PDA

View Full Version : Think any AS might try this loop-hole?


Edynol
03-27-2011, 05:47 PM
The 2nd oath, they vow to make no weapon for one man to kill another. But it says nothing about women. I know 'man' is used species sense, but words are words and I think that oath can be gotten around. Think the AS may make some weapons for themselves or maybe for the Kin or something? Maybe a bunch of power wrought spears for the maidens?

Weird Harold
03-27-2011, 10:08 PM
The 2nd oath, they vow to make no weapon for one man to kill another. But it says nothing about women. I know 'man' is used species sense, but words are words and I think that oath can be gotten around. Think the AS may make some weapons for themselves or maybe for the Kin or something? Maybe a bunch of power wrought spears for the maidens?
The idea has been suggested once or twice since the wording of the Second Oath was revealed. :D

the answer to your thread title, is "no."

The WT has actively suppressed any knowlege of how to make weapons and forgotten how to make any kind of ter'angreal, let alone one that creates an offensive weave. A typical AS couldn't make a weapon for "anyone but a man" even if she thought of bending that particular Oath.

Verin's exploding catapult ammunition in the battle of Emmond's Field is about as close as you might see, but Verin wasn't bound by the Oaths.

balefired
03-27-2011, 11:14 PM
The idea has been suggested once or twice since the wording of the Second Oath was revealed. :D

the answer to your thread title, is "no."

The WT has actively suppressed any knowlege of how to make weapons and forgotten how to make any kind of ter'angreal, let alone one that creates an offensive weave. A typical AS couldn't make a weapon for "anyone but a man" even if she thought of bending that particular Oath.

Verin's exploding catapult ammunition in the battle of Emmond's Field is about as close as you might see, but Verin wasn't bound by the Oaths.

Also, she could get away with that one by saying she was killing shadowspawn.

Terez
03-28-2011, 12:46 AM
I think he was just trying to say that other Aes Sedai would probably have just thrown fireballs due to lack of weapons knowledge, but even that isn't necessarily true since Verin should have theoretically been cautious in that case about displaying frowned-upon skills. Though I supposed she could have just claimed to have just then come up with it (which is believable enough really).

Weird Harold
03-28-2011, 01:26 AM
I think he was just trying to say that other Aes Sedai would probably have just thrown fireballs due to lack of weapons knowledge, but even that isn't necessarily true since Verin should have theoretically been cautious in that case about displaying frowned-upon skills. Though I supposed she could have just claimed to have just then come up with it (which is believable enough really).
No, I was saying that Verin could violate the Second Oath and talk her way around it with Alanna as being covered by the Third Oath which allows use of the OP as a weapon against shadowspawn.

I thought I remembered Alanna or Verin explaining that they had to charge the rocks just before launching because they had to know who/what they were being launched against, but I haven't been able to find it.

GonzoTheGreat
03-28-2011, 04:02 AM
Perrin once wonders what would happen if a stone were dropped too soon.

It may be that Alanna and Verin weren't tying off the weaves, though. In that case, it would not have been dangerous to drop it in the wrong place (unless you dropped it on an AS's foot, perhaps). But it would explain why they only charged the stones at the last moment: that way they needed to hold the weave as shortly as possible, and would tire less as a result.

Daekyras
03-28-2011, 04:30 AM
The WT has actively suppressed any knowlege of how to make weapons and forgotten how to make any kind of ter'angreal, let alone one that creates an offensive weave. A typical AS couldn't make a weapon for "anyone but a man" even if she thought of bending that particular Oath.


Actually, I know this is off topic but that is something that has always bugged me. How did they manage to forget how to make Ter'angreal?

The "making a weapon" knowledge being suppressed is understandable but the others....

GonzoTheGreat
03-28-2011, 04:52 AM
I think that making ter'angreal requires two things, if you want to do it properly: talent and training.
If there's no one around with the required talent, then the skill can not be passed on.
If there is no one with the skill to teach this, or no time for training, then it can't be passed on either.

During the Breaking, everything was so messed up that getting time, knowledge and talent together for long enough may not have happened with sufficient regularity to keep this skill alive.

It seems a lot less believable that they would have forgotten Traveling, to be honest.

Weird Harold
03-28-2011, 06:37 AM
How did they manage to forget how to make Ter'angreal?

Gonzo has a very good point about talent and training, but it wasn't just the WT that forgot how to make ter'angreal, it was virtually every channeling group in the world -- including the proto-seanchan.

But there were probably other factors as well. During the AOL all channelers were identified and trained in a organized and egalitarian formal education setting. After the Breaking, identification and training of channelers was primarily one-on-one indenture/apprenticeship relationships. No one master-channeler knew every technique or could train every Talent so the only apprentices that got fully trained werethose who had exactly the same talents and inclinations as their master.

Add in the evolution into jealous and feuding "Aes Sedai" that the proto-Seanchan experienced and you inevitably get a predominance of masters unwilling to share everything they know to a apprentice who will grow into a potential rival and even more knowledge gets lost.

It isn't clear whether Deain, the proto-seanchan Aes Sedai who invented the a'dam was one of a very rare chain of knowledge that preserved some knowledge of ter'angreal making or whether she reinvented ter'angreal making the same wasy Elayne has, by reverse engineering old ter'angreal.

Either way, the a'dam appears to be the only ter'angreal invented in the last 1000 years or so in the entire world. The Seanchan have learned how find damane with the talent to duplicate them by rote in the intervening years and they tend to suppress any innovation on the part of damane.

Once the knowledge was lost, the WT tended to lose anyone with the talent for making ter'angreal to accidental burn-out -- or possibly to BA assassinations -- by haphazardly studying ter'angreal by trial and error. It's possible other Channeling groups did as well insofar as they had any interest in ter'angreal. (The Aiel Wise Ones seem to be institionally incurious about the ter'angreal stash in Rhuidean other than the two they use for testing and don't seem keep or use many OP objects.)

Zombie Sammael
03-28-2011, 07:20 AM
During the Breaking, everything was so messed up that getting time, knowledge and talent together for long enough may not have happened with sufficient regularity to keep this skill alive.

It seems a lot less believable that they would have forgotten Traveling, to be honest.

I don't think that everything that's been lost over the past 3000+ years was necessarily lost during the Breaking. We know that by the time of the Trolloc Wars things were nearly up to the standard of the AOL again. It's entirely possible, for instance, that up to that time ter'angreal were still being made. The AS are so obssessed with their own status that they would be likely to internally suppress knowledge that any particular talent had been lost any time more recently than the Breaking. The only talent/skill we can be reasonably sure was lost during the Breaking was travelling, hence why the Ways were created. AS might have been making ter'angreal as late as Artur Hawkwing, potentially; it would quickly become suppressed, if deemed in the interest of the Tower, that they had been able to do so at any time since the Breaking.

In addition, we do not know when the three oaths were introduced and in what order (other than the first). Their role in preventing the making of ter'angreal, many of which are "weapons with which one man may kill another, can probably not be underestimated.

ChubbyAiel
03-28-2011, 09:40 AM
The 2nd oath, they vow to make no weapon for one man to kill another. But it says nothing about women. I know 'man' is used species sense, but words are words and I think that oath can be gotten around. Think the AS may make some weapons for themselves or maybe for the Kin or something? Maybe a bunch of power wrought spears for the maidens?

I can't remember the exact wording of the oath, but surely the problem of making power-wrought spears for the maidens, for example, is that any man could pick up the same spear and then use it to kill another man, so the Aes Sedai would know that they were making a weapon with which one man could kill another. You'd have to make a weapon that only women could use, and I'm not sure how they could do that unless it was saidar-powered as you said - only then could they be sure that a man could never use it.

And if you're suggesting that the intention is what matters (i.e. the Aes Sedai makes the spear telling herself all the while that she is making it for women not men, and if men get their hands on it that's not her problem) then the oath has another major hole in it: what if the Aes Sedai tells herself it's not for killing?

The Aiel don't wield swords because they exist only to kill humans. But they don't have a problem using spears, bows, arrows, axes, knives and hammers in battle because they serve other purposes in life, as tools for hunting, building and general day-to-day purposes. Could an Aes Sedai not get around the Second Oath by making a power-wrought bow, telling herself she is making a hunting tool and if a man chooses to use it in battle that is not her problem?

I would suggest not. I think the wording of the oath (from what I remember) means that Aes Sedai cannot make anything with the Power that a man would use to kill another (within reason, obviously you could suffocate someone with fancloth, but that's obviously not covered by the oath). But as I say, I'm not 100% sure about the wording of the oath. Just pointing out that if your loophole exists, so does mine.

GonzoTheGreat
03-28-2011, 10:11 AM
"I vow that I will make no weapon for one man to kill another."

That could be interpreted broadly, of course.
In that case, AS could make hardly anything at all, since with sufficient ingenuity almost anything can become a murder weapon.

But on the other hand, it can also be interpreted narrowly: as not making anything which you know in advance will be used by one man for killing another.
In this case, making a spear meant for a Maiden would be all right, as it was not intended for a man.
And also a weapon that requires two or more men to operate (a big siege bow, or a giant catapult, or something like that) would be allowed, as that's not "one man".

Weird Harold
03-28-2011, 10:34 AM
The only talent/skill we can be reasonably sure was lost during the Breaking was travelling, hence why the Ways were created.

The ways were created by AOL trained male Aes Sedai because Ogier can't channel nor learn to Travel, not because Traveling had been lost.

In addition, we do not know when the three oaths were introduced and in what order (other than the first). Their role in preventing the making of ter'angreal, many of which are "weapons with which one man may kill another, can probably not be underestimated.

We know that the Second Oath was the first required and the other two were added over the next several centuries.

And if you're suggesting that the intention is what matters (i.e. the Aes Sedai makes the spear telling herself all the while that she is making it for women not men,...

The exact wording of the OAths and a lot of other quick memory refreshments can be found at http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/index.html

The exact wording of the Three Oaths is:


1. To speak no word that is not true.
2. To make no weapon for one man to kill another.
3. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending your own life, that of your Warder, or that of another sister.


Intent is the driving factor with all of the Oaths. The Third Oath is not violated by using the OP to flog prisoners because flogging is punishment. Using the Same weave to intimidate or purposefully injure or Kill would be a violation.

Making a power-wrought blade for clearing brush wouldn't be a violation of the second, even if it bore a strong resemblance to a Heron Mark sword because the only technique the maker knew was to make swords instead of machetes.

The Aes Sedai does truly have to believe the sophistry required; the brush blade couldn't be made if the AS knew it would never be put to cutting brush.

ETA: The BWB says:


1. To speak no word that is not true.
2. To make no weapon with which one man may kill another.
3. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her own life or that of her Warder or another Aes Sedai.


These oaths were not always required, but various events before and since the Breaking caused them to be necessary. The second oath was the first adopted after the War of the Shadow. The first oath, while held to the letter, is often circumvented by careful speaking. It is believed that the last two are inviolable.


Note the lack of "against darkfriends" in the BWB version; this is the version sworn by Siaun and Moiraine in New Spring

ChubbyAiel
03-28-2011, 11:01 AM
Cheers for the clarification on the quotes and the link.



1. To speak no word that is not true.
2. To make no weapon for one man to kill another.
3. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending your own life, that of your Warder, or that of another sister.


Intent is the driving factor with all of the Oaths. The Third Oath is not violated by using the OP to flog prisoners because flogging is punishment. Using the Same weave to intimidate or purposefully injure or Kill would be a violation.

Making a power-wrought blade for clearing brush wouldn't be a violation of the second, even if it bore a strong resemblance to a Heron Mark sword because the only technique the maker knew was to make swords instead of machetes.

The Aes Sedai does truly have to believe the sophistry required; the brush blade couldn't be made if the AS knew it would never be put to cutting brush.

ETA: The BWB says:

1. To speak no word that is not true.
2. To make no weapon with which one man may kill another.
3. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her own life or that of her Warder or another Aes Sedai.

Note the lack of "against darkfriends" in the BWB version; this is the version sworn by Siaun and Moiraine in New Spring

The differences in the second oath's wording is interesting as well, since the BWB version would definitely remove the capacity of Aes Sedai to make Maiden's spears or hunting bows since whatever the intention of the Aes Sedai, both would be examples of a "weapon with which one man may kill another".

I'm guessing the first quote you give is from the main body of the series itself and therefore has priority. That definintely has more scope for the Aes Sedai's intention, so I hold to the fact that an Aes Sedai could in theory make a bow for a woodsman or a noble huntsman believing to herself that it would not be used in battle.

ChubbyAiel
03-28-2011, 12:42 PM
I hold to the fact that an Aes Sedai could in theory make a bow for a woodsman or a noble huntsman believing to herself that it would not be used in battle.

Actually, I've had a rethink, and she wouldn't even have to believe that. Imagine the folliwing situation:

Two Aes Sedai are travelling through the Borderlands. They stop at a village. That night Trollocs attack in a random raid. The villagers and Aes Sedai and some warriors in the area rally together and see off the Trollocs. A young man of the village somehow saves the life of one of the Aes Sedai and she later tells him she'll grant him one favour. He asks her to replace his bow which he recently broke. He's heard Aes Sedai can make weapons of Power.

"Why do you want a weapon made with the One Power?" she asks.

"To kill Trollocs and wolves," replies the young farmer. "Having a bow stave that will never crack or warp, and a string that will never snap will mean the weapon will always be ready to protect my family and neighbours from Trollocs, and my flock from wolves."

That's good enough for the Aes Sedai and she sets about imbuing his bow with the One Power as he makes it with his hands.

Afterwards, the second Aes Sedai says to the first, "I can't believe you've done that. Didn't it occur to you that that bow might one day be used to kill a man? That man might one day use it against a neighbour, or he might have an unscrupulous son who becomes a bandit, or his grandson might sell the bow and then it comes to the hands of some soldier fighting on the Andoran border with Cairhien, who will use it for nothing but killing men."

"Of course," replied the first, "it almost certainly will be used to kill men at some point. It's Power-wrought so it will last for a very long time. It might even become its main purpose one day. But that isn't why I made it. I didn't make if for one man to kill another, I made it for one man to kill wolves and Trollocs.

In that example an Aes Sedai has created a weapon she knows full well will be used to kill men but because it has another primary function for the foreseeable future, she can wriggle around the Second Oath. Similarly, there could have been a proliferation of Power-wrought weapons at the time of the Trolloc Wars - humans were too busy fighting Shadowspawn to be worried about killing each other, so Aes Sedai could have created swords with the primary purpose of killing Trollocs.

An Aes Sedai couldn't equip an army to fight each other men like this because she couldn't lie to herself to defeat the Oath, but there could be a number of post-Oaths weapons kicking around if immediate need was great enough.

I would imagine that all these hypotheticals wouldn't happen now primarily because the Talent for making weapons has been lost, and without the day-to-day opportunity to experiment making weapons (because of the Second Oath) it has never been rediscovered in the same way other Talents pop up from time to time.

Just saying there is ambiguity in that oath. The BWB version has far less wiggle-room in stating an Aes Sedai cannot make a weapon that may be used by one man to kill another.

As for the earlier comment (from Gonzo) that almost anything can be used as a weapon - there in is the semantic difference: a sword, axe, bow, dagger is a weapon; a rock, frying pan, car, screw-driver can be used as a weapon but wouldn't actually be classed as a weapon. A screw-driver might be described as "the murder weapon" in a newspaper article, but without a context, in a more objective sense it wouldn't actually be described as "a weapon".

Having checked, what you actually said, Gonzo, was that "anything could become a murder weapon". Using the distinction above, most Aes Sedai would agree that a sword is by its very nature a weapon before anyone even picks it up with intent, while a screw-driver is a tool until someone picks it up and causes it "to become" a weapon.

The Crown rests, m'Lud.

Zombie Sammael
03-28-2011, 01:04 PM
@ChubbyAiel

Exactly - in fact, an Aiel might say that the only "weapon" that an Aes Sedai would be forbidden from making would be a sword, since it is the only weapon designed solely for the purpose of killing. Jordan played a lot in this series with the idea of what constitutes a weapon (see Perrin and the axe and the hammer), and I wonder if it might not have some significance in the end.

ChubbyAiel
03-29-2011, 03:59 AM
@ChubbyAiel

Exactly - in fact, an Aiel might say that the only "weapon" that an Aes Sedai would be forbidden from making would be a sword, since it is the only weapon designed solely for the purpose of killing.

I'm not sure I would go quite that far. If the Aes Sedai thought a bow or a spear would, in the immediate future, be used primarily to kill other men then she would have to admit to herself that that was the reason she was creating the weapon. Same with axes, knives and other "tools". In the examples I've given, the Aes Sedai makes the weapon for its immediate purpose which is not to kill other people, so she can get around the Second Oath despite the fact that further down the line it will be used for another purpose. But if she was making a spear for an Aielman, she would know that that spear was going to be used to kill another person and so, regardless of the fact that the spear could be used to hunt, the Second Oath would prevent her from making it.

Zombie Sammael
03-29-2011, 05:09 AM
I'm not sure I would go quite that far. If the Aes Sedai thought a bow or a spear would, in the immediate future, be used primarily to kill other men then she would have to admit to herself that that was the reason she was creating the weapon. Same with axes, knives and other "tools". In the examples I've given, the Aes Sedai makes the weapon for its immediate purpose which is not to kill other people, so she can get around the Second Oath despite the fact that further down the line it will be used for another purpose. But if she was making a spear for an Aielman, she would know that that spear was going to be used to kill another person and so, regardless of the fact that the spear could be used to hunt, the Second Oath would prevent her from making it.

The oath specifically states "to make no weapon with which one man may kill another". Just as Edynol pointed out an AS could make a weapon for a woman to kill someone, so she could in theory make anything that wasn't a weapon but with which one man may kill another. For instance, could an AS make an electric chair, a guillotine, or prepare a lethal injection? Could an AS dig a pit-trap and fill it with sharp spikes? I would contend that she could, because none of those things, per se, are weapons. In fact, as we've learned from the Aiel, the only thing that definitely is a weapon is a sword - so that's the only thing there's no real way to justify making.

It may be entirely academic. If for some reason somebody decides what we really need to fight the last battle is a whole bunch of power-wrought weapons right now, however, it may well not be.

ChubbyAiel
03-29-2011, 05:35 AM
For instance, could an AS make an electric chair, a guillotine, or prepare a lethal injection? Could an AS dig a pit-trap and fill it with sharp spikes? I would contend that she could, because none of those things, per se, are weapons. In fact, as we've learned from the Aiel, the only thing that definitely is a weapon is a sword - so that's the only thing there's no real way to justify making.


I agree that the first set of things are not weapons, but it does not follow that a sword is the only thing that is definitely a weapon. Spears, bows and even shotguns have uses other than killing people but they are still weapons. They are weapons that have applications other than killing people. The Aiel fought with things that had purposes other than killing people and that was how they told themselves they hadn't truly abandoned the Way of the Leaf, but if you asked an Aiel if the spears in his hands or the bow on his back were weapons, he would say, "Of course."

If I use a bow to shoot a deer or a spear to skewer a wild boar as it charges towards me, most people would agree that I'm using those things as a weapon against the animal. It is not simply a tool because there is an element of confrontation between man and animal: even if the animal is only trying to get away the confrontation is one-sided on my part, but it is still confrontation and that's what makes the thing in question a weapon not a tool.

GonzoTheGreat
03-29-2011, 05:37 AM
It may be entirely academic.It is not academic at all. It is a very practical and really occurring fact.

It is possible for one man to strangle another man with a cloak. Yet AS are capable of making Warder cloaks, and they've been doing so for lots of centuries since they started swearing that Oath.

ChubbyAiel
03-29-2011, 05:47 AM
It is not academic at all. It is a very practical and really occurring fact.

It is possible for one man to strangle another man with a cloak. Yet AS are capable of making Warder cloaks, and they've been doing so for lots of centuries since they started swearing that Oath.

As I said earlier, I think you would draw a distinction between what is a weapon and what can be used as a weapon. A cloak can be used as a weapon but is not actually a weapon in itself. It was not created as a weapon. Swords, spears, bows, daggers and, depending on the type, axes are intrinsically weapons. Some of them are weapons that might be used as much on animals as humans, or more so, but they are still weapons.

The question as far as the Second Oath is concerned is two-fold:

1. Is what I'm making actually a weapon? (i.e. not something that might be used as a weapon because that could be anything.)
2. Why am I making it? Am I making it for one man to kill another, or do I honestly believe it will be used, in its primary function for the foreseeable future, as a tool or a hunting weapon, or to fight Trollocs? If it used to kill men in the future, that is not my problem because that is not why I created it.

Zombie Sammael
03-29-2011, 12:29 PM
It is not academic at all. It is a very practical and really occurring fact.

It is possible for one man to strangle another man with a cloak. Yet AS are capable of making Warder cloaks, and they've been doing so for lots of centuries since they started swearing that Oath.

Is it likely that, within the pages of the final book, someone, let's say Mat, will at some point suddenly say, "I know, the Aes Sedai can make me a bunch of power wrought weapons! That'll solve [given problem]"? If not, then it is entirely academic.

Though, now that I think about it - AS making cannons?

Weird Harold
03-29-2011, 08:27 PM
It is not academic at all. It is a very practical and really occurring fact.

It is possible for one man to strangle another man with a cloak. Yet AS are capable of making Warder cloaks, and they've been doing so for lots of centuries since they started swearing that Oath.
Aes Sedai don't make the Warder Cloaks, they have a ter'angreal that makes them (makes the fancloth for them actually; it isn't known who does any sewing and cutting that may be required, but I'd be surprised if any Aes Sedai of the WT stoop to menial seamstressing.)

Weird Harold
03-29-2011, 08:30 PM
Is it likely that, within the pages of the final book, someone, let's say Mat, will at some point suddenly say, "I know, the Aes Sedai can make me a bunch of power wrought weapons! That'll solve [given problem]"? If not, then it is entirely academic.

Though, now that I think about it - AS making cannons?
No, it isn't likely that someone would say that.

It is even less likely that there is sufficient time for anyone to actually Do that -- especially considering the amount of time and effort that went into making Perrin's new hammer for both Perrin and Neald.

fdsaf3
03-29-2011, 08:58 PM
If we're splitting hairs this much, as Aes Sedai are known to do, what about using a Power made weapon for a man to kill a woman? The oath specifically says the weapon will not be used for one man to kill another. If we are accepting that the word "man" refers to a gender-based identification, then so too does "kill another". The latter phrase has an implicit "man" at the end so as to read "kill another [man].". Ostensibly, the oath would preclude Aes Sedai from making weapons which could be used for a man (gender) to kill another man (gender).

Edit:

For the oath to work, the object created has to be construed as a weapon by the AS creating it. Therefore, the brush machete would be permissible under the oaths based on my understanding because the AS would conceivably think she's not creating a weapon, she's creating a tool. I'm not sure if I fully understood your point about intent - were you saying that the brush machete would or would not violate the oath?

Weird Harold
03-29-2011, 10:01 PM
I'm not sure if I fully understood your point about intent - were you saying that the brush machete would or would not violate the oath?

If the Aes Sedai made a "brush-blade" with an intent to circumvent the Second Oath, she would NOT be able to make the blade.

Making a power-wrought sword for a farmer to clear brush with as a means to bypass the Oath would require a level of sophistry that most Aes Sedai could not manage; there would have to be a genuine need for a brush-blade and a genuine intent to help the farmer without consideration of future consequences.

All of the Oaths depend on the Aes Sedai's knowledge and belief to limit her actions. If there is no Intent to violate an Oath and a Belief that there is no violation, then an Aes Sedai can do anything she pleases.

ChubbyAiel
03-30-2011, 02:01 PM
Making a power-wrought sword for a farmer to clear brush with as a means to bypass the Oath would require a level of sophistry that most Aes Sedai could not manage; there would have to be a genuine need for a brush-blade and a genuine intent to help the farmer without consideration of future consequences.

Just to clarify my own position, in case anyone cares, I don't think Aes Sedai could purposely make a weapon they knew one man would use to kill another, but I do think there is plenty of capacity for Aes Sedai to create weapons to be used against Shadowspawn at a time of high crisis, such as during the Trolloc Wars or during a bad spell in the Borderlands. With an immediate, non-human threat an Aes Sedai would be making the weapon for that reason and if it were later used to kill men, that would not be an issue because that was not why she made the weapon. The wording "for one man to kill another" clearly carries a meaning of intention, i.e. for what purpose did the Aes Sedai create the weapon.

Going back to the original question about women killing men or women, or men killing women with the weapon: I think that is outside the way in which people in Randland think and speak. I'm not sure if the word "human" appears in the series. Maybe it does, but I think "man" would be used in its place - its more in keeping with the period language that fantasy authors use to help us buy into the Medieval setting (e.g. words like "jumper", "sweater", "pants", "OK" and scientific words generally tend not to appear). If that is a reflection of how Aes Sedai talk and think, they would know in their hearts what the Second Oath was meant in terms of its language and most (maybe not all) would probobly conclude that in this context a woman is a type of "man".

GonzoTheGreat
03-31-2011, 04:01 AM
"It is a thing of humans."
Perrin says that often enough to thoroughly annoy Hopper with it.

ChubbyAiel
03-31-2011, 04:26 AM
"It is a thing of humans."
Perrin says that often enough to thoroughly annoy Hopper with it.

Well that told me. :)

Zombie Sammael
03-31-2011, 07:09 AM
Jordan actually states in the early part of TEOTW that just about anything can be a weapon if you want it to be. Re-reads FTW.

Edynol
04-03-2011, 04:06 PM
The word 'human' is used in the series. Ogier and other non-humans use it mostly, but others have as well. There is also the intent of the oath itself. If an AS says the oath, word for word, but intends for the meaning of 'man' to be gender specific, than the oath wouldn't prevent her for making a weapon for a woman or something else.

Heck, it might even be possible to bypass the 1st oath. To speak no word that's not true, they could tell themselve not to speak false words, words that aren't really words. For example; 'Cats bark and dogs hiss'. Cats and dogs are real words, they are truely, words. But nargsnaggle is not truely a word, so they could not say it, the word is, in a sense, untrue.

Kimon
04-03-2011, 04:40 PM
The word 'human' is used in the series. Ogier and other non-humans use it mostly, but others have as well. There is also the intent of the oath itself. If an AS says the oath, word for word, but intends for the meaning of 'man' to be gender specific, than the oath wouldn't prevent her for making a weapon for a woman or something else.

Heck, it might even be possible to bypass the 1st oath. To speak no word that's not true, they could tell themselve not to speak false words, words that aren't really words. For example; 'Cats bark and dogs hiss'. Cats and dogs are real words, they are truely, words. But nargsnaggle is not truely a word, so they could not say it, the word is, in a sense, untrue.

Unfortunately, even trying to read the literal wording as the only binding function is problematic. For instance, Moiraine told Rand (while discussing Alviarin's letter) that an Aes Sedai can no more write a lie than speak it. So apparently the first oath has more than just a literal binding, but also extended associations.

Zombie Sammael
04-03-2011, 04:53 PM
Unfortunately, even trying to read the literal wording as the only binding function is problematic. For instance, Moiraine told Rand (while discussing Alviarin's letter) that an Aes Sedai can no more write a lie than speak it. So apparently the first oath has more than just a literal binding, but also extended associations.

Moiraine may be speaking from personal experience. I expect the personality of the AS involved might have something to do with how the oath functions; i.e. expect it is their interpretation which counts. In the case of Moiraine, she's most happy talking in riddles and sounding super-wise all the time, so she is comfortable with the broad interpretation. Another AS might find she can circumvent the oaths with excessively literal interpretations of them. Significantly, the one thing you can't do is lie to yourself: you can't tell yourself "it's not really a sword, it's a brush-clearer" and expect it to work unless you bring yourself to genuinely believe that; Moiraine would likely be unable to convince herself writing an untrue letter was not speaking a word that is not true because she herself interprets the oaths broadly.

Which does raise an interesting point: are there any known AS who are writers of poetry and/or fiction?

Kimon
04-03-2011, 05:03 PM
Moiraine may be speaking from personal experience. I expect the personality of the AS involved might have something to do with how the oath functions; i.e. expect it is their interpretation which counts. In the case of Moiraine, she's most happy talking in riddles and sounding super-wise all the time, so she is comfortable with the broad interpretation. Another AS might find she can circumvent the oaths with excessively literal interpretations of them. Significantly, the one thing you can't do is lie to yourself: you can't tell yourself "it's not really a sword, it's a brush-clearer" and expect it to work unless you bring yourself to genuinely believe that; Moiraine would likely be unable to convince herself writing an untrue letter was not speaking a word that is not true because she herself interprets the oaths broadly.

Which does raise an interesting point: are there any known AS who are writers of poetry and/or fiction?

Writing poetry wouldn't apply because poetry just means putting writing in meter, so you could write, for instance philosophy (as Lucretius did) in meter. Or consider if a sister wrote a poetic description of a sunrise, that need not in any way violate the oath. Fiction likewise wouldn't presumably be a violation of the oaths, unless you were trying to pass it off as non-fiction, otherwise they wouldn't even be able to say have a book club and read and discuss one of their romance novels, since then they would be speaking untrue words. Of course, we have only seen sisters read their romance novels, not speak the words, so maybe writing romance novels, or even reading them aloud would be verboten.

As for other sisters being as great a stickler for the spirit of the oath as Moiraine, the black ajah hunters in the tower were looking not only at things said by suspects, but also at what they had written in reports, so presumably this was a widespread interpretation.

Edynol
04-03-2011, 05:21 PM
There's another another thing that I think gives some wieght to my theory. Frequently we see AS speek untrue words in the form of sarcasm. That by itself make the oaths flexible, proving that intent is infact the binding matter. Yes, when speaking in sarcasm, they are making it obvious that what they say isn't of their true belief, but still, the words they are speaking are technically untrue.

Weird Harold
04-03-2011, 11:16 PM
Unfortunately, even trying to read the literal wording as the only binding function is problematic. For instance, Moiraine told Rand (while discussing Alviarin's letter) that an Aes Sedai can no more write a lie than speak it. So apparently the first oath has more than just a literal binding, but also extended associations.
Actually, Moiraine did NOT say an aes sedai can't write a lie.

"I think there's a rift in the Tower, whether Elaida knows it or not. I assume an Aes Sedai can't write a lie more easily than she can speak one?" He did not wait for her nod. "If Alviarin had been less flowery, I might have thought they were working together to pull me in. I can't see Elaida even thinking half of what Alviarin wrote, and I can't see her having a Keeper who could write it, not if she knew."

She, at most, acknowledges that Rand has made the assumption.

As for other sisters being as great a stickler for the spirit of the oath as Moiraine, the black ajah hunters in the tower were looking not only at things said by suspects, but also at what they had written in reports, so presumably this was a widespread interpretation.

The BA hunters were looking for contradictions in written reports and verbal accounts -- if they differ, then the Aes Sedai may have lied and they can arrange to question her further.

I think the BA Hunter's search is more a recognition that most Aes Sedai are in the habit of telling the truth and thus write the way they speak, not that they're bound against writing "a word that isn't true."

ChubbyAiel
04-04-2011, 06:25 AM
Actually, Moiraine did NOT say an aes sedai can't write a lie... She, at most, acknowledges that Rand has made the assumption.

Whatever she was affirming she speaks no word to do so if she only nods, thereby completely circumventing the First Oath anyway.

Apart from sarcasm, as noted, surely Aes Sedai would be able to speak in simile and metaphor? If an Aes Sedai tells a Darkfriend he is as slippery as an eel that is not literally true but no one is actually being misled, are they? There isn't actually a falsehood involved there. Calling her Warder a mule-headed fool because he's stubborn wouldn't be prevented by the First Oath either, I assume.

So yes, it is all about interpretation, but as someone pointed out earlier, the person bound by the oath cannot actually lie to themselves. Telling a lie to purposely deceive someone couldn't be justified as being a metaphor. If someone was being charged with robbery and an Aes Sedai bore witness against him saying, "Yes, he is a robber", she couldn't justify that to herself as "Yes, he is a robber because I borrowed money from him once and he charged me a hefty interest rate" (hence a metaphor). She would know she was lying.