this up again, but just because there is corruption, that doesn't mean the concept isn't sound.

The AS are servants of all and that's a valid concept that was applied fairly well in the Age of Legends and I'd say even in the beginnings of the White Tower. The Children of the Light is a sound concept as well, which again was applied fairly well in its beginning stages. Later on, the corruption started, where the Children became paranoid, accusing, etc. That's why Galad is trying to reform them, and is doing so slowly. The names reflect what they used to be and what they should still be. It may not be reality now, but it can be. They need reform. And both groups are working on it.

Enigma
12-12-2010, 03:01 PM
Not only are the Aes Sedai not a military force as has been said by others I don't think they were ever intended to be one. They are the all rounders. I could be wrong here but it's my impression that when it comes to the theory of the One Power and a general knowledge of weaves the WT is the best among female channelers.

The damane are specialists and probably know how to blow things up more that any other group of female channelers. We have direct quites from the series that their knowledge in other areas is very lacking.

The Windfinders are great with weather and the sea but again one Windfinder had to get Elayne to teach her before she could use fire to any effect.

The Wise Ones - great in the world of dreams and doing odd impossible things from time to time but in a lot of areas they are not so good.

The trouble with not being a military force is that it takes time for them to organise an expedition. It has to be approved by the Hall, sisters with the right skills have to be asked to go along with the group. What if some of them refuse?

Compare this to the Asha'man who simply need a full Asha'man with some NCO Dedicated and they call off a few names of Soldiers and they report for duty ready to go and make war.

As Juan said the concept of AS is a good one, a place where knowledge is preserved and a group who can take a wider world view that that of groups attatched to nations. The trouble is that the AS now tend to view what is good for them is good for the world and they have been away from the front lines so long that their abilities in come areas are not what they should be. This is something that was acknowledged by the Green sister in the Seanchan attack on the White Tower. She was totally outmatched by the damane.

For the various reasons above I could forgive the Aes Sedai not being very good at helping the borderlands but what is hard to swallow is that no one even seems to mention trying. There are two ways to look at this.

The kinder view is that that AS realise that the borderlands are lost and all they can do is waste resources in a doomed fight when they will be needed later. That would be a hard decision but one you could justify.

Option 2 - They just don't care about what will happen to the people there. If that is the case as terrible as it sounds the Seanchan ae welcome to them as they have already lost their humanity.

subwoofer
12-12-2010, 03:32 PM
Not only are the Aes Sedai not a military force as has been said by others I don't think they were ever intended to be one. They are the all rounders. I could be wrong here but it's my impression that when it comes to the theory of the One Power and a general knowledge of weaves the WT is the best among female channelers.

The damane are specialists and probably know how to blow things up more that any other group of female channelers. We have direct quites from the series that their knowledge in other areas is very lacking.

The Windfinders are great with weather and the sea but again one Windfinder had to get Elayne to teach her before she could use fire to any effect.

The Wise Ones - great in the world of dreams and doing odd impossible things from time to time but in a lot of areas they are not so good.

The trouble with not being a military force is that it takes time for them to organise an expedition. It has to be approved by the Hall, sisters with the right skills have to be asked to go along with the group. What if some of them refuse?

Compare this to the Asha'man who simply need a full Asha'man with some NCO Dedicated and they call off a few names of Soldiers and they report for duty ready to go and make war.
I think it's a guy thing. Men are simple:) Ladies like to complicate the snot outta things.

::ducks::
As Juan said the concept of AS is a good one, a place where knowledge is preserved and a group who can take a wider world view that that of groups attatched to nations. The trouble is that the AS now tend to view what is good for them is good for the world and they have been away from the front lines so long that their abilities in come areas are not what they should be. This is something that was acknowledged by the Green sister in the Seanchan attack on the White Tower. She was totally outmatched by the damane.
Exactly- and that particular Green was the Captain-General.
For the various reasons above I could forgive the Aes Sedai not being very good at helping the borderlands but what is hard to swallow is that no one even seems to mention trying. There are two ways to look at this.

The kinder view is that that AS realise that the borderlands are lost and all they can do is waste resources in a doomed fight when they will be needed later. That would be a hard decision but one you could justify.

Option 2 - They just don't care about what will happen to the people there. If that is the case as terrible as it sounds the Seanchan ae welcome to them as they have already lost their humanity.

Exactly- and well put. Men are out there dying for everyone and it feels like they are taken for granted and an afterthought.

Weird Harold
12-12-2010, 05:12 PM
@Harold and subwoofer
I'd hate to start this up again, but just because there is corruption, that doesn't mean the concept isn't sound.

The AS are servants of all and that's a valid concept that was applied fairly well in the Age of Legends and I'd say even in the beginnings of the White Tower. The Children of the Light is a sound concept as well, which again was applied fairly well in its beginning stages.

Without the corruption, there would be no conflict and no story to tell -- or at least nothing like the Story that brought us all here.

One of the things that made me a fans of the WOT was the realism about the way information lag, perceptions, and human nature interfere with decision making. The failings of the White Tower, current and past, are I feel a realistic depiction of how having a "fifth column" can undermine and divert an organization from their stated purpose.

It would be nice if Egwene could simply order a change of attitude and command competence in combat from a group who have thought they WERE competent until the Damane rubbed their noses in reality. The Reality is that Egwene made a bad choice in gaining sole authority to deal with Rand in exchange for giving over the tower's military to "a beast with 27 heads and no brains." It is a choice that seems reasonable from a civilian, political, perspective, but is disastrous from the standpoint of being able to send the army to dinner, let alone send them into combat anywhere.

GonzoTheGreat
12-13-2010, 04:22 AM
The AS are servants of all and that's a valid concept that was applied fairly well in the Age of Legends and I'd say even in the beginnings of the White Tower. The Children of the Light is a sound concept as well, which again was applied fairly well in its beginning stages. Later on, the corruption started, where the Children became paranoid, accusing, etc. That's why Galad is trying to reform them, and is doing so slowly. The names reflect what they used to be and what they should still be. It may not be reality now, but it can be. They need reform. And both groups are working on it.That may make some sense, but on the other hand: both the AS and the Whitecloaks demand respect and obedience based on what they should be, even though they are not worthy of that respect and obedience. And they are willing to torture or even kill those who do not give it.

On the other hand, both groups have shown that they are quite willing to put the fight against the Shadow to the side, if they are too busy with their pet hobbies.
The Whitecloaks did this for instance in the TR, where they focused on trying to capture Perrin who might maybe have been in the service of the Shadow*, while ignoring the forces that they knew served the DO: the Shadowspawn.
And most AS have been doing this throughout the whole series, at least from the time of the Trolloc Wars onward.

So give them the respect they are due, which is that which every human deserves, and no more. Unless they actually have shown that they are worthy of it, that they can live up to the ideals of the titles they claim.

* We know he wasn't, they had doubts.

Stronginthearm
12-13-2010, 11:40 AM
I think it's a guy thing. Men are simple:) Ladies like to complicate the snot outta things.

::ducks:: Exactly- and well put. Men are out there dying for everyone and it feels like they are taken for granted and an afterthought.

yay be simple save the world (kidding(sorta))

I think that all this about the AS not being a military organization isn't nessesarily valid, yes they aren't military but alot of that structure is to give organization and they DO have that, sitters above sisters above accepted above novices and that is ingrained into them, between even that they have defference to stronger sisters, if they would stop being such a pain about taking orders they could function well

On another note you (in general note to the quote person) have stated that they don't know much battle stuff, then you went on to say that Elayne had to teach windfinders before they could use fire, Elayne... AS... HEY maybe the AS do know some stuff about battle channeling, granted they may not be as incredible as damane but that doesn't mean they are useless, they should still be fighting, rand had Dobraine grab every man who could hold a sword see lightning and hear thunder and recruit them, the same should apply to AS we don't really have time for them to become the cream of the crop, we'll settle for anything that fills the belly

Oh and I want to get in on the football argument, Bret Farve last year with the vikings kicked *** and took names all the way to the semi finals and maybe the superbowl(cant remember right now) how badly he's doing this year I cant judge, been busy

Enigma
12-13-2010, 01:00 PM
I don't think anyone is trying to say that the Aes Sedai don't know anything about battle. They are probably the most effective fighters in using the OP after the damane. Likewise they seem to have studied battles etc.

The trouble is that the way they are set up with individual siters being able to go their own way with only loose command from the Amyrlin/Hall means its very hard to gather enough of them together to be effective in a military campaign.

Its the difference between one of us trying to ring around all our fiends to get them all in one place at the one time to do something dangerous. How many of them will agree to help but just not right now as they have something on or that its just not convenient but if we could do it next week that would be great etc.

As I said earlier my problem with the AS is not that they are not very effective fighters but rather that they don't seem to see the need. I don't want to start an Egwene bashing thread here but her attitude and most of the Sitters seems to be that their role in the battle will be to to tell everyone else what to do and while they may have go get their hands dirty that should be kept to a minimum.

Off all the AS at the moment Nynaeve was contributing the most to the battle against the shadow but what happened to her? She was recalled because she was too close to Rand and in danger of going native.

Juan
12-13-2010, 04:07 PM
Towers of Midnight, Ch. 3, pg 73
"The purpose of Aes Sedai was to serve that world."

As I said before this doesn't say serve in a military manner. It just says serve. It can include military, but it has many many more things to do other than that. The Ajah's purposes and their declarations (such as the Battle Ajah you might say) is secondary to that goal of ALL Aes Sedai. To serve.

You must stop thinking of the Aes Sedai as a military order and then you will stop demanding they go to the Borderlanders. Even if not as effective as damane or Ashaman, they are still powerful and effective in war merely to the fact they can use the One Power. But just people they have the potential to be good fighters they should then become a military order, sending forces to fight in battles? I don't think so. The Randland Ogier have a great potential to be fierce warriors in battle, especially when angered, does that mean that they are a military order with their main priority to fight? I don't see the Ogiers helping anyone (yet). And yet, people complain about the Aes Sedai but not the Ogiers..... Very inconsistent. The Ogiers CAN fight and they WILL fight, but they are NOT a military order and that isn't their PURPOSE; they fight out of necessity and need. Same with Aes Sedai: they CAN fight and they WILL fight, but they are NOT a military order and that isn't their PURPOSE; they fight out of necessity and need.

You can't forget that. Aes Sedai serve. The serving can come in many ways, but ultimately, they serve.

subwoofer
12-13-2010, 09:02 PM
yay be simple save the world (kidding(sorta))

I think that all this about the AS not being a military organization isn't nessesarily valid, yes they aren't military but alot of that structure is to give organization and they DO have that, sitters above sisters above accepted above novices and that is ingrained into them, between even that they have defference to stronger sisters, if they would stop being such a pain about taking orders they could function well

On another note you (in general note to the quote person) have stated that they don't know much battle stuff, then you went on to say that Elayne had to teach windfinders before they could use fire, Elayne... AS... HEY maybe the AS do know some stuff about battle channeling, Um... me no remember saying that. But... "Elaida was wa madwoman, and you all knew it! You knew it these last few months as she worked unwittingly to destroy us. Light, many of you probably knew it when you raised her in the first place! There have been foolish Amyrlins before, but none have come as close to tearing down the entire Tower! You are a check upon the Amyrlin. You are to keep her from doing things like this! You allowed her to disband an entire Ajah? What wer you thinking? How is it that you allowed the Tower to fall so far? And when the Dragon Reborn himself walks the land, no less!...

More ripping a strip off the Hall later...

"The Last Battle approaches, and before it arrives, I mean to see that we are once again a sword forged with strength, whole and unbroken! .... When I am finished with you, it will not be written that the White Tower was weak. Our divisions will be forgotten in the face of our victories.... And no one- man, woman, or creation of the Shadow- will see us divided again!"

Ahem, anyways, point was Egwene expects big things from her girls, and it is about time. She means to send the ladies forth to whoop ass, she called them out for being numbnuts for years, and she says "go forth and sin no more". I can live with that.
Oh and I want to get in on the football argument, Bret Farve last year with the vikings kicked *** and took names all the way to the semi finals and maybe the superbowl(cant remember right now) how badly he's doing this year I cant judge, been busy

Made it to the conference championship. They were an interception away from going to the Show. This year they lick. Many problems. Simeon Rice was a doof and waited until the season started to get surgery. The O-line leaks like a sieve- there is no pocket and the D-line has been sucking too. Allen and the Williams boys seem to be beating around the bush when it comes to sacking QBs... and the Viking secondary? Where? Am thinking the coach got bounced for a reason, the GM/ shoulda joined him.

I understand some folks think Farve is past his prime, and he is, but give him some protection and someone to throw to, he lights it up. Still. Am feeling nervous about my Gmen playing the Vikes today. Don't really want either to lose. Fantastic what happened to the Dome in Mini too. Like Dieon said- "the roof collapses, and then they send guys up there with shovels to fix it? Are they crazy?" LOL:D

The Immortal One
12-13-2010, 10:41 PM
As I said before this doesn't say serve in a military manner. It just says serve. It can include military, but it has many many more things to do other than that. The Ajah's purposes and their declarations (such as the Battle Ajah you might say) is secondary to that goal of ALL Aes Sedai. To serve.

You must stop thinking of the Aes Sedai as a military order and then you will stop demanding they go to the Borderlanders. Even if not as effective as damane or Ashaman, they are still powerful and effective in war merely to the fact they can use the One Power. But just people they have the potential to be good fighters they should then become a military order, sending forces to fight in battles? I don't think so. The Randland Ogier have a great potential to be fierce warriors in battle, especially when angered, does that mean that they are a military order with their main priority to fight? I don't see the Ogiers helping anyone (yet). And yet, people complain about the Aes Sedai but not the Ogiers..... Very inconsistent. The Ogiers CAN fight and they WILL fight, but they are NOT a military order and that isn't their PURPOSE; they fight out of necessity and need. Same with Aes Sedai: they CAN fight and they WILL fight, but they are NOT a military order and that isn't their PURPOSE; they fight out of necessity and need.

The problem is that the Aes Sedai (except for a very few - Egwene, Nynaeve, Moiraine and maybe Elayne; though she seems to be thinking more as a Queen of Andor than Aes Sedai) are not thinking of opposing the Shadow.

Yes, the Ogier aren't yet fighting either; but at least they are discussing it (and Ogier always take ages to decide to do anything; except hasty, excitable Loial). They have been discussing it since about book 2.

Yes they seemed to have almost decided that they would open the Book of Translation (before Loial got spoke), but at least they were considering. The Aes Sedai don't even have the excuse of having a way out; a Book of Translation to open; they were simply sitting around doing nothing.

Juan
12-13-2010, 11:24 PM
There's more Aes Sedai who oppose the Shadow. How about all of them? Since they all reswore the oaths and thus proclaimed aren't Darkfriends. They oppose the Shadow with their presence. But to be practical, how about Verin, Cadsuane, Alanna, Annoura, etc etc etc etc. We haven't even met all the Aes Sedai. In the same way we have a gap of 2 weeks that we're not told about what it is that Rand and others were doing, do people think he (and the others) have been doing nothing? No, for him there's all this speculation of what he's been up to etc etc. But what about the Aes Sedai? No speculation for them? Since we don't have much info on them, clearly they were doing nothing. Can you really claim the Aes Sedai have been doing nothing? I really really doubt it. Just because we're not told about Rand is doing, or all of what he's doing, doesn't mean he was doing nothing. Same with Aes Sedai. We've seen a bit from Siuan and Egwene who are in the Tower. And Siuan is not very important anymore. And Egwene.. well I won't bash her, though I want to. But we don't know anything about the rest of Aes Sedai. And as I recall there's more than 2 Aes Sedai in the world. So you can excuse the Ogier for taking their time in deciding, but you can't excuse Aes Sedai? Doesn't seem very fair...... Point is, both groups have to decide on how they will be of best use. Can't blame Aes Sedai for wanting to make the right choice, just like people aren't blaming the Ogier. In fact, I'd blame the Ogier more if anything, because at least the second the Aes Sedai decide, they could feasibly Travel to wherever. Ogier can't. So if anything they should decide sooner.

skaywalker
12-14-2010, 03:55 AM
Yes, but nobody expects the Ogier to serve them. They don't wear title which says - servants. Like, you know, some arrogant group of women ;)

It's like to expect from the masonry workers to do the job of the.... don't know what are AS exactly in modern views.... politicians?

GonzoTheGreat
12-14-2010, 05:01 AM
How often do Ogier demand that people pay them homage because they are so important?
People are respectful to Ogier because Ogier are actually worthy of respect. But that's not the same as demanding respect, is it?

How often do Ogier meddle in the politics of whichever country they happen to be in?
Not at all, as far as I know. How would the AS react if a representative of Illian tried to meddle in Tower politics, I wonder.

How many Ogier are saying that Rand must be controlled, brought to heel, imprisoned until it is time for him to die, be made to show respect, and so forth?
The closest they came to this was noting that he was still a young human, and hence prone to exitability. But he was also ta'veren, and they assumed that the Pattern had had a good reason for trusting him with that kind of power. That was in TEOTW. Even in ToM, very few AS trust Rand's ta'veren influence to do good.

But a better comparison than Ogier might be the Wise Ones. Even though those mostly serve the Aiel, not so much the rest of humanity, they would deserve the title "Servants of All" far more than almost any actual AS would. Most AS are Servants of the Tower, not Servants of All.

Juan
12-14-2010, 03:46 PM
Far as I recall the Ogier live in the same world. And they're not friendly to the Shadow. And they considered letting humans face the Shadow by itself. Whereas the AS have never considered such a thing. I'm simply trying to show you that it's really easy to go around blaming people. Blame is deserved, but not only to AS. To everyone.

Enigma
12-14-2010, 04:49 PM
Far as I recall the Ogier live in the same world. And they're not friendly to the Shadow. And they considered letting humans face the Shadow by itself. Whereas the AS have never considered such a thing. I'm simply trying to show you that it's really easy to go around blaming people. Blame is deserved, but not only to AS. To everyone.

The Ogier never claimed to be the savours of the world, never demanded that everyone pay homage to them because of the work they do. Leaving the world might be selfish but they have never made any promices to the people.

The Aes Sedai on the other hand claim to be the last hope for the light, etc. They certainly think that they should be in charge of the defence against the shadow and most are really annoyed at Rand for daring to take control of any nation. That is there job.

So what exactly have the Aes Sedai done to live up to their promices? Egwene had some justification to focusing on getting rid of the BA. Likewise she had some good reasons to spend time setting a trap for the resident forsaken. My quesion is what have they started to do since the BA were driven out? I don't buy that they had to spend all of their time on capturing Mesaana. Anyone who had ever had any position of authority knows that you often have more that one problem on your desk at the same time.

Maybe I read throught the last book too quick but the sum of Egwene and the Aes Sedai's plan seems to have been to capture/kill Mesaana and stop Rand from shattering the seals. I dont' recall any hint of what the White Tower thinks that everyone should do to stop the Shadow.

Juan
12-14-2010, 05:17 PM
Like I said, just because we're not not explicitly told what is happening, doesn't mean it isn't happening. For example, Verin was up to a lot but we weren't told what she was up to. And even now we don't know everything she did and planned-- only a few things. Same with AS. Just because we're not told everything that they're doing doesn't mean they've been sitting around doing nothing. I'm fairly certain that AS have been scheming and planning on this subject and more through this time. In fact as most of you know, it's in their very nature to scheme and plan. So in the same way everyone gives the Ogier, the Borderlanders, etc. some slack and excuses them from their failures. Excuse the AS for once for theirs (if a failure it is from you POV. I don't think they've failed in regards to helping the Borderlands).

Enigma
12-14-2010, 05:28 PM
To be fair almost from the moment we met Verrin RJ gave bucketloads of hints that there was a lot more to her that she let on.

Yes the AS plot and plan and maybe they are plotting how to help the borderlands the trouble is that A)we have seen no hint of it in the last book. Perhaps this is RJ/BS's way of keeping some surprises just as we have very few pov from Rand but so far there have always been hints that people were up to something when they were up to something.

B) Its great to plan but right now the Borderlands are being invaded. The AS need to step up to the plate soon. Otherwise they will still be planning when the trollock hoards start to descent on Tar Valon itself.

Juan
12-14-2010, 05:49 PM
Right. I agree. That's the thing though. I don't think the Aes Sedai are late as people seem to think they are in helping the Borderlanders or doing their part in the LB or whatever. But if they wait too long they will be. But they're not late yet, I don't think.

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 07:08 PM
Right. I agree. That's the thing though. I don't think the Aes Sedai are late as people seem to think they are in helping the Borderlanders or doing their part in the LB or whatever. But if they wait too long they will be. But they're not late yet, I don't think.
You, know, I think the problem with this discussion is that none of the characters seem to notice all of the signs like:

Deployment Briefing

Omniscient Narrators
Keep
Out

GonzoTheGreat
12-15-2010, 05:19 AM
Like I said, just because we're not not explicitly told what is happening, doesn't mean it isn't happening. For example, Verin was up to a lot but we weren't told what she was up to. And even now we don't know everything she did and planned-- only a few things. Same with AS. Just because we're not told everything that they're doing doesn't mean they've been sitting around doing nothing. I'm fairly certain that AS have been scheming and planning on this subject and more through this time. In fact as most of you know, it's in their very nature to scheme and plan. So in the same way everyone gives the Ogier, the Borderlanders, etc. some slack and excuses them from their failures. Excuse the AS for once for theirs (if a failure it is from you POV. I don't think they've failed in regards to helping the Borderlands).It is in AS nature to scheme and plan, yes. But another part of that is that they scheme and plan against each other, ignoring the rest of the world as "unnecessary distractions".

The truth is that in none of the books have we even gotten a hint that they have some sort of plan for Tarmon Gai'don, beyond "dig the Dragon out of the dungeon we've put him in and let him defeat the DO". They haven't managed to put the Dragon in that dungeon, yet, so I do not see how they can possibly manage the second part of their plan.

If you have any indication that they have another plan, then I would like to hear it. Otherwise the most sensible conclusion would be that they do not have any other plan for TG, because they were too busy planning for how to get (or keep) control of the WT.

Res_Ipsa
12-16-2010, 11:38 PM
Cost/benefit analysis for the AS seems the most logical choice to me. Consider that despite the best efforts of the borderlands the blight advances. One could infer that the AS were much more prevalent along the border following the Trolloc Wars when their numbers were greater. In decline however both numerically and soft/real power the AS began to focus their attentions away from the borderlands to the rest of Rand Land. That is not to see they were not a presence but as the threat of the Trollocs lessened and AS were scurrying about trying to consolidate their power their attention north waned.

Artur Paendrag Tanreall with his meteoric rise would have also further distanced the AS from the borderlands as he ended up controlling all of Randland save Tar Valon. AS presence would have conceivably ended all along the blight-border. Once the High King was dead and the war of 100 years ensued the AS would have begun to re-establish ties and the modern practice of AS advisers to rulers established or re-established depending on if it existed beforehand.

With their numbers and influence depleted following the Trolloc Wars and the War of 100 Years I would surmise that the Borderlands were once again less of a priority and it would only be much later that their need would be realized. By this time however Ishy's influence and the Black Ajah would have made it a priority to defeat any motions in the hall about keeping sisters along the border. Considering only the Green is specifically held against the Shadow it would not be inconceivable to allow that Tower Politics made a more viable presence impossible.

Rand al'Fain
12-17-2010, 12:37 AM
Cost/benefit analysis for the AS seems the most logical choice to me. Consider that despite the best efforts of the borderlands the blight advances. One could infer that the AS were much more prevalent along the border following the Trolloc Wars when their numbers were greater. In decline however both numerically and soft/real power the AS began to focus their attentions away from the borderlands to the rest of Rand Land. That is not to see they were not a presence but as the threat of the Trollocs lessened and AS were scurrying about trying to consolidate their power their attention north waned.

Artur Paendrag Tanreall with his meteoric rise would have also further distanced the AS from the borderlands as he ended up controlling all of Randland save Tar Valon. AS presence would have conceivably ended all along the blight-border. Once the High King was dead and the war of 100 years ensued the AS would have begun to re-establish ties and the modern practice of AS advisers to rulers established or re-established depending on if it existed beforehand.

With their numbers and influence depleted following the Trolloc Wars and the War of 100 Years I would surmise that the Borderlands were once again less of a priority and it would only be much later that their need would be realized. By this time however Ishy's influence and the Black Ajah would have made it a priority to defeat any motions in the hall about keeping sisters along the border. Considering only the Green is specifically held against the Shadow it would not be inconceivable to allow that Tower Politics made a more viable presence impossible.
Just to point this out, but there was about 1000 years between the Trolloc Wars and the War of 100 Years. So, that's a decent amount of time to rebuild, not to mention for other nations to pop up and take the place of the previous ones.


But back on point, I find that most of the Aes Sedai are only servants to themselves and the The White Tower. In 3000 years, most have seem to have forgotten what it means to actually be Servants to All. And these tend to be the ones that don't venture from the White Tower much, or at all, for the most part. Or, the ones that are "advisors." The ones that are in the Borderlands or with Rand and/or his allies, have a better grip of what it means to be an Aes Sedai. Especially ones like Morainne, Cadsuane, and Nynaeve seem to be leading the way.

Enigma
12-17-2010, 10:57 AM
When we are discussing how the AS will react to other groups in the future it might be worth remembering that events look like they will force them to get their hand's dirty fighting the shadowspawn. They have already had a taste of battle thanks to the Seanchan.

Once the various siters have been forced to see how things are in the real world, forge connections with soldiers who are fighting along side them etc, things might be shaken up quite a good bit with a lot of changes in how the Aes Sedai see the world and their role in it.

Nafro
12-17-2010, 11:16 AM
But back on point, I find that most of the Aes Sedai are only servants to themselves and the The White Tower. In 3000 years, most have seem to have forgotten what it means to actually be Servants to All.

Ones like Morainne, Cadsuane, and Nynaeve seem to be leading the way.

This is 100% correct, and, sadly, Egwene personifies the conceited, self serving Aes Sedai. I have high hopes that the trio mentioned above (the TRUE Aes Sedai) knocks some sense into her.

Res_Ipsa
12-17-2010, 12:07 PM
This is 100% correct, and, sadly, Egwene personifies the conceited, self serving Aes Sedai. I have high hopes that the trio mentioned above (the TRUE Aes Sedai) knocks some sense into her.

Of the three mentioned 2 tried controlling him until they learned the folly of it. Only Nynaeve did not but she thought he was being plenty stupid as a man. Comes from a matriarchal world where ultimate power is vested in women bc the male source of ultimate power was corrupted for so long.

Rand al'Fain
12-17-2010, 01:10 PM
Of the three mentioned 2 tried controlling him until they learned the folly of it. Only Nynaeve did not but she thought he was being plenty stupid as a man. Comes from a matriarchal world where ultimate power is vested in women bc the male source of ultimate power was corrupted for so long.
Of the first 2, Morainne had been thinking she would get the Dragon Reborn into the White Tower, and then look into fulfilling the prophecies by guiding him and keeping him safe. Obviously, that did not work out, but for the better at least. She learned from her mistakes, but her ultimate goal though, was to help the Dragon Reborn.

As for Cadsuane, she was brought into be his advisor, but Rand wouldn't listen to much of what she said, be it good or bad advice, until his epiphany. She also has much more sense than most other Aes Sedai, espeically those in the Tower.

Nynaeve, I think her thing comes from her being like an older sister to him that constantly worried about Rand, along with Mat and Perrin as well. Did she think that men "think only with the hair on our chests,"? Sure. But she would also give credit to men like Tam and Rand. But she always cared and always wanted to heal people, no matter their lot in life.

These are what sets these 3 apart from most other Aes Sedai in the world.

csarmi
12-17-2010, 02:32 PM
Pevara
Saerin
Seaine
Romanda
Egwene
Sashalle
Corele
Nesune
Egwene

just to name a few Aes Sedai who are no fools

The Immortal One
12-17-2010, 04:39 PM
THE DRAGON REBORN
Chapter 23 - Sealed

A note of pride entered Alanna's voice. "In the Trolloc Wars, we were often called the Battle Ajah. All Aes Sedai helped where and when they could, but the Green Ajah alone was always with the armies, in almost every battle. We were the counter to the Dreadlords. The Battle Ajah.

See this is what I want the Aes Sedai to do. Only what they have done before. And yet half of the Borderlands have been overrun.

Like you said, the Aes Sedai have Travelling now. They could be at the battlefield by tomorrow, they could send the badly injured back to the Tower to be healed - even to recuperate (the Tower has lots of extra rooms which haven't been used in a thousand years).

And now we stand ready, for the Trollocs to come south again, for Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle. We will be there. That is what it means to be Green Ajah."

But this is my biggest problem. They 'stand ready' but they don't actually do anything. They say they 'will' be there but they aren't; yet.

I don't really want to bash the Aes Sedai, RJ did a great job at portraying them. But finally the thing they have been waiting for three thousand years to happen is actually happening; and they do nothing. I could understand it if everything happened suddenly, but from Egwene's PoV the Aes Sedai have known that the Last Battle is coming; they have all seen the Pattern unravelling, they have all seen ghosts in the halls of the Tower. But what have they done?

GonzoTheGreat
12-17-2010, 05:14 PM
But what have they done?They stood ready. That's what it means to be Green Ajah.

You already quoted that, so why did you even need to ask? :p

Rand al'Fain
12-17-2010, 07:49 PM
Pevara
Saerin
Seaine
Romanda
Egwene
Sashalle
Corele
Nesune
Egwene

just to name a few Aes Sedai who are no fools
You put Eggy twice. And she's become a class A b*tch to her friends. I also never said she was a fool, just incredibly arrogant and is falling more and more into the mind set of being a servant to the White Tower and herself only, like most other Aes Sedai.

Kimon
12-17-2010, 08:21 PM
Pevara
Saerin
Seaine
Romanda
Egwene
Sashalle
Corele
Nesune
Egwene

just to name a few Aes Sedai who are no fools

Egwene is obviously the most controversial of those on that list, since on Egwene we tend to fall into three patterns of opinion - she's awesome; she's okay, but too focused on the tower; she's a vainglorious diva, that's suffering from Elaida-syndrome.

Romanda is also a bit of an odd selection, but overall, she's certainly no worse than Egwene.

I'd add a couple of names though:

Moiraine (obviously)
Nynaeve (obviously)
Verin (dead, but while alive, obviously deserving of mention)
Siuan
Cadsuane
Tarna (poor Tarna...)
Silviana
Teslyn
Janya
Merana

endymion
12-18-2010, 11:29 PM
The White Tower, like almost all organization, starts out with a noble goal like guarding and defending the people against the Shadow. But after 3000 years, they have lost sight of their original goals. They consider the white tower to be the center of the world instead of serving it. So, they are more concerned about internal politics than anyone else. This is why the most useful Aes Sedais, like Moraine and Cadsuane, are the ones who have left the White Tower for an extended amount of time.

feydrutha
12-20-2010, 05:05 PM
EDIT: @Weird Harold - I agree completely that the Black Ajah probably hurt the White Tower, but whose fault is that? They allowed it to happen. When it can be fixed with a simple "I am not a Darkfriend" after OathRodding, you have to wonder why they don't do it as a standard operating procedure. Why not include an Oath "Never serve the Dark One"?

For the same reason that the DO has not been doing 13+13 to all the channelers in randland? Because it would make one side win too easily. The problem with this type of plot device (oath rods, 13+13, compulsion, etc) is that if you can compel people to do your bidding, or even just to say the truth, you win. It completely breaks any double-agent plot, treason, etc (well, almost completely, verin managed to get away with it, but you can bet it's not going to work a second time).

GonzoTheGreat
12-21-2010, 03:54 AM
For the same reason that the DO has not been doing 13+13 to all the channelers in randland? Because it would make one side win too easily. The problem with this type of plot device (oath rods, 13+13, compulsion, etc) is that if you can compel people to do your bidding, or even just to say the truth, you win. It completely breaks any double-agent plot, treason, etc (well, almost completely, verin managed to get away with it, but you can bet it's not going to work a second time).Well, not really. All it would require the Shadow to do is make up a new type of followers of the DO, one that is not considered "Darkfriends". Then the BA could be stuffed into that new type, they could honestly say "I am not a Darkfriend", and everyone would be happy.

feydrutha
12-21-2010, 07:00 AM
Well, not really. All it would require the Shadow to do is make up a new type of followers of the DO, one that is not considered "Darkfriends". Then the BA could be stuffed into that new type, they could honestly say "I am not a Darkfriend", and everyone would be happy.

And the good guys could use multiple questions to dig into whether they are BA or not, and change some of them on the spot for each interrogation. Honestly, the oath rod trick to weed out the BA is so obvious any half competent AS should have thought of it.

My point is that this type of plot device is very risky for an author to use, because it can become a cheap and easy shortcut compared to using real character-development, psychology, investigation, etc. In fantasy world-building you can completely replace the real physics for your own magical version, but you still have to work with human nature, and changing core facts like "you cannot see what is in another's head" and "you cannot (directly) change what is in another's head" has to be done very carefully.

I think anyone who has played dungeon master in an RPG and has let the players obtain any such power knows how much of a mess that will lead to.

Belazamon
12-21-2010, 02:00 PM
Apropos of not much, I persist in misreading the title of this thread as "Why don't the AS help the Borderlanders move?" Which just leads to mental images of Elaida pulling up in her pickup, and sitting back with Agelmar and a six-pack after the castle is all loaded up.