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Green Man 22
12-16-2011, 12:40 PM
Does anyone have an explanation for why RJ made such a big deal out of the ages and time of service (being short) for the Sitters and for the Amyrlin Seat? This is specifically mentioned after Egwene is raised to being Amyrlin.

RJ makes it seem like Egwene is the most unusual thing in the world as the Amyrlin Seat at such a young age, and how so many of the Sitters are so young to hold their position of power. I think there is mention of needing to serve for decades or 100 years before most attain that rank.

Adding to that, Moiraine's makes this comment to Siuan in New Spring: "I wager you will be in the Hall of the Tower by the time you have worn the shawl a hundred years, and Amyrlin before fifty more."

But from New Spring, Siuan wasn't even a full AS until partway through that book (took place in 978 NE), and by the Great Hunt (~998 NE), she has already been the Amyrlin Seat for the past ten years (since ~988 NE) and the Great Hunt also says that she had been raised from the Hall of the Tower (which means it is likely she was a Sitter before becoming the Amyrlin).

Now I know that RJ wrote New Spring after CoT, but still it seems strange that he would be inconsistent with his previous writing. Anybody have any thoughts on this?

Zombie Sammael
12-16-2011, 12:48 PM
Does anyone have an explanation for why RJ made such a big deal out of the ages and time of service (being short) for the Sitters and for the Amyrlin Seat? This is specifically mentioned after Egwene is raised to being Amyrlin.

RJ makes it seem like Egwene is the most unusual thing in the world as the Amyrlin Seat at such a young age, and how so many of the Sitters are so young to hold their position of power. I think there is mention of needing to serve for decades or 100 years before most attain that rank.

Adding to that, Moiraine's makes this comment to Siuan in New Spring: "I wager you will be in the Hall of the Tower by the time you have worn the shawl a hundred years, and Amyrlin before fifty more."

But from New Spring, Siuan wasn't even a full AS until partway through that book (took place in 978 NE), and by the Great Hunt (~998 NE), she has already been the Amyrlin Seat for the past ten years (since ~988 NE) and the Great Hunt also says that she had been raised from the Hall of the Tower (which means it is likely she was a Sitter before becoming the Amyrlin).

Now I know that RJ wrote New Spring after CoT, but still it seems strange that he would be inconsistent with his previous writing. Anybody have any thoughts on this?

Siuan is an exceptional politician and leader, with skills approaching genius level. With that in mind, she's promoted much, much faster than is normal for Sitters and Amyrlins, which only makes the nature and fact of her fall all the more tragic, and emphasises how special Egwene is as her successor.

Most Sitters and Amyrlins are raised only after they have been AS a certain amount of time: around 70-100 years. This means they're effectively well above middle age for an AS (I believe average oath-bound lifespan is around 150 years) when they're raised, and so serve only a short amount of time before either voluntarily retiring or dying. I think it's unusual if not unheard of for a serving Amyrlin to retire, however.

Landro
12-16-2011, 01:36 PM
Most are older when they take office because it takes a while to build up enough allies to reach the top.

Before Siuan was raised, there were several Amyrlins with very short reigns (courtesy of the BA). They wanted to avoid another short reign by picking a younger candidate.

Another reason for selecting a younger candidate can be if no consensus can be reached for more conventional candidates.

Picking older candidates also has the advantage of limiting their reign because these offices are usually held until death. This gives more Ajahs a chance of being represented by an Amyrlin from their own Ajah (at least for a short while).

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-16-2011, 01:43 PM
Siuan is an exceptional politician and leader, with skills approaching genius level. With that in mind, she's promoted much, much faster than is normal for Sitters and Amyrlins, which only makes the nature and fact of her fall all the more tragic, and emphasises how special Egwene is as her successor.

here is the actual explanation, from Siuan herself via Egwene...

TITLE: Crown of Swords
CHAPTER: 8 - The Figurehead
Siuan had only been raised Amyrlin because the three before her each had died after just a few years on the Amyrlin Seat. The Hall had wanted someone young. Speaking of age to a sister was at least as rude as slapping her face, yet she had begun to get some idea how long Aes Sedai lived. Rarely was anyone chosen Sitter before she had worn the shawl seventy or eighty years at least, and Amyrlins generally longer. Often much longer. So when the Hall deadlocked between four sisters raised Aes Sedai less than fifty years before, and Seaine Herimon of the White suggested a woman who had worn the shawl only ten years, it might have been as much exhaustion as Siuan's qualifications in administration that brought the Sitters to stand for her.

Zombie Sammael
12-16-2011, 01:49 PM
here is the actual explanation, from Siuan herself via Egwene...

As soon as I read that, I knew what you were going to post, but I completely blanked on it when replying first time. Oh well, Siuan still has exceptional administration skills, although perhaps "genius level" was laying it on a bit thick (Egwene might actually be there, though).

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-16-2011, 01:54 PM
your explanation was valid, just incomplete and the full version is from RJ directly from the books :D

I do like your comment that her fall is much more tragic because of her abilities; I agree she was a great administrator, but a better tactitian. In the end I think she is proven to be a better teacher than anything else.

Zombie Sammael
12-16-2011, 02:13 PM
your explanation was valid, just incomplete and the full version is from RJ directly from the books :D

I do like your comment that her fall is much more tragic because of her abilities; I agree she was a great administrator, but a better tactitian. In the end I think she is proven to be a better teacher than anything else.

Kind of like an anti-Mesaana, in a lot of ways.

Terez
12-16-2011, 02:18 PM
PS - There was only one response in this thread (Zombie's) when I looked at it...


Now I know that RJ wrote New Spring after CoT, but still it seems strange that he would be inconsistent with his previous writing. Anybody have any thoughts on this?You must have missed the explanation (first from Egwene's POV, then from Seaine's, both in ACOS):
[Egwene] had been taught that the wisest of the sisters was chosen Amyrlin Seat, yet she had learned better. The choosing of an Amyrlin was as hotly contested as electing a mayor in the Two Rivers, and maybe more; no one bothered to stand against her father in Emond’s Field, but she had heard about elections in Deven Ride and Taren Ferry. Siuan had only been raised Amyrlin because the three before her each had died after just a few years on the Amyrlin Seat. The Hall had wanted someone young. Speaking of age to a sister was at least as rude as slapping her face, yet she had begun to get some idea how long Aes Sedai lived. Rarely was anyone chosen Sitter before she had worn the shawl seventy or eighty years at least, and Amyrlins generally longer. Often much longer. So when the Hall deadlocked between four sisters raised Aes Sedai less than fifty years before, and Seaine Herimon of the White suggested a woman who had worn the shawl only ten years, it might have been as much exhaustion as Siuan’s qualifications in administration that brought the Sitters to stand for her.She would not have stood against Siuan Sanche - she had proposed the girl as Amyrlin in the first place! - but once it was done and all the forms were followed, however sparely, aiding her escape certainly had been treason, and deliberately countermanding an Amyrlin’s order just as much. Possibly communicating with al’Thor was, too; that depended on what was communicated, with what intent. Finding who had changed the Amyrlin’s command would be difficult without knowing what command. At this late date learning who might have helped Siuan escape stood about as much chance of success as learning who might be writing to al’Thor. So many pigeons flew into and out of the Tower cotes every day that at times the sky seemed to be raining feathers. If Elaida knew more than she had said, she had certainly gone around the barn. This all made very little sense. Treason ought to make Elaida boil with rage, but she had not been angry. She had been nervous. And anxious to be gone. And secretive, as if she did not want to tell everything she knew or suspected. Almost as though she was afraid to. What kind of treason would make Elaida nervous or afraid? Death and disaster for the whole Tower.

Weird Harold
12-16-2011, 09:25 PM
Does anyone have an explanation for why RJ made such a big deal out of the ages and time of service (being short) for the Sitters and for the Amyrlin Seat? ...

RJ was of the generation whose motto was "Never Trust Anyone Over Thirty." In addition to the Amyrlin and sitters, many of the Kings/Queens and military leaders are replaced by younger people.

Khoram
12-16-2011, 10:58 PM
I couldn't find the answer to this anywhere, and the thought just popped up into my head:

What are RJ's influences for the One Power? Where does the idea of the One Power originate from?

The idea of having this infinite Source that you can draw upon, but you cannot draw too much, otherwise you would either burn yourself out or kill yourself.

RJ did say at a book signing in '98 concerning the One Power that:

I had the basis of it before I began writing, and a good part of how it fit together. Other parts were added in when I realized that there was a question to be answered-- something that I had to decide her and now, how this worked. But I have not quite a large file describing the One Power and how it works, and the things that can be done with it and the things that can't be done, and the exceptions to the rules and all that.

But that doesn't really answer my question - I'm looking for influences and where the idea originated from, not the fact that he DID have an idea before writing.

Green Man 22
12-17-2011, 01:48 AM
Thanks for all of the input on the age thing.

I guess it still just came across as weird when they made such a huge deal out of Egwene and her age and experience, when Siuan was only about 30 years old when she became Amyrlin. Working backwards, Siuan had become AS at the age of 20 (same as most of the supergirls) and had then become a Sitter before the age of 30.

So really the rapid success of Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne really isn't that strange when you consider the success of Moiraine and Siuan.

Zombie Sammael
12-17-2011, 06:21 AM
I couldn't find the answer to this anywhere, and the thought just popped up into my head:

What are RJ's influences for the One Power? Where does the idea of the One Power originate from?

The idea of having this infinite Source that you can draw upon, but you cannot draw too much, otherwise you would either burn yourself out or kill yourself.

RJ did say at a book signing in '98 concerning the One Power that:



But that doesn't really answer my question - I'm looking for influences and where the idea originated from, not the fact that he DID have an idea before writing.

A good place to look for this sort of thing is 13th Depository (http://13depository.blogspot.com/search/label/Topical%20Index) (although I still have trouble navigating it). One source I did find right away was a comparison with quantum physics. Sorry I can't be more helpful - it's possible RJ simply made it up. Certainly, the male/female dichotomy has numerous potential sources, as do the five powers as corresponding to the four classical elements plus spirit.

Terez
12-17-2011, 07:36 AM
Elemental magic was the only real source for the Power. If you asked RJ where he got the idea for it, he'd probably say 'out of my head'.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 05:13 AM
This means they're effectively well above middle age for an AS (I believe average oath-bound lifespan is around 150 years) when they're raised, and so serve only a short amount of time before either voluntarily retiring or dying.
Actually, no. Aes Sedai generally live to be around 275-300. Stronger ones live longer, of course.

Which explains why no one wants a very young, strong Aes Sedai as a real Amyrlin. That would usually mean she has centuries to rule. I do think some amount of support for Elaida came because people realized Siuan left strong would go on for almost their entire lifetime as Amyrlin, unless she decided to retire, which hardly seems in character for her.

Incidentally, Siuan wasn't raised from the Hall. There's about zero chance the Blues raised their young intelligence expert to the Hall this early. We're told they usually don't have one person filling multiple posts.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 05:24 AM
Actually, no. Aes Sedai generally live to be around 275-300. Stronger ones live longer, of course.

Cadsuane Melaidhrin is around 300, having been born around 705NE. She is considered old even for an Aes Sedai. She has lived well beyond the lifespan of a normal AS. I stick by my assertion that about 150 is the average age. If you have some quote or source that says otherwise, please post it.

The Unreasoner
12-21-2011, 06:55 AM
Cadsuane Melaidhrin is around 300, having been born around 705NE. She is considered old even for an Aes Sedai. She has lived well beyond the lifespan of a normal AS. I stick by my assertion that about 150 is the average age. If you have some quote or source that says otherwise, please post it.

I think this may be a continuity thing. iirc (and I might not*), Aes Sedai originally used to live an exceptionally long time, in the early books.

And given that Cadsuane (and her past) apparently has some further role to play (if the new hunt is any guide, it could just be for shits and giggles), maybe the original super-long lifespans didn't outweigh RJ's vision for Cadsuane's character. Perhaps her growing up in that particular time is key.

But of course if not, I refer you to the above (*)

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 07:02 AM
I think this may be a continuity thing. iirc (and I might not*), Aes Sedai originally used to live an exceptionally long time, in the early books.

And given that Cadsuane (and her past) apparently has some further role to play (if the new hunt is any guide, it could just be for shits and giggles), maybe the original super-long lifespans didn't outweigh RJ's vision for Cadsuane's character. Perhaps her growing up in that particular time is key.

But of course if not, I refer you to the above (*)

I think 150 is an exceptionally long time by any standard, particularly the standard of a pre-industrial society whose medical care consists of village wise women and the occasional yellow sister who can be bothered. That makes it sound slightly worse than it is; those wise women don't seem to be particularly taken by superstition, but I'd say their care has more in common with folk remedies than Western medicine. I'd be surprised if the average age of death for a non-channeler is much above 50. So I don't think there's any continuity error. Gitara Moroso was rumoured to be about 300 when she died, and that was considered very old. I think in TEOTW, Moiraine just comments that AS live to be very old, so neither are you misremembering, but 150 by any standard fits that bill. 300 is phenomenal.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 08:49 AM
Cadsuane Melaidhrin is around 300, having been born around 705NE. She is considered old even for an Aes Sedai. She has lived well beyond the lifespan of a normal AS. I stick by my assertion that about 150 is the average age. If you have some quote or source that says otherwise, please post it.
She has not lived well beyond the lifespan of a normal Aes Sedai. She is just approaching what is considered the maximum life expectancy of an Aes Sedai, which is why she is considered exceptionally old.

Here is a quote that proves my point:

'That's madness!' Nynaeve burst out... 'You know what it does; the Kin are proof! How many Aes Sedai live past three hundred? Or reach it? And don't tell me I shouldn't talk about age. That's a ridiculous custom, and you know it. Egwene, Reanne was called Eldest because she was the oldest Kinswoman in Ebou Dar. The oldest anywhere is a woman called Aloisia Nemosni, an oil merchant in Tear. Egwene, she's nearly six...hundred...years...old! When the Hall hears that, I'll wager they'll be ready to put the Oath Rod on a shelf.' "'The Light knows three hundred years is a long time,' Elayne put in, 'but I can't say I'm happy myself at the prospect of perhaps cutting my life in half, Egwene.'

Basically, a 300+ year old Aes Sedai is like a 120 year old man, at the very edge of possible human lifespan. Any number can die earlier if they're killed, of course, but since Aes Sedai are disease free, and do not have degenerative conditions (we're told repeatedly that they look like they're in the pink of health till they keel over), the average life expectancy should be closer to the maximum than is the case for us humans (110+ is the known maximum, but the average is about 70). By no means is average going to be half of the maximum.

And, it seems long life for a bound Aes Sedai doesn't seem correlated with strength:

Suddenly Kirstian fell to her knees, clutching at Adeleas' skirts with one hand. "I submit myself," she said calmly, her tone a wonder coming from that bloodless face. "I was enrolled in the novice book almost three hundred years ago, and ran away less than a year later. I submit myself, and . . .
and beg mercy."
It was white-haired Adeleas' turn to go wide-eyed. Kirstian was claiming to have run away from the
White Tower when she herself was an infant, if not before she was born! Most of the sisters still did not really believe the ages claimed by the Kin. Indeed, Kirstian appeared just into her middle years.

Thus, Adeleas, who is really weak in the Power, is about 300 years old, the same as Cadsuane, the same as Romanda.

So, the oldest Aes Sedai live to about 300, with the average being about 270. Nynaeve and Elayne's statements make no sense otherwise.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 08:58 AM
She has not lived well beyond the lifespan of a normal Aes Sedai. She is just approaching what is considered the maximum life expectancy of an Aes Sedai, which is why she is considered exceptionally old.

Here is a quote that proves my point:

'That's madness!' Nynaeve burst out... 'You know what it does; the Kin are proof! How many Aes Sedai live past three hundred? Or reach it? And don't tell me I shouldn't talk about age. That's a ridiculous custom, and you know it. Egwene, Reanne was called Eldest because she was the oldest Kinswoman in Ebou Dar. The oldest anywhere is a woman called Aloisia Nemosni, an oil merchant in Tear. Egwene, she's nearly six...hundred...years...old! When the Hall hears that, I'll wager they'll be ready to put the Oath Rod on a shelf.' "'The Light knows three hundred years is a long time,' Elayne put in, 'but I can't say I'm happy myself at the prospect of perhaps cutting my life in half, Egwene.'

Basically, a 300+ year old Aes Sedai is like a 120 year old man, at the very edge of possible human lifespan. Any number can die earlier if they're killed, of course, but since Aes Sedai are disease free, and do not have degenerative conditions (we're told repeatedly that they look like they're in the pink of health till they keel over), the average life expectancy should be closer to the maximum than is the case for us humans (110+ is the known maximum, but the average is about 70). By no means is average going to be half of the maximum.

And, it seems long life for a bound Aes Sedai doesn't seem correlated with strength:

Suddenly Kirstian fell to her knees, clutching at Adeleas' skirts with one hand. "I submit myself," she said calmly, her tone a wonder coming from that bloodless face. "I was enrolled in the novice book almost three hundred years ago, and ran away less than a year later. I submit myself, and . . .
and beg mercy."
It was white-haired Adeleas' turn to go wide-eyed. Kirstian was claiming to have run away from the
White Tower when she herself was an infant, if not before she was born! Most of the sisters still did not really believe the ages claimed by the Kin. Indeed, Kirstian appeared just into her middle years.

Thus, Adeleas, who is really weak in the Power, is about 300 years old, the same as Cadsuane, the same as Romanda.

So, the oldest Aes Sedai live to about 300, with the average being about 270. Nynaeve and Elayne's statements make no sense otherwise.

The statement "how many Aes Sedai live past three hundred? Or reach it?" suggests not that 300 is the average age of death but rather that 300 is an exceptional age to reach. Elayne even says as much in the quote you posted! Gitara was rumoured to be 300 when she died, and that was considered exceptional. Cadsuane, at 300, is considered exceptional.

Consider: normal human lifespan in a developed Western Society is around 70-80 years. I'll be generous and call it 80. The most exceptional of exceptions reaches 120. 80 is two thirds of 120, and the oldest AS - the absolute oldest of the old - is 300. Therefore, simple maths shows that you would expect most AS to reach 150. Factor in things like the lack of medical facilities beyond the One Power and the assassination rate among those who fall prey to the BA, and you can see where I get 150 from. I'm pretty sure there's also a quote from the series or BWB that backs it up.

300 is your upper limit, not your average.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 09:16 AM
The statement "how many Aes Sedai live past three hundred? Or reach it?" suggests not that 300 is the average age of death but rather that 300 is an exceptional age to reach. Elayne even says as much in the quote you posted! Gitara was rumoured to be 300 when she died, and that was considered exceptional. Cadsuane, at 300, is considered exceptional.
This is pretty much exactly what I said.

Consider: normal human lifespan in a developed Western Society is around 70-80 years. I'll be generous and call it 80. The most exceptional of exceptions reaches 120. 80 is two thirds of 120, and the oldest AS - the absolute oldest of the old - is 300.
Nope. The oldest is about 300. We do not know if that means 290 or 310.

Therefore, simple maths shows that you would expect most AS to reach 150.
That's simple math fail then. Two thirds of 300 is 200, sorry.

Factor in things like the lack of medical facilities beyond the One Power
You mean the absence of less effective means of curing health issues will reduce lifespan? Where's the logic in that?

and the assassination rate among those who fall prey to the BA,
What is this rate, exactly? If BA assassinations contribute to anything more than 5% of all Aes Sedai deaths, then I'd like to see some proof.

and you can see where I get 150 from. I'm pretty sure there's also a quote from the series or BWB that backs it up.
I'll see it when I believe it. I repeat again, given the total absence of disease and degeneration among Aes Sedai, the average life expectancy is likely to be rather close to the maximum. Add in Healing, and 270-280 seems about right.

300 is your upper limit, not your average.
Yes...

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 09:22 AM
This is pretty much exactly what I said.


Nope. The oldest is about 300. We do not know if that means 290 or 310.


That's simple math fail then. Two thirds of 300 is 200, sorry.


You mean the absence of less effective means of curing health issues will reduce lifespan? Where's the logic in that?


What is this rate, exactly? If BA assassinations contribute to anything more than 5% of all Aes Sedai deaths, then I'd like to see some proof.


I'll see it when I believe it. I repeat again, given the total absence of disease and degeneration among Aes Sedai, the average life expectancy is likely to be rather close to the maximum. Add in Healing, and 270-280 seems about right.


Yes...

I meant to say 200, but I'll let it stand rather than edit it as you quoted it. In any case, I don't buy 270 being anywhere near the average. Cadusane is noted as being exceptional for many reasons, one of which is her great age. Her approximately 295 years isn't going to seem that amazing if you've got plenty of people popping their clogs at 270. I stick with 150-200.

David Selig
12-21-2011, 09:26 AM
It was white-haired Adeleas' turn to go wide-eyed. Kirstian was claiming to have run away from the
White Tower when she herself was an infant, if not before she was born!

How would Elayne know Vandene's age? It's a taboo topic for discussion among Aes Sedai. She most probably just made a rough guess here.

Also, we have this from RJ:
Q: Does the rate of slowing depend on your strength in the Power?
RJ: Yes: Basically; you age at 1/X your normal rate, with X being dependent up to a point on Power strength. The Power acts as a natural rejuvenator on you; even at the point of death you won't look or feel worse than a normal 65-year-old.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 09:26 AM
I meant to say 200, but I'll let it stand rather than edit it as you quoted it. In any case, I don't buy 270 being anywhere near the average. Cadusane is noted as being exceptional for many reasons, one of which is her great age. Her approximately 295 years isn't going to seem that amazing if you've got plenty of people popping their clogs at 270. I stick with 150-200.
Umm... I think any 100 year old will easily consider a 120 year old exceptional.

You still have no answer to the fact that with no disease, no degeneration, better living conditions, better health care access and better physical defenses, the distance between the average and oldest Aes Sedai should be closer than for vanilla humans.

Stick to 200 by all means, but 270 is definitely closer to the mark, especially from Elayne and Nynaeve's statements.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 09:35 AM
Umm... I think any 100 year old will easily consider a 120 year old exceptional.

You still have no answer to the fact that with no disease, no degeneration, better living conditions, better health care access and better physical defenses, the distance between the average and oldest Aes Sedai should be closer than for vanilla humans.

Stick to 200 by all means, but 270 is definitely closer to the mark, especially from Elayne and Nynaeve's statements.

There is no way Elayne's and Nynaeve's comments mean what you think they mean. Elayne specifically says that few AS reach 300! Anyway, we also have the following from New Spring:

“I might live another thirty years,” Cadsuane said, putting out a hand for the cup Moiraine offered, “or only three. Who can say?”

Moiraine’s eyes went wide, and she slopped hot wine over her own wrist. Merean gasped, and Larelle looked as though she had been struck in the forehead with a stone. Any Aes Sedai would spit on the table before referring to another sister’s age or her own. Except that Cadsuane was not any Aes Sedai.

“A little more care with the other cups,” she said, unperturbed by all the gaping. “Child?” Moiraine returned to the hearth still staring, and Cadsuane went on, “Meilyn is considerably older. When she and I are gone, that leaves Kerene the strongest.” Larelle flinched. “Am I disturbing you?” Cadsuane’s solicitous tone could not have been more false, and she did not wait for an answer. “Holding our silence about age doesn’t keep people from knowing we live longer than they. Phaaw! From Kerene, it’s a sharp drop to the next five. Five once this child and the Sanche girl reach their potential. And one of those is as old as I am and in retirement to boot.”

I've been trying to find the equivalent quote in the novel version, but my books aren't with me at the moment. In any case, Cadsuane herself says she is very old and near death here, and this is set 20 years before the start of the series. She is an exception. Even with perfect disease control and physical fitness, the majority of people will still die sooner than others, and with an extended age span such as the AS, that doesn't mean that the oldest will only be a small percentage older than the average, it merely suggests that the gap between average and oldest will extend.

If Cadusane lives to be 412 I'll gladly eat humble pie, but at the moment, all you're doing is making baseless assertions on a single quote that doesn't mean what you think it does.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 09:49 AM
There is no way Elayne's and Nynaeve's comments mean what you think they mean. Elayne specifically says that few AS reach 300! Anyway, we also have the following from New Spring:
Stop fighting a straw man, dude. I'm also saying few AS reach three hundred. Unless you can find a place in the last few quotes where I say a substantial number reach 300...

I've been trying to find the equivalent quote in the novel version, but my books aren't with me at the moment. In any case, Cadsuane herself says she is very old and near death here, and this is set 20 years before the start of the series.
20 years before she's about 300, she says she's near death. Exactly how does this prove 150 or 200 as the average age? If she's said this a hundred years ago, you'd have a point...

As it is, if the average age is 270, a woman who is 275 saying she may live 3 more years or 30 fits exactly with 300 being the approximate maximum. Past the average age of 270, there's no saying how long you'll live. She's exceptional in that she actually seems to be approaching her self-set upper limit of 30 more years.

She is an exception. Even with perfect disease control and physical fitness, the majority of people will still die sooner than others,
Can I get some evidence for this rather absurd statement?

and with an extended age span such as the AS, that doesn't mean that the oldest will only be a small percentage older than the average, it merely suggests that the gap between average and oldest will extend.
What math/logic can possibly support this notion. Are you saying that with improved health care in our world, the gap between the oldest and the average will increase? I'll point to a hundred years of stats showing the opposite as proof that you're talking out of your hat.

If Cadusane lives to be 412 I'll gladly eat humble pie, but at the moment, all you're doing is making baseless assertions on a single quote that doesn't mean what you think it does.
She can die tomorrow and I'd still be correct.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-21-2011, 11:20 AM
me = skimmed the squabbling, so apologies if already noted but here...300 IS NOT USUAL for Aes Sedai, and is in fact noted as VERY OLD. Not sort of old, not a little beyond average...VERY OLD.

TITLE: Winter's Heart
CHAPTER: 10 - A Plan Succeeds
"That's madness!" Nynaeve burst out, leaning forward in her chair. Surprisingly, still the same chair. And still the same dress. Very surprising. Her hands were fists resting on her lap. "You know what it does; the Kin are proof! How many Aes Sedai live past three hundred? Or reach it? And don't tell me I shouldn't talk about age. That's a ridiculous custom, and you know it. Egwene, Reanne was called Eldest because she was the oldest Kinswoman in Ebou Dar. The oldest anywhere is a woman called Aloisia Nemosni, an oil merchant in Tear. Egwene, she's nearly six . . . hundred . . . years . . . old! When the Hall hears that, I wager they'll be ready to put the Oath Rod on a shelf." TITLE: New Spring - The Novel
CHAPTER: 2 - A Wish Fulfilled
As with all Aes Sedai, once they had worked long enough with the One Power, it was impossible to put an age to Gitara's face. At a glance, you might think she was no more than twenty-five, perhaps less, then a second glance would say a youthful forty-five or fifty and still just short of great beauty, while a third changed it all again. That smooth, ageless face was the mark of Aes Sedai, to those who knew. To those who did not know, and many did not, her hair would have added to the confusion. Caught with carved ivory combs, it was white as snow. By whispered rumor, she was over three hundred years old, very old even for an Aes Sedai. Speaking of a sister's age was extremely rude. Even another sister would be given a penance for it; a novice or Accepted would find herself sent to the Mistress of Novices for a switching. But surely thinking about it did not count.

Green Man 22
12-21-2011, 12:26 PM
Incidentally, Siuan wasn't raised from the Hall. There's about zero chance the Blues raised their young intelligence expert to the Hall this early. We're told they usually don't have one person filling multiple posts.

Quote from The Great Hunt, Chapter 4 - Summoned (page 55 in paperback):

The Amyrlin had been born in Tear, of a simple fisherman's family, not a noble House, and her name was Siuan Sanche, though very few had used that name, or even thought of it, in the ten years since she had been raised from the Hall of the Tower.

Unless I read that wrong, or there have been later revisions to this book, it clearly states that she was raised from the Hall of the Tower, and not by the Hall of the Tower.

It could be that as RJ continued writing and deepened the story, that he changed the history and procedures of the AS from where he started. It is a minor inconsistency, but I think it arose from writing A New Spring so late into the story and by having Moiraine and Siuan be so young in that book.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 12:38 PM
Quote from The Great Hunt, Chapter 4 - Summoned (page 55 in paperback):



Unless I read that wrong, or there have been later revisions to this book, it clearly states that she was raised from the Hall of the Tower, and not by the Hall of the Tower.

It could be that as RJ continued writing and deepened the story, that he changed the history and procedures of the AS from where he started. It is a minor inconsistency, but I think it arose from writing A New Spring so late into the story and by having Moiraine and Siuan be so young in that book.
Siuan was meant to be just as young from the very beginning. In tGH, Moiraine says she was an Accepted when Gitara gave her prophesy 20 years ago during the Aiel war, which fits perfectly with New Spring.

Thing is, Siuan being a Sitter isn't even mentioned in the series, and there have been plenty of times revealing this would have made sense. Also, the description of how the Hall settled on Siuan makes no sense if Siuan herself was a Sitter. From that description, it appears that Siuan was an out of the left field candidate, which she couldn't have been if she were a Sitter.

Further still, I seem to remember an RJ quote which stated that some of the reasons why Siuan was chosen were similar to why Egwene was chosen. Some Sitters believed that raising an inexperienced Sister would mean they could be the power behind the throne. If they knew her from the Hall, they would hardly have assumed such a thing.

I think the quote from tGH was either a mistake, or just something that slipped beneath RJ's radar.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 12:42 PM
Siuan was meant to be just as young from the very beginning. In tGH, Moiraine says she was an Accepted when Gitara gave her prophesy 20 years ago during the Aiel war, which fits perfectly with New Spring.

Thing is, Siuan being a Sitter isn't even mentioned in the series, and there have been plenty of times revealing this would have made sense. Also, the description of how the Hall settled on Siuan makes no sense if Siuan herself was a Sitter. From that description, it appears that Siuan was an out of the left field candidate, which she couldn't have been if she were a Sitter.

Further still, I seem to remember an RJ quote which stated that some of the reasons why Siuan was chosen were similar to why Egwene was chosen. Some Sitters believed that raising an inexperienced Sister would mean they could be the power behind the throne. If they knew her from the Hall, they would hardly have assumed such a thing.

I think the quote from tGH was either a mistake, or just something that slipped beneath RJ's radar.

Given that she was so young when raised to Amyrlin, it stands to reason that she had only been a Sitter for a very short time when she was. And it does mention her being a Sitter in the series in that quote. If she was raised from the Hall, she must have been a Sitter.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 01:02 PM
Given that she was so young when raised to Amyrlin, it stands to reason that she had only been a Sitter for a very short time when she was. And it does mention her being a Sitter in the series in that quote. If she was raised from the Hall, she must have been a Sitter.
And it was never mentioned again in books worth of story where Siuan is talking to Egwene about the Hall and its politics? And however new she might have been in the Hall in your hypothetical scenario,
no Sitter is going to assume another Sitter is going to be a pushover.

For another, when Siuan mentions the too young Sitter conspiracy to Egwene, all Egwene thinks is that Siuan herself had been raised Amyrlin when she was very young, with no mention of her being a too young Sitter herself. That would definitely have come up if it had really happened.

Khoram
12-21-2011, 01:22 PM
And it was never mentioned again in books worth of story where Siuan is talking to Egwene about the Hall and its politics? And however new she might have been in the Hall in your hypothetical scenario,
no Sitter is going to assume another Sitter is going to be a pushover.

For another, when Siuan mentions the too young Sitter conspiracy to Egwene, all Egwene thinks is that Siuan herself had been raised Amyrlin when she was very young, with no mention of her being a too young Sitter herself. That would definitely have come up if it had really happened.

This, however, implies that she was already a Sitter. It specifically says that Siuan was raised from the Hall, not by the Hall. This means that, unlike Egwene's being raised by the SAS Hall, Siuan was already a Sitter by the time she was raised - which is spectacular, seeing as she had only been Aes Sedai ten years or so by that time.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 01:51 PM
What edition was that in?

Also, as it is never ever mentioned anywhere else...there's about a 99% chance of a typo.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 01:52 PM
This, however, implies that she was already a Sitter. It specifically says that Siuan was raised from the Hall, not by the Hall. This means that, unlike Egwene's being raised by the SAS Hall, Siuan was already a Sitter by the time she was raised - which is spectacular, seeing as she had only been Aes Sedai ten years or so by that time.
If this were true, Egwene would have said Siuan had been a too young Sitter herself. Instead, she only said Siuan was a very young Amyrlin.

Using one instance of questionable word usage as proof of something that is clearly not true from various other instances in the books just won't do.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 02:02 PM
What edition was that in?

Also, as it is never ever mentioned anywhere else...there's about a 99% chance of a typo.

It's actually in BOTH of the copies of TGH I have available to me - US and British. So no, it's not a typo.

If this were true, Egwene would have said Siuan had been a too young Sitter herself. Instead, she only said Siuan was a very young Amyrlin.

Using one instance of questionable word usage as proof of something that is clearly not true from various other instances in the books just won't do.

Where exactly do you think it says in the books that Siuan wasn't a Sitter?

David Selig
12-21-2011, 02:04 PM
I have a question which is tangentially related to the current discussion - where in the books is it mentioned for the first time that channellers live much longer? Is it possible that RJ changed his mind after TGH about that? 30 year old Amyrlin is a lot more likely if the life expectancy is her life expectancy is 70 years, not 250.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 02:12 PM
I have a question which is tangentially related to the current discussion - where in the books is it mentioned for the first time that channellers live much longer? Is it possible that RJ changed his mind after TGH about that? 30 year old Amyrlin is a lot more likely if the life expectancy is her life expectancy is 70 years, not 250.

That's a theory I've always bandied about that RJ really didnt get into how old AS would live in the 3rd Age until around book 4-5...thus a 30 year Amyrlin was super young but only in relationship to a 70ish year old standard (similar to how John Paul II was considered really young for the Papacy). The age factor isn't really mentioned until at least TSR...if not later.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 02:25 PM
I have a question which is tangentially related to the current discussion - where in the books is it mentioned for the first time that channellers live much longer? Is it possible that RJ changed his mind after TGH about that? 30 year old Amyrlin is a lot more likely if the life expectancy is her life expectancy is 70 years, not 250.

It's connected to the discussion of the Ageless face, which might be an actual example of RJ screwing up. One of the Aiel - I believe it's Gaul - suggests in TDR that either Moiraine or the super-girls "have the look of those that have gone to Rhuidean", which some take to refer to the Ageless face. I can't remember the exact specifics of the scene, but there is some feeling that this isn't an actual mistake, and is down to the Tower's Accepted test and the Rhuidean WO test ter'angreal being similar.

It is stated multiple times throughout the series that AS live significantly longer than other folk, but they do not live anything like as long as they did in the AOL (i.e. hundreds of years), hence why Cadusane is considered remarkable for both age and accomplishments.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-21-2011, 02:47 PM
Where exactly do you think it says in the books that Siuan wasn't a Sitter?

as an aside, Cadsuane refused to be a Sitter, twice, and left Tar Valon when she thought the Hall intended to raise her Amyrlin.

Being a Sitter is not a prerequisite to being an Amyrlin. And I do not believe Siuan was ever a Sitter either.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 03:03 PM
as an aside, Cadsuane refused to be a Sitter, twice, and left Tar Valon when she thought the Hall intended to raise her Amyrlin.

Being a Sitter is not a prerequisite to being an Amyrlin. And I do not believe Siuan was ever a Sitter either.

No, but the existence of a quote from the books that says she was kind of sort of outright says she was.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-21-2011, 03:09 PM
No, but the existence of a quote from the books that says she was kind of sort of outright says she was.

I have done numerous searches in the book database, I cannot find a direct quote saying she was or was not a Sitter. It seems clear she was NOT due to the age issues, inexperience, etc. I was trying to find where it said how many Sitters stood for her, but I am not sure that is in the books anywhere either. (Siuan is a pet of mine, believe me, I know where to look)

Nothing says Lan ISN'T a darkfriend, that doesn't mean he is. Hence, I don't like the argument or lack of logic to the assumption.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 03:12 PM
Considering it is never, ever ever mentioned by her or any other AS, you have to think she was never a Sitter. It would have come up again had she really been one. Otherwise, it is likely simply a mistake that was never caught.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 03:20 PM
Considering it is never, ever ever mentioned by her or any other AS, you have to think she was never a Sitter. It would have come up again had she really been one. Otherwise, it is likely simply a mistake that was never caught.

I don't want to be too inflammatory to you or SBC, Dav, but if you ignore what's written in the books then Mazrim Taim is Demandred.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 03:22 PM
I don't want to be too inflammatory to you or SBC, Dav, but if you ignore what's written in the books then Mazrim Taim is Demandred.

We're talking about one prepositional phrase from Book 2 that is never mentioned again in the next 13 books. Replace "from" with "by" and it makes far more sense. Its something to maybe ask Brandon/Marie about but I seriously doubt there's any validity to it at all.

eht slat meit
12-21-2011, 03:24 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Hall of the Tower a very specific location from which the governing body derives its name? The same way the "White House" refers to not only an actual location but the current administration?

I ask, because the wiki on it doesn't provide a source for the claim.

If so, that presents a far more logical explanation of why the word "from" was used, at least in my view.

As far as that roster is concerned, as I understand things, in the ten years between NS and Siuan's ascent to Amyrlin, there were already three Sitters, Anlee, Eadyth and Lelaine. Since that point, two of the women have either retired/died/disappeared, with Lyrelle taking the open spot before the Tower's split.

That leaves one open slot which could theoretically be Leane or Siuan in that open space of ten years, but... does that really make sense? Would the Sitters stand for a power-bloc of that size taking over the Amyrlin Seat? Did the admittedly small Ajah of Blues really have that much control that a mere one-seventh of the Hall could force one of their number into the Amyrlin Seat, and another one of their Blues as the Keeper as well?

It strikes me as exceptionally brute-force where more subtlety should be required.

There's really not much in the books to suggest that an Amyrlin must be a former Sitter, and in terms of power/political plays like these people are used to, it doesn't seem likely that they'd pull from their own number. Or am I missing something?

Grig
12-21-2011, 03:25 PM
I have done numerous searches in the book database, I cannot find a direct quote saying she was or was not a Sitter.

The quote in question has already been provided in this thread.

The Amyrlin had been born in Tear, of a simple fisherman's family, not a noble House, and her name was Siuan Sanche, though very few had used that name, or even thought of it, in the ten years since she had been raised from the Hall of the Tower.

The construction "from the Hall of the Tower" implies that she was a Sitter. It could be a mistake, sure. But for as much as you're touting logic on your side, you're the one contradicting the text of the books. It could be logical if your argument was similar to Davians that it's an open mistake and the word should be "by" and not "from", or you could write it down to early-book-itis (surely if Siuan was a Sitter, there would be more reference to that fact, and it would have come up more clearly during the Too Young Sitters mystery), but so far your argument appears to be based on ignoring the book text instead of explaining it away. Not logical.



Did the admittedly small Ajah of Blues really have that much control that a mere one-seventh of the Hall could force one of their number into the Amyrlin Seat, and another one of their Blues as the Keeper as well?


The way you make it sound, no Amyrlin would ever come from any Ajah, as the mere one-seventh wouldn't be able to force their number into the Amyrlin Seat. Also keep in mind that before Egwene, the Amyrlin and the Keeper were always from the same Ajah, so the Keeper being Blue isn't really relevant to the influence required to install an Amyrlin of a given Ajah.

Grig
12-21-2011, 03:29 PM
oops, double post

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 03:32 PM
To my mind, the argument about "she never mentioned it so it didn't happen" can be countered with the suggestion that she was only a sitter for a short time (she could only have been, given she was only a sister for ten years) and learned far more during her time as Amyrlin. I mean, I can see a throwaway line were she says something like, "Well not when I was Amyrlin, Egwene, but when I was a sitter we did this...", but it's not really necessary.

For the record, and in the interests of fairness, I did find something which does have me taking a slice of humble pie (but it's Christmas, so why not indulge myself):

Just as it is unusual for a sister to be raised to Sitter before she had worn the shawl for a hundred years, it is unusual for a sister to be raised to the Amyrlin Seat short of having worn the shawl for a hundred and fifty to two hundred years, and above two hundred years is most common.


So that rather implies that most sisters make it at least past 200, so sorry, Fionwe, you were right.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 03:32 PM
I suggest we add this to the "Ask Marie" pile but I'm sticking by my gut feel for it.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 03:35 PM
Part of the problem with guessing the lifespan of Oathbound women is that a large, large majority of them disappear into retirement well before they are decrepit so they might very well be living into the mid 300s but nobody really knows because they're growing roses in Ghealdan or writing histories that no one will read in the Borderlands.

The 150 year mark feels really really low though based on what we know just from moderately strong channelers like Adelas/Vandene living well past that.

Terez
12-21-2011, 03:37 PM
I'm not the only mod that has the ability to move posts. Next time please don't let it get to 48 posts before moving it. Thanks.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 03:37 PM
Part of the problem with guessing the lifespan of Oathbound women is that a large, large majority of them disappear into retirement well before they are decrepit so they might very well be living into the mid 300s but nobody really knows because they're growing roses in Ghealdan or writing histories that no one will read in the Borderlands.

The 150 year mark feels really really low though based on what we know just from moderately strong channelers like Adelas/Vandene living well past that.

I think I may have been confusing the average AGE of the sisters with the average age of death. It makes sense to think the average AS age might be around 150, so yeah, I am feeling kinda silly for arguing it so vehemently, but such is life, and Tam's giving us some of that soon.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 03:40 PM
I'm not the only mod that has the ability to move posts. Next time please don't let it get to 48 posts before moving it. Thanks.

:p

Didnt realize it had gotten that long...it was such a good discussion that we were immersed in the details.

eht slat meit
12-21-2011, 04:01 PM
Though only one of those quotes is mine, I'm guessing this reply was directed at me.

I don't consider the construction a mistake, and I believe that the sentence construction, following the rules of English grammar, can reasonably and logically be interpreted in either of two ways:
1. The Hall of the Tower as a governing body, and a source from which an Amyrlin may be raised.
2. The Hall of the Tower as a physical location, and a place from which an Amyrlin may be raised.

Both are perfectly reasonable and logical. Don't confuse me with Davian, no matter how similar our arguments may be. He thinks it may be a mistake; I do not.

Your reasoning suggests that only one conclusion is possible and I disagree.

While we're discussing semantics, I will also point out that the books saying something straight out and "implying" it are nowhere near the same thing. You are reading between the lines and inferring what you believe to be true. I am doing the same.

As for the latter, I was linking political power with the size of an Ajah, and to an extent it's true, but not a hard and fast rule. If there are three Sitters, and one is Lelaine, then what you have is one Blue who is a political powerhouse, one who is playing a potential puppet-Amyrlin and a third unnamed. Lelaine would have to be the force behind this raising, and politically PoV'ed, other Sitters are immediately going to be suspicious that she's raising her fellow Sitter to be her personal puppet. How would you make that work?

To the rest, that's a fair point, though your statement that the Amyrlin and Keeper are always from the same Ajah is inaccurate due to the fact that the Amyrlin chooses her own Keeper, not because it's Tower law or demanded by tradition. What that means is that any Ajah can expect to gain that much more influence in the Tower and cause an objection to anyone seeing a potential alignment of power between a specific Ajah and the Amyrlin.

Weiramon
12-21-2011, 04:06 PM
Burn my soul, how old was that handsome Elaida woman when she was elected a Sitter?

Davian93
12-21-2011, 04:09 PM
Burn my soul, how old was that handsome Elaida woman when she was elected a Sitter?

Mid-to-late 40s maybe...considering she was only slightly older than Moiraine/Siuan and they were around 40.

Weiramon
12-21-2011, 04:14 PM
No doubt her being raised at such a young age aroused a great deal of rustling of skirts.

And adjusting of shawls.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 04:16 PM
She spent 3 years as a Novice and 3 as an Accepted and was raised to the Shawl in the 2nd year that Moiraine/Siuan were in the Tower so she's probably about 5 years older than them if they all came to the Tower around the same age...no guarantee obviously as for all we know she showed up at Age 14.

Zombie Sammael
12-21-2011, 04:17 PM
The way you make it sound, no Amyrlin would ever come from any Ajah, as the mere one-seventh wouldn't be able to force their number into the Amyrlin Seat. Also keep in mind that before Egwene, the Amyrlin and the Keeper were always from the same Ajah, so the Keeper being Blue isn't really relevant to the influence required to install an Amyrlin of a given Ajah.

You're incorrect about the Amyrlin/Keeper Ajah association. Elaida had a Keeper from the White, and before her, Sierin "a grey with more than a touch of red in her" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) had a Keeper from the Red, Duhara.

Grig
12-21-2011, 04:23 PM
Both are perfectly reasonable and logical. Don't confuse me with Davian, no matter how similar our arguments may be. He thinks it may be a mistake; I do not.

Your reasoning suggests that only one conclusion is possible and I disagree.

Wha? I pointed out three possible conclusions. Assuming you're responding to me? Text that follows a quote is a response to whoever posted said quote. You're getting snooty about my attribution, but you never give any cue as to who you're responding to in your reply, so I'm going out on a limb here. How can you think I'm confusing you with Davian, when I point out how your line of thought seems or could be similar to his?

While we're discussing semantics, I will also point out that the books saying something straight out and "implying" it are nowhere near the same thing. You are reading between the lines and inferring what you believe to be true. I am doing the same.

No, I am taking the text literally, in the manner the words in use are generally used. You're positing a different, less standard usage of the terms. Not the same thing.


As for the latter, I was link political power with the size of an Ajah, and to an extent it's true, but not a hard and fast rule.

No, it's not true to any extent. The Red is by far the largest Ajah, and has not had an Amyrlin for generations. The Blue is the second-smallest Ajah, and something like 4 out of the last 5 Amyrlins have been Blue.

To the rest, that's a fair point, though your statement that the Amyrlin and Keeper are always from the same Ajah is inaccurate due to the fact that the Amyrlin chooses her own Keeper, not because it's Tower law or demanded by tradition.

This is wrong. I didn't say it was Tower law or demanded. To quote myself:

Also keep in mind that before Egwene, the Amyrlin and the Keeper were always from the same Ajah

If you're going to say that's inaccurate you need to actually provide a counterexample, not allude to the absence of a rule that I never posited the existence of. Zombie Sammael has taken care of this, so thanks. I had forgotten about Vayu. So I'm wrong, but not for the reason you stated (which was a complete non sequitur).

eht slat meit
12-21-2011, 04:53 PM
You're getting snooty about my attribution, but you never give any cue as to who you're responding to in your reply, so I'm going out on a limb here. How can you think I'm confusing you with Davian, when I point out how your line of thought seems or could be similar to his?

Like my post, yours contained no attribution (yes, I'm acknowledging a mistake), simply quoted text. I recognized one of the quotes as my own, another as text posted by someone else and read/responded too elsewhere in the thread. In previous experience, such mixed quotes without attribution have indicated confusing one poster for another, and being held to account for something I don't even agree with. That's why I was very specific in pointing out that I was -guessing- your reply was directed to me.

No, I am taking the text literally, in the manner the words in use are generally used. You're positing a different, less standard usage of the terms. Not the same thing.

You are inferring an idea from a single text-based quote that isn't supported anywhere else in the books. I am doing the same. The standard usage of the terms lends slightly more likelihood to one term, but since it can be used almost interchangeably with that other term, the conclusion is open to both of our subjective interpretations. You acknowledge both are possible, so I'm not sure I see a further point of contention here.

No, it's not true to any extent. The Red is by far the largest Ajah, and has not had an Amyrlin for generations. The Blue is the second-smallest Ajah, and something like 4 out of the last 5 Amyrlins have been Blue.

I'm not sure why you feel this need to utilize sweeping generalizations like "not true to any extent". You do realize that the Reds, while not having an Amyrlin for so long, shape policy that affects how the world perceives the Tower? It might be that the perceived weakness of the Blues is why they keep getting Amyrlins into power.

If you're going to say that's inaccurate you need to actually provide a counterexample, not allude to the absence of a rule that I never posited the existence of.

I didn't think that I needed to provided a counterexample to disprove a sweeping generalization that could be shown wrong by a 1-minute search on Encyclopedia wot or half-dozen other resource sites. In fact, I'd go so far as to state the burden of proving or substantiating the claim lies on the person who first made it.

I'm probably overstepping my conclusion in seeing it as you stating a hard rule or something demanded of the Amyrlin, but when you say something like "always", I'm not sure how else to take that.

Weiramon
12-21-2011, 04:56 PM
She spent 3 years as a Novice and 3 as an Accepted and was raised to the Shawl in the 2nd year that Moiraine/Siuan were in the Tower so she's probably about 5 years older than them if they all came to the Tower around the same age...no guarantee obviously as for all we know she showed up at Age 14.

Burn my soul, her being elected Sitter at such a young age no doubt was the subject of chapters (https://docs.google.com/View?docID=dcjspjqg_61cqq85pf7&revision=_latest).

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-21-2011, 08:25 PM
The quote in question has already been provided in this thread.

I must have missed something then because I have seen nothing that specifically states that.

eht slat meit
12-21-2011, 08:31 PM
I must have missed something then because I have seen nothing that specifically states that.

He's talking about this quote here:

The Amyrlin had been born in Tear, of a simple fisherman's family, not a noble House, and her name was Siuan Sanche, though very few had used that name, or even thought of it, in the ten years since she had been raised from the Hall of the Tower.

There are a couple possible interpretations of that, as it seems clear enough from RJ's notes (the ones used in BS's Great Hunt) on Cadsuane that one is not required to be a Sitter to become an Amyrlin. Not to say that a Sitter cannot be Amyrlin, but since it's not a requirement, it could go a couple ways.

Taking the text literally, it could mean the "Hall of the Tower" as a governing body, or as a physical location. Unfortunately, there's not any supporting text beyond that quote above to push the conclusion either way.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-21-2011, 08:36 PM
I don't want to be too inflammatory to you or SBC, Dav, but if you ignore what's written in the books then Mazrim Taim is Demandred.

Of course, how did I ever miss THAT :rolleyes: and the comparison of the two...mindboggling in the similarities!!

Davian93
12-21-2011, 08:49 PM
Of course, how did I ever miss THAT :rolleyes: and the comparison of the two...mindboggling in the similarities!!

Of course, the Taim thing was specifically disproven by numerous RJ statements...and there are ZERO such statements about Siuan being a Sitter.

So Occam's Razor and all that...she wasnt.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 08:52 PM
It's actually in BOTH of the copies of TGH I have available to me - US and British. So no, it's not a typo.

Where exactly do you think it says in the books that Siuan wasn't a Sitter?
Nowhere, but its very strongly implied. Also, this quote:

Siuan was raised to the Amyrlin Seat so young for several reasons, most of which I have pointed out pretty clearly in the books, I think. The preceding years had seen a number of Amyrlins die after only a short time in office. In New Spring: the Novel I showed one reason why the pool of potential Amyrlins, Aes Sedai with experience, was reduced over part of that same period. And then there was the impasse over several candidates, none of whom could gain enough support, so that Siuan became a compromise candidate who was raised in part because various Sitters thought they could influence or control such a young Amyrlin. Just as it is unusual for a sister to be raised to Sitter before she had worn the shawl for a hundred years, it is unusual for a sister to be raised to the Amyrlin Seat short of having worn the shawl for a hundred and fifty to two hundred years, and above two hundred years is most common.

If Siuan had also been a Sitter, don't you think RJ would have commented on her being an unusually young Sitter as well as an unusually young Amyrlin? Wouldn't one of her qualifications have been that she had gained a Seat in the Hall so young? The omission of any mention that she was a Sitter in this quote all but seals it for me.


For the record, and in the interests of fairness, I did find something which does have me taking a slice of humble pie (but it's Christmas, so why not indulge myself):

So that rather implies that most sisters make it at least past 200, so sorry, Fionwe, you were right.
That's fine! Glad that got cleared up.


As for the latter, I was linking political power with the size of an Ajah, and to an extent it's true, but not a hard and fast rule. If there are three Sitters, and one is Lelaine, then what you have is one Blue who is a political powerhouse, one who is playing a potential puppet-Amyrlin and a third unnamed. Lelaine would have to be the force behind this raising, and politically PoV'ed, other Sitters are immediately going to be suspicious that she's raising her fellow Sitter to be her personal puppet. How would you make that work?
You make that work by not even being remotely involved with Siuan's rise. Seiaine, a White, was the one who proposed Siuan. I'm sure the three Blue Sitters fell over themselves approving this suggestion, especially Lelaine who was friendly with Siuan (and might well have taken her on as a protege in politics, based on New Spring). For the Blues, it meant a long period of stability with them at the helm, and for senior Blues, it meant being able to influence this reign early on (I doubt any of them could have envisaged Siuan as a permanent pushover Amyrlin). The Whites and the Greens were the Blues allies, and likely gave in at this point, and the Reds probably did so at Galina's (and Alviarin's) prompting.

To the rest, that's a fair point, though your statement that the Amyrlin and Keeper are always from the same Ajah is inaccurate due to the fact that the Amyrlin chooses her own Keeper, not because it's Tower law or demanded by tradition. What that means is that any Ajah can expect to gain that much more influence in the Tower and cause an objection to anyone seeing a potential alignment of power between a specific Ajah and the Amyrlin.
Nope. It is tradition for the Amyrlin to choose a Keeper from her own Ajah. There have been instances of this not happening, but those have always been mentioned as exceptions.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-21-2011, 08:52 PM
He's talking about this quote here:





uh, yeah hon, I got that. I am agreeing with others in the thread that the wording doesn't specifically say she was a Sitter.

Find a specific quote that says Siuan was a Sitter for the Blue. To be honest, I don't understand why it is even a question at this point.

Davian93
12-21-2011, 08:55 PM
uh, yeah hon, I got that. I am agreeing with others in the thread that the wording doesn't specifically say she was a Sitter.

Find a specific quote that says Siuan was a Sitter for the Blue. To be honest, I don't understand why it is even a question at this point.

Long time between books is bringing out the crazy theories as usual.

Khoram
12-21-2011, 08:59 PM
Long time between books is bringing out the crazy theories as usual.

Well, it's best to get 'em while there's still time, no?

Crazy Theory: Demandred is Darth Vader. :D Or vice versa; whichever you prefer.

eht slat meit
12-21-2011, 09:02 PM
You make that work by not even being remotely involved with Siuan's rise. Seiaine, a White, was the one who proposed Siuan. I'm sure the three Blue Sitters fell over themselves approving this suggestion, especially Lelaine who was friendly with Siuan (and might well have taken her on as a protege in politics, based on New Spring).


That's kind of the point... I was discussing how awkward it would be for Siuan to be one of the three Blue Sitters in question, trying to be the biddable potential puppet, and yet at the same time falling over herself to become Amyrlin?

It doesn't mean she couldn't possibly have been one of the Sitters of course, but it was a point against it, to my way of thinking.

fionwe1987
12-21-2011, 09:22 PM
That's kind of the point... I was discussing how awkward it would be for Siuan to be one of the three Blue Sitters in question, trying to be the biddable potential puppet, and yet at the same time falling over herself to become Amyrlin?

It doesn't mean she couldn't possibly have been one of the Sitters of course, but it was a point against it, to my way of thinking.
Oh. I totally misunderstood your point then. Apologies!

And I agree. Being in the Hall totally takes away from being the fresh faces compromise candidate. Also, wasn't there some quote where Siuan talks of her surprise at being chosen? That would hardly gel in with her witnessing live the wrangling in the Hall over whom to choose.

Weird Harold
12-21-2011, 09:24 PM
I think this may be a continuity thing. iirc (and I might not*), Aes Sedai originally used to live an exceptionally long time, in the early books.

Long lifespans were a characteristic of the AOL, not tbe early books regarding modern AS.

A typical Channeler from the AOL could live as much as 700 years with the occasional extremely powefull (and lucky) channeler might live even longer. Non-channelers, with access to unlimited healthcare, lived to around 300 -- or longer.

According to RJ, the Oath Rod (used for multiple oaths) puts an absolute cap on lifespan at ~300 years. Even a moderately strong AS would live up beyond 300 years without the Oaths and up to the cap under the oaths. Unfortunately, Tower AS aren't particularly strong Channelers; Cadsuane was the strongest in a century or so prior to Siuan, Moiroaine, and the Supergirls.

Cadsuane is, at 295, the oldest living Aes Sedai. Romanda, and others who appear to be Cadsuane's contemporaries are a decade or three younger.

Very few Wise Ones live longer than 200 years, but that is due to theharsh living co9nditions in then Waste. Without snakebites and other misadventures, Wise ones shoud live as long as the Kin -- 400 to 600 years.

Other Channeling groups seldom reach their natural lifespans because of hazardous lifestyles. Damane are probably the second longest lived Channeling group after the Kin; even damane used for combat weren't much at risk because of a lack of competent opposition remaining in Seanchan. Alivia is roughly 400 and doesn't think of herself as unusual.

FWIW, the typical lifespan for Randland is roughly equivalent to real-worldtern societies -- about 70 years according to RJ.

Green Man 22
12-22-2011, 01:34 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Hall of the Tower a very specific location from which the governing body derives its name? The same way the "White House" refers to not only an actual location but the current administration?

I ask, because the wiki on it doesn't provide a source for the claim.

If so, that presents a far more logical explanation of why the word "from" was used, at least in my view.

First, a disclaimer: I stumbled across the quote in question on a re-read, and am very much enjoying the discussion/debate, but I am thinking it is more of an editing mistake. It would be really cool if I caught something no one else had, but I won't get my hopes up.

That said, the idea that the Hall of the Tower refers to a location in this instance doesn't really make sense. Has an Amrylin ever been raised from any other location? Even Egwene was raised "from" the mini Hall of the Tower in the rebel camp. Using "from" to indicate location would mean that the location was an important distinction, which would only be the case if there were other possible locations (none mentioned in the books that I can see).

As far as that roster is concerned, as I understand things, in the ten years between NS and Siuan's ascent to Amyrlin, there were already three Sitters, Anlee, Eadyth and Lelaine. Since that point, two of the women have either retired/died/disappeared, with Lyrelle taking the open spot before the Tower's split.

That leaves one open slot which could theoretically be Leane or Siuan in that open space of ten years, but... does that really make sense?

Actually, with the explanation of the hierarchy (power-based) within the White Tower (from New Spring) and the information that Siuan and Moiraine were already near the top of the chain (based on their strength in the power), it isn't that crazy that one of them (especially one that was working in the Tower and showing great initiative and taking on lots of responsibility) would be raised to being a Sitter.

Green Man 22
12-22-2011, 01:47 AM
One more thing - Siuan could work as an out of left field candidate even if she was already a Sitter.

If she was newly raised, it would be a total shock to see her nominated rather than someone who had been in power longer and was more experienced (such as Lelaine).

fionwe1987
12-22-2011, 04:02 AM
One more thing - Siuan could work as an out of left field candidate even if she was already a Sitter.

If she was newly raised, it would be a total shock to see her nominated rather than someone who had been in power longer and was more experienced (such as Lelaine).
No it would not. As has been said multiple times, the Hall wanted younger women. Lelaine is second in age only to Romanda in the Rebel Hall, which means she's almost certainly well above 200 years old.

Any woman who is a Sitter is by definition going to be a somewhat likely Amyrlin candidate (at least according to her own Ajah). And if Siuan was in the Hall debating who should be Amyrlin, her own selection could hardly be a major shock to her. She would have seen the way the currents were blowing.

Further, this is Siuan. Do you really think that in whatever little time she was in the Hall, she was already not well known for her superior political capabilities? The quite little mouse Sitter who everyone thought would be easily manipulated doesn't quite fit her MO. With Siuan, you can bet that by her second week as a Sitter, the other 20 women were sitting up and taking notice.

Davian93
12-22-2011, 09:14 AM
Which supports the theory that she wasnt a sitter. They never would have raised her if they knew how strongly stubborn and capable she was...they would have been subjecting themselves to at least 200 years of her rule.

Grig
12-22-2011, 11:00 AM
For what it's worth, I don't think Siuan was a sitter. It seems like another pretty clear case of early-book-itis. The quote was from before Jordan sorted out ages for 3rd Age AS (thus the too young thing), before he came up with his Too Young Sitters mystery for the split, and before he decided to parallel Egwene's raising with Siuan's.

I just don't see any ambiguity in the actual text, aside from whether it was an editing mistake or intentional but retconned or forgotten. The "from the Hall" construction is used several times in the books, always as a reference to Sitters, and the only real-world parallels we have would imply the same (if one said Obama went to the presidency from Congress, we wouldn't be questioning if he was a Congressman).

fionwe1987
12-22-2011, 11:18 AM
if one said Obama went to the presidency from Congress, we wouldn't be questioning if he was a Congressman.
And if someone used from instead of by
and didn't notice it, we wouldn't have a four page discussion either, would we? :p

Green Man 22
12-22-2011, 11:47 AM
No it would not. As has been said multiple times, the Hall wanted younger women. Lelaine is second in age only to Romanda in the Rebel Hall, which means she's almost certainly well above 200 years old.

Any woman who is a Sitter is by definition going to be a somewhat likely Amyrlin candidate (at least according to her own Ajah). And if Siuan was in the Hall debating who should be Amyrlin, her own selection could hardly be a major shock to her. She would have seen the way the currents were blowing.

Sorry for my lazy example (Lelaine). I was just trying to say that young for AS is different than young for normal people. Per RJ, it was unlikely for a woman to be a Sitter unless she had been a sister for 100 years, and an Amyrlin unless she had been a sister for 150 or so.

Given those parameters, someone who had only been an AS for 10 years, no matter how skilled or if she was a Sitter, would still be an out of left field candidate.

Further, this is Siuan. Do you really think that in whatever little time she was in the Hall, she was already not well known for her superior political capabilities? The quite little mouse Sitter who everyone thought would be easily manipulated doesn't quite fit her MO. With Siuan, you can bet that by her second week as a Sitter, the other 20 women were sitting up and taking notice.

Remembering how secretive each Ajah is about internal positions and such (again from New Spring), it would not be that unusual for someone to excel within their Ajah but not have their abilities well known to the rest of the Ajahs.

Given that Siuan was put forward by another Ajah as a candidate, the ones putting her forward could have very well assumed that she would be a puppet for the Hall. In that situation, even if the Blues knew she wouldn't be a puppet, I find it highly unlikely that they would vote against her or influence the vote against her. Even if she wasn't a puppet, her coming from the Blue would ensure that they would control the Mistress of Novices and Keeper roles, and give them a perceived advantage over the other Ajahs.

Again, I think this whole discussion is likely over a typing or editing mistake, but in the absence of a resolution from the author or editor, I feel like I should at least play the Dark One's advocate here.

fionwe1987
12-22-2011, 09:16 PM
Sorry for my lazy example (Lelaine). I was just trying to say that young for AS is different than young for normal people. Per RJ, it was unlikely for a woman to be a Sitter unless she had been a sister for 100 years, and an Amyrlin unless she had been a sister for 150 or so.

Given those parameters, someone who had only been an AS for 10 years, no matter how skilled or if she was a Sitter, would still be an out of left field candidate.
No she would not, since her selection as a Sitter itself would remove an element of surprise. People would mutter when she's raised as a Sitter, then figure she was raised because she was excellent, then not be nearly as surprised when she's suggested as a possible Amyrlin.

Remembering how secretive each Ajah is about internal positions and such (again from New Spring), it would not be that unusual for someone to excel within their Ajah but not have their abilities well known to the rest of the Ajahs.
They are not close to being that secretive. And I really doubt they'd have their Sitters show ineptitude just to maintain some secrecy. And,
Siuan was well known as an administrator.

Given that Siuan was put forward by another Ajah as a candidate, the ones putting her forward could have very well assumed that she would be a puppet for the Hall.
Seiaine put her forward, and in her PoV, she gives no sign of intending to manipulate Siuan.

In that situation, even if the Blues knew she wouldn't be a puppet, I find it highly unlikely that they would vote against her or influence the vote against her. Even if she wasn't a puppet, her coming from the Blue would ensure that they would control the Mistress of Novices and Keeper roles, and give them a perceived advantage over the other Ajahs.
What has this got to do with Siuan being a Sitter? I don't think anyone is arguing that the Blues would have held back support from their wonder kid.

Again, I think this whole discussion is likely over a typing or editing mistake, but in the absence of a resolution from the author or editor, I feel like I should at least play the Dark One's advocate here.
That's fine, but using one word as proof over all the other instances of lack of proof seems extremely silly to me.

The Unreasoner
12-23-2011, 02:51 AM
Long lifespans were a characteristic of the AOL, not tbe early books regarding modern AS.

lol. I knew that, but thanks.

A semirelevant quote on the matter:
Week 20 Question: It seems that Elaida, leading the Sitters who arrest Siuan Sanche, must be a Sitter herself, yet she was just a few months returned from her position in Caemlyn. Was she actually a Sitter and if so when was she raised? Can you also clarify her change of heart on the Black Ajah from warning the three girls about them in The Dragon Reborn to violently denying their existence in later books?

Robert Jordan Answers: Elaida wasn't a Sitter when she led the arrest of Siuan, but she had organized it, managed to arrange for a rump Hall of the Tower to vote on deposing Siuan and raising her in Siuan's place. By the time Siuan was arrested, Elaida was the "legal" Amyrlin Seat, so of course she was leading the Sitters.

As for her change of heart of the Black Ajah, she bounces on whether or not she believes in their existence. When she has convinced herself that they do exist, she is vehement on the subject, but uneasy over Darkfriend sisters, and so manages to convince herself that she was mistaken, whereupon she becomes vehement about their non-existence. But then she becomes uneasy over the possibility that they do exist after all and convinces herself that they really do after all, whereupon…. I have even had a character in the White Tower comment that sometimes Elaida doesn't seem to know from one day to the next whether or not she believes in the Black Ajah.

----Corrected version----

CORRECTION: Answering these questions, I have always taken the assumption that I knew the books well enough that I did not need to refer to my notes. My answer for the Week 20 Question showed that I was mistaken. I said that Elaida was never a Sitter, but no sooner was that answer posted than my assistant Maria, who also is a fan, came to me with the relevant passage where Elaida is mentioned as a Sitter. I went to my notes, and after a lot of checking, I found the following in a file working out exactly how some points were to be structured and making sure that I had all the details covered. Somehow, I had never incorporated it into the base notes, perhaps because it seemed such a small matter, Elaida having been a Sitter for such a short time and then only as prelude to replacing Siuan as Amyrlin.

“Returning to the White Tower, Elaida quickly became convinced that Siuan and Moiraine were engaged in a scheme that involved Rand al’Thor. Indeed, she had suspicions of this before departing Caemlyn for Tar Valon. Moiraine’s presence in Tar Valon [What? When? He probably meant Caemlyn. - Terez] had not escaped her, nor that Moiraine had been seen with Rand. If, as seemed the more likely, he was simply a man who could channel who Siuan and Moiraine intended to make use of as a false Dragon, then it was a scheme that was extremely dangerous to the Tower. Revelation of such involvement could easily shatter the Tower’s prestige, and with it the influence that was the primary cornerstone of the Tower’s influence in the world. And if he was indeed the Dragon Reborn, Elaida certainly had no confidence in Siuan’s ability to handle the him, as surely the Dragon Reborn would need to be handled, guided and directed, not to mention controlled. Helped by her long-standing personal animosity toward Siuan and Moiraine, Elaida came to the conclusion that Siuan must be removed for the good of the Tower. This was not something that could be accomplished by an ordinary sister, however the stepping down of a Red Sitter (Amira Moselle) gave her an opening, and she managed to get herself chosen as Amira’s replacement in the Hall of the Tower.

In large part this was because of Galina Casban’s support as head of the Red Ajah, Galina having her own reasons to take any chance to pull Siuan down and, of course, favoring anything that would give the Amyrlin Seat to the Red Ajah again after so long. Galina made no attempt to attain the Amyrlin Seat herself because she knew she had little or no chance of being raised. Elaida, who had been so long away from Tar Valon and thus remained out of the political currents of the Tower, not to mention the favorable mention she had received for her guidance of Queen Morgase and Andor, was another matter.

Once Elaida had a chair in the Hall, it was a relatively simple matter to identify the Sitters who seemed most likely to stand for deposing Siuan, since a number of Sitters were uneasy at best about what Siuan was up to. Her support in the Hall had eroded sufficiently by The Great Hunt that she had opposition to her journey to Shienar. As a Sitter, Elaida was able to call a sitting of the Hall while making sure that only the Sitters she wanted to attend actually received notification. Elaida is a forceful and effective speaker, and her arguments to this bare quorum in favor of deposing Siuan were also her campaign for being raised to the Amyrlin Seat herself, so the vote to depose Siuan was followed immediately by the vote to make Elaida the new Amyrlin. She did not expect the violent reaction that would come from this. She had not had access to the secret histories for very long at this point, so her view was that of most sisters. The Tower had always acceded to the will of the Hall however sisters might grumble. Like many others, she was blind-sided by what she thought she knew.”

Weiramon
12-23-2011, 06:33 AM
Burn my soul, who would have thought (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=172567&postcount=61)one would have to look outside the Pattern to get details on such an extraordinary election to Sitter of such a young (albeit handsome) Sister?

It's almost as though such an event, while unusual, is hardly to be remarked upon.

The Unreasoner
12-23-2011, 08:03 AM
Burn my soul, who would have thought (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=172567&postcount=61)one would have to look outside the Pattern to get details on such an extraordinary election to Sitter of such a young (albeit handsome) Sister?

It's almost as though such an event, while unusual, is hardly to be remarked upon.

lol I saw that... I just thought it deserved to be made a little more explicit. the 'handsome' bit confirmed, at least to me, that we were thinking of the same thing.

Weiramon
12-23-2011, 09:25 AM
the 'handsome' bit confirmed, at least to me, that we were thinking of the same thing.

Aye.

A handsome woman, that Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan.

Rand al'Fain
12-23-2011, 04:19 PM
Aye.

A handsome woman, that Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan.

Apparently she has a thing for the Mrs...

The Angry Druid
12-24-2011, 12:21 AM
I think we are making too much of one passage here, I believe it is just loose language usage.

We know from multiple sources that Siuan's background is in administration via running the Blue Network and before that working for Cetalia doing the same thing. It is never directly mentioned that Siuan was a Sitter.

fionwe1987
12-24-2011, 03:18 AM
I think we are making too much of one passage here, I believe it is just loose language usage.

We know from multiple sources that Siuan's background is in administration via running the Blue Network and before that working for Cetalia doing the same thing. It is never directly mentioned that Siuan was a Sitter.
While I agree with you about the passage, Siuan's well known administrative skills cannot be because she ran the Blue network. That was a secret only known to the Blues.

yks 6nnetu hing
12-27-2011, 05:35 AM
Long lifespans were a characteristic of the AOL, not tbe early books regarding modern AS.

A typical Channeler from the AOL could live as much as 700 years with the occasional extremely powefull (and lucky) channeler might live even longer. Non-channelers, with access to unlimited healthcare, lived to around 300 -- or longer.

According to RJ, the Oath Rod (used for multiple oaths) puts an absolute cap on lifespan at ~300 years. Even a moderately strong AS would live up beyond 300 years without the Oaths and up to the cap under the oaths. Unfortunately, Tower AS aren't particularly strong Channelers; Cadsuane was the strongest in a century or so prior to Siuan, Moiroaine, and the Supergirls.

Cadsuane is, at 295, the oldest living Aes Sedai. Romanda, and others who appear to be Cadsuane's contemporaries are a decade or three younger.

Very few Wise Ones live longer than 200 years, but that is due to theharsh living co9nditions in then Waste. Without snakebites and other misadventures, Wise ones shoud live as long as the Kin -- 400 to 600 years.

Other Channeling groups seldom reach their natural lifespans because of hazardous lifestyles. Damane are probably the second longest lived Channeling group after the Kin; even damane used for combat weren't much at risk because of a lack of competent opposition remaining in Seanchan. Alivia is roughly 400 and doesn't think of herself as unusual.

FWIW, the typical lifespan for Randland is roughly equivalent to real-worldtern societies -- about 70 years according to RJ.

psst, Adeleas and Vandene are/were/would be about the same age as Cadsuane, maybe even a few years older.

This is one of the things that's been niggling at me during the re-read recently. Apparently a person's strength in the OP determines when and how strongly she/he Slows. There are numerous mentions on Nynaeve, of course (she's in her late 20s but looks to be in her late teens/early 20s) but there are also one or two mentions of Morgase looking exceptionally youthful for her age (Depending on where in the WoT timeline you're looking she's somewhere between 41 and 43/44? while appearing to be 30 or so).

According to RJ, the average lifespan is about 70 years, so this would put Morgase at about the midpoint of her life.

Anyways, Slowing: in harsher conditions people age faster, so a person who would be 40 might look coniderably older to our eyes. To me, it's unclear to what extent is Morgase's youthful appearance owed to Slowing and to what extent to staying out of the sun, wind, hard labour and smog.

Now, Morgase can barely channel. She's said herself that about half the time she attempts it, she can't even feel the Source and when she can feel it she can almost never actually channel, which would suggest that she Slowed late and not strongly, but she did Slow.

On the other hand we've got Alivia, who was made damane at 13 or 14 and is now about either 414 or 415 years old. She is described so: She has blue eyes and golden yellow hair with threads of white running through it. She has fine lines at the corners of her eyes and speaks with a slow Seanchan drawl. She is a little taller than Nynaeve

Now, looking at the Kin: the oldest member we know well would be Reanne who is just 2 years younger than Aliviadescribed (http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Reanne_Corly) so: She has gray hair and smile wrinkle lines. She has blue eyes and a high voice.

Note that Reanne is certainly weaker in the Power than Alivia.

I wonder if constant use of the Power has an effect on Slowing or is it purely driven by the person's strength.

Weird Harold
12-27-2011, 09:02 AM
I wonder if constant use of the Power has an effect on Slowing or is it purely driven by the person's strength.

AFAIK, the rate of Slowing is dependent on (potential maximum) strength in the OP. It begins with the first successful contact with the OP and progresses at the same rate thereafter regardless of any further channeling.

someone posted an RJ quote about slowing that referred to the OP as "cleaning" the channeler. based on that quote, I would speculate that constant use of the OP would affect appearance but not materially affect life expectancy.

Morgase would probably look young for her age even without slowing, but she has Slowed since her first successful embrace of Saidar under the guidance of Tower AS when she was a teen. The combination of weak ability and the protected environment of a noblewoman/queen make her appearance nothing especially remarkable; Elayne is going to Slow more noticably, fwiw.