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Juan
12-02-2010, 06:29 PM
For those who may not know yet, I'm Bladesoar, except I didn't like my old name, so I changed it to this one; much more simple...

I haven't seen a thread about this, so I thought I'd introduce this, which by the way has been nagging at me for some time. Have any of you noticed the two different views on the world and yet, how they're both right? From the way the world was introduced to us, mainly from the POV from the Randland characters, etc, we believe what they believe of the world, etc. Yet, it seems that RJ purposely did this to sort of crash our beliefs by introducing the Seanchan and showing how their views on the world are also right.

For example, Tuon and the rest of the Seanchan think ta'veren is a ridiculous superstition. Especially when the Aes Sedai bring it up about Mat (I believe it was) in front of Tuon. Also, although this is slowly being disproved, Tuon thought Trollocs and the sort were fairy tales and more superstitions. I can't think of any more such examples, but I'm sure there are more.

On the other hand, Mat and rest of the Randlanders who have had interaction with the Seanchan think the Seanchan ways of reading omens are the most ridiculous superstitions of all time. At first I agreed, I was like, "these Seanchan are crazy; they believe that because a mouse ran by and was eaten by a snake that this means ___. Or that a cloudy day means hard decisions or whatever." And yet they dismiss things such as ta'veren and other important stuff that we know about the world?

But slowly, we began to see these omens of theirs are true and not so ridiculous. I would think they were stupid for dismissing the whole ta'veren thing as a superstition, but it seems both sides are right. The omens come true and they do mean something in this world. As does the whole ta'veren thing, etc. So RJ has both sides mentalities as being faulty and their views on the world to be incomplete. To fully understand the world, it seems we have to understand both the Seanchan and the Randlanders. I wonder if there's even more about the world we don't know or can't understand because we know little about them: such as the Sharans, Land of Madmen, etc.

skaywalker
12-03-2010, 03:35 AM
My problem with the Seanchan is not their omens. It's the society that bothers me, the whole slavery thing etc. damane and da'covale.

The Immortal One
12-03-2010, 04:33 AM
Yes, I really liked when Mat and Tuon were travelling together adn Tuon saw a bird (I don't remember if it was a specific type) circle around Mat's head three times.

She saw an omen that meant "stay the course, follow this person", but from a larger perspective I would say that Mat's Ta'veren-ness caused the bird to circle like that so that Tuon would do what the Pattern needed her to.

morat'corlm
12-03-2010, 04:48 AM
That was surely played for laughs.
“Thank you,” she told him politely. “I think I’ve heard enough.” Ta’veren. Ridiculous. These people and their endless superstitions! A small brown bird, surely a finch, flew out of a tall oak and circled widdershins three times above Toy’s head before flying on. She had found her omen. Stay close to Toy. Not that she had any intention of doing otherwise. She had given her word, playing the game as it had to be played, and she had never broken her word in her life.

Speaking as one of the few pro-Seanchan posters here at the moment, I'd disagree with the notion that their omens are in any way meaningful. Although the notion that the Pattern is making them appear is interesting.
“Obviously, Selucia miscounted with the ants,” Tuon said, placing a white stone on the board with that oddly graceful arching of her fingers. Selucia, watching over her shoulder in a white blouse and divided brown skirts, nodded.

WinespringBrother
12-03-2010, 07:56 AM
Well, the Seanchan do have one thing in their favor, they drink a civilized beverage :D

Juan
12-03-2010, 01:11 PM
@skaywalker
There's thing I like and don't like about the Seanchan society. I'm not a big fan about slavery or their damane either. But I do admire how important honesty and honor is for them. But then again there's also little things that bother me, such as not meeting a higher ranked person's eyes, all the assassinations, etc. Probably what bothers me the most though is their invasion of Randland and the fact that they think they own the place.

@The Immortal One
I'm not sure. I believe I read somewhere that the omens are like "reading the pattern" or "signs of the pattern" or something like that. And ta'veren is of course related to the pattern, so while the two are obviously related to the pattern, I think they are pretty independent from each other apart from that. Meaning that I don't think that (in this specific case at least) being ta'veren changed or influenced the appearance of omens in any way. Remember the Seanchan get their omens randomly and anywhere. For example the whole thing when Tuon saw the omen about hard decisions to come.

@morat'corlm
As cheesy and obvious as they are (and although I don't believe in superstitions in the real world), I think RJ made these omens as a real thing for THIS world. Some simple and some slightly more complex omens, they all have meant something so far as we can see.

@WinespringBrother
Don't forget the cutest most fashionable bracelets and collars the women like wearing.

Fie
12-04-2010, 05:12 AM
I "like" the Seanchan.
They are like reminders of and make one questioning various things. And they could be a call to tolerance.
Their superstition, the slavery, the not-looking-into-the-eyes, ....
How far away are we really from those things ourselves ? Even not considering countries, in which those things quite literally exist, can we be sure that from the perspective of someone looking back from, say, the year 2510, our religious constructs, things like crossing oneself, priests blessing people, the baptizing of children, thinks like our whishing somebody "good luck", maybe even things like us voting our governments,.... won´t be, in good old WoT mannerisms sniffed at as superstition ? Will not someone someday call today´s people who work hard in jobs they despise and don´t have time for themselves, kids etc. just to pay mortgage, taxes, credit card interest... slaves? People who see bad things done in their companies but keep quiet out of fear to lose their job? Doctors who don´t give their patients the medicine etc. they´d need because of fear of restriction ? (Arguably they might be called darkfriend as well, though^^)
And the not-looking-into-the-eyes, well, maybe not so literally, but, as of today, and not just in some obscure dictator-style-run state, how many people are there who are afraid to talk to officials, policemen, bosses, "people of power",.. real or percieved, not on an eye-to-eye-level ? I think far too much.

I think the "Seanchan-concept" might draw so much antipathy, not because we are so far and elevated from it, but because, indeed, we despise and fear slavery and the like and, deep down inside, know that we aren´t so far away from it as we´d like to think.

Then, in addition, as somebody said, while having things we hate like slavery, they do value things like honour, that most of us can or want to identify ourselves with. So this would be a hint at "look, no society/state/whatever" is just bad, don´t wipe them out righting yourself with they have slaves, they are bad, they have to go", look behind that, people like you, and they think they are right, take a look at yourselves, you think, you´re right, but couldn´t you yourselves be just horribly wrong over some things, as well, if they, people with a strong feeling of honour, are ?

Oh, well, I think you get the direction, I cannot say and explain my thoughts well enough, my english fails me, sadly.

TankSpill
12-04-2010, 10:20 AM
The problem I have is that their entire way of life, their entire power structure, and their entire system of beliefs is based on slavery, and the damane/sul'dam/a'dam issue. The Seanchan aren't honor-bound people who have a good inherent moral code, who just happen to own slaves - they are a society in which the owning and possession of these slaves leads to literally every action that every person in their nation takes.

morat'corlm
12-04-2010, 10:28 AM
Are the nations of Randland not based on the abuse of commoners? Do you not think that the power structures look awfully oppressive from the point of view… oh, wait. Our heroes are nobles and Aes Sedai, manipulators of thrones, and ta'veren, exempt from all laws social, economic, and physical. Our heroes are the oppressors. Why should we care if the Seanchan are too, again? Just because they're encroaching on our heroes' turf?

This fixation on the word ‘slave’ as if what you call mistreatment of those in a lower class makes the slightest bit of difference is rather tiresome.

Juan
12-04-2010, 10:44 AM
@Fie, TankSpill, morat'corlm
You are missing the point of this thread. I didn't want it to turn into a discussion of our ethical, religious, social, or political beliefs and applying them to the WOT world. That would eventually lead to a massive flame war and simply go in circles. I want to respond to you SO BADLY but I will constrain myself because if not, I'll be contradicting myself with what I just said by joining in. It is an intellectual discussion, but not one that I wish to join in a WOT forum.

So, this conversation is more about the actual WOT world and the beliefs of different parties--- specifically their superstitions, ta'vereness, etc. And how that could possibly be pieces to the puzzle of understanding the WOT world better. As we've seen, both sides in this aspect seem to be right. So, if we try understanding the Seanchan's beliefs in THIS aspect better, could we understand the WOT world better? And what if we were to be exposed to the Sharan's "superstitions," would we then get an even fuller picture of the WOT world?

morat'corlm
12-04-2010, 11:00 AM
I'll refrain from posting any further about politics here.As we've seen, both sides in this aspect seem to be right. So, if we try understanding the Seanchan's beliefs in THIS aspect better, could we understand the WOT world better? And what if we were to be exposed to the Sharan's "superstitions," would we then get an even fuller picture of the WOT world?But both sides do not seem to be right. Jordan has shown us that the Seanchan omens are either highly fallible (the insect trick which failed to predict the weather in KOD) or exceedingly vague, which allows them to be matched to whatever decision the viewer makes (the bird in KOD, the rats in TGS, the clouds in TGS, the owl in TOM). It's silly, and often clearly played for laughs, and does not seem to be genuinely predictive beyond the level of the hokum fortunetellers in our world produce.

As I said, I'm intrigued by the notion that the Pattern put the symbols there for the Seanchan characters to interpret, but, look, the writer put the symbols there and had the Seanchan interpret them. There's no proof of prophecy there, so far.

GonzoTheGreat
12-04-2010, 11:04 AM
About that insect trick: wasn't that about the same time that Nynaeve's weather sense also was untrustworthy once again, because the DO was playing with the weather?

morat'corlm
12-04-2010, 11:29 AM
There was a storm coming. Nynaeve felt it. A big storm, worse than she had ever seen. She could listen to the wind, and hear what the weather would be. All Wisdoms claimed to be able to do that, though many could not. Nynaeve had felt more comfortable with the ability before learning it was a manifestation of the Power. Any woman who could listen to the wind could channel, though most were probably as she had been, unaware of what she was doing, getting it only in fits and starts.

This time, though, something was wrong. Outside, the morning sun was a golden ball in a clear blue sky, and birds sang in the gardens, but that was not it. There would have been nothing to listening to the wind if she could not foretell the weather before the signs were visible. There was something wrong with the feeling this time, something not quite the way it usually was. The storm felt distant, too far off for her to feel at all. Yet it felt as if the sky above should have been pouring down rain, and snow, and hail, all at the same time, with winds howling to shake the stones of the keep. And she could feel the good weather, too, lasting for days yet, but that was muted under the other.That was 600+ days beforehand. You'd think she'd have gotten used to that. (http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/7152/stormsense.jpg)

The Immortal One
12-04-2010, 12:05 PM
@Fie, TankSpill, morat'corlm
You are missing the point of this thread. I didn't want it to turn into a discussion of our ethical, religious, social, or political beliefs and applying them to the WOT world. That would eventually lead to a massive flame war and simply go in circles. I want to respond to you SO BADLY but I will constrain myself because if not, I'll be contradicting myself with what I just said by joining in. It is an intellectual discussion, but not one that I wish to join in a WOT forum.

Well, in that case - to be clear - what I said before about the bird flying around Mat's head three times being taken as an omen by Tuon; I think this was simply a ta'veren swirling of the Pattern to convince Tuon that she had to stay near Mat.

I think it was entirely ta'veren-ness, and that most, if not all, of the Seanchan omens are rubbish.

Though that could simply be prejudice. I believe in many things which most people might consider odd or unlikely, but attaching supernatural meaning to entirely natural events (like the flight path of a bird, or the time it takes for a line of ants to rejoin their trail) seems a little stupid to me (sorry, I don't mean to be offensive to anyone who believes in omens like these).

TankSpill
12-04-2010, 01:37 PM
@ TankSpill
You are missing the point of this thread. I didn't want it to turn into a discussion of our ethical, religious, social, or political beliefs and applying them to the WOT world.

My bad, I apologize.

I think morat is correct - both sides are not right. The 'omens' as the Seanchan see them don't seem to make much sense in-world. The Seanchan also have beliefs that are factually incorrect, such as their unwillingness to accept that shadowspawn exist, until they see them for themself. As has been said previously, almost every time Seanchan omens have been brought up, it has been used in some sort of humorous irony - much like Nynaeve's thoughts on violence:

"Men always seemed to think violence could solve anything. If she had had a stout stick, she would have thumped all three of them about the shoulders until they saw reason."

It's simply a way to show us how out of touch the character(s) is/are with the world in which they live. Mix that in with the fact that anyone who sees 'omens' around a ta'veren, is likely just seeing what the Pattern wants them to see, and you have the makings of a belief system that doesn't make a lot of sense.

Therefore, I don't think the Randlanders could really learn a lot from looking at the Seanchan omens. To go back to your original post, the Randlanders looking at the omens as ridiculous is likely not too far off the mark, while the Seanchan looking at the Randlanders' beliefs as superstition is just naivety and lack of forethought.

Juan
12-04-2010, 11:03 PM
I'm not so sure the Seanchan omens are fake. It seems that some of you are trying to apply the laws and rules of the real world to the WOT world. You can't make this mistake. In the real world, I definitely in no way believe in omens or superstitions or luck. But I understand that in the same way there is no channeling or One Power or any other fictional rules of the world, etc in our World, there is still channeling, the One Power, and other fictional things in the WOT world. Likewise, in the same way there are no omens like the Seanchan have in our world, I'm not sure they're nonexistent in the WOT world. I think we should ask Harriet or BS; I'm sure they could give us an answer to this sort of question.

TankSpill
12-05-2010, 12:24 AM
I'm not so sure the Seanchan omens are fake. It seems that some of you are trying to apply the laws and rules of the real world to the WOT world. You can't make this mistake. In the real world, I definitely in no way believe in omens or superstitions or luck. But I understand that in the same way there is no channeling or One Power or any other fictional rules of the world, etc in our World, there is still channeling, the One Power, and other fictional things in the WOT world. Likewise, in the same way there are no omens like the Seanchan have in our world, I'm not sure they're nonexistent in the WOT world. I think we should ask Harriet or BS; I'm sure they could give us an answer to this sort of question.

I'm actually not applying rules from the 'real world' - I'm applying rules that RJ set forth about the Wheel of Time, where he set up the ta'veren system as an in-world Magnetic Plot Device (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MagneticPlotDevice). Anything that happens in that world can and must be attributed to ta'veren effects, and the Pattern making its 'Will' (if such a thing exists) known. Therefore, by nature of how the Pattern, the Lace of Ages, and ta'veren work, the omens Tuon sees necessarily cannot be attributed to anything other than the effects of the Pattern weaving her (and her 'omens') into its Lace of Ages.

Frenzy
12-05-2010, 12:42 AM
i think people are mistaking the Seanchan Omens as having a causal effect on the Pattern. They don't; they're just signs. Matt putting his hat on the table in the Hell didn't make the attack happen, it was just a sign. The owl hooting before the crossbow attack didn't kill that army, it was just a sign. The big red octagon on a pole doesn't make you stop, your brakes do. It was just a sign. If you know how to read the signs, you can predict what's going to happen with a certain degree of accuracy. But the signs themselves don't cause things to happen.

finn
12-05-2010, 06:28 AM
I think there might be something to the Seanchan omens too. It fits the pattern, pardon the pun.

Enigma
12-05-2010, 09:51 AM
I wonder how much of the omens are really just random signs that give 'dutch courage' to certain characters to go ahead with what they have already decided to do.

Tuon got the fortelling Mat fit all the criteria and she decided to get to know him. She sees omens and they pretty much fit with what she had in mind. If she had decided that he had to be confiend to a dungeon in Ebou Dar would she have read the omens different.

Going back to the original post I do think that RJ was trying to show a people who not only have strange customs but who have a completly different mind set.

If Randland proper was like 17th century Europe I think that the Seanchan were meant to have an oriental mindset which before we all started watching the same TV programs was quite different.

Juan
12-05-2010, 04:19 PM
i think people are mistaking the Seanchan Omens as having a causal effect on the Pattern. They don't; they're just signs. Matt putting his hat on the table in the Hell didn't make the attack happen, it was just a sign. The owl hooting before the crossbow attack didn't kill that army, it was just a sign. The big red octagon on a pole doesn't make you stop, your brakes do. It was just a sign. If you know how to read the signs, you can predict what's going to happen with a certain degree of accuracy. But the signs themselves don't cause things to happen.

Exactly. I'm not saying the omens cause anything like for example being ta'veren does. I'm saying they're signs you can read that will tell you little information about the pattern/world/events in the WOT world.

Fie
12-06-2010, 03:15 AM
I'm not so sure the Seanchan omens are fake. It seems that some of you are trying to apply the laws and rules of the real world to the WOT world. You can't make this mistake. In the real world, I definitely in no way believe in omens or superstitions or luck. But I understand that in the same way there is no channeling or One Power or any other fictional rules of the world, etc in our World, there is still channeling, the One Power, and other fictional things in the WOT world. Likewise, in the same way there are no omens like the Seanchan have in our world, I'm not sure they're nonexistent in the WOT world. I think we should ask Harriet or BS; I'm sure they could give us an answer to this sort of question.
Oh yes, there are. But I won´t refer to real world, you don´t wanted like discussion, if I hopefully read you correctly.

OK, then let´s suppose the omens aren´t "fake".
Things like channeling, prophecies, Taveren effects, most probably Min´s viewings, work with anybody and in any land, it seems. If the Seanchan omens were "real", would really nobody from Randland ever have noticed and used that ?
The Seanchan do acknowledge that there´s something like channeling, even if they take a radically different approach, they do have and believe in prophecies...I don´t find it very convincing that Randlanders wouldn´t have got the omen thing if it was for real, I mean, the same "laws of physic" ;) have to go for all of WoTland, or not?
Of course, it could be, it just doesn´t seem probable to me, so, yes, in the end it can be just certified by knowing how Robert Jordan intended it to be, so do ask, If you will.
I never saw it as anything other than describing and setting apart the foreign secluded Seanchan people from Main-Randlanders, but I´m seeing your argument and as I now know there are people who think the omens might be for real, I might not be able to rest in peace until I know for sure.
You know, actually, I would find it to be a nice touch, if the omen were for real,so thanks for bringing it up, I just don´t see it to be so.
I hope somebody who won´t be ignored will ask and there will be a definite answer, which I´ll look for, will accept and live happily ever after :)

endymion
12-06-2010, 09:12 AM
I think the entire Seanchan society kind of screw up. They claim that they are the descendants of Artur Hawkwing, yet they use objects connected with the One Power. If I remember correctly, Hawkwing does not like anything connected with the One Power.

GonzoTheGreat
12-06-2010, 10:38 AM
I think the entire Seanchan society kind of screw up. They claim that they are the descendants of Artur Hawkwing, yet they use objects connected with the One Power. If I remember correctly, Hawkwing does not like anything connected with the One Power.Which, come to think of it, describes Mat quite well.

Grig
12-06-2010, 11:22 AM
I think the entire Seanchan society kind of screw up. They claim that they are the descendants of Artur Hawkwing, yet they use objects connected with the One Power. If I remember correctly, Hawkwing does not like anything connected with the One Power.

Not really. He didn't like Aes Sedai, as Ishamael manipulated situations to turn him against them (as well as the Amyrlin being...well...the Amyrlin). There is no indication that he did not like anything connected with the One Power. And seeing as how he hated and mistrusted Aes Sedai, collaring channelers and forcing obedience seems more like the logical endpoint of his feelings towards Aes Sedai than something out of character (or as you put it "kind of screw up").

dpt24
12-06-2010, 03:21 PM
The Seanchan were sent over due to Ishy's manipulations... so...

The Seanchan are a mixture of communist and asian cultures and beliefs more than anything... and if you look at the WoT and compare it to WWII, you've got Randland+Aiel (Allies) Shadow(Axis) and Seanchan (Soviet Union).

I really don't see very much good about the Seanchan. I like Egwene more than Tuon... hell, I'd trust Elayne before I trusted Tuon... And while there is some "stability" in their lands, there's also even more politicing than in Carahien.

morat'corlm
12-06-2010, 07:14 PM
I think this is the first time I've heard the claim that WOT is an elaborate allegory for World War II.

Juan
12-06-2010, 07:52 PM
@Fie
I'm with you friend, except in the reverse. For me I thought it was pretty obvious that the omens were real and the Randlanders simply ignorant of them, whereas the Seanchan were simply ignorant of ta'veren. I was surprised to see there were people who didn't think the omens were real haha. It's all good, though, that's the beauty of these forums. Someone definitely needs to ask!

@endymion
Yes, the Seanchan society is screw-up but as has been pointed out not because of Hawking necessarily. It's more so because of the fact that they think channelers need to be leashed and yet those who control that leash have the potential to channel. And they knew the truth of this back in the day, but that info has probably been lost. So once they begin realizing this (as they have already) they might realize how ridiculous their position is, though that doesn't mean they'll change their ways.

@Gonzo
Good old Mat haha.

@Grig
You would be 100% if it weren't for the fact that the adam requires the use of a potential channeler or actual channeler, so that's still "out of character."

@dpt24
I agree with morat'corlm in that this is the first time I've heard that haha. While interesting, I really doubt it. Seanchan is not communist, but they do have asian roots. I do agree completely though with your distrust of Tuon. I trust her as person so to speak because she has proven honest so far, but I don't trust her actions (such as the attack on the White Tower (even though much good came from that) and the invasion of Randland. I agree there is some stability within their empires but disagree about the more politics. No way they have more than Cairhien. What the Seanchan have is more assassinations and things along those lines (which is worst in my opinion). I'm not a big fan of the Seanchan and I want them out of Randland as said many times before.

Weird Harold
12-06-2010, 08:40 PM
i think people are mistaking the Seanchan Omens as having a causal effect on the Pattern. They don't; they're just signs. Matt putting his hat on the table in the Hell didn't make the attack happen, it was just a sign. The owl hooting before the crossbow attack didn't kill that army, it was just a sign. The big red octagon on a pole doesn't make you stop, your brakes do. It was just a sign. If you know how to read the signs, you can predict what's going to happen with a certain degree of accuracy. But the signs themselves don't cause things to happen.

This^^^

The Seanchan -- or more precisely, Tuon's -- reliance on Omens is drawn from Imperial China and the practice of appointing Court Astrologers and other interpreters of signs and portents to advise on the timing of important decisions.

The art of Feng Shua(sp) is a related reliance on signs/portents/omens/etc.

Also, the WOT is an Epic Fantasy rooted in the concept of "the world works as people believe it does." In the case of Omens being a reliable 'guide to life,' Tuon believes in Omens and guides her life by them, and the Pattern provides those Omens that will guide Tuon to the course the Pattern requires. Other people may not have as much success following Omens because they are not as important to the Pattern -- not being subjects of Prophecy as Tuon and Mat are.

It probably isn't necessary for the Pattern to arrange Omens and Portents to cater to Tuon's beliefs, but her belief makes it a convenient method for the Pattern to steer her into her predestined role.

morat'corlm
12-06-2010, 08:47 PM
It occurs to me that the omens might simply be a distorted residue of the tradition of Dreaming, which as we know needs to be interpreted, and which was probably lost after the destruction of the Seanchan Aes Sedai. In a Dream, an owl hooting might very well have signified death, or a pair of rats eating each others' tails doom, or anything, and perhaps writings of that sort of thing, like Egwene's diary, have survived.

But I'm going to have to disagree with Weird Harold's take that "the WOT is an Epic Fantasy rooted in the concept of "the world works as people believe it does."" In the 'real world', there's no proof that the omens mean anything, and I don't think the world (as opposed to Tel'aran'rhiod) is mutable in that way.

ShadowLord
12-06-2010, 09:33 PM
what Harald said.

Juan
12-06-2010, 10:43 PM
I'm see the point you're trying to make Harold, but maybe I'm taking this too literally, but the world doesn't work as people believe it does. If I took your point to a bit of an extreme, you can see how this wouldn't apply: If Rand believed balefiring someone caused the world to duplicate itself and create a clone world, that doesn't mean it would happen. There ARE laws RJ created for the WOT world that have to be followed.

Fie
12-07-2010, 01:54 AM
@Fie
I'm with you friend, except in the reverse. .... It's all good, though, that's the beauty of these forums.


Sometimes it's really funny how the same things are so differently read. And I agree, that's part of the draw of the forums. If everybody thought the same as I when reading WoT or whatever there would be no point in coming here : ) different perspectives are always interesting. Nothing's so boring as discussing or theorizing with people who think the same as oneself : )

Another "reverse thinking accident" for me in following quote:
Of course I agree that there's much in the Seanchan society that has to be altered BUT I would trust Tuon above Egwene or Elayne anytime :D


....
I really don't see very much good about the Seanchan. I like Egwene more than Tuon... hell, I'd trust Elayne before I trusted Tuon... And while there is some "stability" in their lands, there's also even more politicing than in Carahien.

Juan
12-07-2010, 02:13 AM
@Fie
Yeah definitely! Except now we're agreeing about the beauty of these forums... so I guess we can't talk now.... haha

But really though, I'm split on Tuon. I like her but I don't. I like her cause she's with Mat, but I hate how she thinks she's the best human being alive and how everyone should bow down to her. Even so, I would definitely trust Tuon over Egwene though. Tuon is a much more capable leader it seems (even if I may not agree with all her ideals and policies). In fact I like Elayne, I don't see why people have such a problem with her. Sure she's not the most interesting character to read and may be boring often times, but that's no real reason to DISLIKE her.. on the other hand, we have ample reasons to dislike Egwene... :P

Fie
12-07-2010, 02:55 AM
may I add that trusting / liking and mistrustin/disliking are no "pairs" for me. I could easily name some people I DO like but wouldn't trust and vice versa...
Tuon, arrogant as she might seem/is, is quite straight-forward and honest and has this honour and face-losing thing etc. so I'd expect her to do as she says when acting with her, no Aes-Sedai tricks. I think she'd really go lengths in keeping a treaty/promise/whatever if she made one. You know where you stand with her. With Egwene or Elayne, well, I can easily see them "adapting" everything to their plans and ends (not as in selfishly, of course, they do it all for the best of the world or so they think) - I'm their best friend since kindergarten, but have an idea that another plan might be better ? Never mind, if she can't "guide" me to think the same as she, she'd put me in a WT dungeon until after Tarmon Gaidon, so I can tell nobody and sway them from her Amyrlin way of doing things...
Tuon would never put me in the Midnight Tower dungeons if I was her best friend from kindergarten! ^^
Well, this doesn't describe or explain well enough, just a hunch of my feelings.
That does not mean that I don't like Egwene or Elayne. I just wouldn't trust them. That even doesn't mean that I think their way is wrong, just had to comment on the trust issue, because for me, I really feel exactly the other way round. Maybe I've got to many strange friends :)
Of course, many now would say "hahhah. better watch your back with your trusted seanchan friends and family" but still :p
Regarding Elayne, I don't especially like her, but I do not not like her either.
I'm tired of the fuss about her pregnancy, but that comes with her position and is not her "fault". As most other irritating things about her probably.
To link this with the Seanchan/Tuon theme this thread is for: I prefer the Seanchan way of raising/being a queen/emperess. If I had to choose I'd rather spend my time with Tuon than Egwene or Elayne, I think it would be much more cooler and funnier.
And just imagine Tuon being pregnant - I'm sure she wouldn't in the least let herself be affected by that-mood swings?nonsense! well, ok, I admit, that there would probably be thousands of omens to be taken into regard though... ;)
Egwene, now, I like Egwene, but I like Tuon more and I'd trust Tuon the most out of those three, I won't take my word back in this. :)

Weird Harold
12-07-2010, 04:07 AM
If I took your point to a bit of an extreme, you can see how this wouldn't apply: If Rand believed ...

But that would be an example of the world working as a person believes, not "as the PEOPLE believe." :D

The key point is that it is the massed belief of the people that affects the way the world works. Even Herid Fel understood this within the WoT.

She [Min] put down Ponderings and picked up Thoughts Among the Ruins, a work from over a thousand years ago. She'd marked a place with a small slip of paper, the very same now-worn note that Herid had sent to Rand shortly before the murder. Min turned it over in her fingers, reading it again.

Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build. Will explain when see you next. Do not bring girl. Too pretty.


Herid Fel's note is quoted in several other places but tGS is where the emphasis on the connection between Order and Resistance to the DO's Touch is really made obvious.

There's a lot more to the literary/Epic Fantasy concept of a universe that operates as the characters in it believe it does -- Discworld is an extreme example of a world base on the concept.

In the specific case of Omens and Portents among the Seanchan, enough Seanchan believe in Omens that Omens do work -- For the Seanchan who believe in them.

Green Man 22
12-07-2010, 10:59 AM
The Seanchan are a mixture of communist and asian cultures and beliefs more than anything... and if you look at the WoT and compare it to WWII, you've got Randland+Aiel (Allies) Shadow(Axis) and Seanchan (Soviet Union).

I think the Seanchan appear much more like a mixture of Chinese and Japanese culture.

As someone else mentioned, the use of court astrologers and other things like omens is likely drawn from China. Their were also distinct class divisions in early China.

Japanese influences appear obvious, with similar class divisions, an Empress (looked at as almost a god), and the Samurai warrior culture. I have always pictured the Seanchan "insect-like" helmets to look like various versions of the Samurai helmet.

Juan
12-07-2010, 04:20 PM
@Fie
Sorry I misread you it seems. I responded as if the person you quoted was your own words. Didn't realize you were quoting (lack of sleep due to finals=reduced ability to think haha). And yeah, I'm not a huge Tuon fan and I don't hate her, but I would definitely trust her over Egwene, and even though I actually like Elayne, even probably her because as Aes Sedai, they've learned to twist the truth, and I'm not sure Tuon would do that.

@Weird Harold
Interesting argument, and I agree; Belief and order do indeed give strength. Problem is you're taking that in a literal way for the workings of the world, and I don't think it's literal. Same as in our real world, belief and order give strength but even if a group of PEOPLE as you said believe something, doesn't make it true. The workings of our world (and the WOT world) don't change according to people's whims and beliefs. A different matter would be if you argued that they believed something to be true so strongly, that they SAW it as real (but not necessarily that it IS real). I should point out, that excluding that, I do believe the Seanchan omens are real in the WOT world.

@Green Man 22
Exactly.

Weird Harold
12-07-2010, 05:38 PM
@Weird Harold
Interesting argument, and I agree; Belief and order do indeed give strength. Problem is you're taking that in a literal way for the workings of the world, and I don't think it's literal. Same as in our real world, belief and order give strength but even if a group of PEOPLE as you said believe something, doesn't make it true. The workings of our world (and the WOT world) don't change according to people's whims and beliefs.

You were doing good until you added the parenthetical qualifier I highlighted. :D

The point is that, in the WOT, things do NOT work as they do in "our world." Things that would be strictly metaphorical in the real world are literal truths in the WOT -- the connection between Rand's Health and the Health of the Land -- or between the health of the orderly Seanchan held lands vs the Chaotic and corrupt Dragonsworn lands.

Rand reintegrated his personality and food quit spoiling and the skies cleared; that isn't directly related to "Omens work because the Seanchan Believe they work," but it is an example of something in the WOT that clearly is NOT possible (today) in the real world but was once a common belief in the real world.

Also, FWIW, the world doesn't change the way it works because of "whims" -- or fads or fashions or transitory beliefs; The WoT adapts the way it works to fit prolonged, massed, belief.

The Seanchan believe in Omens and Portents, so Seanchan get Omens and Portents. The Randlanders believe in Ta'veren so they get ta'veren. Both in reality are getting the Pattern hemming them in and herding them down a predestined path.

FelixPax
12-07-2010, 05:45 PM
i think people are mistaking the Seanchan Omens as having a causal effect on the Pattern. They don't; they're just signs.

Omens are just sign, you claim?

Well, square that belief with the Tuatha'an Seeker Raen action of looking into the Sky and literally knowing Perrin, Egwene, Elyas, Bela all were going to leave their group. Besides the fact, Raen some how knew to head to a Ogier Stedding in the East (Stedding Tsofu). How did Raen know to go to Erith's Stedding? Omens, in the Sky.

For that scene, see The Eye of the World, Chapter "Shelter From the Storm".


Omens are not only a Seanchan belief. Omens exist along the Tuatha'an, too.

Res_Ipsa
12-07-2010, 08:00 PM
I think the Seanchan have Ta'veren, but rather their importance is distilled down to simply being a Seanchan who did amazing things. A horse by any other name sort of thing. Considering the prophecies they have may be corrupted in some form its not outside the scope of imagination to suggest that many things taken for granted they do not know and vice versa.

Juan
12-07-2010, 10:53 PM
The Seanchan believe in Omens and Portents, so Seanchan get Omens and Portents. The Randlanders believe in Ta'veren so they get ta'veren. Both in reality are getting the Pattern hemming them in and herding them down a predestined path.

Analogy time, gather round: are you familiar with the book/game called Where's Waldo? The books contain different pictures. Each picture has a bunch of people of different sorts, dressed differently. And you're supposed to find Waldo. So, suppose there was a boy named Billy and Billy didn't either a.) didn't know about the game and/or b.) didn't know what Waldo looked like. So Billy can stare at the picture and enjoy the beauty or lack beauty of it, but he'll never be able to find Waldo. Now then, there's a boy named Jimmy. And Jimmy knows about the game and knows what Waldo looks like. He'll look at the picture, and after a bit of searching, he'll be able to find Waldo. Waldo is there, sure as liquid water is wet, but one couldn't find him or maybe didn't know he existed, and the other could.

You can probably see where I'm going with this now. In the same way, in the WOT world, there can be ta'veren in Seanchan. Come on, an continent larger than Randland with that many people? There's bound to have been ta'veren there currently/or at some point in the Seanchan history. I'll even go as far as saying there's probably damane who have that Talent of seeing ta'veren. But since the Seanchan don't know what ta'veren is, and even if they did dismiss it a superstition as Tuon did, that talent is useless and the ta'veren would remain unrecognized and unnoticed. Does that mean the ta'veren isn't there? Of course not. Likewise, in Randland, we have omens. The omens we've seen have been IN Randland. Again, the chances of the omens having been there all along are very high, but since the Randlanders didn't know about omens, or even if they did would dismiss the omens as crazy superstitions like Mat did, does that mean they're not there? Of course not.

It's not a matter that one group believes something so they get it. It's more about one side knows what too look for in the omens, and the other side knows what to look for with ta'veren.

Weird Harold
12-07-2010, 11:54 PM
You can probably see where I'm going with this now. In the same way, in the WOT world, there can be ta'veren in Seanchan. Come on, an continent larger than Randland with that many people? There's bound to have been ta'veren there currently/or at some point in the Seanchan history. I'll even go as far as saying there's probably damane who have that Talent of seeing ta'veren. But since the Seanchan don't know what ta'veren is, and even if they did dismiss it a superstition as Tuon did, that talent is useless and the ta'veren would remain unrecognized and unnoticed.

You're still missing the point that the Pattern is semi-sentient -- not really sentient, but capable of choosing what manifests where on the path to it's programmed and predestined weaving. The world of the WOT isn't changing the way it works to accomodate Seanchan superstitions, the way it works, and always has worked, IS to accomodate people's beliefs.

If there were ta'veren in Seanchan of any historical signifigance, the Seanchan wouldn't consider then superstition. I'm sure that there are lesser ta'veren in Seanchan who become ta'veren, fulfill thier purpose, and lapse back into obscurity in just a matter of moments. But the Pattern simply doesn't need ta'veren in Seanchan unless it's using them to steer the birds and bugs into forming Omens. :D

Of course most of the Omens we've seen are around Tuon and in the presence of the second strongest Ta'veren in existance. Omens that work for Tuon may just be the result of the Pattern twisting her thread around Mat's and no other Omens work for any other Seanchan and never have. :D

Juan
12-08-2010, 12:53 AM
@Weird Harold

If there were any ta'veren "of any historical signifance" that doesn't mean that the Seanchan would recognize this important character as ta'veren. They could just think, hey that's a very important individual. Not that the pattern bends for them.

When Tuon was away from Mat she's still gotten her omens that seem to be true. For example, the tough decisions to come before attacking the White Tower and that whole deal. As simple as they seem, they still indicate the omen's effectiveness even away from ta'veren.

Fie
12-08-2010, 01:21 AM
Omens are just sign, you claim?

Well, square that belief with the Tuatha'an Seeker Raen action of looking into the Sky and literally knowing Perrin, Egwene, Elyas, Bela all were going to leave their group. Besides the fact, Raen some how knew to head to a Ogier Stedding in the East (Stedding Tsofu). How did Raen know to go to Erith's Stedding? Omens, in the Sky.

For that scene, see The Eye of the World, Chapter "Shelter From the Storm".


Omens are not only a Seanchan belief. Omens exist along the Tuatha'an, too.

This is a good point.
Though I guess it could be argued that it's not the "omens" he sees, but that he's like a foreteller or has a talent for such things or whatever.
This could possibly be transferred to other omens/superstitions etc. Even our favourite village wisdom's weather forecasting abilities could be "omens" like the color of the sky combined with felt air pressure etc. and it's just so that she's gifted and more susceptible to things than others.
Maybe Tuon is extra good in reading micro-indications in the pattern for certain things and has the talent to interpret them correctly and she calls them omen because she didn't learn otherwise. Maybe her family came to their position of power because of that talent - if you can by the way a moth flies on a rainy day tell who or where is trying the next attempt on your life,you'd have a definite advantage. Of course, a karate black belt helps, as well. And of course, it could still be that Tuon just makes it up to justify her claim on a new Toy to her own people by making use of their supestitions. ;) Oh, well, that probably takes this issue to far. Though, after all, it's called Theoryland, not Factland, so I won't delete^^.

Another thing - the Seanchan and their omens didn't appear out of thin air.
Hawkwing sent people there and now it's The Return. Did they take their omens/belief in omens with them and back, so out of and back into Main-Randland or did they really just develop the whole thing while being there?

Juan
12-08-2010, 01:28 AM
The super awesome great white book of knowledge tells us that the Seanchan simply absorbed Hawking's son and troops as conquerors and the new rulers, so the Seanchan kept all their customs, traditions, beliefs essentially. So I'm inclined to belief that the omens were a Seanchan thing from the start.

Fie
12-08-2010, 01:50 AM
Thanks. Cool, so it's sort of ruled out, that the omens are just superstitions (or ancient wisdom or whatever) that the emigrants to Seanchan brought with them and enlightened modern Main-Randland has long since overcome, very well.
The question still stands if the omens are real or not, I guess.
Why did the Seanchan come exactly now again? Because the pattern wants them to be there, of course. But how did it tell them? Prophecies? Or were there omens at work like one day a squirrel bite off the nail of the empress' 7th finger so she knew the Corenne was due on the 7th day after this omen ? Just joking of course, but in fact the way Tuon clings to her omens I cannot imagine them doing anything as important as the Return without watching several omens to tell them to do so, and of course they are here when where and because the pattern wants them, so the omens seem have to be correct - and therefore real (?) Of course, again, one could say they were just interpreting things thus making up omens but really using alternate sources like foretelling to tell them what to do, but often the most simple thing is the right one. So it would have to be admitted, that : they are where they should be----they came because their omens told them to----the omens were correct-----the omens have to be "for real" stands to reason.


Of course, I'm arguing for your case, now. But I don't mind at all. The head is round so the thinking can change it's direction. Or something like that some clever man said.

Juan
12-08-2010, 01:58 AM
haha are there squirrels in WOT? I'm not sure I remember them ever being mentioned. As you know, Fie, I think the omens in WOT are real, but I also don't think they're very specific. For example, I don't think they'll be so specific as a Foretelling maybe. But they are rather indications on how to act and to be careful and all that. I'm not sure why the Seanchan came EXACTLY now. I've never really had an interest in reading and analyzing the prophecies, so idk if they indicate exactly when they had to come other than that they would probably show up at the right time and all blah blah. And I don't think the omens were so specific like you said in telling the Tuon's now deceased mom, hey time for the Return! Squirrel said so! haha.. I think the Pattern worked in a way that since the Seanchan had been planning this and building ships for generations, the Pattern made it happen at the right time. That's just my take on that though.

I really appreciate that you were able to admit that you changed your mind! Sometimes people can be really stubborn and overly proud with that. Thanks Fie!

Fie
12-08-2010, 02:14 AM
Soooo...even if the whole squirrel-omen was just a joke, as you know, it just ocurred to me that I'd better add that I, too, don't remember/know if there are squirrels in Wot, not that somebody now goes and reads all volumes to find quotations proving or disproving that there are. I'm just fond of squirrels. (and , yes, I realize that my sentiment probably isn't shared by many north-americans, but I just know some cute european and japanese squirrels and I love them.)

Well. Enough of that. I really did ask Mr.Sanderson on twitter about the Seanchan omens so there's a bit of hope for us ;) but I don't really expect an answer. But hey, one never knows. Maybe if everyone discussing on this thread twittererd him about it he would understand the importance of this and if he can know tell how Mr. Jordan intended the omens ? :cool:

Juan
12-08-2010, 02:17 AM
That'd be pretty fantastic! I don't have a twitter account, although I suppose I should make one eventually...... haha. Also, where are you from? I remember you saying something like "my english fails me" even though you write it better than many people I know. The irony.

Weird Harold
12-08-2010, 02:50 AM
If there were any ta'veren "of any historical signifance" that doesn't mean that the Seanchan would recognize this important character as ta'veren. They could just think, hey that's a very important individual. Not that the pattern bends for them.

Think about what happens around Rand -- and to a lesser extent Mat and Perrin.

Mat's ta'veren-ness can be explained away as him being incredibly lucky, but eventually, the fact that he never makes a losing dice throw is going to exceed the bounds of "exceptionally lucky" and become part of his legend.

But major, historically important ta'veren like Rand and Artur Hawkwing cause extreme disruptions of probability in their near vicinity -- coins landing on edge, people falling ten stories and escaping unbruised, entire villages getting married or burning to the ground just becaue he passed by, and all of the other examples of Rand's Ta'veren effect. If there were ta'veren of that signifigance anywhere in Seanchan's history, they would know more than the word.

GonzoTheGreat
12-08-2010, 04:20 AM
Then again, ta'veren of that strength might get shot dead as suspected male channelers, which would rather remove the problem of having to make up another category.

morat'corlm
12-08-2010, 04:52 AM
I, too, don't remember/know if there are squirrels in Wot, not that somebody now goes and reads all volumes to find quotations proving or disproving that there are.Not needed. (http://dposey.no-ip.com/IdealSeek/IdealSeek.cgi?q=squirrel)

Fie
12-08-2010, 06:12 AM
Fantastic :D but I think that doesn´t prove there are any in Seanchan, though ;)

hey, do you really say "a squirrel barked" in english ?!

Juan: I´m from Belgium. And I made that twitter account just to ask Mr. Sanderson, so not having one is no excuse ;)

morat´corlm: thank you very much. I´m off to this IdealSeek now to look how that works, really awesome.
*note* it´s just up to volume 11 yet
...or so it says on the main page. I got search results for tGS and tToM prologue, though.

...and do type "omen" into the search mask !!! :)

Enigma
12-08-2010, 10:27 AM
As WH has said the pattern is semi-sentient and the way I see it is that the pattern drops omens like sign posts to show people the way they are suppost to go.

The one quesion I have is that it now appear that the pattern is not always 100% certain how things will work out. Heresy you say? Well if you consider the prophecy/foretelling that the Borderland rulers received it seemed to be a safety valve against Dark Rand. If Rand had not had his awakening they were to try and kill him to stop him dooming the world at the Last Battle.

If the pattern was certain what would happen there would have been no quesion mark over what state of mind Rand would be in. So if the pattern is not always 100% certain what will happen how can it give 100% always right omens?

subwoofer
12-08-2010, 11:56 AM
My problem with the Seanchan is not their omens. It's the society that bothers me, the whole slavery thing etc. damane and da'covale.

My problem with the Seanchan is that they are plain mental.

I think Tuon is coming around- slowly. More fireside chats with Mistress Anan and maybe if Tuon starts to channel- that might shake things up a bit. And maybe her having a one on one with Hawkwing after her hubby sounds the Horn...

Juan
12-08-2010, 03:03 PM
@Weird Harold
I see what you're saying about them seeing the ta'veren but not necessarily calling them ta'veren, but as Gonzo said, they could just be considered channelers or witches or whatever. Remember that the typical thing to do in WOT is that if something unnatural happens, it must be done with the One Power. So if things like that are happening around ta'veren, they might not see them as ta'veren or wqroijwer or whatever you wanna call them, they'd see them as using the One Power.

@morat'corlm
Nice, man.

@Fie
haha yeah I'll get around to it soon enough.

@Enigma
The prophecies have never been 100% certain of final outcome, that's why they're always so ambiguous. If you're trying to say that even their ambiguous statements are not 100% then I don't know. That's a good question. (Note that as I've said before, prophecies have never really interested me, so I haven't studied them or anything like that).

@subwoofer
Yeah Tuon is coming around.... sort of and even then very slowly.

Weird Harold
12-08-2010, 05:45 PM
@Weird Harold
I see what you're saying about them seeing the ta'veren but not necessarily calling them ta'veren, but as Gonzo said, they could just be considered channelers or witches or whatever. Remember that the typical thing to do in WOT is that if something unnatural happens, it must be done with the One Power. So if things like that are happening around ta'veren, they might not see them as ta'veren or wqroijwer or whatever you wanna call them, they'd see them as using the One Power.

Which is why the Pattern doesn't make uber-ta'veren like the Three Amigos in Seanchan. Because of the Seanchan beliefs and prejudices, and because of the rigid class/social structure, it has to use more subtle methods to manipulate people into meeting their wyrd.

The cause and effect relationship between belief and the Pattern is a chicken-or-egg kind of question and we're obviously on opposite sides. <shrugs> There is a lot more to "the world works the way people think it does" than whether Omens are valid signposts on the road of life. In other fantasy settings, I could imagine a bunch of minor Gods leading some hero around with more and more outrageous signs and portents -- probably something by Pratchett or Asprin.

@Enigma
The prophecies have never been 100% certain of final outcome, that's why they're always so ambiguous.

Prophecies -- with a captial P -- in the WOT are absolute; they WILL happen and can't be forced or avoided. The reference is in Terez' interview database somewhere.

The Karetheon Cycle, The Jendai Prophecies, the Aiel Prophecies, Foretellings, Min's Viewings Aelfinn Answers, are all "Prophecies With a Capital P."

Other prophecies and predictive talents -- like Dreaming, the Testing terangreal (both WT and Rhuidean,) and probably Tuon's Omens, are 'advisory' in nature. They are possible or probable futures and can be changed or prevented.

As Min has correctly deduced, Prophecy that depends on reading the Pattern -- such as her viewings -- only apply if the DO is defeated. As the DO's strength grows, the certainty of prophecy declines.

Juan
12-08-2010, 06:16 PM
Haha yeah no hard feelings though man.

About the prophecies though, you seem to have misunderstood me. When I said "the prophecies have never been 100% certain of final outcome, that's why they're always so ambiguous," I meant that the Prophecies (with a capital P as you said) are never sure of what will really happen. To give you an example, this is the reason why the Prophecies never say the Dragon Reborn will WIN the Last Battle. They just say he'll fight. Ok, so they're 100% right that he will fight. It'll come true. But they're not 100% sure if he will win. That's why they simply make no statement as to that, hence why I called them ambiguous, and hence why I said they have never been 100% of the final outcome(s). If the prophecies "[were] certain [with what] would happen" to quote Enigma, then they would say The Dragon Reborn will do this specifically-- no tricks open to interpretation-- and then this, and then this, and then win the Last Battle. But they don't, because they're NOT certain of what will happen. Probably because as you said, as the DO gains strength, the Prophecies begin to fail.

endymion
12-18-2010, 11:18 PM
@skaywalker
There's thing I like and don't like about the Seanchan society. I'm not a big fan about slavery or their damane either. But I do admire how important honesty and honor is for them. But then again there's also little things that bother me, such as not meeting a higher ranked person's eyes, all the assassinations, etc. Probably what bothers me the most though is their invasion of Randland and the fact that they think they own the place.

I agree with you here and think that they are kind of pathetic. First, they claim to be the descendants of Hawkwing, but they use more artifacts of the One Power than anyone in Randland. If I remember correctly, Hawkwing hates everything and anything that have to do with the One Power. They also believe the Trollocs and other creatures of the dark are superstitions even though one of their generals presented them with the body. The saddest thing about them is their philsophy almost. They sent the heir to head the Returns to reclaim Hawkwing's land. Now, I think there will be a civil war in the Seanchan because the Empress has died and Fortuna will have to claim the throne of the mainland Seanchan. They only claim of the Hawkwing's land, but lost the homeland they have known all their lives. It seems like they can never have a day of peace.

Juan
12-19-2010, 12:29 AM
@endymion
I'm not sure Hawking hated everything to do with the Power. That's more Whitecloaks. I think Hawking was simply mistrusting about Aes Sedai thanks to Bonwhin, not necessarily artifacts of the Power. And yeah, I think Tuon overall is pretty smart and she's beginning to see reality. That's why when presented with Trolloc heads she wished that Mat were there so she could ask him more about this stuff. Also, she wondered something to the effect of, "I wonder how many more of these 'superstitions' are true?" So there's hope for the Seanchan. But I still don't like their invasion of Randland. It's pretty funny that there's another person ruling the Seanchan mainland. I wonder if Tuon actually has enough troops to take back the mainland haha.. Unless the outrigger novels are written, I suppose we won't find that out.

Weird Harold
12-19-2010, 03:55 AM
Oops, missed this one last week. Sorry.

But they don't, because they're NOT certain of what will happen. Probably because as you said, as the DO gains strength, the Prophecies begin to fail.


I never said the Prophecies begin to fail as the DO gains strength -- Min said "If the DO wins her visions didn't have to come true.

The Pattern, aka "Dispenser of Prophecy," doesn't allow Foretelling, Visions, and other forms of Prophecy to show what it is not sure of. What it allows to be seen is what WILL happen. Even Prophecy beyond T'G -- like Nicola's "Great battle done but the world not done with battles" is absolute with one minor conditional: IF the Pattern still exists, this WILL happen. Prophecy is still certain of what the Pattern WILL do, there is just that blank spot where T'G is uncertain and Un-Prophesied.

Neilbert
12-19-2010, 04:12 AM
The seanchan is the only society with even handed justice for the high and low alike. Making sure that everyone is fed to the point that pay tinkers for taking care of refugees and being upset enough murder and violent crime that it reflects very poorly on the highest nobility are very good things. The seanchan take care of their people far better than any other nation in randland.

The bad and ugly have already been coveted.

GonzoTheGreat
12-19-2010, 04:33 AM
I'm not sure Hawking hated everything to do with the Power. That's more Whitecloaks. I think Hawking was simply mistrusting about Aes Sedai thanks to Bonwhin, not necessarily artifacts of the Power.Well, the fact that he wanted to have his capital in an abandoned Stedding suggests that he wanted to be without any Power things entirely.

Could a damane open her a'dam if she was in a Stedding, and if not, why not?

Juan
12-19-2010, 02:57 PM
@Harold
It's fine man. But thing is, they're never specific. Because they're not sure of what will happen. If the Prophecies were sure of what would happen they would be much more specific and say the Dragon Reborn will fight at the last battle on this moment and this place and he will win in this manner. Or the Dragon Reborn will fight at the last battle and lose in this manner. But they don't. They just say he will fight. That shows Prophecy doesn't know the full picture.

@Neilbert
Good point. I agree they definitely have some good things.

@Gonzo
Well, remember he had a very Aes Sedai-friendly wife who eased the tension a bit for a time. He wasn't really opposed to the Power. It was more like he was distrustful of AS, so he wanted to be safe from them. And even that wasn't in the early years of his rule.

That's a good call. But Artur Hawking didn't have a'dam. If you're talking about in general though... My memory is a bit misty on this, but so far I think we've only seen the a'dam be able to be taken off by use of the One Power by an unleashed channeler. If that's the only way to do it, then I guess not. I'm not sure if ter'angreal are rendered useless in stedding. If they are then I guess you can take the a'dam off. I would think that in the case of the a'dam especially they are because the damane wouldn't even be able to sense the power. So even if the a'dam still "worked" it would be tricked because all of a sudden it's as if the damane can't channel.

GonzoTheGreat
12-20-2010, 05:26 AM
My memory is a bit misty on this, but so far I think we've only seen the a'dam be able to be taken off by use of the One Power by an unleashed channeler. If that's the only way to do it, then I guess not.Let me demistify your memory: Mat took off a couple of a'dam, and he's not a channeler. And Egeanin released a sul'dam whom she had captured earlier, showing that not even Mat's ter'angreal is needed. There might be other examples too, though I can't think of any definite ones right now. Maybe Setalla Anan also did it, when Mat was figuring out how to do it, in Ebou Dar.

So no, it does not require the OP.
The main reason why the OP is used so often for that purpose is that it enables you to do it at a distance, without having to expose yourself to being leashed (or killed) yourself.

The a'dam stops the damane from doing it herself, and presumably that requires the OP. Which is why I think that it could work in a Stedding, where the OP would not be available to induce the adverse effects.
All right, Christmas wish list: a damane+sul'dam pair, research time in a Stedding, (a good copy of) Mat's ter'angreal to protect me outside the Stedding and an OP-book reader*.

* OP book reader, like an e-book reader, but without the need to replace batteries and such. Having the library in a language I know is optional, but would be appreciated.

morat'corlm
12-20-2010, 05:53 AM
The a'dam stops the damane from doing it herselfNo, it doesn't.
“I’m just a gambler,” he told her. Her hand guided his to the segmented collar around her neck, and it came open for him with a metallic snick. She drew a very long breath.

He only had to put her fingers in the proper places and show her the trick once before she got it, but he made her close and open the collar three times before he was satisfied. It's just tricky: The catches were a simple matter for him, the bracelet easiest. That was just a matter of squeezing the right spots, top and bottom, not quite opposite the leash. It could be done with one hand, and the bracelet popped open on one with a metallic click. The collar was a little trickier, and required both hands. Putting his fingers on the proper spots on either side of where the leash attached, he pressed, then twisted and pulled while holding the pressure. Nothing happened, that he could see, until he twisted the two sides the other way. Then they came apart right beside the leash, with a sharper click than the bracelet. Simple. Of course, figuring it out had taken him nearly an hour, back in the Palace, even with what Juilin had seen to help.
Egwene apparently spends all her alone time for weeks probing at the collar with her hands and the Power in TGH42 and never discovers this. I think that's the one time she's ever failed at anything.

finn
12-20-2010, 11:56 AM
No, it doesn't.Originally Posted by WH31
“I’m just a gambler,” he told her. Her hand guided his to the segmented collar around her neck, and it came open for him with a metallic snick. She drew a very long breath.

He only had to put her fingers in the proper places and show her the trick once before she got it, but he made her close and open the collar three times before he was satisfied.
It's just tricky: Originally Posted by WH31
“I’m just a gambler,” he told her. Her hand guided his to the segmented collar around her neck, and it came open for him with a metallic snick. She drew a very long breath.

He only had to put her fingers in the proper places and show her the trick once before she got it, but he made her close and open the collar three times before he was satisfied.
Egwene apparently spends all her alone time for weeks probing at the collar with her hands and the Power in TGH42 and never discovers this. I think that's the one time she's ever failed at anything.

I think Mat was teaching her(the seafolk channeler?) how to do it while it was off, to free the other windfinders. There's a Cadsuane POV about trying on the a'dam and iirc she said it couldn't be taken off without someone else helping.

GonzoTheGreat
12-20-2010, 12:34 PM
No, it doesn't.
It's just tricky:
Egwene apparently spends all her alone time for weeks probing at the collar with her hands and the Power in TGH42 and never discovers this. I think that's the one time she's ever failed at anything.Did she really?

As Min and Elayne hurriedly helped her change into Nynaeve's old dress, Egwene explained about moving the bracelet from where a sul'dam left it, and how channeling made her sick unless a sul'dam wore the bracelet. Just that morning she had discovered how the collar could be opened without the Power – and found that touching the catch with the intention of opening it made her hand knot into uselessness. She could touch it as much as she wanted so long as she did not think of undoing the catch; the merest hint of that, though, and ...Nynaeve felt sick herself. The bracelet on her wrist made her sick. It was too horrible. She wanted it off her wrist before she learned more about a'dam, before she perhaps learned something that would make her feel soiled forever for having worn it.I would say that she succeeded, and then found that the OP stopped her from using this knowledge.
Which is why I think that she might have had better luck in a Stedding.

Juan
12-20-2010, 12:37 PM
If I could grant you that Christmas wish, I would. But hey, I'm getting a banjo and I'm pretty damn excited! haha

morat'corlm
12-20-2010, 04:05 PM
Did she really?Interesting. Though how that squares with what Mat did... not much of a disguise, there. Is that necessarily a function of the bracelet or not? The Cadsuane thought in TGS14 finn points to suggests so. That Moghedien could not escape, as well, yes... hm.

GonzoTheGreat
12-20-2010, 04:21 PM
Mat was not bound the a'dam, so he could open it easily. He opened the a'dam for a Windfinder, who then waited a time, before opening the a'dam on another Windfinder.
Mat also opened the a'dam holding his AS.

At no time did any of those open their own a'dam.

And, according to Moghedien, it was the same with the e've: the man could not remove it, but someone else could do that.

morat'corlm
12-20-2010, 04:42 PM
Is that how you read "Eventually, you will find yourselves in a struggle for control with him, each of you needing him to remove your bracelet as surely as he needs you to remove the collar."? Very interesting. Your reading of the passage in KOD is the only logical one, but this I'm not certain I buy.

GonzoTheGreat
12-20-2010, 04:46 PM
The "he needs you to remove the collar" suggests rather strongly that he can't do it himself. If he could do that, then what would he need the woman for?

morat'corlm
12-20-2010, 05:18 PM
I suppose it never occurred to me that he could, which is all kinds of self-contradictory, I have to admit. What I'm startled by is the implication that the woman holding the bracelets literally needs the man to remove them in that case.

Eventually, you will find yourselves in a struggle for control with him, each of [you needing] [him to remove your bracelet] as surely as [he needs] [you to remove the collar.]

Eventually, you will find yourselves in a struggle for control with him, each of [you needing him] [to remove your bracelet] as surely as [he needs you] [to remove the collar.]

I think there's a semantic difference here, and it seems to me that the first reading, where both sides simply need (i.e. want very badly) to get out and the inversion is just a poetic choice is somewhat more in keeping with the first clause. That the man literally ends up dominating the menage a trois and the women literally end up with handcuffs on their wrists that force them to act however he pleases just passed me by.

GonzoTheGreat
12-21-2010, 04:00 AM
Well, there is a bit of a hint, just a bit earlier in that scene:

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