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yks 6nnetu hing
07-27-2011, 08:31 AM
I would like to know about the significance of colours for AS. We know that the colour-AS affiliation happened after the Breaking; yet near the Portal Stones we see the 7-colour steps, which are dating from the Age of Legends. What were the associations of the different colours in AOL and how did for example Yellow get assigned to Healing instead of White, seeing as according to one interview answer White is the colour associated with Spirit and Spirit is used most for Healing?

Is it at all connected to the 5 Powers? But there are only 5 powers: Air, Water, Spirit, Fire and Earth - 2 less than the Ajah colours... Unless you count 1 colour each for Saidin and Saidar? Problem with that is, that the ancient Aes Sedai symbol shows black and white as the representative colours for Saidin and Saidar, and Black Ajah is what it is (Additionally, Black was not one of the colours on the Portal Stone)

here's the quote I was talking about:
Week 9 Question: When a person channels, where do the flows appear to originate from? Do they extrude themselves somehow from the person's body, or do they seem to appear out of thin air in the channeler's general vicinity? What do the flows look like to a person who can channel? Are they colored, clear or indeterminate, smooth or rough, wispy or solid?

Robert Jordan Answers: To the channeler, the flows seem to originate in his or her very immediate vicinity, not to emanate from themselves, although to another channeler, those flows do seem to be emanating from the channeler. The latter is the actual case, as the One Power is passing through the channeler, one of the reasons for individual limits on how much of the Power a particular person can handle. (And you have seen characters react as if to a blow from having a flow snapped or cut.)

A channeler sees the flows as colored very faintly, according to which of the Five Powers is involved (red = Fire, Blue = Water, green = Earth, yellow = Air, white = Spirit), although the "feel" of the flows are also different to a channeler, so that a channeler can tell one from another without actually seeing them. (That is how someone can tell that somebody else has channeled, say, Fire and Earth, in their vicinity without seeing the flows.) It isn't a physical feel; you might almost as well say that they have different flavors. They appear to be smooth and nearly transparent, tinged with color. that list/association leaves out Brown and Gray - what do those colours stand for aside from the Ajah association?





<editing note>
This thread is a merger of two discussions on the same topic, so it may seem a bit disjointed.
Thanks - Crispian
</editing note>

GonzoTheGreat
07-27-2011, 09:04 AM
I would like to know about the significance of colours for AS. We know that the colour-AS affiliation happened after the Breaking; yet near the Portal Stones we see the 7-colour steps, which are dating from the Age of Legends.They may not date to the AoL:
Ruins of portal stones have been discovered in various parts of the world. Gray stone cylinders approximately three spans tall and a full pace thick, these stones are covered with hundreds of deeply incised diagrams and markings. The portal stones are said to be gateways to alternative realities within the Pattern. The knowledge of their use has been lost, but it is believed that Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends used them freely. Indications are that they may predate the Age of Legends.

"It's what I have to do, Egwene." He had to move quickly, and there was no quicker way than Portal Stones. Remnants of an Age older than the Age of Legends; even Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends had not understood them, it seemed. But there was no quicker way. If it worked the way he hoped.Bonus question: if the Stone of Tear were made into a Portal Stone, where would it take you?

The Unreasoner
07-27-2011, 05:36 PM
that list/association leaves out Brown and Gray - what do those colours stand for aside from the Ajah association?

I think I asked the bulk of that already.

But if you are right that each color has a connection to a power, and that brown and gray are excluded, may I suggest...
Brown: the earth they study
Gray: the cities of stone where they pass judgment.

yks 6nnetu hing
07-28-2011, 07:09 AM
I think I asked the bulk of that already.

But if you are right that each color has a connection to a power, and that brown and gray are excluded, may I suggest...
Brown: the earth they study
Gray: the cities of stone where they pass judgment.

My first reaction is: that's stupid. and here's why: it's much too vague and it doesn't match with what the ajahs do.

I suppose the gray could represent the middle between black and white (traditional Saidin/Saidar): would make sense as they're the negotiators, the mediators. The middle ground.

But brown... The Brown Ajah study EVERYTHING, not only the Earth.

so we've got:

Blue-Water-Causes and the implementation of justice
Red-Fire-preventing another Breaking of the World (via tracking and controlling male channelers)
Green-Earth-Battle
White-Spirit-Logic, truth, philosophy
Yellow-Air-Healing
Gray-???-mediation
Brown-???-any knowledge

What does Water have to do with causes? Fire and Earth I can understand, they're considered the strongest battle/male Powers. And then comes Spirit and Air for Logic and Healing respectively, and the connections there are a bit tenuous as well.

The Unreasoner
07-28-2011, 03:53 PM
My first reaction is: that's stupid.
if I may...
But if you are right
I don't actually think you are. Like you said, what does water have to do with causes? I just assumed you were and put forward my best guess.

I am beginning to think that the colors may derive from something other than the Five Powers entirely, and that the steps were made by Lanfear.

Heinz
08-10-2011, 11:08 AM
My random observation was that the main Aes Sedai split/conflict centered around the Blues and the Reds, which are the typical colors associated with the Colonial Army and the Redcoats. I doubt one has to do with the other, but it amused my historical sense all the same.

I had some others, but lost them in the mists of time and a cluttered brain, and my 're-listen' (since I'll be on the road a lot this fall) doesn't start for another month yet.

Zombie Sammael
08-10-2011, 11:13 AM
My random observation was that the main Aes Sedai split/conflict centered around the Blues and the Reds, which are the typical colors associated with the Colonial Army and the Redcoats. I doubt one has to do with the other, but it amused my historical sense all the same.

I had some others, but lost them in the mists of time and a cluttered brain, and my 're-listen' (since I'll be on the road a lot this fall) doesn't start for another month yet.

Blue and red are also complimentary colours (I think that's the term) so I thought that was the reason for having them take opposite sides. Red and Green have tensions for similar reasons.

Kimon
08-10-2011, 11:22 AM
Blue and red are also complimentary colours (I think that's the term) so I thought that was the reason for having them take opposite sides. Red and Green have tensions for similar reasons.

Blue and Red are also the colors associated with the two political parties in America. Blue for the Dems, and Red for the Republicans.

Heinz
08-10-2011, 11:25 AM
Speaking of the colors, anyone happen to know why Blue and Yellow for those particular Ajah's? Or the exact reasoning/symbolism for Red and Green for that matter. Grey is pretty obvious. White and pure logic make sense. Brown, though I can't think of a direct color reference, brings monks to mind, and I often think of Browns as that stereotype so I can see the association. Red and Green 'fit' for their Ajah's in my mind, though I'm curious if there's a deeper meaning. And then I just have no clue when it comes to Blue and Yellow and how they associate with their colors. But the associations/meanings behind colors for various events was never something I knew much about, yet I'm sure it was all intentional here.

Kimon
08-10-2011, 11:32 AM
Speaking of the colors, anyone happen to know why Blue and Yellow for those particular Ajah's? Or the exact reasoning/symbolism for Red and Green for that matter. Grey is pretty obvious. White and pure logic make sense. Brown, though I can't think of a direct color reference, brings monks to mind, and I often think of Browns as that stereotype so I can see the association. Red and Green 'fit' for their Ajah's in my mind, though I'm curious if there's a deeper meaning. And then I just have no clue when it comes to Blue and Yellow and how they associate with their colors. But the associations/meanings behind colors for various events was never something I knew much about, yet I'm sure it was all intentional here.

RJ:

Week 9 Question: When a person channels, where do the flows appear to originate from? Do they extrude themselves somehow from the person's body, or do they seem to appear out of thin air in the channeler's general vicinity? What do the flows look like to a person who can channel? Are they colored, clear or indeterminate, smooth or rough, wispy or solid?

Robert Jordan Answers: To the channeler, the flows seem to originate in his or her very immediate vicinity, not to emanate from themselves, although to another channeler, those flows do seem to be emanating from the channeler. The latter is the actual case, as the One Power is passing through the channeler, one of the reasons for individual limits on how much of the Power a particular person can handle. (And you have seen characters react as if to a blow from having a flow snapped or cut.)

A channeler sees the flows as colored very faintly, according to which of the Five Powers is involved (red = Fire, Blue = Water, green = Earth, yellow = Air, white = Spirit), although the "feel" of the flows are also different to a channeler, so that a channeler can tell one from another without actually seeing them. (That is how someone can tell that somebody else has channeled, say, Fire and Earth, in their vicinity without seeing the flows.) It isn't a physical feel; you might almost as well say that they have different flavors. They appear to be smooth and nearly transparent, tinged with color.

That leaves out Grey and Brown, but gives you the essential idea. My association of the blue and the red is probably crap, but let's be honest, it's hard for an American to not associate those colors with the two political parties, espeically when the reds are so much like the Republicans, and the blues so much like the Democrats.

WinespringBrother
08-10-2011, 11:35 AM
There was a discussion about the colors in another thread recently, relating the ajah colors to the colors "sensed" by channelers from the 5 different channeling types - earth, water, air, fire, spirit, though obviously there is not a perfect match being that there are 7 ajahs.

Sorry, too lazy to find that thread...

The Unreasoner
08-10-2011, 04:40 PM
These similarities in appearance are not coincidental.
Surely the OP is. And the Red/Blue Rep/Dem may be too, didn't the colors used to be reversed?

Crispin's Crispian
08-10-2011, 04:53 PM
What I find interesting about the Ajah colors vis-a-vis the Portal Stones is:


A reader asked when the term "Ajah" came to have the meaning it has in Rand's time. He said that until at least 500 years after the Tower was founded, it meant a temporary association for a specific purpose, and was a lower-case noun. Its proper-noun sense arose afterwards, supplanting the earlier usage after the Trolloc Wars.
I'm going to assume that the assignation of color to Ajah occurred at the same time. So it's tough to make a direct association between the Portal Stone steps and the Ajah colors, because the Portal Stones are way older.

It would be cool to have some history of Aes Sedai associations and/or symbolism at some point. I wonder if this Portal Stone color issue will ever be resolved.

Zombie Sammael
08-10-2011, 05:15 PM
What I find interesting about the Ajah colors vis-a-vis the Portal Stones is:


I'm going to assume that the assignation of color to Ajah occurred at the same time. So it's tough to make a direct association between the Portal Stone steps and the Ajah colors, because the Portal Stones are way older.

It would be cool to have some history of Aes Sedai associations and/or symbolism at some point. I wonder if this Portal Stone color issue will ever be resolved.

Encyclopedia perhaps? I'd hope it would contain lots of interesting facts like this.

It's also worth noting that as late as TDR RJ hadn't fully settled all the details of the world, as we know from the ageless look, so it might be he originally planned for the Ajahs to be a relic of the AOL and then changed his mind.

Ishara
08-10-2011, 07:24 PM
WH used to posit that that Grey Ajah actually started out as purple and due to the fact that when purple fades it becomes grey it morphed that way. I *think* the rationale was the colours of the rainbow, but I don't want to put words in his mouth when I've so clearly butchered the concept...

Zombie Sammael
08-11-2011, 01:52 PM
WH used to posit that that Grey Ajah actually started out as purple and due to the fact that when purple fades it becomes grey it morphed that way. I *think* the rationale was the colours of the rainbow, but I don't want to put words in his mouth when I've so clearly butchered the concept...

I'd like to hear that Theory. I recall from a while back one of the loony ideas about Verin was that she was secretly in the "Purple Ajah" which was a secret society dedicated to defending the Light or some such, i.e. the opposite of the Black.

The seven colours do immediately make one think of the colours of the rainbow, but obviously RJ either wanted to be a little more original (in which case the choices are still odd) or he had some other reason. Off the top of my head, both Brown and White result from the mixing of colours, but those are the two most withdrawn from the world. Grey for mediators is rather obvious, but what does Yellow have to do with healing?

The Unreasoner
08-11-2011, 02:30 PM
I'd like to hear that Theory. I recall from a while back one of the loony ideas about Verin was that she was secretly in the "Purple Ajah" which was a secret society dedicated to defending the Light or some such, i.e. the opposite of the Black.

Not such a looney theory after all, no?

And for red and blue...
The word is "complementary."
Which, unfortunately, red and blue are not.
Red/green, blue/orange. I think.

Zombie Sammael
08-11-2011, 02:32 PM
Not such a looney theory after all, no?

And for red and blue...
The word is "complementary."
Which, unfortunately, red and blue are not.
Red/green, blue/orange. I think.

I think they are in some colour charts, no?

yks 6nnetu hing
08-11-2011, 02:45 PM
I think they are in some colour charts, no?

primary colours are: magenta-red, blue and yellow. their opposite colours are what you get by mixing the other 2 colours, so for red: green; for blue: orange; and for yellow: purple. White and black are not colours, likewise gold and silver. Brown is the more or less even mixture of all of the primary colours.

the thing about red and magenta-red is that what we normally nowadays call red is actually rather orange-y red, which would make it almost the opposite of blue.

The logic for Green and Red ajahs makes sense because they're dedicated to "manly" pursuits and fire (red) and Earth (green) are considered the "manly" powers.

The logic for White Ajah (hah, I punned!) makes sense as well seeing as White is associated with Spirit.

But for the rest, blue (water) for causes and yellow (Air) for healing is rather vague and of course there's no One-Power-related answer for Gray and Brown.

The Unreasoner
08-11-2011, 03:02 PM
I would think logic devoid of spirit.
And zombie:
Most people think of the primary colors as red/blue/yellow, but they are technically magenta/cyan/yellow.
So according to that system, red/cyan...
And idk. But it is at least closer to the red/blue you originally proposed.

Weird Harold
08-11-2011, 03:03 PM
WH used to posit that that Grey Ajah actually started out as purple and due to the fact that when purple fades it becomes grey it morphed that way. I *think* the rationale was the colours of the rainbow, but I don't want to put words in his mouth when I've so clearly butchered the concept...

I'd like to hear that Theory.

My suggestion that Grey was the result of purple fading was a combination of rationalizing the the absence of a Purple Ajah and the historical problems with producing a purple dye that didn't quickly fade to Grey.

Given the timing problem cited earlier I suspect that the rainbow is the indirect source of the Ajah Colors -- more precisely, the ability to dye fabric in primary and secondary colors to mimic a rainbow.

Zombie Sammael
08-11-2011, 03:07 PM
My suggestion that Grey was the result of purple fading was a combination of rationalizing the the absence of a Purple Ajah and the historical problems with producing a purple dye that didn't quickly fade to Grey.

Given the timing problem cited earlier I suspect that the rainbow is the indirect source of the Ajah Colors -- more precisely, the ability to dye fabric in primary and secondary colors to mimic a rainbow.

Ah, that's both clever and sensible. Have some Youngling Rep. I wonder how many different Amyrlin's stoles there have been over the years? it's the sort of trivia someone would keep a record of IRL.

Marie Curie 7
08-11-2011, 10:56 PM
I'd like to hear that Theory. I recall from a while back one of the loony ideas about Verin was that she was secretly in the "Purple Ajah" which was a secret society dedicated to defending the Light or some such, i.e. the opposite of the Black.

Yup, that was even included in the WOTFAQ for a long time:

Second Foundation Ajah Theory (aka Purple Ajah Theory)

Theory: Verin is a member of a secret society whose members preserve ancient knowledge for humanity's need at the Last Battle. The existence of the BA shows that it is possible for a secret group to exist in the Tower-- if there is a group dedicated to evil, why not a group dedicated to good?

Problem: There have always been rumors of the BA. Nothing can be kept secret for centuries in a place with so many people in it, and so much scheming as the White Tower. And yet, we've never heard any hint of this secret group.

The Purple Ajah discussion has its roots, I believe, in the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan, where it was kind of a Big Thing.

And there once was a Purple Ajah planned: ;)

Winter's Heart Book Tour, San Jose, CA, 10 November 2000 Brandon Downey reporting
(http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan/msg/50f4f201a8c31b65)
Q: Was there ever a Purple Ajah?

RJ: They were going to, but they ran off to New Orleans and started up a biker bar instead.


The seven colours do immediately make one think of the colours of the rainbow, but obviously RJ either wanted to be a little more original (in which case the choices are [I]still odd) or he had some other reason. Off the top of my head, both Brown and White result from the mixing of colours, but those are the two most withdrawn from the world. Grey for mediators is rather obvious, but what does Yellow have to do with healing?

Well, if the colors were related in some way to the rainbow, then there should have been an Orange Ajah, too. (And if the scheme was indeed based on the colors of the rainbow, it would include indigo and violet rather than purple, if you want to be particular about it.)

But anyway, the Orange Ajah was rejected by RJ:

Barnes and Noble chat 11 November 2000 (http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Barnes_and_Noble_Chat_November_11,_2000)

William Barbarow from California: Hi, Mr, Jordan, I have been an avid reader of your books since I first read The Eye of the World about a year ago. I was wondering how did you choose the colors for the Ajahs, ie. why are some colors such as orange left out and gray is in? Thanks for answering my question.

RJ: I stuck with what you might call basic colors, and orange is not a basic color.

Honestly, I don't think it's at all clear what RJ really meant by 'basic colors' in this context - he certainly did not mean 'primary colors', since white, gray, and brown would not qualify in that case.


primary colours are: magenta-red, blue and yellow. their opposite colours are what you get by mixing the other 2 colours, so for red: green; for blue: orange; and for yellow: purple. White and black are not colours, likewise gold and silver. Brown is the more or less even mixture of all of the primary colours.

It really depends on whether or not you're referring to the primary colors of 'light' or the primary colors of 'art', to discuss it in sort of colloquial terms. The primary colors of light are RGB - red, green, and blue. The primary colors of art are red, yellow, and blue (or rather magenta, yellow, and cyan, to be more up-to-date). The difference arises mainly as a result of whether we consider the colors to be additive or subtractive.

To be more specific about that, additive color mixing (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/vision/addcol.html#c1) of the three primary colors of light - red, green, and blue - yields white light. The complementary colors of the primary colors would be: Red - Cyan; Green - Magenta; Blue - Yellow.

Subtractive color mixing (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/vision/subcol.html#c1) is what occurs when you mix paints or pigments (hence, this is referred to as corresponding to the primary colors of art). CMYK is used today to refer to this set (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key or Black). The older style reference to these colors gives the primaries as red, yellow, and blue. In this case the complementary colors are: Red - Green; Yellow - Purple; Blue - Orange.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-12-2011, 01:50 AM
It really depends on whether or not you're referring to the primary colors of 'light' or the primary colors of 'art', to discuss it in sort of colloquial terms. The primary colors of light are RGB - red, green, and blue. The primary colors of art are red, yellow, and blue (or rather magenta, yellow, and cyan, to be more up-to-date). The difference arises mainly as a result of whether we consider the colors to be additive or subtractive.

To be more specific about that, additive color mixing (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/vision/addcol.html#c1) of the three primary colors of light - red, green, and blue - yields white light. The complementary colors of the primary colors would be: Red - Cyan; Green - Magenta; Blue - Yellow.

Subtractive color mixing (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/vision/subcol.html#c1) is what occurs when you mix paints or pigments (hence, this is referred to as corresponding to the primary colors of art). CMYK is used today to refer to this set (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key or Black). The older style reference to these colors gives the primaries as red, yellow, and blue. In this case the complementary colors are: Red - Green; Yellow - Purple; Blue - Orange.

True. I was talking in art terms.