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Seeker
04-15-2012, 08:42 PM
The True Power... the essence of the Dark One.

What if you could channel the essence of the Creator?

The man himself seemed to be glowing. Was it a reflection of the swaths of fire or perhaps the lightning blasts? Al'thor seemed brighter than all, his hand upraised against the Shadowspawn.


He... glows?

He studied her, hands still behind his back. Just behind him, thirteen sisters quietly filed into the Hall, the glow of saidar around them as they maintained his shield.

Rand didn't seem to care about that...

....
He asked [to leave] so polietely, she couldn't tell if he was mocking her or not? She met his eyes. Don't make me do anything i would regret his expression seemed to say.

He can overpower a full circle.

The darkness was enormous, covering the entirety of his mind. Thousands upon thousands of tiny black thorns pricked into his brain but beneath them was a brilliant white lacing of... something! A white radiance, like liquid Power. Light given form and life.

White light protects him from the madness. We know that tapping the True Power, the essence of the Dark One, causes madness.

Therefore, it stands to reason that tapping the essence the Creator might HEAL madness.

And finally, to tap the True Power, you must be annointed by the Dark One, given his permission to channel it. Doing so, means committing yourself to serving the Dark One. So, presuming that Rand is tapping the power of the Creator, when might he have gained the ability to do so?

That was the answer. It all swept over him, lives lived, mistakes made, love changing everything. He saw the entire world, lit by the glow in his hand. He remembered lives, hundreds of them, thousands of them, stretching to infinity. He remembered love and peace, joy and hope.

Within that moment, suddenly something amazing occurred to him. If I live again, then she might as well!

That's why he fought. That's why he lived again and that was the answer to Tam's quesiton. I fight because last time, I failed. I fight because I want to fix what I did wrong. I want to do it right this time.

That was a moment of commitment to the light, a moment that could serve as an annointing by the Creator, allowing him access to the Power of Light, granting him the ability to see all of the lives he had lived and healing his madness.

It would explain his massive strength (If the Light could be used to augment saidin, to make his weaving stronger)

It would explain his miraculous recovery, the ability to see into the souls of other men and the fact that darkfriends can't stand to look upon him.


Rand is touching the Power of the Creator (which may be the key to restoring him to life as well).

Edynol
04-15-2012, 09:06 PM
I thought this as well, lol. I also think what happened in book one, with Rand glowing and THE VOICE that he heard in all, is similar to what is happening now. And seeing at how cryptic an evasive both RJ and BS are about the subject, I think it might be likely.
Robert Jordan
Who says the Creator takes little interest in the activities of mankind? And I will neither confirm nor deny that the Creator spoke to Rand.
So it is possible that maybe the creator is finally taking action, of a sorts, to help defeat the DO once and for all.

Seth Baker
04-15-2012, 10:52 PM
Terez is going to disagree because she thinks (with some very good reasons) that Bright Rand is being presented in a deliberately misleading way and he doesn't actually know as much as he thinks he does.

That said, I think there's something going on - the glowing, the light surrounding the taint on his brain... I wouldn't say that I think he's been channeling the essence of the Creator, though - there are other things it could be, and it would go against our understanding that the Creator doesn't play a role.

Edynol
04-16-2012, 07:45 AM
Well the point is that none of us have any proof or any solid reason to think this way or that. Only BS and his team do. Everything that has to do with the Creator and his role, or lack there of, in the story is RAFO.

Flinn Sedai
04-16-2012, 08:23 PM
The True Power... the essence of the Dark One.

What if you could channel the essence of the Creator?




He... glows?



He can overpower a full circle.



White light protects him from the madness. We know that tapping the True Power, the essence of the Dark One, causes madness.

Therefore, it stands to reason that tapping the essence the Creator might HEAL madness.

And finally, to tap the True Power, you must be annointed by the Dark One, given his permission to channel it. Doing so, means committing yourself to serving the Dark One. So, presuming that Rand is tapping the power of the Creator, when might he have gained the ability to do so?



That was a moment of commitment to the light, a moment that could serve as an annointing by the Creator, allowing him access to the Power of Light, granting him the ability to see all of the lives he had lived and healing his madness.

It would explain his massive strength (If the Light could be used to augment saidin, to make his weaving stronger)

It would explain his miraculous recovery, the ability to see into the souls of other men and the fact that darkfriends can't stand to look upon him.


Rand is touching the Power of the Creator (which may be the key to restoring him to life as well).

I've been a big fan of the idea of Rand being the Creator's Avatar for a while. Then again, I also kind of want to upend half the accepted cosmology of WoT.

The glowing light is the best evidence of a kind of third power, the Light.

Also, as for overpowering, we know that 13 Aes Sedai can overpower Rand.

Asmodean was not finished. "If two women link, they do not double their strength-linking is not as simple as adding together the power of each-but if they are strong epough, they can match a man. And when they take the circle to thirteen, then you must be wary. thirteen women who can barely channel could overpower most men, linked. The thirteen weakest women in the Tower could overpower you or any man, and barely breathe hard.

The point that Rand was making was basically the same as he had made previously. That if they tried to hold him, the Pattern would bend around him, to get him free. Theoretically, 13 sisters would be able to hold him without any difficulty. But what if every Sister kept not being able to grasp Saidar?

The fact that he said it, not so much as a threat, but a basic statement of how things would work, I think only re-enforces your point.

Seeker
04-16-2012, 08:26 PM
The Pattern can't do what's impossible... Unless you're saying it's going to Final Destination the Aes Sedai holding him into early graves. The implication of the scene is that Rand is now powerful enough to break the shield holding him.

fdsaf3
04-16-2012, 08:31 PM
Asmodean was not finished. "If two women link, they do not double their strength-linking is not as simple as adding together the power of each-but if they are strong epough, they can match a man. And when they take the circle to thirteen, then you must be wary. thirteen women who can barely channel could overpower most men, linked. The thirteen weakest women in the Tower could overpower you or any man, and barely breathe hard.

The unstated assumption is that Asmodean is referring to Rand channeling the One Power. If Rand is somehow able to channel some Power emanating from the Creator, that's an entirely different question.

Flinn Sedai
04-16-2012, 08:55 PM
The Pattern can't do what's impossible... Unless you're saying it's going to Final Destination the Aes Sedai holding him into early graves. The implication of the scene is that Rand is now powerful enough to break the shield holding him.

It's impossible for an Aes Sedai to fail at grasping Saidar? Since it happens all over the books, I'm going to say it's not impossible.

If they can grasp Saidar 999,999,999 in a billion, then yeah, it's unlikely that they'll fail to do it. It's even more unlikely that it'd happen to all of the Aes Sedai in the Tower at once.

But that's the point. Unlikely things happen around Ta'varen.

As for that being his implication. Well, let's refer to a previous instance of Rand saying something similar, in the most awesome quote of all time.

Cadsuane. Do you believe that I could kill you? Right here? Right now? Without the power or sword. Do you believe that if I simply willed it, the Pattern would bend around me and stop your heart?

That's what he's saying to Egwene. Not nearly as threateningly, but the same basic message. "If I really want/need it to happen, it will happen, so just leave me be."

He is not strong enough to stop 13 weak Aes Sedai from shielding him, much less 13 strong Aes Sedai.

Flinn Sedai
04-16-2012, 08:57 PM
The unstated assumption is that Asmodean is referring to Rand channeling the One Power. If Rand is somehow able to channel some Power emanating from the Creator, that's an entirely different question.

Fair enough. I'd call that more circumventing than overpowering. But yeah, that's what I'm thinking is going on too. I just think in that instance, his implication was more along pure Ta'varen power.

Edynol
04-17-2012, 07:55 AM
It's impossible for an Aes Sedai to fail at grasping Saidar? Since it happens all over the books, I'm going to say it's not impossible.

If they can grasp Saidar 999,999,999 in a billion, then yeah, it's unlikely that they'll fail to do it. It's even more unlikely that it'd happen to all of the Aes Sedai in the Tower at once.

But that's the point. Unlikely things happen around Ta'varen.

As for that being his implication. Well, let's refer to a previous instance of Rand saying something similar, in the most awesome quote of all time.



That's what he's saying to Egwene. Not nearly as threateningly, but the same basic message. "If I really want/need it to happen, it will happen, so just leave me be."

He is not strong enough to stop 13 weak Aes Sedai from shielding him, much less 13 strong Aes Sedai.
This is what I was thinking. I mean, Cadsuane is probably the most experienced Aes Sedai alive not including Rand and the Forsaken. She probably knows more than most Browns know, perhaps even more than Siuan! But even despite all this knowledge, she faltered and feared he actually could. And she's the sternest, most unflinching AS of them all.

The point is, is that if she of all people believes it's possible, then it very well could be.

Crispin's Crispian
04-17-2012, 12:35 PM
Fair enough. I'd call that more circumventing than overpowering. But yeah, that's what I'm thinking is going on too. I just think in that instance, his implication was more along pure Ta'varen power.

I completely agree with this. I would add that the quote about bending the Pattern speaks to Herid Fel's comment that "belief and order give strength." What I see happening is that the real world is becoming more like Tel'aran'rhiod, in that belief about what may be done can become manifest. Perhaps Rand's ta'veren strength just makes this much easier.

But that scene in the Tower between Rand and Egwene didn't indicate (to me) that Rand was suddenly powerful enough to break the shield. It was just the same thing as how he made everyone else in the Hall unable to speak. He could have walked out at anytime regardless of the shield.

Edynol
04-17-2012, 01:42 PM
There was also the fact some of the sisters felt like their hearts were being squeezed, which made me think of when Rand talked about stopping Cadsuane's heart. Like maybe he could have flexed a ta'veren muscle and those sisters would have dropped dead from heart attacks, no OP used at all.

Seeker
04-17-2012, 03:07 PM
It's impossible for an Aes Sedai to fail at grasping Saidar? Since it happens all over the books, I'm going to say it's not impossible.

If they can grasp Saidar 999,999,999 in a billion, then yeah, it's unlikely that they'll fail to do it. It's even more unlikely that it'd happen to all of the Aes Sedai in the Tower at once.

But that's the point. Unlikely things happen around Ta'varen.

As for that being his implication. Well, let's refer to a previous instance of Rand saying something similar, in the most awesome quote of all time.



That's what he's saying to Egwene. Not nearly as threateningly, but the same basic message. "If I really want/need it to happen, it will happen, so just leave me be."

He is not strong enough to stop 13 weak Aes Sedai from shielding him, much less 13 strong Aes Sedai.

I diagree. The Pattern bends around Rand but not in a way he can control. And it doesn't just give him whatever he happens to need to get out of whatever mess he's gotten into. That would be Deus Ex Machina.

Rand can stop an army of hundreds od thousands of shadowspawn on his own. Single-handedly. That scene makes one thing very, very clear: the normal rules don't apply to Rand anymore. As far as I'm concerned no other channeler in history could do what he did so I have no problem believing he can thwart a circle of thirteen

Flinn Sedai
04-17-2012, 03:44 PM
I diagree. The Pattern bends around Rand but not in a way he can control. And it doesn't just give him whatever he happens to need to get out of whatever mess he's gotten into. That would be Deus Ex Machina.

The Pattern doesn't give ta'veren what they happen to need, to get out of their messes?

So, when Rand needed to pull Callandor from a heavily fortified position, the Pattern didn't set up Aiel to attack at exactly the right moment? Or have Moiraine show up at exactly the right time to save him from Bel'al?

When Rand needed to be acknowledged as the true Dragon, the Pattern didn't provide amazing co-incidences to take down the existing False Dragons? Thrown from a horse, then your entire army just deciding to leave? Really?

When Rand needed Channelers for his Black Tower, the Pattern didn't give him an unbelievably high incidence of sparkers?

When Rand needed Asha'man around him, he didn't happen to pick EXACTLY the right people? The only Asha'man not under Taim's control, who ended up being incredibly talented at healing, to save his life, later.

And Mat. No explanation needs to be given for him. Just Mat. His life.

That's what ta'veren does. It twists chance, to provide what the ta'veren needs.

And you're arguing something different. You're arguing that he can't. Which isn't relevant. I'm saying that this is what he was saying. He believes that he can control things like that. If you don't believe me, take it from Sanderson.

Loialson: Can Rand consciously control his ta'veren pull to any degree? Specifically referencing to his meeting with Tuon to will her to submit to him, and when he threatened Cadsuane to will her dead.

Brandon Sanderson: He, um, believes that he can.

LOIALSON: Still, even after the The Gathering Storm reintegration?

BRANDON SANDERSON: He has a more zen view on it now, but he still believes that he can have some influence.

Rand can stop an army of hundreds od thousands of shadowspawn on his own. Single-handedly. That scene makes one thing very, very clear: the normal rules don't apply to Rand anymore. As far as I'm concerned no other channeler in history could do what he did so I have no problem believing he can thwart a circle of thirteen

Yep. He was able to kill things because he is powerful. Let's see what Sanderson says, though...

LOIALSON: Yes...Are the impressive displays of power that Rand makes in Towers of Midnight (i.e., stopping the Trolloc army and having no concern over being able to leave the White Tower) a result of his integrated knowledge or his ta'veren nature?

BRANDON SANDERSON: Umm...Both, though, one thing you have to keep in mind, is...Rand, as a result of power level...Robert Jordan was specifically not using him very often because his power had grown so powerful even by the end of Knife of Dreams. I mean, you look at Knife of Dreams—if you go reread the fight in Knife of Dreams he is laying waste to nearly as many Trollocs as he has when he does the battle at the temple—which is not actually called that in the books—that's the one with the Trollocs and things [referencing Rand's big single-handed fight in Towers of Midnight]. And so...yes, some of these things have changed, but he's really powerful now.

Now, the thing about in the White Tower is something different.

Also, do you have any evidence that, as you said, "no other channeler in history could do what he did"?

Seeker
04-17-2012, 07:59 PM
The Pattern doesn't give ta'veren what they happen to need, to get out of their messes?

So, when Rand needed to pull Callandor from a heavily fortified position, the Pattern didn't set up Aiel to attack at exactly the right moment? Or have Moiraine show up at exactly the right time to save him from Bel'al?

No, it didn't. That's called narrative, my friend. Moiraine was already on her way there anyway. The aiel were sent by the Wise Ones.

It's sort of like how there is no magical explanation for how Han Solo just happened to show up just in time to shoot Vader's TIE fighter, thus allowing Luke to blow up the Death Star. He was in the area anyway and he had a change of heart. But saying the universe contrived to bring him there is invoking deus ex machina which RUINS a story.

When Rand needed to be acknowledged as the true Dragon, the Pattern didn't provide amazing co-incidences to take down the existing False Dragons? Thrown from a horse, then your entire army just deciding to leave? Really?

That one I will accept as a bending of chance because it doesn't get Rand out of danger

When Rand needed Channelers for his Black Tower, the Pattern didn't give him an unbelievably high incidence of sparkers?

Male Wilders would have been drawn to the Black Tower for no other reason than to stay alive. Scouting parties from the Black Tower visited every town from Taraborn to Shienar. This hardly strains credulity.


When Rand needed Asha'man around him, he didn't happen to pick EXACTLY the right people? The only Asha'man not under Taim's control, who ended up being incredibly talented at healing, to save his life, later.

Give Rand some credit, my god! He's always had gut feelings about who he can and can't trust. If it turns out he's a good judge of character in this case, well, given some of his staggering flaws, he needs to do a FEW things right.

And Mat. No explanation needs to be given for him. Just Mat. His life.

Yes, but Mat's super power appears to be uncanny luck. You may note that this has its limits. For instance, he's still in danger if a myrdraal looms over him... or the gholam. Chance can only be twisted so far.

That's what ta'veren does. It twists chance, to provide what the ta'veren needs..

No, it doesn't. It twists chance to provide what the PATTERN needs, which may even include the death of the very ta'veren in quesiton. There's nothing that says that being ta'veren has to work in your favour. It's gotten Rand INTO quite a few scrapes as well.

And then there's the fact that ta'veren isn't a trump card. There are still elements of random chance that exist beyond the Wheel's control. The Dragon can die to a stray arrow or a bump to the head.

And you're arguing something different. You're arguing that he can't. Which isn't relevant. I'm saying that this is what he was saying. He believes that he can control things like that. If you don't believe me, take it from Sanderson.

No, I'm saying that Rand is clearly aware of the fact that he is much, much more powerful than he had been prior to his moment of clarity. That he knows it is within his power to break free of the shield, which - given what he did in the temple - is probably related to an increase in strength in the Power.

At the beginning of the series, Rand was the strongest channeler alive... Now, he is stronger than he was at the beginning of the series. Strong enough to break a full circle.

My evidence for this is the sense of scale provided by the books. The fact that ordinary challeners like Egweme, Elayne and the others see even a hundred trollocs as a very serious threat. The fact that Rand can lay waste to nearly a million says something. And he is stronger than he had been in Knife of Dreams... In that battle, he had fifty some odd channelers for back up. In Towes of Midnight, he was on his own.

Flinn Sedai
04-17-2012, 09:02 PM
There are still elements of random chance that exist beyond the Wheel's control.

I'm not even going to address your fundamental misunderstanding of ta'veren, as your quote indicates you think that somehow things happen that has nothing to do with the Wheel. No way to dissuade you, because you don't even buy into the premise of the series, that the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.

No, I'm saying that Rand is clearly aware of the fact that he is much, much more powerful than he had been prior to his moment of clarity. That he knows it is within his power to break free of the shield, which - given what he did in the temple - is probably related to an increase in strength in the Power.

Are you reading the posts? Sanderson disagrees with you. On authority of whether his behaviour in the White Tower was related to his greater Power, I'm going to defer to Sanderson. Here's the relevant part, if you missed it before.

And so...yes, some of these things have changed, but he's really powerful now.

Now, the thing about in the White Tower is something different.

Loialson: Can Rand consciously control his ta'veren pull to any degree? Specifically referencing to his meeting with Tuon to will her to submit to him, and when he threatened Cadsuane to will her dead.

Brandon Sanderson: He, um, believes that he can.

LOIALSON: Still, even after the The Gathering Storm reintegration?

BRANDON SANDERSON: He has a more zen view on it now, but he still believes that he can have some influence.

At the beginning of the series, Rand was the strongest channeler alive... Now, he is stronger than he was at the beginning of the series. Strong enough to break a full circle.

What evidence do you have that he was stronger than say, Ishy or Lanfear?

And he is stronger than he had been in Knife of Dreams... In that battle, he had fifty some odd channelers for back up. In Towes of Midnight, he was on his own.

1) He's definitely stronger than in KoD. I have never disagreed with you on that. Quit making up arguments.

2) You still proved it poorly, because he killed almost the same number of Trollocs in each battle.

if you go reread the fight in Knife of Dreams he is laying waste to nearly as many Trollocs as he has when he does the battle at the temple

You do understand that Egwene and Nynaeve are not the most powerful Channelers in history, right? I ask because you said:

no other channeler in history could do what he did

When I asked you to provide evidence, you said:

The fact that ordinary challeners like Egweme, Elayne and the others see even a hundred trollocs as a very serious threat.

I'm not even saying he isn't the strongest Channeler alive, or in history. He probably is. What I'm pointing out is that you're arbitrarily designating the power to break a circle of 13, to him, despite every single piece of evidence.

Provide some evidence that he can do it. Try to prove that Sanderson is wrong about what he said Rand was thinking.

Otherwise, you're just wrong.

Edynol
04-17-2012, 09:11 PM
I think it can go both ways. Like the portal stone incident before Falme, the pattern shifted and made him arrive months later right when the Whitecloaks would be there to aid him. If he had shown up earlier, he and those few Shienarans wouldn't have stood a chance against all those Seanchan. Yeah I know it was because Rand didn't know what he was doing and used too much power, but it was the pattern stepping in that made him use just the right amount to get him there when he needed to be there.

Same when Perring first met Elyas. Elyas wondered all over the world, but him being in that area where another potential wolfbrother happened to wash up on shore was the pattern providing something Perrin desperately needed, even if he didn't know it at the time.

So while Seeker is mostly right in this, imo, there are some instances of deus ex machina in this series, all be it they aren't that major and help rather than harm the story because it isn't overdone.

Edynol
04-17-2012, 09:24 PM
What evidence do you have that he was stronger than say, Ishy or Lanfear?

Ishy, I think they are about equal, we've never actually seen Ishy/Mori go ballistic with channeling like we have seen rand do, so I don't know. But I do know he is way stronger than Lanfear. Before Moiraine defeated her, she had an angreal and was barely able to keep Rand at bay, and he was holding back because he didn't want to kill a woman. If she was stronger, her with that angreal would have destroyed Rand. And now he is roughly twice as strong, if not stronger, than he was then.

Flinn Sedai
04-17-2012, 09:25 PM
I think it can go both ways. Like the portal stone incident before Falme, the pattern shifted and made him arrive months later right when the Whitecloaks would be there to aid him. If he had shown up earlier, he and those few Shienarans wouldn't have stood a chance against all those Seanchan. Yeah I know it was because Rand didn't know what he was doing and used too much power, but it was the pattern stepping in that made him use just the right amount to get him there when he needed to be there.

Same when Perring first met Elyas. Elyas wondered all over the world, but him being in that area where another potential wolfbrother happened to wash up on shore was the pattern providing something Perrin desperately needed, even if he didn't know it at the time.

So while Seeker is mostly right in this, imo, there are some instances of deus ex machina in this series, all be it they aren't that major and help rather than harm the story because it isn't overdone.

Ta'veren is not Deus Ex Machina. We know because the Creator said so :P. Seriously though, it is clearly a sort of Deus Ex Machina, which is why he hung a lampshade on it.

It's basically the twisting of chance. Somebody who intends to lie, accidentally tells the truth. Somebody who falls down a flight of stairs, is unharmed. Goats are born with two heads. Etc...

That said, it is pretty well shown how it works, in Towers of Midnight, in Ebou Dar. Everything wasn't spoiling. It was just that of the 10,000 sacks (or however many there were), they had opened the 100 sacks that were spoiled. Extremely unlikely, but not impossible.

He is under the impression, correctly or not, that he has influence over how it works. We have evidence that he does have control (again, see: ToM). But for the purposes of this, we're just talking about what he believes.

We know that he believes that he can control it, because Sanderson said so.

Flinn Sedai
04-17-2012, 09:53 PM
Ishy, I think they are about equal, we've never actually seen Ishy/Mori go ballistic with channeling like we have seen rand do, so I don't know. But I do know he is way stronger than Lanfear. Before Moiraine defeated her, she had an angreal and was barely able to keep Rand at bay, and he was holding back because he didn't want to kill a woman. If she was stronger, her with that angreal would have destroyed Rand. And now he is roughly twice as strong, if not stronger, than he was then.

We don't know he was way stronger. I mean, I would say he probably is stronger, but definitely not by as much as an Angreal. This is part of why RJ always said that fans put far more emphasis on Power Rankings than he was. A fight, or something similar, has more to do with where your Talents lie.

Justin Howell
I asked why Elayne thought even a Forsaken couldn't break the shield Adeleas and Vandene were holding on Ispan, expecting the answer that Elayne is clue-impaired.

Robert Jordan
The correct answer is that holding a shield on someone depends not only on relative strength and fatigue, but also on whether the shield is held by channelers of the same sex as the victim. Thus two women (Adeleas and Vandene on Ispan, or Ispan and Falion on Nynaeve in A Crown of Swords) can hold another woman, but three women just get severed if they try to shield Rand.

Moreover, even their direct power comparison is skewed.

She was turning a bracelet in her hands. An angreal; unless Rand had his own angreal, she should be able to crush him with that. Either he did, or Lanfear was toying with him.

This is supported by Rand, earlier in the book.

He had long since taken to drawing on saidin through the angreal in his pocket, the stone carving of the fat little man.

He touched his pocket, felt the hard carved shape of the fat little man with his sword; that, was the only sword he needed today.

They were fairly evenly matched, both having angreal. That doesn't mean much, since angreal can be of differing strengths. However, it does suggest that he's not an angreal-multiplier worth stronger than Lanfear was.

Basically, they were pretty evenly matched in raw strength. It seems like she had a bit more raw power than him, but that doesn't indicate anything, because of the angreal. However, if he used LTT's knowledge of how to fight, he would have been able to kill her, because he knew stronger weaves.

Handling two weaves at once should have been easy-he could handle ten or more-but not when one was a desperate defense against something he could not know was there until it was almost too late. Not when another man’s thoughts kept trying to surface inside the Void, trying to tell him how to
defeat her.

Seeker
04-17-2012, 10:12 PM
I'm not even going to address your fundamental misunderstanding of ta'veren, as your quote indicates you think that somehow things happen that has nothing to do with the Wheel. No way to dissuade you, because you don't even buy into the premise of the series, that the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.

Okay, but it's not one or the other right? It's not a case of either you have fate OR you have random chance. They're not mutually exclusive. You can have fate trying to move events in a certain direction and exerting influence to that effect but still have elements that undermine the will of fate, causal agents that exist beyond fate's control. After all, why does the Wheel need to spin out ta'veren as corrective mechanisms if everything is already under its control? Why would the Pattern need adjusting if there wasn't also random chance? So, honestly, I think it's you who doesn't understand the premise of the series.

You can argue that the Pattern would get Rand out of a situation where he's being held captive by Aes Sedai because it needs him to run free but really it's a matter of interpretation. If you credit every single one of Rand's victories to the intercession of fate, then you remove anything that makes him a likable character. If you assume that the Pattern will show up with a get out of jail free card every time Rand is in trouble, then the series lacks tension, lacks excitment. After all, if there's no danger of him losing, then who cares if he wins?


The Pattern can influence, yes... but that doesn't mean its will can't be thwarted. Perhaps the ability to consciously direct the Pattern is one of Rand's new abilities? If so... well, it wouldn't be anymore Sue-like than his ability to identify darkfriends simply by meeting their eyes. So... shrug.


But my view of the Pattern is this... It will put Rand where he needs to be to make things better... but it's up to HIM to actually do it. The Pattern will make sure he gets to the field but Rand has to win the game all by himself.

Flinn Sedai
04-17-2012, 10:19 PM
Okay, but it's not one or the other right? It's not a case of either you have fate OR you have random chance. They're not mutually exclusive. You can have fate trying to move events in a certain direction and exerting influence to that effect but still have elements that undermine the will of fate, causal agents that exist beyond fate's control. After all, why does the Wheel need to spin out ta'veren as corrective mechanisms if everything is already under its control? Why would the Pattern need adjusting if there wasn't also random chance? So, honestly, I think it's you who doesn't understand the premise of the series.

You can argue that the Pattern would get Rand out of a situation where he's being held captive by Aes Sedai because it needs him to run free but really it's a matter of interpretation. If you credit every single one of Rand's victories to the intercession of fate, then you remove anything that makes him a likable character. If you assume that the Pattern will show up with a get out of jail free card every time Rand is in trouble, then the series lacks tension, lacks excitment. After all, if there's no danger of him losing, then who cares if he wins?


The Pattern can influence, yes... but that doesn't mean its will can't be thwarted. Perhaps the ability to consciously direct the Pattern is one of Rand's new abilities? If so... well, it wouldn't be anymore Sue-like than his ability to identify darkfriends simply by meeting their eyes. So... shrug.


But my view of the Pattern is this... It will put Rand where he needs to be to make things better... but it's up to HIM to actually do it. The Pattern will make sure he gets to the field but Rand has to win the game all by himself.

Put down the Strawman. Re-read the posts.

Edynol
04-17-2012, 10:25 PM
Also remember Rand was not at full str4ength yet. Aolso there is what Asmo told him, that most men are stronger than women in the OP, and Rand is stronger than most men. Lanfear was at the top of the saidar scale, but Rand is leagues above the top of that scale now.

Flinn Sedai
04-17-2012, 10:28 PM
Yep. That's why I'm pretty sure that he was actually stronger than her. It's also quite possible that he's the strongest Channeler in history.

All I'm saying is that there absolutely no reason to think he can break a circle of 13, and that Rand was not saying it because of his strength. The latter is something that shouldn't really be a point of contention, since Sanderson explicitly said it. (I know you haven't claimed that. Just clarifying my point. ;))

Edynol
04-17-2012, 10:44 PM
Well yeah. I don't know if he can break a circle of 13, but very much think he can. Just remember that Aes Sedai today are over all much weaker than in AOL. Also, they have never encountered one as strong as Rand is now. While 13 AOL AS, maybe even less, could probably easily shield Rand while half of them are sipping tea, 13 sisters today might very well have a much harder time at it. They knew this was a very likely possibility, which is why they had a whole extra 13 there as back-up.

As to the other debate, the way I see is that as long as Rand stays on the main path, the one the pattern is dropping breadcrumbs on, he can use the breadcrumbs to get what he needs, if you see what I'm saying. But he can still stray/be forced off that path where the pattern can't help him. And if he strays too far and gets lost, then the world is lost with him.

Also, I didn't say ta'veren was deus ex machina, but that there were some elements of it in the story.

Flinn Sedai
04-17-2012, 11:01 PM
Well yeah. I don't know if he can break a circle of 13, but very much think he can. Just remember that Aes Sedai today are over all much weaker than in AOL. Also, they have never encountered one as strong as Rand is now. While 13 AOL AS, maybe even less, could probably easily shield Rand while half of them are sipping tea, 13 sisters today might very well have a much harder time at it. They knew this was a very likely possibility, which is why they had a whole extra 13 there as back-up.

The last we heard, 13 weak Sisters could shield him without any strain. He's certainly stronger than he was, then, but that was the last we heard of it. I would agree they were probably being extra-cautious having a second set of 13 there, because they didn't know if they could or not. I'm just saying that we have no evidence that he can break a circle of 13, and we do have evidence that he can't.

The best evidence we have is that Logain is about as strong as Rand (see: Deathgate scene), and 13 sisters didn't even need to pay attention, to keep him in line.

As to the other debate, the way I see is that as long as Rand stays on the main path, the one the pattern is dropping breadcrumbs on, he can use the breadcrumbs to get what he needs, if you see what I'm saying. But he can still stray/be forced off that path where the pattern can't help him. And if he strays too far and gets lost, then the world is lost with him.

Also, I didn't say ta'veren was deus ex machina, but that there were some elements of it in the story.

For the first part, he can certainly do things that he wants. The point that I gave up on was when he said that the Wheel wasn't in control of what's going on. That's why I dropped out of the discussion. I never said that everything was pre-set, and there was no free will. That was the strawman he's decided to argue.

The thing is this. The Wheel is not pro-good or pro-evil. It doesn't care. It is just weaving a Pattern. The choices that characters make effects how that Pattern forms, that's because that's all factored into the weaving. Some things, the Pattern needs to have happen.

For example, Mat tries to run from battles, but every time, another force comes up, until it isn't one he can avoid fighting. Because he needs to fight. How he fights is up to him. His tactics are his prerogative. But he had no choice about the fact of fighting.

The Wheel's weaving is inseparable from the actions of individuals. That's a bit off-track, but essentially what is being discussed there.

In any event, whether he can overwhelm a circle of 13 or not, that was not what he was talking about, in the White Tower. He was talking about the fact that he thought his ta'verenness would get him free.

We know this because, again, Sanderson has said it.

fdsaf3
04-17-2012, 11:08 PM
Now, if only Rand would consent to let 13 Sisters he trusted shield him so he could try and break out. Then we'd have all the definitive proof we need.

Edynol
04-17-2012, 11:19 PM
Oh yeah, I ain't denying that. There is also Tuon, for example, who resisted the pattern, or Rand ta'veren-ness, I should say, by sheer force of will. And in instances like with Mat in Tear in book 3, he kept finding reasons to stay, but I think if he really buckled down and exerted all of his will, he could have chosen to ignore those reasons and left. Of course no telling what might have happened if he did, just saying I think it was possible.

So while the pattern can alter chance and give people hard pushes to do what it wants, it's incapable of altering chance by a complete 100% or bending one completely to its will because then that would complete control and it wouldn't need ta'veren. Which I believe is the same as what you are saying. lol.

Flinn Sedai
04-17-2012, 11:21 PM
Oh yeah, I ain't denying that. There is also Tuon, for example, who resisted the pattern, or Rand ta'veren-ness, I should say, by sheer force of will. And in instances like with Mat in Tear in book 3, he kept finding reasons to stay, but I think if he really buckled down and exerted all of his will, he could have chosen to ignore those reasons and left. Of course no telling what might have happened if he did, just saying I think it was possible.

So while the pattern can alter chance and give people hard pushes to do what it wants, it's incapable of altering chance by a complete 100% or bending one completely to its will because then that would complete control and it would need ta'veren. Which I believe is the same as what you are saying. lol.

Yeah, I think we're on the same page here :cool:

GonzoTheGreat
04-18-2012, 04:18 AM
Male Wilders would have been drawn to the Black Tower for no other reason than to stay alive. Scouting parties from the Black Tower visited every town from Taraborn to Shienar. This hardly strains credulity.
But not a single one of the original recruits (apart from Taim) was a Wilder. Yet, of the 27 men who were there when Taim started testing, 4 managed to pass the test. The number that could have been expected to pass, based on likelyhood, was somewhere between one quarter and three quarters (one to three percent of the population, which in this case was 27).
So here Rand was skewing the odds by a factor of between 5 and 16, which does strain credulity a bit (a lot), if you leave out the ta'veren effect.

Yet they were there not because they had been simply drawn to Rand, but because Rand had knowingly and deliberately set up a training center there and had sent potential recruits there to learn. He was actually manipulating reality by using his ta'veren powers in order to kickstart the Asha'man.

Zombie Sammael
04-18-2012, 05:46 AM
But not a single one of the original recruits (apart from Taim) was a Wilder. Yet, of the 27 men who were there when Taim started testing, 4 managed to pass the test. The number that could have been expected to pass, based on likelyhood, was somewhere between one quarter and three quarters (one to three percent of the population, which in this case was 27).
So here Rand was skewing the odds by a factor of between 5 and 16, which does strain credulity a bit (a lot), if you leave out the ta'veren effect.

Yet they were there not because they had been simply drawn to Rand, but because Rand had knowingly and deliberately set up a training center there and had sent potential recruits there to learn. He was actually manipulating reality by using his ta'veren powers in order to kickstart the Asha'man.

I think the point is, he can now apparently do so consciously post-DM.

I'm intending to start a thread about this later on in the week when I have access to my books, but for now bear this in mind:

Wearer of a crown of swords, spinner out of fate.
Who thinks he turns the Wheel of Time may learn the truth too late.

GonzoTheGreat
04-18-2012, 09:18 AM
I think the point is, he can now apparently do so consciously post-DM.
But he's done that already way back when:
The coin spun into the air off Mat's thumb, gleaming dully in the sun. At its peak, Mat snatched it back and slapped it down on the back of his other hand, then hesitated. "It's a bloody thing to be trusting to the toss of a coin, Rand."
Rand laid his palm on one of the symbols without looking. "This one," he said. "You chose this one."
Mat peeked at the coin and blinked. "You're right. How did you know?"
"It has to work for me sooner or later." None of them understood– he could see that – but it did not matter. Lifting his hand, he looked at what he and Mat had picked. The triangle pointed left. The sun had slid down from its apex. He had to do this right. A mistake, and they could lose time, not gain it. That had to be the worst outcome. It had to be.
Here he is already doing it consciously.

I'm intending to start a thread about this later on in the week when I have access to my books, but for now bear this in mind:
Cute counter, that one. I suspect we'll really have to read and find out, to find out about this one. :D

Zombie Sammael
04-18-2012, 09:30 AM
But he's done that already way back when:

Here he is already doing it consciously.


Cute counter, that one. I suspect we'll really have to read and find out, to find out about this one. :D

I didn't mean to be an ass, Gonzo - just that I've got some ideas that (hopefully) warrant their own thread rather than discussion in this one! :)

In any case, I'm not sure if that is an example of him using ta'veren power conciously to twist the pattern. It's using Mat's luck, which works in a different way. Post-TGS, Rand at least appears to be able to use the pattern in whatever way he likes. Mat's luck tends to favour him, but he doesn't consciously control it; if the dice in his head are related to his ta'veren powers, then they're a good example, but Mat certainly didn't intend for a wall to fall on him at the end of ACOS, or to be hung from the branches of Avendesora, both of which appear to be as the result of ta'veren effects. The idea that Rand is consciously using ta'veren power in the scene you posted seems to rely on the idea that subconsciously or through LTT-memories Rand knew which symbol he needed to use, for which there is little to no evidence. (you might also just be being facetious)

I'm personally not convinced Rand is actually consciously using the pattern/ta'veren effects, but he clearly thinks he is. That was the intent behind providing the quote that I did, but as I say, I have more ideas surrounding it. But that is its relevance to this discussion.

GonzoTheGreat
04-18-2012, 09:46 AM
In any case, I'm not sure if that is an example of him using ta'veren power conciously to twist the pattern. It's using Mat's luck, which works in a different way.
But he didn't only use Mat's luck. He also used his ta'veren power on himself, to make himself point out which one it was that Mat had picked: "Rand laid his palm on one of the symbols without looking."

Edynol
04-18-2012, 10:01 AM
That's not so much as using ta'veren power on himself. At this point, he becoming familiar with how ta'veren works and in this instant, all he did was predict the outcome. He didn't actually make anything happen, he was just positively sure of what would happen.

Look at it this way, there is a guy with psychic powers who can predict the future. He knows lightening is going to strike you at 3:12. He come up to you at 3:11 and shouts, "Face my wrath!" and the lightening strikes you. He didn't actually do anything, but you sure as hell would think he did, wouldn't ya?

GonzoTheGreat
04-18-2012, 10:47 AM
Look at it this way, there is a guy with psychic powers who can predict the future. He knows lightening is going to strike you at 3:12. He come up to you at 3:11 and shouts, "Face my wrath!" and the lightening strikes you. He didn't actually do anything, but you sure as hell would think he did, wouldn't ya?
True, but suppose that right after he says that, a rhinoceros stampedes all over me (and I survive, somehow) then I would still be justified to think that he somehow caused it, wouldn't I?

Rand isn't directing precisely what happens, or how it happens, but he can make sure that something does happen. Afterwards, all he needs to do is keep a pokerface (or have one again before anyone thinks of looking in his direction), and people will be convinced of his power.

So, in the Tower scene, Rand may not have known precisely how he was going to break free of the shield, if he had wanted to. But he did know that if he decided to break free, then something would happen to make that possible. Maybe a Stedding would drop from the sky, maybe the AS holding the shield would fall asleep, maybe ... whatever.

Edited to add:
I am not at all sure that this ability will be any good at all in dealing with the DO, which of course would be a fairly serious problem for Rand.

Edynol
04-18-2012, 11:12 AM
True, but suppose that right after he says that, a rhinoceros stampedes all over me (and I survive, somehow) then I would still be justified to think that he somehow caused it, wouldn't I?

Rand isn't directing precisely what happens, or how it happens, but he can make sure that something does happen. Afterwards, all he needs to do is keep a pokerface (or have one again before anyone thinks of looking in his direction), and people will be convinced of his power.

So, in the Tower scene, Rand may not have known precisely how he was going to break free of the shield, if he had wanted to. But he did know that if he decided to break free, then something would happen to make that possible. Maybe a Stedding would drop from the sky, maybe the AS holding the shield would fall asleep, maybe ... whatever.

Edited to add:
I am not at all sure that this ability will be any good at all in dealing with the DO, which of course would be a fairly serious problem for Rand.
Yeah. That's pretty much adding to what I said. lol. That's him either thinking he can control it, or knowing what is likely to happen. But either way, he's just convincing others he can actually control what is happening, when in actuality, he cannot. Will what he wants to happen happen? Sure. Most likely it will. But it would be the pattern making it happen, not him. It's like a partnership. He can influence the pattern by asking "please do this", and it does. But he cannot force it to do anything.

Zombie Sammael
04-18-2012, 01:49 PM
Yeah. That's pretty much adding to what I said. lol. That's him either thinking he can control it, or knowing what is likely to happen. But either way, he's just convincing others he can actually control what is happening, when in actuality, he cannot. Will what he wants to happen happen? Sure. Most likely it will. But it would be the pattern making it happen, not him. It's like a partnership. He can influence the pattern by asking "please do this", and it does. But he cannot force it to do anything.

Or at least, that is what he thinks is going on. It may just be the pattern allowing him to think that, so it can abandon him when necessary.

Edynol
04-18-2012, 02:00 PM
Or at least, that is what he thinks is going on. It may just be the pattern allowing him to think that, so it can abandon him when necessary.

Again, pretty much the same as I said. Of course, if the pattern abandoned him, he would no longer be ta'veren, so it wouldn't matter. lol.

Oden
04-18-2012, 02:24 PM
Well yeah. I don't know if he can break a circle of 13, but very much think he can. Just remember that Aes Sedai today are over all much weaker than in AOL. Also, they have never encountered one as strong as Rand is now. While 13 AOL AS, maybe even less, could probably easily shield Rand while half of them are sipping tea, 13 sisters today might very well have a much harder time at it. They knew this was a very likely possibility, which is why they had a whole extra 13 there as back-up.

I disagree with the bolded part. All along the series the Forsaken have been calling the Aes Sedai half trained, not weak. I tried finding a qoute from RJ about the relative strength (I think I have seen one before) but couldn't find anything specific, though I did find a few about the knowledge and dexterity of channelling, sort of like the difference between men and women where men are stronger but women are more adept.
We also see relative strength when looking at Nynaeve and Moghedien. They were at the same strength before Nynaeve reached her full potential. Now Nynaeve is stronger and she is meeting channellers who are stronger than her (Talaan, Alivia, Sharina). The Forsaken were the strongest and most Talented channellers on the DO's crew in an age were channellers lived 700 years and there were a whole lot more people in each generation who could channel.

a part of Terez interview when driving BS a year ago (17th of April 2011)
TEREZ
Yeah, I figured, like what you were saying earlier about how they were Chosen because their talents...

BRANDON SANDERSON
Yeah.

TEREZ
...obviously they're all within...

BRANDON SANDERSON
...yeah. They're all awesome. And so, you know, you couldn't be a Forsaken simply for being awesome in the Power. It's like you had to be awesome at the Power, and be awesome at other stuff.
See how you have to be awesome in the power to be one of the Forsaken? They are exceptionally strong and that gives us a hint that there were a whole bunch of weaker channellers in the AOL.

Edynol
04-18-2012, 03:19 PM
Comparing Mog with Nyn doesn't prove much. You're comparing one the strongest AS with the Weakest Forsaken. All the other female forsaken or equal or stronger then Nyn. Looking at the chart, you see all the forsaken are way above the average AS in terms of strength, so its safe to assume most channelers from time were at that level. I doubt all the strongest channelers turned to the shadow.

Zombie Sammael
04-18-2012, 03:32 PM
Again, pretty much the same as I said. Of course, if the pattern abandoned him, he would no longer be ta'veren, so it wouldn't matter. lol.

Not necessarily. Remember, Rand has to die for the Light to win. he knows that and has accepted it with apparent humility, but what he may not know is when or where. Even his acceptance with apparent humility is a sign of his arrogance in thinking he turns the wheel and controls the pattern. The pattern/wheel will do what it needs to do to survive, not what Rand al'Thor thinks it should.

Comparing Mog with Nyn udoesn't prove much. You're comparing one the strongest AS with the Weakest Forsaken. All the other female forsaken or equal or stronger then Nyn. Looking at the chart, you see all the forsaken are way above the average AS in terms of strength, so its safe to assume most channelers from time were at that level. I doubt all the strongest channelers turned to the shadow.

The Forsaken are the strongest AS who went over to the Shadow. We know from Cadsuane's comments in New Spring that the AS are getting weaker, so it stands to reason that the Forsaken are truly exceptional.

Edynol
04-18-2012, 04:08 PM
Not necessarily. Remember, Rand has to die for the Light to win. he knows that and has accepted it with apparent humility, but what he may not know is when or where. Even his acceptance with apparent humility is a sign of his arrogance in thinking he turns the wheel and controls the pattern. The pattern/wheel will do what it needs to do to survive, not what Rand al'Thor thinks it should.

Yeah I know. We are both saying he thinks that. What are you arguing about?

The Forsaken are the strongest AS who went over to the Shadow. We know from Cadsuane's comments in New Spring that the AS are getting weaker, so it stands to reason that the Forsaken are truly exceptional.

Yes, out of all the AS that went to the shadow, they were the strongest. But how much stronger? But what about those that didn't? Thing is, if all the other dreadlords we're just a little bit weaker than Mogie, say on Eggy and Elayne's level, that would men the forseaken would the strongest of the shadow, but still the weakest then were as strongest as the second strongest today. In other words, back then, Eggy and Elayne would be at the bottom of the pot instead of in second place, as far as AS go.

There could have others on the side of the Light as strong or stronger than Lanfear. Also, it wasn't just strength that made them exceptional, but what they did.

Weird Harold
04-18-2012, 04:16 PM
The Forsaken are the strongest AS who went over to the Shadow. We know from Cadsuane's comments in New Spring that the AS are getting weaker, so it stands to reason that the Forsaken are truly exceptional.

It should be noted that the 13 Forsaken are just a sampling of the Channelers who went over to the DO. We, (and RJ,) put channlers as strong or stronger than Moghedien and Asmodean in a separate class -- "Forsaken Class" -- but that isn't really representative of Shadow Channelers.

Personally, I suspect that Moghedien and Asmodean aren't as strong as people think they are and "Forsaken Class" covers a wider range of power levels than commonly thought. They are still "above average" and stronger than the vast majority of Aes Sedai, but not as far above as most credit them with.

It is also probably worth noting that most of those who are as strong or stronger than Nyneave are not Aes Sedai or affiliated with the WT at the time of Nyneave's battle with Moghedien in the Panarch's Museum. Aes Sedai and the Forsaken both make the mistake of assuming the WT is the pinnacle of Channeling ability in the Third Age, when almost every Channeling group outside of the Tower has at least one person stronger than the Tower has seen in centuries, and several more talented.

Flinn Sedai
04-18-2012, 05:30 PM
Here's the closest we have on the issue.

- For Papazen, while I have spoken of souls being born with the ability to channel in response to questions, I think of it as being genetic also. In the Age of Legends, between 2 and 3% of people had some ability, following a bell curve distribution in strength. For over 3000 years, though, Aes Sedai have been removing men who actually learned to channel from the gene pool. They have been very efficient at this. As a result, the “present day” sees about 1% of the population who can learn to channel, with a much, much smaller percentage of that being born with the spark.

The implication, from my reading of it, of course, is that strength always follows the bell curve. Obviously a bell curve can shift in either direction, but I always had the impression (perhaps incorrectly, now that I'm reviewing the data), that it was approximately the same.

That is to say, there will be fewer people of great strength in this Age, solely because there are fewer potential Channelers. Along different lines, there were fewer extremely weak Channelers in the Age of Legends, because there weren't as many Channelers needed. Thus, only those with greater potential would go through the rather grueling process to become an Aes Sedai.

At that time, about 3% of the population could learn to channel to some extent, though not all chose to -- the training program took time, and being able to channel carried with it certain obligations that not everyone wanted to undertake -- but that still meant there were, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of people in the world who could channel, and more likely millions.

Moreover, a lot of the data that we have from the Forsaken on their Power, should be considered suspect.

I tried to ask shannow's question about how the Forsaken compared to each other in their strength of the Power. Being nervous, of course, I managed to flub that as well by saying, "There's a lot of contradictory information in the books about how the Forsaken are ranked in their strength in the Power. Could you rank the Forsaken more explicitly?" (or something to that effect.) RJ than explained that the Forsaken don't rank themselves in terms of strength in the Power as Aes Sedai do. (duh! Looks like I used the wrong turn of phrase, or RJ deliberately misinterpretated what I was getting at.) He went on to say that the Forsaken do not like to think of themselves as weaker than anyone else, and, due to their arrogance and ambition, will tend to understate other's abilities and overstate their own. He concluded by saying that, given these weaknesses in character that the Forsaken possess, any information that the Forsaken provide should be considered highly suspect.

Q: I get the impression that Asmodean is weaker than Lanfear even before he was shielded. How much weaker etc.
RJ: RAFO. I don't go into that kind of thing. I know where they are. I also know they are highly unreliable. None of them is going to admit that anyone is that much stronger than they are, even when you are inside their heads. Don't take everything they say as the absolute truth or unbiased observation.

More importantly, we know that a lot of the powerful Channelers from the Age of Legends came over the Shadow.

Tamyrlin: Well, then is there something unique about the Forsaken other than the fact that they are his favorites that he would transmigrate them, or be able to?
Jordan: Well, he would have been a lot less likely to in an earlier time when they were a lot of powerful, knowledgeable channelers who were in his service. Essentially half the people in the world who could channel were on his side, during the War of the Shadow. Now he has very few, he's got the Black Ajah, and a few wilders, and some stuff I ain't going in to, but uh he doesn't have a lot, but he can't afford to waste assets.

So, there is some evidence that it is similar, but basically any information we have on strengths in the Age of Legends, from the books, is unreliable. We don't have conclusive evidence either way.

Guess we need to take it to Sanderson.

GonzoTheGreat
04-19-2012, 04:19 AM
The Forsaken are the strongest AS who went over to the Shadow. We know from Cadsuane's comments in New Spring that the AS are getting weaker, so it stands to reason that the Forsaken are truly exceptional.
AS are, in average, getting weaker. But there is actually no evidence that the minimum standard for being an AS now is any different when it comes to strength than it used to be in the AOL. Actually, it may be that there wasn't such a minimum standard then, in which case the weakest AS now are a lot stronger than the weakest AS at the time were.
Without such a minimum, Morgase could have been an AS, but with it, she had no chance at all.